When packing for a trip, it’s common to cut back on your typical beauty essentials. You are forced to forgot your blowout in favour of whatever (often subpar) blow dryer the hotel provides unless you want to travel with more luggage. Let’s introduce the space-saving mobile hair dryer.
The best portable hair dryers on the market right now are smaller but more powerful than ever and have many of the same bells and whistles as a conventional hair dryer, so don’t let their tiny packaging fool you.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab examines hair dryers, hair dryer brushes, curling wands, and other products on a regular basis, evaluating everything from the product’s surface temperature to how simple it is to operate, including how comfortable it is to grip, how much it weighs, and how long its cord is.
Our beauty experts recently tested 11 top-rated compact hair dryers for travel, collecting over 2,000 data points to discover which produced the most magnificent, salon-like blowouts.
BEST TRAVEL HAIR DRYER IN GENERAL
Travel blow dryer from Drybar Baby Buttercup
- rapid drying
- Perfect rating for simple controls
- longest handles and nozzle
For all you Drybar devotees out there, the salon’s top-selling hair dryer is now available in a portable model so you won’t have to give up your blowout while on the road. It has two heat settings, folds at the handle, and a cool shot button to lock in appearances. It also has dual voltage. In our lab tests, the small Baby Buttercup did remarkably well in terms of power, drying time, and button usability.
MiniPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer by Conair
- five-foot cord
- greater than other portable dryers
Although they haven’t tested this choice yet, our Beauty Lab is a fan of Conair because of its consistently high-performing products, and online reviewers adore this hair dryer because of its affordable price. For less than $30, the miniPRO is the entire package: It has dual voltage, two heat and speed settings, and promises to use tourmaline ceramic technology to increase smoothness. According to an Amazon reviewer, “It only takes me about three minutes to dry my shoulder-length hair.”
BEST TRAVEL HAIR DRYER FOR DUAL-VOLTAGE
Travel dryer made of nano-titanium by BaBylissPRO
- Outstanding for international travel
- a good deal for the money
- Strong for its size
- No diffuser connection
One of the most popular travel hair dryers on Amazon, despite not having through lab testing yet. Despite its compact handheld size, user evaluations guarantee you’ll be blown away by how strong this model is. Bonus points go to its dual voltage and concentrator nozzle. One frequent traveller who left an Amazon review raved about their 15-year partnership with this dryer.
REVLON Travel Styler, Fast Dry
- Hair dries quickly
- extremely hot temperatures
- a challenge to change attachments
This straightforward model includes each essential feature for a travel hair dryer: It has two heat and speed settings, two cool shot buttons, dual voltage, and a folding handle. Our Lab testers found it a little challenging to swap between attachments despite the slick look. It earns points for being quite potent. It is the only dryer we tested that received an A+ for ventilation.
Portable Hair Dryer for Travel
- Super small and manoeuvrable
- comfortable grip
- possible overheating
The fast cure you need for a weekend getaway is this portable hair dryer. It consistently provided a comfortable grasp, silent airflow, and simple button operation, according to the lab. Its handy stand enables hands-free styling. It’s excellent for quick dries without a cool shot button, according to our lab specialists, as it can get hot. It also includes a diffuser, making it a fantastic option for people with curly hair.
Dryer Styliste Luxe Digital Salon
- different attachments
- runs discretely
- avoids folding
The Le Styliste Luxe was rated highly for travel when our Beauty Lab chemists recently tested hairdryers. It is not a true portable drier, but its size and weight are comparable to those of others we have used. This 1875-Watt hairdryer created a strong airflow and dried hair rapidly despite being so thin and small. It weights 1.2 lbs with a cord and has two attachments and a diffuser. Additionally, compared to the other hair dryers we tested, it was quieter.
T3 Afar Portable Travel Hair Dryer
- clickable cool shot
- simple to use controls
The Featherweight model of T3’s redesigned compact dryer was a favourite at GH, so even though we haven’t tried it, we had to include the most recent iteration. For simple storage, fold the handle and place it inside the travel bag. Due to the dual voltage of this dryer, leave your adaptor at home. Clariss Rubenstein, a celebrity hairstylist, adores T3 hair dryers for their quick drying times and frizz-free effects. With this one, you’re locked and loaded thanks to the two speeds, three heat settings, and cool shot button.
