When it comes to women’s grooming, hair removal has got to be one of the toughest.
Keeping hair away from areas like the armpit, legs and bikini area is a struggle for most.
The default method would be shaving but constantly raking your skin with a piece of blade can be irritating to the skin.
And depending how often you shave, the cost of buying refills can quickly add up.
Waxing is better option than shaving because it removes hair from the roots. But the cost of having one done professionally can be astronomical.
Do-it-yourself kits are available but it can be messy and time consuming.
Epilators are an in-between solution between shaving and waxing that more and more women are starting to enjoy.
An epilator is essentially a tool that contains a set of tweezers that pull out hair from the roots.
The biggest benefit of using an epilator is the decreased frequency in which you need to remove hair.
However depending on your pain tolerance this device isn’t suited for everyone.
Using an epilator can be a painful experience but a lot of women do love the results and the cost savings!
If you’re not familiar with what an epilator is please check our guide on using an epilator and the shaving versus epilating article to give you an idea on the different aspects of using one.
For this guide, I’ll be focusing on the best options, tips on how to choose one and much more.
Are you ready?
Here are the 6 Best Epilators of 2019
Epilators have been growing in popularity the last few years. It provides women cheaper option to waxing with better results. The process can be a bit more painful than waxing but a lot cheaper. Learn more about these products, the pros and cons and much more.
Our Pick: Braun Silk Epil 9 9-579 Wet & Dry
When it comes to versatility, it’s hard to beat the Braun Silk Epil 9 9-579 wet & dry epilator.
Here’s the great news, since this variant isn’t the latest, the price has gone down.
This will not have the SensoSmart technology found in the Epil 9 9-890 but performance isn’t far off because it has the same MicroGrip tweezer technology.
Its epilation head is 40% wider that previous generation Braun epilators which means better coverage and more efficient hair plucking.
Braun says that the 40% wider head will keep hair at bay for up to four weeks. Some women swear by this and say that this epilator was better at removing hair than waxing.
Combine that with the pivoting head and you’ll have something that’s easy to use on your legs and armpits.
You can use this on the face and bikini area
Not only that, you can also use this epilator on your face and bikini area thanks to the additional cap attachments with varying tweezer exposure.
This epilalator is cordless and will take around 1 hour to charge. A full charge will run for about 40 minutes which is plenty to epilate both legs.
Another feature that women will like is the ability of this epilator to pluck hair in wet conditions.
This is a preference thing as some women would like to use an epilator in a hot tub where they are at a relaxed state.
However don’t soak the whole epilator under water. Wet, dry simply means you can use it on damp skin.
- Versatile epilator that can remove hair on various areas like the legs, armpits and face
- Comes with attachments like a trimmer so you don’t have to purchase another one separately
- Also comes with an exfoliating brush attachment for the face
- Wide epilation head makes will pluck hair more efficiently
- One of the more expensive options in the market
- Wide epilation head won’t work as well on areas like the lip/chin and bikini area
Great for the Body, Face and Bikini Area: Braun Silk Epil 7 7-561
Women who find the top-spec Silk Epil 9 too expensive, this is a good alternative that I believe has better value for money.
The Braun Silk Epil 7 7-561 does not have the wider head or the extra accessories that the Silk Epil 9 has but it will does the most important thing you’d want in an epilator which is to pluck hair efficiently.
Under the hood both the Silk Epil 7 and 9 have the same motor and the same number of tweezers so expect similar results for around $10 less.
The tweezers in this variant are also close grip so it can pluck out even the finest hair up to 0.5mm long.
Epilating head pivots back and forth which maintain surface contact as you go back and forth.
This variant comes with an electric shaver attachment and bikini trimmer so you don’t need to purchase those items separately.
It is a cordless epilator that’ll take 1 hour to charge and will run for about 40 minutes.
You can use this wet or dry since it is fully waterproof.
