people's choice

The Best Curling Irons on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

While we’ve written about lots of hairstyling tools before — including brushes, straighteners, and hair dryers — here, we’ve rounded up the best curling irons and wands, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated curling iron

“All my expensive curling irons can’t even compete with this one,” writes one reviewer, just one of many who are impressed with the frizz-free curls produced by this curling iron. “The ions help make your hair smooth and less frizzy,” they claim. Another says, “It heats up very quickly (ready to go in less than a minute), and it takes just about all the frizz out of my hair.” About 10 percent of reviewers also say that this tool creates long-lasting curls. One says, “My color-treated hair comes out so soft, silky, bouncy, full, with beautiful soft lasting curls, just unbelievable to me,” while another notes, “Heats quickly and creates curl that hold in my fine hair without frying it.” The iron also has adjustable temperature, which makes it great for variety of hair textures. “I have baby-fine hair and used the first to second heat setting which curled my hair very quickly,” one user says, while another notes, “My hair is pretty thick and in seconds held a curl with this thing.” It also has a few safety features like automatic shut off after an hour and an included protective heat shield. The most convincing review is perhaps from one reviewer who takes their curling iron to salons and says “even my hoity-toity stylist admits that this iron out performs her professional ones in the salon.”

Best-rated (less expensive) curling iron

“I know this is a cheap, and out-of-style-looking curling iron, but I promise out of all the higher end ones, this is the best one I’ve ever used,” writes one reviewer. “It’s not ceramic or anything fancy,” another reviewer points out, but “it produces the perfect curl that lasts ALL DAY.” About 15 percent of reviewers are also impressed by how fast this curling iron heats up, and many are impressed with the various heat settings, too. There are “25 heat settings to be exact,” one user writes, including a so-called turbo setting. “This setting increases the temperature of your iron 30 percent above the setting you have the iron on,” another reviewer explains, which provides an extra boost of heat for styling when you’re in a rush. As one concludes, this is a “Great curling iron for the price, heats up quickly, and I love the heat settings, I have thick hair so I use a higher setting but if you have finer hair you could choose a lower one.”

Best 1-inch curling iron

Conair Double Ceramic 1” Curling Iron
$12

More than 70 percent of reviewers give this curling iron five stars, and many think the one-inch version is the perfect size. One user says it gives, “Nice medium sized curls that give your hair that ‘just came from the salon’ look.” Another says it’s “the perfect size curl for beach waves.” But no matter the look they’re going for, reviewers are impressed by the construction of this iron. “I love that it’s ceramic,” one writes. “It heats up very fast and has temp control so you can adjust the temp for your hair type.” Another reviewer appreciates that their “Hair slides smoothly along the tube — so no tangling or sticking or pulling.” Another advantage of this curling iron is that it’s easy to take on the road: “This is a great curling iron not just for home, but easily packable to take anywhere in the world as it is dual wattage,” one reviewer explains, adding, “All you need are the different plug adapters and you are all set to go.”

Best 1.25-inch curling iron

$38

This is one of the more expensive curling irons on our list, and though reviewers recognize they could get a cheaper one, they find that this one is worth the splurge. “I never had a more expensive curling iron until now … and there’s no turning back,” one says, explaining, “My hair glides through this instead of getting caught in the spring or joint, compared to cheaper drugstore curling irons I have bought in the past. I found the perfect heat setting for my hair and am getting the best curls I’ve ever had, with a lot less struggle than before.” Another says, “It doesn’t pull hair, heat control is great and really curls my hair nicely.” The quality also means this curling iron has a long life. “I usually get a few years of life from it before the spring fatigues or it stops working,” one says, while another notes, “The last one I had lasted 12 years.”

Best 1.5-inch curling iron

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
$37

If you have longer hair, you need a larger barrel, like this one, which is used by at least one professional hairstylist: A woman whose stylist “uses this exact same curling iron” didn’t need any more convincing than that. “I figured I’d buy it since my hair always looks good leaving the salon,” she says. “It’s so easy to use and heats up quick.I love this curling iron and I highly recommend it!” A reviewer with “long, thick, wavy hair with a fine texture that’s color treated” says she has “owned about a million different flat irons and curling irons.” This one is the best, she says. It’s “awesome.” She wanted a look that she could do quickly in the morning, and “this curling iron does that. I can get a lot of hair around it at once. Creates big, beautiful waves.” And one more reviewer appreciates the handy stay-cool tip, which prevents you from burning yourself. She thinks it “is much easier than using a heat protectant glove.”

Best Marcel curling iron

More than one-fifth of reviewers point out that this is a professional-grade Marcel-style curling iron, which is why it’s a favorite with lots of stylists. “I am a hairdresser for over 16 years and I can’t live without it, it’s the best curling iron ever,” one says. Another user thinks this iron “gives you more control,” and another says, “It creates amazing, long-lasting curls, and that’s all but supernatural with my baby-fine, stick-straight hair that doesn’t like to do anything but lay lifelessly against my head.” This iron also works on thicker hair, according to another reviewer, who says, “I’ve been looking for the perfect curling iron to make beach waves with on my medium-thick straight Asian hair, and this was perfect.” Because Marcel curling irons are “meant to be used by professionals, meaning pointed away from the person holding it toward someone sitting in front of them,” as one user explains, there is a bit of a learning curve for amateur users, but many of them think it’s worth powering through. “I’ll admit after 30-plus years of using a spring-loaded curling iron it took A LOT of practice to figure the Marcel out, but it has been so worth it,” one writes, adding, “I actually like my curls! They are softer, and blend better with the rest of my hair.”

Best travel curling iron

Conair Cts 1 inch Ceramic Curling Iron
$23
$23

“I bought this last year and it works great all over the world,” says one reviewer of this travel iron, and about 15 percent of reviewers agree that this curling iron great for traveling abroad because it automatically changes voltage. “I bought it for my trip to Poland in July. It worked perfectly. It automatically changes voltage. You just need a plug adapter,” one reviewer reports. Another says they “Had no issues using