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Nominal width of condoms - what exactly is it?

Condoms are available in numerous different condom sizes, which can vary greatly depending on the product and manufacturer. To ensure that the condom fits you properly, i.e. is not too big or too small for the best feeling and optimum safety, all condoms in the European Union must state the nominal width of the respective condom on the packaging.

However, there are often many questions about the nominal width, as it is not always clear how the nominal width relates to your penis size or how to calculate the right condom size.

In the following, we will try to answer all your questions about the nominal width, which is also indicated on many packages as the nominal width or standard width.

What is the nominal width?

The nominal width of condoms or standard width is a specification according to the international condom standard DIN EN ISO 4074 and is therefore clearly defined. On the packaging of condoms you will find this information in millimeters, e.g. from 47mm to 69mm for Mister Size.

But what exactly does this mean and how is it measured? Is it the diameter, the circumference or the radius of the condom? Unfortunately there is no indication of this, but it is half the circumference of the condom at the narrowest point.

If you want to measure, you can lay a condom completely flat and then determine the width at the narrowest point with a ruler, for example, and you have the nominal width, because lying flat you have exactly half the circumference of the condom.

The narrowest point is of course only relevant for condoms that are not cylindrical and therefore the same width everywhere. In addition to the majority of condoms that are cylindrical, there are also some contoured condoms that are slightly narrower below the glans, for example.

How do you measure the nominal width?

As mentioned above, the nominal width is half the circumference at the narrowest point. The easiest way to measure this is to lay a condom flat and loose and then measure the width with a ruler.

Here is a photo to illustrate how you can measure the nominal width of a condom. Lay the condom as flat as possible over a ruler and then read off the width:

If you find a small deviation when measuring the width, this is still within the standard. According to ISO 4074, the width may deviate by +/- 2 mm.

Why do you measure half the circumference?

Even if it may sound confusing at first to measure exactly half the circumference, this is the simplest and clearest method to achieve comparability of the width of condoms. Normally, we are used to measuring either the diameter or the entire circumference of round objects, but this is often a difficult and imprecise procedure due to the flexible material of condoms. If you were to measure the diameter, for example, you would probably get a different result for each measurement. See our pictures:

How wide are standard condoms?

Most standard condoms have a standard width of 52 to 54 mm, although 54 mm is often rather large. Condoms sold as XL or XXL condoms usually start at a nominal width of 56mm. Particularly small condoms are correspondingly smaller than 52mm. With many condom brands, you will often find a normal condom and an XL condom which is only slightly larger. However, since both safety and your feeling during sexual intercourse suffer with the wrong condom size, at Mister Size you will find condoms in widths from 47mm to 69mm.

Where can I find the nominal width on the packaging?

On condom packaging, you will usually find the nominal width or standard width within the text on the back of the packaging. In some cases, however, there is also a symbol with a width indication on the packaging.

How do I find the right condom size?

Of course, it is difficult to measure half the circumference of your penis, as is the case with condom width, and the condom should not be too loose. We at Mister Size have developed several simple methods for you to find the perfect condom size. For example, you can use our app to determine your condom size (no download required) or you can take a look at our article on how to determine the right condom size in 4 simple steps.


At first glance, the nominal width of condoms may seem a little confusing because it has nothing directly to do with the width of your penis. However, with our simple measuring methods, you can easily find the right condom size for you at any time. The condom size is the same as the nominal width, so condom size 53 has a nominal width of 53mm. If the front of the packaging only states XL, for example, then simply check the packaging again and you will also find the width somewhere.

Mister Size
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