We don’t have to explain the appeal of a curling iron. These awesome products speak for themselves, packing the capability to give your hair the perfect curls and waves.
But what if you require a curling iron’s services on the go? Portable cordless curling irons are the best option for you in such situations. Our editor shares the best cordless curling irons for ultimate portability in this article.
Let’s get right into it. Here are our favorite portable cordless curling irons on the market. This list is diverse and includes curling irons for all hair types and preferences.
But if you’re unsure which type of iron you’d prefer, feel free to skip ahead to our curling iron buyer’s guide.
Best Overall – Thermacell by Conair
Let’s start with our top pick. The Thermacell by Conair is our favorite cordless curling iron on the market. This iron combines Conair’s classic high-quality curler with cordless functionality that you can bring anywhere.
This curler is 5/8 of an inch wide, making it ideal for creating tight curls. The curler itself breaks into two pieces to easily fit into a travel case. It heats up in two minutes and is an easy, effective iron.
Overall, it’s built with a classic design and features a long clamp to hold your hair in place during curling. This “clamp” design is the most popular type of iron on the market for a reason, and Conair upholds its reputation for products that work.
- Highly portable size – breaks in half and comes with a carrying case
- Classic curling iron design with a clamp to hold the curls in place
- Heats up very fast, and packs enough heat for fast, efficient work
- Long lasting Thermacell batteries (included in cartridge)
- Barrel length is on the short side – which is a necessary trade-off for a device this portable
- It doesn’t get quite as hot as a corded iron
Best Auto Curler – Conair Unbound Curler
Auto-curlers are a hot new trend on the curling iron scene, and our favorite portable pick comes from Conair.
If you’re not familiar with these curling devices, think of them as a mini hair curling “chamber.” You grab about a ½ inch wide strand of hair, place it in the hair curling chamber, press the start button, and the device “feeds” your hair through the chamber, curling as it goes.
It beeps when finished, and you have a perfectly curled strand of hair. You can adjust the heat and timer setting for all sorts of curls and waves.
The device is fully portable and runs for up to 60-minutes on a single charge. It can be recharged with a basic USB cord!
- Easy to use, the machine does most of the work for you
- Highly portable, easy to pack into a suitcase
- Charges with USB and lasts for 60-minutes
- Various heat and time settings for different curls and waves
- Ceramic coated barrel for great durability
- Learning curve required – some may prefer a more traditional curler
- More time consuming than a curling iron wand
Best Budget Choice – Danisse Cordless Wand
We’ve chosen the Danisse Cordless Wand as our top budget choice, but don’t think that means it sacrifices quality. It’s still quite a capable cordless device, and is ideal as a travel wand if you need to curl your hair on-the-go.
This wand features a classic clamp design. It has a decently long barrel for a portable device (measuring in at 7.9 inches in total). It reaches 230C when fully heated, and reaches an effective heat in under a minute.
The Danisse Wand has a built-in USB charger, but can also operate with a rechargeable battery, giving you 45-minutes continuous use with a single charge.
Overall, quite the machine given the bargain price tag.
- Heats up fast to a very effective heat
- Classic clamp design to grip hair for easy curling
- Can charge with USB or rechargeable battery
- Comfortable grip handle
- Very affordable price tag!
- Not the most durable machine
- The barrel is on the short side (as is the case with most cordless curling irons)
Best Smart Induction Iron – MELOPHY Curling Iron
Here’s another auto-curler that we love – the MELOPHY curling iron. It’s another auto-curler with extremely impressive functionality. If you’re unfamiliar with these devices, refer to our description in the Conair Unbound above.
This curler has six temperature settings and 11 timing settings. These settings can be tweaked and adjusted to achieve the perfect curls for your hair. It recharges easily with a USB, and the 500 mAh battery keeps it running for 60 minutes of continuous use.
It’s a powerful, functional, and portable machine. It’s coated with titanium to ensure that you never worry about burning your hands (or that the machine doesn’t damage itself).
- Functional and easy to use with one-button technology
- Achieves consistent, reliable curls with different settings
- Many settings to choose from for a broad range of curls and looks
- USB rechargeable for 60 minutes continuous use
- All the different settings can be slightly overwhelming
- On the expensive side
Best Mini Curling Iron – Conair ¾ Inch Iron
Next up, we have perhaps the most “portable” option on our list. This portable iron combines both micro-design and cordless design, for one of the most truly portable options on the market.
This cordless option from Conair measures only 11-inches long, making it extremely easy to pack into a suitcase or bag. It utilizes a classic clip design. Basically, it works just as it should, and it’s the effectiveness we’ve come to expect from Conair products.
Of course, you do need to weigh the portability against the obvious drawback of working with a shorter barrel. An iron this small will take longer to curl your hair than a traditionally sized iron.
- Classic clamp design
- Only 11-inches long – highly portable
- Powered by Thermacell batteries for extended battery-life
- Heats up in only 2 minutes
- A small wand means it will take longer to curl your hair
- Nothing fancy – just a basic curling iron
Best Cordless 2-in-1 – Xpoovv Curler/Straightener
If you’re looking for a cordless 2-in-1 iron, we think this is your best bet. This is a flat iron for thick hair that heats quickly and efficiently to about 200C (400F), with different temperature settings depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Ramp up the temperature if you want more noticeable, loose curls.
While a flat iron clamp might not be everyone’s ideal choice for a curling iron, it does offer the extra convenience of also being a hair straightener. If the convenience of this product appeals to you, then we think it makes a great choice.
- 2-in-1 design
- Different temperature settings depending on which curls you want
- 3-year warranty
- Charges with USB for 40 minutes of continuous run-time
- On the expensive side
- A bit less ideal for curling compared to dedicated curling irons
Best Budget Auto-Curler – KFF Portable Electric Curler
This is another auto curler that we like, and it’s available at a more budget price than the ones listed above. That being said, it’s still quite an effective unit, albeit not quite as durable as some of the options above.
This hair curler quickly heats up to 390F, with multiple temperatures and timing settings to ensure you get the perfect curls you are looking for. Everything’s displayed on a convenient LCD screen.
Aside from that, there isn’t much else worth mentioning that isn’t also offered by the auto-curlers above. It’s a solid choice, and not as expensive as some other options, which is a pretty good bottom line.
- Solid and affordable
- Multiple temperatures and time settings
- Convenient LCD screen to monitor settings
- Can be charged for up to 60 minutes of continuous run time
- These machines have a learning curve
- Might take longer than using a curling wand
ALTERNATIVE: Best Portable Corded Iron – Travel Smart by CONAIR
Some people just prefer the classics. If all you want is a portable curling wand, then this one is for you. But do note that this is NOT a cordless curler. However, we wanted to include something for everyone on this list, so we’ll round it out with a top alternative that is still extremely portable.
That being said, these classic wands are a perfect choice if you want the ultimate freedom and flexibility to curl your hair with wand as you want.
There’s not much we can say about this product besides that it’s a basic, functional iron. It rapidly heats to 356F, and it keeps its heat for consistent curls. It features an ergonomic handle and a smooth ceramic barrel.
- Very simple design – classic wand curler
- Heats quickly maintains consistent heat for effective curls
- Great price
- Highly portable and comes with a sleek carrying pouch
- Ergonomic grip
- This model does include a cord
- Only 5 inches long, it will take longer to curl your hair
Factors to Consider in Buying an Iron
If you’ve read through our above list, you’ll probably notice that there are quite a few options for portable curling irons. It’s pretty easy to become overwhelmed by all the choices available.
No worries, we’re here for you! Let’s take a look at the top considerations to make the perfect choice of curling iron to match your needs.
First and foremost, you should consider the type of curls you are looking to achieve. Different irons work better with different hairstyles and have different heat settings to achieve a different look.
The width of the barrel will also have a drastic impact on the results. Narrower barrels are ideal for tighter “spiral” curls, and wider barrels are ideal for wavy hair.
Our advice is that, before you consider any irons, know the type of look you are going for. This way, you can compare irons based on what will help you achieve your ideal look.
The above irons are fantastic for achieving curls on the go, but you need to consider whether they achieve your desired look.
Of course, you want to consider the quality of any product you buy. Look for an iron built to last, with quality materials built to withstand extreme heat. Look for irons built with quality ceramic barrels (or equivalent materials).
With portable irons, you also want to consider the quality of their battery. The better the battery, the longer they will last on a single charge. We recommend you look for a unit with at least 45 minutes of continuous run-time per charge (ideally closer to 60).
Size is a tricky factor. With any product advertised as “portable”, there’s a tendency to look for products as small as possible. However, as a curling iron gets shorter, so too does the length of the barrel.
This means that it will take longer to curl your hair. Ideally, you’ll want a good trade-off between portability and functionality. It might depend on the length of your hair. Those with shorter hair can get away with a smaller unit.
Some portable units can also be broken down to fit into a smaller storage case. We like this functionality, as it allows you to benefit from a longer barrel without the equivalent size considerations.
Type of Iron
And finally, perhaps most importantly, what type of iron do you want? In our list above, we surveyed curling wands of different shapes and sizes, 2-in-1 straighteners, auto-straighteners, and more. Again, the type of iron you pick might depend on what you are used to, and what you are most comfortable with.
Certain irons are more or less ideal for achieving certain looks, but many can also be adjusted to suit a wide variety of styles. Read through our list above to decide on the perfect choice for you.
After all, the best portable curling irons is just the one that is best for you. Good luck achieving your perfect curls on the go!