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Whether it’s beachy waves or perfectly coiled ringlets, using the right curling iron can offer you the style you want — and should do so without damaging your hair. From barrel size to heat settings to curling iron material, here are some of the best curling irons you can buy.

When it comes to purchasing a curling iron, the first order of business is analyzing your hair and how you’d like to curl it. 

Is your hair long, short, or in between? Thick or fine? Frizzy or smooth? Once you’ve figured out your hair type, it’s time to consider what you want your curling iron for. Curling irons and curling wands are surprisingly versatile, but what you purchase will greatly depend on if you want volume, waves, or a specific type of curl. 

First, you’ll want to consider a curling iron versus a curling wand. A curling iron has a clamp that will hold your hair in place as you curl it. A curl wand is clasp-free and you’ll need to hold the hair around it, apt for looser waves. 

Both types of irons offer different barrel sizes and shapes. Generally speaking, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl. If you have shorter hair, you’ll want a smaller barrel, too. 

Heat settings are important to consider, especially for fine hair. To avoid damaging your hair, use the lowest setting possible to give your hair your desired curl. In most circumstances, you shouldn’t go much over 400°F, or you could damage your hair.

When it comes to material, you’ve got options. Ceramic curling irons are some of the most common. These are best for fine hair, dry hair, or hair that can’t handle a higher heat setting, as ceramic will heat your hair evenly and lock in moisture to help avoid damaging your hair.

Titanium curling irons are best for thick or unmanageable hair. Be careful when using these irons as it’s easier to damage your hair if you don’t know what you’re doing. Tourmaline irons are best for frizzy hair, as they are smoothing.

Remember, regardless of curling iron size or material, don’t wrap too much hair around the iron, or you won’t get the results you desire. And, don’t hold your hair on the iron for too long, which could overheat and damage your hair.

While damage is always possible, it helps if you’re using the right iron. And you can find just the right one for you on this list, which features some of the best curling irons and curling wands on the market.

The best curling irons you can buy

Best overall curling iron and curling wand set: 6 in 1 Curling Wand Set with 6 Interchangeable Ceramic Barrels with Anti-scalding Tip (0.35” to 1.25”) and Heat Resistant Glove, Hair Curler for Girls Women Gifts

Best affordable curling iron wand set: USHOW Curling Iron, 5 in 1 Curling Wand Set, Instant Heat Up Hair Curler with 5 Interchangeable Tourmaline Ceramic Barrels (0.35″ to 1.25″), LCD Heat Display, 12 Adjustable Temperature, Include Glove

Best curling iron wand for frizzy hair: INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Rainbow Titanium 1.25-Inch Curling Wand

Best titanium curling iron: Conair INFINITIPRO BY Titanium 1Inch Curling Iron, Black / Rose Gold, 1 Count

Best curling wand for loose curls and volume:  Bed Head Curlipops Clamp-Free Curling Wand, 1 inch

Best versatile curling iron wand set: Curling Iron,PARWIN PRO BEAUTY 7 in 1 Curling Wand Set with 7 Interchangeable Barrels and Heat Protective Glove Auto Shut Off Dual Voltage

Best curling iron that won’t damage hair: T3 – SinglePass Curl Professional Curling Iron Custom Blend Ceramic Curling and Styling Iron with Adjustable Heat Settings for Shiny Smooth Curls and Waves

Best curling iron for short hair: REVLON Perfect Heat Ceramic Curling Iron, 3/4″

Best curling iron for thick hair: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

Best curling iron wand set for beginners: LAYADO 5 in 1 Curling Iron, Curling Wand Set with Hair Straightener Brush, Instant Heat Up Curling Wand with LCD & Temperature Adjustment Include Glove and 2 Hair Clips

Best curling iron for long hair: Hoson 1 1/4 Inch Curling Iron Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Coating Barrel Hair Curler, LCD Display with 9 Heat Setting(225°F to 450°F for All Hair Types, Glove Include)

Best professional curling iron wand set: Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Ion Unclipped 3-in-1 Ceramic Curling Iron, 3 Interchangeable Barrels for Multiple Hairstyles

Best overall curling iron and curling wand set: 6 in 1 Curling Wand Set with 6 Interchangeable Ceramic Barrels with Anti-scalding Tip (0.35” to 1.25”) and Heat Resistant Glove, Hair Curler for Girls Women Gifts

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $39.99

Not sure if you want a curling iron or a curling wand? You don’t have to decide with the 6 in 1 Curling Wand set, which offers 3 ceramic curling wand attachments and 3 ceramic curling iron attachments for many versatile options.

