The Best Quiet Hand Dryers of 2021

Electric hand dryers provide many benefits–reduced germ transmission, more environmentally friendly than paper towels, more hygienic. And you don’t have to use the same towel that 3 kids made soggy before you got there. Of course, as with most good ideas or products, there is a negative–noise. Some of these machines make quite the noise while running–over 100 decibels in some cases. Although hand dryers may never be real quiet–and they are used in locations with tiles and hard walls with little sound absorbing qualities–here are some options that much less annoying.

Why It's BestRating
AIKE AK2630S Hand Dryer Commercial & HouseholdQuiet - 67 decibels. 10 - 15 seconds drying time. Washable filter. Household/Commercial use. 2 year warranty.★★★★★
modunful M699S Hand Dryer for Home Bathrooms Ultra quiet - 40 decibels. 10 - 15 second drying time. 2 year manufacturers warranty.★★★★★
VALENS Hand Dryer with HEPA Filter Quiet - 70 - 72 decibels. 8 - 10 second drying time. HEPA filter. Plug in or hardwired. ★★★★★
Alpine Industries Hemlock Automatic Hand Dryer 80 decibel noise level. 10 second drying time. Plug in or hardwired. 5 year warranty.★★★★★
AIKE AK2005H Premium Commercial Vertical Hand DryerQuiet - 73 decibels. 8 - 12 second drying time. Plug in or hardwired. 2 year parts and service warranty.★★★★★
Awoco Round Stainless Steel Commercial Hand DryerQuiet - 72 decibels. 10 - 15 second drying time. Plug in only. 1 year parts, exchange, repair warranty.★★★★★

 

 

Quiet Hand Dryers – Basics

Before buying an electric hand dryer, there are a few things to consider. 

  • Hand Dryer Noise Levels. Some hand dryers produce over 100 decibels of noise. A 2015 study showed an average noise level of 80 decibels. Only one of the following are that noisy.
  • Hand Drying Time. No one is interested in standing in front of a hand dryer for minutes. 7 – 15 seconds should do the job.
  • Hand Dryer Activation Method. Given our Covid world, not many people are willing to touch more things than necessary. Many modern hand dryers use sensors to switch on and off.
  • Hand Dryer Power Usage. Hand dryers use heat elements to turn room air into warm or hot air to accomplish the job. If they are used a lot, it is possible that you will notice the small extra cost.
  • Electrical Connections. Hand dryers require electricity to operate. Some come with a 3 prong plug and cord, some are made to be wired directly, some provide both options. 
  • Hand Dryer Warranties. Longer and/or more inclusive warranties generally mean better products in my experience.

More details on these hand dryer basics later.

 

8 Best Quiet Hand Dryers of 2021

 

1) AIKE AK2630S Compact Automatic High Speed Hand Dryer

AIKE AK2630S Compact Automatic High Speed Hand Dryer Commercial and Household,ABS Cover 110v 1400W(Silver)

The AIKE AK2630S Compact Automatic High Speed Hand Dryer produces only 67 decibels of noise when running. This compact, powerful dryer is available in 3 colors and comes with 67″ 3 prong power cord for use in a standard 115 volt outlet. It is not meant to be hard wired, although the manufacturer suggests it can be by an electrician. The durable ABS construction is strong and corrosion proof. A reusable washable sponge filter ensures the machine is blowing uncontaminated air at 235 miles per hour drying hands in a quick 10 – 15 seconds per use.

The recessed heating switch can be be turned on to ensure warm air (although it will not heat if the room temperature is over 77 degrees) or turned off to save energy. With the power switch turned on, the sensor activates the dryer (sensing range 3 – 5 inches). Operating in a temperature range between 68 and 104 degrees keeps it safe for small hands. Automatic turnoff after 45 second run time.

Note: Must be plugged into a GFI outlet if in bathroom.

 

The Good

  • Quiet – 67 decibels (about the sound of moderate traffic or a busy restaurant).
  • 10 – 15 second drying time. 
  • Washable sponge filter.
  • Standard 115 volt plug.
  • Good for commercial and household use.
  • ABS construction available in 3 colors.
  • 2 year manufacturers warranty with lifetime technical support.

