The 10 Best Hair Dryers of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

The Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000 blew our minds

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Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Whether you reach for it every day or just when you want to smooth out your strands, everyone needs a good blow dryer in their arsenal. While you might think a hair dryer is a hair dryer, you'd be surprised. From tourmaline ceramic and ionic technology to high-tech air jets and diffusers promising bouncy natural curls, the modern market offers tons of options.

When shopping around, hairstylist Sky Kim says to "make sure you check for the heat and speed settings and what kind of technology they use to maximize volume and eliminate frizz." To help you narrow down your choices, we tried upwards of 30 blow dryers in The Lab. The user-friendly, fast-drying, feature-rich Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000 is our top pick, but several are worth considering.

Here are the best hair dryers, tested and approved by Byrdie.

Cyber Monday Deal

The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer, one of our top picks, is 20% off.

Best Overall: Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000 Watt Ionic Hair Dryer

5
Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000 Watt Ionic Hair Dryer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Ergonomic design

  • Extra-long power cord

  • Salon-level results

What We Don't Like
  • Some online reviewers felt it was too heavy

The Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000 earned perfect scores all around in terms of ease of use, features, drying performance, look and feel durability, and overall value. Our tester loved how it felt in her hand. She said it was easy to maneuver, thanks to the ergonomic design, grooved control switches, easy-to-access turbo button, and extra-long power cord.

In addition to the turbo boost, this blow dryer has three speeds, three temperature settings, and a cold-shot button. There's also an ionizer switch for customizing how voluminous or smooth you want your hair.

Our tester said it not only dried her hair efficiently but also smoothed out her unruly waves, preventing them from getting frizzy in humid New York City weather. She used it with a round brush and loved how easy it was to create a sleek look with flippy ends and swoopy bangs. The price is somewhat steep, but considering the high-quality design and salon-level results, we think this hair dryer is well worth the investment.

Features: AC motor, 3 speeds, 3 temperatures, turbo boost, cold shot, diffuser, 9-foot power cord, ergonomic handle | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $72

Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000 Watt Ionic Hair Dryer

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Testers Say

"I gave myself a really solid blowout in under 20 minutes." —Caitlyn Martyn, Commerce Writer

Best Budget: Conair InfinitiPRO SmoothWrap Hair Dryer

4.9
Conair InfinitiPRO SmoothWrap Hair Dryer with Dual Ion Therapy

Amazon

What We Like
  • Sturdy and compact

  • Dries hair quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Some online reviews noted that it doesn't get hot enough

Interested in something more budget-friendly? We highly recommend Conair's InfinitiPRO SmoothWrap. Our tester liked the overall design, explaining that it's sturdy and compact with a long cord and a velcro strap for securing it. It's got two speeds, three heat settings, and a cold-shot button and comes with a concentrator attachment and a diffuser.

Our tester's hair was dry in under five minutes, and the concentrator nozzle helped minimize frizz. Though this isn't the cheapest hair dryer you'll find at the drugstore, we still think the price is on-point for the quality, features, and performance.

Features: Ceramic technology, dual ion therapy, 6 heat/speed settings, cold shot, diffuser, removable filter | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $40

Conair InfinitiPRO SmoothWrap Hair Dryer with Dual Ion Therapy

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Splurge: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

5
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Ulta

What We Like
  • Dries hair quickly

  • Compact and sturdy

  • Magnetic attachments

What We Don't Like
  • Air filter on handle

This may not come as a surprise, but if you're open to splurging on a blow dryer, the Dyson Supersonic is where it's at. After trying it out in The Lab, we can confirm it is that good. Our tester wasn't sure where to place her hand at first since the air filter is at the bottom of the handle. Still, it dried her hair remarkably fast, leaving her with a smooth blowout in under five minutes.

This compact and sturdy hair dryer comes with a whopping five magnetic attachments, including a flyaway nozzle, a concentrator, a diffuser, a gentle air attachment, and a wide-tooth comb. It also flaunts seven heat and speed settings, plus a cold-shot button for sealing in your look. Once you get the hang of all the bells and whistles, the Supersonic is quick and easy to use.

Features: Intelligent heat control, diffuser, flyaway attachment, concentrator nozzle, wide-tooth comb, gentle air attachment, 7 heat/speed settings, cold shot | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $600

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Lightweight: Instyler Turbo Ionic Hair Dryer

4.8
InStyler Turbo Ionic Hair Dryer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Reasonably priced

  • Dial air settings

  • Extra-long power cord

What We Don’t Like
  • Only two heat settings

  • Not the best for shine

Prefer a lightweight model? The InStyler Turbo Ionic Dryer weighs less than a pound (13.5 ounces, to be exact) and boasts an efficient DC (direct current) motor and a powerful turbine fan. Our tester liked that the air settings are on a dial, making them easy to adjust as you dry your hair.

We also appreciate the extra-long power cord and included attachments. This blow dryer has only two heat settings, but it does the job. Though she would have liked to see a bit more shine, our tester said it made her hair nice and smooth. Considering the features, quality, and overall design, we think the price is pretty reasonable too.

Features: 2 heat settings, cold shot, custom airflow, tourmaline ceramic technology, diffuser, smoothing nozzle, 9-foot power cord | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $90

What Our Testers Say

"This is the lightest-weight blow dryer I tried today. It has nice settings and is a solid dryer." —Shannon Bauer, Product Tester

Best Quick-Drying: ghd Air 1600W Professional Hair Dryer

4.9
GHD Air 1600W Professional Hair Dryer

Sephora

What We Like
  • Efficient and effective

  • Compact and sturdy

  • Long power cord

What We Don’t Like
  • Only two attachments

If you're short on time and need something that dries your hair quickly, look no further than the GHD Air 1600W. This blow dryer is undoubtedly expensive, but hear us out. Toggling between high and low heat, our tester said it effectively dried her colored hair in seven minutes, leaving her with a high-volume, frizz-free finish she thinks would hold up in humid weather.

We liked the compact and sturdy design, long power cord, and range of settings. This hair dryer also comes with a smoothing concentrator and a diffuser ring for creating bouncy curls. While we'd like to see a couple more attachments for this price, we're all-around pleased with the performance of the Air 1600W.

Features: Precision nozzles, diffuser, AC motor, 3 temperatures, 2 speeds | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $199

ghd Air 1600W Professional Hair Dryer

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Testers Say

"It worked quickly, drying half of my hair in seven minutes at high speed and low heat. It felt powerful and didn't leave my hair frizzy." —Mandy Shum, Product Tester

Best Design: amika The CEO 360° Lightweight Powerhouse Hair Dryer

4.6
Amika The CEO 360° Lightweight Powerhouse Hair Dryer

Sephora

What We Like
  • Light and compact

  • Extremely durable

  • Feature-rich design

What We Don’t Like
  • Some reviewers noted that it overheats

We were thoroughly impressed with this pretty printed hair dryer from Amika. Flaunting a feature-rich design, The CEO has an ergonomic handle and adjustable temperature settings, plus positive and negative ion generators that promise to penetrate each strand, seal your hair cuticles, and deliver enviable volume.

Our tester said it doesn't emit a ton of heat, so her hair didn't feel fried afterward. She also liked the cold-shot button, explaining that it helped keep frizz at bay and gave her hair a bit of oomph. Though this blow dryer is one of the more expensive options we tried, it was ultimately user-friendly and effective. Not only that, but it passed the drop test with no scuffs or scratches to speak of.

Features: Ergonomic design, positive and negative ions, adjustable heat, cold shot | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $200

amika The CEO 360° Lightweight Powerhouse Hair Dryer

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Testers Say

"It has a cooling feature which didn't make my hair frizzy but gave me the boosted volume I needed."—Leslie Kelly, Product Tester

Best for Curly Hair: DevaCurl DevaDryer and DevaFuser For All Curl Kind

4.7
DevaCurl DevaDryer & DevaFuser For All Curl Kind

Dermstore

What We Like
  • Easy to maneuver

  • Hand-shaped diffuser

  • Dries hair quickly

What We Don’t Like
  • Some reviewers felt that it dries slowly

Curly hair? The DevaDryer is your best bet. Our tester loved how it felt in her hand, explaining that it's comfortable, lightweight, and easy to maneuver with a long power cord. This blow dryer has three temperature settings, two fan speeds, and a cold-shot button. But it stands out for its signature hand-shaped diffuser attachment (aka the DevaFuser).

With the diffuser attached, this blow dryer dried our tester's curly mane within eight minutes. (This was a significant improvement from the typical 20 minutes it takes her). She loved the finished look of her hair, explaining that the DevaDryer and DevaFuser enhanced her natural texture and curl pattern while minimizing frizz and flyaways. The price is steep, but it might be a worthwhile investment if you want to give your curls the ultimate drying treatment.

Features: Hand-shaped diffuser, ionic technology, 3 temperatures, 2 speeds, cold shot | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $175

What Our Testers Say

"I loved how my hair looked at the end. I also really liked the attachments. They were super effective, especially the hand."—Maia Magill, Product Tester

Best Portable: T3 Afar Travel Size Hair Dryer

4.7
T3 Afar Travel Size Hair Dryer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Light and compact

  • Dries hair quickly

  • Extra-long power cord

  • Travel pouch

What We Don’t Like
  • No cord-wrap solution

For on-the-go blowouts, we recommend the T3 Afar. Weighing just over 12 ounces with a convenient folding handle, this travel-sized hair dryer is lightweight and compact. But despite the small size, it doesn't skimp on features or performance. Our tester liked the various heat and speed settings. She said it dried her hair notably quickly, leaving her with healthy-looking strands and minimal frizz.

We also appreciate the extra-long power cord, especially since you never know where your nearest outlet will be when you're on a trip. And while there's no velcro strap to wrap up the cord, this hair dryer comes with a heat-safe travel pouch. It's pricey, but the two-year warranty can give you some peace of mind about your purchase.

Features: Ionic technology, folding handle, 3 temperatures, 2 speeds, cold shot, concentrator attachment, 9-foot power cord, travel case | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $180

T3 Afar Travel Size Hair Dryer

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Value: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer

4.6
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • User-friendly

  • Sleek, shiny results

What We Don’t Like
  • Potentially too hot

  • Diffuser not included

In terms of overall value, we think the BaBylissPRO Nano is the best deal. It's not particularly cheap nor exorbitantly expensive and has all the features we'd want in a hair dryer. Our tester liked the lightweight, user-friendly design, explaining that the buttons are intuitive and the long power cord offers plenty of slack.

This blow dryer has three temperature settings, two speeds, and a cold-shot button. The highest heat was a little too hot, but our tester said the medium worked well and delivered sleek, shiny results. Though you'll have to buy the diffuser separately, it comes with a concentrator nozzle for smoothing.

Features: 3 temperatures, 2 speeds, cold shot, concentrator nozzle, 9-foot power cord | Wireless: No

Price at time of publish: $90

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Editors Say

"I think this is fairly priced. A blow dryer under $100 with all the setting options, an attachment, and good power feels about right." —Shannon Bauer, Senior Commerce Editor

Best Customizable: Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System

4.9
Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System

Shark

What We Like
  • Multiple style attachments

  • Serves as a stand-alone dryer

  • Salon-quality results

What We Don't Like
  • Can be tricky to get the hang of

If you style your hair on a regular basis and love using a variety of different settings and tools, the Shark is the one for you. You can personalize the tool, choosing between three dryer heads and three styling attachments as well as four heat and three speed settings. It reaches a max temperature of 95 degrees, so you can rest assured knowing you won’t burn or damage your hair. The best part? Senior Commerce Beauty Editor Kaitlin Clark tried it head to head against the Dyson  and found that it gives the Airwrap a run for it’s money while being significantly cheaper. 

Price at time of publish: $270

Features: Standard hair dryer with 6 styling attachments, 4 heat settings, 3 speed settings | Wireless: No

What Our Editors Say

"The Shark harnesses similar technology to the Dyson but offers a more diverse set of attachments and provides glossy, runway-style hair." —Kaitlin Clark, Senior Commerce Editor

Final Verdict

Our top choice is the Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000, a powerful, user-friendly blow dryer that delivers salon-level results.  However, if you're on a budget, we recommend the compact and sturdy Conair InfinitiPRO SmoothWrap Hair Dryer, which dries hair notably fast. And if you're open to splurging on a truly impressive model, you can't go wrong with the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.

How We Tested

We spent days researching today's best hair dryers, compiling expert recommendations, and combing through user reviews before narrowing it down to 32 models to try out first-hand. Each option was evaluated by our testers, who tried them out on their hair, which ranged from short, long, thick, thin, straight, and curly.

We considered how they felt in our hands, how quickly they dried our hair, how they held up with a drop test, whether the finished results were up to par, and if the price seemed reasonable. The blow dryers were then rated on a scale from one to five for ease of use, features, drying performance, look, durability, and overall value. Those with the highest scores were ultimately chosen for this roundup. All tests took place in The Lab, our in-house product testing facility in Manhattan.

Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000 Watt Ionic Hair Dryer

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Other Options We Tested

Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 

We loved how compact this blow dryer is and appreciated the adjustable settings and intuitive design. It also dries hair quickly. While our tester liked the smooth, minimally frizzy results, she said it left her hair a bit flat, so it might not be ideal for fine hair. The price is pretty steep too.

Chi Lava Hair Dryer 

Though it's lightweight and compact, we were impressed by the Lava dryer’s power and performance. The 11-foot power cord is also convenient, though there's no cord-wrapping solution for storing or packing the blow dryer for trips. While it gets the job done, another thing to note is that it sustained a couple of scratches from our drop tests.

Eva NYC Healthy Heat Pro-Lite Dryer 

After trying out this blow dryer, our tester said there was no noticeable difference between the settings. It's billed as a healthier option for drying your hair but ultimately felt like a standard model. It did an OK job drying our tester's hair, but the results were flat and didn't look particularly styled. In the end, we'd probably pass on this one.

Meet the Expert

Sky Kim is a New York-based hairstylist with over a decade of professional experience. She is also a member of Byrdie's Beauty & Wellness Review Board.

What to Look For in Hair Dryers

Weight

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to take breaks from blowing out your hair because your dryer is testing your arm muscles. Weight is a factor to consider when you’re looking at different hair dryers. A typical hair dryer will weigh a couple of pounds, so be cautious about purchasing a dryer that has a substantially higher weight listed.

Heat Settings

There are hair dryers that come with up to five heat settings and others with only two. If you prefer warm versus hot air—or even cool air—pay close attention to the dryer’s features. Of course, lower-temperature air will cause less damage.

Speed Settings

If you have thicker hair, you can benefit from a higher-powered hair dryer capable of cutting down your drying time. Aside from that, dryers can come with a more diverse set of speed settings, whether that be two or three. This is convenient if you find higher speeds make drying your hair more difficult.

Cord Length

Do you find yourself standing or sitting when drying your hair? Is there an outlet conveniently located for plugging in your dryer? Cord length is important to maximize your comfort, given that drying your hair can take a whole lot longer than you’d like. While you can use an extension cord, it’s easier to take a look at the length of a dryer’s cord to simplify things.

Technology

People swear by different hair-drying technologies. There are dryers with ionic technology, pearl ceramic technology, infrared technology, tourmaline technology, hydronic crystal technology, Aeroprecis technology, and the list goes on. To make matters more complicated, the technology of the dryer often pairs better with select hair types. For example, ionic technology is ideal for frizzy hair.

FAQ
  • How do you use a hair dryer?

    Ultimately, how you dry your hair depends on personal preference and your hair type. There isn’t necessarily a “right” way. After showering, begin by gently drying your hair with a towel. Apply your favorite hair products and a heat protectant. From there, you’ll want to separate your hair into sections and tailor the rest of your routine to your hair type.

  • What type of hair dryer is safest for hair?

    Drying your hair with a hair dryer will inevitably cause damage. However, hair dryers that use ionic, ceramic, or tourmaline technology with multiple heat settings are safest.

  • How often should you dry your hair?

    There isn’t necessarily a set number of times you should dry your hair with a hair dryer each week. It’s dependent on several factors—how often you wash your hair, your hair type, the length of time it takes to dry your hair, and how much damage you’re willing to take. Generally, it’s best not to use a hair dryer after every shower you take.

What Is Byrdie Verified?

Did you notice the Byrdie Verified seal of approval at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology that’s designed to focus on what our readers want to know—and to deliver insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce beauty writer, copy editor, and product tester. For this story, she compiled expert insight and commentary from testers to craft thorough, trustworthy product recommendations. She's tried blow dryers and other hot hair tools from several of the brands on this list, including Hot Tools, Conair, GHD, T3, BaBylissPRO, Amika, InStyler, and Chi. Theresa has been covering haircare, makeup, and lifestyle products at Byrdie since 2020. You can read more of her stories on Travel + Leisure and People.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Malkani RH, Shirolikar SM, Karmakar S, Setia MS. Hair Styling Procedures and Hair Morphology: A Clinico-Microscopic Comparison StudyIndian Dermatol Online J. 2020;11(4):551-558. Published 2020 Jul 13. doi:10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_452_19

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