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These days, it’s pretty safe to assume that any hotel or Airbnb will have a hair dryer—after all, it’s a basic amenity, right? But we’ve all been there, that one time that assumption proves false is the one time you really need one. Or, the one that’s there is beyond weak, turning a simple blow-dry into a massive and timely undertaking. That’s why we’re all about investing in a travel-friendly hair dryer. Like a good carry-on, it will prove invaluable to have on-hand anytime you leave home. They’re also more powerful now than ever and feature many of the same bells and whistles you’d expect from a standard size dryer.
Take your pick from our list of the best travel hair dryers that prove size really doesn’t matter.
Best Overall: Amika Mighty Mini Ionic Dryer
The name says it all—tiny but mighty, this has all the benefits of a regular dryer. Tourmaline-infused ceramic components emit far-infrared heat. Translation: It heats hair from the inside out, cutting down on dry time and minimizing damage (yes, please on both). It also has a dual voltage for overseas travel, a convenient storage pouch, and comes with a diffuser and concentrator nozzle, too.
Best Budget: Conair miniPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Dryer
At this price, we truly can’t think of a reason not to pick up this little guy, an Amazon favorite; satisfied reviewers repeatedly comment on how lightweight yet powerful it is. It’s pretty basic with just two heat and speed settings, but gets the job done, and folds up nice and compactly. And, again, the price.
Best for Curly Hair: StyleCraft PeeWee Travel Dryer
If you’ve got spirals, grab this tool. Not only does it come with a diffuser, but it also uses a special Tri-Plex Fusion technology (stay with us here) with keratin, ceramic, and tourmaline for smoothing, frizz-fighting, and shine-enhancing benefits. What curly girl doesn’t want that?
Best for Damaged Hair: T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Hair Dryer
We’re big fans of all the tools this brand makes, including this baby. Whereas many other dryers release an intense blast of air with super high heat—which can lead to hair damage and frizz—this touts a special fan that gently projects a high volume of air to dry hair quickly without damaging it. Also cool: The cord is an impressive nine feet, long for a portable dryer, and the surface is scratch-resistant so it will look as good as new, no matter how many trips you take it on.
Best for International Travel: Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Travel Dryer
Never stress about packing an adaptor or frying your dryer again; with a dual voltage option, you can use this around the world. Powerful yet small and lightweight, it will leave more room in your suitcase for souvenirs, and the back pops off for easy cleaning, too.
Best Foldable: Andis Fold-N-Go Ionic Dryer
For packing purposes, a foldable dryer can’t beat—after all, the more compact the better, right? (We also appreciate the retractable cord to help further keep things neat and tidy.) Not only does it fold up perfectly, but it also touts three heat and air settings as opposed to the standard two in many other similar blow-dryers.
Best Luxury: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
To be fair, this technically isn’t a travel-specific hair dryer, but its compact size and light weight make it perfect to use at home or away. A host of tech-y features—think a motor that’s six times faster than standard motors and a sensor that measures the temperature over 40 times a second to prevent hot spots—keep hair strong and healthy. It’s an investment for sure, but if you dry your hair every day, the cost per use makes it well worth it.
Best Lightweight: Hot Tools Mint Ionic Travel Dryer
Some travel dryers tout that they weigh less than a pound, impressive for sure, but this comes in at just under 10 ounces, 9.7 to be exact. You’ll barely notice it in your suitcase, gym bag, or while you’re holding it. Still, what it lacks in weight it makes up for in must-have features, like the dual voltage, a cool shot button, and two heat and speed settings.
Best for All Hair Types: Drybar Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer
You better believe that a blowout chain will know what’s up when it comes to dryers, and this scaled-down version is just as good as their original. (Sephora fans who use both love this one, and comment on how well both work.) With a wave heater for uniform heat distribution and ionic, frizz-fighting technology, it’s ideal for all hair textures and types, from fine and straight to thick and curly.
Best Drugstore: Revlon 1875 Watt Compact Travel Hair Dryer
You better believe you can get a great dryer at the drugstore. This beats many others, delivering an impressive 1875 watts of power (1200 watts is much more common), and a ceramic coating to reduce the likelihood of heat damage. Some Amazon reviewers do point out it’s a bit loud, but mention how powerful and well it works, even on drying thick hair. And let’s not forget to mention that drugstore-friendly price point.
Best Extras: Eva NYC Mini Healthy Heat Pro-Power Dryer + Bag
You get not only a powerful dryer, but a diffuser and concentrator attachments, too, plus a super cute holographic case—and all for a very affordable price. There’s also a mini flat iron and mini curling iron in the collection, perfect for rounding out your travel tool collection.