Penis Pumps: The Ultimate Guide (& Product Reviews)

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If you occasionally struggle to get it up, first off, know that you’re not alone – around 50% of men in their 50s do too. Secondly, don’t worry, because a penis pump might be all you really need to resolve the problem, save your hard-on, and get back to business.

In this guide, I’m going to be telling you all you need to know about penis pumps. We’ll be covering the facts and the myths, showing you how to use penis pumps, and answering all your other burning questions.

I’ll also be sharing a complete buying guide and some of my top recommendations to help you to get your hands on the best pump for your needs.

Now, let’s get started!

What is a Penis Pump?

A penis pump is a vacuum device used to help dudes get an erection. It’s made up of a plastic tube or ‘cylinder’ that fits over the penis like a sleeve, a base that presses against your groin to create a vacuum seal, and a pump that changes the pressure and makes the magic happen.

It works like this: the pump creates something called ‘negative pressure’ within the penis pump cylinder. This negative vacuum pressure causes blood to be pulled or ‘sucked’ into your penis, which engorges it, thus creating an erection.

Some also come with a cock ring/band that attaches to the base of your penis once it’s erect in order to help you to keep the blood in there and maintain the erection, but this part is optional.

Different Types of Pump

The actual mechanism through which penis pumps create the negative pressure varies from model to model. Here are the different types of pumps you need to know about.


Air-based pumps use negative air pressure to create a vacuum. The cylinder that goes around your penis is full of air. You use either a manual or automatic pump to pump that air out and create a vacuum.

Air-based pumps tend to be simpler and more affordable than water-based pumps, which we’ll take a look at next. However, they’re also a little less safe as it’s harder to regulate the pressure in the cylinder.


Water-based pumps (or ‘hydro pumps’) are a more modern, improved type of penis pump which uses water to create negative pressure. These devices have cylinders that are filled with water, as opposed to air, so they work a little differently.

First, you press them against your groin tightly to create a seal. Then, you press down on the cylinder, which forces water out of it to create negative pressure.

There is no ‘pumping’ action required, and it’s easier to monitor and maintain the right amount of pressure.

They’re typically safer and more effective than air-based pumps, as well as easier to use. As such, they’re also usually more expensive.

Manual Pumps

Penis pumps can be either manually-operated or battery-powered. Manual pumps require the user to pump the air out by hand using a hand-pump.

Many beginners prefer them over automatic pumps as they give you more control over the pressure, don’t require any batteries, and are both easy to use and fairly inexpensive.

Battery-powered pumps

Battery-powered penis pumps automatically create the vacuum pressure for you. All the user has to do is flick the switch to start the pump up, and it’ll do the rest for you.

If you use a battery-powered pump, you’re giving up some control over the pressure, which can increase the risk of injury. On the other hand, they’re also easy to use and can be used to achieve an erection more quickly. If you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to manually operate your penis pump, battery-powered pumps might be a good option.

Do They Really Work?

It depends on what exactly you mean by ‘work.’ If you mean can they really make your penis permanently bigger, then no. Sorry to disappoint, but, unfortunately, that’s all just advertising smoke and mirrors.

In truth, there is no solid, scientific evidence that a penis pump can increase your penis size in the long-run, only temporarily. There may be a few studies that seem to indicate using pumps regularly results in permanent size increases, but none of these studies are widely recognized by modern medicine.

Any claims you might see online or in magazines that a pump can be used for permanent penis enlargement should, therefore, be taken with more than a pinch of salt.

On the contrary, using a pump too often in the pursuit of bigger junk can actually cause a lot of problems, like less-firm erections. And nobody wants that, am I right?

Don’t get me wrong, you may see a temporary increase in penis size immediately after using it in comparison to a natural erection as the blood may engorge it more ‘fully,’ but that effect will be short-lived. Your penis might grow an inch or so larger in length and girth temporarily, but it will return back to its normal size when you’re done using it.

However, if by ‘work’ you mean, ‘can they help me to get hard?’, then the answer is yes, absolutely. Penis pumps are a valid, medically-approved treatment option for mild or moderate erectile dysfunction. They really can help you to get an erection if you’re struggling to do so naturally.

They also might be able to help you to get a harder and thicker erection than usual temporarily, but don’t expect miracles.

Why Use a Pump?

Penis pumps aren’t the only treatment option for erectile dysfunction. There are lots of other options, such as oral medications like Viagra, penile injections, and surgical penile implants, so why use a pump? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • Safety—there may be fewer risks and complications associated with the use of penis pumps compared to other ED treatments.
  • Affordability—Pumps (especially manual-operated pumps) are very cheap to operate after the initial purchase. You only have to worry about the one-off cost and don’t need to keep paying for more as you would with Viagra.
  • Non-invasive—invasive surgery isn’t pleasant. Penile pumps offer a way to treat ED without the need for any injections or operations.
  • Harder/thicker erections—some men report small, temporary size increases when they use a pump compared to their natural erections. If you’re insecure about the size of your manhood, they may give you more confidence in the bedroom, but note that these effects are temporary.
  • Regain erectile function—in some cases, pumps can help you to regain the ability to get and maintain a natural erection following certain medical procedures, like prostate surgery.

What Are the Drawbacks?

Obviously, penis pumps aren’t without their drawbacks, and they certainly aren’t for everyone. Here are a few of the main disadvantages you should know about:

  • Less spontaneity—spontaneity is important to good sex. Having to use a pump before you start can ruin the mood, so think about whether or not this is something you can deal with and speak to your partner to make sure you’re both on board.
  • Psychological effects—the idea of using a contraption to ‘suck’ blood into your penis doesn’t sit well with some people and can impact your confidence and enjoyment in the bedroom.
  • Unnatural-feeling erections—some men report that using a pump makes their erection feel less natural. The base of your penis may feel less firm compared to what you’re used to, and your penis may rotate more than it would usually.
  • Side effects—penis pumps can sometimes lead to side effects, including petechia (bleeding under the skin), numbness/coldness, pain/bruising, and more painful ejaculations. Some of these side effects are more likely if you use a cock ring in conjunction with your pump.

When NOT to Use a Pump

There are certain risks associated with penis pumps and certain instances in which you should never use one. Here are a few instances when you shouldn’t use a pump on your penis:

  • You’re taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin or clopidogrel
  • You have a blood disorder or other condition that may put you at risk of blood clots or bleeding, such as sickle cell anemia
  • You’re using it for permanent penis enlargement (it won’t work)
  • You’ve experienced any unwanted side effects from using your pump, such as burst blood vessels, skin numbness, tingling, or discoloration

It’s advisable to speak to your doctor before you use a penis pump to make sure it’s a safe and effective option for you, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or you’re taking any medication.

A Pump Buyer’s Guide

Alright, now that’s all covered, let’s talk about how to choose a penis pump. I’ve put together a quick buying guide that will show you what to consider and look out for when you’re shopping around.

Talk to Your Doctor

I’d recommend speaking to your doctor before you purchase a pump as they may be able to recommend a certain model and provide you with a prescription. Having a prescription will ensure that you get a medically-approved penis pump made by a reputable manufacturer.

It’s possible to buy a penis pump over-the-counter without a prescription, but many of them aren’t approved by any health agency, and may, therefore, not be safe or effective.


Different pumps come with different features. I’d recommend choosing a pump that has a vacuum limiter or a pressure gauge. These are essential safety features that will help you to monitor and regulate the air pressure in the tube and avoid potential injuries.

Pressure gauges show you the pressure while you pump so you know when to stop, while vacuum limiters physically limit the amount of pressure you can pump into the cylinder to prevent you from over-pumping.

Type Of Pump

Choose a penis pump that’s suitable for your needs. As I explained above, water-based pumps are generally safer and more effective than air-based pumps, so go for a water-based model if your budget allows for it.

Also, look at how the pump is being marketed. Some pumps are designed and marketed specifically for ED treatment. I personally wouldn’t trust any pump that claims to increase your penis size permanently.


The design of the pump is important too. You should aim to choose a pump that is discrete, lightweight, easy to use, and easy to clean.

Some pumps feature transparent cylinders, whereas others have colored cylinders. I’d recommend choosing one that’s transparent as this will allow you to see what’s going on inside as you pump. That way, it’ll be easier to know when you’re sufficiently erect, and you’ll also be able to keep an eye out for warning signs, like discoloration and red spots.

That being said, some dudes don’t like to see what’s going on inside too clearly and find it disconcerting. In this case, you might be better off going for a colored/tinted cylinder.

Brand Credentials

It’s important to choose a penis pump from a reputable brand/manufacturer. If possible, aim for a product from a brand that you recognize. Avoid low-budget, unfamiliar brands as you can’t be sure of the quality or safety of the pump.

Ideally, you’ll be able to find a pump that is FDA-approved, but there are only a few of these on the market.


Penis pumps come in different sizes so, before you buy, you might want to measure your penis length and girth at full erection. This is important, trust me. The last thing you want is to find out your too big for your pump after you’re already inside it (ouch).

By measuring your penis beforehand, you’ll be able to choose the right size for your needs. Most pumps will list their size compatibility in the product details/description.

