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Top five best cheap hair dryers

By Haddi Browne

Grab a bargain hair dryer with our round up of the best models on test costing less than £50.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Time and time again our in-depth testing reveals that price is far from being a reliable indicator of quality. So, if you just want to blow your hair and not your budget, we’ve got you covered. Our thorough and independent tests have uncovered some excellent hair dryers that cost less than £50.

We’ve rounded up the top five cheapest hair dryers from our tests in the table below. They may not all be Best Buys, but they certainly give some of the premium models a run for their money. Importantly, all these hair dryers are capable of fast high-heat drying and gentle low-speed drying.

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75%
Reviewed

This easy-to-use Best Buy dries hair quickly when used on its high-speed setting, but is versatile enough to deliver excellent results when you want gentle drying, too. It’s quieter than most and its solid build quality makes it feel like you’re using a more expensive hair dryer.

74%
Reviewed

Lighter than average, this hair dryer aced all our drying tests meaning it’s great whether you need a quick blast in a rush or you’re taking your time doing some styling. Although the temperature of the cool shot is a bit warmer than ideal, all-in-all this is a fantastic and inexpensive Best Buy hair dryer.

67%
Reviewed

This well-built, but inexpensive, hair dryer has been on the market for some years now and is still a popular choice for the cost-conscious coiffeuse. It does a great job of fast and gentle drying and has a decent cool-shot function to boot. Its longer-than-average cord should allow you to style your hair in front of a mirror without any awkward leaning or bending.

66%
Reviewed

This hair dryer masters the essentials: fast drying, gentle drying and a good cool shot. It also has a lengthy power cord and an ionic function. But we did find it was slightly noisier and heavier than others we tested.

65%
Reviewed

This model nails the basics: fast drying, gentle drying and a good cool shot. It’s also reasonably lightweight and has a lengthy power cord. But we did find it noisier than others we tested and it only managed average ratings for how easy it is to use when styling hair.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct at March 2018.

Not found the right product for you? Check out all our hair dryer reviews.

Two cheap hair dryers to avoid

The worst hair dryers from our testing not only take longer than average to dry hair, but they’re often heavy, annoyingly noisy and awkward to use. To help you avoid the trap of buying cheap and regretting it, we’ve flagged two budget hair dryers you’ll want to avoid. 

58%
Reviewed

This hair dryer can be relied upon to blast your hair dry quickly, but it's poor if you want a slower, more delicate blow dry. As the heat and speed controls are combined in the same button, this dryer gives you less choice of air speeds and temperature than other models.

45%
Reviewed

The Braun Satin Hair 7 HD730 hair dryer has three heat settings and two airflow settings, but is it capable of drying hair quickly and gently? We sent this hair dryer to our lab to see if it’s worth its salt – read our expert verdict to find out whether it will delight or disappoint you.

What’s the best hair dryer?

Every hair dryer we review goes through a tough round of tests at an independent lab. We test how quickly it can dry hair on its high-speed and high-temperature setting as well as seeing if it can dry your hair slowly and gently on its lowest speed and temperature settings. We also check the cool-shot function, if there is one, to see what temperature it drops the air flow to and how quickly it gets this done.

Once the scientists have clocked the data, we put each hair dryer through an extensive user trial involving 22 participants. They use each model as they would normally and feedback on how easy it is to style with, how noisy it is and how simple it is to use.

Only after all this, and more, are we fully confident about telling you which hair dryer we think it’s worth spending your money on. To compare all the models that aced our test, check out the best hair dryers.

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