Conair 1875 Watt Portable Dryer for Travel
- three levels of heat
- consists of a travel bag
- No diffuser connection
Of all the dryers we examined, this foldable travel drier has the most heat settings. It is a dependable go-to for getting ready in a pinch due to its strong airflow and affordable pricing. With a strong airflow game and a high maximum heat temperature, it makes up for what it lacks in a small design in efficiency.
Dryer Eva Heat Pro-Power
- kinder to hair
- a number of useful attachments
- includes a travel bag
- decreasing airflow
This all-inclusive travel drier is lovely in pink and comes equipped with a concentrator and a diffuser. Its small size makes it simple to pack up and leave after a workout. However, a flat iron and a curling iron are necessary additions to every hair tool set, therefore this company sells small versions of both of them individually. Although the airflow isn’t particularly forceful, Ulta reviewers adore it for short to medium-length hair that tends to be thinner.
Supersonic Dyson Hair Dryer
- speedy drying
- different attachments
- simple grip
Not dual-voltage, making it incompatible with travel outside of the country
The Dyson Supersonic is a terrific travel companion despite the fact that it isn’t exactly a travel hair dryer due to its lightweight design and small, portable size. In our usual blow dryer tests, it dried hair the quickest and was the winner overall. How? Instead of being at the end of the usual dryer head, this dryer’s engine is lighter, smaller, and located in the handle. Deputy Editor Jessica Teich attests that it’s worth adding to your wishlist despite the high price.
ghd Travel Flight Hairdryer
- Extra small
- Reviewers on Amazon claim it is noisy.
This compact but strong 1200W hair dryer folds at the handle, making it simple to fit into a gym bag or the smallest spaces in your suitcase. As it weighs less than a pound, you shouldn’t be concerned about your suitcase becoming overweight. The dryer has dual voltage, with two temperature settings, and a focused nozzle for more fashionable looks. Numerous Amazon reviewers laud its outstanding quality and long-lasting power, despite the fact that we haven’t tested it in the Lab.
Ionic FLOWER Mini Travel Hair Dryer
- fantastic for many hair types
- Ceramic tormaline technology
- Not as strong
Although we haven’t officially Lab-tested this one, deputy editor Jessica Teich personally prefers it. She claims that this tiny dryer is the most carry-on-friendly travel drier available because it weighs only eight ounces and is so small in size. The attachable concentrator helps to focus airflow for a more polished blowout even though the dryer isn’t the most powerful.
Choosing a travel hair dryer: what to look for
- Clariss Rubenstein, a famous hairstylist, and Nick Stenson, artistic director of Matrix, were consulted for their top purchasing tips for tiny hair dryers.
- According to Rubenstein, a mobile hair dryer should prioritise speed and efficiency. Look for characteristics like ceramic, which provide frizz-free and lustrous hair, advises the woman.
- The lighter the better for size! There are so many that are little and light but still have a powerful punch, she explains. “My favourite travel sizes are made by T3, Harry Josh, and GHD.” Travel dryers come in a variety of sizes and weights, but Stenson advises keeping it under 1.5 pounds.
- Wattage: If you’re travelling abroad, voltage and wattage should be of greater importance. According to Stenson, 1875 Watts is the “sweet spot” for the majority of hair dryers. No of the wattage, you need also get a travel adaptor for overseas travel.
- Attachments: According to Stenson, a decent portable dryer should also have concentrator and diffuser attachments for adaptability.
How valuable is a portable hair dryer?
Absolutely! especially if you often use a blowdryer. According to Stenson, “travel dryers are a fabulous investment for the moderate to the avid traveller that saves space and unnecessary weight in your luggage and keeps you looking your best on the go.”
Even if hotel blowdryers will function, Rubenstein continues, “they almost never have the same features as higher quality brands.” “You won’t be sorry,”
Why do you believe Good Housekeeping?
Senior scientist Sabina Wizemann has experience in the synthesis and research of hair dyes and is passionate about all things hair-related. She has designed lab and consumer research on at-home hair colouring, shampoos for coloured hair, hair serums, dry shampoos, and more during the course of her many years working in the GH Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab. While continually looking for the newest hair style advancements, she tests hair styling appliances including hair dryers.