The 10 Best Curling Irons of 2022 for Every Hair Type

Our top pick is the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron for its impressive peak temperature, sleek titanium barrel, and range of barrel sizes.

In This Article

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10-best-curling-irons-of-2022-tout

Amazon

Do you like bouncy ringlets, smooth curls, or tousled beachy waves? Whatever your preferred hairstyle, a curling iron is your go-to tool for achieving the 'do you want. 

Curling iron options run the gamut from traditional clamp models to clampless wands to automated irons that create perfect curls at the touch of a button. To determine which type is right for you, take the advice of Katelyn Ellsworth, a natural color and extension specialist and the founder of San Diego-based salon The Roslyn: “Get a tool that you will actually use. Learn how to use it correctly, and your hair will always look great.” 

Our top choice for the best curling iron is the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron. It heats up to 450 degrees, but don’t worry—the titanium barrel ensures safe, evenly distributed heat so you won’t damage your hair. It also comes in five different barrel sizes ranging from 0.75-1.5 inches so you can achieve the curl you want, no matter your hair type.

Here are the best curling irons for every type of curl and every type of hair.

Best Overall Curling Iron: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron

BaBylissPRO Curling Iron

Ulta

Who it’s for: People who want a lightweight curling iron for all hair types that evenly distributes heat.

Who it isn’t for: People with very fine hair.

If you crave a curly look but are concerned about heat damaging your hair, the BaBylissPRO Nano is an excellent choice. The barrel is titanium, which allows for even heat distribution. Not only does that make for a better, longer-lasting curl, but it also protects your hair, since infrared heating is much gentler on hair. Plus, the barrel is coated in ceramic, which is also known for being easy on your locks, leaving you with smoother, shinier hair. 

The BaBylissPRO Nano heats up to 450 degrees and has various heat settings, so you can get the right temperature for your hair texture and designated style. Want to keep those curls locked in for longer? Just press the Turbo Heat button for an added boost.

Unlike bulky curling irons on the market, the BaBylissPRO Nano features a slim, lightweight design that won’t lead to hand or arm fatigue as you style. The spring clip makes it easy to secure your strands while curling, and the 8-food cord swivels, so you won’t have to worry about getting wrapped up as you curl. 

Price at time of publish: $60

Product Details:

  • Barrel Sizes: 0.75, 1, 1.25, and 1.5 inch
  • Material: Titanium with ceramic coating
  • Temperature: Up to 450 degrees

Best Budget Curling Iron: Conair InfinitiPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron

InfinitiPRO by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron

Amazon

Who it’s for: People looking for a no-fuss, affordable curling iron that’s suitable for all hair types.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a high-heat curling iron.

The InfinitiPRO by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron is made with tourmaline ceramic infused with nanotechnology, which means your hair will have less frizz and more shine when you curl it. It has five heat settings and an LED screen that makes it easy for you to select your temperature of choice, and it takes just half a minute to heat up to full temperature. This curling iron can reach up to 400 degrees, but if you have finer hair, it has a lower heat setting so you won’t hurt sensitive strands.

This curling iron is available in four barrel sizes. At this low price point, you might want to consider having two irons with different-sized barrels on hand so you have the option of creating tighter or looser curls and waves.

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Barrel Sizes: 0.75, 1, 1.25, and 1.5 inch
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Temperature: 285 to 400 degrees

Best Splurge Curling Iron: T3 SinglePass Curl 1.25" Ceramic Curling Iron

3.8
T3 SinglePass Curl

Ulta

Who it’s for: People who don’t not to spend too much time on their hair.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a titanium curling iron. 

The T3 SinglePass Curl only requires one pass to create the curls you want, and the ceramic technology ensures that your hair stays smooth and shiny. There are five heat settings on the T3, but what's even better is the SmartTwist dial at the bottom that makes it easy to change settings, even while mid-curl. Heat ranges between 260 and 410 degrees, so you can find the right temperature no matter your hair type.

The T3 comes in five different sizes, so you can choose the barrel that works for your hair texture and the curls or waves you want to achieve. It comes in graphite or a sleek white with beautiful rose gold accents, a luxe touch that makes it worth the splurge.

Price at time of publish: $170

Product Details:

  • Barrel Sizes: 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.25, and 1.5 inch
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Temperature: Up to 430 degrees

Best Curling Iron for Beginners: CHI Spin N Curl

Curling Tool

CHI

Who it’s for: People who don’t want to work too hard on their curls.

Who it isn’t for: People who want more control over styling their hair.

If you're new to styling your hair or dislike the sometimes painstaking process of forming perfect ringlets, opt for the CHI Spin N Curl. This tulip-shaped device creates curls and waves with the simple touch of a button. Just brush out a small section of hair and insert it into the chamber, where it gets automatically taken in, releasing a perfect curl just seconds later. 

The CHI comes with directional buttons that allow you to create curls forward or backward. It even has tangle protection, so even though you need to be careful to put a small amount of hair in, it won’t damage your hair. This curler heats up to the highest setting in under 20 seconds so you can start styling quickly. The rotating barrel is ceramic coated, so no matter how hot the tool gets, your hair will remain shiny and damage-free.

Price at time of publish: $100

Product Details:

  • Barrel Sizes: 1 and 1.25 inch
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Temperature: Up to 410 degrees

Best Curling Iron for Long Hair: Lanvier 1.25 Inch Clipped Curling Iron with Extra Long Tourmaline Ceramic Barrel

lanvier-125-inch-clipped-curling-iron-with-extra-long-tourmaline-ceramic-barrel

Amazon

Who it’s for: People with long hair of all different textures.

Who it isn’t for: People with short hair. 

This Lanvier model has a longer 1.25-inch barrel so that you can create curls and waves on your long tresses. At nine inches, the tourmaline and ceramic barrel has more length than others, providing more surface area to curl your hair. The barrel has multiple layers of protection from intense heat, which keeps your hair shiny and frizz-free. It also features silk ceramic technology that protects your hair as you curl it. 

It has five heat settings, so you can adjust it to whatever you need for your hair, whether you want it on high heat like pros at the salon or have fine or damaged hair that requires a low temperature. The iron only takes 10 seconds to heat up, plus it has an auto-off feature to turn it off after an hour. The long swivel cord makes it easy to stay plugged in, plus it has a dual voltage so you can feel free to travel and have a great hair day no matter where you are. 

Price at time of publish: $35

Product Details:

  • Barrel Sizes: 1 and 1.25 inch
  • Material: Ceramic-coated tourmaline
  • Temperature: 300 to 450 degrees

Best Curling Iron for Thick Hair: Hot Tools Pro 24K Gold Curling Iron

Hot Tools Pro Artist 24K Gold Curling Iron | Long Lasting, Defined Curls (1 in)

Amazon

Who it’s for: People looking for a versatile and budget-friendly curling iron that works especially well on thicker hair.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a ceramic-coated barrel.

If the Hot Tools Pro 24K Gold looks familiar, it's likely because you've seen a Hot Tools curling iron at the salon. Professional stylists reach for it for the same reason you will: to create gorgeous curls that hold. It has various heating settings ranging from 280 to 430 degrees, so you can easily set it for the right temperature for your hair texture. The gold-plated barrel heats up fast and distributes heat evenly—although ceramic barrels are increasingly popular, they aren’t recommended for thick hair, which needs higher heat. 

You can use the clamp if you prefer a traditional curling iron, or you can use the barrel like a wand and wrap hair around it to create curls; the heat-resistant tip makes it easy to avoid burning your fingers. It also has a fold-out safety stand so it won't burn your countertop between curls. The Hot Tools Pro has a 6-foot cord that swivels, so it's easy to do your hair without being tethered to the outlet. It also comes in a range of barrel sizes to create looser or tighter curls.

Price at time of publish: $40

Product Details:

  • Barrel Sizes: 0.75, 1, 1.25, and 1.5 inch
  • Material: Gold-plated metal
  • Temperature: Up to 430 degrees

Best Curling Iron for Fine Hair: Conair OhSoKind Curling Iron for Fine Hair

conair-ohsokind-for-fine-hair-curling-iron

Amazon

Who it’s for: People with damaged or fine hair who want a low-heat curling iron. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a barrel size that’s not 1-inch. 

If you have fine or damaged hair that you want to shield from high heat while styling, you’ll need the gentlest curling iron you can find. This Conair model has heat settings that go as low as 266 degrees and a silicone clamp that provides a stress-free curl for fine or damaged hair. And even if you have healthy hair, the silicone clip holds strands firmly in place so you don’t have to worry about redoing sections. It has five heat settings and can reach up to 375 degrees for those who need a higher temperature to lock in curls. 

Price at time of publish: $35

Product Details:

  • Barrel Size: 1 inch
  • Material: Silicone
  • Temperature: 266 to 365 degrees

Best Curling Iron for Natural Hair: Conair InfinitiPRO Titanium 1-Inch Curling Iron

infinitipro-by-conair-titanium-1-inch-curling-iron

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want to protect their natural hair.

Who it isn’t for: People who want tight curls.

This curling iron heats up to 400 degrees while keeping away frizz and adding tons of shine, making it great for natural hair. This Conair curling iron has advanced ceramic heat technology that distributes heat evenly through the barrel without hotspots that can damage natural hair. The smooth titanium surface makes it easy to glide strands through so the results are smooth-as-silk curls. It heats up in 30 seconds, so you don’t have to wait long to start styling, and it also has a heat-resistant tip and an auto-off function for safety. 

It has a 5-foot swivel cord that makes it easy to do your hair without becoming tangled up. The rose gold barrel is also worthy of a double take—it also comes in rainbow gold, and at this price point, you can treat yourself to both. 

Price at time of publish: $27

Product Details:

  • Barrel Sizes: 1, 1.25, and 1.5 inch
  • Material: Titanium
  • Temperature: Up to 400 degrees

Best Cordless Curling Iron: Conair Unbound Cordless Auto Curler

conair-unbound-cordless-auto-curler

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an easy, travel-friendly curling iron.

Who it isn’t for: People who want complete control over their curls and waves.

This rechargeable and cordless curling iron gives you up to an hour of runtime, so you can curl every strand just as you like it. It’s ideal for styling on the go or for those new to curling their hair. 

It takes just 60 seconds to heat up and can reach 400 degrees. For best use, place a half-inch section of hair (go even smaller for long hair to avoid tangles) into the curl chamber and hold the button as it automatically curls up around the ceramic barrel. When you hear the two beeps, let go of the button and gently pull down the iron to release the curl. It’s also easy to reverse the spin direction on the barrel, so you can achieve more natural-looking curls and waves without worrying about which way you point the iron. 

Unlike other curling irons, this model feels similar to holding a small remote control in your hand. You can easily tuck it away in a bag for travel, and all you need is a USB cord to charge it.

Price at time of publish: $80

Product Details:

  • Barrel Size: N/a
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Temperature: Up to 400 degrees

Best Curling Wand: Conair InfinitiPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand

Conair InfinitiPRO by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a quick and easy way to create tight curls or loose beach waves.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a traditional curling iron with a clamp.

Feeling cramped by the clip on your traditional curling iron? A curling wand makes it even easier to create curls and beach waves. This ceramic option from Conair tapers at the tip for natural-looking curls—choose from the 1-inch model that tapers to a half-inch, or the 1.5-inch wand that tapers to 0.75 inches. 

This Conair wand has a heat-resistant tip and a heat-protective glove for even safer use. There are five heat settings ranging from 310 to 400 degrees, and it heats up fast—you only have to wait 30 seconds—so you can get right to curling. 

The ceramic-coated tourmaline barrel reduces frizz and gives you plenty of shine. Plus, the clamp-free design avoids added stress to your tresses. If you like tight curls, wrap small sections snugly around the wand; if you prefer looser waves, take larger sections of hair and focus on the wide part of the wand instead. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Product Details:

  • Barrel Size: 1 inch (tapers to 0.5 inch), 1.5 inches (tapers to 0.75 inch)
  • Material: Tourmaline ceramic
  • Temperature: Up to 400 degrees

Final Verdict

The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron is our best overall pick because it offers plenty of heat with a titanium barrel to protect those precious tresses. Plus, it comes in various barrel widths so you can choose the best size for your texture and length.

How to Shop for Curling Irons Like a Pro

Barrel Size

When it comes to barrel size, Ellsworth says you need to ask yourself: “How curly/wavy do you want your style?” Smaller irons make for tighter curls, while thicker barrels make looser ones.

Hair length and type should also dictate the size of your curling iron barrel. A one-inch curling iron can work for most hair lengths, but you can go narrower for shorter hair and wide for thick or long hair.

Material

While heat protectant spray is always recommended to minimize heat damage, the material of your curling iron can also prevent hair damage. Ceramic is a popular option that preserves moisture and is the most gentle on hair, so it’s best for fine or damaged hair. Tourmaline is ideal for thick hair because it’s good for taming frizziness, while titanium retains heat well and is best for thick, curly hair.

Temperature

Heat is crucial to lock in curls and waves, but you have to choose the right amount of heat for your hair type. Healthy, average hair can handle heat between 300 and 380 degrees, while fine or chemically-treated hair should not be exposed to heat above 300 degrees. Thick, coarse, and curly hair needs high heat between 350 and 450 degrees.

Many curling irons offer a range in temperatures so that you can go hotter or cooler to achieve the look you want while protecting your hair.

Questions You Might Ask

How do you clean a curling iron?

Ellsworth says to wait for the iron to cool, then take a damp towel and rub the barrel until clean. This will remove any hair product residue, like heat protectant spray, so it’s ready for your next style.

How do you make curls last longer?

If you’ve got long or thick hair, then you know that curling can be a laborious process. To keep the results of your hard work looking great for longer, Ellsworth says to prep the hair with hairspray and brush it in before you start curling. “Let the curls fully cool down before brushing and they will stay much longer,” she says.

How should you protect your hair when using a curling iron?

Heat protection sprays and other products are ideal for protecting your tresses from the high heat of curling irons, says Ellsworth. “Most products already have them in it, but it's a must-have,” she said, so read product labels carefully to confirm.

Take Our Word for It

Barbara Bellesi Zito is a freelance lifestyle writer from Staten Island, NY. To compile this list, she researched the top curling iron brands on the market—many of which she has tried out on her straight hair over the years—with a focus on material, barrel size, temperature range, and ease of use. For expert advice on shopping for curling irons, she consulted Katelyn Ellsworth, a natural color and extension specialist and the founder of The Roslyn, a salon in San Diego, CA.

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