The 8 Best Lice Combs of 2021

Brush away bugs — fast!

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Our Top Picks
Non-toxic and pesticide free, this lice comb is made of stainless steel and has anti-slip bands for maximum grip.
Reusable in case multiple rounds of removal are needed, LiceMeister's comb just needs to be boiled after each use.
No squinting or hovering needed, this electric comb instantly vacuums head lice and nits for fuss-free removal.
Ideal for those with thin hair due to the long, stainless steel teeth that end in a spiral.
A 3-in-1 set, OwnHealer's various combs have their own functionality, so you'll have a higher chance of removing pesky lice.
One side is dedicated to lice removal while the other is made for detangling.
The Velma of lice combs, it comes equipped with a magnifying glass and a light to pinpoint any hard to see nits.
Navigate your pet's coat with Safari's comb to detect any lice or fleas that have made their way into their fur.

Head lice can happen on someone for a variety of reasons and it does not mean someone is dirty or lacks good hygiene habits. Head lice is pretty common, highly transmissible, doesn’t indicate poor hygiene and it’s impossible to entirely prevent it in children,” says Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a dermatologist and founder of Dr. Bailey Skin Care. Often lice spreads when an infected individual’s head touches someone else’s head, which is called “head-to-head” contact. “ Lice don’t ‘jump’ or ‘fly’, but they do crawl,” Dr. Bailey says. “They may live briefly on a pillowcase, hat, comb or brush, but this form of transmission poses only a small risk because head lice can only live one to two days away from their ‘host’.” 

Dr. Rebecca Tung, a dermatologist with Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers, warns that often people can be asymptomatic when they first become asymptomatic. “Later, the most common symptom is itching on the head and neck,” she adds. “People also say they feel the sensation of something moving in their hair.” Additional symptoms include feeling irritable or being unable to sleep. “You can also get sores on your head from itching that can become infected with bacteria,” Dr. Tung says. 

Luckily it is possible to treat a lice infestation with a proper comb. Dr. Tung recommends a comb “with narrow spacing between thin metal teeth” to capture any louse (adult lice) or nits (lice eggs) that could be on the scalp. First, wash the hair with normal shampoo and conditioner before detangling it with a regular comb, Dr. Bailey recommends. Then switch to the head lice comb. “Start each stroke using the lice comb from the roots/scalp with the beveled edge lightly touching the scalp. Draw the comb along the entire hair to the end,” she says. “Check the comb for lice after each stroke and remove them by rinsing or wiping the comb.” 

We researched dozens of lice combs and evaluated them for reviews, brush size, number of teeth, reusability, ease of use, and price. Each of the combs chosen in this article were determined to be the best of these factors.

Here are the best lice combs on the market today.

Best Overall: Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb

Nit Free Lice Comb
Pros
  • Close teeth

  • Reusable

  • Prevents scratching and pain

Cons
  • Can pull out hair

  • Comb can rust over time

Finding the right comb to remove lice as well as small nits can be challenging. The Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb was created with the removal of lice and tiny eggs in mind. On the comb is more than 30 spiral micro-grooved teeth created specifically to get underneath the hair and remove any pesky nits and lice burrowing against the scalp. 

The rounded tooth ends were created specifically with the user in mind because they prevent any prickling or scratching of the scalp that can often happen when attempting to remove lice. Besides the rounded tooth ends, the brush also features anti-slip bands and a handle to make it easy to guide the brush through the hair. 

Number of Teeth: 30+ | Multiple Brush Sizes: No

Best Budget: Licemeister Lice & Nit Removal Comb

Licemeister Lice Comb Kit
Pros
  • Price

  • Two brush heads

  • Includes informational flyer

  • Reusable

Cons
  • Reviewers say teeth not close enough

  • Can pull out hair

Worrying about how to remove lice shouldn’t also come with a financial strain. LiceMeister Lice & Nit Removal Comb makes it easy and affordable to safely remove any nits or lice from the surface of the head. The lice comb, which is approved by the National Pediculosis Association, is constructed with stainless steel teeth that are capable of combing through all types of hair to remove any lice or nits. 

What sets this comb apart from others is that the company includes a “Critter Card” and comb cleaner to help with the lice removal. The educational card details important information on topics like regular screenings, early detection, accurate identification of lice and nits, and thorough removal of any infestation. Customers say the comb is very user-friendly and easy to clean.

Number of Teeth: 30+ | Multiple Brush Sizes: Yes

Best Electric: V-Comb Electric Head Lice Comb

V-Comb Lice Treatment
Pros
  • Combs and sucks to lift lice and eggs

  • Reusable

  • Requires no chemicals

Cons
  • Price

  • Suction could be stronger

Removing lice from the head can be a multi-day process in order to capture the entire infestation. The V-Comb helps make that process either with its combination of combing and sucking out any lice and eggs that could be buried in someone’s hair. How the device works is you simply turn it on and comb it through the hair. The suction will pull any eggs, lice, or dandruff into the device where it will be captured in a small disposable filter. 

