Which is best, Tria 4X hair removal laser or Philips Lumea Prestige?
Both the Philips Lumea Prestige and the Tria 4X score very highly against the WeAreBodyBeautiful.com criteria. But they’re very different.
That’s because the Prestige uses Intense Pulsed Light and the Tria 4X is a laser device. This means several differences in lifetime of use, how each works, speed of application and sensations during use.
If you’re trying to decide between them, this in-depth review compares both. So, you’ve got all the key info to decide which is best for you.
Ready? Off we go.
- The scores
- Are they good value?
- Which has best ease of use
- Do they hurt?
- Which is best for legs and large areas?
- Customer support
- Feedback & results comparison
- Comparison table
- Budget ranges
- Which should you buy?
Tria 4X laser
- Manufactured by Tria Beauty
- Clinically proven
- FDA-cleared, CE certification
Philips Lumea Prestige
- Manufactured by Philips
- Clinically proven
- CE certification
Here’s how they compare.
Are they good value?
The total body area you can treat determines the lifetime value of your device.
Total treatment area of at least 75,000 cm2
Total treatment area of 1,025,000 cm²
For the Tria 4X the total body area you can treat is down to the spot size of the laser and the number of charging cycles you get from the battery.
For the Lumea Prestige it’s down to the size of the flash window and the number of flashes you get from the bulb. It works cordless so has a rechargeable battery. But it also works on mains-power so its lifetime isn’t cut-short if the battery degrades.
There’s an enormous difference between the total body area you can cover with each. Yet they both score 5 stars for lifetime of use. Keep reading to learn why.
The Prestige – IPL lifetime
With a broad-spectrum Quartz IPL flash lamp, the Prestige has a large 4.1 cm² body attachment. You get a whopping 250,000 flashes to over 1,025,000 cm² body area.
This gives 15+ years of monthly full body treatments (full legs, tummy, bikini line, underarms, forearms and face). Philips say the flashes last up to 20 years. Results get better the longer you use it. So, top-ups become much less frequent than monthly.
It’s superb value. That’s for full body, small areas and face using the smaller attachments too. You get many more flashes than you’ll ever need.
How does the Tria 4X compare?
Tria 4X – a laser
The laser aperture on the Tria is 5 mm small in diameter. It takes several pulses to cover just a little area. Also, the total number of battery charges decides how many pulses you get overall.
Tria say you get at least 300 battery charge cycles (you may get many more). Each charge cycle gives you between 500 and 600 pulses. So, assuming it’s 300 charge cycles with 500 pulses each from the 5 mm aperture, you can cover at least a total body area of 75,000 cm2.
Compared to the Prestige, this isn’t much at all! But the laser energy is more powerful than the Prestige’s IPL, so results are longer-lasting. Because of this, you’ll need fewer treatments overall to get the same hair reduction results. So, the difference in total treatment area isn’t so concerning.
For full body treatments
My calculations say 75,000 cm2 gives 18 full body treatments (full legs, tummy, bikini line, underarms, forearms and face). That doesn’t sound a lot. But it matches Tria’s guideline for ‘permanent’ results on the treated hairs.
They say you need to use it every 2 weeks for 6 months to get permanent results. 18 treatments are enough for that and for several smaller area top-ups on any new growth. So, based on the guidance it’s going to give you long-lasting hair free results.
HOWEVER, flarge body areas are a huge undertaking and commitment. Plus it’s not easy to treat large areas so I don’t recommend it for that. Learn more on that later.
For face and small areas
For your face and smaller areas (face, underarms, bikini line and forearms) the Tria 4X is superb value. It covers the first 6 months of treatments every 2 weeks and then roughly a further 3 years of monthly top-ups. It’s very well-suited to smaller body areas and the face.
With the best possible results, you’ll only need occasional top-ups, much less frequent than monthly. So, it’s super value and is likely to last several years of use.
