Best Hair Dryer of 2021
An all-around great hairdryer, we think the Trezoro Professional is the best option for most people. This easy-to-use and ergonomic model delivered one of the best performances in our temperature and airflow tests — even melting some of the blades on our handheld anemometer at its maximum temperature. It has three different heat settings and two air speed settings, along with a cool shot feature to round out all of the functions you need to style your hair for any occasion. Also included are two flat nozzles for directing airflow, and to keep up with cleaning needs, the filter twists off easily.
The Trezoro doesn't include a circular diffuser, and we found that the filter cap can be harder to remove than some of the other products we've tested. We found that the matte finish can show fingerprints, so if this is the kind of thing that bothers you, know that you'll probably need to wipe it down regularly. Despite this, we don't think you can go wrong with the Trezoro, which we consider to be a great hairdryer.
If you want a premium product and don't have a budget to stick to, give the Dyson Supersonic a look. This machine breaks the mold a bit when it comes to looks, bringing out a futuristic style by concealing the fan blades inside the handle. It meets a variety of styling needs and offers plenty of different heat and airflow options, effectively dries hair, and is very easy to use. This dryer comes with three different nozzles — a circular diffuser and two flat concentrators — that magnetically attach for another futuristic component. It has one of the longest cords of our test fleet, and we found it to be one of the most comfortable and ergonomic to hold.
We didn't find many causes for complaints with the Dyson, but we'd be remiss not to mention the high price of this model. It costs substantially more — 5-6 times as much — as the next most expensive product. If you don't mind paying a premium to get the best of the best, the Dyson is an excellent product and might be the one for you.
If you need a new hairdryer but aren't interested in dropping a lot of money on it, our suggestion is the Conair 1875 Pro. While this might not be our absolute favorite model, it undeniably does the job it is intended for and gets your hair dry. This budget option has multiple different heat and airspeed settings and includes a single concentrating nozzle that slides on and off.
We found that this hairdryer doesn't seem to dry hair as quickly as some others, seemingly due to its lower maximum airflow. The interface on this model can be a little harder to use than other models we tested, and it has a shorter cord as well, making it less mobile. However, it's hard to argue with the price tag on this Conair, as it costs a fraction of most other options and does a decent job of drying your hair.
If you're searching for a budget hair dryer that's a step above the cheapest options, we recommend taking a look at the Conair Infinitipro 1875W Salon Performance. This model has plenty of airflow, a convenient interface, and an ergonomic grip. It has a hanging loop for storage and ample strain relief to keep the cord from wearing out. It has three different temperature settings, along with a cool shot button to lock. It has a twist-off filter for easy maintenance and includes a flat concentrator and a circular diffuser. This is one of the few bargain options that we have found that includes a circular diffuser, typically used to minimize frizz with wavy or curly hair.
However, the cord is only around 6', which can be a little on the short side. We also noticed the rocker switches could bite into your hands a small amount when at their extreme positions. Fortunately, these are minor flaws, and we readily recommend it to anyone looking for a bargain hair drying option.
If you are a frequent traveler and in need of a compact drying solution next time you hit the road, then we recommend the Conair 1600 Watt Compact Folding dryer. This petite product might not be able to match the drying performance of the premium models but still does an admirable job. It's already one of the smallest options — and from there, it folds in half. We like that it has a voltage selection switch for travel, eliminating the need for an inverter, and has both a low and high operating mode.
While the Conair 1600 Watt is a great travel option, we wouldn't necessarily recommend it if you are looking for a hair dryer for daily use. It's smaller and harder to hold, with one of the shortest cords of the entire group. We also found that it takes considerably longer to dry your hair with this product than with the larger and more powerful dryers.
Just narrowly missing out on one of the top awards, the BaBylissPro Nano Titanium is another one of our favorite products in this category. This top-notch dryer provides plenty of power to get your hair dry quickly and efficiently. We love its long cord, sleek design, and easy-to-hold handle. The BaBylissPro Nano Titanium has low, medium, and high-temperature settings and a low and high blower setting, along with a cool button if you need to briefly cool your hair while styling. The filter is also straightforward to remove for maintenance, simply twisting off the unit's back when it's time to clean.
