Best Hot Lather Machines

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
158 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best hot lather machines

Last Updated August 2019

One of the best parts of an old-fashioned barbershop experience is a hot shave. Now, you can have that same type of experience at home. A hot lather machine is essential for any man who wants to have the best possible shave. These machines warm up your shaving lather to a temperature that makes your facial hair soft and ready to be shaved.

When shaving cream is warmed, it helps relax your pores and raises your facial hair away from your skin, making it easier to get a close shave. In addition, hot lather machines make the shaving process more comfortable. The sensation of warm lather on your skin is soothing and calming during your daily shaving ritual.

Hot lather machines have been proven to assist men of all different skin sensitivities to avoid bumps and irritation due to shaving. If you want to have the most satisfying shaving experience possible, read our buying guide to learn about the best hot lather machines.

If you have sensitive skin, using a hot lather machine can help minimize skin irritation by opening your pores wider than a room temperature shaving cream could.

Key considerations

Shaving isn’t just a task; for many, it’s a ritual. That’s why you need to take all pertinent factors under consideration when choosing the right hot lather machine for you.

Lather capacity

Different machines hold different amounts of lather. Capacity starts around eight ounces and goes up to about 20 ounces. Some men use more shaving cream than others, so if you like the ability to have a large amount of lather for shaving, you’ll want to opt for a machine with a larger capacity.

Most hot lather machines labeled as “professional” have a larger capacity than those labeled as “personal.” Some smaller machines simply load a standard shaving cream can. This can be convenient, as well.

Heating time

Larger hot lather machines may require up to 30 minutes to heat the shaving cream, but many smaller ones can heat the lather in as little as one minute. Although the convenience of quick heating is nice, these smaller machines may not provide the amount of cream you need.

Do you have time in the morning to wait for your lather to heat up? This could affect which machine you choose. Generally, machines that heat up quickly are on the pricier side. Think about your morning shaving rituals before you decide which one is right for you.

Machine design

The amount of counter space you have in your bathroom is an important consideration when choosing a hot lather machine. Some smaller machines take up no more than two inches of space, but larger hot lather machines can take up as much as a square foot of counter space.

Measure your available space before you buy, and compare those measurements to the specs of different hot lather machines you see when shopping.

Use aftershave to finish off a great shaving experience with your hot lather machine.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

Hot lather machines come in different sizes and shapes. They also come with a variety of features that make your shaving experience more personalized than ever.

Temperature adjustment

Some hot lather machines give you the option to choose the temperature of your lather. This is a benefit for those who are particular about the temperature of their shaving cream or gel. If you want the option of determining the perfect temperature for your morning shave, consider getting a hot lather machine with a temperature adjustment setting.

Lather bowl

A convenient feature sported by a few hot lather machines on the market is a built-in lather bowl. This makes your shave easier because you can hold the lather bowl in one hand while using a shave brush to put the lather on your face with the other. It gives you more control over the process and also helps prevent the lather from falling onto the counter or floor, as it sometimes can when you don’t use a lather bowl.

Indicator lights

Many hot lather machines have small indicator lights to let you know when the lather is fully warmed. This takes the guesswork out of warming your lather. You can move on to other morning activities while the machine is heating up and come back to shaving once the indicator lets you know your lather is ready.

Automatic shutoff

As with any heating appliance, forgetting to turn off your hot lather machine could result in a fire. That’s why some machines have an automatic shutoff feature. If you leave the machine on, it will automatically turn itself off after a short period of inactivity. If you tend to be forgetful in the morning, this is a good option to consider.

Hot lather machine prices

Inexpensive: Between $30 and $50, most hot lather machines are on the smaller side, holding a single eight-ounce can of shaving cream. If you’re looking for a reasonable price and a machine with a small footprint, this is the category for you.

Mid-range: Hot lather machines in the range of $50 to $100 are larger than their less-expensive counterparts. Machines in this range often have at least one other great feature, such as a temperature adjustment dial.

Expensive: If you’re willing to spend between $100 and $250, you can get a professional-grade hot lather machine. These machines have long-lasting direct current motors that use magnetic current to create movement and are meant to last for years in a professional barber shop.

EXPERT TIP

Keep your hot lather machine empty of shaving cream when not in use. Dried shaving cream or gel in the tank can be difficult to clean.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Clean your hot lather machine regularly. Shaving cream and gel can harden and cause clogs in your machine’s spout over time.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Only use the recommended amount of liquid shaving cream in your machine. Overfilling it could cause it to spill and make a mess.

  • If your hot lather machine has multiple temperature settings, try them all before settling on the right one for you. You just may be surprised at what temperature you prefer.

  • Wait for your hot lather machine to finish warming your shaving cream or gel before starting your shave. If you cut the warming period short, you won’t get the full benefit of your machine.

  • Only use shaving creams and gels in your hot lather machine. Pouring other solutions into the machine could cause permanent damage.

Other products we considered

The recent proliferation of hot lather machines has made many different models available to the public. That’s why it was hard for us to narrow our choices down to only five. Another good (and inexpensive) machine is the BaBylissPro Barberology LatherFX. Especially effective at warming shave gel over cream, the red and blue striped barbershop look of this warmer is fun and exciting.

The Conair HLM10 Hot Lather Machine is a compact yet high-quality option in the expensive category. It heats and dispenses shaving cream from a standard can, which makes the whole process quick and easy.

Pair your hot lather machine with a high-quality straight razor for a smooth, old-fashioned shave.

FAQ

Q. Why would I want to have my shaving cream or gel warmed?

A. Shaving with warm or hot cream or gel gives you the best possible shave. The heat softens your beard and makes for a much closer shave than if your skin wasn’t warmed by the cream.

Q. Is there a difference between shaving cream and shaving gel?

A.Yes. The two have different consistencies. If you have sensitive skin, it is often recommended that you use gel instead of cream, as the consistency is more lubricating and protective of your skin.

Notably, some hot lather machines claim to heat gel to a warmer temperature than they are able to heat cream.

Q. Can I get the same quality of machine that my barber has?

A.Yes, it’s easy to find the same hot lather machines used by professional barber shops. In addition to becoming more accessible, they are also becoming more affordable for the individual consumer.

Q. Is there any special technique I need to learn for using hot shave cream?

A. No. Simply lather the cream on your face and shave as you normally would. The only difference is that the shaving cream or gel will be warm when it hits your skin.

The team that worked on this review
  • Adam
    Adam
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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