As a bonus, you’ll also be able to compare your current natural erection size to your post-penis-pump erection size, which is useful if you’re interested in temporary size gains.

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Cock ring

Another factor to consider is whether or not you want to use your pump with a cock ring. Cock rings are useful for maintaining your erection for longer; they restrict the blood flowing out of your shaft to help keep you hard, but many men find them uncomfortable.

If you do want to use one, look out for products that bundle up a cock ring with the actual penis pump. You can also buy a cock ring separately.

Size matters here too. You’ll need to choose a cock ring that fits comfortably around your shaft all the way to the base of your penis. It should be tight enough to restrict the blood flow, but not too tight, so choose one with a diameter very slightly smaller than the diameter of your penis.


Penis pumps can vary dramatically in price depending on the model. They can cost as little as $20 on the cheap end to up to $500 or more at the higher end of the price range. Battery-powered and water-based pumps are likely to cost more.

The more you pay, the safer and more effective the pump is likely to be, so I’d recommend spending more if you can afford to. If you’ve been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, there’s a chance your insurance company will cover at least part of the cost, so it might be worth contacting them to check that out.

Top 5 Best Penis Pumps

Here are our top 5 pump recommendations.

1. Encore ImpoAid Manual Pump

First off, we have the Encore Impo Aid Manual Erection Pump Kit. It’s a great, economical option for people who just want something that works and don’t mind using an air-based, manual hand pump.

It’s marketed as an erectile dysfunction pump, so they don’t claim to be able to enlarge your penis permanently. This should give you a little more peace of mind that this is a reputable brand that isn’t trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

What’s great about this product is that it’s bundled up with a whole kit of everything you need. In addition to the pump and cylinder, it also comes with four tension bands (basically cock rings), a ring loader cone and ejector, a body shield, lubricant, and an instruction manual to show you how to use it.

It’s average-sized and should fit most men, but make sure you check the sizing guide and requirement first to make sure it’s right for you. If need be, there is a larger model available.

2. Pos-T-Vac Easy Pro 1000 Vacuum Therapy System

Next up, we have another pump designed and marketed as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the Pos-T-Vac Easy Pro.

According to the product description, this pump is FDA-approved, urologist-recommended, and manufactured in the USA. These sorts of credentials are important and show you that this is a pump you can trust is safe and effective.

Again, it comes bundled up with a bunch of extra goodies, including an instructional DVD and manual, personal lube, three tension rings in different sizes, a ring loading cone, comfort bushing, and even a discrete carrying bag.

For added safety, it features both internal and external safety release valves that will automatically release in the event of too much vacuum pressure. It’s also less physically taxing to pump as the pump itself is spring-loaded. All you have to do is press down on it repeatedly to pump.

The product description claims that you’ll see results in less than 4 minutes, which is pretty fast!

3. Tracey Cox EDGE Penis Pump

If you’re on a tight budget and you’re looking for something super-affordable, look no further than the EDGE penis pump from Tracey Cox. At under $30, it’s about as cheap as it gets. Despite the price, it still has all the features you need, like a hand-held air-based pumping bulb and a quick-release valve.

It’s a great pump for beginners that’s really easy to use, dismantle, and clean. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with bundled up with cock rings, but you can buy the EDGE adjustable stamina ring separately.

It features a hand-held air-based pumping bulb and, according to the product description, should be used for 10 minutes at a time up to 30 minutes per day.

4. Bathmate Hydromax 7

Next up, we have the Bathmate Hydromax 7. I was conflicted about whether or not to include this pump, as it’s heavily advertised as a penis enlargement product, which is kind of misleading. As I said earlier, there’s no solid scientific evidence that this works.

All that aside, however, it’s still one of the best penis pumps on the market. Bathmate is known for creating some of the most advanced, powerful, and sophisticated water-based/hydraulic pumps.

The Hydromax 7 is no exception; it uses water to create the vacuum and is supposedly 250 x more powerful than regular air pumps. It’s designed to be compatible for men with an erect penis length of under 7 inches and a girth of less than 6.5 inches.

There are also a few other neat features worth mentioning, like the included removable, skin-safe elastomer comfort pad, pressure gauge, and quick-release valve.

5. HydroXtreme Series Pumps

And finally, I wanted to mention the HydroXtreme Series. This is another penis pump product line from Bathmate; their most advanced and powerful to date.

I’ve included this product recommendation only as an option for advanced penis pumps users, NOT for beginners. This is probably the most powerful pump on the market in terms of suction, which also makes it one of the riskiest – it should be used with caution for no longer than 15 minutes per day.

To be honest, all that power isn’t really necessary, in my opinion. In most cases, you don’t want too much vacuum pressure; you just want enough to do the job. However, I know that some guys disagree, so I had to include it anyway.

