The 7 Best Fabric Shavers To Get Rid Of Pilling

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by Kim Quindlen
Originally Published: 

Your clothes put up with a lot of abuse from daily wear. In fact, it's your favorite items that often suffer the most from fuzz build-up and pilling. Luckily, the best fabric shavers are super easy to use and work wonders on your clothes — a must if you’re cheap but want to look good. When choosing the best pill remover for your garments, keep in mind that they generally come in two options: manual or electric. If you're unsure of which type you'll need, think about what kind of treatment your clothes require, and how delicate your items are.

Manual shavers tend to be more gentle on fabrics and come in blade-less varieties that are extra gentle on delicate fabrics. Additionally, because they don't need batteries to operate, a manual shaver won't run out of juice no matter how often you use it. Electric fabric shavers, on the other hand, are typically faster and more efficient. They come in a wide range of speeds and blade sizes you can choose from, and if you have a little cushion in your budget, you can also pick a sweater shaver with additional features such as an extra long cord or a high-quality blade material.

No matter which fabric shaver you choose, affordable or professional-quality, electric or manual, your clothes will really benefit from more regular attention and care. Here are the best fabric shavers to freshen up your wardrobe, so that it looks like your sweaters didn’t pill in the first place.

In a hurry? These are the best fabric shavers:

1. The Overall Best: AlwaysLux EasyLint Professional Sweater Shaver

2. The Editor Favorite With Over 75,000 Reviews: Conair Fabric Defuzzer

3. The Most Customizable: Beautural Portable Fabric Shaver And Lint Remover

4. The Best For Delicate Fabric: Gleener Ultimate Fuzz Remover Fabric Shaver

5. The Best For Traveling: LEAWER Rechargeable Fabric Shaver

6. The Most High Tech: iRUNTEK Rechargeable Fabric Shaver

7. The Best Cashmere Comb Set: Comfy Clothiers Sweater Shaver & Cashmere Comb Combo Pack

You May Also Want: A Sweater Stone Great At Removing Lint & Pilling

You May Also Want: A Sweater Brush That Removes Lint & Dust From Fabrics


The Overall Best

If you have the flexibility in your budget to invest in a top-notch electric fabric shaver, the EasyLint offers multiple features that will yield the most effective and high-quality results on your fabrics. Made with an extra large 2.5-inch shaving head and a powerful 5-watt motor, this electric shaver uses stainless steel precision blades to quickly remove fuzz, lint, and pilling from almost any fabric. This option is also one of the only sweater shavers on the market that offers replacement blades so that you can continue to use this item for years to come. And with additional features including an extra large lint collector, a long 69-inch cord, a cleaning brush, an AC adapter, a spare blade, and a soft grip handle, it’s designed to be a convenient and long-lasting shaver that’s well-worth the investment.

One fan raved: "I have tried quite a few of these little machines and they were very mediocre, so I was skeptical that this would work on furniture, but it worked great on heavily (cat) damaged chairs covers I had. I was very surprised! Removed about 80 - 90% of the damage! Couch is next. I also love that you can plug it in and not have to rely on battery power.”


The Editor Favorite With Over 75,000 Reviews

With over 80,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.5-star rating overall, this battery-operated sweater shaver from Conair is popular for being incredibly effective. The defuzzer also counts BDG Commerce Editor Jen Fiegel among its many fans. "I have a cat who likes to scratch the fabric sofa. While this doesn't stop her, it quickly fixes all the fuzz,” she explains. “It's also great on sweaters. I've used it regularly for more than a year, and it's still on the first set of batteries." On a personal note, I've tried other fabric shavers in the past and this is by far my favorite. You can adjust it to one of three settings based on the fabric you're shaving, and the lint catcher at the back is simple to clean. For less than $20, this fabric shaver is also surprisingly inexpensive, especially considering how well it works.

One fan raved: "Okay, I don’t normally rave about things like this. [...] Not only is my duvet cover basically brand new, but I have found a new hobby. I’m depilling everything. Sweatshirts, leggings, blankets, socks, anything that looks like it needs some love. It does the job quickly and leaves everything looking fresh.”


The Most Customizable

This electric fabric shaver is an effective way to revive your garments without having to spend a lot of money. It also has plenty of useful features, including three different shave heights, two speeds, and three shaving head hole sizes so that you can customize the treatment based on the needs of each fabric. The large blade surface covers a lot of fabric at once so that you can remove fluff, lint, and pilling in a short amount of time. And because you can adjust the height of the blades, this shaver is safer on your clothes than other electric options on the market. When you’re looking for something that’s simple, affordable and effective, this fabric shaver a great option.

One fan raved: "I am so happy I found this and I don’t have to throw away my favorite sweater/jacket. The shaver worked great and went over zippers, seams, and even the little leather loops on it and didn’t damage a thing. This is probably my favorite amazon purchase ever! I can’t wait to get a hold of all my daughter’s onesies.”


The Best For Delicate Fabric

This manual fabric shaver contains zero blades or motors, and is therefore perfect for removing fabric pills more safely and gently than an electric shaver would. With an ergonomic handle and three interchangeable edges that can gently exfoliate pills, this shaver will remove fuzz, lint, and bobbles from fabrics of all types, including cashmere, wool, cotton, and fleece, without risking damage to garments. It also includes a built-in lint brush, so you can easily remove pet hair and lint from clothing and upholstery.

One fan raved: "Last year, I was given several cashmere sweaters for Christmas which, during a winter of wearing, developed pills in all of the typical points where one has wear. I was disappointed that my gorgeous sweaters started looking fairy ratty in just one season of wear. So when I received the Gleener yesterday, I started IMMEDIATELY with my sweater. Literally 15 minutes later, it looked brand new.”


The Best For Traveling

This affordable fabric shaver has a tiny handle, making it that much easier to store and bring with you if you're traveling. A small port at the base of the handle allows you to plug a USB cord in to charge this defuzzer. One thing to note: Because this is a smaller shaver, you might have to empty it more frequently than other shavers on this list.

One fan raved: "The design makes it easy to hold while shaving off cotton burrs and maneuver inside the collars. Battery for this item charges quickly and retains power for a while even after a 30 minutes of shaving. The collection canister does not fill up too quickly so you can cover quite a bit of clothes before stopping to remove and dump. It is small enough to pack for travel”


The Most High Tech

If you’d prefer a higher tech fabric shaver, look no further than this one from iRUNTEK, which has a digital LED display to keep you posted on the status of the battery and speed settings. The battery power is displayed as a number between one and 100, with 100 being a totally full charge. When the number dips below 10, you’ll want to recharge the device before you continue to use it. The fabric shaver can also operate at three different speeds, and your chosen speed is displayed on the screen so you don’t have to guess what you’re using. Beyond that, this is a typical fabric shaver, and one that reviewers suggest is very effective at removing pills and fuzzy spots from sweaters and other types of fabric.

One fan raved: "I love the fact that this has a digital display to show how much power you have left. Its also really nice to have 3 different power modes. I have a small one I use on the go but it fills up super quick. This one holds a lot more fuzz.”


The Best Cashmere Comb Set

If you have cashmere sweaters that need freshening up, this combo pack from Comfy Clothiers is a great choice. It comes with a cashmere comb that's specifically designed to depill cashmere clothing, and an all-purpose sweater shaver for other fabrics. Since these combs are small and manually operated, it's easy to toss them in your bag for quick touch-ups or travel. This set is also backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you don't love them, you can get your money back.

One fan raved: "I have a handheld Electric pill comber and it didn't work to eliminate the terribly ugly pills from my very favorite sweaters. I bought these manual ones in the hopes that a little arm strength could revive them. I'm so excited! I just tried this on my sweater and it looks amazing. There's something to be said about simplicity of design and ease-of-use.”


You May Also Want: A Sweater Stone Great At Removing Lint & Pilling

To supplement your fabric shaver, a sweater stone like this one can help remove pilling from even the most delicate fabrics. How it works: Shaped like a pumice stone, this tool gently buffs away any pills with a bit of light pressure. One thing to note: With heavier fabrics you may need to put a little more muscle into it when de-pilling your fabrics.

One fan raved: "I have a wool peacoat that I really like and is in very good condition except for the little fuzzies and lent everywhere. So I bought this to take those off and it worked like a charm. I also used it on some shirts and sweaters. It's easy to use and it doesn't damage the fabric because you can control the pressure.”


You May Also Want: A Sweater Brush That Removes Lint & Dust From Fabrics

Lastly, if you've already removed all the pills from your fabric, it can be helpful to use a lint brush like this one to freshen up your upholstery or clothing. This boar hair brush is sturdy and easy to wield. It works on everything from car interiors to winter jackets, and can easily remove any lint, hair, and dirt left behind after you shave your fabric. With a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, this brush is as beloved as it is effective.

One fan raved: "Absolutely love this brush. Works better than anything I've ever used before for lint and is made from all natural materials, biodegradable, and sturdy. I worried that the boar hair would be too soft or ineffective but the bristles are nice and stiff and the handle is comfortable in your hand. While you could use this to clean furniture I use this to clean white cat hair off my black clothing. Works amazing. Absolutely love it.”

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