This guide will tell you about TOP-6 best epilators and the differences between their main types: spring, rotating disc and tweezer ones. You will learn how to use these devices as well as about peculiarities of waterproof models. Apart from that, the guide discusses the advantages and downsides of manual and electric devices as well as the distinction between the items designed for men and women. Find out what features you should look for when buying a product and read a beneficial FAQ section containing answers to the most frequently asked questions.

People around the world have been removing unwanted body hair for centuries with razors from 3000 B.C. being found in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Today there are a seemingly endless variety of ways to remove body hair from shaving, which can lead to stubble and ingrown hairs, to depilatory creams that smell bad and sometimes burn.

Many people today turn to epilators to remove their hair from the root making the hair take longer to grow back. Both women and men use these devices to remove unwanted hair, and because they are used on various parts of the body, it is important to choose the right model for your needs. Whether your hair is coarse, shorter, or in a delicate or smaller area are all factors in deciding which product is for you.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

How Do Epilators Work?

These are electrical devices used to remove hair by grabbing multiple hairs at a time and pulling them out from the root. Think tweezers but electric and using more than one at a time. The advantage of removing the hair at the root is that it takes longer for the hair to grow back and epilators, unlike tweezers, remove multiple hairs at a time which makes the hair removal process much faster.

Occasionally, depending on the strength of the hair, some hairs may break off instead of being pulled out, which could look like shaving stubble. However, with regular epilating, the regrowth of hair will be easier to pull out and the appearance of stubble will slowly disappear.

While some people may prefer waxing to remove large portions of hair at a time, epilators do far less to damage the outer layers of skin which leads to less irritation. The first type of these devices was invented in Israel in the 80s though many advancements have occurred since then. Today the models can vary greatly in size and functionality and there are even handheld options which require no electricity.

What Are the Types of Epilators and Their Differences?

Though the outer body of most models is similar, there are three main types of these devices with subtle differences between each style. Choosing the right one for you is purely a matter of preference and some people tend to prefer one style over another.

Spring Type

The first type of epilator to reach the masses was a spring type. A coiled spring is curved on the inside of the device and it rotates when turned on. The coils of the spring open up and the hair slides between them. When the spring rotates back the coils close around the hair and the hair is pulled out from the root. Because the spring in this type of the device is constantly rotated it will need to occasionally be replaced to keep the coils tight enough to pull out the hairs.

Spring type epilators are also sold as handheld models that do not require electricity. The handheld models are usually used for more delicate areas like the upper lip.

Rotating Disc Type

Similar to the spring type design, metal discs replace the spring in this type of epilator. Discs placed next to each other rotate on opposite axes which cause them to open and allow hair between them before closing on the hair and pulling it out. Because the discs rotate separately they are less likely to stretch over time and will need to be replaced less often.

Tweezer Type

This type of epilator is an evolution of the rotating disc type. Instead of a complete metal disc, the heads of the rotating metal plates are encased in a plastic barrel. The metal plates resemble the ends of tweezers, giving this type its name. As the barrel rotates the metal plates are pushed together and apart, allowing the hair to move in between the plates before being pulled out.

What Are Waterproof Epilators and How to Use Them?

Today’s modern epilators usually come with a rechargeable battery and a water-resistant or waterproof casing, which allow them to be used both in and out of the shower. Some people prefer using the device in the shower as the steam helps to open up the hair follicles.

Using a waterproof model is just like using a dry epilator, though certain waterproof products can be used with creams or gels in the shower to help with any irritation or pain that may occur.

Manual Epilators Vs Electric Epilators: Pros and Cons

There are many advantages to using epilators, but should you choose to use a manual or electric model for your personal needs? Electric devices usually allow for a larger area of skin to be covered during one pass and tend to work faster than manual ones, though there is something to be said about the level of personal control that comes with a manual unit.

While electric devices sometimes come with smaller attachment heads for difficult to reach areas like the upper lip or bikini line, a manual model will work in those areas with more precision and accuracy. If you're looking to remove hair from hard to reach, small places on your body, you may want to consider a manual option. Manual models also work well in the shower without having to worry about any of the parts malfunctioning from getting wet, as there are no electrical elements to consider.

On the other hand, manual epilators require practice and could lead to improper use resulting in pinching the skin which could lead to visible wounds. In this aspect, electric devices are a better option as they are generally designed with built-in guards to prevent the pinching elements from touching the skin.

What is the Difference Between Man’s and Woman’s Epilators?

When many people think about removing body hair with an epilator we mostly think about women removing body hair from their legs or underarms but there are products designed for men as well. While men and women can use these devices fairly interchangeably, there are models designed specifically for men that have different designs and functions.

Since male facial hair tends to typically be quite thick, epilators for men are designed to remove more coarse hairs. This can mean that the durability of the metal tweezers is sturdier or that the force of the mechanism pushing the tweezers together is stronger.

Males usually have more hair on their bodies which may be unwanted. Epilators for men may have more tweezers or rotating discs in order to grab more hair at a time. For male body hair, the more tweezers the better.

Another factor in men's design is the shape and size of the head. Because men most likely want more hair to be removed, the larger the head of the device the better. At the same time, men are more likely to want to remove facial hair, meaning that there may be more of a slight curve in the head of the device.

Some men's models can include special trimmer attachments. If the epilator does not catch all of the body or facial hair, then the trimming attachment can be used to clean up any remaining hair before the next epilation.

There are brands, like Emjoi, that have models specifically designed for men which come in darker colors for a less feminine aesthetic.

What to Look for When Buying A Product?

Corded or cordless

A corded model plugs into your wall socket while the cordless one runs on either rechargeable or replaceable batteries. The primary advantage of a corded device is that you don't ever have to worry about recharging or replacing the batteries or the power of the device running low as the batteries weaken. Unfortunately, corded units cannot be used in the shower, so that should be taken into consideration.

A cordless model may need to be recharged from time to time but you have the added advantage of taking the device into the shower with you. Either device can easily travel with you, though you may want to consider the cordless epilator for ease of carrying when traveling.

The type of epilator

While the type of device you choose will ultimately come down to a personal decision, there is something positive to be said for the cordless, wet/dry tweezer style model since it is one of the most recent developments in epilator technology.

The number of tweezers

This comes into play when regarding which area you are trying to remove unwanted hair from. The more tweezers or rotating discs on a device will allow you to remove larger amounts of hair faster. However, a smaller unit with fewer tweezers will allow you to more easily reach smaller areas of the body where possibly fewer and finer hairs need to be removed.

Wet or dry

Many people prefer dry epilators for their convenience in that you do not have to be in the shower to use it. Dry model can be used anywhere as long as they have a power source. However, wet models have been shown to help prevent pain or irritation when combined with the steam of a hot shower or bath. In the end, wet epilators can be used dry as well, so it wouldn't hurt to consider buying a wet model and taking it for a dry-run to see which method you prefer.

Attachments mitigating the pain

Many models come with attachments to exfoliate the skin beforehand with the goal of making the hair easier to remove. The benefits of these attachments would be to avoid irritation on the skin and help prevent future hair growth. Exfoliating spa brushes also help to prevent ingrown hair from developing.

The downside of implementing these attachments is that the hair removal process will take more time. Consider how much time you have for your hair removal process and adjust your routine accordingly.

Areas of your body

These devices can have special attachments for face, bikini, legs and more. Consider where on your body you want to remove hair and look for a model that has attachments for these areas.

The amount of noise

Perhaps you may not want others to know that you are using an epilator. If this is the case, you want to look for a model that has low noise output. Generally, battery operated devices are quieter than corded devices.

Different speed settings

The speed of your device can determine the effectiveness of the device as well as pain and irritation levels. Try using a multi-speed model and starting off with a low setting. Once you become used to the experience you can increase the speed of your device to remove hair quicker.

TOP-6 Best Epilators

Read a review of TOP-6 best products within the price range from $30 to $550. You will find models of all types and intended for different parts of the body. Some items are more traditional while others are based on latest technologies such as intense pulsed light or SensoSmart technologies. They also differ in the power source and design, with some models being waterproof and, therefore, able to be used in the bathroom. There are items that have several speed settings and extra attachments, something that is a clear advantage as it makes the process easier and more effective.

Best Tweezer Epilator | Braun Silk-épil 9 9-579 

Tweezer Epilator from Braun: photo

This sleekly designed wet or dry device removes hair up to four times shorter than is possible with waxing and offers up to four weeks of smooth skin before any hair regrowth. Though it is among the more expensive models it features four attachments for customization and includes an exfoliating spa brush to help prevent ingrown hairs. This total package is highly recommended for its many features.

Braun Silk-épil 9 9-579: Check the current price

Best Disc Epilator | Philips Satinelle Essential HP6401 

Disc Epilator - Philips Satinelle Essential HP6401: photo

An easily portable device packed with power, this corded model is perfect for travel. The downside to this product is that it is dry use only though the epilating head is detachable for easy clean-up.

The two speeds will ensure that you become comfortable with the epilating process before ramping up to a higher speed. This model is among the most affordable on the market and worth giving a try if you are new to epilating.

Philips Satinelle Essential HP6401: Check the current price

Best Epilator for Legs and Arms | Braun Silk-épil 9 SensoSmart

Epilator for Legs and Arms - Braun Silk-épil 9 SensoSmart: photo

This product is Braun's first design to incorporate SensoSmart technology which shows a blinking red light if you are in danger of using too much pressure. This technology allows for close epilation with less risk of pinching your skin.

A modern design with a variety of useful attachments, this cordless, wet/dry model is just right for removing hair from legs and underarms. It also comes with a separate bikini trimmer which can be used to trim the hairs of your legs and bikini area before epilating. The only downside to this device is the price range, though it does come with a variety of modern and useful attachments that make it worth the extra money.

Braun Silk-épil 9 SensoSmart: Check the current price

Best Epilator for the Face | Braun Face 851

Epilator for the Face from Braun: photo

This kit comes with everything you need for perfectly hairless and smooth skin. Three different exfoliating spa brush attachments and a beauty sponge attachment make this device perfect for makeup enthusiasts.

The epilating attachment can grab hairs up to 0.02mm long which makes it one of the most precise models for small areas like upper lip and eyebrow. This device requires one AAA battery, so you will have to be sure to replace the battery at regular intervals to be sure the device works at maximum capacity.

Braun Face 851: Check the current price

Best Universal Epilator | Panasonic ES-ED90-P

Universal Epilator Panasonic ES-ED90-P: photo

This affordable model comes with six attachments including a shaver head, a bikini comb, and even a pedicure buffing wheel. The unit can be corded or powered by a rechargeable battery with a charging time of only one hour. This is a wet/dry device with an attached LED light to better see where you need to remove hair.

Panasonic ES-ED90-P: Check the current price

Best Epilator with IPL Technology | Philips Lumea BRI949/00 

Epilator with IPL Technology Philips: photo

This corded machine boasts up to 92% less hair regrowth after just three uses. IPL stands for intense pulsed light, which pulses on the hair root and puts it into a "resting phase" making it far less likely for regrowth to occur.

This device comes with five attachment heads that can be used everywhere from legs to the bikini area. The main two downsides of this device are the cost — it is the most expensive device on this list by five times — and the fact that it is corded and so it cannot travel as easily as other, cordless models.

Philips Lumea BRI949/00: Check the current price

Comparison Chart of Epilator Effectiveness

Product Features

Braun Silk-épil 9 9-579

Up to 4 weeks of smooth skin
Wet and Dry usage
Comes with 7 extras

Effectiveness: 9

Philips Satinelle HP6401

Disc Epilator - Philips Satinelle Essential HP6401 min: photo

Removes hairs up to 0.5 mm
Corded design
2 speed settings
Washable epilation head

Effectiveness: 8

Braun Silk-épil 9 SensoSmart

World's 1st smart epilator (SensoSmart technology)
Rechargeable
Cordless design
Wet & Dry
Comes with 7 extras

Effectiveness: 10

Braun Face 851

World’s 1st facial epilator
10 micro openings
Removes hairs up to 0.02mm
Facial cleansing brush
Comes with 4 different brushes
Battery-powered

Effectiveness: 9

Panasonic ES-ED90-P

Dual-speed motor
6 snap-on hair remover and pedicure buffer attachments
Hypo-allergenic blades and foil
Dual-disc design
Rechargeable
Wet & Dry
Built-in LED light

Effectiveness: 9

Philips Lumea BRI949/00

Intense pulsed light (IPL) technology
Corded design
Removes up to 92% hair after 3 uses
Attachments for large and sensitive body parts
5 direction settings
Intelligent skin tone sensor

Effectiveness: 10

FAQ

Which epilator is the best?
This decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and need, but there are trusted brands to look for such as Braun, Phillips, and Panasonic.

Can this device cut you?
There may be a learning curve with using the right amount of pressure. At worst though you may receive a slight pinch from the device if you press too hard against your skin. With practice, it is extremely unlikely that it will cut you.

Will epilators cause ingrown hairs?
If you are already prone to ingrown hairs, there is a chance that you may get them with this device as well. However, unlike shaving, it removes hair from the root making ingrown hairs less likely. And with proper exfoliating beforehand you are far less likely to get ingrown hairs.

Can they be used on the face?
The Braun Face 851 model is specifically designed to be used on the face and other products may come with attachments to use in hard to reach or delicate areas.

How to clean these devices?
Many models have a detachable head that you can rinse thoroughly under water with mild soap and dry thoroughly before replacing the head on the device. Check the product manual for cleaning instructions specific to your device.

Conclusion

These devices have been around for decades, and they are a great tool for removing hair from the root without damaging your epidermis (outer layer of skin). With regular use, it can help manage hair re-growth by causing the unwanted hair to grow back finer and easier to remove.

Since the production of the first epilator, the technology for hair removal has improved greatly, even allowing for use in the shower or bath. Assess your hair removal needs and decide which will work best for you.