Which plug adapter will I need when using a hair dryer in The United Kingdom?

Bringing a hair dryer on a trip abroad? Advice for those visiting The United Kingdom and bringing a hair dryer.

UK power outlet

Can I use my hair dryer in The United Kingdom?

First check your hair dryer can work in The United Kingdom:

  • If your hair dryer can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair dryer will not fit.

If not then you can either:

Warning: If your hair dryer won't handle 230 volts used in The United Kingdom you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your hair dryer. Prior to using your hair dryer in The United Kingdom please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a hair dryer in The United Kingdom

Can I use my US hair dryer in The United Kingdom?

The instructions on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting The United Kingdom and provide guidance for using your US hair dryer with a UK power outlet.

Will my hair dryer work in The United Kingdom?

That will depend on if your hair dryer can handle the 230 volts used in The United Kingdom. If you're using either a dual voltage hair dryer or your hair dryer can handle 230 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you'll be able to use your hair dryer in The United Kingdom. If not then then you will need to consider bringing either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter [5], read our guide on can you use a power converter with your domestic hair dryer in The United Kingdom for help deciding which option is more suitable.

Best travel hair dryers for The United Kingdom

What to look for when choosing a hair dryer

A dual voltage switch on a hair dryer

What to look for when choosing a hair dryer

When choosing the best hair dryer for The United Kingdom look for a sturdy but lightweight dual-voltage dryer which operates with a 230 volt UK power outlet power outlet, has a long cable, a folding handle and a safety plug. If drying thick hair buy a dryer with a higher 1600+ watt motor and bundled diffuser.

The top 9 things to consider when purchasing a travel blow dryer

  1. Some hotel rooms might have a wall mirror installed some distance away from a convenient power outlet which could make it cumbersome to operate the blow dryer, therefore when buying a hair dryer search for the longest power cord possible or use either a hand mirror or extension cable.
  2. If you have curlier or thicker hair then you could require a blow dryer which has a more powerful motor - a high wattage ceramic model that has a diffuser will dry hair much faster, thereby preventing damage.
  3. It could be more convenient and cheaper to buy a dryer which includes both a diffuser and concentrator rather than scouring stores looking for more expensive 3rd party attachments.
  4. The safest travel hair dryers will include an 'ALCI' safety plug which minimises the danger of the motor overloading that could start a fire - you can idenfity models with the two reset and test switches.
  5. Suitable hair dryers for styling give control of the temperature and speed with low and high options; hotter faster speeds will dry thicker hair quickly whilst a lower temperature with a slower speed will reduce damage to your hair.
  6. Don't risk getting the cheapest travel dryer on the market; as well as concerns with safety there is also a greater risk that the dryer could fail during your trip abroad due to a poor construction.
  7. To function in The United Kingdom a travel hair dryer needs to support dual voltage.
  8. Try looking for a lighter travel hair dryer which is durable enough to survive being transported in luggage, models which have a folding handle mean more room for packing other items.
  9. The 'cool shot' feature on modern travel dryers will quickly cool down the hair after drying to hold in a style but this feature could be missing in more compact models.
What is the best compact dual voltage hair dryer with cool shot?

Berta Folding Hair Dryer with folding handle

What is the best compact dual voltage hair dryer with cool shot?

  • With a strong 2 speed 1875 watt motor and removable filter the Conair Compact Styler [7] features cool shot that can be used to quickly cool down hair to give a long lasting hold.
  • The Berta Folding Hair Dryer [6] also has a cool shot setting, a ceramic tourmaline air outlet resulting in faster and safer drying, two heat options, a longer 1.8 metre electric power cord and also comes with a concentrator.

Both models fold, include an ALCI power plug which prevents overloading and support dual voltage making them ideal for visiting The United Kingdom in carry on luggage if used along with a power adapter for a UK power outlet.

What is the best blow dryer for thick curly hair?

