Vanilla Umbrella Review — When Plain Vanilla Isn’t so Plain

In the last few years, the number of swinger and fetish apps have grown substantially. Does Vanilla Umbrella’s performance rise to the level of the competition? Does it have a large following? Is it as discreet as it is wild?

These are all valid questions for an app such as Vanilla Umbrella. We did our duty and reviewed the app in order to get at some of those answers. We suggest that you read our findings so you can make up your own opinion as to whether Vanilla Umbrella is just plain vanilla or if it is something a little bit tastier.

Vanilla Umbrella Review

Vanilla Umbrella Review Results
  • Popularity - 61
  • Value - 69
  • Features - 72
  • Quality of Members - 52
  • Safety - 68
  • Customer Satisfaction - 63

Final Word on Vanilla Umbrella

We feel that the motivation behind Vanilla Umbrella is sound. We likewise feel that there is a genuine need for this type of swinging site — one that values discretion and civility.

Unfortunately, due to its small membership size, it is very difficult to get the sort of results that most people would expect. If you are patient and are willing to wait weeks or even months to find potential partners, then Vanilla Umbrella might work for you. If, however, you want to start hooking up with like-minded swingers as soon as possible, Vanilla Umbrella is going to disappoint you.

Overall, we feel that Vanilla Umbrella has great potential. Sadly, until it extends its user base we would have to rate it as BELOW AVERAGE.

— Pros and Cons —


  • Most profiles are genuine
  • Strict rules of conduct make for a safe environment
  • Available for iOS and Android


  • Requires an invitation to join
  • Membership base is small
  • Finding potential matches near you is difficult
  • Internal navigation buttons are cumbersome

—In-Depth Vanilla Umbrella Review —

Since when has plain vanilla become something spicy and full of flavor?

Well, if you’re talking about online hookup sites, that would be ever since the Vanilla Umbrella app popped into the picture. Designed for couples and singles seeking to find like-minded adults for a little bit of kinky fun, Vanilla Umbrella definitely adds a dash of spice to the traditional swinging and BDSM scene. Using the slogan, “couples who play together stay together,” this app strives to keep fetish play and swinging a fun and liberating experience as much as it strives to keep it discreet and unoffensive.



The Vanilla Umbrella app is available as a native mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Downloading and installing the app is fast and simple. The tricky part comes in activating and registering the app after you install it.

— Invitation Only —

Vanilla Umbrella is an invitation-only app. That means that even though you can download and install it at any time from the App Store or Google Play, in order to use it, you need to have an invitation code. This can only be obtained from an existing member of Vanilla Umbrella.

If you do not know anybody who is a current member of Vanilla Umbrella, there are a few unofficial channels that can help expedite your membership. In many swinger forums, there are people that post offers to extend invitations to fellow swingers.

If you do decide to follow those unofficial channels just be careful to avoid potential scams. If somebody offers to sell you an invitation to Vanilla Umbrella we would recommend that you avoid that entirely. First of all, it is likely a scam. Secondly, that is in violation of Vanilla Umbrella’s terms of service. If they were to find out that you purchased an invitation code, your account would be canceled immediately.

— Registration Process —

Once you obtain an invitation code, you can proceed with the registration process. You must provide information about yourself and your partner if you are joining as a couple. This includes routine information such as your gender, age, and location. More personal information — such as level of swinging experience and specific fetishes that you are involved with — can be added later when you amplify the content of your profile.

— What’s Allowed —

Vanilla Umbrella’s founder has been quoted in multiple interviews that she wanted to create a swinging app for “decent” people. That has resulted in certain rules that users of Vanilla Umbrella must follow. Chief among them is not posting any imagery that contains nudity, sexual activity or any other sort of lewd behavior. Likewise, in the text of your profile, while you can be imaginative and descriptive, you must avoid extreme or a vulgar terminology.

You must also accept the fact that if other users were to report your activity as being offensive or bothersome, your account might get manually reviewed. If the staff of Vanilla Umbrella finds their complaints valid, your account can be terminated.

— User Interface —

During the registration process, you are asked to create a pin to access the app on your phone. This is done to keep unwanted eyes from accessing your app. You must enter the pin to open the app and also to “wake up” the app when it goes dormant. When it enters a dormant state, an innocent looking weather display screen will appear. You can also activate this cover screen directly from the app. This can be very handy in case you are suddenly surprised by an unwanted pair of eyes over your shoulder.

In terms of navigation, in the two upper corners of the screen, you will find buttons to display the navigation menu as well as to access your user settings.

That part of the navigation is simple and fairly intuitive to use. Once you enter the search and discovery section of the app, however, the navigation can become a bit clunky and cumbersome. Large buttons on the right-hand side of the screen appear which, depending on the size of your phone screen, can obscure some of the content on the screen. Those internal navigation buttons seem to clash with the rest of the design of the app.

—User Experience—

In spite of having 45 percent of its members being women, the user experience on Vanilla Umbrella falls a bit flat. This is due to the fact that it lacks one key ingredient in order to become effective. “What is this mysterious missing ingredient?” you may ask. The answer is MEMBERS.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that it’s “invitation-only.” Maybe it just needs some time to mature like a good bottle of wine. Whatever the reason, as of early 2018, there are just not enough members to provide you with a sustained number of potential partners.

This, unfortunately, results in a very hollow user experience. Whenever our testers attempted to engage with other users on the app, there were too few within a reasonable distance of their location. Sadly, even when searching for partners in large metropolitan areas, the pickings were slim.