The affordable set comes complete with a heat-resistant glove and two hair clips, making your curling or waving experience easy. This set is ideal if you’re on the go, as it offers various heat settings, heating up to 410°F in just 60 seconds. The ceramic iron attachments won’t damage your hair, and the set gives you the flexibility to curl however you want, from spiral curls to natural waves and everything in between.

Best affordable curling iron wand set: USHOW Curling Iron, 5 in 1 Curling Wand Set, Instant Heat Up Hair Curler with 5 Interchangeable Tourmaline Ceramic Barrels (0.35″ to 1.25″), LCD Heat Display, 12 Adjustable Temperature, Include Glove

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $37.48

If you’re in the market for a curling wand set that won’t break the bank, the USHOW 5 in 1 curling wand set is for you. Just under $38, you’ll get 5 different tourmaline ceramic curling wands ranging in size with 12 different heat settings going up to 450°F. The set, which comes complete with a glove, has an automatic shut-off and a lock button to avoid accidents.

Although the wands are tourmaline, the special ceramic top coating ensures the heat evenly distributes to all of your hair to reduce damage and keep your hair soft, smooth, and shiny.

Best curling iron wand for frizzy hair: INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Rainbow Titanium 1.25-Inch Curling Wand

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $19.94

This 1.25-inch curling wand gets rid of frizz and adds shine as it curls your hair thanks to its unique rainbow titanium material. With 20 different heat settings reaching up to 400°F, the curling wand is apt for all different hair types

The clamp-free wand takes heat safety seriously, coming with a thermal glove as well as an automatic shut-off to ensure it doesn’t overheat. The hot tool is versatile, as it’s capable of curling your hair in different ways. You can wrap hair further apart for looser waves, or closer together for more defined or tighter curls.

Best titanium curling iron: Conair INFINITIPRO BY Titanium 1Inch Curling Iron, Black / Rose Gold, 1 Count

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $18.99

For those wanting a more traditional titanium curler, this 1-inch curling iron keeps your hair silky and shiny as it curls. It heats evenly throughout, ensuring your hair won’t be damaged during the curling process.

Features include a 30-second heat-up and 30 different heat settings up to 400°F. There’s also an automatic shut-off and cool tip for safety. And, the curling iron’s 5-foot cord swivels for maximum mobility during use.

Best curling wand for loose curls and volume:  Bed Head Curlipops Clamp-Free Curling Wand, 1 inch

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $15.74

This clamp-free, 1-inch curling wand uses ceramic tourmaline technology to create a shiny, frizz-free look. It heats up to 400° F and comes with a safety glove for added heat protection. This is one of the few curling hot tools on our list that features dual voltage, too.

The Bed Head Curlipops curling wand says it offers ‘loose curls with outrageous body,’ so it’s best for anyone looking for a more voluminous, tousled curl look versus more defined curls.

Best versatile curling iron wand set: Curling Iron,PARWIN PRO BEAUTY 7 in 1 Curling Wand Set with 7 Interchangeable Barrels and Heat Protective Glove Auto Shut Off Dual Voltage

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $68.99

This is one of the higher-price items on our list, perfect for anyone that wants to create different types of curls. With 7 different curling wands, a heat-protective glove, 2 clips, and a chic travel carrying case, you’ll have a serious wand toolkit available for your desired curl look.

The 7-in-1 set features interchangeable barrels ranging from 13 mm to bubble and spiral options, meaning you can create tight spirals, big waves, or anything in between. The PTC heating technology and LCD display make it easy to find just the right heat setting for your hair, and the negative ions on the tourmaline ceramic curling wand will keep your hair smooth and free of frizz.

