Ask any woman what she wants more than anything else in the world and she’ll tell you the same thing, time after time again: gorgeous hair. A hair dryer is a particularly versatile styling tool, and no beauty tool kit is complete without one. If you are looking to upgrade your blow dryer, but not sure which direction to go in, then we are here to help narrow down the selection and find the best hair dryer for you.
Why trust us? We spent over 70 hours, researching, testing and reviewing the best hair dryers around, at a wide range of price points, with professional advice from our in-house stylist, Paul. We considered speed, temperatures, noise levels, performance, build quality and overall user experience, to help you choose the best blow dryer for you.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Here Are The Best Hair Dryers:
- 2 Best Overall: Dyson Supersonic
- 3 Best For Thick Hair: Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic
- 4 Best For Fine Hair: T3 Featherweight Luxe
- 5 Best For Gadget Lovers: Chi Touch 2
- 6 Best For Coarse Hair: Elchim Classic
- 7 Best For Curly Hair: Panasonic EH-NA65-K Nanoe Ionic
- 8 Best Budget Option: Conair 1875
- 9 Buyer’s Guide
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
- 11 Conclusion
Here Are The Best Hair Dryers:
Best Overall: Dyson Supersonic
Editor’s Choice: The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer completely eclipsed the other hair dryers we tested in almost every single test, giving us dry hair quicker, quieter, and with less static. Everything about it oozes luxury, and once you have experienced this unique design, there’s no going back! We firmly believe that the Dyson Supersonic is the best hair dryer, overall.
“The Hair Dryer, Reimagined”
As they do with their vacuum cleaners and other products, rather than simply recreating a traditional hair dryer and stamping their brand on the side, Dyson have completely redesigned the humble blow dryer. They put the motor in the handle, rather than the barrel, making it more balanced and comfortable to hold, as you dry and style your hair.
It has simple controls and intuitive button placement, with great variation between the different settings. The Supersonic is a light hair dryer, yet it feels well-built, durable and extremely powerful.
Intelligent Heat Controls
The Supersonic measures the air temperature over 40 times a second to prevent heat damage and ensures precise heat and speed settings for fast, but gentle, drying and styling. It is well-insulated, so the barrel stays cool to touch, and it emits negative ions to reduce static and frizz. It is suitable for all hair types, and also comes with three magnetic attachments:
- Diffuser attachment for defining curls and reducing frizz
- 1 smoothing nozzle for drying with a smooth, natural finish
- 1 styling concentrator for perfect styling
It is tuned to emit one, inaudible frequency, meaning you won’t disturb your flatmates in the morning. From our tests, we wouldn’t describe it as inaudible, but the sound is a higher pitch than other blow dryers, and it doesn’t seem as loud, or as offensive, to your ears. In fact, it is so quiet that it tops the list of our quiet hair dryers roundup.
Best For Thick Hair: Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic
Editor’s Choice: The sleek, sculpted Elchim 3900 is a beautiful, Italian-designed hair dryer that looks smart and performs well. Italian designs are well-known for durability and performance that doesn’t compromise on style, and this hair dryer is no exception! We believe it is the second-best dryer, overall.
The smooth design of the Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Dryer is intended to reduce drying time by around 30%, and our tests found it was consistently one of the fastest models to dry hair, making it a great choice for those with thick hair. Ionic and ceramic technology hydrates the hairs to help preserve their integrity and shine. This hair dryer was one of the heavier models we tested, but being compact, it feels balanced.
Designed For Professionals
The Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Hair Dryer was designed for professional use. It contains a silencer to reduce noise and has a long cable to give you plenty of movement. It offers excellent airflow at two speeds and three heat settings, as well as a cool-shot button to finish off your blowout. It includes 2 concentrator nozzles and you can buy a diffuser attachment separately. All these features combined help you create a salon-worthy blowout at home!
Best For Fine Hair: T3 Featherweight Luxe
If you have delicate or fine hair, but want the option to blow dry your hair, look no further than the T3 Featherweight Luxe 2I Dryer. It is proven to be healthier for your hair than air drying and can cut down on frizz and increase body, shine and style retention, and even make it easier to comb.
