Silicone Doll vs TPE Doll

A question we get a lot recently is what are the differences between silicone dolls, TPE dolls and other materials and which ones should we be buying? In this post we hope to answer these questions and will be discussing the materials, silicone and TPE at length and comparing how these materials stack up when used to make sex dolls.

Background

As the sex dolls industry has grown in popularity, manufacturers have been explaining new ways and alternatives to produce cheap sex dolls at more affordable prices whilst retaining the high quality that silicone dolls can bring. This is especially true when silicone dolls are generally sold upwards of at least USD$3000!

Therefore a variety of materials were experimented on such as vinyl, latex, plush and fabric. However there was little success as all of these materials did not provide a realistic look for the doll nor was the texture of high quality (i.e. not smooth/soft) making them suitable for mostly low quality sex dolls.

Eventually due to the higher need for cheaper sex dolls in Asia, the Chinese manufacturers began experimenting with TPE. This material provided a cheaper yet high quality alternative to silicone and is slowly growing a strong following. Currently many of the dolls produced in China are made from TPE.

What is TPE?

TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomer sometimes known as thermoplastic rubbers. It is made from mixing polymers such as a plastic and a rubber, which consists of materials with both thermoplastic (plastic) and elastomeric (rubber) properties.

It is fairly popular material used in everyday items because it can be used to make items that possess rubber like features but still utilize the efficiency of current injection molding techniques making it more economical. This gives TPE advantages for use in general production because it possess the following characteristics:

  • Flexibility
  • Shock absorption
  • Soft texture
  • Mold-ability (to provide ergonomic comfort)
  • Slip resistance
So it has been used to make things such as cosmetic cases, handle/grips, shoe soles, cushions etc. Pricing of TPE is usually fairly affordable as well and it is recyclable material.

Pros/Cons of TPE Dolls

TPE Doll

A TPE Doll

As discussed, TPE is an extremely useful material with interesting properties. This makes it an excellent choice for sex dolls. Below are some of the pros/cons of TPE dolls:

Pros

  • Value – Good value for money; significantly cheaper than silicone dolls yet a lot nicer in quality than a blow up doll
  • Lifelike appearance – TPE dolls are very realistic and lifelike.
  • Smooth/Soft texture – TPE is used in many ergonomic items such as handles proving it is very soft and smooth to handle
  • Squeezable – Elastic features gives it a life-like texture
  • Can retain warmth – Able to retain body warmth making it more realistic when warmed up
  • Hypoallergenic – TPE is hypoallergenic material meaning it is unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
  • Odorless material – No odor or weird smells you get from other material such as jelly or rubber
  • Compatible with both water-based and silicone lubricants (unlike silicone dolls that are only compatible with water based lubricants, though water based lubricant is still best)

Cons

  • Porous material – It is a porous material meaning it is a material with small holes like pores. This means fluids can get trapped inside of the pores in the TPE in which bacteria and germs can grow if the TPE doll is not cleaned properly.
  • Cannot be sterilized – Porous materials cannot be sterilized in nature.
  • Quality depends on blend – The quality of the TPE i.e. how smooth it is, depends largely on the formula of the blend thus TPE dolls can vary across different manufacturers. Also unknown materials can be blended into it as well since each manufacturer uses their own formula.
  • Newer material – TPE dolls are a more recent invention and so some of the techniques in producing these dolls are not as refined

Summary

It is clear that the pros outweigh the cons especially when many of the issues of TPE dolls occur only because of using TPE that is blended poorly. Thus it is important to be buying dolls from reputable TPE manufacturers! We understand this that is why all our TPE doll manufacturers are carefully scrutinized to ensure we are partnered with the best manufacturers possible. Check out our store now for TPE Dolls!

What is Silicone?

Silicone is a polymer that is a man-made material. It is typically heat resistant and rubber like so have a wide range of application such as in lubricants, medicine, glue, cooking utensils etc. It can come in many forms but the one that we see in silicone dolls is silicone rubber.

