The Best Epilators

2021 Buyer Guide & Product Review

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We all know that epilating can be a bit uncomfortable, but seasoned epilators will tell you that you do become desensitised to it—honest! And a good epilator can make it much more comfortable. Many people feel that even initially, it’s still less painful than waxing! It’s also less messy than waxing and easier to do at home, reducing your hair removal costs.

As far as results go, only waxing can give you a similarly smooth finish and length of time before hair regrowth—but with waxing, you then have to spend a week or so looking hairy, waiting for your hairs to grow long enough for waxing! That’s not an issue with epilating, which can remove tiny new hairs.

So, if I’ve persuaded you to give epilators a go—or if you’ve got an old epilator and want to see what the next generation epilators have to offer; wet, dry, cordless, multifunctional?—read on for my round-up of the ten best epilators.

My Top 10 Epilators

Here are my 10 best epilators for smooth skin and great results:

Best Epilator Overall: The Braun Silk Epil 9

The Braun Silk Epil 9 is a clear winner. It’s a cordless epilator, so ideal for packing in your suitcase—but if you do need to charge it, a special cord set that automatically adapts to any worldwide AC voltage is included.

The Smartlight reveals even the finest hairs and the pivoting head allows you to remove hairs from hard-to-reach areas, making it one of the best epilators for underarms. Clever accessories can also turn it into an electric shaver and trimmer, or a sonic exfoliator, so it’s a great 3-in-1 gadget for all your hair removal and skin care needs!

  • For wet or dry use-suitable for use in the bath or shower
  • 40% wider head than other Braun epilators
  • MicroGrip Tweezer technology removes hair 4x shorter than wax can remove
  • Pulsing action to reduce discomfort
  • Shaver head included
  • Sonic exfoliation brush to reduce ingrowing hairs

Best Runner-Up Epilator: Panasonic Cordless Epilator

The Panasonic ES-EL9A Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator has a double disk head system that ensures no hair is left behind! A vibrating sonic head exfoliates the skin, leaving it super-smooth and helping to prevent ingrown hairs

The Gentle Cap holds your skin in place, making hair removal easier and more comfortable, and an LED light helps you see each area you’re working on clearly. Reviewers love how painless hair removal is with this epilator, and how easy it is to clean.

  • 30% wider head than previous Panasonic models
  • New easy grip and 90° pivoting head
  • 3-speed modes: soft, normal, power
  • Can be used in shower or bath
  • 8 attachments, including Footcare Head and Sonic Scrub Brush

Best Value: Phillips Satinelle Compact Epilator

Our best value epilator is the Philips Satinelle Essential Compact Epilator. This is a small, corded, lightweight model that reviewers love for its durability, sturdiness, low discomfort factor and great price.

While it may not come with a host of fancy attachments that turn it into a multi-purpose grooming tool, it will quickly and efficiently remove hairs as short as 0.5mm, which is exactly what you want from an epilator! Also, while it is corded rather than cordless, the cord is long enough for this not to be an inconvenience—and means it’s always ready for use. This budget epilator is a real bargain!

  • Ergonomic grip for easy use
  • Removable, washable head
  • 2 speed settings
  • Cleaning brush and pouch included
  • Lightweight

Best Beginner’s: Braun Silk Epil 5 Starter Kit

The Braun Silk-Epil 5-511 Starter Kit includes a simple to use epilator and a unique ‘beginner’s cap’, which Braun recommend users new to epilation use for at least the first month.

This unique cap combines epilation and shaving, epilating 60% of the hairs and shaving the rest. The Silk Epil 5 also has a non-slip grip handle and two-speed settings to match your hair type and experience. Reviewers love it for its sturdiness and comfortable grip, and also find it easy to clean.

  • Designed to give beginner epilator users a more comfortable experience
  • Features unique beginner’s cap, combining shaving with epilation
  • Can be used dry or in bath or shower
  • Smoother results than waxing
  • MicroGrip Tweezer technology for great results

Best for Face: Braun 830 Facial Epilator

Give your face a treat and a professional spa treatment with the Braun 810 Face Spa! This model wins my best epilator for face award because it’s not only brilliant at removing facial hair, but also has a facial cleansing system, with a special brush attachment that will exfoliate your skin and give it a pore-deep cleanse.

The slim, compact design makes this facial epilator easy to hold and manoeuvre, allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas. Using both the epilator and cleaning attachments will leave your face hair-free, smooth and glowing!

  • Can remove the finest, shortest hairs (0.2mm)
  • Cleaning brush attachment for a spa-style deep facial cleanse
  • Extra battery provided
  • Waterproof—ideal for use in shower or bath
  • The sleek design makes it easy to use on all parts of the face

Best for Legs: Braun Silk Epil 1

Your legs are probably the biggest area you choose to epilate, and the area that needs attention most often, so you need an efficient epilator that will give great results without causing you pain.

The Braun Silk Epil 1 is the epilator for the job. It’s my best epilator for legs because its Soft Lift Tips are designed to lift even flat-lying hairs at the root so that the epilator’s tweezers can remove them effectively, making it ideal for large areas. There’s also an underarm cap that makes it easier to use your epilator on sensitive areas.

  • Ideal for legs and larger areas
  • Supplied with 2m cord
  • Underarm cap for use on sensitive areas
  • Soft Lift Tips help ensure that even the flattest hairs are lifted and removed

Best Bikini: VOYOR 3-in1 Cordless Epilator

Epilators can give great results on your bikini line, but it’s not always the most comfortable experience or one you always have the nerve or time to face!

The VOYOR 3-in-1 Cordless Epilator gets my vote as the best epilator for your bikini line—and one of the best epilators overall—because it’s not just an epilator. It also has a trimming and shaving head for those times when you’d rather shave than epilate, and there’s a footcare ‘pedi’ head that’s great for removing hard skin from your feet. Don’t let the lesser-known brand and low cost put you off—multiple reviewers mention how well this epilator performs, even when compared to more costly products from better-known brands!

  • Lightweight and cordless
  • Rechargeable, with long-lasting performance
  • Incudes shaver/trimmer head and pedicure head
  • Ideal for bikini line

Best for Underarms: Panasonic ES-ED53

Even some seasoned epilators find their underarms an awkward, uncomfortable area to epilate. However, the Panasonic ES-ED53 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator has several features that make it ideal for this sensitive area.

The 60° flexible pivoting head means the Panasonic can easily follow your underarm contours, and the Gentle Skin Guard will hold your skin taut so that the epilator more easily and efficiently pulls out hairs—without tugging on your skin. Twin discs help ensure hairs are removed on the first pass, reducing revisits, and this epilator can be used wet or dry, so you can use a foam or gel for added comfort. Its
LED light is especially useful to illuminate this often difficult-to-see area!

  • Bikini head included
  • Gentle Cap for sensitive areas
  • Pivoting head
  • LED light
  • Twin discs for quicker, more efficient hair removal

Best for Sensitive Skin: Braun Silk-Epil 7 SensoSmart

The Braun Silk-Epil 7 SensoSmart Cordless Epilator has the technology and useful accessories that can make epilation quicker, more efficient, less painful and less irritant—all vital if you have sensitive skin.

Sensosmart technology means this epilator monitors the pressure you’re applying to the skin, shining a red light to show you’re pushing too hard and need to adjust your angle or force. The pivoting head makes your body’s contours easier to follow and a handy LED light illuminates the area. Massage rollers and special caps (skin contact cap, facial cap and sensitive cap) make epilating sensitive areas easier and less uncomfortable. You can also use this epilator in the shower or bath with foam to reduce irritation. There’s a shaver and trimmer head, too, for times you don’t want to epilate.

  • Sensosmart technology for more efficient, gentler epilation
  • Cordless
  • Can be used in the bath or shower
  • Includes shaver and trimmer cap, skin contact cap, a facial cap and sensitive cap
  • Smart pouch to neatly store epilator and all accessories

Best for Travel: Hangsun F230 Cordless

This neat, compact, lightweight little epilator won’t break the bank or your suitcase.

It’s my best epilator for travel because it has all the features you need, including 2-speed modes to suit different areas and hair thicknesses, and a built-in light. It’s fast charging, takes just 90 minutes, and can be used cordless or corded. It also comes with a shaving head, meaning there’s no need to pack a separate shaver for your trips. Win-win!

Reviewers love how powerful and efficient it is, despite its small size and very reasonable price, and how easy it is to clean.

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Handy shaving head included
  • Fast charging
  • Built-in light

More Epilators

Here are three more great epilators—all good all-rounders—to consider.

Philips Satinelle Essential Corded Compact Epilator

The Philips BRE225/00 Satinelle Essential Corded Compact Epilator is high in performance, low in cost and small in size.

