Curling irons all look about the same, but subtle design characteristics can make a huge difference in your hair style. All five of our top contenders are unique in their own way.
We do not accept products directly from manufacturers; we use our own funds to purchase the same “off-the-shelf” products that you do. And when we've finished our testing and consumer reviews, we donate all these products to charities and other non-profit organizations.
We put each product through its paces in a controlled laboratory environment.
Our pick of the best 5 curling irons in the market today are:
Most people don't want to go through a lengthy styling regimen every morning. The ideal curling iron helps you look your best in a reasonable amount of time. Every feature should contribute to the overall convenience, efficiency, and effectiveness of the product.
All curling irons exist to perform one major function: curling the hair. However, different models include different features that can make this task a lot easier. In this section, we take a look at each iron's list of features and find out what owners have to say about their helpfulness.
Do you want tight ringlets? Soft waves? Are you looking for a product that smooths your otherwise frizzy hair? In this section, we take a look at what types of results you can expect from each product.
You don't have to spend a fortune to get a great hair style, but opting for the cheapest curling iron is not necessarily the best idea, either. In this section, we discuss each product's price in relation to the benefits it provides.
Denise has a background in healthcare and physical therapy. She also has the unique experience of raising three boys. Through the years, she has coached her sons and many of their friends through their share of childhood health problems and accidents. When not helping others recover from their injuries, you may find Denise working in her garden or reading.
A curling iron should make your life easier, and the Conair Infiniti Pro does just that by tightly clamping your hair to its heated barrel – without slippage. Because of the Conair's firm grip, owners spend less time in front of the mirror and more time enjoying life! One owner felt that the Conair's grip was actually too tight. It's not a common complaint, but this particular owner felt that her hair might actually “rip out” because of how tight the clamp was. In our opinion, this is a good problem to have! This iron also gets high ratings from customers for its swivel cord. You could easily sit in a chair while styling your hair, as the cord effortlessly maneuvers wherever you want it to go.
The Remington T Studio Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Wand lets you know exactly how much heat your hair is getting via its easy-to-read digital display. Multiple heat settings are available; simply choose the one that makes your hair curl the best. (The maximum temperature is 410 degrees Fahrenheit.) Unlike some of the other curling irons on our shortlist, the Remington Pearl does not come with a clamp; owners must use their fingers to wind and hold the hair in place while it's heating. A protective glove comes with the package, but one owner who didn't like the thinness of the glove said you should "expect to burn your hand" anyway. As a conical, clamp-less curling iron, there's a bit of a learning curve with this product. However, you can simplify your learning process by watching one of many helpful how-to tutorials on the Internet.
Like the Remington Pearl, the Bed Head "Curlipops" Curling Iron comes with no clamp. This can be disconcerting for those who are accustomed to using a curling iron with a clamp. You must wrap your locks around the barrel with your fingers and hold them in place while they curl -- hence the included protective glove. The Bed Head gets particularly hot, and it offers only one heat setting, so consumers must be extra careful when using this product. The glove is very thin and flimsy; some owners told us that it actually melted when it touched the hot barrel. All of that being said, most owners absolutely love this product. They appreciate the fact that no clamp is included because they get true spiral curls that way. If you're up for the no-clamp challenge and you don't mind a product with no heat gauge and no automatic shutoff, the Bed Head Curli Pops could be the right choice for you.
No matter what style you're aiming for, you can create it easily thanks to the BaBylissPRO's light weight, fast-heating titanium barrel, and 360-degree swivel cord. Unlike some other irons on our list, this one includes a helpful clamp that presses hair gently yet firmly to the heat source. Admittedly, the BaByliss gets extremely hot in a matter of seconds. When you're first getting used to the feel of the wand, you may inadvertently touch the hot titanium and burn your fingers. Thankfully, the long handle balances the barrel well, so you're unlikely to suffer hand or arm fatigue as you create your style.