 

The Not so Good 

  • Not easily hard wired.

 

2) modunful M-699S Automatic Hand Dryer 

modunful Electric Heated Automatic Hand Dryers for Home Bathrooms Extra Quiet Low Noise(40db), Compact ABS Cover, Wall Mounted Type(1600w) M-699S

At an ultra quiet 40 decibels of sound, the modunful M-699S Automatic Hand Dryer may be the quietest in-home unit on the market. (40 decibels is the sound of a babbling brook.) Yet the powerful 1600 watt motor will dry hands in 10 – 15 seconds. This unit provides touchless operation with a quick sensor response time of just 0.3 seconds. The impact resistant polycarbonate cover is sleek and stylish, and the whole unit is easy to install. Available in 2 colors–white and silver.

The inexpensive M-699S is equipped with multiple safety features, including timeout protection, overload protection, and short circuit protection and can be switched between warm air and room temperature air at the touch of a button. Can be used commercially but the manufacturer recommends one dryer for every 2 washbasins.

Note: Must to be plugged into a GFI outlet if in bathroom.

 

The Good

  • Ultra quiet 40 decibel noise level (sound of a babbling brook).
  • 10 – 15 second drying time.
  • Standard 2 prong 115 volt corded plug.
  • Polycarbonate construction available in white and silver.
  • 2 year manufacturers warranty with a 30 day ‘No Questions Asked’ return policy.

 

The Not so Good

  • Corded only – cannot be hardwired.
  • No filter.

 

3) Valens Hand Dryer With HEPA Filter

VALENS Electric Hand Dryer with HEPA Filter, Efficiency Max Touchless Hand Dryer for Bathrooms Commercial Home Industrial, High-Speed Automatic Hand Air Dryer Machine for Restrooms, Stainless Steel

This Valens Hand Dryer With HEPA Filter is a commercial/industrial machine that is attractive enough and inexpensive enough for home use. The versatile Valens hand dryer produces only 70 – 72 decibels of sound. A powerful 1800 watt motor blows air at 224 miles per hour and is capable of drying hands in 8 seconds. Not only does it have cold air/hot air switch, you can adjust the volume of air it blows. Touchless infrared sensor automatically turns on when hands are between 2 and 6 inches.

The Valens gives you the option of plugging it into a 115 volt outlet, or hardwiring it into the electrical system. With short circuit protection, overload protection, auto stop after 60 seconds, and a HEPA filter that keeps 99.9% of particles out of the machine, and off your hands, the dryer is well protected. The stainless steel design is compatible with almost any bathroom décor.

Note: Must be plugged into a GFI outlet if in bathroom.

 

The Good

  • Quiet commercial hand dryer – 70 – 72 decibels. About the sound of a shower or dishwasher.
  • 8 – 10 second drying time.
  • Plug in or hardwire options.
  • Brushed stainless steel construction.
  • HEPA filter.
  • Adjustable air speed–maximum 224 mph.

 

The Not so Good

  • Warranty information not available.

 

4) Alpine Hemlock Automatic Hand Dryer 

Alpine Hemlock Automatic Hand Dryer - Heavy Duty Stainless Steel - Commercial High Speed Hot Air Hand Blower | 1800Watts | 110-120Volts | Quick & Easy Installation

At 80 decibels of sound, the Alpine Hemlock Automatic Hand Dryer is one of the louder commercial units on this list. But the corrosion proof stainless steel dryer is worth a look. The 1800 watt motor delivers plenty of air to dry hands in 10 seconds. Available in 7 colors, you should be able to find one that matches the finish in your bathroom.

Offers both plug in or hardwired options. Activates automatically when hands are present and turns off instantly when removed, and the auto stop function will deactivate the dryer after 63 seconds. The filter should be changed every 6 months. Available in both 110 volt and 220 volt models. USA based company.

Note: Must be plugged into a GFI outlet if in bathroom.

