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For many years, red light therapy treatments have only been available at dermatologists or medical day spas. Today though, portable red light devices are making this wellness practice more readily available and accessible, and also something you can do from the comfort of your own home! But what is red light therapy exactly? And what are the benefits of this increasingly popular wellness trend?

For starters, red light therapy is an easy, painless, and non-invasive way to treat common aches and pain conditions (athletes love it). It’s also a therapy often touted by beauty experts for smooth skin, especially for treating scarring. Red light therapy devices use low-level wavelengths of “red” light to treat skin conditions, including acne, but they can also be used to heal wounds, aid in muscle recovery, boost mental health and help you sleep better. 

The red lights in these at-home devices generally operate on wavelengths between 620 and 750 nanometers (nm). Compared with blue light, like that emitted from phones and tablets, red light has a lower frequency and carries less energy. When used regularly (generally for 10 to 20 minutes a day), red light can stimulate cells in a way that allows them to rejuvenate, repair the damage, and function more efficiently as a whole, making red light effective at repairing tissues in the skin and other parts of the body.

Ready to try it out? Us too! These red light therapy devices now come in small handheld models (or as larger appliances, if you prefer) that you can use at home daily. Many of the brands also offer eye goggles that can protect your eyes and vision, too—just make sure to read the safety and instruction manuals for any device you buy!

(Psst! And while you’re on the self-care circuit, check out our guide to the best massage guns and natural skincare with organic ingredients!

Best Overall | Best For Skin | Best Therapeutic

1. Vital Red Light

Best For | Portable devices
Features | 2-year warranty, portable options, FDA and third-party independently tested, 30-day free trial, ships within 24 hours
Price | $399–$1,399

Enjoy the benefits of red light from the comfort of your home with Vital Red Light therapy devices. These portable and easy-to-use red lights help with inflammation, recovery, anxiety and depression, skin concerns, and more. The Santa Monica-based brand uses medical-grade LEDs (the highest available on the market) for effective treatments over short periods of time. Vital is trusted by medical professionals and elite athletes alike to deliver safe at-home treatments and noticeable results. Our editor has the Vital Charge and Vital Pro and uses both daily for athletic recovery, mental health, hormone balancing, and to help with falling asleep at night! Read her full Vital Red Light review here.

2. Therabody

Best For | Multi-tasking face tool
Features | FDA-Cleared Type II Medical Device, multi-attachments for microcurrent, deep cleansing, or light therapy, as well as percussive treatements
Price | $299–$399

For percussive massage and multi-LED light therapy, Therabody has got the perfect multi-tasking skincare device that is sure to impress. Their clinical trial says it all: 94% reported an increase in an overall healthier appearance in their skin, with equally high percentages reporting a decrease in visible wrinkles and eye puffiness, as well as an increase in contour definitions of their face and neck. Choose between the two models for transformative treatments for overall facial health, from tension headaches to acne and beyond.

3. Laduora

Best For | Red light scalp therapy
Features | 30-day return policy, one-year manufacturer’s warranty, LED light therapy
Price | $75–$300

Laduora offers both red light wands for skin and hair, but what we love most is the Laduora DUO for scalp therapy and hair regrowth. The world’s first pod-based hair and scalp care device, it features the latest dermal technologies, including sonic vibration therapeutic warmth, red light, and electrical stimulation to help boost circulation. Our editor uses the brand’s Velve wand, which includes red and blue light therapy, during her morning skincare routine. She loves the gentle warming, handy self-timer, and the deliciously scented watermelon serum that comes with it.

4. Mito Red Light

Best For | Commercial red lights, red light belts, portable devices
Features | Warranty coverage up to 3 years, 60-day trial period, flicker-free, 3rd-party tested, eye goggles included
Price | $199–$6,999

Mito Red Light offers many product lines of red-light therapy devices, from portable devices to full-on installation panels. It prides itself on delivering whole-body therapy and on products that provide higher irradiance than other red-light competitors in terms of more watts per dollar spent. Our pick is the MitoPRO series because the products come with additional red and near-infrared light wavelengths to heal wounds, promote muscle recovery, and reduce nerve and joint pain. With a trial period and third-party testing, it’s an investment in our health we can get behind.

5. SolaWave

Best For | Red light face wands
Features | 1-year warranty, facial massage, microcurrent, and therapeutic warmth
Price | $99–$169

SolaWave offers a variety of award-winning red light and blue light therapy devices. Its top product is the Advanced Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy. When used for as little as five minutes a day, three times a week, it can reduce puffiness on your face, soften skin, and reduce any dark spots or scarring. Our editors swear by this wand and have noticed huge differences. It’s also just a soothing addition to your regular skincare routine. The wand comes with a charging cable, meaning you can take it with you anywhere, including when you travel!

6. Sun Home Saunas Radiant Mask

Best For | Red and blue light face mask
Features | 5-year warranty and 45-day risk-free return policy, 5 beneficial wavelengths
Price | $399

Sun Home Saunas makes a dermatologist-recommended red light face mask for anyone looking to improve their complexion, reduce pigmentation, or amplify collagen production. The cutting-edge technology can transform skin in just a handful of relaxing 10-minute sessions per week, with its patented five wavelengths, including red, deep-red, amber, near-infrared, and blue lights. Flexible, portable, and powerful, this face mask has an over 100,000-hour lifespan, making it the kind of investment that you know will last.

7. DNA Vibe

Best For | Wearable red light device
Features | Made in the USA, Veteran-founded company, mobile app for easy control, one-year warranty, 60-day money-back guarantee
Price | $159–$379

For aches and pains, common sports injuries, and muscle stiffness and inflammation, we love the moldable red light device from DNA Vibe. The patent pending wellness wearable has four complementary modes—red, near-infrared, magnetic, and micro-vibration—to help with recovery from injury, surgery, or just the daily grind. Our editors love using the Jazz Band Live for travel or while working at home (it’s easy to wear while multitasking). Best of all, DNA Vibe is made in Colorado by a Veteran-founded company. And you know how much we love supporting small biz!

8. Hooga Health

Best For | Portable devices, masks, hair growth hats
Features | 2-year warranty, built-in cooling fans, available as a mask
Price | $60–$3,999

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Hooga Health’s affordable red light devices allow you to control the dosage of light emitted so you can treat certain areas more effectively. Most of its products come with hanging kits so they can be installed nearly anywhere in your home. We especially love the 7 Color LED Mask and the LED Hat—the mask offers seven color modes for those who want healthy, glowing skin, and the hat is a baseball-style cap that can promote hair regrowth (postpartum anyone?). All devices by Hooga Health offer overall body wellness benefits, including stronger immunity, better joint health, and enhanced fertility, among many more.

9. Ember Wellness

Best For | Red light masks
Features | Portable, comfortable, eye goggles included, three treatment modes
Price | $395

The Rejuvenating Light Therapy Mask by Ember Wellness is our favorite red light device for boosting our mood and reducing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that some suffer typically during winter or at times when there are limited periods of sunlight. This mask is made from soft, flexible silicon that wraps comfortably around all face shapes. It has three different settings: Skin Rejuvenation, Acne Control, and Mood Boost. Each treatment session lasts for 10 minutes and can leave you with smooth, healthy, and nourished skin (as well as, well, a mood boost!).

Featured image by Mito Red Light