For many, shaving body hair is a typical part of the routine. The combination of a great razor, water, and shaving cream or other lubrication can leave you with smooth skin. You know that having the right tools makes all the difference in your results, and while it may seem that “razors for women” is a marketing gimmick to get you to spend more on pink products, there are design differences: Men's razors are intended to remove facial hair, while the women's ones are engineered for body hair.
We tested 11 of the top razors for women to find one that provides a close, silky body shave—though, for good measure, we included our top men's razor as well. The Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Swirl(available at Amazon for $22.99) won our Best Overall title because it quickly and effectively removes all hair without irritating the skin. The Solimo 5-Blade Razor for Women(available at Amazon) snatched our Best Value spot because it works nearly as well for less cash.
These are the best razors for women we tested ranked, in order:
Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Swirl
Solimo 5-Blade Razor for Women
Athena Club The Razor Kit
Schick Hydro Silk Sensitive Skin Razor for Women
Gillette Venus Smooth
Billie Razor Starter Kit
Gillette Mach3 Turbo
Joy Women’s Razor Handle
Flamingo Women’s 5-Blade Razor
BIC Soleil Color Collection Disposable Razors
Schick Intuition Sensitive Skin
Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Swirl
The biggest surprise to me while testing all of the razors on this list was that I liked all of them. There is not a bad option on this list—only ones that make more or less sense depending on your skin, shaving habits, and lifestyle (will you travel with it? Do you like replaceable cartridges?). Even still, it was easy to conclude that the Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Swirl is the Best Overall razor for women.
After coating my legs in Barbasol Shave Aloe, I glided this five-blade razor against the grain (the opposite direction my leg hair grows) and received a smooth, clean shave. One swipe removes all of the hair in the razor's path and one or two swipes in tough-to-reach areas, like around the knees or ankles. The blade has a coating of lubrication around it to aid in this, and I didn’t experience any scraping, pinching, or nicking—instead, the razor felt comfortable against my skin and left my legs feeling silky.
The “swirl” refers to a silver ball between the handle and the head of the razor that allows it to swivel and rotate, with the idea that it could help the blades contour to the body for a closer shave. I expected this to make the razor significantly more flexible than others on the list, but this wasn’t the case. In fact, nearly every razor has some mechanism for the cartridge to move in response to gentle pressure, meaning you can keep the blades against the skin no matter the angle you’re shaving from.
The bottom line: This is an excellent razor, but the swirl element is not what makes it special. This razor stands out because of how well it removes hair and makes it easy to maneuver through large swaths of hair. You can find it in a pack with handle and one, two, or four cartridges, as well as purchase refill packs of four or six extra cartridges. (It doesn't come with a shower hook or holder, but we found that most of those don't work anyway.)
This five-blade razor from Amazon’s brand Solimo feels nearly as luxurious on the skin as our Best Overall pick. It glides effortlessly across the skin with shaving cream and it even works well without lubrication, thanks to a coating of conditioning ingredients around the perimeter of the blades. I quickly shaved my underarms without bothering to apply the Barbasol and the results were silky smooth.
When you’re in a pinch and want a quick shave, this product excels because of its no-fuss design and ability to remove hair in one pass. Though great, it didn’t score our Best Overall spot because it has a smaller head than the Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Swirl and a clunkier handle. The win here is that you can find this razor in a pack that includes one razor handle and either two or 12 cartridges, the latter option making it cost a fraction of a price per cartridge compared to the Gillette Swirl. Unlike the Gillette, it comes with a holder that suctions to the wall, but the accessory fell down over and over again throughout my shower, rendering it useless.
The only real downside is that you’ll have to purchase the full 12-pack again (which includes another razor handle) to get the exact same blades, as Amazon doesn’t seem to sell refill cartridge packs for the women’s handle. This is odd because Solimo offers a package of 12 men’s cartridge refills that appear to have a different design with a squarer and less lubricated head, but I did not test these. Reviewers report that the men’s refills are compatible with the women’s handle, even if they may have different design elements on and around the blades themselves.
The benefit of using a razor subscription service is that you don’t have to keep tabs on how many razor cartridges you have left and run to the store at the last minute when you realize you’ve run out. Athena Club’s The Razor Kit, which we’ve crowned the Best Subscription for women’s razors, includes a razor handle, two five-blade cartridges, and a handy magnetic hook that sticks to the shower wall and holds the razor securely.
The razor itself glides over the legs with ease, though it does not have a thick coating of lubrication around the blades in the way that the Gillette Swirl, Solimo, or some others do. It was smooth enough that I could shave quickly, but moving haphazardly resulted in a few stings (no blood was drawn—I described it to a friend as feeling a zing on my skin).
This razor also stands out for its sturdy, durable build quality. The handle feels weightier than others, which I attribute to Athena Club’s use of aluminum and fiberglass in place of the usual all-plastic handle.
Subsequent shipments, charged separately, include replacement cartridges based on the frequency you shave. The subscription model, included items, and shaving results are almost identical to the other popular subscription razor Billie, but the blade quality on Athena is better, which bumped it higher in our scoring.
