Why the difference in hand dryer price?

Why the difference in hand dryer price?

When you’re looking to buy a hand dryer, the cost of it may be an influencing factor. When you look at the price range it can start from around £50 right up to the £1,000 mark!  This can seem very daunting, especially because it is such a wide spectrum.

There’s a sliding scale based on a number of factors including performance, motor life, enhanced features, manufacture and brand; the price will be reflected in all this. This post helps you understand the reasons behind the varying prices.

An example of what you get as hand dryer price increases

Prices are ex VAT, not including sale price and correct at time of posting.

What determines the price of a hand dryer?

Motor life

One of the first things we look at when we are pricing a hand dryer is its expected motor life and build quality. You may see a cheaper hand dryer advertised on other websites saying it is suitable for buildings which have high use, yet in reality the motor life is not up to the job.

Make sure you’re checking what the motor life is as you don’t want to be putting something in an airport which is only suitable for a small office.

We make sure we know the motor life hours of our products and recommend suitability based on low traffic (under 100 uses a day), medium traffic (100 to 300 uses a day) and high traffic (300+ uses a day). They will, of course, need other parts maintaining throughout the life of the motor, but the motor life hours give a good indication of which type of location it should be placed in.

There are also different types of motor in certain hand dryers; a brushed motor or a brushless motor. A brushless motor is superior to those found in most other hand dryers. These motors carry a number of advantages including no need to maintain brushes that wear over time, greater efficiency using less energy per rotation, quieter operation and increased lifespan.

The motor life is of course only one aspect of the price. For example the Dryflow® EliteDryflow® Elite MK 2 and Dryflow® Classic PLUS II both have the longest motor life in the world (up 10-20 times longer than other leading hand dryer brands), yet others have higher specs and additional factors which effect the overall price.

You’ll tend to find that as the price goes up with the better quality of motor, so does the guarantee period, giving you extra peace of mind for your money.

Superior Features

There are a number of different features on a hand dryer which can have an impact on price.  The better the spec, the higher the cost price, therefore a higher retail price.  As with a longer motor life, you are of course getting more for your money.

Blade style

A blade style hand dryer tends to be of a higher price than a “hands under” type due to the design and technology these come with as standard. They have their own water catching facilities, protecting walls and floors from residual water.

On the whole they’re made for medium to high use locations, with the exception of the Jet Force Junior which provides all the enhanced features and high speed drying of the more expensive models, yet at a comparatively cheaper price. This is due solely to the fact the motor life in these is made for low traffic locations.  The bonus of this is if you have a low use facility, yet want all the features of a top of the range blade style hand dryer, then you can have it a lower price and still get years of service out of the motor.

HEPA Filter

There are certain hand dryers which come with a standard filter, which preserves the motor and other working parts by protecting them from dirt and particles.  There are enhanced filters included which are of HEPA quality such as those in the Dyson hand dryer range, with test certificates which show they remove 99.9% of bacteria and particles from the air taken into the unit.  This ensures a cleaner airflow exits the unit and onto the hands.

Hand dryers with a HEPA filter include in the blade style Jet Force Junior, Jet Force ProStealthforce® Plus Dryflow® Vapordri and D-Flow Eco.  There are also units in the “hands under” variety which include the Dryflow® Viper and Dryflow® EcoSlim.

The Jet Force Junior and Stealthforce PLUS also have internal UV lights which act periodically on the HEPA filter, sanitising it at regular periods.  Although the Turboforce Junior PLUS doesn’t have a HEPA filter, it does have this UV capability to internally cleanse the inside of the hand dryer.

High speed

The main point of a hand dryer is to dry the hands. Therefore, there’s always going to be a higher price in each category on the units which do this faster.  There’s a handful of hand dryers that can actually dry in around 10-12 seconds so be careful when reading documented dry times on websites as some manufacturers seem to be a little misleading with how their machine actually performs.

We test all our units and show the actual dry times via video. We want to make sure you’re actually getting the performance you’re expecting.

Adjustable settings and intelligent heating system

The majority of hand dryers now come with the option to run the unit without heat and/or adjust the speed of the motor reducing the energy consumption of an energy efficient product even further.  In modern hand dryers, the drying time is less reliant on heat evaporation and more on the speed of the airflow.  It’s however useful to have an option to have the heater element running occasionally during the year, especially during the colder months for user comfort.

Some units have the ability to switch off the heater element but you’re relying on someone to turn the heater element on and off when required. With an intelligent heating system, the unit will automatically add heat to the airflow if the temperature of the room drops below 25C. Therefore, energy use is only increased automatically when it is actually needed, making greater energy savings over the year.

Quiet Mark accreditation

Lower noise hand dryers are sometimes required in certain locations due to the nature of the building or the type user of the facility such as small children.  Some have the ability to reduce the motor speed at a setting to quieten the noise level. There’s always going to be a trade-off between lowering the noise and increasing the dry time somewhat, as a reduction in motor speed is necessary to do this. However, there are quiet hand dryers which take forever to dry the hands, and there are ones that are quieter yet still do the job they were intended to do without disappointing the user.  Hand dryers accredited by the Quiet Mark have been put through 3rd party testing to show they are some of the quietest in their class, with the award again showing you are getting what you’re paying for when you want a good performing, low noise hand dryer.

Enhanced installation methods

The G-Force MKII Hand Dryer is a great example of how plug and play hand dryer installation has made life easier for facilities managers and contractors alike.  It allows a first fix install of the electrical back plate, which means electrical contractors can get in and out without worry about getting in the way of other trades.

It also allows anyone to safely remove and replace the main unit at any time without waiting for anyone electrically competent to be booked in and paid for.  So, should a fault occur, or indeed you want to upgrade to the latest model, the whole process is sped up.  More information about this can be read here.

There are also hand dryer taps which allow the install of a hand dryer at the actual sink so that people don’t have to move when they’ve washed their hands; soap, water and hand drying all over the sink.  This frees up a lot of time and space in the washroom.

Manufacture and branding

There’s the factor of where the hand dryer is manufactured as to what price it comes at.  Dyson Airblade hand dryers and Mitsubishi Jet Towel hand dryers are made to the highest standards and performance so you would expect to pay a higher price for these.  You really know you’re buying a superior product with these with all the research and development that goes into them, this alone is reflected in the price as they have to recuperate the costs they have spent on the design.

Remember, these are coming from large corporations where hand dryers are not their only product in manufacture.  Therefore, there will be a lot more overheads to pay by these companies than say a smaller, yet specialised in hand dryer making factory, which still produces products with the same quality and performance.

There are some really well built and good performing hand dryers that perform just as well as these more established brands. The European factories are producing some of the best hand dryers on the market and because of shorter distances to import products to the UK, the savings can be reflected in the retail price.

A lot of hand dryer production is in China. There are some cheaper Chinese imports which may only have a short motor life that can be sold cheaper at retail. However, not every Chinese model is cheap, there are some really good manufacturers out there, but again importing distance can have an effect on price.

Hopefully this gives you an indication of why one hand dryer is priced differently to another and what to look out for when comparing hand dryer price. We are always available to advise you on which unit is the best depending on your own unique facility, requirements and budget.


For more information or for help in finding your ideal hand dryer, please contact us on 0114 3540047, use our contact us page by clicking here or click to visit the website.  You can also use our Intelligent Search Tool that helps you identify the perfect dryer for your location by clicking here

In the trade? Don’t forget we can set you up with a trade account for your purchases.

We have wholesaler, contractor, public sector and charity discounts available, please don’t hesitate to ask or find out more information by clicking here.

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