How to choose your perfect at-home laser hair removal device

Struggling to find your perfect at-home IPL or laser hair removal device? Yup, there's a lot of choice. To help you, I've curated a few recommendations based on your most common needs and wants. Enjoy!
By Laura Gladman
August 11, 2022
Learn how to narrow down your choice of at-home laser & IPL devices. Chihuahua not included.

What do you want!?!

What makes for the best at-home laser or IPL hair removal device?

You see, the word ‘best’ can mean several different things. Maybe you want all the latest fancy features, the most gentle sensation, the cleverest safety features, super-speedy sessions, reassuring clinical proof for the most effective device, or simply the most affordable options you can buy?

Well, whatever you’re looking for, this is the place to find it. I’ve tested loads of at-home devices, so I can compare them and make helpful recommendations. 

All the brands I test & recommend are top quality because they're...

Clinically proven

Studies show they're safe & effective

Safety checked

CE certified and/or FDA cleared

Trusted brands

Strong reputation & customer service

And I've also curated shortlist recommendations sorted by your most common requirements and desires. Check out the lists below...

I want the very best

These are the top-of-range at-home IPL devices you can buy, and with a premium price tag too. 

Best premium at-home devices; Prestige, Pure & Braun Pro 5 IPL

My top 3 IPL recommendations each have an ergonomic, advanced design, quality materials, and helpful features to ensure your most comfy, fast, precise and easy hair-zapping sessions. They also tend to be the most powerful IPL devices. This means if you have lighter skin tones and can use the highest intensity levels, you’ll need fewer and less frequent top-up sessions after finishing the start-up stage.

Use the links below to read the summary pros & cons on my best IPL round-up. Or you can see how they compare to each other in Prestige vs Pro 5, and Pure vs Pro 5.

I want a device safe for dark skin

These devices use gentle IPL safe for dark skin, combined with other energies to make sure it works on your hairs.

The best at-home IPLs for all skin tones including the darkest are the Silk'n Infinity, The Iluminage Precise Touch and Me Chic, and the iluminage Touch and Me Sleek.
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for ALL skin tones from I to V!

Most IPL and laser hair removal devices aren’t safe for the darkest skin tones (Fitzpatrick types V & VI). However, there are some which combine IPL with other energies so they are much more effective at safe and low IPL levels, which usually wouldn’t work.

There’s a whole article about the science behind it all here. Or use the links below to read the summary pros & cons for my top IPLs safe for the darkest & black skin.

I want a device that works on fair hair

These devices use IPL combined with Radio Frequency. Both work together to heat up your hairs, but don't need dark melanin pigment to work.

Iluminage Devices: Best IPL & RF home hair removal system for fair hair
This device works on dark hairs (black, dark brown, mid-brown, dark blonde) and fair hair colours (light blonde, and red). It wasn't tested on white or gray body hair but will work by the same principle. You must wax, epilate or pluck fair hairs before use.

At-home laser and IPL works best on dark hair colours. So, if you have light blonde, red or grey/white hair many of the available devices may not work for you.

However, there is a special type of IPL combined with Radio Frequency energy which is clinically proven to work on fair hairs. It works without dark melanin pigment. You can learn how it works here.

Or use the links below to read the summary pros & cons for my top IPLs which work on fair hair.

I want the most affordable at-home device

These devices are the most affordable options from trusted & established brands with solid customer service & warranties.

you can choose quality and affrodable at-home IPL devices from reputable brands

There are a few ways to find an affordable at-home IPL hair removal device. You can find bargains amongst older brand models, or even the latest models going second-hand and in good condition on e-Bay.

If you do want to buy new, you’ll find devices with a more basic shape and design, but still decent build quality to get the job done.

  1. Silk'n Infinity
  2. Braun Pro 3 IPL
  3. Sensica Sensilight IPL - review coming soon!

I want something that’s easy to fit in

These devices have the fastest flash rates, and handy designs so you don't spend aaaaages tiresomely zapping. 

Which are the easiest and fastest at home IPL hair removal devices. Come, let's find out...

At-home IPL hair removal used to be a slow and tedious process demanding hours of concentration. But nowadays, the latest machines are sooo much faster to zap your hairy areas.

With some, you can do your whole body (that’s face, underarms, bikini line, and whole legs) in under 30 minutes. So, if you need something that’s fast, easy to fit in and stick with, choose one of these little beauts…

I want a long money back guarantee

Ahhh savvy shopper. There you are! Money back guarantees are very reassurring, because if for any reason you don't get along with your device, you can return it within the guarantee period for a refund. Magic.

you can choose quality and affrodable at-home IPL devices from reputable brands

There are several options which come with money back guarantees. However, with most these differ by country. Smoothskin is the only brand to offer a long 90-day Worldwide guarantee on the Pure and Bare+. you can't go wrong with that.

Here are the devices which offer money back guarantees:

Laura Gladman
I'm a bit obsessed with at-home beauty devices. It's a habit I've had for around 9 years now. I love the science, testing and reviewing them, and sharing my experience and feedback on my site I'm also a crazy dog lady, and I don't care.

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