Curls are probably the best way to add in some oomph to a look. You can wear them so many ways!
If you want more flair and drama, then big glamorous old Hollywood curls are for you. If you’re seeking a more romantic look, you can go for looser softer curls. Or for a more easy-going effortless look, beach waves are totally in.
Aside from versatility, a great curling iron has got to be quick and easy to use too. But above all, you can never sacrifice healthy hair for a cute style. So, we’re looking for safety and hair protection too!
There are literally hundreds of curling irons on the market right now. But is there really one that can rule them all?
Almost any brand has its version of the trusty 1-inch curling iron. It’s a great staple to have if you’re looking for a versatile tool you can use for any style.
So, if you’re just starting out or just want one reliable tool in handy, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best 1 inch curling irons for all kinds of hair types, styles, and price points to see if we could find The One.
Our Top Picks: Best 1 inch Curling Iron
KIPOZI 1-inch Curling Iron
best cheap 1-inch curling iron
This budget-friendly option is the most affordable on the list. But don’t let the price tag fool you. It has an adjustable temperature, ranging from 180℉ up to 450℉ so you can get the style you want regardless of your hair texture.
It’s an easy tool to grab when you’re in a hurry because you don’t have to wait any longer than 30 seconds to get to its maximum temperature.
And for easy, safe use, it has a ceramic-coated barrel. So, you can get the curls you want without snagging.
- Multiple temperature options
- Quick heat-up
- Easy-glide barrel
- LED display for easy temperature adjustment
- Its wide clip may not clamp down well on thinner hair
CHI Ceramic Tourmaline Curling Iron
best affordable 1-inch curling iron
If you’re willing to spend a little more but still not break the bank, then the CHI Ceramic Tourmaline Curling Iron might be right in that ballpark. It also has a smooth-gliding ceramic coated barrel, but it incorporates this with tourmaline. This means the barrel emits negative ions that give curls its nice, glossy shine.
It has quick heat-up and goes from 240℉ to 410℉, providing a decent temperature range for different hair types.
- Ionic ceramic-coated barrel
- The temperature range is not as comprehensive as other similar products.
Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron
best drugstore 1-inch curling iron
When it comes to trusted brands, Conair is one of those that has become an old reliable. You can find it in just about any major drugstores near you, and with all the other options available, it still stands out.
It has 5 precision heat settings that you can quickly check through an LED display. The temperature range may not be as great as other options. But for the average user, it gives out consistent heat whatever setting you choose through uniform heat recovery. It also has a ceramic tourmaline barrel boosted with nano-technology. Put those all together, and you get healthy-looking frizz-free curls.
- Ceramic tourmaline barrel for glossy curls
- Uniform heat recovery system for consistent heat
- 5 different heat settings
- Heats to only 400℉, may not be great for thick, coarse hair.
T3 Single Pass Curl
best ceramic 1-inch curling iron
While there are tons of ceramic curling irons out there, the T3 Single Pass Curl takes it to another level. True to its name, it’s designed to give you perfect, polished curls with just one pass of the curler. In addition, it comes with a built-in microchip that prevents unwanted temperature shifts within the barrel. No more hot or cold spots, so your hair gets equal heat throughout.
It comes with 5 adjustable heat settings from 260˚F to 410˚F that you can change using a twist dial. And, it’s all packed into one sleek, lightweight tool that you can take with you on the go.
- Consistent heating technology
- Sleek, travel-friendly design
- No LED display for temperature
BIO IONIC Curl Expert
best professional 1-inch curling iron
Even just based on this list alone, you’d see that many curling tools are starting to step up their game. Even the cheaper ones start getting all kinds of technological bells and whistles.
The one thing that can set a professional curler apart from the others is luxe materials that give it specialized functionality. Plus, settings have to be versatile to cater to a multitude of clients’ needs.
When it comes to versatility, the BIO IONIC Curl Experts is one of the hottest choices (literally!) It can go up to 450˚F, so you can tailor-fit it to just about any hair type.
It comes with a Bioceramic coating that lets you make curls with ease and keep them in place for hours. And even with all that heat that packs a punch, it has natural volcanic material to prevent your hair from drying out by driving water molecules into the hair.
For the pros looking for versatility without compromising hair health, this may be a great option to invest in.
- High maximum temperature
- Prevents moisture loss
- More expensive
SRI Infrarose Curling Iron
best 1-inch curling iron for fine hair
For finer hair, one of the biggest concerns may be how easily heat can damage it. The SRI Infrarose Curling Iron comes with Infrared technology that heats the hair from the inside out to protect the hair cuticle from damage. It also has an ionic ceramic coating which lets you curl your fine hair with no snags and pulls while keeping moisture locked in.
