Best Curling Iron 2020 – Buyer’s Guide And Reviews

Hello and Welcome! Are you looking for the best curling iron of 2020, especially one that will suit your hair type? Well, you came to the right place then. Yes! I do have the answer for you because my journey began to the same destination last year.

Read on to find out how to choose the perfect curling iron for you… or if you just want to read our reviews on the top products, click here.

Curly hairstyle

Oh, the irony! Just before Christmas, I was cleaning out the closet and excitedly brought out my old curling iron. I was hoping to use it on the Christmas Eve, but when I plugged it in ‘IRON’ically, it breathed its last. My plan for the Christmas was doomed! I was sad.

My husband tried to cheer me up by searching the net for another curling iron. He left the PC flooded with search results so I can see them. I sighed. He was so naive. The fact is, no matter what curling iron you get, it takes patience and time, trial and error to get used to the curling iron before you get the perfect result. Still; thanks to him, I was ready to celebrate New Year with a new curling iron, although half-heartedly.

Merry go round!

The one that I had before wasn’t available in the market anymore. And even if it were, it would be silly to take a backdated styling tool such as that when there are so many technologically advanced curling irons available now. However, I am a little picky when it comes to my styling tools and products. Shiny and new is not enough to convince me, but as the Christmas countdown was ON, research for an ideal curling iron seemed like a forbidden luxury on my part.

Still how hard can it be? After all, I knew exactly what I wanted! I simply wanted the best! But I wasn’t getting any straight to the point answer to my question! Since ‘BEST’ is a relative term and something that is best for someone may not suit me so, I kept on going round and round.

Best Curling Iron 2020 Overview

Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron/Wand for Long Lasting Curls, 1 Inch (1181)
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron
Hot Tools Professional Ceramic Titanium Professional Curling Iron, 1-1/2"
Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron , Black
Hot Tools Professional Mega 1.25 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control Model No. 1110
Name
Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron/Wand for Long Lasting Curls, 1 Inch (1181)
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron
Hot Tools Professional Ceramic Titanium Professional Curling Iron, 1-1/2"
Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron , Black
Hot Tools Professional Mega 1.25 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control Model No. 1110
Barrel size
1 inch
• 3/4 • 1 • 1 1/4 • 1 1/2 inch
1 1/2 inch
• 3/4 • 1/2 • 1 • 1 1/4• 1 1/2 inch
• 3/4 • 1 1/4 • 1 1/2 Inch
Material
24k gold-plated
Nano Tourmaline Ceramic
Ceramic Tourmaline
Combination of chromium, nickel, copper and steel
24k gold-plated
Prime
-
Price
$24.99
$21.50
$45.26
$22.07
$40.06
Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron/Wand for Long Lasting Curls, 1 Inch (1181)
Name
Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron/Wand for Long Lasting Curls, 1 Inch (1181)
Barrel size
1 inch
Material
24k gold-plated
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Prime
Price
$24.99
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INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron
Name
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron
Barrel size
• 3/4 • 1 • 1 1/4 • 1 1/2 inch
Material
Nano Tourmaline Ceramic
Jump to review
Prime
Price
$21.50
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Hot Tools Professional Ceramic Titanium Professional Curling Iron, 1-1/2"
Name
Hot Tools Professional Ceramic Titanium Professional Curling Iron, 1-1/2"
Barrel size
1 1/2 inch
Material
Ceramic Tourmaline
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Prime
Price
$45.26
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Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron , Black
Name
Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron , Black
Barrel size
• 3/4 • 1/2 • 1 • 1 1/4• 1 1/2 inch
Material
Combination of chromium, nickel, copper and steel
Jump to review
Prime
-
Price
$22.07
Check out
Hot Tools Professional Mega 1.25 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control Model No. 1110
Name
Hot Tools Professional Mega 1.25 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control Model No. 1110
Barrel size
• 3/4 • 1 1/4 • 1 1/2 Inch
Material
24k gold-plated
Jump to review
Prime
Price
$40.06
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Conair TS301 Cts 1 inch Ceramic Curling Iron
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Curl Secret
ThermaCell by Conair Compact Curling Iron
Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron, 1 Inch
Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron; 1 1/2-inch
Name
Conair TS301 Cts 1 inch Ceramic Curling Iron
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Curl Secret
ThermaCell by Conair Compact Curling Iron
Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron, 1 Inch
Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron; 1 1/2-inch
Barrel size
1 inch
/
5/8 inch
1 inch
• 1/2 • 3/4 • 1 • 1 1/4 • 1 1/2 inch
Material
Ceramic
Tourmaline Ceramic
Ceramic
Ceramic
Ceramic
Prime
Price
$16.60
$35.18
$16.99
$99.00
$39.99
Conair TS301 Cts 1 inch Ceramic Curling Iron
Name
Conair TS301 Cts 1 inch Ceramic Curling Iron
Barrel size
1 inch
Material
Ceramic
Jump to review
Prime
Price
$16.60
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INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Curl Secret
Name
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Curl Secret
Barrel size
/
Material
Tourmaline Ceramic
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Prime
Price
$35.18
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ThermaCell by Conair Compact Curling Iron
Name
ThermaCell by Conair Compact Curling Iron
Barrel size
5/8 inch
Material
Ceramic
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Prime
Price
$16.99
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Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron, 1 Inch
Name
Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron, 1 Inch
Barrel size
1 inch
Material
Ceramic
Jump to review
Prime
Price
$99.00
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Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron; 1 1/2-inch
Name
Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron; 1 1/2-inch
Barrel size
• 1/2 • 3/4 • 1 • 1 1/4 • 1 1/2 inch
Material
Ceramic
Jump to review
Prime
Price
$39.99
Check out

How to Choose The Perfect Curling Iron

Curling irons come in an array of shapes, sizes and different barrel materials for your convenience but often people get confused. It depends on:

  • your hair type
  • the length of your hair
  • the style that you are trying to achieve and
  • the hair products also play a significant role

There are some products ready to vow they’re angel sent for your hair, but they may cause more damage than just plain heat. God forbid, if you ever end up with fried locks, always think which product you used before curling and eliminate that.

Properly picking a curling iron may seem too complex to you. Some tricks can surely help you out. Subsequently, we are here to provide you some tricky ways so that you can have your ideal coils without any flaw.

Here, we have developed 3 step curling iron review process for any type of hair, length, and hairstyle.

  1. Temperature settings and barrel material for your hair type
  2. Barrel size for your hair length
  3. Curling iron type for different hairstyles

If you get to know about all these sections then you are ready to get the perfect curling iron for you. We will be discussing the sections in a sequence of hair type, hair length, and hairstyle.

So let us begin our journey!

Step 1: Temperature Settings And Barrel Materials For Your Hair Type

If your hair gets less heat than it needs, it will not hold the curls. Conversely, excessive heat will damage your hair. The same thing goes for barrel material; cheap barrel material cannot hold curls and barrel material that distributes excessive heat can damage your hair.

If you go with any curling iron temperature or barrel material then you may not get the perfect result for your hair. Your hair can be divided in two different ways while explaining hair types, according to the density of hair and according to the pattern of hair.

Step 1a – Hair Density

Thin hair can easily be damaged, where thick hair needs high temperature to heat up. To keep your thin hair safe and protected you should choose less heat, but to curl thick hair you need high temperature.

Regarding the barrel material, you should choose a curling iron that can protect your hair from heat damage. Pure ceramic, pure tourmaline, and pure titanium are the safest among those barrels. Any combinations of ceramic, tourmaline or titanium are considered safe for your hair. The combinations are available in ceramic-tourmaline, ceramic-titanium, tourmaline-ceramic, tourmaline-titanium, titanium-ceramic, and titanium-tourmaline. Nano titanium and 24k gold barrel are also safe for your hair.

Regarding the price, if you want curling irons at a reasonable price then go for pure ceramic curling iron or nano titanium curling irons. Pure tourmaline, pure titanium, or any combination of ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline are more expensive. Safest barrel materials cost you so much because they protect your hair from heat damage.

Heat means damage, and to keep hair safe always use safe barrel materials. Avoid using any sort of ceramic coated, tourmaline coated or metal-coated barrel because these cannot hold curls and the high heat of these irons can harm or burn your hair.

Conclusion

People with thin hair should choose low temperature with any pure ceramic barrel or with the combination of ceramic tourmaline barrel. Thick hair suits perfectly with high heat along with pure tourmaline barrel or with the combination of titanium tourmaline barrel.

Ceramic is known to be the universal barrel material for all hair types. It can curl any thick and thin hair safely.

So, we can say that,

  • Thin Hair = Low Temperature (200-250 degrees) + Ceramic-Tourmaline or Ceramic Barrel
  • Thick Hair = High Temperature (250-300 degrees) + Titanium-Tourmaline or Tourmaline Barrel

Step 1b – Hair Pattern

Rule: Low temperature for straight hair, medium temperature for wavy hair and high temperature for curly hair.

There are 3 different hair patterns named straight hair, wavy hair and curly hair also require some prerequisites.

  • Straight hair is easy to curl as requires less temperature so you always need to keep the temperature low.
  • Wavy hair entails a little more heat than straight hair so you need to keep the temperature settings on medium heat.
  • Curly hair is difficult to curl and you need to provide an adequate amount of heat because less heat cannot hold your curls for a long time.
Hair PatternTemperature Settings
Straight Hair200-250 degrees
Wavy Hair250-300 degrees
Curly Hair300-380 degrees

Conair CD108WN Banner
Remington CI9538 Banner
CHI Gf8027 Banner
Xtava XTV020031PRO Banner

Step: 2 Perfect Barrel Size For Your Hair Length

If you choose large barrel size for short hair then rather getting any curls you will only get a little volume. Conversely, small barrel sizes for super long hair will look absurd. Always remember, short hair requires small barrel size and long hair requires large barrel sizes.

Barrel size is the most important priority when choosing curling iron for different hair length. In the curling sector, it’s difficult to curl short hair but some barrels are only made to curl short hair. Shoulder length hair is also called to be short hair. So, for short hair, you can choose any curling iron in between ½ – 0.75 inch. Medium hair that starts from the shoulder and ends on the elbow can be curled easily with 1 inch barrel size. Curling long hair is the easiest and you can choose barrels in between 1¼ – 2 inch if you want to curl long hair or hair that is longer than elbow length.

1 Inch barrel size goes with every hair length (short, medium and long hair.)

At a glance, see the whole process in the following chart.

Hair LengthBarrel Size
Short Hair• 1/2 • 3/8 • 5/8 • 3/4 inch
Medium Hair1 inch
Long Hair1 1/4 1 1/2 1 3/4 2 inch

Step: 3 Perfect Curling Iron Type For Different Hairstyles

The reason to use different curling irons for different curls is to reduce time and energy and creating perfection in making curls. It saves your time and energy and also affords you will flawless finish. Always keep in mind that, regular or cylindrical curling iron will go with every hairstyle. But you will require more time to do curls with this and you will not get curls that are as perfect as you imagined.

Apart from curling iron types, you also need to keep an idea about the barrel sizes and the angle of gripping for different celebrated hairdos. The shorter the barrel sizes the smaller the curls. Similarly, the larger the barrel sizes the bigger the curls.

When it comes to the angle of the grip, you need to know that, short curls are made vertically, big curls are made horizontally and waves are perfect in a diagonal angle.

How to Make Your Favorite Curls

1. Use these curling irons for:

  • Curls like ringlets can be made with marcel curling iron where tight curls can be created with conical curling iron.
  • Spiral curls, as we know can be formed perfectly with only spiral curling iron.
  • Soft waves seem effortless when they are made with waving curling iron and you can optionally use conical curling iron.
  • For big waves use oval curling.
  • Beachy waves are great with bubble wand or tapered barrel curling iron.
  • For loose waves go with oval or waving curling iron.
  • Waving curling iron for loose curls and tapered curling iron for big curls will suit perfectly.
  • For big bouncy curls, try any of your cylindrical clamped curling iron.

2. Short barrel sizes can create short or small curls and large barrel sizes can form big and loose curls or waves.

3. Usually, small curls are made perfect when you hold the curling iron vertically. Holding the curling iron diagonally will make waves & if you hold the iron horizontally then you can get beautiful curls.

Click here to open the chart of different curling iron types, barrel sizes and angle of the grip for different hairstyles.
HairstylesCurling Iron TypeBarrel SizeAngle of Grip
Beachy WavesBubble, Tapered3/4 - 2 inchDiagonal
Soft WavesWaving, Cylindrical1 1/2 - 1 3/4 inchDiagonal
Loose WavesOval, Waving1 - 2 inchVertical
Big WavesOval1 3/4 - 2 inchVertical/Diagonal
RingletsMarcel3/8 - 1/2 inchVertical
Spiral CurlsSpiral3/8 - 5/8 inchVertical
Tight CurlsConical1 - 1 1/4 inchVertical
Big Bouncy CurlsCylindrical3/4 - 1 1/4 inchHorizontal
Big CurlsTapered, Conical1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inchHorizontal
Loose CurlsWaving1 1/2 - 2 inchHorizontal

Our Top Picks

1. Hot Tools Professional 1181 Curling Iron

Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron/Wand for Long Lasting Curls, 1 Inch

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Read our full review

Best for: Straight, silky, fine/thin hair

We prefer this curling iron because silky straight hair is prone to heat damage but can’t be styled without heat. So we selected a 24k gold barrel which heats up quickly, evenly and consistently eliminating hot spots. You can count on this standard professional tool for long-lasting bouncy curls without damage.

2. Infiniti Pro By Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron

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Read our full review

Best for: Straight to wavy, normal, medium (tot too thick nor thin) hair

It is the best curling iron for wavy hair since ceramic doesn’t dry out your hair. It has 5-temperature heat settings reaching up to 400°F/205 degrees Celsius. It also has auto shut off safety feature, 360° tangle-free swivel cord and a handy protective shield for safe storage.

3. Hot Tools® Tourmaline Tools Curling Iron (#2102)

Hot Tools Professional Ceramic Titanium Professional Curling Iron, 1-1/2"

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Read our full review

Best for: Wavy to curly, dry, thick/coarse hair

We chose this iron for your curly hair because this hair requires heat to create a lasting style but also dries out and becomes frizzy. Thus, for optimum frizz and roughness control, we selected the ceramic and tourmaline combination. This curling iron will give you lasting voluminous curls while keeping your hair healthy and hydrated.

4. Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron

Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron, 1-inch Curling Iron , Black

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Read our full review

Best for: Combination hair

It is picked for combination hair because it is suitable for all hair types and has 25 heat settings for more precise temperature control. The chrome barrel heats up quickly and evenly for quick and easy gorgeous curls.

5. Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron

Hot Tools Professional Mega 1.25 Inch Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control Model No. 1110

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Read our full review

 Best for: Best value

It is suitable for all hair types. 85 watts of power for instant heat up to 428ºF. It comes in an array of 7 sizes ranging from the Jumbo 2 Inch waves to the kinkiest ⅜ Inch corkscrew curl. The barrel is 24k gold-plated which gives you lustrous and glossy long-lasting curls without damage. 360º tangle-free swivel cord, long cool tip, additional two extra clips, and soft-grip handle makes it the BEST amongst the best.

6. Travel Smart By Conair Ceramic Curling Iron

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Read our full review

Best for: Universal dual voltage & travel-friendly curling iron

It is the best universal dual voltage curling iron. It’s designed for frequent travelers as well as the professionals who have to travel and look gorgeous such as the flight attendants, models, and various stage performers. Although it’s tiny, it is powerful enough to give you flawless hair on the go.

7. Infiniti Pro By Conair Curl Secret

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Curl Secret, Purple

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Read our full review

Best for: Professional curling iron

Conair brings Infiniti Pro Curl Secret with a different method of curling hair. Usually, curls are formed on an open barrel, but this professional standard curling iron has a closed compartment! The compartment made of ceramic tourmaline is the most hair-friendly. Inside this enclosure, the heat doesn’t escape, and the heat works from all around, uniformly to create lustrous long-lasting bouncy ‘until you wash off’ curls! Find out more magnificent features of this curling iron with just a click here!

8. Conair Thermacell Compact Curling Iron

ThermaCell by Conair Compact Curling Iron

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Read our full review

Best for: Cordless curling iron

Conair Thermacell Compact Curling Iron is the best cordless curling iron. It is portable as well as a powerful styler. It is a standard professional tool and gets hot quickly. Since the Cartridges last for months, it fits into your purse as well as economically.

9. Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron

Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron, 1 Inch

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Read our full review

Best for: Clipless curling iron

If you don’t prefer clips, then you may try Clipless curling irons like Sultra the bombshell, which give you nourishing treatments for hair alongside unique and natural-looking curls or Jose Eber 25mm Pro Series. Both are clipless and will give you professional standard, damage-free and radiant curls.

10. Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron

Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron; 1 1/2-inch

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Read our full review

Best for: Ceramic curling iron

The best ceramic curling iron is the Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron especially if your hair is dull, limp or frizzy then you have to try it to believe it. It has 30 temperature settings reaching up to 375ºF, which is relatively gentle but still powerful enough to give you lasting curls for more than 12 hours.

Top Rated Curling Iron Brands

Using a curling iron

Caution

For lasting curls, we use hairspray which is fine. However, it’s wrong to spray the hair sections before curling. Aerosol products should never be heated and often hair sticks to the barrel and snags due to this, but the barrel gets blamed. The hair and barrel of the curling iron both get damaged due to the heated hairspray. Use heat protectant serum instead and spray the hair only when the curls are cool.

Tips For The Natural Looking Longer Lasting Curls

Always try to curl as close to roots as possible for long-lasting curls. If you use conditioner, then spare the roots, so the scalp doesn’t get too greasy making the curls fall flat. Always curl away from the face for safety as well as a natural look.

Straightener And Curler, Use Each For Its Purpose

A new fashion drift is to use a flat iron to make curls instead of a curling iron. However just because you can don’t mean you should. It can take longer to curl your hair this way and your hair gets damaged in the process.

The Basic 10 Steps Of Using A Curling Iron

The basic steps of using a curling iron are almost the same for every type and brand available.

  1. Comb your hair so there is no tangle.
  2. Divide hair into sections depending on how big or small you want the curls to be.
  3. Plug the curling iron and select the heat setting according to your hair type.
  4. On the hot curling iron, carefully wrap the hair you want to curl one section at a time. Always start from the bottom layer and work your way up to the top of your head.
  5. Curl away from the face and use tension for tight curls.
  6. Hold and let the heat to form the curls.
  7. Carefully slide the curled section from the hot curling iron but don’t let it drop. The curled part is not set yet and may become straight if you let it drop right away.
  8. Gather the curled section like a coil in your hand and let it cool to set. It’s better to fix the coil to your head using a bobby pin and let it cool down completely to set while you may jump to the next section. Repeat till your head is completely done.
  9. Remove the bobby pins and arrange the curls the way you like as quickly as possible. Do resist the urge to touch or transpose the curls too many times. The more you will touch the more loose and uneven the curls will become.
  10. If you want a longer-lasting look and beautiful hair, spray lightly with a setting spray. Do not spray too much or your curls will look stiff and unnatural.

Dare to Do ON your Own

I have tried my best to give you information as correctly as possible. All I wanted that everyone could look gorgeous without spending time as well as money in the salon. Hopefully, the information I’ve shared here will give you the courage to try. If you have already found the curling iron you need here, then do let us know the choice of your curling iron and may share pictures of the styles you did with it. We would be delighted to know about your experience. Also, remember no matter how costly or cheap, you need to get used to the curling iron before you get the perfect result. Stay with My Curling Iron Team for any reviews of the new curling iron. So don’t give up! Good luck! Happy styling!!

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API