Thicker hair will take longer to dry and will be hard to dry without your hair going frizzy, the best option will be an ionic blow dryer and for curly thick hair use a diffuser as both are able to dry and manage hair smoothly without frizz. Either the X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [8] or a Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] are suitable as they both have powerful motors, ionic outlets and included diffusers - avoid buying a hair dryer with a motor that is less powerful than 1600 watts as it will struggle to dry thicker hair.

What is the best small ionic dual voltage hair dryer?

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium with folding handle

What is the best small ionic dual voltage hair dryer?

  • For quickly drying thin and fine hair on the go the 1200 watt ceramic Conair MiniPRO [10] is the most affordable small ionic blow dryer available to buy.
  • For a blow dryer which is lightweight and small enough to transport in a purse then the 10.5oz BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium [9] is recommend. Featuring a removable filter and tourmaline outlet that emits infrared heat for a glossy finish this dryer has options which are typically found with bulkier models.

Both of these mini hair dryers have dual voltage and when used with the right power adapter for a UK power outlet they will work in The United Kingdom and fold conveniently enough to be carried around all day for styling on the go. They have a 1.5 metre power cable, a two speed motor and include a concentrator.

What is the best dual voltage ionic hair dryer with diffuser attachment?

Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer with bundled diffuser and concentrator

What is the best dual voltage ionic hair dryer with diffuser attachment?

  • The X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [8] has a 1600 watt motor with a 1.65 metre electric power cord, it comes with a tourmaline diffuser but it is missing a cool shot feature.
  • A Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] features a long 1.82 metre power cable for greater freedom when drying with an ALCI power plug and a removable filter for cleaning. It also utilises a strong 1875 watt motor including a cool shot option making it more suited for drying thicker hair.

Both ionic hair dryers include a concentrator and diffuser attachment with strong motors to make them the most suitable travel hair dryers for thick hair. They are lightweight and will fold up to pack in a carry-on bag, only requiring a suitable power adapter for The United Kingdom to fit into a UK power outlet.

Best travel hair dryers for 2017

What is the best hair dryer for The United Kingdom?

Conair
MiniPRO
Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment
BaByliss
PRO
https://www.amazon.com/BaBylissPRO-Tourmaline-Titanium-Travel-Dryer/dp/B003QKL5YQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1506766914&sr=1-1&keywords=babyliss+pro+tourmaline+titanium+travel+dryer&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=42ac8156b2378ba326cc5bd3c1fbaccb
Conair
Compact
https://www.amazon.com/Conair-Compact-Folding-Handle-Voltage/dp/B00006IV22/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767106&sr=1-1&keywords=Conair+1875+Watt+Compact+Folding+Handle+Styler+/+Hair+Dryer+with+Dual+Voltage&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b7a9525a9878573b5912d116cbadea28
Berta
Folding
https://www.amazon.com/Berta-Folding-Voltage-Negative-Setting/dp/B06XWV3K4L/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767023&sr=1-1&keywords=Berta+1875W+Folding+Hair+Dryer+Dual+Voltage+Blow+dryer+Negative+Ions+Travel+Dryer+with+2+Heat+2+Speed+Setting&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=48f8830f8b22743bab2b92d60efe19ae
X5
Superlite
https://www.amazon.com/X5-Superlite-Voltage-Ceramic-Ionic-Travel/dp/B001FSK70Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=63c08ef699ac6c441e4c0862ebe99524
Hot Tools
1044
https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Tools-Professional-Ht1044-Folding/dp/B003A1DWRO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767312&sr=1-1&keywords=Hot+Tools+Professional+Ht1044+Ionic+1875+Watt+Travel+Dryer+with+Folding+Handle+and+Dual+Votage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e4d6cd8511a014951b16d43f9ec3a809
Class Mini Compact Compact with diffuser
Works in The United Kingdom Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Works in US Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual voltage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watts 1200 1000 1875 1875 1600 1875
Folds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ceramic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ionic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tourmaline Yes Yes Yes
Infrared Yes
Speed settings 2 2 2 2 2 2
Heat settings 1 1 1 2 1 1
Cool shot Yes Yes Yes
Removable filter Yes Yes
Concentrator Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Diffuser Yes Yes
ALCI safety plug Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cord length 1.52m 1.52m 1.52m 1.8m 1.65m 1.82m
Color
Cost Price Price Price Price Price Price

The United Kingdom power outlets

What is the mains voltage in The United Kingdom?

