Best Eyelash Curler Showdown: Popular Types and How They Stack Up

Unless you're one of the lucky few who were born with perfectly curly lashes, you're probably on the hunt for the best eyelash curler. After all, a damn good eyelash curler can do magic things, transforming a plain, straight fringe into wide open doe eyes, beautifully framed by longer and thicker looking lashes.

But in your search, you've probably noticed that there are a billion and one choices.

And it's not just brands - eyelash curlers come in various designs, too. There's clamp-y looking ones, heated ones, narrow ones...how do you decide which ones to pick?

You read this guide, of course - it breaks down exactly what you can expect from each and every type of eyelash curler as well as their pros and cons.

There's a curler out there for everybody so let's get started finding the perfect one for you!

Metal Mechanical Eyelash Curlers

What they're awesome for: Easy to find, easy to use - the most versatile and common lash curlers

eyelash curler guide

By far the most common type of eyelash curler is the traditional, mechanical curler with scissor-like handles and that curved curling surface you stick your eyelashes through to clamp them to curly perfection. You'd recognize these anywhere - in fact, you've probably owned several throughout the course of your life.

So how do these stack up in the eyelash curler showdown? Let's find out...

What's so great about these lash curlers?

  • Can be extremely affordable, you can pick up one for as low as a dollar and a standard one goes for around $5, which is probably why pretty much everyone remembers this as being their very first eyelash curler.
  • Metal curlers are durable and tend to last a long time so you're likely to keep one that does the job for years.
  • Because this is the oldest and most common type of lash curler, here's a huge variety in terms of curve - which means you'll be able to find one that suits curve of your eyes.
  • Very widely available, you can find them anywhere - from your local drugstore to Amazon - and there are tons of choices for every price range.

What's not so great about these lash curlers?

  • Very widely available, you can find them anywhere - from your local drugstore to Amazon - and there are tons of choices for every price range.
  • There can be mishaps that involve plucked lashes, pain, fury and regret.
  • Can occasionally pinch your eyelid - the most tender, sensitive bit of it, right at the corner of your eye.
  • Not recommended for use after you've applied mascara since the mascara can stick to the clamp and pull out your lashes.
  • Can produce those unsightly, 90 degree, angular curls no one loves.

Our verdict: Overall, metal mechanical lash curlers aren't perfect - but they are so common and so popular that there's continuous improvements. So much so that many of the higher-end models don't come with several of the mentioned drawbacks, like pinched eyelids and L-angle curls.

They're also very easy to get your hands on and use - making them the perfect beginner's lash curler. Not to mention, there are a number of ways you can get creative with these to ramp up its curling power.

What's are the best ones?


Plastic Mechanical Eyelash Curlers

What they're awesome for: Sensitive skin and eyes and people with metal allergies

best eyelash curler

These lash curlers are exactly the same as the ones above but with one crucial difference - it's made of plastic. This gives it some unique advantages and drawbacks.

What's so great about these lash curlers?

  • Perfect for sensitive skin and eyes as well as for those with a metal allergy, which is why they're often referred to as the sensitive eye lash curler.
  • Tend to be more affordable than metal curlers, 'though there are several more high-end models now that cost just about the same.
  • Just as easy to use as the metal variety.

What's not so great about these lash curlers?

  • The main drawback of plastic lash curlers is that they're not as sturdy as metal ones and tend to break faster, which means they may be slightly less expensive but you'll be replacing the much more often.
  • A related drawback is that you won't be able to press as firmly with plastic curlers since they're a lot more likely to crack under pressure, literally.
  • There's not as much variety - especially of excellent models - in the plastic world as there are in the metal world of lash curlers.

Overall, the plastic version of mechanical lash curlers provide the same benefits of a clamp-style lash curler for those who are more sensitive to metals.

What's the best one?

best eyelash curler
types of eyelash curlers

Seki Edge Lash Curler, $17


Travel Eyelash Curlers

What they're awesome for: Big, springy curls in a small, portable package

types of eyelash curlers

These pocket-sized lash curlers are called travel eyelash curlers, portable eyelash curlers, travel eyelash curlers, mini eyelash curlers - but whatever you call them, you get the point: they're small.

