The Best Vibrators

As seen in New York Times / Wirecutter, July 23, 2019.

We’ve tested seven more vibrators. None could compete with the Magic Wand Rechargeable, our top pick.

Sex toys can be life-changing, but shopping for them can be intimidating, especially for people who have never bought one before. After putting in 90 hours of research and testing—interviewing sex researchers, crowdsourcing opinions from enthusiasts, and analyzing data from seven volunteers who have tried more than 15 different models since 2014—we’ve concluded that the cordless Magic Wand Rechargeable is the best vibrator for clitoral stimulation.

Our pick: Magic Wand Rechargeable, the best vibrator.

No toy offers the same level of power and intensity as the Magic Wand. The Rechargeable is considerably more expensive than the Original version, but it’s worth the additional cost.

The Magic Wand has been a favorite of sex-toy enthusiasts for 40-plus years for good reason. Many of our testers described the Magic Wand Original as their “go-to” vibrator for clitoral stimulation, a toy that was almost always guaranteed to induce an orgasm when others could not. The Magic Wand Rechargeable is twice as expensive as the Original, but its easy-to-clean silicone head, rechargeable battery, quieter motor, and greater variation in intensity and vibration patterns make it worth the extra cost. The toy is durable as well as functional: Its maker, Vibratex, offers a one-year warranty, but several testers have reported that their Magic Wands have stood up to years of daily use without breaking.

We recommend the Magic Wand Rechargeable, an improved version of the ultrapowerful Magic Wand Original. The cordless Rechargeable is well worth the additional investment, as it offers twice as many levels of stimulation as the Original model plus an assortment of vibration patterns, an easy-to-clean silicone head, and a rechargeable battery that works with or without the power cord with no significant decrease in power.

Virtually all of our testers reported that the Magic Wand was the only toy in our test group that could consistently bring them to an intense climax quickly, intuitively, effectively, and predictably. In an essay published in the book Mothers Who Think, sex expert Susie Bright calls the Magic Wand a “miracle” because its power enables users to have an orgasm within 60 seconds. Multiple academic research studies have found that prescribing the Magic Wand is one of the most effective therapies for women who struggle with chronic anorgasmia, or the inability to reach orgasm.

Our testers agreed, with comments like “It always makes me orgasm; never a letdown” and “Makes me climax every time.”

The new rechargeable battery offers longevity as well as strength, according to sex-toy reviewer Epiphora, who told us: “It runs for 4.5 hours straight on a single charge; I tested it.” (We found that it lasted 3.5 hours at maximum speed, spread out over a series of 20-minute intervals; it may last longer at lower speeds.) If it runs out of power, you can connect it to the removable AC cord and continue using it.

The Magic Wand Rechargeable offers four strength settings, two more than the Original model. Owners who might have previously needed to use the Original through a blanket or pants may find the lower, gentler settings of the Rechargeable model to be more comfortable.
The rechargeable Magic Wand in a person's hand, holding it over a wooden bedside table.
The Magic Wand Rechargeable is large compared with most vibrators, but it’s a reliable toy that we think is worth the real estate. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Testers reported that the long handle made the Magic Wand comfortable to hold for long periods of time without hand cramping or numbness. The switch sat high enough on the handle that testers were unlikely to switch it off accidentally during use (which was an issue with some of the smaller rechargeable models).

The Magic Wand was the only toy in our test group that could consistently bring testers to an intense climax quickly, intuitively, effectively, and predictably.

Some testers said that they disliked the texture of the Original version’s white vinyl head. The Rechargeable features a softer, smoother silicone head, which is much easier to clean and may feel more comfortable against the body. Nonporous (it will not trap bacteria) and less prone to discoloration, the Rechargeable’s silicone head eliminates any previous concerns about phthalates, a plasticizer in the Original’s vinyl head.

Another great aspect of this toy is its versatility: It can stimulate penises and nipples as well as vulvas, and it can convert into a vibrating insertable G-spot or P-spot stimulator or a penile-masturbation sleeve when you purchase and add one of many attachments designed to fit over the head. It also works well as a whole-body massager, and owners report that it can help soothe menstrual cramps. In the unlikely event that you buy this toy and hate it as a clitoral vibrator, you can always use it on your back.

In addition, we found that the Rechargeable version was quieter than the Original model—it still emitted a loud hum, but in our tests it was quiet enough that when we put the toy on a bed and closed the door, it wasn’t audible through the door in the same way the Original was.

Manufacturer Vibratex offers a one-year warranty for the Magic Wand Rechargeable. Many of our testers have reported that the Original has stood up to daily use over the course of many years, unlike budget models (such as the CalExotics Silver Bullet) that tend to burn out after a few months of consistent use. Thus far we have not experienced any issues with the Magic Wand Original version released in 2013, or the Magic Wand Rechargeable model released in 2015.

Flaws but not dealbreakers.

The primary complaints we received from our testers about the Magic Wand Rechargeable were related to its large size (the Rechargeable model is 13 inches long with a nearly 2½-inch-wide head), which can make it difficult to use in certain positions during partnered intercourse.

Unlike some of the other toys we tested, the Rechargeable is not waterproof. This makes it a bit harder to clean, as you cannot submerge it, but you can easily wipe off the silicone cap with a soapy washcloth or tissues and toy-cleaner spray.

Although the Original model also tended to heat up with prolonged use during our motor test, we ran the Rechargeable at full speed for 20 minutes and found that it was not significantly warm. Unfortunately the Rechargeable has an automatic shutoff function at the 20-minute mark, which can be distressing if you don’t expect it (one of our testers thought the toy had run out of battery life when this happened). The manufacturer recommends letting the toy cool off after 20 minutes to prolong the motor’s life, but you can continue to use it at this point by simply turning it back on again. Given how intense the vibrations are, many people will not want to use it for more than 20 minutes straight regardless.

The Magic Wand Rechargeable’s control panel is slightly less intuitive and easy to use than the dual switch of the Original model, but it’s still fairly straightforward. The first button turns the vibrator on, the second button cycles through speeds ranging from relatively gentle to face-meltingly intense, and the third button cycles through four vibration patterns: a long-short-pulse pattern, a long-slow-pulse pattern, a short-fast-pulse pattern, and a low-to-high “wave” pattern. The console lights up with blue bars to indicate the strength of the vibration. You could accidentally hit the wrong button during play, but switching back to the correct mode is easy enough.

And of course, you have aesthetics to consider. A beautiful, elegant toy this is not, but it gets the job done. One tester put it best: “No [it’s not attractive], but as a sexual health academic, I know that this is the ‘OG’ of vibrators, and I respect it for keeping its original, functional design.” The Rechargeable version, though a little sleeker, has basically the same appearance as the Original model.

By Bianca Jarvis.

The original New York Times / Wirecutter article can be viewed here.

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