Whats the Difference Between a 32mm Curling Wand vs 25mm Curling Wand?

By Leah Williams •  Updated: 09/03/23

The difference between a 32mm curling wand vs 25mm curling wand is the size of the curl that can be achieved. Due to the wider barrel on the 32mm, you can create large, loose curls. A 25mm curling wand can achieve tighter, more defined curls compared to the larger 32mm curling wand size.

For those who use the Imperial scale of measurement, a 32mm curling iron is equivalent to 1.25 inches and 25mm curling iron is equivalent to 1 inch.

In my years a professional hair stylist, I have had plenty of experience using all different sized hair styling tools. I understand by using a different sized curling irons, you can create different styles of curl from tight ringlets to beach waves.

In this article I am going to explain the differences between a 32mm curling iron and a 25mm curling iron, what types of curls/styles you can create, which is better for your hair type and answer some frequently asked questions about curling iron sizes.

Infographic demonstrating the difference between a 25mm curling iron and a 32mm curling iron

Which is better: A 25mm or 32mm Curling Wand?

The right barrel size will depend on two things, your hair length and the hairstyle that you want to wear using the said curling wand. The size of the wand barrel matters because it will affect the shape and size of the curls as well as its usability in proportion to your hair length.

Think about it, if you have short hair and you’re using a curling wand with a 32mm barrel, it will be hard to wrap hair around the barrel properly. Since the hair section is not being laid down properly, using the wrong barrel size could also lead to misshapen curls or curls that don’t last very long.

When shopping around for a curler, choose a styling tool with a barrel size that’s proportional to your hair length. Curlers with a skinny barrel (25mm or thinner) are best suited for users with short hair. On the other hand, curlers with wider barrels (32mm or thicker) are best for those with long hair. If you have shoulder-length hair then you’re in luck, either a 25 mm or 32mm curling wand will work for you.

Curlers By Size: 25 mm vs 32 mm Curling Wand

25MM Curling Wand

The 25mm wand is about an inch in diameter and is generally the most popular barrel size due to the fact it can be used on most hair types. Add the fact that this size is suitable for shoulder length hair or shorter and you’ve got an incredibly flexible hot tool.

A 25mm wand creates tighter, more defined curls compared to the larger 32mm curling wand size. Because the curls are more defined, they last longer too. The 25 mm wand is more versatile compared to the 32mm because it works for short, medium, or long hair. For a customer whose shopping for a high-performing curler, one that will work for most hair lengths, a 25 mm is a safe choice.

You could also change the size of the curls by changing the way you wrap a hair section if you want bigger curls using this size. But don’t expect the curls to have a uniform size and shape this way.


  • Versatile 
  • Suitable for all hair lengths
  • Full-bodied curls
  • Creates defined, tight curls
  • Curls are longer-lasting


  • Not suitable for creating large curls
  • Not suitable for creating relaxed curls

I’d say the 25mm wand is best for creating easy vintage waves, spiral curls, defined curls, textured waves, and natural-looking curls. You could also use a 25mm curler for creating full-bodied curls and waves, flipped ends and loose curls.

If you want a polished hairstyle or classic Hollywood curls, the 25mm wand is the obvious choice. If you love the look of loose curls then this size might not be the best choice. The 25 mm works great for a professional-looking finish as opposed to tousled or messy look like beach waves or Bohemian curls.

32 mm Curling Wand

As mentioned above, a 32mm curling wand barrel is about the same size as a 1.25 inch barrel. Because a 32mm curling wand is larger in diameter than the 25 mm, it creates bigger curls. This 32mm curling wand barrel size is perfect for creating relaxed curls and tousled waves. If you’re crazy about beachy waves, this is the best size to get. It works perfectly for anyone with long to extra-long hair who wants easy, relaxed curls.

Because the 32mm curling wand creates loose, relaxed curls, you will not get the same tight, uniformed curls as if you were to use a smaller wand. But, you could extend the life of your curls with the right styling products like a setting spray, hair mousse and even the material of the curling wand itself. If you don’t have time to curl your hair in the morning, I would recommend a curler with a large barrel. The size could cover more ground, saving you a lot of time. 

If your hair lacks body, going limp well before the day ends, I won’t advise a curler with a larger barrel because the curls won’t give your hair volume.If you have thick or coarse hair like I do, creating voluminous curls is not a problem at all. A large barrel may be hard to control but most curling wands come with a heat resistant glove, which boosts precision and control while styling. This is one feature to look for when shopping around for a hair curling wand!


  • Creates messy or loose curly hair
  • Suitable for medium to very long hair
  • Perfect for beachy waves or undone, tousled look


  • Not suitable for short hair
  • Not suitable for all hairstyles
  • Curls are not tight
  • Curls and waves are not long lasting
  • Heat resistant glove necessary for better control while styling

Generally, a 32mm curling wand is best for individuals who want to create loose waves, ombre curls, as well as neat and messy beach waves. You can also use a 32mm curler for creating classic waves, relaxed curls, undone or tousled waves, and blowout waves. If definition is what you’re after, you’re better off with the skinnier 25 mm wand.

Whatever barrel size you choose, it’s equally important to check the other features that will enhance the user experience when shopping around for a curling wand. A swivel cord, variable heat settings, a safety lock, and shut-off features are just some of the features that a great curler should have. You might also want to check out our post about some other 32mm curling wands.

Curling Iron Sizes: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best curling wand for short hair?

Short hair can be perceived as hard to style. With the right styling tool, that should never be that case. With that in mind, those with short hair will want to use a curling iron with a skinny barrel (25mm or thinner). A skinnier barrel will result in tighter curl ands will ultimately add more body to your hair style.

What is the best curling wand for big curls?

Without a doubt, if you are after those Hollywood waves, then a large curling wand such as a 32mm one might be your best styling wand option to go for.

But also if you have very thick hair, then a big curling wand is the right choice for your hair type. Especially a tourmaline ceramic styling wand with a wide range of heat settings would be amongst the best curling wands for your hair.

What is the biggest size curling wand?

In terms of barrel width, 2 inches (50mm) is the biggest curling wand size we have come across. Hot Tools is one brand that offers a 2″ inch curling iron. This heavy-duty styling tool is suited to those with thick hair looking to achieve loose, long lasting curls.

However, if you were wondering what the longest barrelled curling iron on the market is, we have discovered the Mr Big Curling Iron 9.5″ inch curling iron which is perfect for those with long hair.

Wrap Up

Which barrel size suits your needs? That depends on your hair length and the kind of hairstyle you’d like to wear. Personally, the 25 mm is more versatile than the 32mm curling wand because it works with virtually all hair types. But if you need larger, more relaxed curls, add the 32mm curling wand to your kit, it will complete your beauty arsenal. If you love the look of bodacious curls, big hair and big waves, a 32mm will give you the perfect curls you crave!

You can read more about this topic in our guide to curling iron sizes.

Leah Williams

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.

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