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    outside the labs

    Best Hair Dryers

    The top-rated hair dryers CR tested proved to be powerful, lightweight, and less noisy

    From left: Rusk W8less Hair Dryer, Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, DryBar ButterCup Hair Dryer, GHD Helios Hair Dryer
    We evaluated the Rusk W8less 2000, Drybar Buttercup, GHD Helios, and Dyson Supersonic, for their dry speed, weight, and noise.
    Photo: Rusk, Dyson, DryBar, GHD

    Hair dryers first arrived on the home consumer market in the 1920s, and they’ve been hot ever since. Today, 60 percent of U.S. women and 20 percent of U.S. men regularly use a hair dryer over air drying, according to a 2018 report by Dyson. And while the technology has improved with time, hair dryers still serve the same basic function: to blow hot air until your hair dries. 

    So when it comes to choosing a new hair dryer, it’s the performance and ease of use that matters. You want a machine with enough speed and heat that it can dry your hair fast, but not so much heat that your hair will fry. You’ll be aiming this device around your ears, so it needs to be quiet to avoid damaging your hearing. And ideally, it’s light enough to wield with ease. 


    Beyond that, you may want to consider the placement of the buttons, what attachments it comes with, and how long you can expect the dryer to last. 

    For this Outside the Labs review, four other female Consumer Reports employees and I—with different hair types and lengths—each tried out four blow-dryers: the Drybar Buttercup, Dyson Supersonic, GHD Helios, and Rusk W8less.

    CR members can see details about our evaluation, including which ones we liked (and didn’t like), how we tested them, and more.

    Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

    We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.