How do I use my curling iron in Germany?

Heading abroad? A guide for those going to Germany and using a curling iron.

German power outlet

Summary

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

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use the correct power adapter for Germany but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt German power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Germany, therefore please check that your voltage transformer has a power adapter for Germany otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Note that your own personal curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk damage in transit.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts used in Germany 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 Germany check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Germany

How can I use my US curling iron in Germany?

The guides on this page assume that you are a reader from the US travelling to Germany and will provide advice on using your US curling iron with a German power outlet.

Will my curling iron work in Germany?

That will depend on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 230 volt power outlets in Germany:

Germany power outlets

What is the mains voltage in Germany?

The residential voltage in Germany is 230 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in a German power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a German power outlet is 50 Hz.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Germany?

Type C and F power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Germany?

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

  • Plug Type C - The power socket (known as a Europlug) can be identified by the two adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify the wall socket by the two large adjacent holes where the plug socket pins sit along with a pair of thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A suitable travel adapter to bring to use a 230 volt curling iron in Germany is a Type F plug adapter [6], read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Germany. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to use a voltage converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

One method to tell if your curling iron can accept a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. This location will depend on the make and model of your curling iron and should also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other models will feature a button which allows you to operate between different voltages depending on which country you are in.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Germany then you should be able to use your curling iron with a German power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage curling iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 230 volts used in a German power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Germany.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Germany or any other country.

Travelling to Germany with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in my carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [10] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that your airline that is flying you to Germany 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 when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of wires 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 use hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Germany

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

The correct model of power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Germany. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring their own curling iron, however it might be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. In addition, a travel curling iron can be significantly smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for packing.

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [12] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet in Germany, however a heavier and more expensive power converter [7] converts the voltage of 230 volts from a German power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron.

Travelling to Germany with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Germany?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron rather than packing your existing domestic curling iron to Germany as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a German power outlet, as long as you bring the correct power adapter for Germany.

Please note that bringing your expensive domestic curling iron might place it at risk due to potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by an airport baggage handler in Germany. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing or repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Germany might be higher than buying a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before your trip. If you intend to pack 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 [11] which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.

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

The WikiConnections page showing how to power your curling iron in Germany with a 2 pronged Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply; but if not then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Travel curling irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Germany, refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet used in Germany isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron. The Type C plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Germany simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start by plugging the Type C plug adapter into the power outlet. This ungrounded power outlet, also known as a Europlug, can be recognised by 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the German power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron is ready for use in Germany.
How to use a curling iron in Germany using a type C power adapter

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

How to power your curling iron in Germany with a Type F travel charger.

  1. Ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Germany - consult the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Germany you will need to use a Type F plug adapter [6]. This Type F plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Germany simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type F plug adapter into the power outlet. The circular power supply (called the Schuko outlet) can be recognised by the two 4.8mm round adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral pins, plus two thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the German power outlet. Your hair curling iron can now be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in Germany using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany - German Wikipedia page
  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