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Best Curling Iron For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Curling Iron at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
Remington CI5219 Instant Curls CeramicBaByliss Pro Ceramic Tools Dual VoltageConair Infiniti Professional TourmalineConair CD701CS Double CeramicTravel Smart by Conair
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Product Rating
Average Price
Cheap ($15)
Cheap ($20)
Cheap ($18)
Cheap ($15)
Cheap ($20)
Frugal5 Score
Features Needed
Ceramic Coating
Multiple Heat Settings
- 30 Settings
- 25 Settings
- 30 Settings
- 30 Settings
- 30 Settings
Spring Clamp
Features Not Needed
Automatic Shutoff
Digital Display
Dual Voltage
Gold Coating
Instant Heat
- 30 Second
- 60 Second
- 30 Second
- 30 Second
Nano-silver Antibacterial Coatings
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

A good curling iron is important to getting the style you want, which can really boost your self-confidence. Today’s irons offer several features designed to make styling easier and less damaging to your hair. You’ll see them with digital displays, multiple heat settings and special coatings designed to add shine and a smooth finish to your hair. 

Heat Settings

Because too much heat is bad for your hair, you want to use the lowest setting that will set curls for you. Thin, fine hair needs less heat to set than thick, coarse hair. It’s also important to choose an iron that is the right size for your hairstyle. Up to 1” barrels work for tight curls on shorter hairstyles. Longer styles benefit from larger barrels, up to 2”. 

While multiple heat settings are important, a dial-based control works fine and is more affordable than a digital display. Once you find the best heat setting for your hair, mark the dial with a white marker to make it easy to select the right temperature every time.


Like today’s flat irons and hair driers, modern curling irons often come with ceramic coatings that help heat the barrel evenly. This feature is important to minimizing the risk of heat damage to your hair. While you can find some cheap models without the coating, they’re no cheaper than models that come with it. Get more for your money by choosing a model with the ceramic coating.

Other coatings might be helpful but don’t offer enough benefit to be worth the cost. These include antibacterial nano-silver coatings, 24k gold coatings, touted as creating curls that set better and last longer and tourmaline coatings designed to reduce frizz. 

Although reducing frizz is vital in today’s styles, curling irons must be used on hair that is already dry to prevent damage. A good hair drier already uses ion or tourmaline technology. Including tourmaline in your curling iron would just be overkill.

Other Features

Cordless models offer little benefit and usually cost more. The best deals come from traditional irons that include a power cord. You may also be drawn to instant-heat models that heat up in 30 seconds. It’s a nice feature, but not worth it if you have to pay extra.

More makers are coming out with curling irons that have no spring-loaded clip that clamps your hair in place. Besides the obvious threat of burns to the hand that has to hold your hair in place, these models are harder to use. While they can give you more control over the size of the curl, that’s only a necessity for salon professionals. For safety's sake, choose an iron with a spring clip.

Brands and Pricing

Fortunately, you don’t have to pay a lot to get a great curling iron. Depending on the width of the barrel you need, expect to pay between $10 and $30 for a good iron. Conair dominates the market, but you can also find affordable models from Remington and Revlon.

Features You Need
Ceramic Coating, Multiple Heat Settings, Spring Clamp
Features You Don't Need
Automatic Shutoff, Clipless, Cordless, Digital Display, Dual Voltage, Gold Coating, Instant Heat, Nano-silver Antibacterial Coatings
What You Should Pay
Between $15.00 - $20.00
Top Of The Line Price
Over $200.00