Penis Sleeves: What They Are, How They Work & More

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Updated 23/02/2023

Ahhh yes. Penis sleeves. Everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving table-talk topic. Penis sleeves are designed to do two things. The first is to make penetrative sex easier for men with erectile dysfunction (ED). The second is to make sex more pleasurable for both you and your partner.  

The unintended third purpose, obviously, is to make everyone at the “friendly Friday get together” feel uneasy when you polish off that third glass of Pinot Noir and blurt out, “So, how do y’all feel about penis sleeves?” 

While penis sleeves may not be able to fully replace typical ED medications, they can definitely help spice things up in the bedroom — whether you’re dealing with ED or not.

Below, we’ve gone into how penis sleeves work and what to look for when buying one, as well as the key advantages and disadvantages that they offer. 

We’ve also talked more about the other treatment options available if you’re one of the tens of millions of US men affected by erectile dysfunction.

What Is a Penis Sleeve?

Put simply, a penis sleeve is a type of hollow penile support device that’s worn over your penis during sex. 

Also referred to as penis extenders, enhancers or sheaths — or regular ol’ dick sleeves — penis sleeves are available in a large variety of sizes and designs and are typically made from silicone blends or rubber.

Some feature ribs, nubs and other textural features to enhance sensation for you or your partner. Others offer vibration, prostate massagers or G-spot stimulators. You can even find all-in-one sleeves that vibrate AND come with an attached butt plug if anal play ~tickles~ your fancy.

Most penis sleeves have a stretchy ring or loop that fits around your scrotum to hold the sleeve in place, while some have a stretchy hole for your testicles or a belt that’s worn over your waist to prevent the sleeve from moving.

Penis Enhancers and Girth Sleeves

Penis enhancers, also known as girth sleeves due to their design and size, are intentionally larger and usually include built-in penis extensions designed to add extra length and girth for a more intense sexual experience. 

Penis Sheaths

Penish sheaths, on the other hand, are a type of penis sleeve that covers the entire penis, including the glans (the tip of your penis). These penis enlargement products are widely referred to as “penis sheaths” and are typically marketed for their ability to enhance your penis’s length and/or girth. 

Like a knife sheath, but for your dick.

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Advantages & Disadvantages of Penis Sleeves  

So far, penis sleeves sound pretty cool, right? They’re a relatively inexpensive and accessible way to spice things up in the bedroom, and they’re also relatively simple to use. But, like most other things in the world, they’re not perfect.

It’s worth weighing the pros and cons before pulling the trigger and making the purchase.

Pros of penis sleeves include:

  • They can increase the length and girth of your penis. This may provide extra pleasure for your partner and extra confidence for you as a man.

  • Some penis sleeves are designed to enhance the pleasure of sex, making the bedroom a more enjoyable place for everyone involved.

  • Using a penis sleeve during sex can help with certain forms of sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

  • A penis sleeve that covers the entire penis may also reduce sensation during sex, allowing you to last longer and reduce the risk of premature ejaculation.

Penis sleeves may offer significant benefits if you can’t use ED medications such as sildenafil, tadalafil (the active ingredient in Cialis®) or others due to health issues or personal preference.

Cons of penis sleeves include:

  • A penis sleeve doesn’t actually do anything to enhance the flow of blood to your penis or treat ED from a physiological standpoint. If you have ED and can use medication without health concerns, you may notice better results from medications such as sildenafil or tadalafil. 

  • A penis sleeve can provide a different type of sensation from penetrative sex without any toys or aides. This may be an advantage for some and an annoyance or distraction for others. 

  • While wearing a penis sleeve for extra length or girth can be fun every now and then, the reality is that you probably don’t need it. 

Contrary to what porn might make you think, the typical penis isn’t that large (roughly 5.2 inches, according to some research). While it’s fine and fun to wear a penis sleeve every now and then, it’s important that you don’t let the boost in penis size make you feel insecure or anxious when you have sex without the sleeve. 

If you wear a penis sleeve for extra fun rather than ED, by all means. But don’t be fooled into thinking your real penis isn’t enough to satisfy your partner. You are enough. 

How Much Do Penis Sleeves Cost?

Like other sex toys and devices for treating erectile dysfunction, penis sleeves vary significantly in price. Inexpensive penis sleeves are sold online and in sex stores for anywhere from $10 to $50, while higher-quality silicone penis sleeves may cost several hundred dollars — no, that's not a typo. Someone out there is spending that kind of money on a dick sleeve, and we’re here for it.

As prices increase, penis sleeves generally become more realistic and comfortable for both you and your partner, with features such as skin-safe silicone, different firmness levels, matte option texturing and more life-like shapes. 

Less costly penile sleeves are often made from lower-quality silicone, with some low-cost sleeve devices made from porous sex toy materials that may be difficult to sterilize.

In general, you should expect to spend between $30 and $100 for a solid quality sleeve that’s designed to add girth and length, or around $400 or more for a custom and super realistic penis sleeve that is an exact replica of your what you’re already working with.

