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Your Guide to the Best Nail Dryers in 2024

Anonymous person using a white nail dryer

These days, most female consumers have developed a love for creating stylish art on their nails. But the thing is, the process requires hours of dedication. Hence, it’s understandable for anyone to get upset if the nails smear minutes later, after spending long hours designing and decorating them. That’s where nail dryers come in—they help the ladies avoid any smearing of their creative nail art.

While most salons ensure this equipment is readily available, sellers can also offer nail dryers to DIY consumers who do their nails at home—because they don’t have the time or budget for continuous salon trips.

This article will discuss the nitty gritty of choosing nail dryers in 2024 and it will give an overview of the different types available today.

Table of Contents
Nail dryer market size in 2024
Types of nail dryers to buy
A guide to choosing the best nail dryers in 2024
Rounding up

Nail dryer market size in 2024

Experts predict the nail dryer market will grow at a 5.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2022 to 2030. They attribute the market’s growth to the rising demand for nail dryers in commercial and residential applications.

However, UV/LED nail dryers register higher demand surges due to their benefits over fan variants. The household segment also dominates with a 60% market share due to the rising disposable income across developing countries.

Asia Pacific registered the highest revenue share, and experts suggest the region will maintain its dominance over the forecast period. Research also shows North America will experience the fastest CAGR from 2022 to 2030.

Types of nail dryers to buy

Hot air (fan) nail dryers

Woman using a white fan nail dryer

Fan nail dryers are the classic option. Instead of light, these tools use hot air to dry nails after polishing. But there’s a catch: these nail dryers can only quicken the drying process of regular nail polish.

Regardless, fan nail dryers are affordable, user-friendly, and don’t affect the nails themselves. However, they’re noticeably slower than their successors at preparing nails for flaunting.

Typically, fan nail dryers are small, handheld devices that are incredibly easy to use. Modern models have various heat settings to accommodate more nail polish varieties and user preferences.

Some fan nail dryers even feature a “cool” setting to blow cold air instead of hot. As a result, users can enjoy this alternative to setting their polish and preventing smudging.

UV nail dryer

Lady drying nails in a UV nail dryer

These nail dryers came after fan variants as a more efficient way for drying nails—and they caught a lot of attention. UV nail dryers are the go-to for drying and hardening gel/shellac nail polish. Why? The UV light causes a chemical reaction with these polishes, creating a hard, durable finish.

UV nail dryers come in various shapes and sizes, with some even offering built-in fans to help speed up the drying process. However, drying time varies, depending on the polish type and device wattage.

Gel polishes may dry within 30 seconds to 2 minutes, while shellac polishes may take up to 5 minutes. Nevertheless, UV nail dryers quickly surpassed their fan counterparts due to their faster drying speed.

LED nail dryer

Lady placing hands in an LED nail dryer

Although UV nail dryers became a big hit, many concerns about their safety also popped up. While manufacturers say they’re safe, the fact that they use UV light (harmful on long-term exposure) puts them in the black book of many consumers.

The solution? LED nail dryers. These products are a safer alternative to UV variants as they don’t emit harmful radiation. They also come packed with other benefits, like energy efficiency and faster drying times.

LED nail dryers are available in various shapes and sizes and can work perfectly at home or in professional salons. Some models also have extra features, like fans, to help circulate air and prevent nails from overheating.

A guide to choosing the best nail dryers in 2024

Check the dryer’s dimensions

A wide blue nail dryer on a matching background

Remember that people have different hand sizes, so checking the product’s dimensions should not be overlooked. If consumers have larger hands or want to fit their whole hand in the dryer, they may need something bigger than the standard size.

Some lamps, especially the cheaper ones, will only allow four fingers at a time, meaning consumers must cure their thumbs separately. Such lamps also can’t handle pedicures.

The safest bet is opting for models that can accommodate both hands or one hand for the best experience. Additionally, look for models with removable bottom plates so consumers can show their legs some love, too.

Note: The best nail dryers can handle both hands at the same time and both feet at the same time—making them the most convenient.

Here’s a table showing the average dimensions to look for, depending on the consumer’s hand size.

Nail dryer typeAverage dimensions (W x D x H)Compatible hand size
Compact dryer2.1” x 1.2” x 1.8”Small to medium hands
Standard dryer2.4” x 1.4” x 2.0”Medium to large hands
Open-palm dryer5.5” x 5.5” x 1.5”All hand sizes
Professional dryer3.0” x 1.8” x 2.5”Large hands with long nails

The consumer’s preferred nail polish

The type of polish consumers love also determines the kind of nail dryer they’ll need. As mentioned, each nail dryer type handles different nail polishes, meaning what works under one may not work for the other.

While fan nail dryers can only handle regular nail polish, like lacquer-based formulas, UV variants can handle all UV and LED polishes. LED, on the other hand, can only dry LED polishes.

This is because polishes come with different formulas requiring various conditions to activate. For instance, lacquer-based polishes can harden from simple warm air but are also the easiest to remove.

In contrast, gel polishes require precise UV wavelengths to activate specific photoinitiators. These ingredients allow the wavelengths to cure, harden, and make the polishes incredibly durable. While UV nail dryers emit the wavelength for UV and LED gel polishes, LED models can only handle LED-specific polishes.

The product’s drying time

If consumers are insistent on speed, fan dryers are not for them. The choice here boils down to UV and LED models. But if consumers want a quick drying process, they’ll likely go for LED nail dryers.

On average, LED nail dryers can cure a layer of polish in 30 seconds, more than 50% faster than a UV dryer’s 90 seconds. In other words, manicures/pedicures with LED dryers would take less than 2 minutes to fully set, while UV variants may take more than 5 minutes.

That said, if consumers aren’t pressed for time and want the nail polish variety, they’ll prefer UV nail dryers. Despite being slower than their LED counterparts, UV nail dryers still offer a speedy nail drying session.

Check bulb duration for UV/LED dryer

If sellers are going with UV or LED dryers, they must consider bulb lifespan. Consumers will want something that lasts them for a while. So which is the better option to offer based on bulb duration? The answer is both.

While LED bulbs boast longer lifespans (up to 50,000 hours) and may never need replacing, UV bulbs are not that bad. Although UV bulbs have a lower 10,000-hour lifespan, they last longer than most people think.

Replacing a UV bulb for a home-used nail dryer would require frequent usage for years. However, salons and spas may need more replacements depending on consumer frequency.

Check for timer features

Too much exposure to these dryers can cause adverse effects. UV lights emit harmful radiation that could become harmful with prolonged exposure, while LED lamps may cause the nails to overheat. One way to avoid all these is with timer features.

Nail dryers with special timers make it easy to program drying sessions. Even the preset options may be all consumers need for the perfect manicure.

Motion sensors are another great feature that works great with timers. All consumers have to do is slide their hands into the dryer, and it’ll start the process automatically—incredibly convenient!

Rounding up

Nail dryers are an important part of manicures and pedicures. They’re way better than waiting for nails to dry or trying to blow them dry oneself. Plus, consumers can rest assured they will not smear or smudge their delicate nail art after using these products.

That said, businesses must consider several factors before entering the nail dryer market. After deciding what their target market are looking for, they can use the tips highlighted in this article to choose the perfect models for their buyers in 2024!

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