Although the product might be pricier than other combs on the market, reviewers say it works to capture louse at all stages of their life, including the eggs. Also, the product boasts not needing to use any chemicals to further remove the infestation, making it a natural removal process that can be gentler against the scalp.

Number of teeth: 40+ | Multiple Brush Sizes: No

Best for Fine Hair: Fairy Tales Terminator Metal Lice & Nit Comb

Fairy tales
Pros
  • Close together teeth

  • Doesn’t scratch heads

  • Easy to clean

Cons
  • Can pull hair

  • No additional brush heads

For fine hair, a comb that has close teeth is essential to help get in and remove any lice or nits that are on the scalp. The Fairy Tales Terminator comb combs with over 30 long, metal teeth that are spaced close together to remove any pesky lice. Each tooth is formulated with a tight spiral and rounded edge. Together, this combination works to remove anything in its track while also preventing scratching and scraping against the scalp. 

These brushes are also easy to clean, making it a great device if you intend to use it for multiple family members. Customers say the brush was a great value for how much it was able to remove lice given its affordable price. 

Number of Teeth: 30+ | Multiple Brush Sizes: No

Best for Thick Hair: Ownhealer Lice Comb 3-Pack

Ownhealer Lice Comb Set
Pros
  • Multiple brush heads

  • Ease of use

  • Price

Cons
  • Can pull hair

  • Brush teeth can lack durability

The concern with thick hair is sometimes brushes with too close of teeth might snag more when brushing through. But Ownhealer Lice Comb helps solve this problem by including multiple brush heads for the user. This allows for someone to brush through the scalp at different stages of the process with different heads that feel the most comfortable for the user. 

Two stainless steel options are incorporated in the package because thick hair often requires sturdier bristles. Additionally, a plastic comb is also included that can help get some of the smaller lice and nits that might be hiding underneath the hair. Reviewers say that the combination of combs is able to capture lice at multiple stages of life.

Number of Teeth: 30+ | Multiple Brush Sizes: Yes

What the Experts Say

"Look for lice on the scalp to determine if you have lice. Usually, only 20 or less live lice are present, so search thoroughly." — Dr. Cynthia Bailey

Best for Kids: NIX 2-Sided Metal Lice Removal Comb

Nix Lice Removal and Hair Detangler Comb
Pros
  • Designed for multiple hair types

  • Price

  • Detangles hair

Cons
  • Bristles can lack durability

  • Reviewers say teeth should be closer

Children are often the ones who experience a lice infestation, so it is important to find a comb that will be kid-friendly when removing them. This comb comes with two different sides that have differing brush heads, which can help when attempting to detangle and remove lice at the same time. Whether your child has fine hair or thick hair, this comb is designed to work in a variety of settings to remove lice and nits. 

When using the comb, first remove any product that might be in the hair. Then use the wide-tooth side to gently detangle and remove any snarls in the hair. The fine-tooth side can then go deeper into the hair to pull out the lice and nits that are resting against the scalp.

Number of Teeth: 13-30+ | Multiple Brush Sizes: Yes

What the Experts Say

“It’s important to realize how contagious head lice are, how tenaciously you need to treat it and to retreat it in two weeks and/or after any incident where you think you may have been reinfested. A third treatment seven days later may help as well.” — Dr. Cynthia Bailey

Best with Magnifier: EZY DOSE Stainless Steel Lice Comb

EZY DOSE Stainless Steel Lice Comb
Pros
  • Magnifying glass and light included

  • Price

  • Multiple brush heads

Cons
  • Can pull hair

  • Sharp teeth can scratch

Lice and nits can be very small, making it hard for the naked eye to distinguish if they are actually on the scalp or if it is just dandruff. That’s where this comb can come in. It comes equipped with a magnifying glass and light to assist when looking for any lice or nits on someone’s scalp. The Ezy Dose comb also comes with stainless steel brushes on both sides, which allows it to capture lice and nits of all different sizes. Additionally, the comb is easy to clean, so you can use it for multiple uses.

Number of Teeth: 30+ | Multiple Brush Sizes: Yes

Best for Pets: Safari Dog Flea Comb

Safari Dog Flea Comb
Pros
  • Double row of teeth

  • Price

  • Tightly spaced teeth

Cons
  • Teeth too short for long fur

  • Fleas can catch between rows

Pets can also be a worry for attracting any fleas, lice, or nits while they wander around outdoors. The Safari Dog Flea Comb comes equipped with a double row of teeth, which works to remove more pesky critters when it is brushed through the animal’s fur. When using, first detangle the animal’s coat by using a regular brush. Then take the flea comb through the same area to remove any lice, fleas, or nits that have burrowed against the skin. It is then recommended to dip the comb into a mild detergent between strokes to help remove any critters that are captured during the brushing.

