Best Hair Dryers of 2019

Jennifer Christensen ·
Health & Beauty Senior Writer
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We published our first review of hair dryers in 2013. 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 hands-on testing, we chose the Remington Pro Thermaluxe as our favorite. 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. 

Best Overall
Remington Pro Thermaluxe
The Remington Pro Thermaluxe combines thermal and ceramic heating so it’s effective on all hair types with minimal damage. It is durable, well-designed and has an attractive purple and gold color scheme.
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Best Value
Conair InfinitiPRO
The Conair InfinitiPRO is our best value pick because its performance rivals that of much more expensive hair dryers. This blower uses both ceramic and ionic heating technologies, and it’s easy to adjust its heat and air speed settings.
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Best for Curly Hair
Panasonic Nanoe
The Panasonic Nanoe works well with curly hair because it reduces frizz close to the cuticle, and it has a sturdy, full-size diffuser. It infuses moisture into your hair as it dries and comes with a unique quick-dry nozzle.
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Product
Price
OVERALL RATING
Price
Performance
Design
Accessories
Warranty & Support
User Experience
Heat Settings
Temperature Range (degrees)
Air Speed Settings
Highest Noise Level (decibels)
Advanced Heating Technology
Weight (pounds)
Cord Length (feet)
Watts
Removable End Cap/Filter
Concentrator
Diffuser
Additional Accessories
Warranty (years)
Phone Support
Email/Contact Form
Live Chat
$29.79 Zulily
5 4.7 5 4.7 5
A+
3
80-169
2
83.4
Thermal & Ceramic
1.7
7
1875
2nd Concentrator, 3 Sectioning Clips
4
$29.97 Bonanza
4.7 4.2 4.9 4.4 5
A
3
108-158
2
85.5
Ceramic & Ionic
1.1
6
1875
N/A
4
$47.99 Wal-Mart
4.5 4.9 4.5 4.3 3.9
A-
3
85-179
2
83.2
Tourmaline & Ionic
1.3
8
1875
Straightening Pik
1
$71.29 Cart Crush
5 4.9 3.9 3.8 5
B
3
120-197
2
79.8
Nano
1.7
9
1875
Quick-dry Nozzle
2
$58.72 PerfumesPremium UK
2.8 5 4.3 4 4.2
B+
3
86-177
2
80.6
Nano
1.4
9
2000
N/A
4
$13.46 toyboxtech
2.9 4.9 3.3 5 4.7
B
2
117-169
2
85.5
Ceramic & Ionic
1
6
1875
N/A
3
$59.95 Amazon Warehouse
2.8 4.7 3.9 4.2 4.3
B+
3
107-176
2
83.5
Ceramic & Ionic
1.7
6
1875
N/A
2
$34.69 BLINQ
4.5 3.3 3.9 3.8 2.5
A-
2
133-170
Variable Dial
85
Tourmaline & Ionic
1.3
9
1500
N/A
1
$129.95 JCPenney
4.8 5 3.2 2.8 4.3
B
2
135-168
2
79.3
Ceramic & Ionic
1.7
11
1500
Ion Generator
2
$92.5 BeautyExpert
3.3 4 2.7 2.9 3.9
B-
2
114-161
2
84.8
None
1.9
10
1900
2nd Concentrator
1
Best Overall
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. Our testers described the air speed as soft but powerful, and they noted the quiet motor and noticeable differences between heat settings. This is important because you’ll minimize damage if you dry your hair on the lowest setting that works well with your hair type, and fine hair needs cooler temperatures than thick hair. Like each hair dryer we tested, 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 preferable to them falling off during use. The Remington Pro is warrantied for four years, and customer support is available by email and phone.
Pros
  • Comes with more accessories than most hair dryers
  • Has a tangle-free cord
  • Has a four-year warranty
Cons
  • Weight distribution is slightly unbalanced
  • End cap is hard to remove
  • Switch operation isn’t smooth
$44.30Amazon
Read the full review
Best Value
With an MSRP of just $39.99, the Conair InfinitiPRO is an 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.
Pros
  • Works well with multiple hair types
  • Lightweight with a comfortable grip
  • Attachments fit securely
Cons
  • Operates at a higher decibel level than most hair dryers
  • Its accessories aren’t the highest quality
  • Has a shorter than average cord
-
Read the full review
Best for Curly Hair
The Panasonic Nanoe looks a little bit like a heat gun. Its unique design is supposed to promote optimal airflow, and the nanoe 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, but 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.
Pros
  • Has a unique quick-dry nozzle
  • Promotes smooth, healthy hair
  • Air filter is easy to remove and clean
Cons
  • Feels somewhat bulky
  • Costs nearly $100
  • Has lower than average air speeds
-
Read the full review
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 also the lightest and least expensive 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 endcap to access its filter for cleaning. Revlon warranties this dryer for three years.
Pros
  • Has dual-voltage for international travel
Cons
  • Concentrator falls off easily
-
Read the full review
Best for Thick Hair
The Instyler BLU Turbo Ionic Dryer is good for multiple 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 its design is compact, it isn’t lacking in 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.
Pros
  • Has a turbo setting for thick, coarse hair
Cons
  • Endcap isn’t removable for filter cleaning
-
Read the full review

