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Now that the nights are drawing in, the chances are you’ll want to be wearing fluffy woollen jumpers, cashmere cardigans and your best winter coat in an attempt to keep warm and look stylish this winter.
While they can look wonderful when new, wool, cashmere and cotton can all show signs of wear over time - some more quickly than you may like given their price tag. Seeing the material starting to bobble, or lint build up on the sleeves, cuffs or under the arms can be frustrating and unsightly.
Fear not - a lint remover or fabric shaver is a quick and convenient way to maintain, revive and restore your clothes to keep them looking better for longer.
To bring you our round-up of the best lint removers and fabric shavers, we consulted the views of Mumsnet users, scouring the forums for their tried and tested methods for removing lint and fuzz from clothing. We then researched the views of leading industry experts and wider consumer feedback to ensure the products we recommended were effective and fit for purpose.
Whether it’s a manual lint remover or an electric fabric shaver, these handy, easy-to-use tools make a great addition to your wardrobe, removing bobbles, pilling and fuzz to keep your clothes fresh and lint-free all winter.
Philips GCO26 Fabric Shave/Lint Remover
Affordable price tag
Large shaving head with three hole sizes
Adjustable blade height suitable for even delicate fabrics
Fast and efficient
Easy to empty after use
Requires batteries (not USB rechargeable)
Price: £16 | Suitable for: all fabrics | Type: electric fabric shaver | Accessories: safety cap and cleaning brush
With over 75,000 five-star global reviews on Amazon, the Philips Fabric Shaver is well-regarded amongst Mumsnet users - with many claiming to actually enjoy the process of using this gadget to revive their clothes.
The large shaving head covers a substantial area of your clothing with each stroke, with three different hole sizes to tackle bobbles and pills of all shapes and sizes.
With an adjustable blade height, you can alter the closeness of the shave - a great way to protect more delicate items - and it rotates quickly at 8800 rounds per minute for quick and efficient removal of lint build-up. We love the handy container which catches the fabric you remove, making cleaning up afterwards simple and fuss-free.
While we wish the battery-powered Philips shaver could be recharged via USB, it does come with 2AA batteries included, making it ready to use straight out of the box.
Lint Remover Manual Brush Tool
Budget-friendly price tag
Strangely satisfying for removing lint buildup on carpets and upholstery
Handy for removal of pet hair
Durable, easy to hold design
Manual design requires more effort
Less suited to delicate fabrics
Takes a long time due to the small size
Price: £4 | Suitable for: carpets and furnishings | Type: manual lint remover | Accessories: none
If you're hoping to remove lint, pet hair and bobbles from hard-wearing clothes such as coats, suits and corduroy, as well as carpets or upholstery around the home, this manual lint remover is a practical and affordable choice.
With an easy-to-hold wooden handle and durable copper blade, this manual fabric shaver can be used at a variety of angles to adapt the amount of force and contact from the blade. Due to its small size, the process can take some time, but Mumsnet users were impressed with the results, especially when removing hair buildup near stairs and skirting boards.
A word of caution, however, you should avoid using it on delicate fabrics and be careful not to use too much force, as overzealous scraping could easily damage the fibres of your clothes and carpets.
Rechargeable via USB
Two hours of shaving per charge
Portable and compact
Suitable for all fabric types
Must remember to empty and clean blades to maintain efficiency over time
Price: £55 | Suitable for: all fabric types | Type: electric fabric shaver | Accessories: charging cord
While it doesn’t come cheap, this lightweight and ergonomically designed electric fabric shaver has a compact design that is super easy to hold as you restore your clothes to their former glory.
Suitable for all fabrics including more delicate items like cashmere and merino wool, it’s also a handy tool for use around the home including reviving fabric sofas, cushions and blankets.
