If you’re a fan of hair dryers, you’ve probably seen several models that sound like a tornado in full swing. At least, when it’s placed a few inches from your ears. It can be harmful when our ears are constantly exposed to loud sounds. That is true even if loud noise exposure is just for a few minutes at a time. You may even experience a buzzing, ringing or clicking sound in your ears, akin to tinnitus, for a few hours afterwards.
The Best Quiet Hair Dryers
Based on the reviews written about several hair dryers, the ones we have listed here are among the quietest so far. It’s important to know however that there are no hair dryers with whisper-quiet sound.
#1. Bio Ionic Whisper Light Conditioning Hair Dryer
This is among the quietest hair dryers with a noise level of 72 decibels. This ultra quiet professional hair dryer is proof that powerful performance don’t have to be noisy. The dryer has been designed with the Ultra-Quiet Noise Reduction Technology, which makes for a quiet operation.
>> Check reviews, ratings & price
Even babies will not wake up with it going full speed in the background. You can also listen to another person or to the radio when it’s on the low and medium setting. You should expect a louder sound on a higher setting, but not too loud as to be annoying.
The hair dryer also has NanoIonic Hybrid Mineral Technology, which creates natural ions and far-infrared energy. Your hair will dry faster yet become softer, smoother and shinier – no frizz and fuzz – because of it.
Other features are variable heat settings, cool shot button, dual removable filters, and ionic styling nozzle. The variable heat settings is a must for salons where all types of hair will be dried and styled. The light weight makes it easy to use for extended periods. This is important when it’s your hand holding it to your head.
#2. Revlon RVDR5045 Quiet pro Ionic Dryer
This has a higher sound level – at 79 decibels – but it still makes the list since it’s still well below the average 85 decibels in many hair dryers. If you have auditory-related health issues, such as headaches and tinnitus, you will find the Revlon dryer to be a winner in your books, too. You don’t have to worry about waking up the family in the early morning hours or disturbing their sleep in the late evening hours when using it.
>> See user reviews & pricing info
The speed of drying and the results afterwards are obviously still the hallmarks of the best hair dryer, quiet or not. Your hair will come out looking healthier – softer and smoother to the touch, bouncier in body, and shinier in appearance. You can thank the negative ions created by the hair dryer for these great results.
You will also love that it doesn’t get blazing hot, which means you’re not likely to singe, burn or dry out your hair. Your hair will also glide through the brush even as the hair dryer’s airflow is still concentrated on it.
The hair dryer also comes with a concentrator nozzle, which effectively directs condensed airflow to targeted areas. You can achieve a more precise hairstyle with it.
#3. The Centrix Q-Zone
This isn’t whisper-quiet but its sound level is substantially quieter than most hair dryers with similar wattage. Its quiet operation can be attributed to the large squirrel cage-type fan, which produces the same air flow but at lesser revolutions per minute.
It also has a perpendicularly-oriented fan with a large intake area, which results in less turbulent airflow (i.e., less airflow restrictions, less noise). Based on decibel measurements, it has a 70-decibel level.
>> Check price, ratings & reviews
The Centrix Q Zone Quiet Hair Dryer combines two technologies – a ceramic tourmaline and ionic element. This combination makes it fast and easy to dry your hair as well as leave it shinier, smoother, and softer by locking in moisture. The dryer also features an easy-to-use speed and heat settings switch, which can be accessed at the front and back of the handle.
The hair dryer also comes with a concentrator. Its two motors make for a powerful performance while its lightweight design makes for easy use even for 30 minutes at a time. Its ergonomic handle makes it fit well into small and large hands, too.
If you’re looking for a professional hair dryer that will not contribute to salon noise pollution, then this is it.
Watch this video taking apart the Centrix and see the technology behind it:
Why Quiet Is Better
If you have sensitive ears, then it’s always a good idea to look for the quietest hair dryer you can find. But even when you’re not experiencing unusual noises in your ears after using a dryer, you are still advised to consider a quiet hair dryer for the following reasons:
1. Live in cramped spaces
You may be living in a small apartment with thin walls. Using the hair dryer may disturb your family and friends, or even your next-door neighbors, because of the relatively loud sound your hair dryer produces.
Your partner and kids may not complain about it yet because the noise is within tolerable levels, especially for just a few minutes or so. But when your hair dryer becomes too loud for comfort, such as in the early morning or late evening hours, you’re pushing your luck.
2. Frequent traveler
If you are a frequent traveler then you will likely prefer using your own hair dryer because the ones provided in most hotels are too loud, too large, or too weak for your needs.
Again, you will want the most quiet hair dryer because you don’t want to wake up other guests in the hotel. You also don’t want to disturb the slumber of your travel buddies.
3. Concerned about hearing loss
You should be concerned about hearing loss. You must keep in mind that prolonged exposures to high volume sources so close to your ears can result in hearing damage.
According to the safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employees in a workplace must never be exposed to sources of noise emitting more than 90 decibels. But here’s the thing about the modern average hair dryers – their noise level has been measured at approximately 85 decibels! You will even find more powerful hair dryers, such as those used in salons with more than 1,500 watts power, registering at 90 to 100 decibels.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also asserted that hearing loss can happen with repeated exposure – not just prolonged exposure – to noises 85 decibels and higher. You can lessen your risks of hearing loss while still enjoying the benefits of shinier, smoother and softer hair resulting from the regular and proper use of hair dryers.
This is where the quietest blow dryer comes in. You have to start looking beyond the heat and speed settings, power in watts, and attachments when choosing the best blow dryers. You must consider the quiet operations of the hair dryers, too, so that your ears suffer less from the impact of their daily use.
How Sound Is Measured
Your understanding about which hair dryer is quieter than the others will be reinforced by your understanding of the way sound is measured.
First, sound energy travels in waves, which are then measured in terms of amplitude and frequency. Amplitude is the measurement of the force of the wave, known as decibels of dBA of sound pressure.
Your normal speaking voice is about 65 decibels, a whisper is between 15 and 25 decibels, and a gas mower and hair dryer are between 85 and 95 decibels. Your ears will likely protest at the sound of a rock concert (between 105 and 115 decibels), a jet plane from 100 feet (135 decibels and higher), and a 12-gauge shotgun at close range without ear protection (165 decibels).
Sound above 85 decibels can cause permanent damage to your ears. Keep in mind that the more sound pressure the source of sound has, the less time it will take to cause hearing damage. A hair dryer, for example, will require a constant exposure of 8 hours to result in permanent damage but you don’t want to take your chances either.
Second, decibels are measured using a decibel meter. This is a handheld instrument with a microphone that responds to the changes in air pressure resulting from the sound waves’ energy. Manufacturers of hair dryers also use the decibel meter in measuring the noise levels their products make. Regular consumers like you and me can also this in comparing quiet blow dryers.
You may be unable to measure the decibel level in hair dryers but you can also read the manufacturer’s technical specifications and the consumer reviews. Take note of the number of watts in a hair dryer. The more powerful it is, the more likely its decibel level can be higher. But this isn’t true in all cases so your diligence in researching is still a must.
How to Choose Quiet Hair Dryers
Many manufacturers of hair dryers will assert that theirs is the best quiet hair dryer available but few really are. The average hair dryer today has 50 to 60 decibels levels when turned on. It’s a huge improvement over the hair dryers a decade ago with their 80 to 85-decibel levels.
But even at 50 to 60 decibels, it can still be fairly loud especially when used for several minutes. You may want to find a hair dryer running at 40 decibels or less, even 10 to 30 decibels if you have the money for it.
You can make the right choice in the best silent hair dryer by following these steps:
- Look at the decibel levels provided by the manufacturer, if any. Your favorite brand, such as Babyliss, may have the information that you can ask by contacting its office.
