The 10 Best Heatless Curlers of 2023
Get bouncy locks without the damage
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People / Kristin Kempa
Heatless curling isn't a new trend, but it's currently enjoying a well-deserved moment in the world of hair styling. The time-tested method doesn't damage your hair like a curling iron, and while the results take a few hours, it's relatively easy once you get the hang of it.
"Heatless curls start with wrapping hair around a silk or satin material, then removing it to reveal mermaid-like waves," says celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble. Whether you're going for Gisele Bündchen waves, bouncy Kate Middleton curls, or early-era Taylor Swift ringlets, you can achieve the look with one of these fabric-wrapped rods.
To help you narrow down your options, we researched heat-free hair curling kits for creating a professional-looking blowout with twists, twirls, spirals, or waves.
These are the best heatless curlers for every skill level and budget.
This kit is perfect for those who want to create effortless-looking curls or waves without frizz or heat damage.
It's not a great choice for curling while you sleep, unless you doze on your back.
If you ask us, Kitsch makes the best heatless curling kit. This set comes with a soft, satin-wrapped rubber headband that promises to help you create effortless-looking curls or waves in just a few hours. You'll also get two satin scrunchies for securing the ends in place. The smooth satin fabric is gentle on your hair and unlikely to create frizz.
Suitable for all hair types, thicknesses, and lengths, this heatless curler set is super easy to use. Just wrap your slightly damp hair around the rod, then secure it in place with the scrunchies. Allow your hair to dry with the curler in place for a few hours, then take it out to reveal beautiful curls that'll last until the next time you get your hair wet.
One thing to note is that this kit isn't ideal for leaving in overnight. Since you wear the curler over your head and down the sides (kind of like French braids), it's pretty uncomfortable unless you sleep on your back the entire time. But if you have time to kill during the day before going out in the evening, you'll be glad to have your Kitsch set on hand. Not sure how to use heatless curlers? Kitsch has helpful videos to show the process, including a 13-second video that shows how to wrap your hair around the curling rod.
Price at time of publish: $15.98
Material: Satin-wrapped rubber | Included Pieces: Curler rod, 2 scrunchies
This is a solid choice for someone who's curious about the trend but doesn't want to invest a lot of money. into it.
It's not ideal for curling while you sleep, as it may not stay in place.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to get amazing curls. Case in point: this wallet-friendly heatless curling set. It comes with a satin-covered rubber rod that's not only soft and gentle on your hair but also easy to fold over your head. You'll also get two satin scrunchies and a hair clip to hold everything in place while your hair conforms to your desired curl or wave pattern.
You can use this curler on wet, damp, or dry hair. (Just bear in mind it's not ideal for curling while you sleep, as it's hard to ensure everything stays in place when tossing and turning.) After a few hours, take everything out and relish in your bouncy, undamaged, frizz-free locks.
Price at time of publish: $9.99
Material: Satin-wrapped rubber | Included Pieces: Curler, 2 scrunchies, hair clip
Foam rollers are a classic way to create effortless, bouncy curls without frying your strands.
It's not ideal if you're looking for a durable tool you can use again and again.
Foam rollers might seem a little old-fashioned, but there's a reason many people still swear by them. They allow you to achieve effortless, bouncy curls without frying your hair, and you can leave them on overnight. If you're interested in trying out this heatless curling method, Hot Tools Soft Foam Rollers might be your best bet.
This set comes with 16 rollers, including eight medium and eight small. After rolling up each hair section, you can use the attached plastic clamp to secure the roller in place — no pins or clips needed. These curlers aren't particularly durable, so if you're looking for something you can use again and again, they aren't it. But for under $10, we really can't complain.
Price at time of publish: $6.99
Material: Foam | Included Pieces: 16 rollers
It's a go-to for those with medium-to-long hair looking to create easy, heat-free mermaid waves.
It may not work as well on short hair.
Dreaming of mermaid waves? The Invisibobble Heatless Curling Set might make your hair vision a reality. This kit comes with a satin-wrapped curling rod long enough to wrap around mid-length and even long hair. The satin material is easy on your strands, but since it's somewhat slick, it may not stay in place as well on shorter hair.