 

The Good

  • 80 decibels of noise–sound of an alarm clock or garbage disposal.
  • 10 second drying time.
  • Plug in or hardwired option.
  • Replaceable filter – every 6 months.
  • Stainless steel construction available in 7 colors.
  • Available in 110 volts or 220 volts.
  • USA based company.
  • 5 year warranty.

 

The Not so Good

  • A little louder than some other options.

 

5) AIKE AK2005H Vertical Hand Dryer

AIKE AK2005H Premium Commercial Vertical Hand Dryer with HEPA Filter High Speed 110V 1850W Silver

The AIKE AK2005H Vertical Hand Dryer operates at 73 decibels of sound. The 1850 watt unit dries hands in 8 – 12 seconds. And 2 stage HEPA filter ensure that the air entering the motor and blowing on your hands is 99.9% particle free. The filter is removable and washable to save money on replacements. Controls for on/off, air velocity, and the intelligent heat system are behind a cover to prevent small hands from messing with them. Both plug in and hardwired options. 

The bottom mounted drain tank will catch any drips that occur. Features a 25 second auto stop function for safety. The exterior is made of silver ABS polycarbonate.

Note: Must be plugged into a GFI outlet if in bathroom.

 

The Good

  • Fairly quiet hand dryer at 73 decibels – about the sound of a shower or dishwasher.
  • 8 – 12 second drying time.
  • Plug in or hardwired option.
  • Impact resistant polycarbonate exterior.
  • 2 year warranty on parts and service.

 

The Not so Good

  • Virtually none.

 

6) Awoco 1350W Round Stainless Steel Hand Dryer

Awoco Round Stainless Steel 1350W 120V Automatic High Speed Commercial Hand Dryer, UL Listed, 1 Year Warranty (x 1)

The Awoco 1350W Round Stainless Steel Hand Dryer does not look like most other dryers. But at 72 decibels of sound and a drying time of 10 – 15 seconds, it is just as quiet and efficient as some of its competitors. It produces only 72 decibels of sound, and the brushed finish, seamless stainless steel case leaves no obvious fingerprints (unless small peanut butter covered hands touch it). Detachable and washable air filters remove 99.9% of bacteria and air particles before they enter the machine and blow over people’s hands. 

The 1350W is not hard wired compatible–plug in only (must use a GFI outlet in a bathroom) with the 36″ power cord. Operating temperature between 68 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit makes it safe for children’s hands. This unit comes with 45 second overtime protection for each cycle–then resets. High speed drying with low energy consumption–including only 2 watt standby usage.

Note: Must be plugged into GFI outlet if in bathroom.

 

The Good

  • Produces only 72 decibels of sound – about the sound of a shower or dishwasher.
  • 10 – 15 second drying time.
  • Plug in only with 36″ power cord – 110 standard outlet.
  • Seamless stainless steel outer shell.
  • 1 year USA backed warranty covers parts, repair, exchange, and technical support.

 

The Not so Good

  • Plug in only – cannot be hardwired.

 

7) Xlerator XL-BW 1.1N Commercial Hand Dryer

Excel Dryer XLERATOR XL-BW 1.1N High Speed Commercial Hand Dryer, White Thermoset Cover, Automatic Sensor, Surface Mount, Noise Reduction Nozzle, LEED Credits 110/120V

The Xlerator XL-BW 1.1N Commercial Hand Dryer is made in the USA. This 1500 watt unit produces only 69 – 73 decibels (about the sound of a shower or dishwasher) and has a drying time of 8 seconds. One of the few dryers on the market with an adjustable heat control, adjustable speed control, and an adjustable sound control. It comes with a HEPA filtration system that removes 99.97% of bacteria and particles from the air entering the unit and blowing on your hands.

This is a hardwire only unit that must be wired into a dedicated 20 amp circuit. Multiple colored covers available including custom made corp0rate logos and colors. The XL-BW comes with a 7 year manufacturers warranty and a 1 year on site labor warranty.

 

The Good

  • Quiet 69 – 73 decibel – about the sound of a shower or dishwasher.
  • 8 second drying time.
  • Adjustable heat control, sound control, and speed control.
  • HEPA air filtration system.
  • Multiple cover colors – including customization.
  • Made in the USA.
  • 7 year manufacturers warranty/1 year onsite labor warranty.