Number of Teeth: 50+ | Multiple Brush Sizes: No

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a comb that will be durable and work in most settings, we recommend the Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb (view at Amazon). For a comb that is more affordable but also includes helpful additions, we recommend the LiceMeister Head Lice & Nit Removal Comb (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in a Lice Comb

Teeth

According to Albert C. Yan, M.D., a dermatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, you’ll want to use a lice comb with teeth that are close together. “My favorites are the metal nit combs—they provide the best results at getting rid of lice and nits and work better than the plastic combs.” These are long-lasting and sturdy enough to carry lice away from the scalp. As long as teeth are long, tightly packed, and riveted, the easier it will be to remove lice from the scalp.

Dr. Bailey recommends looking for a comb with spacing of 0.2 to 0.3mm apart to properly capture any louse. “The teeth should be just barely wider than the hair,” she says. Nits, which are lice eggs, are typically smaller and harder to capture, so this requires even smaller gaps in the combs teeth. Ultimately, for treatment, a nit comb with teeth spaced 0.09 to 0.19mm apart is thought to provide the needed traction for the removal of eggs and nits,” she says. Metal combs are also preferred by Dr. Bailey compared to plastic ones. 

Grip

Having to constantly readjust your hands while combing through the scalp is not only annoying but also ineffective. To avoid losing your grip, buy a comb with a handle that is thick and padded enough to provide extra support. Also, sometimes it is easier to manage lice removal if you have someone else combing through your head instead of trying to do it on yourself. “Having a family member or friend help you do the comb out can make a big difference in terms of faster resolution,” Dr. Tung says. “There are even services who specialize in combing out lice if you need help.” 

Brushing the comb through damp hair can also assist in comfortability and your ability to keep a firm grip on the brush as you move it against the scalp.

Additional Treatments

Treating lice can be a tedious process, but it is important to kill the entire infestation to make sure no lice or nits come back. “Yes, using a head lice comb is one important part of treatment but curing head lice takes more including: Washing hats, scarves, coats, bedding, brushes and combs,” Dr. Bailey says. Pillows and any fabric items should ideally be washed in hot water at about 60 degrees Celsius and then dried in a dryer at a high heat of 60 degrees Celsius, she adds. This will help ensure any live lice and nits are dead. “Even though lice are not thought to live on carpet, it does not hurt to vacuum the carpet and furniture in the room of a person infested with head lice,” Dr. Bailey says. 

Lice can be very contagious, which is why it is an important step to wash fabric surfaces that also potentially came in contact with the infestation. “Fortunately, lice when not on the person only survive 1-2 days,” Dr. Tung says. When removing lice from someone, Dr. Tung says over-the-counter treatments could also work besides just using a comb. “These treatments (containing pyrethrin or permethrin) are left in for the recommended period of time then rinsed out,” she says. “After 8-12 hours, you’ll comb out dead lice with a fine tooth comb.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I clean my lice comb?

    One key characteristic to look for when purchasing a comb is that it will be able to withstand multiple washes in between uses. This is because these combs need to be cleaned after every removal session to ensure no live lice or nits are lingering on the surface. “After you are done using the comb, clean with soap and hot water,” Dr. Tung says. “Rinse in hot water for 10 to 30 minutes then dry and wipe with alcohol.” This process will ensure every lice and nit is removed from the comb prior to putting it away.

  • When should I seek medical help to remove lice?

    At-home treatment can often be sufficient in controlling the lice infestation, but sometimes medical assistance can be necessary. If in the course of your at-home treatment you are not finding any dead lice but still many live ones or having persistent, worsening or new symptoms, you should see a doctor as prescription treatment may be needed,” Dr. Tung says. “These prescription ingredients include topical benzyl alcohol and ivermectin (recently approved to be over the counter).” 

     

    Dr. Bailey adds that people should also see medical attention if they are having an allergic reaction to the saliva. “Scratching the itchy scalp can lead to impetigo,” she says. “If you are struggling to get rid of the lice infestation and/or the itching is not going away, it’s time to seek medical attention.”

What the Experts Say

“Beware of the group shot selfie, sharing hats or helmets, brushes or combs, or laying on pillows linens that an infested person has recently used. If you suspect you may have been in contact with someone who might have lice, check your hair!” — Dr. Rebecca Tung, a dermatologist with Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers

Why Trust Verywell Health?

As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.

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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sladden, Michael J, and Graham A Johnston. “More common skin infections in children.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 330,7501 (2005): 1194-8. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7501.1194