What should you pay for a hair dryer? Prices from reputable brands range from just over £20/ $20 to £300/ $400 for a Dyson Supersonic or Zuvi Halo, making it difficult to determine what is a reasonable sum to spend. But the place to look for an answer isn't in technology: it's in your head.
We've tested hair dryers with every feature and accessory imaginable so you can find the best one for you.
Best hair dryer reviews
1. Revlon One-Step
The Revlon One-Step is a drying and volumizing brush that allows you to accomplish two tasks at once. Many users will be able to avoid using a separate hair dryer and a straightener - and will achieve the kind of swingy, (close to) salon hair that only professionals can achieve at home. It is also simple to use.
However, its effectiveness may vary depending on your hair type, and if you have long, thick hair, you may need to dry it first, making it less appealing.
It, like other styling tools, can harm your hair if used too frequently, and ethical beauty shoppers will be disappointed to learn that it contains genuine boar bristles.
2. Revamp Progloss 4000
The Progloss 4000 from Revamp has three heat settings (plus a cool button), two-speed settings, and an oscillation function that allows you to cover more hair as you use it.
Because it is a 2100W appliance, it has the power to complete the task quickly. It also uses ionic technology to speed dry and de-frizz your hair, allowing you to use a lower heat setting.
During testing, we were impressed and would recommend it to people who want to invest a little more in a hair dryer that will help protect their hair.
3. GHD Air
The GHD Air is not a cheap hair dryer (though it is one-third the price of Dyson's Supersonic). It feels like a luxury, and we've had a lot of fun with it. It's quick, efficient, and enjoyable to use.
We'll be hard-pressed to go back to a cheaper hair dryer now that we've had it for a few weeks. But we've been perfectly happy with hair dryers that were half the price of this in the past, so it's far from a necessity. Nonetheless, it would make an ideal gift for a hair-conscious loved one.
4. Braun Style&Go
This dryer, variously known as the Braun Style&Go, Satin Hair 1, or HD130, maybe a little confusingly named, but it's very simple when it comes to what matters: drying your hair.
There aren't many bells and whistles here, but you wouldn't expect them at this price. There are two heat and power settings available, as well as a detachable styling head. Most importantly, the dryer is small, light, and foldable, making it an excellent travel hair dryer.
Braun has planned for this, ensuring compatibility with voltages ranging from 100 to 240V. As long as you have a travel adapter, you can be confident that it will work almost anywhere, without fear of the voltage is too low to power it or too high to break it.
Despite its portability, it packs a decent punch for its size, so you won't be waiting for hours for your hair to dry. This is unlikely to be your primary dryer, but it's a good option for a low-cost backup or a portable spare.
5. Zuvi Halo
The Zuvi Halo, the latest entry into the luxury hair dryer market, prominently displays its one-of-a-kind technology. When you turn it on, its business end glows with a green, UV-filtered light.
The concept is to dry hair by using light heat rather than heated coils. According to Zuvi, this will prevent the inside of the hair shaft from drying out and thus reduce damage.
What we can say is that it dries hair quickly and at a much lower temperature than a traditional hair dryer. It's also quieter, which makes the entire hair-drying process more relaxing, and the hair is left soft and shiny.
Best of all, it is extremely energy efficient, requiring far less power than competitors.
Yes, it is expensive. However, if you can afford it, it's a joy to use.
6. Dyson Supersonic
The Dyson Supersonic is a technological marvel (dare we say "cutting edge") that promises to be gentler on your hair, more comfortable on previously strained arms, quieter, and faster at drying and styling.
Our testers were impressed with the Supersonic but initially surprised by the high price tag, which we believe is reasonable when compared to the cost of a quality haircut.
It dries quickly (some may find it a little too quickly when drying at low speed), is super quiet, simple, and comfortable to use, and has some cool design features like magnetic attachments. There are certainly cheaper, higher-quality hair dryers available, but we believe the hair-friendly Dyson Supersonic is smart enough to justify the higher price.
7. Laifen Swift
When we tested the Laifen Swift, we were completely blown away. When it comes to creating salon-quality looks quickly, it's another mallet-shaped hair dryer in the same league as the Dyson Supersonic and the Zuvi Halo. However, it is less than half the price of those luxury models. It's also lighter: 407g versus 475g for the Halo and 560g for the Supersonic.
However, you will only receive one magnetic attachment unless you purchase the Special package, which costs an additional $20/£20 and includes a diffuser, smoothing, and styling nozzle.
It has two-speed settings and three heat settings: in a nice touch, there’s a ring light at the end of the dryer head that illuminates blue, orange, or red, according to the heat setting. Be warned though, the hot setting is very hot indeed if you use one of the nozzles.
It comes in four color options: matt black, silver blue, pearl white, and ruby red.
Hair dryer buying guide
A hair dryer should be a simple purchase, but if you haven't updated yours in a while, you may be missing out on some useful features. Begin with your hair to determine which one to purchase.
If you color your hair, it will most likely require a little more care. Look for a dryer that has at least a low and high power setting, as well as temperature settings. Use a higher power, hotter setting for a quick blast to remove the majority of the water from your hair, then switch to a lower, cooler setting to protect your locks as you finish.
Hair dryers with ionic technology dry hair faster, allowing you to use lower heat. It will protect damaged hair and restore some shine. Ionic hairdryers are also beneficial to curly hair because they protect the curl and reduce flyaway frizz.
Once you've decided on the best method for your hair, look at the wattage of the device you're considering. More power means it will finish the job faster. If you've ever spent a frustrating half-hour trying to dry your hair with a tiny hotel hairdryer and still ended up with wet hair, you'll understand how important wattage is. A hairdryer with at least 1,800 watts is recommended, but professional hair dryers can be twice as powerful.
Cool button and attachments
Look for a cool button that will assist you in finalizing your look.
Finally, there are attachments: a diffuser can help you keep your curls in place, and a flat-headed nozzle can help you smooth.