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Best Home Laser Hair Removal Devices Compared

Updated: Mar 23

best home laser hair removal devices 2021

Laser hair removal at home can give you permanent hair reduction, but without the higher costs of clinical laser treatments at a salon. The market is busier than ever, but, for our money, the best home laser hair removal device you can buy is the Philips Lumea Prestige, an IPL machine.

We've reviewed home laser hair removal and IPL devices (we'll explain the difference in this guide) from close to £150 to over £300. You don't have to spend top dollar to get top results, and in the guide below, we've picked out a range of brilliant home hair removal devices to satisfy any budget.

You may want to lose your unwanted hair, but we don't want to see you losing your hard earned cash on products that aren't up to scratch. That's why we've also identified home hair removal devices that fail to get the HAIRemove thumbs up.

Best home laser hair removal and IPL machines

  1. Philips Lumea Prestige – best overall home IPL hair removal machine

  2. Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X – best true home laser hair removal device

  3. Braun Silk-expert Pro 3 – best cheap home laser hair removal machine

  4. Silk'n Infinity – best even for lighter coloured hairs

  5. Philips Lumea Advanced – great value home IPL machine

  6. Remington IPL LUXE 8500 – best for quick home laser hair removal

  7. Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision – best compact laser device

  8. Remington I-Light ESSENTIAL – a good value no-frills option

Not every machine has made it onto our list of the best – we also have a guide to models to avoid, below, so read on to make sure you're spending your money wisely.

Remember – laser hair removal isn't a "one-size-fits-all" process. There's no such thing as guaranteed results, and your own skin and hair colour, plus the density and coarseness of the hair you are treating, will greatly affect the success of your treatment. We're not here to rush you into buying any one product. Take your time and research your options to understand what results you're likely to get, and you're less likely to be disappointed – we answer common home laser hair removal FAQs, below.

Let's take a closer look at our best laser hair removal and IPL machines for home use:

1. Philips Lumea Prestige – best overall home IPL machine

  • Advanced settings and "SmartSkin" detector

  • Cordless for easy use

  • Different head attachments

  • Large flash window

  • Well-rated app

Let's get this out the way quickly, as it's going to come up again (a lot!). The Philips Lumea Prestige may be our top choice home "laser" hair removal machine, but, it's not actually a laser hair removal device at all. This is an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) machine – in fact, most devices on the market for home use are IPL, rather than laser.

The difference in layman's terms? IPL is faster to carry out, but weaker and less focused than laser. With IPL devices, the large flash windows mean you can cover a lot of ground, quickly, making them great for treating your legs, back or chest.

Does the Philips Lumea Prestige Work?

Philips' own tests of the Prestige’s effectiveness claim 92% hair reduction after three treatments. Now, time for that healthy pinch of salt. We've dug into the findings, and Philips found that just half of its test volunteers reported such a figure. When it comes to your own success, it will be influenced by your hair and skin colour (lighter skin + darker hair is the ideal combo for IPL). Still, Philips found further cause for encouragement: 12 months after treatment, its test volunteers found a median hair reduction of 78% on legs, 64% on the bikini area, and 65% on armpits

The Philips Lumea Prestige has a huge 4.1cm squared flash window – one of the largest of any home IPL device. Two further head attachments come packaged as well – one for your face, and one for your armpits and bikini line. A "SmartSkin" sensor continuously adjusts as you go – detecting your skin tone and ensuring the safest and most effective settings are used.

To help you decide the best course of treatments (and to stick with the process), there's a smartphone app you can install. This largely functions as a calendar with reminders, but there are also advice tips to be found. It's well rated by users – which is a lot more than we can say for the equivalent apps from other brands.

Our favourite thing about the Philips Lumea Prestige? It's cordless. Now, that may sound like a small thing, but think about the sheer, glorious practicality as you're awkwardly contorting yourself at home

Our favourite thing about the Philips Lumea Prestige? It's cordless. Now, that may sound like a small thing, but think about the sheer, glorious practicality. You're not in some fancy clinic with plenty of space around a treatment table – you're treating yourself, at home. And that could mean awkwardly contorting yourself in the bathroom, on your sofa, or in the privacy of your bedroom – you may not have a wall plug in handy reach, and you won't be helped by having a cord wrapping around you as you go. This cordless device is built with ease of use in mind, and the 30 minute battery should be enough to get you through most hair removal sessions and then some.

