fabric shaver
Sustainable and slow fashion influencers are often seen buzzing their forever pieces as part of their clothing care ritual. Image Credit: Shutterstock

A fabric shaver is one of those tools you didn’t know you needed. Keep one in the drawer, and you can renew all your old knitwear, sweatshirts, cotton t-shirts and couch covers with an electric anti-pilling razor. Sustainable and slow fashion influencers are often seen buzzing their forever pieces as part of their clothing care ritual.

It’s not just our wardrobe, but the furniture around the house that can suffer from fabric bobbles, too. Even your cushion covers, mattresses and upholstered chairs and sofas can become as good as new, if you were to give them a run-through with this small handheld tool made to snip at clumped fibres.

So, don’t toss items imto the donation pile, yet. Bryan Milvar, the founder of Vintage Vibe, a premium curated vintage and thrift store in Wafi Mall, Dubai, uses five years of fabric care experience to vouch for clothes shavers and shares why it’s a fixed tool in his arsenal.

We took down Milvar’s tips and advice - scroll below to see what he had to say. You can also pick one up from our list of best-rated fabric shavers to prolong the life of your loved items. Shop with an Amazon Prime membership to get it fast with no delivery charge.

1. Best Overall: Conair Fabric Shaver


  • Ergonomic handle for shaving larger surfaces
  • Two-inch shaving head
  • Three levels of distance control
  • Cordless operation
  • Marked for low returns


  • Needs two AA batteries - not rechargeable

Conair's fabric shaver is easier to hold than most models thanks to its ergonomic grip. With cordless battery-operated use, the fuzz remover works on all your favourite fabrics, from socks to sofas, shaving lint and pills faster with its large two-inch head. To get a close or light shave, twist the distance controller to switch between three levels, depending on the delicate nature of the clothing. It's still compact enough to be chucked into a suitcase for travel. Once done, remove the lint catcher from the shaver and empty it as needed. Reviewers are so impressed with this product that it's marked for low returns on Amazon. They use it to de-fluff their sofas, mattresses, upholstered bed headboards and old clothes, adding that it's essential for every home.

2. Best Budget: Philips Fabric Shaver


  • Quiet operation
  • Targets pills of all sizes using three different holes
  • Height-adjustable cap to shave delicate fabrics
  • Comes with a cleaning brush and two AA batteries


  • Not rechargeable

Another battery-operated option is the popular Philips shaver - vintage collectors renew their old clothing with this tool on TikTok. It uses holes of three different sizes on the protective cover and a height adjustment cap to tackle pills of all sizes. The shaved bobbles collect in a built-in container that you can empty, and there's also an included cleaning brush for giving the head a quick dusting. Reviewers use it to improve the appearance of their mattresses, knitted clothes, sweatpants and armchairs. They find it quieter than other shavers on the market and appreciate that it comes with two batteries in the box.

3. Best for Delicate Fabric: Steamery Pilo No.2 


  • Strong engine - 9000 rotations/min
  • Rechargeable battery lasts two hours
  • 5cm shave head
  • Small and minimalist
  • Comes with cleaning brush and USB-C charging cord


  • Lint chamber fills up quickly
  • Expensive

Swedish clothing care brand Steamery is home to an aesthetically pleasing fabric shaver in its range. The Pilo 2 fits under the palm of your hand so you can master a better grip over the gadget, weighing only 152 grams. While the Philips shaver had a motor speed of 8,800 rotations per minute, the Pilo 2 boasts 9,000 rotations of the six precision razor blades under a large 5cm shaving area. The best part? It's a rechargeable tool, which needs 2.5 hours to refuel for two hours of de-fluffing while cordless. TikTok users run it over their delicate cashmere, wool and alpaca sweaters with great results. Since the lint chamber is smaller than most, it does require emptying more often.

4. Best for Upholstery: Electrolux Rechargeable Fabric Shaver


  • Works across three different speeds, from delicate to thicker fabrics
  • LED display for speed and battery details
  • Large-capacity lint collector
  • Rechargeable with USB-C cable
  • Comes with replacement blades


  • Only works for 45 minutes at a time

The Electrolux rechargeable gadget works at three different speeds to control the shaving intensity, instead of a height-adjustable cap. Start slow for delicate clothing or speed up to tackle thicker garments with durable textiles. It's bulkier than others and carries an LED display on the back that conveniently shows the remaining battery life and speed level. A bigger machine also means a larger lint storage capacity that will help your shaver carry on without encountering hiccups. It has a shorter battery life than the Steamery option, giving you 45 minutes of fabric care after three hours of charge. But, there's a lot more in store in the box - the shaver arrives with another set of blades once the existing set dulls, a charging cable, a cleaning brush and a protective cover. Reviewers mention giving their decade-old bed frames a makeover, and that it works fast even on the lowest speed. It's transformed fuzzy chairs, Lululemon leggings, several sweaters, blankets and rugs.

5. Best Large Shaver: Nori Trim Rechargeable Fabric Shaver


  • Largest shaving head on the list at 6.3cm
  • Decently sized lint collector
  • Uses six precision blades
  • Battery life of 60 minutes
  • Comes with replacement blades


  • Lint collector bin is hard to open

Get an hour of shaving time with this cordless rechargeable de-fuzzer by Nori. The tool has a 6cm-wide head to work on large areas quickly and more efficiently using six precision blades under the cover. Since the grip is wide as well, the lint collector bin can catch a significant amount of bobbles before it reaches full capacity. Buyers love the results they get from shaving pilled activewear, sweaters and leggings, and attest to it working faster than their previous shavers. At this price, you're also getting two replacement blades, a brush and a travel dust bag. One common complaint, however, is that the lint compartment is difficult to detach.

Are fabric shavers any good?

fabric shavers
These bobble removers work best on cotton and wool textiles. Image Credit: Shutterstock

We see pesky knots of fibres on our clothing all the time. Pilling is simply the natural result of wear and tear from years of use and wash cycles. You’ll notice that areas of constant friction on your t-shirt or leggings, such as underarms and inner thighs, tend to pill first, and the appearance of these tiny balls might force you to relegate the clothing to the back of the closet.

Like Milvar, many would've attempted to shave them off with a manual razor from their bathroom counter. Both tools get rid of pills, but one does it safely and better. “Before I discovered a fabric shaver, I used to use a manual razor but it would catch the fabric and destroy the material. I even ended up injuring my hand badly once, which is when I switched to a fabric shaver,” shared Milvar.

At Vintage Vibe, pre-loved items like vintage sweatshirts, t-shirts and wool baseball caps are refreshed with a fabric shaver before they go on sale. “Old clothes are fragile,” said Milvar, and the shaver is designed to prevent snagging and damage.

“It’s like a razor but with a steel protection cover outside, so it doesn’t catch the fabric and only cuts the lint and small pills. Pure cotton tends to have a lot of lint, even woollen items, so we use this shaver to remove the pilling,” he added.

How to use fabric shavers the right way

fabric shaver
Before use, always lay your clothing down on a flat surface and gently press the tool as you go over the fabric. Image Credit: Shutterstock

In terms of handling, fabric shavers are completely safe to hold thanks to the protective cover on the head. When it comes to the type of material, however, there are a few things to remember before shaving.

Avoid delicate fabrics since a shaver can thin them out. Milvar also advises against shaving jersey material used in athletic and sportswear. “Jersey fabric will usually have little threads coming out of the material – it’s not necessarily lint. If your shaver is old, it’s going to catch the thread and pull it out instead of cutting it,” he explained.

Before use, always lay your clothing down on a flat surface and gently press the tool as you go over the fabric. Milvar says to expect some snagging at first but with practice, you’ll learn to renew your clothes the right way.

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