There’s a reason a salon-style blowout feels like such a luxury. Not only do you get pampered for a half-hour or so, you walk away with a sleek style to rock for at least a couple of days. But if you’re anything like me, routine salon blowouts just aren't in the budget and my coordination skills to wield both a hair dryer and hair brush are subpar. Read: No matter how many attempts I make, my hair ends up looking puffy and feeling straw-like, not straight and shiny—and I'm sure I'm not alone.
But luckily, there's a type of hair appliance that's seemingly designed just for me: round brushes that double as hair dryers. We at Reviewed put 11 of the most highly rated hair dryer brushes to the test in hopes of finding one that could simplify the task of getting a salon-quality blowout at home. During our extensive testing process, we found a clear front runner: the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer(available at Amazon for $40.99), which earned our Best Overall spot with a perfect score on our tests. It’s a well-made brush that dries hair quickly and delivers the sleek style I was after.
These are the best hair dryer brushes we tested ranked, in order:
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer
Drybar Double Shot
L’ange Hair Le Volume 2-in-1
Bed Head One-Step Hair Dryer
Amika Blow Drying Brush
T3 Airebrush Duo
Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold
John Frieda Salon Shape
Conair Infiniti Pro
CHI Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer
The internet is flooded with glowing reviews of the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer, including one from Reviewed’s own beauty editor. Therefore, I wasn’t entirely surprised that this hair dryer brush stood out from the pack.
This dryer has nylon pins and tufted bristles that help detangle your hair as you use it. It also has an oval-shaped barrel instead of a round one to help the brush smooth hair on the longer side and add volume on the shorter. It even has “ionic technology” that Revlon claims can condition, smooth, add shine, and reduce frizz on hair.
My hair was completely dry after 12 minutes using this dryer brush, but beyond that, it looked as straight as it does when I use my flat iron, the T3 Lucea ID 1-Inch Smart Flat Iron. To achieve straight hair, I usually allow my locks to air-dry and then painstakingly straighten each section of hair—an ordeal that takes both forethought (time to let hair air dry), extra effort, and at least 10 more minutes than using the Revlon took.
Beyond the results I saw on my hair, I was impressed by the quality of the appliance itself. It feels sturdy and well-made, but it’s not too heavy, either. The weight felt balanced no matter the angle I held the brush—it didn’t skew towards one side or the other. The even weight also made it easy to pull my hair taught enough to get that sleek style I’m always after.
The one potential downside I see is that this hair dryer brush gets extremely hot. In fact, we recorded a temperature of 203°F in our lab testing—the highest of any of the dryers. This didn’t bother me both because I have a cook's hands and the time the brush needs to be right up next to the scalp is minimal, but others may find it uncomfortable or worry about scalding sensitive skin. For me, it never got so hot that I couldn’t continue on with my blowout, and I felt like the heat helped me achieve a sleek blowout faster (remember: It took just 12 minutes, total). I was careful about how close I got to my scalp and where I placed my hands when handling the brush and found it easy to avoid any discomfort from the heat.
I'm Brigitt Earley, a lifestyle writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience testing all different types of beauty products. I have thick, slightly wavy brown hair that currently sits just below my collarbone. After years of trying to perfect an at-home blowout, I accepted that I simply don’t have the skills to pull off the look I’m after: a super-straight and shiny style. As a busy mom of four kids under 4, I've largely retired my blow dryer and instead let my hair air-dry before passing through it with a straightener. But I always hoped to one day find another solution for drying my hair into a salon-like blowout. When blow dryer brushes came onto my radar, I wondered if I’d finally found the answer.
We scoured bestseller lists across retailers, beauty blogs, social media, and other best-of lists to find the top hair dryer brushes according to shoppers and experts. We put each one to the test, pitting the top-rated brands against one another to find a winner.
The first step of testing was sending each hair dryer brush to Reviewed's labs. There, Chief Scientist Dave Ellerby placed a temperature probe on the surface of each brush near its air holes, turned on the dryer, and recorded the temperature after one minute, enough time for the temperature to stabilize. Each dryer's sound in decibels was also recorded, though there was less variation in the readings. Neither of these attributes impacted scoring but were used as a way to make sense of my testing results.
The rest of the testing process was simple: I used each brush on towel-dried, wet hair. During the process, I evaluated characteristics like build quality, comfort, ease of use, effectiveness, and final style. When I finished testing, I teamed up with Ellerby to score and weigh the results on a calibrated rubric.
During the process, I answered questions regarding the dryers' attributes. Namely:
Quality: Did the brush bristles bend or fall out after use? Does the appliance itself seem well-built?
Comfort: How does the surface area of the brush feel against your head? How comfortable is it to hold? Is the weight balanced?
Ease of use: How intuitive were the controls on the hair dryer brush? How easy is it to brush through hair? How easy is it to clean hair from the brush?
