Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5: which is the best IPL machine?

It's the battle of the IPL titans, but which is better, Philips or Braun?

Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5
(Image credit: Philips)

When it comes to the best of IPL devices, the Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 is a clash of the titans. Of course, there are loads of great options out there for a variety of budgets - and you can check out our best IPL machine buying guide for some of the best – but both of the models are the brand’s top offerings and packed with the latest hair busting technology.

But what is IPL exactly? It stands for 'intense pulsed light', and unlike laser machines, it uses different wavelengths of light to target pigment within the hair, effectively putting it to sleep. Once the light reaches the pigment, it’s heated to a level that kills the growing cells, eradicating the hair. 

The Philips Lumea Prestige IPL and Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 can both be used in a similar way: Users simply remove hair by shaving, epilating or waxing. They can then select the right setting for their skin tone on their device, before holding it at a 90-degree angle and pressing the button while moving it over the area they want smooth. With repeat use, it’s quick and effective.

When it comes to the big selling points, Philips says Prestige users typically see a 92% hair reduction after three treatments, while Braun claims the Silk Expert Pro 5 is the safest and fastest IPL on the market, with visible hair reduction in four weeks.

Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5: Design 

Both the models are both pleasingly ergonomic with expensive-looking buttons. The Philips one has a nice pearlized lilac finish, making it super feminine as well as non-intimidating, while Braun’s offering is more grownup in gold. Both are super chic and sleek with click on attachments for different body areas.

The Philips Prestige IPL can be used with a cord or cordless, making it easier to wield in the bathroom and beyond, while the Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 has to be plugged in, which makes you can’t stray far from a socket, but don’t have to recharge it either. Which might work better for you may come down to your memory!  

Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5

(Image credit: Philips)

 Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5: Attachments  

Both IPL devices come with attachments, but Philips’ product wins on quantity. The Philips Lumea Prestige comes with three heads for different purposes. The face attachment has a flat window for precise use on the upper lip, with a red filter for an extra gentle treatment. Then, there’s a medium-sized, curved attachment designed for precise coverage of bikini and underarm areas, and a body attachment with a large contour-following design for fast treatment on more expansive areas like legs, arms and stomach.

By compassion, the Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 only comes with one attachment – a precision head for targeting smaller areas such as the face, underarms and bikini line. The gliding mode triggers more flashes for the fastest treatment, which is ideal for large body parts, whereas the ‘stamp mode’ provides a more precise treatment suitable for smaller and sensitive areas.

So, in one way you get less with the Braun, but if you’re a fan of simplicity, you might get on well with the company’s approach.

Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5

(Image credit: Braun)

 Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5: Power Settings 

Designed to make your life easier, both devices automatically adjust their power settings to work best on your skin.

The Lumea Prestige has five energy settings, but there’s no need to go manual, because the device is designed to detect your skin tone with its SenseIQ technology. This means it can select the most comfortable light setting for that tone, to give you the most comfortable and effective results.  If that’s not enough, the three attachments further adapt programs tailored for each body area.

The Braun model has the edge when it comes to the number of power settings. There are 10 intensity levels and three comfort modes. Just like the Lumia, the Silk-expert Pro 5 has tech to read your skin tone. Called SensoAdapt, it means the device continuously reads the skin tone and adapts the flash intensity accordingly, for what Braun says is the safest and most effective permanent visible hair removal.

So, when it comes to power settings, the Braun wins, but both make getting the right setting simple with some seriously clever technology. 

Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5

(Image credit: Philips)

 Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5: Speed and Bulb Life

Even with the help of the ritziest of devices, getting rid of unwanted hair can be a bit of a chore. So, the faster you can get it done, the better right? Braun says you can treat both your lower legs in less than five minutes, with the Philips Lumea coming in at 8.5 minutes (apparently) although we imagine it really depends upon the individual. 

However, neither model is slow. For example, you can treat facial areas in one-and-a-half minutes or your underarms in three minutes with the Philips Lumea Prestige. And Braun’s model is twice as fast as the previous one, so the chances are, blitzing body hair will get faster in the future too.

Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5

(Image credit: Braun)

In terms of bulb life, the Braun wins the race, and its top model has a bulb life of 400,000 flashes, while Philips’ has just 250,000.

Philips Lumea Prestige vs Braun Silk-expert Pro 5: Verdict

Whether you choose the Braun or the Philips model really comes down to whether you place more importance on flexibility or power and speed.

The Philips Lumea Prestige offers more flexibility with its cordless design and three attachments, whereas the Braun offers fewer options. So, if you like your tech targeted – and to be able to do hair removal wherever you like in your home – you might want to go with the Lumea.

However, the Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 has the edge when it comes to power and speed. It has 10 intensity levels and is faster when it comes to removing leg hair, although both devices are speedy at blitzing body hair and come with clever tech to choose the best power intensity for the job.

So really, both devices are packed with tech and a potential game-changer when it comes to managing unwanted hairs. Which one you choose comes down to personal preferences. You might find that picking the right one, is a little like splitting hairs.

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