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Gone are the days where you need a trip to the sea to achieve the perfect beach waves — the best hair wavers on the market can create tousled, textured waves from anywhere. Spurred on in part by the Mermaidcore trend, these hair styling tools are sweeping social media right now for their ability to create effortless beach waves, adding body and texture to your strands.

On TikTok alone, “hair waver” searches have attracted more than 138 million views, with the most TikTok-famous options from Amika and Beachwaver bringing in more than 1 billion and 500 million views each. But unlike some questionable TikTok beauty tricks, stylists are behind these tools. “I love hair wavers because they are actually quite simple to use and achieve really stylish looks,” explains celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons.

Before choosing a hair waver, it’s helpful to understand what exactly these tools do and the shapes they come in. “Hair wavers come in several sizes with a varying number of barrels to help create different textural patterns,” says celebrity colorist Jeremy Tardo. He adds that using one “adds texture and volume to the hair, giving it a relaxed and effortless look.” Most hair wavers come in a triple-barrel style or single-barrel style which can provide results ranging from tight waves to loose spirals. They can also be used on any hair type — whether it’s thin, thick, fine, or coarse — but you’ll want to be mindful of barrel size and heat settings which can be better suited for certain types. 

With barrel sizes, opting for larger sizes above 1 inch will create a more relaxed wave. If it’s tighter waves with more texture you’re after, you’ll want to look for sizes in the 0.5 inch to 1 inch range. The triple-barrel is most often associated with the mermaid wave style (and the one filling up your social media feed), but curling wands, too, can give you the S-wave effect.

Here, we put together a list of the best hair wavers across all forms after extensive firsthand testing and research on the industry’s top options.

Top Hair Wavers of 2024

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Testing Verdict: Top 3 Hair Wavers

Hair wavers come in various forms, ranging from three-barreled options to wands. And the results vary, too: Smaller barrels deliver a cute crimped look, while larger ones provide soft waves. Because of the variation in the category, our testers rated three hair wavers as top options for different results (and for their compatibility with various hair textures and lengths) rather than one best overall hair waver.

  • Amika High Tide Deep Wave Hair Crimper: Rated as the best hair waver for fine hair by our testers, Amika’s tool has some of the lowest temperature settings of all the options we tried, making it safe for the fine and damaged hair types. The tool’s 0.7-inch barrels create a cute beachy look without looking too crimped, and our panel noted that the waver left all hair types looking gorgeously shiny.
  • Beachwaver B1 Curling Iron: Three-barreled hair wavers are typically so large that short hair types can struggle to find an option that grabs strands without causing them to slip out of the barrels. Our testers with shoulder-length hair and shorter rated the Beachwaver’s tool as the best hair waver for short hair: This auto-rotating iron has a 1-inch barrel that doesn’t overwhelm short hair types, creating a tousled, wavy effect. It’s brilliantly easy to use, too.
  • Mermade Pro Hair Waver: This jumbo hair waver is genius for long, thick hair types, due to its efficient heat settings and 1.25-inch barrels that make quick work of styling a full head of hair. It’s one of the easiest to operate on our list, courtesy of its long cord and the included heatproof glove that prevents burns as you’re styling (this is particularly helpful when you need to carefully situate strands in the barrels before clamping the iron). Rather than a crimped look, this tool provides soft waves.

Amika High Tide Deep Wave Hair Crimper

Barrel size: 0.7 inch
Heat settings: 120°F-390°F
Special features: Negative ion technology
Warranty: 1 year
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

This isn’t your crimper tool from the ‘80s. Unlike the zigzag hot plates of the past, Amika’s High Tide Deep Waver uses a triple barrel design to deliver a modern version of the crimped hair trend. Each barrel is 0.7 inches wide, creating tight, textured beach waves, making texturizing spray purely optional. Tardo points out that its custom molding prevents crease marks between applications and says it’s a great pick for those with fine to medium hair texture. Another perk of this waver is the negative ion technology that seals the cuticle for increased shine. If you prefer the look of looser waves, Amika also makes this three-barrel hair waver in a jumbo size.

Editor testing and review notes: “Many hair wavers can feel clunky in the hand due to the large curling barrels, but Amika’s is manageable to use due to the balanced design — including a non-slip handle and a kickstand that prevents the hot barrels from singeing any surface you place it on. On top of a sleek build, this tool is a winner because it doesn’t leave crease marks, making it a great choice for beginners. As for results, expect beachy waves you can set in place or brush out for softer texture.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $120

Beachwaver B1 Curling Iron

Barrel size: 1 inch
Heat settings: Heats up to 410°F
Special features: Dual voltage, swivel cord
Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

The Beachwaver isn’t your typical curling iron. If you’ve ever struggled to use a wand or traditional curling iron, then you’ll be thrilled with this one that does the styling for you. It works by feeding a section of hair into the short clamp which then rotates around the barrel (in your chosen direction) with the touch of a button. The end result is a loose, wavy S-curl that can be brushed out to appear even softer. We’ve used the Beachwaver for years with great luck and recommend it to anyone who prefers a wavy curl to a crimp.

Editor testing and review notes: “I’ve researched and tested curling irons consistently in my six years as a beauty editor, and Beachwaver’s option remains my top recommendation when friends ask for a curling iron that’s simple to use. Any skill level can achieve gorgeous texture with the click of a button, literally. The tool comes in various barrel sizes, but the 1-inch option is a favorite for soft waves on any hair length and thickness.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $69

Mermade Pro Hair Waver

Barrel size: 1.25 inches
Heat settings: Heats up to 410°F
Special features: Automatic shut-off, swivel cord, dual voltage, heat protective glove
Warranty: 2 years
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

Mermade’s Pro Hair Waver takes the cake when it comes to social media fame. The triple-barrel tool and its aesthetic pink shade have attracted more than 1.4 billion views on TikTok. Not only is it an internet favorite, but the Mermade waver has celebrity fans that include Khloe Kardashian and Hailey Bieber. If you prefer waves with a slightly softer look, this may be the hair waver for you with its slightly larger 1.25-inch barrels. As a bonus, you’ll get a heat protective glove to keep fingers safe. 

Editor testing and review notes: “Big barrels make Mermade’s hair waver an excellent choice for creating bombshell waves — it’s best for those who want some texture that doesn’t look crimped. This is my top choice from testing for long, thick hair, as the bigger barrels make quick work of styling from roots to ends. The included heatproof glove is a nice addition for hair waver newbies; just note that those with anything shorter than shoulder-length hair may struggle to feed strands into the barrels.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $50

Revlon 3-Barrel Jumbo Hair Waver

Barrel size: 1 inch
Heat settings: 30 heat settings, up to 420°F
Special features: Tourmaline ceramic coating, swivel cord
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

With its jumbo design, this Revlon hair waver covers a larger surface area to give you a full head of waves in less time. Though, it does come at the expense of being slightly bulkier than other options on this list. A unique feature of the tool is its 30 heat settings that can be adjusted for different hair textures. Tardo tells WWD the high heat setting of 420°F makes this especially ideal for those with thick or coarse hair. The tourmaline ceramic coating “helps to reduce heat damage while sealing the cuticle for boosted shine,” he adds. Testers report that it’s great for long-lasting waves that stay put for days on end.

Editor testing and review notes: “As far as budget-friendly hair wavers go, none are better than Revlon’s Jumbo Hair Waver. It’s a little clunky in the hand but nonetheless simple to use: Just choose a heat setting that’s compatible with your hair type (there are plenty to choose from) and work the barrels from roots to ends. You’ll get more of a crimp than a loose wave, but the texture holds well, even if you brush out after use.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $22.05

 Bed Head Tourmaline Wave Artist Deep Waver

Barrel size: 2.5 inches wide
Heat settings: Heats up to 400°F
Special features: Dual voltage, automatic shut-off, swivel cord, tourmaline ceramic coating
Warranty: 3 year limited warranty
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars



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This hair waver gives you the effect of a triple-barrel wave with just one single space-saving deep barrel. The popular waver — it’s Bed Head’s number one styling tool and has more than 40,000 five-star reviews on Amazon — creates beachy waves with a loose crimped effect. Tardo adds that the compact deep-wave size makes it “ideal for the frequent traveler,” as does the dual voltage. Many reviewers swear it’s beginner friendly, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t know your way around a curling iron.

Editor testing and review notes: “Bed Head’s hair waver has a unique design that’s easier to feed hair into than three-barreled tools. The tool lends a messy, wavy look with plenty of volume, and its six heat setting make it a surprisingly versatile tool for various hair thicknesses and textures. I love its locking function that makes the tool even more compact for stashing in my overnight bags. Note that the tool runs hot, so those with damaged or fine hair will want to ensure they spritz on heat protectant before use.

Price upon publish date of this article: $32.99

 Trademark Beauty Babe Waves 3-Barrel Waver

Barrel size: 1 inch
Heat settings: Heats up to 450°F
Special features: Dual voltage, swivel cord, velvet-touch handle
Warranty: 30 days
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Target Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5

If one pink option isn’t enough, consider the Babe Waves 3-Barrel Waver. While it shares a similar look to the Mermade wave tool, the smaller 1-inch barrels provide a bit more volume and body. With a maximum heat setting of 450°F, it’s also suitable for thicker and coarser hair types. We like that it has a velvet-touch handle for a more comfortable grip. In the case that you do prefer larger barrels, Babes Waves offers its waver in 1.10 inch and 1.25 inch sizes as well.

