The Best Curling Irons For Every Budget

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It's impossible not to notice the cascading waves on Victoria's Secret models. While some of us weren't born with these bouncy curls, with the right curling iron, you can create the look at home. At the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, the lead hairstylist, Anthony Turner, used a 1-inch barrel iron to create natural-looking waves with a "day-after-the-party-vibe," per Cosmopolitan. Then, he separated the curls with his fingertips for an undone but sexy look. 

Before choosing the perfect curling iron, you need to take your hair type and texture into consideration. Celebrity hairstylist Larry Simms told Vogue, "Go for a ceramic curler if you have hair that holds a curl easily or is fine and prone to damage. A titanium curling iron is better for coarse, thick, or curly hair." Two of the most popular options for curling irons are ceramic and titanium. Those ceramic curling irons heat up more evenly and cause less damage to thin hair. At the same time, titanium curling irons quickly get hotter at a higher temperature, which works better for thicker hair, per Byrdie. If you have extra frizzy hair, a tourmaline curling iron is best as it produces negative ions to balance out the positive ions in your hair to make them look flawless and smooth.

Best curling irons for effortless waves under $100

To get the most gorgeous curls, you don't really need to spend a fortune if you don't want to. Bustle recommends Conair Minipro Cordless 3/4-Inch Ceramic Curling Iron, which is easily portable and affordable. Don't let the size fool you because it can warm up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit to create the curls of your dreams. According to Conair, it runs on a ThermaCELL Butane Cartridge, so you won't need batteries or plugs to make it work. It is air travel safe as approved by U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines, so you can create beachy waves on every vacation.

For a budget-friendly pick, Byrdie loves BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron because it is super lightweight and easy to hold to create a multitude of curls. It is easy to control the temperature, so you don't damage your hair while using it. BaByliss claims it is made with Sol-Gel technology, making this iron "37% stronger and 22% smoother" than regular curling irons. Another steal is Hot Tools Professional Gold Curling Iron; the New York Post included it among the best curling irons of 2022. This iconic curling iron comes with 1-inch and 1.5-inch barrels, so you can customize your curls with just one tool. Hairstylist Amy Abramite calls this one "tried and true" and "durable."

Best prestige curling irons hairstylists love for natural-looking curls

If money isn't an issue, the sky is the limit to find you the curling iron for celeb-worthy waves and curls. Byrdie raves about the T3 SinglePass Curl 1.25 —" Professional Ceramic Curling Iron — it glides so smoothly that there is no tugging on your fragile hair, and one reviewer described this iron as "smooth as butter." T3 calls this curling iron a "one and done" deal because all your hair needs is one pass.

The New York Post is a fan of Moroccanoil's Everlasting Curl Titanium Curling Iron because it can curl a lot of hair in a short time. Chicago-based hairstylist Amy Abramite loves this curling iron for super-shiny hair and said, "[it] has an extra-long barrel to accommodate longer hair lengths." The brand claims it gives you "shiny, long-lasting curls." Vogue loves the Dyson Airwrap Styler with airflow technology. It automatically draws air around the barrel to create gorgeous curls and waves. Celebrity hairstylist Erinn Courtney told the outlet, "It gives the bounciest curls and waves with so much body."