TPE Sex Dolls vs Silicone Sex Dolls

TPE sex doll

TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomer although it’s sometimes called Thermoplastic rubber. The reason “rubber” gets thrown in there is because synthetic rubbers are mixed into the plastic to make it extra squishy – which is great for creating lifelike skin, bouncy boobs, jiggly butt, and all those good things on a sex doll.

Most plastics get irreversibly hardened after you heat them in a mould but thermoplastics do not, they remain soft. Most plastics are durable but they are not terribly soft and cannot be stretched and then returned to their original form, whereas synthetic rubbers can. Someone looked at the advantages of thermoplastics and synthetic rubbers and thought – what if I could have both? A soft setting rubbery substance that could stretch and return to its original shape. Thus the combination of both of these polymers was experimented with and slowly perfected from the 1950s until today. In fact, TPE love doll manufacturers are still perfecting and improving TPE’s every year!

Because of their ability to set soft, TPE’s can be readily used with injection moulding. So for instance with a doll, a mould is made in two halves, a front and a back. The metal skeleton is placed inside, the two moulds are clamped together, and the TPE can be injected into the mould at high heat, and then allowed to set. When the mould is cracked open, the TPE inside has set smooth and soft like jelly. Any seam resulting from where the two halves of the mould met, can be “ironed” away using heated pads, resulting in a soft and seamless end product.

Silicone Sex Dolls

Silicones are thermoset polymers, so unlike the thermoplastic of TPE they cool to a more hardened state. Although some softness and a decent amount of flexibility can be achieved they’re never quite as soft as the best TPE. Silicone isn’t as easy to manufacture and mould like TPE, it requires vulcanization and is a a lot more difficult to work with, meaning that silicone costs more overall.

Although TPE vendors sometimes use the word “platinum” this is generally a marketing term to indicate that the TPE they use is of a very high quality. Only silicone is truly platinum in the sense that they are platinum cured – using precious metals such as platinum as a catalyst to increase the quality. Platinum silicones create food and hospital grade silicone – and is great for dolls as well!

So here’s the rub:


  • Softer to the touch
  • More flexible, meaning dolls are more flexible
  • Good conductor of heat, meaning dolls warm up to your body temperature much better which is great for cuddling in bed – but TPE is sensitive to excessive heat (so careful with the curling irons!)
  • Hypoallergenic material (the use of synthetic rubbers and no latex means TPE is much less likely to cause allergic reactions)
  • Vulnerable to stains
  • Can be sticky to the touch without talcum powder
  • Porous material (which is why stains are a problem), which means that mould can grow if not maintained and sterilized properly.


  • Can have more detailed and realistic features
  • Less sensitive to excessive heat than TPE
  • Easier to sterilize due to less porous nature of the polymer
  • Resistant to stains
  • Low maintenance
  • Hypoallergenic
  • More expensive
  • Sticky without talcum powder
  • Not as soft to touch as TPE
  • Less realistic wobble.
  • Often doesn’t have oral features (but not always)

So the most important things to think about for a doll buyer is: do I want extra detailed features, or am I okay to let a little bit of that slide to enjoy super softness? The choice is a little tricky and comes down to personal preferences, but fortunately, some brands such are starting to make the choice a little more flexible by combining a silicone head with a TPE body – detail where you want it and softness where you need it!

As far as we’re concerned, TPE just can’t be beaten on feel or price and it is a firm? favourite of our customers as well! Buy time will tell… More and more manufacturers are turning to silicone today, personally we can’t wait to see what the future holds, maybe super soft silicone is just over the horizon!



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