Unbound Ranks: Wrist Restraints


The concept of wrist restraints in the bedroom can conjure images of fuzzy pink novelty handcuffs or cheesy bad cop roleplay.  In truth, a multiplicity of different kinds of wrist restraints exist for both light and more intense bondage play.  When considering wrist bondage there are a number of important considerations to bear in mind:  

  • Fit: Cuffs can be designed to hold wrists together in a single bind, or with a short tether between each cuff, or as a set of two independent restraints allowing for a much greater range of movement. Cuffs made of hard materials (metal, e.g.) have limited give and can cause nerve damage or limit circulation if applied too tightly and should never be used for weight-bearing or suspension bondage. Beginners should look for a soft, wide adjustable cuff that can distribute weight evenly and be released quickly in the event of an emergency. Tie-based restraints are more advisable for more intermediate bondage practitioners, as their supple textures can result in material tightening under tension.  
  • Material: Wrist restraints are available in a wide range of materials including be leather, silk, or synthetic materials.  Be sure to verify that any cuff you don is not made of a material you may be allergic to (latex, e.g.). To reiterate, hard materials like metal (or those which generate a lot of friction like leather) can also prove uncomfortable when strained against and should only be used for light restriction of movement or by more advanced bondage practitioners.  
  • Mechanism: Wrist restraints can be used standalone or in conjunction with restraints for other parts of the body and can be secured by everything from a key lock ratcheting mechanism (in the case of more traditional handcuffs) to velcro or as simple as a slip knot tie. Traditional key lock handcuffs have a detent which stops the cuff from ratcheting tighter when locked.  When using keylock cuffs always make sure you know where to find and how to access the key(s), just in case.  
  • Positioning: Never use cuffs to constrict your body in a contortive position that induces acute pain or numbness.  Easy and safe beginner positions involve cuffing the wrists behind the back at the waist or overhead when lying on your back (consider looping the restraints around a bed post for additional leverage).   
  • Consent: always agree on a safe word even when experimenting with light bondage (see our guide to bondage basics here).  Never leave a bound person unattended.  

With so many extant varieties on the market suited to different kinds of bondage, we made a point to cover a gamut of styles in sourcing samples from the best reputed manufacturers for testing.  Our results for the cuffs that dominate when you’re looking to submit are below:

  1. STANDARDS: Only the best for our babes. All the products we consider curating must first meet two stringent standards:
  • 100% Body safe: we do not sell handcuffs made of non-body safe materials or that could causing unanticipated physical harm (e.g. through nerve pinching or compressed circulation). We only source wrist restraints from suppliers that manufacture to the highest safety and quality standards.
  • Aligned manufacturer ethos: we only source wrist restraints from manufacturers that are pro-woman and body-positive (like us!). We do not source products that feature packaging or language that is offensive to women. 
  1. RESEARCH: In sourcing samples to evaluate, we focused on those that had received the best ratings in terms of what we deem to be the core quality metrics that impact user experience, namely:
  • Aesthetics: whether or not the packaging and product are visually appealing
  • Ease of use: how challenging the restraints are to put on and secure
  • Texture: the feel of the material against the skin of the wearer
  • Comfort: Whether the product pinches or grips the wrist uncomfortably or not
  • Effectiveness: Tensile strength / how well the product holds against normal resistance 
  • Versatility: Whether the product can accommodate use on other parts of the body or with other restraints   

Based on our research of customer reviews, we sourced nine different wrist restraints reputed to perform well across those metrics and then proceeded to conduct comparative testing with our internal team and select external volunteers. 

  1. TESTING: Our ten willing volunteers represented a variety of ages, genders and body types. One at a time, candidates then had each of the ten restraint samples secured on their wrists by one of our administrators.  Each restraint was cinched so as to lie flush against the wrists without exerting any additional pressure.  In the case of independent restraints (separate satin ties, e.g.) the two restraints were joined together so as to allow the tester to exert resistance on both cuffs simultaneously.  Participants were then asked to strain against the cuffs and comment on the texture and comfort of the restraints both while resting and while resisting.  In addition to providing feedback on all of the above metrics we also asked all participants to provide a holistic score for each restraint on a scale of 1-10.  These scores were averaged and used as a basis to rank all the samples that were tested.

