Best hair dryer: 11 top buys to leave hair shiny and smooth

These are the best hair dryers to spend your hard-earned money on. Invest in the best and you won't regret it...

Best hair dryer: blow drying long dark hair shot from behind
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Buying the best hair dryer? Whether your current model has broken or you're new to the scene of hair dryers, these are our top picks that can leave your hair looking and feeling salon-worthy.

Hair dryers aren't as basic as you may have thought, which is why we're here to help guide you to the best product for you. A good hair dryer offers a range of speeds and temperature settings. Some models come with attachments – diffusers, concentrators – while others boast a cool shot function to set your style into place. Some are quiet, others loud. Some easy to use, others heavy to hold. It's important to weigh up all of the options before spending money on this hair tool, which is why we've written a comprehensive hair dryer guide to make your life easier. From £18 to £300, these are our top buys.

What is the best hair dryer?

Our top-rated hair dryer and the best hair dryer money can buy is the GHD Helios. We've tried it and we love it. It gets the job done fast, it's within a sensible budget and it helps tame frizz, it's easy to use and it's good looking.

If you're after a professional hair dryer and don't mind spending more money, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is a great pick. It dries hair quick and helps prevent damage as it won’t overheat your hair. In fact, it can help your locks look shinier and healthier after only a few uses. 

Click to shop the GHD Helios.
Click to shop the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.

Find the rest of our top nine below. Wondering how to buy the best hair dryer? Click here for tips.

The best hair dryers to buy right now

Best hair dryer: GHD Helios

(Image credit: GHD)

1. GHD Helios

Best hair dryer money can buy: the GHD Helios ticks all our boxes

Specifications
Power: 1875W
Colour: Black, blue, plum or white
Speed settings: 2 + cool
Reasons to buy
+Well-built, attractive hairdryer+Fast+Tackles frizz
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy

The GHD Helios is our top pick of the best hair dryer money can buy. It's the best all-round option when looking at performance, price and design. It's also GHD's newest creation and in our opinion, it's their most advance hair dryer yet. Here's why we love it...

Fast Drying
With Aeroprecis technology built inside, this hair dryer does a very fast job. This technology channels airflow through its DC motor at a whopping 120kmh and is one of the reasons we see the GHD Helios as game-changer: it dries your hair very fast and still manages to do a very good job of it.

Gorgeous Design
Normally, hair dryers aren't judged based on their design. But, when you're given four different colour options and it's finished in matte, it's hard not to see this hair dryer in all its beauty. We'd be more than happy to display it on our dressing table.

Temperature controls
The GHD Helios has three temperature levels – one of which is a cool shot – as well as two speed settings. So, no matter what your hair type is or whose hair you're styling – little ones, someone elderly – there's a setting to suit.

Unique Nozzle
In the box comes a bespoke contoured nozzle for this hair dryer. Simply just push it on to reap the benefits. This nozzle gives more control when it comes to styling and it helps de-frizz otherwise untameable hair. It also makes the hair dryer easier to use, in our opinion.

Find more Good Hair Day products at GHDhair.com

Best hair dryer money can buy: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Dyson)

2. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Best professional hair dryer: this high-tech Dyson dryer comes with intelligent heat control

Specifications
Power: 1600W
Colour: Black and nickel
Speed settings: 3
Reasons to buy
+Intelligent heat control+Magnetic attachments+Digital motor for extra power+Dries hair quietly, ideal if you have an early morning start+Some say it makes their hair look instantly shinier and smoother+Buyers also rave about how quickly it dries long hair
Reasons to avoid
-The high price tag-It doesn’t come with a case, which you might expect for the money-Quite heavy to hold

Available in black and nickel, silver and grey or pink, this state-of-the-art Dyson design is said to help maintain healthy, shiny hair thanks to its fast drying motion with Air Multiplier technology and powerful digital motor. It comes with a smoothing nozzle, concentrator and diffuser and has four heat settings, making it a really versatile option that should suit most buyers who have a larger budget to spend.

Acoustically tuned
Most hairdryers are pretty noisy, which isn’t ideal if you have to get up early and don’t want to wake the rest of the house up. With Dyson, you get an acoustically tuned design for lower noise and in fact, many users have praised this feature highly. Basically, it won’t vibrate as much as other models which in turn makes it sound less abrasive and noisy.

Healthier hair
Many users of this model also love the fact that it makes their hair look and feel shinier from first use. The Dyson Supersonic maintains consistent, controlled temperatures to prevent overheating and damage to your locks. The smoothing nozzle and accessories that come with it can be used to gently dry and style at the same time, perfect for parties and going out on the town.

Speedy drying
Thanks to an air volume of 41 litres per second, this dryer will have your hair finished in no time – perfect if you’re always in a hurry. The combination of Air Multiplier technology and a digital motor focus the air output, which means less drying time for you.

