Using a curling iron in The United Kingdom

Confused by travel adaptors? Advice for those visiting The United Kingdom and using their curling iron.

UK power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in The United Kingdom:

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

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need an appropriate power adapter for The United Kingdom but 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 UK power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the power outlet used in The United Kingdom, therefore please check that your power converter [5] comes with a power adapter for The United Kingdom otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your existing curling iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk damage in your luggage.

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

Using a curling iron in The United Kingdom

Will my curling iron work in The United Kingdom?

That will depend on if your curling iron can operate using the 230 volts which are used in The United Kingdom. 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 plug adapter then you should be able to use it in The United Kingdom. If not then then you will need to consider bringing either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter [5], read the guide on do you need a voltage converter to use your domestic curling iron for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Can I use my American curling iron in The United Kingdom?

The guides on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to The United Kingdom and will provide guidance for using your US curling iron with a UK power outlet.

The United Kingdom power outlets

What voltage is used in The United Kingdom?

Power outlets in The United Kingdom are 230 volts.

What is the frequency used in a UK power outlet?

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

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in The United Kingdom?

Type G power outlet

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in The United Kingdom?

Type G power outlets are used in The United Kingdom. This power socket (called a type G power outlet) can be recognised by the three slots with shutters forming a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground. A Type G plug adapter [4] allows you to use a 230 volt curling iron in The United Kingdom, read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a curling iron in The United Kingdom. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you also need to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron supports a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. The location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron, it could also state on the box. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically, however other models will have a button which allows you to change between different regions.

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

Travelling to The United Kingdom with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in my carry on hand luggage to The United Kingdom?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [8] there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that the airline that is taking you to The United Kingdom will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [9] leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables 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 advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during transit.

Power converters for The United Kingdom

Will a power converter work with a curling iron in The United Kingdom?

The correct model of voltage transformer [5] (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 230 volt power outlet used in The United Kingdom. A power converter is more suited for travellers who want to bring their existing curling iron, however it could be considerably cheaper to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. Also worth noting, a power converter is noticeably bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [10] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in The United Kingdom, however a more expensive and heavier power converter [5] converts a 230 volt UK power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron.

Travelling to The United Kingdom with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to The United Kingdom?

Bringing 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 UK power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for The United Kingdom.

Be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron might put it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in suitcase by airport baggage handlers in The United Kingdom. The cost of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in The United Kingdom might be more than purchasing a much cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own personal curling iron in your luggage it is recommended to either slide it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [9] which also allows the curling iron to be packed immediately after use without risk of burning.

How to use a curling iron in The United Kingdom using a type G power adapter

How to power a curling iron in The United Kingdom with a three pin Type G travel charger.

  1. Check 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 don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron ensure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting, refer to the user guide to find out where the switch is found.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type G plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same type of power outlet which is used in The United Kingdom. This Type G plug adapter is designed to adapt plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in The United Kingdom 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 outlet.
  3. Insert the Type G plug adapter in the UK power outlet. You can recognise the power supply by three vertical rectangular holes forming a triangular pattern.
  4. After that plug in the curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the UK power outlet. The curling iron should now be ready to be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in The United Kingdom using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom - UK 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/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 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