Lathering your face with cold shaving cream kind of sucks in the winter. You’re already cold, to begin with. You’re tired. You just woke up. You had to crawl out of the nice warm covers and go be an adult; cold shaving cream is kind of like adding insult to injury on days like that. And that is why shaving cream warmers are so awesome. Not only do they make your favorite shaving cream feel even better on your face, the warmth conditions your skin and hair, making for an overall better shaving experience. Basically, not only will you feel better—you’ll look better.
Gel or Lather
Tips on how to choose the best shaving cream warmer for your needs
Here’s a summary of tips to ensure you find the best shaving cream warmer for your needs:
So, without waiting any longer, let's take a look at the best shaving cream warmers of 2018:
Variable temperature settings
The Conair’s variable heat control settings allow you to choose the heat that makes your skin feel best while also optimizing your shaving cream’s performance. It may take some play to find the right heat setting, but once you find it, you and your shaving gel will be a lot happier.
Works for both gel and lather
The design of Conair’s Gel and Lather Heating system is optimized for both gel and lather, as the name suggests. But it goes deeper than that. The way it dispenses gel and lather are actually a little different (internally). But the output is the same: a nice warm shaving cream. Check out our reviews of the best shaving soap for something decent.
A barber shop shave at home
While the process of heating lather in a barber shop is different, the Conair system can give you the closest experience you can get at home—especially when you’re short on time. Because of this, you can pamper your face every day, on the fly, and still make it to work on time.
Heat indicator light
The heat light lets you know when the gel is warm. Here’s a tip: If you wait for a few seconds longer, the lather will be hotter. Also, remember that there’s a timer so if you wait too long, the warming system shuts off, and that heat dissipates so it won’t stay warm forever once it’s heated. It’s not hard to get the hang of, even if it sounds like it. Most people get the knack of it right off the bat, but those who don’t tend to figure it out within a week or so. Once you learn to optimize when to dispense your shaving cream, you’ll be sure to get a really good feel and shave.
I’m a big fan of the sleek, modern and, dare I say, masculine look of the Conair. It’s slightly futuristic, but not so much that it will stick out too much regardless what your bathroom looks like. My girlfriend is super picky about keeping her 1950’s style bathroom look on point, and she isn’t mad about the looks of the Conair shaving cream warmer. She’s a tough customer, so if she likes it, that means it must look cool.
As for function, it heated up really quick while I brushed my teeth and I appreciated the indicator light taking the guesswork out. The lather came out rich and warm. I like hot lather, though, so the next time I shaved, I took the heat up a notch and it was literally perfect. The variable temperature settings are a lifesaver.
The Lather Time Machine is a professional grade hot lather machine, like the kind you might find in barber shops, so this machine will give you that classic, barbershop-style feel. Combine this with a DOVO straight razor and get the ultimate barber feel at home!
Rubber non-slip pad
The non-slip rubber pad keeps things safe by reducing the possibility of the machine skidding and spilling hot lather everywhere. Safety first, after all.
Extra-large soap cup
Because it’s made in the professional style, this dispenser is designed with a soap cup, which you fill up with soap at the beginning of a workday and because of its size, it will generally last all day without the need to refill. However, it’s still good for home use and at home, you can just use less soap if you’re worried about waste.
DC motors are pretty simple, which is why they’re great for small appliances like a lather machine.
Since the Lather Time machine is professional grade, it was a bit bigger than I expected, but not so big that I couldn’t fit it on the counter. Looks-wise, it straddles modern and retro, so you won’t be too out of place no matter where you put it.
It does take a while to heat up—almost an hour—but the warmth felt good and the lather was rich. If you plan ahead and start it up as soon as you wake up, you can totally make it work. Also, you can easily operate it one-handed which is a plus. From a shaving enthusiast standpoint, I think this is best suited to a barber shop, but is still doable for home use and probably a must if you have a large family of shavers in your house.
The Wahl Professional ’19 Hot Lather Machine was designed with professionals in mind, which means you are sure to get that genuine barber shop lather feel when you heat your lather with this machine.
Easy to use
Wahl includes easy instructions with this lather machine. They state it’s intended for professionals, but most people will find the internal liquid pump easy to fill, so that making lather starts as soon as set up is complete. Add it to your shaving bowl or mug and you are ready to lather.