Find more hair dryers at John Lewis

Best hair dryer for style: Remington Proluxe AC9140 Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Remington)

3. Remington Proluxe AC9140 Hair Dryer

Best hair dryer for thick hair: a well-priced design with an attractive finish and three heat settings

Specifications
Power: 2400W
Colour: White and rose
Speed settings: 2
Reasons to buy
+The on-trend rose gold and pearlescent white finish+A long 3m cord with far reach+Affordably priced+Smooths hair cuticles for a healthy shine+Tames frizzy locks+Keeps your style in place
Reasons to avoid
-Quite heavy to hold-Some say it’s too small to do the job well-The attachments can be difficult to remove

Ideal for everyday use as well as styling hair for parties, this well-priced Remington design offers enhanced airflow and heat distribution for a salon-style finish. It’s said to make sure your hair stays fizz-free and shiny, while the Style Shot feature makes it easier to achieve your chosen style before locking it in place.

OPTIheat technology
This intelligent feature uses enhanced airflow and perfect heat distribution to shape, sculpt and lock your chosen style in place. 

Frizz free
This model boasts 90 per cent more ions than a standard Remington dryer for smoother hair and a flawless finish.

Concentrator shape
Exclusive to Remington, the styling concentrator shape is designed specially to enhance airflow and heat distribution, emulating the same results as your favourite salon.

Find more Remington products at Amazon

Best ionic hair dryer: GHD Air Hair Dryer

(Image credit: GHD)

4. GHD Air Hair Dryer

Best ionic hair dryer:

Specifications
Power: 2100W
Colour: Black
Speed settings: 2
Reasons to buy
+Sleek looking+Comes with a concentrator nozzle included+3m power cable+Great price+Cool function+Fast working+Suitable for left and right users
Reasons to avoid
-Some say you're paying for the name

The GHD Air is the best ionic hair dryer in our eyes, and it's the first professional hair dryer from the popular hair product manufacturer. We think it's a great option for those after a little luxury – and it's a bonus if you already have a pair of GHD hair straighteners to match. Since it's ionic, it's the best option if you're concerned about damaging your hair, too.

Cool function
For in the depth of summer when you can't think of anything worse than hot(ter) air in your face, the GHD Air features a cool function. Press and hold for a blast of cold air. It's also a great option for those who don't want to add heat on already damaged hair, and of course, it's great at setting your style in place. 

Advanced ionic technology
Frizzy hair? This powerful hair dryer has advanced ionic technology inside to ensure even the most untamable hair follicles behave. This technology works to lock in moisture for softer and shinier results. This way your blow dry will stay looking salon-fresh for days. After all, GHD does stand for good hair day. It's our best ionic hair dryer for a reason!

Flexibility
Left handed? Right handed? Ambidextrous? Whatever, the GHD Air can be used by anyone no matter the hand you favour. It also features a 3m long cable in case your mirror isn't close to a plug socket. And it comes with two hair clips in the box for easy sectioning, as well as a concentrator nozzle.

Click to shop more GHD products at Amazon

Best hair dryer brush: BaByliss Big Hair 50mm 2885U Styler

(Image credit: Babyliss)

5. BaByliss Big Hair 50mm 2885U Styler

Best hair dryer brush: this two in one hair tool can dry your hair whilst styling it

Specifications
Power: 700W
Colour: Black
Speed settings: 3
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Three speed settings
Reasons to avoid
-Can't dry hair from soaking wet-Not the best for short hair

Hate blow drying your hair but love the look of a bouncy blow dry? The BaByliss Big Hair Styler is the hair tool for you: it dries damp hair whilst brushing it through to give a bouncy effect. It's incredibly easy to use and works wonders on frizz, too.

50mm barrel
With a large 50mm barrel, your blow dry will be bouncier than ever. Salon-style hair has never been easier to achieve. Simply use it as you would a rounded brush while blow drying your hair as normal, and as the barrel rotates (more on that below), the bristles will dry your hair into style. Frizz-free, shiny finish included. The magic behind this device comes from its super ionic generator. It sends a stream of negative ions which neutralise static charges as your hair dries. In other words: it's any easy way to dry, style and add volume to otherwise sad looking hair. And it's a lot easier than sporting rollers for hours on end (we've all been there).

Rotates
The reason why this hair dryer brush is so easy to use is down to its rotating brush. Yep, that's right, the head moves around so that you don't have to do the hard work. Easy peasy. 

Heat settings
With three settings to choose from including a cool option to set your style, this hair dryer brush can be used by anyone, no matter the length or condition of your hair. The only thing is that it can't be used on really wet hair so you'll have to leave it to air dry a little first.

Click to shop more BaByliss products at John Lewis & Partners

Best hair dryer for frizzy hair: Cloud Nine Airshot

(Image credit: Cloud Nine)

6. Cloud Nine Airshot

Best hair dryer for frizzy hair: frizz be gone thanks to this Cloud Nine hair dryer

Specifications
Power: 2000w
Colour: Black
Speed settings: 2
Reasons to buy
+Comes with two nozzles+Cool Shot button+Great for frizzy hair+Even better for those longing for shine
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing!

Got frizz? You need the Cloud Nine Airshot in your life: this hair dryer comes with two nozzles, it features a range of heat and speed options and it there's incredible technology built-inside so as not to ruin your perfect locks while drying them. Now you've no excuse to sleep with wet hair.

Frizz-free and shiny
Thanks to the Airshot's vitamin-infused ceramic heating elements, your hair will be taken good care of whilst drying – that's peace of mind right there. Anti-static technology diminishes negatively charged particles to reduce frizz and add shine. In other words, the effect of your blow dry will last longer, and if you've frizzy hair, this is the hair dryer to tackle it. The dream.

Settings
This hair dryer features two different heat settings and two different speed settings, so that you can dry your mane slow and cool or fast and hot – there's also a Cool Shot button to blast your blow dry into place, hence the name!

Nozzles
Complete with two nozzles, the Cloud Nine Airshot is a great pick no matter your hair length and thickness. Use the 60mm nozzle on fringes and frizzy or curly hair, and the 75mm nozzle on longer, thicker locks. Simple.

Shop more Cloud Nine products at Look Fantastic.

Best hair dryer with diffuser: Panasonic EH-NA65 Pink Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Panasonic)

7. Panasonic EH-NA65

Best hair dryer with diffuser: Panasonic EH-NA65 Pink Hair Dryer

Specifications
Power: 2000W
Colour: Pink or rose gold
Speed settings: 3
Reasons to buy
+Includes three attachments+Comes in different colours+Cool shot
Reasons to avoid
-Some may not be keen on the colours

Looking to buy a hair dryer with a diffuser included? The Panasonic EH-NA65 Hair Dryer is your best bet: it features three speed settings, comes with three attachments included AND it works at a powerful 2000 watts.

Nanoe Technology
This patented tech makes it a saviour for dry and damaged hair. How? It helps your hair retain approximately 1,000 times more moisture than when using a regular hair dryer – and while it's drying, it keeps your cuticle in good condition, too.

Attachments galore
The Panasonic EH-NA65 comes with three attachments: a quick dry nozzle for rapid drying; a standard nozzle for every day use and of course, a diffuser nozzle to enhance natural curls.

Healthy mode
That's right – this hair dryer features a healthy mode for those worried about damaging their mane. Select this option to be blasted with air at the temperature of 50ºC. What's more? There are also three speed modes and three temperature modes to choose from, as well as a Cool Shot function to set your hairdo in place.

Find more Panasonic products at their Amazon page.

Best hair dryer on a budget: Babyliss Salon AC Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Babyliss)

8. Babyliss Salon AC Hair Dryer

Best hair dryer on a budget: a budget dryer that looks great and offers all you need for a quick blast of heat

Specifications
Power: 2100W
Colour: Red
Speed settings: 2
Reasons to buy
+Ionic and ceramic technology+A long 3m cord+3 heat settings+Tames frizz easily+Dries thick hair quickly+Offers a good choice of hot and cold air
Reasons to avoid
-Some say the high heat setting is too hot to use-Others complain that it’s quite heavy to hold for a long time-And some say it’s pretty noisy

An attractive looking dryer at a great price, this Babyliss design comes with ionic and ceramic heating technology as well as two speeds and three heat settings including a cool shot and turbo button. Extra features include a removable filter and ultra slim nozzle, so you can achieve your desired style quickly and easily without fuss. 

Ceramic technology
This warmth-balancing tech gives you high power airflow for quick drying; ideal if you have long, thick hair or for those who are always in a hurry and never have the time to sit around blow drying their hair for ages.

Professional AC motor
Ionic frizz control means that as you dry your hair, the built-in ironic system releases a stream of balancing ions to make your hair smoother and shinier by smoothing down the cuticles on each strand.

Long cord
A 3m cable is salon-style and allows you to plug in and move around with ease, great if your mirror is situated at the other end of the room.

Shop more Babyliss products at Amazon

Best hair dryer for features: Alfa Italia Superleggero Pro Salon Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Alfa Italia)

9. Alfa Italia Superleggero Pro Salon Hair Dryer

Best hair dryer for curly hair: this Italian number comes with a unique self-cleaning function

Specifications
Power: 2500W
Colour: Black or gold
Speed settings: 2
Reasons to buy
+It’s ultra quiet+Yet really powerful+And even cleans itself +Automatically dispels trapped hair from the fan+Delivers powerful heat+Directs that heat where you want it
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey for what it is

Designed by a leader in professional hair care, this Superleggero dryer from Alfa Italia comes with an innovative silencer that helps to reduce noise from the powerful 2500W motor. Added to this is the fact that it also includes a unique self-cleaning system that automatically ejects hair and other debris, which often gets caught up in the fan and stops the dryer from working over a long period of time, as well as giving off that awful burnt hair smell. 