The Jose Eber 25mm Curling Iron comes with a professional-length, 360-degree swivel cord and a weighted handle to keep it safely in its resting position. It does not have a clamp. Some people find this type of curling iron difficult to use; others rave about how beautiful their hair looks when they use it. The Jose Eber gets extremely hot (410 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the manufacturer), and like several of the other irons on our shortlist, it does not come with a temperature gauge. Thankfully, however, it does come with a protective glove. A large portion of the owners we surveyed stressed the importance of using this glove. (Apparently, a significant number of Jose Eber users have burned themselves.) In spite of the burning mishaps, this product has a reputation as an elite and coveted brand.
The Conair Infiniti offers a handful great highlights, including a 30-second heat-up period, automatic shutoff after one hour, a controllable LED temperature display that can go up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and a tourmaline barrel that protects hair from over-drying and prevents it from frizzing. The Infiniti's swivel cord, mentioned earlier in our "Ease of Use" section, is another user-friendly feature that makes your styling routine a little easier. The barrel in our product picture is one inch in diameter, but the Infiniti is also available in other diameters (1 ½ inches, 1 ¼ inches, ½ inch, and ¼ inch).
One common feature that's notably absent from the lightweight Remington Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Wand is the traditional curling iron clamp. Owners must twirl and hold down their own hair with this product. However, many satisfied customers say they like curling their hair this way because it gives them more control -- all the way down to the ends of their hair. A glove is included to protect the fingers, which are more exposed due to the absence of the clamp. (This iron gets extremely hot; protecting the skin is a wise move.) Another feature potential buyers should be aware of is the conical shape of this iron. Plenty of people love styling with this type of iron, but if you don't know how to use it, your results could be irregular.
The Bed Head "Curlipops" Curling Iron boasts a tourmaline ceramic barrel which spreads heat evenly and safely across your locks. Tourmaline ceramic is used by professional stylists as well as amateurs and is known for its ability to create smooth, silky styles without frizzing or damaging the hair. In terms of features, this iron is a rather bare bones product. While a protective glove is included, many of the owners we spoke to said it doesn't really protect at all -- in fact, it frequently melts! However, the removable rubber tip does a good job preventing your neck from getting burned. The Curli Pops comes with no automatic shutoff, no temperature gauge, and only one heat setting. You never know for sure how hot your iron is, and you cannot turn down the temperature if you find it to be too hot. A few owners told us they inadvertently burned their bathroom counter top with this wand.
Owners love the BaBylissPRO's impressive list of features, including its lightweight design, fast heat-up, easy-to-use buttons, and gorgeous results. At the very top of its feature list, however, is quality. BaByliss maintains an excellent reputation in the beauty tool industry, and for good reason. This is a brilliantly engineered curling iron with a huge fan base. Owners, many of whom are devoted to the entire BaByliss line of styling products, say they're delighted with their purchase.
The Jose Eber Curling Iron features a barrel of Korean tourmaline ceramic for even heating and frizz-free styling. There is no temperature gauge, but the manufacturer states that it heats up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit -- very hot! As such, a protective glove is also included. Some owners were not satisfied with the glove. One woman told us it was too large for her hand; she ended up using a fitted oven mitt instead. The cord is comfortably long and offers a 360-degree swivel feature. The manufacturer does not offer information as to whether this product includes automatic shutoff. Because it is not mentioned in the specs, we're assuming that this convenience is not part of the package.
Customers rave about the aesthetic results they get from their Conair Infiniti for two main reasons. First, the clamp is extremely tight. You're more likely to get tight curls than loose ones with this iron, but it's much easier to loosen a tight curl than it is to tighten a loose curl! Second, the tourmaline barrel leaves hair satiny smooth after styling. That's because its infrared heat distributes evenly over all parts of the curl. Unlike irons made of metal, you don't have to worry about scorching, drying, or otherwise damaging your hair with this product.
