Even if you have a cut that would make General MacArthur proud, your home needs a good hair dryer. Whether it’s for your wife, your kids, or to quickly dry out your socks, it’s an essential purchase. It’s also a confusing purchase since the price range can run from $20 to $550 and the features involved are more variable than what you find buying a new car.
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So when looking for a hair dryer, you need to take a few factors into account. First off, get a lightweight hair dryer, with conveniently placed buttons that let you toggle between settings as needed. You need multiple heat and speed settings, so you can get the exact look you want, in the time you want, without burning your scalp, or walking out with wet hair. The higher the wattage, the more power it has. And lastly, you want a long-enough cord that you’re not tethered to your outlet, unable to turn around or move in any direction.
Based on all the above criteria, coupled with our own favorites and user reviews, here are the best hair dryers for your money.
If you want smooth and shiny hair, get this hair dryer. It's lightweight, comes with three attachments and three heat settings.
Pros: With this hair dryer, we particularly like the comb attachment, which helps make you look like you just got groomed.
Cons: The highest heat setting may be too hot for some folks.
If you tend to go frizzy but want shiny hair, invest in this award-winning hair dryer.
Pros: This hair dryer is digitally-controlled to fight frizz and give you the shiny, glossy hair you want. It works fast, too.
Cons: It’s not as powerful as some would like.
The Bed Head dryer is specifically meant for curly hair. It gives curly hair texture and shine.
Pros: This hair dryer is great because it can be used two ways, both as a traditional hair dryer and with the diffuser attachment to tend to your curly hair and style your curls.
Cons: It’s loud, and works better on shorter hair.
And now, we bring you a hair dryer made for kids. It has two speed settings to ensure gentle drying without overheating your kid's hair.
Pros: A cute hair dryer for kids, this one is small enough for (older) kids to use themselves.
Cons: Because it’s made for kids, it’s not as powerful as adult dryers.
This super-lightweight hair dryer, with two speed settings, is another solid choice for kids, especially those old enough to handle it themselves.
Pros: This dryer’s main selling point is how lightweight it is. While some dryers give you carpal tunnel syndrome, this one is easy to lift. And it’s ideal for drying kids’ hair quickly with no drama.
Cons: The air doesn’t get as hot as with other dryers, but that’s sort of the point if you’re using it on kids.
Turn ions on if you want sleek, smooth and shiny hair, and turn it off if you want curls and volume.
Pros: This hair dryer looks cool, yes. But it also delivers uniform heat for quick drying, and has three heat and two speed settings.
Cons: It doesn’t get hot enough for some.
Is it a dryer, or is a styler? Wait, it's both! And it styles and dries your hair in minutes.
Pros: This is bar none the best dry-styler we’ve ever used. It doesn’t burn your scalp. It’s easy to operate. It gives you gloss or volume or whatever look you want. And the price isn’t hair-raising.
Cons: Beware that it can overheat, say some reviewers, although we have not had this experience.
This powerful 2000-watt dryer features ceramic technology to produce extra gentle, infrared heat that dries your hair without damaging it.
Pros: We’ve known people who’ve used this brand for years, and have had the same model with zero issues. This hair dryer has four temperature settings and an 8mm concentrator nozzle that can be attached when needed. You can go from sleek to sultry in seconds.
Cons: Some customers complain that the control switches aren’t all that user-friendly.
We love this dryer because it weighs slightly more than one pound, but packs in plenty of power and features two speed and six heat combinations.
Pros: With this hair dryer, you get ionic technology that helps reduce frizz and static, coupled with a motor created for turbo drying with maximum airflow. You can end the styling session with a cool burst of air. The removable cap makes cleaning the filter super-easy.
Cons: Some folks say the cord is too short.
Not only is this hair dryer oh so pretty, but it's pretty powerful, too. It packs 2000 watts and the ionic settings cut down on frizziness. .
Pros: Its appearance aside, we love that this hair dryer has a turbo setting for thick hair and a low setting for fine hair. Plus, the switches make it insanely easy to operate. And it comes with a diffuser attachment.
Cons: It’s a bit pricey for what you get.
Thanks to its quiet, but powerful 1875-watt AC motor, this dryer dries your tresses up to 50 percent faster than other dryers.
Pros: This hair dryer, for the price, is designed with both ceramic and ionic technology, meaning less damage done to your hair, while giving you more styling choices. It has three heat settings and includes two attachments, a concentrator for straightening hair and a diffuser that provides a natural wave.
Cons: It has two speeds, and some customers complain that even the lower setting is too strong.
This is the Tesla of hair dryers. It prevents damage because it measures air temperature 20 times every second, keeping it under control. Oh, and it's ridiculously fast-drying.
Pros: It’s the quietest hair dryer we’ve ever used. And it’s got four exacting heat settings, plus three equally precise speed settings, to ensure you get the specific look you want. It’s easy on the eyes, too, if not the wallet.
Cons: The price.
Be prepared for a salon-quality finish in half the time. Customers swear that it cuts their drying time by half.
Pros: ghd stands for good hair day, which is what you’ll have with this gadget. It’s got an ergonomic design for easy handling and an extra-long cord for extra flexibility. Plus, this hair dryer uses advanced ionic technology to lock in moisture to make your hair shinier and softer.
Cons: Some buyers complain about its weight, and the fact that it’s hard to open the lint trap.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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