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Penis Sleeves: What They Are, How They Work & More

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 12/22/2020

Updated 01/31/2024

Penis sleeves are designed to do two things: make penetrative sex easier for men with erectile dysfunction (ED) and make sex more pleasurable for the wearer and their partner. For many people, they deliver results.  While penis sleeves may not be able to fully replace typical treatments like ED medications, they can definitely help spice things up in the bedroom.

That’s reason enough to have questions, whether you’re on the ED list or not, and we’ve compiled the answers you want about how penis sleeves work, what to look for when buying one and the key advantages and disadvantages that they offer. 

And if you’re one of the tens of millions of US men affected by erectile dysfunction, we have some facts and research on treatment you’ll want to read.

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A penis sleeve is a type of hollow penile support device that’s worn over the penis during sex. When worn, penis sleeves are designed to provide pleasure to both partners while enhancing the wearer’s firmness, length, and girth, or adding “features” like vibration, ribbing or anal stimulation. 

Penis sleeves are available in a large variety of sizes and designs and are typically made from silicone blends or rubber. Some feature ribs, nubs and other textural features to enhance sensation for you or your partner. Others offer features like vibration, prostate massagers or G-spot stimulators, or an attached butt plug.

Most penis sleeves have a stretchy ring or loop that fits around your scrotum to hold the sleeve in place, while some have a stretchy hole for your testicles or a belt that’s worn over your waist to prevent the sleeve from moving.

There are a lot of “non-clinical” names for these things, and we’ll permit some giggling if you came here wanting to know more about a penis stretcher, cock extender, about penis extenders, enhancers, sheaths or dick sleeves. In some cases, these differing terms actually indicate that the sleeve provides different “enhancement:”

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Penis Enhancers and Girth Sleeves

Penis enhancers, also known as girth sleeves due to their design and size, are intentionally larger and usually include built-in penis extensions designed to add extra length and girth for a more intense sexual experience. 

Penis Sheaths

Penis sheaths, on the other hand, are a type of penis sleeve that covers the entire penis, including the glans (the tip of your penis). These penis enlargement products are widely referred to as “penis sheaths” and are typically marketed for their ability to enhance your penis’s length and/or girth. 

Penis sleeves are a relatively inexpensive and accessible way to spice things up in the bedroom, and they’re also relatively simple to use. But they’re not perfect. It’s worth weighing the pros and cons before pulling the trigger and making the purchase.

Pros of penis sleeves include:

  • They can increase the length and girth of your penis. This may provide extra pleasure for your partner and some extra confidence in the bedroom for you.

  • Some penis sleeves are designed to enhance the pleasure of sex, making the bedroom a more enjoyable place for everyone involved.

  • Using a penis sleeve during sex can help with certain forms of sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

  • A penis sleeve that covers the entire penis may also reduce sensation during sex, allowing you to last longer and reducing the risk of premature ejaculation.

  • Penis sleeves may offer significant benefits if you can’t use ED medications such as sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra®), tadalafil (the active ingredient in Cialis®) or others due to health issues or personal preference.

Cons of penis sleeves include:

  • A penis sleeve doesn’t actually do anything to enhance the flow of blood to your penis or treat ED from a physiological standpoint. If you have ED and can use medication without health concerns, you may notice better results from medications such as sildenafil or tadalafil. 

  • A penis sleeve can provide a different type of sensation from penetrative sex without any toys or aides. This may be an advantage for some and an annoyance or distraction for others. 

  • While wearing a penis sleeve for extra length or girth can be fun every now and then, the reality is that you probably don’t need it. 

Many of the most popular penis sleeves have hundreds of positive reviews from users, indicating that they offer real benefits when it comes to enhancing sexual pleasure. When it comes to scientific proof, however, the load is a little light — especially when compared to the volume of research for treatments for erectile dysfunction.

But research suggests that, in general, penis sleeves can be effective in some circumstances.

For example, one scientific review published in 2017 mentioned penis sleeves outright as an option for men with erectile dysfunction who’d like to have penetrative sex.

But the review also noted that the effectiveness of a penis extender sleeve can vary greatly based on a range of factors, including its fit, shape and thickness.

Another scientific review from 2019 stated that penis sleeves and similar devices allow for the preservation of penetrative sex for men with erectile dysfunction. 

