The best hair dryer 2024: top blow dryers from GHD, Revlon, Dyson and more

The best hair dryer, the GHD Helios, on a purple background
(Image credit: Future)

Having one of the best hair dryers is a must if you want your hair to look its best, but there are a lot of options to choose from. We're here to point you in the right direction, though, whether you're after a simple hair dryer or a more exotic option such as an ionic dryer, multi-styler or brush dryer.

It pays to put some thought into buying a new hair dryer. Ideally you should aim for a well-designed model that won't damage your hair and which is light enough for extended use, but powerful enough to dry your hair quickly without frizzing it up. Cheaper hair dryers are less likely to deliver in all areas, however we've included models at a number of price points so that you can find your perfect option.

When we test hair dryers, we make sure to consider the design, performance and value of each model, but we also look at more specific features; is there a cool shot for setting your style; is the cord long enough for comfortable use; does it feature any tech that enhances results? We also think about different hair types and lengths, considering which options are best for different users.

Want to up your hair game further? You can always add one of the best hair straighteners or best Dyson Airwrap dupes to your styling station. 

The quick list

The best hair dryer for most people

ghd helios

(Image credit: Future)
The best hair dryer for most people

Specifications

Wattage: 1,875
Weight: 1.7lbs /780g
Speed settings: 3
Temperature settings: 3 + cool shot
Cord length: 9.8ft (3m)
Attachments: Concentrator

Reasons to buy

+
Super fast drying times
+
Left hair shiny and fizz-free
+
Stunning, well-balanced design

Reasons to avoid

-
Hair lacked volume and bounce

Who knew you could get a hair dryer with a brushless motor? There’s a reason that the GHD Helios is such a strong hair dryer; it produces stunning, well-balanced, and fast-drying hair. And, of course, that brushless motor ensures a longer lifespan.

This blow dryer is pricey, but it’s also one of the fastest (if not the fastest) models we’ve reviewed. It’s also lighter, quieter, and with a longer power cable than the original, legendary GHD Air. While its speedy performance is the star of the show, not to mention the fact that it dries quickly without causing a frizzy mess, that speed can sometimes result in a little less volume and bounce. At least there’s a cold shot button to help with styling, though. 

The GHD Helios is an attractive model that comes in a number of gorgeous colorways. And, like its predecessor, it has the looks, feel, and, most importantly, performance, of a salon hair dryer that you can use at home.

Read our full GHD Helios review

The best budget hair dryer

The Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer being held in a hand with the concentrator nozzle attached

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best budget hair dryer

Specifications

Wattage: 2,000 / 1,875
Weight: 1.3lbs / 565g
Speed settings: 2
Temperature settings: 3
Cord length: 6ft / 1.8m
Attachments: Concentrator, diffuser

Reasons to buy

+
Very affordable pricing
+
Simple to use
+
Fast drying times

Reasons to avoid

-
Filter not removable
-
Lacks premium feel
-
Shorter-than-average cable

If you’re on a budget this hair dryer from Hot Tools is worth considering. On test, we found the hair dryer, which is known as the Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon 1875 Watts Ionic AC Motor Hair Dryer in the US, was simple to use and it took our shoulder-length fine hair from wet to dry on the hottest setting in a similar time to more expensive models in this list. Although on the lowest temperature setting, after six minutes we gave up as our hair wasn’t anywhere close to dry. 

We feel that it is a good option for holiday go-ers or business travellers because the UK version comes with a dual plug. It's also not the bulkiest or heaviest hair dryer we've seen so it'll help when you're trying to pack light.

To keep the price low, there are some compromises with this hair dryer. It doesn’t have the look and feel of more premium hair dryers and the cable is shorter than we’d expect too. On top of that, the filter isn’t removable, which makes cleaning the hair dryer fiddly, but for those on a budget, these compromises are worth making.

Read our full Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor review

The best premium hair dryer

Hand holding the Dyson Supersonic

(Image credit: Future)
The best premium hair dryer

Specifications

Wattage: 1,600
Weight: 1.5lbs / 697g
Speed settings: 3
Heat settings : 3 + cool shot
Cord length: 9.1ft / 2.8m
Attachments: Diffuser, concentrator, 'gentle' nozzle, flyaway attachment, wide tooth comb

Reasons to buy

+
Fast drying times
+
Array of heat and speed settings
+
Lightweight design 

Reasons to avoid

-
Most expensive model on the market
-
Controls can be fiddly to use

There's no hiding the fact this is an expensive hair dryer – and let’s be honest, is beyond many people’s budgets for a haircare appliance. But Dyson has crammed a shed-load of tech into its Supersonic dryer making it the best hair dryer you can buy right now.

Instead of having the motor behind the nozzle, Dyson has moved it to the handle and this motor sucks in air via a filter in the base rather than through a vent in the barrel. This design shrinks the size of the Supersonic considerably, so it's one of the most compact and lightest hair dryers we've tested. 

During testing, it was extremely quick to use and provided enough shine to negate the need to run the straighteners over it afterward. However, we often blocked the filter with our hand and the buttons are a little fiddly to access mid-dry. We also couldn't get the eye-watering price out of our minds but if you really, really need to have this hair dryer in our life then check out our constantly updated guide to the best Dyson Supersonic deals which could see you save some dollars.

Note: there's an upgraded version of this hair dryer, which you can read about in our Dyson Supersonic Nural review

Read our full Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review

The best lightweight hair dryer

T3 AirLuxe

(Image credit: Future | Photo by Emily Peck)

4. T3 AireLuxe

The best lightweight hair dryer

Specifications

Wattage: 1,875
Weight: 1.07lbs / 485g without cord
Speed settings: 3
Temperature settings: 5 + cool shot
Cord length: 9ft / 2.74m
Attachments: 2x concentrators (diffuser sold separately)

Reasons to buy

+
Ergonomic design
+
Wide range of heat controls
+
Lock-in cool shot easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Top heat setting not that hot

While the T3 AireLuxe is impressively lightweight for a 'full sized' hairdryer, and the build is well-balanced so it's comfortable to hold, too. It also comes packed with features and settings: there's a fantastic ion generator to get rid of frizz, volume boost switch for salon-style blowouts, and 'RapidAire IQ technology', which widens the airflow for quicker drying. Most dryers in this list offer three temperature settings, while the AireLuxe comes with five – although we did think the hottest of those could have been a bit hotter. Two concentrator nozzles come included, and there's a compatible diffuser and smoothing comb which cost extra. 

The AireLuxe costs around the same as our #1 pick, the GHD Helios, and might even be a better pick for some people – specifically anyone looking for lots of styling controls and a lighter build, without shelling out for the Dyson Supersonic (#3, only marginally lighter than the AireLuxe). 

If you want compact-plus-lightweight, check out the T3 Fit (#4) and T3 Afar (#9), which are less powerful but smaller and more travel-friendly. Note: there is now a slightly lighter hair dryer from the same T3 line, but in our T3 Featherweight StyleMax review, our tester found it didn't perform as well as the AireLuxe. 

The best hair dryer with a brush

Revlon Pro Collection One-Step on dressing table

(Image credit: Future)
The best hair dryer with brush

Specifications

Wattage: 800
Weight: 1.87lbs / 850g
Speed settings: 2
Temperature settings: 2
Cord length: 8.2ft / 2.5m
Attachments: None

Reasons to buy

+
Fast drying speeds
+
Makes blow drying easier

Reasons to avoid

-
Very loud
-
Won't dry as well as a regular dryer

The Revlon Pro Collection One-Step Dryer & Volumiser is the best brush hair dryer we've tested. It's effectively a large brush with air vents below the bristles to style your hair as you dry it, and it gave our tester's fine hair a decent shine and kind of volume they'd typically only get from a professional blow-dry. In fact, we'd consider this one of the best hairdryers for fine hair.

The One-Step has two heat settings, plus a cold shot to set your style. While it's great at delivering voluminous, bouncy blowdries fairly quickly and easily, that's all it's really designed to do. For example, if you want to rough-dry your hair, a dedicated hairdryer is a much better tool for the job. Our testers also found it noisy and heavy. If you're looking for a more versatile multi-styler, check out the Shark FlexStyle (#10). 

Read our full Revlon Pro Collection One-Step Dryer and Volumiser review

The best hair dryer for curly hair

The Shark Style iQ hair dryer being held over a grey jewellery box on a dressing table

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best hair dryer for curly hair

Specifications

Wattage: 1,600
Weight: 1.1lb / 500g
Speed settings: 3
Temperature settings: 3
Cord length: 8.2ft / 2.5m
Attachments: Style brush, concentrator, diffuser

Reasons to buy

+
Fast drying speeds
+
Auto temperature / speed adjustment
+
Diffuser with extendable prongs

Reasons to avoid

-
Attachments a little bulky
-
Filter not removable
-
Investment pricing

For those that have curly hair, a diffuser is a must as it disperses the air stream to ensure the curl pattern of the hair isn’t disrupted. However, while many hair dryers ship with a diffuser, the Shark Style iQ, which is known as the Shark HyperAir in the US, goes one step further. 

The diffuser it ships with has extendable prongs that ensure the roots, as well as the ends of curly hair, can be dried evenly, reducing the risk of heat damage, which is why it's our pick for those with curly hair. Even better, the hair dryer will automatically adjust the temperature and air flow settings when you connect the diffuser and other attachments it comes with, so ensure they're at the optimum. It was also fast at drying out hair too. 

While it's not as expensive as the Dyson Supersonic (#3), it's still an investment, and the attachments are bulkier than we'd expect. We were also disappointed during testing to find that it lacks a removable filter.

Read our full Shark Style iQ hair dryer review

The best hair dryer for travel

GHD Flight+ hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)
The best hair dryer for travel

Specifications

Wattage: 1,600
Weight: 1lbs / 500g
Speed settings: 2
Heat settings: 1 + cool shot
Cord length: 6ft / 1.8m
Attachments: Concentrator

Reasons to buy

+
Light and super compact
+
Ergonomic design
+
Dual voltage for travel

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively low power
-
Slow to dry hair
-
Limited heat/speed settings

Finding a good hair dryer for travel can be a challenge: it has to be light and compact for easy packing, but it needs to achieve this without being underpowered and while having enough controls to do a good job. And ideally it should work with any country's power supply. The GHD Flight+ succeeds in most of these areas.

It's particularly good for travel thanks to its folding handle that makes it a lot easier to pack in a suitcase, as well as the ability to switch between 240V and 120V. It does however compromise in terms of power; in our review, our tester found that at its fastest setting it took nearly eight minutes to rough dry her long, fine hair and left if feeling soft but frizzy and lacking in shine. Despite this (not to mention its single heat setting plus cool shot, and only two speed settings), we feel that this is the best option for taking away with you. It's easy to use, relatively versatile and comes at a good price, and you'll get on particularly well with it if you have shorter, finer hair.

Read our full GHD Flight+ hair dryer review

The best mini hair dryer

T3 Fit

(Image credit: T3)
The best mini hair dryer

Specifications

Wattage: 1,600
Weight: 0.79lbs / 357g
Speed settings: 2
Heat settings: 3 + cool shot
Cord length: 9ft / 2.7m
Attachments: Concentrator

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and compact
+
Gentle yet powerful 
+
Ion tech for smooth, shiny hair

Reasons to avoid

-
Shiny body can feel slippery 
-
Cool shot not that cool 

The T3 Fit is light and compact yet pretty powerful, and boasts a lot of features for such a small hair dryer. Like the AireLux (#4), there's IonAir technology to widen the airstream to dry hair gently yet efficiently. Here you'll also find an Ion Generator, which saturates the airflow with negative ions, designed to create a smoother finish. Our testers found this worked well – we'd recommend this model to anyone who struggles with frizz. There's a perfectly acceptable range of speed and heat settings, including a cool shot option to set your style. 

The mini size means it's great for popping into your bag for weekends away, but if you want something even more travel-friendly, check out the T3 Afar, which folds up, has a travel case, and supports two different voltages (read our T3 Afar review for more info).

Read more: T3 Air hair dryer review

The best Dyson alternative hair dryer

Laifen Swift rear showing its temperature and speed controls

(Image credit: Future)
The best alternative to the Dyson Supersonic

Specifications

Wattage: 1,600
Weight: 0.9lbs / 407g
Speed settings: 2
Temperature settings: 3
Cord: 5.9ft / 1.8m
Attachments: Concentrator

Reasons to buy

+
Pretty powerful
+
Beautifully designed
+
Cheaper than a Supersonic

Reasons to avoid

-
Quiet, but not as quiet as promised
-
Short cord
-
No separate cool shot
-
Not available in UK

Much like the Dyson Supersonic (#3) and GHD Helios (#1), the Laifen Swift offers super-fast drying that's still gentle enough to keep hair well-protected. Here, it's bolstered by intelligent thermal sensors which allow for real-time temperature monitoring to minimize heat damage. All this for a relatively pocket-friendly price of $159.99 (unfortunately it's not currently available in the UK). 

