Restraints Buyer's Guide
The use of the word 'restraints' in the BDSM context will result in you finding thousands of types of products, from tongue restraints, to finger restraints, to handcuffs, to big toe restraints, to whole body restraints, to collars and leashes ... and how exciting is that to have so many products to try!
This buying guide will give you a few ideas of what to look for when choosing restraints and you can apply these factors to any and every type of restraint you are looking at purchasing.
- Very common material and very durable if you take care of it
- Choose something with a softer, thinner hide on the inside and a thicker, sturdier hide on the outside
- More expensive than other materials so be mindful of what play you are doing with them as you don't want to ruin them!
Faux leather (PU leather)
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians!
- Also great for those not wanting to spend a fortune
- Often very soft and comfortable and you can wipe them clean
Fabric (eg. cotton, canvas, polyester or nylon)
- These can be great for taking on the go
- Lighter and smaller than leather restraints
- Cheaper than other materials
- Not as good if you want to really feel the weight of a restraint
Neoprene (aka wetsuit material)
- Neoprene restraints are very flexible and sturdy and can deal with dirt and wetness very well!
Rubber (latex or thicker rubber)
- Rubber restraints are not really made for hard play as they can be broken with force; and thicker rubber ones can withstand more force but are stiffer
- Latex is much softer but not so durable, so these would be more suitable for aesthetic restraints (eg. for a photo shoot) and not actually needing to physically restrain someone
Closing mechanism and construction
There are three ways to create restraints:
- One piece non-folded (make sure the edges are not sharp)
- One piece folded - might look imbalanced with an edge just one one side although good folded restraints will have a seam on the fold for extra stability
- Two pieces - most leather pieces are made of two pieces with a stiffer leather on top and softer leather (or a soft fleece, fur, suede) lining on the inside. Padding can be added between layers which is brilliant for making them more comfortable but also to create pressure without cutting off circulation.
A traditional way to fasten a restraint, good buckles have a roller buckle which makes pulling the strap through easy. Make sure to check the hole spacing as you want to be able to accurately adjust the restraints. The holes should be reinforced by metal rings, or on some restraints there are eyelets which is fine because the 'pin' is round and smooth.
Double D ring
Sometimes there might be a D-ring that you thread the strap through and you can then fasten the restraints with a carabiner or padlock. The disadvantage of this is needing to find a key if you use a lock, and if your submissive needs to get out in a hurry you will need to keep it close by!
Great for beginners, hook-and-loop tape is easy to handle, very easy to adjust and gives a sense of security knowing it can simply be pulled at any time to open.
You are going to want to attach your restraints to something in order to restrict your partner's movement. We recommend D-rings - most are made of stainless steel metal although some are made of strong plastic. It is a personal choice as to how many D-rings you want!
Types of restraints