What Size Condom Should I Buy? How to Select The Fit You Need

Condoms are widely used for contraception and are considered effective.

But that is only when they are used properly. 

One important way to ensure that you are using condoms properly is by choosing the right size.  

A condom works best if it fits properly and comfortably, both to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

With the wide variety of brands available and the lack of standardization of condom sizes, knowing what size condom to buy can be difficult.

In this article, we aim to help you figure out what size condom you need with a handy condom size chart.

Types of condoms you can buy and their lengths

There are two different types of condoms:

  • Male (external) condom: This covers the head and shaft of the penis but not the testicles. You can only wear one when the penis is erect. It comes in different sizes and is readily available at health centers, stores, and online. You don’t need a prescription to get an external condom.
  • Female (internal) condom: One end of this condom is inserted into the vagina while the other end remains on the outside of the body. There is currently only one type of female condom approved by the FDA. It is called FC2. You need a prescription to buy the FC2.

Internal condoms only come in one size based on the length and width of the average vagina. External condoms, on the other hand, come in varying sizes based on the wide variety of penises.

For the rest of this article, we’ll focus on external condoms. 

How to know what size condom to buy

To know what size condoms you should use, you need to measure the length and width of your erect penis. 

Follow these simple steps to measure the penis:

  • Length: With your penis erect, hold one side of a measuring tape or ruler at the level of your pubic bone and extend to the tip of your penis.
  • Width: You should use a soft measuring tape or a piece of string. Use the tape or string to encircle the thickest part of your erect penis.

It is best to measure your penis on at least two separate occasions to ensure that your measurements are accurate.

There is no standard when it comes to the way brands name different sizes. For example, what one brand markets as “XL” may be “regular” for another brand. 

Knowing how big your penis is will help you buy an appropriate condom size, regardless of the brand. 

Condom size chart: how big are condoms?

Use this condom size chart of popular brands to know what size condom you should buy based on your measurements.

TrojanUltra-Thin7.48 inches / 190mm2.09 inches / 53mm
Regular7.48 inches / 190mm2.05 inches / 52mm
Magnum Ecstasy8.30 inches / 210.8mm2.09 inches / 53.1mm
GlydeSlim Fit6.69 inches/169.9mm1.92 inches/48.8mm
Standard Fit7.48 inches / 190mm2.09 inches / 53mm
Maxi XL Fit8.27 inches / 210mm2.20 inches / 55.9mm
DurexThin Feel Ultra-Thin7.08 inches /179.8mm2.04 inches / 51.8mm
Regular7.68 inches / 195mm2.20 inches / 55.9mm
Comfort XL Large8.66 inches / 220mm2.24 inches / 56.9mm
SkynClose Feel7.87 inches / 199.9mm2.00 inches / 50.8mm
Original7.87 inches / 199.9mm2.08 inches / 75.7mm
Large8.27 inches / 210mm2.20 inches / 58.9mm
LifestyleCloser Fit7.09 inches / 180mm1.90 inches / 48.3mm
Regular Fit7.87 inches / 199.9mm2.05 inches / 52.1mm
Larger Fit8.27 inches / 210mm2.13 inches / 54.1mm
Caution WearIron Grip6.70 inches / 170.2mm1.92 inches / 48.8mm
Classic Plain7.08 inches / 179.8mm2.20 inches / 55.9mm
Grande8.25 inches / 209.6mm4.24 inches / 107.7mm

What happens if the condom you use doesn’t fit properly?

If a condom is too big, there is a risk that it will slip off during sex. On the other hand, a condom that is too small is at risk of breaking. 

Both of these scenarios increase the risk of pregnancy and transmission of STIs.

How to choose the best condom type

The best condom for you is one that has the following characteristics:

  • Fits properly.
  • It is comfortable while you’re wearing it.
  • Doesn’t hinder or interfere with sexual pleasure.
  • Ensures you feel good about using it.
  • Doesn’t cause skin or genital irritation for you or your partner.
  • Meets your aims to prevent pregnancy and STIs. 

To achieve the above, you have to choose a condom that is a good size for you and made of material that is comfortable for both you and your partner. 

Condoms are mainly made from latex, but other options are available for people with latex condom allergies, like polyisoprene or polyurethane. 

