Hot Tools 24K Gold Professional Curling Iron Review

This gold-plated iron gave us loose, lovely curls, but the style didn't last long

Hot Tools 24k Gold Series Curling Iron on colorful background
Hot Shot Tools 24K Gold Professional
Photo: Hot Tools

Price paid: $50
Material: 24-carat gold styling surface
Barrel length: 4 inches
Multiple temperature settings: Yes, adjustable
Cord length: 8 feet
Dual voltage: No
Auto shutoff: No
Warranty: 7-year limited
Safety certification: ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories) Listed

The Hot Tools 24K Gold Professional curling iron is coated in 24-carat gold, which, according to the Hot Tools website, is designed “for even heat distribution and consistent results.” Only two out of the five of us received a user manual in our box. Hot Tools didn’t have the manual available for download on its website, but I found a copy of it online. These are electronic devices that emit a lot of heat, so failing to include a user manual complete with directions and safety guidelines is not a great look. The iron did, however, come with replacement springs for the clamp and directions on how to install those. 

How it works: After plugging it in, you have to switch it on to start heating the barrel up. A red light on the side illuminates to let you know it’s on and hot. You can adjust the curling iron to temperatures between 280° F and 430° F using a dial on the side of the handle. The directions Perry received said to wait at least 1 minute for the iron to fully heat up, but she felt that it reached her desired temperature well before that. There’s no indication that shows when the iron has fully heated. After turning it off, it takes about 10 minutes for the barrel to cool enough to touch. 

Our biggest gripe: The styling experience for this iron wasn’t the best. Many of our evaluators had trouble with the hinged kickstand getting in the way. It also snagged our hair a bit, though the clamp did release curls easily. The grip on the clamp is a little far from the handle, making it cumbersome for those of us with smaller hands. And the barrel is only 4 inches long, which means you have to curl smaller swaths of hair at a time—the evaluators with shorter hair liked this, but those with longer hair did not. 

What we liked: All of us saw looser curls with this iron. It’s a style that Perry and I preferred—but it meant the curls fell out a lot faster. The iron seemed to yield better results for those of us with finer hair than for those with thick hair. 

“So far, this is the only iron with a low enough temperature that I’d be comfortable using on a regular basis,” Perry observed.

Though the Hot Tools iron doesn’t have the lowest temperature setting of the bunch—the Belisa by Lunata has heat settings as low as 200° F—it did seem to be gentler on the hair than other irons. We wondered if these results were due to the gold plating. But that material comes with some caveats; Ginger noted that she had used a gold-plated iron before, but over time the gold coating wore off and the metal underneath would singe the hair. 

women with their hair curled
Daniela, Perry, and Laura show their Hot Tools 24K Gold Professional Series front and back 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.