Dyson Hair Dryer vs. Airwrap Compared (Pros + Cons)

March 24, 2023 (updated April 24, 2023) — Written by

If you are choosing between the Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler and the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, there is A LOT to consider. The choice may seem daunting, especially at this price point but don’t fret—I’ve got you covered. I’ve owned the Dyson Hair Dryer for years now and the Airwrap for a solid 6 months and I can tell you without a doubt that each has their own strengths and weaknesses. And after highlighting them all here, your choice will be clear. Let’s go! 

Lisa holds up the Dyson Hair Dryer and Airwrap to compare.
Lisa holds up the Dyson Hair Dryer (right) and Airwrap (left) to compare.

By Lisa Fennessy


Woman's hand holding the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.

What is the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer?

Let’s start with a quick breakdown of what each tool actually is. The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is a high-powered, popular hair dryer that claims to protect your hair from heat damage because of its unique technology. From the brand’s website: The Supersonic Hair Dryer “uses intelligent heat control to maintain Dyson’s optimum temperature, helping to prevent extreme heat damage. Less damaged hair reflects light in a single direction, making the hair appear shiny.”

There’s also a digital motor and microprocessor inside the dryer that adjusts heat setting automatically, again claiming to prevent damage to your hair. 

The Supersonic Hair Dryer also comes with magnetic attachments, which are easy to remove/swap out, depending on the style you want. Nine times out of ten I use the Styling Concentrator and that’s it. However, I do have wavy hair so I appreciate the diffuser, which helps define my waves plus keeps them from frizzing out (see below)

RELATED: Read my COMPLETE review of the Dyson supersonic Hair Dryer (hint, it’s only *kinda* worth it).

Woman with long gray hair uses the Dyson Airwrap
Lisa using the Dyson Airwrap.

What is the Dyson Airwrap and how does it work?

On the other hand, the Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler is A HAIR DRYER + CURLING IRON all in one (kinda, you’ll see)! And not only that, it basically does the work for you. Just put it next to your hair and it sucks in a lock of hair, Jetson’s style, curling it AND drying it like, listen bi*ch, I got you. 

Dyson says the Airwrap also uses a heat-controlled technology that measures airflow temperature over 40 times a second, intelligently controlling the heating element to keep the temperature under 302°F, preventing extreme heat damage.

The Airwrap Complete Styler comes with 6 clip-in attachments which are easy to remove/swap out, depending on the style you want. Nine times out of ten I use 1.6 inch Airwrap long barrel and that’s it. However, on occasion, I will break out the Coanda smoothing dryer too to tame rogue flyaways depending on how much time I have.

Can Dyson Airwrap be used as a hair dryer?

To be honest, this is the Airwrap’s biggest downfall. Technically the Airwrap does have a hair dryer attachment. It’s called Coanda smoothing dryer and it’s a 2-in-1 attachment that functions both as a hair dryer and a flyaway smoother. It works fantastic as a flyaway smoother, but as a hair dryer it lacks.

Hand holding hair dryer part of Dyson Airwrap
“Hair dryer” part of the Coanda Smoothing Dryer.
Hand showing hair dryer part of Dyson Airwrap
The side with the pink piping smooths hair.

On one side of this attachment you see pink piping (the right/top photo above), which is the smoother, and on the other side (above, left/bottom) you see a row of holes where the air comes out. That’s the “hair dryer” lol. It’s awful.

The problem with this is there is no air concentrator component for the dryer, so air comes out and just pushes hair in all directions. It’s basically the antithesis of a smoothing hair dryer.

RELATED: My FULL review of the Dyson Airwrap, complete with details about which attachments I love and hate (and before + after photos!).

To be fair, Dyson talks about using this attachment to “rough dry” hair before styling it with one of the styling attachments so, taking the directions into consideration, this attachment is not supposed to function as a traditional hair dryer. And since that’s the case, we can officially declare there is no actual traditional hair dryer attachment.

To dry your hair, you have to pick an actual styling attachment, which means if you want it straight, you have to use one of the brush attachments and if you want hair with a curl, you have to use one of the barrel attachments. 

My problem with this is sometimes I like to dry my hair straight and when I use the brush attachment that comes with the Airwrap, it doesn’t get my roots that dry. I also don’t find that this brush attachment grabs hair that well. Anyway, you can see what I’m saying, the bottom line is: No, you can’t use the Airwrap as a traditional hairdryer, in my opinion. 

Woman styles her long gray hair with Dyson Airwrap.
Lisa using the Dyson Airwrap.
Woman blow dries her long gray hair with Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.
Lisa using the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.

Which is better, Dyson Hair Dryer or Airwrap?

I wish the answer to this question was cut and dry, but it will ultimately depend on your hair type and your hair goals. 

The Dyson Hair Dryer will give you the fastest blowout in the biz. It also offers a more controlled airflow as it comes with an air concentrator for straight hair and a diffuser for curly hair. In my opinion, this is a better option for people who value their time and are looking to dry their hair to its natural state as fast as possible. This option lacks all additional attachments and styling options the Airwrap offers. 

The Dyson Airwrap has all the styling bells and whistles via its multiple attachments. You can pop on an attachment and dry your hair to a wave, curl or straight. In my opinion, this option is better for people who want to dry their hair to a different state and have it look professional (like straight hair can be dried to a curl and curly hair can be dried straight). This option lacks a hairdryer with concentrated airflow and it’s hard to use this as a “regular” blow dryer. 

Personally? My hair is naturally wavy, thick, long and gray. I like to be able to dry it straight on occasion and also I like to dry it with a wave, so to be honest I actually do still use both of these tools. The Dyson Hair Dryer gives me a faster blow dry that gets at my roots and scalp too. I like this option for days that I don’t have a lot of time (I can get a full blow dry in less than 8 minutes!) and for after the gym too, when I want to touch up my roots.

On the other hand, if I had to pick one, I prefer the Dyson Airwrap overall, which gives me a prettier, more finished blow dry with strands that have bounce and curl. This option takes double, sometimes triple the time compared to the Dyson Hair Dryer…which brings me back to my first point, lol.  

Pros & cons of the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

What I like:

  • It dries my hair super quick—like, 7 minutes quick!
  • Comes with an air concentrator attachment
  • Comes with a diffuser 
  • Can use it to touch up roots after the gym 
  • Functions as a traditional hair dryer

What I don’t like:

  • The price 
  • Sometimes the attachments fall off
  • It’s not the Airwrap, so I can’t style and dry at the same time

Pros & cons of the Dyson Airwrap

What I like:

  • I can go from wet hair to dry styled hair in about 15-20 minutes
  • Potentially eliminates the need for owning multiple styling tools 
  • Can dry and style hair at the same time
  • Can straighten or curl hair
  • Have the option to curl hair with a large or small barrel 
  • Can DIY a look salon styled look
  • The flyaway attachment is unparalleled

What I don’t like:

  • Very expensive
  • Most of the attachments I don’t even use
  • Presents a learning curve 
  • Does not have a good traditional hair dryer attachment

How to decide if the Dyson Hair Dryer or Airwrap is better for you

Dyson Hair Dryer vs. Airwrap results side by side

The Dyson Hair Dryer functions like a traditional hair dryer…just faster, more efficient and with less heat. The Airwrap also dries hair, but is able to style it at the same time through custom attachments. 

A woman with straight gray hair
Lisa after styling with the Supersonic Hair Dryer.
A woman with long wavy gray hair
Lisa after styling with the Airwrap.

👉The Supersonic Dyson Hair Dryer can: dry, blowout, diffuse, provide controlled air flow, reduce frizz and smooth flyaways.

👉The Airwrap Complete Styler can: dry, blowout, curl, smooth, reduce frizz, smooth flyaways and straighten.

Graphic comparing Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer vs Airwrap
The Dyson Hair Dryer vs. Airwrap: which is better for you?

Similarities between Dyson Hair Dryer and Airwrap

Overall, both of these tools will get the job done faster. If you are looking to just blow dry your hair, the Dyson Hair Dryer will do that in about half the time compared to a conventional hair dryer. And if you are looking to blow dry AND style your hair, the Airwrap will get that done faster too by taking two processes and combining them into one. 

Other similarities between the Dyson Hair Dryer and Airwrap. Both:  

  • Are lightweight and easy to hold
  • Come with several attachments 
  • Come with their own version of a flyaway control attachment
  • Have a cold shot option 
  • Have 3 heat levels 
  • Have a long cord
  • Can work on wet, damp or dry hair (although the Airwrap works faster if hair is already half dry)
  • Have intelligent heat control technology to help prevent extreme heat damage 
  • Save time
  • Are mad expensive 

Differences between Dyson Hair Dryer and Airwrap

Both of these tools will dry your hair, but in very different ways. 

  • The Airwrap comes with 6 attachments, while the Supersonic comes with 5.
  • The Airwrap attachments remain cool and easy to handle while the Supersonic attachments get hot and are hard to handle (like if it falls off and you need to put it back on).
  • The Airwrap attachments lock in place while the Supersonic attach magnetically.
  • The Airwrap can style AND dry your hair, while the Supersonic can only dry it.
  • The Airwrap is $599 and the Supersonic is $430.
  • The Supersonic comes with an air concentrator while the Airwrap does not.
  • The Supersonic comes with a diffuser, while the Airwrap does not.
  • The Supersonic is intuitive to use, while the Airwrap is not as much.
  • From start to finish, the Airwrap will take longer to go from wet to dry than the Supersonic.
  • The Supersonic works like a regular hair dryer and therefore can be used on all types of hair that gets hair dried, whereas the Airwrap does not.

Is the Dyson hair dryer or Airwrap better for your hair?

Both of these tools are amazing, but since most people do not want to buy both options, it’s helpful to think about what your hair goals are and how you usually style your hair. If it’s dry shampoo after the gym 3 days a week, then maybe the Supersonic will be a better option for you. Or if it’s you trying to take your hair styling game to the next level, then maybe it’s the Airwrap.

Again, what’s better for you will not be what’s better for someone else.

So, all in all, here’s my takeaway:

👉If you are looking for a traditional hair dryer that will dry your hair in less time saving you time and heat exposure to your hair, the Dyson Supersonic is better for you.

👉If you are looking for a tool that dries and styles your hair at the same time turning two tasks into one, the Airwrap is better for you. 

Dyson shopping guide

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Have you tried either of these Dyson hair products? Which do you love?

xo, lisa in cursive
Which is better Dyson hair dryer or Airwrap?

I wish the answer to this question was cut and dry, but it will ultimately depend on your hair type and your hair goals. The Dyson Hair Dryer will give you the fastest blowout in the biz. The Dyson Airwrap will dry AND style your hair at the same time via their multiple attachments.

Can Dyson Airwrap be used as a hair dryer?

The bottom line is: No, you can’t use the Airwrap as a traditional hairdryer. This is the biggest pitfall of the Airwrap in my opinion. Read more about WHY here.

Is the Dyson Airwrap not worth it?

If you don’t have $600 to spend, no, it’s totally not worth it. If you do have the extra funds, it’s a great investment for you—depending on your hair type! Read more here.

TNK Team Note: This article may contain affiliate links, including Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

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