Welcome to the Best Epilator Buying Guide!

In this guide, I’ll show you the best epilators available on the market today, teach you what makes a good epilator, show you where to buy an epilator and how to spot epilator deals, and give you some epilator tips that will help you get the most out of your hair removal epilator for years to come.

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What is an epilator?

Put simply, an epilator is a palm-sized, hand-held, hair removal machine. Even though it’s sometimes called an epilator shaver, an epilator machine doesn’t actually contain any blades.

 

How does an epilator work?

An electric epilator contains a series of small tweezers that spin around while opening and closing very quickly. As you slowly draw the hair removal machine epilator along your skin, hair is caught within those tweezers and plucked out as it spins around. This is why you might hear it referred to as a rotary epilator or tweezer epilator.

Put simply, it quickly and easily plucks out all of your unwanted hairs using in-built tweezers.

 

What is the best epilator?

Now that’s the million dollar question! The short answer is, it depends. (Sorry – but it’s true!) There are plenty different types available, so the best epilator for you might not be a good epilator for someone else. Start by asking yourself the following questions to make sure that the model you choose is the best epilator for you.

1. What type of body hair are you targeting? One of the first decisions you need to make is what you want to use it for. Do you want a leg epilator, an underarm or an upper lip epilator? The best epilator for legs is most likely not going to be the best epilator for facial hair.  For detailed information on facial epilator options, you can skip ahead here: epilator for face [link].

2. Would you prefer a cordless epilator, or are you fine with corded? Next, think about if you prefer cordless epilators or if you want a corded epilator. If you’re after cordless, have you thought through the pros and cons of a rechargeable epilator (battery life etc) vs one that you use while plugged in to a power outlet?

3. Do you want to use it in the shower? Another consideration is whether you want a wet epilator, or more accurately, a wet and dry epilator.

A wet dry epilator is waterproof, so you can use it while you’re in the shower one month, and on dry legs the next. Some women find that epilating in warm water reduces skin sensitivity at makes hair removal slightly less painful. On the other hand, most people find that using it wet is slightly less effective at hair removal compared to dry.

Personally, I’ve only ever used dry epilators and they’re my preference. However if this is your first purchase, you could always buy a wet dry epilator, try it in the shower, and if that doesn’t work for you then use it dry from then on. (Don’t forget, though, that all wet and dry epilators are cordless).

Epilator hair removal

The two most common questions I get asked are: Do epilators work and do epilators hurt?

Let’s take them one at a time.

Do epilators work?

Yes they do. Using an epilator results in all the benefits of waxing (slow regrowth, softer hair, infrequent maintenance) while keeping the cost saving benefits of shaving.

While the epilator price is obviously higher than a packet of razors, they are designed to last for years and years. My first epilator, bought for just $60, lasted for eight years (and even then it didn’t break, I just felt like trying out a new model).

Do epilators hurt?

It’s tempting to just say “no” and move on, but I suspect you might want a bit more information on epilator pain than a one-word response!

An epilator hair remover works by pulling out hair from the root. In this way, it’s much the same as waxing. If you’ve been waxing your legs and underarms for some time, then it’s likely you’ll feel little or no pain using an epilator hair remover.

However if you’re switching from shaving, then you will likely feel some discomfort the first few times as you get used to the sensation. And let’s be honest – when I say “discomfort”, for some people that can mean lots of pain.

While there’s no such thing as a magical, painless epilator, you can definitely look forward to using an epilator without any pain after you’ve tried it a few times. It’s just practice and experience (rather than the model) that makes the process painless.

Once you know how to use an epilator and have done it a few times, it really doesn’t hurt at all. Your hair becomes finer, and gets used to being pulled out.
The first few times you use an epilator on sensitive areas, such as the upper lip or using an epilator for Brazilian then you can expect some discomfort (or pain!) similar to the that felt when waxing those areas.

Are epilators good?

Absolutely yes! In addition to having all the benefits of waxing, and the low cost of shaving, you also get the benefit of being able to have regular top-ups so you need never see any hair on your legs at all.

If you’re used to waxing, you’ll be familiar with the uncomfortable sensation and unattractive look of growing your unwanted hair out until it’s long enough to be picked up by wax. There’s no such problem using an epilator.

I pretty much always travel with a small epilator. It means that I can do a quick hair removal with an epilator for underarms before hitting the pool – much the same as women who pack razors for their holidays – but I don’t have to deal with thicker hair and stubble that is the punishment for giving in to a last minute razor shave.

If you’ve read this far, you know that I’m all about being straight up and honest with you. In that spirit, you should know that some people have problems with epilator ingrown hairs. This is something that shavers don’t need to worry about, but will be very familiar to those of you who already wax regularly. It doesn’t happen to everyone (luckily, it rarely happens to me personally), but if your skin is susceptible to ingrown hair then you’ll want to make sure you always exfoliate after epilating.