Editor testing and review notes: “I’ve been testing the Trademark Beauty Babe Waves tool for six months, and it hasn’t let me down. I have naturally curly hair that tends to fall flat in certain areas, and this tool makes quick work of refreshing flat pieces with more texture that melds well with my air-dried hair. But even pin-straight types can quickly impart some volume and waves, thanks to the manually adjustable heat settings. Sometimes the tool will shut off mid-use, but that’s after weeks of consistent use — otherwise it’s good as new.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $59

Drybar The Beach Bender Triple Barrel Waver

Barrel size: 0.75 inch
Heat settings: Heats up to 450°F
Special features: Automatic shut-off, ionic technology, infrared technology, ergonomic handle
Warranty: 2 year limited warranty
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

If it’s textured, tousled waves you’re after, then check out Drybar’s Beach Bender waver tool. Tardo says the smaller 0.75-inch barrels “are ideal for tighter curls or creating high volume texture.” Beyond an ergonomic handle in the brand’s signature buttercup yellow, this feature-packed waver has ionic technology that reduces frizz and adds shine, an automatic shut-off that kicks in after 60 minutes, and just the right amount of tension to prevent creases between waves. If you want even deeper waves with more definition, Drybar says to just hold the clamp down a few seconds longer.

Editor testing and review notes: “The first thing I noticed about Drybar’s hair waver is how quickly it heats up — it can reach a high of 450°F in under two minutes. This, on top of its long, easy-to-grip handle makes it an easy-to-use option for beginners and pros. A smaller 0.75-inch barrel size creates body and lift at the roots, while creating nice flips and curls at the ends of my hair. Note that the tool doesn’t have a kickstand, so you’ll want to style with a heatproof surface nearby.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $139

 Ghd Classic Wave Oval Curling Wand

Barrel size: 1.5 inches
Heat settings: Preset to 365 degrees
Special features: Comes with a protective glove, swivel cord, dual voltage, automatic shut-off
Warranty: 2 years
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

Want your natural curls and waves to look more uniform? Tardo tells us curling wands with a single barrel are a great option because they “can be used to enhance your existing texture by styling select sections of hair instead of the whole head.” We like this oval-shaped wand from Ghd for its unique ability to create both beachy waves and Old Hollywood waves just by changing the direction of the curls. If you’re used to a round barrel, though, the oval shape may present an initial learning curve. We’re also fans of its multiple safety features: a heat protective glove, cool tip, automatic shut-off after 30 minutes, and built-in stand to keep the hot wand off the counter.

Editor testing and review notes: “After testing Ghd’s tool, I’m convinced everyone’s hair styling routine needs an oval-shaped curling iron. The unique shape creates more stretched-out waves and curls that look naturally gorgeous rather than over-styled. Once you get used to the shape, you’ll be obsessed with the results — think soft, long curls with loads of shine. And Ghd hair tools, from hair straightening brushes to flat irons and hair dryers, are a great choice for those with damage-prone hair, as every tool is optimized to not exceed a hair-safe temperature of 365°F.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $205

What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Hair Wavers

  • Number of barrels: When choosing a hair waver, you’ll first need to decide between a single, double, or triple barrel. There are pros and cons to each. A triple-barrel creates more texture and volume through tighter curls, but it can also feel bulky to hold. A single barrel, on the other hand, like the Beachwaver wand, creates softer waves and is beginner-friendly, but the results may appear less dramatic if you want a true mermaid-inspired look.
  • Barrel size: “Remember that the size of the barrels determines the size of the waves. Larger barrels (1 to 1.5 inches) create bigger, more relaxed waves, while smaller barrels (0.5 to 1 inch) develop tighter, more defined curls,” says Tardo.
  • Temperature settings: Adjustable heat settings are helpful for getting the right heat level for your hair type. Tardo adds that this will also help you to safely customize your style. “For fine hair, start with a lower heat setting and slowly raise the temperature to effectively style your hair without damaging it,” Tardo explains. “Coarser hair can sometimes withstand higher temperatures.”

Tips for Using a Hair Waver

Anytime you’re using a heat tool, you’ll want to start with a spray that minimizes damage. “No matter what you use, always prep your hair with a heat protectant,” says Fitzsimons. To finish the prep stage, Tardo adds that those with fine hair may also want to use a texturizing spray or volumizing mousse to help with hold. In addition to the barrel size, the sizes of hair sections can influence the look of waves. “Smaller sections will yield tighter waves, while larger sections will result in looser waves,” says Tardo. “For a more natural look, you can leave the ends out or alternate the placement of the waver between each section.” 

Also, be sure to consider your hair’s texture. “If you have thick hair, take smaller sections to ensure maximum definition and hold. Those with fine hair may use bigger sections to protect the hair from overheating and damage,” Tardo tells us.

