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By Maja Ivancic
Maja Ivancic

Beauty and Skincare enthusiast and the Lead Editor of BeautyBets, Maja's main passion in life is to serve equally beauty-obsessed women with the content they want 24/7.

Last Updated: December 2, 2021
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Looking to level up your hair routine? Look no further than bonnet hair dryers. Fantastic for deep conditioning hair health-boosting treatments, as well as effortless at-home heat styling that produces that flawless salon look, bonnet hair dryers can improve both the health and look of your mane. Best of all? They’re incredibly easy and comfy to use – just grab your beverage of choice, maybe a book or magazine too, relax and let the dryer do its thing.

So, whether you’re looking to achieve professional-looking results at home, add intense shine and volume to your hair, or just want to save arm strength, here are some of the best bonnet hair dryers currently on the market.

The Best Bonnet Hair Dryer

1. Conair Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer

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    Extra-large soft bonnet dryer

    4 heat/speed settings

    48-inch flexible hose + brush attachment

    Compact storage case included

If you’re just stepping into the world of bonnet hair dryers, the Conair Soft Bonnet Dryer is a great option. Reasonably priced and easy to use, this model evenly dries hair thanks to its even, constant airflow. And with 4 heat and speed levels, including a cool setting, it allows for plenty of styling options. Of course, you can also use it for deep conditioning treatments when your hair is in need of some TLC. As a bonus, the Conair model comes with a compact storage case with a handle, making it a fantastic portable hair dryer that you can take anywhere with you.

2. Andis 500-Watt Ionic Professional Bonnet Hair Dryer

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    Soft bonnet dryer

    Ionic tech for fast, frizz-free drying

    4 heat/speed levels

    40-inch flexible hose

    Storage case included

Featuring ionic technology that gives off negative ions, the Andis bonnet dryer dries hair faster and with less frizz and damage compared to non-ionic units. It comes with 4 heat and speed settings, namely 2 speed and 2 heat levels, for styling flexibility plus deep conditioning and hot oil treatments. While not the largest bonnet dryer out there, this model is still quite flexible, able to fit on average size rollers of 1-inch. For convenience and great-looking hair even when traveling, the Andis Ionic dryer comes with a handy storage case.

3. REVLON Ionic Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer

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    Soft bonnet dryer

    Ionic tech quickly dries hair, reduces frizz

    24-inch flexible hose

    3 heat/speed settings

    Comes with a storage case

If you’re looking for an excellent bonnet hair dryer from a reputable brand, look no further than the Revlon Ionic model. With ionic technology, the dryer gets super-hot fast, drying your hair evenly and quickly with zero frizz and minimal damage. And with 3 heat/speed settings, it’s great for creating voluminous curls, salon-like blowouts and relatively straight hairstyles too. Of course, it’s also fantastic for deep conditioning treatments when your locks start craving that extra hydration.

Best of all, it’s one of the quietest bonnet hair dryers on the market. The only thing we wish it had? A slightly longer hose. Still, it’s a great little device if fast drying and smooth and bouncy hair are what you’re after. Oh, and it comes with a convenient storage case for travel.

4. INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR GOLD Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer

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    Compact soft bonnet dryer

    Ionic tech for less frizz and more shine

    4 heat/speed settings

    48-inch flexible hose with Easy Lock

    Storage case included

The Conair InfinitiPro Gold is another fantastic soft bonnet hair dryer that is both budget-friendly and great at drying, styling and conditioning your hair. With ionic technology for more shine and less frizz, and 4 heat/speed settings for styling versatility, it has all the features of the classic salon hooded hair dryer, but it’s compact and easy to use in the comfort of your own home.

It’s great for creating those salon-looking blowouts we all love, as well as for deep conditioning or hot oil treatments. As a bonus, it comes with a compact storage case so it’s portable as well.

5. Eleganty Soft Bonnet Hood Hairdryer Attachment with Headband

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    Soft hooded bonnet hair dryer

    Adjustable drawstring and chin strap

    Flexible, broad hose with an adjustable Velcro strap

    Suitable for most circular hand dryers

    Soft heat protection headband and pouch included

If you need a lightweight, comfortable bonnet hair dryer that is also super-easy to use, look no further than this Eleganty model. To create a fantastic salon-quality hairstyle all you need is a hand dryer and a little bit of time as this convenient bonnet comes with an attachment that fits most hand dryers.