For added safety, it has an LCD, so you’re sure that your curler only goes up to the temperature you need it to. With this precision, you only need one pass through your hair to achieve the curls you want, preventing further damage from prolonged heat exposure.
- Protects hair from damage
- Easy temperature control
- More expensive
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Spring Curling Iron
best 1-inch curling iron for thick hair
When it comes to styling thick hair, usually curlers that don’t heat up well just won’t cut it. It often takes a lot more time and effort to try and get the curling iron to the right temperature before it even starts to make decent curls.
The Babyliss Nano Curling Iron takes care of this with its 50 heat settings that go up to 450˚F. That’s a lot of options to get the perfect heat for your thick hair! It even has a turbo heat button that gets defined curls faster by boosting the heat in the barrel.
The Sol-Gel barrels have a better blend of titanium and ceramic that ensures faster heating for consistent, shiny curls. Plus, this also makes it so that your tool lasts longer and is more resistant to damage.
- Fast heating
- High maximum temperature
- It may get too hot for regular-textured hair
- Shorter barrel
GHD Classic Curl
best 1-inch curling iron for beach waves
The GHD Classic curl keeps it simple, maintaining a temperature of 365ºF, which they claim is the optimum temperature for styling. It also has ultra-zone technology that ensures this even heat for hassle-free, damage-free curls.
It’s great for longer hair, but that doesn’t mean people with shorter hair won’t like it. A longer barrel just means more space to wrap your hair around to create bigger, looser waves. It even has an ergonomic lever that lets you style from the roots and creates the right kind of volume for that relaxed beachy look.
- Good for long hair
- Great temperature regulation
- Only one temperature setting
- More expensive
Kristin Ess Beach Wave 1” Curling Iron
best 1-inch curling iron for short hair
Kristin Ess made this iron with shorter hair in mind. The barrel’s shape allows you to make small to medium curves or beachy waves that are great for people with short to medium-length hair.
It’s a more affordable option if you’re looking for a curling iron that gives two results in one: the efficient heat delivery of a titanium tool plus the gentle, smooth use that ceramic tools facilitate. You can use it on all sorts of hair textures with four heat settings up to 425°F.
- Quick heat-up
- More affordable
- Shorter barrel
Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold Curling Iron
best 1-inch curling iron for long hair
At first glance, a 24K gold curling iron may seem like a gimmick. But gold-plated heating tools have been around for decades!
The gold-plated barrel is great for people with longer hair because it can withstand high heat for longer periods. So, it’s okay if you need a while to style your long hair because you can be sure that your curling iron gets hot quickly and stays hot for as long as you need it.
Gold-plated barrels’ resistance to heat also makes them less susceptible to damage, so that this tool will last you for years. It has a control dial with heat settings up to 430°F, and with a separate on-off switch, you can keep it set at your ideal temperature and ready for use the next time you turn it on.
- Quick heat-up time
- Can hold high heat longer
- A control dial can be prone to user error
- Gold-plated barrels can distribute heat unevenly
Frequently Asked Questions:
Should I get a 1 inch or 1.25-inch curling iron?
If you want more bang for your buck, a 1-inch curling iron is great for people who want more versatility. This size of barrel lets you have tighter, more polished curls. Just leave the curls as is without brushing after use.
You can also achieve a softer, more wavy look using a 1-inch barrel by brushing out the curls you’ve created until you get your desired texture.
You can use a 1-inch curling iron even with different hair lengths and textures. Long, short, thick, or fine, a 1-inch barrel is a good choice.
However, if you have very long hair or very thick hair, or maybe you’re more into waves and don’t see yourself doing polished curls at all, then a 1.25-inch or bigger curling iron would be better.
Is a 1-inch curling iron best for beach waves?
Ideally, you’d want a bigger barrel for beach waves. But of course, they’re not impossible to achieve with a 1-inch curling iron. Just curl your hair as you usually would, then brush your hair out or tousle the curls up a bit with your fingers to create that loose, effortless casual look.
Overall, our favorite for its safety, ease of use, versatility, and added hydration is the SRI Infrarose Curling Iron with the CHI Ceramic Tourmaline Curling Iron as a more affordable runner-up.
But of course, everyone’s hair is a little bit different!
So, check out what works for you and what sounds like your perfect match.