Curls and waves are big news in the beauty world right now. Assuming you weren’t blessed with your preferred beachy wave, corkscrew or big and bouncy curls at birth, you’ll have to turn to the best hair curlers to create them for you. With an ever-expanding array of hair curlers on the market – which will make your hair look perfect rather than poodle? We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to.
In the list we’ve got some of our classics, including the GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand, while making it to the top of our list include some new entries such as the BeautyWorks Professional Styler, endorsed by Love Island’s Molly Mae, and of course, the supremely talented Dyson AirWrap, so whether you want that chic Hollywood finish or a more subtle wave, we’ve got you covered.
How to choose the best hair curlers for you
When choosing the correct hair curler for you, you need to consider the type of curl you want, your own hair type and length, your budget, and whether you’ll be curling regularly or for red carpet events only.
Additionally, consider how good you are at curling your hair – if things like this don’t come easily to you might be best off with the BaByliss Curl Secret which pretty much does it all for you….
We recommend that you curl your hair in sections, starting with the underneath and finishing with the top sections that frame your face.
Of course, there can only one curler can take the crown of THE BEST, and once again that goes to the Dyson Airwrap. Dyson also topped the list in our best hair dryer guide with Dyson Supersonic, so the brand clearly knows what it's doing when it comes to beauty.
The Airwrap may be pricey but it’s the perfect tool for those who don’t have the time or patience when it comes to drying and styling but still want their hair to look effortlessly good.
If you want something a little more affordable than the Dyson, then the GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand is a great alternative. Although we wouldn’t say it’s better than the Dyson, it is a lot more affordable and easier for travelling with thanks to the slim build. We love a multi-tasking hair tool and the GHD makes light work of lots of different curls and waves, always leaving your hair shiny and frizz-free. Result.
Check out our full list of the best hair curlers below:
The best hair curlers you can buy today
The Dyson Airflow is the ultimate curling kit for anyone who hates styling their hair. This model uses powerful airflow combined with controlled heat, to dry and style your hair all at once. It has intelligent heat control to ensure you don’t damage your hair, always remaining below 150 degrees.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the type of curls you can achieve with this styler, as it comes with six different brushes and attachments. Whether you want beachy waves, Hollywood curls or something in between, we guarantee you’ll be able to achieve it with the Dyson Airwrap, and we’d certainly hope so, considering how much they cost.
Make sure you check our Dyson discount codes to bag the best price.
Let’s start with looks – as with all GHD products on the market, it’s a desirable looking bit of kit and feels well built in the hand and proves easy to use. The design has been expertly thought out with a great built-in stand and cool tip (a glove is included too) but best of all is the tapered 28mm – 23mm barrel that allows you to create so many different styles from voluminous curls to beachy waves.
The GHD wand heats up to 185 degrees, which we love, as this is the optimum temperature for styling, without heat damage – there tri-zone technology also works brilliantly, even distributing the heat across the barrel. Other features to love include universal voltage, auto sleep after 30 minutes without use and a long cord.
The BeautyWorks Professional Styler is a miracle worker for those with really long hair or hair extensions. Not only is the wand itself beautiful, but its extra-long barrel allows you to easily wrap all of your hair around for a consistent curl. It has adjustable temperature from 80-220 degrees and the ceramic coating ensures the cuticle is sealed and your curls will stay in place all day. If you’re not a seasoned pro at curling your hair then just be careful and take your time with this one as the wand can be tricky to handle when you’ve got a long, thick mane, but it does come with a protective glove to ensure you don’t burn your fingers. This styler is such good value for money and a staple for anyone who loves the big and bouncy look.
The T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand is a serious bit of kit. It looks the part too in white with rose gold trim. The most expensive on test, it comes with three interchangeable barrels (1inch, 1.25 -0.75inch tapered & 1.5inch) which easily slot securely into the base, allowing you to create loose beach waves, big bouncy waves or tight curls – great for fashionistas who like to change their look a lot. The curls and waves we achieved easily looked great and were frizz-free. It has 5 heat settings, up to 210 degrees. We were really impressed with the precision locking system and the fact that even our thick hair only needed five seconds per curl. Comes with a heat resistant glove and bag.
The BaByliss Curl Secret is the only hair curler on test that isn’t a wand of some sort. Pick it up and you can instantly tell it’s well made. It’s super simple to use too - you simply clamp it on a piece of hair, which it sucks up and forms into perfect curls and then beeps three times to let you know its done. Perfect, frizz-free curls every time without any real effort. We were impressed with how natural the curls looked – the styler automatically alternates the curl direction each time a section of hair is drawn into the chamber to achieve this. It has two heat settings of 210C and 230C and 3 timer settings for different curl effects. Other features we rate include the heat ready indicator and 20min sleep mode function. auto shut off and long cord. Comes with a heat protection mat.
The Wahl curling tong isn’t ugly, or indeed bulky, but it is basic rather than inspiring looking. That said the tongs feel fine in the hand, however, we did find the on/off switch a little confusing as it lights up red and we’d expect a green light to signal ready to use. The tongs, which heat quickly to a top temperature of 200 degrees, have a clamp which holds the hair in place and makes them super easy to use – we found we were immediately able to form perfect bouncy curls in six seconds per curl. We were super impressed with both the glossy medium-sized curls these tongs created and the high-end features including cool-touch tip and integrated stand. These can’t be beaten for value.
The Remington PROluxe Curling Wand looks a lot more expensive than it is, was comfortable to use and felt well made. We loved the digital display, which shows the temperature of the wand. There are no less than 10 temperature settings ranging from 120°C - 210°C to suit different hair types and styles. We were most impressed with the Pro+ setting at 185°C for styling without heat damage to your hair. The 25mm – 38mm tapered barrel means you can create a variety of medium and large-sized waves and curls. The size of the barrel was actually too large for my mid-length bob, but it would be perfect for long hair. Included in the box is a heatproof glove and storage bag.
With its four-inch ceramic barrel, the Waving Wand by Cloud Nine is a high-end hair curler with variable temperature control and a handy kickstand for resting the hot curler after use.
Designed for mid to long hair, the Waving Wand operates at 100 to 200 degrees centigrade, gets up to temperature within 20 seconds, had a 2.7-metre power cord and is ideal for wavy looks.
Designed to create more volume and soft, natural waves, age Volume Curls by TRESemmé has a larger 32mm ceramic barrel. It has three heating settings that go up to 200 degrees centigrade and the curler is ready to use in 60 seconds.
There's an integrated heat rest to avoid burning any surfaces, an indicator to say when it's up to temperature, a long 2.5-metre power cord, auto shut-off and an included protective heat mat.
This compact curler from Toni&Guy is perfect for tucking into your suitcase (once holidays are a thing again, of course), while still packing the power of a full-size styler.
The Style Fix Curler has a 25mm ceramic tourmaline barrel and can heat up to 210 degrees centigrade. It also boasts 'colour lock technology' and works with all voltage levels, making it perfect for travel.
Cord length is a little short compared to others, at 1.8 metres.
How we test the best curlers
We spend a lot of time reviewing the best hair curlers, so when it comes to recommending what curling iron to buy, you can be safe in the knowledge that we'll recommend the best options for you.
We'll usually spend a week or longer testing new hair curlers, and the review process is fairly straightforward – we use them to curl and style our hair. This helps us test how easy they are to use and achieve our desired hairstyle.
It also lets us test whether the hair curlers damage our hair (yes, we're really putting our bodies on the line here) or whether they leave hair feeling smooth, glossy and healthy.
If the hair curlers have any advanced features, such as cordless battery life or quick-heat settings, then we'll try these out to test if they work and if they're worth you spending extra money on.
Where possible we'll test the curlers on different types of hair, including thick long hair, and thinner curly hair. Although, it's worth noting that this isn't always possible.
Once the initial review period is complete we'll publish a full review, give the hair straighteners a star rating, and add an abridged review to this guide.