Top Picks

Are you gearing up for that long-awaited vacation? Don’t forget to pack the perfect travel hair dryer for the perfect travel hair. But with so many options on the market, how can you choose the best one?

Since you’ve been busy planning your trip, we’ve been busy finding the best travel hair dryers on the market for your personal needs. Read more below to find the perfect travel hair dryer for your luscious locks!

How to Choose the Best Travel Hair Dryer

With limited suitcase or backpack space, size is a HUGE factor. You don’t want to choose between your favorite shoes and silky smooth hair, do you?  So leave your regular hairdryer at home and find one that’s portable enough to get the job done without being a hassle to take along. Here is what we considered when deciding which travel hair dryers to recommend.

Size

When it comes to travel hair dryers, the smaller the size, the better the fit. Even a few inches is important because those inches could mean the difference between packing a dryer in your suitcase or going without. No one wants to have to rely on hotels for their hair-drying needs as they travel the globe.

Travel hair dryers come in a range of shapes and sizes. Backpacking around Europe for a month likely requires a smaller, more compact hairdryer. However, you could pack a larger dryer if you’re spending a week at a resort and bringing two large suitcases.

Weight

The difference between a little less than a pound and a little more than a pound doesn’t sound like much. But if you have thick hair that takes a while to dry, you’ll most certainly notice that extra weight. Hello arm fatigue! The last thing you’ll want is half-dried hair in your travel photos. So, either hit up the gym before your trip, or make sure you consider the weight of your travel hairdryer.

Cord Length

Not all hotels or Airbnb’s have convenient electric sockets near the bathroom mirror. To ensure you can see what you’re doing while doing your ‘do, you’ll want to ensure you have a decent cord length–at least five or six feet. It’s even better if you can find a travel hair dryer with a retractable cord. That little feature is a sweet space saver.

Foldable Handle

One way to save space in a suitcase is to eliminate odd-shaped objects. A hairdryer is definitely an odd shape. To avoid this problem, look for travel hair dryers that have a foldable handle. By folding the handle, the hairdryer forms a nice compact item to shove into any remaining space. So, of course, all of the travel hair dryers on our list have foldable handles.

Drying Power

Some hair dryers pack more punch than others. If your hairdresser frequently says “You have such thick hair!” then you’re going to want more power. The higher the listed watts on the dryer, the more powerful it is. Most travel hair dryers are 1000, 1200, 1600, or 1875 watts.

Materials

Hair dryers don’t just blow hot air. They use specific materials that can turn your hair from frizz to fab. Here’s where personalization really matters. You’ll want to select your hair dryer based on your hair type.

Hair dryers might use ionic technology, ceramics, tourmaline, or titanium. Read about the materials in our full buyer’s guide, and don’t fall for the marketing hype you see.

In general, ceramic hair dryers are great for most hair types, but splurge on tourmaline if you can. If you have thick hair that can withstand high heat, you might want to opt for lightweight titanium.

Variable Heat/Speed Settings

The majority of travel hair dryers have two heat and speed settings, low and high. Sometimes though, you’ll be treated to three heat and speed choices, or even a cool shot button. The cool shot button, often used at the end of a blow-dry, provides air without any heat to help lock in the style you just meticulously created.

Dual Voltage Setting for Worldwide Travel

You’ll have enough to keep in mind while traveling. Where’s my passport? Do I have the right type of money? Wait, which side of the road should I be driving on? The last thing you should be thinking about is if your travel hair dryer will work.

If you’re only planning to travel domestically, you’ll be good to go with any of our listed options. But international travel means you’ll need to check the voltage of your dryer. Check out this country-by-country list of plugs, sockets, and voltages. Don’t worry, we’ve indicated which travel hair dryers have a dual voltage setting.

Now that you know what to look for, here are the best travel hair dryers to buy in 2020.

Top 10 Best Travel Hair Dryers 2020

#1

Conair Compact Hair Dryer

#1 Conair Compact Hair Dryer

Best Overall Pick:


Why we like it: The Conair Compact Hair Dryer is our go-to travel buddy, perfect for the frequent traveler who needs a compact dryer that works in international settings.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,600 watts
  • Speeds: 2 (High/Low)
  • Cool Shot Button: No
  • Dual Voltage: Yes (120V/240V)

Review

This is it! We love how this compact hair dryer packs a large punch in such a small package. At 1600 watts, the Conair Compact Hair Dryer holds its own amongst regular-sized hair dryers. Still, it’s not too noisy for routine use. The Conair Compact Hair Dryer is also fully-featured and travel-ready.

This hair dryer is a one-size-fits-most product, amenable to a variety of hair types. It has enough power to remove natural waves easily, taming shoulder-length hair into a straight style.

While this Conair will work for most, it might not fit your needs if you have a lot of thick hair that takes a while to dry. For extra thick hair, check out the titanium-containing hair dryers, such as the BaBylissPRO TT and the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer.

The Conair Compact Hair Dryer has all the right stuff where it counts. Solid power in a lightweight frame, multiple heat settings, a foldable handle, a respectable five-foot cord, and reliable hard plastic shell design. Purchase without worry and hit the road for exciting travels. The Conair Compact Hair Dryer is sure to keep up!

Travel Readiness

For the frequent traveler, size is a major consideration. This travel hair dryer is about the length of a highlighter. Its lightweight design, weighing in at less than a pound, barely adds any weight to your luggage or backpack. You won’t have to worry about tipping the weight limit scales with this choice, and your arm will thank you too!

Pros

  • Small, compact size
  • Lightweight (less than a pound)
  • High/Low settings
  • Dual voltage for international travel
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Lacks retractable cord
  • No attachments
#2

Revlon Compact Travel Hair Dryer

#2 Revlon Compact Travel Hair Dryer

Best Budget Pick:


Why we like it: If you need to get full 1,875 watts of heat and want it cheap, then the Revlon Compact Travel Hair Dryer is your best option. Sporting a cool shot button and concentrator, this deal provides the best bang-for-your-buck.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,875 Watts
  • Material: Ionic, Ceramic
  • Speeds: 2 (High/Low)
  • Cool Shot Button: Yes
  • Dual Voltage: Yes (120V/240V)

Review

The Revlon Compact Travel Hair Dryer is our Best Budget Hair Dryer pick for a reason. It packs in a large number of desirable features at a very low cost. Who doesn’t like that?

Let’s start with its drying power. It has a full 1875 watts, which hits the top end range for most travel dryers. This hair dryer can, and will, handle almost any traveler’s hair in a flash.

Even though this product comes in at the low end of the price range, it has high-quality materials. Utilizing ionic technology with three layers of ceramic coating means you can say goodbye to frizzy hair during your travels. We also love that this travel hair dryer includes a cool shot button to lock-in the look and lock-out that frizz. Although not the lightest or smallest, it’s the best budget travel dryer with this great feature set.

The shorter barrel of this budget-friendly dryer makes maneuverability a snap. Plus, the concentrator attachment focuses hot air, speeding up drying time.

Travel Readiness

While this Revlon hair dryer competes well on power, material quality, and cost, it’s not the most compact or lightweight hair dryer on our list. If size and weight are your most important features, check out the ZOOMMATE Mini or the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium travel dryers.

Pros

  • Full 1,875 watts of drying power
  • Concentrator attachment included
  • Inexpensive
  • Dual voltage for international travel

Cons

  • Lacks retractable cord
#3

BaBylissPRO TT Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer

#3 BaBylissPRO TT Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer

Best Premium Pick:


Why we like it: The BaByliss PRO Travel Hair Dryer uses both titanium and tourmaline, providing both ultra-low weight and ionic technology in an affordable package.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,000 Watts
  • Material: Tourmaline, Titanium
  • Cool Shot Button: No
  • Speeds: 2

Review

The BaBylissPRO TT is great for all hair types, including thick and coarse hair, which can be especially difficult to dry. For fine hair, the lower setting works great to prevent damage to fragile hair.

