TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) or silicone is often used in the production of sex dolls. TPE and silicone have similar properties, but there are also differences between the two materials. In this article we reflect on the differences between TPE and silicone, and we explain why Dutchdoll specifically has chosen for TPE instead of silicone.

What is thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)?

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a combination of rubber and plastic. TPE is flexible at room temperature, as with elastic. Products made from TPE are for example: phone and tablet covers, toys and orthotics.

Distinctive features of TPE:

  • Rubbery and soft material
  • Flexible
  • Retains properties at room temperature
  • Moderate resistance to weather and chemicals
  • High elasticity

TPE production is much more efficient than silicone. As a result, a TPE sex doll is much more affordable than a silicone sex doll. TPE’s are processed through a injection molding process. With heating, TPE becomes soft, making it easy to squeeze into a different shape. After cooling, TPE retains its new form.

What are silicone?

Silicone is a synthetic substance that consists of a combination of silicon, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The material is used in various products such as some types of glue and kit, toys and baking forms. Distinctive silicone properties:

  • Poor heat conductivity
  • Good resistance to extreme cold and heat (-38°C to 177°C)
  • Resistance to oils, solvents and other chemicals
  • Good resistance to UV light
  • Not recyclable

Silicone has a good reputation for safety and durability. Many Dutch webshops claim to sell silicone sex dolls. In reality, these are often dolls made of thermoplastic eastomeer (TPE). However, TPE’s are made from different chemicals than silicone. TPE vs. silicone: TPE and silicone are both soft and flexible materials. Nevertheless, both material offer some their own advantages compared to each other. Below is a list of the pros and cons of both TPE and silicone.

TPESilicone
SkinSofter and more realisticStiffer and stickier
PriceCheaperMore expensive (€4,000)
FlexibilityVery flexible; easier to handleLess flexible
Temperature rangeNot resistant to extreme heat (no higher than 40°C)Exposure to extreme temperatures is possible (-38°C to 177°C)
ToleranceHypoallergenicHypoallergenic
SustainabilityHighLower
Resistance to stainsLow to middleMid to high
PorousnessMore porousLess porous
Heat conductionGood; easily assumes body temperaturePoor heat conductivity
RecyclableRecyclableNon-recyclable
Moving breasts and buttocksYesNo

Silicone or TPE: what’s better?

At Dutchdoll we specifically chose to use TPE instead of silicone. Besides the fact that a TPE sex doll is cheaper and more efficient to produce, the skin of a TPE sex doll is softer and more realistic. Also, a TPE sex doll is more flexible than a silicone sex doll, making the doll easier to handle and can be put in different positions.

At Dutchdoll we use a special mix of TPE. This special TPE composition guarantees a very luxurious look, excellent quality and a high degree of realism at a very affordable price.