N.B. the Tria 4X user manual says the minimum expected service life of the Tria is 3 years.
The Tria 4X won’t work on mains-power so it stops working once the lithium battery degrades.
Charge it every month or so even if the device isn’t in use. This means you’ll get at least 300 charge cycles from the battery, and probably more.
Ease of use
Both devices score highly for ease of use. But the way they operate is very different and I recommend them for different types of treatments.
In this section see how they compare for design and character, shape and controls, eye safety, skin tone sensors, intensity levels and power.
Design & character
From the moment you see the boxes, you know they’re going to be ace. It’s a delightful experience to open them. There’s such care and attention in the design and detailing. And the instruction manuals are clear and informative.
I love the white a rose-gold colourway and detailing of the Prestige. The materials are top-notch because although it’s plastic it feels solid, expensive and doesn’t creak or crack.
The quirky Tria 4X is white smooth plastic with a slight sheen. It doesn’t creak or bend. The long handle feels a bit hollow, but I like the pink silicone-type grip and the fluted flat bottom, so it stands up on its own.
Gun-shape & controls
Battery vs mains-power
The Prestige works both cordless and on mains-power. I love that you can choose what’s most convenient and can plug-in and go without waiting for it to charge. The Tria works on battery power only. It takes 2 hours to charge the battery and each charge lasts between 25 and 30 minutes.
Comfort & handling
Both devices are comfortable to use and easy to hold. However, the action for each is different. There’s more on that later.
With the Prestige I can rotate and pivot my wrist without any strain. There are several secure and comfortable grips on the long, tapered handle. My index finger rests naturally on the trigger. And it’s easy to see the controls on the top too. Positioning it accurately is a cinch because you can easily see edges of each of the flash window attachments.
I naturally grip the Tria 4X like a small hair dryer and feel no strain on my wrist. There’s no trigger or flash activation button to press, so you can wrap your fingers securely around the narrowest part of the handle. The right-angle alignment of the rounded head and handle perfectly suits the small and precise movements needed to cover your skin.
Both devices are very simple and straightforward to control through buttons on top of the device.
Both devices have in-built safety features to keep both your eyes and skin safe too.
They have a similar safety feature to protect your eyes.
The Prestige has a skin sensor around the flash window and it won’t flash unless it detects your skin is covering the entire window. This means if you accidentally press the trigger whilst pointing into mid-air it’s not going to flash into anyone’s eyes.
The Tria 4X is the same. Contact with your skin over the laser aperture activates the laser pulses.
Skin tone sensor
To protect darker skin tones, you get a skin tone sensor with both.
The Tria 4X sensor checks for a safe tone to unlock the device. All intensity levels are safe for Fitzpatrick types I to IV. It’s up to you to choose your most comfortable intensity level. More on that later.
The Prestige sensor also checks for a safe tone before you flash it. It flashes red if it detects a tone that’s too dark. But you can use the lower intensities on darker skin tones too (up to Fitzpatrick type V).
Then there’s the Prestige’s advanced sensor. It checks then selects the best level for your tone. But you stay in control and can adjust it down a notch if it feels too intense.
How intense are they?
5 intensity levels
Both the Tria 4X and the Prestige have 5 intensity levels. 1 is low and 5 is high, but because the Tria 4X is a laser, it’s much more powerful than the Prestige.
- The power density output of the Tria 4X ranges from 7 to 22 J/cm2.
- The Prestige ranges from 2.4 to 6.5 J/cm².
So, the Tria 4X is around 3 times more powerful than the Prestige.
The Tria 4X is the strongest of all home-use light energy hair removal devices. Based on the acknowledgement the stronger intensity the better your results, it follows that the Tria 4X promises the best results of all home-use laser and IPL hair removal systems.
Sounds great! Loads of people choose the Tria 4X over any IPL hair removal systems because it’s more powerful. They want the best possible results in the shortest time.
