Using a curling iron in England

Don't know which travel adapter to use abroad? A guide for those visiting England and bringing a curling iron.

British power outlet

Summary

First check your curling iron can handle the voltage in England:

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need a suitable power adapter for England however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt British power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in England, therefore check that your voltage transformer has the correct power adapter for England otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Please be aware that your domestic curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 230 volts used in England you run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your curling iron in England check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in England

Will my American curling iron work in England?

The instructions on this page assume that you are a reader from the US travelling to England and provide guidance for using your American curling iron with a British power outlet.

Will my curling iron work in England?

That will depend on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 230 volt power outlets used in England:

England power outlets

What is the mains voltage in England?

Power outlets in England are 230 volts.

What frequency is used in a British power outlet?

The frequency in a British power outlet is 50Hz.

Which travel adapter do you need when using a curling iron in England?

The type of power outlet used in England is type G. This power socket, also known as a type G power outlet, looks like three rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and ground. A Type G power adapter [4] allows you to use a 230 volt curling iron in England - read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a curling iron in England with a plug adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also have to use a voltage converter.

Which travel adapter do you need when using a curling iron in England?

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

One method to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle of your curling iron. The location will depend on the make or model of your curling iron, it could also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other models will feature a switch which allows you to change between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in England then you should be able to use your curling iron with a British power outlet.
  • Single voltage could also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 230 volts used in a British power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in England.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in England or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to England with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron to England in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [8] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that your airline that is flying you to England will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [9] leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cords tightly around curling irons). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against drops and knocks during transit.

Power converters for England

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for England?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for England?

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter [10] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in England, whereas a heavier and more expensive power converter [5] will convert a 230 volt British power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron.

Will a power converter work with a normal curling iron in England?

A suitable voltage transformer [5] (or power converter) allows a curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 230 volt power outlet used in England. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who wish to bring along their own curling iron, however it can be a lot less expensive to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. A power converter is also significantly bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage.

Travelling to England with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to England?

Packing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it ensures that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a British power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for England. Please note that bringing your expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk due to potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by an airline baggage handler in England. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in England could outweigh the cost of purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring along your own curling iron in your luggage either slot it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case [9] which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.

How to use a curling iron in England using a type G power adapter

How to use a curling iron in England using a three pronged Type G power adapter.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet - if not then don't continue because you could blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage curling irons might typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in England; please refer to the user guide to find out where this switch is.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet used in England you'll need to buy a Type G plug adapter [4]. This plug adapter helps adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet in England simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly you'll need to plug the Type G plug adapter into the power outlet. The power supply (sometimes called the Type G power outlet [3]) looks like 3 vertical holes with plastic shutters in a triangular shape.
  4. Then plug in your curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the British power outlet. You can now turn on the curling iron to use in England.
How to use a curling iron in England using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom - England country entry on Wikipedia
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Smart-Conair-Ceramic-Curling/dp/B002WQ93F8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1484157133&sr=8-3&keywords=dual+voltage+curling+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=9539dbabb2cd76a0541c75b1e59576ba - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeG.htm - Type G power outlet
  4. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage
  5. Power converter - A step up step down power converter transformer converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  8. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners.
  10. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter