Men's Health Lab Explained

·7-min read
Photo credit: Men's Health Lab
Photo credit: Men's Health Lab

You’ll see the Men’s Health Lab Approved logo on some of the products we recommend both online and in our magazine.

This logo represents hours of rigorous testing by our Men’s Health Lab team, who put products to the test in both real-world and lab conditions. They provide unbiased, in-depth product reviews you can trust, recommending the best products on the market so you can buy with confidence.

Below, we explain everything you need to know about the Men's Health Lab team, including how we test.

What is the Men's Health Lab?

The Men’s Health Lab – located in Soho, Central London and Feltham, West London – is where our team of experts dedicate their days to testing a variety of products and services.

They work across four categories – health and fitness, grooming, homes, and food and drink – and test thousands of products every year to find the very best you can buy.

The team use a mixture of their own scientific knowledge and industry experience to put brands’ claims to the test. They use specialised equipment in our lab to check everything from a running jacket's waterproofing credentials to a beard oil's promise to smooth hair.

Every product is assessed against a strict set of protocols devised by the MH Lab team and split into three main areas: ease of use, performance and design (instructions are also considered if supplied). Following a thorough test by one of our experts, each product is awarded a final score.

Where relevant – for example with sports apparel and grooming products – we will also send products to a panel of consumers to try at home, taking care to ensure that it reflects Men’s Health's diverse readership. The panel will then complete a detailed feedback survey, which also counts towards a product’s final score.

If products do not meet or exceed our pre-set pass score, then they have failed our testing and we will not recommend them to you.

Our Men’s Health Lab Approved logo will only appear on products that have been tested in this way, so you know it can be trusted.

How Does Men's Health Lab Approved Differ From Other Product Recommendations?

The Men’s Health Lab Approved logo is a simple way to let you know where more rigorous testing has taken place, often focusing on products that make measurable (rather than subjective) claims.

This sets us apart from the overwhelming number of product reviews available today, as we go the extra mile – working with thousands of consumers and experts when testing products – to gain the best, most detailed feedback.

You won’t see this endorsement against all of the products that we feature, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth buying. Our Men’s Health editors also recommend their favourite products and services online and in print, based on years of industry experience and insider know-how on the latest consumer trends.

How the Men's Health Lab Team Test

Health and Fitness

Buying gym equipment or sports gear can be expensive, so you’ll want to know you’re getting good value for money. Our team of health and fitness experts test everything from spin bikes to running shoes using our in-house gym and state-of-the-art lab equipment.

For certain products, we also ask our consumer panel of fitness fanatics for their opinion, sending them wetsuits, running jackets and more to try in real-world conditions. After fully analysing their feedback, products are awarded a final score, with only the best earning the Men’s Health Lab Approved logo.

Grooming

From hair clippers to beard oils, our experts test the latest grooming products using a combination of lab tests and consumer feedback. The team, who are all cosmetic scientists, use a variety of equipment in the Men’s Health Lab to find out if a product delivers on its claims in real life. In the Lab we use:

The Diastron – this machine analyses hair swatches to test how effective grooming products are, from how volumising a shampoo really is to how well a beard oil will smooth hair.

The Multi Skin Test Centre – this machine assesses hydration, skin barrier function and the oil/sebum control of skin and hair care products. This helps us discover how hydrating a moisturiser is or how effectively a shampoo lifts dirt and oil.

The VISIA Complexion Analyser – this machine tests anti-ageing skincare by measuring skin characteristics such as number of wrinkles, texture and pore size. It can even compare your skin age to your real age!

Noise Meter – this machine measures the sound levels of electricals such as electric toothbrushes, hair clippers, beard trimmers and body grooming tools, so we know which are the quietest (read: least likely to annoy your family and neighbours!).

To see how products fare in real life, we’ll also ask our trusty panel of consumers to try products at home over a set period of time. All products are blinded (to avoid brand bias) before being sent to our testers, who will then give us their feedback on everything from design to performance.

We analyse the results of both our lab and consumer testing to work out which products to recommend to you.

Homes

Whether you’re looking for a coffee machine to pump out your pre-workout brews or a new mattress to aid recovery, our experts test the latest home products to find the best on the market.

They’ll create a robust set of testing protocols that will push each product to its limits. For example, when testing smoothie makers and air fryers we’ll use multiple recipes and ingredients to ensure the most consistent results whatever your choice of post-gym fuel.

To ensure fairness, we always test in a controlled environment. And for some products, such as pillows and duvets, we’ll send them to our panel of consumers to try at home, so we can get real-world data on how they perform.

Every product is given a final score, with those that score over a certain number (pre-set by our testing team) awarded the Men’s Health Lab seal of approval.

Food and drink

Don’t know your pinot noir from your shiraz? Your bourbon from your scotch? The Men’s Health Lab wine and spirits experts – all WSET trained – test hundreds of bottles a year to find the best on the market.

Our tasting panel, consisting of consumers and our experts, try the latest wines and spirits – all blinded to avoid brand bias – and give us feedback on appearance, aroma, flavour and mouthfeel.

Our panel also blind taste test a variety of foods every year, from protein bars to vegan Easter eggs, assessing them on aroma, taste and texture before giving them an overall score. Any food or drink product that scores above our pre-set pass rate will be featured with the Men’s Health Lab Approved logo.

How to Join Our Consumer Panel

If you’d like to join one of our consumer panels and test the latest products for Men’s Health Lab, please click on the relevant links below and fill out our survey.

Join our health and fitness product testing panel here

Join our grooming product testing panel here

Join our homes product testing panel here

Join our food and drink product testing panel here

Does Men's Health Receive a Commission if You Buy Through a Link on a Men's Health Lab Approved Product?

In our online articles, we provide links to buy from Men’s Health Lab Approved products so that you can easily find where to purchase them, or read more information. We try to keep these links as up to date as possible so that products are always in stock when you need them.

We may earn a commission if you buy through one of these links, but this does not influence our experts’ opinions.

Our team of experts test products separately from any of our commercial or editorial teams, and will only recommend products that pass our strict testing protocols. Any products that fail are not eligible for our endorsement and are therefore not recommended to you by the Men’s Health Lab team.

Can Brands Purchase the Men's Health Lab Approved Endorsement?

Yes, we do allow brands to purchase the Men’s Health Lab Approved logo, but only after their product has passed our rigorous tests. Brands have no say in how we test products, as all testing is completed independently from commercial or editorial teams. Any brands whose products fail are not allowed to purchase our endorsement.

Is your brand interested in our endorsement? Contact accreditations@hearst.co.uk for more information.

Who do I Contact if I Have a Question About Men's Health Lab Approved?

If you’d like to know more about our endorsement, or would like to recommend a product to test, please email HIrequests@hearst.co.uk.

Note: Men’s Health Lab is a subsidiary of the Hearst Institute.

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting