The answer to this question still depends a little on what the needs of your facilities are.  There are a number of "best" hand dryers for each type of need and location.  

Is it a high speed hand dryer you are looking for or is an energy efficient hand dryer the key?  Do you need a hand dryer that improves the hand hygiene aspects of your washroom or do you need a quiet hand dryer that doesn't create loud noise in a sensitive area?

This post gives the best hand dryers in the following categories:

  1. High speed hand dryers – which is the fastest drying hand dryer?
  2. Low energy hand dryers – which hand dryer uses the less energy?
  3. Enhanced hygiene hand dryers – are hand dryers hygienic?
  4. Quiet hand dryers – can a low noise hand dryer still dry the hands quickly?
  5. Installation of hand dryers – what is the best hand dryer to install easily?
  6. Vandal resistant hand dryers and long life hand dryers – do you need to consider these?

Can a hand dryer really dry you hands in under 12 seconds?

(All our in house testing dry time videos can be viewed on the product pages of the hand dryers below)

If you're looking for pure speed of drying then the Dyson Airblade AB14 has retained this crown with a 10 seconds dry time. This has been shown to be marginally faster than the other leading blade hand dryers.  However, in the hands in blade category the Dryflow Tri-Jet gives the AB14 a run for its money with a super-fast 11 seconds dry time, proven when we tested it’s performance in house. Users really do feel the drying power of the Tri-Jet with its 3 bladed air outlets that forcibly removes moisture and sends it into a Microban antimicrobial protected water tank. This leaves walls and floors mess free. Also a contender in this category is the D-Flow at an impressive 12 seconds dry time when we in house tested it.  In the hands under category the eXtremeAir GXT, Turboforce and G-force MKII gave a dry time on full power of 11 seconds, 12 seconds and 12 seconds respectively during the in house tests.  The new Dyson Airblade V HU02 has been revolutionised in terms of its energy efficiency and quiet sound level when compared to it’s predecessor the AB08.  Dyson have really taken this already fantastic and popular unit and improved other aspects that match the criteria of a lot of requirements of the hand dryer market.  They have managed to do all this whilst maintaining a super-fast dry time of 12 seconds.  This hand dryer really is worth looking at. Read more about its new features in the sections below. The Dryflow Viper utilises the type of dual bladed air outlet of the HU02 to good effect, bringing in dry times of around 15 seconds (shown by our in house testing) which leaves no user disappointed. More details of these high speed hand dryers can be viewed here.

What to look for if energy usage is your main concern

If you are more concerned about energy efficiency then there are now lots of very low consumption products on the market with fast dry times and sub 1kw rated power. American dryer's eXtremeAir has realistic sub 15 second dry times using just 500 watts of rated power. The Turboforce remains very fast drying at an ambient 700 watt setting, with the G-Force MKII having effective drying using as little as 420 watts.  As stated above, the Dyson HU02 has increased its energy efficiency by reducing its overall rated power from 1.6kW down to a very respectable 1kW rated power, whilst maintaining its high speed dry time.  This now really does come in the classification of low energy hand dryer.  

The Mitsubishi brand has always been known for its reliability and quality, but their hand dryer offerings are some of the most energy efficient on the market.  The hands in version, the original blade style hand dryer, has a rated power between 550W and 1240W dependent upon the settings.  There is now also a hands under version called the Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart, which can be set as little as 410W but is only 980W at full speed even with the heater element active.

Are hand dryers hygienic?

Hand dryers have been subject to much scaremongering from the paper towel industry about their hygiene, largely based on misleading test protocols. If hygiene is your main concern then we would point you in the direction of the Dyson AB14, Dyson V HU02, Mitsubishi Jet Towel, Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart and the eXtremeAir CPC which incorporates a cold plasma generator, reproducing its Cold Plasma Clean technology.

The one thing these hand dryers have in common is the ability to dry the hands in around 12 seconds and under.  This is essential in making sure users leave the wash room with dry hands, as wetness on the hands is known to be a breeding ground for germs when the hands are put back onto public used surfaces, in pockets, back on computer mouse’s etc.

The Dyson products both include high quality HEPA filters that have been rigorously tested to trap 99.95% of particles the size of bacteria to ensure clean air is blown over the hands. The AB14 has been certified by the HACCP International Food Safety certificate and also has, as well as the HU02, been certified by NSF, which is a global authority in public health and safety risk management solutions.  The Mitsubishi Jet Towel and Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart have also been certified by the third party NSF accreditation.

Do good performing yet quiet hand dryers exist?

If noise is your main concern but you still want an effective dryer, then the new Dyson V HU02 has certainly come of age in this category.  Not only is it certified by the Quiet Mark, it has remarkably achieved this whilst maintaining a dry time of just 12 seconds.  The now smoother operation created by adjustments to the motor and internal parts, really does bring this unit into contention as being a great performing yet quiet hand dryer.  American dryers's eXtremeAir offers a versatile solution that allows the motor to be finely modified to suit the requirements of the location and heat added where required.  This has achieved the Quiet Mark at its lowest motor setting, however its unique selling point is that this hand dryer in the most adjustable motor on the market, allowing more precise customisation to suit the environment it is to be placed in.  The advantage of this is that you can install the same looking hand dryer throughout a location and fine turn the noise level to suit the area of the building.  Fast and powerful in high footfall areas and reduced noise in areas close to working spaces.

There are quieter hand dryers than the above which still have respectable dry times such as the Dryflow Elite, the Dryflow Elite MK2, Dryflow Viper, Stealthforce PLUS and Jetforce however no one has yet produced a product that can be run at maximum dry speed which is also very quiet.  The Dyson V HU02 has come a long way in trying to achieve this however for even lower levels of sound there is still some compromise on performance.

What is new with installation methods?

A new way of installing hand dryers is a systematic plug in system.  This has many benefits which have been highlighted in these posts here and here.  Hand dryers such as the Dyson V HU02 and G-Force MKII have incorporated these systems so that install and maintenance are hassle free.  Essentially anyone can fix or remove the main hand dryer unit from the pre-fixed back plate safely, without any exposure to the electrical components.  Therefore, if a fault does occur, the old unit can be removed and the new unit fixed back in place without the need to wait for an electrician, 24 hours a day. It also means electrical work in newly furnished bathrooms can occur without leaving a full hand dryer to get in the way of other professionals such as plumbers, tilers or decorators.

Other issues to consider

Other factors such as vandal resistance, motor life and looks also come into the decision making process and the industry has made great strides, but it is clear there is still room for one dryer that truly blows away the rest in every way!

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

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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