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13 best manicure sets for at-home pampering

If you’re fed up of flaky, chipped nails, and trips to the nail bar are getting pricey, an at-home manicure kit could be the answer. Here’s our pick of the best.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Sep 29, 2021

Woman filing nails

It’s easy to assume that all manicure kits are pretty much created equal - but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you’re wanting something to use on the move, a handy kit to make DIY manicures that much easier, or want something luxurious to give as a present, there are many types available with a multitude of tools.

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Getting the right kit is key - it could be that you just want a simple set with the essentials for basic grooming or you might be looking to splash out on a professional-standard gel manicure set for salon-worthy nails.

If you’re looking for something to keep your nails looking top notch, we’ve researched the best manicure sets on the market today, looking at which sets come highly recommended, honest customer reviews and, of course, the products loved by our very own forum users. Pampering yourself at home was never so easy.

Here are the best manicure sets to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall manicure set: marQus Solingen Germany Manicure Set

MarQus manicure set

Price: £29.90 | Buy now from Amazon

With seven handy stainless steel pieces and a robust design, we think this is one of the best German-made manicure sets around. It’s great quality and has all the essentials you need at a good price too, considering what’s included.

Opening up the kit you’ll find nail and cuticle scissors, tweezers, finger and toe nail clippers and a sapphire nail file. Ideal for both men and women, it’s a really versatile kit and is easy to take with you while you're travelling.

Equipped with a black leather case, this would make a great addition to your grooming collection or the ideal gift for a partner or friend. Very small and light, the stainless steel pieces are easy to keep clean too.

Pros

  • Compact
  • All the essentials are covered
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Doesn’t include any extras like nail polish
  • Pricier than other sets

Key specs

  • Number of tools: Seven
  • Weight: ‎0.17 kg
  • Dimensions: 17.7 x 9.9 x 3.4 cm

2. Best budget manicure set: OWill Manicure and Pedicure Kit

OWill manicure set

Price: £7.99 | Buy now from Amazon

At just under £8, this ultra-cool, modern little manicure kit is such a bargain. With an outstanding 18 pieces to choose from, the handles come complete with anti-skid technology (basically little bumps that improve grip so no painful slips).

We also love the compact size, meaning you can easily fit it into a handbag or rucksack, perfect if you’re wanting a kit to take on your travels. The tools are made of stainless steel so this a quality manicure set that is certainly built to last. 

The synthetic leather case is also a big plus for those looking for style as well as substance, as the red interior contrasts nicely against the striking black tools. 

Pros

  • Cheap but good quality
  • Contemporary design

Cons

  • You may not feel you need all the tools

Key specs

  • Number of tools: 18
  • Weight: ‎0.29 kg
  • Dimensions: 15.4 x 10.6 x 2.5 cm

3. Best manicure set for speedy touch-ups: Leighton Denny Coffee Break Manicure Set

Leighton Denny manicure set

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

“I love my Denny crystal nail file. It gives my nails a smooth edge. I don't remove cuticles but do soak them in warm water for a few minutes and push them back with a hoof stick.” - DropZoneOne

“I have a nice Leighton Denny crystal file that's lasting really well.” - peonyblossom

Whether you’re grabbing a quick five-minute cuppa at home or it’s coffee break time at work, why not put those precious few minutes of free time to good use with the Leighton Denny Coffee Break Manicure Set? It’s a great little kit with all the essentials to make your nails look shiny new in minutes. 

While it's not the most extensive set, it takes just three speedy steps to achieve an easy manicure, and reviewers say it makes a great gift.

Pros

  • All the tools you need for a quick buff and shine
  • Easy to pop into a handbag

Cons

  • Slightly pricier compared to some other basic kits

Key specs

  • Number of tools: Two, but four pieces in total
  • Weight: ‎0.8kg
  • Dimensions: 2.9 x 7.5 x 11.2 cm

4. Best compact manicure set: Tweezerman Mini Nail Rescue Kit

Tweezerman manicure set

Price: £15.49  | Buy now from Amazon

“I’ve always used nail clippers and recently bought some from Tweezerman which are nice and sturdy.” - OneMillionSteps

The Tweezerman Mini Nail Rescue Kit makes looking after your nails a breeze. Whether you’re heading off to far-flung corners of the globe or enjoying a staycation at home, this fab little kit is small enough to take with you wherever you go.

