Has the Prestige met its match? There’s not much difference in the price, and both are excellent choices for small and large areas, and so especially whole-body hair removal. But they’re very different to use.
- The Lumea Prestige is fast, and designed for accurate, easy sessions on all body areas.
- The Braun Pro 5 IPL is even faster (the fastest home IPL), and designed for the safest and most simple sessions on all body areas.
What’s the difference between the Lumea Prestige & Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL?
There’s loads more detail and explanation in the full review, but here’s a quick summary comparison of the most important information:
|Philips Lumea Prestige||Braun Pro 5 IPL|
|Models & our score||
| Models: PL5124, PL5014, PL5137
|Price range||Price from £300 to £500||Price from £300 to £610|
|Safe skin tones|| Safe for light to dark tones I to V.
|| Safe for light to dark tones I to V.
|Effective hair colours|| Works on dark hair.
|| Works on dark hair.
|Lamp lifetime||More flashes than you’ll ever need, lasting 15+ years of use. It’s one of the best.||More flashes than you’ll ever need, lasting 15+ years of use. It’s one of the best.|
|Ease of use||Most intuitive & comfortable, fast, corded & cordless, advanced sensor. Love the curved flash windows.||Super-fast, simple, elegant, light-weight and nimble. Perfectly balanced safety and power in every flash.|
|Results||Powerful IPL for longer-lasting smooth after 4 to 5 sessions, 1 every 2 weeks plus top-ups every month or so.||Powerful IPL for silky skin after 4 to 12 weekly sessions, then top-ups every month or so.|
Or, let’s dig deeper with the full comparison.
— What are they like? —
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.
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.
Both come with a storage pouch too. I prefer the Braun’s because it stores everything, including the powerpack and cable. There’s also less plastic in the packaging to keep everything secure because the pouch does this job here too.
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 vs waxing.
The lamp lifetime is superb for both devices.
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. The materials are solid, and they feel robust and expensive.
However, the shapes are very different and therefore, so is how you manoeuvre and grip each.
The Prestige’s gun-shape is intuitive. It feels relaxed with a secure grip on the long, tapered handle. This gives it excellent 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 are 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 has a different cable design, so the power pack isn’t 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 super news because the higher levels give the fastest longest-lasting results (but you’ll still need to do top-up sessions).
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
To recap, both the Braun Pro and Prestige are safe for light to dark skin, but not the darkest. And their skin tone sensors protect darker skin.
Like other skin tone sensors, both check your skin tone and won’t flash if it’s too dark. But they also do more to keep you safe, albeit in slightly different ways.
The Prestige recommends the best of the 5 intensity levels for your skin. Place on your skin and press the 🔍button. The skin tone sensor checks and highlights your best skin tone intensity. This is a neat feature if you have different tones across body areas. Because it takes the stress out of choosing a safe intensity level for each. And on more sensitive areas you can still manually lower it a notch too.
The Braun Pro 5 selects the best of the 10 intensity levels before every flash. It’s the perfect balance of power and safety in every flash. It’s 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).
I think the Braun Pro 5 is best if you have darker, varied skin tones across your body areas. Becuase there’s no need to faff about with checks and levels . It does it all for you.
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 slightly curved-in. This matches the contours of legs, torso, back, forearms etc. It makes 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 much 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 super 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 levels, 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. On the highest intensity level, 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.
And so is that of the Braun Pro 5 IPL. The flashes are super-fast, so it’s design is smaller and lightweight, to manoeuvre with speed. Therefore, if speed is 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 the Prestige has 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 Brauns 100-day money back guarantee has now unfortunately expired.
— What to expect? —
So, what’s the regimen for each?
Use the Prestige for 4 or 5 sessions, 1every 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.
Related: learn how important top-ups are in how home laser hair removal really works
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 whole 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.
— Which should you buy? —
Prestige vs Braun Pro 5 IPL comparison summary
It’s a tough one! How to decide?!
Choose the Lumea Prestige if you demand the best and have the budget to match. A superb all-rounder, it’s perfect for large and small body areas. I love the gun-shape and cordless option. It’s super for fast, easy and accurate whole-body sessions. And the Philips 100-day money back guarantee is unbeaten.
Read the full Lumea Prestige review (with video) for even moredetail and photos.
- Intuitive gun-shape
- Curve-hugging flash windows
- Convenient corded & cordless operation
- Powerful, fast & safe
- Unbeaten quality & feel
- 100-day money back guarantee
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Choose the Braun Pro 5 IPL for superb quality and unbeaten speed. If you need something ultra-fast to fit into your day, it’s a clear winner. It’s also a super all-rounder for both small and large areas. I love it for the fastest, safest and most straightforward sessions.
Read the full Braun Pro 5 IPL review here to learn more, including how it compares to the older model.
- Small, lightweight, nimble
- Ultra-fast (the fastest home IPL)
- Powerful, super-safe & simple operation
- Perfect for varied skin tones across your body
- Solid build quality
I earn a small commission if you shop via these links, but your price stays the same.