At first, we were skeptical of the drying power of this product, but it’s clear that this travel hair dryer is at the top of its game. Travelers shouldn’t worry that 1000 watts will be underpowered. For such a tiny hair dryer, it proves its worth in power. Plus, a provided concentrator nozzle allows for quicker hair drying.

This premium product uses tourmaline crystals to emit static-fighting ions, revealing shiny, healthy hair. At the same time, the inclusion of titanium provides an incredibly lightweight product- essential for the frequent traveler. If you’re willing to forgo the tourmaline, the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer is an even lighter product for the minimalist adventurer.

Travel Readiness

Titanium-based products are superior travel accessories given their minimal weight. If you’re looking for a travel-friendly, dual voltage, premium product that’s great for all hair types, the BaBylissPRO TT would be an excellent fit for your needs.

Unfortunately the BaByliss PRO TT lacks a retractable cord for ease of packing. If you don’t want a cord unraveling in your luggage, the retractable cord feature can be found in the Andis Fold-N-Go Ionic Hair Dryer and the Conair Cord Keeper Hair Dryer.

Pros

  • Concentrator attachment included
  • Dual voltage for international travel
  • Lightweight thanks to titanium material usage

Cons

  • Lacks retractable cord
  • Low drying power of 1,000 Watts
  • No cool shot button
#4

Conair Compact Travel Hair Dryer

#4 Conair Compact Travel Hair Dryer


Why we like it: The Conair Compact Travel Hair Dryer packs in a full 1,875 watts of heating power and a cool shot button. At its relatively low price point, it makes this an easy budget option.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,875 Watts
  • Cool Shot Button: Yes
  • Speeds: 2

Review

Almost everyone will recognize this hair dryer, but don’t let its standard look fool you. The Conair Compact Travel Hair Dryer is a sleeper pick: not much to look at, but it packs a real punch where it counts.

The Conair Compact Travel Hair Dryer brings you 1,875 watts and will dry any hair quickly, while the cool shot button holds that perfect style right where you want it. With two heat/speed settings, a foldable handle, and dual-voltage, it’ll meet nearly any travelers’ needs. The Conair Compact Travel Hair Dryer doesn’t include any features to contain frizz, and it doesn’t have a retractable cord or any additional attachments. Some consumers expect more, but this dryer performs its basic functions really well.

With powerful heat and strong air movement, it’s still surprisingly quiet compared with other similar options. The Conair Compact Travel Hair Dryer is a tried-and-true design that will keep you going worldwide. Trust us when we say: sometimes, stick with what works!

Travel Readiness

This dryer has high-power hair drying capability, with a cool shot button to hold your style in place! While not the lightest dryer, it still provides the essential features for international travel with dual voltage capability and a hard outer shell for repeated jostling and movement in your luggage.

Pros

  • Dual voltage for international travel
  • Full, 1,875 watts of heating power
  • Super compact

Cons

  • Lacks retractable cord
  • No attachments
#5

Andis Fold-N-Go Ionic Hair Dryer

#5 Andis Fold-N-Go Ionic Hair Dryer


Why we like it: The Andis Fold-N-Go hair dryer provides a set of top-of-the-line features, including full 1,875-watt heat, three speeds, a retractable cord, and tourmaline-based ionic technology.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,875 Watts
  • Material: Ionic, Tourmaline, Ceramic
  • Cool Shot Button: Yes
  • Speeds: 3

Review

The Andis Fold-N-Go Ionic Hair Dryer has several attractive features, with multiple speed settings, a tourmaline ionic element to reduce frizz, a folding handle, and a retractable cord. At this price point, it makes a good choice for travelers who want fast, efficient drying and a range of styling options.

