The Penis Pump Guide: Do They Really Work?

Want to know more about penis pumps and whether they really work?

The penis pump (or dick pump) is a staple product in any sex toy store but not many men have used them; some believe them to only be suitable for men with erectile dysfunction whilst others are wary of their claim to increase size, girth and length.

In this feature guide, we take a look at the science behind penis pumps and whether they work as well as how to choose the right penis pump for your needs. We’ve even shortlisted our favourite picks for best-selling penis pumps in a range of budgets.

What is a Penis Pump and How do They Work?

Also known as a vacuum pump, vacuum erection device (VED) or vacuum constriction device (or VCD), penis pumps are used to help facilitate and maintain an erection.

Penis pumps come in many different shapes and sizes with a variety of different features but are all based on the same simple construction:

  • A cylinder which is placed over the penis, often made of acrylic.
  • An external pump which is connected to the cylinder.
  • A seal or sleeve (usually rubber) at one end to close the vacuum.
  • A constriction band which is initially placed on the body of the pump and then slipped onto the penis to maintain an erection.

Air (or water) is then pumped out of the cylinder to create a vacuum. The drop in external pressure draws blood to the penis causing it to swell and become erect.

what is a penis pump

A basic air-pump is simple in design but there are plenty of different designs available. Image via Wikimedia.

Once the penis is erect, the constriction band (with the aid of lubricant) can be slid down on to the base of the penis and the vacuum can be released. The band acts like a tourniquet and prevents the blood in the penis from returning to the body.

Intercourse can then be attempted but the constriction band should be removed thirty minutes after initial release from the pump.

Who Uses Penis Pumps?

Penis pumps may be useful for men who suffer from poor blood flow to the penis; this can be due to physical or psychological reasons including diabetes, depression, stress, erectile dysfunction or anxiety.

Men who have had a prostatectomy may also find a penis pump helpful in achieving an erection. There is also evidence that men who used a VCD after their surgery did not lose any length in their penis.

Many men also report that their penises are a little bigger and harder after using a penis pump.

They should not be used by men who have any congenital bleeding disorders or any issues which predisposes them to priapism (prolonged, and sometimes, painful erections). A variety of blood conditions can be dangerous when using a penis pump including leukaemia and sickle cell anaemia.

erectile dysfunction penis pump

Penis pumps can be used for many reasons including erectile dysfunction. Image via Blue Diamond Gallery.

It is also worth pointing out that operating the penis pump in itself can also be a very pleasurable experience. In fact, many men who have no complaints about the size of their erection use pumps simply for the sensation alone. Likened to being sucked off, a penis pump can also be used as a male masturbation toy or as part of foreplay.

Do Penis Pumps Work?

Studies suggest that between 50% and 80% of men who use a penis pump are satisfied with the results. It just depends on what those results are and what you want to achieve.

If you are looking for a device to make your penis bigger and/or longer then a penis pump can achieve this but the effects are temporary. If this is your goal then it is important to remember that erectile tissue is very different to muscle and the penis does not get bigger with exercise. Using a penis pump regularly can maintain a fuller and thicker looking penis but once you discontinue use, the size and appearance of your member will return to its normal, ‘pre-pump’ form.

How Often Should You Use a Penis Pump?

Results vary by individual but most manufacturers recommend using their devices three to five times per week for optimal results.

Are There Side Effects to Using a Penis Pump?

Erections obtained using a penis pump are different to those achieved naturally and there can be some undesirable side effects to using this kind of device. Many men find the effect of the results to outweigh the negatives. However, users should be aware that the constriction band can cause some bruising. Some men also report that their ejaculatory force is reduced. This is also a result of the constriction band and users notice a flow of semen once the band is removed.

Neither of these side effects is generally considered to interfere with the ability to, or pleasure from, climax.

Buyers Guide: How to Choose a Penis Pump

There are quite literally hundreds of models, varieties and brands of penis pump to choose from on the market. The choice is bewildering and many men often choose an inappropriate size or type which can render them almost useless.

For this reason, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to select a penis pump that is suitable for you.

Cylinder Size

Choosing the right size of cylinder is not only important to make sure the device works to its optimum performance but also to ensure comfort.

You should choose a cylinder that is two to three inches longer than your natural erection length and is large enough to allow for good expansion. It should never be too large otherwise your testicles can be drawn into the cylinder.

