The Best Fabric Shavers For Sofas And Couches

Sofas are some of the most used items in your home and it’s, therefore, no surprise that they bobble or start pilling over time, making your expensive purchase start to look worn.  Given the large surface area removing these annoying and ugly little balls of fabric from sofas can be difficult by hand, so we’ve listed the best automatic fabric shavers for debobbling sofas.  

For those that want to work in a non-automated way, we have a guide to removing bobbles from clothes if you’re interested in the various options available.

In this guide to the best fabric shavers for sofas and couches, you'll learn:

  • What to look for in a fabric shaver
  • What pilling is
  • The best fabric shaver options on the market today
  • And much more...

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What are you looking for in a fabric shaver to tackle sofa debobbling?

Firstly, what are you looking for in a fabric shaver to tackle jobs that cover larger surface areas? We thinks it’s really all about four things:

  • The surface area of the cutter. With the size of a sofa you want a nice big cutting zone, so you can efficiently cover large areas in the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Good battery or charge life. Again, this is all about the size of the job at hand. You want to make sure the fabric shaver you use to tackle the job has a good amount of charge available or doesn’t drain the batteries really quickly.
  • Comfort. The more comfortable the handle of the fabric shaver is, the better is for large debobbling jobs like a sofa. Fabric Shavers do vibrate, so finding one with an ergonomic handle will make your life easier and more comfortable.
  • Speed. You don't want to be spending your whole day removing bobbles, so the faster and more efficient the fabric shaver is, the better it is for you!

So now we know what we’re looking for in a fabric shaver to tackle the big job of de-pilling a sofa, which shavers are best.

Best fabric shaver for cutter surface area

A number of shavers on the market have a similar surface area, but the one we like for large surface areas is the Philips GC026 Fabric Shaver. The particular model is very robust, is easy to use and has a good cutter surface area making it easy to cover large areas such as sofa cushions.  

The well-known brand and warranty available with this shaver also give a good level of comfort. For more specific information, we have a more detailed Philips GC026 review.

Philips GC026 Fabric Shaver

Best fabric shaver for battery or charge life

The question here is whether you want a battery-powered fabric shaver that lasts well for the big job of removing pills from a sofa or a rechargeable USB powered option. We’re big fans of the rechargeable shavers available on the market, so have decided that the Magictec Rechargeable Fabric Shaver is the best choice in this particular category. 

It takes around 2 hours for each charge giving you around 60 minutes of shaving time, so you should have more than enough time to remove bobbles from a sofa and a couple of chairs for each charge.

Magictec Rechargeable Fabric Shaver

Best fabric shaver for comfort

With any fabric shaver, there’s some vibration during use, so it’s important that you choose a model that is comfortable when undertaking a large debobbling job like a sofa. Some of the cheaper options available are basic in design when it comes to the handle, but there are some more expensive options that are ergonomic and are very comfortable even when used for a long period of time.

Our preference is the Sunbeam S20 Professional Fabric Shaver. Maybe the fact that they describe it as “Professional” is a give-away, but this is a super comfortable option and its specifically designed handle makes it great for large jobs. 

Sunbeam S20 Professional Fabric Shaver

Best Fabric Shaver for Speed

If you're looking to get the job done quickly, you'll need a heavy duty and robust fabric shaver. Whilst not the cheapest option on the market, the professional grade Mugensa Mach5 Rechargeable Fabric Shaver is the one for you. It powers over fabric, is super easy to use and really cleans those bobbles off quickly and efficiently. Let's face it says it all in the name - Mach5 is very fast!

Best all-round fabric shaver for sofas 

So which shaver has all of these attributes and is the best overall option for removing unsightly bobbles from your favourite sofa? We believe it’s a close call between the “Apple iPhone” of the fabric shaver world, the Steamery Pilo Fabric Shaver, or the Fiboomerang Electric Lint Shaver. Both are very capable of dobbling a sofa, but we feel the cheaper, and better value for money option of the Fiboomerang just takes it - essentially it’s more bang for you buck, but it is a close shave…literally!

Fiboomerang Electric Lint Shaver

What is Pilling

Put very simply a pilling definition is "the formation of small balls of thread on the surface of a material".

When pilling occurs on furniture, it can look like little lumps of material or bobbles, which are formed when the fibres in the fabric pucker and intertwine.

Pilling can occur on any type of fabric, but it is most common with fabrics that contain a lot of short or broken-up fibres, such as polyester or viscose.

Where pilling occurs on upholstery or furniture, it is most commonly found where the fabric creases or around hard ware areas. Essentially, the more an area is used, the more likely it is to suffer from pilling.

We hope this guide helps you keep your sofa free from bobbles. If you’re interested in finding out more about Fabric Shavers we have a guide to the best bobble removers and a review of the best fabric shavers of 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a fabric shaver damage my clothes?

If used correctly, you shouldn’t damage your clothes. But, for more delicate fabrics such as wool or cashmere be careful not to get too vigorous with how you run the shaver over the surface of your garment as they can snag and pull the threads.

One of the best ways to make sure a fabric shaver is suitable for a particular item is to try it on a small section of the garment first.

Can a fabric shaver be used on all fabric types?

Yes, a fabric shaver can be used on all fabric types that might pill or bobble. They are also safe to use on upholstery, curtains and carpets. 

Fabric Shavers have sharp blades. Can I hurt myself? 

A fabric shaver is designed with safety in mind and whilst they do have sharp blades, the blades are positioned behind a safety cover. As a result, and providing you use the shaver according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you certainly shouldn’t hurt yourself.

Our editors have independently selected and reviewed all of the products you see here. The reviews can contain links from affiliates, which means we may receive a small commission on editorially chosen products purchased through our links.

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