An upgrade from the original Steamery Pilo 1, this USB rechargeable fabric shaver offers up to two hours of operation per charge, with six powerful and efficient precision blades, a large shaving area and a strong motor that makes light work of pilling, bobbles and fuzz. You do need to remember to empty it regularly, as well as keep the blades clean using the included brush, as lint build-up can reduce its effectiveness over time.
Affordable price tag
Visible results in a removable trap
Simple to use
Gentle, protected blades
Slower than some other electric models
Price: £10 | Suitable for: all fabric types | Type: electric fabric shaver | Accessories: none
The JML Bobble Off is a small and portable fabric shaver - ideal for removing lint and bobbles from your favourite jumper, jacket or suit.
While it can be a little slower than some electric models, it has protected blades that are gentle on clothing during use, making it safe to use on most fabric types as long as you use it with care. Thanks to the visible trap, you can instantly see the results to reward your efforts, before discarding the contents completely mess-free.
Overall the JML Bobble Off is affordable and simple to use, but you will need to invest some time and stock up on your AA batteries.
OXO Good Grips Furlifter Self Cleaning Garment Brush
Micro bristles are effective at drawing pet hair off fabrics and upholstery
Catches and stores hair for easy disposal after use
Easy to store
Some reviewers found sticky rollers were more effective on shorter pet hairs
Price: £15 | Suitable for: all fabric types | Type: manual lint remover | Accessories: self-cleaning base
If you have pets in your home, you’ll know only too well that their hair sticks to everything, resulting in carpets, sofas and cushions that are covered in a layer of fuzz.
OXO Good Grips products come well regarded by Mumsnet users for their ease of use and efficiency, and the Furlifter is no exception. A self-cleaning brush with micro bristles, you simply wipe across fabrics to draw hair and lint away from the surface, before popping it back into the base. Hair then gathers in the bottom, so it's conveniently ready to be discarded.
Whilst some reviewers found the OXO Furlifter less effective than sticky lint rollers on shorter pet hair, it’s ideal for removing the most significant of shedding and moulting, especially during the summer months. It’s also compact and easy to store too thanks to its unique, all-in-one design.
A manual tool that requires no electricity or batteries
Includes a handy travel pouch
Three easy-to-switch blades to suit fabric type
Potential to use the wrong edge type
Can take some time on larger items
Price: £20 | Suitable for: all fabric types | Type: manual lint remover and shaver | Accessories: 3 interchangeable 'edges'
If you’re looking for a lint remover that can adapt to a variety of fabrics and surfaces, the Gleener Fabric Shaver & Lint Brush is a versatile choice.
It comes with three interchangeable edges, allowing you to easily switch between a coarse edge for big and bulky items to a finer edge for gentle removal of bobbles and pills on fine and delicate fabrics. It can take some time on larger items and you may need to go over areas multiple times, however, the built-in lint remover helps gather up pet hair, lint and dust as you go.
Conair Fabric Shaver and Lint Remover
Three settings to suit most fabrics
Large two-inch shaving surface
Safe honeycomb design to protect fingers
Price: £21 | Suitable for: most household fabrics | Type: Battery-powered electric fabric shaver | Accessories: none
Another battery-operated design, the Conair Fabric Shaver and Lint Remover is a versatile tool that can remove pills and bobbles on everything from jumpers to jackets, while also performing well on larger household projects such as sofas and upholstery.
With a choice of three distance settings that control the closeness of the shave, it has a large two-inch shaving head that covers a substantial surface area, speeding up the amount of time required to de-fuzz and remove lint, pills and pet hair.
Compact and portable, the removable lint catcher makes cleaning up a doddle. We just wish it was rechargeable for extra convenience.
Ideal for quick refreshes and clean-ups
Handy to keep in the car
Works on dust, lint and pet hair
Less suited to more substantial tasks
Doesn’t collect the lint removed
Price: £9 | Suitable for: all fabrics | Type: manual lint brush | Accessories: none
A portable option that’s great for keeping inside your car, this handy clothes brush is a practical way to quickly refresh your clothes before an important meeting or day in the office, by simply swiping across the fabric to remove any obvious pet hairs, dust or dirt from your clothes.