Effectiveness: How does the temperature of the hair dryer brush rate? How does the airflow of the hair dryer brush rate?
Final style: How good was the quality of the blowout? How was the overall experience with the brush?
What You Should Know About Buying Hair Dryer Brushes
A hair dryer brush is designed to be a one-and-done solution for hair styling. You don’t need multiple tools—a hair dryer, a brush, and a flat iron—to get a sleek, professional-looking blowout at home.
But do these gadgets deliver on that promise? The short answer: It depends. To get the most out of a hair dryer brush, there are a couple things you should consider before making your purchase.
Hair length: As someone who has had both very long hair and collarbone-length hair, I think hair dryer brushes are better suited to those with longer hair. The barrels on most blow dryer brushes we tested are large. That said, for best styling results, the instructions all guide you to pick up small sections of hair at a time to make sure the hair gets enough air to dry it and heat to straighten it. People with longer hair will likely find it easier to use these large barrels on small sections because they can pull their hair taught against the brush and wrap the hair as they brush downward. But those with shorter hair like mine may struggle because there’s less hair to wrap around the barrel, which makes it difficult to get the necessary tension for a sleek style. It’s not impossible to attain sleek results—as evidenced by my experience—but I it may take more time to get used to styling with this tool.
Cost: The price of hair dryer brushes varies widely, with the most expensive model we tested costing 13 times more than the least expensive one. But our tests show you don’t need to splurge to get a quality product. In fact, our top pick is the second most affordable option we tested. What’s more, two of the most expensive models didn’t even make it into the top four spots.
Other Hair Dryer Brushes We Tested
Drybar Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush
The Drybar Double Shot was one of the fastest hair drying brushes I tested. It took just 11 minutes to completely dry my hair, which I attribute to the brush’s great air flow. Even an extra minute is a bonus for me, as I’m always running short on time.
It wasn’t just fast, though. The brush moved easily through both wet and dry hair, and was one of the only hair dryer brushes that made my hair as sleek as I like it to be, likely thanks to its very hot temperature, which we recorded in second place behind the Revlon at 197.6°F. The brush has decent weight to it and feels comfortable to hold, which helped me manipulate the tool to achieve the ideal tension necessary for a straight style.
If there’s any downside, it’s that the brush has a slightly longer, heavier handle than the Revlon and others, which made maneuvering it awkward, particularly as you get acquainted with the tool.
The L’ange Hair Le Volume 2-in-1 is the most attractive appliance I tested. The handle of the brush is a matte black material that feels silky smooth and the barrel is a gorgeous rose gold. Unlike the other brushes, it also comes with a sleeve for the barrel to help protect the bristles when not in use—a nice bonus for those of us who shove their hair tools into their vanity, or for anyone who travels. You’ll feel like you’re using a luxe tool with this, but it’s priced in the middle of the pack.
The styling experience was a positive one, too. The brush was comfortable to hold and I had no trouble getting the bristles through both wet and dry hair. I was also able to achieve the right tension to get a straight style in the end. But the airflow felt weaker than other brushes I tested, which meant it took longer than I expected—18 minutes—to nail the style. With patience, though, the overall final look was comparable to the speedier top two dryers.
The standout feature on the Bed Head One-Step Hair Dryer is its bristles. They’re very flexible, which means brushing through both dry and tangled wet hair is a breeze. It also has a nice weight that’s light enough to hold for long periods of time but heavy enough to produce adequate tension with the hair while pulling the brush through it.
The downside to this brush is its larger-than-most barrel size that makes it difficult to work with small sections of hair. Although this may not be a problem for someone with longer, thicker hair, it made it a challenge for me to style my mid-length hair because I inadvertently picked up additional hair when attempting to style in small sections. The end result after 15 minutes was wearable but fluffier than I’d like.
The Dyson Airwrap is one of the most hyped hair tools out there. It’s also one of the most expensive. I wanted to love it and had high hopes I would, not only because of the consistent praise it receives, but also because its brush attachment is smaller than the barrels on other dryer brushes. I thought this might work great for my mid-length hair.
Unfortunately, I struggled to use this dryer effectively because of how lightweight it is. The bristles slipped right through my hair instead of catching the strands and creating the resistance needed to flatten them. After 18 minutes of my hair blowing around haphazardly, the result was it looking so poofy that I opted to refine the style with my straightener before heading out for the day.
Though it may sound like my experience with this dryer brush was largely negative, it landed in the middle of the pack score-wise because of its objectively positive features. For example, it has more speed and heat settings than the average, plus it comes with additional drying and curling attachments and a storage case that landed this a Best Splurge pick when Reviewed tested curling wands. No, it’s not the best dryer brush, but these features set it apart—and above—others on this list and make for a comprehensive styling kit.
The Amika Blow Drying Brush made quick work of sleekly styling my hair, matching the Revlon's 12 minutes from start to finish.
The qualm I have is that the brush is heavier than others, so despite the relatively short style time, you need to have the stamina to stick with it. To me, the temperature felt similar to the Revlon while in use, but curiously, the temperature recorded in the lab was 161.6°F—more than 40 degrees cooler. Though I thought the heat level was adequate, my gripe was that the cool-touch tip at the top of the wand is very small, which makes it hard to grip. At one point, I accidentally grabbed the barrel and burned my finger. For comparison, the entire top of the Revlon’s barrel is plastic instead of metal and has a protruding knob that’s about the size of a silver dollar coin that's intuitive to grab while styling.
Everything else about the Amika is status quo. The barrel, though slightly larger than others, has bristles that glide through hair with ease, the heat feels fine against the scalp, and the controls are intuitive.
With its shiny white and rose gold finish, the T3 Airebrush Duo is another stylish option for those who want a tool that looks ultra-luxurious. It’s also a very customizable tool, as it has 15 heat and speed combinations for every hair type and texture. (For perspective, most other dryer brushes only have two or three heat and speed settings.) In addition, it comes with two interchangeable heads—a round brush attachment for volume or a paddle brush for straighter results.
Although all of this flexibility sounds great, it made the brush trickier to navigate. Sure, the directions guide you through all of the settings, but I struggled to find one that worked well for me. Even the highest heat (measured at an average 190.4°F in our labs) and airflow settings didn’t seem hot or strong enough, respectively—it took 21 minutes to finish my style. And, like the Dyson, I had trouble pulling my hair taught against the brush, which meant strands blew off the barrel rather than gripped and glided through it for a sleek style.
According to the manufacturer, the dryer brush is engineered with “T3 IonFlow technology” for shiny, frizz-free results from root to tip. Unfortunately, I didn’t see those promised results, mostly because the brush didn’t hold my hair the way it’s supposed to.
I know where the Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold gets its name. Though it had a lower-than-most temperature of 145.4°F in lab testing, the dryer brush felt incredibly hot to me in the 11 minutes it took for me to complete my blowout. I bring this up first because the temperature stuck out to me during testing, but I don’t have any huge complaints because it has a large cool-to-touch tip that helps prevent any burns.
However, I have a quibble with the barrel of the brush being very large. This may work fine for those with long hair but made it challenging for me to appropriately section my mid-length hair. Still, my hair looked as smooth and shiny as I wanted it to, I think in large part to the hot temperature and powerful airflow.
The Hot Tools lost its major points because the construction seemed flimsier than others, and the bristles didn't glide through wet strands as smoothly as other dryer brushes' did.
The John Frieda Salon Shape has almost no weight to it. For a normal hair dryer that you have to orbit your head with, this would be a good thing, but as mentioned, it only makes it harder to pull the hair taught for straightness.
This particular dryer brush lacks other important features, too, like adequate airflow and a hot-enough temperature (recorded as 165.2°F in our labs). Because of this, the dryer brush took a full 20 minutes to dry my hair—one of the slowest of the bunch. The resulting style was much poofier than I would've liked, too.
On the upside, the dryer brush has a modest barrel size, which made it easier for me to pick up sections of my hair without accidentally grabbing stray hairs. Though, as I discovered, that feature wasn’t enough to counteract the importance of weight, airflow, and temperature for achieving blowout success.
The Conair Infiniti Pro is almost identical to the John Frieda dryer brush. So similar in fact, that if you put them side by side, you might mistake one for the other. The similarities are equally present in their performances, too.
Like the John Frieda brush, the Conair has a small barrel, but lacks the weight necessary to create the right amount of tension. The motor also seems weak, which directly correlates with airflow and heat. Because of these factors, the blowout took just as long—exactly 20 minutes—and wasn’t nearly as smooth as I would have liked it to be.
Right off the bat, the CHI Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush lost points due to its lack of quality. Though I’d never used the product before—it had only been subjected to the same Reviewed lab tests that the other brushes had—a number of the bristles were bent and melted. As such, the brush didn’t readily pass through my wet or dry hair but instead got tripped up and tangled. This made it hard to adequately style, so I finished up styling in 14 minutes with subpar results.
It’s a shame, too, because the brush was comfortable to hold, had a nicely balanced weight, a decent airflow, and felt adequately hot at 190.4°F. Without the quality issues, I have a hunch I might have felt differently about this dryer brush, but no one should invest in a styling tool that won’t go the distance.
Brigitt Earley is a freelance writer and editor based in NJ. Her work has appeared in a number of lifestyle publications, including Real Simple and Apartment Therapy. She’s a new mom, runs an Instagram account full of the most delicious food she can find, and loves to hate a good barre class.
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