Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron Review

The price can't be beat, but the curling experience leaves a lot to be desired

Conair Double Ceramic Curling Iron on colorful background
Conair Double Ceramic curling iron
Photo: Conair

Price paid: $14
Where to buy: AmazonJCPenneyTarget, and Ulta
Material: Ceramic
Barrel length: 4 inches
Multiple temperature settings: Yes, 30
Cord length: 5 feet
Dual voltage: Yes
Auto shutoff: Yes
Warranty: 2 year-limited
Safety certification: ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories) Listed

At the eye-poppingly low Amazon price of $14, the Conair Double Ceramic curling iron serves a similar look to the T3 SinglePass Curl curling iron, with its rose gold barrel and white handle. On the box Conair advertises its new smaller packaging, and it’s true—it does come in a smaller box than the rest of the irons, many of which also included a molded plastic insert to hold the iron in place. Less packaging equals less waste, so that’s something I liked. 

The iron comes with a user manual that provides clear instructions for use, as well as a guide recommending temperature settings depending on hair type. Unlike the other curling irons, the Conair’s settings do not indicate what temperature the iron is actually at—they’re just numbered 1 through 30. The Conair website says the maximum heat is 375° F. The low settings, 1 to 5, are recommended for fragile or fine hair; medium, 6 to 10, for thin hair; medium-high, 11 to 15, for medium or normal hair; high, 16 to 20, for wavy or curly hair; maximum, 21 to 30, for coarse or thick hair. There’s also a Turbo Heat feature, which kicks in up to an extra 27° F to your selected setting for use on “difficult-to-style-spots.” 

How it works: After plugging it in, you have to turn the iron on using a button on the handle. Then use the temperature dial to select the temperature range. A red light on the handle will blink until it heats to your desired temperature, then it holds steady. It took about 49 seconds to heat up. The Conair website says there’s an auto shutoff, but it’s unclear at what point it kicks in. Once unplugged, it took about 10 minutes for the barrel to cool to a point that it was safe enough to touch. 

Our biggest gripe: The experience using this iron left a lot to be desired. At 4 inches, the barrel was quite short for those of us with longer hair. Perry felt that a lot of strands slipped out, while Daniela estimated that “30 to 40 strands of her hair snagged.” Ginger had trouble freeing her curls from the barrel about 75 percent of the time. Angela kept hitting the off button while curling, while I accidentally hit the Turbo Heat and was treated to the sight of smoke or steam coming off my newly released curl. All the evaluators agreed that the Conair Double Ceramic felt flimsy and cheap. 

As for results, Perry and I both achieved decent curls that lasted for days, though the curls were more at the bottom of the hair rather than throughout the length of the strands. Ginger and Angela felt that they were able to achieve pretty much the same style they got with the other irons. Oddly, Daniela found that the curling iron straightened her hair rather than enhanced her curls. She said she might use it again—but only for straightening parts of her hair. 

What we liked: Despite its flaws, the price of the Conair is hard to beat. Because the hardware feels flimsy, I worry that it might not last in the long run. But if you’re strapped for cash and need a curling iron stat, this one can probably do the job, especially if your hair is on the finer side. If you have Daniela’s thick, low porosity, S-shaped curls however, beware: You might be buying a straightener rather than a curling iron.

women with their hair curled
Daniela, Laura, and Perry share their Conair Double Ceramic before and after photos.

Photo: Daniela Nuñez, Laura Murphy, Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Daniela Nuñez, Laura Murphy, Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Read about CR’s curling iron evaluation process and see our individual curling iron reviews (below).

This product evaluation is part of Consumer Reports’ Outside the Labs reviews program, which is separate from our laboratory testing and ratings. Our Outside the Labs reviews are performed at home and in other native settings by individuals, including our journalists, with specialized subject matter experience or familiarity and are designed to offer another important perspective for consumers as they shop. While the products or services mentioned in this article might not currently be in CR’s ratings, they could eventually be tested in our laboratories and rated according to an objective, scientific protocol.

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Headshot of CRO Author Laura Murphy (v3)

Laura Murphy

Just like you, I'm a consumer. I love to shop, and I'm obsessed with finding the highest-quality item at the best price. I want my products sustainably made with fair labor practices, and built to last, so I don't have to replace them every two years. I'm at Consumer Reports because I believe in harnessing consumer power to build a better world. Let's do this.