Best Hair Curler 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Curly, wavy and voluminous hair will never go out of style even if it has adapted throughout the years, but for those of us who aren’t blessed with natural curls, the number of products available out there which promise to achieve this style is pretty overwhelming.

They all do different things, depending on factors such as the barrel size and temperature they reach. Your particular hair also makes a big difference to how they work.

To help you decide which is best for your needs and hair type, we have reviewed some of the best available to make the choice easier. From wands to tongs, read on to find out what you need to know:

The Best Hair Curlers – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Dyson Airwrap Complete Hair Styler
  • Plate Material: Titanium
  • Heating Time: 10 seconds
  • Temperature Settings: 3
  • Cord Length: 2.6m
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TRESemmé Waving Wand
  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 60 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 3
  • 2.5m Cord Length
Click for Best Price
BaByliss 2667u Curl Secret Hair Curler
  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 2
  • 2.5m Cord Length
Click for Best Price

Best Professional Hair Curler

Dyson Airwrap Complete Hair Styler

More than just a curling tong, which is great if your bedroom is packed to the brim with a whole host of styling products.

This clever little gadget can wave, curl, smooth and dry, which really does make the ‘complete styler’ name understandable. You can even style and dry at the same time. We have all done it, after all – you go to straighten or curl part of your hair to realise it hasn’t quite been dried thoroughly, so you have to swap your gadget again and it is a never-ending to-and-fro.

It will also cut down on time you spend styling, not just because it can do two things at once, but also because it is incredibly good at doing all of the jobs. It is designed to style your hair from damp, so it is all done in half the time.

The need for extreme heat is also long gone. Sensors measure the air temperature over 40 times every second, cleverly adjusting the levels to protect your hair. It maintains this heat too. When it comes to the drying side of things, it uses Dyson v9 digital motor technology, so there is no denying its power levels.

You also get some handy attachments, our favourite being the smoothing brush. It harnesses the Coanda effect to attract hair to the surface of the brush, propelling air along every strand, to mimic a stylist’s blow-dry technique. This can turn frizzy, unruly hair into sleek, smooth hair in seconds.

The curler also attracts your hair, so you don’t have to wrap manually. This doesn’t only save your effort but also takes away some of the danger. It may cost at least 5x the price of many of the other curlers we have reviewed, but hey – it is pretty magical.

Specifications

  • Plate Material: Titanium
  • Heating Time: 10 seconds
  • Temperature Settings: 3
  • Cord Length: 2.6m

+ Downloads

DYSON Airwrap Complete Hair Styler User Manual

Download

We like

  • Brilliant hair care
  • Clever temperature control
  • Plenty of accessories provided
  • Comes with a storage case

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Pretty life-changing for anyone who really cares about their hair but can’t be bothered to put the effort in. If you haven’t yet found a home styling product which gives you the results you want, then this is it - we would give it a million 5* reviews if possible

ghd Curve® Classic Curl Tong

A problem with a lot of hair stylers is that the temperature isn’t completely consistent along the entirety of the barrel or plate. With new models of ghds there is temperature control technology, and the Classic Curl Tong is no different.

Tri-zone ceramic technology means that the 185°C temperature is maintained by six sensors in the barrel to give constant, even heat.

With a spring activated lever, you can easily clamp your hair to the barrel to create a wave which will stay in place for hours without any extra effort or styling on your behalf. A cool tip lets you hold the tong in place as it works its magic, and the safety stand enables you to place it down anywhere in between getting each strand ready.

Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 25 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 1
  • 3m Cord Length

+ Downloads

ghd Curve® Classic Curl Tong User Manual

Download

We like

  • Professional length 3m cord
  • Auto sleep after 30 minutes
  • Universal voltage for worldwide use

We dislike

  • Expensive (if not used regularly)

Final Verdict

A brilliant addition to the ghd hair styling range which will please fans of the brand and convert sceptics

T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand

The best choice for versatility, this T3 wand may be one of the most expensive on the market, but it is an incredibly innovative 3-in-1 product.

The three barrels provide three different styles of curls, so if you want large bouncy waves one day, flicked ends the next and tighter, more compact curls the day after that, this product can handle the switch. A locking system makes it easy to switch between the three, ensuring safety and efficient use.

The barrels are a 1″ straight, a 1.25″-1.75″ tapered, and a 1.5″ straight barrel. SinglePass technology means even, consistent heat for faster results – you won’t have to redo the curls for extra definition and hold. A tourmaline ceramic coating means your hair will be conditioned and not suffer from heat damage. Perfect if you struggle to get the shiny, healthy look after using heat products.

Five adjustable heat levels mean you will be able to choose the exact setting for your hair, whether it be the hottest 210°C for thick hair or coolest for your ends or fine hair.

It comes with a heat mat, protective glove and carry case for easy transportation.

Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 90 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 5
  • 2.8m Cord Length

+ Downloads

T3 Whirl Convertible User Manual

Download

We like

  • Temperature choice
  • Interchangeable barrels without loss of power
  • Great design

We dislike

  • Price - good for 3-in-1 but is still only a curler

Final Verdict

Perfect for those who love to change up their style every day, without adapting their technique

Nicky Clarke SuperShine NTS093 Curling Tong

Styling your hair with heat can give you great results, until you go to look closer at your hair and see that it has become frazzled and dry because of the constant exposure.

Thankfully, these tongs have ionic steam conditioning to rehydrate and nourish your hair, so no matter how close people look, all they will see is sleek shiny tresses.

The barrel is 25mm wide, which is a great size for relaxed natural waves. When you select your ideal temperature, you can use the lock function to keep it at this level so there are no accidental switch offs. It will go up to 210 degrees, which is a good professional level.

Auto shut off after 60 minutes will save you if you’re a little forgetful before you rush out of the house in the morning. There is also a generous cord length, and it is on the quicker side to heat up. What more could a girl want?

Specifications

  • Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Heating Time: 15 seconds
  • Cord Length: 3m

We like

  • Reaches a good temperature
  • Protects hair

We dislike

  • A little short if you have long hair

Final Verdict

Does the job you would expect of it - what more is there to say

Best Budget Hair Curler

BaByliss 2800CU Pro Ceramic 12 in 1 Styler

Able to reach a temperature of 200C, which is seen as salon high, this is a very effective beauty product. And it can do so much more than curl your hair, too.

Eight attachable heads give you more choice, whether you want to straighten, crimp, or brush. When it comes to curling, there is the option of a 13 mm tong, 16 mm tong, 19 mm tong. So you no longer have to clutter up your bedroom with several different sized barrels for every occasion.

The plates are all ceramic, so you get an item which glides through every strand without causing too many issues. It also has a comfortable ergonomic handle, so even if you have an awful lot of hair to style, your hand won’t become sore and tired.

It is a bit of a novelty item – the quality is nowhere near some of the other items we have reviewed which only do one job. We also can’t say it would work for thicker hair. But for anyone whose hair always does what you want, and you just want to make life easier for yourself, then it is under £40 so worth a try to see whether it is the styling item you’ve been hunting high and low for.

Specifications

  • Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Cord Length: 1.8m

We like

  • Different abilities
  • Comfortable to hold for long periods

We dislike

  • Not as effective as having separate items

Final Verdict

While it won't give you the curls of a high end model, we still love the space saving design and ability

CARMEN C81033 Curling Tong

Sometimes, you just want an affordable styling product which you can use when you need to add a bit of volume to your hair or before a night out. This is a cheap, cheerful and easy to use curling tong.

There is a maximum temperature of 185°C, so it doesn’t get too extreme yet will still make an impact on thicker hair. An LED indicator will let you know which temperature it is on, so you are always in charge of the outcome and can care for your hair.

An integrated heat stand is great if it takes you a little while to get each strand of hair ready in between curls and you don’t want to risk placing it directly on the surface. The lever is also a really great size to press and lift the clamp up, so you don’t have to risk losing all of the hair while you are sorting everything out.

It takes quite a while to heat, and the cord isn’t a great length. But for the cost, if you’re only using it every so often anyway, you should be safe.

Specifications

  • Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Heating Time: 2 minutes
  • Temperature Settings: 2
  • Cord Length: 1m

We like

  • Price
  • Good safe clamp
  • Lightweight

We dislike

  • Heat time

Final Verdict

Affordable, and while not the best, it still produces a good curl

Andrew Barton Curling Wand

Featuring a conical barrel for cascading curls, this Andrew Barton model is great value for how well it handles your hair.

Thanks to the ten heat settings, you can adjust the temperature to suit both your hair type and the style you are after. Thinner hair or shorter styles will only need a low setting, but thicker hair or tighter more set curls will need higher. The hottest is also plenty to tackle the most unruly of barnets, too.

This flexibility doesn’t only mean you can design as you wish, but you can care for your hair too. If you are wary about exposing it to heat, simply turn the temperature down.

There is an automatic shut off after 72 minutes, so if you occasionally leave the house without turning everything off first, this should stop any accidents. It will also help to save a little bit of electricity as it won’t be left on all day.

A heat ready indicator lets you know when it is up to the right temperature, and the included heat protection glove will give you a bit more control over the style.

For the price, it is a really powerful item. It even tackles long, thick hair reasonably well, which some of the models over three times the cost can’t really handle. Worth the purchase if you don’t want to splash out or are concerned about how to use a curling iron.

Specifications

  • Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Heating Time: 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings: 10
  • 2.5m Cord Length

We like

  • Works well for price
  • Generous cable length
  • Stay cool tip

We dislike

  • Best for loose curls - fails at producing tighter styles

Final Verdict

For a hair curler which falls under our budget section, it is actually pretty reliable and just as powerful as some of those retailing for much much more. The ten heat settings are very welcome too.

TRESemmé Waving Wand

The 28mm barrel of this TRESemme wand is perfect for creating loose, beachy waves and curls. As it is extra long, it can accommodate longer styles with ease. It leaves hair looking natural without being over styled, and depending on your hair type the curls can last up to 2 days.

A maximum temperature of 200°C is ideal for hair which is a lot more difficult to style, but there is also the option to change this temperature if your hair is finer. The automatic shut-off feature means it will turn off after 72 minutes even if left.

The safety stand means you can place it down anywhere without risking burns to your surfaces, and the heat up time is pretty good for the temperature it reaches. There is fast heat recovery too, in case you turn it off then realise you’ve missed a bit of hair and it’s glaringly obvious. A heat protective glove will keep your hands safe from any hot hair.

Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 60 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 3
  • 2.5m Cord Length

+ Downloads

TRESemme 2806U Perfectly (Un)Done Waves Specification Sheet

Download

We like

  • Really easy to grip and manoeuvre
  • Temperature choice

We dislike

  • Glove isn’t heat resistant enough to solely rely on

Final Verdict

The temperature choice and extra-long barrel makes this a great option no matter your hairstyle

Best Automatic

Remington CI606 Curl Revolution Automatic Curling Wand

Nice and quick to heat and ever so easy to use, this is a wand which really does take the effort out of the curling process.

Just place your hair through the barrel, and watch it twist automatically, saving your wrists from manually doing the work. All you need to do is press the switch when you are ready. You can choose to either curl randomly for a natural look, or all in the same way for a perfect uniform style.

It also protects your hair, thanks to four layers of protective tourmaline coating. The ceramic barrel is also static-free, so if your hair usually goes a little flyaway with heat and ends up looking less than perfect, you don’t have to worry about having that issue this time.

Heating time is just 15 seconds, which makes it an ideal morning styling product. There are also five heat settings, so it will suit styling any thickness of hair. If you often struggle with getting a good grip and inadvertently turn your stylers off/change the temperature when in use, then the locking system will prevent this.

It is great for beginners as it is so easy to use, but also for anybody who has regularly used curlers over the years but needs something a little easier. Because it takes in your hair, it is best for longer styles as opposed to shorter bobs or shoulder length but is still able to add a little bit of a curl to the bottom of the hair if you wish.

Specifications

  • Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Heating Time: 15 seconds
  • Temperature Settings: 5
  • Cord Length: 2.4m

+ Downloads

REMINGTON CI606 Curl Revolution Automatic Curling Wand User Manual

Download

We like

  • Easy to place hair
  • Doesn’t cause static
  • Motor is quick

We dislike

  • Takes a little getting used to

Final Verdict

Effortless, yet you are still in charge of the style outcome. For under £50, you have nothing to lose

BaByliss 2667u Curl Secret Hair Curler

A product which makes you wonder why nobody ever thought of it before. The BaByliss 2667u is excellent for those people who love to curl their hair but cannot operate a curling wand or tongs, as much as they try.

Pioneering Auto-Curl technology lets you simply automatically draw your hair into the curl chamber, and the machine does all of the hard work for you. Free flowing, they look perfectly natural and have a lasting effect.

The chamber softly holds and heats the hair thoroughly from all directions, so you don’t have to worry about any bits being missed. Three timer settings let you choose how long your hair needs to curl for, whether it be frizzy or fine.

All you have to do is place a section of your hair into the product and re-release it once it is ready.

It isn’t designed for very long hair, or for extensions, so if you fit in this category then stick to ordinary curlers which are appropriate.

Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 2
  • 2.5m Cord Length

+ Downloads

BaByliss 2667u Curl Secret Hair Curler User Manual

Download

We like

  • Little effort needed
  • Curls hold for hours
  • Timer settings

We dislike

  • Time-consuming if you have a lot of hair

Final Verdict

Revolutionary, and a must-have for anyone who loves the idea of curls but can’t deal with the effort

Hair Curling Buying Guide

Curling Iron vs Curling Wand

You may have seen that we have featured wands and tongs and are wondering what the difference is.

Curling Iron

Usually has a clasp, which keeps your hair in place around the barrel whilst the heat gets to work. This creates a more polished, defined curl in the form of ringlets. Hold it with the cord facing down.

Curling Wand

There is no clasp, and these are usually for anyone who prefers a beachy, natural wave to their hair. Hold with the cord facing up.

What About Chopstick Stylers?

These are a form of wand, but due to their skinny, long barrel size, they are for creating tight curls where you wrap your hair around several times. So they give the definition of an iron, but without the clasp.

Barrel Size

The size of the barrel on your curlers dictates the curl style of your hair. ⅜” is seen as the tightest, which is usually reserved for chopstick stylers which leave you with tight, springy curls. Barrels that are 1.5 – 2” give looser, bouncy waves.

Think about the size of curl you are most likely to want before you take the jump and buy a curling tong or wand. If you like to change it up a bit, buying two stylers or getting a product where the barrels are interchangeable is a great option.

You also need to think about how long your hair is and cater how long the barrel is to this. Some are more appropriate to shorter hair than longer styles and may struggle to accommodate the latter.

Heat Up Time

This information is as simple as it sounds – the time it takes for the appliance to heat up to the maximum possible temperature. It isn’t a massive issue to look out for, but you may like to keep it low if you like not to have to wait around for your products to heat up.

Temperature Variation

Depending on your hairstyle, you may require temperatures above a certain point to style your hair. Generally, thicker and frizzy hair needs hotter plate temperatures whereas these temperatures may be too much for fine hair, causing damage.

To get an exact measure of temperature, a device with a digital display is a great option. These do tend to be at the higher end of the market, though. You may also wish to purchase a model which can regulate the temperature well along the length of the wand or tong, so no damage is caused to your hair.

Plate Material

The vast majority of heat stylers are now ceramic, which gives much better protection to your hair. There are some more advanced materials currently being used, however, such as tourmaline and titanium.

As your curler will be in contact with your hair for long durations to hold the style, it is best to get a material which will keep heat damage to a minimum.

FAQs

Can I Not Just Use My Straighteners To Curl My Hair?

A lot of people use their straighteners to put a bit of wave and flick into their hair. This saves purchasing two products or waiting for two to heat up to change between the two. Straighteners with curved barrel bodies have made it a popular choice, such as ghds.

However, most don’t give the level of curl that a dedicated curling wand or tong will. It is also a bit of an art form – it may seem easy enough, but one wrong move and the hair is often poker straight, never to be curled again until after you wash it.

If you like to have the option to curl your hair every so often, such as for nights out or in between washes, investing in a curling device will be a lot easier.

Who Makes The Best Hair Curlers?

The best hair curler for you may not be the best for somebody else, but brands to look out for include BaByliss, TRESemme, Lee Stafford and ghd.

It is best to not focus so much on brand, but other factors such as the curl that the product will give your hair, how fast it takes to heat up and how easy it will be to use.