Finding the right hair dryer for your needs depends on several things. First of all, it needs to be a high-quality blower. You don’t want to get burned with a teasing good deal on a bad product that breaks down after only a few uses.
It also needs to suit your hair style. A hair dryer that works wonderfully on straight hair might be damaging to curly hair, or you may need one made especially for extra-thick hair. Finally, you want to get one for the best possible price. The price can be the deciding factor between two models of equal or similar quality.
All these elements – and more – have been taken into our evaluation of the best hair dryers. We have been reviewing hair dryers for six years, and over that time have consulted experts and developed a thorough methodology for testing and evaluating hair dryers. We've also assembled a handy guide that tells you everything you need to know before buying a new hair dryer.
In our most recent testing, we identified the best blowers priced below $160 dollars and evaluated our top 10 selections in our lab. After more than 40 hours of testing, we chose the Remington Pro Thermaluxe as the best. It uses advanced thermal technology to distribute heat evenly and reduce heat damage. It comes with a diffuser, two concentrators and three styling clips, and it has a tangle-free, salon-quality cord.
Remington Pro Thermaluxe Review
Colored purple and trimmed with gold, the Remington Pro Thermaluxe looks like a luxury hair dryer. Priced at less than $40, it is surprisingly affordable, especially given its impressive performance.
Conair InfinitiPRO Review
With an MSRP of $39.99, the Conair InfinitiPRO is a great value. Its ceramic heating technology makes it versatile, and its easy-to-read controls make it convenient.
Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA65-K Review
We chose the Panasonic Nanoe as the best hair dryer for curly hair because our testers were so impressed with its performance. Along with its diffuser and concentrator, it comes with a quick-dry nozzle.
Best hair dryer
The Remington Pro Thermaluxe is a comfortably weighted hair dryer designed to work well on all hair types. It operates at 1875 watts – excellent power for home-based use – and it has two speed settings and three heat settings. In our tests, it dried hair quickly and evenly.
This hair dryer combines ceramic heat (to distribute heat consistently and gently) with thermal heat (for even heating). This combination makes the Remington Pro especially good for fine or dry hair, but all hair types can benefit.
The air speed is soft but powerful, and the motor is quiet with noticeable differences between heat settings. This is important because you’ll minimize damage if you dry your hair on the lowest recommended setting for your hair type. Also, fine hair needs cooler temperatures than thick hair.
The Remington Pro has a cool shot button to help seal the hair cuticle and set your style. It also has a detachable filter so you can remove lint buildup more easily, and it has a 7-foot, tangle-free cord.
It weighs 1.7 pounds and has an 80 to 169-degree temperature range. It comes with two concentrators, a diffuser and three sectioning clips, and its attachments are of better quality than most. They fit so securely they can be difficult to remove, but this is better than them falling off during use, of course.
The Remington Pro comes with a four-year warranty, and customer support is available by email and phone.
With an MSRP of just $39.99, the Conair InfinitiPRO is excellent value. One of our testers described it as “perfect,” and it gets consistently high consumer reviews. It comes with a concentrator and a diffuser, and it’s suitable for multiple hair types.
The InfinitiPRO has an 1875-watt AC motor that runs quietly and provides plenty of power. While DC motors both weigh and cost less, AC motors are often more durable. This hair dryer uses both ceramic and ionic heating technologies.
Ceramic heat dries quickly and gently, and ionic technology reduces frizz. It also adds shine to your hair, but it’s not the best for volume, lift and movement. The InfinitiPRO has three heat settings and two speed settings.
In our tests, the volume ranged from 83.2 to 85.5 decibels, and its temperature ranged from 108 to 159 degrees. It also has a cold shot button that provides an immediate blast of unheated air.
Weighing just 1.1 pounds, it’s one of the lightest blowers we reviewed, but its cord is only 6 feet long. If you’d like more mobility as you style your hair, you may prefer a dryer with a longer cord.
The attachments aren’t the sturdiest we’ve seen, but they fit securely and are easy to remove. Conair warranties the InfinitiPRO for four years, and you can reach customer service by email and phone.
Most Comfortable to Use
The Hot Tools Tourmaline Tools 2000 is a well-designed hair dryer with a comfortable grip. Accessories include a concentrator, diffuser and straightening pik. It features tourmaline heating technology, too.
We like the Hot Tools Tourmaline Tools 2000 because of its soft housing and comfortable grip. Its 1.3-pound weight is well balanced, and its instructional markings are clear.
This hair dryer has a narrow, 1.75-inch European-style nozzle and operates at 1,875 watts. It has a heavy-duty, 8-foot cord and a removable endcap to ease filter cleaning. Its concentrator has an extra-narrow opening to give you more focused control in creating a sleek, smooth look. The diffuser helps you shape curls and create volume.