Power outlets in The United Kingdom are 230 volts.

What frequency is used in a UK power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current in a UK power outlet is 50 Hz.

Which power adapter will you need when using a hair dryer in The United Kingdom?

Type G power outlets are used in The United Kingdom. The wall socket (technically called a type G power outlet) can be recognised by 3 vertical rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and earth. A recommended plug adapter to bring when using a 230 volt hair dryer in The United Kingdom is a Type G plug adapter [4], read the step by step instructions below for full details of how to use a travel adapter for The United Kingdom. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage hair dryer you might also have to bring a power converter.

Which power adapter will you need when using a hair dryer in The United Kingdom?

Dual voltage hair dryers

How should you switch a dual voltage travel hair dryer?

  1. Normal dual voltage hair dryers have either a switch or dial which changes between two ranges of voltages although some hair dryers are capable of automatically detecting the voltage from a UK power outlet.
  2. This switch or dial normally requires a small screwdriver or coin to change the hair dryer to the right voltage between a 220v-240v range or the 110v-120v range.
  3. As well as switching this it's worth jotting down the 2 switch positions as the painted numbers can occasionally rub off on some models.

How should I use a dual voltage blow dryer in The United Kingdom?

  1. First ensure that you are have a dual voltage hair dryer and that it will work with a 230 volt power outlet.
  2. If your dryer supports dual voltage then make sure that it is set to work in the 220-240V range. This is usually found on the base or handle of the blow dryer and requires a screwdriver or coin to switch.
  3. Plug your dryer into the correct power adapter for The United Kingdom and also plug in the power adapter into the UK power outlet.
  4. It's normal for a majority of travel hair dryer models operating within the 220-240 volt range to only work safely on a low speed setting - however the temperature should still be adequate enough for drying hair. Always check the manufacturers instructions to see if this is applicable for your model of hair dryer to prevent overheating.
  5. The dryer is now ready to be used with a UK power outlet.
Is my hair dryer dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair dryer

Is my hair dryer dual voltage?

A simple way to tell if your hair dryer can accept dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or the handle. This location might vary depending on the make and model of your hair dryer and could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other hair dryers will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage hair dryer. If this number matches the 230 volts used in The United Kingdom then you should be able to use your hair dryer with a UK power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage hair dryer which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 230 volts used in a UK power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair dryer then you should be able to use it in The United Kingdom.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage hair dryer capable of being used in The United Kingdom or any other country.

Travelling to The United Kingdom with a hair dryer

Do hotel rooms in The United Kingdom have hair dryers?

Hotel hair dryer

Do hotel rooms in The United Kingdom have hair dryers?

Depending on the hotel or bed and breakfast and class of the accommodation a hair dryer could be available in the room, either packed away in a bedroom cupboard, drawer or wardrobe, found attached to a bathroom wall or could potentially be a slower air hose variety. In budget hotels, motels and hostels a shared hair dryer might be available at reception but might involve waiting in turn for other guests. If you are uncertain as to hotel hairdryer availability you can either check on the hotel web site or telephone your hotel in The United Kingdom to find out if a suitable hairdryer available to guests. Hair dryers found in hotels are adequate but are normally basic models with no diffuser and notorious for low heat and slower air speeds. For those concerned with hygiene should check for burnt hair from other guests on a shared hair dryer as the hotel room service might not have removed it when cleaning the room.

For travellers who don't want to take a chance that a suitable and hygienic hair dryer is available should put their mind at rest by bringing their own Dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or call ahead to the hotel in The United Kingdom to check before travelling.

