There is a lot of speculation amongst the washroom world around the ongoing Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels debate. For a long time, there have been two main points covered in the argument:


  • Hand dryers are great for efficiency and value for money but can be noisy, and the hot air blows germs around the room.

  • Paper towels collect and keep hold of germs, but they cost too much, both in re-stocking and waste disposal.


Now though, as modern hand dryers get more technologically advanced and paper towels remain stuck in their ways, the tables are turning rather quickly towards Hand Dryers taking the crown in the long-standing debate.

With high speed dryers, like the Dyson Airblade, and low energy dryers like the XLERATOReco® – the hand dryer world is quickly advancing their offerings to not only quicken their drying times with every release, but also cut down on germs, use less energy and reduce noise pollution.


Swab Test


A recent study by students of the University at Buffalo, New York, showed that “High-speed hand dryers are cleaner, more environmentally friendly and save a bundle over time”.

Equipped with blow torches and cotton swabs, the students headed to the bathroom to collect bacteria samples, and discovered that six times more bacteria grew on paper-towel dispenser push-and-crank handles than on the Dyson Airblade which was in the washroom they tested. As well as this, the life cycle of each product shows that the Airblades produce 42% less carbon dioxide and cost less than $28 (£16.51) per year in energy consumption, in comparison to the paper towels, which cost in excess of $900 (£530.79) per year to restock alone.


The future of hand drying

People tend to hand a pre-conception of hand dryers that they are all dirty – this is mainly due to their humble beginnings carrying through to the modern equivalents, although it is mostly untrue.

Old hand dryers are renowned for being dirty, because… they were. Touch activated buttons and no anti-bacterial coatings combined with very warm air and no sign of filters anywhere made for undoubtedly unhygienic drying solutions.

Now though, this is all behind us. Modern dryers have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, which is something that cannot be said of paper towels. Modern dryers are, rightly so, tackling all the points that previously dragged them down in the washroom war.



Automatic dryers are nothing new, and not really anything impressive, although when it comes to tackling germs in the washroom, the no-touch-revolution is one that has greatly cut down on the spread of germs and made hand dryers that little bit cleaner.


Anti-bacterial coatings

Certain modern dryers are equipped with some form of anti-bacterial coating, such as Steritouch which is present on Airforce hand dryers. These coatings instantly defuse and break down any germs that land on the dryer within seconds, so that even if you do happen to touch it – you’re neither contracting or spreading germs.


Cold air

A lot of hand dryers are starting to cotton on to the benefits of cold air dryers, both from an environmental and a bacterial point of view. Cold air doesn’t bode well with bacteria, as they’d much prefer a warm, damp, setting. Not only is it just as effective at drying your hands if directed efficiently, but it can also drastically cut down energy usage compared to older, weaker, hot air models.



Whilst Dyson are leading the charge with anti-bacterial filters, with their top of the range HEPA-filters fitted into the Dyson Airblade range, there are other companies making greater use of air filters, which control the amount of bacteria being sucked in, and in turn control the amount of bacteria being blasted onto your hands – all whilst taking bacteria out of the air in the process.


Modern hand dryers are always advancing. Getting quicker, more efficient, powerful, technologically advanced and most importantly – hygienic.  You can view our full range of hand dryers we sell at Direct365, or call our support team on 0800 612 9288 who will only be too happy to help.


While you’re here you may also want to check out Paper Towels vs Hand Dryers: The Long Feud and Which Hand Dryer is Best for You? blogs.

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