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Confused about voltage converters for hair dryer.

I have a Bespoke hairdryer that is about 10 years old. The label says: Ratings: 120V - 60mz. I have been told that I need a voltage converters for my hair dryer, which is different from an adapter.

We are going to Italy France, Switzerland and Denmark. I already have adapters for those countries, but I don't understand about voltage conversion.

I'm seeing reviews on Amazon for high quality voltage converters (Ceptics), but people's hair dryers are still getting burned out.

This is what I have:

Could someone explain this to me, and recommend what they use? Thank you!

Posted by
4806 posts

...I don't understand about voltage conversion.

A voltage converter changes the voltage in Europe (240 volts) to a lower voltage such as 120 which is used in the U.S. However, unless you have a super high quality one there is still the possibility of overloading your dryer. And or mess up the electrical system in the building. In short, using converters and adapters together is, in my opinion, a bad idea and not something I would do.

Since your dryer is for 120 volts only, it probably has a bit of age on it. It would be much safer to just buy a new 120-240 volt dryer. On the other hand, almost every hotel in Europe has a hair dryer in the room.

Posted by
733 posts

Most of the hotels we’ve stayed in have hair dryers in the room or one available for use. You can always check with hotel, a lot easier than dealing with the US ones that are notorious for burning up in Europe.

Posted by
545 posts

The Amazon link you provided is for a set of plug adapters only. The adapters do not convert the voltage. If you click on all the thumbnail pics in the description, it clearly states that the plugs do not convert voltage.
I agree with the recommendation to just use the dryer provided at your hotel.

Posted by
804 posts

On our last trip, I used the hair dryers provided by the hotels, and they were perfectly fine. A positive to that is it's one less thing to pack and lug around on vacation. But if you do not want to do that, just research and purchase an inexpensive dual voltage blow dryer. There are plenty of options on Amazon.

Posted by
6280 posts

I agree with the others. I've been traveling to Europe for 30+ years and have yet to find a hotel, pension, B&B, apartment, AirBnb that did not have a hair dryer for me to use. But if you feel you need to bring one along, I would suggest waiting till you get to Europe and buying one there.

Posted by
649 posts

The key number when looking at the specs for a voltage converter is wattage - hair dryers typically consume approximately 2,000 watts, which is twenty times the power consumed by one 100 watt incandescent bulb ( remember those?]. So you need a converter capable of reducing the voltage from the European 220v to your 120v dryer, but also capable of delivering 2,000 watts of power. As you've seen from the Amazon reviews, even a converter advertised at 2,000 watts has poor results with hair dryers.

A voltage converter truly up to the job would weigh much more than you would ever want to carry. Plus it would be expensive - probably much more than the dual voltage travel dryers on Amazon.

So if you really want to bring your own, purchase a new travel dryer. Or follow the advice given above and just use the dryers provided at most lodgings.

Posted by
592 posts

I have had a Conair dual voltage travel hair dryer for ten years. I use it at hotels that have dryers that are attached to the bathroom wall. That way, I can be drying my hair while others are using the bathroom.

Posted by
11167 posts

recommend what they use?

the one the lodging provides.

As already noted it would be easier to buy a dryer there than to lug around a voltage converter, assuming you find one that will function properly with your current dryer

Posted by
14 posts

What are some recommendations for charging phones & portable chargers? I assume you would need a voltage converter for them?

Posted by
6280 posts

Flo, no, most tech stuff now, including phones and chargers, has dual voltage and automatically changes. So all you need is an adaptor.

Posted by
23250 posts

For the hair dryer --- LEAVE IT HOME !!!! Either use the hotel dryers or buy a dual voltage in the US. Hair dryers or anything that has a heating element a lot of juice - voltage to work well. Even a dual voltage will not work as well in Europe as at home.

Posted by
7272 posts

Flo, get a strong light source and look at the small print labels on your chargers. You will probably see that they say "100-240 V, 50-60 Hz". That would mean you only need a plug/prong adapter, not a voltage converter. My cheap toothbrush charger does not say that, however.

Posted by
321 posts

If you go, read the boxes on hairdryers, etc. it will tell you not to use them with voltage converters. They don’t generally work. So yes, what happens as they blow up.

I use a brush hairdryer combo. I just bought one in Europe

Posted by
11139 posts

Use the hotel’s hair dryers or buy one in IN EUROPE with correct voltage requirements. When you get home, put the new European hair dryer away with your luggage for your next

Posted by
699 posts

We typically stay in airbnbs. There has been a hairdryer for use in all of them. I would leave yours at home-space saving and weight-and see if you can get by. Check the places you’ve reserved to see if hairdryer is mentioned. If not, email the establishment and see if they can provide one.

My husband is the one who uses the hair dryer and wants there to be one. I have very thick hair, takes a time to dry, don’t use the hairdryer but try to towel dry my hair as much as I can and then if it’s still damp when I leave the apt., I know it will dry fast enough. I realize, my styling needs could be much different from yours, but I’ve managed to do okay. I do have a shorter quite casual hairstyle!!

If you really feel the need, you can get reasonably priced hair dryers there.