If you’re going to curl your hair, one of the most obvious methods is to use hair rollers. This staple hair styling tool comes in a range of styles, from hot rollers to curling rods, and can be used with or without heat depending on your haircare needs. In this guide, we’re highlighting the best hair rollers that you should buy.
In this article:
Best Hair Rollers Overview
- Best for Preventing Frizz: Remington Ionic Conditioning Hair Setter
- Best for No-Heat Styling: Tifara Beauty 42-Pack 7” Flexible Curling Rods
- Best Luxury: T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers LUXE for Volume, Body and Shine
- Best for Quick Styling: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 20 Roller Hairsetter
- Best Affordable: Conair Xtreme Instant Heat Jumbo and Super Jumbo Hot Rollers
- Best Self-Grip: Drybar High Tops Self-Grip Rollers
- Best for Thick Hair: Caruso 30 Molecular Steam Hairsetter
- Best Compact: Remington Pro Hair Setter with Thermaluxe Advanced Thermal Technology
- Best to Use with Heat Styling Tools: Hot Tools Thermal Velcro Rollers
- Best for Loose Waves: John Frieda Body & Shine Smooth Waves Jumbo Rollers
- Best Ceramic: Kitsch Ceramic Thermal Hair Rollers
- Best for Volume: UrbHome Large Hair Rollers
- Best for Travel: Revlon Curls-to-Go 10 Piece Travel Hot Rollers
- Best for Multi-Style Curls: Leandro Limited Assorted Self-Grip Rollers
- Best Multi-Sized: Conair Compact Multi-Size Hot Rollers
Our Picks for the Best Hair Rollers
From hot rollers to hair rods, below, you can find the 15 best hair rollers that will give you the type of perfect curls you are aiming to achieve.
These hot rollers can create the perfect curls while freeing up your hands to multitask as they set your hair. We like that there are three color-coded sizes to help you create waves, bouncy curls and mimic the perfect blowout. This set of hair rollers also comes with an exclusive J-clip, which helps to keep the rollers in place.
The velvet middle helps to create volume, while the cool-touch ends help protect your hands as you use them. But you’ll also like that the Thermal Wax Core helps these rollers maintain a high heat for longer, which translates to a style that lasts longer. We also like that each roller features ionic conditioning to help improve shine and prevent frizz. Buy it on Amazon!
Hot rollers are cool but they usually don’t come in a large enough quantity to be realistic for anyone with medium to long hair. If you prefer a no-heat styling option or have a bonnet blow dryer, these curling rods are a great solution. The 42-piece set is great for all hair types and can be used on wet or dry hair. The flexible style makes these a better option for overnight roller sets. Each roller is seven inches long, but you get a range of widths from ⅜ of an inch to 11/16 of an inch. Buy it on Amazon!
This eight-piece set of hot rollers is primarily designed for big sexy hair. These hair rollers have two heat settings and are perfect for placement in the crown to create voluminous hair. The velvet rollers help to improve sheen and minimize frizz.
You’ll get four extra-large rollers that are 1 ¾-inch wide and four large 1 ½-inch rollers. The cool-grip edges make handling these rollers safe, and the included clips hold them securely in place. But this roller set is perfect for travel since it features an auto world voltage, so you never have to worry about shorting out your appliance because of voltage incompatibility. Buy this set at Nordstrom!
If you’re a fan of BaByliss heat tools, then their hot rollers should be on your shortlist. This time, you get 20 velvet-flocked rollers in a range of sizes from small (¾-inch), medium (1-inch), and large (1 ¼-inch). These hair rollers feature nano titanium technology that relies on far-infrared heat to give you faster styling control. Plus, these heat up quickly, so there’s no waiting forever for your rollers to be ready to use. Shop for this set at Ulta!
You shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get big sexy hair. This set of hot rollers from Conair is not just affordable, but also easy to use. We like that this set comes with clips to keep your rollers securely in place.
The Conair hair rollers are ceramic-based for better heat transfer and longer-lasting curls. You’ll like that you get 12 total flocked rollers – four that are 1 ¾-inch wide and eight that are 1 ½-inch wide. These rollers also heat up in a rapid 85 seconds to keep you on the move. Shop for them on Amazon!
If you prefer using a bonnet or traditional blow dryer, then these self-gripping velcro-based jumbo rollers from Drybar are a great option for creating strategic volume at the crown. Because of the velcro design, these hair rollers don’t require additional clips. You’ll get three extra-large rollers and three large rollers. Buy the set at Sephora!
If you’re looking for a large number of hot rollers, this 30-piece set from Caruso is a great option. While they can only be heated one at a time, this is also a great travel-friendly option since it features dual voltage. These hair rollers are rated safe for all hair types and come with a bonus storage bag to keep everything organized. Buy it on Amazon!
If you’re limited on space, then some of the larger hot roller sets might not be ideal for you. We like that this Remington hot roller set is a slimline solution with 20 rollers (12 large and eight medium) that relies on dual heating technology to heat up in just 90 seconds and create the perfect curls in just five minutes. You’ll like that each hot roller is paired with a clip, so you can easily roll your hair and keep it securely in place. These hair rollers are ceramic-coated to minimize damage and ensure even heat. Shop for it on Amazon!
If you liked the idea of the Drybar self-gripping rollers but felt that there weren’t enough in this kit, the Hot Tools alternative is more affordable and offers a larger quantity. In this set, you get 16 rollers in an assortment of sizes, ranging from jumbo to small. Like the Drybar hair rollers, these are also velcro for a self-gripping feature. For the best results, use them with a blow dryer on damp or dry hair. Buy the set at Ulta!
Big sexy hair doesn’t have to be a chore. In this set, you’ll get five jumbo hot rollers that are designed to give you volume at the crown and create soft, luscious waves. These hot rollers are titanium ceramic but are also flocked to improve shine and prevent frizz.
The John Frieda set also comes with butterfly clips to hold them in place. While these hair rollers take longer to heat up (2 minutes), we do like that you can choose between two temperature settings. Plus, they feature an ionic conditioning-based technology that helps to flatten and smooth the hair cuticle. Buy it on Amazon!
If you prefer more elevated hair rollers, this set from Kitsch is perfect. While they are velcro rollers designed to create volume at the crown, you’ll like that they feature ceramic construction, making them perfect for use with your blow dryer. The ceramic material helps to properly conduct heat for a smooth, yet voluminous and lifted effect. Shop for this set at Ulta!
Self-gripping hair rollers aren’t new, but usually, you don’t get a lot in one set. We like that this option from UrbHome is a 12-pack of jumbo rollers with a 44-millimeter diameter. And the vented design makes these perfect for improved airflow as you set your hair with a blow dryer. For the best results, use these rollers closer to your crown for enhanced volume. Buy it on Amazon!
Curling your hair on the go shouldn’t be a hassle. We like these hot rollers because each of the 10 rods has a ready dot indicator that turns white when they’re hot and ready to be used. You’ll love that you get five large rollers and five medium ones. And the included metal pins help to securely hold the rollers in place. Plus, the travel-friendly pouch and dual-voltage setting make this a great solution for international travel. Buy it on Amazon!
These Leandro self-gripping hair rollers are another great exclusive option that you can find at Ulta. We love that you get three sizes, ranging from large to small. This collaboration product from BaBylissPRO and Conair means you’re getting the best of both worlds from two leaders in haircare. The self-grip design makes them easy to use and ensures they stay put. Meanwhile, the vented design guarantees proper airflow as you create volume with your blow dryer. Buy it at Asos!
Hot rollers have a reputation for being stingy with the total number of hair rollers that you get. But in this set, you get 16 rollers in a wider range of sizes. You’ll get eight small rollers, six medium ones, and six large ones. Create the perfect amount of volume and use the color-coded stainless-steel clips to securely hold each roller in place.
Each roller comes with a starter grip, so you don’t have to fight to begin rolling your hair. You’ll also like that the container base features an indicator light that lets you know when the curlers are ready to use. Buy it on Amazon!
What to Look for in the Best Hair Rollers for Your Hair Type?
Even though hair rollers are a pretty versatile tool, it’s always best to pick the right roller that is ideal for your length and hair type. Let’s talk about the most common types of rollers you’ll find as you shop, and then discuss how to pick the right option for your length and hair type.
In the 15 recommendations we made earlier, we highlighted four popular hair roller choices. So, we’ll briefly highlight each one, best practices, and most compatible hair types.
Some general tips to keep in mind when shopping for hair rollers are:
- Large rollers are perfect for long hair, while those with short hair should consider getting smaller ones.
- Steam rollers produce the longest-lasting curls and are perfect for hair that is difficult to curl.
- Dry rollers are the most versatile and fastest to use for achieving silky-smooth waves.
- Wet hot rollers are the most forgiving for hair, as they cause less hair damage than the dry ones.