You should measure the circumference of your naturally erect penis at the widest part and choose a cylinder with a diameter to match from the following table:

Penis Girth (Circumference) Cylinder Size (Diameter)
4.750” 1.50”
5.500” 1.75”
6.250” 2.00”
7.000” 2.25”
7.875” 2.50”
8.625” 2.75”
9.750” 3.00”

 

Cylinder Materials

Cylinders come in a choice of either acrylic or ABS plastic.

Acrylic (often branded as Lucite) is a tough material which is shatter-resistant and has a high optical clarity. They offer good resistance to age, are hygienic and often have no visible seam. They are more often used in higher quality pumps.

ABS plastic is a cheaper and lower quality option and can deteriorate more quickly over time. Often with a visible seam, the plastic can blur and become discoloured or ‘wavy/blurry’.

Seals

Also known as sleeves of gaskets, these form the base of the pump through which you place your penis. You can often buy universal sleeves to fit your choice of pump but some pumps work best with their own brand of gasket.

They are the only part of the pump which is in direct contact with your body and should be comfortable, easy to wash and well fitting to ensure a tight seal for the vacuum to work well.

Most sleeves are made from silicone though you can also buy latex or TPE/TPR (rubber/elastomer) varieties. Silicone is anti-allergenic and non-toxic making it a more popular choice.

Seals can also come in different designs to mimic the look and feel of a mouth, ass or pussy.

Most sleeves can be tailored to fit your penis by accurately trimming them at their tapered marks.

Lubricants

When using a penis pump you should ensure that you use a lubricant for maximum comfort and ease of release. It is important that you opt for a water-based lubricant to prevent any discolouration or erosion of any components of your penis pump.

Types of Pump

There are two types of penis pump on the market; air pumps and water pumps.

Air pumps are the traditional way of creating a vacuum but water is a new innovation offering a similar method with some additional benefits. Using water instead of air creates a more even distribution of pressure around the penis and is more comfortable.

Air pumps are quicker to set up and can be used anywhere you are comfortable stripping down. They use a traditional vacuum to draw blood to the penis.

hydromax Water-based_Penis_Pump

Hydro pumps use water instead of air to create a more even and gentle pressure. Image via Wikimedia.

Water pumps use warm water to start with and are commonly used in the bath or shower. Once the penis is inside the pump, water is drawn out to create an even amount of pressure around tissue. It is thought that the warm water is conducive to stretching the skin and allowing more blood to reach the penis.

It is also believed to be a gentler and more natural way to create an erection. Many men prefer the sensation of the warm water, finding it a relaxing method of pumping. For this reason, hydro pumps are more commonly used for men suffering from erectile dysfunction caused by psychological reasons.

Of course, an additional benefit of using a warm water pump is the extra level of hygiene and the water vacuum can remove more grime than simply by washing alone. Penile skin, like any skin, benefits from regular cleansing and is thought to be healthier as a result. Healthy skin is more pliant and stretchy which should help maximise the results of the pump.

Additional Features

Some penis pumps have additional features which are not strictly necessary for their basic operation but offer variety to experienced pumpers looking for something extra.

You can buy pumps that have PSI gauges to display the pressure being exerted and these come in both traditional analogue or digital LCD form.

Some pumps are battery operated which might be a good option for anyone who struggles with the manual dexterity required for a bulb-pump.

Buyers Guide: Best Penis Pumps

So, that’s the components of a penis pump, but which brands are the best to buy?

We’ve selected out top ten penis pumps covering a range of styles, features and budgets. We’ve focused on those products that offer a good price, an effective result and a quality build.

Best Budget Buy

X4 Labs Male Power

X4 Labs is an American company that manufactures a range of penis extenders including curvature and enlargement devices. They are well recommended by physicians treating Peyronie’s Disease and have an excellent reputation for customer services and support.

They sell a good range of traction therapy devices but they also make a basic penis pump; the Male Power Penis Pump.

It is a budget buy at just $40 and works on a simple premise of creating a vacuum with a basic seal and manual bulb pump.  We’ve selected this as our budget buy due to the company’s good standing on other products, the simplicity and durability of the design and the low cost.

It is similar to many models available but comes with the added guarantee of a top brand name, a 60-day guarantee and free worldwide shipping.

