Which is best: Lumea Prestige or Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL?
The Lumea Prestige has been my number one overall best home IPL device since it launched back in 2017. It’s a dream to use and highly recommended. But now the Braun Pro 5 IPL has arrived. And it’s a strong contender.
Has the Prestige met its match? Learn more in this in-depth comparison of the two.
Philips Lumea Prestige
- Manufactured by Philips
- Clinically proven
- CE certification
Braun Pro 5 IPL
- Manufactured in the UK by Cyden Ltd
- Clinically proven
- CE Certification & FDA-cleared
Here’s how they compare:
Skin tones & hair colours
Both devices are safe for light to dark skin tones and dark hair as shown by the charts below. So, if you’re in the safe skin tone range you can choose from both.
If you have dark or black skin check out the Silk’n Infinity which is safe ALL skin tones.
Packaging & manuals
Both devices arrive in neat and beautiful packaging with all the important information on the outside of the box. They’re clear, concise and professional. The devices are safely secured inside the boxes. It’s worth hanging onto the boxes if you plan to travel with either device. Both come with a storage pouch to protect it in a draw (I prefer the Braun’s size and shape).
I particularly like the Braun Pro 5 packaging because they secure the device and all the bits in the storage pouch. This cuts down on plastic which is a big plus for me.
You also get a Venus razor with the Braun Pro 5. That’s a nice extra to ensure you get a super smooth shave.
The user manuals with each are clear and concise. The Philips manual is just a tad more comprehensive around tanning and shaving / waxing.
The lamp lifetime is superb for both.
Here’s how they compare:
- Prestige flashes cover 1,025,000 cm² (250,000 flashes x 4.1cm2 body flash window).
- Braun Pro 5 flashes cover 1,200,000 cm2 (400,000 flashes x 3 cm2 body flash window)
This is enough for 200+ full body sessions from both devices. After the start up phases this equates to 15+ years of full body sessions (face, underarms bikini line, full legs). Braun gives slightly more, but they both score top marks because they give way more than you’ll ever need to get and maintain your smooth.
Shape & design
The materials and build quality of both are excellent. They feel solid, robust and expensive. However, the shape is very different and therefore so is how you manoeuvre and grip them.
The Prestige’s gun-shape is intuitive. It feels relaxed with a secure grip on the long, tapered handle. This gives it great leverage too. The trigger is easy to find because there’s a braille-like flower on it. You can press it comfortably with your index or middle finger, or thumb if you rotate your grip. The controls and the flash window are easy to see.
It’s heavy at 560g. That’s because of the rechargeable lithium battery inside. However, the gun-shape is perfectly balanced and secure to grip, so you can rotate and pivot your wrist without any strain. It’s easy to position and work around your body.
The Braun Pro 5 IPL in contrast is compact and lightweight. But it’s not flimsy. The sleek wand shape is distinctive, well-balanced and fits perfectly in your palm. At just 285g there’s no risk of strain or tiredness. It’s effortless to manoeuvre around your body. The flash button is large and easy to press. And there are a few different grips to experiment with to see which works best by body area. But it’s extremely easy and comfortable to handle.
Both area superb – the best available. But for me, the gun-shape of the Prestige is slightly more comfortable and easier to use.
The mains lead stays out of the way with both because it attaches at the end of the handle on each. Both also have excellent quality cables. They’re thick and supple and won’t tangle or twist. So, you don’t get tied up in knots.
The power cable on the Braun Pro 5 is fixed into the base of the handle. This is so the weight of the power pack doesn’t pull out the cable as you move the device around (this was a criticism of the previous model).
The Prestige doesn’t have the same design cable and power pack, so it’s not an issue. It’s a snug, secure fit which easily detaches too. And that’s because you can also use the Prestige cordless.
Corded vs cordless
The Braun Pro 5 works on mains-power with a cord only. This means you get non-stop operation and can finish your zapping in one session without need to recharge any battery. Get yourself set up comfortably with privacy, a mirror and an extension cable. Off you go.
The Prestige works on mains-power. But it gives you extra flexibility because you can use it cordless too.
It’s important to note however, you get about 30 mins of power from each battery charge. Therefore, it’s not designed to work cordless all the time. Just remove the cord for smaller and / or hard to reach places. So, you can nip into the bathroom, lock the door and zap that ladytache. Or flash your bits. Literally.
Similar power intensity range
The Lumea Prestige has a power intensity range of 2.5 to 6.5 J/cm².
The Braun Pro 5 IPL has a power intensity range of 3 to 6 J/cm².
The Prestige is a bit more powerful, but there’s not much between them. They are the highest-powered home IPL devices available. If you have light skin and can use the highest levels, this is great news because the higher levels give the fastest results.
The Prestige has 5 intensity levels in that range. But the Braun Pro 5 has 10. This means it has more increments for a more precise match to different skin tones. And selecting the right one is easy too, because it has an advanced skin tone sensor.
Both have advanced skin tone sensors
Like other skin tone sensors, both check your skin tone and won’t flash if it’s too dark. But they do more. And in different ways.