Although these findings support the use of penis sleeves for ED, there’s currently no research that directly compares penis sleeves with ED treatment options — namely, prescription medications

Because of this, it’s hard to know if penis sleeves are as effective, more effective or less effective than existing options for treating ED. They do different things, so in many ways, it just depends what you’re looking for.

Choose your chew

Like other sex toys and devices for treating erectile dysfunction, penis sleeves vary significantly in price. Inexpensive penis sleeves are sold online and in sex stores for anywhere from $10 to $50, while higher-quality silicone penis sleeves may cost several hundred dollars.

In general, you should expect to spend between $30 and $100 for a solid quality sleeve that’s designed to add girth and length, or around $400 or more for a custom and super realistic penis sleeve that is an exact replica of what you’re already working with.

As prices increase, penis sleeves generally become more realistic and comfortable for both you and your partner, with features such as skin-safe silicone, different firmness levels, matte options, texturing and more life-like shapes. 

Less costly penile sleeves are sometimes made from lower-quality silicone, with some low-cost sleeve devices made from porous sex toy materials that may be difficult to sterilize.

Using a penis sleeve is an easy process. Below, we’ve outlined how to buy and use a penis extension sleeve step by step if you’re looking to spice things up a bit. 

How to Order a Penis Sleeve

  • Take out the tape measure. It’s essential that you accurately measure your penis before you press the pay button at checkout to make sure you’re buying a product that will fit. Most cock sleeves should fit snugly but comfortably over your penis when it’s erect. 

  • Compare notes. Next, compare your penis size to your soon-to-be pleasure sleeve to make sure it’ll offer the perfect fit. Be aware that many low-cost penis sleeves are only available in a single size. 

  • Try it on for size. Place your penis sleeve over your partially erect or flaccid penis, securing the sleeve at the base of your testicles. 

Safely Wearing a Penis Sleeve

With luck and planning, this should make sure that you’ve found your perfect match. Now let’s talk about how you put it on:

  1. Make sure the penis sleeve is snug and in place. Once your penis is erect, the sleeve should stay in place on its own with little or no forward or backward movement. 

  2. Use a water-based lube on the outside of your silicone penis sleeve.

  3. Slowly insert the penis sleeve into your partner while ensuring the lube is evenly distributed and your partner is comfortable.

  4. Have at it! Enjoy the ride with your shiny new “cock sleeve.”

  5. When finished, wash the sleeve with a quality toy cleaner and store it in a dry, clean space.

We think you're perfect just the way you are — but if you think a penis sleeve would make you feel more confident in the bedroom, we support it. 

Contrary to what porn might make most men think, size matters differently in reality. Actually, the typical penis isn’t that large (roughly 5.2 inches, according to some research). While it’s fine and fun to wear a penis sleeve every now and then, it’s important that you don’t let the boost in penis size make you feel insecure or anxious when you have sex without the sleeve. 

If you wear a penis sleeve for extra fun rather than ED, by all means. But don’t be fooled into thinking your real penis isn’t enough to satisfy your partner. You are enough.

If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, also consider what your goal is. To avoid accidentally buying a poor-quality penis sleeve, make sure to ask yourself the following questions when you compare different products:

  • Why are you buying the penis sleeve? Do you want a size-enhancing sleeve or one that allows for easier penetration? Do you want an open or closed cock sheath? The type of sleeve you pick will greatly impact your sensation levels during sex, making it important to understand what you want before making a purchase.

  • What features does it offer? Before selecting a penis sleeve, check that its features match your sexual preferences and expectations.

  • What is the sleeve made of? Make sure to choose a material that offers the right mix of benefits (for example, life-like texture, skin safety or ease of proper care and cleaning with warm water) for your needs.

If you’re looking for ways to treat ED that don’t necessarily involve wrapping your penis in silicone, consider erectile dysfunction medications, ED devices or making a few healthy lifestyle changes.  

Erectile Dysfunction Medications

Currently, the most effective way for most men to treat erectile dysfunction and maintain an erection is through the use of ED medications such as:

These medications, called PDE5 inhibitors, increase blood flow to the penis to make it easier to get and stay hard when you’re sexually aroused. There are also some other ED medications, such as alprostadil, which is injected into the penis.

