Materials matter, especially when it comes to your hair tools. The best tourmaline curling irons come in all shapes and sizes, but because tourmaline produces ample negative ions when heated, they reduce static and frizz while also minimizing damage. First, make sure you're actually shopping for a curling iron (rather than a wand), and after that, consider the size of the barrel and the available temperature range.
Let's start with the difference between a curling iron and a curling wand: In short, a curling iron has a clamp while a curling wand does not. As a result, curling irons produce tighter, more uniform ringlets as opposed to looser, spiral-like waves. They can also be easier for beginners because the clamp keeps the strand in place — and your fingers far away from the heat. But if you're interested in a curling wand, I've also included a versatile unit with interchangeable irons and wands, as well as a standalone option below.
The clamp isn't the only thing that impacts the look of your curls, though. The thickness of the barrel will also drastically change the style. As a general rule of thumb, a thicker barrel (1 inch or larger, depending on the length of your hair) will result in bigger, looser curls, while a thinner barrel creates tighter ringlets. Thinner barrels are also often better-suited for shorter hair because the strands can wrap still around the barrel multiple times despite the limited length.
After that, opt for a temperature range that gets the job done without damaging your hair. The ideal temperature will depend on your hair's texture and density, but thicker hair can usually handle higher temperatures, while thinner hair is more easily damaged. For fine hair, 180 to 280 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal range. Thicker hair can go higher — but if you see dryness or excessive smoking, lower the temperature. When in doubt, always start with a lower setting and use a great heat protectant spray to prevent damage.
Ready to get shopping? These are the four best curling irons in different shapes and sizes — and they all contain tourmaline to optimize your styling experience.
1. The Overall Best Tourmaline Curling Iron
People with all different hair densities, textures, and lengths find the MiroPure to be a great all-around curling iron, which is why they've given it a 4.5-star overall rating after more than 1,400 reviews. Its 1.25-inch barrel heats up in 30 seconds to create loose, stylish curls that hold while creating less damage. Its one-button control is simple to use and lets you choose between six temperature settings. It also has a large LCD screen, a swivel cord, an automatic shut-off, and universal voltage — plus it comes with a styling glove and two clips.
- Available barrel thicknesses: 1.25 inch
- Temperature range: 310 - 410 degrees Fahrenheit
One reviewer wrote: "Best curling iron I have ever owned. All others that I have used will often catch and pull out hair where the two pieces meet or where the rest is attached. This iron does not do that. It is smooth and easy to work with. Gets really hot really fast. Love it!"
2. The Best Budget Pick
It's not the most durable or even-heating, but this Conair curling iron is an awesome option if you're on a budget. It comes in four different barrel thicknesses, all of which cost less than $30, and despite the affordable price tag, each one is infused with tourmaline for shinier, frizz-free curls. You can also curl your hair underneath or on top of the clamp, and each one comes with a bonus heat shield for easy storage.
- Available barrel thicknesses: 0.75 inch, 1 inch, 1.25 inch, 1.5 inch
- Temperature range: 285 - 400 degrees Fahrenheit
One reviewer wrote: "I am a novice hair-curler at best, but from my first use with this iron I've had only good experiences. It grips my fine hair perfectly and makes great curls that last all day. [...] I was surprised to get such a high-quality curling iron for such a low price!"
3. The Best Curling Iron For Short Hair
For those looking for an extra-small barrel (either for tight curls or short hair), there's the Hoson professional curling iron. At 0.5 or 0.375 inches, it'll create small ringlets for most hair types, and its wide temperature range and even heating allows you to personalize it to your specific needs. The dual-voltage works worldwide, and the LCD screen is easy to read and program. No wonder more than 1,900 reviewers have given it 4.4 stars overall.
- Available barrel thicknesses: 0.5 inch, 0.375 inch
- Temperature range: 225 - 450 degrees Fahrenheit
One reviewer wrote: "I have fine, shorthair. My regular curling iron did nothing for me as the curling iron was too big. This 1/2 inch curling iron is just perfect. It gives me the volume I need."
4. The Best Curling Iron With Interchangeable Barrels
If you're not sure where to start or if your desired style changes from day to day, this six-in-one curling iron set from Duomishu is a super versatile option — not to mention a great value. For $40, you get six interchangeable barrels (three irons and three wands) as well as a three-temperature-setting base, two clips, and a heat-protecting glove. It's well-suited for all hair types and lengths, and because it's made from ceramic tourmaline, reviewers report that it's "super easy" to use and the "curl holds." Get it in your choice of pink or black.
- Available barrel thicknesses: (all included) 1.25-inch, 1-inch, 0.74-inch, tapered 0.35 to 0.7-inch, tapered 0.74 to 1-inch, and 1-inch spiral
- Temperature range: 300 - 410 degrees Fahrenheit
One reviewer wrote: "This is such a great tool. You have the opportunity to change the size of the curling rod. All I can say is 'I LOVE IT!'"
Also Great: This Best-Selling Curling Wand
Finally, if it turns out you're actually looking for a curling wand (rather than an iron), the Conair Infinitipro is a best-selling option. Why? Both of its two available barrel thicknesses are surprisingly affordable, even though they're made with ceramic tourmaline materials that heat up to 400 degrees while minimizing damage. They're also tapered to create a beachy spiral, and reviewers report that the design is easy to get the hang of, especially with the included heat-protection glove.
- Available barrel thicknesses: tapered 1.25 to 0.75-inch, tapered 1 to .5-inch
- Temperature range: 310 - 400 degrees Fahrenheit
One reviewer wrote: "I could have spent more money buying a fancy one. But in the end, this works so well and I don't see how a higher priced product could produce better quality. I love it."