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I Didn’t Know Which ED Med To Choose. So I Tried Them All.

June 11, 2024
At Primary Goods, we have an independent selection process & only review what we fully endorse. If you buy a product via our links, we may earn a commission.

Editor’s note: If you want to put my favorite ED meds to the test yourself, you can save 20% on Hello Cake ED Meds with code: PRIMARY20

Dealing with ED is rough. Really rough. And you’d think having an essential part of your anatomy on the fritz would be the worst part of the whole situation. But somehow, I found that finding the right ED med was actually more frustrating than my dick not working right. 

If you’re a man over the age of say… 25, you’ve probably seen ads for ED meds. I’d been seeing them constantly since I first started googling my symptoms (“I’m 31 and I can’t get hard, am I dying?”), so I figured I’d test one out… A few months later, I was on ED med #4, having cycled through a whole bunch of different brands to try to find the best (ahem) bang for my buck.

Spoiler: After testing ED meds from Hims, Roman, Rugiet, and Hello Cake, I settled on Hello Cake’s ED meds. I found them the best for both spontaneous “action” as well as duration of effect – plus, they didn’t break the bank! Read my full breakdown below.

Everything You Need To Know About ED Meds

(If you’re already schooled in this topic, feel free to skip class and grab the best ED meds here.)

I used to think that the only ED meds out there were Viagra, Cialis, and those creepy gas station pills with names like “Big Snake 3000” and “Steaming Rhino.” 

And I wasn’t far off – there are only a few medications approved by the FDA to treat ED. (Let’s ignore the gas station pills – nobody’s trying to die with their pants down, am I right?) But what I didn’t know about was the wonderful, complex world of compound formulas. Compound meds are the cutting edge of ED treatment, combining two or more approved ED meds in specific ratios, to balance out the pros and cons of the individual medications. They’re basically the phallic equivalent of Jägerbombs – designed to get you going fast and keep you going all night. 

I’ve found four main medications that get combined in different ratios and to different levels of success. Here’s a quick breakdown of each: 

Tadalafil – Otherwise known as Cialis, this is one of the two most common ingredients you’ll see, and for good reason. Tadalafil works in the long term – it takes a while (often 1hr+) to kick in, but can stay effective for over 24 hours. Due to the onset/duration trade-off, Tadalafil is often taken on a daily/regular basis.

Sildenafil – You’re probably more familiar with Sildenafil by its brand name, Viagra. Sildenafil is all about the shorter term. It starts working in 15-30 minutes (depending on the delivery method), but only lasts for 2-4 hours. Sildenafil is used more frequently as the “oh man, I’m about to get laid” ED med.

Vardenafil — A little less popular is Vardenafil, also known as Levitra. Vardenafil lives somewhere in the middle ground between Tadalafil and Sildenfil, with effects starting up at about the 30 minute mark and lasting for 6-8 hours. It does carry a slightly higher risk of experiencing nausea (more on that later), which may be why it’s not quite as well known.

Apomorphine — Enter the wild card. Apomorphine is much newer to the ED scene, and unlike other ED meds, it works by affecting your brain’s dopamine center (rather than increasing blood flow throughout your body). It’s effective in treating mild to moderate ED and has a fast onset time when taken sublingually. It can be stacked with traditional ED meds, but it does carry a significant risk of nausea, especially when you first start taking it. 

My Winning Combo — I wound up with some serious favorites when it comes to compound meds: Sildenafil and Tadalafil. For me, these two hit the jackpot of being fast-acting and long-lasting without giving me any nasty side effects (i.e. nausea). Ro Sparks and Hello Cake Meds both use this combo, but Cake Meds were by far my favorite thanks to the fast-dissolving tablet, their wider range of dosages, and the bigger savings they offer on bulk orders.

Since the various different meds (except Apomorphine) that go into compound formulations are the same class of medication (PDE5-inhibitors), most of the common side effects are similar. Things like headaches, flushed skin, stomach discomfort, and the like are relatively standard across the board, but some of the more serious side effects can differ from med to med, so be sure to be honest when filling out the questionnaires!

That being said, if you’re good to go medication-wise, there’s a whole world of combinations out there for you to try. Personally, I found that some were significantly better than others. Rugiet, for example, landed in the “not even if you paid me” category, while Hello Cake cemented itself as my favorite from the very first pill.

Testing… Testing…

Not-so-fun fact: 52% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. Anecdotally, pretty much every guy I know has dealt with some form of ED at least once, whether it’s good ol’ fashioned whiskey dick, never being “up” for round 2, or just a run of the mill failure to launch. 

I, however, had graduated from once-in-a-blue-moon troubles to consistent problems in the bedroom. And honestly, I was caught in a negative feedback loop about it. Failure to get hard caused me to stress about getting hard, caused me to not be able to get hard. Rinse, repeat, bang your head into the wall.

So, when I decided to try ED meds, I was determined to go all the way in. I didn’t want to find something that mostly worked or something that was “good enough.” I wanted the best of the best – which required a lot of experimentation, outlined below. Check out the pros and cons of every med I tried, and what ultimately *took the Cake.*

Hims Hard Mints

Overall rating: 6/10

Hims is… aggressive with their ads. I was seeing their stuff everywhere, so I decided to try their meds first. But when I got into the actual sign up process, everything felt extremely opaque. Between the lack of info up front about dosage, onset, and duration, these guys almost scared me off ED meds before I ever got started.

The Medication:

Hims uses a combination of Tadalafil and Vardenafil in their Hard Mints. Their goal (like most compound meds) is to hit that sweet spot between a fast onset and a lengthy duration. 

The Sign Up Process:

One area where Hims stands out is the variety of options they have during the signup process. In addition to ED meds, you can get support for stuff like testosterone, weight loss, hair growth, etc. etc. I didn’t need any of this, but I can definitely see the appeal of a one-stop online shop. That being said, when I chose their Hard Mint, there was zero info on what dose I was actually getting throughout the sign up process (unlike every other med I tried). 

The Price:

At $6/pill, Hims actually comes in at the best base price I’ve seen. That being said, their bulk discounts are a little more limited (13% for 3 months and 25% for 5), so if you’re going to be ordering more than a one-month supply at a time, you can actually save more going with Hello Cake

The Experience:

I wound up being prescribed 8.5 mg of Vardenafil and 8.5 mg of Tadalafil, which is a lower-range dose of both. As a first attempt at ED meds, the Hims experience definitely could have been worse (see Rugiet below). The mints are minty, which is nice, but I found the overall performance of the pill to be a bit lackluster. Contrary to Hims’ 15 minute onset claims, I found that they took more like 30 minutes to kick in. And while I did get pleasantly hard, I didn’t quite achieve the “positively throbbing” erection quality I was hoping for. One side effect that did pop up across a couple uses was some mild stomach discomfort which may be attributable to the Vardenafil. Ultimately, this and the onset time led me to consider other ED med options.

Rugiet Ready

Overall rating: 3/10

Rugiet felt super promising (though admittedly branded like they’re catering to a mid-life crisis crowd). My hope was that the lack of Vardenafil would solve the nausea issues and the swap to the troche (dissolvable lozenge type pill) would solve the onset issue of Hims. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.

The Medication:

Rugiet pulls in a bit of a wild card by including newer-to-the-scene Apomorphine alongside Sildenafil and Tadalafil. Personally, it was a bust, but I understand that it works for some people. 

The Sign Up Process:

When it comes to dosage options, Rugiet is the winner. They offer four different combinations of dosage: Max, Medium, and Low Strength + Most Prescribed (which is between Medium and Max). There’s a lot to choose from, which is great if you know exactly what you want and confusing if you don’t.

The Price:

Rugiet is by far the most expensive option I tried at $14-$24 per pill. In fact, they’re one of the most expensive options I’ve found anywhere. That being said, their “discounts” pissed me off, with them crossing off the cost for a doctor consult, which is free everywhere else and including it in their default “$30 savings.” The price per pack varies depending on strength, but you do have the option to save $70 if you order 3 months at a time.

The Experience:

There were two things that jumped out at me when it came to Rugiet: the Apomorphine and dissolvable troche format. Their higher doses looked intimidating, so I started with the lowest one. The troche was definitely a win! And the quick dissolve time is one of my favorite things about Cake. Compared to the chewable Hims mint, it allowed the meds to kick in much faster. However, Apomorphine is an emetic, which means that it causes vomiting :-( While the sublingual delivery method helps mediate this risk for some people, I wasn’t so lucky. And in my house, puking means sex is off the table, making Rugiet a total non-starter.

Ro Sparks by Roman

Overall rating: 7.5/10

After the mess with Hims and Rugiet, #3 on the list was Ro Sparks. Their transparency around dosage and their choice of ingredients were both pretty appealing to me after my first two attempts. 

The Medication:

Sparks combines Sildenafil (55 mg) and Tadalafil (22 mg) for their own little goldilocks moment of fast onset and longer duration, but they swap the chewable mint for a dissolvable “drop” that’s supposed to allow their med to kick in faster. 