- Cheaper than the Braun Silk Epil 9
- Close grip technology will help remove even the thinnest hair
- Epilating head has a massaging head that helps ease the pain a bit
- Attachments that come along with this make this versatile
- Some complaints about the electric shaver attachment not working well
Cheap Option: Philips Satinelle HP6401
The Philips Satinelle HP6401 is one of the best epilators available for under $30.
If you don’t mind the cord, this is a great option that’s capable of removing hair and keeping them for around a couple of weeks.
It comes with a smaller motor and only 21 tweezers so don’t expect it to pluck hair as fast as the Emjoi AP-18 or the Braun Silk Epil 9 but it will still do the job.
This variant doesn’t come with any additional tools other than the efficiency cap which makes this usable on your body.
While Philips says that this epilator can remove short hair up to 0.5mm long, women say that it isn’t very efficient at doing so.
Women looking to remove more short hair on their bodies should look at more expensive models like the Braun Silk Epil 9.
- Cheap option at just under $30
- Cord means no worrying about the batteries going out
- Efficiency cap works great for the body
- Washable head makes it easy to clean
- No LED headlight
- Not as fast as other epilators in this list with more tweezers and larger motor
- Can’t use this wet because it comes with a cord
Great Option for Beginners: Panasonic ES-ED90 Wet/Dry
Braun has long been established as the go-to option of most women when it comes to epilators.
It’s hard to argue with their choice because Braun does produce high quality products.
But buying a high end epilator will cost more than $100. The Panasonic ES-ED90 Wet/Dry epilator offers a cheaper option for something with comparable specs.
How much cheaper?
This variant will cost roughly 30% less than the Braun Silk Epil 9.
Like the Silk Epil 9, the Panasonic ES-ED90 has a dual speed motor and multiple attachments that make it a versatile option that will not just pluck hair but also trim longer hairs strands.
It also comes with a pedicure attachment for your feet.
One feature that women like in this variant is the gentle head cap attachment that lessens amount of tweezer exposure to lessen than pain.
Take note that this attachment isn’t meant to remove the pain of epilating but only to reduce the amount of.
You’ve got to understand that epilating will be a painful experience regardless of the brand you use. But as you go along and get use to the plucking sensation, you’ll notice that you won’t feel the pain as much.
This epilator actually has more tweezers than the Silk Epil 9 (48 versus 40) which means it’ll pluck hair faster.
The head itself pivots up to 60 degrees (30 degrees on each side) which make it easier to maintain contact on the skin without straining your hands.
Panasonic also says that this epilator is fully immersible. You can use this inside the shower, under a hot tub or dry whatever your preference is.
- Gentle cap gives makes this a good cheaper option than the Braun Silk Epil 9
- Has more tweezers versus the Braun
- Pivoting head makes using this easy on the wrist and easy to use on the knees and ankle
- Underarm attachment works great
- Decent 2 year warranty
- Shorter run at just 30 minutes
- Some complaints of ingrown hairs
Most Powerful Option: Emjoi AP-18
The Emjoi AP-18 is hands down the most powerful option available right now in the market.
With 72 tweezers, this beast of an epilator will literally pluck out body hair from your body.
The dual opposed heads is great feature because it reduces the risk of pinching the skin and ingrown hair because it holds the skin tout. This allows this epilator to pluck out more hair in a single pass.
Another feature that prevents ingrown hair is the exclusive Glide Technology that lifts flat laying hairs.
Emjoi says that their product can remove hair as short as 0.5mm.
It also has the Sliver Ion technology which provides the skin antimicrobial protection.
Despite that feature, this may not be the epilator for beginners because of the sheer number of tweezers it has.
Women say that you should expect a lot of pain when using this epilator because of the sheer amount of tweezers.
The plus side is, it works fast so you don’t have to endure the pain as long.
Take note that since this epilator has a cord you cannot use this wet which isn’t a big deal anyways. A lot of women epilate after taking a shower.
