What Kind of Lube Base is Best for You?

It’s easier to go shopping if you know what you’re looking for. By understanding the pros and cons of different lube bases, you can narrow your search instantly. Since each base has different strengths and weaknesses, pairing the right base with your particular tastes makes picking the right lube much easier.

Do You Have Allergies?

Before you apply anything to the most sensitive skin on your body, you need to read the ingredients. Sometimes, people are allergic to silicon, and even if the package has a water drop on the cover, or mentions something about essential oils, it could still have a silicon base. Silicon is also the most likely lube base to feature additional, harsh chemicals.

Water based lubes can be regular or natural, depending on the manufacturer and their chosen ingredients. Always review the ingredient list for safety, especially since natural lubes often use natural flavors. Food allergies should be taken into consideration. The same is true for oil based lubes. These days, the most popular oils are usually natural, and the food allergy problem is a very real concern. Oils often include almond oil as a natural lubricant, and if you have a nut allergy, you could find yourself in a whole new world of pain.

Are You Worried About Easy Clean-up?

Lots of lubes promise easy clean-up.

Essentially all of them do, and those that don’t will leave tremendous stains. However, just because the label claims a lube won’t stain your sheets doesn’t mean it’s safe to break out the silk. The base of a lube often determines how easy it will be to clean up.

Water based lubes typically make for the easiest clean-up and are the least likely to stain. They come off toys easily, and they often dissolve in water alone. At the most, you may have to use a gentle soap. Silicon lubes are a mixed bag, but they often stain sheets. Oil based lubes will pretty much always wreck your sheets. Check out this article on water vs silicone based lubes

Cleaning yourself up can be just as tedious. Crab-walking to the shower after an intimate moment to spend the next half hour scrubbing away greasy or sticky residue kills the mood. Often, lubes leave behind sticky, oily, or even dry sensations after use that can linger for a day or more.

Lubes designed to double as moisturizers usually sink into the skin during use, which means you have less to clean up and a more pleasant sensation after you play. When you’re considering lubes, make sure to weigh the manufacturers’ claims against the lubes’ bases and all available customer sentiment.

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Bases

Water-Based Lubes

The majority of your body is made of water. It makes sense that the safest lubes start with a water base. Although water based lubes are a diverse group, they are most often light and silky. Users who enjoy watery rather than thick lubes are most likely to find the right consistency with a water based lube. Clean-up is usually easiest with water based products, and these lubes are also multipurpose, as nearly all are safe for ingestion. Best of all, water based lubes are safe for condoms and every toy imaginable. Some users, however, say water based lubes dry out faster than the competition, and some brands aren’t suited to lengthy activities.


  • Safest base
  • Usually multipurpose and digestible
  • Safe for condoms and toys
  • Light, silky texture
  • Usually easy clean up


  • May dry out faster than other bases
  • May be too runny for some users

Silicon Based Lubes

Silicon lubes stand up to a lot of use. Probably their best feature is their longevity. Users rarely need to replace or top up their lube during intercourse if they use silicon, although some brands can get sticky and clumpy.

Although it’s always a good idea to read feedback about potential purchases, this is especially true of silicon products simply because they’re so diverse. The ingredients and recipe determine the product’s performance more than usual when you’re dealing with silicon. Clean up is often easy, but again, that depends a lot on the lube’s ingredients. It’s almost always difficult to scrub off of skin, however.

Unfortunately, silicon isn’t safe for condoms, and it is only safe for select toys. Any toy with even a little bit of silicon will melt together with the lube, which makes for a serious mess. Ingesting silicon is not recommended.


  • Long lasting
  • Lots of texture variety
  • Usually stain-free


  • Usually difficult to clean off the body
  • Range can make it difficult to tell what you’re getting before you use it
  • Not safe for condoms or most toys
  • Not ingestible

Natural Oil Lubes

While petroleum jelly and other mineral oil lubes have fallen out of favor due to their harsh and dangerous chemical components, natural oils have experienced a boost in the marketplace. These safe products cut out things like glycerin and hormones to ensure you don’t reap unintended side effects from a fun night in. Oils will pretty much always leave stains, so don’t use these products with your favorite clothes and sheets. They will often leave a greasy residue on skin, too. While not all oils are safe to ingest, most natural oil based lubes are designed to be safe for consumption. Oils, however, are not safe for toys or condoms.


  • Safer than artificial lubes
  • Almost always multipurpose
  • Often taste better than artificial lubes


  • Can and will stain
  • Leave oily sensation
  • Not safe for toys or condoms

Make sure to check out if you can use Coconut Oil or Baby Oil as a lube.

Final Thoughts

The lube base you choose will depend a lot on how you like to spend your evenings. If you enjoy toys, you should go with water based lubes. If you want a safer, more natural experience, than natural oil based lubes can help you relax without compromising your health standards.

Silicon lubes are good for very specific situations, and are best for those looking for extremely long lasting lubes. All lube bases come with drawbacks, and each has a unique set of benefits. You may need several different lubes in order to fulfill all of your needs.

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