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Hims ED Review: Are Hims' ED products and services legit?

Our experts rate and review all Hims ED products and services in terms of quality, cost, privacy, and customer support, as well as current discounts

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Nathan LeDeaux, MD
Last Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Hims Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Review

No man wants to suffer from erectile dysfunction, but ED affects about 1/3 of men worldwide. If you find yourself developing performance issues in bed, you are not alone. The good news is that safe and effective treatments have emerged over the past couple of decades to help men reliably achieve and maintain erections. And Hims is an excellent resource for men seeking a little help.

A comprehensive online men’s health platform, Hims rose to prominence with their erectile dysfunction and hair loss treatments. Their telehealth structure is speedy and straightforward, and it takes much of the awkwardness out of seeking ED medications in person. Hims ED customers regularly receive shipments of their pills and other products in secure, discreet packaging.

Editor's Summary

Overall Rating 8.5 / 10

The Hims ED offerings include effective treatments in generic and brand-name forms. Getting a prescription is private and painless, and shipping is fast and free. Pricing is competitive, but navigating costs and billing options can be confusing.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Easy to set up and get a prescription
  • Proven FDA-approved treatments
  • Board-certified doctors licensed to practice in your state
  • Generic medications are especially well-priced
  • Medical data is encrypted and never shared
  • A free ED consultation is available now for Innerbody readers

Cons

  • Insurance coverage is unlikely
  • No non-prescription options to address ED
  • Pricing structure can get confusing
Our Top Picks

Hims

Hims provides fast, convenient online healthcare aimed at erectile dysfunction and sexual wellness.

Hims is one of the leading online sexual healthcare services for men. Now licensed in all 50 states, Hims gets high marks for doctor quality, privacy, and convenience. Complete a free consultation to get the ED solution best suited for you.

Sildenafil (generic Viagra)
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$4
Stendra
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$29
Viagra
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$70
Tadalafil
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$8

What exactly is Hims?

Hims is a telemedicine company devoted to men’s health. Their site includes everything from hair loss treatments and sexual health products to primary care and mental health services. The majority of their offerings are subscription-based, ensuring that your prescriptions are refilled and shipped regularly.

Hims works with doctors from several specialties, all of whom are board-certified and licensed to practice in enough states that they can service just about anyone in the US. Getting connected with a doctor is as easy as filling out a short questionnaire and setting up a time to chat. Most prescriptions ship from one of Hims’ integrated pharmacies, but you can easily receive your medications from a local pharmacy if you live outside their range.

How we evaluated Hims ED services

We evaluated Hims ED based on the quality and cost of available treatments and the experience of signing up, selecting a medication, and receiving it.

Cost

9.0/10

Compared to buying these meds on the open market without help from an insurance company, Hims’ ED treatment pricing is very favorable. Their best deals come in generic medications, which are affordable for most men with and without insurance that would cover them.

The necessary doctor consultation is free, as is any messaging if you need to ask questions about your medications or explore dosage and frequency adjustments. Shipping is also free with Hims, so ultimately the only cost you incur is the recurring charge for the medication itself.

Treatment options

8.6/10

Hims offers the two most popular treatments for ED on the market in Viagra and Cialis. They also have generic versions of both. That not only helps men without insurance to afford the drugs, it also helps increase the odds that insurance companies will pick up the tab for men who have coverage. That’s because some insurers will only cover the costs of generics, and others will prefer brand-name medications.

Hims also carries Stendra, which is a similar drug to Viagra. Stendra has a smaller side effect profile than Viagra and has less of an effect on blood pressure, which can be a crucial consideration for some men. Unfortunately for some insured patients and anyone uninsured, Hims does not offer Stendra’s generic equivalent avanafil.

Men looking for a more holistic approach to treating their ED will want to look elsewhere. While Hims does offer non-prescription and supplemental treatments for hair loss and skin care, all of their approaches to treating ED are prescription drugs. However, most non-prescription supplements targeted at ED can only boast studies that establish correlation without a whiff of causation. As a result, this didn’t have a heavy impact on Hims’ favorability.

Consultation experience

8.2/10

The initial questionnaire used to create your account and establish a baseline for your needs is easy to answer, even if some of the questions are sensitive. Erectile dysfunction is generally a sensitive topic, and not having to look someone in the eye while describing your problems is definitely a bonus that comes with using Hims.

There is one frustrating thing about the order of operations in the consultation, though. Hims has you review medication options and make a selection before you speak with a doctor. You can switch medicines, dosages, or delivery schedules after you talk to the doctor. Still, many men are liable to have questions they’d rather ask beforehand, and this feels a bit like an unnecessary step backward in the process before you reach the finish line.

Efficiency

8.3/10

The Hims platform is well-designed and simple to navigate. Any investigation of their sexual health products will quickly lead to the opportunity to begin a simple questionnaire and a doctor consultation. That ease of use combines with fast, reliable shipping and an accessible, responsive customer service team to ensure you get the medications you need in short order.

One aspect that can be frustrating to deal with is Hims’ pricing structures. The site does a poor job laying out the exact costs for each available dosage and billing frequency. Your doctor and Hims support staff help you make sense of it all, but it would be a lot more efficient if patients could review that information without working for it.

Summary of Hims ED products and pricing

Hims ED offers various medications, many available for a fraction of the price you would pay via traditional routes. The site has three brand-name prescriptions to combat ED, as well as a pair of generic versions of the most popular drugs:

  • Viagra
  • Sildenafil (generic Viagra)
  • Cialis
  • Tadalafil (generic Cialis)
  • Stendra

All of these ED treatments are PDE5 (phosphodiesterase-5) inhibitors. By blocking PDE5 activity in the body, they boost nitric oxide, which relaxes the smooth muscles of the penis and allows increased blood flow to enable an erection.

Start with Hims

Though they’re all PDE5 inhibitors, these medications also differ in several important ways, so let’s dive deeper into these options you’ll find at Hims.

Hims sildenafil (generic for Viagra)

Hims Sildenafil

Hims sildenafil is the most popular and the most affordable option for ED treatment. Developed in the mid-1990s as a treatment for hypertension and angina pectoris, sildenafil is the oldest phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor prescribed as an ED treatment. Sildenafil has been the subject of rigorous clinical study throughout its lifespan, and those studies (as well as millions of patients) confirm its effectiveness.

Hims also offers flexible sildenafil dosage options, which you can fine-tune with your doctor as you progress with its use. If you take sildenafil at an effective dose, it should take effect in 30-60 minutes and last for about 3-5 hours on average. Some men report that it lasts closer to six hours, while others find that it loses its potency after about two. Early on in treatment, try to keep track of the drug’s performance and any side effects so you can receive the optimal dose.

Hims sildenafil shares its active ingredient with Viagra, but it’s less expensive, making it an excellent choice for uninsured patients.

Hims tadalafil (generic for Cialis)

The FDA approved tadalafil for medical use in the US in 2003. While it is a PDE5 inhibitor, it’s much different than sildenafil or avanafil. Instead of taking it acutely before sexual activity, you take Hims tadalafil once daily, and the medication remains effective in your body for 24-36 hours. For some men, it can last even longer than that.

Like the other ED medications, tadalafil doesn’t start working the moment you swallow the pill; it will take on average 30-60 minutes for the tadalafil to become effective. However, once it is effective, you can enjoy sex spontaneously without the degree of planning that other ED treatments require. This convenience may be why some studies have found that men and their partners often prefer tadalafil to sildenafil.

At Hims and elsewhere, however, you’ll pay a bit more for this added convenience. Per pill, tadalafil is almost twice the price of sildenafil. Nonetheless, it is still much more affordable than its brand-name equivalent.

Hims avanafil (generic for Stendra)

Since avanafil isn’t available yet as a generic, it can’t compete in price with other Hims ED treatments like sildenafil and tadalafil. Stendra at Hims will cost about $116 per month for four 100 mg doses. That works out to $29 per pill.

So why consider Stendra?

  • Stendra takes action faster than the other ED treatments. Clinical studies show that efficacy begins in about 15 minutes.
  • Avanafil, its active ingredient, is the newest PDE-5 inhibitor on the market, approved by the FDA in 2012.
  • Stendra has a more favorable side effect profile than sildenafil, with roughly half the frequency of the most common adverse reactions.
  • On average, Stendra remains effective for about an hour longer than sildenafil.

Hims Viagra and Cialis

Cialis and Viagra from Hims

Hims offers the active ingredients of Viagra and Cialis (sildenafil and tadalafil, respectively) for a much lower price than the brand-name drugs would cost. Still, Hims carries both Viagra and Cialis. Suppose some mens’ insurance covers both generic and brand-name. In that case, they might prefer to go with the trusted brand over the generic despite a lack of significant differences between them. Having both generic and brand names available also increases the odds that you’ll pay less out of pocket if you have insurance.

How Hims works for ED

Hims has a straightforward process for erectile dysfunction treatment that can take as little as 15 minutes to complete. Here’s how it works:

Begin your online Hims ED visit

At the start of your visit, you’ll complete a simple questionnaire about your health, medical history, and lifestyle. Most of the questions are multiple-choice and easy enough to answer, but you will need a blood pressure reading from within the last six months before you can proceed. You can get this done through a doctor’s office, local pharmacy, or PCP, but since the whole point of telemedicine is convenience, you can also use an at-home device.

For a quick video review of the Hims ED online doctors visit, watch here:

Review prescription options and prices

After completing the questionnaire, you’ll review five possible prescription options with associated pricing. Don’t worry if you have questions about the drugs at this point; you can change your medication and adjust its dosage after you chat with your Hims physician.

Choose dosage and frequency

After indicating a treatment preference, you can request a specific dosage and quantity based on your level of sexual activity. Lastly, select a shipping frequency. Most plans offer monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly, or yearly options.

Verify your identity

Next, you’ll upload a photo of your ID and a recent selfie. This is an identity verification step that Hims requires to conduct medical and pharmacy care safely online.

Get matched with a Hims ED doctor

At this step in the process, a doctor reviews your case. In our testing, we received a response within a minute on their secure messaging system providing reading materials related to treatment options. Within about eight hours after that, we received a personalized message from a Hims doctor about our case. He recommended ED medication based on our questionnaire responses. At this stage, you can use Hims’ secure messaging system to ask your doctor any additional questions you may have.

Receive your treatment

Hims ships your medications directly to your door in discreet, secure packaging. In the unlikely event that you live outside the reach of a Hims pharmacy or pharmacy affiliate, a representative will help you set up delivery to a local pharmacy. Shipping is free from Hims, but your local pharmacy may charge a fee for home delivery.

Hims ED prices

Hims ED medication prices will vary based on your dosage and shipping schedule, but here are the baseline costs for some of the most commonly prescribed doses and quantities delivered monthly.

  • Sildenafil (generic Viagra) – $4 per 40mg dose at six doses per month. This comes to $24/month.
  • Viagra (sildenafil citrate) – $70 per 40mg dose at six doses per month. This comes to $420/month.
  • Tadalafil (generic Cialis) – $8 per 5mg dose. A monthly supply of 30 pills costs $240.
  • Cialis – $19 per 5mg dose. A monthly supply of 30 pills costs $570.
  • Stendra – $29 per 100mg dose at four doses per month. Billed quarterly, this comes to $116/month.

HSA, FSA, and health insurance

Some insurance companies will cover generic ED medications, but not brand-name pills; others do the opposite. HSA and FSA card issuers almost universally deny all claims through Hims. We recommend prospective patients check out their insurance plans carefully to ensure that they cover out-of-network services like Hims.

Some patients prefer to pay out-of-pocket for inexpensive generic treatments like sildenafil to avoid insurance headaches.

Privacy

Hims takes data privacy very seriously. They encrypt all of your medical data and will never share it. All data is 256 bit SSL/TLS encrypted in motion and at rest and fulfills SOC2 security requirements.

Hims ED review

That said, the Hims website uses cookies and trackers for both user experience and marketing purposes. Opting out of these cookies and trackers isn’t as simple as setting some preferences, either. You actually have to call or send an email explicitly asking to opt out, and Hims warns that doing so will significantly degrade the site’s performance on your account.

How Hims ED compares to the competition

There are a few popular alternatives to Hims for men seeking help with their erectile dysfunction. Some boast slight advantages over Hims, but as of right now, Hims is the only major provider we like that offers Stendra as an alternative to Viagra. For men looking to minimize their risk of adverse reactions (especially those with good insurance), this makes Hims an attractive choice. You also might find yourself sticking with Hims for ED service out of convenience if you already have an account there to receive things like skincare products or hair loss treatments. That said, it is worth looking at what other companies have to offer.

BlueChew

BlueChew is one of Hims’ top competitors in the sexual health space. Their selection is a bit more limited than the Hims ED options (no Stendra), but their meds come in a convenient chewable form that many men find much easier to take than traditional pills.

They also utilize a tiered pricing system of doses and quantities based on your level of sexual activity. That makes it especially easy to know what strength you want and how often you want it. They provide access for 48 of the 50 US states, and they deliver your meds right to your door. Perhaps most enticing, they offer a free trial.

Roman

Like Hims, Roman has a nice variety of health services on their website, including products that help with weight loss and allergies. Their prices are comparable to Hims, but like BlueChew, they don’t offer Stendra at this time. They do have an easy-to-digest price list, however, which is something that Hims could use.

Perhaps the biggest knock on Roman is that they charge $15 for an initial consultation. Hims and many other competitors offer that consultation for free or bundle it within their subscription structure.

GoodRx

GoodRx is a subscription service that allows its users to access a litany of pharmaceuticals through their network of physicians. Their monthly cost of $5.99 is relatively low, but it also costs $19 for the average consultation, making the total initial cost higher than much of the competition. Also, while shipping is free, GoodRx charges a service fee of around $6 with each order.

Unlike Hims ED, GoodRx doesn’t offer Stendra. However, they do have vardenafil (generic for Levitra) as an alternative to Viagra. Vardenafil has a slightly better side effect profile than Viagra, but its frequency of adverse reactions is still higher than Stendra.

Why you can trust us

At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including Hims. All told, our team has spent over 95 hours testing and researching Hims’ ED services and those of their chief competitors in order to provide an accurate, unbiased analysis of how they compare, free of marketing jargon and gimmicks.

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions to live healthier lifestyles. We evaluate the service based on adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this Hims ED review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

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