Hand drying is an important part of hand hygiene. To dry hands effectively, hand washing is the EASIEST WAY to stop the chain of infection.
The conventional and healthcare-recommended way is to use disposable paper towels, but paper towels are neither cost-effective nor eco-friendly.
An alternative is cloth towels, but those can get mingy pretty quickly.
So, what else can we use to dry our hands? That’s right — hand dryers.
Innovations in hand dryer technology have also reduced the noise levels they usually produce at about 80 decibels dB!
Quiet hand dryers are a great and fun way to end a good hand washing session. With these top picks, you can wash up in an eco-friendly, hygienic, and quieter way!
The Top 7 Quiet Hand Dryers for Schools and Commercial Establishments
1. Penson and Co. Automatic Commercial Hands Free Electric Hand Dryer
Dimensions: 295mm x 2015mm x 56mm || Rated power: 0.95kW || Cost to run: $35/1000 dries || Noise: 72 dB || Dry time: 10 seconds
Not everything great comes at a price. This hand dryer is fairly inexpensive, relatively quiet, and dries quickly. Wind speeds of 95m/s allow for fast dry time and is great for quickly decongesting toilet rooms.
It has an absorbed filter that removes 99.7% of bacteria from exiting air. The automatic on/off feature also reduces bacterial transmission by eliminating any physical contact with the machine to finish the hand washing process.
These specially designed hand dryers are pre-installed with a noise reduction nozzle that reduce noise levels by 10 decibels. This makes it ideal for hospitals and restaurants.
It also has an elegant ABS cover to ensure safety from rust and damage, and it works well under harsh conditions.
Maintenance for this quiet hand dryer is also a piece of cake, which helps you reduce your running cost overall!
- Cheapest hand dryer using HEPA filtered air
- Fast dry time with HEPA filtered air
- Relatively compact
- Easy installment
- Wall-Mount Option
- Uses energy efficiently
- Noise reduction nozzle for quieter operation
- After a few months, the heating can become problematic, according to customers
- Reportedly quite loud if placed in a small room
2. Stiebel Eltron Galaxy Ultra Quiet Touchless Automatic Hand Dryer
Dimensions: 266mm x 175mm x 230mm || Rated power: 1.85kW || Cost to run: $233/1000 dries || Noise: 53 dB || Dry time: 30 seconds
This hand dryer is the QUIETEST hand dryer on this list. Its hand dryer noise readings are about 27 decibels lower than the average hand dryer.
- It uses infrared sensors to sense hand placement. Although it’s not pre-programmed with a definite run time, it automatically switches off when you remove your hands.
- The hand dryer also carries a brushless motor for better service life. It’s also built to last and saves energy.
- For areas with high traffic, the Galaxy model with a cast aluminum housing is recommended. If the area has light or medium, the rugged ABS polycarbonate is ideal.
This hand dryer can also come in three colors: alpine white, charcoal grey, and silver metallic.
Installation is also easy-peasy.
- Once the cover is removed, the wires are threaded in the units knock-outs located in the back
- It’s fully operational once the cover is removed
- Mounting is easy, too, because it can be surface mounted on the wall.
Overall, this hand dryer is QUIET and CONVENIENT!
- Quietest overall hand dryer
- Can run indefinitely, but takes 30 seconds to dry the hands
- Easy installation
- Long lasting
- Long drying time
- Relatively expensive for the design
3. Dyson Airblade V
Best Premium Pick
Dimensions: 394mmx 234mm x 100mm || Rated power: 1.6kW || Cost to run: $31/year || Noise: 79 dB || Dry time: 10 – 14 seconds
This chic hand dryer is aesthetically pleasing, environmentally conscious, and energy efficient at a moderate price range — what’s not to love?
It also doesn’t require heat to dry the hands, so it reduces electrical consumption. It quite literally scrapes moisture from the hands.
On average, it dries both hands independently in 12 seconds. Wet hands spread bacteria better, so with the quick dry time, there’s a reduced transmission window — and that’s BIG DEAL.
Dyson is also an accredited Quiet Mark hand dryer. Quiet Mark is an international awards program that encourages reducing the hand dryer noise level among appliances and everyday machines.
With this accreditation, what more can you ask for? This quiet hand dryer does NOT disappoint.
- Uses High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter
- Scrapes air from hands at 650km/h
- Reduced CO2 emissions – up to 80% less
- Can be made accessible to disable users
- Uses clean air
- Fast dry time
- Uses energy efficiently
- Easy to install
- Expensive on initial purchase
- Not the quietest
4. AIKE AK2630S Compact Automatic Hand
Best Service Life
Dimensions: 235mm x 250mm x 165 mm || Rated power: 0.55kW || Cost to run: $80/1000 dries || Noise: 76 d || Dry time: 15 seconds
Let’s jump right into the features:
- What’s cool about this hand dryer is that the machine only starts to heat air with temperatures below 25 degrees Celsius. Even with the heating option on, this eliminates the need to switch it off during the warmer seasons.