 

The Not so Good

  • Hardwire only – no plug in option.
  • A bit pricey – specially for home use.

 

8) Jetwell High Speed Hand Dryer

JETWELL UL Listed High Speed Hand Dryer with HEPA Filter, Commercial Automatic Eco Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Warm Wind Hand Blower

The Jetwell High Speed Hand Dryer operates at 72 decibels while drying hands in 7 – 10 seconds. It has a ‘smart’ heat sensor that will turn on the heater in the unit if the room temperature is below 25 degrees Celsius (around 77 degrees Fahrenheit). Otherwise it will blow room temperature air. It also has overtime and overload protection. The heavy duty stainless steel cover is corrosion resistant, strong, and durable.

The Jetwell provides both plug in and hardwire options. A HEPA filter removes 99.97% of air particles before they enter the machine or blow on anyone’s hands. Automatic, 2″ – 6″ sensor range.

Note: Must plug into GFI outlet if used in washroom.

 

The Good

  • Quiet – 72 decibels – about the sound of a shower or dishwasher.
  • 7 – 10 second drying time.
  • Heat sensor automatically turns on heat.
  • Stainless steel cover.
  • HEPA filter.
  • Sensor operated.
  • 2 year manufacturers warranty.

 

The Not so Good

  • UL listed for USA use. Manufacturer says it is approved in Canada but seems to be a problem with certification stickers.

 

 

Quiet Hand Dryers Buying Criteria – Basics

Compiling this list turned out to be quite a balancing act. I looked at many quiet hand dryers that were eliminated for some other reason–like the 53 decibel machine which has a drying time of up to 35 seconds, or the 53 decibel machine with some questionable reviews. Being a major league cynic, I do not totally accept the reviews as gospel. But they are usually where I will find a balance to the manufacturers sales pitch. You will probably also consider things like cost, looks, color, etc. 

Note: I did not deduct points from a hand dryer because of shipping damage. A delivery person dropping it on the driveway and kicking it to the door does not detract from the quality of a product. But the seller refusing to replace it, comes under the questionable warranty heading.

 

Hand Dryer Noise Levels

I only chose hand dryers with a noise level of 80 decibels or less. (80 decibels is the noise made by an alarm clock or garbage disposal. For roughly the same amount of time a good hand dryer operates.) Most hand dryers are in bathrooms with few sound absorbing upgrades, adding echo to the noise. Most of them blow down so it is even louder for children standing below, and closer to, the air outlet.

 

Hand Drying Time

We seem to be living in an impatient time in history. Even I get upset when my email takes longer than half a second to load. I do not think anyone wants to stand in front of a hand dryer any longer than necessary, so quick, and efficient, drying is important. None of the dryers listed takes longer than 15 seconds to get the job done–some are 10 seconds or less. (I also find that wiping my hands on my shirt tail first will reduce drying time significantly.)

 

Hand Dryer Activation Method

All of these hand dryers are motion activated. They have power switches and some of them have heat and/or air flow control switches, but these are usually one, and done buttons. Most people are not very excited with the prospect of touching anything not necessary in a public washroom–and maybe even a private bathroom. So, although there are some very good, quiet push button activated dryers, I left them off the list.

 

Hand Dryer Power Usage

I will not call hand dryer power costs negligible, but they do not appear terribly high either. Here is an example:

  • A 2000 watt hand dryer uses 2 kilowatts of power/hour
  • 120 usages of a 15 second drying time dryer=30 minutes of use.
  • Your power costs $0.20/kilowatt.
  • 2 KW x $0.20 x .5 hours=$0.20/day.
  • That is a total cost of $73.00/year or $6.10/month

Standby power usage is a meager 2 watts, which is negligible.

 

Hand Dryer Electrical Connection

Hand dryers come as plug in units, hardwired units, or have the option of either connection. Plug in connections are easier (although you must connect to a GFI outlet), but dryers that are hardwired into the electrical system are safer, and less prone to vandalism. I consider having the option a real plus.

