Best hair curlers 2021: the best tools for effortless curls
Updated: Put some bounce in your bonce with these best hair curlers.
Gone are the days where you’d singe your hair (and very possible your neck and/or scalp) with the cheapest curlers you could find. Today’s market is full of brilliant, high quality curling wands - as our best hair curlers guide proves.
This is a bit of a double-edged sword, it turns out though. Yes, there are dozens of fantastic hair curlers to choose from. But that also means you actually have to pick one.
UPDATE: With March 2021 marking GHD's 20th Anniversary, it's safe to say the luxury hair styling brand is pulling out all the stops to celebrate. There's currently 20% off their top-of-the-range GHD hair tongues on Amazon, ensuring there's never been a better reason to snap up a bargain. Their Curve Creative Curl Wand is already one of the best rated models on our ShortList - now down to £103.99 from £129.99 on Amazon.
We can't talk about hair curlers without throwing the top-of-the-range Dyson Airwrap into the mix. Regarded by many as the creme de la creme of hair curlers, the Airwrap bridges the gap between hair dryer and hair tongue, thanks to a range of patented attachments that connect to the main body. It doesn't come cheap mind you, as the Airwrap's price tag is a hefty £499.99. That being said, this model sells out the minute new stock is released for a reason, and with a range of payment options to choose from - including far more reasonably priced monthly instalments, it does make this high-end curler that much more affordable.
Do you want barrel curls? Beachy waves? Tight ringlets? Whatever you’re after, there’s a product for you – and a difficult choice to make.
Luckily, we’re here to give you the lowdown on what’s out there. Here’s our pick of the best hair curlers on the market - all of which will give you fantastic curls, even if you are the only one seeing them in lockdown!
- The best mascara, tested
- Also check out our best hair straightener guide and the best hair dryers around.
Best hair curlers
1. T3 Whirl Trio Curling Tongs
Designed for loose, tousled and undone waves, this trio of curling tongs is best for those hoping to avoid damage to hair.
There are five heat settings to choose from, to start, so you don’t have to blast your hair with too much heat. T3 also has its own patented heat technology, which uses infra-red heat to stop your hair getting too damaged.
If you want a wider range of barrels, you’re also in luck. The base of this model can be used with a number of other attachments, so you can add to your collection as and when you fancy.
2. Cloud Nine The Waving Wand
Getting a blow dry is brilliant; you look and feel fantastic. What’s less great, though, is trying to recreate those bouncy curls at home.
Luckily, this Cloud Nine Waving Wand is here to help. With a huge barrel – at 36mm, it’s one of the biggest out there – it can be used on long and short hair.
If you’re looking for tight or more defined curls, this probably isn’t for you. But if you want a natural wave without going to the hairdressers every two minutes, it’s a great option.
3. Toni & Guy Deep Barrel Waver
Another well-known hair care brand, Toni & Guy has a huge range of curling products. This one, the deep barrel waver, has one particular appeal. It makes your hair look like it’s been plaited overnight.
More wavey than curly, this tool can make your hair look slept-in and gorgeous, giving an almost crimped look. It also has the option to adjust the temperature, so if you want something a bit looser, just turn the heat down.
4. Babyliss Curl Pro 210 Tong
The Babyliss Curl Pro Tong is as cheap and cheerful as it gets.
Designed to create bouncy curls, it still has a range of options. Five temperatures mean you can adjust the look of your curls and decide how long you want them to last, as well as protecting your hair. A lever also holds your hair in place whilst you curl.
The reduced price does mean your hair will be less protected, though – so if you opt for a cheaper tool, be sure to invest in some protection spray and other heat resistant products.
5. Ghd Curve Creative Curl Wand
Ghd is one of the most popular hair styling brands – and it don’t disappoint with its range of curling wands, either.
The Creative Curl Wand, part of the brand’s curve range, is probably its best for natural looking waves. If you want beachy waves or bouncy curls, this is probably the wand for you.
You’ll be happy to hear the wand has a protective tip at its end, meaning you won’t burn your head while trying to hold your hair in place, and an automatic sleep mode that turns it off after 30 minutes. No more worrying in the pub about whether you left them on.
6. Lee Stafford Rainbow Shine Waver
The Lee Stafford Rainbow Shine Waver is certainly eye catching, with a rainbow design and bubble-effect barrell. A wand that looks amazing as it curls? Sign us up.
It has some credentials to back up its good looks, though. The surface of the wand is electroplated, meaning no one wand is the same as another. It also has negative ion technology, which means you can curl without worrying about any frizz.
7. Babyliss Curl Secret Hair Styler
Curling isn’t always easy for those with thick hair – it either takes forever or just drops out immediately, rendering your hours of toil completely pointless.
Fortunately, Babyliss have got you covered with its Curl Secret styler. Yes, it does look a bit like a garlic press – but it does promise big results.
It works by drawing your hair into a ceramic “curl chamber” which heats from all angles – and inbuilt ionic control means your hair will be smooth and frizz free.
8. Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler
A lot of hair curlers are geared towards either more natural curls or big, bouncy statement hair. What you get less often are tools designed to make your curls super-tight. But if you’re after corkscrew curls – think 1980s chic – this Chopstick Styler from Lee Stafford is the one for you.
As the name suggests, the barrel looks a lot like a chopstick – it’s incredibly thin. It heats up quickly (less than thirty seconds) and has a max temperature of 200°C, ensuring your curls will be long-lasting as well as stylish.
9. Dyson Airwrap Styler
Regarded by many as the creme de la creme of hair curlers, the Dyson Airwrap styler brings the style as well as the substance. Bridging the gap between a conventional hair dryer and a traditional hair tongue, the body comes complete with a range of up to nine patented attachments that connect to the main body. It doesn't come cheap mind you, as the Airwrap's price tag starts at a hefty £449.99. That being said, the fact this model continues to sell out in minutes is testament to its quality. There's even an online test that can suggest the right attachments for your hair type.
10. Remington Proluxe Hair Curling Wand
The 25-38mm barrel makes this curling wand perfect for those who want to create big bouncy curls or beach waves. It heats up within 30 seconds and uses OPTIheat technology, which directs heat to the thicker end of the wand where your hair will be thicker. This gives you the curls you want without damaging the ends of your hair with too much heat where it's not needed.
It also has a pretty impressive 5-year guarantee, and comes with a travel pouch and a heatproof glove.