In the mood for gorgeous curls? Use any size rollers as they fit easily under this super-expandable soft bonnet. Does your hair need some good hot oil or deep conditioning treatment? Slap on some hair mask or oil, wear your bonnet, turn on your hairdryer and let the magic happen. And don’t worry, the bonnet fits practically any head shape and size thanks to its adjustable drawstring and chin strap.

6. Conair Pro Style Collapsible Bonnet Hair Dryer

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    Hooded adjustable bonnet hair dryer

    4 temperature settings

    Collapsible hood for easy storage

    72-inch cord stores in base

Take professional salon hair styling to your own home with Conair’s Pro Style bonnet dryer. With a large hood that is adjustable for height and comfort and variable airflow settings for maximum styling versatility, this overhead dryer is perfect for accommodating jumbo rollers and creating those beautiful cascading curls.

Best of all? Its hood is collapsible and the 6 ft long cord stores in the base so even though it’s quite large, it’s super easy to store and even take with you when you need it. While it doesn’t have ionic technology, it makes the hair feel incredibly soft and silky, so we highly recommend it!

7. Gold N Hot Professional Ionic Soft Bonnet Dryer

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    Soft jumbo-size bonnet dryer

    4 heat settings

    Ionic tech boosts shine, fights frizz

    ~ 24-inch hose

If your hair demands ionic technology, check out this soft bonnet dryer by Gold N Hot. With four heat settings, including low, medium, high, and of course cool, plus ionic tech that fights frizz, boosts shine and helps maintain healthy-looking hair, this is the bonnet hair dryer to get if you’re after both great hair style and condition.

Soft and expandable, the bonnet easily accommodates various types and sizes of rollers and is also perfect for deep conditioning and hot oil treatments. The only thing this fantastic bonnet dryer could use? A slightly longer hose.

8. Nova Microdermabrasion Professional 1300W Adjustable Hooded Floor Hair Bonnet Dryer

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    Fully adjustable floor hooded bonnet dryer

    Dual-looped heating element with multi-bladed fan

    Timer control, 0min to 60min

    Adjustable temperature, reaches 167°F

    Swivel hood tilts up or down

Height-adjustable and packed with useful features, this floor bonnet dryer is one of the best professional models on the market, making it a must-have for salon professionals.

It comes with a dual-looped stainless steel heating element with a multi-bladed fan, a timer that can be set up to 60 minutes, and adjustable temperature control that reaches 75 degrees Celsius or 167 degrees Fahrenheit. Equally important, it is fully adjustable thanks to its height-adjustable knob, swivel casters, and swivel hood that allows you to tilt the bonnet up or down.

Overall, a brilliant hooded bonnet hair dryer that is ideal both for salon professionals as well as folks who want to enjoy the benefits of a top-quality bonnet dryer – whether for styling or deep conditioning – in the comfort of their home.

Best Bonnet Hair Dryers Buying Guide

Features to look for in a Bonnet Hair Dryer

With such a choice out there, it’s a good idea to do your research before buying a new bonnet hair dryer. Here are the key things to look for:

Your hair type

Getting the right hooded hair dryer for your hair is important as it needs to have sufficient power to be able to dry your hair within time. So, this means the thicker or longer your hair is, then the higher the wattage.

Soft or hard – there are two types of bonnets, soft and hard, and your final choice will depend on your individual hair drying needs and space as well as portability. We look in more depth at the difference between the two later in this guide.

Size – most bonnet hair dryers can accommodate small to medium sized hair curlers or rollers, with a few models also capable of going large. Whichever size of overhead dryer you choose, make sure it is large enough to fit the rollers with enough space between your head and the heating elements.

Wattage – the thicker and longer your hair is, the higher the wattage you need to dry it. But you do need to also be mindful of your hair’s condition as you don’t want to damage or dry it out.

Ionic technology – this is a good feature to look for, as it helps with the overall health and condition of your hair. Ionic technology works to tackle the positive ions in the hair while locking in moisture to banish frizz and give you a shinier and smoother look.

Heat settings – a variable heat setting is essential in a portable hood dryer so look for two or three heat settings to give you control over the heat used to dry your hair type.

Variable speeds – for extra control, being able to vary the drying speed will help to protect your hair as fine, or damaged hair responds better to slower drying, while thick hair can handle a faster blast.

Timer – a timer is an essential safety feature as you don’t want to ‘overcook’ your hair! With a timer you can set a maximum drying time, based on the number of rollers you have and the length and thickness of your hair.

Cool shot setting - a handy extra to have, being able to give your hair a quick blast of cold air at the end of the drying time will help to set or lock all those curls in place.

How To Use A Bonnet Hair Dryer

While using a bonnet hair dryer is not the quickest way to dry your hair, they are easy to use and takes a lot of the arm strain out of getting the style you want. You do need a little patience, but with a good book or magazine and a cup of coffee, it can also be a relaxing way to do your hair, especially if you like to use rollers.

Always read the user guide for your hooded hair dryer, but for a few extra tips, here’s the best way to use your new hair drying device:

  • Wash and condition your hair as usual, then thoroughly towel dry and carefully comb through
  • Apply your heat protecting spray or serum, distributing the product right through to the ends and comb out again
  • Section your hair and then put in your rollers as you normally do, picking the right sized rollers for your hair and intended style (eg. smaller rollers for shirt hair, medium rollers for mid-sized curls and large rollers for long hair or big hair styles)
  • Now switch on your overhead dryer and set the temperature and timer as you need it
  • Sit under the hood and put it in place, before settling down and letting it do its work
  • When the timer beeps, your drying time is done
  • Carefully lift the hood and check one roller – if it is dry your hair is ready; if it is still a little damp, re-set the dryer for another 10 minutes and replace the hood
  • Once your hair is dry, switch off the bonnet hair dryer then carefully remove each roller.
  • Brush out your curls, then set with a little hairspray. You and your curly hair are now ready to take on the day!

Benefits Of A Bonnet Hair Dryer

While a bonnet or portable hair dryer may not be for everyone, they are a good device to own if you like to style and curl your hair with rollers or want to enjoy the retro salon experience at home. Here are the main benefits of owning a bonnet hair dryer:

Reduced arm strain – this can be an issue with a conventional hand-held dryer, especially if you have long, thick hair that takes a while to dry. But with an overhead dryer, you need minimal effort so can reduce arm tiredness and stress.

Low heat – as a bonnet dryer typically operates at a lower heat than other hair styling devices, it is gentler on your hair and can help protect it from heat damage while you style.

Speeds up roller drying time - if you are a fan of hair rollers, you know that even heated rollers need to be left in for several hours if you are to get the curl and bounce you want. So, while a bonnet hair dryer is slower compared to a hand-held device, it will make using rollers a quicker experience. And this is ideal if you are wanting a big, bouncy style for a big night out.

It’s a chilled way to style your hair – we get precious little time to ourselves, so what’s not to like about the chance to sit and relax, while the bonnet dryer does all the hard work?

FAQ

How long does it take to dry hair with a bonnet dryer?

Depending on the length of your hair, it can take anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes to dry your hair, although you don’t have to wait until it is completely dry, just set. And with variable heat settings, you can get the heat just right for your hair, without feeling uncomfortable at any time. 

Can a hooded dryer damage your hair?

Using any heat on your hair can run the risk of damage but out of all the hair styling devices that use heat, a hooded dryer is one of the safest as it uses considerably less heat. But to prevent any damage to your hair caused by a bonnet hair dryer, it is wise to take precautions. And these include using heat protection products, choosing an appropriate heat and time setting for your hair type and not letting your head get too close to the heat elements inside the hood.

What is the difference between soft and hard bonnet hair dryers?

In the overhead drying world, there are two types of bonnet dryer – soft and hard. Here’s the lowdown on each so you can decide which is the right one for you and your hair.

A hard bonnet is similar to the models used in hair salons and is made from hard plastic or metal. You need to sit under a hard bonnet hair dryer and position it in place. Most are floor standing and are adjustable and while larger and less portable, can give you a professional style finish.

A soft bonnet, on the other hand, is more lightweight and portable and so more commonly seen in the home. The bonnet part of the dryer is more like a shower cap which you place directly on your head. A soft bonnet hair dryer is more portable and can fit in smaller spaces, with many models a table top dryer. They can also be taken with you on your travels.