- 72 tweezers will pluck out hair in a single pass
- Great for women with coarser body hair
- Glide technology helps ensure flat laying hairs are picked up and prevent instances of ingrown hair
- Powerful motor allow this to work fast
- Corded – you will need a power source to use this
- No LED light
Long Lasting Battery: Epilady Legend 4th Generation
Last but not least, let’s have a look at the Epilady Legend 4th Generation epilator.
If you don’t know yet but Epilady was the pioneer of epilators before big brands like Braun and Philips entered the scene.
The Legend is one of the first epilators introduced to the market in 1987 and this variant is the fourth generation variant.
It’s one of the few epilators out there can you can use with or without the cord.
Without the cord, fully charge, this device will run for up to 60 minutes which is 20 more than Braun. The downside however is the length of time you need to charge it.
Epilady recommends that you charge this for 12 hours prior to first use. On succeeding charges, it will take around 8 hours to fully charge.
In terms of performance, this epilator will work best on flat surfaces like the legs or arms. However it may struggle removing finer strands of hair as you’ll need a few passes.
It has 40 tweezers that provide up to 32,000 tweezes per minute. In terms of accessories, you won’t get much – only the perfect angle guide cap.
- Long run time of up to 60 minutes
- You can use it with or without the cord
- Keeps your skin smooth up to 6 weeks (this is a claim by Epilady)
- Takes too long to recharge (8 hours)
- No facial cap
- Can’t use it wet
What is the best epilator for removing facial hair?
To be honest, you can use any of these epilators for your face.
The deciding factor would be your pain tolerance.
If any of these variants are too painful to use on your face then you’ll have to purchase a “facial epilator” which is designed specifically with just enough tweezers for the face.
Emjoi Epi Slim – Best epilator for the face
One of the best options right now is the Emjoi Epi Slim. While other facial epilators only has 6 tweezers, this variant has 18!
Despite the high number of tweezers, using this won’t be as painful. It has the rare ability to remove both thin and coarse facial hair.
It is an important feature to have since hair above the lip tends to be fine and hair on the chin tends to be coarse.
The design also makes this a viable option to epilate your underarms and bikini area.
Women who don’t want to spend extra on a facial epilator should look for a body epilator with a facial cap.
A facial cap is a tool that hides most tweezers and leaves just enough to remove facial hair.
Why do you need a facial cap?
It’s simple, to reduce the amount of pain.
Imagine using a body epilator with all 40 tweezers plucking on a more sensitive facial area, there will be a lot of pain.
Try to epilate above the lip area that would be almost impossible without the facial cap.
Epilating such a sensitive area without a facial could result in breakouts.
Some women though have successfully used body epilators on their face without a facial cap but that would take a lot of practice.
What is the best epilator for coarse hair?
Most epilators will do a decent job at removing coarse hair.
In fact, thicker hair strands won’t break as easily so there’s a higher probability of tweezers pulling them out from the root.
It’s the thin hairs that are the bigger issue as tweezers usually have trouble plucking up the thinnest of hair follicles.
For women (or men) with really though body or leg hair, the Emjoi AP-18 is a great option because it has 72 (gulp!) tweezers along with a powerful motor that will get the job done.
Other options would be the Braun Silk Epil 5 and Silk Epil 7.
What do you need to look for when finding the best epilator?
Choosing the best epilator for you is a personal choice. What works for Suzie may not work for you. Each woman will have their preferences, pain tolerance and budget.
To help you with the process, these are the important features to look at.
1. Corded versus Cordless
Newer epilators like the Braun Silk Epil series are all cordless. One big advantage that these variants have over their corded counterparts is these are waterproof.
This means you can use it wet or dry. Being waterproof makes it easier to wash since you can just clean the head.
Another advantage which is quite obvious is you’re not hindered by a cord, duh! But make sure to get something that will run for at least 40 minutes to make it worthwhile.
Corded epilators have an advantage of being more powerful because manufacturers don’t have to worry about run time.
Of course you’ll have to have a power source nearby.
A big disadvantage of a corded epilator is you can’t use it wet.
