What Size Inverter for a Hair Dryer?

By:Michael Johns

inverter to run hair dryer

Nobody enjoys having a bad hair day.

For some of us, the way our hair looks is important but keeping up your beauty regime can be a little tricky in an RV or caravan.

But with the correct inverter for your hair dryer you can be looking top-notch every day, no matter how far off-grid you go.

Before you buy an inverter, be aware that although they are small appliances they use a lot of power.

A hair dryer uses a motor and a heating element which can put a lot of stress on the wrong inverter and battery.

But don’t worry.

Together we’ll go through what size inverter for a hair dryer, the battery requirements, and look at the best inverters for hair dryers available today.

I hope this article will give you all the useful information and not a load of hot air (pun intended).

What Size Inverter for Hair Dryer?

A 2000 watt inverter will work for most domestic hair dryers but you should still check your requirements. You may need more power!

An average hair dryer uses between 800 and 2000 watts. This is a lot of power for such a small appliance. It’s the heating element that really sucks up energy. In fact, you might even be able to run a hair dryer at under 100 watts if just blowing cold air.

To be honest, a 1500 watt inverter will be the minimum size inverter you will need but for more powerful hair dryers you will need to step up to 2000 or 3000 watt inverters.

To know the minimum inverter size you will need you should check your hair dryer wattage and add 20%

How Many Watts is My Hair Dryer?

Let’s find out how many watts your hair dryer uses. You should be able to find this information on the technical specification or in the user manual. Sometimes it is even listed in the product title.

Another way to work out the wattage of any appliance is with a wattmeter. It’s a super handy device you can hook up to any electronics to get live power readings. Highly recommended if you use an inverter!

Once you find your hairdryer wattage you can then work out the best inverter size more accurately. Let’s say you have a 1600 watt hair dryer, you will need an inverter with at least 20% more wattage capacity.

You simply multiply 1600 x 1.2 = 1920 watts. So you’d be looking at around a 2000W inverter to run a 1600 watt hair dryer.

It’s a lot of power to run a hair dryer, so you might consider getting yourself a lower wattage travel hair dryer too. Then you could get away with a small inverter.

Does a Hair Dryer Need Pure Sine Wave?

A hair dryer is an inductive modernized appliance and you should use a pure sine wave inverter to run one.

A hair dryer will run using modified sine wave, but it will not run smoothly and risk damage. Your hair dryer won’t take kindly to the voltage steps of modified sine wave.

Pure sine wave will put less stress on your hair dryer, enable you to use it for longer, and reduce risk of damage. This is because it delivers a smooth flow of electricity that replicates the alternating current from the main grid. 

Best Inverter for Hair Dryers

Now you understand the requirements to run a hair dryer off an inverter, you can confidently look at the best options. I have shortlisted the best inverters for hair dryers for you to consider. All of these options offer at least 1500 watts pure sine wave output.

How Long Will an Inverter Run a Hairdryer?

If you’re wondering how long an inverter will run your hair dryer then you need to understand some basic information.

The length of time an inverter will run is based on the battery capacity and the appliance energy usage, in this case, the hair dryer. You need to work out how much energy your hair dryer will use and compare it to your battery supply.

Remember, your inverter will not always draw maximum load. For example, you might only draw 1600 watts from a 2000 watt inverter to run an appliance. Or if you’re only watching TV you might only be using 70 watts.

It can be a little confusing to work out so I have created this easy formula to work out runtime for 12V batteries and inverters.

(10 x battery capacity in amp-hours) divided by appliance load in watts = runtime.

So let’s say you have a 1600 watt hair dryer and a 200Ah battery (12V).

(10 x 200Ah) ÷ 1600 = 1.25 hours. 

A 200Ah capacity battery could run a 1600 watt hair dryer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

As you can see, a hair dryer can deplete big batteries pretty quickly. Of course, you won’t use it for over an hour, but you’ll still use a fair chunk of energy each time you power on.

Consider a Low Wattage Hair Dryer

It is not the best idea to use a normal home hair dryer with an inverter as they use a lot of power. This means you need a big inverter and plenty of battery capacity.

Many people prefer to use low wattage hair dryers specifically designed for travel. They are much smaller to pack, store, and carry plus can use less than 1000 watts. This means you could use a 1500 watt inverter with a low wattage hairdryer. Plus use a lot less energy!

Final Words on Inverter for Hair Dryer

We all love looking our best, even when traveling in a campervan or RV.

So having a hair dryer with you is really great, but they can use a ton of power. 

Don’t just plug into any old inverter as you could quickly cause an overload if it is too small or running other appliances. 

In my experience, you will need at least a 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter for travel hair dryers and 2000 watts or more for home hair dryers.

Plus make sure you have ample battery capacity to keep things running, you don’t want to run out mid blow dry.