Silicone rubber can be very soft or very firm depending on how it is formulated and is very good at retaining its original shape even under extreme pressure. It is also very heat resistance so can be boiled to sterilize it and is highly inert since it does not react with most chemicals (explain why it is used in medical implants).

Due to its many useful properties silicone rubber can be used and found in many places such as implants, remote controls, food storage products, undergarments, sportswear and a variety of unseen applications.

Pros/Cons of Silicone Dolls

Silicone Doll

A Silicione Doll by 4Woods

Silicone is an amazing material that is even used for human implants. Naturally this makes it a top choice for producing lifelike dolls. Below we check out some of the pros/cons of the silicone sex dolls:

Pros

  • Realistic appearance – Silicone dolls are the most realistic looking dolls you can get
  • Realistic soft texture – Silicone has a very realistic texture, which is why it is used in breast implants etc. It is generally softer and feels nicer than TPE (though the quality depends on the TPE blend)
  • Tried and true – Silicone dolls have been around for a while and it is a proven material to make sex dolls out of
  • Can retain warmth – Like TPE, silicone can also retrain warmth to make it seem more realistic
  • Non-porous material – The non-porous nature of this material makes it more hygienic and easier to sterilize
  • Hypoallergenic – Silicone is also a hypoallergenic material meaning it is unlikely to cause allergic reactions.

Cons

  • Expensive – Silicone dolls are more expensive because silicone itself is a more expensive material along with the technology needed to produce it.
  • Harder and more rigid – Silicone does not possess the elasticity that rubber does making it more rigid at times (that is why you can sometimes tell when people have breast implants).
  • Less durable – Silicone is not know to be a very durable material

Summary

Silicone is a high quality material making it suitable for a wide range of application and sex dolls are no exception. It is able to make very realistic and high quality dolls and has been the material of choice for a while (especially prior to TPE). However the steep price tag associated with using this material has always been its main drawback.

Other materials

As mentioned earlier besides TPE and Silicone, there are a variety of other materials that can be used to make sex dolls. The list includes: Rubber, Fabric, Plush, Vinyl and Latex.

However we will not be discussing them at length in this article as most of these materials are not capable of making realistic sex dolls and they normally go for a different look/appearance with different uses and appeal.

Comparison of Silicone Doll vs TPE Doll

Silicone doll vs TPE doll

Can you tell which is a silicone doll and which is a TPE doll?

So to summarize here is our un-biased view of TPE doll versus Silicone doll.

Silicone DollTPE Doll
  • Tried and true material for sex dolls; many of the large manufacturers use this material.
  • Realistic; same material used in implants to body
  • Non-porous material
  • Good value for money; significantly cheaper than silicone with nearly all the same characteristics if not more
  • Elastic properties
  • Odorless material
Both materials are:
  • Soft and smooth texture
  • High degree of realism
  • Can retain warmth
  • Hypoallergenic

You should get a TPE doll if…

  • You are on a budget because TPE dolls are very good value for their money compared to silicone dolls.
  • It is your first doll since it is more durable and cheaper (since there is certain learning curve to know what you can/cannot do with your doll)
You should get a Silicone doll if…
  • You do not mind the price tag and would like a high quality doll. This is because silicone dolls have been around longer so the technique in doll making is more refined.

Ending Note

Honestly TPE doll and Silicone dolls are fairly similar and both have their slight distinct differences and the key it boils down to is which texture feel do you like more. If you frequent doll forums, you will see that doll enthusiasts have made these comparisons already and cannot agree which is better. Some say TPE provides a more realistic texture whereas others believe silicone dolls provide a more realistic texture.

Therefore if you can spare the budget it would be best to eventually own both a TPE doll and silicone doll for comparison and decide which one you ultimately like more. The most important thing is to make sure you are buying from the best manufacturers which is what we as a sex doll vendor work to ensure. So please check out our store now as we currently offer a wide range of TPE dolls (we are looking to add silicone doll manufacturers soon, so stay tuned).

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