Erectile Dysfunction Devices

Erectile dysfunction devices that may be able to help improve the symptoms of your ED problems include: 

While research is mixed on the effectiveness of these products, many men claim that they help to improve erections and enhance other aspects of sexual performance.

Lifestyle Changes

If you have ED because of a physical issue, such as obesity or high blood pressure, changing certain aspects of your lifestyle may help make your ED symptoms less severe and allow you to have better sex more easily. Simple changes include:

  • Eating a balanced diet

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Limiting your consumption of alcohol

For more simple tips, check out our complete guide on home remedies and lifestyle changes for ED

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Whether you and your partner call it a cock sleeve or a dick sleeve or a penis sheath when you’re alone, penis sleeves are a great way to enhance everybody’s good time. 

They can turbo-charge your partner’s pleasure and help you in the bedroom, especially if you’re experiencing sexual dysfunctions like ED and premature ejaculation.

Penis sleeves are great for a few reasons:

  • They come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking to lengthen your penis or even enhance your penis girth, there are plenty of options out there for you to browse through — from mild to wild.

  • They offer many features. Even if you’re not looking for a temporary fix for ED or premature ejaculation, penis sleeves offer plenty of features for anyone looking to really kick things up to 11 in the bedroom. There are sleeves that vibrate, come with butt plug and dildo attachments, have built-in pleasure ribs, and even offer extensions (and everything in between).

  • But they’re not your only option. If you’re experiencing ED and premature ejaculation but you’re not completely sold on penis sleeves, there are plenty of options out there for you to discuss with a healthcare professional. Everything from lidocaine spray for ED and thicker condoms, all the way to prescription medications for ED like sildenafil and tadalafil. The point is, you have options.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, schedule a virtual visit with one of our certified healthcare providers.

Related Articles

3 Sources

  1. Wassersug, R. & Wibowo, E. (2017, November). Non-pharmacological and non-surgical strategies to promote sexual recovery for men with erectile dysfunction. Translational Andrology and Urology. 6 (Suppl 5), S776-S794. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5715194/
  2. Krzastek, S.C., Bopp, J., Smith, R.P. & Kovac, J.R. (2019). Recent advances in the understanding and management of erectile dysfunction. F1000 REsearch. 8, F1000 Faculty Rev-102. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348436/
  3. Dhaliwal, A. & Gupta, M. (2022, April 19). PDE5 Inhibitors. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549843
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician, a Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup, where he is involved in pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years working in digital health, focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show (receiving recognition for contributions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when the show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show at the 2016–2017 Daytime Emmy® Awards) and at Sharecare. He is a Medical Expert Board Member at Eat This, Not That! and a Board Member at International Veterinary Outreach.

Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. He has graduate certificates in Digital Storytelling and Marketing Management & Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School and certificates in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Cornell Law School.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. He has also spent time conducting orthopedic and biomaterial research at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland and practicing clinically as a general practitioner on international medical aid projects with Medical Ministry International.

Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.

Publications

  • Younesi, M., Knapik, D. M., Cumsky, J., Donmez, B. O., He, P., Islam, A., Learn, G., McClellan, P., Bohl, M., Gillespie, R. J., & Akkus, O. (2017). Effects of PDGF-BB delivery from heparinized collagen sutures on the healing of lacerated chicken flexor tendon in vivo. Acta biomaterialia, 63, 200–209. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706117305652?via%3Dihub

  • Gebhart, J. J., Weinberg, D. S., Bohl, M. S., & Liu, R. W. (2016). Relationship between pelvic incidence and osteoarthritis of the hip. Bone & joint research, 5(2), 66–72. https://boneandjoint.org.uk/Article/10.1302/2046-3758.52.2000552

  • Gebhart, J. J., Bohl, M. S., Weinberg, D. S., Cooperman, D. R., & Liu, R. W. (2015). Pelvic Incidence and Acetabular Version in Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Journal of pediatric orthopedics, 35(6), 565–570. https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/abstract/2015/09000/pelvic_incidence_and_acetabular_version_in_slipped.5.aspx

  • Islam, A., Bohl, M. S., Tsai, A. G., Younesi, M., Gillespie, R., & Akkus, O. (2015). Biomechanical evaluation of a novel suturing scheme for grafting load-bearing collagen scaffolds for rotator cuff repair. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 30(7), 669–675. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(15)00143-6/fulltext

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