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Things to Consider Before You Buy a Penis Sleeve

To avoid accidentally buying a poor-quality penis sleeve, make sure to ask yourself the following questions when you compare different products:

  • Why are you buying the penis sleeve? Do you want a size-enhancing sleeve or one that allows for easier penetration? Do you want an open or closed cock sleeve? The type of sleeve you pick will greatly impact your sensation levels during sex, making it important to understand what you want before making a purchase.

  • What features does it offer? Before selecting a penis sleeve, check that its features match your sexual preferences and expectations.

  • What is the sleeve made of? Make sure to choose a material that offers the right mix of benefits (for example, life-like texture, skin safety or ease of proper care and cleaning with warm water) for your needs.

Are Penis Sleeves Effective?

Many of the most popular penis sleeves have hundreds of positive reviews from users, indicating that they offer real benefits when it comes to enhancing sexual pleasure. 

When it comes to scientific proof, however, the load is a little light — especially when compared to the volume of research for other treatments for erectile dysfunction.

But the research that is available suggests that penis sleeves can be effective.

For example, one scientific review published in 2017 mentioned penis sleeves outright as an option for men with erectile dysfunction who’d like to have penetrative sex.

But the review also noted that the effectiveness of a penis extender sleeve can vary greatly based on a range of factors, including its fit, shape and thickness.

Another scientific review from 2019 stated that penis sleeves and similar devices allow for the preservation of penetrative sex for men with erectile dysfunction. 

Although these findings support the use of penis sleeves for ED, there’s currently no research that directly compares penis sleeves with other ED treatment options — namely, prescription medications

As such, it’s hard to know if penis sleeves are as effective, more effective or less effective than existing options for treating ED.

How to Use Penis Sleeves 

Using a penis sleeve is an easy process. Below, we’ve outlined how to buy and use a penis extension sleeve step by step if you’re looking to spice things up a bit. 

How to Order a Penis Sleeve

  • Take out the tape measure. Well, not literally. But it is essential that you accurately measure your penis before you press the pay button at checkout. Most cock sleeves should fit snugly but comfortably over your penis when it’s erect. 

  • Compare notes. Next, compare your dick size to your soon-to-be pleasure sleeve to make sure it’ll offer the perfect fit. Be aware that many low-cost penis sleeves are only available in a single size. 

  • Try it on for size. Place your penis sleeve over your partially erect or flaccid penis, securing the sleeve at the base of your testicles. 

Ta-da! You’ve just found your perfect match.

How to Wear and Use a Penis Sleeve

  1. Make sure the penis sleeve is snug and in place. Once your penis is erect, the sleeve should stay in place on its own with little or no forward or backward movement. 

  2. Use a water-based lube on the outside of your silicone penis sleeve.

  3. Slowly insert the dick sleeve into your partner while ensuring the lube is evenly distributed and your partner is comfortable.

  4. Have at it! Enjoy the ride with your shiny new cock sleeve.

  5. When finished, wash the sleeve with a quality toy cleaner and store it in a dry, clean space.

Alternatives to Penis Sleeves: Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

If you’re looking for other ways to treat ED that doesn’t necessarily involve wrapping your penis in silicone, consider erectile dysfunction medications, ED devices or making a few healthy lifestyle changes.  

Erectile Dysfunction Medications

Currently, the most effective way for most men to treat erectile dysfunction and maintain an erection is through the use of ED medications such as:

These medications, called PDE5 inhibitors, increase blood flow to the penis to make it easier to get and stay hard when you’re sexually aroused.

Erectile Dysfunction Devices

Erectile dysfunction devices that may be able to help improve the symptoms of your ED problems include: 

While research is mixed on the effectiveness of these products, many men claim that they help to improve erections and enhance other aspects of sexual performance.

Lifestyle Changes

If you have ED because of a physical issue, such as obesity or high blood pressure, changing certain aspects of your lifestyle may help make your ED symptoms less severe and allow you to have better sex more easily. Simple changes include:

  • Eating a balanced diet

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Limiting your consumption of alcohol

For more simple tips, check out our complete guide on home remedies and lifestyle changes for ED

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The Final Word on Penis Sleeves

Whether you call it a cock sleeve or a dick sleeve or a penis sheath, penis sleeves are a great way to enhance your partner’s pleasure and help you in the bedroom if you’re experiencing sexual dysfunctions like ED and premature ejaculation.

They come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking to lengthen your penis or even enhance your penis girth, there are plenty of options out there for you to browse through — from mild to wild.

They offer many features. Even if you’re not looking for a temporary fix for ED or premature ejaculations, penis sleeves offer plenty of features for anyone looking to really kick things up to 11 in the bedroom. There are sleeves that vibrate, come with butt plug and dildo attachments, have built-in pleasure ribs and even offer extensions (and everything in between)

They’re not your only option. If you’re experiencing ED and premature ejaculation but you’re not completely sold on penis sleeves, there are plenty of other options out there for you to discuss with a healthcare professional. Everything from lidocaine spray for ED and thicker condoms, all the way to prescription medications for ED like sildenafil and tadalafil. The point is, you have options.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, schedule a virtual visit with one of our certified healthcare providers.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.

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