With three heat settings and two air speed settings, the Tourmaline Tools 2000 has a temperature range of 85 to 179 degrees Fahrenheit. That's the widest range we recorded in our testing. But its air speeds are the slowest we measured, at just 15.4 feet per second on low and 22.1 feet per second on high. If your hair is thick, you may want a dryer with more oomph.
The one-year warranty term for Hot Tools’ dryer is below average. Some competitors also provide better customer service. Support for Hot Tools hair dryers is provided by Helen of Troy Consumer Services. In our tests, we experienced slow response times when we reached out to that provider for help.
Best for Curly Hair
The Panasonic Nanoe looks a bit like a heat gun. Its unique design aims to promote optimal airflow, and the nano heating technology is meant to improve your hair’s moisture content. This minimizes heat damage and helps control frizz to keep curly hair looking its best.
This hair dryer has an 1875-watt motor, a removable air filter and a 9-foot cord. It also has a convenient cord wrap. Like every hair dryer we reviewed, it has an ALCI safety plug to stop the flow of electricity if the device is dropped in water.
Its control switches are placed well and are easy to use. However, we found the handle becomes less comfortable if the switches aren’t on parallel settings. Like most of the best hairdryers, the Nanoe has three temperature settings and two speed settings.
It comes with a concentrator, a diffuser and a quick-dry nozzle. It also has a cool-shot button to help you set your style, and its filter is removable for easy cleaning.
The Nanoe has a temperature range of 120 to 197 degrees. With 79.8 decibels as its highest volume, it’s one of the quietest hair dryers we tested. This blower weighs 1.7 pounds, and its weight balance shifts forward slightly.
Panasonic warranties the Nanoe for two years, which is average, and provides customer support by email, phone and live chat.
The BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium is a popular and attractive-looking hair dryer at a midrange price. It has a concentrator nozzle and a removable filter, but it doesn’t come with a diffuser.
It has a powerful, 2,000-watt motor, the highest wattage in our lineup. Its MSRP of $84.95 falls at the midpoint of our testing price range, and it ranks fifth among our top ten hair dryers.
This brightly colored, turquoise hair dryer would be easy to spot in a jumble of toiletry items. It uses nano titanium technology, which emits negative ions to close your hair’s cuticle and eliminate frizz.
The BaByliss Pro comes with a concentrator to help you create smooth hairstyles. It doesn’t come with a diffuser, however, so is not suitable for curly hair. Also, while titanium is good for thick, heavy hair, it’s not recommended if your hair is damage-prone.
At 1.4 pounds, it’s not the lightest dryer we reviewed, but it's very well balanced.
The Nano Titanium has three temperature settings and two air speed settings. The dryer also has a cool-shot button, but in testing it didn’t blast completely unheated air with the button depressed. Its lowest temperature is 86 degrees and its highest is 177 degrees. Its air speed ranges from 21.5 feet per second on low to 30.6 feet per second on high. Its sound volume ranges from 75.2 to 80.6 decibels, making it one of the quietest dryers we tested. Only the Panasonic Nanoe and the CHI PRO are quieter.
BaByliss backs the Nano Titanium with a four-year warranty, one of the best warranties we found. Customer service is available by phone and email.
Best for Travel
The Revlon Perfect Heat Fast Dry is a powerful, compact hair dryer. Its dual-voltage makes it ideal for international travel, and it has a folding handle for easy packing. It’s cheap to buy, and also the lightest hair dryer we reviewed.
The Perfect Heat has an 1,875-watt motor and combines ceramic and ionic heating technologies. Its temperature settings range from 117 to 169 degrees, and its thermostat cycles off to prevent overheating.
Unlike most of the hair dryers we tested, it doesn’t have separately controllable temperature and air speed settings. Instead, it simply has low/high switches, which can be a drawback if your hair is damage-prone and needs more precise styling options.
This hair dryer comes with a concentrator to help you smooth and straighten your hair. Unfortunately, this attachment falls off the blower’s nozzle quite easily. Like the best hair dryers, the Revlon Perfect Heat has a removable end cap to access its filter for cleaning. Revlon warranties this dryer for three years.
Best for Thick Hair
The Instyler BLU Turbo Ionic Dryer is good for many hair types because it combines tourmaline technology with a ceramic grill. It weighs 1.3 pounds has a heavy-duty 9-foot cord (with a cord wrap).
Although it's a compact blower, it doesn't lack power. This hair dryer has a durable DC motor and thin, light blades. These features, along with its jet turbine fan, give its 1,500-watt motor power comparable to that of a 2,000-watt blower. It also has a turbo setting for thick, coarse hair.
Like most hair dryers we tested, the BLU comes with a concentrator and diffuser. While they aren’t the most high-quality attachments we found, they do fit securely on the blower’s nozzle.
InStyler designed the BLU with two heat settings and a variable airflow dial, which give you precision control over airspeed.
However, this dryer doesn’t have a removable endcap, which makes cleaning its filter more difficult. If you need help operating the BLU, InStyler provides customer service only by email.
Best for Straight Hair
The RUSK Deepshine has a sturdy concentrator designed for precise styling, but it doesn’t come with a diffuser for curly hair. Its weight is well balanced, and it has plenty of power, but its white housing can quickly get grungy.
The RUSK Deepshine has a ceramic-infused grill for even heat distribution and an ionic generator to tame static and frizz.
The Deepshine has an 1,875-watt motor. It has three temperature settings and two air speed settings, and its operating noise volume comes in at 79.2 to 83.5 decibels, which is about average. Its temperature ranges from 107 degrees on low to 176 degrees on high.
“I like the grip a lot, and the attachment is easy to use,” one of our testers said. “I also like the flippy switches on this hair dryer better than the slide controls on some of the others.”
“This hair dryer’s controls get in the way of my hand a little, but I never activated them accidentally,” another tester commented. “Also, the pronounced curve on the back of the handle ensures your hand goes to the right place. I just don’t love the glossy plastic.”
Indeed, out of the box, the RUSK’s white plastic – trimmed with turquoise – looks pristine, but it will be hard to keep clean. It does have a removable endcap and a washable filter to help maintain optimal airflow.
Weighing 1.7 pounds, the Deepshine is one of the heavier hair dryers we tested, but its weight is well balanced. We also liked its air speed. The sound of its motor is mellow, and its concentrator is sturdy. As it doesn’t have a diffuser, the Deepshine may not be the best blower for curly hair. Although we would have liked more accessories and a longer cord, our overall experience was good.
Best for Gentle Drying
The CHI PRO is a solid hair dryer with a comfortable grip. But it lacks separate air speed and temperature settings, and it’s the highest-priced blower we tested.
The CHI PRO hair dryer is a 1,500-watt hair dryer that combines ceramic and ionic heating technologies. It has a ceramic heater and an ion generator, along with ionic infrared light.
CHI markets its dryer as having a lightweight, ergonomic design. But at 1.7 pounds, the PRO is one of the heavier blow dryers we tested. The ergonomic design offsets the unit’s heft, and it has a comfortable grip.
The CHI PRO’s heavy-duty, 11-foot cord is the longest among the models we tested.
The CHI PRO has two settings, and you can feel a definite temperature difference on the higher one. The air speeds aren’t noticeably different, however, and are among the lowest we measured.
The blower’s temperature settings range from 135 to 168 degrees, and its air speed ranges from 17.6 to 22.7 feet per second. The air speed/heat control setting is so easy to change that our testers hit the switch accidentally. The dryer’s cool-shot button takes a few seconds to activate, but the airflow gets hots again instantly after release.
The CHI PRO’s motor sounded labored when we used the hair dryer, but it’s still one of the quietest blowers we tested.
It costs a lot more than our best-value pick, the Conair InfinitiPRO. Given the price difference, we expected the CHI PRO’s concentrator and diffuser to be sturdier than the Conair’s, but the quality is essentially the same. Also, the Conair has a much better warranty, double CHI’s two-year protection.
If you need customer service, you can reach CHI by phone or email.
Runner-up for Styling
The Italian-made Parlux 3200 Compact is a heavy hair dryer with a steep price. Its attachments are easy to attach and remove, but they don’t feel secure during use.
With a robust, 1,900-watt motor and a long, 10-foot cord, it can do the basics well. But it’s the only hair dryer we tested that doesn’t feature an advanced heating technology like ceramic, tourmaline or ionic.
Although Parlux markets the unit as lightweight, the 3200 Compact is the heaviest hair dryer we tested. It weighs in at 1.9 pounds, and it doesn’t feel evenly balanced. It's also very expensive, despite lacking some of the features of its cheaper rivals.
The Parlux 3200 Compact has two air speed settings and two temperature settings. Its instructional markings are a bit hard to read, and its cool-shot button is unmarked. It operates at a volume of 82.5 to 84.8 decibels, and its air speed ranges from 22.9 to 30.9 feet per second. Its temperature ranges from 114 to 161 degrees.
This hair dryer comes with two concentrators. One is narrow to help straighten hair; the other is larger and beveled for smoother blow drying. The accessories are easy to attach and remove, but they don’t feel secure during use.
Like most of the hair dryers we tested, the Parlux has a removable endcap to help you keep its filter clean. Cleaning maintains optimal airflow and thus prolongs the life of the motor.
Parlux covers the 3200 Compact for just one year, which is less than most of its competitors. You can contact customer service by phone or email.
Looking for more great hair content? For those of you considering a much shorter hair style, you may also want to consider one of the best hair clippers for cutting your own hair.