The Sign Up Process:

Like Hims, Roman had some extra options in the signup process that could be nice for people looking for a bit more. In addition to their compound med, they also had generic Viagra and Cialis, as well as multivitamins and Testosterone support. One thing I did enjoy is that they were very gender-inclusive, which is great since it’s not just cis men who can need ED meds.

The Price:

At $12/dose, Ro Sparks is firmly in the middle ground, price-wise. They could be better, but they could definitely be worse. They do offer a discount on bulk, 3-month orders, but at $15/13% it’s the least amount of savings I’ve seen and way pricier than the Cake Meds that use the same ingredient combo.

The Experience:

By round 3 with Ro, I felt like I had it. No Vardenafil and no Apomorphine = no vomiting. Plus a dissolvable tablet for a quick onset time and I was golden. And honestly, they were close. Ro promises a quick onset time, which is mostly true. But what they don’t account for is the fact that their pill needs to sit under your tongue for 10 minutes. Which means that their onset time is actually more like 25-30 minutes. But! I didn’t get sick and I did get properly hard. 

The main downside for me with Ro was the flushing. I looked like a tomato dipped in red paint and while I didn’t feel bad per se, it freaked my wife out. I’m not sure if it was the Sildenafil or the significantly higher dose of Tadalafil, but it was hard to focus on sex when my wife was worried about me exploding. Without other dosage options available, and with the let down in onset time, I decided to look for something else.

Hello Cake ED Meds

Overall rating: 9.5/10

This was by far my favorite ED med. I found the combination of ingredients to be the best and most effective for me, and with the available dosage options, it felt like Cake had taken the best of the other meds I’d tried and dialed it all into a singular med. 

The Medication:

Cake has two options for dosage: regular strength which has 40 mg Sildenafil and 8 mg Tadalafil as well as extra strength with 80 mg Sildenafil and 17 mg Tadalafil. Their meds come in a quick-dissolve troche format that needs to spend significantly less time under your tongue than Ro Sparks. 

The Sign Up Process:

Hello Cake’s sign up process is pleasantly straightforward. They don’t have the additional Testosterone / hair loss / weight loss / etc. options that Hims and Roman do, but I don’t miss them. And unlike Rugiet, they only have two dosage options to choose from. 

The Price:

Starting at $7/pill, Cake is just a buck pricier than Hims, but they make up for it with a range of discounts for ordering in bulk. Their 10% discount on a one-month supply actually puts them at $.30 more per pill than Hims if you don’t include Cake’s first time offer, but you can bump up to 30% off if you order a 6-month supply (the steepest bulk discount I’ve seen). 

The Experience:

Introducing the winner! As soon as my first pill kicked in, I looked at my wife and said, “This is the one!” For me, Hello Cake ED Meds nailed it on every front. No nausea. No flushing. Actual quick-dissolve format. 15-minute onset. 36-hour duration. And the kind of perfect, hard all the way to the tip, throbbing erection that makes you feel like the king of the world. After my experience with Ro Sparks, I went with the regular strength Cake Meds, and I’m glad I did. Since I’ve got more moderate ED, I think the extra strength would have been a little bit of overkill and possibly caused the flushing that I experienced with Ro. 

And the sex. I had forgotten how amazing it feels to be able to wake up the morning after a vigorous night in bed and have a slow, tender session. Even being able to masturbate felt like a luxury I’d been denied for ages!

Why Cake?

There’s a lot of things I really, really like about these meds: the dissolvable troche doesn’t need to sit under your tongue all day and lets the medicine kick in fast, they’re good for up to 36 hours thanks to the healthy dose of Tadalafil, and they’ve got an extra-strength options if I ever feel like I need to upgrade beyond the regular dose. 

Most importantly, they were the most effective ED meds I found. With Hello Cake, I don’t feel like I have to plan my life out around my meds. If a spontaneous moment arises, I can be ready to go by the time everyone’s pants are off. And I don’t need to take another pill for round 2 in the morning. 

The quest for the right ED meds was exhausting – and there were major ups and downs. But it was all worth it. Now that I’ve found The One, I finally have my confidence back. And my wife’s and my sex life is, frankly, en fuego. We’ve learned how to communicate better with each other, we’ve started experimenting more (quick shout out to Cake’s line of toys!), and we’ve unlocked a level of intimacy far beyond what we ever had before. 

If you’re interested in trying Hello Cake’s ED meds and experiencing what is, in my opinion, the absolute best ED med out there, you can save 20% on your first order with code: PRIMARY20

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