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Which hot rollers are best?

If you don’t have naturally curly hair but you want bouncy curls for a night out, hot rollers are the perfect solution. Hot rollers do less damage to your hair and require much less effort than curling irons, but it can be difficult to choose the right set. There are so many choices, between wax core and ceramic, ribbed and flocked. A top choice is the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 20-roller Set.

What to know before you buy hot rollers

How hot rollers work

The keratin in your hair is held together by hydrogen molecular bonds, which can be modified temporarily through the application of moisture and heat. That’s where hot rollers come into play. They come on a special base that you can plug into a power outlet to help heat them. 

Once the hot rollers are heated, you roll small sections of your hair around the rollers and keep them in place with pins or clips. You then wait about 15 minutes for the hot rollers to cool before removing them from your hair. Your hair will be curled from the moisture and heat from the hot rollers.

Hot rollers material

It’s essential to find the right hot roller material for you. There are a few different materials on the market, including ceramic-infused hot rollers, wax core hot rollers and foam hot rollers.

  • Ceramic hot rollers emit ions of infrared heat, which gives you shiny, smooth curls and helps you reduce frizz in your hair. 
  • Wax core hot rollers feature a layer of wax in the center, which helps the hot roller retain heat and holds a curl longer in hair, especially if it’s normally resistant to curling.
  • Foam hot rollers are heated with steam and are typically more moist, but they can provide longer-lasting curls. Foam hot rollers are also the best option for styling quickly since they heat up fast.

What to look for in a quality hot roller


Hot rollers typically come in two different finishes, including flocked and ribbed. Flocked hot rollers feature a velvety surface, while ribbed hot rollers have small ridges. Many customers like ribbed hot rollers since they are simpler to remove from your hair. Flocked hot rollers, on the other hand, are excellent for creating larger curls and can help hold your hair in place.


Hot rollers come in a wide variety of different sizes for various kinds of curls. Some hot roller sets include a diverse range of different sizes, while other sets come with just one size. Smaller hot rollers tend to make tight, ringlet-size curls, while larger hot rollers make waves or big curls and create more volume at the root of your hair.

It’s important to keep in mind that your hair length can also impact how your curls will end up looking. For example, if you place a large hot roller in shorter hair, then you might get an outward or inward flick instead of a full-on curl since your hair is too short to fully wrap around the hot roller.

Heat settings

Some hot rollers only heat to one specific preset temperature, while other hot rollers have different heat settings. Hot rollers with no variable heat setting work fairly well for many customers. That being said, you might need a low heat setting to prevent damage to your hair and get the best results if you have fairly fine hair.

How much you can expect to spend on hot rollers

The most basic hot rollers cost $15-$20 and come in smaller sets, while midrange hot rollers go for $20-$30. High-end hot rollers range in price from $30-$70, and you will get top-quality hot rollers that give you long-lasting curls.

Hot roller FAQ

What hairstyles can you create using hot rollers?

A. You can choose to do classic curls with hot rollers, but there are plenty of other hairstyles to create as well. For example, you can create vintage hair flicks, big updos, tight ringlets, loose tousled curls, sleek waves or textured waves.

Can hot rollers damage your hair?

A. Hot rollers can damage your hair, just like any other tool that styles your hair with heat. But the damage should be minimal, as long as you take precautions when using your hot rollers and take good care of your hair in general. 

You should put a heat protectant on your hair before using hot rollers and make sure to use low heat settings if possible, particularly if you have finer hair.

Are some hot rollers heavier than others?

A. Some hot rollers are heavy, while others are light. The lighter hot rollers might not curl thick hair very effectively, while the heavier hot rollers can fall out of finer hair.

What’s the best hot roller to buy?

Top hot roller

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 20-Roller Set

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 20-roller Set

What you need to know: This efficient, durable and rugged hot roller set from BaBylissPRO offers long-lasting style.

What you’ll love: These nano titanium hot rollers feature velvet flocking to protect your hair and a titanium core to promote long-lasting curls. The hot roller set is also efficient and durable.

What you should consider: There is no heat indicator light with this BaBylissPRO heat roller set.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top hot roller for the money

Caruso Molecular Steam Hair Setter

Caruso Molecular Steam Hair Setter

What you need to know: This budget-friendly molecular steam hair setter from Caruso will give you plenty of bang for your buck.

What you’ll love: This affordable hair setter features steam-powered rollers, a style guide, a carrying case and a fast heating time of about 15 seconds.

What you should consider: There is potential for mineral buildup and water corrosion with these Caruso hot rollers. This steam-powered roller set does need regular maintenance.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Remington Ceramic Compact Hot Rollers

Remington Ceramic Compact Hot Rollers

What you need to know: This portable hot roller set from Remington is perfect for those with long hair who want big curls and waves.

What you’ll love: These ceramic hot rollers come with a protective case and a detachable cord for durability. It is also portable and compact for simple storage and transport.

What you should consider: Some customers complained that these Remington hot rollers have loose clips. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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