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The 10 Best Cordless Curling Irons in 2021

The 10 Best Cordless Curling Irons in 2021

Have you ever used a curling iron and wished that you didn’t have to deal with a cord coming off the end? Maybe it gets tangled when you’re packing your bag to explore a new place, or maybe it’s just annoying when you’re in the process of trying to style your hair.

Regardless, if you’ve had your eye on a cordless curling iron, we’ve rounded up some of the best curlers that will keep your hair voluminous and beautiful.

Cordless Curling Iron Factors

If you’re not sure where to start when picking out a cordless curling iron, or if you’re looking for an option that suits you more than your previous curling iron did, have no fear.

We’ll talk about what features to look into when you’re shopping for your cordless curling iron, give you some product recommendations, and go into greater detail later about why things like material and barrel size matter.

Curler Type

There are three main types of cordless curling irons: curling wands, clamp curlers, and automatic curlers. For a detailed look at the pros and cons of each type, check out our full guide below.

We’ve also included a flat iron on our list, which you can use to both straighten and curl your hair.

Materials

Materials cover what the barrel of the curling iron is coated in. Different materials handle frizziness differently, and we’ll go more into that in our materials guide later.

Heat Settings

Some curling irons only have one setting, but others have multiple heat settings you can choose. We’ll tell you how many there are and what the range for them is.

Timer Settings

Timer settings will let you know how long to keep your hair curled around the barrel to achieve different curl looks.

Charge Time

Charge time is how long you can expect it to take the curler to charge fully.

Use Time

This is how long the curling iron can be used before it needs to be charged again.

Heat Range

The heat range describes the lowest and maximum temperature that the curling iron can achieve. The temperature of your curling iron matters a lot, especially if you have very fine or very thick hair–if you’re not sure what’s right for you, take a look at our guide to heat settings before getting started.

Convenience Features

Convenience features will talk about how convenient the curling iron is to use and travel with–we’ll talk more in depth about charge/usage ratio, what the display is like, and how easy it is to use.

Styling Features

Style features cover everything you need to know about what it’s like styling your hair with the curling iron. This will go more deeply into the heat range, if the timers correspond to different curl styles, if there’s a size range in the wand itself, and if there are any automatic settings.

With that, we’re ready to dive into the best cordless curling irons of 2021!

Top 10 Best Cordless Curling Irons 2021

1. Best Overall Curling Iron: Conair Unbound Cordless Auto Curler

Conair Unbound Cordless Auto Curler

Why we like it: This automated curler is quite easy to use and has the best temperature range of any automatic curler listed, making it great for any hair type.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Automatic Curler
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Heat Settings: 3
  • Timer Settings: 4
  • Charge Time: 4.5 hours
  • Use Time: 1 hour
  • Heat Range: 320°-400°

The Conair Unbound Auto Curler has a ceramic barrel, the smoothness of which will keep your hair from tangling. The curler itself is sleek and shimmery purple for an aesthetic flair that’s sure to catch the eye of your friends when you’re traveling or getting ready for a night out.

Convenience Features

The Conair Unbound Auto Curler has an LED display that shows battery, temperature, and an indicator that it’s hot enough to be ready to be used, so you never have to guess if your curler’s ready. Plus the curler will turn off automatically after 15 minutes of idle time, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on and causing a fire.

All of these things make it very easy to use, and the size is excellent for travel. It does take quite a while to charge, which is something to keep in mind if you’re looking to take it on a trip.

When styling your hair, there are helpful beeps that make it clear when to stop, which is good because you can’t actually see the hair once it’s inside the chamber. Getting your hair into the chamber can be difficult though, so for a manual option without that fuss, try the Conair Cordless Curling Iron.

Styling Features

The Conair Unbound Auto Curler has a variety of features that make it good for styling. There are four timer settings, which gives you a variety of curl shape options ranging from a loose beach wave to a tighter curl. There are also left, right, and mixed settings so your curls can be spun in opposite directions, which will be good for keeping your whole head looking uniform.

The temperature range is the best among the automatic curlers listed, and its companion, the Conair Unbound Curling Wand, has the best temperature range period.