The Remington Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Iron smooths and curls via ceramic and crushed-pearl technology. The ceramic-pearl combination is a popular technology that evenly distributes heat for more defined curls and lustrous hair. The wand's conical shape, when used correctly, can create curls even for those with "uncurlable" hair. Ringlets are the easiest type of curl to make, but once you get a handle on how to use the clamp-less conical barrel, you'll enjoy even more control over your final results. Some owners tell us that their curls look the same at the end of the day as they did at the beginning. Others tell us that their curls relax, but still look natural, after hours of wear. Customer satisfaction could be due, in large part, to the Remington's ceramic-pearl technology and the its high heat. (Maximum temperature is 410 degrees Fahrenheit.)
The Bed Head "Curlipops" gets really hot, and if you're not careful, you could burn your fingers. However, this heat — in combination with tourmaline ceramic technology and a slightly conical barrel — creates a frizz-free, long-lasting style for lots of owners. According to one satisfied customer, "This is the first time in my life I've been able to get natural-looking curls!" Because this wand doesn't have a clamp, there's a learning curve when it comes to styling technique. However, this technique is not impossible to master. One owner said she curls large chunks at a time, waits ten minutes, then brushes it out for a nice wavy style. People of all hair types — thick, fine, long, short — say that they're very happy with this iron's results. Some tell us they can maintain the same curls for several days; others say that by the end of the work day, they're ready to put their tired hair up in a pony tail. Overall, you can rely on this product to deliver a natural-looking, long-lasting style.
The BaBylissPRO delivers extremely hot infrared heat to its barrel in short order. Because it heats and styles so quickly, some users require only a few seconds per section of hair to create beautiful, longlasting curls. This fast styling action spares the hair much of the heat exposure and damage that cheaper curling irons can cause. Owners say they're able to create smooth bangs, soft waves, and tight ringlets with this single barrel. Of course, we encourage potential buyers to make sure they select their preferred barrel size before ordering. The BaByliss is available in diameters ranging from ¾ of an inch to 1 ½ inches, and each diameter lends itself to a certain style particularly well.
Jose Eber has an exceptional reputation for quality. Almost all of the owners we surveyed were extremely happy with this product. The Jose Eber 25mm Iron is known for its ability to create long-lasting curls, no matter what kind of hair you have. Women with hair halfway down their backs told us that this iron creates tight ringlets — a feature you wouldn't necessarily expect from a beauty tool sold on the commercial market. (These ringlets could, of course, be tamed with a bit of brushing and fluffing.) Many owners told us that they don't even need to use a styling products with this iron. However, because of its high heat, owners would be wise to dab a bit of protective heat serum on their tresses before using the Jose Eber — or any other beauty appliance that gets this hot!
At a cost of just $15, the Infiniti Pro by Conair is a real bargain. If you prefer to have a single curling iron with a clamp, this is the best budget choice you will find. Owners rave about how smooth, silky, and long-lasting their curls are. One person complained about how tightly the clamp closed down on her hair, but we think this is a good problem to have. We also like the Infiniti's automatic shutoff (not all models on this shortlist offer this convenience) and its LED temperature display.
The Remington Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Iron, with its ceramic/pearl styling barrel and digital display, is a steal at just $24. It's one of the best-selling curling wands on the market for a reason: owners can't say enough about how great their hair looks when they use this tool. Curls are smooth, free of frizz, and long-lasting. If you by this product, you'll have to master the art of using a conical wand with no clamp. However, it will be worth it -- and if you need styling help, you can find several helpful video tutorials with a Google search.
The Bed Head "Curlipops", at a cost of $24, is a close competitor of the Remington Pearl. This particular model doesn't use crushed pearl technology, but it does make use of tourmaline ceramic for even heating. Like the Remington, the Bed Head does not have a clamp. New owners will have to spend some time playing around with this tool if they don't already know how to use it. We wish this product had a heat gauge and an automatic shutoff feature. If it did, the contest between the Curli Pops and the Remington would be even closer.
At $49, the BaByliss is certainly not a cheap curling iron. But it's not the most expensive curling iron on the market, either. And yet, it continues to delight owners who, over the years, have become repeat buyers. We believe the secret to BaByliss' success lies in its quality components. Every part of the Nano Titanium curling iron is made with finesse and expert engineering. The result: an effortless, easy hairstyling routine and gorgeous, long-lasting curls.