Tourmaline, Ceramic & SoftAire Technology
The T3 Featherweight Luxe hair dryer generates a high volume of air at a soft speed, organising it from turbulent flow to a smoother, more uniform stream. It is enriched with negative ions to reduce frizz and enhance shine, by reducing static and sealing the hair cuticle, and far infrared heat, which warms the hairs from the inside, out, so drying is gentler; ideal for fine hair.
The T3 Featherweight Luxe 2I is relatively large, but lightweight. It is well-balanced and comfortable to hold without causing wrist strain and it includes a vented round brush, to help you achieve salon-quality blowouts at home. Its cord length is a generous 9 feet (274 cm), giving you great range of movement.
Best For Gadget Lovers: Chi Touch 2
As the only hair dryer we tested to boast touchscreen controls, the Chi Touch 2 is one of the most high-tech hair dryers. Featuring a touch screen that can toggle between four different controls and a design that would make even The Jetson’s jealous, CHI truly has outdone themselves with this one! However, if you are new to hairstyling or consider yourself to be “technologically challenged,” then the CHI Touch 2 Hair Dryer may seem a bit intimidating at first, but you’ll soon get used to it.
Touch Screen Controls
Rather than limiting you to pre-set rocker controls, the Chi dryer gives you unique, touch screen dial controls to control the heat and speed settings, the “cool-shot” function, and even the ions being emitted! It can be a little fiddly at first, if you want a very precise setting, but it is easy to get the hang of; it’s not too scary technology-wise, although it may be a little over the top! It is something a little different from a regular hair dryer, and our team enjoyed using it.
Despite being lightweight and more compact, the Chi Touch 2 can cut 50% off your drying time! It has a tactile, non-slip soft touch finish, which is pleasant to hold and helps you to comfortably style your hair.
Best For Coarse Hair: Elchim Classic
The Elchim Classic is essentially a pared-down version of the Elchim 3900. It doesn’t have the ionic technology, and it has one less setting, but it is a solid, reliable dryer that performs well. It is handcrafted and built to be reliable and efficient.
Popular Among Stylists
The Elchim 2001 Classic has been a staple product in hair salons for over 40 years. Its sleek, Italian engineering and professional AC motor gives it reliable and high performance, meaning professional results at home. Elchim products are built to last, with each one specifically created to operate for over 2000 hours.
Its ceramic technology helps to preserve your hairs integrity, while the high-pressure air compression increases the heat and speed to cut down your drying time.
Our tiny complaint about this dryer was that the rocker switches seemed to be backwards from the way we expected, but you soon get used to this little quirk, so it wasn’t a deal breaker!
Best For Curly Hair: Panasonic EH-NA65-K Nanoe Ionic
The Panasonic EH-NA65-K Nanoe Ionic Dryer is a distinctive hair dryer, with a number of features to dry your hair fast and smoothly. The dryer boasts an ion generator, which draws moisture from the air and delivers extremely fine nanoe particles to penetrate your hair shaft. This helps your hair stay smooth, shiny and free from damage, caused by heat and brushing.
It also comes with a diffuser, which is softer than other diffusers we tested. The long prongs make it a great choice for people with thick, curly hair.
Quick Dry Nozzle
The quick dry nozzle attachment produces soft and strong air flows simultaneously, meaning faster and more uniform drying. Strong airflow comes through the middle, while soft air comes through the two side vents. In our tests, the quick dry nozzle dried the hair in almost half the time that it took without the nozzle, and our fingertips stayed cooler than without the nozzle, so we were very impressed.
Although it is a professional hair dryer, we found it a little heavy, so we think it is more suited to personal use, rather than professional use, where you would be wielding it for many hours a day.
Best Budget Option: Conair 1875
If you want a good all-round hairdryer that ticks the boxes, without breaking the bank, the Conair 1875 Watt Hair Dryer is ideal. It boasts an extraordinary amount of technology for its price point and even comes with a diffuser and concentrator attachment. It feels cheaper and less durable than other models, but we were highly impressed.
3 Heat & 2 Speed Settings
You get easy controls with the Conair 1875. The three heat and two speed settings are clearly marked with easy sliding switches and a “cool-shot” button for finishing off. The range of settings means it is suitable for all hair types, helped even more by the attachments.
It uses tourmaline ceramic technology to prevent excessive heat damage, despite drying your hair fast, and it smooths your hair with ions to cut down on frizz by up to 75%.
Features That Make A Great Hair Dryer
Here are the most important features when choosing a new blow dryer:
Wielding a heavy hair dryer can be uncomfortable, especially if you are using it throughout the day, like in a hair salon. A lightweight dryer is more comfortable and easier to control, and often you don’t need to compromise on quality. You can also use a lightweight dryer as a travel dryer. Hairdryers should also be well balanced; you don’t want the weight in the tip. The further back the weight of the dryer, the more comfortable and easier it is to hold.
Ideally, you want a dryer with high speed, but low temperature; a combination that lets you dry your hair fast, without causing heat damage. The more heat and speed settings available, the better, provided there is a good range in between the heat settings.
Even with multiple heat settings on your hair dryer, you need a “cool-shot” button to immediately cool the strands down, reducing chances of heat damage, and locking in the shine for a smooth, healthy gloss finish.
The higher the wattage, the more power, meaning you can dry your hair quicker, and therefore hairs are exposed to the heat for less time. Most hair dryers have around 1875 watts, but often professional hair dryers have higher.
Longer cables allow better movement and a cable that is too short will restrict you. A pro dryer often has a cord length of between 6 and 9 feet (182-274cm).
The right tools make every job easier. Different hair types require different attachments, for example thick, curly or wavy hair will benefit most from a diffuser, while straighter hair may need a concentrator nozzle, and frizzy hair may require a smoothing nozzle. If you aren’t sure what hair type you have, ask your stylist.
Terminology Of Hair Dryers
- Ionic: ionic hair dryers emit negative ions to neutralise the positive ions in water molecules, resulting in less frizz and shorter drying times. Ions may also be able to seal the hair cuticle.
- Tourmaline: a semi-precious mineral that produces negative ions when it is heated up.
- Ceramic: a material recognised for heating evenly, meaning more consistent temperatures and lower risk of heat damage. It is used in many hair styling tools, such as curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair straightener brushes.
- Infrared: infrared wavelengths are longer and penetrate your hair strands deeper, drying from the inside, out. This is gentler for your hair, yet faster than non-infrared dryers.
- Diffuser: a hair dryer attachment designed to dry and style curly and wavy hair.
- Concentrator nozzle: an attachment that focuses the airflow so you can dry specific sections of hair at a time.
- Conditioning beads: along with silk proteins, these are fancy terms claimed to be in the barrel of some hair dryers, which won’t do anything to benefit your hair.
- Cool-shot: a button which only allows cold air out to cool down the strands, reducing heat damage and adding shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Overall, our tests found the best hair dryer to buy was the Dyson Supersonic, thanks to its rebalanced design and fast and gentle drying. Our second choice was the Elchim 3900, a sleek, high-performing blow dryer with ionic and ceramic technology.
Frizzy hair is caused when hair is dry. Dry hair has a rough cuticle, meaning it can take on moisture from the air in humidity, causing the hair to swell and frizz. Another cause of frizzy hair is static, a build-up of positive charge in your hair, which can also cause flyaways.
Ionic hair dryers are better for your hair when used properly. They produce negative ions to neutralise the positive ions in your hair that build up to cause frizz and flyaways. Ionic hairdryers can dry your hair faster and at a lower temperature.
Professional stylists recommend choosing a hair dryer that is between at least 1800 – 1850 watts, although professional dryers are often much higher. The higher the wattage, the hotter and faster the blow dryer.
I hope you have enjoyed our reviews of the best hair dryers on the market. We enjoyed testing these blow dryers and hope that we have helped you choose the best blow dryer for you! Don’t forget to check out our other reviews of other heat styling tools and hair products, too!