However, there are 3 important considerations to influence your choice;
- How much it hurts,
- How fast it is to cover your skin and
- The user feedback
We’ll cover these next. First, let’s compare how much they hurt…
Do they hurt?
This depends on the individual. But based on the user feedback it’s fair to say there’re more reports of pain with the Tria 4X laser.
Less than 2% of the online reviewers say the Prestige is painful. Most that do have darker skin tones. A few more say there’s ‘a bit of pain’. Others describe this as an uncomfortable tinging sensation that’s much more bearable than waxing or epilating. Many more say it’s pain-free.
For the Tria 4X, it’s notably different. Pain varies but is a hot topic in the online feedback.
Tria “comfort levels”
Tria call the intensity settings “comfort levels”. Uhoh. This sounds potentially painful.
All levels are safe for light to medium skin tones. The laser targets the dark hair follicle, with the higher intensities causing more heat and thus damage. It’s this increased heat which means it can hurt.
Almost 16% of all the user reviews say it hurts much more than advertised. Negative, neutral and positive reviews mention it’s painful. Some even use Tria’s SmoothStart Calming Gel, or the cheaper alternatives ice or lidocaine gel to numb their skin. Overall, the pain-factor feedback is a much bigger percentage compared to the Prestige and other home IPL reviews.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know if you’ll feel pain. But be aware it’s possible and weigh this up in your decision.
Next, if a machine is fast to cover your skin it’s a good choice for treating large areas. So, next let’s see which is best for treating large areas like your legs.
Which is best for legs and large areas?
The modes and speed of the Tria 4X laser and the Lumea Prestige IPL are very different. Therefore read this section if you want to be fuzz-free all over your body.
- The Tria 4X is painfully slow and difficult to cover large areas. And it demands high levels of concentration and precision. It’s not suited to large body areas.
- The Prestige is fast and designed to fit your contours. Each flash is quick and covers a large area, and mains-power means non-stop operation. It’s perfectly suited legs and large areas.
You need to consider which body areas you’ll treat to help you decide. First let’s learn more about why the Tria 4X isn’t a great choice for legs and large body areas.
Tria 4X laser aperture and battery life
The Tria 4X covers a tiny 5 mm area each pulse. Because it’s such a small movement, you need to have a close-up view of the treatment area. Therefore, you’ll need a helpful assistant for backs of legs and knees.
And the battery is limited to 30 mins of use (or 500 to 600 zaps). A full leg needs 2 to 4 charging cycles. This means you need a way to track or mark off where you’ve zapped. Then wait 2 hours for it to charge and pick up where you left off.
For large areas like legs or torso it takes a lot of time, organisation and commitment to complete your treatments.
- The Tria 4X best suited to smaller areas and the face.
It’s easy to treat your face and underarms by yourself. A very thorough bikini line requires some bending and twisting, or a friendly assistant. And you can treat your face and a couple of small areas with one charge e.g. your upper lip, chin, jawline and a pair of underarms or both sides of the bikini line.
So, what about the Prestige?
Prestige is perfect for all body areas
The Prestige is the perfect choice for large areas or full body treatments done in one session. It’s packed with the best features that mean it takes me 35 to 40 minutes for the whole lot (using corded with mains-power).
- The Philips Lumea Prestige is perfect for small and large body areas and facial use
But what are these features?
Mains-power or cordless
There’s no need to wait for the Prestige to charge. I use it non-stop with mains-power and finish a full body treatment in one sitting. But you can disconnect it from the mains for harder to reach places it you’re restrained by the cord. Or if you want to use on your face in the privacy of your bathroom.
N.B. the flash rate is slower if used cordless so cordless treatments take longer. Mostly use it corded with the long 2 metre power cable for fastest treatments.
The Prestige comes with different size and shape body attachments ranging in size from 2 cm2 to 4.1 cm2. These treatment areas are much bigger than the Tria 4X. They’re easier to work with across different body areas. So, with a bit of twisting and bending, and a full-length mirror you can see and reach most body areas by yourself i.e. backs of legs and knees.
The Prestige has curved flash windows. No other device has these. They fit the contours of your body so it’s much easier to get good contact and a flash without any fuss.
- The 4.1 cm2 large curved-in body attachment effortlessly covers my legs and knobbly knees. The curve means it’s easy to ‘glide’ over my skin too.
- The 3 cm2 medium size curved-out bikini attachment matches the join with my leg perfectly. Plus, it has an extra clear specialist filter to better target the stubborn hairs in this area with less sting.
- The 3cm2 medium size curved-out underarm attachment works well on the underarms (but I found no better than the larger body attachment).
- The flat, small 2 cm2 facial attachment fits on the upper lip chin and jaw (with a few funny facial expressions).
Then there’s two actions to cover your skin.
Stamp & Glide
You get the usual single flash stamp mode with a single press of the trigger. I use this on my face and bikini line.
And you also get glide mode for your legs. Keep the trigger pressed and slide the Prestige over your skin the height of the flash window each time. The curved attachment makes it easy. Other IPL machines have glide mode. But this is the closest to a smooth continuous glide you’ll find from all the high-power IPL devices. It’s just awesome for your legs.
Finally, it’s fast. It’s the fastest home IPL hair removal machine that operates at higher power levels. The flash rate is every 2 seconds on level 5 when corded. Philips say you can do a full leg in 6.5 minutes. I can meticulously cover a full leg in 10 mins.
The fast flash rate combined with the curved body attachment and glide mode are simply the best I’ve tried for legs and large areas. I didn’t get bored, or lose my place because it’s fast.
It’s one of the best choices for large areas or full body treatments done in one session.
N.B. the Tria 4X is not scored for speed of treatments because it’s not a fair comparison to the IPL devices. It’s also limited to 30 minute sessions by the battery charge. In 30 minutes you can treat your face and either both underarms or bikini line.
This is an area often overlooked when deciding which device to buy. You want to buy a reputable and professional brand with great pre and post sales information and support. Warranties, guarantees and service are all important.
Let’s start with Tria Beauty UK.
Tria Beauty UK support
TriaBeauty.co.uk is packed with helpful information. There are videos, FAQs, access to the user manual and clinical study. It does a fab job of explaining how the Tria 4X laser works and how to use it.
The customer service team provide responsive and comprehensive pre and post-sales support. Contact them via phone and email. You get a 1-year warranty from Tria. Most manufacturers provide 2 years, but simply buy from CurrentBody.com for 2 years at no extra cost.
In all it’s very good. But I have two criticisms.
Firstly, I find the Triabeauty.co.uk information on ‘permanent hair removal’ confusing. You can learn more on this in the full review here.
Secondly, the 90-day money back guarantee is now reduced to 60 days. That’s annoying. And much less reassuring because it doesn’t match the effort you need to put in to finish the start-up phase. But it’s better than no guarantee. Tria say it’s at around 2 to 3 months you should begin to see visible reduction in the amount of regrowth. So, I guess that’s what the guarantee covers. Be prepared to return it within 60 days if you aren’t happy with the results you’re getting.
TIP: Buy it from an authorised reseller so Tria will honour the guarantee. It’s best to go to Tria Beauty direct, or via CurrentBody.com as both will assist with warranties and guarantees. CurrentBody.com still promotes a 90-day money back guarantee.
Philips.co.uk website provides comprehensive and appealing information on the Prestige. There’s FAQs, user manuals and technical support. I like that they set clear expectations because nowhere do they use the misleading word ‘permanent’. Instead they say “Smoothness month after month” which is maintained with monthly top-ups.
Their customer support is ace. You can contact them via online chat, telephone, email and social media. Their responses are thorough and fast. They also give a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
I love the Philips 100-day money back guarantee. The recommended start-up stage is 8 weeks so it gives you plenty of time to see great results from the Prestige. Philips honour the guarantee no matter where you buy the Prestige. A few neutral reviewers took advantage of the guarantee period and share it’s an easy process.