Much like the name implies, the Laifen Swift offers rapid hair drying with its high-powered jets of ionized air. During our testing, we were impressed that this hair dryer could completely dry damp, thick, medium-length hair on its highest setting in about seven minutes. Yes, the Dyson Supersonic still comes out on top, hitting four and a half minutes in the same test setting, but it's a very decent alternative at a much lower price. For less porous and thinner hair, expect your hair to dry in around five and a half minutes, which is roughly in line with the manufacturer’s claims. 

It does get a bit hot during use, but not uncomfortably so – though watch out for the accessories, which heat up too. Luckily, they are easily removed, thanks to the magnetic fixture. 

Read our full Laiten Swift review

The best dryer for damaged hair

Zuvi Halo hair dryer with attachments

(Image credit: Future)
The best dryer for damaged hair

Specifications

Wattage: 680W
Weight: 1.2lbs / 546g
Settings: 4 presets + cool shot
Cord: 8.5ft / 2.6m
Attachments: Concentrator, gentle air attachment, diffuser (optional extra)

Reasons to buy

+
Designed to improve hair health
+
Quick and efficient drying
+
Looks good

Reasons to avoid

-
Confusing at first
-
Can't change heat/speed independently
-
Can leave some frizz

The Zuvi Halo is unusual in our ranking in that instead of relying on heat to dry your locks, it harnesses a combination of targeted airflow with 'safe infrared light energy' to get rid of the water on the hair's surface, kind of like how the sun evaporates rainwater. If you have damaged hair and need something gentle, it's well worth checking out; our reviewer found her hair felt noticeably healthier after the testing period using the Zuvi Halo. It also got her hair dry quickly and efficiently. 

Rather than your standard independent heat and airflow adjustment options, the Halo offers five drying presets – Care, Fast, Soft, Style and Cool – each designed to priotritize a different thing. That limits how much control you have, and it's confusing to figure out at first. Our tester also noted mixed results when it came to styling, with not all modes proving successful for her hair type. 

Read our full Zuvi Halo review

The best styling hair dryer

Shark FlexStyle

(Image credit: Future)
The best hair dryer and styler in one

Specifications

Wattage: 1,400
Weight: Varies by attachment
Speed settings: 3
Temperature settings: 3 + cold shot
Cord length: 7.8ft / 2.4m
Attachments: (Choose any 4) concentrator, diffuser, wide tooth comb, round brush, oval brush, paddle brush, 32mm curlers, 24mm curlers, frizz fighter

Reasons to buy

+
Wide range of well-fitting attachments
+
Pick the tools you need
+
Fast yet gentle drying
+
Excellent paddle brush

Reasons to avoid

-
Auto-Wrap Curlers difficult to use
-
Finished styles lack staying power
-
Looks cheap

The Shark FlexStyle – or to give its full name, the Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Hair Drying System – is the US appliance giant’s take on the Dyson Airwrap. Part of an emerging category of hair dryers, the FlexStyle transforms from a hair dryer to a multi-styler with one easy motion.

When we first caught sight of the Shark FlexStyle at IFA 2022 Berlin we had very good first impressions, and we looked forward to trying it out in an at-home setting. We found that on finer, shoulder-length hair and thick, past shoulder-length hair it dried hair really well - and the paddle brush exceeded all others we've tested. It's pretty easy to use and get started with, once you get past the barrage of attachments and styling options. 

On offer with the FlexStyle is the option to dry with five ways to style; curl, straighten, volumise, smooth, and define which could be all you've ever dreamed of in a haircare appliance. As such, we found that it was incredibly versatile on test, yet it would be better suited to those who have longer, thicker hair and naturally wavy or curly hair.

Read our full Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Hair Drying System review

How to choose the best hair dryer for you

When it comes to buying the best hair dryer for you, there are a number of features you should consider starting with three different types of heating element, which warm the air before its projected from the barrel, used in modern hair dryers. Metal elements ensure the hair dryer is more affordable but will cause more heat damage, while ceramic elements ensure the heat is more evenly distributed to diminish the damage. Finally, tourmaline elements release negative ions in the air flow, which speeds up evaporation of the water molecules reducing drying time but also make hair appear smoother. 

The higher the wattage of a hair dryer, the faster the air flow, which means it will dry your hair quicker. However high wattage hair dryers are usually powered by an AC (alternating current) motor, which makes them heavier. Lower wattage hair dryers are more lightweight because they tend to use lighter DC (direct current) motors but they’re not as powerful. 

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer with attachments on countertop

(Image credit: Future)

Also, consider whether you want a hair dryer that has ‘iconic technology’. These hair dryers usually feature tourmaline elements, and as we’ve already mentioned release negative ions to speed up evaporation and reduce flyaway strands, but some will also eject positive ions that can be used to boost the volume at the roots of the hair. 

Hair dryers with cool shot buttons are ideal for those that painstakingly style their hair rather than rough dry it, as a blast of cool air will set the style. It’s worth checking out the attachments included with the hair dryer; nozzles are good for sleek, smooth styles, while diffusers ensure curly hair is defined and bouncy.

Once you've bought you're new hair dryer, it may be helpful to check out our guides on how to blow dry your hair the right way and which hair dryer settings you should use to get the results you want without doing any damage. This will help you to get the most out of your new purchase.

Frequently asked questions about hair dryers

Which hair dryer brand is best?

From our at-home testing we can say with confidence that the best hair dryer brand is GHD. We love the GHD Helios. It's quick to heat up and has a super-fast hair drying time. We're also a big fan of the stunning design - it's available in different colors and just feels nice to hold.

A very close runner-up is from Dyson. It's not surprising that the Dyson Supersonic happens to be the most expensive on our list but aside from this, it is one of the best hair dryers we have reviewed which would be our #1 choice it it wasn't for the money.

Does a good hair dryer make a difference?

A good quality hair dryer will have the heat control and power to dry hair quickly. The quicker you can dry your hair, the better. This is because the hair will be less exposed to the direct source of heat.

Keep a look out for tourmaline and ceramic technology. Ceramic will help to distribute the heat more evenly, and the tourmaline is a mineral that'll help to combat frizz by helping to retain some moisture.

What hair dryer is best for curly hair?

As we've already mentioned, those with curly hair should opt for a hair dryer that includes a diffuser. This attachment, which has a head much wider than the barrel of a hair dryer, features prongs designed to lit each strand of hair so the hot air can penetrate it. At the same time, the diffuser disperses the air stream to ensure the curl pattern of the hair isn’t disrupted.

While many hair dryers come with a diffuser, we particularly rate the Shark HyperAir, which is known as the Shark Style iQ in the UK, for two reasons. First the diffuser it ships with has extendable prongs, so the roots as well as the ends of curly hair, can be dried evenly - this helps reduce the risk of heat damage to the hair. 

Secondly, the hair dryer will automatically adjust the speed and temperature to the optimum levels for the attachments connected to the hair dryer, including the diffuser. So you don't have to worry about changing these yourself - again helping to reduce the amount of heat damage or curl disruption caused by the hair dryer. 

Is a hair dryer harmful to hair?

Using any heat on your hair will damage the outer protective coating, known as a cuticle layer. Tiny holes will start to appear, and continued use of high heat will see these grow bigger and bigger, with the cuticle layer disintegrating completely, leaving the inner layer of hair strands. When these are exposed, the strands very quickly suffer from breakage. 

However, leaving your hair to dry naturally isn't an option for many of us. With that in mind, if you are planning on using a hair dryer, apply a heat protection styling spray before blow drying, and keep the heat level to a medium,  to reduce the amount of damage a hair dryer causes to your hair.

How we tested these hair dryers

To test the products we've featured in this best hair dryers guide we take in to account the speed settings, temperature settings and how well they blow dry hair. We also monitored the sound level, and factored in how comfortable and balanced they were to use. We also considered cable length, and handy features like hanging loops, cord storage, and even cool shot buttons.    

Our review panel all have different hair types so to compare the hair dryers we access the specifications and review verdicts to ensure they are ordered correctly in this guide.

Meet our reviewers

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

victoria woolaston
Victoria Woolaston

Vicky has reviewed a lot of hair dryers for us over the years. She's reviewed the GHD Helios, Shark FlexStyle and Revlon Pro Collection One Step Dryer and Volumiser in this guide. Vicky has thin, should length hair with a natural curl.

Josie Watson with dog
Josephine Watson

TechRadar's Managing Ed Josie has a keen eye for the cool shot on hair dryers, amongst other essential features. She's reviewed the Laifen Swift in this round-up. Josie has thick, medium-length hair.

Emily Peck
Emily Peck

A regular contributor for TechRadar, Emily has reviewed various appliances for the home, including hair dryers. She has reviewed the T3 Fit in this buyer's guide. Emily has long, wavy hair that’s prone to frizz.

Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.

With contributions from