Pros

  • Has an automatic shutoff feature
  • Can curl in both directions
  • Multiple timer and temperature settings

Cons

  • Takes a long time to charge
  • Can be frustrating to get the hair into the curling chamber

2. Best Premium Curling Iron: YAPOY Hair Curler

YAPOY Hair Curler

Why we like it: The YAPOY Hair Curler has a sleek design, an easy-to-use interface, and an option for mixing curl directions with its automatic curl chamber.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Automatic Curler
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Heat Settings: 5
  • Timer Settings: 5
  • Charge Time: 3 hours
  • Use Time: 1 hour
  • Heat Range: 320°-390°

The YAPOY Hair Curler comes in two colors, so it’ll be just as picture-worthy as the curls you get from it. It has a variety of timer settings and allows you to curl your hair to the left, right, or a mix of both directions, which gives you a lot of curl variety in a small package.

Convenience Features

There’s a sensor inside the curling chamber that will tell you with a series of beeps if you’ve tried to put too much hair in, which will keep your hair from getting tangled or unevenly heated.

It can be difficult to get the proper amount of hair in the chamber, so this curler may be best suited for someone who has experience with automatic curlers already. For a more beginner-friendly auto curler, try the MELOPHY Cordless Hair Curler.

It runs for a full hour after a three-hour charge, which is about average for a rechargeable curler. The curler isn’t bulky at all, so it’s great to take along with you on a trip.

Styling Features

The YAPOY Hair Curler has five temperature and timer settings each. The temperature ranges from 320°-390°, which will work for just about all hair types, unless your hair needs something on the extreme end of hotter or cooler.

The curl directions can go left, right, as well as a mix of both, which promises uniform curls all over your head that can either volumize or just be pretty.

Pros

  • Good charge time/use time ratio
  • Great size for traveling
  • Has a sensor to tell you when you’ve tried to put in too much hair

Cons

  • Difficult to use if you’re not experienced with automatic curlers

3. Best Budget Curling Iron: Conair Cordless Curling Iron

Conair Cordless Curling Iron

Why we like it: The butane battery cell means not waiting for a charge time, plus it’s easy to use at a very affordable price.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Clamp Curler
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Heat Settings: 1
  • Timer Settings: None
  • Charge Time: None
  • Use Time: Unlimited
  • Heat Range: 360°

The Conair Cordless Curling Iron has a ¾” ceramic barrel and has an attached clip that goes the length of the wand. The butane battery makes it a great option if you hate dealing with having to charge your curling iron while you’re on the go.

Convenience Features

The primary convenience feature is the ThermaCell butane cartridge, which eliminates the stress over using your charged curling iron for your whole head before the battery runs out.

The machine itself is very easy to use, all you have to do is turn it on and wait for it to heat up but since there isn’t a display telling you what temperature the curling iron has reached, knowing when it’s ready to use can be a little difficult. For a curling iron that has a more thorough display, check out the Conair Unbound Curler.

The size of the Conair Cordless Curling Iron isn’t too bulky to travel with, especially when you’ve removed the ThermaCell cartridge (which is required if you’re taking it on a plane).

Styling Features

Since the Conair Cordless Curling Iron is powered with a butane cartridge that ignites, there’s only one heat setting. There aren’t any timer settings, but the one heat setting does reach 360°, which is good for average hair density. There isn’t any size variation in the ¾” barrel (it doesn’t taper like a cone) but ¾” will make a fairly tight curl if you leave it for long enough.

Pros

  • Don’t have to wait for a charge
  • Affordable option
  • Easy to use
  • Use time is virtually unlimited

Cons

  • Very basic settings

4. Best Auto Curler for Beginners: MELOPHY Cordless Hair Curler

MELOPHY Cordless Hair Curler

Why we like it: The MELOPHY Cordless Hair Curler has several built-in features that make it great for someone who’s never used an automatic curler before.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Automatic Curler
  • Material: Ceramic, tourmaline, and nano silver
  • Heat Settings: 6
  • Timer Settings: 6
  • Charge Time: 3 hours
  • Use Time: 1 hour
  • Heat Range: 300°-390°

The MELOPHY Cordless Hair Curler is made from a blend of ceramic, tourmaline, and nano silver, which will help a lot if you deal with frizziness when you heat style. The customer service from the seller is excellent–if you find yourself having issues with your charging cable, they’ll send a replacement immediately.