- The infrared sensor starts whenever your hands enter the hand dryer, and turn off when they exit. It can sense hand presence from 110-130mm.
- The constructed design follows a rugged AB polycarbonate that can hold its own when used extensively and protects it from everyday wear and tear.
- The compact design is useful for limited spaces and its strong airflow meets commercial standards. A 45-second window allotment is also integrated to protect it from overheating. For color, it comes in either as classic white or silver.
This hand dryer is considerably more inexpensive than other options on this list, and it’s up to 16 decibels quieter, too!
However, it’s not considered to be one of the high-speed hand dryers (it takes twice as long to dry your hands).
A noticeable trend in speedy hand dryers is they come with a fair amount of hair dryer noise. So if you think about it, being slow doesn’t sound so bad if quietness is what you’re after.
- Heat optional
- Comes with a 45-second overtime protection feature
- Quality infrared sensor
- Optional heating
- Long life expectancy
- Sensor may burn in the long run
5. Alpine Hemlock Automatic Hand Dryer
Dimensions: 13.5 x 8.6 x 17.4 inches || Rated power: 25,000 rpm || Cost to run: N/A || Noise: 75 – 80 dB || Dry time: 10 seconds
The best feature of the Alpine Hemlock Automatic hand dryer is its powerful drying time YET cost-efficient operation.
You’ll save 95% of costs on both paper towels and electricity, allowing you to save thousands of dollars per year!
With its infrared sensor, you’ll also have efficiency in your drying time, making the Alpine Hemlock Hand Dryer an ideal option for high-traffic areas.
Design-wise, the Alpine Hemlock Hand Dryer features an ultra-quiet motor and a polycarbonate structure to add durability and long service life.
Finally, installation of the Alpine Hemlock Hand Dryer is easy to do. It’s as simple as plugging it in.
HERE’S THE DOWNSIDE: The hand dryer itself is bulky, so it can be a bit heavy to carry during the installation process.
- Powerful motor makes it perfect for high traffic areas
- Polycarbonate structure adds durability and product stability
- 95% of savings on cost for both paper towels and electricity
- Energy efficient
- High durability
- Quick dry time
- Quiet motor
- 5-year warranty
- Easy installation
- Slightly expensive
- Bulky frame
6. Mitsubishi Dry Jet Towel
Dimensions: 700mm x 300mm x 219mm || Rated power: 1.25 kW || Cost to run: $256/year || Noise: 58-63 dB || Dry time: 11 seconds
This hand dryer is one of the FIRST high-speed hand dryers on the market.
Jet air travels at 235 km/hr in a blade-like fashion to wipe water away from the hands. It does this on both sides of the hands simultaneously. Its airflow force has also been reduced to prove a more relaxed drying experience.
With its Japanese household name and origin, one would expect nothing less than quality — and that’s exactly what this hand dryer delivers.
Even with the heater on, you only use a 3.5 watts power consumption level to dry your hands fully. Despite its quick dry time, this hand dryer is quiet.
Even with a relatively high decibel range of 64 dB, it’s one of the quiet hand dryers as evident with its Quiet Mark accreditation.
A unique feature of this hand dryer is its sensor detection for smaller hands. This makes it one of the ideal hand dryers for children.
The drain tank can hold up to 0.8L of water and is easily accessible from the side panels. It’s estimated that it can be used 300 times before needing to be emptied.
- Drain tanks keeps water off of floors
- High grade plastic covering can withstand high grade alcohol cleaning
- Comes in three different hand dryer models — slim, mini, and smart
- Low energy consumption
- Great engineering
- Low hair dryer noise output
7. Palmer Fixture HD0903-17 Hand Dryer
Dimensions: 8 x 11 x 12 inches || Rated power: 2,850 rpm || Cost to run: N/A || Noise: 55 dB || Dry time: 30 seconds
Coming in last on our list, the Palmer Fixture HD0903-17 is a basic hand dryer that’s relatively cheaper than most quiet hand dryers. The bulky frame and ABS plastic material make it fire-resistant and offer good stability.
The highlight feature of the Palmer Fixture hand dryer is its noise level. At only 55 decibels, it’s without a doubt, one of the quietest hand dryers you’ll come across.
Sacrificing power for noise, the Palmer Fixture hand dryer operates at only 1,800W of power. This is great if you’re thinking about energy costs, but in terms of drying time, you’re looking at an average of 30 – 35 seconds of dry time per person.
All in all, it’s a fair hand dryer. The slow dry time and low noise level make it ideal for areas with lower foot traffic and fewer people. That way, you can effectively save on energy costs and keep everyone sane from all the hand dryer noise too.
- ABS Plastic provides high grade fire retardant
- Proximity sensor with adjustable settings for sensitivity
- Brushless motor for quiet operation
- Ultra quiet operation
- Good stability
- Slow dry time
How Sanitary Are Air Hand Dryers?
One reason why healthcare professionals frown upon hand dryers, quiet or not, especially in public toilets, is bacteria on the push button and exterior.
