11 best at-home laser hair removal machines & IPL devices, tried & tested | plmubl.com

11 best at-home laser hair removal machines & IPL devices, tried & tested

It’s hardly a surprise that at-home laser hair removal machines, as well as IPL devices, are often hailed as the most convenient – not to mention pain-free – method of removing unwanted hairs. Sure, shaving takes the crown for its popularity and affordable price, however, it also comes with its own set of issues, such as ingrown hair, itching, irritation and dry skin.

Elsewhere, other ways of hair removal such as epilators or waxing are known to fall short in the pain department. Trust me, as someone who used to get my body waxed for nearly a decade, I always dreaded my appointments, often having to mentally prep myself for the pain (especially when it concerned my bikini area). That is, until I discovered at-home IPL (Intense Pulsed Light).

Sure, IPL devices often come with a high price tag, but they’re also equipped with the latest technology, long-battery life and user-friendly software, making the process of hair removal considerably easier and well worth the long-term investment.

So if you’re are willing to cast aside your trusty razor, waxing kit or an electric trimmer in favour of a compact IPL machine but can’t decide between the sheer number of options out there, we’re here to help and answer all your burning FAQs. The GLAMOUR team are well seasoned testers who have tried dozens of at-home laser hair removal devices first-hand, so we took extra care in curating this edit, while taking into consideration all the pros and the cons – no gatekeeping.

SKIP TO: What does IPL stand for? | What’s the difference between IPL and laser? | How laser hair removal works | Is laser hair removal at home safe? | Does it work on everyone? | How can you prepare for a treatment? | The best at home laser hair removal devices.


Best laser hair removal machine at a glance – our top picks:

  1. Best laser hair removal machine overallSmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Device Exclusive Collection, £149
  2. Best laser hair removal machine for sensitive skinPhilips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal Device, WAS £509.99 NOW £399.99
  3. Best cordless laser hair removal machineSensica Sensilight Pro with RPL Technology For Permanent Hair Reduction, £299
  4. Best laser hair removal machine for legsBraun Silk·expert Pro 5 PL5124 Women’s IPL, WAS £599.99 NOW £320

SmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Device Exclusive Collection

£149 AT CURRENTBODY

£232 AT AMAZON

Philips Lumea IPL Series 8000 Hair Removal Device

£509.99 £399.99 AT AMAZON

Sensilight Pro with RPL Technology For Permanent Hair Reduction

£299 AT AMAZON

Braun IPL Silk Expert Pro 5

£599.99 £320 AT CURRENTBODY

£610 £494.65 AT AMAZON


Meet the experts:


What does IPL stand for?

IPL stands for intense pulsed light. IPL laser hair removal is arguably the most effective hair removal technique around (even more so than your epilator) – namely because it’s a permanent hair removal system for both legs and hard-to-reach areas.


Does laser hair removal hurt?

IPL is widely considered to be one of the most pain-free hair removal methods, but this ultimately depends on you and the device you’re using. Nowadays, many laser hair removal tools has built-in cooling technologies, which makes those quick bursts of light as painless as possible. Naturally, you should also always look to start off on the lowest settings possible to see how you react.


How we tested the best laser hair removal devices:

Each of the devices below scored highly when marked against ease-of-use, versatility, pain felt during use, attachments and how quickly we saw results on different skin types. As well as testing the most popular IPL devices such as the Silk N’ Infinity, the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5, the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X and the JOVS Venus Pro Skin Rejuvenation and IPL Hair Removal Device, we’ve made a conscious effort to check the latest customer reviews and spoke to dermatology experts. Below, you’ll find the 11 products that made the cut. (Find out how we test here).