Which makes them perfect to tote around and use on the go while having all the curl-producing functionality of a regular curler.

What's great about these lash curlers?

  • They're a lot more pinch-proof. Yup, it's nearly impossible to pinch yourself with one of these.
  • Takes up, like, no space. Especially love the fact that they don't have sticking-out parts so you tuck them tidily into the smallest makeup bag.
  • Tend to have really great springiness that creates good, lasting, very curly lash curls.
  • Great for smaller eyes and almond-shaped eyes since these don't have much of a curve.

What's not so great about these lash curlers?

  • You already know they're tiny, which is awesome for carrying them around - but it can also be a drawback since the size can make it awkward to use until you get used to it.
  • As with everything plastic, these aren't the most durable beauty tools. It's the same with all of them: The plastic lever thing that you use to curl your lashes with will crack within a couple months. Be very gentle.
  • Not ideal for wide eyes since the small size can make it difficult to fit your entire lash line into the clamp part.

Overall, a great option whether you're traveling or not. Despite their tiny size, the best of these can create serious curls and 'though they don't tend to last long - there's good reason that these types of curlers have a loyal cult following that tend to purchase several of these at a time: they work incredibly well.

What are the best ones?


Heated Eyelash Curlers

What they're awesome for: Perfect for fragile eyelashes and getting an extra curve after applying mascara

how to curl your eyelashes

Okay, now we're getting in to more high-tech territory. Heated eyelash curlers are the new kids on the block but they've already become a mainstay for most lash lushes.

What's so special about it? The heated eyelash curler differentiates itself from all other curlers with a crucial advantage: you guessed it, heat. Instead of a manual clamping action, it uses heat to curl your lashes and if you've ever experienced the magic of a curling iron, well, you already know the huge difference heat makes on hair.

But unlike a curling iron, there's no clamping involved with heated eyelash curler. You simply push the mascara wand-like device up against your lashes for a few moments and voila! your lashes are curled and ready to go.

The best part? Curling your lashes with one of these is a super quick process - it takes max 30 seconds to curl both eyes - and it makes a huge difference, even for the most stubbornly straight lashes.

What's so great about these lash curlers?

  • Gently curls without force. If you have fragile lashes or lashes that are falling out, the last thing you want to do is subject them to the tug-and-pull of traditional clamp curlers. Heated curlers, on the other hand, simply lift up your lashes for a gentle curl - without any force.
  • Got lashes that like to stick out in all different directions? Heat will tame and curl even the most unruly, stubborn lashes. If no other lash curler can take on your eyelashes, it's time to step up your game and go for a heated curler.
  • These produce curls that last and last - a few seconds on each eye is enough to hold that perfect curl in your lashes throughout the day.
  • You can use it after mascara to get an extra oomph, which is great 'cause we all know how mascara weighs down the lashes. But with this, the heat warms up the mascara and allows you to put in a deeper bend that gets locked into place when the mascara hardens again.
  • If you're looking for a natural curve, a heated curler is the best pick - because you're not clamping anything but simply holding the wand in place at the base of your lashes and moving upward toward the tips, you get a natural, eye-opening lift rather than a forced, angled curl.
  • No pinch, no pull. This is by far the most wonderful perk of heated lash curlers. Unlike traditional clamps, the majority of heated curlers are wand-like, which means there's nothing pulling or pinching at your eyes (or eyelids, thank god).

What's not so great about these lash curlers?

  • Heated lash curlers tend to be the most expensive amongst the eyelash curlers. They won't break the bank - the price ranges from around $15 to $50 - but are pricier than the other types of curlers.
  • It's not just the cost of the heated curler itself - it's also the batteries it eats up. These types of curlers tend to consume mucho batteries - expect to replace every week or so with daily use - so that's another factor to add in.
  • It can be intimidating - many people get worried about putting something hot so close to the face. The fears are mostly unwarranted - heated curlers aren't actually scary at all - but you'll have to get over the fear factor before you can actually use it.
  • Heated curlers are not the most newbie-friendly curlers and if you're just learning how to curl lashes, you should start with an easier model - any one of the above types of curlers will do. Heated curlers are safe but they must be used properly. Otherwise, you can risk damage or breakage by holding the heat to your lashes too long.

In essence, a heated lash curler is not a necessity for everyone. But it is an absolutely useful device to have if you have fragile lashes, unruly lashes or love getting that extra lift after mascara.

What are the best ones?


Precision Eyelash Curlers

What they're awesome for: Curling even the most hard-to-reach lashes and difficult lash lines

how to curl eyelashes

Also called mini lash curlers and point curlers, these fill in the gaps that most eyelash curlers miss - literally. Thanks to their narrow clamp and unhindered design, these precision curlers allow you to reach every lash, section by section, so that even the most hard-to-accommodate eye shapes can get their lashes lifted.

What's so great about these lash curlers?

  • It goes everywhere, which is what makes it ideal for deep-set eyes and small eyes as well as for curling lower lashes, individual sections of lashes, inward-curling lashes and hard-to-reach corner lashes.
  • You can't beat it for precision. And it's not just for deep-set or small eyes - if you've ever found yourself complaining that no lash curler is capable of curling your entire lash line...well, you need one of these. It'll even get all those tiny, baby, inner lashes that most regular lash curlers miss.
  • No pinching. Thanks to the lack of sides, there's also no risk of pinch.
  • They're perfect for super short lashes. The flatter clamp makes it easier to position close to your lash line so you'll get a curl no matter how short your lashes are.
  • It's the perfect accompaniment for fake lashes. You know when you curl your lashes and then stick on a line of falsies only to see that there's a gap of incompatibility between the falsies' curl and the curve of your natural lashes? Yea, that's when a precision curler comes in super handy - you can fix yours up without even having to remove the falsies.
  • Works for every eye shape: small of big, deep or not, wide or narrow, it doesn't matter - this lash curler doesn't discriminate.

What's not so great about these lash curlers?

  • Heated curlers are not the most newbie-friendly curlers and if you're just learning how to curl lashes, you should start with an easier model - any one of the above types of curlers will do. Heated curlers are safe but they must be used properly. Otherwise, you can risk damage or breakage by holding the heat to your lashes too long.
  • There's a learning curve. This is not a beginner-friendly curler and it'll take some practice and experimentation to master it.
  • These make strong, intense curls. So hold too long or press too hard and you'll risk crimping your lashes into that awful L-shape. Use a gentle touch with this curler and keep the 'press' short - a second or two is perfect.
  • The precision curler is more of a supplemental curler - you'll want to use it alongside a regular lash curler since doing all your lashes with just this one can take awhile. A good idea is to use a regular, full lash line curler and then get the hard-to-reach spots with this one.

The precision eye curler may not be as well-known as the others above, but don't mistake its anonymity for mediocrity - this is a seriously useful tool to have in your lash arsenal! And if you're one of many who have trouble finding an eyelash curler that fits your eye shape - it's a must have.

What are the best ones?


Alright, now you know everything about the different types of eyelash curlers and you're probably wondering...which type of eyelash curler is the best one?

To be honest, every single one has a use - none of them are mutually exclusive. If you can find just one type that fits every one of your needs, kudos to you! But if you can't find one that fulfills all your lash curling needs - feel free to play the field.

After all, eyelash curler monogamy only gets you so far, especially when you can have a different type to fulfill every lash need. For example, you'd have one of the best metal curlers to quickly get a huge curve in your eyelashes and a wand-type heated eyelash curler to use for an extra bend and lift after applying mascara.

The mini curler will be around for those cases when you need a partial touch-up or to spot-curl those hard-to-reach lashes that you often miss. And, of course, the travel lash curler will be tucked into your purse for quick touch-ups on the go 🙂

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