The 7 Best Travel Hair Dryers to Buy in 2018

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The first priority when choosing a travel hair dryer is size. They should be both compact and lightweight, with features like foldable handles and retractable cords as an added bonus. If you’re traveling outside North and Central America, a dual voltage setting is key. How you prioritize other factors depends on your budget and your styling preferences. For those with frizzy hair, for example, tourmaline technology can be a lifesaver; while those with curly locks may opt for a dryer with a detachable diffuser. Whatever your requirements, you’ll find the perfect solution below.

Our Top Picks

01 of 07

Best Overall: JINRI 1875W Dual Voltage Travel Hair Dryer

Gamma Piu ETC Travel Hair Dryer
photo from amazon
4.2

The JINRI 1875W Travel Hair Dryer is small, powerful and pretty to look at. Amazon reviewers love its pale pink and white color, while a foldable handle means that it packs away to just 9.45” x 5.5” x 4.72”. It’s also easy to store, thanks to a removable concentrator and a hanging loop on the power cord. Despite its small size, you can expect the same performance as you would from a much larger dryer. Its 1,875-watt motor is quiet yet powerful, producing enough airflow to dry your locks in record time.

A dial on the handle allows you to switch between 125V and 250V, making the dryer ideal for international travel. There are two heat settings (although only one works when the hair dryer is dialed to 250V). When you’re finished, use the cool shot button to set your style by exposing it to a blast of cool air. Best of all, the dryer’s ceramic tourmaline air outlet releases negative ions, which repel positive water ions and help to prevent frizzing - keeping your hair sleeker and shinier than ever.

02 of 07

Runner-Up, Best Overall: BaByliss PRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer

Babyliss Pro Travel Hair Dryer
Courtesy of Walmart

At 5.5” x 2.5” x 8.9”, the BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer is significantly smaller than the JINRI dryer. It’s also less powerful, with a 1,000-watt motor (although Amazon reviewers are generally impressed by its size-to-power ratio). Nevertheless, it’s perfectly designed for travel, with a folding handle and a dual voltage dial that lets you switch between 125V and 250V. Somewhat uniquely, the dryer’s high and low heat settings both work abroad as well as at home.

If you suffer from frizzy hair, you’ll love the dryer’s tourmaline crystal technology, which emits negative ions in order to reduce humidity and static electricity. Whatever your hair type, this same technology also makes hair shiny. Infrared heat drys each strand from the inside out, which is faster, gentler and generally less damaging than the alternative. Other perks include a removable concentrator for directing airflow and creating a super-straight look; and a generous five-foot cord (great for reaching inconvenient hotel outlets).

03 of 07

Best Budget: Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer

Sold on Amazon for approximately $10, the Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer is the perfect option for budget travelers. At 9.4” x 7.2” x 3.4”, it’s wonderfully compact, while the 1.2-pound weight makes little difference to your packing. There are some drawbacks: the hairdryer does not have a folding handle or a dual voltage setting. This means it’s only suitable for travel within North and Central America (and a handful of other countries, including Japan).

However, the dryer is surprisingly advanced for its price tag. The 1,875-watt motor drys your hair in next to no time, while two different heat settings allow further control over the drying process. When you’re finished, use the cold shot button to set your style in place. Other benefits include a removable filter cap, an anti-slip grip on the handle, and a hanging loop on the power cord for easy storage.

04 of 07

Best for Frizzy Hair: MHD Professional Travel Size 1000W Hair Dryer

The MHD Professional Travel Size 1000W Hair Dryer comes with an ultra-thin concentrator nozzle, which helps to achieve sleek, straight styles while simultaneously adding volume. It also features a ceramic tourmaline air outlet, which distributes heat evenly and emits negative ions to reduce frizz further. Amazon reviewers claim that with this dryer, you can achieve that fresh-from-the-salon feeling in your own home.

Although it lacks a dual voltage setting, the dryer measures a travel-friendly 4.7” x 2.5” x 7.4”. The professional 1,000-watt motor is both quiet and long-lasting, while the removable filter allows you to clean out hair and lint to keep air circulating through the system as it should. Other highlights include two speed settings, a cool shot button and a handy six-foot cord.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Best for Quiet: Jinri 1000W Professional Mini Hair Dryer

At only 8 x 2 x 5 inches and 11 ounces, the Jinri 1000W Professional Mini Hair Dryer packs the power of a full-sized dryer into a compact and lightweight body. The best part: It’s super quiet, meaning you can use it in a hotel or guest bathroom without disturbing the people around you. The Jinri 1000W has a long-life, low-noise DC motor that reviewers love — it packs the same amount of power without being quite so loud. There are two heat settings, a “cool shot” setting and an ionic generator inside to reduce frizz. Plus, the dryer comes with a detachable “concentrator nozzle” for even more styling options. If you’re looking for a small and efficient travel dryer that won’t wake up your neighbors, the Jinri 1000W is a great option to consider.

06 of 07

Best Lightweight: Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler

The Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler measures just 9.9” x 6” x 3.8”. At 8.8 oz, it’s one of the lightest travel hair dryers on the market, making it ideal for those that don’t like to check luggage. It has a removable concentrator and a folding handle with a no-slip grip. Despite its toy-like appearance, the dryer packs a surprisingly powerful punch, thanks to a 1,200-watt motor and a choice of two heat settings. It has dual voltage functionality (though only one heat setting works overseas). Lastly, tourmaline ceramic technology helps you achieve that soft, frizz-free look while simultaneously protecting your hair from heat damage.

07 of 07

Best Splurge: Gamma Piu ETC Travel Hair Dryer

Available in black, turquoise or red, the Gamma Piu ETC Travel Hair Dryer gives you professional salon quality in an attractive portable package. It features a dual voltage dial, making it suitable for global travel, and operates at 1,000 to 1,200 watts. The motor is designed to be ultra quiet, while Evolution Turbo Compressor technology increases the speed and pressure of the airflow, reducing your drying time by 25 percent.

Choose from two different heat settings, then enjoy a noticeable increase in sleekness and shine thanks to the dryer’s tourmaline-coated grill. Whether you have straight or curly hair, it can be tailored to your specific styling needs using the removable concentrator or mini diffuser. The nylon body is both durable and lightweight, and although its handle is rigid rather than foldable, the hair dryer measures just 5.07” in length.

Products We Tested

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent nine hours testing a top-selling travel hair dryer. To get the most comprehensive results, our testers took this hair dryer on the road and used it everywhere from hotels to gym locker rooms. We asked our reviewers to consider the most important features when using this hair dryer, from its size and weight to its power. We've outlined the most important points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Travel Hair Dryer

Size You’re buying a travel hair dryer for the convenience of a smaller size and a lighter weight. Don’t compromise those values in the search, or you might as well just bring yours from home. Keep an eye out for models with features that make them even more compact, like retractable cords and foldable handles.

Watts The higher the wattage, the more powerful the hair dryer. Look for 1,875 watts for maximum power, though there are gems to be found as low as 1,000 watts. (Disregard anything lower than that, however.)  

Price Generally, higher price tags signify more perks. For example, motors tend to be quieter in higher-end models — a big plus if you happen to be sharing the room with friends or your kids.

Test Results: JINRI 1875W Dual Voltage Travel Hair Dryer (Best Overall)

4.2

What We Like

  • Compact

  • Powerful

  • Variety of settings

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

JINRI 1875W Dual Voltage Travel Hair Dryer
JINRI 1875W Travel Hair Dryer
JINRI 1875W Hair Dryer
JINRI Dual Voltage Travel Hair Dryer

One of our testers had never used a travel hair dryer before and was pleasantly surprised that this one was so easy to store in her weekend bag. She also thought it performed just as well as her home hair dryer: “Even though it's small in size, it still offers really good power that can dry my hair quickly and still has the options for low, high, and cool settings.” The only real downside, according to one frugal tester, was its price. “I don't think I've spent over $20 for a hair dryer before so this is definitely more than I would think to spend,” she said. "But at the end of the day, it's still a good investment.”