Last updated: August 23, 2021

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In today's article we will help you choose an article that brings economy and practicality to bathrooms, offices or commercial establishments: the hand dryer.An alternative to the use of paper in bathrooms, hand dryers are usually found in bathrooms of common use, such as in shopping malls, offices, schools, universities, etc.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, the hand dryer generates savings in the long term, as it reduces costs with material, employees and maintenance. Follow us in this reading and check out the best product options, as well as the features you should pay attention to in order to make the best choice of hand dryer for your bathroom.


  • There is a wide variety of styles, models and sizes of hand dryers. Choose according to the style of the bathroom where the product will be used and the number of people it will serve daily.
  • Power, model, energy consumption and form of activation are some of the features to be observed when buying.
  • The price of hand dryers varies greatly according to the power, brand and model of the product. It is possible to find basic versions starting at £ 50.

The Best Hand Dryer: Our Picks

Hand Dryer: Shopping Guide

The rampant consumption of paper is already a problem in our society. To produce 1 tonne of paper, 2 to 3 tonnes of wood and large amounts of water are needed.

As paper towels used in bathrooms cannot be recycled thanks to the large amount of bacteria it carries, automatic hand dryers appear to be the ideal solution. We'll give you a helping hand to steer clear of poor choices that can make your life harder rather than easier.

Pessoa seca as mãos em secador de banheiro

Models with motion sensor are considered more hygienic because they do not require the user to touch the device. (Source: Tanyss /

What is a hand dryer?

The hand dryer is an electronic device that uses mechanical air blowers - which can be heated or not - to dry the hands, eliminating the use of towels or paper. Often used in public bathrooms such as airports, shopping malls, universities, offices, etc., hand dryers can differ greatly from one model to another.

Some models, usually the older ones, are activated by means of buttons or levers. More modern versions have movement sensors or infrared, which activate the dryer without the user having to touch it, just by bringing it close to the device.

How did the hand dryer come about?

The first patent for a hand dryer was registered in 1921 by R.B. Hibbard, D. J. Watrous and J.G. Bassett for the Airdry Corporation of Groton New York. This early model consisted of an inverted blower, much like a hair dryer, and was operated by means of a foot pedal.

The product has grown in popularity around the world since then, particularly since 1993 when the Mitsubishi Electric brand created a new type of U-shaped hand dryer. Innovative, the model now reproduced by many brands emits blows from both sides, focusing on pushing water off the hands rather than drying them.

Is the hand dryer worth it?

The use of the hand dryer is most common at the commercial level, in public and busy bathrooms. In this scenario, the product proves to be very efficient, as it promotes a reduction in operational expenses with energy and paper towel consumption. The device also contributes to the cleanliness and organization of the environment, since it eliminates the accumulation of paper in the waste bins and the constant need to empty them.

Research indicates that the dryer is also more sustainable than paper, even using electricity. According to data from the dryer manufacturer World Dryer, during its useful life - which is on average 10 years - the dryer emits 3 tons of CO2 less than the production of paper towels, if proportional uses of the two options are considered.

  • Reduced operating costs
  • Low maintenance
  • Ecological, emits less CO2 than the production of paper, and reduces the use of the input
  • Great resistance and durability
  • Powerful models can be expensive
  • Some models can facilitate the proliferation of bacteria

Which is best: manual or sensor hand dryer?

The ideal hand dryer for the bathroom is one that besides being functional and practical, is easy to maintain and hygienic. To avoid problems with contamination, choose washable models that are resistant to alcohol or sanitizing products.

Some older models of tumble dryers have generated great controversy after research found that the devices spread particles of faecal coliforms and other bacteria present in the bathroom. To avoid this risk, choose models that are fitted with filters or use UV light to kill germs in the environment. It is also important that the dryer chosen demands minimum physical contact with the user for its operation.

Models with motion sensor are the best option because they are practical and hygienic, eliminating the contact of the user's hands with any part of the device during use.

Manual With motion sensor
Activation By means of buttons, levers or pedals By means of a sensor activated by user movement
Efficiency Small, because the device can continue to operate after the user is away Large, because the device also turns off automatically, saving energy
Differential More affordable prices Activation by sensor is more hygienic because it dispenses touch

Banheiro equipado com secador de mãos em U

U-shaped driers focus on blowing the water off the user's hands instead of evaporating it. (Source: Edvard Nalbantjan /

Buying Criteria:How to compare hand dryer models

Now that you have enough knowledge about hand dryers, their uses and way of functioning, we will list some of the features that you can use as a parameter to compare and recognize the best option of bathroom dryer to ensure the organization, asepsis and functioning of your bathroom. They are:

So that no doubts remain at the time of purchase, in the sequence we will detail each of the topics. Check them out:


The power of the hand dryer can be defined by the ratio between the speed and the flow of air generated by the device, which will directly influence the drying time of the equipment. It is important that the dryer chosen is efficient and fast, because, in general, people do not have much patience to use the device for more than 15 seconds.

The stronger the air generated by the dryer and the higher the flow provided by the model, the faster the user's hands will dry, therefore, the more powerful the dryer is considered to be.

Imagem de pessoa usando secador de mãos

Filter models guarantee the quality of the air emitted by the dryer, eliminating bacteria and protecting the user. (Source: Vudhikul Ocharoen / 123RF)

Energy consumption

The energy consumption of the hand dryer will vary according to the model and its power. Most dryers use, on average, 2,200 watts of energy when turned on, and 2 watts when they are in stand by. Drying your hands for 30 seconds will use 0.018 kWh of electricity. Doing this three times a day for a year will consume 19.71 kWh, which accounts for 12 kg of carbon dioxide emissions.


The mechanisms used by dryers to generate air and/or heat vary according to the model and brand of the product. Some dryers generate air by means of a fan, others by means of mechanisms similar to that of a hair dryer, while others use motors.

More powerful and professional models use turbines. The heating mechanism is not present in all dryer models. But when used, it consists of an electric resistance attached to the blower, which can be formed by spiral-shaped nickel or chromium alloy wires, which when heated generate the heat transferred to the air of the dryer.


Hand dryers are generally activated for operation by means of an activation button or lever, or a motion sensor. The most common type of sensor in these appliances is infrared. Sensor activated products may have an increased value compared to those with manual activation, but are considered more hygienic as people do not need to touch the appliance to start it.

(Featured image source: Asawin Klabma /