Best Water Pumps

Hydromax X-Series

[Full Review Here]

Manufactured by Bathmate, the Hydromax series is the company’s bestselling penis pump and more than 1 million of these products have been sold worldwide. Originally conceived in 2001 as the ‘Hercules’, the brand was founded in 2004 and they now offer a range of pumps, including:

  • X20 Hydromax
  • X20 Xtreme
  • X30 Hydromax
  • X30 Wideboy
  • X30 Xtreme
  • X40 Hydromax
  • X40 Xtreme
  • X50 Xtreme

They are a British company based in West Yorkshire and use high-precision engineering to manufacture a quality product. Made from durable and hygienic materials, the Hydromax series comes in three colours; red, blue and clear.

best penis pump hydromax

The Hydromax is one of the best selling penis pumps.

The pump comes with a comfortable long-insert sleeve which fits securely around the base (not the shaft) of the penis. Pump action is via a single hand patented Super Flow Latch Valve which comes with a measurement gauge (metric and imperial).

35% more powerful than the original ‘Hercules’, Hydromax is a popular water pump available in various lengths and girths.

There are various accessories you can purchase with your Hydromax X, including lubes, cock rings, cleaning and grooming kits as well as replacement valves, pads and inserts.

The Hydromax is available to buy in 90 countries and ranges in price from around $125 to $350.

Penomet

[Full Review Here]

The Penomet is an award-winning design in water pumping technology that took two-years to develop. A two part system with interchangeable gaiters (sleeves), the Penomet provides a progressive way for men to achieve greater results.

Pumping is achieved manually without the need of an external bulb and is done using a pull-push motion. Once a comfortable pressure has been reached the release valve at the end of the cylinder can be activated.

penomet best penis pump award

Penomet won the Best New Male Enhancement Device Venus Award in 2013.

As you grow in experience, new gaiters can be fitted to increase pressure and gradually realise the gains promised by the device.

The system also uses water to create an equal pressure and thereby offering the same benefits as the Hydromax for additional hygiene.

The cons for the Penomet is that there, although there are five different sleeves, there is only one size of cylinder. Though this should be sufficient for most individuals, there are some guys who might find the girth restrictive.

Penomet is available to buy in the US from around $127 and in the UK/EU from £79. The premium kit comes with all five gaiter sizes as well as a shower strap, digital exercise book and printed booklet.

All devices come with a 60 day money back guarantee and a three-year warranty.

Best Air Pumps

Cob Male Manual Vacuum Pump

Come On Baby (COB) sell a good selection of male sex aids including cock rings and pumps with this product regularly receiving good reviews from users.

Constructed with medical grade materials it features an advanced design trigger system for pumping and an instant pressure release valve. It comes with two sleeves and has an easy read gauge to monitor your gains.

The COB Vacuum Pump is available from $60 with free shipping.

Best Auto Pumps

Evo 3.0 Automatic REVO Penis Pump

One of the most popular automatic penis pumps in the USA, the EVO 3.0 is a one piece pump measuring 11” (length) by 2.5” (diameter).  Powered and charged by USB cable, it is light, comfortable and made from a durable ABS plastic with silicone sleeves.

EVO-Automatic-MEN-Penis-Enlargement-Pump

Featuring a powerful but quiet motor, the Evo auto pump makes quick work of achieving an erection. Image via FullExtend.

It is simple to operate with three choices of pump speed available plus quick-release button.

You can purchase the Evo power pump from FullExtend for $147 with a full 60-day money back guarantee.

Pipedream: Pump Worx Auto Vac Power Pump

Pipedream manufactures a large range of sex aids and toys including masturbators, massagers and vibrators. They also make a large range of penis pumps from tip teasers to head enhancers but the Auto Vac offers a simple to use and effective system.

Powered by AAA batteries, auto systems are ideal for men who struggle to operate other pump systems. A motorised pump gradually sucks out the air from the cylinder creating a powerful but safe vacuum to draw blood to the penile tissue.

The Auto Vac cylinder is 7.5” in length and has a 2.5” girth making it suitable for most users.

The pump comes with a cock ring to slip over the base of your penis to maintain your erection for longer.

You can buy the Pipedream auto-vac pump from various adult stores from around $90.

Featured image via Come On Baby.

Staff Writer

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