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.

Featured image of best curling iron review guide

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

SLName of Curling IronBarrel SizeBarrel MaterialPrice
1Hot Tools Professional 1181 Curling Iron1 Inch24k Gold-plated BarrelCheck Price
2Infiniti Pro By Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron3/4-Inch, 1 Inch, 1 1/4 Inch, 1 1/2 InchNano Tourmaline CeramicCheck Price
3Hot Tools® Tourmaline Tools Curling Iron (#2102)1 1/2 InchCeramic TourmalineCheck Price
4Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron3/4 Inch, 1/2 Inch, 1 Inch. 1 1/4 Inch, 1 1/2 InchCombination of chromium, nickel, copper and steelCheck Price
5Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron3/4 Inch, 1 1/4 Inch, 1 1/2 Inch24k Gold-platedCheck Price
6Travel Smart By Conair Ceramic Curling Iron1 InchCeramicCheck Price
7Infiniti Pro By Conair Curl SecretSuitable for all hair lengthsTourmaline CeramicCheck Price
8Conair Thermacell Compact Curling Iron5/8 InchCeramicCheck Price
9Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron1 InchCeramicCheck Price
10Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron1/2 Inch, 3/4 Inch, 1 Inch, 1 1/4 Inch, 1 1/2 InchCeramicCheck Price

3 Easy Steps To Choose A 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
  • On the length of your hair
  • On the style that you are trying to achieve and
  • 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.

  • Step 1: Perfect temperature settings and barrel material for your hair type
  • Step 2: Perfect barrel size for your hair length
  • Step 3: Perfect 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 Perfect Temperature Settings And Barrel Materials For Your Hair Type

Challenge: In this step, we have to choose the perfect temperature settings and perfect barrel material for different types of hair.

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.

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

Step 1a – Hair Density

Rule: Select high temperature for thick hair and low temperature for thin hair.

According to the density of hair, your hair can be divided into 2 categories.

The density of the hair depends on two facts, temperature settings of a curling iron and its barrel material.

Firstly, we will talk about the temperature settings of a curling iron. Using a curling iron implies providing heat. Thin hair is easily damageable where thick hair needs high temperature to heat up. To keep your thin hair safe and protected you should choose less heat. Tough to curl thick hair should be curled in high temperature because thick hair requires high heat to hold a curl.

Secondly, you need to think about the barrel material of a curling iron. There are a lot of barrel materials available in the market but you cannot choose them at random. Thin hair is easily damageable so you have to choose a curling iron that can protect your hair from heat damage. Thick hair usually needs high heat to curl. As you are providing high heat to your thick hair you cannot keep it unprotected. So, thick hair also requires safe barrel material which can hold your curls for a long time.

There are numerous barrels available in the market. 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.

The expense of Barrel Materials: There are different barrel materials for curling iron, some are reasonable in price and some are expensive. The foremost reason for being cheap or expensive of curling iron is Barrel material. 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 may seem costly to you. 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.

People of 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 Barrel Or Ceramic Barrel
  • Thick Hair = High Temperature (250-300 degrees) + Titanium-Tourmaline Barrel Or Tourmaline Barrel

To sum up, we will get the following chart.

Hair DensityTemperature SettingsBarrel Material
Preferred MaterialAlternative Material
Thin Hair200-250 degreesCeramic-Tourmaline BarrelPure Ceramic Barrel
Thick Hair250-380 degreesTitanium-Tourmaline BarrelPure 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.

We will now talk about the temperature settings of different hair patterns. 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.

This following chart will clarify the whole process.

Hair PatternTemperature Settings
Straight Hair200-250 degrees
Wavy Hair250-300 degrees
Curly Hair300-380 degrees

Step: 2 Perfect Barrel Size For Your Hair Length

Challenge: The challenge of this step is to find the perfect barrel size as per 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.

The other thing you should know is, choosing a curling iron depends on hair length and we are going to discuss the major three lengths of hair.

  • Short Hair: Short hair to Shoulder Length
  • Medium Hair: Shoulder length to elbow (2/3 Inch down from the shoulder)
  • Long Hair: Longer than elbow length

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 Inch to 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 Inch to 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 Hair1/2 Inch, 3/8 Inch, 5/8 Inch, 3/4 Inch
Medium Hair1 Inch
Long Hair1 1/4 Inch, 1 1/2 Inch, 1 3/4 Inch, 2 Inch

Step: 3 Perfect Curling Iron Type For Different Hairstyles

Challenge: The challenge of this step is to find out the perfect curling iron type, the perfect barrel size and the angle of gripping for your desired hairstyle.

For the different hairstyles, the curling iron world owns different types of curling irons. 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 Curling Iron 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.

So now, your hair is safe to curl and you know that which temperature settings, which barrel materials and which barrel sizes are perfect for your hair type and length. At this moment, we will talk about different hairstyle and for this, we will be discussing:

  • Perfect Curling Iron For Your Desired Hairstyle
  • Perfect Barrel Size For Your Desired Hairstyle
  • Perfect Angle Of Grip For Your Desired Hairstyle

Firstly, we will talk about different curling iron type for different curls. 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. Let us now talk about waves! Soft Waves seem effortless when they are made with Waving Curling Iron and you can optionally use Conical Curling Iron. Using Oval Curling Iron for Big Waves will be the wisest decision. Beachy Waves are great with Bubble Wand or Tapered Barrel Curling Iron. Go with Oval Curling Iron or Waving Curling iron to create Loose Waves. 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.

Secondly, we will discuss the barrel sizes of curling iron according to the different hairstyles. Short barrel sizes can create short or small curls and large barrel sizes can form big and loose curls or waves.

Thirdly, we are going to talk about the angle of grip or the angle of holding the curling iron.

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.

We are now going to make a chart of different curling iron types, barrel sizes and angle of the grip for different hairstyles.

HairstylesCurling Iron TypeBarrel SizeAngle of Grip
Proposed Curling IronAlternative Curling Iron
Beachy WavesBubble Wand and
Tapered Barrel
Cylindrical Curling Iron OR Regular Curling Iron OR Cylindrical Clipless Wand3/4 Inch to 2 InchDiagonal
Soft WavesWaving Curling Iron and
Cylindrical Clipless Iron
1 1/2 Inch to 1 3/4 InchDiagonal
Loose WavesOval Curling Iron,
Waving Barrel
1 Inch to 2 InchVertical
Big WavesOval Curling Iron1 3/4 Inch to 2 InchVertical/Diagonal
RingletsMarcel Curling Iron3/8 Inch to 1/2 InchVertical
Spiral CurlsSpiral Curling Iron3/8 Inch to 5/8 InchVertical
Tight CurlsConical Curling Iron1 Inch to 1 1/4 InchVertical
Big Bouncy CurlsCylindrical Clamp Curling Iron3/4 Inch to 1 1/4 InchHorizontal
Big CurlsTapered Curling Iron, Conical Curling Iron1 1/4 Inch to 1 1/2 InchHorizontal
Loose CurlsWaving Curling Iron1 1/2 Inch to 2 InchHorizontal

When you are going to choose a curling iron based on your hair type, go to Step 1, if you have any query about hair length then go to Step 2 and if you want anything related to hairstyle then Step 3 will aid you with all needed information.

We have selected some top curling irons according to different categories/purposes.

1. Hot Tools Professional 1181 Curling Iron – Best For Straight, Silky, Fine/Thin Hair

Hot Tools Professional 1181 Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control

Image: Hot Tools Professional 1181 Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control

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 24 k 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 – Best For Straight To Wavy, Normal, Medium (Not Too Thick Nor Thin) Hair

Infiniti Pro by Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron

Image: Infiniti Pro by Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron

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) – Best For Wavy To Curly, Dry, Thick/Coarse Hair

hot tools 2102

Hot Tools® Tourmaline Tools Curling Iron (#2102)

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 – Best For Combination Hair

Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron

Image: Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron

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 – All-Around Best Value Curling Iron

Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control

Image: Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control

It is suitable for all hair types. 85 watts of power for instant heat up to 428º F. 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 – Best Universal Dual Voltage & Travel-friendly Curling Iron

Travel Smart by Conair 1-inch Ceramic Curling Iron

Image: Travel Smart by Conair 1-inch Ceramic 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 – Best Professional Curling Iron

Conair Infiniti Pro Curl Secret Curling Iron

Conair Infiniti Pro Curl Secret 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 – Best Cordless Curling Iron

ThermaCell by Conair Compact Curling Iron

Image: ThermaCell by Conair Compact 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 – Best Clipless Curling Iron

Sultra The Bombshell Rod Curling Iron

Image: Sultra The Bombshell Rod 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 – Best Ceramic Curling Iron

Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron

Image: Conair Double 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

Basic Curling Iron Information

For best result, always read the manual that comes with the Curling Iron (a beauty product mainly for hair styling) or search their site or net with the model name. Especially look for the specific heat settings or tips suggested for your hair type.


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!!