Ready to slim down for summer? You'll be glad to know that the best lymphatic drainage machines pulverize fat cells, remove puffiness, and reduce cellulite. Some even swear it leads to weight loss, but is that true?
Since lymphatic drainage treatments can cost $350 per session, DIY-ing it can save major money. However, what does science say about these weight loss claims, and is it worth trying? We've done the research, talked to the expƒerts, and are ready to give you the skinny on these intriguing devices. Purchase Hydrafacial Machine
Let me guess, you're looking into the best lymphatic drainage machines because you want to drop some pounds. You're not alone. Thanks to the popularity of gua sha tools, there's lots of chatter about the advantages of lymphatic drainage.
The lymphatic system is part of the cardiovascular system, and protects the body from infection. It's filled with bean-like structures called lymph nodes that work with lymph to cleanse the body. "Lymph is the fluid that collects debris and waste from your system," explains Beret Loncar, LMT and owner of Body Mechanics in New York City. “It’s also tied to immunity." Similar to a river, lymph runs through our bodies, picking up waste and flushing it out via urination.
In general, the body does a decent job flushing itself out. However, some diseases, including certain types of cancer, can hinder lymphatic system function. This leads to water retention.
Even if you're not dealing with a medical issue, fluid buildup can happen. Inactivity, hormones, and even excess salt can lead to bloating — ugh. The great thing about lymphatic drainage machines is that they increase circulation, which not only improves your health, but the appearance of your skin as well. Are you ready for the radiance? Let's get glowing!
Best Overall lymphatic drainage machine : NuFace NuBody Skin Toning Device
Best scraping lymphatic draining machine : Electric Gua Sha Scraping Lymphatic Drainage Tool
Best lymphatic drainage machine with RF : MLAY RF Machine
Best lymphatic drainage Machine for cellulite : Stleayee Body Machine
Best lymphatic drainage machine for face : Surebeauty Metal Grease Cups Lymphatic Drainage Machine
Best lymphatic drainage machine with microcurrent : ReFa 4 Carat
Best lymphatic drainage for legs : Renpho Air Compression Leg Massager
Best lymphatic drainage machine for stomach : Fazejuene Multifunctional Body Facial Beauty Machine
Best lymphatic drainage machine for weight loss : 6 In 1 40K Ultrasonic Cavitation Machine
Best Lymphatic drainage machine with massager : Izeepe Body Sculpting Machine
Holding excess water can cause the number on the scale to go up. Since lymphatic drainage reduces excess water weight, many look and feel slimmer after a treatment. Water retention aside, stimulating the surface of the skin can also improve its appearance.
Scraping or dry brushing results in a brighter complexion. "[You're] filling the capillaries with lots of lovely blood that's oxygenated and bringing it to the surface," says Loncar. "Your skin is going to look better. It’s going to look more hydrated and plump.”
She also points out that there's a restorative element to lymphatic massage.“A lot of people feel less bloated, because we’re helping move things through the body. During the time of rest and digest you’re less gassy.”
Devices marketed as the best lymphatic drainage machines will have one of several mechanisms to improve circulation and promote collagen. Collagen is especially important because it impacts cellulite. Sometimes cellulite appears when collagen fibers break or stretch. Diet, sun exposure, and many other things contribute to this. Without collagen, fat beneath the skin pushes up towards the surface, creating those cellulite lumps and dimples.
Some machines, like the NuFace NuBody will use microcurrent to rebuild the protein. According to the medical journal Vestnik Otorinolaringologii, low-grade bio electric therapy is also helpful when it comes to lymphatic drainage. You will have to use a priming gel pre-treatment. However, the FDA-approved device is powerful enough to trigger collagen production, leading to smoother skin.
According to the journal of Facial Plastic Surgery, radio frequency, or RF, can also restore damaged tissue and tighten skin. The Mlay RF uses this method, and is one the best lymphatic drainage machines. It works for the face and body and is great for stretch marks, sagging, and toning.
Cupping, cavitation, and scraping may also be beneficial.
Cupping is an alternative healing method where cups with suction are placed strategically on the body to stimulate blood flow and decrease inflammation. In 2015, the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge published a study showing that cupping reduced the appearance of cellulite. Researchers hypothesized that the suction from the cups promoted lymphatic drainage and blood flow.
Cavitation uses ultrasound therapy to break down fat cells so they can be flushed out of the body more easily. This lymphatic drainage machine method has the best slimming capabilities, and can really help contour your shape. In a 2020 study from the Eurasian Journal of Biosciences, researchers found that it was even more powerful than radio frequency in removing stomach fat. It's a little noisy, but relatively painless.
Scraping, also known as gua sha, is the act of slowly swiping the body with a tool. According to the Cleveland Clinic, gua sha may be good for you if you suffer from headaches and edema. Again, this is probably because it boosts circulation and promotes relaxation. After all, stress and weight gain often go hand-in-hand.
“In general, [bodies] with less cortisol tend to function a little better,” says Loncar.
The machine a professional uses for lymphatic drainage depends on the reason behind the swelling. If the swelling is due to a medical issue like cancer, a doctor may recommend lymphatic massage or a compression-based therapy.
For non-medical instances of bloating — like excess alcohol or too much salt — a masseuse, esthetician, or even an acupuncturist is the professional to visit. They may use something like Metal Grease Cups for scraping and cupping. I've had this done, and it's invigorating. Although you may develop slight bruising from the cups, it doesn't hurt.
Estheticians also use pressotherapy, which is when they cocoon you in compression wraps, simulating a massage. This can be great for fluid retention as well as pain reduction. If this method sounds good to you, try the Air Leg Compression Massager from Renpho. It uses heat and can be placed around the entire leg or on isolated sections, like the calf or thigh.
A professional may also use a device with microcurrent, radio waves, or cavitation. The latter is a fancy word for ultrasound. According to PLOS, it's effective at breaking down adipose fat. Among the best lymphatic drainage machines that work using these methods is the 6 in 1 40K Cavitation Machine. It actually has all three methods — plus scraping and cupping! It's a little pricer than simpler devices, but this medi-spa caliber machine can save you hundreds in professional treatment costs.
Vibration plates are also machines that help with lymphatic drainage. The best vibration plates help with workout recovery, improve balance, and stimulate circulation. A massager, on the other hand (sometimes referred to as percussion therapy), can bring more circulation to areas like the stomach or thighs. In fact, one study found that those treated with a massager several times a week for one hour saw a 40 percent reduction in cellulite.
Vibration machines are great to use when watching TV or lounging. One of the best lymphatic drainage machines with vibration is the Armelle Ultrasonic Slimming Machine. It's hand-sized and includes an LED red light for elasticity.
Lymphatic massage uses "very slow rhythmic movements," explains Loncar. “[We're] trying to move fluid through the body by gentle touch and movement — basically to get the body to do more of what it already does, better!"
Loncar begins all sessions with diaphragmatic breathing, which stimulates the lymphatic system. "Do 360 breathing where you’re expanding and contracting the belly," she suggests. "That’s where the [lymph] nodes are.”
The best lymphatic drainage machines can be used to keep fluid moving and stimulate trouble spots. Make sure to read the directions for any machine before using, especially if it requires a gel to prime skin.
If you want to get a better idea on how these machines work, watch this video from the DIY Beauty Lab (see below). She's using the Fazjuene Multifunctional Body Facial Machine, one of our picks. The video is long, so if you don't have 22 minutes, skip to minute nine.
Each lymphatic drainage machine will come with its own directions and time recommendations. The NuFace NuBody, for example only takes five minutes and can be used two to three days per week. In contrast, a device like the MLAY RF Machine, should be used for 15 minutes, and only twice a week.
Looking for even more options? Check out our other recommendations:
How to Do A Lymphatic Drainage Massage
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Best Overall lymphatic drainage machine
You're probably already familiar with NuFace Trinity, the popular sculpting facial device. If you're impressed with its slimming capabilities, you'll be ecstatic about the NuFace NuBody. It uses the same microcurrent technology to increase lymphatic flow. This improves circulation, and tightens dimply areas. This device is FDA approved, and has amazing clinical results. If you don't check out the before and after photos, know that 80 percent of users in their clinical trial saw smoother tummies, arms, and legs. To use, apply the included hydrating primer gel — it's made with hyaluronic acid — and then swipe and hold on your puffy zones for five seconds till you hear the machine beep. This device not only helps with lymphatic drainage — it's also great for sagging skin, wrinkles, and stretch marks. It's basically a masseuse, trainer, and esthetician in one, and is also available for purchase at Nordstrom.
Promising review: "[Like] home Liposuction — it couldn’t get any better. I wish I would have started with the before and after pics, because I would’ve liked to show the actual proof [it works!]"
Best scraping lymphatic draining machine
Scraping isn't only good for pushing fluid, it also boosts energy. In a 2017 randomized controlled study, researchers found the ancient practice reduced anxiety, hot flashes, and fatigue in perimenopausal women. If you're feeling sluggish or you're just depressed about your appearance, the Electric Gua Sha Scraping Lymphatic Drainage Tool may perk you up. Along with lymph circulation, the tool has a vacuum function that firms skin. There are three separate heads that target different sections of your body, plus a heat and massage function. You're getting the power of gua sha, cupping, heat, and a solid rubdown in one device. Another perk is that it's chargeable, and has a three hour battery life. Don't forget to use with lotion or a carrier oil, like the Anti-Cellulite Massage Oil from M3 Naturals.
Promising review: Love this [tool]! It works really well to glide on the skin with the rolling beads. It has powerful suction, and the different-sized heads are very effective. It even comes with a lot of extra sponges to soak up excess oil. Great product!
Best lymphatic drainage machine with rf
Works for body and face
Dermatologists sometimes use radio frequency is to breakup stubborn fat. Now you can skip the hassle of making an appointment with yours! The MLAY RF Radio Frequency Machine works for both the face and body, using energy to breakdown fat cells. Apply a conducive gel, like this one, then run the device over the lumpier parts of your bum. The wand is lightweight, and users swear it's worth the investment.
Promising review: I’m in love with this [machine]!...My skin is amazing, tighter, lifted, and looks more fresh. I use it on my tummy and chest area, as well for lifting and tightening my skin."
Best LYMPHATIC drainage Machine for cellulite
I'd be willing to bet that some of you avoid wearing shorts because of thigh dimples. Maybe the this Body Machine will make you bolder. It has cavitation technology (you know, the kryptonite to fat cells?), so it's a little noisy, but that's a small price to pay considering you're targeting saddlebags without doing a single lunge. The device includes four wands — two that can be used on your face and neck — and also has a radio frequency setting to boost skin elasticity. In fifteen minutes you can treat wrinkles, sagging, and improve circulation with this four-in-one machine.
Promising review: "This is an excellent body care device. I love having all of the functions on one machine. The directions are very sparse, [but] it’s not that hard to figure out. I like that this saves me space, and I don’t need multiple devices anymore. This one does it all — highly recommended."
Best lymphatic drainage machine for face
Buy from Carol & Esthetician, $140 (was $160)
Works on body and face
Fluid retention can happen while we sleep, leading to a puffy face in the morning. If that's your situation, you'll really like this device. Along with working wonders on your hips, butt, and thighs, three of the cups for this Lymphatic Drainage Machine work great for your mug. They're smaller and seamlessly move under your jaw. Use it for scraping to improve circulation or, if you've been overindulging, opt for the suction function to start the detoxification process. The machine includes an extra long tub to easily reach legs, and the cups are made of metal, so they'll last for a long time.
Best lymphatic drainage machine with microcurrent
When bloat occurs, ditch the water pills and reach for this instead. First off, diuretics aren't great. Secondly, the ReFa 4 Carat is a de-puffing pro. Its four double spherical drainage rollers have microcurrents to boost circulation on a cellular level. Begin at your neck, gently working down your body to kick your lymphatic system in gear. Along with flushing fluid, microcurrents trigger collagen growth and skin elasticity. What does this mean for you? Oh, just a leaner, firmer exterior. The device is waterproof, comes with a handy traveling pouch, and can also be purchased at Dermstore.
Promising review: "I love using this on my face or body whenever I have time. Every time I've used it I notice my face looking slimmer and more defined the following day. I always make sure to drain the lymph nodes first by rolling over them several times up and down, sweeping down the neck, and over the shoulder as the video instructs. Sometimes I use it on my legs, arms, and tummy when I'm watching TV. It's also great for the decolette. I feel the most obvious results come when I use it on my forearms. They become slimmer and more toned [from] the improved circulation."
Best lymphatic drainage for legs
Removable calve and thigh wraps
If you're fighting inflammation in your lower half, give the Air Compression Leg Massager a go. Sure, it looks a little funny, but the wrap design gives the benefits of a massage. It has three modes, going from low to high, and you can buy it with or without heat. Each part of the leg is sectioned off, allowing you to concentrate on your thighs or calves. What's really neat is the customizing remote control. Focus on one section for entire session or opt for intervals. If you're worried your upper half will start to feel jealous, you'll be glad to know you can also use the massager on your biceps.
Promising review: "Best [thing] to alleviate pain after running or exercising. The compression is great. You can change the intensity to suit your needs. It auto shuts off after 20 minutes. It also has different levels to choose from. You can do both legs at the same time or just one — great purchase."
Best lymphatic drainage machine for stomach
Even with diet and exercise, it's not always easy to tone where you want. The Multifunctional Machine body Facial Beauty Machine uses cavitation, which is awesome for reducing thickness around your middle. It also has two larger wands to smooth out the love handle region. They also work for the front of the legs, as well as the back and inner thighs. Of course, don't forget to slather on some conductive gel first. The smaller wand can be used on the face and neck. Lighter than some lymphatic drainage machines, you can carry it into your bedroom to relax during the treatment.