 

Hand Dryer Warranties

I like products to have warranties. (The last time I bought something without a warranty–used car, private sale–the world was still young and innocent.) There is only one dryer on the list that I could not find warranty information for. I put it on the list anyway because they have been around for a while, and I assume they have warranties, but are just shy.

 

Quiet Hand Dryer – Best of the Best

Alpine Hemlock Automatic Hand Dryer - Heavy Duty Stainless Steel - Commercial High Speed Hot Air Hand Blower | 1800Watts | 110-120Volts | Quick & Easy Installation

My choice for the Best Quiet Hand Dryer is the Alpine Hemlock Automatic Hand Dryer.

  • 80 decibels of noise–sound of an alarm clock or garbage disposal.
  • 10 second drying time.
  • Plug in or hardwired option.
  • Replaceable filter – every 6 months.
  • Stainless steel construction available in 7 colors.
  • Available in 110 volts or 220 volts.
  • USA based company.
  • 5 year warranty.

 

Personal Reasons for my Choice

Although I am fairly impressed by all of these machines, and even with some of those that did not make the list, the Best of the Best usually comes down to which one would I buy. Although ‘quiet’ is fairly important to me, these machines only run for about 15 seconds at a time and there are usually only 2 of us in the house. Therefore, I kind of moved noise level down my priority list. And ended up picking one a little more noisy, but with some other qualities I valued more. 

 

Quiet Hand Dryer – Honorable Mentions

In case your personal priority list does not match mine, here are a couple of runner-up choices.

  1. AIKE AK2005H Vertical Hand Dryer. 73 decibels, 8 – 12 second drying time, plug in or hardwired option, 2 year parts and labor warranty. Virtually no downside.
  2. modunful M-699S Automatic Hand Dryer. (Because it is about as quiet as hand dryers get.) 40 decibels, 10 – 15 second drying time, 2 year warranty/satisfaction guarantee, plug in only.

Note: I like everything about the Jetwell High Speed Hand Dryer, and almost put it in the Honorable Mentions section. But I live in Canada and want the Canadian certification. It looks like it has everything it needs for US installations.

 

FAQs About Quiet Hand Dryers

Here are a few of the questions that come up when people are considering purchasing a hand dryer.

 

Is there a quietest hand dryer?

The quietest one on this list is the modunful M-699S Automatic Hand Dryer at 40 decibels–about the sound of a babbling brook. But I cannot guarantee that it is the quietest. With the speed of technological change, there very well could be a quieter unit available. I have not seen one yet.

 

What are hand dryer noise levels?

The amount of noise hand dryers produce varies greatly. All of the dryers listed above are 80 decibels or less. One of them is rated at only 40 decibels. Quite a few of them are around 72 decibels–about the sound of your shower or dishwasher. But some hand dryers can produce up to 110 decibels. There is even one that tested at 121 decibels–as loud as an ambulance siren.

 

Are hand dryers tested at the source?

No. They are tested at a distance of 1 meter (approximately 40″). Which, to me, kind of defeats the purpose a little. Almost everyone–specially children–are inside the 40″ distance. Most of us probably stand less than 24″ away from the machine. 

 

Is there an absolute best hand dryer?

Probably not in any definitive way. People have different requirements. Some want quiet. Some want speed. Some want heat. Along with many other considerations, such as looks, color, energy efficiency, etc. So, as with many purchases a person might make, it usually comes down to personal priorities.

 

End Notes

Two years ago I would never have considered buying an electric hand dryer for our home. We have managed quite well with towels for many, many years. But with the Covid scare progressing quite nicely, it might be time to change my opinion. It would appear this thing is not going away any time soon–regardless of what we are told. And we do have visitors who are either concerned about giving us something, or catching something in our house. At the very least, it is only good manners to make everyone more comfortable by removing one potential concern–wet towels used by everyone in the house. 


Terry Schutz

I have worked as a contractor, sales person, and business owner in the construction industry for over three decades--mostly in home renovations and also as a home builder. I have been married to the same wife for 46 years. We have 3 children and 4 granddaughters. I have also been writing semi-professionally for about 20 years--construction articles, personal stories, and politically incorrect social commentary.


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