Hand Dryers for Schools; A Guide to Selecting the Best

Here are our top 10 Hand Dryers for schools:

Has your school had enough of blocked sinks and toilets from paper towels, staff running around filling up empty dispensers, the escalating costs, and the realisation that you are buying a product that can’t be recycled and requires mature trees to be cut down at a considerable environmental cost?

Or are you just looking to replace, old, ineffective hand dryers?

Either way, if you are looking to identify the best hand dryer for your school there are a number of considerations:

The age of children

Pre-school and infants are more vulnerable to sound and may appreciate a more child-friendly looking hand dryer.

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Vandal Resistant

Does school equipment tend to suffer from vandalism?

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Are low noise hand dryers required?

How close are the hand dryers going to be situated to areas at risk from noise disturbance?  Libraries, exam halls, classrooms, etc.

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Drying speeds

Fast drying to get the job done thoroughly and properly. Children won’t wait around to dry their hands properly with an inefficient hand dryer.  Wet hands are breeding grounds for germs and schools are hot beds for infection so make sure it’s an effective dryer.

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Energy Efficiency and environmental impact

We all have a part to play in conserving energy, the good news is that modern eco hand dryers use as little as 5% of the energy traditional dryers used and the environmental impact is only 2 grams CO2 per dry. Paper towels create as much as 25 grams CO2 per dry and create additional single-use contaminated waste.

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Most schools are tight on funds.  Getting the most suitable hand dryer for your initial budget and quick ROI from energy savings is easy, we provide a range of payment options to make sure the deal works for your school. Contact us if you would like us to do a cost saving analysis vs your current solution.

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Classic PLUS II
Hand Dryer

From £259.95 + VAT


Elite MK 2
Hand Dryer

From £284.99 + VAT


G-Force MKII
Hand Dryer

From £255.95 + VAT


Hand Dryer

From £259.95 + VAT


Viper HEPA
Hand Dryer

From £229.00 + VAT

Bamboo Bobbi

Hand Dryer

From £249.00 + VAT


Hand Dryer

From £139.95 + VAT


Hand Dryer

From £169.00 + VAT

Puff the Magic
Hand Dryer

From £469.95 + VAT

Age-appropriate school hand dryers

We have a couple of models that are specifically designed to appeal to children with cartoon-style graphics. These are really for the pre-school and infant school age groups and have been proven to be effective in encouraging this age group to dry their hands properly.  Take a look at the Puff the Magic Dryer,the Bamboo Bobbi and the Biodrier Biobot.

School hand dryers can be chosen on the basis of key stages.

Vandal resistant

If vandalism is an issue in your school, we suggest that you look at a unit that has no obvious leverage points. Blade style ‘hands in’ hand dryers are very effective but are a larger target for vandalism having parts that are easy to grab and pull, which can be an issue if you don’t have strong walls. The types with drainage holes are at risk of foreign objects being pushed in and all dryers that are at lower levels can be kicked easily.

We suggest a steel unit, usually in a brushed stainless finish as white attracts graffiti and chrome is easily scratched. Of course, brushed stainless isn’t immune but it tends to be the most hard-wearing and the least attractive to scribble on.

Other things to consider are anti-vandal screws and steel backplates, to prevent tampering with the covers and pulling from the wall. Again, if there is nothing to grip on the dryer it is very difficult to pull them from the wall.

Where vandalism is an issue we recommend the TurboForce and G-Force MKII as they have thick steel covers, anti-vandal screws, steel backplates (Turboforce) and no leverage or gripping points. 

The G-Force MKII also has a Plug in system for easy installation and servicing that maintenance teams love. Read more about this installation process here and watch the video below.

Slimline hand dryers are also a good choice as they give hardly anything to swing on and don’t protrude too far into the washroom. Units such as the Dryflow® EcoWave, Dryflow® Elite and Dryflow® Elite MK 2 meet these criteria.

Disturbing classrooms

It may be worth requesting a sample or site visit in advance of purchasing to check sound levels if you have any concerns. Manufacturers’ dB(A) ratings are not always a reliable source of information as the acoustics in a particular area can vary depending on whether it is a ‘hands under’ or blade hand dryer. Ideally, sound levels need to be appreciated in situ. dBA tests are conducted in special pressurised chambers that don’t consider the amplification of sound on surface areas.

Low noise hand dryers suitable for school environments include Turboforce® Junior PLUS, Dryflow® EcoWave, DryFlow® EcoForce, Dryflow® Viper, DryFlow® Classic PLUS II, Dryflow® Elite MK 2, Dryflow® EcoSlim, Puff the Magic Dryer and Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart.

