Since the days when the first hair dryer was introduced for home use in the 1920s, everyone looked nearly identical until Dyson launched its Supersonic tumble dryer in 2016, which matched its bladeless fan design. Now several companies are adapting their drying technology in the lightest and thinnest possible package, more like a heat gun than a hair dryer (I’m guessing that’s technically a type of heat gun).
I used these three. They each weigh less than a pound, are relatively quiet, and have self-cleaning features: you remove the filter cover on the back and engage cleaning mode; dryers blow air in the opposite direction to expel dust and debris. Although each stands out on its own, I wish I could combine all three for the perfect dryer.
Chi Lava Pro for $337: This one is slightly lighter than the other two. It has an LED display showing the exact temperature, which is a nice but rare feature, and there are four heat settings ranging from cold to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The big flaw, however, is that far too much air passes through the diffuser, blowing out the hair more than should happen with this attachment.
Gama IQ2 Perfecto for $430: The Gama dryer is sleek and includes a safety feature to automatically shut off if it overheats (it didn’t do this in testing, luckily). There’s an adjustment lock so you can dry your hair without accidentally changing the speed or heat. Plus, it comes with a silicone mat that automatically puts the dryer into sleep mode when you put it down, and back on when you pick it up. This is very useful if you cut hair for a blowout and often have to put the hair dryer down. But it’s expensive and the magnetic filter cover constantly falls off.
Bio Ionic Smart-X High Efficiency Dryer for $329: This Bio Ionic also has a settings lock, which I think should be on every styling tool now. I prefer the look of this one, however, it doesn’t come with a diffuser, which I think should be standard at this price.