Hi, I’m Jessica, the beauty editor at Reviewed. I test all things skin-, makeup-, and hair-related for the site. When I started shaving in my preteen years, my dad bought me the same type of razor handle (the Gillette Fusion 5) he and my brother used and supplied us all with packages of five-blade cartridges when we needed a replacement. For years, I used this men’s razor and thought little about the product selection process. When I went to college and couldn’t steal from the communal cartridges any longer, I began buying any five-blade disposable razors that were on sale at the drugstore—again, not much thought behind it.
This all changed when I started working for Reviewed (i.e., I started caring about everything I bought, based on our reviews). After trying the Billie razor for a story, I signed up for a subscription that I’ve kept up for almost two years. But now that I’ve tested nearly a dozen of the best-selling razors, I finally have opinions on them.
There’s no shortage of razors for women out there. After looking through best-seller lists and reading reviews, I narrowed the playing field to 11 options at varying prices from brand names you’ve either used or will recognize. From there, I answered a series of targeted questions, which I filled out in a calibrated rubric upon shaving my legs with each razor. After lathering my legs in the Barbasol Shave Aloe, I used one razor per leg, then used the top contenders a few more times on both of my legs and armpits to see how they worked in “real world” conditions. For each razor, I considered the following attributes:
Efficacy: How effectively does the razor remove the hair? How effective is the razor in hard-to-reach or curved areas?
Ease of use: How easy is it to use this razor in hard-to-reach or curved areas? How easy is it to remove the cut hair from the razor? If the blades are designed to be interchanged, how easy is it to attach and detach cartridges from the razor? Overall, how easy is it to use this razor?
Comfort: How comfortable is it to hold and use the razor? Were there any mishaps (cuts or nicks) with the razor? How does skin feel after shaving?
Build: How’s the build quality of the razor? How portable is the razor based on size, shape, weight, and storage ability?
What Should You Know About Razors for Women
Let’s address the elephant in the room—do you need a “women’s” razor if that’s the gender with which you identify? Technically, no, but using one may help if your aim is to tackle large swaths of hair on the body. After crowning Gillette’s Venus Extra Smooth Swirl the best women’s razor (and its Mach3 Turbo the best men’s disposable razor), we reached out to the company’s experts to learn more about the design differences that go beyond the colors these razors come in.
Cartridge shape: The cartridges on Gillette’s men’s razors are smaller and have square edges that better fit the surface and angles of a face for removing facial hair, according to Kristin Monaco, senior products research engineer at Gillette. On the other hand, women’s razor cartridges are larger and have rounded edges to glide over larger, curved areas, like the legs.
Lubrication: Gillette’s line for women, called Venus, has more lubrication around its blades than those designed for men because it makes it smoother to cover the amount of surface area on a larger body part in a single sweep.
Handle: At Gillette, razor handles designed for men are slender, but the Venus razors have an ergonomic design and a “mermaid tail” at the end that “help to provide a better grip for the wet environments” of a shower where body shaving is often done, Monaco says. Someone using a Venus razor can grip it toward the head or near the end, depending on comfort and what gives them the most control.
Beyond whether you’ll purchase a razor designed for facial or body hair, the other major consideration is how many blades you want. Most often, you may opt for anywhere from two- to five-blade razors, all of which can provide a clean shave. “Typically more blades means a closer shave and fewer missed hairs,” Monaco says. This is because the cutting edges themselves are closer together the more blades the razor has. However, with the number of blades being equal, there's no difference in the orientation, spacing, or sharpness of the blades themselves from Gillette's men's razors to its women's.
The best way to figure out how many blades you need for your desired results is through trial and error—and predicting what areas you’ll shave. “Some people find that three blades provide the right amount of closeness that they’re looking for and other people find that five blades are required,” says Monaco. If you know you’re only going to shave your legs and the hair is wispier and skin softer, you can probably get away with a two- or three-blade option. If you plan to shave the bikini area where the hair is coarser, you may like the results from a four- or five-blade better.
Other Razors for Women We Tested
Schick Hydro Silk 5 Sensitive Care Razor
Like others on this list, the Schick Hydro Silk Sensitive Skin razor slid across my legs, removing all hair in its path in a pass or two. Like every other razor with a removable cartridge, this has a flexible head that makes it possible to hold the handle perpendicular to the legs while still keeping the five blades against the leg. This was helpful in curved areas, like the back of my knee.
Where this differs is its handle design. While most handles have a curve that slopes downward to the razor head, this slopes down and then lifts up right before the razor head, making the blades on the same plane as the highest part of the handle. This is a small detail, but it gave me pause when using the razor because it felt different in my hand than others on this list. To push to the top of this list, this razor would need to feel more natural to hold and have a sturdier build. Still, I got a good shave and wouldn’t hesitate to wield this again.
