Which plug adapter will I need when using a curling iron in Bulgaria?

Want to use a curling iron on a visit abroad but don't know which travel adapter to bring? Straightforward advice for those visiting Bulgaria and using their curling iron.

Bulgarian power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can work in Bulgaria:

  • If your curling iron can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you will only need to bring the correct power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your curling iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use a power adapter for Bulgaria but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Bulgarian power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier 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 power outlet used in Bulgaria, so check that the power converter [7] includes the correct power adapter for Bulgaria otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Please be aware that your existing curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk potential damage in transit.

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

Using a curling iron in Bulgaria

Will my curling iron work in Bulgaria?

This depends on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 230 volt power outlets used in Bulgaria. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to operate using 230 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you should be able to use your curling iron in Bulgaria. If not then then you will need to consider bringing either a power converter [7] or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2], read our guide on will a power converter work with your curling iron in Bulgaria for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Will my US curling iron work in Bulgaria?

The guides on this page assume that you're a reader from America travelling to Bulgaria and will provide guidance for using your American curling iron with a Bulgarian power outlet.

Bulgaria power outlets

What frequency is used in a Bulgarian power outlet?

The frequency found in a Bulgarian power outlet is 50Hz.

What mains voltage is used in Bulgaria?

Power outlets in Bulgaria are 230 volts.

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

Type C and F power outlets

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

There are two types of power outlets used in Bulgaria, these are type F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - This plug outlet (technically known as a Europlug) is identified by the 2 holes adjacent to each other where the twin plug socket pins sit.
  • Plug Type F - This sunken circular wall socket, technically called the Schuko socket or type F power outlet, can be identified by two large holes 19 mm adjacent to each other and two grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A Type F plug adapter [6] allows you to use a 230 volt curling iron in Bulgaria; read the step by step instructions below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Bulgaria. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also have to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

How can I tell if my curling iron is dual voltage?

The method to tell if your curling iron supports a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your curling iron. The location will depend on the make or model of your curling iron and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other models will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltage ranges.

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

Travelling to Bulgaria with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in carry on hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [10] there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should check that your airline who is taking you to Bulgaria will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [11] leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping wires tightly around curling irons). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Bulgaria

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter?

An expensive and heavy power converter [7] will transform a 230 volt Bulgarian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, however a smaller and more lightweight power adapter [12] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Bulgaria.

Can I use a power converter with my normal curling iron in Bulgaria?

A suitable power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Bulgaria. Travellers who want to use their own curling iron can use a power converter, however it might be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also, a power converter is substantially heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for travelling compared to a travel curling iron.

Travelling to Bulgaria with a curling iron

Is it safer to bring your travel curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Bulgaria?

Packing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Bulgarian power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for Bulgaria.

Note that packing expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by an airline baggage handler in Bulgaria. The cost and inconvenience of replacing an expensive quality curling iron in Bulgaria might outweigh the cost of purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] . If you intend to pack your own curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slide it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [11] which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.

How to use a curling iron in Bulgaria using a type C power adapter

How to power a curling iron in Bulgaria using a Type C travel charger.

  1. Please ensure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply; but if not then do not continue because you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel curling iron make sure you have set it to the 230 volt setting; please refer to the owners manual for more details on where the switch is located.
  2. You will need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in Bulgaria. The plug adapter will help fit plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Bulgaria by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type C plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. This ungrounded wall outlet, also called the Type C power outlet [3] or Europlug, can be recognised by the 2 circular adjacent holes for live and neutral.
  4. Then plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Bulgarian power outlet. You can now turn on your curling iron for use in Bulgaria.
How to use a curling iron in Bulgaria using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Bulgaria using a type F power adapter

The WikiConnections guide showing how to power your curling iron in Bulgaria with a two prong Type F power charger.

  1. Please check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply; if not then don't continue because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting; please consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet used in Bulgaria doesn't accomodate the plug shape on your curling iron. This plug adapter helps adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet used in Bulgaria by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type F plug adapter and plugging it in the power outlet. The recessed round plug outlet can be identified by the two round adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral and a pair of metal grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Bulgarian power outlet.
  6. The curling iron is ready for use in Bulgaria.
How to use a curling iron in Bulgaria using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgaria - Bulgarian country page on Wikipedia.org
  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/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeF.htm - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners.
  12. 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