While it's perfect for touch-ups and quick revivals, it would take much longer to use this manual brush on larger items such as blankets and sofas. The lint and hair removed also have to be gathered up by hand, wiping in the opposite direction onto your hand or dusting cloth.
Super gentle on delicate fabrics
Small surface area for precision
Made from high-quality beechwood
Small surface area best for cashmere and delicates only
Price: £8 | Suitable for: cashmere and delicates | Type: manual fabric comb | Accessories: none
If you’re lucky enough to have invested in some clothes made from high-quality cashmere, you’re going to need to be extra cautious when keeping them looking their best - as well as ensuring you're stocked up on moth repellents, a specialist comb is a must for delicate cashmere fibres.
Using battery-powered or electric lint removers is risky, even with finer blades, as they risk thinning or damaging the delicate fibres. This beechwood pilling comb from The White Company (who let's face it, know a thing or two about cashmere) makes a far safer alternative.
It requires some patience and covers small patches at a time, however, this ultra-fine and gentle cashmere comb is a great way to remove small lint patches, pills and bobbles, especially across high friction areas such as under arms, elbows and sides.
What is lint?
The word lint refers to small, loose fibres that can gather on fabrics such as clothing, home textiles and upholstery. They are usually caused by movement (particularly on high friction areas such as arms and cuffs) leading to a build-up of fibres, bobbles and pills which can look unsightly and make clothes look older than they are.
Lint can also include dust, pet hair, and other small debris that clings to clothing and tends to be more noticeable the more an item has been worn and washed.
What is a lint remover?
There are various lint removal products including both manual and electric options - here are the most common choices:
Lint roller - These manual tube-like rollers are covered in a layer of sticky or adhesive paper, which when rolled across the fabric can remove more noticeable strands of pet hair, lint and loose fibres from clothes and upholstery. They tend to be disposable, eventually losing their effectiveness over time and are best suited to occasional use.
Manual lint remover - Manual brushes or shavers, these hand-operated lint removers are useful for tackling small areas at a time across clothing and home textiles. Caution should be taken with more delicate fabrics to ensure you do not press too hard or you risk damaging the fibres.
Electric lint removers - Rechargeable USB or battery-powered, electric lint removers (also known as fabric shavers), use rotating blades (often at a range of heights) which can gently pull away and gather up lint, pills, bobbles and fibres off your clothing and upholstery. Often the most efficient tool for lint removal, they can generally cover larger surface areas efficiently and collect the results for mess-free disposal.
Cashmere combs - For more delicate fabrics such as cashmere, mohair and alpaca, these ultra-fine lint removal combs require gentle manual use on small areas to protect delicate fibres whilst reviving the look and feel of them.
Do lint removers work?
Yes, while lint removal products may vary in efficiency, they are a great way to remove unwanted fuzz, lint and fibres from clothing, helping revive, refresh and restore them to (almost) as good as new. Removing lint can take time, and it’s not an instant fix, but using a lint remover regularly can help maintain even delicate fabrics over longer periods.
What’s the difference between a fabric shaver and a lint roller?
Lint rollers and fabric shavers are two different products.
Lint rollers are generally manual tools with a sticky sheet that collects loose hair, dust and fibres from the surface of clothing, ideal for a quick refresh before wearing, particularly if you have pets in your home. Lint rollers are fine for occasional use, but less effective at improving the overall appearance and removing lint buildup or imperfections caused by wear and friction.
A fabric shaver on the other hand can remove more substantial damage to fabrics, including pilling, bobbling and lint build-up. Usually powered by a motor, they gently rotate as they move across the surface of the fabric, shaving away unwelcome fibres to help restore their appearance.
Read next: The best mould removers that actually work
Can lint removers damage clothes?
While most lint removers are relatively gentle, they do have the potential to damage your clothes if they are not used correctly. As such, you should always check the instructions carefully and ensure you are using the right settings to protect your clothes.
