How do I use a curling iron in Spain?

Spanish power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in Spain:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need to use a suitable power adapter for Spain but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet, however this is noticeably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Spain, so please check that the voltage transformer includes a power adapter for Spain otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your personal curling iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in transit. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 230 volts used in Spain you run the potential risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in Spain please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Spain

Will my curling iron work in Spain?

That depends on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 230 volt power outlets in Spain. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron can operate using 230 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you'll be able to use it in Spain. If not then you will need to consider using either a power converter or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2], read the guide on can you use a power converter with a curling iron in Spain for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Spain power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Spain?

The typical voltage used in Spain is 230 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Spain?

The frequency from a Spanish power outlet is 50 Hz. [8]

Which plug adapter do you need for using a curling iron in Spain?

Type C and F power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need for using a curling iron in Spain?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Spain, types F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - This wall outlet (technically known as the Europlug) can be identified by two round adjacent holes next to each other.
  • Plug Type F - This round power socket (called the type F power outlet) can be identified by two large round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into and metal grounding clips above and below.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use a 230 volt curling iron in Spain is a Type F power adapter; read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for Spain. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you also have to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. The location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Spain then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Spanish 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 a Spanish power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Spain.
  • A larger range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Spain or any other country.

Travelling to Spain with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline which is flying you to Spain will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.   [10] [11] [12] [AD]

Should you bring domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Spain?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron rather than bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Spain as it ensures that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Spanish power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Spain.

Please be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by an airline baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Spain might be higher than purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before your trip. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your luggage either slide it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.  [11] [AD]

Power converters for Spain

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for Spain?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for Spain?

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a Spanish power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, but a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Spain. [7] [AD]

Do you need a power converter to use your curling iron in Spain?

A suitable voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in Spain. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their existing domestic curling iron, but it might be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be significantly lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for packing in luggage. [7] [AD]

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

Instructions showing how to use your curling iron in Spain with a two pin Type C travel adapter.

  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 it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in Spain; consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Spain. This Type C plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Spain by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the Spanish power outlet. The power supply (sometimes known as the Europlug) can be identified by two round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet pins slide into.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Spanish power outlet. The hair curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in Spain using a type C power adapter

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

Instructions showing you how to use your curling iron in Spain with a two pinned Type F travel adapter.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet; but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts for use in Spain; refer to the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to buy a Type F plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in Spain. This power adapter will help adapt different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in Spain by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type F plug adapter in the Spanish power outlet. You can recognise the plug outlet by two holes 19 mm next to each other for live and neutral pins, plus a pair of two thin metal grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Spanish power outlet. The hair curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in Spain using a type F power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia entry about Spain
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, £5-£10.
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, £5-£10.
  7. 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, £130-£140.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, costing £10-£15.
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced £40-£45.