Quiet Mark set the standard in product testing. They test dryers for tolerable noise levels and make sure they do the job they are intended to. You may be interested in our hand dryers that have achieved this accreditation – click here 

The hand dryer that ticks all the boxes is the Dryflow Elite MKII. A really good option perfectly balancing energy efficiency, noise level and hand drying performance. At just 10cm depth it also makes it a perfect option for small washrooms.

Another option is the DryFlow® Classic PLUS II Hand Dryer, again this dryer has a great balance of low noise levels, energy efficiency and dry time as well as a motor expected to last 2 million cycles!

Improving hand hygiene in schools

We all hopefully know about washing our hands thoroughly for 20 seconds but the drying aspect of hand hygiene is often overlooked.
High-speed and cool looking hand dryers tend to encourage people to dry their hands for the duration required.
Hand dryers are approved by the WHO, CDC and all major governments. At the beginning of the pandemic, the paper towel industry tried lobbying against hand dryers and have long been releasing smear campaigns to influence consumers into buying the more expensive, environmentally damaging option. Fortunately, after much scrutiny particularly in Germany and Japan hand dryers were approved safe for use. See this research paper from one of the leading research institutions which summarises all known hygiene studies .

Paper towels are often grabbed, wiped roughly and then quickly discarded. If people see old hand dryers, they often don’t bother with them due to the length of time needed under the powerless airflow. An effective modern-looking hand dryer will encourage proper hand drying and restrict the growth of bacteria on the hands.

All the hand dryers in our list bring dry times that will not disappoint, making sure everyone leaves with hygienically dry hands. Some do the job in under 15 seconds. A point to consider with these is that they do tend to have a higher noise level due to the faster motor speeds and increased airflow

If noise isn’t an issue, such as your washrooms are not in noise-sensitive areas or the age of the pupils is appropriate (i.e. upper primary to university) then the high-speed units to look at include G-Force Mark II, Dryflow® Viper Hand Dryer, Turboforce®, Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart and Mediclinics Machflow Brushless with a 20 Year Warranty.

HEPA and anti-microbial filters can enhance air hygiene by preventing bacteria from forming in the hand dryer and cleansing the airflow. Non-touch activation is also important. The Dryflow ViperG-Force Mark II, Mitsubishi SMART and Dyson Airblade V have all these important features.

Education build and refurbishment

Energy Efficiency

View a case study representing a typical primary school, showing how much you can reduce costs and save energy

School children tend to go to the toilet and dry their hands a minimum of three times a day meaning in a large school the number of uses the hand dryers get can really add up. The difference in carbon footprint between paper hand towels and an energy-efficient hand dryer is huge.

The associated carbon footprint of just one paper towel is reported to be 7.5g of CO2 and frequently multiple towels are used to dry one pair of hands. The footprint is related to the felling of trees, transportation of materials, processing, delivery, re-processing, delivery to the warehouse, delivery to facility, collection of waste, and recycling etc.

The cost savings against paper towels in a school can be huge. We recently did a survey for a school with 1000 pupils and the savings were over £15,000 per annum, which is money that could be much better spent elsewhere.

The energy use difference between an energy-efficient hand dryer and a conventional hand dryer is anywhere from 20-30 watt-hours per dry which can really add up to some decent cost and energy savings over time.  A hand dryer working at just 180W like the Dryflow EcoSlim model is a fantastic example of how energy efficiency has become a prerequisite of modern high performing and best value hand dryers.


The spend on hand dryers needs to be balanced up against the factors discussed to make sure you are purchasing a hand dryer that is fit for purpose. The return on investment in the energy savings the hand dryer will give you is important too.

If the use per dryer is not too high you may be ok with a lower cost hand dryer. If you are looking for a budget hand dryer, suitable for under 100 uses a day, you may be interested in this post here

A final point

Getting an age-appropriate hand dryer as well as taking into consideration the location of the washroom is of course very important, but there is one last thing to consider.  This is the amount of use each hand dryer will receive on a daily basis.

Some areas of the school may get significant amounts of traffic, whereas there may be another area where traffic is infrequent. We distinguish hand dryers based on motor life. For example, low use (under 100 uses a day), Medium use (up to 300 uses a day) and high use (over 300 uses a day).  The lower the use, usually the cheaper the hand dryer.

It’s no good putting a 100 use a day hand dryer in a toilet that receives 200 uses a day, as the lifespan will decrease and this means you will need to replace it quicker.  In contrast, you may not need a hand dryer capable of withstanding over 300 uses a day when it only receives 50 a day, although it will of course extend the lifespan of the motor considerably.

Please see our Hand Dryers for Schools category by clicking here to view our extensive range suitable for your needs

If you would like to view our range of the best hand dryers on the market please follow the links below:

High speed hand dryer range

Energy efficient hand dryers

Enhanced hygiene hand dryers

Quiet hand dryers

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