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The best laser and IPL machines for easy at-home hair removal

IPL and laser at-home hair removal devices are much more affordable than in-clinic visits. (Getty Images)
IPL and laser at-home hair removal devices are much more affordable than in-clinic visits. (Getty Images) (Firn via Getty Images)

Laser and IPL at-home devices are a long-term way to rid skin of unwanted hair, with little pain, discomfort and downtime. But how do they work, and what's the difference between laser and IPL?

Intense pulsed light (IPL) technology destroys the hair root using energy emitted by light waves, while lasers disable hair follicle pigment over time, converting laser beams to heat when it comes into contact with skin.

IPL is almost completely painless, too – at most it can feel like a bit of warmth on the skin. And while laser can feel like a slight hot pinch sometimes, the more you use it the less sensation it will deliver as there's less hair to target over time.

Due to the complex technology, at-home devices from brands such as Philips, Braun and Sensica are often a big investment, costing hundreds of pounds. To help you find the right one for your hair removal needs and budget, we've compiled the top 12 laser and IPL machines. Each treats legs, the bikini line, underarms and face.

Laser and IPL at-home devices also often see huge flash discounts applied, some of which we've included in this list with hundred of pounds to save up for grabs.

When using a laser or IPL device, it's key to remember it's a marathon not a sprint. Most have a treatment plan of 12 weeks and can be used weekly or bi-weekly. You will also need to shave areas in between treatments as your skin needs to be as smooth as possible to see the best results. Consistency is key when it comes to this type of hair removal.

The best laser and IPL devices for practically painless hair removal

SmoothSkin bare+ ultrafast IPL hair removal device | £199 from Current Body

This corded palm-sized device has a fast set-up and is great for a beginner.

This compact black-and-gold corded design won't take up much space on your dresser and has a fuss-free setup process. Simply plug it in, press the button at the centre of the device until it flashes white, then place it flat on the skin to let it get to work. It's suitable for use on legs, arms, bikini line, and your face.

Bondi laser hair removal handset IPL machine | £199 from Bondi-Body

This Bondibody IPL is more affordable than most at-home devices.

This is one of the more affordable models on the IPL, and is recommended for use once or twice weekly for 12 weeks, so results can be seen faster than most. Suitable for sensitive skin, it has eight intensity settings a simple setup process and made to target light brown, medium brown, dark brown and black hair. Best of all, it's completely painless aside from emitting a gentle warmth.

Philips Lumea BRI/923 IPL machine | was £350 now £280 from Boots

Philips BRI
This Philips device comes with detachable heads and a trimmer for trickier areas.

This machine is corded, so it'll never run out of juice mid-treatment. To work effectively, the head needs to sit flat against the skin where it will flash to let you know you've treated the area of the skin. It also comes with a precision head which is ideal for smaller areas such as underarms. It requires use every fortnight for the first four treatments, then a touch-up every four weeks.

Ulike Diamond Air+ | £280 from Current Body

This device has two treatment modes to adapt to larger and smaller surface areas.

This IPL device has five different intensity settings for use on the face, underarms, bikini line, arms, and legs and can be used up to three times a week for fast results. It comes with safety glasses to protect eyes from the bright flash it emits when upon contact with the skin and a compact razor for use in between treatments. You can also pick between two modes; Continuous Mode for gliding over large surface areas like your legs, and Single Mode for stamping over smaller areas like your underarms.

Silk'n Infinity permanent hair remover IPL machine | £265 from Boots

This IPL machine allows you to schedule your next treatments with a reminder via the Silk'n app.

This lightweight design is just bigger than your palm, making it easy to manoeuvre around harder-to-reach areas, and requires you to simply press the large button in the centre of the device. There are five intensity settings, which can be customised using the Silk'n infinity app, and allows you to set reminders for your next treatment.

Braun silk expert pro 5 IPL machine | £279 from Currys

This chic bit of kit from Braun also has a detachable precision head for underarms and the bikini line.

This device comes packaged in a chic suede pouch that's compartmentalised to fit its length cable, an accompanying Venus razor for in-between treatments, and a precision head for use on the face or underarms. It emits 400,000 flashes and is designed to be used once a week for four to 12 weeks, followed by top-up treatments every one to two months.

Sensica Sensilight pro IPL hair removal device | was £399 now £299.25 from Lookfantastic

Sensica's IPL device is cordless and simple to setup. Simple unbox and get zapping.

While this is one of the larger IPL devices on our list, its cordless design makes it easy to use without needing to be by a plug socket – perfect for watching TV while using it. It has a skin tone detection option, six energy settings, and two heads to pick between, which can be used on legs, arms, stomach, back, shoulders, bikini area, underarms and face. Best of all it, has a pulse and glide mode – activated by pressing the main button down for three consecutive pulses – so you glide it across the skin without needing a more time-consuming stamp motion.

Philips Lumea 9000 IPL machine | was £409 now £386.99 from Amazon

Philips 9000
The Philips 9000 IPL device is designed to be used every two weeks for the first six weeks followed by monthly top-up treatments.

This is a newer model in Philips' Lumea range and with the extra cost, comes more features. There are detachable heads designed for the face, legs, bikini and body, a storage bag and can be used both corded and cordless. The skin tone sensor will also recommend the best intensity setting out of the five available. You can also use the Lumea app to schedule treatments and set reminders the light strip at the back of the head of the device flashes white when it's working and orange if it's not.

Tria hair removal laser 4X IPL machine | £375 from Lookfantastic

Tria's cordless laser hair removal device has a 30-minute run time on a full charge.

This is a cordless laser device with five intensity settings – to adjust, press the pink button and place the head in overlapping circles across the skin. Laser devices will disable the pigment in hair follicles over time with continued use and often have a warm, sometimes hot, sensation as it converts each laser beam to heat when in contact with skin. It also has a helpful LED display to show you when you've stamped an area so you can easily keep track and not treat the same area twice.

JOVS Venus Pro Skin Rejuvenation and Hair Removal Device | £319 from Current Body

This IPL device also doubles up as an anti-aging LED treatment.

This stylish-looking device is by the most aesthetically pleasing. It boasts six attachment heads for your face, underarms, bikini line and legs and its head can rotate 180 degrees. In a bonus 2-in-1 feature, it has a skin rejuvenation mode that transforms it into an LED device, emitting a red light that can reduce wrinkles and improve elasticity.

Laser Hair Removal Device | £169.99 from Amazon

This device from Amazon can be used two to three times a week.

This lower-cost laser device is ideal if you're shopping on a budget. One happy Amazon shopper said: "Excellent product, comes with sunglasses for eye safety from the laser light, there is also a razor and a charging adapter, and comes with levels of sensitivity. I used it for a month now and it is very effective I have not had hair growth in the last week."

Ulike Rose IPL Hair Removal & Anti-Ageing Device | £419 from Current Body

Ulike's IPL machine is safe for use on the upper lip too.

The last on our list is this IPL device from Ulike, which has five energy settings and can be used up to three times a week – it promises less hair growth in six weeks. It's ergonomically designed and quite compact, coming with charging base, cable, razor and safety glasses, and can be used on the upper lip, underarms, legs, bikini line.