Sick of sporting flat, lackluster locks day in and day out? Well, you’re not alone. Very few women would say no to thick, healthy hair with more volume and bounce.
That being said, if you haven’t been able to achieve the look you’re going for naturally, we will let you in on a little secret: hot rollers.
While this may remind you of your grandmother’s beauty routine, we guarantee that a quality set of hot rollers will create curls unlike any other with very little effort. Not only will the best hot rollers give you effortless waves, but, unlike curling irons which require work, with hot rollers you can just set it and forget it!
Sold? Well, check out our list of the best hot rollers below to find the perfect set for you. Whether you’ve got long hair, short hair, straight hair, curly hair, or something in between, we promise our list has something for everyone.
Prefer curling irons or just not into curls at all? We’ve still got you covered! Maybe try a straightening brush, flat iron, or good old-fashioned blow dryer and round brush! In fact, we would recommend one of each.
If you’ve got long, thick hair you know it can be a challenge to find styling products that create lift and all-day curls without being weighed down by all that hair. Well, look no further than the Revlon Longwave hot rollers. The set features extra-long rollers perfect for long, luscious locks.
This set of rollers really only works with very long hair and can get a bit too hot to work with if heated for too long prior to application.
Performance: Revlon perfect heat long wave hair setter will hold more hair for touchable, healthy looking curls. Expect the whole process, from heat up to finished curl, to take 15 minutes or less. And, you’ll be blown away by how shiny and healthy your perfect curls turn out with every single use.
Features: The set includes 12 extra-long rollers, 6 medium and 6 large, as well as 12 hair clips to secure hair evenly and prevent tangles. Additionally, the base features a red indicator, which turns white when rollers are heated and ready, and the set also comes with a storage pouch for temperature retention and compact portability.
Price: $40 is pretty middle of the road for a quality set of hair rollers. Plus, this product is available on Prime so volume and shine are only a day (or two) away!
Okay, okay so these aren’t technically hot rollers, but given the fact that they do require heat to set we thought we would include them nonetheless. These simple rollers apply easily, save you hours of styling, and create gorgeous body and waves that will last all day long. Oh, and did we mention that price tag?
If you aren’t good with a blow dryer this may not be the product for you. Additionally, reviewers really wish the set included more than 6 rollers.
Performance: Create tons of volume and lift with these easy to use self-gripping rollers. They roll easily into dry hair and stay in place for as long as you need them to (about 15 minutes should do the trick). Once you feel that your curls have sufficiently set, remove the rollers gently without pulling or tugging. Seriously, could it get any easier?
Also, if you're looking for a little help on how to get strated, check out this instructional video from our friends at Dry Bar.
Features: So there really isn’t much to this set of rollers in the way of features, but what did you expect for $10? However, the set does include 6 rollers in two sizes, 3 large and 3 medium.
Price: Umm we did not rate this product the most budget-friendly hot roller for nothing. Depending on where you buy from, you'll be able to find a set for as low as $10. That will leave you with money left to go out and celebrate while also showing off your gorgeous new do.
There are truly so many reasons to love these hot rollers it’s difficult to narrow it down to just a few. First and foremost, they heat hair evenly and work quickly (one of the most time-saving rollers on the market, in fact), the Ion technology creates long-lasting results, and the set comes at a moderate price considering the number of rollers included as well as the quality of the product.
Reviewers complain that the base on the new model is slightly larger than the older version. Additionally, the rollers are a bit heavy and the clips don’t hold hair as well as they are designed to, especially with thin or fine hair.
Performance: Calista Ion Hot Rollers are designed to quickly create a head full of soft waves, body, cascading curls, or spiraling ringlets. The heating base heats rollers in 3 minutes or less and the curls will hold from day to night.
