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The Best Curling Iron - 2021

Last updated on July 21, 2021

We looked at the top 12 Curling Irons and dug through the reviews from 62 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Curling Irons.

Best Curling Iron

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Curling Irons

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  #1

HOT TOOLS Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

HOT TOOLS

Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron

Overall Take

curling iron

Experts Included
DWYM Beauty and Personal Care Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  #2

KIPOZI Ceramic Coating Curling Iron, 1-Inch

KIPOZI

Ceramic Coating Curling Iron, 1-Inch

Overall Take

curling iron

Experts Included
DWYM Beauty and Personal Care Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  #3

Bed Head Wave Artist Curling Iron

Bed Head

Wave Artist Curling Iron

Overall Take

Effortless WavesGet effortless waves or beachy curls with this curling iron.

Experts Included
DWYM Beauty and Personal Care Experts plus Best Reviews Guide, Any Top 10, My Straightener, Top Family Reviews, Hair Tips N Tricks, AI Best-Sellers and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" With an average high heat temperature of 400 degrees, this hair crimper is perfect for almost any type of hair."
Cons
"Some consumers report that it frizzes hair."
  #4

Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron

Conair

Instant Heat Curling Iron

Overall Take

Lots of OptionsA curling iron with 25 heat settings and auto-shutoff.

Experts Included
DWYM Beauty and Personal Care Experts plus My Curling Iron, Smooth Beauty Bar and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Travelling abroad is now very easy with this curling iron. You don’t have to face the energy issues while travelling. This iron comes with Dual Voltage facility."
Cons
"It should be noted, however, that this product doesn’t have a perfectly smooth finish. It has a slightly brushed outer layer, which makes sense because steel that’s too smooth might just make your hair slip out of the barrel."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the curling irons available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

62

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Elle, RelevantRankings.com, Smart Style Today, Honest Product Reviews, Curling Irons HQ.

99,017

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Curling Irons and also dug through the reviews from 62 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Curling Irons.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

HOT TOOLS Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron

User Summarized Score

9.0
13,557 user reviews

Our Take

curling iron


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron

Our Expert Score

9.7
3 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

7.9
2,776 user reviews

Our Take

This Euro-design iron comes in four barrel sizes, ranging from 3/4 to 1 1/2-inch. It features 25 heat settings for all hair types. The Turbo Heat feature increases barrel temperature by up to 36° and regular heating takes only 30 seconds to heat up to a max of 400°F. The extra-long cool tip and auto-shutoff feature also keep users safe during and after styling. 

What other experts liked

Travelling abroad is now very easy with this curling iron. You don’t have to face the energy issues while travelling. This iron comes with Dual Voltage facility.
- My Curling Iron
Its Turbo Heat feature increases its temperature by 36°F in a jiffy, so you significantly can cut down your styling time.
- Smooth Beauty Bar

What other experts didn't like

Limited warranty time. Need adapter plug for different plug outlet than the US.
- My Curling Iron
It should be noted, however, that this product doesn’t have a perfectly smooth finish. It has a slightly brushed outer layer, which makes sense because steel that’s too smooth might just make your hair slip out of the barrel.
- Smooth Beauty Bar

Overall Product Rankings

HOT TOOLS Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron

1. HOT TOOLS Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 1

KIPOZI Ceramic Coating Curling Iron, 1-Inch

2. KIPOZI Ceramic Coating Curling Iron, 1-Inch

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Bed Head Wave Artist Curling Iron

3. Bed Head Wave Artist Curling Iron

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 8

Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron

4. Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 7

Kiss Products Instawave Curling Iron

5. Kiss Products Instawave Curling Iron

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 9

Hot Tools Signature Series Curling Iron

6. Hot Tools Signature Series Curling Iron

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 5

Xtava 5 in 1 Professional Curling Iron

7. Xtava 5 in 1 Professional Curling Iron

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 17

Remington Pro Curling Wand

8. Remington Pro Curling Wand

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 13

Jose Eber Curling Iron

9. Jose Eber Curling Iron

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 5

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

10. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 10

Bed Head Curlipops Tapered Curling Wand

11. Bed Head Curlipops Tapered Curling Wand

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 10

Conair INFINITIPRO Tourmaline Curling Iron

12. Conair INFINITIPRO Tourmaline Curling Iron

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 8

Our Curling Iron Findings


Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron

What We Liked: This Euro-design iron comes in four barrel sizes, ranging from 3/4 to 1 1/2-inch. It features 25 heat settings for all hair types. The Turbo Heat feature increases barrel temperature by up to 36° and regular heating takes only 30 seconds to heat up to a max of 400°F. The extra-long cool tip and auto-shutoff feature also keep users safe during and after styling. 


KIPOZI Ceramic Coating Curling Iron, 1-Inch

Also Consider

What We Liked: curling iron


BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

What We Liked: This professional-level traditional curling iron boasts a whopping 50 heat settings and heats up quickly. It comes in four sizes to produce tight coils, natural waves and every type of curl in between. The titanium barrel and Sol-Gel Ceramic technology also combine to create frizz-free styling. We loved how quickly this curling iron got hot and it didn’t make our hair look fried.

Our Curling Iron Buying Guide

Technology has made our lives easier and much more pleasant. Not often at the top of the list, but certainly deserving, are hot tools for styling hair. You don’t have to settle for the hair texture you were born with. What’s more, with the user-friendly and inexpensive styling tools available now, you can change your style daily and safely. Flat irons or straightening irons have smooth, straight hair on lock, but curling irons create a wide range of curls, waves and coils. No matter how stick-straight your hair’s natural texture is, you can transform it into a head full of curls.

And, there are so many different variations, there’s a specific curling iron that’s ideal for every hair length and type. However, the number of curling irons available can make your head, instead of your hair, spin.

A general rule of thumb to follow is the smaller barrels are better for shorter hair and tighter coils. Larger barrels, around 1¼-inch to 1½-inch, work best for long hair. Barrels top out around 2,” and these massive tools can produce equally buoyant beachy waves or loads of volume. In contrast, the smallest ¾  to 1-inch barrels create corkscrews and vintage looks. Right in the middle, 1-inch barrels are the most versatile and produce classic curls and defined waves.

Beyond sizes, there are many different types of materials used in the barrels of curling irons: ceramic, Teflon and a few types of metal. Trendy materials also include tourmaline and titanium. Each one has varying benefits and can work better for certain types of hair.

Ceramic barrels disperse negative ions, which can smooth and protect hair. It also works best at a lower temperature range and can safely curl thin hair. In addition to negative ions, super durable titanium barrels, as well as those made of tourmaline, also produce infrared heat. As such, they are excellent at removing frizz from thick or coarse hair. Some modes are made of titanium and have 50 fine-tuned heat settings to make the most of the material.

A luxurious option is a 24K barrel. Gold irons emit quick, high and even heat. Plus, the mini gold particles help enhance hair follicles and potentially prevent hair loss.

One thing they all have in common is their ability to heat up to high enough temperatures to transmit the heat to hair and transform stick straight locks into cascading curls.

A wand is great if you want natural-looking waves and beachy curls. In addition, interchangeable irons let you switch out barrel sizes for a wide range of curly looks. Clip curling irons, like the Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron, produce tighter, ringlet-style twists. They can still look natural and come in a variety of barrel sizes. The Conair model is available in four different barrel sizes.

Not all hair types can take the heat. The most vulnerable hair types, fine or chemically treated, can handle up to 300 degrees. Next is healthy or medium-textured hair, which can stand a bit more at 300-380 degrees.  If you have coarse, curly or thick hair, you can crank up the heat higher to 350-450 degrees without worry.

You can find curling irons for sale in a wide variety of stores, including grocery stores, drugstores, department stores, beauty specialty retailers and online. The higher-end curling irons are sold exclusively direct from the manufacturer or through select shops. Still, budget-friendly curling irons found a few aisles down from the produce can offer a solid value and produce beautiful curls.

Many manufacturers are getting super creative with styling tools, especially curling irons. The patented Curl Dial has ridges and prongs that smooth and detangles hair while it curls. There’s also an easy way to achieve natural or beachy waves. The Bed Head Wave Artist Curling Iron has specially designed deep plates that clamp to turn straight hair into wavy locks quickly. All these high-tech features don’t mean the curling irons are overpriced.

The hair possibilities are endless

DWYM Fun Fact

There’s quite the debate around the true inventor of the very first curling iron. Hiram Maxim obtained the first patent for a curling iron in 1866. However, Marcel Grateau gets the credit for inventing the curling iron and additional hair styling tools a few years later. Grateau co-created the long-lasting Marcel waver with Maurice Lentheric.

Today, professional hair stylists still use Marcel curling irons, like Grateau’s model. They are more difficult to use and require an extra set of hands to operate well. Naturally, they aren’t as common or popular for home use.

His design idea did serve as inspiration for the more user-friendly modern curling irons with spring clamps and wands.

The Curling Iron Tips and Advice

  • If you plan to travel internationally, you will want to confirm the curling iron has dual voltage options.
  • Be aware that some barrel materials heat unevenly and can create hot spots. These areas of the barrel heat up faster or retain more heat than other sections and, in turn, heats the hair unevenly and can damage it.
  • If you’re using a curling wand or a curling iron that is made of titanium, you should wear a pair of heat-protective gloves to ensure you don’t accidentally burn your hands.
  • If a lightweight curling iron is important to you, titanium is your best choice.
  • Not all curling irons work well with wet hair. Tourmaline is the best option if you plan to use a curling iron on wet hair.
  • One inexpensive material to watch out for is Teflon. It’s better to leave it on your nonstick pans because it discharges positive ions that can damage hair. It also tends to heat unevenly.
  • Even if an iron has a higher setting, never curl any hair above 450 degrees. If you have fine hair, you should be curling it with a much lower heat setting to keep it healthy.

About The Author

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Jennifer Nied 

Jennifer Nied is a professional writer based in New York City. She studied journalism at Northwestern University. Jennifer has more than 10 years of experience researching, writing and editing beauty content for award-winning national publications. She focuses on professional treatments, as a spa expert, and has tested thousands of makeup, hair and skincare products.