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Have you ever touched your hair at lunchtime, only for it to come back wet from your morning shower? Or dried your hair with a handheld hair dryer at a high temperature, causing damage to your hair?
The alternative to both of these things is the innovative bonnet hair dryer. They’ve been around for a long time in salons, but now this premier technology is available to everyone.
We’ve gathered the top 9 soft and hard bonnet hair dryers so that you can make the most informed decision possible!
In case you are in hurry, discover our top 3 best performing bonnet dryer comparison below.
*Ratings are based on StyleAurora’s editorial reviews.
Best Bonnet Hair Dryer Reviews
Like most hair tools, there’s many different brands and specifications to think about before buying. There are two different types of bonnet hair dryers, hard bonnet and soft bonnet. These two types are separated from each other because they are significantly different in function and design.
We’ll go into detail about the difference between the two later.
5 Best Soft Bonnet Hair Dryers
Soft bonnet hair dryers are up first. Soft bonnet hair dryers are quite possibly the most versatile type of bonnet hair dryer. If you like to be as comfortable as possible, or travel a lot, then these will be right up your alley. They usually consist of a heated air compressor, a hose, and a soft bonnet.
1. Hot Tools Professional 800 Watt Ionic Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer
The ionic drying feature will protect your style for longer and dry faster than what you’re used to.
The bonnet is white, and is stored in a compartment with the electric cord. The hose locks into the bonnet with a secure ‘click’ sound so you know that you’re all good to go.
When using the higher heat settings you should wear a towel around your neck to protect the skin. But again, the high setting should only be used briefly, especially since this is an ionic dryer.
- Convenient for storage or travel
- Hose locks into place securely
- Ionic for faster dry time
- Higher price than other brands
- Heavy to carry around
2. Conair Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer
One of the reasons for Conair’s popularity is their very reasonable prices. If you’re on a budget, this is a good soft bonnet dryer to go with. This 400 watt soft bonnet dryer comes with a vented brush attachment for another way to quickly dry your hair. This is useful and means that you don’t need to buy another product to do the same thing!
It has a compartment for storing the hose and bonnet, and is small enough to store virtually anywhere. Many users have complained about the flimsiness of the bonnet. If yours tears, you can always call Conair for a replacement, but it’s still a hassle.
- Won’t break the bank
- Quieter than a blow dryer
- Four speeds including cool
- Ultra-compact and light
- Dated old school appearance
3. Hair Flair New and Improved Deluxe Softhood Bonnet Hair Dryer Attachment
This soft bonnet hair dryer attachment takes up virtually no space. This is a great option if you don’t want your bonnet hair dryer acting as clutter.
The hood has many tiny holes around the entire thing to disperse heat evenly, and is big enough for large curlers.
The only major con is the fact that you need a normal hair dryer in order to use this attachment. It does not have it’s own air or heat supply, and both of those need to be added by a hair dryer.
- Ultra-mobile and compact
- Cheapest bonnet dryer available
- Easy setup and easy cleanup
- Needs a separate hair dryer
- Only as good as your hair dryer
4. Andis 500-Watt Professional Bonnet Hair Dryer (80610)
This Andis 500-watt soft bonnet hair dryer is around the average price point and has a luxurious look to it. It’s a great middle of the road tier hair dryer, and is the next step up from a brand like Conair.
The two heat settings, low and medium, will not fry your hair. The adjustable bonnet ensures that your entire head of hair is being dried evenly. There is a storage compartment for the bonnet and electric cord for easy storage.
The bonnet on this dryer is fairly small, so keep that in mind if you like to use large rollers in your hair. You won’t be able to fit large rollers comfortably and it may affect the speed of drying.
The 40-inch flexible hose means that you can easily lounge on your bed as your hair dries; the ultimate comfort.
- Ionic drying to dry hair faster
- Looks professional and stylish
- Good for thick and curly hair
- Small bonnet size cannot hold curlers
- Only two settings, low or medium
- Hose frequently pops off
5. Laila Ali LADR5604 Ionic Soft Bonnet Dryer
Basically, negative ions dry your hair faster (with less heat!) and help products work better on your hair. That’s why many traditional hair dryers labeled as ionic often have ‘moisturizing’ as one of their features.
It may seem out of place, but the science checks out. If you don’t have time to sit there and air dry your hair, the Laila Ali Ionic Soft Bonnet dryer is a great option.
This soft bonnet dryer has three heat settings, as well as a cool setting to set styles. We love this one for deep conditioning too!
- Ionic technology dries faster
- Great for deep conditioning
- Helps wet styles for hair dry
- Sleek ‘Ready to Go’ container
- More expensive than others
- Gets very hot over time
Best Hard Bonnet Hair Dryers
Next up, these top performing hard bonnet hair dryers. These four hard bonnet hair dryers are slightly different in both performance and use than soft bonnet dryers. Some people prefer them for their higher durability and traditional look. Any one of these could be the perfect hard bonnet dryer for you.
