12 Travel Hair Dryers That Deserve a Spot in Your Suitcase

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Expert Tested: The 12 Best Travel Hair Dryers in 2022

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

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, and of course, it's 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. The only difference? They can fit compactly into any suitcase—including your carry-ons.

Keep reading for our list of the best travel hair dryers that prove size really doesn’t matter.

Best Overall: Amika Mighty Mini Ionic Dryer

Amika Mighty Mini Ionic Dryer

 Amazon

What We Like
  • Cute, colorful design

  • Dries hair quickly

  • Tamps down frizz

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Who else recommends it? Bustle also picked the Amika Mighty Mini Ionic Dryer.

The name says it all—tiny but mighty, this has all the benefits of a regular dryer. It's tourmaline-infused ceramic components claim to emit far-infrared heat. Translation: It heats the hair from the inside out, which should cut down on dry time and minimize 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.

Features: Tourmaline-infused ceramic, 1,200 watts, airflow concentrator and diffuser, travel pouch, dual voltage | Wireless: No

Best Budget: Conair miniPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Dryer

Conair miniPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Dryer

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Handle folds up

  • Emits a strong airflow

What We Don't Like
  • Can overheat

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.

Features: 1,200 watts, two heat and speed settings, airflow concentrator, dual voltage, velvet grip handle | Wireless: No

Best for Curly Hair: Stylecraft PeeWee Travel Dryer

Stylecraft PeeWee Travel Dryer

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Helps smooth hair

  • Good value

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Quality could be better

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 and shine-enhancing benefits. What curly girl doesn’t want that?

Features: 1,000 watt micro-motor, built-in stand, airflow concentrator and diffuser, travel bag, dual voltage | Wireless: No

Best for Damaged Hair: T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Hair Dryer with Dual Voltage

T3 Featherweight Compact

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Dries hair quickly

  • Lightweight, intuitive design

  • Leaves hair healthy and soft

What We Don't Like
  • Rough, dry hair is left frizzy

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 that claims 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.

Features: Proprietary T3 SoftAire technology, 1,200 watts, two speed and heat settings, airflow concentrator, dual voltage, folding handle | Wireless: No

T3 Cura Luxe Professional Ionic Hair Dryer

Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

Best for International Travel: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Small, compact size

  • Includes extra accessories

  • Emits a strong airflow

What We Don't Like
  • Can shut off when used for an extended period

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. 

Features: 1,000 watts, two heat and speed settings, folding handle, removable filter and stand, dual voltage | Wireless: No

Best Foldable: Andis Fold-N-Go Ionic Dryer

Andis Fold-N-Go Ionic Dryer

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Tiny, foldable design

  • More heat settings than other options

  • Helps smooth hair

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

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. 

Features: Tourmaline technology, three heat and speed settings, 1,875 watts, airflow concentrator, folding handle | Wireless: No

Best Luxury: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

5
Dyson

 Ulta

What We Like
  • Has a powerful motor

  • Unique, lightweight design

  • Hair looks smooth and frizz-free

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't have dual voltage

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 claims to be six times faster than standard motors and a sensor that measures the temperature over 40 times a second to prevent hot spots—that may 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.

Features: Intelligent heat control, four speed and three heat settings, flyaway attachment, styling concentrator, gentle air attachment, wide-tooth comb, diffuser | Wireless: No

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

Best Lightweight: Hot Tools Mint Ionic Travel Dryer

Hot Tools Mint Ionic Travel Dryer

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Easy to hold and use

  • Reasonably priced

  • Dries hair quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't work with diffusers

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. 

Features: Ionic technology, 800 watts, two heat and speed settings, dual voltage | Wireless: No

Best for All Hair Types: Drybar Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer

Drybar Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Reduces frizz

  • Boosts shine

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Has a short lifespan

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 technology, it’s ideal for all hair textures and types, from fine and straight to thick and curly.

Features: Ionic technology, three heat and two speed settings, two styling attachments | Wireless: No

Best for Frizzy Hair: Kristin Ess Space Saving Compact Pro Dryer

Kristin Ess Space Saving Compact Pro Dryer

Courtesy of Target 

What We Like
  • Smooths hair

  • Chic design

  • Emits a strong airflow

What We Don't Like
  • Has a short lifespan

Advanced ionic technology may lock in moisture, eliminating frizzies and upping the shine factor in the process, ideal when your styling goal is a sleek blowout. It also comes with a detachable smoothing nozzle.

Features: Ionic technology, 1,200 watts, smoothing nozzle, folding handle, travel pouch, dual voltage | Wireless: No

Best Drugstore: Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer

REVLON 1875W Compact Folding Handle Travel Hair Dryer
What We Like
  • Has a powerful motor

  • Inexpensive

  • Helps smooth hair

What We Don't Like
  • Loud

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 that may 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.

Features: Ionic technology, 1,875 watts, two heat and speed settings, folding handle, dual voltage | Wireless: No

Best Extras: Eva NYC Mini Healthy Heat Pro-Power Dryer + Bag

eva nyc blow dryer

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Includes a cute pouch

  • Helps smooth hair

  • Dries hair quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Has a short lifespan

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.

Features: Tourmaline-infused ceramic, 1,200 watts, two speed settings, airflow concentrator and diffuser, cosmetics pouch, dual voltage | Wireless: No

What to Look For in a Travel Hair Dryer

Size

Planning to take your hair dryer in your carry-on? Make sure it's compact so it won't take up valuable space. You can also choose one that's foldable, which will also help keep precious suitcase space for important things (like all the outfits you'll need!).

Weight

Your dryer shouldn't weigh too much—in case you need to throw it into an overweight suitcase. Another thing to keep in mind? How heavy it'll be if you need to carry it around in a bag all day. Stick to under 5 pounds, if possible, to make the most of the in-flight weight limit (and prevent yourself from carrying a tremendously heavy weekend bag).

Voltage

If you're planning to travel abroad, make sure your dryer has dual voltage included. Without dual voltage, you'll have to pack an adapter—which can be a costly addition. And if you choose to forgo it, you could get lucky or you can fry your hair dryer in the outlet.

FAQ
  • What does a hair dryer do?

    A hair dryer is intended to dry wet or damp hair. With different attachments or nozzles, it can also be used to create a sleek blowout or to diffuse curls, too.

  • Is a hair dryer harmful for hair?

    With proper usage, a hair dryer shouldn't be harmful to hair. However, applying any type of heat to your hair may cause breakage, damage, or dullness, so make sure you take precautions before using any heat tools. One way to reduce the likelihood of damage is to apply a heat protectant to your strands before using any hot tools.

  • How long do hair dryers last?

    Hair dryers should last around 800 hours, depending on the care and usage.

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. 4 Amazing Mini Blow Dryers To Take On Your Next Vacation. Bustle. https://www.bustle.com/p/the-4-best-travel-hair-dryers-7833264

  2. Tinoco A, Gonçalves J, Silva C, et al. Keratin-based particles for protection and restoration of hair properties. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2018;40(4):408-419.

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