Best Travel Curling Irons – Buyer’s Guide 2020

| Last Updated: January 21, 2022

Ever thought about which curling iron is best for traveling? Are you a person that travels a lot and always worries about how your hair will be affected by the climate?

Whether you’re a slick business woman wanting to look dynamic for your morning meetings or a glamorous vacationer looking to soak up the sun in style, you want to pack the right tool for yourself. The problem is that while we may want to stuff our favorite curling tools into our luggage, they’re not always suitable for the job.

Here’s what you should look for if you’re a globetrotter with a penchant for rolling ringlets.

Comparison of the Best Travel Curling Irons

  • Allows for 30 variable temperature-settings
  • Dual voltage provides more connectivity options
  • Suitable for travel due to easier portability
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  • Features press and hold off/on button
  • Barrel is coated with a triple ceramic layer enhancing lesser frizz
  • Dual voltage and automatic shut-off for safety
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  • Designed with a heat-resistant casing
  • Ideal for traveling and home usage
  • Options to switch from flat to a curling iron
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  • Faster heating time ranging from 0- 2 minutes
  • You get a travel case for portability
  • Has 5/8-inch curling iron, hence is good for short hair
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  • Excellent grip with salon high heat that suits all kinds of hair
  • Has fast heat-up and recovery and heats evenly
  • Features a tangle-free 360° swivel cord
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What Makes a Curling Iron Great for Travel?

When packing for a vacation, we all have the good intention to travel light. The problem is that once you start adding in your beauty products and tools it feels like you’ve suddenly doubled your carry load. The first feature to consider when packing a curling iron for travel is the weight. Try to find a curling iron that is a lightweight tool. That way you won’t limit your luggage with a heavy-handled curler.

One of the most important features is dual voltage. If you’re looking to travel abroad, this is essential. Voltage in the USA is lower than that of many other countries. If you plug your curling iron into a European socket, for example, it will blow the inner components and you’ll have nothing to curl your hair with. Although it won’t explode in a flash of glory, it won’t work again after you’ve plugged it in, not even back in the US. Dual voltage or universal voltage is an absolute must.

Many curling irons add extra accessories to their tools to give you a little something more. Try to find a curling iron which comes with a travel case. This is especially important if you have a ceramic barrel. Ceramic barrels can easily get scratched, which can affect their performance and evenly distributed heating mechanism. Try to find a carry case to keep your curling iron protected while traveling.

Size matters. While some curling irons have extra long barrels and others have bulky, ergonomic handles, these features become a pain when traveling. Try to find something that is compact and friendly in shape. This could mean searching for a shorter barrel, or just making sure your model has a slim handle. This will make it easier to pack when on your way to vacation as you can slip it down the side of your case without it taking up too much room.

Other Factors to Look for in a Curling Iron

When looking for a curling iron, it is important to consider the final style that you are looking to achieve. The barrel size you choose will depend on the look you are trying to achieve.

Larger barrel sizes will result in big, bouncy curls that give a more glamorous and soft look. If you choose a smaller barrel size, then you will end up with tighter curls that give a more springy feel.

Likewise, the length of your hair will determine which barrel size is most suitable. For people with short hair, you will need to select a thinner barrel size. A thick barrel will mean you won’t be able to wrap the hair around as many times, resulting in more of a wave than a curl. For long hair, thin barrels will make it harder to wrap the whole length of your hair around the barrel.

Also watch out for the temperature. When applying such high, direct heat to your hair, you’ll want to take protective measures. Some curling irons have titanium barrels. While this gives direct, high heat, titanium can be too harsh on the hair. Choosing a ceramic barrel will give better and more even heat distribution while also protecting the hair from drying out. Moreover, try to look at the infusions added into the barrels. Some barrels come equipped with tourmaline technology or are infused with proteins and minerals. These extras will protect the hair by locking in the moisture and sealing the cuticles, giving a smoother, sleeker result.

The heat settings you require will depend on your hair type. For those with fine hair, try to search for a curling iron that functions at low temperatures. For all hair types, it is important to use your curling iron at the lowest temperature that provides a satisfactory curl. However, for fine hair, this is even more important as the high heat can dry your hair out, leaving it brittle and broken.

For those with thick, coarse hair, you want to search for a curling iron that can reach the higher, more professional temperatures. For especially thick hair, purchase a curling iron that can reach at least 400F.

Another thing to consider is the added little bonuses. Some curling irons come with accessories to make your curling experience a little easier. You’ll find that when you purchase some models, they come equipped with heat-protective gloves, which keep you from burning your hand while curling.

Equally, you’ll find that some come with a carry case, which provides added protection to your curling iron when not in use. Automatic shut off features can come in handy, especially if you are forgetful, as this feature turns the curling iron off when not in use.

Review of the Best Travel Curling Irons

Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s look at some of the best curling irons to take on the road with you.