Scroll for our full edit of the best laser hair removal machines…

  • Image may contain Lamp Glass Drink Wine Glass Alcohol Wine and BeverageBest laser hair removal machine overallSmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Device Exclusive CollectionMachine type: IPL.
    Flashes: Unlimited.
    Cordless? No.
    Settings: Three.
    Suitable for: Legs, arms, bikini line and face.Why we love it: Available in pink, nude and white as part of an exclusive collection for CurrentBody, this at home laser hair removal device is 30% stronger than the original Bare device, emitting 100 powerful flashes per minute. This means you can complete a full body treatment in just 10 minutes, and you’ll see 97% less hair in four weeks. Suitable for use on your legs, bikini line, underarms or face, it uses an intelligent built-in skin sensor which scans your skin to adjust the light intensity for your skin tone – ensuring salon-standard and (most importantly) safe results every time. And with unlimited flashes, you’re equipped with a lifetime of treatments, you don’t need to worry about stubbly legs or prickly underarms ever again. Seriously the best IPL device around.Pros: We love that there are three operating modes to allow for a tailored treatment plan – Gentle, Speed and Power. In each of the three modes, you can use the Glide or Stamp method, adjusting to the surface area you’re working on. Simply shave your treatment area, leave it to dry, lay the device flat to your skin, and moisturiser after you’ve finished. Oh, and it comes with a two-year warranty.Cons: It doesn’t work on grey, red, blonde or red blonde hair. It also doesn’t work on very dark skin.£149 AT CURRENTBODY£232 AT AMAZON
  • Image may contain Dryer Appliance Hair Drier and Blow DryerBest laser hair removal machine for sensitive skinPhilips Lumea IPL 8000 Series Hair Removal DeviceMachine type: IPL.
    Flashes: 450,000 approx.
    Cordless? No.
    Settings: Four attachments, and the SenseIQ technology detects your skin tone and indicates a comfortable light setting for you.
    Suitable for: Legs, underarms, bikini line and face.Why we love it: Philips knows that not every body is the same, so they’ve included different attachments to cater to every one’s curves and different areas of your body. Each curved attachment ensures optimal skin contact. The large, curved body attachment offers fast and effective treatment on larger areas (only 8.5 min to treat lower legs), while the underarm attachment is specifically designed to treat hard-to-reach underarms. There’s an intelligent bikini attachment, and a small face attachment for gentle and precise treatment for the upper lip, chin and jawline. Philips claims that it’ll deliver a 92% reduction in hair after just three sessions, and they recommend that you use the Lumea device every fortnight for your first four sessions, then follow up with touch-ups once every eight weeks.Pros: It’s really easy to set up – you simply plug it in, press the button and then take your pick from five intensity settings. No replacement lamp is needed – the lamp has enough flashes to last for up to 20 years – and you can download a free Lumea app for personalised guidance and support throughout treatments, which we found super helpful.Cons: It’s corded, so you can’t wander far from your plug socket for conducting treatments. That said, it doesn’t stop you reaching trickier areas. The only other con is that the flash is quite bright, so a pair of protective glasses included in the kit would have been appreciated.Save when you shop for at-home laser hair removal devices using these Amazon discount codes.£509.99 £399.99 AT AMAZON
  • Image may contain Dryer Appliance Hair Drier and Blow DryerBest cordless laser hair removal machineSensica Sensilight Pro with RPL Technology For Permanent Hair ReductionMachine type: IPL.
    Flashes: 600 per charge.
    Cordless? Yes.
    Settings: Five.
    Suitable for: Legs, arms, stomach, back, shoulders, bikini area, underarms and face.Why we love it: Perfect for on-the-go laser hair removal, this cordless at-home IPL device boasts unlimited flashes for a lifetime of use. It safely adapts to your skin tone and can treat your legs in just 15 minutes. It’s suitable for use on your legs, arms, stomach, back, shoulders, bikini area, underarms and face, making it a great all-rounder.Pros: It has a really strong battery life; the charge lasts for approximately 600 flashes. There is also a safety feature which stops the device from flashing when you’re not in full contact with your skin.Cons: Some reviewers have been slightly disappointed by not seeing immediate results, though this is normal for at-home laser hair removal. Others reported that it felt very hot, even on the lowest setting.£299 AT AMAZON
  • Best laser hair removal machine for legsBraun Silk·expert Pro 5 PL5124 Women’s IPLMachine type: IPL.
    Flashes: 400,000.
    Cordless? No.
    Settings: 2 sensitive modes.
    Suitable for: Legs, arms, chest and back to the face, armpit and bikini areas.Why we love it: This Braun IPL tool, the Silk Expert Pro 5 PL5117, is the safest, fastest and most efficient IPL device from Braun to date. You can treat both legs in less than five minutes at the lowest energy level and use the precision head to reach difficult areas.Pros: We love its compact design, and the fact that it emits 400,000 flashes which is 30% (!) more than the previous Silk Expert 5.Cons: There are quite a few hair and skin tone combinations that this device is not suitable for (there’s a really handy diagram which will help you determine if it will work for you on Amazon), and some reviewers report it as being a little painful.£599.99 £320 AT CURRENTBODY£610 £494.65 AT AMAZON

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  • Best laser hair removal machine for intensive treatmentsSmoothSkin Pure Fit IPL Hair Removal DeviceMachine type: IPL.
    Flashes: Unlimited.
    Cordless? No.
    Settings: Ten.
    Suitable for: Legs, arms, armpits, bikini line, face, lip and toes.Why we love it: This device is one of the most powerful IPL machines around. With 10 different energy settings and three modes to choose from, you’ll be able to rid yourself of unwanted body hair in just 12 weeks. After that, you’ll just have to maintain as needed – easy as 1-2-3.Pros: Very powerful and capable of up to 130 flashes per minute.Cons: Not suitable for blonde, red blonde, red and grey hair.£299 £269 AT CURRENTBODY
  • Best RPL laser hair removal machineSensica Sensilight Mini 300K Pulses DeviceMachine type: RPL.
    Flashes: 300,000.
    Cordless? No.
    Settings: Undisclosed.
    Suitable for: Face, body and legs.Why we love it: Razors? Waxing strips? No thanks. This lightweight and compact can help you deal with unwanted hair growth at the root, minus the pain and irritation. The best part is that it’s also clinically proven to leave your skin feeling silky smooth.Pros: Small, lightweight and easy to handle.Cons: Not suitable for darker skin tones or very light hair colours.Save when you shop for the best laser hair removal devices with these LookFantastic discount codes at checkout.£199 AT LOOKFANTASTIC£159 £139 AT AMAZON
  • Best laser hair removal machine for darker skin tonesSilk’n Infinity 400k Permanent Hair Remover for Light to Dark SkinMachine type: eHPL.
    Flashes: 400,000.
    Cordless? No.
    Settings: Five.
    Suitable for: Legs, arms, armpits, face and bikini line.Why we love it: Thanks to its lightweight and ergonomic design, this cordless IPL device is one of the most convenient at-home devices in this edit. Suitable for both light and dark skin, it works by opening up your pores and allowing light impulses to reach your hair follicles easier. Incredibly efficient at stopping hair growth in its tracks, even after a single treatment window.Pros: Works well on darker skin and can be used across most body parts.Cons: Some customer reviews say that you might need some patience with thicker hair.£295 £225 AT AMAZON
  • Best gentle laser hair removal machineBondi Body Laser @ Home V2.0Machine type: IPL.
    Flashes: 300,000.
    Cordless? Yes.
    Settings: Eight.
    Suitable for: Legs, arms, armpits, face and bikini line (even for sensitive skin).Why we love it: If you’re someone who has more sensitive skin, not to worry – you too can enjoy IPL from the comfort of your own home. The latest Bondi Body laser device provides visible results in just weeks, helping stunt hair growth and even clearing out hyperpigmentation and broken capillary veins. It’s light and easy to use, and even comes with its own pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from those pesky little flashes.Pros: Safe for sensitive skin and relatively painless to use.Cons: Not suitable for blonde, red, white and grey hair colors as well as very dark and very light skin tones.£299 AT BONDI-BODY

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  • Best premium laser hair removal machinePhilips Lumea IPL 9900 Series Hair Removal DeviceMachine type: IPL.
    Flashes: 450,000.
    Cordless? Yes.
    Settings: Five.
    Suitable for: Legs, underarms, bikini line and face.Why we love it: Fans for the best-selling Philips Lumea will love the latest model in the series. The 9900 comes with SenseIQ technology and three new AI-powered features that can help tailor your treatment to your liking by providing a smart skin analysis and improving your overall hair removal experience. Provides gentle treatment, even on sensitive skin areas. One of the best IPL hair removal devices on the market.Pros: New AI-powered features, plus Philips offers the device on a Try & Buy monthly subscription to save on up-front cost.Cons: This hair removal handset is quite expensive.£539.99 AT PHILIPS
  • Best painless laser hair removal machineUlike Sapphire Air+ IPL Hair Removal HandsetMachine type: IPL.
    Flashes: Not specified.
    Cordless? No.
    Settings: Five.
    Suitable for: Face and larger body parts, including arms, legs and underarms.Why we love it: Instead of heating and zapping your skin, this unique at-home hair removal device uses ice-touch technology to gently and painlessly get rid of unwanted hair. And while the device itself is relatively pricey, it’s definitely worth the splash since you can easily use it on pretty much any part of your body, including your face.Pros: Relatively painless to use and incredibly versatile.Cons: The skin tone sensor does not work with darker skin tones, as well as lighter hair colours.£299.99 £219 AT AMAZON£299 AT ULIKE
  • Best laser hair removal machine with a rotating headJOVS Venus Pro Hair Removal DeviceMachine type: IPL.
    Flashes: Not specified.
    Cordless? No.
    Settings: Six.
    Suitable for: Body, face, underarms and bikini area.Why we love it: This IPL device comes with built-in cooling technology that produces a flash every 0.6 seconds. Just one use a week helps keep unwanted hair growth at bay and can even help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Quick and easy to use, and incredibly convenient to fit into your regular treatment schedule.Pros: Handy rotating head that can twist and help reach any body part.Cons: Somewhat expensive.£275 AT CURRENTBODY
  • Image may contain Page Text Firearm Gun Rifle Weapon Baton and StickIs IPL better than laser?There is a difference. “First and foremost IPL is not a laser, but there are similarities between the two technologies in that both their functionalities are based on light and both require several initial sessions to achieve optimum long-lasting results,” Chloé told us. “Neither technology can offer permanent hair removal, but both are great options for achieving long term hair reduction.””Laser technology is based on a single, concentrated wavelength that precisely penetrates the skin. The light from the laser goes through the melanin (the pigment that colours your hair) in the hair into the root. The light converts to heat and destroys the hair follicle and hair bulb to prevent future hair regrowth. Laser treatments are carried out either in salons or by dermatologists and require top-up maintenance sessions.“IPL on the other hand can be carried out either in salon or in the comfort of your own home with a product like Philips Lumea,” Chloé continued. “IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is made up of a wide spectrum of light, and can treat larger areas at a time vs a laser.” IPL also uses lower energy levels in comparison to full laser treatments, so it takes a little longer to work.“At-home IPL kits do not come with goggles but can differ for each device, which indicates how low the light technology is compared to in-clinic laser hair removal,” Barbara added.

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  • Image may contain Page Text Firearm Gun Rifle Weapon Baton and StickHow do laser hair removal machines work?“With IPL technology, pulses of light are applied to the skin and are absorbed by the roots of hair in the ‘growing’ phase,” Chloé said. “This light is absorbed by the melanin, which is responsible for the pigmentation in the hair. This light energy becomes warm and stimulates the hair follicle to go into a resting phase, which causes hair to naturally shed and inhibits regrowth. As only the hairs in the growth stage are treated this way, a few sessions are required to target all the hairs to reach the required results.”Repeated use of this technique means that, over time, regrowth is reduced. Even when it does grow back in the early days of treatment, it will grow back at a significantly slower rate. You can use IPL technology to banish hair on your legs, bikini line and in smaller areas like your underarms.
  • Image may contain Page Text Firearm Gun Rifle Weapon Baton and StickAre at-home laser hair removal machines safe?Yes, at-home laser hair removal devices tend to be safe and most are FDA-approved. Take the Philips Lumea, for example. “It has been designed and developed with dermatologists and leading skin scientists. It has a number of in-built safety mechanisms, and when used correctly shouldn’t have any implications to the skin health.”The biggest risk with cheaper devices is scarring – though the best way to avoid this is to start off on lower intensity levels, avoid zapping sensitive areas, avoid using the treatment for facial hair or over your neck, and do a patch testing on a small area before committing to your large areas of the body such as your legs. Beginners are advised to wait for three-four weeks post-patch test to make sure you experience no side effects.When you start using an IPL hair removal device, you should add a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your whole-body skincare routine, as your skin will be more sensitive to UV rays. Also, avoid anything that can irritate your skin like serums, deodorant, hot showers, scented body lotions and perfumes for at least 24 hours after a zap.
  • Image may contain Page Text Firearm Gun Rifle Weapon Baton and StickDo laser hair removal machines work on everyone?Sadly, IPL devices don’t work on all skin and hair types. “Hair colours and skin tone influence how suitable IPL treatment will be on an individual level, meaning that it won’t be for everyone,” Chloé told us. “IPL is most effective when there is a greater contrast between the hair colour and skin tone.” Individuals with fairer skin and dark hair have a greater contrast meaning more of the light will be absorbed by the hair rather than the skin.As with all other IPL based treatments, this light energy is absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle. When there is not enough melanin present in the hair, for example in light blonde, white or grey hair, then IPL will not work. Equally, red hair has a different type of melanin present, which cannot absorb the light so again is not suitable for IPL treatment. IPL treatments are also not recommended for those with the darkest of dark skin tones.”IPL, laser and diode lasers can cause skin discolouration in dark skin if the wrong type of machine is used. In fact, when there is little to no contrast between the hair and the skin, your skin will absorb the light which converts to heat and causes pain, blisters and burns. Ouch.
  • Image may contain Page Text Firearm Gun Rifle Weapon Baton and StickHow should you prepare for laser hair removal at home?Firstly, “the area must be cleanly shaved within 24 hours prior to the treatment,” Barbara told us. “Electric razors are not recommended as the hair is typically left too long. And do not tweeze, wax, or pluck the area being treated between or prior to sessions. Only shave the area.”“Fake tanning products cannot be used for three-four weeks prior to treatment; the area should be thoroughly exfoliated to remove all residues,” Barbara added.Anything else? Avoid skincare products that can be irritating, such as retinal or brightening ingredients and acidic cleansers prior to your laser hair removal treatment.After more hair removal content? Head this way for face shavers for women, shaving cream for women and face wax strips. For more from Glamour UK Senior European Commerce Editor Sophie Cockett, follow her on Instagram @sophiecockettx. And for more shoppable beauty content from Glamour UK Commerce Writer Denise Primbet, follow her on Twitter @deniseprimbet and Instagram @deniseprimbet.

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