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The best curling wands and curling irons Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best Curling Irons and Curling Wands of 2022

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The best curling wands and curling irons Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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1
Editor's Choice Product image of GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand
Best Overall

GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand

A unique design that keeps curls from looking too uniform and unnatural, with a crazy-fast preheat. Read More

Pros

  • Heats up quickly
  • Well-placed kickstand

Cons

  • None that we found
2
Editor's Choice Product image of Conair CD107TPN Infinitipro
Best Value

Conair CD107TPN Infinitipro

This wand is versatile, allowing you to use the clamp to create tight ringlets or wrap your hand around the barrel and clamp for tousled curls. Read More

Pros

  • Heats up quickly
  • Versatile design

Cons

  • None that we found
3
Editor's Choice Product image of Dyson Airwrap Complete
Best Splurge

Dyson Airwrap Complete

If you want a lot of versatility in your hairstyling, this kit, with its variety of attachments, may be your dream. Read More

Pros

  • Includes a lot of attachments
  • Can use on damp hair
  • Great quality

Cons

  • Dryer brush doesn't straighten hair well
4
Product image of T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

The wand includes three barrel sizes, one of which is tapered, to create your desired curl, but the results are note extraodinary. Read More

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Includes three barrels for versatility

Cons

  • Heat settings are unclear
5
Product image of Bio Ionic NanoIonic MX Long Barrel Curling Iron (1.25")

Bio Ionic NanoIonic MX Long Barrel Curling Iron (1.25")

This extra-long curling iron makes it easy to wrap a lot of hair around the barrel at once without forfeiting your desired style. Read More

Pros

  • Long barrel is great for long hair
  • Good range of temperatures

Cons

  • Bulkier

When it comes to heat-styling your hair, if you’ve ever tried to achieve tight ringlets or the not-so-effortless beach waves, you know that it takes the right kinds of tools. We tested some of the most popular curling irons and wands, plus ones that are newer to the market.

Our verdict? The best curling wand is the GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand (available at Sephora for $199.00), which creates pretty, soft waves without a fuss.

Our other favorites included the more traditional curling iron InfinitiPro by Conair (available at Amazon) for producing easy-to-execute spiral curls at a value price and the decidedly not traditional Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete (available at Sephora) for being a virtual hair stylist in a box.

All of these hair tools are perfect for tossing waves into a pin-straight style or for an elegant ‘do complete with cascading barrel curls.

These are the best curling irons and wands we tested ranked, in order:

  1. GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand
  2. InfinitiPro by Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron 1-Inch
  3. Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete
  4. T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand
  5. Bio Ionic Long Barrel Curling Iron NanoIconic MX
  6. Bed Head Curlipops 1” Tourmaline Ceramic Styling Iron
  7. Chi Spin N Curl Ceramic Rotating Hair Curler
  8. Hot Tools Salon Gold Curling Iron/Wand
  9. BaBylissPro Nano Titanium™ 1" Spring Curling Iron
  10. Tyme Iron Pro
  11. InStyler Airless Blowout Revolving Styler
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand impressed us the most out of all of the wands and irons.

Best Overall
GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand

When I think of my ideal curling wand, it’s one that grants me room for creativity. The perfect wand is also intuitive, heats up quickly, and makes the sometimes painstaking process of styling my hair all-around easier. In every way, the GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand is exactly that. Whether I want soft beach waves for an undone look or tight curls for a classic-yet-voluminous style, I can achieve that with the GHD.

The GHD has a unique design, with a tapered barrel that starts off round and graduates to a flat oval at the top, tapering from 1-inch to 0.9-inch. Both of these traits keep the curls from molding into a strategically tapered curl, which can sometimes look too perfect and unnatural. The slight taper and the gritty finish of the barrel keeps the hair from sliding down as it can do with a barrel that has a super-glossy finish.

The most impressive feature, though, is that it heats up in about six seconds—faster than any other iron I tested—and alerts you with a loud chime when it reaches 365ºF. The only downside is that the iron doesn’t have heat adjustability—it can only hold a steady 365ºF. That temperature is appropriate to give a great curl to pin-straight hair, but the option of adjustability for other hair types would’ve been more ideal. Another (smaller) bummer: It only comes in the one barrel size.

In terms of mechanics, the GHD has a single power button, which you have to hold down for a good two seconds, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally turning it off mid-style. The wand is lightweight and has a cool-tip end to keep you from burning your neck and forehead (we’ve all been there). It has a well-placed kickstand that prevents the hot iron from teetering or tipping onto your vanity. For safety purposes, the iron automatically shuts off after 30 minutes.

Heat adjustability or additional sizes could improve this iron, but it’s a clear winner.

Pros

  • Heats up quickly

  • Well-placed kickstand

Cons

  • None that we found

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The InfinitiPro by Conair can be used as a traditional iron with a clamp or as a wand.

Best Value
InfinitiPro by Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron 1-Inch

My first-ever curling iron was one from Conair. That’s no surprise: The brand makes quality products at reasonable prices, and they’re typically very beginner-friendly. All of this is the case with our Best Value pick, the InfinitiPro by Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron 1-Inch.

This iron features an extra long, straight barrel with a clamp that spans the length of the iron. You can clamp the ends of your hair and spin the iron upward toward your head, wrapping long hair around the barrel to create a perfectly round ringlet, which can then be finger-brushed to look more tousled.

Because the clamp is almost flush to the barrel, you can easily wrap your hair around the barrel and clamp as if it's a wand. I achieved the best curls when I used smaller sections of hair with this iron, which makes sense because it’s able to evenly distribute the heat to the hair when you use small amounts and place the hair against the ceramic iron.

The iron heats up quickly—Conair claims in 30 seconds, but there wasn’t an indicator of when the iron was done, so I couldn’t time it accurately—at the touch of a button and it has four temperature settings ranging from 310°F to 400°F, which is average for a hot tool. Conair claims that the iron shuts off automatically for safety, but it doesn’t specify after how much time. My curling sessions lasted about 30 minutes, and it was still going strong.

This iron became an obvious choice for the Best Value pick, as you can use it to your specific needs, like me mostly using the clamp during testing to see the iron’s capabilities but also using it as a wand when I struggled to achieve my desired look. And, of course, it’s priced reasonably for a hot tool, costing in the double digits.

Pros

  • Heats up quickly

  • Versatile design

Cons

  • None that we found

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete is a unique kit that's perfect for hair stylists or enthusiasts.

Best Splurge
Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete

Perhaps the most talked about curling tool on this list—the Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete—is also the most expensive curling wand we tested.

The pricey kit includes the following attachments: two 1.2-inch Airwrap barrels, two 1.6-inch Airwrap barrels, a firm smoothing brush, a soft smoothing brush, a round volumizing brush, and a pre-styling hair dryer to remove excess moisture when you intend to style just-washed hair that’s reminiscent of the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.

Unlike other products, you may use the Dyson on damp hair. For this guide, I tested the 1.2-inch barrels, as they are the closest comparison to the other wands and irons on this list in size and promise to create voluminous curls or waves.

The kit includes two of the same size barrel because each creates curls that spiral in opposite directions—you switch attachments when you approach different sides of your head, depending on whether you want the curls to twist toward or away from your face. Unlike a heated curling wand, the Dyson uses a continuous flow of air (sort of like a targeted tiny hair dryer) to blow the hair around the barrel to form “voluminous curls and waves without extreme heat.”

To an onlooker, it appears like the Dyson is sucking up your hair, like one of the brand’s beloved vacuums, but it’s actually pushing air out to create a current that your hair follows. While in use, the air is heated (to below 302°F degrees, which is less than the typical curling iron barrel) but there is a cool shot button, like on the hair dryer, that sets your curl into place.

Using air instead of a ceramic barrel limits the amount of heat on your hair and greatly reduces the risk of burning yourself.

Despite creating beautiful curls, the Dyson is not our overall winner because it has a steeper learning curve than other products to achieve the same results and you have less control over the style and placement of the curls it creates. It also takes longer than I—and I’m sure others—would like to spend on their hair.

But if you are a hair tool enthusiast, a hairstylist, or someone who wants a lot of versatility in their hairstyling, this kit (with its variety of attachments) may be your dream.

Pros

  • Includes a lot of attachments

  • Can use on damp hair

  • Great quality

Cons

  • Dryer brush doesn't straighten hair well


Other Curling Irons And Wands We Tested

Product image of T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand
T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

The T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand comes with three interchangeable barrel sizes: a 1-inch, a 1.5-inch, and a 1 ¼-inch that tapers to ¾ inches. I used the “Undone 1” Barrel” because it’s the most similar to the other models on this list.

