Sexual wellness devices market

Market dynamics

The global sexual wellness devices market is estimated to be worth c.$19bn in 2021, with the US the largest global market at c.$4.4bn. The market is supported by positive long-term growth dynamics which COVID-19 has structurally accelerated.

Pre-COVID-19, the global market grew at c.5% p.a. and then experienced a significant COVID-19 boost, with the market growing by c.1.5x between 2019 and 2021. Going forward, the market is forecast to grow at an accelerated rate at c.7% p.a. to 2026.

The growth in the sexual wellness devices market is supported by both demand and supply drivers. Interest in sexual wellness devices has grown as attitudes have liberalised and sexual wellbeing is viewed as increasingly important, particularly during COVID-19.

The broad range of different product types supports multiple use cases, with consumers in the US, UK and France owning an average of c.4 sex toys. Additionally, consumers are increasingly purchasing more premium products and average selling price is increasing, supporting overall growth in the premium segment which accounts for c.25-33% of the market in the US, UK and France.

On the supply side, the industry has shifted away from explicit brands towards wellness brands, with products becoming more design-oriented with discreet packaging. A range of product innovations has helped to broaden appeal and introduce new use cases.

The market has also seen a channel shift. Online penetration (c.70-82% in the US, UK and France) has accelerated due to COVID-19 and is forecast to remain high, whilst there are also an increasing number of mainstream retailers entering the sexual wellness devices market.

Competitive environment

The sexual wellness devices market landscape is fragmented and served by brands with different business models. There are several clear brand archetypes, including premium sexual wellness brands, affordable sexual wellness brands and mass-market male sex toys. The market has evolved over time with an ongoing shift towards wellness-focused brands. A range of new sexual wellbeing brands have entered the market in recent years which has furthered this shift.

Within the wellness segment, brands differentiate themselves through product offering, distribution, digital channels and social media presence. Some brands offer a wide range of sexual wellness devices for women, men and couples, whilst others focus on specific types of toys. Products, for example vibrators, are differentiated across a number of characteristics, including weight, time to charge, vibration options, colours and remote-control access, as well as by price.

Most brands sell through D2C platforms, Amazon and sexual wellness specialists whilst some have a stronger offering with other online and in-person retailers (including pharmacies, beauty specialists and department stores). Based on the focus of their distribution strategies and tenure in the market, brands have wide ranging traffic to their websites. Most of this traffic is through search or direct channels, despite strong social media presence of several brands.

Recent sex toy purchasers show high affinity towards brands. For most brands, over 70% of their customers love or like them. However, net promoter scores are much more variable, ranging from -5 to +25.

The sexual wellness devices market is fundamentally attractive and has evolved over time to away from explicit brands towards wellness brands. Read our report to learn more.

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Jacqueline Windsor

Jacqueline Windsor

Partner in Strategy& Deals Consumer Markets and Head of Retail, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7801 074739

Inge Cajot

Inge Cajot

Partner, Strategy, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7764 235425

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