Convenience Features

The charge time to use time ratio is really good for an automatic curler–having to wait a long time to only be able to use something for a few minutes can be frustrating. It’s easy to figure out, and the LED screen helps you know when it’s hot enough to be used and what the battery charge is. It comes with both an anti-scald feature as well as an automatic shutoff after ten minutes of being idle, which are both ideal safety features.

The MELOPHY Cordless Hair Curler also has anti-hair-tangling technology in the chamber, making it great for people who don’t have much experience with an automatic curler.

Styling Features

Using an automatic curler means that your hair is going to be evenly curled all over, plus it can rotate the curl in both directions.

It has a good heat range that will be able to work with fine hair all the way up to hair that’s thicker and denser in volume (though if your hair is very long or thick, it may take a while to get all your hair curled). There are several different timer and heat settings that you can experiment with to see what’s best.

If you have experience with an automatic curler already and want something a little more advanced, check out the YAPOY Hair Curler.

Pros

  • Ensures that hair won’t get tangled in chamber
  • Automatic shutoff after ten minutes
  • Anti-scald feature
  • Good charge time to use time ratio

Cons

  • Doesn’t get as hot as some other options
  • Not as convenient for longer or thicker hair

5. Best Butane Curler: ThermaCELL by Conair Compact Curling Iron

ThermaCELL by Conair Compact Curling Iron

Why we like it: Thermacell by Conair is great for travel, and with their butane-powered cartridge you don’t have to wait for your curling iron to charge.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Clamp Curler
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Heat Settings: 1
  • Timer Settings: None
  • Charge Time: None
  • Use Time: Unlimited
  • Heat Range: 390°

The Thermacell by Conair is a great traveling companion at a very good price. Not having to deal with a charging period or rushing to beat the charged battery of your curling iron is a major plus, especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to waste a single minute of vacation time but still wants to look cute in pictures. The color of the curling iron (and the matching case) are Instagram-worthy and will keep you looking just as pretty.

Convenience Features

The Thermacell by Conair doesn’t need to be charged because it’s powered with a butane cartridge. This makes it super convenient when traveling, and the cartridge itself will last up to a year with periodic use, so it’s not something that will need to be replaced immediately.

This curling iron is a fuss-free machine that simply has an on switch, so there’s no need to dig around in the system settings to get your desired temperature. However, there’s only one setting and it doesn’t have a display that shows the temperature, which can be inconvenient until you know your machine well enough to know how long it takes to heat up.

This curling iron is excellent for travel, because of its light weight and the hard plastic case that it comes with. Be warned, the case isn’t actually heat proof so make sure you let your curling iron cool before putting it inside. This curling iron is also modestly sized, but that does mean it can take longer to finish curling your hair if it’s thick and long.

Styling Features

The barrel size on this curling iron is ⅝,” and it’s not tapered so you can only make curls that wide with no variation. Because it’s a manual clamp system, you can curl in either direction with ease.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any timer settings, and the one heat setting (390°) will be too high for some hair types. For something with more range, check out the Conair Unbound Cordless Auto Curler).

Pros

  • Butane cartridge means no charging wait time
  • Perfect size for traveling
  • Comes with a traveling case
  • Cartridge last for a long time

Cons

  • Only one heat option that may not be suitable for a lot of hair types
  • Very basic settings

6. Best Curler With Timer Settings: Laluztop Cordless Auto Hair Curler

Laluztop Cordless Auto Hair Curler

Why we like it: The Laluztop Cordless Auto Hair Curler has ten timer settings, so your curls can match whatever look you have in mind.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Automatic Curler
  • Material: Ceramic, tourmaline, nano silver
  • Heat Settings: 6
  • Timer Settings: 10
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours
  • Use Time: 1 hour
  • Heat Range: 300°-390°

The Laluztop Cordless Auto Hair Curler has the most timer settings of any products listed, plus there’s a decent temperature range, so if you’re looking for a variety this is the perfect option for you. It comes in a charming pink color and a sleek design.

Convenience Features

The Laluztop Cordless Auto Hair Curler has an LED display that makes it easy to tell when it’s fully charged, when it’s ready to be used, and what timer setting has been selected. It’s a very easy machine to use, though it takes a while to charge and heat up completely.

Luckily, the time for usage is pretty good for a curler of its type, though it should be noted that working with a higher heat is going to significantly affect how long the curler can be used. If you’re looking for something you can work with for a long time at a high temperature, the Conair Cordless Curling Iron may be a better fit.

This curler is great for slipping into a purse or a travel tote, as it’s not too bulky or heavy. It has automatic shutoff after ten minutes of idle time, as well as an anti-scald feature, which helps ensure that your hair won’t burn.

Styling Features

The heat range on the Laluztop Cordless Auto Hair Curler is 300°-390° between six settings, which will work for most hair types, including fine hair that needs a lower heat. The timer settings range from 8-18 seconds, and will let you know with accompanying beeps that it’s time to move onto the next strand.

This curler can curl the hair in both directions for an even look. Unfortunately, it’s not clear what the barrel size of the curler is.

Pros

  • Has an automatic shutoff feature
  • Anti-scald
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Battery length gets affected by heat
  • Can be difficult to figure out how much hair to put in
  • May take a while to reach temperature

7. Best Curler for Beach Waves: Duomishu Automatic Curling Iron

Duomishu Automatic Curling Iron

Why we like it: The Duomishu Automatic Curling Iron is great for curls that aren’t too tight, which makes it ideal for beachy waves.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Automatic Curler
  • Material: Ceramic, tourmaline
  • Heat Settings: 6
  • Timer Settings: 11
  • Charge Time: 4 hours
  • Use Time: 1 hour
  • Heat Range: 300°-390°

The barrel on the Duomishu Automatic Curling Iron is coated in ceramic tourmaline which will help dispel any frizz caused by heat styling. It has a sleek design, and it’s fairly easy to get your hair into the automatic curling chamber, which makes it a great option if you’re looking for an automatic curler.

Convenience Features

The Duomishu Curling Iron is a great travel companion, as it’s not too big or bulky. It comes with an auto off feature after ten minutes of idle time, which also makes it super travel-friendly–especially if you’re on a trip with a lot of other things to think about.

The display makes it very easy to know when your iron is ready to be used, but selecting the settings can be difficult especially when you’re first starting to use it.

This curling iron lasts for an hour once it’s charged, which is about average among the curlers listed. It does take four hours to get that full charge, which can be a downside especially if you’re looking to use it on vacation and want to limit time spent in the hotel room.

Styling Features

The Duomishu Curling Iron has a good temperature range that covers the needs of fine to thicker hair. When it’s used, the curls most often come out very loose, even when they’re on a longer timer setting. If you’re looking for something that enables you to do a tighter curl, try the Laluztop Cordless Auto Hair Curler.

Having the curling mechanism be automatic means that your curls will be uniform every time you put your hair in the chamber. This is especially important when you have short hair, as there’s less hair to hide any unevenness.

The automatic curling can also be adjusted to go either clockwise or counter-clockwise, so your curls will look great no matter what side of your head they’re on.

Pros

  • Has an auto off feature after 10 minutes
  • Great for curls that aren’t too tight
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Picking out the setting is confusing
  • Battery life is highly affected by the heat setting you choose

8. Best Curler for Touch-Ups: Deogra Mini Flat Iron

Deogra Mini Flat Iron

Why we like it: The Deogra mini flat iron can both straighten and curl hair and keep you looking fresh all day.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Flat Iron
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Heat Settings: 1
  • Timer Settings: None
  • Charge Time: 1.5 hours
  • Use Time: 25 minutes
  • Heat Range: 410°

The Deogra Mini Flat Iron is perfect for touching up your hair on the go. It’s only 7.8” in length and not very bulky, so it’ll fit beautifully in your travel tote or even your purse. Not only that, but it’s versatile as it can be used as a hair straightener.

Convenience Features

The Deogra Mini Flat Iron only takes 90 minutes to charge fully, but the trade-off is that it only provides about 25 minutes of use time before the heat begins getting compromised. This coupled with the size of this mini flat iron means that people who have longer hair may find that it’s not suitable for their needs.

For a curling iron that’s friendlier to longer hair, check out the Thermacell by Conair Compact Curling Iron.

Styling Features

This curling iron doesn’t have timer settings and only has one heat setting, which is 410°, which is recommended for thicker or already very curly hair.

If a very high heat is what you need, this is a great option that can both curl and straighten your hair, which gives you versatility of appearance even though it’s only one machine.

