Best Ropes for Bondage | Let’s Get Knotty

In the past, when we heard the word bondage, it immediately conjured up an image of an unwilling submissive trussed up for the pleasure of a sadistic dominant. Luckily, with the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, our views of this behavior have changed.

Of course, not all dominants can look like Christian Grey, but rope play is one of many activities in the BDSM lifestyle. If you are interested in jumping into bondage – either by yourself or with your partner – we’ve reviewed the best bondage ropes of the year.

Comparison Chart of the Best Bondage Rope

Product

Our Rating

Price

Bondage Boutique Soft Bondage Rope 10 Meter

Bondage Boutique Soft Bondage (Red)

Doc Johnson Japanese-Style Bondage Rope 10 Meter

Fifty Shades Freed Want to Play? 10 Meter Silky Rope

Fifty Shades Freed Want to Play? Twin Pack

Japanese Silken Bondage Rope Wrist Cuffs

Factors Contributing Toward Good Rope for Bondage

There is an entire world of activities in the BDSM community, including (but not limited to) body-binding and suspension, that involve various types of rope. The rope you choose should be the right material for your purpose.

There are four main types of rope used in bondage practices: cotton, nylon, hemp, and jute. Cotton and nylon are synthetic, manufactured materials, making them less expensive. Hemp and jute are natural-fiber ropes, and they are usually hand-made. These fibers need to be harvested, treated, and woven, so they are considerably more expensive.

There are two basic forms of rope bondage:

  • Knot-work bondage, which involves binding your partner with multiple knots, usually with a cotton or nylon rope.
  • Shibari, a form of Japanese bondage that does not involve tying knots. Instead, practitioners will loop the rope upon itself to secure it during binding. Generally, hemp and jute ropes are used in this type of bondage. The word shibari, translated from Japanese, means “to tie decoratively.” Shibari bondage is more for visual and aesthetic purposes than sexual satisfaction or gratification, and it is considered an art form.

Many couples experiment with “light bondage” – using rope and cuffs – as a part of their bedroom activities. Rope is more versatile than using handcuffs, so those new to bondage will try it first before moving on to other items. Most people will start out using a soft rope – usually made of cotton or nylon fibers – for binding the wrists and ankles together or making a series of intricate knots around your body or the body of your partner.

The purpose of light bondage is for the dominant to make the submissive slightly immobile, subject to the dominant’s desires, without harming them. This is usually how most couples start with incorporating bondage in the bedroom, so we have reviewed ropes made of cotton and nylon only.

Helpful Bliss Tip: Most importantly, the act of bondage revolves around consent. The person being tied up has to be okay with it! Make sure to discuss engaging in these activities with your partner before making any purchases. We recommend you select a rope together. Educate yourself on beginner’s knots before taking the plunge.

When you start shopping for rope, the details can be overwhelming. Depending on the extent of the bondage activities, several factors determine which material is the best for you.

Fiber: Cotton vs. Nylon

Fiber is the most important characteristic of a good bondage rope, and the materials have their own benefits.

Since we have reviewed nylon and cotton ropes, let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between the two.

Cotton Rope

  • Most popular material in bondage rope
  • Widely available on the retail market
  • Cotton holds dye well, so it comes in many colors
  • Cotton fibers are treated to feel soft against the skin
  • Cotton rope stretches: extensive struggling or weight against the knots will make them tighter
  • Not made for suspension work
  • Easy to clean through a washing machine or dishwasher

Nylon Rope

  • An oil-based synthetic material
  • Smaller, braided ropes connected by a twist pattern
  • Much softer and silkier than cotton rope
  • Luxurious feel against the skin
  • Stronger fibers than cotton; good for some suspension work
  • Slippery material doesn’t hold knots as well as cotton; easy for the bound partner to get free
  • Easy to clean through a washing machine or dishwasher

While neither cotton nor nylon rope is necessarily better than the other, choosing between these two materials is purely a matter of preference. Some will prefer the silkiness of nylon, while others will select the stretchiness of cotton. Experimenting with both designs can help you decide which one you prefer. You may even introduce both into your bedroom activities!