Right now, you can get Jose Eber's 25mm Pink Curling Iron for $49. Considering the reputation of the manufacturer, that's a fantastic deal. The owners we surveyed could not get over how sleek and beautiful their curls look with this product. Granted, it's one of the most expensive on our shortlist, but if you've been wanting to try a Jose Eber, this is your chance! Potential buyers should bear in mind that this particular model does not have a clamp. It gets very hot, and using a protective glove is highly recommended. Similarly, there is no automatic shutoff, so owners need to be mindful of their safety habits when they use this iron.
All of the curling irons on our shortlist get high ratings from customers for their ability to create long-lasting curls. However, the very best product on our list is the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron. Made by one of the market's top beauty tool manufacturers, the BaByliss curling iron easily creates beautiful, long-lasting styles that people of all hair types can enjoy.
Perhaps you want a few tight ringlets to complement your up-do. Perhaps you want long, soft waves that flow over your shoulders as you walk along the beach. If you use a curling iron, it's your right to experiment and have fun with it. Experimentation is much easier when you have a curling iron that effortlessly creates all sorts of curls! Yes, the BaByliss is sold in different barrel diameters, but owners say that they're able to create a variety of luxurious, textured curls using just one wand.
For those who aren't comfortable using a clamp-less wand, this product holds particular appeal. Simply lock your hair under the clamp, wind it to your desired tightness, and release a few moments later.
The BaByliss uses fast-acting infrared heat to penetrate hair and style it quickly. As a result, hair endures minimal exposure to heat.
The BaBylissPRO uses titanium technology to evenly heat and curl the hair. This technology is great for hair delicate hair because it preserves moisture, prevents burning, and unlocks negative ions to promote a healthy shine. Other great features include speedy heat-up, easy-to-use controls, and a swiveling cord that allows you to maneuver the iron any which way you please.
Because this is a BaByliss product, you know you're getting a styling tool made with quality and integrity. And when you consider the price — just $49 — you know you're getting a good deal for your money. For all of these reasons and more, we're proud to endorse the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron as the best on the market.
All of the curling irons on our shortlist are fairly affordable, and all deliver great quality. However, the Best Bang for Your Buck is the Remington T Studio Pearl Digital Ceramic Curling Wand. This appliance creates gorgeous, dependable hair styles and offers a host of desirable features for a very low price — just $24.
We're highly impressed with the Remington's easy-to-read digital display. You don't get this feature with a lot of curling irons nowadays, but it's a handy feature to have -- especially considering the fact that this iron can get up to a smoldering 410 degrees Fahrenheit! The package comes with a protective glove, the quality of which is debatable. Some owners swear by the glove; others say it's not worth the bother. If you purchase this product, you must do something to protect your fingers, as the product gets very hot. There's no clamp, which means your fingers will come dangerously close to the wand's high heat. Therefore, if you don't use a glove, you must be very mindful of your fingers.
The fact that this wand does not have a clamp could be a turn-off for some. However, we encourage all consumers — even styling novices — to explore the possibility of using the Remington Pearl. A simple Google search will turn up many helpful video tutorials on how to style your hair beautifully (and safely) with this type of appliance.
The Remington owners we spoke to could not get over how authentic and natural their curls look. This is due, in large part, to the conical shape of the barrel and the absence of the clamp.
The Remington is the only iron on our shortlist to combine ceramic technology with crushed pearl. The pearl enhances the ceramic's ability to disperse heat evenly across the barrel, creating uniform curls without frying the hair shaft. If you're serious about getting good curls, you really need to keep barrel technology in mind when selecting a heated styling tool. Ceramic technology is a must-have these days; the Remington's addition of crushed pearl makes this product all the more attractive.
Even those with "uncurlable" hair told us they had success with this product. And at such a low price, you can't go wrong with this product. If you're intrigued, we urge you to give this technology a try. You'll be glad you did!