- Read the ultra quiet blow dryer reviews available online. You can browse the reviews in online shopping portals and be on the lookout for terms like “quiet operation”, “quiet hair dryer”, and “low noise levels”, among others. You can even use the search function in online shopping sites to filter the results.
But quiet operation shouldn’t the be-all and end-all of finding the best hair dryer for your needs and wants in it. You must also consider these aspects for an all-around choice:
Several speed and heat settings
You may be the primary user of the hair dryer but your family and friends may also borrow it. For this reason, the best hair dryer should have multiple speed and heat settings suitable for use on a wide range of hair types.
Thick or coarse hair require high air flow coupled with multiple heat settings for drying (high temperature) and styling (low temperature). Fine or thin hair is best dried at lower heat and speed while curly hair will require a diffuser for best results.
All hair dryers come with at least two heat settings – low and high – while most come with three settings – low, medium, and high. You may want a hair dryer with cool and cold shot features, which makes styling your hair easier (i.e., the cool air adds extra shine).
Contemporary hair dryers not only dry your hair but make it look and feel healthier, too. You will find hair dryers with ceramic, tourmaline, infrared, and ionic technologies – some have just one while some have a few or all of these technologies. You have to choose based on your hair type, too.
- Tourmaline helps in drying hair faster by splitting large water droplets and, thus, letting them evaporate faster, too. It also helps in sealing in moisture for shinier, bouncier and softer hair.
- Ceramic helps in even heat distribution resulting in even hair drying and in reduced risks for damaged hair, especially the dried out sections.
- Ionic technology neutralizes static by creating negative ions. It helps in sealing in the hair’s cuticles by locking in the moisture. This results in reduced frizzy hair with an extra shine, smoothness, and bounciness.
- Number of watts
The rule of thumb: The higher the watts, the more powerful the hair dryer is. This means that a professional hair dryer used in salons will likely have higher watts, up to 2,000 watts. In comparison, travel hair dryers usually have 1,000 watts.
But remember that your hair type will also determine the right wattage. If you have thin, short, or fine hair, you can settle for a 1,500-watt hair dryer. However, a 1,800-watt dryer is better for medium, wavy, or straight hair. You can even find hair dryers with two different watt outputs, which is practical for salons and families where people with different hair types use them.
You should consider a dual voltage hair dryer in case you want to take it on your travels abroad. Most travel hair dryers have dual voltage. You can use it for both 110/120 and 220/240 voltage.
Consider the number of minutes you will be using the hair dryer each day, as well as your arm strength. Hair dryers range in weight from less than a pound for travel types to three pounds for professional models.
You may want a lighter hair dryer since you’ll be using for longer periods, thanks to your thick and long hair. Consider a heavier hair dryer with more comfortable grip, more power and more features.
Tip: Look for a blow dryer with a light weight and comfortable size that still delivers on your desired performance, in terms of speed and heat settings, even the attachments.
Other things to consider are:
- Removable filter for easy cleaning since a dirty dryer tends to overheat faster resulting in shortened useful life
- Accessories available, which are usually sold separately from the dryer. These can include concentrators, diffusers, nozzles and brushes with each one providing different benefits. Thus, it can be worth the extra money. You should think about investing in them when your hair requires styling all the time.
- Concentrators are a must for precision hair drying and styling, especially for curly hair.
- Diffusers are a great tool for preventing frizz and fuzz in curly and straight hair.
- Nozzles provide more airflow and, hence, more control when styling hair.
- Brushes are useful when you have difficulty holding a hair brush and dryer simultaneously.
- Warranty ranging from 90 days to five years. Of course, the longer the warranty period, the better for you as a customer.
Indeed, the best quiet hair dryer should also be versatile in its speed and heat settings, powerful in its wattage, and comfortable to hold in your hand, among other aspects.
If you’re looking for a good hair dryer that is quiet at the same time, any of the products we’ve included in this guide should meet your needs perfectly. These products may be more expensive but are definitely worth the extra bucks.