What is the Difference Between TPE and TPR Sex Dolls?

Posted by Anna Bergeron on

A big problem when shopping for sex dolls is that many of the terms used by manufacturers don’t actually mean much to the customers. It’s all well and good that they create an amazing sex doll for everyone to enjoy, but if nobody understands it then why would they buy it?

One place in particular where this rings home is in the materials used. Most people know what silicone is and have a rough idea of what it might feel like. However, how many of you could tell me anything about TPE or TPR? Even worse, a lot of you might not even know what those letters stand for!

Once upon a time I didn’t either. Don’t worry though, it’s all relatively simple for you to get your head around. Let’s go through them both one at a time, then next time your browsing sex dolls you’ll know exactly what to expect from a specific doll.

What Do They Stand For?

This is the easiest place to start. TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomer. TPR stands for thermoplastic rubber. They are both very similar materials as you might guess from the names, but there are a few key differences between them.

What is Thermoplastic Elastomer?

hermoplastic elastomers are a mixture which is typically made up of both plastic and rubber. Now there’s a lot of technical talk we could get into about polymers and bond linking, but to be completely honest none of it will really make much of a difference to you. We’re here to talk about sex dolls after all. If you’re interested though, it makes for some good (although challenging) reading so go and check it out once you’re done here.

One of the main reasons this material is so commonly used it the cost. It’s very cheap to make, so can bring down the price of nearly anything it’s used in by significant margins. It’s also highly mouldable, so it’s very easy to shape and incorporate into products.

What is Thermoplastic Rubber?

Thermoplastic rubber is another mixture, but this one takes on the characteristics of rubber and plastic. It’s essentially a synthetic version of the same product you get from a tree. This is also very cheap to manufacture and has been commonly used in many products for decades.

What’s the Difference?

I don’t want to get too technical here, as the difference between the two materials go right down the polymer level. In general, they look the same, behave the same, and feel mostly the same.

From the perspective of a sex dolls, the most important differences are in the feel and look of the two. TPE is softer, which makes it a much better material for more realistic sex dolls and generally means that a TPE sex doll will be better. TPE is matte, while TPR is glossier. If you’ve ever looked at yourself in the mirror, you’ll have noticed that your own skin isn’t typically very glossy so as far as looks are concerned TPE is also the winner.

Both materials are unfortunately porous, which means the small pores which make up the surface of the material are large enough to let bacteria pass through. No matter how much you clean them, you can’t be sure that they are completely sterile, and they can’t be boiled either. This means that when regularly using a sex doll made of either TPE or TPR, you need to take extra care in maintaining it and making sure that it stays safe to use.

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