You can snag this in a package with one handle and two cartridges. Refills come in packs with four cartridges. It comes with a holder that suctions to the wall, but it was ineffective, as the device kept falling.
The Gillette Venus Smooth is one of three razors on this list that contains three blades. The fewer blades didn’t hinder my experience at all, but the razor’s smaller head did. Though the actual blades appear to be the same size as the ones on other razors on this list, the surface area of the head made me feel like I had less control while shaving. The surrounding plastic also didn't seem to have as much lubrication as others on this list. The result was a mild scraping sensation that didn’t hurt or leave irritation but also didn’t feel as great against the skin as other razors.
That said, if you prefer a smaller head for more precision work, such as along a bikini line, you may enjoy this, as it’s easier to get into curved areas. You can find this razor in a pack with two cartridges and refill with an eight-count package of blades.
Though it falls further down this list, the Billie razor is a top-notch choice both as a standalone razor and as a razor subscription service. Like others, its five blades effectively remove hair in one pass, though it may take a few passes in curved areas, such as around the knees or ankles. The results are a clean, smooth shave that’s easy to achieve if you don’t mind working more slowly in trickier spots. Its lubricated cartridges help to achieve that silky-skin effect. The handle is comfortable to hold but not the highest quality, which is where it falls short compared to the Athena Club subscription razor.
The service costs the same as Athena and has a similar pricing model. Your first shipment includes the razor handle, two cartridges, and a mount that magnetizes to the razor and sticks to the wall. From there, you receive four replacement cartridges per shipment, with delivery frequency (and recurring charges) based on how often you say you shave.
The Gillette Mach3 Turbo is our Best Overall men’s disposable razors because it provides a close, clean shave for facial hair. After using this on my legs, I can see why it earned those accolades. It has a small, three-blade head, similar to the Gillette Venus Smooth, that allows you to work effectively in hard-to-reach or curved areas, like around the jawline or, in my case, around the knees. It skates well across the skin without tugging or scraping and offered me the aforementioned clean shave.
This is a great option for a razor and only fell further down this list because its basic model doesn’t stand out amongst the crowd—and because of my own preferences (like a larger head). You can find the handle in a pack with two cartridges and purchase a five-count of cartridges for refills.
You wouldn’t know based on the name, but the Joy Women’s Razor is manufactured by Gillette. Joy is supposed to be a simplistic, barebones razor for getting the job done, without the bells and whistles of the Venus razors that also increase the price. Similar to men's razors, this has a smaller, squarer head and a straight handle rather than a "mermaid tail."
Unlike the Gillette models higher on this list, I wasn’t a fan of Joy’s five-blade razor—it didn’t glide well on my legs and created a scraping sensation. It didn’t hurt, but by the time I tested this, I knew that there were better options, including others from Gillette. The result was fine—the smaller head worked well in tough-to-reach areas and I got a clean shave everywhere else, though the blade could use more lubrication. An initial purchase of this razor includes the handle and four cartridges, and there are packs of four, eight, or 12 refills available.
The same complaints I have about the Joy razor stand for the Flamingo five-blade razor, but intensified. I felt friction against my skin while trying to slide the razor up my leg—it was similar to the skidding of windshield wipers on dry glass. My guess as to why: The cluster of five blades is not centered on the cartridge and the extra plastic at the top of the razor head isn’t lubricated, thus causing friction. I had to work more slowly with this one, but I still achieved a clean shave. If you don’t care about the experience but only the results, you can get away with this—it’s just not worth it when there are better options for a similar price.
This comes in a pack with one razor handle and one cartridge. You can also purchase a pack of eight refill blades. The razor comes with a holder that suction cups to the wall, but it did not hold up with or without the razor sitting in it.
The Bic Soleil razors are the only non-refillable option we tested. The cartridge housing the three blades has no flexibility, as it’s cemented to the handle in one position. These feel cheap, but get the job done in a few passes. The small head makes it easier to maneuver the razor in curved areas, but it isn’t as effective at removing hair in these spots as others on this list. In a pinch, these disposables work fine, but you have to take your time and use plenty of soap or shaving cream to avoid missing hair or causing uncomfortable friction on the skin.
The one we tested came in a pack of eight razors, though other sized sets are available.
The Schick Intuition Sensitive Skin has a clunky design that ultimately landed it at the bottom of our ranks. Its four blades sit encased in a razor head that looks similar to a bar of soap and that sits on top of a thick handle. When I pressed this into my skin and slid the razor up my leg, I couldn’t tell if it was removing the hair because I couldn’t feel or see the actual blades. This took some getting used to. I liked that you didn’t need shaving cream to get proper lubrication, thanks to the lather that the head produces. I had to pass over certain areas, like my knees, a few times, but I was able to snatch all of the hair.
I wouldn’t recommend this over slimmer, typical designs because it’s not very intuitive, but it works. You may prefer it if you’re frustrated by water washing away your shaving cream, particularly if you have a small shower that makes it difficult to avoid the running stream.
The razor handle is sold with two cartridges and you can find replacements in packs of three or six.
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