Why Trust Us? 

We’ve tested dozens of hair dryers since 2013, and our reviews involve much more than blowing hot air. In our most recent testing, we spent more than 40 hours examining and using 10 hair dryers, and our testing panel included volunteers with a variety of hair types, including fine, straight, thick and curly hair. Long before we started blow-drying, we researched best-selling, high-performing products. We were wowed by popular hair dryers like the innovative Dyson Supersonic and the posh Harry Josh Pro, but we chose to focus on more affordable models.

“I can’t imagine paying more than $100 for a hair dryer,” we heard repeatedly from consumers. “What’s the best blower in my price range?” 

As we researched hair dryers online, spoke with stylists and interviewed customer support specialists, we learned how to choose versatile, affordable hair dryers with advanced heating technologies and accessories comparable to more expensive devices. Whether you prefer a sleek, smooth blowout or want to showcase your curls, we can help you choose a hair dryer that meets your needs. 

How We Tested

After researching more than 25 hair dryers, we narrowed our list to 10, and we purchased these blowers for testing in our lab. Our testing panel included both men and women, and we used gadgets like wind funnels, decibel meters and temperature gauges to get accurate readings on specifications such as air speed, loudness and temperature ranges. We also weighed each hair dryer, measured and examined its cord, assessed its safety features and evaluated its balance and grip.

Modern Salon taught us the differences between ceramic, ionic and tourmaline heating technologies, and we learned how an ALCI safety device makes a plug inoperable if you accidentally drop your hair dryer in the bathtub. During this process, we noted whether the instructional markings on each hair dryer made sense, and we tried every button and switch. As we pressed each cool shot button and tried every accessory, we took detailed notes, some of which were more subjective than others.

“The Instyler BLU feels evenly weighted from top to bottom, and the arc of its handle is nice,” our lab manager said.

“Its volume sounds weird at first, but it grew on me,” said a tester, “and I love the pretty blue light!”

As we learned more about design styles, heating technologies and accessories, we asked our lab to evaluate 17 data points. Then, we invited volunteers to conduct hands-on testing. We provided them with spray bottles and heat-protectant spray and asked them to wet their hair and use each hair dryer. We asked them to consider factors such as each blower’s design, quality, ease of use, noise level, instructional markings and price, and they completed a 12-question survey for each device. After we analyzed their input, we were able to rate each hair dryer, list its pros and cons and choose the best overall. We also identified the best value and the best blower for curly hair.

How to Choose the Best Hairdryer

Choosing the best hair dryer depends on factors such as your hair type, your hairstyle and your budget. Quality is also important to consider, and it’s easy to get lost in descriptions of advanced heating technologies, styling instructions and product recommendations. Picking the right hair dryer is a personal, sometimes complicated decision

“My mom still has the same hair dryer she had in college, but mine always break,” said one of our testers. “When it starts to spark, it’s time to get a new one!”

To help you find the best blower before sparks start to fly, here are some things to consider:

Price
You can find hairdryers intended for home use ranging in price from $7 to $700, though most people plan to spend between $20 and $100. Researching high-quality, affordable options, we selected hair dryers for our review priced between $17.99 and $155. If spending closer to $200 is in your budget, the Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer and the Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Hair Dryer are excellent options.

Whatever their listed price, you can often find blowers for less at retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and especially at Amazon.com, but you’ll have to do some price shopping to get the best deals. At the same time, several experts we interviewed told us you can justify splurging on a hair dryer because more expensive models will help your hair stay healthier. You can also expect a more expensive model to last longer. While a hair dryer priced under $30 may burn out after just a few years, a hair dryer priced above $100 should last at least five to 10 years.

Wattage & Heating Technology
A hair dryer’s power is determined by its wattage. We tested blowers ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 watts, and experts recommend choosing a device with 1,800 watts or more for the best results, especially if you have thick hair. Salon models often have 3,600 watts. This higher power comes with a much higher price tag, but it can cut drying time in half. This is important because less exposure to heat results in less damage to your hair. Also, higher-wattage dryers typically last longer.

Heating technology also plays a role in protecting your hair, and you’ll want to choose the technology that works best for your hair type. Ceramic and tourmaline technologies are good for controlling and distributing heat and work well on curly or fine hair. However, tourmaline is not recommended for thin hair. Ionic hair dryers speed drying time and combat frizz. They are recommended for damaged and thick hair but aren’t as effective if you’re looking for volume, lift and movement. Nano technology infuses hair with moisture and provides far-infrared heat. It dries hair faster with minimal damage by penetrating the hair shaft from within. Thermal technology provides constant heat, even heat at every setting. While titanium heat works well on thick, heavy hair, it’s not recommended if your hair is prone to damage.

Features & Accessories
All the hair dryers we tested have multiple heat and air speed settings, along with the following accessories and features:

  • Concentrators direct air to a focused section of your hair to provide faster drying times and help with straightening.
  • Diffusers are used to distribute air flow and can reduce frizz and define curl.
  • Cool shot buttons provide a blast of unheated air to help seal the hair cuticle and set your style.

Some hair dryers come with additional accessories like straightening combs, quick-dry nozzles and sectioning clips. Other things to look for include removable end caps and air filters for easy cleaning, longer cords for more mobility and a good weight balance for comfortable handling. We also recommend considering the placement of control switches and buttons and getting a feel for your preferred grip type.

Temperature
Some hair dryers have multiple heat settings, and you should pick the temperature you use based on your hair type and the style you're trying to achieve. It's import to use the correct temperature to limit damage to your locks. You should use the lowest heat setting possible if you have fine hair, as it's more prone to breaking. Breakage becomes even more of an issue when fine hair is heated up. Even if you have really thick hair, you most likely shouldn't use the highest heat setting available. When drying your hair, slow and steady is the best way to go.

HAI Beauty Concepts recommends using heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for fine hair. You can use a hair dryer as hot as 400 degrees Fahrenheit on average hair, and if you have particularly textured or thick hair, you can up it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re unsure how hot your hair dryer gets, check the instructions or packaging. You should also be careful about how hot your hair dryer is when storing it. Give the dryer a minute or two to cool down before letting it come in contact with any sensitive or flammable surfaces.

Most hair dryers also come with a button that shoots a blast of cold air when pressed. According to the Huffington Post, this button should be used once your hair is about 80 percent dry. Using the cold air seals the hair cuticle and makes the final look last longer and shinier. That way, you can get your hair completely dry without frying it.

Warranty & Support
The hair dryers in our review have warranties ranging in length from one to four years, with two years being average. If you need customer service, most companies offer email and telephone support, and some offer live chat as well.