Which plug adapter do I need for using a curling iron in Switzerland?

Want to bring your curling iron on a trip abroad but don't know which power adapter to buy? A straightforward guide for those travelling to Switzerland and bringing their curling iron.

Swiss power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in Switzerland:

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

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need a power adapter for Switzerland however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Swiss power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the power outlet used in Switzerland, therefore check that the voltage transformer includes the correct power adapter for Switzerland otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Please note - your own existing curling iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk potential damage in transit.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 230 volts used in Switzerland you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before attempting to use your curling iron in Switzerland please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Switzerland

Will my curling iron work in Switzerland?

That depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 230 volts as used in Switzerland:

How can I use my American curling iron in Switzerland?

The instructions on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to Switzerland and provide advice on using your American curling iron with a Swiss power outlet.

Switzerland power outlets

What electrical frequency is used with a Swiss power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current used in a Swiss power outlet is 50Hz.

What voltage is used in Switzerland?

Power outlets in Switzerland are 230 volts.

Which power adapter do you need for using a curling iron in Switzerland?

There are two types of power outlets used in Switzerland, types J and C with the primary power outlets being type J:

  • Plug Type C - The power socket, technically known as the Europlug, is recognised by the two circular holes adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type J - You can identify this squashed hexagon shaped wall outlet by 3 holes in a triangle configuration.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use a 230 volt curling iron in Switzerland is a Type J power adapter [6] - read the step by step guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Switzerland. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to bring a voltage converter.

Which power adapter do you need for using a curling iron in Switzerland?

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your curling iron. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your curling iron and could also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other models will have a switch which allows you to operate between different regions.

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

Travelling to Switzerland with a curling iron

Can you bring a curling iron in your 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 hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline which is taking you to Switzerland will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [11] leaves it easily accessible by airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cords tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Switzerland

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and bulky power converter [7] transforms a 230 volt Swiss power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter [12] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Switzerland.

Will a voltage converter work with a curling iron in Switzerland?

A suitable power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 230 volt power outlet used in Switzerland. A power converter is suitable for travellers wishing to bring along their existing curling iron, but it might be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. In addition, a travel curling iron can be noticeably lighter and smaller than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for packing.

Travelling to Switzerland with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Switzerland?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron rather than bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Switzerland as it ensures that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Swiss power outlet, as long as you use the correct power adapter for Switzerland. Note that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in suitcase by an airport baggage handler. The cost of replacing an expensive quality domestic curling iron in Switzerland might outweigh the costs of buying a much cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] beforehand. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your luggage it is recommended to either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case [11] which also allows the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.

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

A step-by-step guide showing you how to power a curling iron in Switzerland by using a 2 pinned Type C travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply but if not then don't attempt these instructions because you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage travel curling irons might sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts - please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Switzerland. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Switzerland by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type C plug adapter and inserting it into the Swiss power outlet. The plug outlet, sometimes known as the Europlug, is recognised by the two round adjacent holes.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Swiss power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the curling iron for use in Switzerland.
How to use a curling iron in Switzerland using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Switzerland using a type J power adapter

How to use your curling iron in Switzerland with a Type J power adapter.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in Switzerland; refer to the user guide for more details on where this switch is found.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Switzerland you'll need to buy a Type J plug adapter [6]. The Type J plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Switzerland simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type J plug adapter in the wall outlet. This hexagon shaped wall supply (called a Type J power outlet [5]) looks like three large circular holes forming a flattened triangular pattern for live, neutral and earth pins.
  4. Next plug in the curling iron into the Type J plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Swiss power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your curling iron for use in Switzerland.
How to use a curling iron in Switzerland using a type J power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland - Switzerland country 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/typeJ.htm - Type J power outlet
  6. Type J plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type J power outlets without converting voltage
  7. 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
  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