Bonnet dryer vs. Hooded dryer - What's the Difference Anyway?

by Stephanie Sanchez
[ Veteran Hair Coach and Stylists ]

In the 1950s saw a surge in new hooded hairdryers in the salons and bonnet hair dryers for home use.  Over the years these expressions have gotten a bit mixed up. In fact, my boss and I debated for days about the meaning of it all when preparing this article.

So for better understanding and clarity in this article, we will stick to that original idea.

Hooded hair dryers were synonymous with hard plastic covered dryers used in salons.   Were as bonnet hair dryers are soft and flexible, light and portable for at-home use.

These days we tend to use bonnet and hood dryer interchangeably.  For this reason, we need to specify when talking about a hard or soft bonnet dryer. 

Interestingly a large number of people say bonnet dryers when they are referring to hooded dryers used at home whether hard or soft

So let's guide you in deciding which is the ultimate best dryer to buy.

Pros & Cons of Bonnet Hairdryers


  • Comfortable to use Bonnet hair dryers are comfortable to use since you can move around a little during the drying hair. You do not have to be absolutely still and sit in a straight position the entire time. ​
  • Transportable lightweight super compact and ultra-portable, you can bring them anywhere, and you will have your stunning hairstyle as usual.​


  • A common complaint about bonnet dryers attachments that attach to your handheld hairdryer, is that they get hot on your ears. Slides off your head if you don't have a chin strap.​

  • Self-contained bonnet dryers also can get hot but have vent holes around the hairline for better heat ventilation. The hose on these units heats up so you’ll want to have clothes on while you are drying.​

Bonnet Hood Hair Dryer Attachment

  • Large Bonnet Size to hold most rollers- 9 Inches Long, 15 inches wide,
  • 40-inch hose for mobility,
  • Adjustable Drawstring and Chin strap to ensure the cap stays
  • strategically holes for even airflow and distribution
  • Storage Bag included 
  • made with waterproof material 
  • Hand washable.
  • Attaches to most Standard Hand Held Dryers

Andis 500-Watt Professional Bonnet Hair Dryer, Black (80610)

  • Ionic technology dries hair faster with less frizz than non-ionic bonnet dryers. 
  • The frequency is 60 Hz while the voltage is 125 volts
  • 2-speed / 2 heat settings 
  • 40" flexible hose 
  • Convenient storage case
  •  4.3 pounds

Conair Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer

  • 400 watts
  • 4 heat/speed settings including a cool setting
  • Bonus Hot Air Vent Brush attachment for smooth, straight styles
  • Extra-large soft bonnet fits over jumbo rollers;
  • A drawstring secures bonnet in place 
  • Compact storage case with handle great for travel
  • Extra-long 4-foot flexible hose with "Easy-Lock" feature
  • 2.6 pounds

Pros & Cons of Hooded Dryers


  • Hooded dryers are more durable than the soft bonnet dryers.​
  • Portable hard bonnet dryers are not as resistant to years of use as a standing/rolling hood dryer but are more economical and more convenient to store. ​
  • Rolling or stand up hooded hair dryers are even more resistant to wear and tear. Since these have a rolling base, they can be moved around to any area you need it.​
  • Rolling hood dryers also have ample adjustment so they can be used with just about any chair or even while you sit on the couch or favorite recliner. ​
  • Freestanding hood dryers have longer electrical cords than their tabletop counterparts.​
  • Rolling hooded dryers are quieter than the tabletop hooded dryers.​
  • Standing hood dryers offer more heat adjustment on professional hooded dryers you are sometimes given an airspeed control as well.​


  • Tabletop Hooded hairdryers you are limited in where you can put them. And many times the cord is not very long.​
  • Rolling self-standing hooded dryers can be top-heavy and fall over if you are not careful.​
  • Hooded dryers are more expensive than bonnet dryers​
  • With hooded dryers, you need to remain still during your drying sessions.​

Conair Pro Style Hard Bonnet Tabletop Hair Dryer

  • 7.2 pounds
  • 1875 watts for powerful drying
  • Extra-large hood accommodates jumbo rollers
  • Variable airflow settings 
  • Even airflow distribution
  • Adjustable height
  • 2 heat/speed settings
  • Carry handle
  • 6-foot long cord stores in base

Adjustable Hooded Stand Up Rolling hard Bonnet Hair Dryer

  • 20 pounds
  • 300 watts
  • Swivel hood with an adjustable front visor 
  • large hood accommodates even the largest rollers.
  • Deep Of The Hood: 20".
  • Temperature can be adjusted from 0 to 75℃, 
  • Timing 0~60 Minutes.
  • Adjustable Height: min. 48" - max.63"

In Conclusion

Both hooded and Bonnet hair dryers can help you achieve straight or curly hair, without the harsh effects of direct heat. 

However,  it is always recommended to use thermal heat protectants whenever applying heat to your hair.

So which one wins in your opinion? Let us know what you think

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