Don’t let its mini size fool you though. We love this manicure kit simply because it’s so lightweight and includes everything you need for a quick mani on the move.

Crack open the rounded plastic carry case and you’ll discover a four stainless steel tools including fingernail clippers, a mini pushy and nail cleaner, and a mini cuticle and hangnail nipper. 

It’s one of the smaller sets on our list, but reviewers love this compact kit from a reliable brand.

Pros

  • Travel-sized
  • Trusted brand
  • High-quality tools

Cons

  • The splash of pink may not appeal to everyone
  • Not a huge amount of tools

Key specs

  • Number of tools: Four
  • Weight: 0.5kg
  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 0.3 cm

5. Best manicure set to give as a gift: Lily England Manicure Set for Women and Girls

Lily England manicure set

Price: £13.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Give the gift of beautiful nails with this elegant but practical rose gold manicure set. It’s compact enough to slip into a handbag, pocket or suitcase, and the appealing shimmery case and stylish tools also make this an attractive dressing table feature. What's more, at £13.99 it won’t stretch the purse strings too much either.

The sleek manicure set contains everything your nails need to stay healthy, all in a nifty travel-size pack. It comes with a glass nail file, tweezer, dual cuticle pusher, nail scissors and a nail clipper, all nestled in a snap-shut case.

A great value set that’s built to last, the popular rose gold colour makes it stand out and adds a splash of luxury to an otherwise practical piece of kit. We think it would make an ideal present for a friend or relative.

Pros

  • Attractive rose gold colour
  • Very compact and lightweight
  • Perfect for travelling
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Not as many tools as some other sets

Key specs

  • Number of tools: Five
  • Weight: ‎0.12kg
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 2.3 x 12 cm

6. Best luxury manicure set: 3 Swords Germany Manicure and Pedicure Kit

3 Swords manicure and pedicure set

Price: £34.95 | Buy now from Amazon

This is another German-made manicure set that screams luxury. Designed using the highest quality stainless steel, manufacturer 3 Swords are known for making the kind of products that last for years and years. This particular kit comes with some outstanding reviews too.

It’s not the cheapest manicure set in the world but you’re paying for the quality and durability of the handmade tools. All the tools are also polished in bright nickel plating, offering the very best protection against corrosion.

Perfect for home or travel, the carry case itself is made of real leather and even comes with a handy microfibre cleaning cloth.

Pros

  • Fantastic quality
  • Good range of tools
  • Perfect for travel
  • Luxury gift idea

Cons:

  • A little on the pricey side

Key specs

  • Number of tools: Six
  • Weight: ‎0.18kg
  • Dimensions: ‎13.5 x 7.5 x 2.5 cm

7. Best at-home gel manicure set: Mylee Complete Professional Gel Nail Polish LED Lamp Kit

Mylee gel manicure set

Price: £89.99 | Buy now from Amazon

"Mylee are by far the best at home gel nail kit. They're also used by some professionals. They have a full works kit, containing everything you need." - ElleWoods20

These kits are professional and the price reflects that - but if you’re looking for something extra special that really will save you many hours at the nail bar, then this is for you.

Included in each kit is a Mylee Salon Series PRO LED lamp, MyGel base coat, MyGel top coat, four MyGel polishes, Mylee lint-free wipes, Mylee ‘Prep and Wipe’ and Myee gel remover.

With over 3000 five-star reviews on Amazon, it may put a dent in your purse, but it’s worth the expense for a long-lasting gel manicure to salon-standards.

Pros

  • Professional finish
  • Easy to use
  • Long-lasting results

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal if you’re wanting a more basic kit
  • Not the most travel-friendly

Key specs

  • Number of tools: 10 products included
  • Weight: ‎‎1.68kg
  • Dimensions: ‎28 x 22.6 x 12.3 cm

8. Best manicure set for kids: 3 Swords Germany Manicure Kit Set for Children

3 Swords children's manicure set

Price: £15.95 | Buy now from Amazon

This cute and quirky manicure kit will really appeal to parents looking for a basic, well-made set to keep their little one’s nails neat.

Perfect for you to use on your toddler or children’s nails, the five handy tools sit inside an attractive red zip-up heart-shaped case. The kit contains children’s scissors with a rounded tip, tweezers, sapphire nail file, nail clipper and a nail cleaner.

Manufactured by German company 3 Swords, this sturdy kit is built to last. It’s also compact enough for smaller hands, and is easy to slip in a bag when heading off on adventures.

Pros

  • Gorgeous heart-shaped case
  • Good range of tools for little fingers and toes

Cons

  • Suitable for children, not for adults

Key specs

  • Number of tools: Five
  • Weight: ‎‎0.12kg
  • Dimensions: ‎15.8 x 11.6 x 3.4 cm

9. Best male manicure set: MANSCAPED™ Shears 2.0 Tempered Stainless Steel Men's Nail Kit

MANSCAPED™ Shears 2.0 Tempered Stainless Steel Men's Nail Kit

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

On the hunt for a gift for Christmas or a birthday? This could be just what you’re looking for.

This four-piece manicure set is touted as sleek and high-quality - perfect for partners, teenagers, dads, and anyone else who takes grooming seriously.

Complete with all they could need to keep nails pristine, the set comes with slant-tipped tweezers, rounded point scissors, fingernail clippers and a medium grit nail file, all presented in a luxury, water-resistant PU leather case. Whether you're looking for something for trips abroad or at home, this manicure kit is specially designed with men in mind. 

Pros

  • Compact
  • Durable and high quality
  • Tempered stainless steel tools

Cons

  • A bit pricey

Key specs

  • Number of tools: Four
  • Weight: ‎0.17kg
  • Dimensions: 15.8 x 10.2 x 3.3 cm

10. Best French manicure set: Technic French Manicure Set

Technic French manicure set

Price: £14.99 | Buy now from Amazon

This cute and compact French manicure set would make a great gift.

Innovative and on-trend, this awesome little manicure kit comes with a silver travel case for packing everything up. Inside you’ll find everything you need to create and maintain beautiful nails.

First you use the tools included to trim and tidy up your nails and get them ready for the polish. Next, you use the three polishes to create the French style, including the classic white tips. Not only is it super easy to do, you’ll save a fortune on salon manicures too.

The French manicure look isn’t for everyone, but if you love the classic style this is the kit for you.

Pros

  • Easy to follow guides included
  • Great price for such a comprehensive kit

Cons

  • Brushes could do with being wider

Key specs

  • Number of tools: Nine including polish, plus nail guide
  • Weight: ‎0.46kg
  • Dimensions: 21.6 x 15 x 4 cm

11. Best manicure set for women including nail polish: Modelones Gel Nail Kit

Modelones gel manicure set

Price: £20.99 | Buy now from Amazon

This manicure kit with gel polish is perfect for beginners. With a range of gel polish colours included, plus a portable 6w curing lamp and plenty of tools, you can change up your look as often as you like. In fact, once applied the polish could easily last for up to two weeks with no chips or smudges.

The curing lamp can even be connected to an iPhone or Android charger, so it's a good option if you want to take it on a holiday or a business trip as well as use at home.

Compact and lightweight, this kit has loads of excellent reviews. It’s not as professional a piece of kit in comparison to the Mylee set on this list, but it’s easy on the wallet, making it a great choice for those starting out with at-home gel manicures.

Pros

  • Six polish colours included
  • Lots of charging options for curing lamp

Cons

  • Could do with a primer to make your nails stickier for the gel

Key specs

  • Number of tools: 10 tools plus six polishes
  • Weight: ‎‎0.46 kg
  • Dimensions: 24.9 x 19 x 8.2 cm

12. Best manicure and pedicure set: Corewill Nail Kit for Fingernails and Toenails

Corewill manicure set

Price: £13.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Your feet need love too, so why not go for a 2-in-1 kit?

This is a high-quality manicure kit which is on the lower end of the price scale. Made entirely of stainless steel, the super-sharp blade of the clippers and scissors offer a really clean cut with no jagged edges.

The kit itself comes with 12 tools so it’s certainly a comprehensive set to fill both your manicure and pedicure grooming needs.

It’s also very easy to keep neat and packed away thanks to its protective, synthetic leather case. It may not be the snazziest piece of kit but it certainly hits the mark when it comes to a variety of tools at a good price. We were a bit surprised to see it also included a blackhead remover and ear pick too, but rest assured the essentials for your nails are in there too.