Hand dryers with a push-button are counterproductive because of potential dirt buildup. So, a TOUCHLESS hand dryer with a motion sensor is more hygienic.
Another bacterial concern is air circulation, usually brought about by toilet flushing. To dry your hands with dirty, hot air is not ideal. To counter this, the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtered air hand dryers would be a good choice.
A HEPA filter is a very fine filter that traps organisms as small as 0.3 microns. For reference, the average size of E.coli, which is found in toilets, is 9.5 microns and S.aures, and the causative agent of MRSA is 0.5 microns.
So, HEPA filters keep bacteria from being whooshed onto your hands.
That being said, the following are the quiet hand dryers with HEPA filters:
- Dyson’s Airblade V
- Pricey, but carries cool technology, looks great, and is inexpensive to run. It also comes from a company with great products in general, so it’s fast to get used to even for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
- Penson and Co. Automatic Commercial Hands Free Electric Hand Dryer
- Budget-friendly, low noise level, and quick dry time. It’s not bulky, looks nice, and fairly inexpensive to run. Overall, it’s a GREAT option.
- The AIKE AK2630 Automatic Hand Dryer
- A bit more expensive, but also half the dry time. The heating is optional, but can be automatically accessed if room temperature fluctuates to a degree lower than normal.
Where Does the Air From Bathroom Hand Dryers Come From?
Hand dryers don’t just magically produce air to dry your hands. They have to draw in air from the atmosphere first.
After that, the hand dryer “exhales” the air at a high speed and pressure to dry your hands.
This functionality is why some people believe hand dryers contaminate your hands MORE than they clean them.
If a bathroom has an atmosphere filled with germs and bacteria from the toilets, it’s likely that the air that hand dryers use is contaminated as well.
DON’T WORRY: Like what we said in the previous section, it would be BEST to go for a hand dryer with HEPA filters! That way, you don’t have to worry about any bacteria coming from the hand dryer.
Important Qualities to Remember in Buying a Hand Dryer
No matter how inexpensive an item is upon purchase, a high running cost makes it all for naught. For example, a hand dryer can be rather inexpensive at initial purchase, but its estimated running cost might be expensive long-term.
Similarly, AIKE AK2630 Automatic Hand Dryer costs less than $100 per 1000 uses. It might not be likely your establishment will exceed 300 dries a day, so this estimate could be per week or less.
High Speed Hand Dryers
Quick dry time is an important factor because it can be inconvenient for hand dryers to take up to 30 seconds, especially with a queue.
Quiet Hand Dryers
Low decibel, quiet hand dryers are handy for restaurants, schools, libraries, and cafes. These are places where quiet is vital to make the place functional.
These two are the BEST quiet hand dryers on our list:
- If hand dryer noise is the biggest concern, then the Stiebel Eltron Galaxy Ultra Quiet carries the lowest decibels. The only issue is the 30 second dry time.
- If a fast and quiet hand dryer is what you want then Mitsubishi’s Jet Air Towel is for you. Its most quiet setting is at 58 decibels.
These quietest hand dryers are perfect pickups for those who absolutely need the lowest sound levels possible.
Hand dryer appeal can make or break whatever room it is in. Appearance can make a plain white toilet room glamorous.
If accessibility for the disabled is a primary concern, then look check out the Palmer Fixture hand dryer. Most Palmer Fixture hand dryers are American Association of Disability (ADA) compliant when installed at correct specifications.
Overall, the BEST hand dryer is all about preference and what needs you want to fulfill. Some prefer a nice-looking hand dryer for private use or have establishments with a certain aesthetic.
It’s also good to note there’s NO perfect quiet hand dryer that meets all the criteria.
Remember “quiet” is not synonymous with “silent.” These hand dryers all make noise. We are just after the hand dryers that are considerably more quiet.
Which Hand Dryer Is the Best?
With so many hand dryers on the market, choosing can prove to be a difficult task.
First, it’s good to take note of what you’re looking for in a quiet hand dryer.
You can ask yourself how important these hand dryer factors are:
- Noise level
- Initial cost vs. running cost
- Hand drying rate
- User compatibility
Second, reading more than one review and comparing them with each other is helpful.
Lookup a list of quiet hand dryers and look at the specifications you’re most interested in!
The Penson and Co. Automatic Commercial Hands Free Electric Hand Dryer is inexpensive, relatively quiet, and has an agreeable estimated running cost. It dries hands quickly, too, so it’s a top pick that does NOT disappoint.
Our second pick belongs to the Stiebel Eltron Galaxy Ultra Quiet Hand Dryer. Its quietness, long service life, and energy-saving features easily snag 2nd place.
Before you choose which quiet hand dryer to go for, be sure you take important consideration of the qualities to look for before buying a hand dryer.
We hope this article helped you find the best quiet hand dryer for your school or commercial spaces!
July 21, 2021 – updated article formatting and design
July 16, 2021 – updated product overview table
July 8, 2021 – updated 1 heading, removed 2 article links
June 25, 2021 – updated title and featured image, removed 1 article link, added 1 new section, fixed and updated article formatting and content, optimized content