When it comes to styling, Fitzsimons says that “generally speaking, you are going to want to take small sections of your hair and crimp from top to bottom, starting a few inches below the top of your hand to get the most natural wavy look. Repeat this step on your entire head with small sections until finished.”

After using the wave tool, don’t forget to finish and set hair for lasting texture. Let hair cool for a few minutes, and then “gently run your fingers or a wide-tooth comb through the waves to loosen them. To keep the waves in place, finish with a light to medium hold hairspray,” says Tardo.

How We Chose the Best Hair Wavers

To create this list of the best hair wavers, our team dove into trending hair wavers on TikTok, pored over customer reviews, and consulted with two top hair experts to discover their tips for selecting the best tool for your hair type. Using our experts’ advice, we created a list of the top 20 hair wavers to test, including a mix of single barreled and three-barreled tools across a range of prices and with various heat settings. After extensive testing, we narrowed down our list to the top eight hair wavers for different hair textures and types. Of the dozens we tested, the below were close to making the cut:

  • Hot Tools 24K Gold 3-Barrel Waver: Although this option comes with positive reviews, our testers experienced issues with the tool turning on after a few uses. However once on and heated, the tool created soft crimps that our testers loved, noting that the waves lasted longer than similar options.
  • Bombay Hair Waver: With a nearly identical build to one of our testers’ favorites, the Amika High Tide waver, our panel had high hopes for Bombay’s Hair Waver. But we found Amika’s to have a sturdier build and a more user-friendly styling experience, making the Amika tool worth the extra $20.
  • Remington 4-in-1 Adjustable Hair Waver: This option was unique in that you can adjust the depth of the wave, providing options for soft texture and deep waves. During testing, we struggled with the tool’s design, as the barrels left creases in hair, which was particularly noticeable with our fine hair type testers.

How We Tested the Best Hair Wavers

A panel of three testers with short to long, fine to thick, and straight to curly hair tested 20 hair wavers throughout a three month period. Throughout this process, we evaluated the performance of the tools on different textures and thicknesses, paying close attention to the design of the tools, how easy they are to use, and comparing the styling results. On top of these key factors, we noted various heat settings, the barrel sizes, as well as safety features like auto shut off technology. We tested each tool multiple times to ensure the options on our list perform well with regular usage, and subjected the tools to everyday wear and tear by packing the items in carry-on luggage, toting them in our purses on rickety subway rides, and dropping them from countertop height to ensure they didn’t break or malfunction. The winners on our list passed the below testing criteria with flying colors.

  • Size and design: Hair wavers (particularly the three-barreled options) are second only to hair dryers in their size — these tools are more clunky than a sleek flat iron. We awarded bonus points to the styling tools that felt compact without compromising on results and special features. Because hair wavers come in various designs, including three barrel options, wands, and crimpers, our panel evaluated each of these hair waver subcategories to highlight top options for different styling preferences.
  • Ease of use: There’s a learning curve when you’re working with a hair waver for the first time, and our panel included a mix of novice and experienced testers. Our list includes options, like the Beachwaver and Bed Head tools, that are intuitive to use for those who have zero experience with a waver. We also noted if it was easy to read the temperature settings and gave high marks to options with ergonomic designs and handles that are comfortable to hold.
  • Safety features: Because hair wavers require you to be more hands-on with the heat source, we paid close attention to options with safety features like cool touch points on the curling barrels, non-slip handles, and kickstands that prevent the hot barrels from singeing the surface you set it on. Many of the top hair wavers on our list also have auto shut-off features so you don’t have to fret if you forget to unplug the tool when you head out the door.
  • Results: We aimed to create various hair looks with the waver tools we tested, including cute crimps, soft bombshell waves, beachy textured looks, and more. Our panel evaluated each tool’s ability to create different styling results, giving high ratings to options that can create myriad looks on different hair textures. We also took note of tools that left our hair with unwanted creases where the barrel meets the clamp of the tool, removing those options from our list.

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Meet the Experts

Andrew Fitzsimons is a celebrity hairstylist and founder of a line of hair products by the same name. Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Jennifer Lopez are among his extensive list of A-list clientele. His work has appeared in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few.

Jeremy Tardo is a bi-coastal celebrity colorist with a clientele list that includes Miley Cyrus, Jared Leto, and Miranda Kerr. In addition to collaborations with brands like Sephora and Tom Ford, his work has appeared in publications such as GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, and Vogue.

Meet the Author

Ashley Phillips is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience reporting on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products and shopping trends. Phillips’ writing and market work has been published in outlets like Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Town and Country, and Best Products. Whether it’s the latest TikTok sensation or a longtime icon, she’s always researching the next best hair tool to help readers find new favorites. Throughout her 10 years as a writer, Phillips has consistently researched and tested hair tools, which informed her selections when writing this article on the best hair wavers.

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