Which are the best hand dryers for disabled washrooms?

When selecting hand dryers for disabled washrooms there are a number of considerations.

Firstly the height the hand dryer is installed. Disabled doesn’t necessarily mean wheelchair user, therefore there are a whole range of potential positions the users may be accessing the hand dryer from. The hand dryer will have a different recommended installation height depending on whether it is a ‘blade’ hands in hand dryer like the Dyson Airblade; a low energy, or a high speed hand dryer like the Warner Howard Airforce.

Blade hand dryers are inherently more limiting for a reduced capacity user as they are intended for hands to be inserted from above for maximum effectiveness; for wheelchair users this requires exentension which may or may not be possible and for a standing user will require bending.

The Mitsubishi Jet Towel is probably the best blade hand dryer for a disabled user as there is plenty of room to insert hands from the side, although this is a less effective hand drying position and may still required difficult body contortion. Blade hand dryers are not ideal whichever brand is chosen however.

There major advantage is that most have a drainage system (not the Dyson Airblade) therefore prevent floors from becoming hazardous.

A great compromise?

We would recommend the DryForce Plus hand dryer (pictured below) gets consideration for disabled users.  It has a relatively quick dry time, quiet in operation, is energy efficient, takes up limited space on the wall and is flexible in its location fixing. But most importantly, as you will see, has a tray at the bottom which collects water and stops it going onto the floor or over the user; if the user has parts of their body under the airflow such as when sat in a wheelchair.

Other options

Another option is low energy, high speed hand dryers like the Warner Howard Airforce, The G-Force, the Turboforce,or conventional hand dryers such as the UltraDry Pro 1. There are pro’s and con’s of hands under hand dryers over blade style hand dryers

Advantages

  • They have the least limited drying area, therefore can be accessed from a range of positions
  • Sensor ranges can be adapted so they can be activated from a greater distance

Disadvanges

  • Floors can be wet and slippy, this is more the case with high speed, low energy hand dryers that force water from the hands rather than conventional hand dryers that evaporate the moisture slowly.
  • High speed hand dryers may force water directly onto wheelchair users.
  • Some high speed hand dryers are very noisy and therefore would need consideration for noise sensitive users or for ear level of a wheel chair user

Summary

We wouldn’t normally say that conventional hand dryers are the best option, but for disabled toilets they may well be. They have the most accessibility, they don’t lead to such wet floors, they can have their sensor range increased and also are relatively quiet hand dryers, which is an issue if you are directly underneath the hand dryer. Can you imagine being at ear level with a Xcelerator or Dyson Airblade! Because energy efficiency is less important in low use disabled toilets the priority has to be comfort and accessibility for a whole range of users. The Ultradry pro 1 hand dryer (see picture below) is an excellent value option.

To view our full range of hand dryers we recommend for disabled toilets, please click here.

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For more information or for help in finding your ideal hand dryer, please contact us on 0114 3540047, use our contact us page by clicking here or click to visit the website.  You can also use our Intelligent Search Tool that helps you identify the perfect dryer for your location by clicking here

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