Hims is an innovator in online healthcare for men, combining the doctor’s visit and a pharmacy on the Internet. Hims got started after CEO Andrew Dudum’s sister confronted him in 2016 about his neglected health.
After starting in skincare, Dudum and Hims have expanded into sexual health treatments for men, including erectile dysfunction (ED). So how does Hims stack up? Does Hims provide a quality service that will lead to positive health outcomes for men dealing with ED? And how do the costs compare to alternatives? We thoroughly tested Hims to give you a breakdown of the pros, cons, and everything you can expect before you consider becoming a patient.
- Convenience - The entire doctor’s visit plus pharmacy is online.
- Effectiveness - Hims ED treatments are proven safe and effective for most men with ED.
- No waiting - Your online visit begins as soon as you sign up.
- Quality care - All Hims doctors are licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. and are Board-certified in one of many medical specialties.
- Low cost - The generic medications are especially well priced.
- Privacy - Your personal medical data is encrypted and never shared.
- Insurance coverage will vary depending on the prescription and plan.
- Most non-prescription treatment options would benefit from self-guided research or, in some cases, an in-person doctor’s visit.
For men who know what they want and need, Hims is an excellent solution for ED treatment. Their service eliminates a trip both to a doctor’s office and to a pharmacy. Because of Hims’ speed, convenience, and low-priced generic drugs, we recommend Hims for ED treatment.
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. *Prescription products require a consultation with a physician who will determine if prescription is appropriate.
- Why you should trust us
- How Hims works for ED
- Summary of Hims ED products and pricing
- Hims sildenafil review
- Hims tadalafil
- Hims avanafil (Stendra)
- Hims Viagra and Cialis
- Is Hims for me?
- Alternatives and complements to Hims ED treatment
- Caveats but not deal-breakers
- How we evaluate home health products and services
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This review, like all medical-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for medical accuracy. Additionally, we extensively test, experience, and order from each medical service we review. In this case, our team has spent many hours testing the Hims ED service as patients, chatting with Hims doctors on their messaging system, and receiving Hims ED medication in the mail.
We try our best to give you, our readers, unbiased, marketing-jargon-free descriptions of all the at-home health services evaluated based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.
Hims has developed a very simple process for erectile dysfunction treatment. As most men coming to the site for this reason already know what they want, Hims has tailored a process that can take as little as 15 minutes to complete, from our testing. Here’s how the process for ED works.
Begin your online doctors visit
If you are a US resident, Hims offers a free online doctor’s visit. To start, patients complete an online questionnaire about their health, medical history, and lifestyle. The approximately 20 questions are primarily multiple choice. Most of the questions can be answered easily, but patients will need to know their blood pressure in the last 6 months.
Review prescription options and prices
After completing the questionnaire, patients get to review five possible prescription options with associated pricing. You can find details about all of the treatment options and related pricing later in this review.
Choose dosage and frequency
After indicating a treatment preference, you will let the doctors at Hims know how often you’d plan to use it (per month). If approved later for a prescription, this will help determine how many pills per month you might need. Additionally, if you have experience with ED medication, you can indicate your preference for dosage per pill. For example, Hims recommends 60 mg of Viagra or generic equivalent per dose if you are new to the drug.
Lastly, select a shipping frequency. 1-, 3-, and 6-month plans are available.
Verify your identity
Next, you will be asked to 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 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. And then, within 8 hours, we received a personalized message from a Hims doctor about our case. We were recommended ED medication based on our questionnaire responses. At this stage, patients can message any questions to the doctor about their individualized treatment recommendation in the Hims secure messaging system.
Receive your treatment
If you are a good candidate for ED medication and have no further questions, the doctor will prescribe your treatment. At this point, Hims ships your drugs directly to your home. In our case, medication arrived within a few days.
For example, here is the Hims ED medication one of our testers received.
Personal medical data is encrypted and never shared according to Hims policies. As a telemedicine provider, Hims adheres to HIPAA law that protects the privacy of patients. All data is 256 bit SSL/TLS encrypted in motion and at rest and fulfills SOC2 security requirements.
Hims offers a variety of ED medications, many available for a fraction of the price you would pay via traditional routes. In total, there are five options for prescription ED treatment. If you examine them by active ingredient, however, you actually find three different active ingredients:
Sildenafil is the active ingredient in Viagra, while tadalafil is the active ingredient in Cialis. Stendra’s active ingredient is avanafil, but avanafil isn’t available in generic form.
All of these ED treatments are classified as PDE5 (phosphodiesterase-5) inhibitors. By blocking PDE5 activity in the body, they give a boost to a different chemical – nitric oxide, which tells the smooth muscles of the penis that it’s time to relax and allow increased blood flow to enable an erection.
Hims ED Prices
- Sildenafil (generic Viagra) – $4 per 40-mg pill, starting at six pills per month. This comes to $24/month.
- Tadalafil (generic Cialis) – Close to $8 per pill at a 5 mg dosage, you can buy them in a monthly quantity of 30 pills for $235/month.
- Stendra – Starting at $116/month for four pills, Hims’ Stendra costs $29 per dose.
- Viagra (sildenafil citrate) – $85 per pill. You can purchase Viagra from Hims as five pills per month for a price of $425.
- Cialis – The same strength as the tadalafil (5 mg), but over $17 per pill. The monthly total for a 30-pill supply at Hims is $520.
HSA, FSA, and health insurance
Insurance coverage will vary depending on the prescription and plan. We recommend prospective patients check out their insurance plans carefully to ensure that out of network services like Hims will be covered. For the inexpensive generic drug options and the overall convenience, some patients prefer Hims regardless of insurance coverage for the convenience and speed of care.
Hims sildenafil is the most affordable option for ED treatment. As the oldest of the prescription ED treatments, sildenafil has been the subject of the most rigorous clinical study. Studies (as well as millions of patients) confirm its effectiveness.
Hims sildenafil is the same active ingredient as what comes in Viagra but significantly cheaper than the little blue pill. Sildenafil is the most popular Hims ED treatment.
Not only is it most affordable, but Hims sildenafil also offers the most flexible dosage options, which the prescribing Hims doctor will work out with you during consultation and follow-up. Based on our testing and review process, Hims provides a very convenient and professional telemedical service helping men fine-tune their sildenafil dosage to achieve the ideal treatment experience.
If you take sildenafil at an effective dose for you, it should become 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. If this is your first time using sildenafil (or any of the other Hims ED treatments), it’s safest to assume at first that the medication will lose effect earlier in that span of time.
Sildenafil can also inhibit PDE6, which means that it does result in a slightly higher chance of side effects. However, side effects for all of these medications are uncommon and typically mild. Share any side effects with your Hims doctor nonetheless, since they could be cause for concern based on your medical history and also because you could potentially prevent them by adjusting your dosage.
While it is a PDE5 like the other Hims ED treatments, tadalafil is much different than sildenafil or avanafil. Instead of taking a medication as-needed – in other words, 15-60 minutes before you want to have sex, depending on the medication – you can take Hims tadalafil dose once per day like a multivitamin. 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. This is the average amount of time before effectiveness; some men require longer, up to two hours. However, once it is effective, the daily dosing option of tadalafil allows people to enjoy sex spontaneously, without the degree of planning that other ED treatments require. This may be why some studies have found that men and their partners often prefer tadalafil to sildenafil.
You pay a bit more for this added convenience, however. Per pill, tadalafil is almost twice the price of Him sildenafil. Nonetheless, it is still much more affordable than other ED medications.
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. Compare that to Hims sildenafil, which will cost about as much for an entire month of service as Stendra costs for a single pill.
So why consider Stendra? Avanafil, its active ingredient, is the newest PDE-5 inhibitor to be marketed, having become FDA-approved in 2012. You get some advantages along with that bigger price tag:
- Stendra takes action faster than the other ED treatments. Clinical studies show that it becomes effective in about 15 minutes.
- Stendra more accurately targets PDE-5, which means the chance of side effects is even slimmer than with the other ED medications. If you’ve given up on other ED treatments because of issues with minor but bothersome side effects, Stendra might solve your problems.
- On average, Stendra remains effective for about an hour longer than sildenafil and Viagra.
Hims offers the active ingredients of Viagra and Cialis (sildenafil and tadalafil, respectively) for a much lower price than the brand-name drugs cost. Viagra is expensive (many times more expensive than the generic at Hims), while opting for tadalafil will cut your cost in half compared to brand-name Cialis.
With the generics available and promising the same pharmacological effects, it’s hard for many people to fathom the reasons to take Viagra and Cialis rather than sildenafil and tadalafil. After all, why spend more money on the same medication?
However, it’s important to remember that there is a larger psychological component to ED for some men than there is for other men. ED can be caused by a purely physical condition, such as a lack of sufficient blood flow in the penis to achieve and sustain an erection. For other men, psychological conditions such as anxiety play a major role in causing ED.
If a man has had success treating ED with Viagra or Cialis, the higher price tags might not matter to him because of a track record of success with Viagra or Cialis. The confidence in using what has proven effective for him may be well worth the higher price.
Additionally, in the case of Viagra, dosage options per pill do vary between Viagra and the generic sildenafil. In this case, a man might experience the best and most convenient dosage from one version of sildenafil than the other.
Hims offers both the generic (less expensive) and the brand-name (more expensive) ED treatments, which allows men and their doctors to determine the best course of treatment via online consultation.
Though Hims does talk about non-drug influences on ED – such as stress, exercise, and sleep – Hims might not be a perfect fit for someone who wants to treat drugs as a last resort and explore non-prescription solutions first. However, for men who know what they want, Hims is an excellent service.
Hims is a great service if you know that ED medication is a good solution for you. Patients get to bypass trips to an office for an in-person visit followed by what would normally be another visit to a pharmacy. The speed, privacy, and convenience of Hims are far superior to a traditional doctor’s visit.
For a quick video review of the Hims online doctors visit for ED, watch here:
As an alternative or complement to a Hims prescription ED treatment, we recommend exploring some of the latest scientific research around sexuality and desire. Most men don’t understand that over the last 20 years, the most scientifically respected model of sexuality is called the dual control model. It posits that sexual arousal is influenced by a series of “accelerators,” while inhibition is influenced by “brakes.” These accelerators and brakes can be highly influenced by environmental and psychological factors.
Everyone’s accelerators and brakes are different. For more information, our most highly recommended book exploring this research for the general public is Come as You Are by sex researcher Dr. Emily Nagoski. In addition to reviewing the latest science, it contains a quiz that helps readers understand and self-diagnose their own accelerator and brakes system. This kind of sexual self-awareness can be a replacement or a great complement to prescription drug treatment.
During testing, when one of our team members received a Hims prescription for sildenafil in the mail, the pharmacy paperwork described the drug as follows: “It is used to treat high blood pressure in the lungs. It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.” Because of our research background, we know that sildenafil is an FDA-approved medication for ED treatment, but the paperwork didn’t mention anything about the reason Hims prescribed the medication.
Prescription drugs are often prescribed for different reasons. In this case, sildenafil is sometimes prescribed for patients with blood pressure conditions, but it is also effective for ED. We wanted to share this observation in advance because, otherwise, the messaging may confuse some patients who expect their prescription paperwork to be all about erectile dysfunction.
We customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For most online healthcare services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: Are the doctors on the service licensed to practice in the US? Are the physicians board-certified in the relevant practice areas? Do they have a high-quality medical review board with oversight? Are their treatment options FDA-approved?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the test provider offer discounts or free services to our readers?
Customer support: How well does the healthcare provider help you choose the best treatment? How clearly are the options presented? How well does the healthcare company help you understand options and get treatment if necessary?
Privacy: Are all treatments sent in discreet packaging? Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?
Speed: How fast will you receive your treatment from the moment you click “buy?” Are the doctors and medical professionals responsive to your questions and needs when you are messaging them? Are the waiting times stated by the company accurate and consistent?