Having the wrong lubricant, or even just a sub-par lubricant can be a huge distraction. Pleasure can turn to discomfort in the blink of an eye. Not all lubes are created equal, and you’ll probably find that just one lube isn’t going to be the “one” for every situation. This particular guide is going to cover only the best water based lubes.
This particular guide is going to cover only the best water based lubes. There are great silicone and oil based lubes out there, of course, but a lube with a water base is a great “daily driver”—it’s safe for your toys, safe for use with latex, etc. (Check out the guide on the best silicone lubes, if you’re in the market for something a little more consistent!)
QUICK COMPARISION: BEST WATER BASED LUBES
**Below, you’ll find more detailed reviews; you can also click the links above to check prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Review of the Best Water Based Lubricants
Shibari Premium Intimate Lubricant
There’s no doubt that Shibari is one of the most popular in this category, so putting it on the list is a no-brainer. Plenty of people rave about it, and for a good reason. It’s one of my personal favourites because it has a uniquely silky feel that avoids some of the stickiness that you encounter with so many water-based lubes.
This is a soft, super silky lubricant that almost feels like it could be doubled as a moisturizer—it’s that nice. If you’re partial to oil-based, and silicon lubes but just need to find the best water based lubricant for safety or other reasons, Shibari is an excellent choice.
Downsides? That silkiness, in my opinion, comes at the expense of Shibari being a little less thick than some of the other lubes on our list. It’s ideal for certain types of toy play, including using masturbators (super easy clean up!) and most vaginal play, but if you need a really heavy duty lube, you might want a backup. [Price: 16oz bottle ]
Nooky Lube—Water Based Formula
I admit I’m partial to Nooky… because that’s fun to say, and also because it is usually available in larger sizes than other lubes. It’s also a great all-around choice: it’s nearly scentless and tasteless, has never stained anything of mine (not even my silky crème coloured sheets), and has a nice medium-thick consistency.
It does tend to absorb a little quickly, but for me, that’s preferable to stickiness—and since it’s priced extremely reasonably and comes in a jumbo sized bottle, I don’t mind reapplying for more intense play. If I were only going to keep one water-based lube around, it would probably be Nooky. It’s not necessarily my first pick for any particular play, but it performs pretty well no matter what we’re (or I’m!) in the mood for. [Price: 32oz bottle]
Luxxx Beauty Premium Intimate Lubricant
This is one of the best water-based lubrication options for people who detest the thicker, more “jelly” style of water based lube that seems so ubiquitous these days. Luxxx’s formula is unique in that it has a relatively thin base—thinner even than natural lubrication—but is still very long lasting and slippery. It may not be suitable for extreme or anal play, but it’s ideal for relieving vaginal dryness and adding some extra slipperiness to your sex life.
It’s also a genuine moisturiser, and one of my top choices for solo play, in part for this reason. Why not have fun and do your skin a favour at the same time? It does have a tendency to grow sticky after a while, especially if you’re using it in amounts too copious to be quickly absorbed by the skin, so it might not be the best option for super-sloppy marathon sessions. [Price: 8oz of bottle ]
Isabel Fay Natural Water Based Lubricant
Isabel Fay makes the list for a few reasons. One, while it’s not the most important thing, it has lovely, classy, discreet packaging. It’s one of the few that’s not just discreet but pretty enough that I’ll leave it out on my nightstand. It’s also on the list because it doesn’t have glycerine in it. A huge proportion of water-based lubes do, and while I don’t mind glycerine, plenty of people don’t like the taste or feel of it or find it irritates their skin.
Isabel Fay’s entry into the water based lube category is a great option for sensitive skin. It’s also a great choice for sensitive noses because it has no odour at all. The consistency is extremely close to natural lubrication, which can be a plus when you’re in the mood for things to feel as natural as possible but need a little extra something to get the job done! [Price: 4oz of bottle]
Hello Sailor Water Based Lube
Hello Sailor’s water-based lubricant is on the thicker side, but decidedly more tacky/sticky than Isabel Fay or Shibari. It’s a trade-off worth making, however, if you’re using this lube for anal play or very large toy insertion in any orifice. You’re probably not going to want to leave this one on your nightstand unless your houseguests have very particular sense of humour/are interested in your sex life, but the logo is adorable. Like Isabel Fay’s natural option, this bottle does come with a pump, which can be a major pro; trying to one hand a bottle of lube when everything’s already slippery can be a nightmare.
Hello Sailor is also ideal if you prefer your lube to be flavourless. A lot of lubes promise that, but not many actually deliver. It has a very slight sweet taste, but not the overpowering sweetness or bitterness that many other water based lubes have. [Price: 16oz bottle]
Your best water based lube may not be mine, but hopefully, this guide has given you a clear overview of what’s out there, and what to look for! And be sure to experiment—you might think you want a thick lube, but giving a thinner, silkier lube a try might surprise you. You might think you want something strawberry flavoured but may discover that a clean, tasteless lube is sexier. As always—go, have fun, and explore!