Unfortunately, you won’t find a really quiet epilator. So far, no model checks this box. However, there are louder and quieter epilators.
Calling an epilator quiet may result only from comparison with other epilators, in this case. Anyone who has never used an epilator before may all call it loud. A certain noise level must so far be accepted as part of using an epilator. Nonetheless, there are differences between the different epilators. But for a silent or very quiet epilator it is still a long way to go.
You can not expect miracles from epilators regarding their noise, but these models seem to be relatively quiet:
The head of the epilator is equipped with 2 epilation rollers with a total of 48 tweezers. In addition, the head can pivot and adapts to the body’s contours when moving along the skin, which is helpful for a good grip on the hair. Due to the swivel head, guiding this epilator along your skin feels targeted and thorough, just like with a razor.
There are 2 speed settings and an LED lamp that is directed at the skin. This makes it easier to identify hairs. The lighting cannot be switched off.
The wet function makes it possible to use the epilator in the shower or bathtub. Everyone should try for themselves to find out to what extent this is useful and practical for you individual needs.
There are numerous accessories in the form of different attachments. These include a special attachment for armpits and bikini line, a pedicure attachment, and several more.
This is an epilator that can only be used with a rechargeable battery. One hour of charging allows for up to 40 minutes of operation.
The Panasonic ES-ED70-G and ES-ED50-N are equally quiet.
The Braun Silk-épil 9 is a relatively quiet epilator.
From the Silk-épil 3 to the Silk-épil 9, the noise level gradually decreased.
There was a clear difference in sound level from the Silk-épil 3 to the Silk-épil 5, as well as to the Silk-épil 7, and here too, the epilator became a little quieter.
The head of the epilator can swivel and adapts to the body shape when moved around. This is useful in order to catch all the hairs. It also feels more comfortable on the skin, much like using a disposable razor.
The width of the epilator’s head has been increased compared to the previous models. This time, the rotary switch for the speed levels can only be turned in one direction. To reach speed levels 1 and 2, you consistently turn it to the right instead of left to reach speed 1 and right to reach speed 2, as on some previous models. A LED light for better visibility can again be found, like in previous models. Unfortunately the light cannot be switched off, so the light may blind you on some occasions or it simply wastes energy if not needed.
The epilator can be used in the shower or while taking a bath. Whether this is convenient and useful is a matter of personal preference. The aim with the wet use is to make epilation less painful or even almost painless in the long term.
There are numerous accessories, such as various peeling, face and massage brushes.
The epilator is powered by a rechargeable battery. One hour of charging allows for 40 minutes of use. The battery cannot be replaced.
If one battery charge is not sufficient for your epilation session, or if you prefer to epilate using a power cord for permanent power supply, you should take a look at the Silk-épil 5 with a power cord.
Unfortunately, finding a quiet epilator is quite a challenge. Really quiet epilators, that is models that could actually be described as low-noise, barely audible or silent, are so far nowhere to be found.
So the only thing left to do is limit the damage and look for a comparatively quiet model.
An epilator that is quiet in relation to other epilators is not an impossible – and that’s what you should look for. Not all epilators make noises like lawnmowers. Some are indeed – relatively – quiet.
Power and noise
Unfortunately it is totally unusual to find a decibel rating for an epilator. No information is available, although this would be very interesting to know. What noise level the epilator is operating at is not at all irrelevant. In particular, since the epilator is used directly on the body and therefore so close to the ears, a moderate to low noisiness would be desirable.
In general, you can take the following as a guide: Electrical devices with less power are quieter than devices with more power. This applies to epilators, also. Thus if you have to decide between two epilators and noise is really important to you, choose the one with the lower power. You will save power in the process, as well.
Moreover, you can influence the power and the noise level by considering the next point:
Settings allow for quieter epilation
Epilator usually have several speed settings. The more speed settings an epilator has, the easier it should be to tune it down.
A lower speed usually goes hand in hand with a lower sound level. If you want to reduce the background noise, it is advantageous to choose an epilator that has various speed levels to choose from. So you can always use the lowest setting if you are particularly sensitive to noise. Unfortunately, the only an alternative are earplugs or other hearing protection.
Another point to consider is an epilator’s effectiveness. Arguably, this is the most important criterion.
The result of the epilation should be thorough and long-lasting, and it should be possible to achieve this quickly and with as little pain as possible.
Epilators with a wider head and more tweezers seem preferable in this respect. Due to the width, a larger area of skin can be tackled at one time. A greater number of tweezers is more likely to catch all hair in a few strokes. But you shouldn’t get stuck on pure numbers – the epilator most of all has to be designed and constructed well, in order to actually and reliably remove hair.
There are a few problems that may arise with less then well thought-out epilators: Some epilators just break off hair or tear it off just above the skin. This may be painless, but defeats the purpose. You could have shaved straight away, because after 1 or 2 days the hair grows back.
If you use an epilator and it does not hurts at all, not even a little bit, you should become suspicious, especially if this is your first time using an epilator. You should definitely check and see if the epilator just tears the hair off instead of plucking it out.
In order to reduce pain, epilators should not retreat into tearing off hair. This is plain eye washing. Instead, good epilators use massage rollers, vibrations or other small tricks to make you feel less pain. Making the process free of pain may not be possible, but these features can help a little. Mostly, this depends on personal sensitivity to pain or pain tolerance.
Epilation in the shower or in the bathtub may be less painful. The good news is that there are models which are designed for wet use. This may be something you want to try.
Wet-and-dry or dry-only epliator
Epilators with wet-use functionality are a fairly recent thing. Wet-and-dry models allow you to use the epilator even when it comes in contact with water. Waterproof construction makes this possible. For safety reasons, these epilators always battery operated. You should not be able to find a wet and dry epilator with a power cord.
Just like a shaver, you can simply use a wet-and-dry epilator in the shower or while taking a bath.
Some advantages of this method are supposed to be a reduced sensitivity to pain and protection of the skin.
In the end you will have to find out by trying, if using an epilator in the shower or bathtub is viable for you. Time expenditure and battery life may be limiting factors. But caution: only use waterproof epilators that are explicitly designed for wet-and-dry use.
Battery or power chord
Epilators with rechargeable batteries seem to be more flexible at first glance: you don’t have stay in the vicinity of an electrical outlet, you avoid cable clutter, you can take the epilator to friends or on vacation without depending on a power outlet.
Some of the battery-powered models can also be used in the shower and bath, but that depends on the model. Check that it is a wet-and-dry epilator.
But there are also disadvantages to an epilator that runs on battery. One is, that with the battery charge declining, the performance of the epilator may become weak or patchy and erratic when the battery is about to run out. Another point is, that your epilation session is limited in time by the battery capacity. Moreover, over time, the battery itself may become weaker. Not always is it possible to simply replace it. Sometimes you will just have to buy a new epilator.
Moreover you cannot use a battery epilator any time you want. You have to charge it first. Forgetful people or those who not always conscientiously charge the epilator, will be left watiting. An empty battery is particularly annoying when you planned to epilate immediately. With most epilators that run on battery, it is not possible to use them while they charge.
An epilator with a power chord, on the other hand, can be used any time you want. However, you are dependent on a power outlet. Consistent power supply and performance are further advantages of an epilator with power chord. Moreover, only an epilator with power chord allows for longer use. If you want to use the device for longer than 30-40 minutes at a time, a corded epilator is the way to go.
Metal or ceramic tweezers?
Epilators with ceramic tweezers are a relatively new invention. Ceramic tweezers are supposed to better grasp hair and to be more compatible or even favorable for some skin and hair types. Ceramic tweezers may also lead to less irritation and inflammation.
Overall, the experiences with the different tweezer materials differ, so that no general recommendation can be made. Some people manage better with metal tweezers, others swear by ceramic ones. In general, metal can cause allergic reactions.
Especially for people who feel that the the material of the tweezers on their current epilator does not do them a favor, it would be worth considering a switch to the other material. Then they should keep observing for a while, whether this change makes the decisive difference.
Epilators with ceramic tweezers are, for example, the Satinelle and SatinPerfect models from Philipps.
Attachments and special features
Most epilators come with a whole range of attachments which differ in their usefulness.
A shaving head is often included and quite useful. There may be smaller epilator heads for armpits and the bikini zone, as well as for the face. Furthermore, massaging, peeling, face or pedicure heads are available.
LEDs for lighting the are you want to work on are a relatively useful additional feature. Illuminating the skin area makes it easier to identify hairs in poor light conditions, in the evening or in dark bathrooms.
Whether and which of these heads and features are personally important to you is a thing you should think about in advance. Maybe you already know what you need from experience with previous epilators. Then you should read the product description to see what is included in the bundle.
Bundles with a lot of additional head and with a wide range of functions are often associated with a higher price. The basic bundle will offer the same core function without bells and whistles. If you assume or know from experience that the roster of additional brushes and attachments is not necessary for you, you should look to buy the no-frills bundle.
Ease of use
The epilator should be easy and intuitive to use. Few epilators make big mistakes in this regard. This is arguably not, as the only interaction between you and your epilator is that of switching back and forth between 2-3 speed levels.
Nevertheless, some epilators make it difficult to use them due to unusual operation or unusual arrangement of the buttons or speed settings.
Usability also suffers when poorly placed LEDs blind you and there is no possibilty to turn them off. Nevertheless, a well placed LED lamp is mostly perceived as useful.
For comfortable use, the epilator should be ergonomically shaped and fit nicely into the hand. Epilators can be found in different sizes and shapes, the latest of which seems to be an elongated, narrow form which contrasts with the wide, oval or almost round or egg-shaped epilators of earlier generations.
The position of the speed switch should be easy accessible and operable. Placing this control in a weird spot may drive the user to despair through unusual and unintuitive manual maneuvers.
Weight and size
A low weight may be an advantage in an epilator, especially if you have to hold it in your hand for a long time. In addition, it should not have too large dimensions.