Best Overall:
Conair Travel Smart Curling Iron

Conair TS301 Cts 1 inch Ceramic Curling Iron


  • It’s an extremely affordable model for those on a budget.
  • It is lightweight, which makes it easy to pack without affecting your overall load.
  • This model features a dual voltage setting which means it can be used all over the world.
  • The automatic shut off kicks in really quickly which is a great feature for forgetful people on the go; nobody wants to burn down their hotel room!
  • The 30 temperature settings make it a variable tool for different styles and hair types. It also means you’d only have to carry one curler if there are more than one of your traveling together!


  • It is a regular-sized curling iron, meaning it doesn’t solve any space problems in your luggage.
  • The barrel is only coated in ceramic. While this provides some protection, it isn’t the most effective.

This ceramic-coated curling iron features dual voltage. It has a cool tip and is quite lightweight. It has 30 temperature setting and automatic shut off that kicks in after 10 minutes.

Revlon Long Lasting Extra Loose Curls Curling Iron

Revlon Perfect Heat Ceramic Curling Iron


  • It is a very inexpensive model.
  • This design is very lightweight.
  • The cover stops it from getting scratched or damaged in transit.
  • Dual voltage means that it can be used in any country that you travel to.
  • This curling iron has great versatility in heating and can heat quite high, making it suitable for all hair types.
  • The triple-coated ceramic lends it to extremely safe even distribution of heat, protecting the hair exceptionally during use.


  • It is the size of a regular hair curler and therefore isn’t a great space saver.
  • Many buyers complain that this breaks very easily and stops working after a few months.
  • The barrel is quite large, meaning it takes up a lot of space and isn’t suitable for people with shorter hair.

This curling iron has 30 heat settings with highs of 400F. It features dual voltage for worldwide use and a cover to protect the barrel. It has a triple-coated ceramic barrel and automatic shut off. The barrel has a 1.5-inch circumference.

Best for the Money:
6th Sense Mini 2-in-1 Flat and Curling Iron Combo

6th Sense 2 in 1 Mini Flat Iron Curling Iron, Travel Hair Straightener, Dual Voltage 374 Degree Temperature Nano Titanium, 1 Inch - Insulated Carry Bag Included (White)


  • It is very affordably priced.
  • It has dual-voltage capabilities so it can be used abroad.
  • It is a dual-function tool, allowing more versatility in styling, both for straight and curly styles.
  • The travel case keeps it protected while also having enough room to store a heat protection spray.
  • This mini travel curling iron is small in size and extremely lightweight, making it a great travel companion.


  • The blades are made of titanium which can be a little harsh on the hair.
  • The safety stand is poorly designed and doesn't hold the weight of the tool, so it falls over.
  • This model only has one heat setting which is a little high for people with fine hair and perhaps not high enough for people with very thick, coarse hair.

This versatile tool is both a curler and a flat iron. It is travel-sized and comes with a convenient carry case. It has dual voltage capabilities and heats to 375F. The blades and barrel are made of titanium and it features a lock to switch between the two functions.

4. Conair Thermacell

ThermaCell by Conair Compact Curling Iron


  • Being cordless, it is somewhat easier to move around and style with.
  • It heats up and cools down quickly, which is ideal for curling your hair on the go.
  • This mini curler fits snugly into the case, making it easy to travel with while staying protected.
  • The butane cartridges mean that it can be used worldwide without having to worry about voltage.


  • There is only one heat setting on this curler.
  • It isn’t that easy to get these cartridges abroad so if you run out while traveling, you won’t be able to curl your hair.
  • There is no automatic shut off, which is not only dangerous but uses up the battery life of the cartridges if you forget to turn it off.
  • The cartridges are quite expensive and non-recyclable. They could also stop making them at any time, which would make the product useless.

This mini model is a cordless curler that features a carry case. It has a ¾ inch barrel and comes with replaceable butane cartridges.

5. Berta Mini Hair Curler

BERTA Mini Hair Curler for Travel 25mm Diameter Ceramic Hair Curling Wand (Purple)


  • The model is extremely cheap.
  • It is small in size and lightweight, making it easy to pack without adding too much extra weight.
  • The tourmaline technology helps to lock the moisture into your hair, keeping it protected while curling.


  • The clip isn’t very strong so fine hair slips out while curling.
  • This model does not feature dual voltage so it cannot be used abroad.
  • There aren’t many heat settings, making it a little dangerous to use on fine hair.
  • The barrel is only coated in ceramic, providing less even heat distribution than other models.

This 1-inch barrel curler from Berta is ceramic glazed with tourmaline technology. This mini curler has two heat settings with a maximum heat of 350F. It has a one-year replacement warranty.


Travel curling irons have really developed over the last few years, featuring some of the top technology to protect your hair. It is integral to consider the voltage when traveling abroad or you’ll end up with a tool that no longer works.

Equally, remember to find a carry case, even if your model doesn’t come with one. Protecting it from the bumps and bashes of traveling will keep it performing at its highest.

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Hi I'm Emilia! I like to think of myself as the "crash-test-dummy" of the hair world. Whether that means testing out the newest curling iron or going with fresh hair styles. I like to mix it up. I share my thoughts on Caffe Hair based on my first hand experience!