Now that you’ve learned about the different types of epilators and decided on your key buying criteria, it’s time to find the best hair epilator for you!

Best Epilator Comparison Table

The epilator comparison table below includes details on the top epilators on the market today. I’ve also taken the best epilators brands and provided more detailed epilators reviews here: Best Epilator Reviews

ModelBest forRatingCordlessWet/DryLightAssessmentPrice
Braun Silk-épil 9 Legs, underarms, bikini (using included attachments)*****YesBothYesBest-selling epilator from the leading company. Price is higher than entry-level models, but you really can't go wrong with this one.$$$
Remington Smooth & Silky
Leg, underarms, beginners, budget***NoDryNoAffordable, no-frills epilator. Good news is that you won't have battery issues (there's no cordless/shower option!). Overall a fairly decent budget option.$
Emjoi Emagine
Stubborn/course hair, ****NoDryNoThe big sell here is the 72 dual opposed tweezers (most epilators have 40) that promise to remove more hairs in a single pass. In reality, the difference isn't as significant as I would have expected.$$
Epilady Legend
Legs*YesBothNoI was really disappointed with this one. Other reviewers reported it breaking down after just a few months. To my mind, not worth the risk as you can get much better epilators for the same price.$
Panasonic Wet/Dry
Legs, arms, face (with attachment)***YesBothYesPretty good, smooth, I've linked to one that comes with some great attachments.$$
Philips Satinelle
**YesBothYesGood budget model, has a wide head which (theoretically) means more hairs captured in a single pass.$

 

Epilator tips

If you went ahead and bought one of the epilators above – congratulations! I just know you’ll never look back. For those of you who are new to epilating and a bit worried about how to get started, I thought I’d offer a few epilator tips.

Have a warm shower first I don’t know the science behind this, but the warm water must soften your skin or loosen up the hair follicles or something. Regardless of the how or why, dry epilating tends to be a little easier if you do it straight after taking a warm shower. If you have a wet epilator, then make sure your shower is warm rather than tepid.

Pull the skin tight Like waxing, keeping the skin taut increases the effectiveness of epilator hair removal and also reduces pain.

Be kind to yourself If you’re used to shaving and have never waxed, then don’t be afraid to be gentle on yourself the first time. It’s going to sting. Some unfortunate women find it even more painful than a sting. But rest assured that every single one of them who doesn’t give up and keeps using an epilator every couple of weeks is rewarded with much less pain (or even no pain) in the future.

It might take a few sessions the first time to remove all your hair. It’s not a competition, so you don’t need to epilate the whole of both your legs all at once. You might start with just half of one leg one day, then half of the other leg the next day.

Remember also that your hair grows at different rates, so even after removing all the hair you see one day, a week later you might have some other hairs growing out (not the ones that you already epilated) so you’ll need to remove them too. Eventually it becomes much easier.

And if you’ve gone with one of the top epilator recommendations, rather than a budget model, then you’ll be able to remove hair as small as 0.5mm. You never need to have unsightly hair grown again.

Epilate at night Immediately after epilating you’ll get some red dots on your legs, much like post-waxing. For this reason, if you intend to be bare legged it might be best to epilate the evening before. By the time you wake up, your legs will have settled down and you can enjoy their hair-free smoothness.

Pick your time of month As women, our monthly cycle affects a whole lot more than many of us realize. When it comes to using an epilator, the time of month that you use it can have a huge difference on the amount of pain you feel.

I don’t mean to keep rubbing it in, but I’m at a stage now when I don’t feel any pain using an epilator. BUT… if I try to epilate the week before my period is due, then it hurts. It’s literally the only time it ever stings for me.

With practice, you can find out what time of month is best time for you to epilate. If you’ve been epilating for months then one day you find it severely painful, just stop! Odds are that if you came back to it just a few days later it would be fine.

I really want to you have the least painful epilator possible. There’s really no need to feel pain once you’re a regular epilator user.

You’ve no doubt noticed by now that most of this guide is focused on ladies epilators, but if you’re looking for a mens epilator I have a dedicated section on that too – just click Epilator for Men [LINK].

If you’ve come here in search of a laser epilator, send me a short message via the contact form I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve completed my guide on laser hair removal machines.

Facial epilator

Most people switch to using epilators on their leg or underarm hair in the first instance. Once you’ve been converted to using an epilator, you might start resenting having to pay for waxing or threading of your unwanted facial hair too. Speaking for myself, I’d been using an epilator for legs for about three years before I even considered using an epilator for facial hair.

I don’t know why it took my so long!

Using epilator on face hair means there’s zero reason to shell out for expensive waxing. You can epilator upper lip and chin hair very easily, and I believe that some people even use an eyebrow epilator, although I’m sure if I tried that myself I’d end up with no eyebrows at all!

You’ll find that the best epilators for face hair have a much smaller number of tweezers than the body hair ones we’ve been talking about so far. This is for a couple of reasons:

– There is less surface area to cover on an upper lip or chin, when compared to legs or underarms

– Using an epilator on face hair, particularly the upper lip, is likely to be more sensitive and painful then other areas

While you can purchase a specific facial hair epilator, many of the best rated epilators also come with attachments that allow you to epilator face hair with the same machine. This saves you both money and clutter, and is what I would recommend for beginners who don’t yet know if they will definitely continue to epilator facial hair. To my mind the best facial epilator should also be the best epilator for Brazilian, legs, and any other hair I want removed. I’m all about decluttering and want just one hair removal machine for everything. It’s actually not impossible!

Epilator Brand Reviews

Still not decided which is the best hair removal epilator for you? Not quite sure if the top rated epilator in the epilator comparison table [LINK] is right for your needs? Never fear, in this section I’ll provide you with some more detailed epilator hair removal reviews of the best epilator brands.

Once you find a brand whose quality and performance you feel comfortable with, it narrows down the selection of models to choose from. While I don’t provide specific epilator for face reviews, I do provide details on which brands offer an attachment that lets you use their epilator on face hair.

Like I said earlier, I’m all about efficiency and reduced clutter, so when I buy epilators, I’m looking for the best epilator for face and body. (These reviews are focused on helping you find the best women’s epilator.  Please click here for the Best Epilator for Men [LINK]

Braun epilator

If you’ve already scrolled through Braun epilator reviews on any other sites, you’ll have noticed that it is continually rated the best brand. And for good reason.

The Braun epilator range is top-of-the-line, and contains as standard many of the features that some other brands offer only in premium models (for example: a light, massage rollers, etc). If you don’t know if epilating is right for you, you may not want to spend a lot of money on a premium model. But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up on getting a Braun.

You can still pick up an older-model Braun epilator online. If that’s what you plan to do, I recommend that the absolute earliest model you consider is the Braun Silk-epil 3 which you should be able to find online for under $50.

In short, if you’re a first timer who wants to get the best experience possible by starting out with a quality epilator, or if you’re looking for an upgrade for your next model, you can’t go wrong with selecting one of the Braun models.

Emjoi epilator

This Emjoi epilator review is somewhat nostalgic, as the brand of the first epilator I ever owned. Unfortunately the model I owned is now out of production, otherwise I’d recommend them unreservedly (that’s the one that lasted for 8 years and never died).

Emjoi has done something really interesting, which is to be the first on the market to introduce dual opposed tweezer heads. This means you can get 72 tweezers as opposed to the standard 40. More tweezers means faster hair removal, and that’s the dream!

I should caution, though, that while this would be great for experienced epilators I wouldn’t recommend it for first timers who aren’t yet used to having their hair yanked out by the roots.

Emjoi also does a specific epilator for men. The Emjoi AP-18MS Emagine Epilator for Men is a corded model, and comes in black. Apart from the colour, there is virtually no difference between this model and their women’s epilator so for any women who prefer the colour black to red, feel free to purchase this one instead!

Click here to browse Amazon reviews for the Emagine Epilator for Men.

Philips epilator

Philips have their fingers in lots of electronics pies, so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that they’re producing epilators as well. Philips epilators aren’t particularly fancy, but they do compare favourably in terms of epilator price. For this reason, the Philips epilator range usually appeals to people who are just starting out.

Click here to check Amazon reviews for Philips epilators.

Remington epilator

Much like Philips, Remington epilators appeal to men because of the brand familiarity. If I’m brutally honest, although I’d place them in the top four epilator brands they’re not my favourite. A lot of people report having trouble with the motors, and my own experience owning one (for a brief time) wasn’t particularly joyful.

Still, if you’re particularly wedded to Remington as a brand and you wouldn’t otherwise buy a leg epilator, then I say go for it. Remington is another one that often compares favourably in terms of epilator price. Click to view the latest model

Epilator for men

Welcome, epilator men! You’ve either read through this entire guide waiting for me to mention a mens epilator, or have skipped straight down to this section. Either way, I’m glad you’re here.

A lot of men choose to epilator back hair or other unwanted body hair instead of dealing with the neverending expense of regular waxing. While you won’t find a product branded as a “male epilator” the fact is that the best epilator for men is almost always going to be the same as the best body epilator for women.

Epilators for men need to cover a lot of surface area, so if you’re looking at reviews aimed at women’s epilators, then pay particular attention to the ones that talk about how they handle leg hair removal. You might be interested in the Emjoi model that has dual-opposed tweezers (72 instead of 40). Emjoi also do an epilator for men (the Emjoi AP-18MS Emagine Epilator for Men that comes in black. Aside from the color, it’s identical to their hair epilator for women, so unless the other colors really offend you I’d stick to getting whichever one has the best features.

View the Emjoi Emagine Epilator for Men on Amazon.

Decided on a brand and ready to find the right model?

Check out my Epilator Reviews