So, bags of trust and reassurance from Philips. Top marks here, no criticisms.
Feedback & results
There’s a bit of a difference in the scores from the online reviews. Let’s start with how the reviews breakdown.
As of January 2019, there’s around 700 online reviews each for both the Tria 4X and the Philips Lumea Prestige.
Here’s how they breakdown.
Around 30% of the Lumea Prestige reviews are from users who received a free trial device. There are two trials from Amazon Vine and Philips.co.uk. The trial periods were long enough to get helpful feedback on ease of use and results.
The majority of reviews for both devices are good quality, with consistent average scores and sentiment across review sources. Here’s a quick summary of what the online reviews like and don’t like.
What the reviewers like & don’t like
Let’s start with the Tria 4X.
Tria 4X Pros
- There’s beautiful packaging and it’s well made
- It’s intuitive and easy to handle
- Time consuming but worth it
- Good for smaller areas and face
- Cheaper and more convenient to salon visits
- Good 60-day money back guarantee in the UK and US – could be longer though
Tria 4X Cons
- It hurts! 16% of all the online reviews say it hurts more than just a bit
- The battery degrades over time so you get fewer zaps per charge and must remember to periodically charge it
- The small aperture means it’s overly time consuming especially if treating larger areas
- After 30 minutes, you need to charge it for 2 hours. So not best suited to large areas like legs
- A few reports of side effects on skin and increased hair growth
And now the Lumea Prestige:
- Oozes superb build quality
- Intuitive and comfortable to use
- Mains-power and cordless operation
- Advanced skin tone sensor selects the right intensity for your skin tone
- Curved attachments get close contact with your skin
- It’s fast – full legs in under 30 mins
- Helpful reminder App to schedule treatments
- Very reassuring 100-day money back guarantee
- Expensive at full RRP (but offers are common)
- Hard to flash on toes, feet and fingers
- Battery lasts 30 mins so not designed for all-cordless sessions
- Storage case could be more luxurious!
- Bright flashes from the IPL bulb
Next, before we look at the reported results, let’s recap what the recommended start-up phase is for each device.
Tria start-up phase
Do a total 8 times at 2-week intervals (taking 3 months), or until you’re satisfied with the results. This should give significant hair reduction results.
Tria Customer Support also share it’s with 6 months of 2-weekly use you’ll see ‘permanent’ results. Then you can do the occasional spot treatment on new hairs. Read the full review to learn more about Tria’s claim the 4X gives ‘permanent hair removal.’
Lumea Prestige start-up phase
You’ll need 4 to 5 two-weekly treatments (taking 8 weeks) to see significant hair reduction results. Then less frequent maintenance treatments will keep your skin smooth. Start monthly and then reduce as needed.
Results reported from the reviews
The chart below shows the reviews breakdown for the Tria 4X and Lumea Prestige. The breakdown is for how many say it works, those that like it but don’t mention results, those who say it doesn’t work (or their results don’t meet their expectations), and other feedback.
‘Doesn’t work’ comparison
There’s a much higher percentage who say the Tria 4X doesn’t work, or their results don’t match their expectations (16% vs 4.5%). However, almost half of these don’t say how long they’ve used it for so it’s unclear if they’ve given it long enough.
Several more leave their feedback within the 3-month start-up phase. Many after just a few uses, expect to see fast and significant results and are disappointed when they don’t. I think this is down to unrealistic expectations influenced by Tria’s promotion. They need to try for longer because some people need more treatments to see results. The rest try for 3+ months with varying results. Some, although they see results, it’s not in line with their expectations.
Common comments by both Prestige and Tria reviews are results and speed of results vary by body part and hair eventually grows back if you stop using it.