With 1875 watts and three heat/speed settings, the Andis Fold-N-Go provides maximum flexibility for your hair drying needs. It also sports a cool-shot button to secure your style! A concentrator adds more capability to this travel dryer, leaving you with unlimited styling options.

With a retractable cord, it also packs up easily and won’t get tangled in your belongings. If it wasn’t for the larger size of this travel hair dryer and lack of built-in dual voltage, we’d give it five out of five stars.

Andis makes a compelling product for the style-conscious traveler who doesn’t want to break the bank.

Travel readiness

The Andis Fold-N-Go brings high 1875 watt power with three heat/speed settings and a cool shot button. The folding handle and retractable cord are nice travel features, but the larger size and weight counteract some of the benefits. This dryer also lacks dual voltage, which could require additional hardware to work properly in some countries.

Pros

  • Concentrator attachment included
  • Sports a retractable cord
  • Full, 1,875 watts of heating power

Cons

  • Not dual voltage
#6

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer

#6 BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer


Why we like it: The BaBylissPRO Nano blow dryer excels at low-weight. At just over half a pound, this is the obvious choice when weight is at a premium.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,000 Watts
  • Material: Ionic, Titanium
  • Cool Shot Button: No
  • Speeds: 2

Review

Lightweight travel dryers often leave something to be desired, but not the BaByliss Nano Titanium Travel Dryer! With decent power and multiple desirable features, it’s a good contender for your travel hair drying needs.

While 1000 watts is the minimum for any decent hair dryer, the BaBlyiss Nano Titanium makes up for that shortcoming with ultra-low, sub-10 ounce weight, dual-voltage capability, and nano titanium ionic technology for frizz control. It also has two heat/speed settings, a foldable handle, and a concentrator for broad styling options.

Some may not like the higher price, and its lower power rating won’t wow many consumers, but you’d be hard-pressed to find this broad range of features in any other dryer. It’s an ultra-small dryer that can go almost anywhere in the world and provides steady hair-drying capacity for space-minded travelers.

Travel Readiness

This dryer is small and very lightweight, with multiple speed settings, a foldable handle, and dual voltage. It may not dry all hair types as well as higher-power options, and doesn’t include cool-shot or a retractable cord. Plus, the higher price could dissuade those looking for an inexpensive travel hair dryer.

Pros

  • Dual voltage for international travel
  • Concentrator attachment included
  • Lightweight due to titanium material usage

Cons

  • Lacks retractable cord
  • Low drying power of 1,000 Watts
  • No cool shot button
#7

Conair miniPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Travel Hair Dryer

#7 Conair miniPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Travel Hair Dryer


Why we like it: The Conair miniPro Travel Hair Dryer packs middle-of-the-road features and is a solid choice for an all-around hair dryer.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,200 Watts
  • Material: Tourmaline, Ceramic
  • Cool Shot Button: No
  • Speeds: 2

Review

The Conair miniPRO Tourmaline hits the mark for a good price, styling capability, and reliability. When looking for a compact travel dryer that stands out from the rest, look no further.

Conair has a wide range of hair-drying and hair styling products, and the miniPRO Tourmaline lives up their reputation for efficient and effective products. Weighing in as one of our lightest overall travel dryers, the miniPRO Tourmaline sports a respectable 1200 watts of power with two heat and speed settings, as well as other expected features in a modern travel hairdryer such as q foldable handle, dual voltage, and a concentrator for close styling.

Because it’s small and lightweight, that leaves little room for a retractable cord or additional features, like a cool-shot button. But those are acceptable trade-offs for the miniPro Tourmaline’s overall performance.

And with its exotic tourmaline ceramic ionizer, this dryer will keep your hair fabulous without frizz! Its bright red finish provides a fun accessory for your beauty routine. This provides great, no-fuss hair from a compact powerhouse of a travel hairdryer. The Conair miniPRO Tourmaline Ceramic is a solid choice for all your travels far and wide.

Travel Readiness

You’ll be ready for the jet-set lifestyle, with a foldable handle, dual-voltage capability, and multiple heat settings. This hair dryer will easily fit in luggage and work in most travel destinations without a problem.

Pros

  • Dual voltage for international travel
  • Concentrator attachment included
  • Ultra light

Cons

  • Lacks retractable cord
#8

Conair Cord Keeper Hair Dryer

#8 Conair Cord Keeper Hair Dryer


Why we like it: The combination of retractable power cord and full 1,875-watt heating makes the Conair Cord Keeper a good choice when you need maximum drying power while maintaining a cord-free suitcase.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,875 Watts
  • Material: Tourmaline, Ceramic
  • Cool Shot Button: Yes
  • Speeds: 2

Review

Who wants a bunch of cords getting tangled in their suitcase? The Conair Cord Keeper Hair Dryer takes care of this with a retractable cord. Paired with the foldable handle, this hair dryer is an obvious choice when you need a compact way to dry your hair on the go.

While a little bigger than other hair dryers on our list, the Conair Cord Keeper Hair Dryer makes up for it with a full 1,875 watts of drying power. If you know your destination can handle it, this is definitely a hair dryer to keep in mind.

Dual voltage means you’re ready for international travel anywhere in the world. While dual speeds means you have precision control. The cool shot button lets you lock in the perfect look.

Travel Readiness

While on the bigger side, the Conair Cord Keeper Hair Dryer makes up with a retractable cord, full heating ability, and dual controls.

Pros

  • Dual voltage for international travel
  • Sports a retractable cord
  • Full, 1,875 watts of heating power

Cons

  • No attachments
#9

Conair Worldwide Travel Hair Dryer

#9 Conair Worldwide Travel Hair Dryer


Why we like it: While this hair dryer is on the large side, the Conair Worldwide Hair Dryer is the only one on our list with separate heat and speed controls.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,875 Watts
  • Material: Tourmaline, Ceramic
  • Cool Shot Button: Yes
  • Speeds: 2

Review

Designed to go around the world with you, the Conair Worldwide Travel Hair Dryer is the perfect companion for your travels. A bit on the bigger and heftier side than other hair dryers on our list, the combination of 1,875 watts, concentrator attachment and separate heat and speed settings really sets this hair dryer apart.

Smart voltage technology automatically adjusts to whatever voltage you plug it into. You don’t need to worry about accidentally plugging in this hair dryer before switching voltage.

This is the only hair dryer on our list that allows you full separate control over heat and airflow speed. This gives you full control over the heat and amount of air.  With you in control, you can style your hair exactly like you want it.

With both the semi-precious tourmaline and ceramic technology, you’ll get the most negative ions blasting into your hair, giving you the smooth and shiny look you’re after.

Travel Readiness

The combination of full 1,875 watts of heating power and separate heat and speed settings make this travel hair dryer the ultimate choice when you want control over your hair drying needs.

Pros

  • Detects foreign voltage and adjusts automatically
  • Separate heat and speed settings
  • Cool shot button
  • Full, 1,875 watts of heating power
  • Concentrator included

Cons

  • Lacks retractable cord
  • Large and heavy
#10

ZOOMMATE Mini Travel Hair Dryer

#10 ZOOMMATE Mini Travel Hair Dryer


Why we like it: Although not the most powerful travel hair dryer, the ZOOMMATE mini hair dryer is the smallest one on our list- because sometimes you just need that extra space.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Drying Power: 1,000 Watts
  • Material: Negative Ion Technology
  • Cool Shot Button: No
  • Speeds: 1

Review

The ZOOMMATE Mini Travel Hair Dryer is a minimalist’s dream. Throw it in your backpack and go. A tiny black carry bag keeps the cord from tangling amongst your other items, further enhancing its compact design.

This little guy lacks the power of other hair dryers in our list, but we don’t think it’s meant to be a power player. This is a product for someone who’s backpacking around a country, never staying in the same place twice. The user of this hair dryer doesn’t really care what the hair dryer is made out of or if it can provide a certain hairstyle. This hair dryer is for travelers who just want to remove the dampness from their hair before heading out on the day’s adventures!

Travel Readiness

We picked the ZOOMMATE Mini Travel Hair Dryer for a reason. It’s tiny! Pack it and go. We only wish it had a dual voltage feature to make this option more international travel friendly.

Pros

  • Comes with a storage bag
  • Tiny size
  • Ultra-low weight
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons

  • Not dual voltage
  • Low drying power
  • No attachments are provided

Guide to Buying the Best Travel Hair Dryer for 2020

Your travel hair dryer is the difference between Wow, you look incredible in that picture and Wow, that day of your trip must have been humid! We get it; it’s an important decision. You probably have a lot of questions. Don’t worry. We have answers!

Can You Travel with a Hair Dryer?

packing a travel hair dryer

You can absolutely travel with a hair dryer. In fact, we think you should travel with one! There is no guarantee that your travel accommodations will provide a hair dryer, and sometimes it’s a necessity, not just a luxury.

Imagine, you just hopped out of the shower before your glacier expedition in Alaska, and your hotel room failed to provide a hair dryer. This is quite the predicament. You’re going to see icicles up close and personal. They won’t be on the mountains in the distance–they’ll be hanging from your head!

There are a few things to keep in mind, though, about traveling with a hair dryer:

  • First, you’ll need to understand the Transportation Security Association (TSA) guidelines about what you’re allowed to pack in carry-on bags and checked luggage if you’re traveling by airplane.
  • Second, you’ll need to understand that international travel requires a different voltage for electronics than we use in the United States.
  • Third, you’ll want to know that not all travel hair dryers have a convenient way to switch voltage–so you’ll need to keep an eye out for dual voltage features!

TSA Guidelines on Hair Dryers

The TSA advises and monitors what people can and can’t bring on airplanes. They have created an extensive list of what you can bring on planes. Thankfully, hair dryers are safe to bring in both carry-on and checked luggage. Be sure to check the TSA guidelines before you travel in case there’s a change to accepted items.

Dual Voltage Hair Dryers for International Travel

We’ve talked a lot about the wattage of hair dryers, but another term you’re going to come across is volts. You can think of the watts as the horsepower of your hair dryer, while the volts are the speed of the horse.

In the United States, plugging things into the wall will give you 120 volts of power. And you’ll actually be safe if you travel to Canada, Mexico, most of South America or Japan. Almost anyplace else you go will deliver around 240 volts. Plug a non dual-voltage hair dryer into one of those outlets and you may learn that your hair dryer can get a lot hotter than you’re used to.

Most hair dryers on the market can handle both voltages. But definitely not all. In fact, a couple of the ones on our list can only do 120 volts. So, if international travels are on your horizon, make sure to pay attention to this feature.

What Is the Best Dual Voltage Travel Hair Dryer?

Most dual voltage hair dryers require you to move a switch before plugging them in. Definitely doable, but not the most convenient. The Conair Worldwide Travel Hair Dryer actually will sense the voltage coming in and just adapt. It even has a little LED light on it letting you know what voltage it’s operating at.

More Wattage Means Faster Drying

Now that we talked about voltage, let’s look at wattage. While the country you’re in sets the voltage you get, the hair dryer determines the wattage, and generally speaking, you want more.

Hair dryers have a heating element in them that will take electricity and produce heat. So a heating element that uses 1,000 watts of power will produce around half the heat that a 1,875 watt heating element does.

How Many Watts Is Good for a Hair Dryer?

You might think this is an easy question: just choose the one that uses the most watts. But hold up!

If the only thing you care about is getting dry hair, then definitely go for the highest wattage. And you’re in luck, half of the hair dryers on our list use the maximum 1,875 watts. Turn any of these babies on and you’ll be blasted with hair-drying heat in no time.

Why would you ever want to go lower? There are actually two good reasons!

If your hair is of the thinner variety, you may actually want to hold back on the heat. While the scalding temperatures will quickly dry your hair, thin hair may be damaged by the heat. Even more important, thin hair allows more of the heat to reach your scalp. This can lead to damage of the hair follicles themselves, which can in turn lead to hair loss. Definitely steer carefully here.

If you want the ability to choose between high or low heats, then the Conair Worldwide Travel Hair Dryer is the only one on our list that has separate heat and speed controls.

Another reason you might want to avoid the super-powered hair dryer choices is that you might not be able to get the power you need.

Hair dryers use a lot of power. Really, a lot! In fact, the electrical systems of bathrooms in the United States are now actually designed around hair dryers. So if you’re going to plug into a place built in the last couple of decades, you’re probably safe. But not necessarily so if you’re planning an overnight at a bed and breakfast in a colonial-built farmhouse.

Plug an 1,875 Watt hair dryer into an older electrical socket, and you’re likely to end up in a dark room holding a powerless dryer. You’ll soon find yourself having to search for a breaker to switch.

We’ll spare you the math, but many older circuits will lose their power if you plug in anything past about 1,800 watts. Manufacturers know this and used to go up to 1,600 watts for exactly this reason. Since electrical systems were upgraded in newer houses, manufacturers also upped the wattage. Now, we regularly see travel hair dryers that go up to 1,875 watts.

So if you know you’re staying in a newer place, and if you want an 1,875-watt hair dryer, then you’re set. Many times when we’re traveling it’s not so clear. A safe bet you can take is to get a 1,600-watt hair dryer. Our best pick, the Conair Compact Hair Dryer is a perfect choice for you with an optimal 1,600 watt heating power.

Travel Hair Dryer Portability

Let’s face it, there’s never enough space to take everything you want to bring. If size is all you care about, then you’ll definitely want a small hair dryer.

One of the main features that makes for a good travel hair dryer is having a foldable handle. There’s a basic shape that any blow dryer is going to take and having a handle that can fold will let it squeeze into a smaller space.

This feature is so important that all of the travel hair dryers on our list sport a foldable handle. If you’re looking for the most compact folding handle possible, we recommend the BaByliss PRO TT Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer.

Travel Hair Dryer Materials

Looking at a hair dryer, you might think they’re all made of the same thing: plastic. But what makes up the parts inside make a huge difference in how your hair gets dried. Let’s look at the most common materials and technologies used by hair dryers:

Ceramic

Ceramics are clays that have been heated up to make the internal parts of a hairdryer. They’re really good at getting hot and staying at a specific temperature. That’s important if you find yourself drying your hair frequently.

Ceramics make a specific kind of heat called infrared. This type of heat actually penetrates the hair, drying it from the inside, leaving natural moisture on the surface. This will leave your hair looking shiny.

Ceramics are a natural source of ions, they actually just pump them out when heated. Some hair dryers have whole parts made out of ceramic. These will produce more negative ions than a hair dryer where the parts are just coated with ceramic.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline is actually a semi-precious gemstone. But don’t bust open your tourmaline hair dryer looking for anything shiny. Manufacturers grind up this mineral and use them to make or coat the parts of your hair dryer.

As you might guess, grinding up gems to make a hair dryer seems a little extreme, this is why hair dryers that tout they use tourmaline are going to be a little spendy.

Like ceramic, tourmaline is a natural source of negative ions. Just like ceramics, it’s better to have whole parts made of tourmaline and not just coated. You likely won’t be able to know which way it’s used since it’s typically not marketed.

Tourmaline is known for producing a lot of negative ions compared to the other materials. What this means is that it will dry your hair quickly. So if time is of the essence, definitely opt for this gem-laden choice.

Titanium

You might think of planes, buildings or wedding bands when you hear titanium. But there’s one reason why titanium might be in your hair dryer: weight.

Titanium parts weigh in at 40% lighter than their ceramic counterparts. So if you’re looking for a hair dryer that’s good for a quick style, then titanium is what you want.

Titanium isn’t known for producing infrared heat. That means the heat is going to be applied from the outside of your hair and have to make its way in.

This isn’t a bad thing, but the quick heating of the hair surface makes titanium a better choice for those of us with thicker hair. If you have thin hair, you may want to look at ceramics or tourmaline.

Titanium doesn’t naturally produce negative ions like the other choices. So if you’re looking at a titanium hair dryer choice, make sure to check if it says it includes this feature. Most of the manufacturers do this by incorporating a small piece of ceramic or tourmaline somewhere inside to produce a small amount of ions.

Best Travel Hair Dryers by Hair Type

To fight the frizz and tame the mane, you’ll want a travel hair dryer targeted to your individual needs.

It’s true that everybody’s hair is made of the same stuff. This might lead you to think all hair dryers will work the same for everybody, but that’s not the case.

Hair can be thick or thin, or it can be straight or curly. These differences in hair structure mean that the hair dryer you use can have a huge effect on what happens to your hair. It can mean the difference between frizzy hair and smooth, silky hair.

We’ll look at the four main types of hair and how to choose a hair dryer for them here:

Straight Hair

Assuming you want to keep your hair straight, you’re in luck! Pretty much any hair dryer will work with your sleek hair. Really, what we suggest is not using your hair type to lead you to select a hair dryer. Instead focus on other factors. Do you care about space in your luggage, drying time, ease of travel? Choose your hair dryer based on that. Your hair will accommodate.

Curly Hair

Hair gets curly due to disulfide bonds that bend the shaft. But you don’t need a degree in chemistry to figure out how to choose a hair dryer that will give you salon-like results.

Blow drying curls can be an anxiety-inducing ordeal. One small slip, and your curl ends up pointing the wrong direction. There are two things to keep in mind to help make the process flow smoothly.

Curly hair responds a lot better to far infrared heat. What that means is choose a hair dryer made of ceramics or tourmaline. You want to avoid titanium that tends to throw a lot more heat and works on just the surface.

Second, working on small parts of your hair, just a curl or two at a time can be critical. To do this, you’re going to want a concentrator attachment. You can always go after-market and get one that fits onto your hair dryer, but save yourself the hassle and choose a hair dryer that comes with one already.

Many of the hair dryers on our list include a concentrator attachment, but the Revlon Compact Travel Hair Dryer is a great choice!

Thick or Coarse Hair

So let’s start this off by clearing the air: thick hair and coarse hair are two different things. Thick hair means you have a lot of hair. Coarse hair means that the individual hairs you do have are thick.

So why are we grouping them here? Because you can choose hair dryers for both types the same way.

The main thing you want for these hair types is heat. You need the wattage. If you know you’ll be staying at newer places, then opt for a hair dryer with 1,875 watts. Something like our Revlon Compact Travel Hair Dryer makes a great choice for this.

If you want to play it safe, then choose a hair dryer that puts out a perfectly decent 1,600 watts. Our number one choice, the Conair Compact Hair Dryer is an obvious pick here.

Thin Hair

Your fine hair needs protection so they don’t end up split or frizzed. Like curly hair, fine hair is best heated drom a distance. So stick with ceramics or tourmaline and you’ll be safe. Don’t feel like you need to get the highest wattage hair dryer either. Using a moderate heat dryer works just great for fine hair.

Final Thoughts

Making sure your hair stays in top shape while traveling is a top priority. Choosing the right travel hair dryer is a critical part of this. You’ll need to choose carefully based on what material your travel hair dryer is made of, it’s size, the type of power it needs, and how much power it uses. And you have to do this all while keeping in mind the type of hair you have.

So enjoy choosing your travel hair dryer and rest assured that your hair will be in great shape for your next trip- wherever your journeys might take you!