Promising review: "I am so happy with my purchase! I’ve used it twice, and the results are amazing! It’s really easy to use. I wish I would have known about this machine years ago."
Best lymphatic drainage machine for weight loss
Includes microcurrent and radio frequency
Can also be used on face
Repeat after me: You don't need liposuction, a tummy tuck or any "lunchtime" procedure. Fat loss can be achieved at home with this spa-quality machine. Although on the higher end of the price spectrum, the Surebeauty Ultrasonic Cavitation Machine offers big time benefits. Its ultrasound cavitation breaks down fat cells so they can be metabolized and flushed out. There are six tools attached to the system, including a vacuum tool that has radio frequency. As you sculpt and massage, the sound waves hit pockets of cellulite to reveal those beauty hamstrings beneath. There's a large touchscreen to program your treatment on, and your jaw area can be hit up with the microcurrent tool. You might as well cancel your appointment at the medi-spa now. Better yet, invite some friends over and have a spa day of your own.
Best Lymphatic drainage machine with massager
Massage is not only relaxing but a great way to stimulate inactive muscles. What we love about the Body Sculpting Machine is that along with being pretty, it's also wireless. You can use is while you watch TV or chat on the phone. It has eight separate massage heads to knead knots and loosen subcutaneous fat. Use the touchscreen to set a fifteen minute treatment, and then start at the neck to wake the lymphatic system. If you use this on your beau or have been putting off shaving, you'll appreciate the included mesh covers that keep hair from getting caught in the head's grooves. There are six speeds and five different intensities, making it a great option for those wanting a customizable massage experience. You don't have to use oil like you do with cupping or scraping. However, it would probably make the treatment a little more luxurious.
Promising review: "Amazing, and easy to use! You've really see results!"
Best lymphatic drainage machine with cupping
Lots of things can cause us to feel bloated: eating too much, high levels of estrogen, and stress are just three that come to mind. The ritual of cupping can help you relax, and the sensation of gentle scraping may deepen that feeling. Lucky for you, this Olefort Cupping Set has both, plus heat and a massager. The machine offers 12 temperature levels, which can be controlled from the touchscreen. Rub yourself down with a favorite lotion, and then glide the tool along your extremities. Use the suction setting on painful areas, or massage places where you get puffy. It's not the most important thing, but it doesn't hurt that the device is also really pretty, and would look nice on your bathroom counter or nightstand.
Best small LYMPHATIC drainage machine
Whether you're fighting an infection or just swollen from working out too hard, the Superlit can help balance your system. What's great about this cupping device is that it's easy to pop in a gym bag or purse, making it super convenient to use. All you have to do is place it on the desired area, allowing the rhythmic massage and suction to take place. Once it's through, you'll feel fresh and energized. There are five different intensities, and it also includes an LED red light to fight inflammation. Its vacuum function is strong, so it doesn't need to be held in place. You can literally stick it on, and let it do its magic while you work, watch TV, color your hair — whatever.
Best lymphatic drainage machine for pain
It's always nice when a machine has multiple functions, like this one. If you're also working out to drop pounds, you'll like how the Evertone AirOsage makes your muscles feel. It uses air compression with heat therapy to improve circulation. It can be programmed to move between three massage cycles, so you can have a really intense session if you've gone too hard at the gym. The interior of the wrap has a pocket for an ice pack if you like cold therapy. No, it's not exactly Cool Sculpting, but cold exposure can aid fat loss, which is what we're here for, right? You can use the device on your thighs, calves, and arms while you relax or perform other activities like doing the dishes. It includes a charging pack, and is thin enough to travel with.
Best anti-aging lymphatic drainage machine
If you're more concerned with the puffiness in your face than body, give this RF Under Eye Facial Massager a try. It comes with a primer gel, and offers 90KHz waves of radio frequency that penetrates the epidermis. This may result in less visible lines or bags under the eye. According to the manufacture, results can be seen between one and two months.
Promising review: "The Nulift RF device exceeded my expectations. It works better for the face than a much larger and twice as expensive machine. During operation, you can actually see it working. Not only that, it is convenient because you do not need to be near a power outlet to use. I can toss this in a suitcase and use it on the hotel bed. It is so small that there is no reason to leave it home if you are going to be gone for several days. Having a self-care Saturday? Pull up Netflix and take this little guy to the couch to use."
Best lymphatic drainage machine under $50
Lip Hair Removal Machine If you're ready to upgrade your dry brushing routine, this may be the perfect thing. This hand massager is small enough to travel with, has eight different heads, and may help push fluid with its gentle vibrations. Use along your legs, tummy, and arms before you hop in the shower or go to bed. The relaxing experience alone is a must try.