Is it cheap? Nope – this is certainly one of the pricier home IPL machines around. But, that's still a fraction of the cost of a course of clinical laser or IPL hair removal treatments. And, for the breadth of features and cordless approach, we'd argue it's money very well spent.

Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X

2. Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X – best true home laser hair removal device

  • Genuine home laser hair removal

  • Powerful head that's great for targeting smaller areas

  • Cordless for easy handling

  • FDA-approved safety

Remember how we said most home laser hair removal devices weren't actually "laser" at all? Here's the exception that proves the rule.

The Tria 4X is a real, no foolin' actual home laser hair removal device, not an IPL machine like most of the others on this list.

So, that's a good thing, right? Well, yes and no.

Tria Laser vs IPL Machines

The good news first – the laser is far more powerful than an IPL pulse. The bad new? It's far, far smaller. If you're looking for a device to remove hair from both sets of legs, or a male chest, then you'd be at it forever with the Tria 4X.

If you're looking for a device to remove hair from both sets of legs, or a male chest, then you'd be at it forever with the Tria 4X

But, if you're targeting hair in a smaller area – say, your upper lip, armpit, or bikini line – then this is an outstanding choice.

Tria claims its device can reduce up to 70% of unwanted hair after just two treatments in as few as three months. As ever, these results will vary tremendously depending on your hair and skin type, and the area you are treating. For instance, finer hairs above your lip will respond very differently to coarse hairs around the bikini line.

Just as with home IPL machines, dark skin is risky with this device, as the higher levels of melanin absorb the heat from the laser – instead, you want it focused on the hair. Light hair (white, blonde, or red) will also be less suited, as it doesn’t absorb the light and heat from the laser.

Braun Silk-expert Pro 3

3. Braun Silk-expert Pro 3 – best cheap home laser hair removal machine

  • Great value home IPL device

  • Simple to use

  • Designed to last 300,000 flashes

  • Skin sensor adapts settings to your skin tone

Our top two home hair removal devices, above, were each around the £300 mark. We appreciate that may push the budget for some, which is why we're pleased to recommend the Braun Silk-expert Pro 3 as a great value alternative.

Now, this doesn't have all the bells and whistles of our top-rated product, the Philips Lumea Prestige. The Braun Pro 3 isn't cordless, has far fewer settings, and the wall-to-wall 1-star ratings for its companion smartphone app suggest Braun isn't all that fussed about maintaining the app at all.

But hey, who needs an app to tell you when to use your hair removal device – write it on the fridge for all it matters, so long as the device itself does the job.

Braun IPL Claims

Like the Lumea above, this is an IPL device rather than true laser. It will last for 300,000 flashes, and, according to Braun (not us), this is "the only IPL that automatically and continuously adapts to skin tone for a safe and effective visible permanent hair removal". That's....not true. Plenty of other IPL devices from rival brands do this as well. But, few of them are as cheap as the Braun Pro 3, so we'll forgive Braun for puffing its chest a little here.

One thing we like very much with this device is that Braun gives a realistic set of expectations for results. Braun says you can enjoy "permanent, visible hair reduction within three months" if you stick to the correct treatment cycle with the Pro 3. Indeed, three months is about the right time to begin seeing results – though, as ever, we'll caution that your skin colour and hair colour will impact things. Braun cautions the Silk-expert Pro 3 won’t be effective on light blonde, red or grey hair, or for dark skin tones.

Silk'n Infinity

4. Silk'n Infinity – best even for lighter coloured hairs

  • Good value IPL machine

  • Strong results for light skin and dark hair types, and can work on lighter hair, too

  • 400,000 flash lifespan

  • “Galvanic energy” flash opens pores for better access to hair root

Here's the thing about laser hair removal and IPL – it's a very unequal technology. If you have light skin and dark hair, you have the ideal combo for laser/IPL success. Those with light hair and those with dark skin are, unfortunately, unable to benefit. This is all down to the physics of how the emitted light and heat is absorbed – you want it going into the hair and follicle root, not the skin around it.