Can you carry on a hair dryer in your luggage?

Folding travel hair dryer with cord wrapped for carry on

Can you carry on a hair dryer in your luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair dryers [13] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered hair dryer in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline who is taking you to The United Kingdom will allow blow dryers onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing the blow dryer in a dedicated heat resistant protective travel hair dryer case [14] leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cords tightly around electronic items such as blow dryers). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive hair dryers in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Is it safe to bring my domestic hair dryer to The United Kingdom?

Packing a dual voltage travel hair dryer is preferable to packing an existing hair dryer to The United Kingdom (marked with 'For domestic use only') as it ensures that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a UK power outlet (as long as you bring the correct power adapter for The United Kingdom). Travel hair dryers normally feature a folding handle and are much lighter which will help reduce the size and weight in travellers luggage compared to bringing a domestic blow dryer.

Be aware that packing an expensive domestic hair dryer might place it at risk due to potential loss or damage in transit by a baggage handlers. The cost and inconvenience of repairing or replacing an expensive quality hair dryer in The United Kingdom might be more than buying a cheaper dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] with a suitable travel hair dryer case [14] before setting off .

Power converters for The United Kingdom

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter?

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter [15] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair dryer to slot into a power outlet in The United Kingdom, but a heavy and bulkier power converter [5] converts the voltage of 230 volts from a UK power outlet to work with a non-230 volt hair dryer.

Can I use a power converter with a normal hair dryer in The United Kingdom?

A suitable voltage transformer [5] (or power converter) will allow your hair dryer using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in The United Kingdom. A power converter is suitable for travellers wishing to use their existing domestic hair dryer, however it can be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel hair dryer [2]. In addition, a travel hair dryer can be considerably lighter than a power converter making a travel hair dryer more suitable for packing.

How to use a hair dryer in The United Kingdom using a type G power adapter

How to power a hair dryer in The United Kingdom using a three pronged Type G travel charger.

  1. Please check that your blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair dryer or blow a fuse. Travel blow dryers sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the hair dryer ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts, consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to use a Type G plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your hair dryer isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in The United Kingdom. The power adapter is designed to convert different plugs from other countries for an electrical outlet in The United Kingdom simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair dryer to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by taking the Type G plug adapter and plugging it into the UK power outlet. This wall outlet (known as a Type G power outlet [3]) can be recognised by 3 vertical rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and earth.
  4. Plug in the hair dryer into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the UK power outlet. The hair dryer should now be ready to use.
How to use a hair dryer in The United Kingdom using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom - UK Wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Tools-Professional-Ht1044-Folding/dp/B003A1DWRO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767312&sr=1-1&keywords=Hot+Tools+Professional+Ht1044+Ionic+1875+Watt+Travel+Dryer+with+Folding+Handle+and+Dual+Votage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e4d6cd8511a014951b16d43f9ec3a809 - dual voltage travel hair dryer
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeG.htm - Type G power outlet
  4. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage
  5. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts
  6. Berta 1875W Folding Hair Dryer Dual Voltage Blow dryer Negative Ions Travel Dryer - Ceramic tourmaline hair dryer with cool shot, two heat settings, 1.8m power cord and bundled concentrator
  7. Conair 1875 Watt Compact Folding Handle Hair Dryer with Dual Voltage - Budget 1875 watt 2 speed travel hair dryer, ALCI safety plug, removable filter and cool shot.
  8. X5 Superlite 1600W Dual Voltage Ceramic Ionic Travel Dryer - 1600 watt travel blow dryer with a 1.65 metre power cable, tourmaline diffuser and concentrator.
  9. BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer - 10.5 ounce dual voltage travel blow dryer small enough to carry in a purse including concentrator
  10. Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler - Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  12. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  13. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20dryer - TSA guidelines for hair dryers
  14. Hard case for travel hair dryer - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a hair dryer safely during travel in luggage.
  15. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter