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Buying a hand dryer - selection guide

This article will help you understand the four most important hand dryer considerations when selecting a bathroom hand drying solution including an Interactive Hand Dryer Selection Guide. By the end you will have increased your confidence in being able to select the right bathroom hand dryers for your needs.


Buying a Hand Dryer Guide Overview


1. Bathroom Cleaning - who does it and why it can influence your choice of hand dryer. (2 mins)

2. Current Hand Drying Situation - starting with what you’ve got now, helps determine what problems need solving. (3 mins)

3. Bathroom Capacity Planning - knowing the volume of people using the bathroom isn’t as easy as it sounds! (5 mins)

4. Total Business Needs - looking at the whole business needs where there are multiple locations and calculate the total cost of ownership. (5 mins)

buying hand dryer vs hand towels



There are many different hand dryer options, but when it comes to bathroom cleaning, they all fit neatly into two categories depending on how your bathroom is maintained. When you are just starting out your research into the best hand dryer solution for your business, this is a great starting point before you start looking into things like the volume of people who use the bathroom space and the cost / benefit analysis versus alternative hand drying solutions. So what are these two categories? It all comes down to who looks after your bathrooms, who keeps them clean and tidy and what kind of building the bathrooms are in. Here they are:

1. Who cleans your bathroom?

2. What industry are you in?



Start thinking about these now too as there may be elements of your current bathrooms that‘s are problems for your business, and this may be an ideal opportunity to solve these.

3. What hand drying system are you currently using?

Paper towels but need to change to reduce the mess

Paper towels but want to replace because of the ongoing costs

Old style hand dryers but they are too slow

Old style hand dryers but they aren‘t hygienic enough for our needs

No hand dryer, just the old style

Cotton towel dispenser (as pictured)


hand towels vs hand dryers


These questions start to give you a good idea of why you need to upgrade what you‘ve currently got and there are plenty of great solutions available that will fulfil these, but they don‘t address the most important question category that often gets skipped because it‘s a hard one to know exactly and that is user volumes or in layman's terms, how many people use the bathroom each day. Getting this right can play a big part in the overall bathroom experience because no one likes to queue in a bathroom to dry their hands!




Here are some questions that can help you narrow down the hand dryer options further, as the answers start to determine the optimum number of hand dryers per bathroom and the size of the hand drying motor inside each of the dryers.

Deciding the number of hand dryers

What are your staffing levels? ie: how many people may use the bathroom per normal day?

Are there peak use days or times for customers and or staff when everyone accesses the bathroom at the same time?

What are these peak use days and times? Is the public or employees using the bathrooms during the peak times?

If there are bathroom queues, how would that affect other parts of your business?

Choosing the best hand dryer location

Is there suitable wall space away from the entrance and the hand basins?  

What is the total width of free wall space?

On the free wall space, is there a power outlet nearby? 


plan your bathroom capacity



Now you’ll have a fair idea of the capacity needs of your bathroom. They don’t have to be exact, you may want to think about bracketing a low, medium and high number of uses per day.




Ok great, now we‘ve covered off three major hand drying research areas for you.

Bathroom Cleaning

Existing Hand dryer Situation

Capacity Planning

That‘s 90% of the work right there, so you should have enough information to purchase a hand dryer….but wait, there’s one more area. Think about what you‘ve now learned about what hand dryer could be best for the bathroom you’ve scoped so far. You probably have all the information you need to make your purchase confidently, and feel free to so.

Browse JetDryer Range of Hand Dryers

If you have an extra question or two, we can help you with those too. Of course, if you really want make an impression when you present your findings, do a simple cost / benefit analysis that compares the current situation with the recommended solution shows your cost centre manager that the total cost of ownership is less than the current situation. It doesn‘t have to be complex, but is a sure fire way to get budget approved to move forward with the solution. This is where it pays to look at your overall business needs including all your businesses locations and buildings.




As part of this research area, we‘re going to go broader than hand dryers for one bathroom or one building by looking at the overall business needs. This takes a strategic look at your business bathroom needs so we’re taking a high level look to see whether there is a business case to upgrade all the bathrooms across all business locations. These are the magic questions:

How many locations does your business operate in?

Using the bathroom you’ve scoped already as the ‘model average’, how many of these locations are smaller than the bathroom we‘ve looked at so far?

How many of these locations are larger than the bathroom we‘ve looked at so far?

planning hand dryer capacity for multi site installations


Now you don’t necessarily need to count every bathroom user or every toilet in every location, because these are going to be estimates extrapolated out from the model average bathroom. This gives you an estimate until you get the budget approved. Then we can help you design the needs of each individual bathroom to help you spec these out exactly.