The Best Hot Air Brushes, Tested by Our Experts

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Hot air brushes

Byrdie / Conor Ralph

When it comes to hair styling, we’re all about anything and everything that'll speed up the process and get us out the door faster. Enter hot air brushes, which act as part blow dryer, part curling iron, and part straightener, allowing you to both dry your hair and create smoothness, bend, or movement in one fell swoop.

“The best part of a hot air brush is that it cuts down on styling time,” says Zoya Ghamari, hairstylist and owner of Zoya Salon in Dallas. “It also helps you dry and style your hair at the same time.” Alex Brown, a Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist, adds that hot air brushes can help pump up the volume and give you the look of a round brush blow-dry without having to use multiple tools. We know it sounds like a dream, but how do you pick the right one? Well, we did all the hard work for you and headed over to The Lab, located in Industry City, Brooklyn, to conduct our own comprehensive tests.

After we picked the brains of experts who recommended their top choices, we tested 12 hot air brushes in The Lab for about 24 hours total. We tested them on people with five different hair types and lengths. Each tester then rated every brush on a scale of one to five for ease of use, glide performance, drying performance, styling performance, and durability.

Here are the results and the best hot air brushes for all your at-home blowout needs.

Best Overall: Dyson Airwrap Styler

4.7
Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4.8/5
  • Glide Performance
    4.8/5
  • Drying Ability
    4.6/5
  • Styling Ability
    4.6/5
  • Durability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Innovative

  • Includes multiple attachments

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • Small barrel

Dyson, which is known for its high-tech household appliances, made a big splash in the beauty world when it launched its techy blow-dryer in 2016. Since then, the brand has made beauty waves with its hair straightener and this multi-use styler that can dry, curl, wave, or smooth your hair. This hot air brush is also a favorite of Ghamari, who says it's the best in terms of quality and versatility. All of our testers at The Lab agreed. 

The Airwrap scored high marks across the board: an average of 4.8/5 for ease of use and glide performance, while styling and drying performance clocked in at an average of 4.6/5. It also got extra points in our book because it comes with six attachments that can convert it into a blow dryer, curling wand, or smoothing brush—a special feature that we think makes its $550 price tag worth it, if you can swing it in your budget.

The only thing we wished was different was that it came with a larger barrel brush. With the smaller barrel (2.2 inches), all of our testers were able to get deep into the roots to create volume but not quite a big, voluminous Hollywood curl. Don’t get us wrong, though—that doesn’t stop us from giving this the best overall title.

Heat Settings: Cool, medium, high, cool shot, and three air pressures | Voltage: 120 | Cord Length: 8.75 feet | Warranty: 2 years | Barrel Size: 2.2 inches | Temperature Test:  211°F

Dyson Airwrap

Byrdie / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

"The Dyson Airwrap slightly straightened my 3b/c hair on the first pass. It completely straightened my hair from the mid-shaft down through the ends with about three to five more passes. My hair was completely stretched out in what felt like less than five minutes. My hair has truthfully never looked this good or felt this smooth using a hot tool.”Danielle Ransom, Editorial Commerce Producer

Best Budget: Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer

4.1
Revlon One Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Glide Performance
    4/5
  • Drying Ability
    4.2/5
  • Styling Ability
    4.2/5
  • Durability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Easy to use

What We Don’t Like
  • A little bulky

We consider this brush the OG in this category. With an oval shape and rounded edges, it's designed to give your hair sky-high volume, boosting strands at the root and leaving the lengths with plenty of body and bend. Our testers agreed that it was a little bulky and had a shorter handle, but overall, they thought it was easy to use—they gave it an average rating of 4/5 in that category.

In terms of glide performance, while it worked well for our fine-haired tester, our thicker-haired tester felt it put up a bit of a fight. All of our testers were happy with how quickly it dried their hair (it scored an average of 4.2/5 in that category), but they also believed that it dried so fast due to how hot it got—which may not support hair health over time. Overall, though, our testers were super impressed with this pick, especially given its low price point. 

It's also worth noting that Revlon came out with a newer version of this hot air brush: the One-Step Volumizer Plus. We also put this product to the test in The Lab, and while that one scored well across the board, too, our testers agreed that they liked the original better. However, the updated version has a detachable head, which makes it particularly great for traveling. 

Heat Settings: Cool, medium, high | Voltage: 120 | Cord Length: 6 feet | Warranty: 4 years | Barrel Size: 4.25 inches | Temperature Test:  210°F

Revlon One-Step Volumizer

Byrdie / Conor Ralph

What Our Editors Say

  • "I am not kidding when I say the Revlon One-Step Dryer changed my life. Before I discovered it, I thought my dreams of achieving a smooth blowout at home were only a fantasy. Now, I haven’t booked a salon blowout in years since trying this dryer brush. It not only gives me the sleek, soft, and bouncy look I crave, but it also couldn’t be any easier to use. It’s beyond worth the hype." Karli Bendlin, Senior Editor
  • “My hair was left softer, smoother, with minimal frizz and a nice flip at the end. It was speedy to use.”Jesa Marie Calaor, Editor

Best Features: T3 Airebrush Duo

4.5
T3 Airebrush Duo
Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4.7/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Drying Ability
    4/5
  • Styling Ability
    4.3/5
  • Durability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Many features

  • Two heads

  • Long cord

What We Don’t Like
  • Slightly longer drying time

Leave it to T3 to go the extra mile—the brand's hot air brush has five heat settings and three speed settings, while most of the brushes we tested had three heat settings and two speed settings. This tool comes with a round head for a more voluminous look and a paddle brush head for a sleek, straight look. It also features a negative ion generator that produces 10 million negative ions per second—a feature that is designed to leave hair shiny and smooth.

Our tester with coarse hair loved this tool so much that it's now her go-to at home. “This one is easier than the others," she said. "I didn’t have the skills to recreate the round brush curl look at home until I started using this tool." For this reason, she gave this one a 5/5 for ease of use; its average score in this category was 4.7/5.

However, another tester noticed that this tool took a little longer to dry her long hair than the other brushes. After testing the temperature, though, it made more sense—we found that the brush only reached 190°F, which was the second-lowest max temperature of any of the tools we tested.

Heat Settings: 5 heat settings, 3 speed settings | Voltage: 125 | Cord Length: 9 feet | Warranty: 2 years | Barrel Size: 2.5 inches | Temperature Test:  190°F

T3 Aire Brush Duo

Byrdie / Connor Ralph

Best for Shine: Hot Tools Black Gold One-Step Detachable Blowout

4.7
Hot Tools Black Gold One-Step Detachable Blowout

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4.3/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Drying Ability
    5/5
  • Styling Ability
    4.3/5
  • Durability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Great results

  • No testers experienced damage

What We Don’t Like
  • Felt very hot

The Hot Tools Black Gold One-Step Detachable Blowout features ion technology that promises to help prevent damage (while warding off any frizz or static), as well as charcoal-infused bristles, which are designed to ensure a smooth finish. When our testers tried this product, they found that both of those claims were true.

All of our testers were shocked by how shiny and smooth their hair felt after using this hot air brush—especially given its affordable price tag. Across the board, our testers gave this brush a 5/5 for its glide and drying performance while its styling performance averaged a 4.3/5 rating. Although each tester loved how shiny it made their hair feel, the heat sometimes felt too intense. (When we tested the max temperature of this brush, we found that it reached 260°F.) 

