If you are seeking to do red light therapy at home, a quality red light therapy device means understanding factors like wavelength, power output, and safety features. Knowing more about each device's key features and scientific backing gives you the power to make the most informed purchase.
Red light therapy devices come in all shapes and sizes and claim to do everything from improving fine lines and wrinkles to relieving chronic pain. While there are hundreds of tools on the market, these are among the best red light therapy devices in their respective categories.
Best 6 red light therapy devices: a shortlist
- Infraredi — best red light therapy device with blue light
- Omnilux — best infrared light therapy device mask
- Solawave — top red light therapy device for facial care
- My ATaPa — best red light therapy device for travelling
- Nushape — best mini red light therapy device for various uses
- Vellgus — best handheld red light therapy device
How did we choose the best at-home red light therapy devices?
These criteria are essential for ensuring product longevity, effectiveness, and overall user satisfaction:
|630–660 nm (red) & 830–850 nm (infrared)
|Targeted or full-body application
|Devices that undergo testing or are certified by CE and TGA
|Irradiance and wavelength aligns with scientific evidence to enhance skin wellness and muscle recovery
|User reviews and testimonials
- Irradiance. This criterion measures the device's power output in milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm²). Higher irradiance allows for a greater amount of energy to be delivered to the target area, potentially providing more effective sessions. The right balance of power is essential for both safety and efficacy.
- Wavelength. Typically measured in nanometers (nm), this dictates the device's therapeutic applications. While most product specifications readily include this information, it's crucial for consumers to ensure they're selecting a wavelength that aligns with their specific needs.
- Coverage area. This pertains to the spatial dimensions the device can effectively target. A larger area can expedite the therapy session but may come with a higher cost. The ideal coverage area aligns with your specific needs.
- Cost. High-quality red light therapy is an investment. The overall expense of the device should correlate with its features and capabilities, offering value for money. Budget considerations are paramount in making an informed choice.
- Safety. Products that undergo testing increase the likelihood of adherence to stringent manufacturing practices. This consideration is crucial to opt for suitable and high-quality products.
- Scientific standards. A device grounded in scientific studies offers greater credibility and reassurance that the device's parameters are associated with therapeutic benefits.
- Customer feedback. Reviews and testimonials from actual users can serve as reliable indicators of the device’s real-world performance, especially if taken from multiple websites.
Best 6 red light therapy devices in 2024: an overview
We analyzed six distinct red light therapy devices that each excel in specialized functions like handheld operation, facial skincare, or travel-friendly design. Grounded in the criteria above, our assessment is designed to offer you a comprehensive review of some of the best red light therapy devices, as well as the scientific standards that set each device apart.
1. Infraredi — best dual light therapy device
Infraredi LED Light Therapy Mask, priced at $329.00, is a full-face portable device made of flexible silicone. It delivers dual light therapy to revitalize and nurture the skin on your face. Counting 132 LEDs and a 30 mW/cm² irradiance, the mask is designed to provide professional-quality sessions, as the brand claims.
This device is specially engineered to support various skin concerns including aging, acne, and blemishes. Its 630 nm red wavelength penetrates the skin, potentially helping collagen production and reducing the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation. Moreover, the device’s 465 nm blue wavelength aims to fight acne-causing bacteria, assisting with inflammatory blemishes and increasing the appearance of the skin.
Crafted for at-home use, the mask counts with a rechargeable battery controller, power supply, and USB for streamlining its usage. Additionally, the mask boasts a series of certificates such as Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Conformité Européenne (CE).
|630 nm (red light) & 465 nm (blue light)
|132 LEDs (2 per LED bulb) & 66 LED bulbs
2. Omnilux — best red light therapy mask
The Omnilux Contour Face is a flexible silicone device that employs dual LED technology with 633 nm red and 830 nm near-infrared lights to stimulate collagen production, as well as reduce wrinkles and sun damage. The mask is designed for comfort, with flexible head straps for adaptability to different facial structures.
The mask is manufactured by Omnilux, a reputable company that stands out in quality with some FDA-cleared devices. The product is portable, easy to use at home, and includes a two-year guarantee.
This red light therapy device may be a great match for those looking to nurture their skin. However, pregnant women or those with sensitive skin should consult with a dermatologist on the use of this device, as the clinical studies have not been tested on these population groups.
The mask retails for $395.00 but can be purchased in 4 interest-free payments of $98.75. Customers can enjoy free shipping and a 30-day return policy if they are not satisfied with the product.
|633 nm (red light) & 830 nm (near-infrared)
|132 LEDs (2 per bulb) & 66 LED bulbs
3. Solawave — best facial care red light therapy product
The Solawave 4-in-1 Radiant Renewal Skincare Wand promises multiple benefits, from reducing the appearance of fine lines to combating dark circles. This award-winning device integrates four proven technologies: Red Light Therapy, Therapeutic Warmth, Galvanic Current, and Facial Massage. It has a battery life of up to 90 minutes, uses red light wavelength of 630 nm, and has a maximum optical power density of 40 – 45 mW/cm².
The Red Light Therapy feature aims to smooth fine lines and rejuvenate the skin for a glowing appearance. Therapeutic warmth of 107 degrees Fahrenheit is designed to reduce the appearance of tired, under-eye circles and bags. Galvanic current amplifies the absorption of your favorite serums, moisturizers, and creams. The Facial Massage feature is designed to decrease puffiness and boost skin's radiance.
The device recommends usage for three minutes per area of skin and is user-friendly, making it an easy addition to daily skincare routines. Reviews are available on multiple websites and typically above a 4.5. It retails for $169 and can be found on sale throughout the year.
|Face and under-eye
|7 LEDs (red light)
4. My ATaPa — best travel-friendly red light therapy device
ATaPa's Bolt+ offers a medium, travel-friendly size for red light therapy, priced at $475.00. This device comes with 24 LEDs and wavelength selection for infrared and red light. These type of lights have been shown to improve skin tone and texture, enhance muscle recovery, speed up wound healing, and possibly enhance mood.
Its irradiance level, 98mW/cm2 per inch, promises effective and high power. Dual-function control allows you to switch between wavelengths during sessions. The device's beam angle is 30 degrees and has a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. It includes a full 2-year warranty and is compatible with all worldwide voltages. This device comes with steel cable and stand, making for easy installation, and its compact size of 5.7 x 3.07 x 0.72 inches ensures it fits easily in a travel bag or on a desk.
5. Nushape — best red light therapy device for various uses
Priced at $349, the Nushape Mini Red Light Therapy Device is designed to target sore muscles and address skin concerns. It operates at 660nm and 850nm wavelengths via a treatment panel with 160 LEDs. These unique wavelengths are noted for their penetration abilities, potentially soothing sore muscles and revitalizing skin.
The Therapy Mini red light therapy — easily placed around elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, or face — may potentially alleviate inflammation and boost blood circulation.
The device is portable and can be used by a wide range of individuals looking for various benefits including skin repair, rejuvenation, pain relief, and even hair growth. Furthermore, it is designed to adapt to multiple sizes.
This light therapy device does not disclose the right practices of usage for customers, which may require them additional research on the field.
|660 nm (red light) & 850 nm (near-infrared)
6. Vellgus — best handheld device to use at-home
The Vellgus Red Light Mini, priced at $339 with a 1-year warranty, is a versatile and portable device suitable for a myriad of therapeutic applications. It meets scientific standards by offering dual wavelengths at 660 nm for red light and 850 nm for near-infrared light. These wavelengths have proven efficacy in both skin-level and deeper tissue penetration.
The device's high irradiance level of more than 219 mW/cm² may contribute to a more potent effect, conforming to our criteria for robust power output. It also boasts user-friendly features like a digital timer, auto cool-down mode, and a smart screen, simplifying red light therapy sessions for the user. However, the device is small (5.9 inches by 3.7 inches by 1.1 inches) and therefore designed for targeted application.
While the device earns 5 stars from nearly 200 reviews on the company website, that is the only source of customer feedback.
|660 nm (red-light) & 850 nm (near-infrared)
Comparison of the best red light therapy devices
|630 (Red), and 465 (Blue)
|Dual blue and red light therapy
|633 (Red), and 830 (Near-Infrared)
|Silicone design for facial adaptability
|Between 40 and 45 mW/cm²
|Targeted (face & under-eye)
|Integrated 4-in-1 technology: Red Light, Warmth, galvanic current, facial massage
|General (medium-sized, travel-friendly)
|Customizable wavelength selection
|660 nm (Red) & 850 nm (Near-Infrared)
|Targeted (joints and face)
|Facial and joint use
|Over 219 mW/cm²
|660 (Red), 850 (Near-Infrared)
|Targeted (small device)
|Digital timer and auto cool-down mode
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses specific wavelengths of red (typically around 630-660 nm) and near-infrared light (usually between 810-850 nm). Both are part of the photobiomodulation spectrum, meaning they have biological effects when absorbed by cells in the body.
This therapy has many possible therapeutic applications. Red light primarily targets skin layers, making it an effective tool for skin issues and surface healing. Infrared light penetrates deeper, affecting muscle and bone, allowing it to address tissue ailments like muscle recovery and chronic pain.
Types of red light therapy devices
There are many ways to use red light for therapeutic purposes. However, there are five main types of at-home red light therapy devices: red light handheld wands, LED face masks, red light panels, LED wraps, and red light pods.
1. Red light handheld wands
Handheld red light wands are designed for precise application, offering targeted therapy right where you need it.
These devices focus on small areas, emitting specialized red and near-infrared wavelengths to stimulate cellular repair. Ideal for facial rejuvenation and localized pain relief, their compact size makes them convenient for travel or quick sessions, all while delivering effective photobiomodulation to the skin or underlying tissues.
2. LED face masks
LED face masks are designed for facial red light therapy sessions. Consisting of multiple LED lights that emit red and sometimes near-infrared wavelengths, these masks aim to:
- Promote collagen production
- Enhance blood circulation
- Reduce the appearance of acne scars, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduce inflammation and redness
The contoured design allows for coverage of the entire face, making it a popular choice for skincare enthusiasts. Some advanced models offer customizable settings for targeted application.
3. Red light panels
Red light therapy panels consist of an arrangement of LEDs, configured in a flat layout. Designed to cover larger target areas, these devices emit specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light.
Unlike handheld devices or face masks, panels enable more general application, making them suitable for addressing multiple physical ailments simultaneously. They are especially useful for muscle repair and skin conditions, and their size ranges from portable home units to larger fixtures commonly found in healthcare facilities.
4. LED wraps
LED wraps are flexible, fabric-based devices designed to conform to various body parts like the arms, legs, or torso. They're a popular choice for addressing muscle pain, joint issues, or even neurological conditions, though more research is needed to ascertain some proposed benefits.
With adjustable settings, red light LED wraps offer a user-friendly approach to red light therapy that accommodates a wide range of health needs.
5. Red light pods
Red light therapy pods are large, enclosed capsules similar to tanning beds. They are lined with panels that emit red and near-infrared wavelengths for full-body coverage. They aim to address multiple concerns at once, from skin rejuvenation to muscle recovery and mood enhancement. Because of their comprehensive coverage and higher power, these pods are pricey and more commonly found in professional settings.
Is red light therapy effective?
Studies on red light therapy have found that it can stimulate cellular processes like collagen production and ATP synthesis, which are crucial for skin health and tissue repair. Research has shown that it can be effective for treating conditions like acne, wrinkles, and even certain types of hair loss.
In sports medicine, it's been used to accelerate muscle recovery and reduce inflammation. However, many studies have been small, short-term, or lack control groups, leaving room for skepticism and calls for more rigorous research. Additionally, questions still exist about the optimal frequency and duration of treatments for various conditions.
Overall, while promising, the effectiveness of red light therapy is still under study for a full scope of applications.
Benefits of red light therapy
Though still a topic for ongoing research, red light therapy has amassed a body of evidence supporting its beneficial impacts on health and well-being without the need for invasive procedures. Here are some of the key gains you could expect, according to research:
- Dermal rejuvenation. Red light therapy can enhance skin elasticity by stimulating collagen production that may curb the signs of aging.