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How to use a condom correctly

The following advice would help you use a condom correctly for more desirable results:

Step 1: Always check the expiration date on the package

A condom that has gone past its expiry date is more likely to break and is less effective.

Step 2: Ensure the condom is still intact

Condoms might get damaged when stored in wallets or purses. Don’t use the condom if it shows signs of damage; discard it as soon as possible.

Step 3: Open the wrapper carefully

Avoid using force or the use of teeth when opening the package, as this can tear the condom.

Step 4: Place the condom correctly

For proper placement, ensure the rim of the condom is facing the outside so that it easily rolls over the penis.

Step 5: Pinch the tip of the condom

Always pinch the tip of the condom before placing it on the head of the erect penis. Doing this removes excess air and allows space at the top for semen collection.

Step 6: Roll the condom down

The condom should be rolled down the shaft of the penis up to the base.

Step 7: Use lube if needed

In case the condom doesn’t have lubrication, apply some lubricant to the outside of the condom. 

The lubricant can either be silicon, oil, or water-based. Avoid using oil-based lubricants on latex condoms, as they can weaken the material and increase the risk of breakage.

Step 8: Remove the condom

You should hold the base of the condom when pulling out after ejaculation. This helps prevent it from slipping off.

Step 9: Throw the condom away

Gently remove the condom, make a knot at the open end, and dispose of it in the trash.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the average-size condom?

Men have a wide variety of penis lengths and widths. One study that included 1,661 men showed that penis length ranged from about 1.5 inches to around 10 inches. Because of this variety, there is a wide range of condom sizes available.

Condoms are commonly listed as small (SnugFit or SlimFit), Medium (Standard Fit), Large (Magnum or XL), and Extra-Large (XXL). 

Standard Fit or regular condoms are usually between 2 inches wide and 6.5 to 8 inches long.

How much are condoms?

Male condoms cost somewhere between $0.50 and $1 each, and they are more affordable when bought in packs that contain several condoms. They are also distributed free of charge by many health centers and family planning clinics.

Female condoms, on the other hand, are a little more expensive than male condoms, costing about $2 per condom. You can still get them for free at some health centers and family planning clinics. 

How to measure the penis?

Using a measuring tape or a piece of string, measure the length and width of your erect penis. 

You measure the width by encircling the thickest part of the erect penis with a flexible measuring tape or string.

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What are the best condoms to buy?

Some condoms are of better quality than others, and a lot of people have a preference when it comes to condom brands.

If you are unsure how to know what condoms to buy, you can begin by going for condoms that have good user reviews and have been proven to be reliable and comfortable. 

How long are condoms good for?

If stored properly, male condoms can remain effective for about three to five years. However, this is influenced by the manufacturer and the national policy. The shelf-life of female condoms is five years.

Do you have to be 18 to buy condoms?

No. You don’t have to be 18 to be able to buy condoms. You can buy condoms at any age. 

If you go to your local gas station, pharmacy, or supermarket, the clerk at the cashier register usually doesn’t ask for your identification.

Although there isn’t a stated legal age to buy condoms, keep in mind that there is a legal age to have sex, which is the age of consent, and it varies from state to state. 

How should a condom fit?

A condom that fits properly should feel tight but shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It should be a bit tighter at the base so it doesn’t slip off. 

It should also cover the entire length of the penis, from the tip down to the base of the shaft (where the penis meets the rest of your body). 

There should be a little space left at the tip for semen to accumulate after you ejaculate.   


  • Condoms are an effective and convenient way to protect yourself during sex, but only when used properly. 
  • One of the main facets of using condoms properly is choosing the right size. 
  • A condom that is too big may easily slip off, and one that is small is more prone to breakage. 
  • Using a condom that fits properly and knowing how to use a condom correctly ensures maximum protection for you and your partner during sex.
  • The sizes vary based on the brand. This can make the decision daunting at first. But, once you know your measurements, you can easily select one that is a good fit for you. 
  • If you have any other questions about condoms and sexual health, reach out to your healthcare provider. 

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  1. CDC. Condoms.
  2. NHS UK. Condoms.
  3. Herbenick D, Reece M, Schick V, Sanders SA. Erect penile length and circumference dimensions of 1,661 sexually active men in the United States. J Sex Med. 2014 Jan;11(1):93-101. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12244. Epub 2013 Jul 10. PMID: 23841855.

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