It’s also apparently the only hydro-based pump that features a handball pump for superior pressure and ease of use. It also boasts an improved comfort pad design for extra comfort and suction power and an updated quick-release valve.

How To Use a Pump

Penis pumps can look a little intimidating at first glance and, if you’ve never used one before, you’re probably wondering where to start.

To help provide you with some direction, I’ve put together a quick step-by-step guide on how to use a pump. Don’t worry; they’re actually pretty simple to use once you get the hang of it.

Important note: This guide is going to be fairly generic, and exact usage instructions will differ depending on the type and model of the pump you’re using. You should always refer to your manufacturer’s specific instructions as a first resort and take heed of any safety advice/instructions therein. Please also make sure you’ve read the safety tips in the guide below carefully before using your pump.

Step 1: Prepare the area

First off, you’ll want to make sure you’ve trimmed or shaved your public hair as short as possible. This will help you to create an air-tight seal between the pump and your groin when you use it. It also helps you to avoid any hairs getting caught in the pump- a painful event that you definitely DON’T want to experience.

Some people also recommend applying a little water-based lube onto your groin/penis and on the base of the pump to help create that air-tight seal, but don’t overdo it.

Step 2: Warm-up your penis (optional)

Some people also recommend warming up your genitals before you start pumping, as this can help improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of injuries, but this isn’t strictly necessary unless specified in your specific pump’s operational guidelines.

An easy way to warm the area up is to wrap a towel with warm (not boiling) water around your penis for a minute or so.

Step 3: Place the sleeve over your penis

After you’re prepared, grab your pump and place the plastic tube over the shaft of your penis. The base should be pressed firmly against your groin so that it’s air-tight, and only your penis should be inside the tube, your scrotum should still be on the outside.

Step 4: Create a vacuum (pump carefully)

Once you’re in place, It’s time to start pumping. The way you go about this will depend on the type of pump you’re using.

Use the hand pump (for air-based pumps) or electric pump (battery-powered) that are attached to the cylinder to slowly pull air out of the pump and create vacuum pressure. If you’re using a water-based pump, all you’ll need to do is press downwards on the cylinder to do this.

The key here is to go slowly and monitor the pressure carefully. Pumping too strongly or too often and creating too much pressure can break blood vessels and cause injury, so avoid that. If you start to feel any discomfort or pain, stop pumping, and slowly release the pressure in the cylinder.

You should aim to maintain a comfortable pressure for around 5-10 minutes, or until you’re fully erect. It might be quicker or take longer, depending on your pump.

Step 5: Slip on your cock ring (optional)

After you’re fully erect, you can optionally slide a cock ring around the shaft of your penis and push it down to the base to help you maintain the erection. Lube can help you to get it in place.

Important safety note: If you choose to use a cock ring, do NOT leave it on for longer than 20 minutes at a time, and never go to sleep wearing one. Leaving a cock ring on for longer than 20 minutes puts you at risk of very serious injury.

Step 6: Remove the pump

Finally, release the pressure in your pump (this is usually done via a pressure-relief valve) and then remove it from your penis. Your erection should last long enough to have sex, but it won’t be there forever, so don’t dilly dally – go wild!

Safety Advice

Before we wrap up, let’s look at some important safety tips and advice to minimize risks. Here are some of the most important dos and don’ts of using a penis pump.


  • Always use a pressure gauge or vacuum limiter to avoid over-pumping
  • Use a comfort pad with your pump to add cushioning if it feels painful against your groin or causes bruising
  • Use a clear pump so you can monitor what’s happening and look out for any signs that you may have injured your penis, like swelling, discoloration, or red spots. If you see any, stop and release the pressure.
  • Pay attention to how your penis feels and listen to your body. If it’s uncomfortable or painful, stop
  • Use a pump with a quick-release valve if possible
  • Follow your manufacturer’s specific instructions to the letter


  • Don’t pump for longer than 15 minutes at a time
  • Don’t use your pump more than 2-3 times per week
  • Don’t use a pump if you have any condition or disease that causes blood clots or excessive bleeding
  • Don’t use a pump if you’re taking blood-thinning medications.
  • Don’t use a pump if you suffer from priapism
  • Don’t use a pump without speaking to your doctor first if you’re taking any other medication

Final Thoughts

As you can see, penis pumps can be a great, safe way to get a powerful erection if used correctly. Just make sure you know what you’re doing and that you use a pump from a reputable manufacturer.

As always, if you have any more questions about penis pumps, let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to get back to you. Also, don’t forget to check out some of our other articles with tips to improve your sex life.

Have fun!

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