Participant average ratings:

KinkLab

SXY

Quickie Cuffs

Luz de la Riva

Bijoux Silky Restraints

Wrist Restraint 1

Wrist Restraint 2

Wrist Restraint 3

Wrist Restraint 4

Aesthetics

7

7

8

10

8

6

6

10

9

Ease of Use

8

7

10

8

8

8

8

4

8

Texture

7

8

7

10

9

5

5

8

7

Comfort

7

9

8

10

8

7

7

7

5

Effectiveness/

Durability

9

9

6

8

8

7

7

2

8

Versatility

6

9

6

9

10

9

9

5

8

Holistic Rating

8

9

8

9

8

6

6

6

7

Juliette Cuffs De Luxe

Most comfortable: Far and away the most comfortable restraints we tested were silk or silken ties.  With the most amount of give and the least amount of friction, Luz de La Riva's Juliette Cuffs were incredibly supple against the wrist (the Swarovski crystal accents did not pinch unduly but rather had a smooth metal backing that allowed them to slide comfortably on the skin) while at a lower price point we found Bijoux Indiscret's Silky Sensual handcuffs also felt wonderfully smooth, if slightly less sturdy than the Luz cuffs.  

Quickie Cuffs

Easiest to use: While Quickie Cuffs are not ideally suited to more intense restraint play (as they can slip off especially narrow wrists if strained against too much), they require no elaborate ties, buckles, or clasps and so can be a great convenient option in the heat of the moment.  The soft silicone has a pleasant texture and is thick enough to withstand a high degree of tension.  We also love these as a great vacation option, since they won't set off a metal detector at the airport.

Most versatile: While perhaps not the most fashion-forward option, we found Creative Conception's SXY neoprene cross restraint cuffs to be extremely versatile (and comfortable!): the adjustable, velcro-secured cuffs can be used to fasten wrists together in a single bind for more restrictive play or in separate loops joined by a swiveling connector for an improved range of motion.  The cuffs also feature a metal D connector for additional compatibility with other restraint sets.  For a more sensual option we again had to praise Bijoux Indiscret's Silky Sensual handcuffs as their adjustable loops made them easily suited to binding wrists, ankles, or (when straightened out) serving as an elegant blindfold or gag.   

Creative Conceptions SXY Deluxe Neoprene Cross Restraint Cuffs, 131 Gram

Most effective / durable: At the end of the day, the most comfortable or beautiful restraint in the world isn't worth much if it can't effectively restrict movement.  We asked all our testers to put all the sample cuffs to the test by straining and twisting with a level of intensity they believed mimicked the level of exertion they would experience in the bedroom.  While some of our restraints saw slippage (and in one case, damage), Creative Conception's SXY cuffs and KinkLab's traditional metal handcuffs proved the most resilient under stress, though we note that both might not be a suitable option for someone looking for a wider range of motion (as both bind the wrists rather closely together).  

  1. REVIEWS:

The final (and most important) part of our curation process involves you!  We continually hone our product offering based on feedback from our customers and our testers in order to make decisions about which products to carry every quarter:

If you have tried one of our featured cuffs and would like to share your opinion with us please email thegirls@unboundbox.com.  All input- positive, constructive or otherwise will receive a discount code by way of thanks, so tell us what you really think! 

If you would be interested in helping our team test samples of restraints (or other products) in the future or for any further inquiries about our curation methodology please email lorraine@unboundbox.com.

 

Sources: 

1. Veux, Franklin "Cuffs and How to Use Them".  

2.Secret Pleasures Boutique "How to Choose Handcuffs"

3.Sexuality.org "Guide to Steel Bondage"

4.Simply SXY "Basic rules for handcuffs to make your play kinky and safe"

5.Zeromag "BDSM Saftey and Common Sense"


Whatcha think?


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