Advertisement

Join in
Mumsnet is supported by readers. All our writers obsessively research every product we recommend. When you buy through a link on our site we might earn commission but this never influences our product choices.

10 best hair curlers for every hair type

If you’re looking for ways to add volume, curl or bounce to your hair, here’s a guide to the best hair curlers you can buy this year.

By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Sep 21, 2021

Woman curling hair in mirror

Styling your hair for a party or simply giving yourself a fresh new look can be an exciting change, but searching for an effective and simple-to-use hair tool to revolutionise your beauty routine can be difficult in a minefield of duds and disappointments.

Advertisement

Well, your frustrations are over. From dramatic ringlets to tousled waves, many styles are achievable with our round-up of the best curlers on the market today. We’ve checked out the reviews, researched best buy lists and, most importantly, trawled the Mumsnet forums to find our users’ top hair curlers - because we know nothing compares to a real recommendation.

Whether you're after a wand or a tong, something for short or long hair, or fancy a fuss-free tool that does it all for you (yes, really), we've found the most impressive products to meet your needs.

Here are the best hair curlers for 2021.

1. Best overall hair curler: Cloud Nine The Curling Wand

Cloud Nine curler

Price: £119 | Buy now from Amazon

"I use the Cloud Nine wand and it comes in various thickness. I have very long thick hair and if I don’t set my hair in heated rollers I use this." - Ivgotasecretcanyoukeepit 

We love how this innovative wand creates show-stopping styles with extra shine. This thanks to the mineral-infused barrel that works to maintain moisture as you curl, giving you that coveted, glossy finish. 

The fast-heating barrel is made from smooth ceramic and will bless your locks with curls and waves of all shapes and sizes, and reviewers love how long-lasting the results are. The wand is suitable for all hair types, but the brand has wands better suited for longer and curly hair too. 

It may be pricier than other curlers, but the expense is worth it if you want a reliable curler that will give you luscious locks every time.

Pros

  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Swivel cord makes it easy to use
  • Three heat settings
  • Cloud Nine are dedicated to being more sustainable

Cons 

  • Expensive

Key specs

  • Max temp: 175°C
  • Number of settings: Three
  • Barrel material: Ceramic
  • Styler type: Wand design
  • Barrel size: 25mm

2. Best budget hair curler: Babyliss Curl Pro Tong

Babyliss curling tong

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“You need this wand... so cheap and easy to use. Do hair in sections, hairspray/fingers through when you've done each section. Ta dah! Been doing this without a mirror for 10 years and I get a lot of compliments on my hair.” - PicklePig31

Styling on a small budget is easy with the fantastic Curl Pro Tong. The gloss boosting quick-heat tourmaline plates turn dull, flat locks into long-lasting curls in moments so you can achieve a fabulous look even on those busy school-run mornings. 

For just under £20, you can’t go wrong with these inexpensive curlers, and we love that the multiple heat settings mean you can choose the temperature that works for you.

Pros

  • Variable temperature control
  • Lightweight
  • Good price

Cons

  • Short cable
  • No heat mat

Key specs

  • Max temp: 210°C
  • Number of settings: 5 digital temp. settings from 150°C - 210°C.
  • Barrel material: Tourmaline
  • Styler type: Tong design
  • Barrel size: 25mm

3. Best automatic hair curler: Glamouriser Instant Auto Curler

Glamoriser automatic curler

Price: £89.99 | Buy now from Amazon

 “It is amazing. My hair looks better than when it’s done at a salon and the curls last a good few days just gradually dropping to a nice wave.”  - parsnipsnotsprouts 

The Glamouriser provides automatic hair curling action for faff-free curls. It looks scary but your hair is heated slowly inside a ceramic barrel infused with black diamond oil which adds shine and prevents damage.

Choose the direction of the curl for a natural look and enjoy the cool-touch machine doing all the work - meaning no more burnt fingertips!

Pros

  • Quick to heat
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Salon length cord
  • Easy clean function

Cons

  • Can be heavy if you have lots of hair to curl

Key specs

  • Max temp setting: 210°C 
  • Number of settings: Not specified, but there are a variety between 80 - 210°C
  • Barrel material: Ceramic
  • Styler type: Automatic curler 
  • Barrel size: 25mm barrel 

4. Best hair curler for fine hair: Lee Stafford Originals Super Skinny Wand

Lee Stafford curling tong

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Lee Stafford has designed the ultimate tool for defined curls that can be shaken out for looser waves if desired. It’s affordable, lightweight and the long, thin (and very hot) barrel makes it so easy to curl all textures of hair, even fine. 

We like that it heats up in just 10 seconds too - perfect if you’re getting ready in a hurry.

Pros

  • Fast heating time
  • Two-year warranty
  • Cool tip 
  • Salon length cord
  • Styling glove included

Cons

  • Only one size of curl
  • Very hot - caution required!

Key specs

  • Max. temp setting: 210°C 
  • Number of heat settings: Not specified
  • Barrel material: Ceramic
  • Styler type: Wand style
  • Barrel size: 10mm 

5. Best hair curler for thick hair: Babyliss Curl Secret

Babyliss Curl Secret

Price: £89.99 | Buy now on Amazon

“Babyliss curl secret is fab but it gives curls not waves and they last. I'd say it takes me an hour but nothing else works on my hair.” - MrsPerfect12

The Curl Secret uses high heat gently to set soft curls, even in thick hair. 

Curls can go in different directions for a lovely relaxed look and it’s remarkably easy to use, but may take some time to get the desired effect. Long hair needs to be curled in small sections but once it’s all done the effect lasts for hours. 

Pros

  • Fast to heat up
  • Cool touch barrel
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Heat mat included 

Cons

  • Heavy
  • It’s very hot so use cooler settings to prevent damage to delicate hair
  • Can take a long time to style

Tech Spec 

  • Max temp setting: 230°C
  • Number of heat settings: Two 
  • Barrel material: Ceramic
  • Styler type: Automatic curl barrel
  • Barrel size: Not specified

6. Best 2-in-1 hair straightener and curler: GHD Gold Hair Straighteners

GHD Gold straighteners

Price: £139.62 | Buy now from Amazon

“I use them every day either to curl my hair or straighten it. Bit pricey to start with but they last ages. I’ve had mine for over six years now and they are still going strong. Also it’s really easy, it's actually quicker for me to curl my hair than straighten it. - Tittytittyhanghang

These iconic straightening irons also produce pretty curls and waves. The smooth ceramic plates ‘float’ which makes styling a cinch and the dual-zone sensors ensure even heat. 

GHD tools do a wonderful job at a relatively hair-friendly temperature so you can use them to style hair on a regular basis - although we'd always recommend using a heat protection spray first. There is a trick to curling with them but it’s super easy once you have sussed the required flick of your wrist. 

Pros

  • Fast heat-up time 
  • Automatic shut-off 
  • Salon length cable 
  • Two-year GHD guarantee included
  • Heat-resistant plate guard included

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Creating waves with a straightener may need some practice

Key specs

  • Max. temp setting: 185°C
  • Number of temp settings: One
  • Plate material: Ceramic
  • Styler type: Straightener
  • Barrel size: Not specified

7. Best hair curler for extensions or damaged hair: Dyson Air Wrap

The Dyson Air Wrap and tools

Price: £449 | Buy now from Currys

“I bought the full set and have used all the attachments regularly. It's really easy to use and the curls it gives are lovely.”  - FrenchLimeBlossom

Styling with the Air Wrap is effortless and it boasts powerful capabilities under 150 degrees, fantastic for extensions and fine hair. It’s versatile too - it includes impressive attachments for curls, waves, drying and smoothing.

At just under £450, it’s on the more luxury side of hair care tools, but it’s a high-tech product that’ll last and result in that glossy, blow dry look if you have the money to spare.

Pros

  • Two-year Dyson guarantee
  • Comes with a heat-proof storage case and a mat
  • Variety of attachments
  • Cleaning brush included

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Low heat means thick hair struggles to hold the curl

Key specs

  • Max. temp setting: 150°C
  • Number of heat settings: Four heat settings, three speed settings
  • Plate material: Depends on the attachment
  • Styler type: Multi-use styler
  • Barrel size: 30mm and 40mm Airwrap barrels and other attachments included for different sizes of curl/wave

8. Best hair curler for short hair: Toni & Guy Style Fix Curler

Toni & Guy Style Fix Curler

Price: £17.48 | Buy now from Amazon

When you’re busy and the days are long, transform or refresh your look on the move with this handbag-sized curling tong. For an incredible price, this is a great option if you're on a budget but still want a styling tool that works hard - although some reviewers have reported finding the tong gets too hot.

Toni & Guy have included a ‘Colour Lock’ technology to smooth follicles, protect and add shine, plus its compact size makes it ideal for shorter hair.

Pros

  • Fantastic for short hair styles
  • Fast to heat up
  • Five-year Toni & Guy guarantee
  • Good price

Cons

  • The short barrel and high heat means it is easy to burn your fingers
  • No heat mat included

Key specs

  • Max. temp: 210°C
  • Number of heat settings: Not specified
  • Barrel material: Tourmaline barrel
  • Styler type: Tong design 
  • Barrel size: 25mm barrel 

9. Best hair curler for long hair: Remington Coconut Therapy

Remington Coconut Therapy

Price: £38.99 | Buy now from Amazon

The unique anti-slip ceramic barrel on the Coconut Therapy is infused with nourishing coconut oil and UV filters to soften and protect your hair.

The tapered barrel also has sensors which allow you to create a variety of curl sizes at the optimum temperature. While the focus on curlers is usually function over the looks of the tool, we think the jade colour is a nice touch too.

Pros

  • Cool tip
  • Quick to heat up
  • ‘Temperature lock’ stops accidental heat changes
  • Five-year Remington guarantee included
  • Heat protection stand, styling glove and storage pouch included

Cons

  • Lower heat means curls in thick hair might not hold on some settings

Key specs

  • Max. temp setting: 210°C
  • Number of heat settings: Five
  • Barrel material: Ceramic
  • Styler type: Wand style 
  • Barrel size: 38mm at the base and 25mm at the tip 

10. Best hair curler for flexibility: Mark Hill Pick and Mix Curling Wand Handle

Mark Hill curling handle

Price: £29 for the base £15+ for attachments | Buy now from Amazon

Keep the focus on your favourite styles with the Pick and Mix. Each attachment has a different curling effect so you can choose the ones you want for the handle. They are bought separately though, which you may like for the added flexibility, but for some who want an all-in-one tool, a more traditional curler might be the better option.

If you've ever struggled to curl your hair in hard to reach places, the wand's design can be set at a 90 degree angle making it easier to achieve a full head of curls.

For versatility and ease-of-use this handy styler is a top choice. 

Pros

  • The cool tip on each attachment allows for safe styling
  • Effective heat styling at only 175 degrees 
  • Comes with a heat-proof glove

Cons

  • Expensive to collect the whole range
  • Different attachments may make it less easy for travelling

Key specs

  • Max. temp setting: 175°C
  • Number of heat settings: Various
  • Barrel material: Depends on the attachments
  • Styler type: Handle - attaches to various stylers
  • Barrel size: 32mm or 24mm barrels (depending on the attachments)

How to choose the best hair curlers 

Before you invest it's important to think about your hair type and what you want from a hair curler. It may be that you favour versatility or that you have one particular style in mind, but here are some thing to consider when choosing the right product for you. 

Barrel material

  • Ceramic curlers conduct heat evenly and, because they heat the hair at its core first, are better for easily damaged hair. 
  • Titanium iron is lightweight, durable, heats quickly and holds high temperatures for longer so is ideal for thick hair which needs a boost of heat to hold the curl.
  • Tourmaline adds negative ions to hair and helps to make dull, frizzy hair shiny and smooth.

The size of the barrel

  • Barrel width determines the size and tightness of the curl. The bigger the barrel, the bouncier the curl. 
  • A straight tong or wand will produce uniform curls for a glamorous look, while conical wands can produce cute ringlets on the tip, and soft waves on the wider base. 

Heat settings 

  • Adding heat is vital for lasting curls. There is nothing more dispiriting having your style droop within half an hour of leaving home, but you should avoid the temptation to fry your hair on the highest heat setting, especially if you have fine hair, existing damage or expensive hair extensions.
  • Most of the best hair curlers only go up to 210 degrees and some manufacturers limit their heat settings to 185 degrees, a temperature that is considered the optimum for effective styling without scorching the ends. 
  • Thick hair often needs a good blast of heat before it can be convinced to turn into a gorgeous spiral. If this applies to you, buy a curler with a high heat setting, but avoid frequent curling and work quickly.

Are curling tongs or wands better?

The tricky choice between curling tongs and waving wands depends on the look you want to achieve and how skilled you are with a heated hair tool. 

Curling tongs are an old-school, much-loved piece of kit. They have a straight barrel and can produce uniform small, tight curls, depending on the size of the barrel. Hair is held securely in place by the clamp for ease of styling and the prevention of burnt fingers. 

Curling wands are usually tapered and are capable of producing both bouncy ringlets and beachy waves. Though, with no clamp, they are trickier to use. 

What is the best hair curler?

We found the overall best curling wand was the Cloud Nine The Curling Wand, an investment buy that is truly worth the extra cash. We loved the fantastic results it produced from a hair-friendly maximum temperature of 175 degrees and the huge range of styles achievable with the smooth ceramic wand. 

High on our list of favourites was also the Glamouriser. This nifty piece of equipment looks like it would chew your hair up and get horribly, dreadfully stuck. Happily, it was the easiest hair curler to use and also works well for long hair (as long as you only put an inch width in at a time). 

On a budget? The best hair curler UK retailers sell is also one of the cheapest. Babyliss are prolific makers of hair tools and the Curl Pro Tong is one of their best. It takes a bit of practice, but once you’ve cracked it, this beauty is one of the best curlers for short hair and shoulder length barnets.  

Are hair curlers safe?

As with any electrical device, care must be taken to follow the safety instructions. The hair curlers that we have recommended all produce a high level of heat so please follow all the appropriate safety guidelines related to these products.

Avoid over-styling, use safety gloves and place your curler on a heat-proof mat. Useful safety features to look out for include an automatic switch-off and cool tips to protect your fingers as you curl. Always make sure your device is unplugged and stored safely after use.

How we chose our recommendations 

Our suggestions for the best hair curlers have come from recommendations on the Mumsnet forums and from consumer reviews on the web. 

We researched the technology and ensured all our suggested devices were effective, easy to use and highly-recommended. 

We also consulted independent review sites for opinions about products to ensure we were bringing you an honest summary of our best hair curlers.

Advertisement

Why you should trust us 

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in that time, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

We strive to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find amazing products that real parents love.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always honest about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.