‘Results not mentioned’ comparison
It’s noteworthy 30% rate the Prestige positively but don’t share any detail about hair reduction results. Compared to the Tria at 8% that’s a much higher percentage.
‘Other feedback’ comparison
39% of the Tria 4X reviews are concerned with other themes and feedback. Compared to the Prestige (5%) that’s a high percentage. So there’s some important feedback here you need to know about.
The ‘other’ themes come from the negative, neutral and positive ratings and generally have a negative sentiment. The themes range from a few who are unsuitable to use it, faults, and some who wish Tria offered a repair service. There’s a notable amount who focus on painful treatments, the short battery life and time-consuming treatments. Tattoo avoidance and positive and negative professional laser comparisons are also mentioned. Several leave various ratings but admit it’s too early to see any results yet.
For the Prestige, 5% relate to other themes. Such as short battery time, users mistakenly think their flash windows are faulty, and a few more find it hurts or are unsuitable to use it.
‘It works’ comparison
60% of the Prestige reviews share it works, vs 37% of the Tria 4X reviews.
For the Prestige, around a third don’t say how long they’ve used it but half say it works within the recommended 8 weeks start-up phase. The rest left longer term reviews after several months of use.
For the Tria 4X, over a quarter don’t say how long they’ve used it. More than a half say it works within the recommended 3 months start-up phase, and the rest have used it for several months.
So, for both the Tria and the Prestige users report seeing results after different time frames. Some see results after just a few sessions, and for others it takes longer. However most see good hair reduction results within the recommended start-up phase for each device.
The reported results are the same for both devices.
Hair grows slower, thinner, lighter and softer. Bald spots appear and less hair grows back after each go. Shaving becomes less frequent and much easier so there’s no shaving rash or ingrown hairs. Then eventually there’s nothing to shave between sessions.
For some their skin is totally smooth. For others they have very slow, fine and pale regrowth that’s barely visible. And the results vary by body area too. For some legs are the fastest and for others it underarms or bikini line.
The reviews left after several months are reassuring too. Most are happy with their results and top-ups of varying frequency. Some have results that have lasted months or years, needing only an occasional spot treatment.
Tria 4X laser vs Philips Lumea Prestige comparison table
Tria 4X typical range: £250 to £350
Philips Lumea Prestige typical range: £300 to £500
The Tria 4x’s Recommended Retail Price (RRP) £375. That’s versus RRP £520 to £575 for the Prestige. With offers you can get the Prestige for around £300 to £400, and the Tria 4X for about £250 to £350. You can check the prices using the links below.
Which should you buy?
Both are excellent choices, but for different reasons. It’s a personal choice so here’s a quick round-up to help you decide between the two.
Buy the Tria 4X laser if:
- Your skin tone is light to medium, with dark hair
- You’re convinced the diode laser gives superior results to IPL AND the rest of these points apply to you
- You’ll use it on your face and small body areas like bikini line and underarms
- You’re prepared to put in the time and effort
- You’re not concerned about it potentially hurting
- You want a long money back guarantee (90-day from CurrentBody.com) and 60-day from Tria Beauty
I recommend it for face and small areas because it takes a while to cover your skin with the small laser aperture. Plus, you get around 30 mins of use from each battery charge. so it suits facial use and small areas best. Read the full review for more information and photos.
Buy the Lumea Prestige if:
- Your skin tone is light to dark (up to Fitzpatrick type V), with dark hair
- You want something fast to treat your full body, multiple body areas or large areas like your legs
- You’re tight on time and want sessions over quickly
- You want the reassurance of a long 90-day, no questions-asked money back guarantee
- You’re scared the Tria 4X will hurt
The Lumea Prestige is in a different league. If you can afford it, buy it. Read the full review for more information and photos.
Still not sure?
If you still aren’t sure, try my Best IPL and laser hair removal guide. These are the top devices available for home hair removal. All are tried and tested by myself and my small team of testers.