The size of the rollers (1 inch in diameter) is perfect for curling short hair and, weirdly enough, what makes these so perfect for short hair prevents these rollers from getting tangled in long hair as well. The short set may be a bit too small for anyone with extra-long or super thick hair, but the long set will curl thick hair easily, from root to end, and won’t tangle when removed.
Features: The set includes 12 rollers in two sizes, as well as a conveniently sized base that heats all 12 rollers at once. Each roller features a PTC heating element, allowing the rollers to heat quickly and stay hot longer. Also, Ion technology infuses multi-element mineral powders into each roller when it is cast, and the rollers are designed to retain heat, even once they’re set, which will allow each and every curl to heat evenly.
Oh, and did we mention the set also comes with a convenient travel bag? Always a plus.
Price: At just under $99, these rollers are a close second for the priciest on our list. But, if you’re looking for something that will heat quickly and evenly, even on short hair, we definitely recommend giving this product a try.
With the Caruso steam rollers you will be able to create long lasting curls and volume while keeping hair healthy, shiny, and in great condition. On top of that, these rollers are non-damaging, quick and easy to use, and will set in 5 to 10 minutes—all you have to do is blow dry!
Each roller has to be heated individually, which can be slightly annoying. Additionally, since these are steam rollers you will need to spend time blow drying your hair before using the rollers, and, if you let the rollers steam for too long before applying to hair, they may become damp and difficult to work with.
Performance: First, we need to give you the run down on how these rollers actually work, as they function a bit differently than your typical hot roller. The rollers are heated using steam rather than electricity, and you can only heat them one at a time.
To begin steaming, first remove the top of the water reservoir and add water up to the fill line. Next, plug in the reservoir and allow about a minute to steam. After a minute, place one roller on the designated spot on the reservoir lid for 3-5 seconds. Once the roller is completely steamed, apply to hair and repeat.
For detailed instructions, check out the video below from our friends at Caruso!
Once you get a handle on how your rollers work, you will discover why the Caruso Molecular System is such a revolutionary process. This hair setter has been customized to steam condition as it curls while also allowing complete versatility for styling, which is what makes these rollers super effective on thin or fine hair.
Features: The 30-roller set includes: Styling Guide, Comb Clips, Carrying Case, 6 Petite Rollers, 6 Small Rollers, 6 Medium Rollers, 6 Large Rollers, and 6 Jumbo Rollers. Aside from that, it’s really just the steam chamber, since these rollers are heated by steam rather than electricity.
Another thing we love about this product is that the rollers will heat in seconds and, if used on dry hair, can set a curl in under a minute—truly one of the fastest working hot rollers on our list. Whether you’re looking for perfect spirals or luscious waves, the Caruso Molecular Steam rollers will create strong, beautiful curls with added body and shine that will last all day long.
Price: $36.99 for 30 rollers is truly an unbelievable deal. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before you purchase these hot rollers.
The T3 brand is known for revolutionizing hairstyling with innovative technology and custom crafted hair tools that create shiny, healthy hair. And their hard work has not gone unnoticed. Just about every website out there recommends these jumbo rollers, including Allure, Best Products, and even Bravo (so you know for sure these are Real Housewife worthy)!
With the previous model, reviewers complained that these hot rollers actually got too hot. However, the plastic rims on the updated version are designed to be cooler to the touch. Additionally, many reviewers argue 8 is just not enough, especially given the hefty price tag.
Performance: What makes these rollers so effective is the HeatCore technology which consists of a ceramic PTC heater and aluminum core reach which retains the perfect styling temperature, transferring heat evenly for consistent styling results every single time.
The velvet flocking grips hair and enhances natural shine, while the Coolgrip rim makes handling and wrapping a breeze. These rollers easily create long lasting volume and body on every single hair type, but the jumbo size makes them especially ideal for anyone with super thick tresses.
Features: The set includes 8 hot rollers (4/1.75 inch and 4/1.5 inch), with Velvet Flocking and Coolgrip, and 8 smart design clips that hold rollers firmly in place while preventing unwanted creases.
