Silicone is an industrially manufactured material. Because of the purity of the material, it is often used in both the food and pharmaceutical industries. Silicone is 100% free of harmful and endocrine-disrupting ingredients such as BPA, PVC and phthalates. Pacifiers are available in both food-approved and medical-grade silicone — medical-grade silicone is the purest of the two and is used, among other things, for operations. Silicone is clear and transparent with a smooth surface.
See our selection of silicone pacifiers here
Different materials — different strengths
Natural rubber and silicone are thus 2 very different materials with different strengths and qualities. The main differences between natural rubber and silicone are:
The purpose of the pacifier is to give the baby peace of mind by imitating a mother's breast. To make it as easy and natural as possible for the baby to switch between pacifier and breast, many choose to try natural rubber first, because natural rubber is softer and more reminiscent of the elasticity of the skin and breast than silicone.
Silicone is clearly the cleanest and most allergy-friendly of the two types of materials. If you have a latex allergy in the family, you should choose silicone.
Smell and taste
Silicone is a fragrance-neutral material, whereas natural rubber has a slightly characteristic fragrance. Preference differs from child to child.
Natural rubber is more elastic than silicone, and it is harder for small baby teeth to bite into pieces.
Silicone pacifiers do not age quickly, while natural rubber has limited durability. You will therefore experience that natural rubber expands and changes shape over time, while silicone retains its shape.
Natural rubber is damaged by light and heat sources, whereas silicone can better withstand environmental impact. Therefore, it is important that you always store natural rubber pacifiers in a dark, dry place at room temperature. You must never leave them in a window sill, for example, where they are exposed to sun and light.
The younger the baby, the more important good pacifier hygiene is, and the more often the pacifiers need to be cleaned. And in this case, silicone is an easier material to handle than natural rubber.
Silicone has a smooth surface and attracts neither dust nor dirt. As silicone has a high heat tolerance, the pacifier is not damaged by the frequent, repeated sterilisations that good pacifier hygiene requires.
All children are unique
As you can see, natural rubber and silicone each have advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, as a parent, you will find that there are very divided opinions about which material is the best or the healthiest.
That is why it is also important for me to emphasize that all children are different, and in the end, your child will be the judge and will choose the pacifier he/she likes best.