Curling Iron Comparison: T3 vs Hot Tools Pro

Are you thinking about buying a new curling iron? Read below for my curling iron comparison: T3 vs Hot Tools Pro!

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You guys know that I’m a die hard Hot Tools Pro curling iron fan. But, I’ve been wanting to try the T3 curling iron for a while. It just came in the other day and I tested it out with a comparison between the two curling irons.

Curling Iron Comparison: T3 vs Hot Tools Pro

Curling Iron Comparison: T3 vs Hot Tools Pro

Basic Curling Iron Info

My tried and true Hot Tools Pro 1.5″ Curling Iron is $59.99 on Amazon.

The T3 Twirl 1.25 Inch Curling Iron I bought is at Costco for $59.99.

For my comparison, the price tag was obviously not a factor that swayed me one way or the other.

The model they sell at Costco (the one I own) is different than the T3 1.25″ Single Pass Curling Iron priced at $160 across various retailers: buy it on Sephora, Ulta, QVC. The big price jump on this model is that it has an automatic twirl/wave feature and you can buy additional barrel sizes to swap out. All other features are the same.

Curling Iron Comparison: T3 vs Hot Tools Pro

My go-to hair care styling products are: Living Proof Dry Shampoo, Dove Dry Shampoo (Best Drugstore Dupe!), and Living Proof Dry Volume Blast.

I sprayed a little bit of Big Sexy Hair hair spray after curling, too.

Overall, I’m glad I have both, since they are two different barrel sizes. Here is my complete review:

Pros & Cons of T3 1.25″ Twirl Curling Iron


  • Aesthetic (love the white and pink options)
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Heats up fast and hotter than the Hot Tools Pro
  • Curls last
  • Five heating options
  • Ceramic
  • Built in Stand


  • No On/Off Button
  • Other reviewers have said that the clamp is not tight enough, but I haven’t had this issue

Pros & Cons of Hot Tools Pro 1.5″ Curling Iron


  • Price Point (compared to the $160 T3)
  • Barrel Size for Loose, Wavy Curls
  • On/Off Button
  • Curls last
  • Up to 430* Heat Setting
  • Heavier but still easy to use for non wand lovers like me


  • Heating is not as hot after a few years of use
  • Aesthetic (I prefer the white and pink models of T3)
  • Heavier and harder to handle
  • Gets dirty and sometimes clips hair
  • Stand is adjustable and gets in the way while curling
  • Not Ceramic
  • Longer barrel makes it easier to hold more hair

How My Hair Turned Out with Both Curling Irons

You can see the video of my first time using the T3 on my IGTV:

Which Curling Iron is Better?

Overall, I think both curling irons got the job done. The T3 side was tighter at first due to the slight difference in barrel size. But, I purposely curled that side first so that it would loosen while I curled the other side with my Hot Tools Pro Curling Iron. Both sides turned out great for the wavy look I wanted in the end.

I’ve loved my Hot Tools Pro one, but I can tell that after owning it for a few years, it does not get as hot as when it was brand new. I couldn’t touch it because it was hot. But, nowadays the barrel is warm-ish at best. It still gets the job done and at the price point, it’s a really good, quality curling iron.

Obviously, the T3 is brand new to me, so I’m not sure the life of the heat settings on this one. But, I have heard from friends that the T3 has lasted well beyond 2-3 years and heats up just as fast as when they first used it.

Overall ease of use, hands down, was the T3 curling iron. It’s light weight and aside from my first time user error, it handled my hair better. The Hot Tools Pro, however, has a longer barrel and curls more of my hair in one clip.

I love both irons for different reasons. Once the Hot Tools Pro gives out, I will probably be getting the $160 version of the T3 with additional barrels. I like the versatility of swapping out different barrels. Instead of having to buy multiple different curling irons. But, also, I have a ton of hair and I curly my hair often so it’s worth the investment for me.

If you don’t curl your hair often, don’t have a ton of hair, or want something more affordable, definitely get the Hot Tools Pro. I still love the iron and will use it until it stops working eventually. I’ve used it for years and I just know how my hair holds with the curling iron.

If you want to try the T3, the $60 Costco model can’t be beat. I like it so far and it definitely holds the curls better (even after sleeping on it).

If you want to invest in something with a little bit more versatility, skip the $60 Costco version, and buy the more expensive $160 model. I’m super interested in the automatic twirl/wave function, too. But, I’m not sure if it’s worth the extra cost of $100. I’m happy with the two I’ve got for now.

Curling Iron Comparison: T3 vs Hot Tools Pro

Read these posts for my other hair care products and info:

Hair Wash Schedule for Thick, Wavy Hair

Best Drugstore Hair Care Products

How to Make Wavy Curls Last

Best Products & Remedies for Dry, Itchy Scalp

Curling Iron Comparison: T3 vs Hot Tools Pro

Curling Iron Comparison: T3 vs Hot Tools Pro

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My name is JeeYoung, a work at home mom to three boys. Consultant, Content Creator, Chaos Coordinator. This is a snippet of our happy chaos - mom life, family travel, easy recipes, home decor, and simple beauty. So happy you're here!

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