Diameter

The diameter of a rope is a measurement of its thickness. Most bondage ropes measure between 4mm up to 10mm or higher. The thickness of a rope has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Thinner ropes

  • Usually measure 4mm to 6mm
  • More flexible
  • Easier to tie intricate knots
  • Can cut into the skin if you bind it too tightly or you put too much resistance against it
  • This can leave red marks and abrasions, no matter how soft the material feels against your skin

Thicker ropes

  • Usually measure 7mm+. Most don’t go much thicker than 10mm.
  • Less flexible, but they are stronger
  • Knots usually hold better (depending on the material)
  • Provide more awareness of the “feeling” of being bound

Length

Bondage ropes come in variable lengths. Most commonly, they are cut into 5m or 10m lengths. Determining your preferred length depends on what you are doing with it.

Shorter ropes are best for those who are binding the wrists together or the ankles together separately. These usually come in measurements about 5 meters long, and they are best for tying certain limbs together. A shorter rope also comes in handy when binding the arms and legs to another surface, such as a headboard.

Longer ropes are more versatile. You can bind the whole body, or you can tie the ankles and the wrists in a hogtie. However, longer ropes can be cumbersome for those who are just starting with bondage, especially when using them on just the wrists and ankles.

Benefits of Using Quality Rope

Rope for bondage ranges from cheap to expensive, but how do you know that you’re investing in a quality rope? Believe it or not, you can purchase a good, sturdy rope for a reasonable price.

The best rope will have the following characteristics:

  • Tightly woven without loose strands or fraying
  • The rope fibers will be treated and conditioned
  • The ends will have either a cap for a knot to keep it from unraveling

These ropes will last much longer. With proper care and use, quality ropes can last for years.

Most importantly, reliable manufacturers will sell the best synthetic ropes. Even if you spring for hand-woven natural fiber ropes, such as jute or hemp, only a certain number of artisans have perfected the process. Make sure to do your research before purchase, so you don’t end up with a tattered mess that is useless, unpleasing to the eye, or unpleasant to the touch.

Review of the Best Ropes for Bondage

We’ve rated the best-selling bondage ropes of the year. These budget-friendly options are great for either beginners or advanced users, and they can bring some spice and adventure into the bedroom. We’ve highlighted all of the best and worst features of each product to help inform your next purchase.

1. Best Bondage Rope for Beginners: Bondage Boutique Soft Bondage Rope 10 Meter

This beautifully woven cotton rope is the perfect starter item for those beginning their bondage adventures. With 10 meters of strong and durable material, this thinner rope measures only 6mm in diameter. This long, slender rope of soft matte cotton creates intricate knots that rest beautifully against the skin.

Ideal for beginners, the Bondage Boutique Soft Bondage Rope 10 Meter also appeals to more experienced users. This material is tightly woven, so it will not fray with multiple uses. Although it has been chemically-treated for softness, this rope is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types.

Perfect for wrist, ankle, or body binding, this product is long enough for strapping yourself or your significant other to a body harness, although it isn’t strong enough for swings or other suspension work. However, the softness of the material means that you need to tie the knots tighter for more security.

While most bondage ropes have sealed ends, this rope only has two knots – one at each end of the rope – to keep the rest of it from unraveling. This can get in the way when making your own knots, but with some practice, you’ll get used to the technique. The Bondage Boutique Soft Bondage Rope may be too thin for some users, who like a thicker rope that covers more of their skin. Overall, this product is an excellent introduction to bondage play.    

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Pros

  • Durable rope that doesn’t fray
  • Latex-free 10 meter (394 inches) woven black matte cotton rope
  • Perfect for wrist, ankle, body binding; long enough for a harness
  • 6mm diameter
  • For beginner to advanced users
  • Chemically-treated for softness, but gentle enough for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Length and diameter can turn off some buyers
  • Small knots at both ends can get in the way when creating your own knots
  • Softness of the matte material means you need to tie the knots tighter for more security
  • Although advertised for shibari bondage, enthusiasts of the art form rarely use cotton rope

Bottom Line

The Bondage Boutique Soft Bondage Rope is ideal for beginners, although the more experienced will enjoy the softness of this cotton rope against their skin. This product does not come with an instruction manual, so you’ll have to do some research before using it. Easy to clean and maintain, the Bondage Boutique Soft Bondage Rope is a perfect first item for any collection.

2. Bondage Boutique Soft Red Rope 10 Meter

The Bondage Boutique Cotton Rope also comes in a vibrant red color, which stands out against the skin. More visually appealing than the black matte rope, this rope is strong enough for lengthy wear without irritating the skin.

The simple design of the Bondage Boutique Soft Red Rope appeals to beginners and the experienced alike, especially couples who use bondage as a form of visual stimulation. Measuring 10 meters long and 6mm in diameter, the matte finish with end knots keeps the rope from unraveling. Although the design of the tightly-woven cotton fibers does not stand out as much on the red rope as it does the black, some users prefer this brightly-colored rope to its black counterpart.

This highly-versatile rope has many uses. It is long enough to hogtie your partner or strap them to a body harness. However, simple binding of the wrists or ankles to a headboard or other surface is a possibility. Although the stretchiness of the cotton will tighten the knots with a lot of resistance, the soft material is easy to untie.

Maintaining the rope is easy with gentle washing techniques in the washing machine or dishwasher, although the material is so beautiful that you may choose to wash it by hand. Like the black version, the Bondage Boutique Soft Red Rope does not come with an instruction manual; there are plenty of resources in print books or online articles that can educate you on proper knotting techniques. If you are looking to move beyond the basic black ropes that are available to most beginners, this product can add a visual aesthetic to your bondage activities.

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Pros

  • Beautiful red woven cotton rope with a matte finish that prevents unraveling
  • 10m long, 6m diameter
  • Very versatile: ideal for tying knots around the wrists and ankles, hogties, and binding to surfaces
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Appeals to beginners and experienced alike
  • Feels soft against the skin

Cons

  • This product is also promoted as shibari rope, but it is more commonly used in light bondage
  • Knotted ends may get in the way when making your own knots
  • A good amount of stretch to the fibers; need to make the knots tighter for more security
  • No instruction manual

Bottom Line

The Bondage Boutique Soft Cotton Rope comes in both red and black, but the red rope is much more visually appealing. It has all of the same qualities that people love about the cotton rope. The stretchy cotton fibers feel lovely against the skin, and the matte finish makes tying knots much easier. If the color red against your partner’s skin adds to your desire, then you should definitely invest in this product.

3. Doc Johnson Japanese-Style Bondage Rope 10 Meter

A trusted name in adult novelties, Doc Johnson has its own brand of bondage rope that comes in black, purple, and red. Unlike the Bondage Boutique Rope, which has a circular diameter, the Doc Johnson Japanese-Style Bondage Rope 10 Meter is woven to rest flat against the skin. It covers more surface area, increasing the sensations of the soft cotton rope against your body.

The softness of the cotton reduces chaffing, especially when you are trying to get free. With less give than other cotton ropes, the knots stay in place when your partner is trussed up. Still, the cotton retains its stretchiness enough to move the soft material against the skin, making it ideal for sensory play. It is easy to clean and untie, making it very user-friendly for beginners. The Doc Johnson Bondage Rope comes with a brief guide card for the novice, but it isn’t very detailed.

Like most longer ropes, those new to using the product will get slightly frustrated with the length. Unfortunately, the ends of this bondage rope are not tied off or sealed in any way. This makes unraveling much more of a possibility. To prevent your rope from disintegrating, you will need to seal it yourself.

Since the material doesn’t have a matte finish, this rope wears down quickly. You’ll notice after your more spirited sessions that small fuzzies of cotton will remain on your body. A quick shower will remove them, but it can be a source of irritation to some users. If you are searching for a quick experiment to bondage, the Doc Johnson Japanese-Style Bondage Rope 10 Meter can fulfill your fantasies.

Pros

  • 10m woven cotton rope that lays flat against the skin
  • Reduces chafing when trying to get free
  • Available in black, purple, and red
  • Machine washable (easy to clean)
  • Easy to knot and untie
  • Doesn’t give when tied, but still has some stretch
  • Includes brief guide card for the beginner

Cons

  • Ends not sealed or tied off, so they unravel quickly
  • Softness of rope may not hold some knots
  • Wears down quickly; fuzzies from cotton left behind after spirited sessions
  • Length can get in the way when tying knots

Bottom Line

The Doc Johnson Japanese-Style Bondage Rope lacks the quality of the Bondage Boutique models, but the softness of the cotton feels very different without the matte finish. It is still soft against your skin, and it doesn’t chafe if you struggle to get free.

Although the softness may not hold some more intricate knots, the feeling of the rope against your skin combined with the color availability make it worth checking out. Investing in all three colors can shake things up in the bedroom. Creating knots with different color combinations will enhance the sight of your partner tied up.

4. Fifty Shades Freed Want to Play? 10m Silky Rope

Since E.L. James’ best-selling Fifty Shades series completely changed our perspective on light bondage, it makes sense that there would be a line of accessories affiliated with the books and movies. The author has personally approved each product in the Fifty Shades line, and it includes several of the items that appear in the series.

The Fifty Shades Freed Want to Play? 10m Silky Rope is a more sophisticated bondage rope than the previous items on our list. This 10-meter nylon rope feels extra silky against the skin, which can heighten the sensations of being bound.

Many prefer the feel of this rope compared to cotton ropes because they are easy to tie and untangle, and the beautiful twisted pattern of the nylon will shine against your partner’s skin. Since practitioners of shibari use bondage for visual purposes, this rope is an option for the practice.

Nylon is stronger than cotton, so it can take more resistance. Go ahead and try to struggle free as hard as you can from this rope: it won’t leave a mark on you. It works well on the body as well as fastening to hooks and harnesses. No matter how much resistance you place against the Want to Play? Rope, it doesn’t shed like cotton ropes.

Perfect for beginners, this product comes with instructions, so you can use the product as soon as it arrives. Just make sure you carefully read the manual before beginning your play. Without careful use, the rose gold tips at the ends of each rope can hurt if you hit yourself or your partner too hard.

The only real downside to the product, as with all nylon ropes, there is minimal stretch to it. Those used to cotton ropes will need some time to get used to this, but the Fifty Shades Freed Want to Play? 10m Silky Rope is ideal for those who want a more luxurious bondage experience.

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Pros

  • 10m twisted silky and shiny nylon rope
  • Strong cord that is easy to tie and untangle
  • Visual aesthetic makes it an option for shibari
  • Doesn’t chafe or shed
  • Comes with instructions
  • Works on body, hooks, harnesses
  • Approved by Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James

Cons

  • Very little stretch
  • Rose gold tips at ends to stop unraveling can hurt if they accidentally hit the skin

Bottom Line

If the softness of cotton rope doesn’t do it for you, then you should try nylon rope. It is stronger with less give, and it feels amazing against your skin. The Fifty Shades Freed Want to Play? 10m Silky Rope is a durable, well-made nylon rope meant to indulge all of your fantasies.

Equipped with an instruction booklet, you can quickly learn the art of knotting with a quality accessory. Just be careful when you’re starting out: accidentally hitting your partner or yourself in the face with the rose gold tips will definitely ruin the mood!

5. Fifty Shades of Grey Restrain Me Bondage Rope (Twin Pack)

If one long rope doesn’t strike your fancy, why not two? The Fifty Shades of Grey Restrain Me Bondage Rope Twin Pack includes two 5m ropes in red and black, instead of one long cord. With the same decadent feel of its larger option, this product is perfect for both beginner and advanced users. This elastic-free woven nylon rope prevents you from tying up your partner too tight: the silkiness won’t hold a knot as tightly, but the material makes a beautiful sight.

You can use the two shorter ropes to bind the wrists or ankles together, or you can secure your partner’s limbs to the headboard or footboard for complete control. Since the ropes are smaller, they are easier to clean and store. This long-lasting nylon material doesn’t disintegrate or get tangled up, so you can enjoy your bondage sessions anytime you like. Capped with metal ends, these nylon ropes hold its shape and are more durable than others that have unsealed ends.

The Fifty Shades of Grey Restrain Me Bondage Rope Twin Pack also comes with an instruction booklet to educate you on knotting techniques. While they are great for a beginner, the two separate ropes are also useful for the experienced user who wants to step up their bondage game. Having two smaller ropes gives you more options on how to use them, which make for exciting bedroom play.

The ropes come in two different colors, which is a mixed bag among users: some like it, some hate it. This product should come in multiple versions: one with both colors, one with only red rope, and one with only black rope. If you have experienced bondage before with thicker cotton ropes, you may not like the thin chord of this product. Since nylon is not as absorbent as cotton, the cords can hold the smell of the dye used to keep their vibrant color. After a few washes, this smell disappears. The versatility of having two ropes instead of one in The Fifty Shades of Grey Restrain Me Bondage Rope Twin Pack appeal to all users, and it can enhance your bedroom activities.

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Pros

  • 2 shorter ropes (5m long) in red and black
  • Good for the beginner or the experienced who want to up their game
  • Elastic-free woven rope prevents tying up partner too tight, doesn’t chafe the skin
  • Use for binding wrists or ankles together or tying to other surfaces
  • Long-lasting nylon material doesn’t get tangled and is machine washable
  • Smaller and easier to store
  • Comes with instructions

Cons

  • Different colors of the slender ropes can be a turn-off
  • Hold smell of dye
  • No stretch like cotton rope
  • Metal ends can hurt if they hit the skin accidentally

Bottom Line

If The Fifty Shades Freed Want to Play? 10m Silky Rope isn’t working for you, you should try The Fifty Shades of Grey Restrain Me Bondage Rope Twin Pack. It has all of the benefits of the longer version with the option of two smaller ropes for more exciting play. Although some would prefer that the ropes were the same color, you can form interesting combinations with this product.

6. Japanese Silken Bondage Rope Wrist Cuffs

For those who want a more straightforward introduction to bondage, the Japanese Silken Bondage Rope Wrist Cuffs are a great place to start. These adjustable wrist cuffs have a plastic attachment that slides to fit the wrists, and you can use them on your ankles, too. The smooth finish of the material feels silky against the skin, and it doesn’t chafe, no matter how much you move.

In one of the most user-friendly products on this list, the Japanese Silken Bondage Rope Wrist Cuffs comes with a full 16-page booklet with instructions and tips. With this product, you can enjoy the feeling of bondage without being intimidated by longer ropes. The cuffs are entirely self-contained, and there is no tying necessary.

The best feature of these cuffs is that they are small and flexible enough to loop them through a surface, such as a headboard, to restrict your partner’s movements even more. As your partner struggles, the wrist cuffs will get tighter, but they will not be painful. Although you have the option to use them on the wrists or ankles, they may not fit those with larger feet. This product is not for those who enjoy the act of tying knots.

Even though the rope tightens with resistance, this product is safer for those who are nervous being tied down. The adjustable plastic piece is easy to loosen yourself, making it easy to remove the cuffs when you want to move on to other activities. This plastic can also catch on the rope, unraveling it pretty quickly. You can use a nail file or other thin object to thread the material back into the cord if you need to fix it. Overall, the Japanese Silken Bondage Rope Wrist Cuffs are a great starter item for those who feel nervous about moving into ropes on the first try.  

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Pros

  • Adjustable wrist cuffs with a smooth, silky finish
  • Plastic adjuster slides to fit wrists or ankles
  • 16-page booklet with ideas and methods for the novice
  • Material doesn’t chafe
  • More freedom than regular bondage rope for more lightweight bondage
  • Can loop through headboard or another surface

Cons

  • Not for those who enjoy tying knots
  • Get tighter as your struggle, but easy to get out of yourself
  • Cuffs in limited colors (only purple and black) may be too small to use on some ankles
  • Plastic adjuster catches on the cord, making the rope fray easily

Bottom Line

The Japanese Silken Bondage Rope Wrist Cuffs is an ideal item for those who want to toy with the idea of light bondage in the bedroom. Although the quality of the other products in the review outshine these cuffs, they shouldn’t be disregarded. They have a smooth, silky finish that is comfortable against the skin, and this product is the perfect blend of rope and handcuffs. You can even order two pairs – one for the wrists and one for the ankles – for more experimentation.

Conclusion

There are many ways to incorporate bondage into your sex life, with products that cater to every comfort level. Whether you prefer longer or shorter ropes, or cotton or nylon, there is something out there for every taste. Although some may sneer at the idea of their partner tying them up, the act of bondage – a complete surrender of control to your significant other – can bring couples closer together.

You need a great deal of trust to engage in this activity, and couples who use bondage in the bedroom often find that the confidence spreads to other areas of their relationship. Not to mention, it’s really fun! Any of the products on this list would be valuable items to start your exploration into bondage, creating a satisfying and intriguing addition to your foreplay.

Jen is a writer and a sex-toy extraordinaire who hails from Louisiana. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in history. When you can pull her away from her rewarding career as a freelance writer, she is usually nose-deep in a book, one of the hundreds that grace her bookshelves. Jennifer and her amazingly supportive husband still call Louisiana home, with their brood of three cats and three guinea pigs.

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