Over the past 10 years, we've been lucky enough to witness the sex toy revolution. No longer are adult toys buried beneath people's beds, lurking in shoe boxes, or hidden in the underwear drawer. These days, the stigma of owning a sex toy has largely dissipated and that's a thing to celebrate. It also means that sex toy manufacturers have had to up their game. And while not all sex toys are worth celebrating, the very best ones have a few things in common.

It Does What What It Does Well

There are several companies within the sex toy world that are known for certain products. Customers know what to expect from these companies and they have built up a loyal following over the years. This is a good thing. It means they do what they do well - and that their customers hold them to a high standard. That isn't to say they might not branch out in other interesting and orgasmic directions, but it does mean ...

Thorough Research and Testing Was Involved

A good ad agency can spin any new product into something consumers want, but it's a short lived success if, when used, the toy fails to produce the pleasure it promises. Companies that conduct good research and development actually test their toys on real people and real bodies. They also listen to feedback from their customers. How will you know you are browsing a toy from this sort of company? Look for thoughtful, innovative touches that address common concerns, such as ergonomic handles, well-designed buttons and controls and quality craftsmanship. You should also watch for sex toy reviews that show that the toy is well designed and well executed - even if it doesn't necessarily work for every body.


The curved handle of the
O-Wand places the buttons right near the user's thumb. Design details like this show that manufacturers are thinking about what customers want.

The Company Understands Anatomy

"One size fits all," is not a phrase that works in the sex toy world. While it's impossible to please all of the vaginas (and penises) all of the time, knowing the basics of female and male sexual anatomy is, in general, a great place to start. Think this sounds obvious? You'd be surprised at how many poorly conceived sex toys give very little consideration to how they will actually work on real bodies. Innovative (and effective) new shapes and toys come out all the time but they're usually based around the same basic principles. Really off-the-wall toys are often just that - off the wall. This is why despite all the new-fangled toys out there, many people still love something like a good wand vibrator. This basic design has been around forever and it's still favorite. That's because it works.

It's Made of Safe Materials

Gone are the days when consumers knew nothing about sex toys. Sex toy users are getting educated - and they're getting picky. A company should always declare the type of material their toys are made of - and show a commitment to selling toys made of body-safe materials. Not only is it the right thing to do, but avoiding dangerous, chemical-laden materials shows a basic level of care for customers. That's the sort of company consumers will want to support - even if it costs more to do so.

Read: 6 Signs That Fancy-Ass Vibrator Is Worth the Price

It Isn't Gimmicky

A vibrator shaped like a cupcake might look cute, but if it doesn't hit the right spot then it's not much more than a buzzing shelf ornament. Shop for toys from companies that deliver the goods, rather than gimmicks. That means well-designed toys that make realistic claims - and deliver real, honest-to-goodness orgasms.

There Are Honest, Independent Reviews About It

Reviewers may not like all products, but most aim to give an honest opinion. Top sex toy companies embrace reviewers for their role in helping people find toys that are a good fit for their bodies. If you're shopping for a new sex toy, look for one with at least a handful of independent reviews (so, not on a retailer's site and not on Amazon). These will give you a sense of what the toy's all about - and whether it's worth buying.