Lelo Hula Beads Review (2023) – Replaced by Lelo Smart Bead

lelo hula beads full package

Lelo has certainly been featured on this site before, and as we have always noted, they are considered a reliable luxury brand for women’s sex toys for some very good reasons! It makes sense why I was so excited when I heard that they were sending me their high-tech version of the benoit balls, the Hula Beads.

At first glance, I thought I was looking at an anal toy, but after a little bit of investigation, I realized that this is in fact something that should only be inserted vaginally.

Update (2023): Lelo Hula Beads have now been replaced by Lelo Smart Bead.

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I’ve spent a good while playing with my new toy, so without further ado, check out what I’ve discovered!

Discreet Hula Beads Packaging for the Win

discreet delivery

Here’s the other side of the UPS package. Once again, nothing to identify what might be inside or to indicate that it is of a sexual nature.

lelo hula beads packaging

You can see the Lelo brand name right through the packaging; they really do make it look quite classy!

opening hula beads box

Our first look inside the box. Lelo always does a good job of packaging things. This time, they did a good enough job it was a little tough to remove.

hula beads named on inner box

This is the bright orange label that tells us that yes, I am getting Lelo’s Hula Beads, and that I am getting the black version as opposed to the violet or teal versions.

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Lelo goes out of its way to make sure that its customers have all the privacy that they wish, and it shows in their packaging. The Hula Beads arrived at my door in this discreet UPS flyer package, and when I checked the return address, there was nothing to suggest that I was getting a sex toy. Well done there!

Opening the flyer revealed a cardboard box sealed with packaging tape. The tape informed me that if the seal was broken, I should verify the contents. That, along with the bright orange label stating that I was getting Hula Beads, means that this second layer is a bit less discreet, so be wary when you open the plastic packaging.

Finally, we’re to the good parts, and after removing a foam wrapper, there’s Lelo’s signature classy packaging. A cardboard box is opened to reveal a nicer, sturdier cardboard box inside, and in the foam lining, we’ve struck gold, or in this case, black and chrome.

Insertable Toy, Charger, 2 AA batteries, Key, Bag, Instructions, Toy Lubricant

lelo hula beads full package

A shot of absolutely everything. It’s a little hard to see the vibrator itself, but this shot shows you everything in proportion and how small the toy itself is.

lelo personal moisturizer

Always considerate, Lelo includes its own name-brand toy lubricant with everything. They call it personal moisturizer, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what it’s for.

hula beads charger

The charge cord. Simple, easy to use, and two-pronged. It even has a nice horizontal layout for the prongs so I can fit things above and below it on the power strip.

batteries included hula beads

Lelo shows us how thoughtful it is again. This toy comes with the necessary two AAA batteries for the controller.

Lelo really earned its luxury branding when I figured out exactly what the Hulu Beads come with. In the first place, you’ve got the insertable toy itself and the controller, which I get to below, and you also get the 2 AAA batteries that the toy itself comes with. That already saved me a run to the drug store, so major thumbs-up there.

As with every Lelo toy I’ve bought or tested, there is a packet of toy lubricant, called personal moisturizer, and a bag to store the whole lot in once it is out of the box. As always, there are some very thorough instructions, and even some handy illustrations this time around.

Hula Beads First Impressions: What a Cute Toy, and My, It Feels Nice!

When I got a good look at the toy itself, I liked the look of it. I’ve used benoit balls before, and though they’re fun, there’s not much to them. This is obviously a toy designed with the vagina in mind, and I noticed that there was a little tilt to the rounded heat, which is where it should rotate against the G-spot quite nicely.

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holding lelo hula beads

Another shot of the Hula Beads in my hand. As you can see, it is fairly narrow, relatively short toy.

I quickly got the toy plugged in and sat down to read the instructions and to figure out the controller.

The controller consists of a black body and a chrome cover. Once you pop the batteries in, the cover settles over it, and you insert the edge of the key into the notch in the cover and turn the cover less than a centimeter to the right, locking the cover on.

Reading over the instructions, I discovered to my delight that this toy is completely water-proof, which means both shower fun and easy washing up. I also learned that it requires a water-based lubricant. I appreciate the lubricant that is sent along, but as with most toys, I prefer to default to SLiquid Silk.

When the toy is charging, there is a white button flashing on the rounded part below the rotating head, and once the white button simply shines steadily, you’re good to go. I will say that the instructions told me to charge it for two hours, but it charged fully in less time.

charging hula beads

Here we have the little glowing signal that tells you when the Hula Beads are charging. I had to snap this quick as it blinks off and on.

The Learning Curve: Really, Read the Instructions

Now let me be up front. Hula Beads are not hard to use. At all. They are in fact ridiculously simple.

However, they are more sophisticated than your average sex toy, and that means that you need to pay attention. Before I got started, I fiddled with the controls and figured out what they do and how they work. It took me a little bit before I was really comfortable. There are three modes to get into, and they all have different strengths.

For those who want the quick and dirty usage instructions, first, turn on both the controller and the insertable. Hit the button marked () once on the controller, and the power button on the insertable once. At that point, you should be ready to go in Mode 1. Hitting the () button again takes you to Mode 2, and hitting the () button again after that takes you to Mode 3.

The controller vibrates in in tandem with what the insertable is doing. If you are holding the controller and using it on someone else, this gives you a good idea of what they are feeling. If you want to disable the feedback vibration, just hold down the () button for five seconds.

To turn off the toy, hold down the power button on the insertable for 3 seconds, and the () on the controller for 3 seconds.

I actually had the toy inserted before I figured out the finer points, and it might have gone faster if I’d been more diligent about testing it out!

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Insertion’s a Breeze if You’ve Used a Tampon

The instructions actually tell you to insert the toy as you would a tampon, and that’s pretty convenient. For me, given the fact that I have relatively full labia and a narrow vagina, that means putting one foot up on the chair and inserting the toy so that its head is pointed towards the base of my spine.

A little bit of water-based lubricant on the head made this a lot easier than it would go without, so do be liberal with the lubricant.

Once in, I found this toy very comfortable. I had to push it in rather firmly to make sure that it was in all the way, but once inserted, it did not make me sore and I did not feel like it wanted to slide out. The string did not get in the way at all, and walking, lying down on my back and my stomach, and bending over were not problems at all. Sitting down takes a bit of care, but can also be accomplished successfully.

lelo hula beads on bed

Here are the Hula Beads and the controller together on my bedspread. This gives you an idea of how they look in relation to one another.

Now that it was in, it was time to play with the controller!

Mode 1: Tilt to Increase and Decrease the Vibrations

Mode 1 and Mode 2 are definitely the ones to play with with a partner.

In Mode 1, holding the controller horizontally will keep the rotation of the head and the vibration of the toy at a very low but still discernable buzz. Holding the controller vertically will bring the toy to a spot just shy of its maximum vibrations.

I experimented with this, and it was a lot of fun playing with how finely you could control the vibrations this way. This is far and away superior to other toys which have almost had audible clicks as you change the frequency, and the action is nicely consistent compared to other remote controlled devices.

Mode 2: Shake to Create Vibrations

Another click of the () takes you to Mode 2, where shaking the controller itself will lead an intensity of the vibrations. This is an interesting feature, and it is one I think has a lot to do with getting your partner involved. This puts the vibration that you are experiencing totally (and literally!) into their hands, and that’s a fun power trip!

I found that you got the most intense vibration with a very sharp, quick shake. I held between my thumb and forefinger and just shook from the wrist, rather than the elbow.

Once again, the Hula Beads proved themselves to be very responsive, and it was a lot of fun to shake the controller and vary what the vibration was doing.

Mode 3: Six Vibration Styles to Choose From!

In Mode 3, we’re into what I would think is the best option for solo play. Like every Lelo toy I’ve gotten to test, the motion and vibration is powerful and steady, and these toys are designed very much for solo pleasure. While there’s nothing saying that you can’t use this mode with your partner, these are the ones that you can easily have some fun with on your own.

If you do decide to use this on someone else with the controller in your hand, it’s worth leaving the vibrating feedback on. The vibrations on the controller mimic the vibrations going on in the insertable, and you will always know what the person wearing the insertable part is feeling.

At this point, it’s worth pointing out that while these vibration styles can be accessed on the controller, you can also access them by pressing the power button on the insertable itself. There are six different modes to choose from, and though I’m pretty sure that everyone is going to have their favorite, it’s worth learning about all six of them. So, taking them one at a time, check out what’s available! All of them have the same rotation on the head; the only thing that changes is the vibration.

Vibration Style 1: Steady

This is the basic garden-variety vibrator buzz, but with Lelo’s use of rechargeable technology, remember that you are getting a lot of power! This is steady vibration is perfect if you are someone who needs something very regular to get you off.

Vibration Style 2: Pulsing

These vibrations pulse off and on, going right from a low buzz to a strong buzz. I like this less well than Vibration Style 1, but it does come in a close second.

Vibration Style 3: Short, Rapid Pulses

The short rapid pulses for Vibration Style 3 are maybe twice as quick as the pulses for Vibration Style 2. I ended up liking this one a lot less, and probably won’t be using it.

Vibration Style 4: Escalating

Think about this vibration style like an escalator to no where. The vibrations ramp up and then abruptly stop cold before starting up again. This is too abrupt for me, but I know there are other women who would love it.

Vibration Style 5: Increasing and Decreasing

Think about this Vibration Style as getting on an up escalator and then getting right on a down escalator. This style is one I like a lot better than Vibration Style 4, and I could see using it for a long time just to ride out the sensations. I don’t think I would orgasm from this one, but it would be a really nice work up to something I could orgasm from.

Vibration Style 6: Random

The random setting throws pulses all over the place, and I’m just not a fan. Maybe this would be handy for a teasing game, but I couldn’t orgasm with it, and it’s my least favorite. I’d give this one a pass.

Hula Beads as the Best Bullet Toy Ever

You can use the Hula Beads as an insertable, but you can also use the toy as an amazingly powerful bullet. The smooth shape and the powerful vibrations make it a perfect clitoral toy, and it makes for a truly intense orgasm.

This is perhaps an unintended feature for this toy, but it is entirely one that is worth exploring!

Noisy If You’re Not Careful

One of the reasons why I like remote control toys is that they’re fun just to wear and play with as you walk around. Because of that, noise is a factor, and I was curious about how Hula Beads would measure up.

First, if you are going out, be absolutely certain that you take the controller off of the vibrate mode by pressing the () button down for five seconds. The vibrations make the controller extremely loud!

If the insertable part of the toy is actually not inside you, the rotation of the head can make quite a clatter! Make sure that the toy is inserted before you actually begin to play. These are all things that you want to keep in mind if you are going out for some quiet kinky fun!

Cleaning Up Is Quick and Easy

A quick spritz of toy cleanser or a rinse with soap and water will take care of this toy for you. The instructions assure me that we do not need to worry about getting the charging port wet at all, and the suede finish comes clean in a very short amount of time. Total win overall.

Easy to Use, No Strain On Wrists or Hands

Once this toy is in, it is very, very comfortable to use, both genitally and otherwise. Unlike other toys or vibrators, it does not have to be held in place, and though you need to be able to jab the buttons with a fair amount of control, it is very easy to get this toy to do what it needs to do.

I would not hesitate to recommend this toy to anyone who had mild joint or hand issues; it comes away as one of the best toys for people who are dealing with those problems.

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Quick Warning: No Anal Insertion!

