The Silk-épil 9 series is a development of the Silk-épil 7 series, which has been our favourite epilator for several years. Apart from the luxurious design, the Silk-épil 9561 has several improvements that have made it a new favourite. The clearest is that the head is 40% wider than before, which means that you can get smooth legs quicker than ever. The tweezers are also better, as they grasp shorter and thinner hairs. But the most important improvement is that it's less painful as the wide rollers stretch out the skin effectively before pulling out the hairs. The little lamp makes it easy to see the tiniest hair in sensitive areas and the epilator works in the shower – a really big plus as the warm water reduces any discomfort. The various accessory caps work well for their different purposes. The fact that there's also a shaver head with a trimmer cap means that you're equipped for all situations.
The Silk-épil 7 series has long been one of our absolutely favourite epilators, and with this latest update it still retains its position. It’s wireless and watertight, which means that you can use it in the shower or bath. The handle is comfortable in your hand and the controls are easy to use without being in the way. A little lamp illuminates the area to be epilated; this may sound unnecessary, but it's actually really useful to be able to see all of the small hairs. The tweezers are extremely effective and remove even short, thin hairs. A number of different caps are included and work well for their various intended functions. For example a shaver head with a trimmer cap, a facial cap and a cap for sensitive skin. The combination of highly-efficient epilation and excellent accessories makes the 7 series a competent and complete epilator. We think that it gives a large number of functions for the money and we therefore put it at the very top of all the epilators we have tested.
This is the little sister of the Braun Silk-épil 7 Xpressive. It has the same basic effective functions but for a significantly lower price. This means we have named it as the test’s best budget choice. Of course it doesn’t have as many refinements and accessories. It's still a very competent epilator, but if you have the budget it's better to go for big sister instead. It includes two accessories; a cap for the armpits and a shaver head for trimming longer unwanted hairs. The head has massage rollers on both sides, which help stretch the skin.
The Philips Satinelle is a small and almost weightless epilator. It has no batteries, but runs on mains power via a cable. However, this isn't annoying or awkward as the cable is both long and easy to manage. The Satinelle has a strong motor that does a good job, and the cap has a wider working area than, for example, the Braun 5541, which makes it relatively quick. Some of our testers who had larger hands felt that the handle was almost too small and didn’t give good support for the hand. The controls are good, however, and you can’t access them by mistake. The Satinelle is above all intended to be used on the legs, and is therefore somewhat narrower in its area of use than the more expensive epilators in the test, but if its the legs you're focusing on there’s no point paying more than this. The Philips Satinelle is a really good budget epilator, without refinements, but which does exactly what it's intended to do.
The Silk-épil 5541 has one of the test’s narrowest heads and although it does the job it takes a longer time to do so. There is also a relatively long distance between the tweezers, which further reduces its efficiency. Two different epilation caps are included; a massage cap and one for skin contact. The accessories also include a shaver head with a trimmer cap, which is useful if you have hair that’s too long when it's time to epilate. It’s very easy to change between the different heads. Unfortunately, the controls are represented by a push button that you can easily press by mistake, which can be irritating. A green charging lamp shows when the epilator is on, but we’d rather have seen a usable lamp that illuminates the skin like Braun's more expensive models. As the Silk-épil 5541 tolerates water, it's easy to clean. This is a relatively cheap epilator, but we don’t think that the lower price justifies the mediocre functionality. Instead, we recommend Braun’s 7 or 9 series.