The Prestige gives you safety and control. Press the sensor button so it scans your skin. It highlights the best fit of the 5 intensity levels for your skin. If it’s too intense you can manually reduce it a level or 2. But it won’t let you increase the intensity above the suggested level. Periodically, it scans your skin during the treatment to ensure you’ve selected the correct level. The suggested level is a super safety check. But all the control stays with you.
The Braun Pro 5 gives you safety and simplicity: The skin tone sensor automatically scans your skin. It does it continuously (80 times per second) and selects the best of the 10 intensity levels before every flash. It’s the perfect balance of power and safety, straightforward and simple. All you need do is position and zap.
If it feels too intense you can select one of the gentle modes. Gentle mode shifts it down a few intensity levels, and extra gentle drops it to the lowest level (1).
Both are excellent so it depends which you like the sound of. I think the Braun Pro 5 is best if you have darker, varied skin tones across your body areas. No need to faff about with checks and levels because it does it all for you.
Are they safe?
Yep. They’re both clinically tested safe for home use.
There’s a UV filter built in to each to keep your skin healthy. And a sensor which won’t flash unless it senses skin around the flash window. This stops accidental flashes into open space anywhere near your eyes.
You can check the best intensity level for your skin tone with both too. But the skin tone sensor with the Braun ensures each flash is super-safe. It’s fool proof. There’s no room for error.
Both devices have a big body flash window for large areas like legs and torso.
- The Prestige is bigger at 3.5 cm x 1.5 cm, so a total area of 4.1 cm2.
- The Braun Pro 5 is 3 cm x 1cm so a total area of 3 cm2.
Both work but I love the Prestige’s because it’s also curved-in slightly. This matches the contours of legs, torso, back, forearms etc. It makes gliding, getting good skin contact and so a flash very easy. It even helps on knobbly knees!
Both also have a smaller, flat attachment for tricky areas like the upper lip.
- The Prestige’s is 0.8 cm x 2.5 cm so a total area of 2 cm2.
- The Braun’s is 1.1 cm x 1.65 cm, so a total area of 1.65 cm2.
Both do the job well.
Some of the Prestige models even have a third precision attachment. This is medium sized (total 3 cm2) and curved-out to fit where the leg and bikini line join and in the curves of armpits. You don’t need this to get the job done, but I love the attention to detail from Philips here.
Both devices have the standard stamp mode (position, press, release) for a single flash. And both have glide mode for continuous flashes (position, press and hold, glide).
With the Prestige, it’s a smooth, controlled, quick glide motion where you need to pause slightly for each flash.
However, with the Braun Pro 5 it’s faster. That’s because the flash repetition rate is much quicker. In the main this is fantastic because you can glide the window continuously and quickly over your skin.
However, the speed of the flashes can vary a bit. That’s because the zaps come faster on the lower levels and the sensor may select a different intensity before flashes. This is determined by skin colour, but also it seems by how close contact is with your skin. So, you need to keep good contact to keep the flashes consistent. Other wise you can glide too far or not far enough in between flashes. It takes a tiny bit of practise.
So, how fast are they?
Which gives the fastest treatments?
Both are fast and great choices for treating large areas or your full body, but the Braun Pro 5 IPL is fastest.
With the Braun Pro 5 the flashes come every 0.6 to 1.2 seconds. On the highest intensity it flashes every 1.2 seconds from the 3 cm2 body window – that’s 50 flashes per minute to cover 150 cm2. I can do a thorough full leg in around 9 mins, and my full body in just under 30 mins.
With the Lumea Prestige the flashes come every 2 seconds from the 4.1 cm2 body window. So, that’s 30 flashes per minute to cover 123 cm2.I can do a thorough full leg in around 10 mins, and my full body in under 40 mins.
There’s not much in it. You can easily finish a full body session before getting tired or bored.
Personally, I feel there’s more control and precision with the Prestige. That’s because you can get into a good glide rhythm with the consistently spaced flashes. There’s time to position it accurately and the the curved body attachment ensures faff-free flashes.
The speed of the Prestige is also appropriate for the size and weight of the device. As so is the Braun Pro 5 IPL. Because the flashes are super-fast, and it’ss smaller and lightweight to manoeuvre with the speed. Therefore, if that’s most important to you the Braun Pro 5 is a clear winner.
But note, both still demand concentration to ensure you get accurate coverage for no gaps and missed hairs!
The customer support from both Philips UK and Braun UK is excellent. The information on the website is clear and they give access to the latest user manuals.
The customer service teams are friendly, knowledgeable, responsive and helpful. Choose telephone, email or online chat to contact them.
You also get a 2-year warranty with both devices. And a UK 100-day money back guarantee from Philips when bought through any retailer. Read the T&Cs here: Philips 100-day money back guarantee.
N.B Braun’s 100-day money back guarantee expires on 8th October 2019. You must return your device for refund before this date. This now gives less than 100 days.
So, what’s the regimen for each?
Use the Prestige for 4 or 5 sessions every 2 weeks (taking up to 8 weeks) to get smooth skin. Then less frequent touch-ups every 4 to 8 weeks to maintain your results.
Use the Braun Pro 5 between 4 to 12 weekly sessions until you have smooth, hairless skin (typically 6 sessions). Then top ups as you need them, usually every 1 or 2 months.
As you progress through the first sessions, your hair growth slows. Hair becomes finer and lighter and it’s much easier to shave. You’ll need to shave less frequently. Bald patches start to appear until all your skin is silky smooth.
Both devices give you permanent hair reduction. But you must keep up with the top-up sessions or the hair grows back. You may find you need these even less frequently over time and after you’ve done a year or so of top-up sessions.
So, how much effort is each?
Which is more effort?
For this, let’s compare the time per full body treatment over the course of the start-up phase. This is based on the time it takes for my full body session. So, bear in mind it may take you longer or a shorter time. But it’s a fair comparison to show which is likely the least effort overall.
For the Braun Pro 5 based on 30-minute full body session, it takes 3 hours over 5 weeks (6 sessions), up to 6 hours over 11 weeks (for 12 sessions).
For the Prestige based on a 40-minute full body session, it takes 3 hours 20 mins over 8 weeks (5 sessions).
Results vary by individual, but this comparison shows both ask for a small up-front time commitment, especially compared to other, slower and less powerful home IPL devices. And don’t forget. You must do less frequent but regular top-ups too.
With a bit of organisation, both are easy to commit to for silky smooth skin results.
Models & prices
The Braun Pro 5 has 3 IPL models all with an identical specification. The difference is the storage pouch and types of Venus razor with each. In addition, the PL5014 doesn’t have the precision attachment.
The RRP range of the models is £524.99 to £599.99. That’s one of the most expensive. But thankfully at least one model is currently on offer below £300 on Amazon.
The Lumea Prestige has various models. The most recent is the BRI954. Other models are the BRI950, BRI953 and the BRI956. The models are identical specification, but are different colours and come with different combination of flash window attachments.
All models have the large curved-in body attachment and a small, flat, facial attachment. The BRI956 (first model available) has a separate specialist bikini attachment and underarm attachment. For the BRI953 and BRI954 it’s combined into one precision attachment.
The RRP range of the Prestige models is £475.00 to £575. Offers around and even below £300 are common.
So, which should you choose?
It’s a tough one!
I recommend both. They’re awesome devices that’ll give awesome results. They’re super all-rounders, perfectly suited to large and small areas, the face and full body sessions. They’re both ergonomic, high quality, flashes to last forever, fast and very easy to use.
The Prestige has an excellent 100-day money back guarantee. Unfortunately Braun’s expires very soon so this may sway your decision. Regardless, they’re both the awesome devices you can choose.
Here’s what I like:
- Intuitive gun-shape
- No-faff curved body flash window
- Cordless option
- Advanced sensor plus manual controls
- 100-day money back guarantee
Braun Pro 5 IPL:
- Small & lightweight
- Super-safe sensor perfect for varied skin tones across your body
- Does all the hard work for you!
- Gentle modes
And what could be improved:
- The Prestige is quite heavy for some
- The Prestige’s battery could last a bit longer
- The flashes on the Braun Pro 5 are difficult to time to start
- Bring back the Braun 100 day money back guarantee (please)
If the comparison above hasn’t helped at all, then I’ve failed. You could simply go for the cheapest or the one you like the look of most. You’ll be buzzing with either.
Check prices and buy using the links below:
Where to buy the Philips Lumea PrestigeFound this review helpful? Please shop via my links to support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com.
|Philips Lumea Prestige, for body & face **with Philips Lumea 100 day money back guarantee**|
|Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956, for body & face: body, facial, bikini and underarm attachments
Buy Lumea BRI956 from Amazon
Buy Lumea BRI956 from CurrentBody.com: Free UK Delivery & Global shipping.
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia orders with $100 Christmas cashback, 90 day Lumea trial
|Philips Lumea Prestige BRI954, for body & face: body, bikini and precision attachments
Buy Lumea BRI954 from Amazon
|Philips Lumea Prestige BRI950, for body & face: body & precision attachments
Buy Lumea BRI950 from CurrentBody.com: Free UK Delivery & Global shipping
Buy Lumea BRI950 from Amazon
|Philips Lumea Prestige BRI953, for body & face: body, facial and precision attachments
Buy Lumea BRI953 from CurrentBody.com: Free UK Delivery & Global shipping
Buy Lumea BRI953 from Amazon
Check for any applicable taxes or customs duties for outside UK delivery.
Where to buy the Braun silk expert Pro 5 IPLFound this review helpful? Please shop via my links to support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com.
|Braun silk expert Pro 5 IPL - for body and face|
|Braun Silk expert Pro 5 IPL PL5124 - with precision head, razor & premium pouch
Buy from CurrentBody.com £299.99 offer
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Boots.com
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia orders
|Braun Silk expert Pro 5 IPL PL5137 - with precision head, razor & premium pouch
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia orders
|Braun Silk expert Pro 5 IPL PL5014 - with razor & pouch
Buy from CurrentBody.com £284.99 offer
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Boots.com