There seems to be an almost infinite variety of vibrating toys; choosing among them can be intimidating. What we'll do here is break down the choice by a number of factors you'll want to consider when looking through our offerings.
The short answer
The first factor is how you plan to to use the toy: is it for clitoral stimulation? for penetration play? Maybe a bit of both? Toys designed for clitoral use tend to be smaller and sometimes less powerful than penetration-play toys (which can also be used on the clit, of course). We rate our vibrators according to how powerful they are, and how noisy—consider these with respect to your body's sensitivity and your need for privacy.
Other things to consider are style and quality: as with most manufactured goods, there is a very wide range of materials and attention to detail in the world of sex toys. More expensive toys are usually made of superior materials (such as 100% silicone), to a higher standard of quality, and with ease and comfort of use in mind. Inexpensive toys are lots of fun, but may not last as long and are less likely to display ingenuity and inventiveness of design. The range of price and quality in our offerings means that it's easy to get something inexpensive as an experiment or something more pricy that will offer years of pleasurable service.
Vibrators can be used on the clitoris, the g-spot, the penis … any pleasurably sensitive body part really enjoys vibration. The right toy can also be used for anal or vaginal penetration. (The "right toy" for anal play must have a base so it doesn't get, um, lost.)
Some small toys, such as the "Mini + Bullet" vibes, are built for external stimulation specifically because their size makes them impractical for internal use. They also tend to offer very focused vibration moreso than the other toys, which spread their vibration over a larger area. If you want to experiment with using these toys in the vagina, you can toss one into a condom and leave the mouth of the condom hanging out of the vagina for easy retrieval.
Other toys are meant to be used internally—they are long and, well, phallic—but make good clit toys as well. There are lots of vibrating toys that do a good job at all sorts of stimulation, but remember that if you want to share a toy or use it both in a butt and a vagina, it has to be silicone (and cleaned between uses) unless you plan to use a condom every time you use your toy.
Any vibe that you plan to use in your butt should have a base on it to make sure it doesn't get lost up there by accident. Look for our "Butt-Safe" icon to find toys you can use for penetrative anal play.
Some people need a lot of vibration to get off, others find too much power numbing or painful.
If you've never had a vibrator before, it's a good idea to get something multi-speed so you can turn it up and down depending on your mood and sensitivity. If you end up with a vibrator that's too strong for you even on the lowest setting, you can try putting something between you and it to tone down the effects: try a blanket, underwear, or a pillow. Or try holding the vibe away from your clit and other sensitive bits for indirect stimulation. Vibes that are too strong or too weak in one area might be just the thing, used someplace else!
Got kids or nosy room-mates? Noise may be more of a factor for some than for others. Look for our noise ratings on each product. Noisiness is determined at the highest setting: if a multi-speed vibe is rated at 7, it will likely be quieter at lower settings.
We distinguish between a number of different "looks" in our vibrators. Some manufacturers offer a variety of innovative designs with undulating surfaces and varying widths and textures. These toys are generally made to a higher standard of quality, and are intended to appeal to our sense of design and beauty as well as to our sense of tactile pleasure.
Silicone is the most popular vibrator material around here. It's hypo-allergenic and non-porous, making it a snap to clean and easy to share. Silicone toys may be used both anally and vaginally with only a good washing with hot soapy water in between. Silicone also warms quickly and maintains heat so it's more comfortable more quickly. Silicone is so hardy that you can boil it for a few minutes for extra cleanliness or throw it into the dishwasher if nobody objects. The only thing that will really harm silicone is a knife—and it shouldn't be used with silicone lube.
Hard toys such as plastic, acrylic, and glass can be fun, especially for g-spot play where a lot of pressure is nice or necessary. On the other hand, sometimes they can feel too hard, and the larger toys may be uncomfortable at times. The glass and acrylic toys are often very beautiful and are appealing to those people who like their toys to be as pretty as they are fun.