Having spent the past couple of years as an Airwrap girlie, I’ve felt pretty blessed when it comes to easy hair styling. I never—I repeat, never—owned a blowdryer prior to the Dyson, and suddenly my world changed when my stylist-slash-bestie gifted me one for Christmas (I know, she wins).
While I’ve recommended this magic-wand-for-manes to literally all of my friends, there’s no avoiding the perfectly-coiffed elephant in the room: she’s expensive as hell. The reality is, no matter how many ways I justify it (Cost per use! Unparalleled technology! Versatility! Confidence booster!), $600 just isn’t affordable for so many of us. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I could’ve stomached that sticker shock if I didn’t receive the Airwrap as a gift. Love you Dyson, mean it, but damn… it’s a lot!
Thankfully, these days there are a lot of alternative options, many of which retail for under-$100. While I’m the poster child for living beyond my means, I knew I needed to see which (exponentially) more affordable options were worth checking out.
While there’s only one product on this list that does everything the Airwrap does, the rest of these air-drying tools are iterations of round brush dryers and air curlers that make for pretty dang good Dyson Airwrap dupes depending on what you're looking for. Keep scrolling to learn more.
Best Dyson Airwrap dupes
The best of the best
This, dear readers, is the one you want if you're looking for the full suite of Airwrap styling options at less than half the cost. Not only does it provide you with the same features, but it also has a diffuser attachment, which I found to be a delightful addition (that also helped me discover my true hair texture!).
The design is sleek and beautiful, the curlers work at lightning-fast speed (I styled my long hair, wet-to-dry, in eight minutes), and the round brush is better than the Airwrap’s thanks to dual bristle types, which are a big improvement in the smoothing department.
While the Shark FlexStyle does provide the same primary functions (air-only curling vacuum, round brush dryer, blow dryer), the Dyson does include more attachments and accessories — two smoothing flat brushes, two long curler attachments, a Coanda smoothing dryer, a comb, a brush, a travel pouch, and a “presentation case” (storage box). It’s up to you to decide if those are worth an additional $300. Keep in mind that the diffuser is (as of now) exclusive to the Shark FlexStyle.
As mentioned, this is the only true Airwrap dupe of the same caliber. There are some knockoffs on sites like Shein and Amazon, but scrolling through even a handful of comments revealed stories of poor quality and faulty wiring that shocked (as in electrocuted) some reviewers, blew fuses, and caused fire hazards.
1. The air curler
If the Dyson curling wands were your main draw to the Airwrap, consider this styling tool from Conair. While it does not have the same functionality as the Airwrap, it does use cool air to bring the temperature down and protect your hair while using heated ceramic plates to style. The cool air also acts like the ‘cold shot’ on the hairdryer to set the curl.
Not only did I test this one myself, but I had my hairstylist come over and try it out as well. We were both fans. It worked quickly, it didn’t leave us with any heat damage, and it provided gentle but discernible beach waves or curls that lasted hours with just a little bit of hairspray.
2. The bargain find
The crowd-favorite round brush from Revlon has over 21,000 positive reviews on Amazon alone, so I knew this was going to be a solid option before I even plugged it in. To the surprise of no one, it really did deliver. And for less money than I spent on one (1) DoorDash meal delivery this week. The oval-shaped barrel is a little over four inches wide, which is honestly massive — and gives you enough surface area to create volume for a bouncy, 90s blowout. It’s also quite a bit bigger than the Airwrap round brush attachment, which most users (IMO) will benefit from.
Keep in mind, this is *way* bigger than most of the other tools out there, and it gets super hot compared to others, so if you’re concerned about heat damage, this might be something to be mindful of.
3. The salon-quality round brush
If you’ve got a little more room in your budget for a super smooth blowout and feel like all you need to do it is a round-brush dryer, opt for the amika. Again, like the other options on this list, it provides one specific feature and does not comprise the breadth of what the Airwrap offers, BUT, I think it does a better job at a round brush blowout than the Airwrap. With a 3.5-inch diameter barrel, it’s still bigger than the Airwrap round brush attachment, but slightly smaller than Revlon, which may give you more control over the style of your hair.
A friend of mine with a slightly different hair texture tested this one with me to add a little balance to the review, and she was just as pleased with the results. She’d been using the Revlon for the past few years and noticed a huge difference with the amika. “My hair has always been frizzy no matter what, so I didn’t think anything of the little bit of remaining frizz when using the Revlon, but there’s a LOT less frizz when I use the amika," she says. Probably the least amount of frizz I’ve ever had when blowdrying my hair. It also has several heat settings, most importantly a cool blast one!”
4. The stylist fave
If you want an even bigger barrel and the fastest dry of your life, look no further. This will take shoulder-length hair from just-out-of-the-shower-wet to dry-and-styled in five minutes, no exaggeration. One friend loved this so much when she tried it, she immediately went out and bought it herself.
The bristle structure on the sides of the oval creates a hold that helps you create a defined curl, while the flatter surface area adds smoothness and shine. The only negative feedback on this one is that the handle is pretty thick compared to the others.
This is one of the recommended tools by many stylists, including my own, who previously told Well + Good, “The Drybar tool helps you skip that extra step [of doing a rough dry before styling]. It’s super user-friendly, really good quality, and worth every penny.” It provides power without heat, isn’t as large and unwieldy as some of the other versions, and overall is an excellent tool that matches its heftier (yet way cheaper than Dyson) price tag.
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