Pros

  • Non-slip handles
  • Easy to keep clean
  • Good value

Cons

  • Slightly bulkier than some of the other sets
  • Basic kit

Key specs

  • Number of tools: 12
  • Weight: ‎0.27kg
  • Dimensions: 14.9 x 9.1 x 3.5 cm

13. Best professional manicure set: Ywoow Nail Clippers Set

Ywoow manicure set

Price: £12.99 | Buy now from Amazon

For the price, this kit really does have it all. Made with incredibly robust stainless steel and nickel-plating, each tool is designed to make nail and personal clear totally hassle-free.

The manicure set itself includes nail clippers, a nail file, ear pick, a cleaning brush, eyebrow tweezers, eyebrow scissors, blackhead and acne needle, cuticle knife and even a dead skin fork. Perfect grooming all round!

A good set for taking on your travels, the tools are contained in an attractive black, honeycomb pattern, PU leather case. With a staggering 23 pieces for its very reasonable £12.99 price tag, we reckon this is a tough one to beat.

Pros

  • Huge range of tools
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Larger size
  • Less transportable

Key specs

  • Number of tools: 23
  • Weight: ‎0.32kg
  • Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 11 cm

What should I look for when buying a manicure set?

There’s such a massive array of manicure kits out there that it can all get a bit bewildering. Some people just want a few tools at a budget price, whilst others are willing to splash out on something a bit special like a gel manicure set. So we’ve put together a few things to look out for if you’re in the market for a new manicure kit:

  • Budget: How much are you looking to spend on a manicure kit? The cost can vary a lot so this may be a big consideration. More basic kits with just tools will have a lower price tag, whereas if you’re wanting a gel set with a UV lamp you will be paying a lot more due to the kit.
  • Features: How many tools do you want it to have? Are you going for just a few basics or all the extras?
  • Size: Are you after something as small as possible to transport or would you be happy with something a little bigger or bulkier?
  • Who it’s for: Will the manicure kit be a gift? If so, will it be for an adult or a child? Stylish designs will make for a more impressive gift.
  • Durability: Do you mind a bit of cheap and cheerful that doesn’t last forever or would you prefer something pricier that goes the distance? 

Which is the best manicure set to buy?

For most people, a fairly basic kit with all the essentials (nail clippers, scissors, nail file, etc.) will do just fine. Something like the marQus Solingen Germany Manicure Set would be ideal.  We rated it for its high-quality tools, convenient compact size and handy casing, making this a versatile choice you can rely on.

If you're after something with a little more pizzaz, we'd recommend the Mylee Complete Professional Gel Nail Polish LED Lamp Kit. It doesn't come cheap, but we found it was the best for a salon-quality gel manicure that lasted for weeks. 

What is the best manicure and pedicure set?

For a 2-in-1 kit the best all-rounder in terms of price, tools and quality is the Corewill Manicure and Pedicure Set. With 12 tools, it does the job with both finger and toenails, handy if you like to have everything in one kit.

What are all the tools in a manicure set for?

Which tools are actually needed (and used) will vary between people. Some really just want a basic trim-and-file set, while others prefer something more comprehensive. Here are some of the basics you can expect in a manicure set: 

  • A clipper is an essential tool for manicures and pedicures, as it allows you to trim the nail down to the desired size. Most nail sets also contain specialised scissors for this purpose. 
  • A file is also a must-have, allowing you to ‘sand down’ and annoying jagged bits along the way, and shape the tips of your nails.
  • Then you’ve got the nail buffer, used to give a beautifully smooth base. This is done by getting rid of the ridges in nails, giving them a healthier finish.
  • Many manicure sets also have a cuticle pusher to push back the skin at the base of your nail for a more polished and groomed look.
  • Some sets will also contain nail polish, and if you’re going for a gel nail set, this should include a UV lamp to set the gel.

How we chose our recommendations

We know that when you’re trying to make a decision on something, it’s a great idea to turn to real parents. So first we had a look round the forums to see what our discerning Mumsnet users were saying about nail health in general. We looked to see what challenges they were facing in keeping nails maintained and beautiful - not just theirs but their little ones’ too.

Then we hunted across the internet to see what other reviewers said about the most popular kits out there, and what the best brands are thought to be. 

Once we had all that information in one place, we selected our favourite manicure sets, focusing on quality and function.

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