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Best Hot Rollers Review - woman in rollers

Best Hot Rollers Review – Top 5 Curliest List for Aug. 2020 with Buying Guide

Most women consider a curling iron to be a must-have tool for their grooming arsenal. It’s ideal for touch-up styling, creating accent curls or flips, or choosing different levels of curl for different layers of hair.

However, perfecting a full head of beautiful curls with a curling iron can require a long period of painstaking work, can damage hair, and the curls are likely to fall out fairly quickly.That’s where the venerable set of hot rollers comes in.

Make no mistake, today’s rollers are nothing like the ones your mother or grandmother slept in overnight or wore under a huge beehive-shaped hair dryer at the beauty salon. Modern hot rollers are convenient, simple to use – and do an amazing job creating a headful of luscious curls while protecting against dried-out hair and long-term damage.


Hot Rollers Buying Guide

The review team has gone through all of the best choices available today, and we’ll list Groom+Style’s choices for the top 5 best hot rollers right after a closer look at the variables you should consider while shopping. And don’t throw away that curling iron or wand, either; it’s still extremely valuable in many situations.


Types of Hot Rollers

Best Hot Rollers Review - glamour hair

Let’s start by looking at the two major ways to differentiate between hot rollers. The first is a choice between sets that use dry or steam heat, and the second involves picking rollers with either flocked or ribbed textures.


Dry Heat vs Wet Hot Rollers (Steam)

Dry heat rollers rest inside the set’s metal container; when electricity is turned on and the container heats up it also heats the metal linings inside the rollers (most often made of ceramic or ceramic-infused material). That makes them warm (but not hot) to the touch, able to style hair via the heat that emanates from the inside of the rollers.

Wet hot rollers use steam generated in the container as the heat source, and the moisture from the rollers (which are most often made of foam) evaporates and moisturizes hair as it’s curled, with even less potential hair damage than dry rollers might cause.

The curls from steam rollers often last longer than those created with dry rollers, and steam models are the best choice for difficult-to-curl hair. Dry rollers are more versatile (often with multiple heat settings), faster to use and are capable of delivering negative ions that theoretically make hair smooth and silky.


Flocked or Ribbed Textures

The primary types of roller types you can choose are ribbed or “flocked.” Ribbed rollers are the ones you see most often, with the ribs holding hair in place. Newer-style flocked rollers are covered with a layer of smooth material which “grabs” the hair and are more suitable for larger curls. Most feel that ribbed rollers are easier to remove when the curling is complete, but find that flocked rollers stay in place better.


Hot Rollers: Materials, Sizes, and Heat

Types of Materials used in Hot Rollers

Ceramic and Ceramic-Infused Rollers

Just as with other types of hair styling products like curling irons and flat irons, dry heat rollers are most commonly made of ceramic, sometimes infused or coated with precious materials like tourmaline or (less often) titanium. They all heat up quickly and uniformly (without hot spots) and generate what’s known as infrared heat, which penetrates hair from the inside and does the best job of keeping hair healthy and undamaged while keeping hair shiny and also minimizing frizz.

Ceramic and ceramic-infused rollers are also said to release negative ions, which when heated supposedly close the cuticle layer of the hair and lock in moisture and keep hair shiny and softer. Substances like tourmaline are said to release six times more negative ions than pure ceramic.

Foam Rollers

Foam rollers, usually the rollers of choice for steam models, are made exactly what you’d think they’re made of – foam. They come in several different shapes including cylinders and round units that look sort of like hamburgers. Among their advantages are that they do no noticeable damage to hair since they don’t generate heat and that they can be used on damp hair. You can sleep in them as well.


Your Hair Type and Hot Rollers

Best Hot Rollers Review - curly hair cartoon

Your type of hair and the type of curls you want should determine which approach (hot/ceramic or steam/foam) will work better for you. Traditional hot rollers are best for creating big waves and lots of volume, and work better with thick or naturally curly hair because foam rollers will cause frizz. Steam and foam rollers are better for hair that’s silky or so thick that it doesn’t hold its form easily, and you can use them to achieve a greater variety of curls. Rollers with wax cores are also available, and since they retain heat for longer periods of time they’re great for hair that really doesn’t want to curl.


Which Size or Set Type?

Hot rollers come in two types of sets: all the same size, or with rollers of various sizes. You may have already guessed that a uniform set of curlers will give you a consistent set of curls, while a variety of sizes will give you much more flexibility and options. Longer hair? Be sure you have large rollers.


Hot Rollers Heat Settings

Finally, a set of hot rollers that only has one heat setting will usually be quite hot, perfect for those with coarse or thick hair. However, if you have thin, fine or damaged hair you’ll want the alternative to heat your rollers to lower temperatures, so look for a set with variable temperature settings.

Ready to get started? Let’s jump into Groom+Style’s list of the top 5 best hot rollers.


1. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Professional Jumbo Roller Hairsetter

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter

The review team really likes BaByliss products, and if the company’s set for small- and medium-sized curls was still available we would have listed it as well. The Professional Jumbo roller set won’t work for people with short hair looking to create delicate curls – but if you have longer hair and want big, impressive waves and curls, this is your go-to choice.

This BaBylissPRO set has 12 flocked rollers with nano titanium ceramic cores, which heat up within ten minutes and do a great job of maintaining even, far infrared heat that curls and seals hair from within once they’re in place. The velvety material on the lightweight, 1½ inch rollers creates a great grip on the hair, and you have your choice of butterfly or color-coded metal clips to attach them firmly.

In half-an-hour or so (the longer you leave them in, the more effective they are), even extra-long and luxurious hair will have terrific curls or waves without frizz or damaged ends.

There are no variable heat settings on the BaBylissPRO, so when you combine that fact with the large size of the rollers you can see why this is not a hot roller set for thin or short hair. But for those with long, thick hair – it’s terrific.

Facts and figures on the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Professional Jumbo Roller Hairsetter:

  • Style: Hot rollers, ionic
  • Roller type: Nano titanium, flocked
  • Number/size: 12, 1½ inches
  • Size: 13 x 6.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Warranty: Two years

Check BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Price on Amazon


2. Caruso C97953 30 Molecular Steam Hairsetter

Caruso C97953 30 Molecular Steam Hairsetter with 30 Rollers

It wouldn’t be fair unless we followed up our review of the BaBylissPRO with a look at hot rollers that are ideal for readers with thinner or shorter hair. We immediately looked at the company best known for steam rollers, Caruso, and the C97953 Professional was the review team’s clear choice, partly because of the company’s new molecular technology that pushes the steam into hair follicles effectively.

Before going any further, though, there are two things you need to know. You’ll get best results by using distilled instead of tap water, and this is a small unit that only steam-heats one roller at a time. The latter isn’t really an issue, though, because once you’ve heated the unit up for 2-3 minutes, each lightweight flocked roller only has to sit in the heating slot for 5-10 seconds (not long enough that it gets saturated and wet) before it’s ready to be clipped into your hair.

It takes only 5-10 minutes for the steam to do its job, and you can get an even faster set if you use a hairdryer for about 30 seconds before removing the rollers. A blast of setting spray helps, too.

The C97953 comes with 30 rollers; six each of jumbo, large, medium, small and petite. They let you vary the size of the curls and waves you create, and the smaller ones are ideal for thinner or shorter hair. You’ll get particularly good results with naturally curly hair.

This Caruso model is versatile enough for almost any length or type of hair, won’t do any damage, and is very reasonably priced for those looking for quality steam hot rollers.

More info on the Caruso C97953 30 Molecular Stream Hairsetter:

  • Style: Steam rollers
  • Roller type: plastic and sponge, flocked
  • Number/size: 30, five sizes
  • Size: 12 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Warranty: One year, limited

Check Caruso C97953 Price on Amazon


3. Conair Infiniti Pro Instant Heat

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Instant Heat Ceramic Flocked Rollers w/ Ionic Generator, Retractable Cord Reel, 20 count

It was really neck-and-neck between the BaBylissPro and the Infiniti Pro for the best ceramic hot roller set. The Conair has ceramic instead of ceramic/titanium rollers (argan oil is included to lessen frizz, though) and it can’t create waves and curls as large as the BaByliss model, so it landed at #3 in the Groom+Style rankings. But this is a more versatile product.

There are 20 flocked rollers, none of which are as large as the 1½ inch BaByliss rollers. However, there’s a nice selection of eight 1¼ inch rollers as well as six medium and six smaller ones.

There’s one more plus to this model; it has twelve different temperature settings so rollers heated at lower temperatures can safely and easily be used on thin or damaged hair.The rollers heat up in just two minutes and even though they’re flocked, they can be clipped into place to do their work.

They do virtually no damage to hair as it’s heated from the inside out, and while there aren’t as many negative ions released as with titanium rollers, they’re still there to help generate smooth and silky curls.

The Infiniti Pro isn’t what you’ll want for enormous curls, but it’s a great hot rollers system for large to smaller curls with lots of styling options and temperatures available.

This Caruso model is versatile enough for almost any length or type of hair, won’t do any damage, and is very reasonably priced for those looking for quality steam hot rollers.

Going in-depth on the Conair Infiniti Pro Instant Heat:

  • Style: Hot rollers, ionic
  • Roller type: ceramic, flocked
  • Number/size: 20, 1¼ to ¾ inches
  • Size: 13.2 x 7 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Warranty: Three years, limited

Check Conair Infiniti Pro Price on Amazon


4. T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers

T3 Micro Voluminous Hot Rollers

Here’s a high ticket item that isn’t for everyone – but if you’re after amazing-looking, huge body waves and beach curls, the T3 may be worth the money to you.

The huge, spring-loaded rollers in this set aren’t the ones you’ll find in most hot roller kits, and not just because of their size (four large 1.5 inch rollers and four 1.75 inch jumbo rollers). Each of these ionic tourmaline rollers self-regulates its wattage with the use of ceramic PTC heaters and aluminum heat sink cores, in order to maintain consistent surface temperatures for even styling.

There is also velvet flocking on the surface of each roller in order to grip the hair firmly. The rollers reach 250° in just three minutes, and leave styled hair healthy and shiny.

The rollers come with a charging base, detachable cord and tote bag, and works on dual voltages if you’re planning to visit beaches (or nightclubs) around the world.

It’s not unusual to find yourself wrestling with lesser hot rollers in the quest for voluminous, textured waves. The professionals use T3 products to accomplish that task, and if you want to lay out the extra bucks for this set, you can too.

Details on the T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers:

  • Style: Hot rollers, ionic
  • Roller type: Tourmaline, flocked
  • Number/size: Four 1.75 inches, four 1.5 inches
  • Size: 8.4 x 4.1 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: One pound
  • Warranty: Two years

Check T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers Price on Amazon


5. Revlon Curls-To-Go 10 Piece Travel Hot Rollers

Revlon Curls-to-Go 10 Piece Travel Hot Rollers

For many women, it’s a luxury to be able to curl their hair to perfection while they’re in the comfort of their bedroom or bath. They’re the ones who are constantly on the go and need to be able to do touch-ups (or more) while traveling. The Groom+Style review team feels that the Revlon Curls-to-Go Hot Rollers set is just right for those women.

The five medium (¾ inch) and five larger (one inch) ceramic tourmaline ribbed rollers fit into a self-contained heating and storage pouch, heat up quickly and use infrared and ionic technology to create beautiful waves and curls, without frizz, at a moment’s notice. The price of this set is extremely attractive, the results are excellent, and it’s easy to take anywhere at only about one pound.

There are even indicators on each roller telling you when it’s hot enough to be put into your hair.

There are larger and more full-featured hot rollers on the market, but this Revlon set is great for travel or prepping at work for a night on the town.

Digging deeper on the Revlon Curls-To-Go 10 Piece Travel Hot Rollers:

  • Style: Hot rollers, ionic
  • Roller type: ceramic/tourmaline, ribbed
  • Number/size: 10, one inch and ¾ inches
  • Size: 7.2 x 3.2 x 5.1 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Warranty: One year

Check Revlon Curls-To-Go Price on Amazon


Paul Mitchell Neuro Cell Premium Hot Roller System

No products found.

* Unfortunately it looks like this model rollers might not be available right now, so please consider another set of hot rollers for now.

A premium system at a premium pricePaul Mitchell is known for its high-quality and pricey products, and that describes the Neuro Cell system. This is not the right choice for those who want to mix huge curls and waves with delicate smaller ones since it only includes six one-inch rollers (you can purchase two-inch rollers separately). But those ceramic flocked rollers are the best you’ll find, industrial-quality and fully heated in just eight seconds.

The Paul Mitchell system has a choice of four temperatures based on specific types of hair: fine, medium, coarse and “max,” making it easy to use the rollers with all types of hair unless it’s quite short; of course, if you have really long, thick, coarse hair six rollers might not be enough. It’s also a bit annoying that you have to heat each roller individually before use, although the quick heat-up time minimizes the inconvenience. There’s no arguing with the quality of the final product, though, as this premium system also produces premium-quality curls that last.

The Paul Mitchell Neuro Cell Hot Roller System isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for terrific, medium-sized curls and waves, though, it’s the best you can find with a price to match.

Details on the Paul Mitchell Neuro Cell Premium Hot Roller System:

  • Style: Hot rollers, ionic
  • Roller type: ceramic, flocked
  • Number/size: 6, one inch
  • Size: 6 inches in diameter
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Warranty: One year, limited

Check Paul Mitchell Neuro Cell Price on Amazon

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1 year ago

You give only one temperature amount on all these rollers. I’ve been through chemo therapy and am stuck with a synthetic wig for a while, which calls for no more than 320°. I can’t tell which hot curlers meets this requirement. Can you help me?

1 year ago
Reply to  Roz

Hi Roz, Thanks for the question. Please note we are not experts at curling synthetic wigs, but have linked to a great resource below which seems to have lots of great advice! The best hot roller choices for curling synthetic hair (from our list) would be either the Caruso C97953 30 Molecular Steam Hairsetter (steam based rollers which specialist online guides recommend) or the Conair Infiniti Pro Instant Heat (which has 12 different temp settings and the rollers are heated from the inside out which will additionally protect your hair/wig). The Caruso does not have variable heat settings but describes… Read more »

1 year ago

Thanks!! Been out of my beautition mode as an option/operator for 40 yes. This was the Best article explaining the differences that I’ve read yet. Kiddo’s!

1 year ago
Reply to  Pattty

Thanks for the kind words Patty, comments like yours make it all worthwhile.
Kind Regards,

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