For most of us, choosing to get rid of unwanted hair on our bodies takes time and effort. Shaving is great for a quick fix, but if you want to stay smoother for longer, it might be worth considering an epilator.
When it comes to keeping fuzz at bay for weeks rather than days (if that’s your thing, of course,) it is a case of no pain, no gain. But many of the latest models are designed to make plucking hairs from your skin more comfortable, and come with an array of attachments to help you get the job done.
Quite a few of the epilators on our list even come with a shaver attachment, so if you’re in a hurry or can’t stomach plucking a particular body part, help is at hand!
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How to choose the best epilator for you
When it comes to choosing an epilator, you’ll want to consider how often you want to use it to make your investment worthwhile. If you’ve never used one before, it can be quite daunting to fork out more than £100 / $100 for a fancy model. Of course, you could pick up a basic model for under £50 / $50 to give one a whirl, but it’s worth considering that the more expensive gadgets have more ways of minimising pain and grabbing finer hairs, making them more effective. If you’re a long time fan, we have some great choices that might tempt you to upgrade
Once you’ve decided on your budget, it’s worth looking at where the epilators are designed to be used. For example, a wide head is great for legs, but if you’re planning on braving your underarms, it might not be the best. Then, of course, there is comfort to consider. Some epilators come with sensitive caps and cooling devices to minimise pain, while others have lights to stop users having to go over the same patches again and again to catch stray hairs.
Finally, it’s worth thinking about whether you want the bells and whistles included with the top models. Scrubbing brushes, footcare heads and trimmers are some of the add-ons available, but if you’re never going to use them, you could save some pennies. However, for a little extra outlay, you could get yourself a mini spa.
The Satinelle Prestige is the newest and fastest epilator by Philips, boasting ceramic discs that rotate at 2,200RPM and firmly grip fine and short hairs four times shorter than wax can extract (apparently). The cordless gadget has got an extra wide head and can be used wet and dry. There’s a ‘skin stretcher’ and ‘massage cap’ to make epilating less torturous, and tonnes of attachments for a more spa-like experience. For example, there’s a body exfoliation brush to remove dead skin helps to prevent ingrown hairs and a body massager for a relaxing treatment. There’s even a special attachment for facial hair, as well as a decent trimmer. It is one of the more expensive offerings, but it does a lot. Fast.
The Panasonic ES-EL9A is built for speed, an extra wide head to cover more area in one stroke, and double disks with 60 tweezers to ensure any stray hairs missed by the first disk are caught by the second. The epilator is designed to be used wet or dry for convenience, and has three speed settings that can be adjusted to suit the thickness of the hair. To make life easier, the head pivots up to 90 degrees to fit the contours of the body and there’s an LED light to illuminate hard-to-see areas. As well as being designed to get the job done as gently as possible, the ES-EL9A has heaps of accessories, including a sonic scrub brush, a foot care head, and a bikini comb and pop up trimmer to meet every hair removal need.
Braun claims its Silk-épil 9 Flex is the world’s first epilator for women with a fully flexible head, making hair removal even easier (if not completely pain free). The gadget boasts micro-grip tweezer technology with 40 tweezers in the head and SensoSmart technology to guide users, ensuring the right amount of pressure is applied to help remove even more hair in just one stroke slightly less painfully. It’s one of the most expensive epilators on our list, but it does come with lots of extras, including a FaceSpa feature, which has a sensitive and deep cleansing brush and beauty sponge attachment, which is a bit different to the average epilator kit.
If you're looking for an epilator/shaver that offers great value, the Panasonic ES-ED93 might be the one. Designed to be used wet or dry, the epilator has dual disks with 48 tweezers to catch stray hairs and a 60-degree pivoting head to help the gadget fit against the skin. It's not the most cutting edge, but it's cordless and designed to be used for legs, arms, bikini line, underarms and feet, earning it a well-deserved place in the bathroom cabinet.
Travelling abroad with a razor can be a pain if you fly, but Magnitone’s Pluck It Superglide Mini epilator is perfect for jet setters, as there are no blades to worry about and you can charge it via USB. The gadget may be no-frills, but it’s petite, cute and comes in a choice of two colours. With 32 tweezing disks spinning round over 30 times a second to quickly pluck hairs, it’s not going to win speed or comfort competitions, but its compact design and small price tag make it perfect for epilating newbies or those who want to stay smooth on trips away.
The Philips Satinelle Advanced epilator is a cordless, wet and dry gadget that has two speed settings for extra comfort on more sensitive areas. There’s a light to help you see what you’re doing, and like pricier models, it has a wider head for speedy hair removal. The ergonomic S-shaped handle is easy to steer for control in bath or shower. This epilator has lots of the features of more expensive Philips epilators, but what it lacks is all the extra accessories. If you’re not fussed about shaving attachments and massage rollers etc. this is a great option.
If you’re after a no-frills gadget or want to give epilating a go without spending big bucks, the Philips Satinelle Essential is a good option. It can remove hair as short as 0.5mm from the root and has a nice compact and ergonomic design. The big downside is that this epilator is corded, which can be a pain if you want to use it in the bathroom or just hate getting tangled up in wire, but at least you can’t forget to charge it.
As you’d expect from the price-tag, the Silk Epil 9-961e Cordless Epilator is ruthlessly efficient. It sucks away hairs like a hoover, leaving your skin like a plucked chicken without a single loose strand anywhere. The speed with which this epilator operates means you can whizz over your skin and blast away hairs at an alarming rate. It almost becomes addictive. Alas, the price-tag doesn’t mean this epilator is a magic wand that will wave all pain away. It’s still painful when used in sensitive areas (not even those sensitive areas necessarily but areas like your underarms). Perhaps we’re still years away from the magical technology that will solve that problem but for everything else, this epilator feels like a technological marvel that you’ll love using.
Epilators aren’t just devices that pluck hairs from your skin like rapid-fire tweezers, even though that’s the form they usually take. This particularly epilator is a wax variant, which gives you “salon wax results at home and smooth skin for weeks”. It’s not instant in the same way traditional epilators are, because the wax takes roughly 20 minutes to heat up, but it’s quick and easy once you get going. The results are there to be seen after use and it makes waxing surprisingly easy. The main downside is unlike epilators that pluck your skin, you’ll need to buy further wax strips and cartridges once the ones supplied have run out.