Regardless of your clothes fabric, you should avoid pressing too hard with a lint remover or moving it too rapidly as this can risk causing holes and tears. You should also ensure the clothes are clean and dry before use.
Delicate fabrics or clothing with a loose weave will require additional care, so you may find it safer to use a manual tool or comb which offers more precise control. If in doubt, carry out a test patch in a less visible area so you can see the effects before you commit.
Can lint removers be used on all fabric types?
Lint removers are generally safe to use on most cotton, wool and synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon, but you may want to exercise caution with open weave knits and delicate fabrics such as cashmere and merino.
You should avoid using lint removers and fabric shavers items made from leather, suede, velvet or faux fur, as this can damage the texture and make-up of the fabric.
What to consider when buying a lint remover
With so many products to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right lint removal product for your needs:
Type of lint remover - Are you happy to use a manual lint remover, or would you prefer the efficiency of an electric model? Whilst they’re often cheaper and more portable, manual lint removers tend to require more effort and can be used incorrectly. Electric fabric shavers are often the best choice for larger tasks, collecting the mess and covering a larger surface area more quickly.
Fabric suitability - What kind of fabrics do you intend to use it on? Consider whether the product is compatible with your clothes and take extra caution if you’re planning to use it on delicate fabrics.
Power source - Is the fabric shaver rechargeable via USB or does it require batteries? If so, are they included or do you need to factor them into the price? You may also want to consider the battery life - specifically, how long you can use it for after a full charge.
Adjustable settings - Can the fabric shaver be adjusted to suit each task? Some electric fabric shavers have a variety of height settings that adjust the closeness of the shave, allowing you to be gentle on more delicate fabrics and more firm on hard wearing clothing and upholstery.
Collection container - Does the product collect the removed lint and fuzz as you work? How easy is it to empty? A clear container is helpful as it allows you to see when it’s full.
Size and portability - Do you intend to use the lint remover outside of the home? Smaller, more compact models are convenient for travel, however with a smaller surface area, they can take longer to use as a result.
How easy is it to clean? - Does it require assembly? Some models also include a cleaning brush to help prevent any build-up across the blades.
Price - How much are you willing to pay? Consider how often you are likely to use it before committing to a more expensive model.
What is the best lint remover?
Rated by Mumsnet users and online reviewers alike, the Philips Fabric Shaver takes the top spot with confidence as the best lint remover you can buy today. We’d love to see a rechargeable model, however with a large shaving head, adjustable blade height and powerful motor, it's an effective tool for use across multiple fabric types.
How we chose our recommendations
Recommendations from real Mumsnet users
Mumsnet users have long debated the best way to keep their favourite clothes looking good for longer, with many users sharing their hints and tips and the best tools for the job.
First, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users, to get their feedback on their favourite lint removers and fabric shavers, including the products that they rate, recommend and use to restore and revive their clothes.
We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, difficult to use or risked damaging clothing during use.
Next up, we considered reviews and feedback from trusted industry experts. We want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose, so we looked out for award-winning products or those that were well regarded in the marketplace.
Authentic consumer reviews
Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best lint removers on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, Lakeland, and John Lewis to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist.
About the author
Lucy Cotterill is a mum of two and a Content Writer at Mumsnet, specialising in baby/child and lifestyle product reviews and round-ups. Having written product reviews on her own blog Real Mum Reviews since 2012, Lucy loves to research and explore the pros and cons of products, scrutinising reviews and consumer feedback to help people make confident purchases.
Originally from a HR background with a degree in Business Studies, Lucy developed a real passion for blogging and writing when her children were young, going on to write for several online publications including US parenting site Pregistry and the Evening Standard. When she’s not manically tapping the keys of her laptop, Lucy loves nothing more than to cosy up with her Kindle and enjoy the latest thriller, or compete in Nintendo Switch rallies with her daughters aged six and 10.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.
Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.