- Pain relief. For those grappling with chronic pain issues like osteoarthritis, red light therapy has shown promise in alleviating pain by targeting underlying inflammation.
- Wound healing. With its ability to increase cellular metabolism and blood flow, red light therapy can expedite the body's natural healing mechanisms for wound and scar treatment.
- Enhanced athletic recovery. For those engaged in rigorous physical activities, red light therapy has been found to facilitate quicker recuperation by alleviating muscle soreness and inflammation.
- Hair growth. Preliminary research indicates the potential for red light therapy in addressing some types of hair loss by enhancing blood flow to hair follicles and promoting cellular energy production. However, this area requires further study.
Is it better to use red light therapy in the morning or at night?
Scientific evidence on the optimal time of day for red light therapy is limited. Most studies focus on the effectiveness of the therapy for specific conditions rather than the timing of the treatment. However, some users and practitioners report anecdotal benefits related to timing.
For example, morning use is often recommended for boosting
energy and mood, although this is largely anecdotal. Similarly, evening use is
sometimes suggested to promote relaxation, but scientific validation for these
claims is currently lacking.
Risks of using red light devices
Red light therapy is generally considered safe and non-invasive, with few reported side effects. However, some risks and considerations do exist.
Overexposure to red light could potentially lead to burns or eye damage, although this is relatively rare when following manufacturer guidelines. Individuals with certain conditions, such as photosensitivity disorders, should consult with a healthcare provider before undergoing red light therapy.
Additionally, not all devices on the market are FDA-approved or undergo rigorous quality control, posing a risk of ineffective or unsafe treatment. Those with active skin infections are also advised to consult medical professionals before beginning treatment.
Who cannot use red light therapy devices?
Individuals with photosensitivity disorders or those taking medications that increase sensitivity to light should exercise caution and consult a healthcare provider before using red light therapy devices. Pregnant women are also advised to seek medical guidance before treatment.
If you have active skin conditions or cancer, it's crucial to consult with a medical professional to determine if red light therapy is appropriate and safe for you. Always read the contraindications listed by the device manufacturer.
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How is red light therapy different from sunlight?
Red light therapy uses targeted wavelengths for therapeutic benefits, devoid of harmful UV rays found in sunlight. It stimulates cellular processes in a controlled manner, focusing on specific issues like skin rejuvenation or muscle recovery, without the sun's variable and potentially damaging exposure.
Does red light therapy actually work?
Scientific evidence supports the efficacy of red light therapy for certain conditions like skin rejuvenation and muscle recovery. However, individual results can vary. It's important to consult with healthcare providers for personalized treatment plans as well as set realistic expectations.
How often should I do red light therapy?
The frequency of red light therapy sessions depends on your specific treatment goals and device guidelines. Common recommendations range from 2-5 times per week. In some cases, sessions can last as little as five minutes, and it's important not to expose yourself to too much red light.
Are red light therapy devices worth it?
The perceived value of red light therapy devices varies based on individual needs and treatment goals. For some, the devices offer a convenient, at-home solution for skin issues, muscle recovery, and pain relief, making the investment worthwhile. However, efficacy can vary, so it's essential to do thorough research and consult healthcare providers.
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- Annals of Dermatology. Hair growth promoting effects of 650 nm red light stimulation on human hair follicles and study of its mechanisms via RNA sequencing transcriptome analysis.
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- Biomedical Pharmacology. Neurological and psychological applications of transcranial lasers and LEDs.
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- Journal of Translational Medicine. Advances in photobiomodulation for cognitive improvement by near-infrared derived multiple strategies.
- Lasers in Medical Science. Photodynamic and photobiological effects of light-emitting diode (LED) therapy in dermatological disease: an update.
- Laser Therapy. A case control series for the effect of photobiomodulation in patients with low back pain and concurrent depression.
- Life. Effects of near-infrared pulsed light on the attention of human beings using electroencephalography.
- Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. Noninvasive red and near-infrared wavelength-induced photobiomodulation: promoting impaired cutaneous wound healing.
- Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. A controlled trial to determine the efficacy of red and near-infrared light treatment in patient satisfaction, reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, skin roughness, and intradermal collagen density increase.