This compact and lightweight epilator is ideal if you want a simple hair removal device that works well, doesn’t cost a fortune and tucks neatly into your bag for holidays or weekends away. There are no fancy accessories—just a cleaning brush—and it’s a little noisier than some other models. But reviewers love how easy it is to hold and use, and it has two speeds and a removable head for easy cleaning. In short, this epilator is basic but brilliant!

  • Cleaning brush included
  • Removable head
  • Two speeds
  • Great price
  • Compact and lightweight

Philips Satinelle Prestige Epilator

At the other end of the scale, if you have money to spend and want a top-of-the-range multifunctional epilator, consider the Philips Satinelle Prestige Epilator.

It’s not surprising that this model was the Winner of the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2019. It’s Philips fastest epilator and has the widest head in their range. The included accessories mean you can use this product to not just epilate, but massage and exfoliate your skin, and shave at those times and in those areas that you don’t want to epilate. This cordless epilator has two speeds and can be used wet or dry.

  • Wide head to remove more hairs at once
  • Super-fast epilation
  • Built-in light and 2 speeds
  • Ergonomic S-shaped handle for optimal control
  • 9 attachments, including facial cap, shaver head, exfoliation brush, massager and skin stretcher cap

Rowenta EP5660 Silence Soft Epilator

The Rowenta EP5660 Silence Soft Epilator offers a quieter and more comfortable epilation experience.

A double-shell silence system ensures nearly silent running, and the patented Mikto Contact Technology keeps the epilator in close contact with your skin and its contours, ensuring efficient epilation. Micro massage balls help to ease any discomfort. Accessories include an exfoliation roll for gentler epilation, a shaving head for sensitive areas, an exfoliation head, an underarm head and bikini comb, which are all removable for easy cleaning. A storage case is also included.

  • Silence system for ultra-quiet epilation
  • Two speeds
  • Built-in light
  • Mikto Contact Technology to ensure every hair is removed
  • Accessories include a shaver head, an exfoliation head, 2 sensitive area accessories, and a bikini comb

Frequently Asked Questions

Are epilators the best form of hair removal?

Like waxing, epilation removes hairs at the root, so it lasts longer than shaving, and new hairs tend to be lighter and finer. And like waxing, it can cause discomfort, particularly when you’re new to it, so choose a good epilator, follow the instructions carefully and be prepared for the first few sessions to be uncomfortable. Epilation does become less painful over time, so stick with it!

It’s easier to do at home than waxing, and far less messy too! You can also epilate when hairs are tiny, as with waxing, you have to wait until they’re longer.

Should I epilate wet or dry?

Having an epilator that you can use wet or dry is very convenient. Dry epilation is great for quick touch-up sessions. However, most people prefer to use their epilator in the bath or shower. It’s convenient, as you can wash skin afterwards, and wet epilation on warm skin is usually more comfortable than epilating dry. You can also use a foam or gel, which can make epilation easier and help to calm the skin.

How often should I epilate?

There’s no definitive answer to this one, as hair re-growth rates vary from person to person and between body areas. It also depends on your preferences and how important completely smooth, hairless skin is to you. Many people find a good epilator gives results that last around 3-4 weeks.

If you’re a novice, try epilating every week or two, as this will help you get used to the sensation, and removal of shorter hair is less painful.

Will an epilator remove hair permanently?

Epilators don’t permanently remove hair, but some people find that after prolonged use, hair growth is slower and/or sparser. Regrowth after epilation tends to be finer and lighter.

Can I use an epilator on the area above my lip?

Yes, facial epilators or epilators with facial head attachments can be used on your upper lip, and they can remove hairs far more thoroughly and quickly than single, painful plucks with tweezers. As always, take care near delicate areas, follow instructions supplied with your epilator carefully, and hold the skin taut.

Can I use an epilator on my pubic hair?

Epilators are fine for your bikini line, and yes, you can go more intimate with them if you’re careful! Trim hair first—epilating long hair can be painful and often impossible. But don’t trim it too close to the skin, as hairs need to be long enough for the epilator to grasp. Seasoned epilator users recommend showering and exfoliating first so that the skin is warm and ingrown hairs are less likely. Always use an epilator with sensitive area accessories and even better, choose one with a skin tautening feature, such as the Panasonic ES-ED53’s Gentle Skin Guard.

Kate Beauty Rediscovered

Kate is a frequent contributing author and writer at Beauty Rediscovered. She's a makeup, hair and skincare enthusiast who's been writing about beauty for over 10 years. In addition to her personal experiences with beauty, Kate offers a wealth of knowledge from her background as a nurse where she works in Bournemouth.

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