Cosmopolitan August 23, 2023



12 Best Affordable Hair Dryers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed


Yeah, $300 hair dryers are nice…but, like, money.

Let's be real: No one wants to drop a sh*t ton of money on hair straighteners, curling irons, and hair dryer brushes. I mean, with a whole slew of inexpensive hair styling tools on the market that don't lack in quality, you bet you can save some cash. Today's hot pick? The affordable hair dryer. There are some really good quality drugstore hair dryers that (1) use infrared technology (i.e., heats your hair from the inside out to minimize heat damage), (2) come with all the attachments you need for your style (hi, hair diffusers), and (3) have enough settings to give you plenty of options for heating and cooling.

You bet you can get a near salon-quality blowout that doesn’t take a chunk out of your rent money. The best affordable hair dryer for you will depend on a few factors (like your hair type and styling goals), but to help you out, I tested some of the cheap blow dryers on the market rn, selected with the help of expert insight and reviews. If you’re looking to get the goods, here are some of my top picks for affordable blow dryers to snag now—but keep reading for the full low-down.

FYI: This is new, up-to-date info, bb. We updated this article in August 2023 to add new affordable hair dryers the internet won't stop talking about, delete outdated oldies, and check in with new experts for the latest in hair dryers, just for you.

If you want to dive into the details for each dryer—including exactly what reviewers and testers are saying—keep scrolling for the best affordable hair dryers of 2023. These hair dryers from brands like Conair, Revlon, BaBylissPRO, and more will give you that holy-wow hair...all while keepin' your budget under $60. (Yes, rlly.)

Best Affordable Ceramic Hair Dryer

InfinitiPRO by Conair Quick Styling Salon Hair Dryer


  • Dries hair just as fast as professional models, per testers
  • Six-foot-long cord is so convenient


  • Def not the most lightweight option
  • Cool-shot button is a bit tricky to press

If you're looking for quick results without major damage, you've gotta try this quiet-but-powerful bb from Conair. Thanks to its alternating current (AC) motor, this budget-friendly dryer ensures an impressively fast dry time—plus, it uses ionic technology to reduce frizz and flyaways, as well as ceramic-coated coils to protect hair with gentle infrared heat.

Settings: 3 heat settings, 2 speeds, and cool-shot button
Wattage: 1875 W
Attachments: Diffuser, concentrator, and blow-out brush

THE REVIEW: "This is by far the best hair dryer available," raves one tester. "Drying power is fabulous, it is lightweight, and [it] has just the right amount of functionality. It is so much better than even the very expensive high-end brands, and at this price, it is even better. Do not hesitate—just buy this!"

Best Affordable Ionic Hair Dryer

Hot Tools Pro Signature 1875 Watts Ionic AC Motor Hair Dryer


  • Pretty lightweight and quiet for an AC hair dryer
  • Uses ionic technology to protect hair


  • According to some reviewers, lint filter gets full easily
  • Not as powerful as some would like

Similar to Conair's Quick Styling Dryer, this option from Hot Tools has all the qualities you'd expect from a professional dryer without the price tag: an ion generator, a long-lasting AC motor, a six-foot-long swivel cord, ceramic-coated coils, and relatively high-powered airflow—all for less than $60. Best of all, it's surprisingly lightweight for an AC dryer, which your poor lil wrist will def appreciate.

Settings: 3 heat settings, 2 speeds, and cool-shot button
Wattage: 1875 W
Attachments: Diffuser and concentrator

THE REVIEW: "This is a fabulous hairdryer!!" reads one review. "It's done wonders for my hair. My hair has never felt so silky soft after using a hairdryer! It's very lightweight, which is a huge plus, and packs a lot of power. But the greatest thing is the way your hair feels after using it. Like a day with your hairdresser!"

Best Affordable Tourmaline Hair Dryer

JINRI Professional Salon Hair Dryer


  • Works great to prevent frizz, according to reviews
  • Includes an almost-nine-foot-long cord


  • DC motor means it may not last as long as other options
  • Attachments don't always stay on well

FTR, there are no clinical studies to support tourmaline dryers being better for hair. However! According to the hype, the mineral tourmaline (a material commonly found inside hair dryers) has natural ionic and infrared properties, which means tourmaline hair dryers are supposedly less dependent on heat to dry hair. And whether that's true or not, tons of reviewers note this affordable tourmaline dryer does an A+ job of reducing frizz and flyaways.

Settings: 3 heat settings, 2 speeds, and cool-shot button
Wattage: 1875 W
Attachments: Diffuser and concentrator

THE REVIEW: "Great hair dryer! Powerful and lightweight," one buyer notes. "My hair dried quickly and without any frizz or flyaways. Dryer gave me a very smooth finish, and [I] loved how lightweight this hair dryer is. Bought it to replace a more expensive dryer but love this one more than my old one. Would definitely recommend!"

Best Affordable Lightweight Hair Dryer

InfinitiPRO by Conair SmoothWrap Hair Dryer


  • Can help reduce frizziness
  • Motor is lightweight but still powerful


  • May take longer to dry hair than other selects
  • Cord is on the shorter side

Another great option for visibly reducing frizz: this lightweight stunner from Conair. Because it has a direct current (DC) motor, this one is nice and light but still reaches an impressively high heat (all while using its ceramic-coating coils to minimize heat damage). According to reviewers, it'll take a lil longer to style your hair with this option, but it'll help ya achieve a sleek, smooth blowout.

Settings: 3 heat settings, 2 speeds, and cool-shot button
Wattage: 1875 W
Attachments: Diffuser and concentrator

THE REVIEW: According to one reviewer, "I was skeptical about the marketing claims it causes less frizz. I have naturally wavy hair, and I have to straighten it—lots of frizz. The first thing I noticed using this product is how gentle it was on my strands. Although the hair dryer is quieter and gentler, it dries my hair just as quickly, if not faster. It undoubtedly is sparing me some unnecessary damage."

Best Affordable Hair Dryer Brush

Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer


  • Great for straightening and drying at the same time
  • User-friendly and works on most hair types


  • Not as effective for drying roots, per testers
  • A bit noisy on higher speed

If you're over using a round brush and a hair dryer, then you've simply gotta try out this internet-famous two-in-one hot tool (which is, tbh, one of the best beauty investments I've ever made). Using its oval-shaped head, ionic technology, and a mix of nylon and tufted bristles, this dryer brush consistently delivers the look of a salon-worthy blowout with minimal frizz—plus, the six-foot swivel cord gives you *so* much flexibility.

Settings: 2 heat/speed settings and cool option
Wattage: 1100 W
Attachments: None

THE REVIEW: "I finally decided to give this a try and I’m so glad I did!" writes one tester. "Blow drying before used to take forever, and I’d get so hot and sweaty just drying my hair! With this, it only takes me 10 minutes, my hair is smooth, and my face doesn’t get all red-hot with a sweat mustache. It took a little getting used to because it is a little bigger than a normal hairbrush, but it’s definitely not heavier than a regular blow dryer."

Best Affordable Brushless Motor Hair Dryer

Kristin Ess Iconic Style Professional Blow Dryer


  • Has a super-long nine-foot cord
  • Features long-lasting brushless motor and on/off ionic technology


  • V noisy, according to some reviews
  • Pricier than other picks

Want an affordable dryer that doesn't break after a year? This sleek brushless motor dryer is calling your name. Here's the deal: While most dryer motors rely on carbon brushes, brushless motors run on magnets and electronics, so they tend to last a whopping 10 times longer than standard AC motor dryers (!!). This one also has an optional ionic button, depending on whether you want a smooth, sleek finish or a full-bodied lewk.

Settings: 3 heat settings, 2 speeds, ionic button, and cool-shot button
Wattage: 1875 W
Attachments: Diffuser and concentrator

THE REVIEW: "I absolutely LOVE this hair dryer," one review reads. "The ionic button really makes a difference on preventing volume and frizz, which is GREAT. I use this along with the Kristen Ess leave-in conditioner and blow-dry spray, and my hair always dries smooth and has way less visible heat damage than my other dryer left it with. This is well worth the price."

Best Affordable Travel Hair Dryer

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer


  • Foldable design makes it easy to pack
  • Dual voltage makes it a good fit for international travel


  • Doesn't include a diffuser nozzle
  • Reviewers noted that the concentrator falls off easily

Complete with a foldable handle and dual voltage, this pretty blue dryer is a *perfect* choice for your next international trip. Despite its compact size (and $35 price tag), the Nano Titanium Travel Dryer has plenty of the features you'd expect from a full-sized model, including powerful airflow, evenly-distributed heat, a six-foot cord, a removable rear filter, and ionic technology.

Settings: 2 heat/speed settings
Wattage: 1000 W
Attachments: Concentrator

THE REVIEW: As one tester writes, "I have always loved BaByliss products, but I caged my expectations when I ordered this travel-sized, dual-voltage hairdryer. However, I used it to blow out my curly hair, and I am very impressed by the power and quality of this product. It isn’t markedly less effective than my very pricey full-sized Dyson hairdryer, even with the BaByliss’s limited settings. Without having straightened it with an iron, my hair is silky, soft, and free of knots."

Best Affordable Hair Dryer for Frizz

Remington Hair Dryer with Damage Protection Styler


  • May help to prevent heat damage
  • Pretty good quality for the price


  • Reviewers say it doesn't last long
  • Tourmaline coating may flake off over time

Obviously, heat isn't the best if you have damaged hair, but if you absolutely must blow-dry, try using this affordable dryer (after spritzing on a heat protectant spray). The ceramic coating on the grill helps protect your hair during heat styling, and though it only boasts tourmaline coating rather than tourmaline-infused technology, it can still help to keep your hair cuticles from overheating. For a $20 hair dryer, that's pretty impressive, no?

Settings: 3 heat settings, 2 speeds, ionic button, and cool-shot button
Wattage: 1875 W
Attachments: Diffuser and concentrator

THE REVIEW: According to one review, "I bought this hair dryer after I had two VERY expensive salon-brand models break (both for different reasons) within two years of purchase. Just out of desperation, I bought this very inexpensive hair dryer and—to my pleasant surprise—it works every bit as well as the pricey high-end models. This dryer dries my hair in the same amount of time as the two salon models AND it gets rid of the frizz."

Best Affordable Hair Dryer for Curls

Bed Head Curls in Check Diffuser Hair Dryer


  • Side-angle design is great for beginners
  • A good choice for travel


  • Some reviewers say it's a bit noisy
  • Shallow bowl means it's not the best choice for long hair

If you only own a blow dryer for the sole purpose of diffusing your hair, then why not take the bulky attachment out of the equation and instead just use a dryer with a built-in diffuser? This tool works to tame static and boost shine while drying curly hair impressively fast—not to mention that the extra-wide barrel allows you to dry larger sections of hair at once.

Settings: 3 heat settings, 2 speeds, and cool-shot button
Wattage: 1875 W
Attachments: None

THE REVIEW: "Anyone with curly hair knows it’s hard to manage your curls and hard to find good products," one review reads. "I’ve tried many different types of hair dryers and diffusers, and this is the best one I’ve used so far. Its low heat prevents damage and no frizz. It’s also not too big and cumbersome to take with you when you travel. I recommend this product for sure."

Best Affordable Hair Dryer for Natural Hair

Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler


  • Styles and dries at the same time
  • Bristles work to smooth hair with minimal frizz and static


  • Some reviewers say the bristles are too short
  • Tough to directly reach hair roots due to bulky design

This ionic hair dryer is basically like using a regular paddle brush, only it’s heated. Just section off your hair and run this paddle dryer through your curls. Thanks to the detangling bristles, it’ll dry and smooth out even the tightest of curls, making blowouts on natural hair a breeze.

Settings: 2 heat/speed settings and cool option
Wattage: 1000 W
Attachments: None

THE REVIEWS: "I can't believe I didn't have this for so long," writes one tester. "I have long, thick 4c natural hair, and this blow dryer worked great with my hair! It was able to dry it quickly and without tangles! I was so skeptical but this is a game-changer!"

Best Affordable Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Dupe

SHRATE Ionic Hair Dryer


  • Includes three unique nozzle attachments
  • Amazingly lightweight and travel-friendly


  • No way to control speed separately from temperature
  • Doesn't get as hot as some would like

You'll find tons of Dyson Supersonic dupes out there, but IMO, this hiiighly-rated option is the best one. Aside from the fact that its sleek design makes it look *just* like a high-end dryer (but for way less $$$), this bb boasts ionic technology to help fight frizz, as well as three different magnetic nozzle attachments and an incredibly lightweight built, despite its AC motor. No, it's not nearly as powerful as the Dyson (which can reach speeds of up to 110,000 rpm, while the top speed on this budget pick is only 20,000 rpm), but it's still a v decent alternative.

