Best hair dryer

Hair Products

The best hair dryers can help you get rid of split ends, achieve new looks and leave your hair feeling shiny and silky.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which hair dryers are best?

You might think that all hair dryers are essentially the same, but the best hair dryers can help you lose split ends, achieve new looks and leave your hair feeling shiny and silky. And the wrong hair dryer can actually give you a bad hair day. That’s why it’s so important to find the perfect hair dryer, like the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.

What to know before you buy a hair dryer

Wattage

The more wattage your hair dryer has, the more powerful it tends to be and the less time it takes to actually dry your hair. Hair dryers with about 1,800 watts usually work well for fine hair. If you have coarse or thick hair, you should find a hair dryer with 2,000 to 3,600 watts.

Materials

Selecting the right hair dryer material for your hair type is important. Ceramic hair dryers tend to work fairly well for most hair types, but titanium hair dryers are not the best option for damage-prone hair, like color-treated or dry locks. 

Ergonomics

You should choose a hair dryer that is comfortable to hold, particularly if you are going to be using your dryer for long periods of time. Try to find a lightweight dryer with an ergonomic grip so your hand and arm don’t get tired while you’re drying your hair.

What to look for in a quality hair dryer

Speeds

Most hair dryers feature different speed settings, which enable you to adjust the airflow and heat levels separately for better control. It’s important to find a hair dryer that comes with at least two speed settings, if not more, including low and high settings. For improved versatility, you should find a hair dryer that comes with a third medium speed setting.

Heat settings

Nearly every hair dryer on the market features at least two heat settings, including low and high. That being said, it’s usually best to choose a hair dryer that comes with more heat settings, like a medium heat.

You should also find a hair dryer with a cool shot setting, which enables you to switch to cool hair when your hair is almost dry in order to seal hair cuticles for extra shine. The cool shot setting can also assist you with making your waves or curls look their best.

Accessories

If you want more versatility, then you should find a hair dryer that comes with multiple accessories. Diffusers, for example, can help distribute the heat over a wider area of your hair to help you maintain a natural texture, particularly if you have wavy or curly hair. A concentrator nozzle can focus the heat in particular areas to help you tame any frizz. It can also be helpful if you straighten your hair with your hair dryer.

How much you can expect to spend on a hair dryer

You can expect to spend anywhere from $20-$400 for a hair dryer. If you are worried about heat damage to your hair, then you should purchase a high-end hair dryer that distributes the heat more evenly and comes with top-quality materials. 

These high-end hair dryers cost at least $50. It’s also important to consider that the high-end hair dryers usually last much longer than the affordable options. For example, hair dryers that cost about $100 usually last five to 10 years, while budget-friendly models that cost only $30 typically last only about two years.

Hair dryer FAQ

What features can make a hair dryer easier to maintain?

A. A hair dryer is typically easier to clean if it includes a removable filter on the back. The removable filter makes it very simple to remove any lint from the vents so that the lint doesn’t damage the motor or the heating element.

Which kind of hair dryer should you buy if you’re concerned about noise?

A. All hair dryers make some kind of noise, but some hair dryer models tend to be louder than others. You might think that the professional grade and powerful hair dryers are the loudest ones, but those are generally quieter than the budget-friendly hair dryers.

What does it mean if a hair dryer features infrared heat?

A. Infrared heat uses longer heat waves than other heating elements, which enables the heat to penetrate and dry the hair shaft from the inside out. Infrared offers a more consistent heat that is more gentle on your hair.

What’s the best hair dryer to buy?

Top hair dryer

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

What you need to know: This is the fastest drying hair dryer on the market that doesn’t use any extreme heat.

What you’ll love: The attachments that come with this fast drying Dyson hair dryer help reduce the chance of flyaway hair and frizz while drying. The hair dryer will also help give your hair a professional salon feel.

What you should consider: Keep in mind that the attachments on this hair dryer often overheat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top hair dryer for the money

Revlon Super Lightweight Travel Hair Dryer

Revlon Super Lightweight Travel Hair Dryer

What you need to know: This reliable and powerful compact hair dryer is perfect for travel and gives you the most bang for your buck.

What you’ll love: This affordable Revlon hair dryer comes in four colors and features a cord with a convenient ring for hanging storage, as well as a cool shot button to help lock in your style. The hair dryer also provides two heat and speed settings for flexible styling and drying.

What you should consider: This travel-size hair dryer is limited in its abilities when compared to full-size hair dryers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Portofino Hair Dryer

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Portofino Hair Dryer

What you need to know: This top-performing hair dryer features titanium force to evenly distribute heat and leave your hair feeling full, shiny and smooth.

What you’ll love: This BaBylissPRO hair dryer comes with a high-quality Italian motor and an ergonomic handle that is comfortable to use throughout long drying sessions. The hair dryer also works well with all hair types and dries your hair quickly.

What you should consider: The directional nozzle and the buttons on this hair dryer often seem to have a mind of their own.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.