- Ceramic and ceramic-infused rollers release negative ions and are perfect for minimizing hair frizz.
- Classic hot rollers are best for thick or naturally curly hair to style big, voluminous curls.
- Foam and steam rollers are good for silky and thick hair.
As the name implies, hot rollers are either battery or electric-powered and act like mini curling irons that are safe for you to handle to individually heat sections of your hair. They’re ideal for quickly curling your hair and giving you a hands-free solution, so you can do other things like getting dressed or apply makeup as your hair sets.
Hot rollers usually come in a range of sizes, but you’ll most commonly see them in large and jumbo sizes since they’re ideal for adding volume to the roots at the crown of your head.
But you’ll also find that hot rollers can vary between velvet-flocked versus smooth exteriors. A velvet-flocked surface is better if you’re concerned about taming flyaways. Keep in mind, though, that the larger the roller, the more likely you are to get waves or just volume. So, it’s best to use these rollers with medium to long hair.
However, the big question becomes whether you should opt for a single heat setting or one with multiple heating settings. If you have coarser hair, a single heat setting paired with a high temperature is best to create smooth and sleek strands. But if you have fine or damaged hair, multiple heat settings are better, so you can pick a lower temperature.
Velcro hair rollers are a classic choice if you want to give yourself a blowout effect without the need for a round barrel brush. Velcro rollers are ideal if you struggle to keep rollers in place since the velcro exterior helps to grip your hair and hold the roller securely without the need for pins or clips.
You’ll usually find velcro rollers in the large or jumbo size, but it is possible to find smaller options. With the larger rollers, you’ll create waves or lift at the roots. And smaller rollers will help you create curls.
This roller type usually features a vented or ceramic design, and the option you prefer is going to be dependent upon your preference. A vented design makes them perfect for use with a hair dryer since air can easily move between and through the rollers. In contrast, a ceramic velcro roller can help to properly set your hair since it will warm with the heat from your dryer and also maintain that heat evenly.
However, without the use of heat, velcro rollers won’t change the texture of your hair. And this is why many people prefer them as a way to create volume at the crown.
Steam Hair Rollers
Steam hair rollers are technically a sub-category of hot rollers, but they work slightly differently. While they’re also hot rollers, they use steam to set your curls. Many people believe that steam works better to set curls as opposed to simply using heat by itself.
Steam sets are also great for people with coarse or natural hair who want to create a straight or soft curly look without relying on a more permanent chemical treatment to achieve that style. This is because the steam infuses moisture into your hair – an essential aspect that naturals and curly-haired mavens need to prioritize.
You should apply steam rollers to dry hair and wait for the steam to work its magic.
If you are trying to minimize your reliance on heat tools, flexi-rods are a great solution. Also known as bendy rollers, these curlers are a universally friendly option that is ideal for so many hair types and textures – especially ladies with natural hair. When used with the right setting product, flexi-rods can create long-lasting curls without the risk of damaging your strands like steam or hot rollers can pose.
Because these hair rollers tend to be narrower than traditional rollers, these are best for creating spiral curls. They’re best used to set wet or damp hair. However, since hair is damp, you either need to let the hair air-dry or pair with a blow dryer to speed up the process.
Also known as sponge rollers, foam rollers are perfect for getting well-defined ringlets without using heat styling. These are made of soft foam and use a plastic cap on the outside to hold the hair in place. You just use small sections of damp hair to apply them, securing with clips, go to bed and wake up to perfect curls.
Sponge rollers are basically like foam rollers – only the material is slightly different. Again, you apply them at night and wake up to soft culls without using any heat styling.
For perfect long-lasting frizz-free curls, you need heated rollers that also come in a variety of sizes. Apply them to damp hair, wait for 20-30 minutes for the hair to dry and set, and you get bouncy curls without much pain.
As the name implies, magnetic hair rollers come with a magnetic snap closure that simplifies the task of curling hair. These rollers can be used on wet hair since only wet hair snaps onto them.
Brush Hair Rollers
For professional-looking silky-smooth curls that you get at the salon, go for brush hair rollers, which feature bristles on the surface to smooth out your hair while styling. Use them on damp hair to get perfect curls in a few hours.
Peco Hair Rollers/ Spoolies
Also known as button curlers, these hair rollers look like caps and are perfect for getting long-lasting defined curls. You use them on dry hair, taking small sections and wrapping around the barrel from roots to tips. Wait for the pods to cool and set the curls before removing, and you are done.
Photos via @tezza, Amazon, Nordstrom, Ulta, Sephora, Instagram