It’s the match-up of the century! OK, yes, hyperbole. So I know there are roughly 126,039,859,948 reviews of Smart Balls and Luna Beads out there, and mostly they’re positive. I’m not trying to be redundant, but I thought a side-by-side, point-by-point, ball-by-ball comparison of the two systems might be useful for someone trying to decide between them. Off we go!
Price: The Smart Balls clock in in the $20 to $25 range, depending on where you purchase them. The Luna beads are a little more pricey, generally in the $35 to $45 range. For the extra money, you get a reusable storage box and two sets of differently-weighted balls with the Luna Beads. And a one year warranty.
You can see here that the Smart Balls are quite a bit bigger than the Luna Beads, both in length and diameter. The Smart Balls are 4 1/2 inches long and have a diameter of 1 3/8 inches, while the Luna beads are only 3 1/2 inches long and 1 3/8 in diameter: however this measurement includes the girdle, so the balls themselves are actually smaller than that.
The Smart Balls weigh in at 40 grams. The Luna Beads, depending on which weighted balls you have in the girdle (the pink balls are lighter), range from 28 to 74 grams. (Both toys are made in Europe and I’m too lazy to convert out of metric. It’s late.)
Materials: The Smart Balls are made of elastomed (otherwise known as thermoplastic elasomer), which is flexible and phthalates-free. The Luna Beads themselves, on the other hand, are made of plastic, while the girdle that holds the two balls together is made of white silicone.
Experience: I tested each toy for about a week, week 1 the Luna Beads (I’m still on the lower weight pink balls), week 2 the Smart Balls. I used them for about 30 minutes a day, going about my activities: walking to class, sitting in a boring talk, etc (my life is so exciting). One thing I noticed right away when I tried the Smart balls is that I found them a little uncomfortable. It wasn’t constant, definitely more on and off. It wasn’t a high degree of discomfort, but it was definitely noticeable compared to the Luna Beads. I might just have a short vaginal canal or something, but I concluded that the discomfort was due to the larger size of the Smart Balls. The middle part between the beads is definitely more flexible in the Luna Beads than the Smart Balls, which also may have contributed to the minor, occasional discomfort.
Insertion was a little more difficult with the Smart Balls than the Luna Beads, but putting lube on both balls helps a lot (just don’t use silicone lube with the Luna Beads, since the girdle is made of silicone). I couldn’t really feel the weighted balls in either toy unless I was moving around a lot.
During my Luna Bead week, I also tried removing the ball with the retrieval string from the girdle and inserting it by itself. You definitely get more of a traditional Ben Wa kind of experience this way, and it felt like I was getting more of a workout since the diameter of the ball is smaller without the girdle.
In the end, I think I felt more of a difference in muscle strength with the Luna Beads. Maybe it was because I was more enthusiastic about clenching them because there was no risk of discomfort.
Opinion of the rando who owns this blog: Honestly, I like the Luna Beads better. You get a lot more options: you can vary the weight for resistance training of the pelvic floor muscles and you can use the balls individually without the girdle and get a more intense workout.
That said, the differences I’ve noted above between the Smart Balls and the Luna Beads really are nitpicky and minimal. I experienced a little discomfort, but it should be noted that LOTS of other people don’t. Both toys are easy to use and to clean (if anything, the Luna Beads are a little more high maintenance since you can’t use silicone lube). A point in the Smart Balls’ favor is that they come in a huge array of colors. As you can see from the picture above, mine is the metallic green/silver combo, which I think is gorgeous.
I’ve decided I’d like to try using my Pure Wand as a kegelcisor, and eventually as a follow-up to this post I’ll compare the ball system to the wand system. Stay tuned!
Note: Fun Factory manufactures a single ball Smart Ball-type thing called the teneo uno. It doesn’t appear to be marketed in the US at the moment, but if/when it is, I’m all over it.
OK, I really, really like this vibe. Granted, I may be biased since this is the first vibrator with pulsation patterns that I’ve ever used: wow. I have a serious thing for blue, so I bought the baby blue/vanilla color, and it’s tres cute. It’s made of elasomed, which is phthalates-free and non-porous–yay! I tried it out after I had been outlining papers all day and had just had a very irritating conversation with my roommate, so I really needed to unwind. Layaspot did the trick!
Once I had the batteries in the right way, I found the controls to be pretty easy to use. There’s a red light under the +/- buttons that lights up when the vibrator is on. You hold down the + key to turn the Layaspot on. From there, you push the + button to increase the speed of vibration and the - to decrease it (duh). There are three vibration “programs”: a steady-state vibration program, a long pulse program, and a short pulse program. Once you’ve hit the highest vibration setting on the steady-state program, you start to cycle through the long pulse program, and so on. Unfortunately, there’s no kill switch, so to turn the Layaspot off you have to cycle back down all the way. Sad face.
What I really like about the Layaspot is that the tip can be inserted a little way into the vagina, stimulating the most sensitive part (the opening) while hitting your clit as well (and, crucially, everything in between). At it’s lowest setting, it’s almost inaudible, and at the highest, you can muffle it with a blanket (it’s nowhere even NEAR loud enough to be heard through a closed door). The elasomed is hard but feels kind of gentle. However, there’s no give at all. N.B. The Layaspot is supposed to be waterproof, but the seal on the tip of mine doesn’t look all that tight, so I’m not going to risk it. I may take it in the shower, but not in the bath.
So, after the fight with said roommate, I retreated into my room, scowling. I decided to read some erotica to cheer up. Once I was warmed up, I started cycling through the vibration settings on the Layaspot. The first two steady-state vibrations are pretty weak. I decided to stick with the highest steady-state setting, which I was very much enjoying. As I built myself up, I accidentally hit the + button and cycled into the pulsations. Oh. My. God. I came immediately. It was sooooo good. I can foresee using the pulsations a LOT. More experienced users seem to complain about the weakness of the Layaspot’s vibrations, so keep in mind that I’m a relative vibrator noob.
Cleanup was easy: I just used an Afterglow wipe (I adore these things!!!). Soap and water works, too, as well as your standard spray toy cleaner. This toy is pretty low-maintenance. I’ll post an update when I can evaluate the battery-eating capacities of the Layaspot.
All in all, I’m a fan of the Layaspot, kill switch or no kill switch. It may come home with me for the holidays.