This model only includes a single flat concentrator, requiring you to purchase a circular diffuser separately if you want to use one. We found this to be a bit irritating, as this model is typically one of the more expensive options, costing a non-trivial amount more than others that include both attachments. We also found that the included attachment will launch off if you don't firmly press it into position, adding a bit of — potentially unwanted — excitement to your morning routine. All in all, it's a solid hairdryer that we enjoyed using for the most part but couldn't quite clinch one of the top spots.
While there are many benefits attributed to ionizers in marketing statements about these products, we aren't so sure about their efficacy. We found very little difference in performance (aligning with the opinions of our expert consultants). Still, the Conair Infinitipro Ion Choice could be the product for you if you want dedicated ionizer control. In addition to the ionizer on/off switch, you also have three temperature options, two fan speed options, and a cool button to match your hair drying preferences. We also found that this model dries hair fairly well.
This product has enough different switches for mode settings that it can be a little cumbersome and less comfortable to hold than many other models. The cord is also short enough that we occasionally grew frustrated with it. Overall, we generally would recommend other options unless you're set on having an ionizer on/off control. To be honest, we struggle to notice any difference in performance when using one — our professional stylist consultant also shared the same opinion.
We feel the Remington D3190 Damage Protection is about as average as you can get for a hair dryer. It gets the job done and has all the basic features and functions you would want. It includes both a flat concentrator and a circular diffuser that slip on and off and is decently comfortable to hold and use. The Remington D3190 gives you three different temperature settings, two blower settings, and a cold button. We appreciate that this product has one of the more affordable price tags of the group.
The D3190 has a snap-off filter that can be a little harder to install or remove than other options, and it also has one of the shorter cords of the bunch. It's limited to 120 volts, so you will need an inverter if you take it traveling, and that isn't the base voltage in your destination. We also feel like it's not as sturdy and well-constructed as some of the other models.
If you are looking to spend as little as possible on a hair dryer, then the Revlon 1875W Compact IONIC might be the best option for you. It has one of the lowest price tags of the group and will get your hair dry. It has decent drying power, getting quite hot but doesn't seem to have as much airflow as the top models. It offers a high and low power mode, along with a cool shot button and a hanging loop for storage.
However, we feel that you can get a substantially better hair dryer by spending just a little bit more. Other options feel much more comfortable to hold and convenient to use, with their longer cords and multiple heat and blower settings. This model also lacks an easily removable filter for cleaning, so we wouldn't be too surprised if performance started degrading over time. Overall, it is a very low-cost option but definitely isn't our top recommendation.
Why You Should Trust Us
David Wise takes the helm of our hair dryer review. In addition to David's engineering background with thermodynamics and heat transfer, we also consulted with a professional stylist about the design of our test plan and the selection of the products. We compiled a diverse panel of judges to try out these products and aggregated their scores.
We used a digital anemometer and thermometer to objectively measure and compare each dryer's airflow and heat output side-by-side. We also rated and ranked how user-friendly each product is, based on multiple hours of extensive testing.
Analysis and Test Results
We divided our testing process into three different rating metrics: airflow, temperature, and ease of use. Each metric had multiple different tests, using quantitative tools and side-by-side observations from our judges' panel.
Our first round of tests focused on each dryer's airflow, based on our side-by-side testing and the measured airspeed from a handheld anemometer. Taking the top spot, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer had the highest airflow based on our measurements. Holding our handheld anemometer a typical distance away from the nozzle, we recorded a maximum speed of 37 m/s at the highest setting and 18.8 m/s at the lowest speed.
We measured a maximum airspeed of 18.6 m/s for the Trezoro Professional Ionic on its high-speed setting and 13 m/s on its lower mode. The Conair Infinitipro models, the Ion Choice and the 1875W Salon Performance, also were very similar, with measured peak airspeeds of 18.5 m/s and 19.9 m/s, respectively.