Additionally, the set includes: a charging base, featuring 2 heat settings to ensure optimum temperatures for a variety of hair types and conditions; auto world voltage (100-240v), ideal for international travel; and a luxurious travel bag, which makes it easy to take these rollers on the go.
Price: These rollers are priced at $119 on Amazon, but you can often snag a set for under $100. Regardless, this is still the most expensive product on our list. However, for a quality set of rollers protected by a 2-year warranty we find this product to be well worth the investment.
BaByliss is known for producing quality hair styling tools that are built to last, and the Nano Titanium Professional Jumbo Roller set is no exception. Expect these babies to heat up fast, stay put without leaving a crease, and hold a curl all day long. What more could you ask for in a set of hot rollers?
The base that holds the rollers is pretty large, so not recommended for travel.
Performance: When it comes to hair styling, BaByliss sure knows their stuff. Expect this set of rollers to consistently create natural bouncy curls or waves without damaging hair. They heat up ultra-fast and generate far-infrared heat for faster styling.
Features: This set of rollers includes 20 velvety flocked rollers, 20 butterfly clips, and 20 color-coded metal clips—including 6 small (3/4"), 6 medium (1") and 8 large (1-1/4") rollers.
Although these rollers are also available in a set of 5, 8, and 12, we recommend the set of 20. The set of 20 is the only one that includes various sizes of rollers to accommodate all lengths and types of hair. The only downside to this set is that it does not include any jumbo rollers, so if you have very long hair you may want to opt for one of the other sets. Additionally, this set of rollers also includes an on/off switch with indicator light.
Price: At $64, this is not the cheapest set of rollers on our list. However, we find this to be a reasonable price to pay for a set of 20 rollers that heats up quickly and will not damage hair. As an added bonus, you can snag this on Amazon Prime. Who doesn’t love free 2-day shipping?
Nothing screams “carefree and sexy” better than soft, voluminous curls. But regardless of size—whether we’re talking about big waves or tight ringlets—curly hair has always been a huge hit in both the fashion and beauty scenes.
And why wouldn’t it? Although we love the look of smooth and sleek hair, curly locks have the upper hand when it comes to visual interest. The fact that curling tools have been a constant in our beauty routines for so many years is a testament to this—from our moms’ old-school plastic rollers to our very own modern curling wands and hot rollers.
We created this buying guide to be your ultimate destination for shopping advice. If you’re on the market for a new set of hot rollers, we put together a few lists, tips, and tricks that will help you make the best purchasing decision possible.
Ready? Let’s go!
If you’ve been observing the beauty community for a while, then you’ll know that the popularity of hot rollers took a hit when curling wands became a thing. However, modern hot rollers have gotten better and better, which might explain why they have gone back on-trend, as well.
So, why should you trade in your curling iron for a set of heated rollers? Here’s why:
Modern hot rollers usually use one of two types of heating to achieve perfect waves and curls. What are these two heating methods, and how do they differ from each other? Let’s find out.
Dry heat rollers directly use electricity as a source of heat. In this setup, electricity heats the metal core inside the rollers and warms the outer surface (which is usually ceramic). The heat that emanates from the inner lining of the rollers is responsible for curling the hair.
Dry heat steam rollers are great for those with curly or frizzy hair. Ceramic rollers tend to cause less frizz than foam ones, which makes it great if you struggle with that particular problem. Dry rollers are also faster to use.
What’s more, with electric heating, you’re bound to have more control over the exact temperature of the hot rollers. So if you have damage-prone hair and are highly particular about the temperature of all your heat styling tools, a set of hot rollers that use dry heat may be a good choice.
Wet hot rollers rely on steam as a heat source. Sets that use steam will usually have a heated reservoir that you have to fill with water. As the water heats up, it will produce hot steam that will be used to heat the actual rollers.
