Using a curling iron in Italy

Confused by travel adaptors? Straightforward advice for those going to Italy and bringing a curling iron.

Italian power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Italy:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need an appropriate power adapter for Italy but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [9] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with an 230 volt Italian power outlet, however this is considerably heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Italy, so check that the power converter [9] has the correct power adapter for Italy otherwise you will need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Please be aware your personal curling iron might not be suitable for travelling and you risk damage in transit.

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

Using a curling iron in Italy

How can I use my US curling iron in Italy?

The instructions on this page assume that you are an America reader travelling to Italy and will provide guidance for using your American curling iron with an Italian power outlet.

Will my curling iron work in Italy?

This will depend on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 230 volts used in Italy:

Italy power outlets

What is the voltage in Italy?

The common voltage used in Italy is 230 volts.

What frequency is used in Italy?

The frequency of the alternating current from an Italian power outlet is 50 Hz.

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a curling iron in Italy?

There are three types of power outlets used in Italy, these are type L, C and F with the primary power outlets being type L:

  • Plug Type C - This ungrounded wall socket is recognised by two adjacent holes next to each other.
  • Plug Type F - The sunken round power socket (also called a type F power outlet or Schuko socket) can be recognised by two large round adjacent holes next to each other, plus a pair of metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  • Plug Type L - You can recognise the hexagon shaped plug socket by three large holes forming a line. Note that there are two different variations of Type L power socket, one rated at 10 amps and one for 16 amps. A 10 amp version has 4mm pins that are spaced 5.5mm apart whilst the 16 amp version has larger 5mm thick round pins spaced 8mm apart.

A suitable plug adapter to bring for using a 230 volt curling iron in Italy is a Type L plug adapter [8] - read the simple instructions below for full details of using a curling iron in Italy. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you need to use a power converter.

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a curling iron in Italy?

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 check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle. The location might depend on the make or model of your curling iron and should also be written on the box. Some dual voltage curling irons might change automatically, however other irons will feature a switch which allows you to change between different regions 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 Italy then you should be able to use your curling iron with an Italian 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 an Italian power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in Italy.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Italy or any other country.

Travelling to Italy with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in my carry on luggage to Italy?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [12] there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should verify that the airline which is taking you to Italy will allow a curling iron 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 [13] leaves it easily accessible for airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). 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 offers the most protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Italy

Can I use a voltage converter with my normal curling iron in Italy?

The correct type power converter [9] (or voltage transformer) allows a curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Italy. Travellers wishing to use their existing curling iron can use a power converter, but it might be considerably less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be noticeably smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when packing.

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [14] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Italy, but a more expensive and heavier power converter [9] will transform the voltage of 230 volts from an Italian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron.

Travelling to Italy with a curling iron

Should I bring domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Italy?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron as opposed to bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Italy as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with an Italian power outlet, as long as you use the correct plug adapter for Italy.

Be aware that packing your expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in suitcase by an airline baggage handler. The cost and inconvenience involved in replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Italy might overshadow the cost of purchasing a cheaper 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 heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case [13] which will also allow the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.

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

Instructions on how to use your curling iron in Italy by using a Type C power adapter.

  1. Make sure that your 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 proceed because you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel curling iron ensure you have set it to accept 230 volts for use in Italy - refer to the owners manual for more details on where the switch is.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Italy you will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4]. The power adapter is designed to adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet in Italy simply 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 outlet.
  3. Begin by plugging the Type C plug adapter in the power outlet. The power supply (sometimes known as a Type C power outlet [3] or Europlug) is identified by 2 holes adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Italian power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be used in Italy.
How to use a curling iron in Italy using a type C power adapter

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

Simple instructions showing you how to use your curling iron in Italy by using a Type F power adapter.

  1. Please ensure that your 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 attempt these instructions 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 accept 230 volts for use in Italy - please refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet which is used in Italy isn't the same shape as the plug shape of your curling iron. The power adapter will help adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet in Italy simply 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 outlet.
  3. Begin by plugging the Type F plug adapter in the power outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by the two 4.8mm circular holes 19 mm next to each other and two thin grounding clips above and below.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Italian power outlet. You can now switch on the curling iron in Italy.
How to use a curling iron in Italy using a type F power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Italy using a type L power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Italy with a 3 prong Type L travel charger.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply; if it doesn't then don't proceed as you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 230 volt setting, refer to the user guide for more details on where the switch is found.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Italy you will need to buy a Type L plug adapter [8]. This Type L plug adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Italy simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by inserting the Type L plug adapter into the wall outlet. You can identify the squashed hexagon shaped power outlet by the 3 large circular holes in a line. Please note there are two different types of Type L wall outlet, one rated at 10 amps and one for 16 amps. A 10 amp version has 4mm pins that are spaced 5.5mm apart and the 16 amp version has slightly larger 5mm round pins spaced 8mm apart.
  4. After that plug in the curling iron into the Type L plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Italian power outlet. Your curling iron can now be used in Italy.
How to use a curling iron in Italy using a type L power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italy - wikipedia.org entry about Italy
  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. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeL.htm - Type L power outlet
  8. Type L plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type L power outlets without converting voltage
  9. 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
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  11. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  12. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  13. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners.
  14. 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