The Best Curling Iron

Updated on 24 May 2023

After 19 hours of research and the test of 6 popular models, we have determined that the Pearl Wand Conical from Remington is the most convincing curling iron at a low price. That said, the Babyliss Curl Secret 2 also stands out for its fully automated operation.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best budget

Remington Pearl Wand Conical

This conical iron can be used on a wide range of hair types and is undoubtedly more than just affordable: it is easy to handle and quick to use and already offers many practical features.

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Remington Pearl Wand

Ideal for creating rather tight curls with a natural look thanks to its conical tip, this model ensures a hairstyle with a decent last, according to our tests. The wide range of temperatures makes it suitable for many hair types, and its safety features (automatic shut-off and temperature lock) are reassuring. The heat-resistant glove and storage pocket and the low price make it a valuable everyday ally. And, if you are more of a fan of wide, soft curls, the Pearl Pro Curl from the same range is just as popular. In short, it is hard to find a more convincing price-performance ratio.

 

 

Best mid-range

Hot Tools Signature Series Gold

Very popular across the Atlantic, this professional quality clamshell model has a wide range of temperatures, an elegant design and a large barrel to create soft and natural curls.

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Hot Tools Signature Series Gold

During our tests, this model won us over with its ease of use and its ability to create beautiful, soft curls that last. While the gold-plated look is also appealing, it is the choice between no less than 8 temperatures that comes in handy – and makes the iron accessible to all hair types. Although rather simple, it does its job perfectly and therefore demonstrates an attractive price-performance ratio.

 

Best high-end

GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand

Coming from a brand with an established reputation in the field, this model is suitable for a wide range of hair types thanks to the ideal temperature of 185°C that is constantly maintained. Its speed of heating and its manageability are big advantages.

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GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand

The main attraction of this curling iron is that it is quick to switch on and quick to use thanks to its ultra-zone technology. Although it has been designed to respect the majority of hair types thanks to its constant temperature of 185°C (ideal to avoid damaging the hair), we nevertheless felt that the absence of a temperature setting was a bit regrettable, during our tests. Ideal for creating discreet waves, it has something to please those who prefer a very natural look.

 

High-end alternative

Babyliss Curl Secret 2 C1300E

With its ingenious, fully automatic system, it allows you to create different types of curls on normal hair and even on thick hair - easily and in record time.

£ 151.19 on ebay

Babyliss Curl Secret 2

This model features an innovative automatic technology that makes it not only easy to use but also very fast: the straightener sucks in the strand of hair to create a curl with ease. However, our tests have shown that a minimum of care is needed to avoid hair getting stuck in the suction system. The two heads and the different functions offer results to suit all tastes, but the rather high temperatures of the appliance are, in our opinion, more suitable for normal to coarse hair.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best budgetBest mid-rangeBest high-endHigh-end alternative
Remington Pearl Wand Conical Hot Tools Signature Series Gold GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand Babyliss Curl Secret 2 C1300E
This conical iron can be used on a wide range of hair types and is undoubtedly more than just affordable: it is easy to handle and quick to use and already offers many practical features. Very popular across the Atlantic, this professional quality clamshell model has a wide range of temperatures, an elegant design and a large barrel to create soft and natural curls. Coming from a brand with an established reputation in the field, this model is suitable for a wide range of hair types thanks to the ideal temperature of 185°C that is constantly maintained. Its speed of heating and its manageability are big advantages. With its ingenious, fully automatic system, it allows you to create different types of curls on normal hair and even on thick hair - easily and in record time.
See the price on Amazon £ 31.32 on Amazon See the price on Amazon £ 151.19 on ebay

 

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How did we test?

Firstly, we looked at the design and ergonomics of the different curling irons (long and rotating cord, weight, size). We then took into account the practicality of their design (insulating tip, well-positioned iron rest, good stability when set down, etc.). Of course, we also compared their settings and technologies with the information provided and made sure that they were consistent when the irons were used.

To compare the results, we decided to test each iron two days after shampooing and observe the lasting effect of the curls until the next day. While the effects and effectiveness of the models depend in part on the nature of the hair and general familiarity with the appliance, our many hours of testing gave us a clear picture of their overall performance.

 

How to choose your curling iron?

If you are one of those people who like to change your hair style like a shirt, then the curling iron, like the straightener, is undoubtedly an essential accessory in your beauty routine.

Fer à Boucler

Who has not dreamed of having Shakira’s beautiful wavy mane or Pretty Woman’s pretty curls? Whether your hair is thin and straight or already has some movement, the trick is to find the right iron for you among the many models available.

The first thing to do is to examine the following parameters:

  • Shape: traditional irons are mainly round, often with a clip or flap – called a trough – to help hold the strands to be curled in place. This type of iron allows you to create regular waves. They also come in a conical shape: the diameter varies along the length, ensuring a more natural, wavy result.

GHD Curve Creative

  • Diameter: this usually varies from about 16 to 32 mm. The smaller the diameter, the tighter the curl and the larger the diameter, the softer and looser the curl. Some irons have interchangeable heads so you can change the diameter to suit liking.
  • Temperature: on some irons, it is possible to choose the temperature. In general, the thicker the hair, the more resistant it is to heat. But beware: extreme heat does not guarantee better curls, and it can damage your hair. If possible, choose an iron with a temperature lock, so that you do not change the temperature by mistake while styling your hair.

Hot Tools Signature Series

  • Material: ceramic irons are the most common: they are known to protect the hair and spread the heat evenly. Titanium and tourmaline (a type of gemstone) are also gentle on the hair and have the added advantage of effectively controlling frizz.
  • Design: most irons have an insulating tip to avoid burning your head and to allow you to touch the iron at the tip. If possible, choose a model with a small, practical iron rest, which enables you to place the iron safely on the edge of the sink while styling your hair.

Apart from that, it can be interesting to look out for certain technologies and functions that make using the iron much more convenient:

  • The automatic function: irons with this function automatically roll up the hair strand to be curled and release it fully waved, so you do not need to be an expert to achieve beautiful curls. However, strands tend to get stuck in this type of appliance, so be sure to follow the instructions of use – in particular, make sure your hair is completely dry (if you are looking for a good hair dryer, our comparison can help you).
  • The ionic function: it prevents the formation of static electricity. This keeps your hair soft, silky and easily manageable: an advantage when styling your hair that gives you an ideal result.

GHD Curve Creative

  • The steam function: on some irons, it is now possible to release blasts of steam on curly strands. The steam protects the hair from heat and also helps to fix the curl for a better-lasting of your hairstyle.
  • Accessories: some models come with a protective glove to protect you from burns. For easy transport or storage, others come with a heat-resistant pouch.

Remington Pearl Wand

Note: To help you take better care of your hair according to its type, we have put together a selection of the best shampoos and organic shampoos.

 

Other curling irons we recommend

Calor For Elite CF2112C0 (not available): for tight curls. This low-cost curling iron is easy to use and lightweight, and users are almost unanimous in their praise. With its classic barrel and 16 mm diameter valve, it guarantees pretty tight curls. It’s not plagiarism: both brands belong to the SEB group, which tends to suppress the Calor brand and replace it with Rowenta or Tefal, so the two products are identical. After testing it, we were quite satisfied with the quality/price ratio.

T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand (£168.10 upon publication): very effective but far too expensive. This curling iron is a real winner with its three interchangeable rollers (two straight rollers of 25 and 38 mm and one conical roller of 19 to 32 mm) that allow you to create all kinds of hairstyles. Its temperature settings and even heat distribution technology promise long-lasting curls. In short, although we have not had the chance to test it, it looks very convincing.

Dyson Airwrap (£849.99 upon publication): a practical but expensive multi-functional model. It has been much talked about thanks to its revolutionary air propulsion system that limits the exposure of hair to extreme heat and allows you to curl, dry, style and straighten your hair by changing the six removable tips. All this for a salon-like result while staying at home! Although many users like this model, we find the price hard to justify – without having tested it. 

 

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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