7 Best Curling Irons for Moms With No Time to Primp (PHOTOS)

curlsLong, long ago, when I was in high school, I spent nearly an hour every single morning painstakingly styling my hair with a curling iron. Looking back at the photos, I'm hazy on what look I was after there (actually, it's coming back to me: I wanted to look like Cher from the movie Moonstruck). But one thing I know for sure. Ain't NOBODY got time for that level of hair curling now! On the rare occasions I actually do use a curling iron, it has to be like a good pain reliever: fast, gentle, and effective.

That's why we took several best-selling curling irons out for a spin to find out which ones deliver -- especially for moms with under 10 minutes for their hair. We looked at how easy they are to use, how quickly they heat up, how quickly and how well they curled our hair, and how long those curls lasted.

Have a look at our favorites and then tell us:

Do you use any of these? What curling iron do you recommend?

curling irons


Images © iStock.com/Gizelka, © iStock.com/LPETTET

  • Hot Tools Tapered Curling Wand


    Image © iStock.com/CoffeeAndMilk

    Nervous about using a wand? (That's a curling iron without a cramp.) It's easier than you think. Most, like Hot Tools', come with a heat-protective glove. After a little practice, we found this iron pretty easy to use. It heats up within seconds, and it curls quickly -- careful, those of you with fine hair! You'll get narrow curls that taper on the ends. Your curls will last up to 10 hours.

    Hot Tools Nano Ceramic 1 1/4" Tapered Curling Iron ($59.99 from Ulta)

  • Revlon Perfect Heat Jumbo 3 Barrel Waver


    Image via Amazon.com

    What a monster -- a three-barrel curling iron. Yes, it's huge, but once you get the hang of using it (try it out cold first), it's fairly easy to use. It heats up in about a minute or two but will curl your hair in seconds -- count to 3 and you're done. That said, it can take a while to work your way down long strands of hair since you're doing it strand by strand. This is more of a crimper than a curler, so it's for when you want waves, not spirals. 

    Revlon Perfect Heat Jumbo 3 Barrel Waver ($17 from Amazon.com)

  • Bed Head Curli Pops Ceramic Wand


    Image © iStock.com/ultramarinfoto

    This wand comes with a glove and, like the others, gets easier to use as you practice. It heats up in a minute or two and curls thick, straight hair in about 10 seconds -- hold for less time if you have fine hair. Curls come out in perfect, natural-looking spirals that are looser on the top. And they're long-lasting -- seriously, our tester still had her curls after sleeping in them and working a full day!

    Bed Head Bh318 Curli Pops Tourmaline Ceramic Wand ($25 from Amazon.com)

  • Hot Tools Insta-Curl EZ Styler


    Image via Amazon.com

    This iron has a unique design with a slit running through the center of the barrel. Instead of a clamp, you slide a section of your hair into that groove and then rotate the iron as your hair glides through the center and wraps around the barrel. We did see a little steam rising off this iron, which makes us a little nervous about damage. You'll get medium-width sausage curls (which you can loosen with your fingers). Getting a smooth, non-crimped end is a little tricky.

    Hot Tools Insta-Curl EZ Styler 1 1/4" ($43 from Amazon.com)

  • Revlon Bold Expressions Wand


    Image © iStock.com/ValuaVitaly

    This was another solid wand that delivers on speed in heating up and curling hair. Curls will last for around 12 hours, depending on your hair type. And we have to point out, the price won't burn your wallet.

    Revlon Bold Expressions Flipperless Curling Iron Wand ($17 from Amazon.com)

  • Revlon Perfect Heat Curling Iron


    Image © iStock.com/CoffeeAndMilk

    This is a very good classic curling iron that heats up quickly but doesn't get SUPER hot, which is typical of ceramic irons. We were impressed with the shape of the curls -- similar to what you get from using a straightening iron to curl hair, more on the wavy side. Curls did not last long on our tester with fine hair, unfortunately (an hour or two). So this may not work for everyone. Some styling hold product might help.

    Revlon Perfect Heat 1 3/4" Curling Iron ($20 via Amazon.com)

  • GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand


    Image via GHD Hair

    Oh my, we saved the Rolls-Royce of curling irons for last (see price below). This curling wand has a funky oval shape to deliver these glamorous old-Hollywood style waves. It heats up in seconds and hovers at 365 degrees, supposedly the perfect temperature for fast, frizz-free, shiny, long-lasting curls. But what we really love is how elegant and lightweight it is. Worth the price? I dunno -- maybe as a luxe gift for the woman who has everything.

    GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand ($245 from ghdhair.com)


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