Portable nail dryers are extremely convenient. If you’re using the dryer for your own personal manicures, you’ll want a dryer that easily moves to wherever works best for you. You can also invest in a nail dryer that comes with different drying times since different nail polish types differ in the amount of drying time needed to perfectly cure the polish.
Buying Guide for Nail Dryers
Why buy a nail dryer?
If you don’t like to sit and wait for nail polish to dry, a nail dryer can make your life much easier. Air-drying can take a while, and it’s often difficult to tell if your nails are fully dry until you risk messing them up by touching them. Nail dryers often run on a timer so that you know when your nails are adequately cured. If you prefer using gel nail polish, it needs an LED light to cure and dry properly, so a nail dryer will be a key tool in a gel manicure or pedicure.
What should you consider in a nail dryer?
- Power Source: Do you need something portable and battery-powered? Or would you prefer to use a nail dryer that you can plug into the wall? Think about what model would be best for how and where you want to use a nail dryer.
- Compatibility with Polish: Gel nail polish generally requires a UV or LED light source to cure properly. Regular nail polish, however, only needs time and air. A little bit of wind power helps it set more quickly. If you’re using regular nail polish with a gel or shellac topcoat, an LED light source should help to cure your manicure.
- Drying Temperature: A hot light source may not be the best choice for children or adults with sensitive skin. If this is the case, you may want to opt for a spray nail dryer or one with a fan, both of which work without heat.
How long will a nail dryer last?
This will depend on the type of nail dryer you buy. If you get a nail dryer that runs on batteries, it will last as long as the batteries do (until you switch them out). If you’re traveling with one of these nail dryers, it may be a good idea to bring spare batteries just in case. A/C-adapted nail dryers will work as long as the lights or motors are in good working condition, which should be years. Spray nail dryer products will obviously last until the bottle is empty, so if you use it often, you may want to stock up.
Our Picks for the Best Nail Dryers
DIOZO Portable Nail Dryer
Cure most brands of gel nail polish with this automatic timed dryer that contains a heap of warm LED lights.
Pros: This nail dryer offers multiple timer settings for different types of nail polishes. It has an A/C adapter, so you don’t have to worry about buying or replacing batteries. It cures most gel polishes, and there is plenty of space under the warm lights for your fingers or your toes. It can even help set beautiful resin crafts, and it comes with a protective glove to shield your hands from overexposure.
Cons: There is no on/off switch, so you have to unplug it after each use. It runs on the timer only, and you can’t reset it. Also, it might not work with certain gel brands.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a nail dryer that can mimic a salon gel manicure at home, this may be a great option for you. This solid nail dryer doesn’t have any dead zones inside, so you can be sure that it won’t miss a spot when curing your manicure.
MelodySusie Portable Kids Nail Dryer
This battery-operated nail dryer is safe for children ages 5 and up and makes a fantastic gift.
Pros: This nail dryer can either run on batteries or an A/C adapter. It provides air only, so you don’t have to worry about hot lights if your kids use it. It also only needs gentle pressure to turn it on, making it easy for kiddos to use on their own. It does a great job of drying nail polish between coats.
Cons: This dryer won’t work for gel nail polish or shellac. It’s a little small for adults’ hands. Some buyers found it difficult to find an A/C adapter that fits this nail dryer.
Bottom Line: If you have a little one who loves a good manicure, this may be a great option for you. This is an adorable gift idea and a fantastic surprise for sleepovers or fun princess parties. Let’s not forget, this nail dryer also can be used by grownups, even if it’s a little small for their hands.
TOUCHBeauty Mini Air & LED Light Nail Dryer
This mini nail dryer works very well with regular nail polish, making at-home manicures a breeze.
Pros: This nail dryer almost cuts drying time in half for regular nail polish. While it’s made to quickly dry regular nail polish, some gel types will also cure in this nail dryer. It’s compact and portable as well as durable.
Cons: It’s on the smaller side. Many adults can’t fit their entire hand or foot in this nail dryer. Some users also found the fan a little noisy for their liking. There is no plug-in option.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a compact nail dryer that dries regular nail polish quickly, give this product a try. The small size of this nail dryer makes it easy to carry and easy to store away. It’s a great gift option for kids, teens, or frequent travelers. Plus, it’s a great value for the price.
OPI RapiDry Nail Polish Dryer, Fast Drying Top Coat Spray
Set your manicure in minutes with this unique spray dryer that works as well as a light or fan dryer for regular nail polish.
Pros: Instead of having to set up a dryer, try this easy-to-use drying nail spray. It’s safe to use and has no unpleasant odor. You don’t have to worry about batteries, cords, lights, or fans. And it comes in a non-aerosol spray bottle, which is safer for the environment.
Cons: You don’t get a lot of product in the bottle, so it doesn’t last long. You must wait at least a minute after painting your nails before spraying the product on to help them dry. The spray is oily, so you need to put down a paper towel before spraying it. And it doesn’t work on gel or shellac polishes, just regular nail polish.
Bottom Line: If you want to dry regular nail polish quickly and without a device, try this spray. You don’t have to worry about skin-damaging UV light like you might with other types of nail dryers. Plus, it’s made by a trusted brand in manicure-related products.
SUNUV UV LED Nail Lamp
With three timers, this safe and comfortable nail dryer offers a fast-drying alternative to the time-consuming mani-pedi.
Pros: This popular and high-quality nail dryer comes with an A/C adapter for easy use. It has three different time settings for different brands of gel nail polish. The main components are made from recycled materials, and it has a smart sensor, so you won’t have to push any buttons to get it going after you’ve chosen the time setting you want.
Cons: There’s no way to reset the timer unless you unplug the nail dryer. Some users found the temperature uncomfortably warm. It’s not large enough for some people’s feet.
Bottom Line: Here’s a solid option if you’re looking for a professional-grade nail dryer to use at home. Although the nail dryer is smaller than most professional ones, it dries very well using LED and UV lights. This is a great choice for adults who have a handle on creating a great gel manicure, but it may not be suitable for young users.
When searching for the right nail dryer, you’ll want to think about what sort of polish you prefer to use, the ages of the people who will be using it, and how large or small you will want your nail dryer to be. There are tons of different types of nail dryers to choose from, so choose whatever may work best for you.