As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, I thought I was looking at a toy for anal play, and though I quickly realized I was wrong, it’s worth repeating. Do not insert this toy into the anus. There is no flared base that will lock it to the muscles of the sphincter. There are other vibrating toys that are designed for anal play, so make sure that this one is vaginal only!

Excellent Vibration, Innovative Design, Creative Modes and An All Around Good Time!

This is a fairly specialized toy, and it does the thing that is designed to do very well. The rotating head hits the G-spot efficiently, and it is a very comfortable toy to use. When used as a clitoral stimulator, it does quite well at that as well.

The vibrations are powerful and the remote control is effective up to the 12 recommended feet. I believe it is effective beyond that too.

This is absolutely a toy I would recommend, and though it is not as much of a versatile toy as say, a rabbit vibrator or a magic wand, it definitely does what Lelo promises!

About Katherin Winnick

Katherine (she/her) leverages her extensive sex toy knowledge to provide guidance on both sex toys and sex. Holding a magna cum laude degree in Sex Therapy, Kat's academic achievements are complemented by her hands-on testing of over 250 sex toys, a skill she refined during her time working as a professional dominatrix in New York City. Katherine's advice has appeared on Cosmopolitan, Romper, WomensHealth, Glamour, Healthline and more. Learn more or contact her on Twitter.


  1. My wife said, it was the best one of her collection.
    What else can I said….

  2. Haven’t tested this one yet ! Thanks for the very good review though, it certainly makes me want to buy it! I was wondering whether you can (de)activate the vibrations altogether, using the remote controller. Thanks a lot!

  3. Bought this recently after reading several positive reviews regarding this product. However, was pretty dissapointed when the item arrived and the metallic paint started to flake just after using the toy once. I’ve only given it a rinse with plain water before using it and used it according to the instructions.

    After the incident, I started looking up if this was a frequent problem with Lelo products. I came across an article mentioning that this had happened to the Soraya. Then, I emailed the Lelo’s customer care to inform and inquire more about this issue, asking questions like – will this issue and the product be covered under warranty, is the toy still safe to use, does this issue happen often, what happens the same problem occurs to the replaced product, etc.

    The team replied promptly, however, my questions were not really answered, and of course that was a little annoying. And although Lelo did mentioned that the issue can be covered under the warranty, I’m concerned that the paint on the new toy would also flake, therefore, I didn’t opt to use the warranty. But bottom line is that I wanted to know if the metallic paint was actually body safe, and this was never answered by the team.

    I guess Lelo does have great products, however, for those who are planning to get them, this issue might be something you’d want to think about before purchasing their toys, especially the insertable ones. Moreover, for the price of their toys, I would expect better quality, and its just unacceptable that paint would flake for insertable toys and no accessible information on weather it’d still be safe to use.

    My hula beads are now just sitting in a bag and I haven’t used it again ever since the first time and I’ve no idea what to do with them now. Hopefully none of you have faced this problem, but if you did, I would like to hear how you’ve sorted it out at your end.

    • Wow, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one this happened to! I bought mine a couple months ago on sale for 50% off from their website and for me that was STILL quite a big splurge since it was about $100. Needless to say, when the paint started flaking significantly within 2 months I was shocked & concerned. I’ve never seen a negative review so I was worried I’d done something to damage it even though I always make sure to follow directions. Another issue I found was that after I’m done playing with it & remove it from my body, I have noticed the charging port gets clogged with various substances like my cum, our lube, or the metallic paint flakes. I get really nervous about the whole situation because I don’t want to damage the toy but sometimes just running water over it won’t get everything out& I end up have to find something small enough to pull out the clogs because I know it will damage the charger if they aren’t removed before I plug it in the next time & cleaning the charger isn’t an option in the same way cleaning the toy is.

      Does anyone have any advice for how to either prevent this from happening or a way to properly clean it? Had anyone experienced this issue as well?

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