12 Travel Hair Dryers That Deserve a Spot in Your Suitcase

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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, 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 Drye

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.

Best Budget: Conair miniPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Dryer

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

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

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

T3 Featherweight Compact

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.

Best for International Travel: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer

BaBylissPRO 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

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

Dyson

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.

Best Lightweight: Hot Tools Mint Ionic Travel Dryer

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

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

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

Kristin Ess Space Saving Compact Pro Dryer

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.

Best Drugstore: Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer

REVLON 1875W Compact Folding Handle 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 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.

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

eva nyc blow dryer

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.

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 or foldable so it won't take up valuable space.

Weight

Your dryer shouldn't weigh too much—in case you need to throw it into an overweight suitcase. Not to mention that it'll be heavy to carry around if it weighs too much.

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 or be stuck worrying about frying 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. 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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