Heat Settings: Cool, medium, high | Voltage: 120 | Cord Length: 8 feet | Warranty: 7 years | Barrel Size: 2.8 inches | Temperature Test:  260°F

Hot Tools Black Gold One-Step Detachable Blowout

Byrdie / Connor Ralph

What Our Testers Say

“After a full day of testing hot air brushes, the task became tiring and repetitive—until I ran this one across my hair. It was exciting to see my hair dry so quickly with the movement and shine this brush creates. Bonus: It's an incredible value at $52.” Jesa Marie Calaor, Editor

Best for Volume: INH Insert Blowout Here

4
INH Insert Blowout Here

Urban Outfitters

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4.4/5
  • Glide Performance
    4.4/5
  • Drying Ability
    3.6/5
  • Styling Ability
    3.4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Easy to use

What We Don’t Like
  • A little bulky

Our testers noticed immediate volume, smoothness, and minimal frizz when they tried Insert Name Here’s Insert Blowout Here brush—thanks in part to its oval-shaped brush, which gets right to the roots, and its ion generator plates.

Our testers also noted that it dried their hair in record time—when our long-haired tester used it, it only took two passes to get it bone-dry. They also rated it a 4.4/5 for ease of use due to its straightforward and user-friendly design. Glide performance also came in at an average of 4.4/5—our coarse-haired tester had a harder time adjusting to the 3.3-inch barrel, but eventually, she got the hang of it and was pleased with the curl it left in her hair.

Heat Settings: Cool, medium, high | Voltage: 120 | Cord Length: 8 feet | Warranty: 1 year | Barrel Size: 3.3 inches | Temperature Test:  200°F

Insert Name Here Hot Air Brush

Byrdie / Nick Kova

Best Detangling: Trademark Beauty Easy Blo One Step Dryer & Volumizer

4.2
Trademark Beauty Easy Blo One Step Dryer & Volumizer

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4.3/5
  • Glide Performance
    4/5
  • Drying Ability
    5/5
  • Styling Ability
    3.7/5
  • Durability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Dual-bristles

  • Smooth finish 

What We Don’t Like
  • Plastic smell

Created by celebrity hairstylist Joseph Maine, Trademark Beauty’s Easy Blo features nylon pin bristles, which are designed to detangle the hair, as well as tufted bristles that create smoothness and shine. While in The Lab, our testers noted that these two types of bristles made the glide very easy and, yes, doubled as a detangler. 

Each of our also testers noticed that their hair had a smooth finish and that they could run their fingers through it effortlessly—for this reason, all of them gave this brush's drying performance a 5/5 rating. The only real complaint about this tool is that when they first turned it on, there was a bit of a plastic smell—however, once the tool was in use, the smell went away. Our testers also loved the brush's bright pink color.

Heat Settings: Cool, Medium, High | Voltage: 120 | Cord Length: 8 feet | Warranty: N/A | Barrel Size: 3.25 inches | Temperature Test:  202°F

Trademark Beauty Easy Blo

Byrdie / Connor Ralph

Best for Natural Hair: Drybar The Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush

4.4
Drybar the double shot hot air brush

Sephora

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4.6/5
  • Glide Performance
    4.4/5
  • Drying Ability
    4.4/5
  • Styling Ability
    4.2/5
  • Durability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Good grip

  • Works on all hair types

What We Don’t Like
  • Felt hot

If you have natural hair, Drybar's The Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush is the perfect fit for you. Our tester with 3b/c hair loved the way her hair looked and felt after using this tool. “I was able to pass it through my hair multiple times in under a couple of minutes," she said. “The head of the brush has both silicone and normal bristles, which stay latched onto the hair while you move the brush around but don't get stuck, either." Plus, our testers gave this tool a solid average rating of 4.6/5 for ease of use.

Our only complaint—and all testers agreed—was that the brush feels very hot when it’s close to the root. Nonetheless, it did a fantastic job drying their hair and imparted bounce and shine. For that reason, it scored an average of 4.4/5 for drying and glide performance.