Pros

  • Extremely compact
  • Two in one--can straighten and curl
  • Goes up to 410°

Cons

  • Not recommended for long/thick hair
  • Meant only for touch-ups
  • Doesn’t have multiple heat or timer settings

9. Best Curling Wand: Conair Unbound Curler

Conair Unbound Curler

Why we like it: The Conair Unbound Curler has a very small clamp that enables it for easy use as a curling wand--which is something that’s difficult to find without a cord.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Curling Wand
  • Material: Titanium
  • Heat Settings: 4
  • Timer Settings: None
  • Charge Time: 2 hours
  • Use Time: 25 minutes
  • Heat Range: 280°-400°

The Conair Unbound Curler has a titanium barrel, which is extremely durable and will help with frizz. The small clamp is big enough to function to hold the end of your hair for a curl, but it’s small enough to be out of the way when you wrap the rest of your hair around the curling wand.

Convenience Features

The Conair Unbound Curler has a very informative LED display that tells you about temperature, battery life, and enables you to choose from different timer and temperature options.

Using the actual menu can be difficult though, which may be frustrating at the beginning of use. If you’re looking for lots of different settings, though, this may be the curler for you.

This curling iron only takes a couple of hours to charge (though they recommend a full overnight charge before you use it the first time). The trade-off is that the curler can only be used for 25 minutes at a time. It has an automatic shutoff feature after 15 minutes of idle time, and also comes with a heat-resistant pouch so it can be placed inside even right after being used.

Styling Features

The barrel on this curling iron is 1”, with no size variation or tapering. The Conair Unbound Curler has the widest range of temperatures available, going from 280°-400° between four settings.

The presence of timer settings is unclear in the manufacturer’s information–for a curling iron that has timer settings, it might be good to look at the Laluztop Cordless Auto Hair Curler.

Pros

  • Includes heat resistant pouch
  • Has the best temperature range
  • Auto off after 15 minutes

Cons

  • Only 25 minutes of run time
  • Hard to adjust the settings
  • May or may not be timer settings available

10. Best Wired Travel Curling Iron: Travel Smart by Conair Curling Iron

Travel Smart by Conair Curling Iron

Why we like it: Even though this curling iron has a cord, its petite size makes it perfect for travel, especially if you’re looking for a clamp curler.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Type: Clamp Curler
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Heat Settings: 1
  • Timer Settings: None
  • Charge Time: None
  • Use Time: Unlimited
  • Heat Range: 356°

The Travel Smart by Conair Curling Iron has a small size but still packs a good amount of punch for working with your hair during a trip. It has a fully ceramic barrel and a bright blue handle that will make it easy to find in your bag.

Even though it has a cord, we’ve included it because its size and its automatic voltage adjustment makes it a great curling iron to travel with.

Convenience Features

There won’t be too much waiting to use the Travel Smart by Conair, as it only takes about a minute to heat up fully. There isn’t an automatic shutoff feature though, so make sure to turn it off when you’re done. The voltage for the curling iron adjusts automatically to the voltage that’s present in the outlet, making this a great option for international travel.

The Travel Smart by Conair is extremely petite at only 2” in length. The only downside is that you can’t get much hair onto the curling iron at a time, and it may take a while to get all of your hair curled if it’s long.

Styling Features

The barrel on the Travel Smart by Conair is 1” in size, and it doesn’t taper so it will only be able to give you uniform 1” curls. There’s only one heat setting and there aren’t any timer settings, but having the clamp and working the curling iron manually means that you can set your own timers and curl whatever direction you please.

The heat goes up to 356°, but there’s only one setting, so if you need something hotter or cooler check out the Conair Unbound Cordless Auto Curler.

Pros

  • Small but still functional
  • No waiting for a charge
  • Converts voltage in other countries automatically

Cons

  • Has a cord
  • Only has 1 heat setting
  • No automatic shutoff

Buying Guide for Cordless Curling Irons

red-haired woman using curler

Cordless Curling Iron vs. Wired Curling Iron

A cordless curling iron gives you less of an obstacle when you’re actually curling the hair, because even when the cord swivels it can still get in the way. Cordless curling irons tend to be the go-to for traveling, because not having a cord makes it less bulky to pack.

On the flip side, having a cord is going to ensure that your curling iron won’t die on you before you’re done using it–especially if the cordless curling iron has a short use time. There also won’t be a wait for the curling iron to be charged (though with an option like the Thermacell by Conair Compact Curling Iron, that’s a non-issue).