Step forward the Silk'n Infinity, which claims via its Galvanic energy technology that it can even work for people with darker skin tones. The Infinity emits a Galvanic energy flash before its IPL flash – this opens the pore to expose the follicle and allow more light to hit. This way, it can even have an effect on lighter hair (blonde, grey or red).

Will the Silk'n Work on Dark Skin?

As for those claims of working on darker skin tones, it's a sorrier picture. We've dug into the research (including, although it was hardly great sleuthing, the product manual), and sadly we don't feel confident to recommend this device for people with dark brown to black skin tones (types V-VI on the Fitzpatrick scale).

If you have light to olive skin, then this is a superb value device with some truly great tech behind it.

5. Philips Lumea Advanced – great value home IPL machine

  • Affordable IPL machine

  • Claimed 85% effectiveness after three treatments

  • No replacement parts, bulbs or gels needed

With the Philips Lumea Advanced, you can get a quality home IPL hair removal machine for around £200. But, the cheapest model in the Advanced series is light on attachments, which may make it worth spending more (or opting for the pricier but cordless Lumea Prestige, above).

Just as with the Lumea Prestige, you get a large 4.1cm squared flash window for the IPL pulses to shine through. This will make things quick and easy when doing a hair removal treatment even over a large skin area.

Philips Lumea Advanced Effectiveness

According to Philips, two-thirds of test subjects (30 out of 45) reached an 85% or higher hair removal rate after three treatments. As before, it's a question of what area you're treating, and whether your skin and hair colour is optimal for IPL.

If you’re happy to stick with the base Lumea Advanced model, which has only the one head attachment, then it’s a great value home IPL machine to use on areas such as your legs. If you’re considering the Advanced "bundle" with the additional attachments, then we’d argue it’s better value to opt for the higher end Lumea Prestige model.

6. Remington IPL LUXE 8500 – best for quick home laser hair removal

  • Power, Express and Sensitive Modes

  • Precision head attachment

  • Decent size 3cm squared flash window on regular attachment

  • 300,000 flash lifespan

Life's too short to waste on lengthy sessions of hair removal, which is why we like Remington's style – its LUXE 8500 has a handy Express mode to let you zip through your zapping.

In fact, Remington claims you can use the Express mode to do a full body IPL treatment session in just 15 minutes. We think that claim is on the ambitious side, but it's an excellent feature if you're in a hurry. Remington cautions that the trade-off is power: you'll have to accept a lower setting, which may require further treatments to get the results you're after.

Permanent Results from Remington?

Remington claims with this device (and its cheaper sister model, the I-Light ESSENTIAL) you can get permanent results with just three treatments. The claim is based on a study by Remington that found an average of 66% hair removal following a course of three treatments, with results holding even 12 months on.

7. Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision – best compact laser device

  • Smallest laser hair removal device around

  • Actual laser hair removal (not IPL)

  • Ideal for small areas

  • Cordless

Home laser hair removal devices don't get much smaller than this – the Tria Precision is a mini marvel. And despite its diminutive form, it still packs in genuine laser hair removal, rather than IPL.

Again, we're not saying laser is "better" than IPL – it's just much more focused, and ideal for treating smaller areas.

One look at it and you won't even think about running it along the entirety of your legs (pick an IPL machine if that's where you're looking to treat). But, if you're looking for a device to treat your upper lip, bikini line, or even problematic recurring in-grown hairs, then the Tria Precision is perfect.

Tria Laser Effectiveness

Tria claims its device can reduce up to 70% of unwanted hair after just two treatments in as few as three months. Of course, finer hairs above your lip will respond very differently to coarse hairs around the bikini line. And users with light hair or dark skin are once again left behind – the Tria Precision is aimed at lighter skin tones and, ideally, darker hair types.

Read our full Tria Precision review

Remington I-Light ESSENTIAL

8. Remington I-Light ESSENTIAL – a good value no-frills option

  • Low cost home IPL device

  • Five energy settings

  • Decent size 3cm squared flash window

It's chunky, it's cheap and it might leave you cheerful. Despite its low cost, the Remington I-Light ESSENTIAL promises smooth, hair-free skin in as few as three treatments.

As with all home IPL devices, the I-Light ESSENTIAL is ideal for those with light skin and dark hair. Remington warns it will be less effective on dark skin, and on white, grey, red or light blonde hair.

Remington ESSENTIAL Life Span

Remington says the device will last for 150,000 flashes. While that sounds like plenty, keep in mind that the bulb can’t be changed – once it’s done, the device is done. And, though the I-Light ESSENTIAL is low cost, the Braun Silk-Expert Pro 3 is in a similar price range, and that offers 300,000 flashes.

One to avoid: the no!no! Pro

  • No promise of permanent results

  • Poor user reviews

  • More expensive than many of the devices above

If you’re looking for permanent home hair removal...look elsewhere.

The no!no! Pro doesn’t promise long-term results, but rather, slower regrowth cycles (so long as you continue to use the device indefinitely). Compared to a quality IPL or laser device, the no!no! Pro isn’t an easy product to recommend – not least with its £200+ price point and no promise of permanent hair removal.

Let's be clear – the no!no! isn't a laser hair removal or IPL device. The no!no! uses what it calls “Thermicon” technology. When you use the no!no! on your skin, a high energy thermodynamic wire singes the surface hair, and conducts heat down into the follicle. You then use a supplied abrasive brush to buff away the "crystalised" hair. With repeated treatments, this weakens the hair follicle and slows regrowth. But, again, this won’t lead to permanent results. And, according to multiple low user ratings across various retail sites including Amazon and Boots, as well as no!no!’s own site, the device proves ineffective for plenty of users.

Still tempted? Read our full no!no! Pro review before you buy

Unbranded IPL and laser hair removal machines

If you're shopping for a laser hair removal device on Amazon or Ebay, you're likely to come across a near endless list machines with generic names such as "home laser hair removal device" or "IPL hair removal". There may be no obvious brand name supplied, or else, the brand behind the product isn't clearly marked in the product name.

These devices will typically undercut the prices of our top products, listed above. So, should you take the risk and buy a home laser hair removal product costing £40-£50, rather than trebling that cost to get one from a known brand name?

We aren't trying to compel you to spend more just for the sake of a fancy brand name. But, you're not buying a pair of jeans here – these are potentially dangerous pieces of equipment

Our recommendation is clear: don't take the risk on one of these products. We aren't trying to compel you to spend more just for the sake of a fancy brand name. But, you're not buying a pair of jeans here – these are potentially dangerous pieces of equipment if used incorrectly, or if all the correct safety approvals haven't been met by the manufacturers. With this in mind, we can hardly recommend products where it isn't even clear who the manufacturer behind them is.

What about the user reviews, you may fairly ask? Again, take these with a pinch of salt. Amazon has frequently been the target of criticism for the vast number of fake user reviews that flood its site.

There's a reason these sorts of unbranded or obscure-brand products are found on Ebay and Amazon, and not from high street retailers such as Boots of John Lewis. The latter have to show far better accountability to customers over their supply chains and which products they sell through their stores.

What should you look for when buying a laser hair removal machine?

If you're stuck on which home laser hair removal machine is best for you, we recommend following the points below to help you decide:

  • Is it a laser or IPL device? For the most part, home "laser" hair removal machines are IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), not true laser. And that's not a problem. IPL can indeed work for permanent hair reduction, but it's important to understand the distinction. The two Tria devices we've picked out above, for example, are actual laser hair removal machines.

  • What hair and skin colours will it work on? Pretty much universally, you'll find that home laser and IPL machines are only suited towards lighter skin tones and, ideally, darker hair. If your skin is any darker than "light brown" (Type IV on the Fitzpatrick scale) then home laser and IPL machines are not recommended for you. Some even have auto-detect shut-off systems to prevent them working on darker skin. Similarly, light coloured hair (white, blonde or red) isn't suitable for laser or IPL. Read the claims and recommendations provided by the manufacturer before purchasing.

  • User reviews – These can be a helpful resource, but tread carefully. If you're reading positive reviews from people whose product has "just arrived" or who have "just done their first session", then it's far too early to get an accurate picture of the effectiveness of a device. Most machines take the better part of three months to begin displaying signs of successful hair reduction. On Amazon, be particularly aware of user reviews of unbranded machines – a high concentration of 5-star reviews and 1-star reviews, with little in between, tends to show a mix of potentially fake user reviews and disappointed real users.

  • Brand name – As mentioned above, we simply cannot recommend home laser or IPL devices from unbranded or obscure brand manufacturers, no matter how cheap these devices may seem on Ebay or Amazon. Further warning signs should include product descriptions with poor spelling and grammar, or a lack of clarity on who the manufacturer is, what guarantees they give, and what safety standards they can show they have followed.

  • Warranties and money-back guarantees – Another good reason to go for a trusted brand name, you may be offered a warranty for any faults that develop (typically 12 months, but sometimes even 24). Plus, certain brands may offer you a 30-day or 60-day money back guarantee if you're unhappy with the results you're seeing. Keep in mind it's typically 12 weeks (84 days) before you're likely to see significant results from laser or IPL hair removal.

Home laser hair removal FAQs

We answer common questions about purchasing a home laser hair removal machine or IPL device.

What's the difference between laser hair removal and IPL?

Laser hair removal and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) are both technologies that can deliver permanent hair reduction. But, where laser hair removal targets a very narrow area to focus in on a few hair follicles at a time, IPL flashes a weaker light across a wider area. A home IPL device may have a flash window of 3-4cm squared, making IPL the better choice for doing large areas such as your legs, or a male chest. Laser treatments are stronger, but the tiny treatment area means they're best for very targeted hair removal.

Do home laser hair removal systems really work?

Home laser hair removal can work and help you achieve permanent hair reduction (as can home IPL machines). But, it's important to manage your expectations. Permanent hair removal is difficult to achieve, and most home laser and IPL machines promise "reduction", rather than removal.

If you follow the typical course of treatment (usually a minimum of 12 weeks, during which you'll need to do multiple treatments of the same areas of your body), then you should see fewer, finer, lighter hairs which require less frequent future removal. You can continue to use home laser or IPL treatments, or wax or shave the hairs less frequently.

If you have darker skin tones (black skin or dark brown skin), then unfortunately, laser hair removal and IPL machines will not work for you. Neither will they work on very light hair. The light is dangerous to dark skin, which will absorb the light and heat from the device – instead, it is meant to target the hair, which is why dark hair is ideal for laser and IPL treatments.

For more, see our guide: Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

How can I remove unwanted hair permanently at home?

For true permanent hair removal at home, your best option is a home electrolysis machine. But, these are expensive, time-consuming to use (they target individual hair follicles, one at a time) and can sometimes be painful.

You can achieve permanent hair reduction at home more easily with a home laser hair removal machine or IPL device. Reduction means that hairs will be left sparser, finer and lighter, and slower to regrow – but permanent removal is not possible.

Can you use home laser hair removal on pubic hair?

Yes, you can use home laser hair removal devices on pubic hair, but not directly around the genitals or perianal area. One of the benefits of home laser hair removal over clinical treatments is that it may feel far less embarrassing to treat such areas yourself, rather than deal with a clinician (though a good professional will always be unfazed!). Some home IPL machines even come with custom attachments for targeting coarser hair around the bikini line.

However, don't be tempted to stray into treating highly sensitive areas, including immediately around the vagina for women, or on the scrotum for men. The darker skin tones and sensitive skin mean these areas aren't suited to laser or IPL treatments. If you wish to treat these areas, then it is best to speak to a professional in a laser hair clinic and understand your options.

How much does a hair removal laser machine cost?

A good quality home laser hair removal or IPL machine from a trusted brand should cost from upwards of £150, though this can rise to £300 or more if you want a cordless machine with more advanced settings. You can find cheaper home laser hair removal machines from more obscure brands for as little as £50 on Amazon and Ebay, but we do not recommend choosing these. Always look for a device with clear safety approvals and manufacturer warranties from a brand you can trust.


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