Settings: 2 heat/speed settings and cool option
Wattage: 1800 W
Attachments: Diffuser, smooth nozzle, and styling nozzle

THE REVIEW: "Do not walk, RUNNN to the checkout with this hair dryer!" writes one reviewer. "I have extremely thick, coarse 2c/3a hair that typically takes 45 mins to blow dry. This blow dryer had my whole head dried in 15 minutes flat, and my hair was shiny and manageable right after. I rarely write reviews, but this product is definitely rave-worthy. Don't second guess it, just purchase it!!"

Best Affordable Compact Hair Dryer

Kim Kimble Celebrity Series 1875W Pro Hair Dryer


  • Compact size is great for travel
  • Relatively lightweight and easy to hold


  • Doesn’t use infrared technology
  • Some found the cord a bit bulky

Don't be fooled by the compact size of this lil dryer, 'cause it's a total powerhouse. Using an AC motor, this professional-level option from celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble packs 1875 watts of styling power into a tiny package, so it'll def have your crappy hotel blow dryer beat. And can we just talk about that v chic black and rose-gold design?

Settings: 3 heat settings, 2 speeds, and cool-shot button
Wattage: 1875 W
Attachments: Diffuser and

THE REVIEW: According to one review, "This is one of the best hair dryers I think I've ever used. This model from Kim Kimble is compact, with a shorter nose than some. It is also easy to hold and not very heavy. The two attachments are easy to connect. It has 1875 watts, and I can tell. With this hair dryer, I can dry my hair in less time than a different model I've been using. 5 stars from me!"

QQ: Are expensive hair dryers worth it?

With so many good hair dryers under $60 on the market, you may be wondering whether those expensive hair dryers are worth the cost (ya, I'm looking at you, Dyson Supersonic). And while top-of-the-line hair dryers may give you a more pleasant styling experience, they're not necessarily "better." Here's the thing: You'll see the same buzzwords—like "ionic," "ceramic," and "tourmaline"—on both $40 blow dryers and $400 blow dryers, so don't be too swayed by a pricey dryer that claims to infuse your hair with ~conditioning nano beads~ or anything else that sounds...well, too good to be true. 'Cause it probably is.

And while a high-wattage dryer can produce more heat than a lower-wattage one, you'll notice that most hair dryers are about 1,875 watts regardless of price, so that doesn't make much of a difference, either. What really makes for a good blow dryer is an ergonomic design, multiple settings, and included attachments, such as a diffuser for curly, coily, or wavy hair or a concentrator for frizzy hair. Sure, a splurge dryer like the Dyson may offer faster speeds and higher temps (as well as a more luxe drying experience), it probs won't make your hair look any different than a less expensive dryer.

How to choose the best affordable hair dryer

Look for multiple heat settings

To prevent unwanted hair frying or damage, look for a blow dryer with adjustable heat and speed settings. As hairstylist Amy Abramite previously told Cosmo, "Hair that's finely textured, compromised by chemicals, or already damaged may not be able to handle hot temperatures and still remain healthy." With adjustable heat, you can use lower heat settings depending on your hair type (and same goes for speed).

Consider the weight

While a hair dryer with an alternating current (AC) motor tends to be stronger, hotter, and longer-lasting, AC dryers are often heavier than those with direct current (DC) motors. If you plan on traveling with your dryer or want to avoid fatigued wrists, then you might wanna opt for a lightweight DC dryer (like the InfinitiPRO by Conair SmoothWrap Hair Dryer), whereas those who want a more powerful, professional-quality dryer should look a blow dryer with an AC motor (such as the Hot Tools Pro Signature 1875 Watts Ionic AC Motor Hair Dryer).

Keep your hair type in mind

The best affordable dryers are compatible with diffusers and concentrators (and preferably come with them), so you can style your hair rather than, ya know, just blowing hot air at it. If you're looking to reduce frizz, make sure you get a dryer with a concentrator nozzle, which "can control the direction of airflow, pointing downward, so you are encouraging the cuticle to lay down flat," as Aaron Grenia, co-founder of IGK Hair, previously told Cosmo.

And if you're a curly-haired person looking to add volume, then go with a dryer that includes a diffuser nozzle, which will disperse the flow of air from your blow dryer, helping to dry your curls more evenly and gently while encouraging definition.

Meet the experts

Amy Abramite is a hairstylist and the creative director at Maxine Salon in Chicago, IL. She's an expert in hair cutting, blowouts, and styling with hot tools.
Aaron Grenia is a hairstylist and one of the cofounders of IGK Hair, which creates hair products for a variety of hair types.