Best curling iron that won’t damage hair: T3 – SinglePass Curl Professional Curling Iron Custom Blend Ceramic Curling and Styling Iron with Adjustable Heat Settings for Shiny Smooth Curls and Waves

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $149.00

Can you really put a price on healthy locks? This T3 1.25-inch ceramic iron is the splurge option on our list, but it will create those perfect polished curls without breaking hair or creating split ends in the process.

With heat settings that go up to 410° F, the ceramic heat technology creates a balanced and even heat that will ensure your hair stays soft and silky during and after the curling process. 

Best curling iron for short hair: REVLON Perfect Heat Ceramic Curling Iron, 3/4″

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $12.88

For shorter hair or tight ringlets, Revlon’s Perfect Heat ceramic curling is just ¾ of an inch. The size makes it easy for those with shorter hair to wrap strands around the thinner ceramic barrel. 

Although it features 30 heat settings going up to 400° F, this iron has a triple ceramic coating to lock in moisture and minimize heat damage to your hair. The cool tip, safety stand, and tangle-free swivel cord make it an easy-to-use, straightforward option for those who struggle with heat tools.

Best curling iron for thick hair: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $59.99

This 1.25-inch BaBylissPRO nano curling iron uses nano titanium technology and far-infrared heat to evenly heat your hair and create beautiful, soft curls without damaging your hair.

Best for thick hair, the iron heats up to 450° F, offering those with hard-to-manage or unruly hair a little extra heat boost to get that perfect curl. The larger barrel is also ideal for looser waves; those looking for tighter spirals may prefer a smaller barrel.

Best curling iron wand set for beginners: LAYADO 5 in 1 Curling Iron, Curling Wand Set with Hair Straightener Brush, Instant Heat Up Curling Wand with LCD & Temperature Adjustment Include Glove and 2 Hair Clips

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $41.99

Not actually sure how you want to curl your hair?  This Layado set comes with three different-sized ceramic barrel wands, a spiral curler, and a straightening brush for those looking to experiment with different types of curl and even straight hairstyles.

The set, which also comes with a storage bag, two hair clips, and a heat protector glove, has universal dual voltage and 28 different heat levels getting up to 450° F. Even when using the hottest heat settings, the irons ceramic tourmaline material uses negative irons to combat damage and increase shine. 

Best curling iron for long hair: Hoson 1 1/4 Inch Curling Iron Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Coating Barrel Hair Curler, LCD Display with 9 Heat Setting(225°F to 450°F for All Hair Types, Glove Include)

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $24.99

When it comes to best curling practices, longer hair requires a larger barrel. And this Hoson 1.25-inch curling iron is best for long hair, using ceramic tourmaline technology to release negative ions in your hair for a frizz-free, shiny mane. 

The fast-heating iron has dual voltage, heats up to 450° F, and features an easy-to-read LCD-temperature display. The curling iron has an anti-scald barrel which allows your hair to heat evenly throughout, minimizing damage.

Best professional curling iron wand set: Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Ion Unclipped 3-in-1 Ceramic Curling Iron, 3 Interchangeable Barrels for Multiple Hairstyles

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Price: $105.00

This Paul Mitchell Pro Tools curling iron wand set is one of the pricer heating tool options on our list, but it comes with three different barrels to create beachy waves, natural curls, and tighter spirals. 

Far-infrared technology heats hair evenly and minimizes dryness, making for versatile and shiny curls. And, the iron heats up to 410° F in 60 seconds, apt for a gal on the go who wants versatile and bouncy curl options.

Which curling irons are best for your Life & Style?

With decisions like curling wands vs. clamped curling irons, barrel size, and barrel material to consider, finding the iron for you may feel like too much. But shopping for the right curling iron for you doesn’t have to be overwhelming. 

Purchasing a set may be the best option for anyone not exactly sure what type of curl they want, for newbies to curling, or for those looking to experiment. Remember, the first step is to analyze your hair, then figure out what type of curl you want. More advanced users versed in curling their locks regularly might prefer to purchase a single iron that can create their specific look or favorite type of curl.

Maybe you already understand your hair type, know what curls you like, and have curled before. Or, perhaps the world of heating tools, curling irons, and curling wands feels completely foreign. Either way, this list can help you select the best curling for your hair type and desired curl.