The 8 Best Lice Combs of 2021

Brush away bugs — fast!

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First Look

Best Overall: Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb at Amazon

"Non-toxic and pesticide free, this lice comb is made of stainless steel and has anti-slip bands for maximum grip."

Best Budget: LiceMeister Head Lice & Nit Removal Comb at Amazon

"Reusable in case multiple rounds of removal are needed, LiceMeister's comb just needs to be boiled after each use."

Best Electric: V-Comb Electric Head Lice Comb at Amazon

"No squinting or hovering needed, this electric comb instantly vacuums head lice and nits for fuss-free removal."

Best for Fine Hair: Fairy Tales Terminator Nit-Free Comb at Ulta

"Ideal for those with thin hair due to the long, stainless steel teeth that end in a spiral."

Best for Thick Hair: OwnHealer Head Lice Comb Set at Amazon

"A 3-in-1 set, OwnHealer's various combs have their own functionality, so you'll have a higher chance of removing pesky lice."

Best for Kids: Nix 2-Sided Lice Comb at Amazon

"One side is dedicated to lice removal while the other is made for detangling."

Best with Magnifier: Ezy Dose Lighted Lice Comb at Amazon

"The Velma of lice combs, it comes equipped with a magnifying glass and a light to pinpoint any hard to see nits."

Best for Pets: Safari Double Row Flea Comb at Amazon

"Navigate your pet's coat with Safari's comb to detect any lice or fleas that have made their way into their fur."

Every movie with a lice scene makes the treatment process look like a big to-do, with trash bags and special shampoo products everywhere. But the truth is, all you need is a professional-grade lice comb and a lot of patience. 

An estimated six to 12 million lice infestations happen in the United States each year among kids ages three to 11, reports the CDC. While there’s no particular season when lice cases are more prevalent, parents tend to find lice during summertime when kids are at camp and when they return to school after breaks, says Lauren Salzberg of Potomac Lice Lady in Potomac, Maryland. “You'll see an uptick because people are together, they're traveling, and they're visiting people,” she explains. 

It’s recommended to see a lice specialist when dealing with cases, but successfully completing the job by yourself at home is more than doable with the help of a trusted comb. 

Here are the best lice combs on the market today.

Best Overall: Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb

Nit Free Lice Comb

Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to choosing a professional lice comb, Salzberg says you want to “make sure the comb is metal and that the teeth are very, very close together. It should also be riveted and micro-grooved.” That’s why the Nit Free Terminator is a great option with its spiral, micro-grooved teeth that easily get underneath hair strands and lift up the tiniest of nits. 

Not only do the rounded teeth ends make the removal process painless by eliminating any scratches or pricking to the scalp, but the handle’s anti-slip bands also make it easy to maintain a strong grip throughout. When it’s all said and done, the comb can be sanitized without fear of corrosion and used again on any head. 

Best Budget: LiceMeister Head Lice & Nit Removal Comb

Approved by the National Pediculosis Association, the LiceMeister can handle any type of hair: thick or curly, dry or wet. It’s a safe and cost-effective way to remove lice without tapping harmful pesticides. The comb is easy to hold onto with its large, unbreakable handle and comes with an educational “Critter Card” to show parents what to look for when searching through hair for nits. 

This feature helps keep people informed throughout the process, which is important because there’s a lot of misinformation out there, says Salzberg. She also suggests refraining from conducting too many Google searches because they can lead you down some dangerous roads. You just need to know the basic facts. Luckily, the “Critter Card” has you covered and the cleanup of this comb is almost as easy as the cleanup of lice. Just boil the comb after use to clean it.

Best Electric: V-Comb Electric Head Lice Comb

“The eradication of head lice is a process and it takes time and patience,” warns Salzberg, but if strategically scouring for head lice and eggs isn’t your thing, V-Comb’s Electric Head Lice Comb will make life a whole lot simpler. With this easy-to-use vacuum, you can forget about all the squinting, holding your hands at uncomfortable angles, and convincing your kids to sit still

The rounded, stainless steel comb glides through the scalp as it simultaneously sucks up all the lice and eggs into a disposable capture filter. You don’t even have to look at the squirmy little things—just detach the lid and toss the filter away for clean disposal.

Best for Fine Hair: Fairy Tales Terminator Nit-Free Comb

Fairy tales

Although lice do not discriminate and seek out any available head, they do have an easier time finding their way into the scalps of those with thinner hair. Due to the shape of the hair follicles, lice have an easier time attaching to strands and staying there. That’s why it’s important to invest in a comb built for grabbing fine strands of hair and pulling nits off the scalp. 

Fairy Tales’ Nit Free Comb is effective because of its long, metal teeth that end in a microscopic tight spiral. The comb can be used on dry or partially wet hair, just as long as the hair is untangled with a regular comb first. “Something as simple as a spray bottle mixed with conditioner and water is really all you need to tackle head lice with a good professional lice comb,” confirms Salzberg. 

Best for Thick Hair: OwnHealer Head Lice Comb Set

Sometimes thick hair needs a little more TLC, and that’s why OwnHealer’s Head Lice Comb Set comes with three professional lice combs designed to discover any louse, nit, or eggs that try to hide between the heavy curls covering someone’s head. Thick hair requires a sturdy comb, which is why this set comes with two stainless steel options—one with straight teeth and the other with rounded edges and a rounded eco-plastic top for an easier grip—and one two-sided plastic comb to help detangle strands. This set is loved for its versatility and its ability to tackle lice removal from all hair textures and lengths. The only downside is that it might not be able to catch very small nits. 

Best for Kids: Nix 2-Sided Lice Comb

Made by a pediatrician-recommended lice treatment brand, the Nix 2-Sided Lice Comb works for a variety of hair types. The side with fine teeth is perfect for straight hair and removing lice and nits, while the other side with wide teeth is designed to untangle tight curls. Despite having a side dedicated to detangling, it’s important to remove all styling products and thoroughly comb out the hair prior to starting treatment. 

The initial comb out can take some time, says Salzburg, but luckily, with such a large, wide-grip handle to hold onto, your fingers are kept out of the way and your hand can stay comfortable for hours. After that first big comb out, Salzburg reassures the process becomes much easier and only 15 minutes need to be dedicated to a nightly comb through for seven consecutive days.

Best with Magnifier: Ezy Dose Lighted Lice Comb

If Nancy Drew or Harriet the Spy were lice detectives, this is the comb they would use. Even if you trust your naked eye, a magnifying glass and light might be necessary in order to find the sneakiest of nits. Ezy Dose’s comb comes with both so that you don't have to worry about missing any because of low lighting or nits hiding in hard-to-reach areas around the ears and neck. With both long and short stainless steel pin options, this comb is durable and made to withstand repeated uses. It’s time to collect some nits. 

Best for Pets: Safari Double Row Flea Comb

With your pets running outside and frolicking by the woods, the chances of them bringing home a little critter friend is relatively high. The Double Row Flea Comb comes in handy when trying to rid your cat or dog of any lice, fleas, or debris. Its tightly spaced teeth allow for easy examination of the coat; just make sure to pay close attention to areas around the ears, neck, and tail. Pests tend to gravitate to them for a nice hiding spot. This comb also makes it easier to detect if your pet has dry skin or is suffering from a rash or sore. 

Final Verdict

The Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb (view at Amazon) and LiceMeister Head Lice & Nit Removal Comb (view at Amazon) are two of the most reliable lice treatment tools on the market. Their tight, micro-grooved steel teeth make it easy to remove nits and can do so without causing any discomfort.

What to Look for in a Lice Comb


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.


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. 

Additional Treatments:

A lice comb should be able to do the job alone without relying on additional shampoos or products for treatment. If at-home treatment doesn’t work, contact your dermatologist for guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the best way to get rid of head lice?

    Shampoos and combs can both be effective tools to rid hair of lice. According to Dr. Yan, both methods have their pros and cons. “Combing is time-intensive and requires multiple rounds of combing to catch any lice and nits, while shampoos and topical treatments still require effort. The problem is that many lice have developed resistance to common head lice treatments, so some kids need additional options for treatment such as newer over-the-counter prescription.” Dr. Yan says that another thing parents may want to consider is the fact that some of these shampoos have neurotoxins that can be absorbed via the scalp. If combing is the method you choose, know that with patience, willpower, and some good tools you can rid any scalp of head lice. 

What Experts Say

"Head lice are attracted to the scalp environment in humans due to a combination of temperature and odor. Studies have actually shown that head lice are preferentially attracted to odors of the human scalp more so than other areas of the body such as the forearms and feet."

Albert C. Yan, M.D., Dermatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

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Having been raised by two medical professionals, Amari Pollard understands the importance of health literacy. As a seasoned health writer, she is committed to producing well-researched and well-sourced product reviews to help people make informed medical decisions.

Additional reporting to this story by Janae Price

As a health writer, Janae Price understands the importance of a knowledgeable and honest review. When there are so many different opinions out there, it's great to have a concise answer that cuts through all the junk online. Every product in this piece has been thoroughly researched and sourced by professionals with potential user needs in mind.

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Article Sources
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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently asked questions (FAQs). Updated September 17, 2021.

  2. Flores-Genuino RNS, Gnilo CMS, Dofitas BL. Occlusive versus neurotoxic agents for topical treatment of head lice infestation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Pediatr Dermatol. 2020 Jan;37(1):86-92. doi: 10.1111/pde.14016