Hand drying is an important part of hand hygiene. To dry your 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 that is neither cost-effective, nor eco-friendly.
An alternative is cloth towels, but those can get mingy pretty quickly. So, how can we dry our hands? That’s right – hand dryers.
Hand dryers are a great and fun way to end a good hand washing session. Innovations in hand dryer technology have reduced the noise it usually produces [about 80 decibels (dB)]. Now, washing up can be done in an eco-friendly, hygienic, and quieter way.
Our Top Quiet Hand Dryers
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 dryer is fairly inexpensive, relatively quiet, and dries quickly. Wind speeds of 95m/s allows for fast dry time and is great for quickly decongesting toilet rooms.
It has an absorbed filter that removes 99.7% 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.
The specially designed dryers are pre-installed with a muffle that reduce noise by 10 decibels. This makes it ideal for hospitals and restaurants.
It has an elegant ABS cover to ensure safety from rust and damage. It works well under harsh conditions and is easily maintained thereby reducing your running cost overall.
- Cheapest dryer using HEPA filtered air
- Fastest with HEPA filtered air
- Relatively compact
- Easy installment
- Wall-Mount Option
- Energy efficient
- After a few months, the heating can become problematic, according to customers
- Reportedly quite loud if placed in a small room
Dimensions: 266mm x 175mm x 230mm
Rated power: 1.85kW
Cost to run: $233/1000 dries
Noise: 53 dB
Dry time: 30 seconds
This dryer is the quietest hand dryer on this list. Its noise readings are about 27 decibels lower than the average hand dryer.
It uses infrared sensors to sense hand placement. Although it is not pre-programmed with a definite run time, it automatically switches off when you remove your hands.
The dryer also carries a brushless motor for better service life. It is also built to last and saves energy. For areas with high traffic, the Galaxy model in cast aluminium housing is recommended. If the area has light or medium, the rugged ABS polycarbonate is ideal.
Choosing this dryer can also come in three colours: alpine white, charcoal grey, and silver metallic. The Alpine Hazel Automatic Hand Dryer also carries a similar appearance.
Installation is simple. Once the cover is removed, the wires are threaded in the units knock-outs located in the back. It is fully operational once the cover is removed. Mounting is easy, too, because it can be surface mounted on the wall.
- 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
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, energy efficient, and moderately priced – what’s not to love?
It does not require heat to dry the hands, so it reduces electrical consumption. And 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 is a reduced transmission window.
Dyson is also an accredited Quiet Mark hand dryer. Quiet Mark is an international awards program that encourages reducing the noise level among appliances and everyday machines.
- 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
- High speed drying
- Energy efficient
- Easy to install
- Expensive on initial purchase
- Not the quietest
Best Service Life
Dimensions: 235mm x 250mm x 165 mm
Rated power: 0.55kW
Cost to run: $80/1000 dries
Noise: 76 dB
Dry time: 15 seconds
What’s cool about this 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 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.
Compared to the Alpine Hazel Automatic Hand Dryer, it is a dryer to consider in terms of price. It is also more inexpensive and 16 decibels lower. But it is not considered to be one of the high speed dryers (it takes twice as long to dry your hands). A noticeable trend in speedy dryers is they come with a fair amount of noise.
- 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
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 and cost-efficiency at the same time.
You’ll save 95% of cost in 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 an ideal option for high traffic areas.
Design-wise, the Alpine Hemlock features an ultra-quiet motor and a polycarbonate structure to add durability and a long service life.
Finally, installation of the Alpine Hemlock is easy to do. It’s as simple as plugging it in. The only downside is that the unit 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
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 dryer is one of the first high speed hand dryers. Jet air travels at 235 km/hr in a blade like fashion to wipe water away from the hands. And It does this on both sides of the hands simultaneously. Its airflow force has also been reduced to prove a more relaxed experience.
With its Japanese household name and origin, one would expect nothing less than quality – and that’s exactly what this dryer delivers.
Even with the heater on, you use only a 3.5 watts power consumption level to dry your hands fully. Despite its quick dry time, this dryer is quiet. Even with a relatively high decibel range, it is one of the quiet hand dryers as evident with its Quiet Mark accreditation.
A unique feature of this dryer is its sensor detection for smaller hands. This makes it one of the ideal handy dryers for children.
The drain tank can hold up to 0.8L of water and is easily accessible from the side panels. It is 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 models – slim, mini, and smart
- Low energy consumption
- Great engineering
- Low noise output
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 hand dryers. THe bulky frame and ABS plastic material makes it fire-resistant and offers good stability.
The highlight feature of the Palmer Fixture 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 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 quiet levels make it ideal for areas with lower foot traffic and less people. That way, you can effectively save on energy costs and keep everyone sane from all the 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
So, 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 on what you are looking for in a quiet hand dryer. How important is noise level, initial cost vs. running cost, hand drying rate, space, appeal, and user compatibility?
Second, reading more than one review and comparing said review to another is helpful. Look up a list of quiet hand dryers and look at the specifications that you are most interested in.
What You Should Consider: Hygiene
One reason why healthcare professionals frown upon hand driers, quiet hand dryer or not, especially in public toilets, is bacteria. Hand dryers with buttons are counterproductive because of potential dirt buildup. So, a touchless dryer 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, causative agent of MRSA, is 0.5 microns.
So, HEPA filters keep bacteria from being whooshed onto your hands. The following are the quiet hand dryers with HEPA filters:
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.
Budget friendly, low noise output, and quick dry time. It is not bulky, looks nice, and fairly inexpensive to run. Overall, it is a really good option.
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.
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, the Alpine Hazel Automatic hand dryer is rather inexpensive at initial purchase, but its estimated running cost is 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 dryers to take up to 30 seconds, especially with a queue. Penson and Co. dries hands in 10 seconds. The Palmer Fixture is also a quick and quiet dryer that claims to dry hands in 8 seconds at only 63.5dB.
Quiet Hand Dryers
Low decibel dryers are handy for restaurants, schools, libraries, and cafes. These are places where quiet is vital to make the place functional.
These are two of the quietest hand dryers:
If 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
If accessibility for the disabled is a primary concern, then look into Palmer Fixture hand dryers. Most Palmer Fixture units are American Association of Disability (ADA) compliant, when installed at correct specifications.
Overall, it’s all about preference and what needs you want to fulfill. Some prefer a nice looking dryer for private use or have establishments with a certain aesthetic.
It is also good to note there is no perfect quiet hand dryer that meets all the criteria. Remember “quiet” is not synonymous to “silent.” These dryers all make noise. We are just after the dryers that are considerably more quiet.
With that in mind, here are some clear winners.
Our Preferred Pick
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. Its price is midrange for the lower tier, in between AIKE and the Alpine Hazel.
Our second pick belongs to the Stiebel Eltron Galaxy Ultra Quiet Hand Dryer. It’s quietness, long service life, and energy-saving features easily snag the top 2 place.
Before you choose which hand dryer to go for, be sure you take important consideration of the qualities to look for before buying a hand dryer. I hope this article helped you find the best quiet hand dryer for commercial spaces.