If you are new to sex dolls, you may not know the difference between TPE and silicone sex dolls. You may have heard the term silicone before, because a large majority of sex toys are made of silicone, but what is TPE?TPE (Thermoplastic elastomers) is a type of plastic that became extremely popular for sex dolls in the last few years. Before the rise of TPE, silicone reigned supreme in the sex doll world, but ever since TPE sex dolls came out, they quickly exploded in popularity leaving silicone in the dust. Both materials have their pros and cons and after seeing our comparison, you will have a better understanding on which one to choose, and why TPE is currently the most popular sex doll material at the moment.First, let me say that TPE and Silicone are both hypoallergenic and safe for contact with the skin.TPE vs Silicone Sex Doll ComparisonMaterialTPESiliconePriceLower HigherDurabilityDurable*More Durable*SoftnessSofterFirmerStains from Clothing?Higher chanceLower chance Ease of CleaningHarderEasier Realistic Face?RealisticMore Realistic Realistic Body?Realistic More Realistic Internal Heating CapabilitiesNo/InefficientYes MaintenanceHigherLower Variety in Doll ChoicesHigh Medium*TPE is durable because it can take on pressure and reform itself. **Silicone is able to withstand cuts and tears better than TPE, but has a weaker ability to reshape itself, but usually lasts longer than TPE.What Can We Conclude from this Table?This table tells us why TPE is much more popular than Silicone. The main reasons being that it is less expensive and softer, which generally outweighs the other comparisons. PriceTPE dolls generally sell for around $1000-$2500, while Silicone dolls sell for $2000-$5000. New doll owners will likely be drawn to TPE due to its affordable pricing. One of the reasons doll manufacturers have switched to TPE is because not only is TPE cheaper, but it is equally high quality and softer (more realistic feeling than silicone).TPE wins in Price.DurabilityTPE and Silicone sex dolls are both durable but it also depends on how they’re used. They have to be taken care of properly in order to increase their lifespan. TPE’s advantage is that it is stretchy and bendable, allowing it to prevent pressure-related tearing, and it can reshape itself over time. Silicone material is more rigid, which allows it to withstand more physical damage, but is not nearly as stretchy as TPE so it can break and tear from extreme stretching. Silicone usually has a longer lifespan because it is non-porous (making it easier to take care of), degrades slower, and has tougher material. On average, silicone dolls last twice as long as TPE dolls before degrading, but note that silicone is also harder to repair.Silicone wins in Durability.SoftnessTPE is softer than Silicone, period. The softness ultimately depends on the TPE blend different brands use. For example, Doll-Forever/Piper Doll currently has the softest blend of TPE. WM Doll also has a similarly soft TPE version. The softness of TPE makes it feel much nicer and more realistic than Silicone. TPE does tend to get sticky after washing but powdering quickly solves this and leaves the material feeling silky smooth. Silicone still feels nice, but generally cannot beat TPE in terms of softness and feel. There is a trade-off though; The softer the material, it more easily it tears.TPE wins in Softness.Staining from ClothingBecause TPE is a porous material, it has a much greater chance of staining from clothing than Silicone. The tiny TPE pores allows it to easily absorb anything placed on it such as oil and color dye. Therefore, the dye of clothing easily stains TPE unless it has been washed multiple times (even then, dark clothing should be avoided). Staining from clothing for Silicone dolls is a much smaller problem so if you want a doll to wear dark colors for long periods of time, silicone might be a better option.Silicone wins – much less likely to stain from clothing.CleaningCleaning is an important issue when it comes to sex dolls. In general, TPE dolls are harder to clean because they are not as water-proof as Silicone dolls. Therefore, water tends to stay on TPE longer, which increases the chance of mold formation. TPE dolls are also porous so they cannot be sterilized. As long as great care is taken into drying all orifices and any wet areas, mold formation can easily be prevented on TPE dolls. Silicone, on the other hand, is much easier to clean and dry so mold is less of a problem (but still possible).Silicone wins in Ease of Cleaning.Realistic FaceBoth TPE and Silicone dolls have realistic faces. In fact, both are becoming increasingly more realistic as time goes by. However, Silicone dolls definitely have more realistic faces. Due to the material, TPE heads simply cannot look as real as Silicone heads can. Some TPE doll manufacturers have now created Silicone heads for their TPE bodies, which is a bit strange, but the difference in face realism is undeniable. JY Doll and WM Doll both have some TPE dolls with silicone heads but they don’t have oral capabilities. Although silicone heads look more realistic and their makeup lasts much longer, they tend to be quite firm and are less pleasant to kiss compared to TPE.Silicone wins in Realistic Face.Realistic BodyBoth TPE and Silicone dolls have realistic bodies, but like the face, Silicone has a noticeable advantage. Many silicone brands offer features such as textured skin, realistic-looking hands and feet, veins, and blemishes that make the body look super realistic, which is not possible on TPE. While the body shapes can look similar, it’s the fine details that sets silicone apart from TPE. Silicone dolls also tend to have better looking vaginas and anuses, and slightly better love hole placement (LHP) compared to TPE dolls (although the newer TPE models are improving on this). The main drawbacks of Silicone bodies are they look shinier than TPE, which ironically can make it look a bit unrealistic, the firmer feel, and greater weight. Although not as realistic, TPE bodies are generally softer and are nicer to cuddle and sleep with.Silicone wins in Realistic Body.Internal Heating CapabilitiesIf you want your doll to have internal heating capabilities, then you don’t really have a choice other than Silicone. TPE dolls cannot have internal heating systems simply because TPE has a lower melting temperature which can result in the skin melting, but also because the TPE material is porous, the heating can increase the chance of mold and bacteria growth. Silicone has a much higher melting temperature and is non-porous so heating is much better for Silicone dolls. Having said that, both TPE and Silicone dolls have heating systems (depends on the manufacturer) and none of them are really good. Basically, they all heat up slowly and unevenly so it’s not really worth it.Silicone wins in Internal Heating Capabilities (but it’s still not recommended).MaintenanceIf you want your sex doll to last for years, you will have take proper care of her. This includes proper cleaning, handling, storage, and other tasks such as oiling and powdering. TPE dolls should be oiled every couple of months, while Silicone dolls don’t need to be oiled. Both can be powdered to enhance the smoothness of the skin. Generally, a silicone doll is easier to take care of, but if you know what you’re doing, a TPE doll isn’t hard to take care of either. TPE dolls may require some weekly or monthly maintenance which can be a hassle to some, but generally isn’t that bad, while Silicone dolls do not require much maintenance at all other than cleaning.Silicone wins in Easier Maintenance.Variety in Doll ChoicesBack in the day when silicone dolls were still prevalent, they were the only choice you had. Now with the rise of TPE, TPE sex dolls have completely overtaken silicone dolls in the sex doll market so you will find so much more TPE sex doll brands than silicone ones now. As this trend continues, the variety in doll choices of TPE pretty much outnumber silicone in numbers too high to count. You will find much more variety in faces, bodies, and brands with TPE sex dolls.TPE wins in Variety in Doll Choices.ConclusionOverall, I would personally choose TPE over Silicone (at least for a first doll). It is more affordable, softer and more realistic feeling, and has much greater variety in dolls to choose from. As long as you know how to clean and take care of your doll, a TPE sex doll is not too difficult to maintain. However, Silicone dolls have many advantages such as more realistic and detailed face and body, less prone to staining, less maintenance, and generally lasts longer. It kind of comes down to your personal preference: Do you want an affordable and softer doll for cuddling, or an expensive, firm doll that’s great for photography. All things considered, I think TPE has a slight advantage over Silicone, especially for new doll owners, but in the end, the choice is up to you. You can’t really go wrong with either one.In short (ignoring other factors), if you want a sex doll that feels good, get TPE. If you want a sex doll that looks as realistic as possible but doesn’t feel as good/soft, get silicone.Do you like TPE or silicone sex dolls better? Leave your comment below!