There are also hybrid options that you can use with or without a power cord.
Unfortunately there is universal spec that manufacturers use to quantify how much power an epilator has.
You’ll have to rely on consumer feedback for this.
But one way to check if an epilator is power or not is to check the number of tweezers.
Typically the more tweezers the epilator has the more power it has.
When it comes to sheer number, the Emjoi AP-18 has the most with 72 followed by the Panasonic ES-ED90 with 48 then the Braun Silk Epil 7 and 9 series with 40.
What’s the advantage of having more tweezers?
Biggest advantage would be the speed of which you can complete the task. With more tweezers plucking hair, it will take less passes to do the task.
However, with more tweezers pulling out hair, it increases the amount of pain. Pain tolerance will come to play here.
So that’s the balance you’ll have to strike when choosing one.
3. Wet/Dry or Dry Epilation Only
A wet/dry epilator simply means you can use it in wet or dry conditions.
Some women prefer shaving in the shower or tub because hot water opens up the pores, softens hair follicles and numbs the pain.
Choosing one over the other would depend on your preference.
If you haven’t used an epilator before you may want to try using it dry first and see how much you can handle the pain.
Another important feature to have would be the caps.
These attachments held reduce the pain by limiting tweezer exposure.
Lower end variant mostly come with an efficiency cap which acts like a barrier from direct contact with the tweezers.
Higher end variants come with numerous caps such as the facial cap and sensitive area cap.
With these caps on, you will be able to use the epilator on your face and armpits.
Some have used theirs on the pubic area though it isn’t recommended because it is such a sensitive area.
Again the purpose of these caps is to limit tweezer exposure to minimize pain.
5. Built-in LED Light
Having a bright light source will help track down fine hair that’s almost invisible to the naked eye.
Most of the top brands like Braun, Panasonic and Philips have this while others like Emjoi do not.
Not a big deal without it as you can epilate inside a well-lit room or use your phone’s flashlight.
6. Washable head
This feature makes it easier to clean an epilator. Some epilators also have a cleaning brush to help scrub off debris that have built up inside.
A clean epilator can help preventing ingrown hair but it isn’t a guarantee.
7. Optional features
Some epilators come with attachments like a bikini trimmer or electric razor. Some even include a massaging head.
These tools extend the functionality of an epilator at good price point.
You’ll save money since there isn’t a need to buy these extra tools.
Take note however that these tools may not perform as well as purpose built tools.
Here’s the deal.
Epilating is painful.
There are no ifs, ands or buts.
The process is painful because as you rub an epilator on your skin, tweezers (as many as 72) pulls out hair from the roots.
If you compare it to waxing, epilating is just a little bit more painful.
Women who transition from waxing to epilating say that it’s an easier transition than say shaving.
There are instances where women have quite epilating because the pain is too much. Don’t worry that’s normal.
No one should go through pain more than they can handle.
But there are things you can do to minimize the pain.
Here are some tips:
- Take a hot shower – doing this will soften hair follicles and open up pores making process much smoother.
- Exfoliate before every epilating session – removes dead skin cells that can get in the way of the tweezers.
- Pull skin tout – prevents tweezers from pinching skin.
- Do this at night time – epilate on times when you are at a relaxed state.
- Don’t forget to put on the sensitive skin cap when epilating the bikini and underarm areas.
- Apply moisturizer afterwards – this helps soothe the skin after the plucking torture.
- Lidocaine creams can numb the pain – apply this cream one to two hours prior to epilating.
To wrap up
There you go, the 6 best epilators that will help keep your skin hair free for weeks on end. Epilating can be a tricky process and if you’re doing it for the first time can be quite painful.
Fortunately as your skin gets up to speed with the plucking sensation, the pain actually decreases. Don’t forget the tips I mentioned to prep your skin prior.
Please share tips below if you have any and if you’ve tried any of the epilators above please share your experience with it in the comments section below to give our readers another perspective on what to expect.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.