How Tight Should a Condom Be?

A properly sized condom is a very important thing. If it is too big or too small, it can slip off the penis or tear, increasing the risk of being the father, of an unplanned child, or the transmission of one of the sexually transmitted diseases.

And an unsuitable condom for you can cause rubbing and redness of the penis and even affect the ability to achieve orgasm. That’s why knowing the size of a condom is important for safe and enjoyable sex.

So let’s now figure out in order what are the sizes of these contraceptives and how to choose the right condom.

How Tight Should a Condom Be?
A condom should be tight enough to stay in place, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable or difficult to put on.

How to Determine the Size of a Condom?

To find out which condom is best for you, you will need to measure your penis. To do this, you can use a ruler or a centimeter (this is a tape made of durable non-stretchable material). To get the right size, measure your penis while it is in a state of erection.

To make the right choice, when buying a condom, you need to know the length, width, and girth of your penis (all three parameters are erect). We advise you to take measurements twice to make sure that you got the correct numbers.

To measure a member, follow these steps:

For length:

  • Place a ruler or a centimeter at the base of the erect penis.
  • Push the ruler a little into the pubis: the fat layer can sometimes hide the true length of your penis.
  • Measure your erect penis from the base to the end of the head.

For girth:

  • Use a piece of rope or the same centimeter.
  • Carefully wrap a rope or a centimeter around the widest part of the penis trunk.
  • If you decide to use a rope, mark the place where its parts meet, and then measure the resulting distance with a ruler.
  • When using a centimeter, simply mark the value as soon as the end of the centimeter reaches the digital indicator.

For width:

You can calculate the width of the penis in the same way, as if you had to determine the diameter of a circle. To do this, divide the girth measurement by 3.14. The resulting number is your width.

Blue, red and grey condoms

Condom Size Grid

What sizes are condoms? It should be said right away that in different countries and even between manufacturers there are different systems for separating condoms by size — they can be both alphabetic and numeric, besides they vary in values: the same indicators from one manufacturer can be labeled as “average”, and from another — “large”. This should be taken into account when traveling in other countries.

International condom size designation system:

  • Small — S or Small;
  • Medium — M or Medium;
  • Large — L or Large;
  • Extra Large — Extra Large or XXL.

Size grid of condom widths:

  • A standard condom is 2.0 to 2.2 inches;
  • A tight condom is 1.92 to 2.08 inches;
  • The large condom is 2.2 to 2.5 inches.

Size grid of condom lengths:

  • A standard condom is 7.08 and 7.9 inches;
  • A dense condom is 6.7 to 7.08 inches;
  • A large condom is 7.9 to 10 inches.

Gold condoms in packs and opened

Why Is It So Important to Choose the Right Size?

When you wear a condom of the right size, you have a much better chance that it will not break, which means you will be able to more reliably protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases and avoid unplanned pregnancy. But the wrong size of a condom can reduce protection by as much as 15% (or even reduce it to zero).

Most condoms are suitable for average penis size, so if your penis is slightly larger or less than 7 inches in an erection state, buying a condom will not be a problem for you — most of the products that are sold will fit you in length.

But although the length is often the same for different brands and types, the width and girth are most important when choosing a condom. The selection of a contraceptive according to these parameters will be the key to comfortable sex. The fact is that a condom, that is too small in width, can sit too tightly around the tip of your penis, rub the penis and eventually break.

And a condom that sits too loosely around the head or base may slip off during or at the moment of ejaculation. As you can see, both options are very unpleasant.

Does the Condom Material Matter?

Condoms differ not only in size, color and taste — they are also made of various materials. Most of them are made of latex, but some brands offer non-latex alternatives for people with allergies to this material, vegans (milk protein is used in the production of latex), or just those who want variety. These materials include:


Condoms made of polyurethane (a kind of plastic), — the most popular alternative to latex condoms. Polyurethane is thinner than latex and has better thermal conductivity.


Polyisoprene is the closest material to latex, but it lacks chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction. It is thicker than polyurethane but soft to the touch, and less like rubber. Polyisoprene condoms tend to stretch more than polyurethane condoms and are considered hypoallergenic.

However, the development of new, even more, ethical materials and technologies for the production of condoms continues, for example, they are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Charitable Foundation.

Condom in a pocket

How to Put on a Condom Correctly?

Choosing the right size will not matter if you wear a condom incorrectly, because in this case it may slip or tear, and therefore will be ineffective for preventing pregnancy or protecting against sexually transmitted diseases.

Here’s how to properly put on a condom:

1. Make sure that the condom is not expired

A product that has expired is less effective because over time the material begins to break down, and the risk that it will break increases.

2. Carefully open the package

Never do this with your teeth, because this way you can accidentally damage the integrity of the condom and make it useless.

3. Put on a condom

Place the contraceptive on the tip of the erect penis and pinch the tip to let the air out of it. Unwrap the condom to the base of the penis, but before doing this, make sure that it is not turned inside out.

4. Use a lubricant

Some condoms are already covered with lubricant from the inside, but if you don’t, drop a couple of drops inside before putting it on, so the sex itself will be much more pleasant for you (just don’t overdo it, otherwise it may slip off you in the process).

Important: only water-based lubricants can be used with latex, the use of an oil lubricant can cause the contraceptive to rupture. (By the way, don’t forget to use a lubricant on top of a condom — a girl’s pleasure is no less important than yours).

5. Carefully remove the condom

After ejaculating, grasp the base of the condom to remove it. This will prevent slipping. After removing the condom, tie a knot at the end, wrap it in a napkin and throw it in the trash.

Also read:


Proper and constant use of condoms will help protect you from HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases, and unplanned pregnancies.

Only a condom is able to provide protection against HIV infection by more than 90%. But, realizing the advantages of a condom, many people, nevertheless, refuse to use it on the basis of their own or someone else’s negative experience, as well as widespread prejudices and “myths”.

The effectiveness and quality of condom protection largely depend on the right choice and proper use.

Condoms come in different sizes, different degrees of density (thinner, superfine), and different colors; they may have certain aroma and taste characteristics, as well as a special surface texture.

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