Easy to maintain
This is an intelligently designed machine that comes with easy to maintain parts and a very uncomplicated cleaning process that’s literally as simple as soap and water. If you’re an uncomplicated guy, this is something to consider—especially if you hate cleaning.
Ideal for pro barbers
The Wahl lather machine only takes 50 minutes to heat up, so you can start it up as soon as you open the shop and have hot lather ready all day long.
I like the upright pump design of the Wahl Professional shaving cream warmer. It just has a classier aesthetic, a mix of retro and modern. Once again, my girlfriend had no problem with its looks, and this is the one she liked the look of the best.
As far as function goes, it takes around an hour to heat up, a little less perhaps, but when it does, it produces a nice hot lather that feels good on your face. The soap dispenser is indeed easy to feel, so for those nonprofessionals who need a professional-grade device that’s easy to operate, this might be the thing for you. I would say this one feels the most home appropriate out of all of the professional grade lather, but that’s just a personal opinion.
Use anywhere in the world
You can switch the voltage, which means you can use it anywhere in the world. This is an extremely unique feature not only for lathering systems but for any plug-in product in general, which is why this is hands down the best shaving cream warmer for travel, period.
Works with any size shaving cream can
Conair claims that this model works with any size shaving cream can “from travel to jumbo size”. Not only does this make the Conair Original a super versatile choice, its travel-size compatibility further supports its status as best shaving cream warmer for travel. I know I keep saying that phrase but think about this: shaving cream warmers generally aren’t travel-ready. This one has two big factors that make it ideal for travel.
The Conair Original produces piping hot lather in less than a minute. Nowadays, folks are short on time. You have to juggle family, friends, a job, your phone and everything else which means you have almost zero free time to yourself—especially in the morning. By working fast, the Conair Original allows you to get what you want (hot shaving cream lather) without wasting your precious time.
Pampers your skin
Hot lather creates the best shave for your skin, period. It primes your skin and your hair, making them more amenable to the whole shaving process. You get a closer shave with less irritation. Furthermore, the hot lather is soothing. If you’re an older guy, it takes you to back in the day. If you’re a younger guy, you get to experience the simple luxury of a bygone era. Either way, it soothes you and your skin, which is great.
The Conair original is extremely easy to use and the best part is, it really does work on any sized can. I know, because I tried it. It said it worked on travel sized or jumbo, and since I’m a thorough guy, I wanted to be sure—and it passed with flying colors.
I love that it’s compact, works fast, and is easy to use. And the versatility factor is a huge favorite of mine because as a shaving enthusiast, I like to switch up my favorite brands of shaving cream from time to time.
The coolest thing about this one is the fact that it has two different voltages so you can use it anywhere in the world. Personally, I don’t know of another dispenser that has this. So, if you’re a world traveler, this is definitely something to consider.
The only downside on this one is that it can’t be used with gels. I prefer creams to gels, but I still do use gels on occasion, so while this isn’t a huge deal to me, I could see how it might annoy some.
The motor is sealed so that it can’t get exposed to moisture. This prevents it from corroding or rusting so that the motor lasts as long as possible. The valve is also stainless steel, for extra corrosion-protection.
Easy to use
The Latherking is push button operated for the ultimate in ease of use. If you’re a professional, you don’t have time for tricky operation. You need to work fast and keep your customers happy. And if you’re a home shave enthusiast, you definitely won’t be mad that it’s easy to use.
Waterproof and shockproof
The Latherking is sealed to make it waterproof. This also prevents shocks from happening, making things a lot safer. Let’s face it. The bathroom is fraught with electric shock risks, so being shock-resistant is pretty crucial for a system you’re going to likely be storing there.
The soap cup is large, making it great for professionals or large families who have a lot. Also, it’s easy to fill so if you’re not so familiar with shaving cream warmers, you won’t be totally lost, which is nifty.
It’s a professional machine, so it’s bulky. Also, it doesn’t really have the sleek looks you’d want in a home shaving cream warmer, but for those that have the counterspace and don’t mind the looks, that’s not going to be an issue. And it definitely makes a great warmer for a barber shop, because it does have a more commercial look to it.
For design, I like that it’s waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and resistant to shock. These are all common-sense things that should be on any device that’s going to be in your bathroom.
The number one benefit to buying a shaving cream warmer is how good it makes you feel. Soothing your skin is a form of relaxation men can truly appreciate. It releases tension, relaxes muscles and that effect trickles down to your full body. It’s comforting. Having a shaving cream warmer is like your own personal man-spa that’s right in your bathroom and yours and yours alone. It’s a lowkey way to pamper yourself.
You can get closer to the skin when you warm your shaving cream. This allows for a smoother shave in general, and it’s particularly beneficial to men with sensitive skin, because they’re the most prone to razor burn; razor burn is more likely to happen when your shaving cream isn’t warmed, hence why warmers have grown so much in popularity.
Shaving warmers also really get the lather going so it’s a lot easier to spread over your face. It may seem like no big deal if you’re used to life without a shaving cream warmer, but once you feel the difference, you’ll know what I mean.
What to look for when buying a shaving cream warmer
Since the number one purpose of a shaving cream warmer is to heat up your shaving cream, the best shaving cream warmer is one that has varying temperature settings. Think about it: Every guy is different. We all have different heat tolerance, different levels of skin sensitivity. If you have a warmer with multiple heat settings, you can find the optimal temperature for your skin and your preferred brand of shaving cream. It’s just common sense.
Go for a model that can heat up quickly and also maintain a consistent level of heat. You’ll save time—and you’ll save your skin.
Most shaving cream warmers can be plugged into a wall, while some might have full or optional battery power. There’s no real answer on that front for which makes the best shaving cream warmer, because how it’s powered depends on your needs and options.
A good shaving cream warmer is also easy to use and easy to set up. Not only should it be easy to fill the shaving cream warmer, but it should also be easy for the warmer to dispense your shaving cream. After all, you’re in a hurry; a shaving cream warmer is supposed to make your life easier, not harder.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):
Q: Can women use shaving cream warmers?
A: Yes, of course. Shaving cream warmers can produce a wonderful lather for shaving your legs. Underarms, personal areas, and faces may be more sensitive in women than in men just because female skin is often more delicate, so be sure to adjust the heat settings to what feels best to you and maybe test the heat before shaving sensitive areas.
Q: Can I use a shaving cream warmer for shaving my head and neck?
A: Yes, but remember that the scalp and neck may be more sensitive than your face, depending on how often you shave them and how often they’re exposed to the elements. If your skin is sensitive, start on a lower heat setting and work your way up so you don’t get your scalp or neck too hot. You don’t want the heat to dilate your veins and make them super prominent on your head. (It’s a temporary thing, but annoying and possibly embarrassing nonetheless.)
Q: Professional grade or standard shaving cream warmers: Which is better?
A: If you’re a professional, obviously, you’re going to have to go with a professional grade shaving cream warmer just to meet the demands of your job. But what about the average guy looking for the best shaving cream warmer for home use? Then it’s a little trickier.
The biggest thing to consider for at home use is how many people in your house do you have that will be using it. If you’re just one guy in his own apartment, you don’t really need a big professional device. However, if you’re a dad of five post-pubescent sons who all live at home and your wife and two daughters like to use your shaving cream warmer to shave their legs and underarms, that’s a different thing entirely. In that case, you probably should get a larger capacity shaving cream warmer, which would point to a professional grade system.
The one caveat of nonprofessionals using a professional grade shaving cream warmer is that professional shaving cream warmers are generally more powerful. They may get hotter. They may be trickier to use. They could also be trickier to maintain and clean. So, if you’re a non-professional, make sure you understand the safety considerations and that you’re committed to maintaining it, if you’re going to purchase a professional grade shaving cream warmer.
Ultimately, the best shaving cream warmer is easily the Conair HGL1NR/HGL1R Conair Gel and Lather Heating System. Its sleek use and ease of use make it perfect for home usage. The really cool thing is that it works with both gel and standard shaving cream, delivering rich, hot lather in both cases. Even better, the heat options are highly and easily adjustable so you can find the right setting for you and your needs. The quick heating time caps it all off, making it the obvious and ultimate winner.