You'll get two satin scrunchies for securing your mane after wrapping it around the rod — though you might want to reach for a claw clip if your hair is extra-thick. You can use this no-heat curler on damp or dry hair. Just make sure it's entirely dry before removing it to ensure your waves last longer than a few hours.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: Satin | Included Pieces: Curling ribbon, 2 scrunchies
This is a stellar pick for thick-haired beauties looking for an easy, mostly hands-off way to curl their hair.
It won't work as well if you start with wet or damp hair.
Thick hair can be a blessing and a curse: It has a healthy, luscious look, but it can take a long time to style. If you want bouncy curls without having to put in the time or elbow grease, this heatless curler is the way to go. Promising not to break apart or create frizz-causing friction, the flexible rubber rod is wrapped in a soft cotton fabric with a smooth satin weave.
The set also comes with two scrunchies and two clips to hold everything in place once you're done wrapping. We appreciate that this curler is comfortable enough to sleep in. But since thick hair can take quite a while to dry, especially when wrapped up, it may not be entirely dry if you start with wet or damp hair. For best results, wrap your dry hair in the curler, then wear it overnight.
Price at time of publish: $9.98
Material: Cotton-wrapped rubber | Included Pieces: Curler, 2 scrunchies, 2 clips
If your hair is medium-thick or medium-length and you want a durable curler that won't break when it twists, this one's for you.
It won't work as well if you use it on wet or damp hair.
If your hair isn't fine but also not particularly thick, this one's for you. The Hryyds Heatless Hair Curler is a durable yet malleable rubber rod you can easily bend and twist every which way without worrying about it breaking like its foam counterparts. It's wrapped in a velvety cotton material that's supposed to minimize friction to prevent frizzy hair and split ends.
In addition to working really well for medium-thick hair, this set is great for mid-length locks, as the rod effortlessly wraps around each section and stays securely in place. If your hair leans thicker and takes longer to dry, you may not want to use it on wet or even damp hair. But you can still achieve stunning curls by leaving dry hair in it for a few hours or even overnight.
Price at time of publish: $22.99
Material: Cotton-wrapped rubber | Included Pieces: Curling rod, 2 scrunchies, 2 clips
These user-friendly, stretchy roller tubes are just the thing for creating tight curls and ringlets without heat.
They aren't comfortable to sleep in.
Can you get ringlets without a curling iron? Absolutely. It's pretty easy with these heat-free curlers. Reminiscent of finger cuffs (only much softer), the woven plastic tubes are pliable yet sturdy. This set comes with 40 curling tubes and three styling hooks, and you can use as many as you need to create tight curls without applying any heat.
Start by dividing your hair into small sections. Insert one of the hooks through a tube roller, hook it to the top of the hair section, then pull your hair through the roller with the hook. This will leave the section wrapped within the roller. Repeat this process on all remaining hair sections, and remove the tubes after several hours to reveal bouncy ringlets. Although soft, these aren't the most comfortable to sleep in, so you'll want to set aside some time during the day to curl your hair.
Price at time of publish: $23.99 (orig. $32)
Material: Plastic | Included Pieces: 40 curlers, 3 hooks
The silk-wrapped cotton rod is ideal if you want to sleep your way to damage-free curls.
This isn't a good choice for those who want instant curls.
If you sleep on a silk pillowcase for the hair and skin benefits, you'll appreciate this product. The Mermade Hair Heatless Curls Kit comes with an extra-long rod wrapped in 100 percent mulberry silk that helps keep your strands smooth, shiny, and free of frizz. We also like that the rod itself is filled with cotton, which makes it not only super soft and flexible but also absorbent, so it helps dry damp hair quicker.
You'll also get two silk scrunchies and a claw clip for keeping your wrap in place. This curler is definitely comfortable enough to wear while you're sleeping. In fact, you'll get the best results if you leave it on overnight, so wrap up your locks and let it do its thing while you get your beauty sleep.
Price at time of publish: $33
Material: Mulberry silk, cotton | Included Pieces: Curling rod, 2 scrunchies, claw clip
The silk curler is good for those who want to minimize friction and tugging while curling their hair.
It won't give you instant curls, so it's not good if you're short on time.
Do heatless curlers work on hair extensions? You bet! We recommend this kit from Silke London, which comes with a flexible yet resilient foam rod wrapped in real silk. The silk is gentle on your hair to minimize frizz and prevent unnecessary tugging.
This set also includes two silk hair ties and a pretty shell-inspired claw clip, all within a reusable zippered cosmetics bag. You'll get the best curls if you start with damp or dry hair and leave the curler in overnight — or at least six hours. If you're short on time, this isn't the way to style your hair, but if you plan ahead, you'll be thrilled with the results.
Price at time of publish: $56
Material: Silk-wrapped foam | Included Pieces: Curler, 2 hair ties, claw clip
Mane Label Hair Co
The extra-long ribbon makes it easy to create big, bouncy curls with minimal effort.
This kit doesn't work very well with short hair.
If big, bouncy curls are the goal, go with The Sway Heatless Curling Ribbon. The headband-like ribbon is 63 inches long — roughly twice the length of most heatless curling rods — so there's plenty of slack to wrap around long, flowing locks. Made of cotton velour, it absorbs moisture from damp hair and promises to be gentle on your strands.
This set also includes two scrunchies, six hair ties, and a handy claw clip for keeping everything securely in place while you wait for your curls to take shape. Each piece is designed to prevent tangles, reduce snags, and minimize tugging to keep your mane healthy, shiny, and free of unnecessary breakage.
Price at time of publish: $48.45 (orig. $57)
Material: Cotton velour | Included Pieces: Curling ribbon, 2 scrunchies, 6 hair ties, hair clip
There are a few types of heatless curlers. Fabric-wrapped curler rods like the Kitsch The Satin Heatless Curling Set are the most popular option. However, you'll also find curling ribbons (which are similar to rods but much longer), as well as stretchy roller tubes for ringlets and classic foam rollers, such as the Hot Tools Foam Roller Set.
When buying a rod-style heatless curler, pay attention to the material. Many feature a rubber or foam rod wrapped in satin or cotton to ensure durability and flexibility while being gentle against your strands. As with the Mermade Hair Heatless Curls Kit, some are wrapped in real mulberry silk and feature a softer cotton-stuffed rod. Silk is generally considered the best fabric for hair, as it prevents snags and frizz-causing friction, so while silk curlers may be more expensive, they could be worth it if you plan to curl your hair often.
You'll also want to consider your hair type. If your hair is on the thicker side and takes a while to dry completely, get a kit designed for use on dry hair, like the Drucixy Heatless Hair Curler. If you have fine or medium hair, you can start with damp or potentially wet hair, depending on how long you leave the curler in.
Longer-haired folks should look for an extra-long curling rod or even a ribbon, like the Mane Label The Sway Heatless Curling Ribbon. This will ensure you have plenty of slack to wrap the entire length of your hair.
Heatless curlers work by essentially holding your hair in a specific position for several hours until it forms curls — similar to how braids can leave you with crimped or wavy hair. You wrap sections of your dry or damp hair around the rod or ribbon, then secure it in place with hair ties, scrunchies, or clips. After several hours (or once your hair is entirely dry), you can remove the rod to reveal a head full of beautiful, bouncy curls.
Begin by draping the curling rod across your head so the ends are hanging over your ears, then clip it in place to the top of your head. Starting with the top front of your hair and working downward, take a 1-inch section of your hair and wrap it back around the rod. Add another 1-inch section to the first section and wrap both back around the rod. Keep going until you get to the bottom of your hair, then secure it in place with a hair tie. Repeat this process on the other side of your head.
"Heatless hair curlers are made specifically to give you luscious curls without exposing your hair to heat," says Kimble. "They're a great option for people who are looking to avoid the potentially damaging effect of hot tools."
PEOPLE contributor Theresa Holland is a commerce writer specializing in beauty, wellness, and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed celebrity hairstylist and natural hair educator Kim Kimble, who offered insight into the benefits and overall purpose of heatless curling. After considering dozens of products, she narrowed it down to user-friendly options made of durable yet gentle materials.Price at time of publish:$15.98Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$9.99Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$6.99Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$15Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$9.98Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$22.99Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$23.99 (orig. $32)Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$33Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$56Material:Included Pieces:Price at time of publish:$48.45 (orig. $57)Material:Included Pieces: