Best hair curlers: 10 top buys for 2021

Invest in the best hair curler and say goodbye to boring hair. Here are the best tongs, wands, brushes and more...

Best hair curler: GHD Rise Hot Brush on pink background with bottle of hair product
(Image credit: GHD)

Investing in the best hair curler for 2021? We can help you buy something to suit your hair length and type – whether that be damaged and short, long and frizzy or mid-length and great condition. Either way, this new hair tool will leave your hair looking curly and voluminous, for days on end.

We've tried and tested a whole range of hair curlers in this guide from tongs to wands, a hair curler dryer and more. Be sure to bear in mind each one's price when choosing, and we've chosen these based on performance and affordability. You can also find info below on how long they take to heat up, how many temperature settings they have, their cord length and their barrel size. 

See our top-rated hair curlers below, then for more styling options, check out the best hair straightener.

What is the best hair curler?

The T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand is, by far, our best curling wand you can buy. This 3-in-1 interchangeable wand has five different heat settings, it can be used with seven different barrels and it's affordable.

If money were no object, the Dyson Airwrap Styler is definitely worth checking out. It may be high priced but it’s a great investment as the results are fantastic.

Click to shop the T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand at its best price.
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Dyson Airwrap Styler at its best price.

Find the rest of our top picks below.

The best hair curlers 2021

Best hair curler: T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand

(Image credit: T3)

1. T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand

The best hair curler you can buy

Specifications
Colour: White/Rose Gold
Heat up time: N/A
Barrel size: 19mm - 38mm
Cord length: 2.7m
Temperature: 210º C max
Temperature control?: Yes
Settings: 5
Reasons to buy
+3-in-1 – comes with 3 barrels+5 heat settings+Affordable+7 different barrels available+Easy to use+Curls last for days
Reasons to avoid
-Only comes in one colour

The T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand is rated our best hair curler you can buy, and for good reason. This hair tool is interchangeable – all you need is the base and from there you can buy up to seven barrels. Less to store, more to do. This set, the T3 Whirl Trio, comes complete with three heads – a 25mm for undone waves, a 19mm - 32mm barrel for tousled waves and a 38mm option for loose waves. There are also four more barrels available to purchase.

What reviewers love
This hair curler is raved about online, and not just because it's convenient with a range of heads available. Lots of reviewers say that it creates curls that last for days, on all hair types – even super long hair. There are also comments on how fast it heats up, as well as the fact it leaves your hair looking super shiny. 

The important stuff
All barrels have a custom blend ceramic seal for a smooth and shiny finish, while there are five different heat settings to choose from, making it great for all hair types. The maximum temperature is 210ºC and this hair tool boasts consistent heat for one-pass styling – your roots and ends will both get the same treatment! And, for safety purposes, after one hour of inactivity, the T3 Whirl Trio will turn itself off. Along with the convertible base, in the box comes a storage tote and a heat-resistant glove, too.

Best hair curler straightener: GHD Original IV Professional Styler

(Image credit: GHD)

2. GHD Original IV Professional Styler

The best hair curler straightener

Specifications
Colour: Black
Heat-up time: 30 seconds
Barrel size: N/A
Cord length: 2.7m
Temperature: 185ºC
Temperature control?: No
Settings: 1
Reasons to buy
+Professional, long-lasting finish+Quick heat-up time+Automatic sleep mode+Great for straightening and curling+Affordable+Durable
Reasons to avoid
-The paddles are quite small (the newer model has larger ones) but you get used to them quickly-No control over heat setting

The GHD Original IV Styler is what we have on our dressing table – and we've been using ours for years and years. To straighten and curl our hair! So much so that they're probably due an update in terms of looks, but they've never failed when it comes to straightening and curling our hair. Truly an investment.

What we loved when testing
We use this straightener to straighten and curl our hair, daily. Not only is it is slim and nice to hold, but it has a long swivel cable for easy use and a one button operation. While it is admittedly annoying that you can't change their temperature, the temperature they heat to, 185ºC, should be fine for tackling all hair types – even thick, unruly hair like mine! The plates and barrel are both super smooth to make curling hair this job easy, and so that you don't have to tug your hair through the styler. Your hair will glide through this straightener like spreadable butter on toast. Another thing we love? They heat SO fast! Depending on your hair type your style should last for days, too I have pretty knotty hair that hates being styled, and even for me, curls stay in for a good few hours! 

The important stuff
This hair straightener has a 30-minute sleep mode – if you accidentally leave them switched on they will turn themselves off. It has a 2.7-metre cable and it comes with a three-pin plug.