The wand has five lights that each indicate a heat setting, though I wasn’t sure how many degrees each one reaches, and the instructions don’t clarify other than to say that the maximum temperature is 410°F. I chose the second setting closest to the top because I typically choose the second or third highest heat range and watched the lights cascade upward until they reached my chosen (but unknown) temperature.

The wand was easy to wield and wrap my hair around, and the result was spiral curls that I finger-combed for my desired tousled, curly waves. I enjoyed the glossiness of the barrels, which are undeniably beautiful in white with rose gold trim.

I’d be happy to use this again, but it didn’t make it to the top of our list because there are less complex models that offer similar results.

Pros

  • Sleek design

  • Includes three barrels for versatility

Cons

  • Heat settings are unclear

Product image of Bio Ionic NanoIonic MX Long Barrel Curling Iron (1.25")
Bio Ionic NanoIonic MX Long Barrel Curling Iron (1.25")

The Bio Ionic curling iron offers six labeled heating settings ranging from 250°F to 430°F, increasing in increments of 30°F. I chose 360°F, which the brand recommends for “normal hair.” The longer, 1.25-inch thick barrel makes it easier to curl larger sections of hair at once without forfeiting your desired style. While clamps can sometimes leave kinks in the hair that force you to redo a lock of hair, this one didn’t.

I enjoyed using this iron, but some with short or medium-length hair may find it bulky or unnecessary for achieving their desired style. On the other hand, if you have long hair that makes it difficult to get an even, tight curl from root to tip, this extra-long curling iron could be your solution.

Pros

  • Long barrel is great for long hair

  • Good range of temperatures

Cons

  • Bulkier

Product image of Bed Head Curlipops (1")
Bed Head Curlipops (1")

The Bed Head Curlipops wand is yet another head scratcher. The wand looks ordinary, but it offers a single on and off switch with zero heat settings or ways to adjust the temperature. You need to look at the instructions to learn that the temperature heats up to a high of 400°F. When I flipped the switch, it lit up green, but with no blinking or changing of colors that indicated it was ready to use.

Despite the puzzling setup, I enjoyed using this iron because it’s so simple. It left me with zero choices to make and it’s a standard, easy-to-use wand. The hot barrel formed solid spiral curls that looked beautiful and shiny even after I combed through my hair.

If you have fine hair and are worried about heat damage, you may opt for a product that allows you to choose a lower temperature, but I liked the fuss-free nature of this and wouldn’t hesitate to use it again.

Pros

  • Easy to use

  • Creates beautiful, shiny curls

Cons

  • Only one temperature

Product image of CHI Spin N Curl
Chi Spin N Curl Ceramic Rotating Hair Curler

The Chi Spin N Curl Ceramic Rotating Hair Curler is the oddest looking curling tool I’ve ever seen. It’s one that makes you—dare I say—pull out the instruction manual. If it delivers amazing results, though, I don’t mind consulting the instruction manual before diving into a beauty or styling tool. The Chi is incredibly easy to use once you practice with one or two strands of hair, it feels very durable, and the mechanism it uses keeps you from burning yourself.

Here’s how it works: Take a small section of hair and drape it over the open chamber, then press one of the arrow buttons (depending on if you want to curl toward or away from your head) and the tulip-looking device pulls your hair in and twirls it around a ceramic barrel to form the curl.

When it’s done, the device beeps to let you know you can pull the iron away from your head, releasing your curl with it. Yes, you read that right: you’re curling your hair without any tugging, wrapping, or burning.

The downside of this device is that it only creates loose waves, unless you leave the same section of hair in the chamber for a second or third spin, or if you make good use of styling products.

You may also have better luck creating tight curls if you increase the temperature; this tool goes up to 450°F (the highest any of our curling tools went to), but I used it at 350°F, which was on par with the setting I used on most of the other irons and wands. The Chi heats up in about 40 seconds and automatically shuts off after an hour.

If you’ve had negative experiences with traditional curling irons and wands, or if you have fine hair that curls easily without being held tightly to a ceramic barrel, I’d suggest giving this one a try.

Pros

  • Easy to use

  • Durable

Cons

  • Only creates loose waves

Product image of Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Gold Curling Iron/Wand (1.25")
Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Gold Curling Iron/Wand (1.25")

My experience with the Hot Tools curling iron was just so-so. The iron has a dial that can be placed on 280°F, 330°F, 380°, 410°F, or anywhere in between those temperatures. I chose 380°F, which is the top of the range that the brand recommends for “normal” hair.

The dial does not have any notches or produce any clicking noises to indicate moving from one temperature to the next. There was also no light or chime to indicate when the iron reached its temperature, though the instructions say to “allow the appliance 60 seconds of heating time.”

My hair curls came out looking smooth and shiny, but it took going over the same spots a few times to see these results. I started curling smaller sections of hair at a time and saw an immediate improvement. You could call this user error, but, for comparison, curling irons with larger barrels can handle more hair at once.

Ultimately, this gets the job done, but the ones listed above provided a better experience at a faster rate.

Pros

  • Pretty curls

  • Good temperature range

Cons

  • Needed to use small sections of hair

Product image of BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 1" Spring Curling Iron
BaBylissPro Nano Titanium 1" Spring Curling Iron

The BaBylissPro reminds me of the Conair iron that won our Best Value spot in both looks and feel—except it has a much heftier price.

It features a turnable wheel that is labeled with 250°F, 285°F, 330°F, 390°F, and 430°F, each of which represents the bottom or top of the heat range the brand recommends per hair type. I chose 360°F, as it was in the middle of the recommended temperature range for “normal hair,” but this was probably my first mistake, as my hair didn’t hold a curl with this iron as well as it did with other ones where I chose 380°F.

The same wheel that spins to control the heat settings is also a button that has the instructions “push in for turbo heat” above it, but there is no additional information about what “turbo heat” actually means in the iron’s included leaflet. There was no audible or visual notification when the iron reached its temperature. These two attributes prompted more questions than answers in the setup stage. In the end, the iron produced fine-enough curls, but they fell over a 30-minute period.

With the right hairspray, this iron may work fine, but there are plenty of better options on this list.

Pros

  • Good temperature range

Cons

  • Curls fell right away

  • No notification of reaching temperature

Product image of Tyme Iron Pro
Tyme Iron Pro

This device claims to give you voluminous curls or sleek straight hair, and all you have to do is change how you position the wand before running it through your hair from root to tip. Of course, we only factored in its curl efficacy for the purposes of this list, but who doesn’t love a dual-purpose product?

Unfortunately, though, the Tyme Iron fell flat during our curling tests.

It has a clunky design that is difficult to maneuver even on the front pieces of hair, let alone the back of the head. It heats up quickly and, like the T3, allows you to choose from five different heat settings, but there’s no way to tell exactly what the temperature is from looking at the wand. According to the pamphlet that accompanies the iron, the temperatures are 300°F, 325°F, 350°F, 375°F, and 400°F.

While using the iron, I was only able to create undone ringlets rather than voluminous curls. The worst part, though, was how bad the iron smelled of burning before I even put my hair in it. I had to go over the same pieces of hair to achieve a curl I liked, but I didn’t even want to do one pass through my hair because of the odor.

Pros

  • Heats up quickly

Cons

  • Iron smells bad after use

Product image of InStyler Airless
InStyler Airless Blowout Revolving Styler

Like the Tyme Iron, the InStyler Airless Blowout Revolving Styler can be used as a tool to straighten or curl hair. To achieve curly locks, you wrap your hair around the barrel and then clamp down so the brush part is keeping the hair in place. According to InStyler, the idea is to avoid “crushing hair between two scorching hot plates.”

The InStyler is a simple design, with a single on/off button and four heat settings that, again, do not specify a temperature. It worked fine as a curling iron, but only because you are wrapping your hair around a hot barrel, which you can do with any of the ones previously mentioned on this list.

Pros

  • Can be used on curly or straight hair

  • Straightforward design

Cons

  • Not memorable

How We Test Curling Irons and Curling Wands

Credit: Reviewed / Jessica Kasparian

I created loose, tousled curls using the Conair, pictured left, and GHD, pictured right.

The Tester

I’m Jessica Kasparian, the lifestyle writer at Reviewed, and I’ve tested everything from makeup to hair tools, including the best hair straighteners and hair dryers. I naturally have medium-length, wavy-curly hair that I either let air dry or that I blow-dry and straighten.

If I’m doing the latter, I sometimes add in curls using a basic 1-inch wand from Conair that I’ve had for approximately 10 years. I prefer a loose, tousled curl to a tight ringlet, and I attempted to create that look when I tested the irons and wands on this list.

The Tests

Because there is a daunting amount of curling irons and curling wands on the market, we pared them down to top-rated picks at all price points to see which wands have the best features, usability, and of course, which best allowed me to create my desired style.

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

We used each curling wand on a hair extension and, surprisingly, none of the curls fell in the following 24 hours.

I tested both curling irons and curling wands the same way you might: I curled my hair with each one and let the style breathe for the day. I then teamed up with Reviewed’s senior scientist to score and weight results on a scientifically calibrated rubric. To find which wand really is best, I considered the different aspects of the process, including:

Setup: How sturdy does the wand feel? How long does it take for it to heat up? Is there a notification when it’s ready, so you're not sitting around waiting? Are there adjustable heat settings for varying hair types?

Usability: How comfortable is the wand to hold throughout styling? How easy are the buttons to understand and use? Are they well-placed so you don't accidentally change settings mid-style? Are there any safety features, like an auto shut-off, for peace of mind?

Style: How long did it take to achieve the desired style? How was the overall experience?

How to Choose the Best Curling Iron or Wand

Curling Wand vs. Curling Iron—Which Is Better?

Curling irons consist of a round heated barrel and a clamp that holds the hair in place. A curling wand is essentially a clipless curling iron. Instead of clamping hair with the hot iron, you use your hand to physically wrap sections of hair around the tool. The method creates a more natural-looking wave or curl than the coiffed Shirley Temple-esque ringlets that a traditional curling iron produces.

When it comes to staying power, there was no difference in all of the different wands and irons that we tested. Instead, the longevity of a curled style largely depends on your individual hair type and the products you use before and after styling.

With that in mind, you want to choose a tool based on objective facts, like how adjustable the heat settings are, the barrel size, and heat-up time. You’ll also want to factor in safety features, like the kickstands, barrel sleeves, or gloves that accompany the tool.

Barrel Size

Curling iron barrel sizes can range from three eighths of an inch to two inches. The smaller the barrel size, the tighter the curl it will produce. If you’re looking for longer, looser waves, a 1.25 to 2-inch barrel will be your best bet. For ringlet style curls, 1-inch or less is a good starting point.

A 1-inch curling iron tends to be the most popular size as it’s versatile enough to create tighter curls, but it can also create softer waves when using less heat.

Adjustable Temperatures

Most curling wands have temperature settings that can vary in range to adjust to different types of hair. For thicker locks, curling irons with higher temperatures often work better, while those with finer hair may want lower temps to avoid damaging their strands.

Heat adjustments can also be beneficial depending on the style you’re going for. For instance, you can use higher temps to really cement a defined curl, but lower heat settings can be beneficial to create loose, natural looking waves.

Additional Features

Some curling irons may have additional perks to consider, especially when it comes to safety features. For instance, most curling irons have kickstands that ensure the iron isn’t in direct contact with your counter (or any other surface) to prevent scorch marks. Some irons may have the added bonus of an automatic shut off, which means you never have to worry if you remembered to turn off your curling iron before running out the door.

With curling wands, a heat protectant glove is always a helpful add-on. It makes the tool easier to use and prevents burns on your hand.

What Kind of Curling Iron is Best for Your Hair?

The type of curling wand or iron that’s best for you will depend on a few different factors, like the type of curl you wish to create, as well as your hair texture, length, and thickness.

If you have finer hair that struggles to hold a curl, then a tighter curl (a.k.a. a smaller barrel) might help to sustain the curl for a longer period of time. Typically, thick hair may need higher temperatures to form a lasting curl, so it’s best to avoid a curling wand or iron that can’t get up to 350°F (or preferably higher).

Lastly, if you often curl your hair and like to switch between different styles, a set with varying barrels like the Dyson Airwrap Styler (available at Sephora for $199.00) or the T3 Whirl Trio (available at Sephora for $199.00) may be worth investing in.

Meet the tester

Jessica Kasparian

Jessica Kasparian

Beauty Editor

@jkasparian_

Jessica writes and edits beauty content for Reviewed's lifestyle section.

Jessica holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Emerson College, and she's written for 7News, Boston.com, Citizine, and Boston Common Magazine.

See all of Jessica Kasparian's reviews

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