Pictured above: me holding lots of different rope

updated broken link Aug '21

This guide first describes some of the important attributes rope can have, then goes through each kind of rope you could buy and what properties each has.

Don't want to read the whole guide? Here are three quick suggestions:

  • The good stuff for a little more money from a specialty store: 6mm twisted hemp. Expect this to cost about 35 USD for a 30ft bundle, but may cost up to 60 USD for specialty colors and treatments.
  • Solid inexpensive beginner rope from some specialty stores: 1/4in MFP (link). Expect this to cost about 35 cents per foot.
  • Inexpensive, widely available rope that's harder to work with: 1/4in braided Nylon (link). Expect this to cost about 15 - 30 cents per foot.

Stores I have personally bought rope from and recommend

  • Passional - All their rope is great, but there's more in the store than online.
  • Agreeable Agony - Their MFP is affordable with an enormous selection of colors.


  • Braided or Twisted
    Looking at the surface of the rope, it will likely either look like it's twisted or like it is woven into a checkerboard pattern. Twisted rope doesn't warp as much as braided rope does under stress (such as a suspension).

  • Natural Fiber vs Synthetic Fiber:
    The material either comes from a plant, or it was made in a factory.

  • Grip - Strong or Weak:
    Rope with strong grip makes it harder for knots to fall apart even when they're poorly tied. Rope with weak grip may let even well tied knots losten, slip, or fall apart.

  • Burn Speed - High or Low:
    Ever had a rope burn? Ropes with high burn speeds have to be pulled past skin at high speeds to start that unpleasant friction burn. Ropes with low burn speeds can burn skin much more easily because they can do it at lower speeds.

  • Comfort - Smooth or Scratchy
    When rope is on skin it could feel anywhere from silky smooth to as scratchy as a hay bail.

  • Strength - Measured in lbs or kilonewtons:
    There are actually several measurements of strength like breaking strength and working strength but generally we just care if it's safe for suspension bondage or not.

  • Antibacterial - Yes or No
    Some rope is natually antibacterial. Most isn't.

There are tons of other attributes like stretch, wet strength, shock absorbtion, and more but those don't matter nearly as much for bondage.

Types of Rope

Twisted Hemp

Natural Fiber
Grip: Fairly Strong
Burn Speed: Medium
Comfort: Only a little scratchy. Good conditioning makes it softer.
Strength: Safe and popular for suspension
Cost: About 35 for a bundle of 30 ft
Other notes: By far the most popular bondage rope! I highly recommend it.

Braided MFP (multi-fiber propylene)

Synthetic Fiber
Grip: Weak
Burn Speed: Low
Comfort: Smooth
Strength: In theory it's safe for suspension, but it stretches almost as much as Nylon so I would also strongly advise against it.
Cost: About 10 USD for a bundle of 30 ft
Other notes: Recommended as a great starter rope by many BDSM shops. It's waterproof and one of the lightest fibers you can buy!

Braided Nylon

Synthetic Fiber
Grip: Weakest
Burn Speed: Very low
Comfort: Silky smooth
Strength: In theory it's safe for suspension, but it stretches so much I would strongly advise against it.
Cost: About 15 - 30 cents per foot (depends on bulk amount)
Other notes: Popular with beginners because it's very cheap and very soft. Beware that certain knots may just fall apart becasue it has so little grip. Although it used to be a favorite of mine, I rarely use it anymore

Twisted Jute

Natural Fiber
Grip: Strongest
Burn Speed: Low
Comfort: Like a bale of hay. Good conditioning can reduce it to being just scratchy.
Strength: Safe and popular for suspension
Cost: About 35 for a bundle of 30 ft
Other notes: The most traditional choice for Japanese Kinbaku

Twisted Bamboo

Natural Fiber
Grip: Medium
Burn Speed: Medium
Comfort: Smooth
Strength: In theory, it is safe for suspension, but I have never seen anyone choose to do this.
Cost: About 35 for a bundle of 30 ft
Other notes: It's antibacterial! Great for using on faces and in mouths. A great rope to add to your existing collection.

There are many more reasonable choices for rope bondage, but these are what I have lots of experience using myself. Let me know if you think I'm missing an important one!