Emsculpt NEO vs CoolSculpting Elite: What’s the Difference?

Book Appointment for Emsculpt NEO vs CoolSculpting Elite: What’s the Difference?

measuring waist, tape measure, woman, workout clothes

Emsculpt NEO and CoolSculpting Elite are two non-surgical body sculpting treatments that can slim and sculpt the shape of your body. Both of these treatments are able to eliminate stubborn body fat and help patients achieve a physique that may not be possible with a standard diet and exercise alone. Yet, while they’re similar in many ways, the two treatments have core differences that can affect which is right for you and your unique body. 

To help you understand the difference between Emsculpt NEO and CoolSculpting Elite, we’re taking a closer look at how they compare. First, we’ll share the basic information you need to know about each treatment. Then, we’ll go over the 5 main differences between Emsculpt NEO and CoolSculpting Elite. 

What is Emsculpt NEO? 

Emsculpt NEO is a non-invasive body sculpting treatment that builds muscle, burns fat, and slightly tightens the skin. Emsculpt NEO is most commonly used to tone the abdomen or lift the buttocks, but it can also be used to treat the arms, calves, and thighs. 

How Does it Work?

Emsculpt NEO is an evolved form of Emsculpt. Like Emsculpt, Emsculpt NEO uses High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic energy (HIFEM energy) to stimulate intense muscle contractions called supramaximal contractions. These contractions are faster and more intense than the muscle contractions you experience during a regular workout. In just one 30-minute session, Emsculpt causes as many contractions as 20,000 sit-ups or squats. The muscles in the treated area adapt and grow muscle fibers and cells, increasing muscle mass by 25% on average. 

Emsculpt NEO uses the same HIFEM energy as Emsculpt to stimulate muscle growth, then also features radiofrequency heating technology that can burn fat and slightly tighten the skin. During an Emsculpt NEO treatment, radiofrequency energy quickly raises the temperature of the muscles by several degrees. Within 4 minutes, temperatures in the subcutaneous fat around the muscles rise enough to cause apoptosis, a type of intentional cell death that permanently destroys fat cells. The body then works to remove these fat cells from the body, leaving behind a slimmer physique. On average, Emsculpt NEO reduces subcutaneous fat by 30%. The radiofrequency heating used in Emsculpt NEO also slightly tightens the skin, a positive side effect that can further enhance muscle definition. 

Why Get Emsculpt NEO? 

Emsculpt NEO does three things: it tones the muscles, it slims the body by eliminating fat cells, and it slightly tightens the skin. But while Emsculpt NEO is a multipurpose treatment, its primary goal is increasing muscle definition. Tightening the skin and reducing the fat layer on the muscle can help achieve that goal, but the core focus of Emsculpt is toning and strengthening the muscles themselves. 

What is CoolSculpting Elite? 

CoolSculpting Elite is the latest form of CoolSculpting, a body contouring treatment that freezes and eliminates stubborn fat. CoolSculpting Elite can target excess fat on nine areas of the body: the abdomen, flanks (love handles), thighs, bra fat area, back fat area, underneath the buttocks (banana roll), upper arms, under the chin, and under the jaw. 

How Does it Work? 

CoolSculpting uses a scientific process called cryolipolysis to permanently kill fat cells. During a CoolSculpting treatment, unwanted fat is cooled to a freezing temperature. This kills targeted fat cells in the area. The body then starts working to remove these dead fat cells for good, resulting in permanent fat reduction. A single CoolSculpting session can remove up to 25% of the fat in the treated area. 

CoolSculpting Elite uses the same fat freezing technology as traditional CoolSculpting to sculpt the body but comes with a variety of improvements. Elite applicators remove between 20 and 25% of targeted fat per visit, while legacy CoolSculpting applicators remove around 18 to 20%. Additionally, Elite applicators can address two treatment areas at once, while simultaneously covering 18% more skin surface compared to the previous generation of applicators. This can significantly reduce treatment times. Elite applicators are also more precise, quiet, and comfortable compared to legacy applicators. 

Why Get CoolSculpting Elite? 

CoolSculpting Elite is a fat reduction treatment that’s used to slim and shape the body. It’s important to note that CoolSculpting is not a weight-loss treatment, so it’s not for patients who primarily want to lose weight. CoolSculpting is best for treating stubborn pockets of fat that are hard to get rid of through diet and exercise alone. For example, if someone is generally in good shape, but has love handles or a double chin that won’t go away, CoolSculpting may be a great treatment option for them. 

Emsculpt vs. CoolSculpting

Emsculpt NEO and CoolSculpting Elite have a lot in common. They’re both FDA-approved, non-invasive body sculpting treatments that involve little to no downtime. But these treatments utilize different technologies, which affect what they treat best, who they can treat, what they feel like, how often they should be used for optimal results, and which parts of the body they can be used on.

Difference #1: Muscle Building vs. Fat Loss

The biggest difference between Emsculpt NEO and CoolSculpting is what they target and treat. Emsculpt NEO is used to build muscle and eliminate fat, while CoolSculpting is used solely to achieve fat loss. CoolSculpting is only used to reduce fat and is considered the gold standard non-surgical body sculpting treatment for fat loss. Emsculpt NEO is generally best for those who are focused more on building muscle rather than losing fat but can also be a good choice for those who would like both results. 

Difference #2: Ideal Candidates 

Both Emsculpt NEO and CoolSculpting are best for people who are close to their ideal body weight and lead a healthy, active lifestyle. However, the exact candidacy requirements, especially in terms of BMI and contraindications, vary. Dr. Zadeh can help you understand whether you’re a good candidate for one or both treatments during your consultation appointment. 

Difference #3: Treatment Experience 

Emsculpt NEO and CoolSculpting utilize different types of technology, so they feel quite different to receive. 

Emsculpt NEO induces supramaximal contractions and applies heat energy. Patients feel these intense, but not painful, muscle contractions during treatment, along with a warming sensation that’s often compared to the sensation of a hot stone massage. After an Emsculpt treatment, patients may experience the same type of soreness you might get after an intense workout. 

CoolSculpting Elite kills fat cells by freezing them. During a CoolSculpting treatment, a CoolSculpting applicator holds and applies cooling energy to the treatment area. This can feel like pinching or tugging and can feel very cold for the first 5 to 10 minutes. After this, the area usually becomes numb. Once the treatment is complete, the area is massaged, which may cause a temporary feeling of tingling or discomfort. 

Difference #4: Maintenance Requirements 

CoolSculpting Elite and Emsculpt NEO have different maintenance requirements. After a patient has finished their CoolSculpting treatment plan and achieved their optimal results, their results should remain permanent as long as they don’t gain weight. The fat loss from Emsculpt NEO is also usually permanent provided the patient doesn’t gain weight. However, gains in muscle tone are not. These will fade with time in the same way muscles do when you stop working out. Patients who want to maintain the muscle definition they achieved from Emsculpt NEO can get follow-up treatments every 3 to 6 months. 

Difference #5: Treatment Areas 

Emsculpt NEO and CoolSculpting Elite have different possible treatment areas. Depending on the area of the body you’re looking to treat, you may be able to pick between the two treatments or you may only have one option. 

Emsculpt NEO is FDA-cleared to treat the: 

  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Arms 
  • Calves
  • Thighs

CoolSculpting Elite is FDA-cleared for the treatment of: 

  • Submental Area (Under the Chin)
  • Submandibular Area (Under the Jawline) 
  • Thighs
  • Abdomen
  • Flanks (Love Handles)
  • Bra Fat
  • Back Fat
  • Area Underneath the Buttocks (Banana Roll) 
  • Upper Arms