It’s Official: These Are the Best Curling Wands of 2020

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Think of the curling wand as the curling iron’s hip cousin. A little more modern and updated, they're the choice tool for creating effortless waves and fresh curls. Unlike traditional irons, they’re clampless and slightly easier to use (though there’s definitely still a learning curve, TBH). Before you start to work on your wanding technique, however, choosing the right tool is paramount.

So keep scrolling to discover the best curling wands you can buy now.

Best Overall: GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand

ghd creative curl wand

Courtesy of Sephora

There’s no denying that heat styling can take a toll on your tresses, which is why we appreciate that this tool goes to extra lengths to ensure minimal damage. It boasts patented tri-zone technology with six sensors to maintain an even temp across the entire barrel (365 degrees Fahrenheit, to get specific). It heats up in a mere 25 seconds and has an ever-so-slight taper that lets you create an array of wavy and curly looks.

Best Budget: Bedhead Curlipops Curling Wand

For those who don’t want to shell out the big bucks, this budget-friendly option can’t be beaten. The best-seller—a favorite of Byrdie Commerce Editorial Director Jessica Mahgerefteh—boasts tourmaline ceramic technology to enhance shine and disperses heat evenly across the one-inch barrel. Bonus points for the cool tip and included heat protective glove that helps prevent burns.

Best Splurge: Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler

Just like the brand known for high-tech vacuums completely revolutionized the blow dryer (their take on the tool is a Byrdie favorite), so too have they completely revamped the styling tool. Like the blow dryer and vacuums, this option isn’t cheap but is well worth the price if you’re ready to make a beauty investment.

Aside from the fact that it comes with six different attachments in various shapes and sizes, what’s cool here is that you don’t even have to touch your hair to use it. It attracts hair to and wraps it around the barrel using only air, making styling easier than ever. Plus, that air also dries hair simultaneously, a major time-saver on busy mornings. And, in true Dyson fashion, there are of course cool tech features; think a heat sensor that measures the temp every 40 seconds to ward off the potential for damage.

Best for Damaged Hair: Bio Ionic Eternity Wand

Bio Ionic Eternity Wand

 Courtesy of Sephora

If your tresses could use a little extra TLC, you should one, use a heat protectant before any hot tool styling and two, make sure you’re styling with this wand. It delivers what the brand calls “moisturizing heat” in order to minimize damage; the barrel is infused with natural volcanic rock that locks in moisture and seals the hair cuticle. Plus, a digital temperature gauge allows you to keep the heat on the low side.

Best for Beginners: Paul Mitchell Neuro Angle 1” Curling Rod Iron

Paul Mitchell Neuro Angle 1” Curling Rod Iron

 Courtesy of Ulta

We don’t care how easy people on social media make it look—curling your own hair is hard. Happily, this patented design makes it much easier. Credit an extra-long barrel and totally unique technology that lets you fold it into four adjustable positions. (So yes, you can finally reach the back of your head.) Other notable features include a nine-foot cord and an automatic shut-off function.

Best Ceramic: Remington Pro Curling Wand

This earns our vote for the best ceramic option, though it also deserves recognition for being super affordable. Opting for a ceramic wand is a good move in general—the ceramic emits negatively charged ions that ward off damage—but it’s especially choice for those with thin or fine hair, whose strands are more susceptible to damage and breakage in the first place. However, if you have thicker hair, you’ll appreciate that this heats up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit; there are also two sizes available.

Best Cordless: Lunata Cordless Convertible Curling/Iron Wand

Lunata Cordless Convertible Curling/Iron Wand

 Courtesy of Lunata

File under, ‘why didn’t we think of that?’ It seems oh-so-simple, yet this the first and only full-sized curling iron on the market that’s completely cord-free. Ideal for travel (or if you’re just working in a cramped space with minimal outlet accessibility), it has up to 40 minutes of battery life when used on high, longer if you set it to medium or low. And, the clamp on this guy is also removable, so you can use it as either an iron or wand.

Best for Beach Waves: The Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron

The Beachwaver Co. S1 Curling Iron

Courtesy of Ulta

Score mermaid-esque hair, no trip to the shore required, with this tool. It does the hard work for you, with an automatic rotating function that creates gorgeous waves with the mere press of a button. While there is a clamp on this guy, it’s extra-small so as to not create any kinks, and the temperature is also adjustable from 290 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. Basically, all you have to do is section your hair, press the button, then shake out your newly tousled texture.

Best for Versatility: T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

 Courtesy of Amazon

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life, right? While this pick is a bit pricey, you’re essentially getting three unique tools for the price of one. The base comes with a trio of interchangeable barrels. Use the biggest, 1 ½” option to create voluminous waves, the 1 ¼” tapered one for loose curls or the smallest 1” straight barrel for defined spirals. Either way, you’ll get to choose from five different heat settings and reap the benefits of a digital heating system that prevents hot and cool spots from cropping up.

Best Convertible: Harry Josh Pro Tools 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron

Harry Josh Pro Tools 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron

 Courtesy of Ulta

We have yet to meet a stylist who doesn’t love using a Marcel iron. Essentially an iron with a  spring-free clamp, they have to be maneuvered manually, requiring some major fine motor skills. It’s definitely something that takes getting used to, but once you do, it’s an invaluable skill that can make a major difference when it comes to the end curl result. In this case, you can keep the clip on, though it’s also removable, transforming this into a clampless wand.

Best for Curly Hair: Xtava Twirly Curling Wand

Sometimes (read: a lot of the time) curly hair needs a little extra hot tool styling in order to achieve a desired end result. For this purpose, smaller, narrower wands are best, like this guy. An Amazon favorite, the tapered barrel extends from ½ inch at the tip to just one inch at the bottom, the perfect size for defining and shaping your natural curls and spirals.

Best for Experts: Rsession Nalu Waver

Rsession Nalu Waver

Courtesy of Rsession 

Fair warning, this dual-pronged wand is best reserved for the DIY-ers who have some serious experiencing wielding hot tools. You’re meant to cross-weave strands in between the two, ¾” barrels, which makes for a super effortless wave pattern; it’s no surprise that celeb stylists love this guy. It takes some getting used to but will be well worth your time and effort.

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