The BaBylissPro Nano Titanium, the Revlon 1875W, and the Remington D3190 followed, having top measured airspeeds between 13 m/s and 15 m/s. Finishing out at the back of the group, the Conair 1875 Pro has a max measured speed of 9.8 m/s, and the Conair 1600 Watt Compact Hair Dryer clocked in at 11 m/s.
Our next series of evaluations rated and compared the temperature output for each hair dryer by using the thermometer feature of our handheld anemometer. We used a similar procedure to our wind speed test, marking the temperature and basing scores once it had been stable for 10 seconds. We measured the temperature both for the lowest and highest heat settings. For the low settings, we used the lowest setting that still provided heat. For example, we would use the "Warm" setting over a "Cool" setting.
The Dyson Supersonic, the Trezoro Professional Ionic, and the Conair Infinitipro 1875W Salon Performance all maxed out our meter on their highest settings, easily hitting 70°C. We liked that the Trezoro, the Dyson, and the Revlon 1875 W all had a larger temperature range, with their lower temperature setting measuring between 45°C - 50°C.
The Conair Infinitipro Ion Choice held its own when it came to maximum temperature. Still, there wasn't much of a range based on our measurements, with only a few degrees separating its high and low settings. The Conair 1875 Pro didn't get quite as hot as the others, peaking at 66°C. The Conair 1600 Watt Compact Folding was even a little cooler, peaking out at 63°C.
Ease of Use
After airflow and temperature, our next metric scored and compared how user-friendly and easy to operate each hair dryer is. We looked at the interface and handle ergonomics for each product, as well as the different heating and blower settings, the number of included nozzles, length of the cord, ease of filter removal, and voltage requirements.
For convenience and ease of use, we particularly liked the Dyson Supersonic, the BaBylissPro Nano Titanium, the Trezoro Professional Ionic, and the Remington D3190. We found all of these appliances to be very comfortable and ergonomic to hold, with switches and buttons that have a low enough profile to minimize any discomfort.
The BaBylissPro Nano Titanium, the Trezoro Professional Ionic, and the Remington D3190 all have very long cords — 7' to 8 ' — making them much more convenient than the options with shorter cords. These models also come with different nozzles. The Remington D3190 and the BaBylissPro Nano Titanium both include a flat nozzle and a round diffuser, while the Trezoro and the Dyson include two flat nozzles. The Dyson also comes with another circular diffuser. All of the Dyson's nozzles magnetically attach, making them even more convenient to install or remove.
The aforementioned models also all feature a removable filter for maintenance, low and high fan settings, a cool button, and three different temperature settings.
The Conair Infinitipro 1875W Salon Performance and the Conair Infinitipro Ion Choice are next when it comes to convenience and user-friendliness. Both of these hair dryers have a 6' cord and only include a single flat nozzle concentrator. They both have high and low blower settings, as well as low/medium/high-temperature settings and cool shot buttons. The Conair Infinitipro Ion Choice also has a dedicated switch for turning the ionizer on and off. However, the buttons on both of these products protrude a bit, making them a little less comfortable to use as the rocker switches bite into your hands.
The Conair 1875 Watt Pro, the Conair 1600 Watt Compact Folding, and the Revlon 1875 Watt finished at the back of the group for ease of use. These three all have very short cords — 5'. The Conair 1875 Watt Pro includes a single flat nozzle and has the typical high and low blower and cool, warm, and high-temperature settings, but the buttons and switches make it a bit more uncomfortable to hold. It's not too bad for short periods of time, but you will definitely begin to notice the protrusions of the rocker switches if using it for longer periods of time.
The Conair Compact Folding also has a selectable switch for voltage input, allowing you to choose between 125/250 volts. This is very handy when traveling to other countries, as you only need to have the correct plug adapter and can just adjust the voltage switch on the hair dryer, rather than having to carry a separate power transformer to alter the voltage. While this model does have one of the shortest cords of the group, we actually think of this as a positive attribute for a travel styling tool, minimizing the space it takes up in your bag.
We hope that this has been a useful breakdown of the features and functions of all the top hair dryers currently available and has been helpful in your search for a new styling tool.
— David Wise