The Best 5 Nail Lamps

Ask any nail salon technician, and they'll tell you: Having your own nail lamp is essential if you want to give yourself an at-home manicure (truly one of the best self-care acts, don't you think?) Nail lamps are great for drying polish, especially gel polish; otherwise, you risk ruining your careful paint job by smudging or chipping your polish. Of course, there are dozens of different types of nail lamps out there: Some lamps use LED light, while others use UV light. Some lamps have a higher wattage, which means you'll spend less time waiting for your nails to dry. And, some nail lamps are smaller and more portable (and thus easier to bring to a friend's house), while others are heavier and better for leaving at home. Here, we've rounded up the all-time best nail lamps available, organized by category:

SUNUV 24W UV Light LED Nail Dryer

The creme de la creme of nail lamps

Listen up, nail nerds: SUNUV has crafted a top-notch nail lamp that you won't be able to resist.
Best Overall

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Featuring a professional-quality dual UV+LED light source, the SUNUV 24W UV Light LED Nail Dryer is sleekly designed, highly portable, and super easy to use. It works well for all gel polishes, and perhaps best of all, thanks to the lamp’s long-lasting LED beads, you’ll never need to worry about changing the bulbs. Plus, the SUNUV lamp comes in three pretty shades: pink, blue, and white.


  • Is fast and efficient at curing all nail gels.
  • Low-wattage but quick-drying (which can shorten your curing time).
  • Multi-functional and adjustable.
  • Super-cute design.
  • Never have to change the lights.


  • Takes a tad longer to dry your nails than at the salon.

CHIMOCEE Mini-Nail Dryer

Dry your gel nails on the go

For the best lightweight, compact nail lamp, look no further than this mini-dryer from CHIMOCEE.
Best Portable

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Portable, lightweight, yet still salon-grade, the CHIMOCEE Mini-Nail Dryer is the ideal nail lamp for toting around town, making this handy little lamp the perfect tool for doing manicures at your best friend’s house (wine and The Bachelor not included). It’s a cinch to carry, thanks to its compact, fold-up size, and conveniently, it comes with a micro USB port and USB cable. And, although the lamp’s wattage may be on the low side, it still boasts a fairly fast dry time.


  • Easy-breezy, portable design that also folds up neatly.
  • Awesome at curing all kinds of nail gels; suitable for both UV gel polish and LED gel polish.
  • Quick-drying.


  • The cord it comes with is a little too short for our liking.

MiroPure UV LED Gel Nail Lamp Light Dryer

Hi-tech and highly awesome

Technically speaking, there's almost no comparison to other nail lamps when it comes to this nifty gadget from MiroPure.
Best Technology

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The elegantly crafted, superior-quality MiroPure Nail Lamp Light Dryer is a mini-revelation. Compared with the UV light of traditional nail lamps, the light is a little bit closer to white light, which ensures the color and and longevity of your nail gel. This handy beauty tool has four timer settings and a removable magnetic reflective panel, which can easily be separated without using tools (perfect for toenail gel curing). The lamp’s auto-sensing function is convenient, too: The light turns on when you put your hands in, and then turns off when you take your hands out.


  • Auto-sensor makes this lamp super-easy and convenient to use.
  • Has four timer settings.
  • The removable magnetic reflective panel can be easily removed and has room for both hands and feet.
  • LED/UV lights will last up to five years or more.


  • The lights can get a little hot if you’ve been using for a while.

Terresa UV LED Nail Lamp

Luxurious nails, wherever you are

Get the lovely gel nails you dream of, whether in the salon or at home, with the top-quality Terresa UV LED Nail Lamp.
Best for Both Salon and Home Use

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The Terresa UV LED Nail Lamp is an excellent pick for both salon and home use, thanks to its full range of functionality and cutting-edge features. Expect to have fully dried nails in mere seconds; plus, with the smart auto sensor, this lamp is super easy to use: The lights automatically turn on and off when your hands are in and out. Conveniently, the bottom tray slides out so that you can easily position your hand (or foot), and the digital timer is a nice touch, too.


  • For true salon-quality, this Terresa lamp is the real deal. Thanks to the 72-watt light, you’ll have perfectly dry nails in less than 30 seconds.
  • Has a smart auto sensor
  • Provides enough space for curing hands and feet.


  • It’s very lightweight, so if you’re looking for something with a little more bulk, this probably isn’t it.


Cutesy style for the win

Both ultra-stylish and ultra-functional, there's no topping the cuteness factor of the Ovonni UV LED Nail Dryer.
Best Style

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We simply love the look of the UV LED Nail Dryer from OVONNI. Chic and bright pink, this nail lamp and dryer has a large LCD screen display, so you can easily see how long you’ve been drying your nails during your at-home treatment. In addition to the adorable design, the OVONNI Nail Dryer  has four timer settings, a smart-time memory function, and smart over-temperature protection, to ensure you don’t leave your hands in too long.


  • Shiny, pretty design.
  • Plenty of space for your nails.
  • Has an array of smart features, like over-temperature protection and impressive memory function.


  • You do have to apply a little pressure inside to keep the lamp going, otherwise it shuts off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can gel polish cure without a nail lamp?

Not really. If you love your gel manicures, basically, you need a nail lamp. Otherwise, if you try to dry your nails in the sunlight, for example, dry times will be inconsistent and it would probably take a while.

What is the difference between an LED lamp and a UV lamp?

Great question. The difference is that LED lamps emit narrower UV wavelengths with higher concentration, and thus offer a faster drying time than UV lamps. LED lights are also said to be safer than UV lights. (With that being said, the UV exposure from nail lamps is pretty minimal when compared to, say, being outside in the sunshine, even for a few minutes.)