Durable design
The Superleggero is extremely hardwearing as well as powerful and it’s said that it can withstand a limited number of drops on the floor without sustaining any damage.

Powerful motor
The 2500W motor delivers a powerful heat output, just like your favourite salon, with multiple heat and speed settings to suit all styles.

Concentrator nozzles
These accessories come with the dryer and enable you to create your perfect ‘do’ with ease. There’s also a silencer that reduces noise.

Click to shop the Alfa Italia Hair Dryer

Best lightweight hair dryer: Remington Curl & Straight Confidence Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Remington)

10. Remington Curl & Straight Confidence Hair Dryer

Best hair dryer for fine hair: powerful yet lightweight, this one comes with styling attachments for cute curls or sleek looking locks

Specifications
Power: 2200W
Colour: Black
Speed settings: 2
Reasons to buy
+An extra-wide nozzle means a faster finish+Airflow is directed downwards, smoothing each strand of hair+Ionic conditioning helps control frizz+The brush helps create a bouncy blow out look+Helps achieve professional results at home+Saves money in the long term
Reasons to avoid
-Some may find all the attachments too fussy for their needs-Pretty expensive

Save on trips to the hairdresser thanks to the Remington Curl & Straight Confidence Hair Dryer which comes with its own styling accessories for you to recreate your perfect hairstyle from the comfort of your own home. The barrel brush that comes with it is the perfect size for creating both volume and curls while the curling nozzle is so handy for everyday use. There’s even a slim smoothing nozzle and diffuser attachment, too.

Curling nozzle
The dryer itself has a curling nozzle attachment that can be used with the 45mm barrel brush to create a blow out finish, just like you’ve stepped out of the salon.

Ionic conditioning
This feature can be found on many dryers in the top price bracket and it means that it helps to control frizz, giving you a smooth, shiny finish. 

Powerful drying
The 2200W motor gives fast, powerful drying results every time. No more wimpy airflow and hair taking an hour to dry!

Shop more hair dryers at Currys PC World

Best travel hair dryer: GHD Flight

(Image credit: GHD)

11. GHD Flight travel hair dryer

Best travel hair dryer: the perfect getaway companion – it's light, it folds away AND it's feature-packed

Specifications
Power: 240V & 120V
Colour: Black
Speed settings: 2
Reasons to buy
+Cool shot function+Folds+Lightweight+Dual voltage+Auto-shutoff+Makes a fab gift
Reasons to avoid
-Not super affordable for its size

GHD's Flight travel hair dryer is an ideal option for those who frequently travel or, if you have a short head of hair, to dry each morning. There's no need to deal with hotel hair dryers anymore: though small, this GHD hair dryer packs a punch when it comes to features. Two speed settings and a cool shot function make this the best travel hair dryer around. And it has dual voltage with options including 240V and 120V. 

Travel-friendly
The GHD Flight folds away for easy packing – the handle folds inwards to take up less space. It's also incredibly lightweight at just 422g including the cord and nozzle, and for easy carrying and it comes with a protective dust bag.

Safety features
Sometimes find yourself daydreaming whilst drying your hair? It happens to the best of us – worry no more thanks to the handy safety feature on the GHD Flight, which means the hair dryer will automatically turn off when held too close to your hair to prevent overheating.

Click to shop more hair dryers at GHDhair.com.

How to buy the best hair dryer?

Powerful motor
Generally, the higher the wattage, the better the heat from the dryer and in turn, the quicker it will dry your hair. The average these days tends to be around 2000W and this is perfectly fine for most hair types and styles. You do get what you pay for, so cheaper models may only have around 1500W-1800W which is better for travelling with as they are usually smaller and designed to fit into compact luggage.

Lightweight design
If you usually have to stand or sit around holding the dryer over your hair for some time, it’s important to look for a lightweight model that won’t give you an aching wrist after 10 minutes. This is especially true if you use the dryer to style your hair with tongs, brushes or special attachments and nozzles.

Hair types
Depending on your hair type, choose the dryer that suits your needs. It’s no good splashing out on a mega-pricey model with loads of attachments if you have short hair and usually just do a quick blast after washing. For straight hair, look for a dryer that’s light enough to hold comfortably for a long time; curly locks need a diffuser and different heat settings that can dry slowly to keep curls’ shape, while those with frizz should choose a dryer with a narrow nozzle so you can dry hair in sections.

More beauty recommendations: