The 8 best eco-friendly razors for 2022


Eco-friendly razor is not only low waste. With its metal handles designed to last, it’s truly zero waste. All you are replacing is the metal blade itself.

Although not all municipal recycling programs accept blades thrown directly into the trash, many companies have a workaround for this. Some, like Hanni and Leaf Shave, offer a blade bin — a small metal box with a slot to put used blades in — that many recycling programs will accept. And there’s always TerraCycle, a robust recycling program that accepts all kinds of hard-to-recycle items, including used blades and traditional disposable razors.

The durability angle is a big selling point, but what about performance? Spoiler alert: Safety razors provide a superior shave. Your skin is amazingly smooth, but it’s not just the hair that’s missing, it’s the burns.

Advertising and marketing campaigns have taught us that more blades are better, but if you’ve ever experienced irritation and chronic ingrown hairs, you might already suspect that’s not the case.

When a razor has more than one blade, it uses a lift and cut method. The first blade actually lifts the hair, while the second (and third, fourth, and fifth) cuts the hair. The result is a close shave, of course, but also a greater likelihood of ingrown hairs. Also, the more blades you have, the more friction you create. And friction means irritation (i.e. razor burn).

A single blade, on the other hand, works on the surface of the skin to cut hairs. You still get a very close shave, but without the same risk of ingrown hairs and general irritation. This is because the single blade creates much less friction.

A general lack of irritation can also be attributed to the way you use a safety razor. These metal handles, often chrome or stainless steel, are noticeably heavier – much heavier than a disposable plastic version. It’s intentional; the idea is to let the weight of the razor do the work for you.

Instead of applying pressure and shaving the same area over and over again, a safety razor requires a much more delicate touch. There’s a learning curve, but the reward is skin so smooth it looks freshly shaved, without any of the downsides of this more painful hair removal method. The kids call it “dolphin skin” and the hype is real.

Obviously, eco-friendly razors have a lot to offer. However, there are some drawbacks:

  • Higher price. Right off the bat, you’ll pay a whole lot more for your eco-friendly razor. Depending on the brand, you can spend upwards of $100 for the razor and a few blades, so it’s definitely an investment. On the plus side, refills tend to be cheaper than traditional disposable cartridges. In the long run, you’ll save money with a safety razor.
  • Checked baggage only. If you are a committed traveler, fair warning. According to a 2018 blog post from the Transportation Security Administration, safety razor blades should be stored in checked baggage.
  • No precipitation. If you’re used to going through your shaving routine at full speed, you’ll need to slow it down to avoid nicking yourself. The key is short, ultra-soft strokes.
  • Requires maintenance. Keeping your razor in good condition probably isn’t a priority if you plan to throw it away in a few days anyway. But a safety razor is meant to stick around, so you’ll want to take care of it with a bit more care. If your razor doesn’t come with a stand, so it stands upright to dry in the shower, wipe it down (carefully) with a towel and store it in a safe place.

Best eco-friendly razor overall

Hanni the weighted razor

  • Price: $$
  • What’s included: razor, five blades, silicone travel cap

From design to accessories, Hanni does everything right.

The weighted razor has a 5 inch grooved handle made of powder coated metal. It comes in three colors, with a butterfly mechanism holding the ultra-thin blade firmly in place.

Twist the bottom of the razor and the top pops open to swap blades. Each blade is wrapped in paper and the old ones go straight into the razor bin. Zero waste, remember?

I’ll be honest – I was frankly scared to test this thing. The weight of it in my hand was a little intimidating, as well as the double-sided blade at the top. Decades of shaving experience automatically pushed me too hard, and my first pass left a nick. I released the pressure, and suddenly I could see what it was.

In addition to the quality of the handle and the well-thought-out blade tray, there is Shave Pillow, a really great shaving cream in stick form. It glides on like deodorant for the best dry shave ever. Zero hair, zero irritation and plenty of moisture.

Hanni sells a starter kit for everything you need to start shaving sustainably, including the Shave Pillow. Now that I’ve tried it, I won’t be without it.

Best eco-friendly razor for sensitive skin

YES the People The Single

  • Price: $$$
  • What’s included: razor, 10 blades

Available in limited edition rose gold and matte black, The Single is a decidedly stylish safety razor.

It’s also incredibly well done. Each razor is designed and manufactured in Germany specifically for sensitive skin, which involves considerations of angle, weight, balance and length.

Additionally, the company has limited availability each month. It’s a sign of the build quality of the product, for sure.

The company’s commitment to sustainability extends to the packaging – each razor is made from 100% cardboard.

The reviews on this one are stellar. About 92% of over 550 reviewers rave about the amazing shave, even on sensitive skin.

The most traditional ecological razor

Leaf shaving The leaf shaver

  • Price: $$$
  • What’s included: razor, 10 blades

If you love everything about a good disposable razor but the environmental record, you’re in luck. The Leaf Razor is a plastic-free razor with all the bells and whistles you know and love.

You have the option of loading up to three blades, which is quite unique, and the pivoting head makes shaving quick and easy. Built-in magnets make properly loading new blades a snap.

The sheet has a long grooved grip, and you can pay extra for a silicone sleeve if you’re worried about it getting slippery. It comes with plastic-free packaging and carbon-neutral shipping. Plus, the Leaf is compatible with any standard safety razor blade.

There are nearly 2,700 overwhelmingly positive reviews, and customers are flocking to praise the great shave they get.

Best eco-friendly razor for small places

Leaf Shaving The Twig Razor

  • Price: $$$
  • What’s included: razor, five blades

The Twig razor is the little brother of the Leaf razor: a real safety razor that can tackle shaving from head to toe but works particularly well on smaller areas, such as the bikini line or underarms.

At half the size of the standard safety razor, it’s a handy option for a close shave.

It shares the same magnetic blade-catching feature as The Leaf Razor, along with a twist-open design for simplicity.

Best eco-friendly razor for the price

EcoRoots safety razor

  • Price: $$
  • What’s included: razor, five blades

The EcoRoots razor has all the benefits of a well-made safety razor, plus it helps the planet and it’s elegant. With a chic rose gold color, it looks great in the bathroom and is more affordable than other options on this list. In addition, this razor is made of fully recyclable zinc alloy and stainless steel.

Reviewers say it’s easy to keep the razor clean and changing the blades is a snap.

Bonus points: For every razor sale, EcoRoots donates a portion of the profits to Ocean Conservancy.

The best eco-friendly razor for beginners

Rockwell 6C razors

  • Price: $$
  • What’s included: razor, five blades

If it’s possible to improve the safety razor, Rockwell Razors does it.

The Rockwell 6C Double Edge Safety Razor comes with six shaving settings, so it’s a great choice for beginners. Simply change the plates in the handle to adjust the angle of the blade for the precise amount of exposure to your hair and skin.

Different sizes are suitable for sensitive skin, fine facial hair, stubble and coarse or curly hair. According to Rockwell Razors, the design reduces the possibility of nicks and cuts, even for beginners.

The Rockwell 6C is available in three finishes and is compatible with all brands of double-edged blades.

Best eco-friendly drugstore razor

Gillette Planet KIND Starter Kit

  • Price: $
  • What’s included: razor, eight blades

When it comes to disposable razors, Gillette tops the list. But the brand’s Planet KIND line is designed in a much more eco-conscious way.

This is a traditional five-blade razor, so you won’t get the full benefits of the safety razor. But if you like a quick shave and want something you can easily buy at the drugstore, this is a reasonable option.

The razor handle is made from 60% recycled plastic, and the handle and blades can be fully recycled through TerraCycle. Gillette will even provide a free shipping label, so you can collect a bunch of used blades and send them directly to TerraCycle.

The packaging is also fully recyclable.

Best eco-friendly bamboo razor

Public Goods Bamboo Razor Handle

  • Price: $
  • What’s included: razor (blades sold separately)

Public Goods offers another metal safety razor alternative, and this one is plastic-free. The version is a refillable bamboo handle that pairs with the brand’s three-blade cartridges.

If you go this route, you might want to look into recycling old blade cartridges with TerraCycle, but at least you’ll have a sleek, sturdy handle that’s well balanced.

Reviewers are impressed with the quality for the price and the close shave they get.


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