Often, full-size wired curling irons are more powerful than their cordless counterparts, but they’re more unwieldy and bulky which can be a pain especially if you’re just looking for a touch up.

Overall, if you’re looking for something that isn’t bulky, that you plan on using in relatively quick intervals, and that you plan on traveling with, a cordless curling iron may be right for you.

Materials

The materials of the curling iron won’t affect the curling power as much as it will help handle frizziness. Different barrel materials emit different levels of negative ions, which fight against the positive ions of frizz. When considering what you want the barrel of your curling iron to be made of, think about how frizzy your hair tends to get when exposed to heat styling.

Ceramic

Ceramic is the most common material used for curling irons and other heat tools because of the way that it evenly disperses heat and glides through hair easily. Ceramic barrels emit some negative ions, but you may still need to use an anti-frizz spray to get the desired effect.

Sometimes, ceramic is blended with other materials like tourmaline and this doesn’t reduce the amount of ions the other materials produce, it only increases them.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline barrels are made from crushed tourmaline gemstones. Not only does this sound glamorous, but they’re also pretty durable when it comes to higher heat. Their best feature though is that they emit six times the amount of negative ions as ceramic or titanium, which is great if you struggle with heat-styling-related frizz.

Because it can chip more easily than ceramic, tourmaline is often blended with other materials but don’t worry; this will only make its frizz-killing ability stronger.

Nano Silver

Nano silver barrels are newer than their ceramic and tourmaline counterparts, and they’re mostly known for their antibacterial properties (so if you plan on sharing your curling iron, this may be something to think about).

Nano silver is a gentle metal and isn’t as durable as titanium, but it does leave hair shiny and glossy. It emits negative ions at the same rate as titanium or ceramic, so it will help with frizz.

Titanium

Titanium is the most durable metal found in nature, so if you’re looking to work with a very high heat frequently this is going to be the best barrel for you. These barrels also tend to heat up very fast and hold heat for a long time. They emit about the same amount of negative ions as ceramic barrels, making them a formidable fighter against frizz.

Types of Curlers

There are a few types of curlers that are suitable for different hair needs and various styles. Taking a look at what the differences are may help narrow down which curling iron is right for you.

Curling Wand

A curling wand is an exposed cylinder of metal or ceramic that either has no clamp or a very short one, like the Conair Unbound Curler. Sometimes the wand is tapered which gives the barrel a range of sizes (and this enables you to have different sized curls depending on the occasion).

The safety of these curlers can be a concern, because the metal gets extremely hot and you can easily burn yourself while working with your hair. Safety is why some people prefer to work with an insulated automatic curler, but curling your hair with a curling wand tends to go faster.

Clamp Curler

A clamp curler is the same as a curling wand, except there’s a clamp running the length of the curler which helps hold your hair in place while it’s being curled around the barrel. This can make it a little safer and easier to use, because it’s also a very hot instrument.

Typically, clamp curlers are also uniform in barrel size, so there isn’t a tapering for curl variety. Like a regular curling wand, you can usually do more of your hair at once than with an automatic curler, which will make curling go faster, but the curls themselves may not be as uniform.

Automatic Curler

An automatic curler is a device that has a chamber into which you feed a bit of your hair. When you turn it on, the machine curls your hair around the internal barrel, so when you pull it out, it’s curled like magic. Automatic curlers tend to have more timer settings than curling wands, but they can sometimes be difficult to work with because feeding your hair into the curler may not be intuitive, and you can’t do more than a little bit at a time.

Curlers like the Duomishu Automatic Curling Iron make it easier to figure out how much hair needs to go in at once, but it may take longer to finish than working with a curling wand.

About Heat Settings

When it comes to any heat styling tools, using the lowest temperature possible is your best bet for a couple of reasons. A high temperature means that there’s a higher likelihood of damage, plus if your curling iron is too hot for your hair, the curls won’t stay in.

Contrary to popular belief, a higher temperature doesn’t mean a tighter curl, so adjust the heat to the density and texture of your hair for best results. No matter what density your hair is, using a heat protectant like this one from L’Oreal Paris will go a long way in keeping your hair from getting damaged.

Lower Temperatures

Lower temperatures (280°-325°) are going to be ideal if you have fine hair or hair that’s been processed with color or other chemicals. The finer your hair is, the lower you’re going to want to go to avoid damaging your strands, so always trust your gut. The Conair Unbound Curler is a great choice that has lower temperatures.

Medium Temperatures

Medium temperatures (330°-360°) will work for anyone who has normal-density hair, which is not overly thin but not too thick either. If your hair is naturally wavy, you can go up to 375° without worry because the texture of the waves means that the hair is slightly less fragile than straighter hair.

High Temperatures

High temperatures (380°-410°) should be reserved for people with very thick or coarse curly hair. Lower temperatures won’t have much, if any, effect on the natural curls and texture, so lots of heat needs to be used. For a curler that has a high temperature, take a look at the Deogra Mini Flat Iron.

About Timer Settings

The way that timer settings can be used on a curling iron or automatic curler will depend on how long you need your hair to be wrapped around the barrel to hold a curl. Because it’s so dependent on what temperature you’re using and what your hair’s like, it’s hard to say exactly what amount of seconds will produce which kinds of curls.

The longer you leave your hair wrapped around the barrel, the tighter your curls will be. If you’re new to curling your hair, you’ll have to do a little experimenting. To minimize damage done to your hair, it’s best not to leave your hair wrapped around a curling iron for more than 20 seconds (or to 10-15 seconds if you have fine hair).

Barrel Sizes

The barrel is the part of the curling iron or curler that your hair wraps around to be curled. The bigger the barrel size, the bigger your curls will be, no matter what kind of heat you’re working with.

The most common barrel size for cordless curling irons tends to be around 1” or smaller, to prevent having to work with an overly bulky instrument. Sometimes, curling wands can be tapered to offer a variety of barrel sizes, which can give you a variety of looks.

If you choose an automatic curler, the barrel information may not be available. If barrel size is something that’s really important, a manual option like the Conair Cordless Curling Iron will be your best bet.

Curling Iron Styling Tips

Curl tightness will be determined by three things: barrel size, the amount of time the hair is put on heat, and how the hair is wrapped around the barrel. These factors are easier to control with a curling wand or clamp curler, but automatic curlers can give some diversity in curling styles with their timer settings.

For a full guide on different styles you can achieve with a curling iron (as well as a few other tools!) check out The Beauty Department, which will show you how to achieve the curls of your dreams.

Tips for Healthy Curls

No matter which cordless curling iron you choose, keep these tips in mind to get the most of your new tool.

Use Heat Protectant

Using a heat protector before heat styling your hair in any way is going to be one of the best ways to keep your hair healthy and without as much damage. This one from L’Oreal Paris is a great option at a good price.

Avoid High-Temp Blow Drying

Try not to blow dry your hair at a very high temperature before curling it if it can be helped. Not only will this add extra heat stress to your strands, blow drying your hair may compromise how well your hair can hold a curl (and it may also cause extra frizziness).

Don’t Shower the Same Day You Curl

The best curl results will happen if you don’t shower the same day that you plan on using your curling iron. If that’s not possible, air-drying is the next best solution. If you really need to blow dry, it’s best to do so with a low setting.

Use a Leave-in Conditioner

Using a leave-in conditioner that contains protein (like this one, also from L’Oreal Paris) will help strengthen your hair for any heat styling you have planned for it. This is especially good if you have finer or easily-breakable strands.

Cordless Curling Iron FAQ

Can You Curl Hair When It’s Wet?

No. Curling your hair when it’s wet will cause your hair to burn because the water will start boiling. Make sure your hair is completely dry before using heat on it–if you hear a sizzle on your curling iron or curler, your hair needs to be drier.

Are Cordless Curling Irons Damaging?

Over time, any heat styling can damage your hair. You can minimize damage by using the least amount of heat possible and by using a heat protectant spray on your hair before curling it. Limiting the frequency of heat styling on your hair will also keep it from getting fried over time.

How Do I Clean a Curling Iron?

If your curling iron gets buildup from heat protectant or curl-enhancing products, simply put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and rub it on the surface of a cold and unplugged curling iron until the buildup has cleared. Once that’s done, wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Final Thoughts

There are many different kinds of cordless curling irons out there. It can be confusing to try and match up your hair needs with how you’re looking to style it to the curling irons available, but luckily there’s something out there for everyone.

No matter what kind of hair you have or what you’re looking for in a cordless curling iron, you’re sure to find something that will suit your needs. We hope our suggestions were helpful and you found a curling iron that fit you like a glove.