Best hair curler wand: Dyson AirWrap Styler

(Image credit: Dyson)

3. Dyson AirWrap Styler

The best hair curler wand

Specifications
Colour: Nickel and fuchsia
Heat up time: N/A
Barrel size: 30mm
Cord length: 2.62m
Temperature: 150°C
Temperature control?: Yes
Settings: 3
Reasons to buy
+Powerful dryer+Easy to use+Intelligent heat control+Creates impressive volume and curls+Makes hair fuller and more shiny+Works without awkward winding mechanisms
Reasons to avoid
-Mega price tag-Some say it takes a while to get used to it

Good old Dyson does it again with their AirWrap Styler. It may blow the budget, but it's our best curling wand for good reason. 

What we loved when testing
If you've read our Dyson Airwrap review, you know we are seriously obsessed with this perfect pick. Okay, so we are more than aware of this hair tool's larger price tag, but, when you factor in all that this trusty tool does? This Allure Best of Beauty award-winner is undoubtedly worth every single penny. Not to mention that it attracts and wraps hair, using only air-The Coanda effect attracts hair to the barrel, then curls it for you, using only air. Plus, the fun doesn't end there! It also styles and dries simultaneously-engineered to style damp hair, combining powerful airflow with controlled heat to dry your hair as it styles.

The important stuff
The Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler is engineered for multiple hair types and styles. Featuring Coanda air styling and propelled by the Dyson V9 digital motor, users can curl, wave, smooth, and dry with no extreme heat. No need for awkward clamping, gloves to protect hands from heat or any winding movements that can be tricky to master. It comes with two 30mm Airwrap barrels, a soft smoothing brush, round volumising brush, pre-styling dryer, filter cleaning brush, non-slip mat and storage case so you can take it away on overnight stays and holidays.

Best hair curler for long hair: Beauty Works Professional Styler

(Image credit: Beauty Works)

4. Beauty Works Professional Styler

The best hair curler for long hair

Specifications
Colour: White
Heat up time: 60 seconds
Barrel size: 32mm
Temperature: 80-220°C
Temperature control?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Complete with a heat-resistant carry case and protective glove+Temperature control+Affordable price+Great for use with extensions
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best choice for shorter hair styles-Quite large when it comes to storing

Trying to work with long hair or extensions? The Beauty Works Professional Styler is our best curling wand for long hair: it features an extra-long 18.5cm barrel so an entire section of hair can be styled in one fair sweep.

What reviewers love
This hair curler is used by celebrities far and wide from Love Island's Molly-Mae to Jessica Wright, and even celebrity hairstylist Jay Birmingham. They love it! As we can see from Instagram videos, it definitely leaves long hair looking curly, and results look super shiny once brushed through. 

The important stuff
This curling wand features a ceramic-coated barrel to help seal your hair's cuticle, prevent frizz and enhance shine. This way the ends of your hair will feel the same effect as the tops do. If you have slightly damaged hair or want to use the styler at a lower temperature, you can do so from 80-220°C. Since this styler is a wand and not a tong, you'll need to use a glove while using to prevent burning your fingers. Luckily enough, this one comes with both a heat-resistant carry case for your travels and a protective glove included in the box.

Best hair curler for short hair: GHD rise

(Image credit: GHD)

5. GHD Rise

The best hair curler for mid-length hair

Specifications
Colour: Black
Heat up time: 25 seconds
Barell size: 32mm
Cord length: 2.7m
Temperature: 185ºC
Temperature control?: No
Reasons to buy
+Heats up quick+Can be used multiple different ways+Great for detangling, too+Super lightweight+Lots of volume
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for hair that's above shoulder-Easy to tangle hair that's super long

The GHD Rise is one of the newest hair curlers on the block. It's not a wand nor a tong, but a hair curler brush instead. 

What we loved when testing
This hot brush is unlike any other hair tool we've used before. It's great for curling hair –obviously – but it adds an incredible amount of volume to hair when used properly. Though we do think it's best (and easier) for use on mid-length hairstyles, it does take some getting used to at first. Once you find the knack you'll be obsessed, trust us! When we say that it works great on frizz we truly mean it – one stroke and your hair is transformed.

The important stuff
It features bristles dotted around its 32mm barrel which heat up, and when these bristles meet with your hair, it shapes it. This means that this hair tool brushes and then styles hair. With no temperature control similar to other GHD hair tools, the GHD Rise works at 185ºC. It's lightweight and boasts a long swivel cord making it easy to use. You can use this hair curler for a big bouncy blow-dry, loose tight curls or even for a wavy style – the opportunities are endless.

Best hair curling iron: GHD curve creative curl wand

(Image credit: GHD)

6. GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand

The best hair curler iron

Specifications
Colour: Black
Heat up time: 25 seconds
Barrel size: 28mm - 23mm
Cord length: 3m
Temperature: 185ºC
Temperature control?: No
Reasons to buy
+Quick heat up+Cool tip+Comes with glove+Makes hair look shiny
Reasons to avoid
-No temperature control

The GHD curve creative curl wand is great whether you have short or long hair – its tapered barrel lets you curl hair without it losing much length, while it's long enough to hold a lot of hair at once. This barrel measures from 28mm to 23mm so that you can choose from loose, bouncy curls or a tighter-looking style. 

What reviewers love
Reviewers rave about how easy this hair curler is to use – just section your hair, wrap it around the wand, hold for a few seconds and ta-dah! Users also said that it's fast to use, and the curls are long-lasting – comb them through the next day for a more relaxed look. No tong to hold your hair? No problem as it comes with a glove (which is apparently great) or you can just hold the tip of your hair around the barrel.

The important stuff
With a cool tip for ease of use and a safety stand, too, this GHD curling wand has an advanced ceramic coating to leave your hair looking shiny. It also has a sleep mode if left unattended for 30 minutes. It works at 185ºC and boasts a swivel cable, while it comes with a glove to protect your fingers while curling. 

Best hair curler for fine hair: BaByliss Tight Curls Curling Wand

(Image credit: BaByliss)

7. BaByliss Tight Curls Curling Wand

The best hair curler for fine hair

Specifications
Colour: Red
Heat up time: N/A
Barrel size: 10mm
Cord size: 2.5m
Temperature: 120ºC - 210ºC
Temperature settings: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Fast results+Very affordable+Comes with a mat and glove
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for thick hair

Fine locks? Tight curls it is. Use this ultra-slim curling wand around your whole head to give the illusion of thick hair, fast. And the results should last for days. Just avoid brushing through your curls. 

What reviewers say
Reviewers see this hair curler as an easy to use, great value buy. With lots of comments on the fact curls made with this tool last for quite a while, and it apparently heats up very fast. Just be sure to be careful while using as it's easy to burn yourself, and always use the glove that comes included.

The important stuff
With a ceramic barrel that measures 10mm, this curling wand can be used on short or long hair. It even boasts 10 temperature settings from 120ºC to 210ºC. Not just that but it's lightweight – thanks to its super slim barrel – and it can be used on all types of hair. And all lengths – its barrel isn't just slim but also long. Use small sections of hair and your hair will look voluminous and thick before you know it. In the box also comes a glove for wearing while using the wand, and a heat mat to protect your surface (or floor).

Best hair curler dryer: BaByliss Big Hair 50 mm Rotating Hot Air Styling Brush

(Image credit: BaByliss)

8. BaByliss Big Hair 50 mm Rotating Hot Air Styling Brush

The best hair curler dryer

Specifications
Colour: Black
Heat up time: N/A
Barrel size: 50mm
Temperature: N/A
Temperature control?: Yes
Settings: 3
Reasons to buy
+Super easy to use+Affordable+Less damaging to your hair+Heat and speed settings
Reasons to avoid
-Can only really use when your hair is wet

The BaByliss Big Hair 50 mm Rotating Hot Air Styling Brush is a two in one hair curler and hair dryer. This hair tool should be used on wet hair, to curl it as if you were sitting at your favourite salon getting a bouncy blowdry. 

What reviewers love
There are so many positive reviews about this hair tool, which explains why it makes an appearance on this list. We also know people who have tried it and loved it, but we are yet to give it a go ourselves. Users love how efficient and easy to use it is, with a bouncy finish being the end result. It can be used by left and right-handed users, while unlike other brushes, this tool makes it hard to tangle tyyour hair. It's also reportedly great for all hair lengths, too.

The important stuff
It gives a super conditioning frizz-free finish, while its bristles ensure the finished results look super smooth. Its large 50mm barrel makes achieving a voluminous bouncy curl an easy task, while it offers two heat settings and a cool setting. It has two rotation speeds – all you need to do is section your hair and pop your hair over the barrel at the root. Rotate the brush as you get to the ends of your hair. Super easy to use, seriously affordable and an easy way to achieve a salon-quality finish from home.

The best cheap hair curler: Babyliss Pro Ceramic Dial A Heat Tong

(Image credit: Babyliss )

9. Babyliss Pro Ceramic Dial A Heat Tong

The best cheap hair curler

Specifications
Colour: Black
Barrel size: 12-32mm
Cord length: 2.7m
Temperature: 100°C - 210°C
Temperature control?: Yes
Settings: 25
Reasons to buy
+Heat-ready indicator+Integrated safety stand+25 heat settings+70 minutes auto-shutoff time
Reasons to avoid
-Some may prefer a wand-Barrel is all one size-Not the best if you have very long hair

Safe, stylish and easy to use, the BaByliss PRO Ceramic Dial-a-Heat Tong is the best curling wand for beginners, or if you don't want to spend an arm and a leg on this hair tool. 

What reviewers love
Apart from the low price tag, there are so many comments about this hair curler's performance – it works so well on pretty much all hair types, and it's easy to use. Though because of its short barrel, you may want to avoid if your hair is very long. 

The important stuff
This curling tong features a whopping 25 heat settings so that no matter your hair type, there's a mode to suit you. The heat settings available range from 100°C - 210°C. It also features a heat-ready indicator to prevent touching, as well as an integrated safety stand so it can be placed on any surface. There's also an auto-shutoff function built-in so that if the curling tong is left on for longer than 70 minutes, it will turn off. Depending on the length of your hair and the curl size you desire, this curling tong comes in four different barrel sizes: 13mm, 24mm, 32mm and 38mm. 

The best hair curler for beachy waves: Beauty Works Waver

(Image credit: Beauty Works)

10. Beauty Works Waver

The best hair curler for beachy waves

Specifications
Colour: Rose gold
Barrel size: 21mm x 3
Cord length: 2.35m
Temperature: 80ºC to 220ºC
Temperature control?: Yes
Heat settings: 30
Reasons to buy
+Very easy to use+Huge range of temperature settings+Great for all hair lengths
Reasons to avoid
-Feels cheap-No auto shut off

The Beauty Works Waver is our choice of the best hair curler for beachy waves. And, it's seriously easy to use – it's similar to an 80s crimper but with three large 21mm barrels. Simply open the clamp, lay your hair over the barrels, close the clamp, wait a few seconds and release. It's that easy.

What we loved when testing
We've been using this hair tool for a while now, and we've tried it on extensions, real hair – long and short. Every time we've loved the results! The waves stay in for hours and hours, and as mentioned above, it's so easy to use. There are also lots of temperature settings to choose from depending on your hair type.

The important stuff
The Beauty Works Waver heats up in 60 seconds and you can choose from 30 heat settings ranging from 80ºC to 220ºC. It'll look pretty on your dressing table as it comes in a rose gold colour, and in the box also comes a storage bag for taking it on holidays.

How to buy the best curling wand

Wand material
Choosing the perfect curling wand can be daunting as there are so many models to choose from. Some decisions will be based on your hair type and length and if in doubt, you can always ask your hairstylist to recommend some brands or designs for you. Ceramic coated barrels are the most popular as they heat up quickly and conduct heat evenly, creating curls that should last from one wash to the next. Tourmaline, on the other hand, is made from tourmaline mineral and this emits negative ions that are said to help deal with frizzy locks and fine, flyaway hair. Titanium is often used by the professionals as it’s lightweight and reaches higher temperatures.

Barrel size
Curling wands and brushes come in a variety of different barrel sizes so choose the one that best suits your hair type, texture and length. A small barrel is best for short or fine hair and ideal for creating tight curls and adding definition. Medium barrels are great for all-round use and work on most hairstyles. Longer barrels are easier to work with on long hair as well as creating loose waves and a bouncy, beachy look.

Temperature/heat settings
Heat is used to hold curls so you do need a high heat setting but you also don’t want to damage your hair with overheating, so make sure you use a lower setting if your hair is already damaged or if it’s thin and flyaway. It's always handy to have a few temperature options on a hair tool, especially if you're working with damaged hair. While the average temperature for a hair tool sits at around 185ºC, having a few choices – even one as low as 80ºC – will prove beneficial. Always apply a heat protector spray before you use the curling wand, for best results.

Cord length
Something to bear in mind if your plug socket and mirror are on opposite sides of the room, ensure the cord length of your new hair curler is long enough to reach wherever it may need to. 

Heat up time
Some hair curlers take seconds to heat up while others may take minutes. This factor may not bother you – perhaps you always leave yourself a lot of time to do your hair? – but if you're always in a rush, it's definitely something to think about.

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Annie Collyer
Annie Collyer

Annie joined the Real Homes team in 2018 after interning on Country & Town House. As the website's Deals Editor, Annie spends much of her time helping you find the best buys for your home – when she is not doing that, she is putting her research to use buying homeware online, or Instagramming her beautifully styled rooms.