Disposable Cartridge Home Laser Hair Removal Machines
There are a number of home laser hair removal machines that come with cartridges for emitting pulses of light.
These cartridges can be replaced at the end of their lifetime as opposed to having to replace the entire laser hair removal device.
These are the machines:-
Remington I-Light Pro
Cartridges or No Cartridges - Which is Cheaper?
For a full cost analysis of all the home laser products, then take a look at our home laser cost matrix chart.
For a brief synopsis:- The Remington is quite cost effective - each cartridge gives a decent number of flashes (1500) and costs around $23 per unit at the time of writing.
The SensEpil, however, gets less and less cost effective, relative to the other hair removal machines on the market, the more it's used. This is mainly due to cartridges that can only handle one full body session before needing to be replaced and that cost a whopping $37.
Conclusion:- no, cartridge home laser machines are not more cost effective. The Remington is on the same medium cost level as the Boots Smooth Skin and Tria 4X, while the Silk'n is quite a lot more expensive than other options.
See our chart below for a cost analysis:-
The one positive side to purchasing a home laser hair removal machine with cartridges is that you're never hit with a large one off cost. With the non-cartridge devices, if you want more use after the device has run out of pulses, then you have to purchase a new device at full cost.
The Convenience Factor
There is a certain hassle factor when purchasing cartridge refills. These cartridges aren't usually available in local stores and so have to be purchased online through shops like Amazon.
It's not a clear cut decision as to whether cartridge refill machines are more environmentally friendly than full life machines.
On the one hand you throw away cartridges and have to replace them - on the other hand you have to throw away the full device at the end of its life span.
Given that the lifespan of the non-cartridge laser machines is so long (enough for 60 full body sessions) and that most people will not exhaust that amount, then it would appear to be the more environmentally friendly option.
Having compiled all the evidence and looked at the cost differences, I would be more inclined to not purchase a refillable cartridge home laser removal machine.
Refillable cartridges don't offer any cost saving and buying cartridges all the time would be a bit of a hassle.
However, as a consumer who mostly only cares about results, safety and efficiency, the question of whether the device has cartridges or not is not a key determining factor.
Instead I'd be more inclined to make sure that the device:-
- Is suitable for the area of the body that I'm trying to treat
- Has a proven track record with good customer reviews
- Is backed up by solid scientific research
- Is built by a manufacturer with a good reputation
- Is FDA approved and therefore safe
Check out our complete round up review of home laser hair removal devices. You also might be interested in our home laser FAQ and cost comparison matrix.