Heat Settings: Cool, Medium, High | Voltage: 120 | Cord Length: 9 feet | Warranty: 2 years | Barrel Size: 2.44 inches | Temperature Test:  225°F

Drybar The Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush

Byrdie / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

  • "It was fairly easy to style and I expect it's a lot easier than using a classic styling tool and blow dryer. My hair doesn't hold styles well but this one was able to get my hair a bit of a wave/curl.” Erika Reals, Associate Fashion Editor
  • "I was gifted the Drybar Hot Air Brush by my sister for my birthday and, at first, I was unsure about it. My natural hair is sensitive to excessive heat and I typically avoid it. This hot air brush, however, is now my natural hair essential tool. The firm tapered bristles don't get tangled up in my coils and the heat is evenly distributed so all of my strands are smoothed. While it doesn't dry my hair or make it bone-straight, that isn't expected to happen with a tool like this on natural hair textures. I love it because it makes detangling my air-dried kinks literally a breeze (20 versus 5 minutes) and takes the dread out of wash day." Latifah Miles, Commerce Editor

Best for Relaxed Hair: Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush

4
Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush
Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    3.6/5
  • Glide Performance
    4.4/5
  • Drying Ability
    3.8/5
  • Styling Ability
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Not too expensive

  • Quality brand

  • Smooth glide

What We Don’t Like
  • Felt bulky and heavy

Amika’s Blow Dryer Brush features an oval-shaped head that gets to the roots of the hair to amp up the volume. Our tester with relaxed hair, in particular, loved the results that this tool gave her. “My hair was silky with a little to zero frizz," she said. "I also don't feel like my ends were fried at all." She also loved the heat settings of this brush—specifically, that its bristles got hot enough that she didn't need to run it through her hair multiple times.

However, our testers felt that because the tool was a bit bulky, it was more difficult to hold it and brush the hair at the same time. For this reason, it averaged a rating of 3.6/5 for ease of use.

Heat Settings: Cool, Medium, High | Voltage: 120 | Cord Length: 9 inches | Warranty: 1 year | Barrel Size: 3.5 inches | Temperature Test:  220°F

Amika Blow Dryer Brush

Byrdie / Connor Ralph

What Our Testers Say

“This was so easy and straightforward to use. The best part? I didn't have to perfectly section my hair to get good results.” —Yvie Saint-Louis, Senior Editorial Director, Performance Marketing

Final Verdict

The Dyson Airwrap blew our minds during this test. While we do wish it was a bit more affordable, we understand its high price tag—and we think it's worth the investment. Its six attachments can create an array of looks for all hair types. For someone who's just looking for a sleek at-home blowout without breaking the bank, Revlon's One-Step Volumizer is the way to go. For less than $50, you’ll finish your look with loads of shine and sky-high volume. 

Meet the Expert

  • Zoya Ghamari is a hairstylist and owner of Zoya Salon in Dallas. She specializes in hair extensions, top hairpieces, and wigs. She caters to clients in both Texas and California.
  • Alex Brown is a celebrity hairstylist and the founder of Space by Alex Brown in Chicago. She’s worked with the likes of Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, and Bella Hadid, splitting her time between New York, LA, and her Chicago home base.

How We Tested

We spent two weeks researching hot air brushes, interviewing experts, and reading product reviews to land on the product selection. Once the team narrowed down the tools in consideration, it was time to put them all to the test. We created a standardized methodology and collected insights on each tool. Each hot air brush was rated on a 1-5 scale for glide performance, drying performance, ease of use, and styling performance.  We also tested each one on fine, wavy, thick, natural, and relaxed hair types, as well as on both short and long hair.

Hot Air Brushes

Byrdie / Nick Kova

Our testers took note of each tool's temperature, as well as how smooth and shiny it left their hair. We even utilized a meat thermometer to test the maximum heat. We also tested durability by dropping each tool twice at vanity level to see if it would break, chip, or scratch—and we're happy to report that none of them incurred any damage whatsoever.

After collecting the data, our editor finalized which products would make our best-of list and assigned categories for each item. All testing was conducted at The Lab in Industry City, Brooklyn. 

 Trademark Beauty Easy Blo

Byrdie / Connor Ralph

Other Options We Tested

While the idea of a rotating head seems cool and innovative, two of our testers with longer hair were hesitant to even try BaBylissPRO's Nano Titanium 2-Inch Rotating Hot Air Brush after seeing how it worked shorter-haired tester—it kept getting caught in her hair, so for the rest of our testers, it didn’t seem worth the hassle. 

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 2-Inch Rotating Hot Air Brush

While the idea of a rotating head seems cool and innovative, two of our testers with longer hair were hesitant to even try BaBylissPRO's Nano Titanium 2-Inch Rotating Hot Air Brush after seeing how it worked shorter-haired tester—it kept getting caught in her hair, so for the rest of our testers, it didn’t seem worth the hassle. 

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 2-Inch Rotating Hot Air Brush

Byrdie / Connor Ralph

Bed Head Blow Out Freak One Step Dry

Bed Head's Blow Out Freak One Step Dry certainly wasn’t awful, but there were a few things that discouraged us from wanting to buy it ourselves. For starters, it had a plastic smell that was extremely strong and never went away. Also, all of our testers agreed on the fact that it imparted minimal shine and left their hair looking frizzy and undone. 

Bed Head Blow Out Freak One Step Dry

Byrdie / Connor Ralph

Conair Infinitipro The Knot Dr. All-in-One Dryer Brush

We loved the idea of a paddle hot air brush, but Conair's Infinitipro The Knot Dr. All-in-One Dryer Brush took too much time to dry our testers' hair. They also thought it was harder to handle because it was a bit bulky.

Conair Infinitipro The Knot Dr. All-in-One Dryer Brush

Byrdie / Connor Ralph

What To Look For in a Hot Air Brush

Bristle Type

According to Ghamari, you really want to pay attention to what kind of bristles a hot air brush has. Ceramic coated bristles, for instance, do a great job of distributing heat so you don’t damage your hair. Meanwhile, boar and nylon bristles work to smooth and detangle strands.

Cord Length

Ghamari says to check out the cord length of a hot air brush too. A long cord will make the brush super easy to use, no matter where you are. (A cord length of 6 to 9 feet is best for ease of use.)

Temperature Control

Having the ability to control the temperature of a hot air brush is key, says Ghamari. That’s because being able to choose the temperature will prevent you from overheating your precious hair. Have fine or damaged hair? Simply set your hot air brush to the lowest temperature setting to avoid damaging your hair further.

Cool Shot

Ghamari also suggests looking for a hot air brush with cool shot functionality. Ending your drying and styling session with a cool shot may help lock your look in place and add shine.

FAQ
  • How Do You Use a Hot Air Brush To Curl Hair?

    Ghamari points out that using a hot air brush is very similar to using a round brush, except there’s no struggle to hold a blow-dryer in one hand and a round brush in the other. Brown, meanwhile, shares this tip for using a hot air brush to curl hair: “You can curl hair with a hot air brush by twisting the hair section out of the brush on the last pass through,” she says. “Adding a light hairspray to the section before twisting will also help the curl hold.”

  • Do Hot Air Brushes Damage Hair?

    “Hot air brushes can only damage hair if they get too hot,” says Brown. She suggests reading reviews and doing your research on whatever brand you choose to buy. A hot air brush with temperature settings will help you control the heat so you don’t hurt your hair.

  • How Do You Clean a Hot Air Brush?

    To clean a hot air brush, remove all of the shed hair after every few uses, says Brown. “Wiping it down with a hot towel will also help remove any excess product buildup,” she says.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie’s Beauty Review Editor Angela Trakoshis has more than five years of experience in beauty journalism. She has tried and researched countless hot air brushes and personally swears by them for at-home use. For this story, she recruited four other testers with different hair types—Editor Jesa Marie Calaor, Associate Fashion Editor Erika Reals, Senior Performance Marketing Editorial Director Yvie Saint-Louis, and Editorial Commerce Producer Danielle Ransom—to test each hot air brush. All five testers graded each tool on the same scale and on different pieces of hair. Angela also interviewed stylists and spent hours conducting her own product research, in addition to testing the durability, heat, and performance of each brush.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we weren’t able to find any hot air brushes from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

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