1. Conair Pro Style Collapsible Bonnet Hair Dryer
It comes in two different colors, black or white. The only difference between the two is aesthetic. Both have the same carrying handle and collapse into something resembling a slow-cooker. Speaking of slow-cooking, you’re going to want to be careful with this bonnet dryer.
The Conair hard bonnet hair dryer is incredibly powerful, running at 1,875 watts. The high setting blows hot enough that it could burn if not careful. That being said, it is the ideal setting for extremely wet hair.
All you’d have to do is use the high setting for a little while first. Then your hair would be dry enough for the low setting to do it’s work quickly.
- Runs very hot for fast drying
- Not as loud as other dryers
- Two adjustable heat settings
- Potential to break down
- Quite heavy for its size
2. Hot Tools Professional 1061 Hard Hat 1200 Watt Salon Hair Dryer
It has a storage compartment for its cord. This is great because it means that you don’t have to wrap the cord around the base messily. Once collapsed, this hard bonnet hair dryer has a carrying handle for easy transport.
It also has lots of air dispersing holes in the hood to dry hair more evenly. The heat settings are low, which blows cool air, and high, which blows warm air.
The high heat setting can easily dry hair quickly, without extreme heat. Less heat means less damage for your hair, which is always a good thing.
This is probably the most suitable hard bonnet hair dryer for black hair.
- Very compact and lightweight
- Made for traveling with
- Cheap price for the quality
- Hood too small for curlers
- Height not adjustable at all
3. Hot Tools Professional Tourmaline Ionic 1875 Watt High Heat Portable Salon Dryer
Unlike all the other hard bonnet dryers in this guide, this is not a table-top dryer. Instead it rolls around on wheels, like a strange mobile lamppost.
It looks the most similar to salon hair dryers and has a price to match that level of prestige.
So what’s the deal with tourmaline? Apparently tourmaline ions dry hair from the inside-out, and is less damaging to the fragile outer shafts of your hair.
- Dries hair 100% evenly
- Salon quality at your fingertips
- 2 speed options / 4 heat options
- High price point
- Not very portable at all
4. Laila Ali LADR5603 Salon Ionic Dryer
If you’ve never used one before, the setup for these is simply to set them on a flat surface to use. Most models, like this Laila Ali Ionic Dryer, have adjustable lengths so that your head fits comfortably within.
One of the problems with this model is a fault with the design of its neck, which may collapse annoyingly. Besides that, the drying time is short and the hood is large enough to use large curlers.
If you’d rather not use ionic drying for any reason, you don’t have to. The ionic feature is actually togglable! It’s nice to have the option, and makes this machine much more versatile.
- Toggleable ionic drying technology
- Large rounded hood can fit curlers
- Quality will last a long time
- Loud enough to disrupt activities
- Setup can be frustrating
Why You Should Use a Bonnet Hair Dryer?
You should use a bonnet hair dryer for the same reasons that salons use them. Bonnet hair dryers make drying your hair effortless. You don’t have to wave your arms around holding a hefty hot air blower. Save your workouts for the gym!
1. Quick & Relaxing
Bonnet and hooded hair dryers allow you to multitask while doing something that would take up valuable time out of your day. They’re practical devices based on function. To use them all you have to do is sit back and relax and a good bonnet hair dryer will dry your hair evenly and quickly
2. Avoid Hair Damage
There’s no better way to simplify your morning routine. It’s as good as going to a salon, and costs a fraction of the price. Additionally, bonnet hair dryers are simply better for your hair. Traditional hair dryers blast concentrated heat at small areas of your hair, making hair damage inevitable
3. Even Heat Distribution
Bonnet hair dryers actually disperse heat over your entire head. This ensures that your hair dries evenly and avoids putting too much stress on individual sections of hair.
4. Travel Friendly
Best of all, bonnet hair dryers are portable. This makes bonnet hair dryers more customizable to an individual’s lifestyle more than traditional hair dryers. If you travel a lot for work packing a bonnet hair dryer can make your morning routine easier for you in the long run.
What’s the Difference Between Hard and Soft Bonnet Hair Dryers?
Soft and hard bonnet or hooded hair dryers both have advantages over traditional hair dryers. However, they serve those benefits in different ways.
Identifying the different types of bonnet hair dryers is fairly easy if you know what to look for. Hard bonnet hair dryers are the type of hair dryer you have seen in salons. They have a hard bowl-like shell that sits on top of your hair while it dries. Soft bonnet hair dryers are more like adjustable bags that completely cover your hair.
So which type of bonnet hair dryer is best for you?
Besides simple personal preference, this will depend on your hair type. Soft bonnet hair dryers are better for coarse natural hair. This is because they disperse heat more evenly than most hard bonnet hair dryers or a traditional handheld hair dryer. Delicate natural hair needs this kind of gentle drying.
Hard bonnet hair dryers, on the other hand, are better for those with thinner or straight hair. Due to a lower overall dry time, thinner hair will be fine either way.
We hope that this article helps you in your search to find a bonnet hair dryer that perfectly fits your needs. Get ready to sit back, relax, and look great!