Because steam is involved, using this type of heat source may actually be good for the hair. The moisture that evaporates from the rollers will help moisturize your hair strands as they are being curled. This is why you’re bound to get shinier results from a steam-and-foam system. What’s more, steam rollers tend to produce longer-lasting curls.
Foam is usually the material of choice for steam rollers. They generally do less damage to hair than other materials. They’re also safe to use on damp hair. Plus, since foam is a soft and cushiony material, going to bed with foam rollers is no big deal.
Ceramic and ceramic-infused materials frequently make an appearance in various heat styling tools, such as curling wands, flat irons, and hair straightening brushes. Unsurprisingly, this material is widely used in the world of hot rollers, as well.
Ceramic is popular because it heats up evenly. This helps you avoid hot spots from appearing which will affect both your hair’s look and health. Note that ceramic rollers are usually used in sets that operate with dry heat.
What’s more, ceramic and ceramic-infused materials help control frizz by releasing negative ions. Negative ions, when hot, help close the hair cuticle and make hair more manageable. Some ceramic rollers also come coated with tourmaline, which further increases the number of negative ions emitted by the rollers.
Wax-filled rollers are made for heavy-duty curling needs. Heat is retained way better due to the wax, which makes this specific type ideal for those with stubborn, hard-to-curl hair strands.
Obviously, wax-filled rollers will require more time to set compared to ceramic, ceramic-infused, and foam rollers—but this is just an inevitable trade-off if you want more durable curls.
The main factors you have to consider when determining the best type of rollers for you are your hair type and desired style.
If you have naturally curly or thick hair, traditional hot rollers that are made of ceramic would be your best bet. They are excellent at creating voluminous waves and adding body to the hair, but they won’t add frizz to your hair as much as foam rollers tend to do.
If you have stick-straight or super silky hair, steam and foam rollers may be the right choice. This approach works well with hair types that don’t hold curls easily. Also, the steam and foam combo can be used to achieve a wider variety of curl shapes and sizes.
But if you’re confident that steam and foam rollers are no match for your hair, we recommend wax-filled rollers. Again, this type of roller holds heat really well, which makes it the best choice for hair that just won’t yield to other curling methods.
Obviously, the fundamental principle behind hot rollers is the use of heat to style and reshape the hair. That said, it’s important to know how much heat is actually produced by a model. Too much heat can cause burning and damage, and that’s something you should definitely avoid.
Fortunately, most hot rollers these days are burn-proof. That is, you can safely touch and use them without burning your fingers. That makes modern hot rollers ideal even for damage-prone strands.
Hot rollers that can operate within a variety of temperatures offer added versatility. If you like to play around with your hairstyle, going for a product that has multiple temperature settings would be a smart move.
What’s more, a set of hot rollers with just one heat setting will usually be very hot so they can accommodate even the coarsest and thickest hair types. But if you lie on the other side of the spectrum and are dealing with super fine hair, this one heat setting may be far too harsh for your hair strands.
Hot rollers usually come in a set of multiple rollers, and they may be all the same size or in various sizes. If you prefer having a consistent set of curls, getting a set that has uniformly-sized rollers will obviously be better. On the other hand, having a variety of roller sizes will give allow you to be more versatile and flexible in your hairstyles.
As far as sizing goes, we recommend all you long-haired gals to go for large rollers. They are more efficient than smaller ones, and they provide big, sexy curls. If you have short hair, large rollers might be difficult to use and manipulate, so smaller rollers are your best friend.
Do you want a set of hot rollers that you can easily take with you whenever you’re traveling? If so, make sure to check out the dimensions of the product you’re eyeing. Most hot rollers these days come with a case or stand, which makes them easy to carry around from one room to another.
It’s one thing to consider how heavy an entire set of hot rollers is. Looking into the weight of the rollers themselves is another matter. There’s nothing worse than carrying a whole bunch of heavy rollers on your head, especially if you’re the type who likes to leave them on for long periods.