I want to buy a European flat iron

Old Jun 28th, 2015, 11:44 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,748
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I want to buy a European flat iron

to use in Switzerland and Italy. I know enough not to take a US appliance, because the voltage is different. But can I buy one to work in several European countries, or will each country have different voltage?

I have plenty of plug adapters and adapter history, but this is my first foray in traveling with an appliance.

Advice sought. Thanks.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2015, 11:50 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,219
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
The same one will work on the continent and in the UK (though you'd need a 2 round to 3 square prong plug adapter for the UK)
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 28th, 2015, 11:52 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 171
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I bought a flatiron in France, it works everywhere except the UK, and I just have an adaptor for EU to UK that I use there. It doesn't short out and get ruined like a US appliance. I've had it 2 years now
Brooke_Herron is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2015, 11:53 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,624
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I bought this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o05_s00

I used it a few times in South America, and plan on using it in the UK in the fall. Worked fine.
elberko is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2015, 06:39 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,748
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all. This is my first trip out of the US since I began wearing my hair straight.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2015, 07:36 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dual voltage hair straighteners are sold all over the place. I got mine at Sephora, chose it because it's tiny and I can also use it at home; they have full size ones, too.
NewbE is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2015, 08:28 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,219
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
I would never recommend a dual voltage one -- besides the chance of failure/melting/blowing circuits - the heat won't go as high. As much as you travel you'll get a lot of use from a single voltage European iron.

(BTW -- when shopping for it in Europe don't ask for a 'flat iron'. it is a hair straightener.)
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 28th, 2015, 09:59 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I found one years ago (at Sally Beauty in Bamberg, Germany) and it was 220 - 240 volts so it worked both in Germany and in UK with a plug adapter. It happened to be a special price but I've had good luck with the appliances I buy overseas to work there (they're not always very cheap) ... as Janis said, not so much luck with the dual voltage ones bought here to use there.

I believe the voltage in the UK is 240 so you want it to go up that high.
Trophywife007 is online now  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 12:58 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,061
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Please remember that this is called a "Hair Straightener" in Europe, especially in the UK. A flat iron is a different thing altogether:

http://www.iels.org/agile_assets/19/A37637_l.1.jpg
Rubicund is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 02:07 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In 1994, to remove a perceived barrier to trade between European countries, the European Commission (EC) decided to 'harmonise' the standard UK mains voltage of 240 V and the European standard of 220 V at 230 V.

The standard may not yet be fully achieved everywhere, but the voltage at the socket will be as close to 230 as makes no difference for ordinary domestic appliances. There are still differences between the plugs and sockets used in different countries, but that problem is overcome with adaptors or simple rewiring.

It is not uncommon to buy computer equipment and find it comes with two leads - one for U.K. use and one with the standard European continental plug.

I suppose you could try using a flat iron (U.K. meaning) to straighten your hair, if you had an assistant and an ironing board.
chartley is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 02:08 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18,287
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Voltage throughout Europe is 220-240V, 50-60Hz. It allows for some minor surges and dips according to demand.
Buy your hair straightener in Europe, it will be cheaper than buying one from Amazon.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 06:16 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4,049
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been using a dual voltage flat iron or hair straightener that I purchased at Winners/Marshalls at least 6 years ago for $20.

I have a lot of hair, thick, and the iron gets plenty hot. It's been used on the continent as well as the UK and Cuba, and the U.S., with no issues. It really is a work horse.
sugarmaple is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 07:11 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
janisj, I do not believe that modern technology will cause the problems you describe. There is a lot of superstition surrounding dual voltage appliances; and then there is the fact that in tiny inns in the European countryside as well as in old buildings in the cities, any hair dryer or straightener will blow out the circuits.

Let me ask, when was the last time YOU tried a dual voltage hair straightener in Europe? You speak with such certainty...
NewbE is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 07:13 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,219
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>I've been using a dual voltage flat iron or hair straightener that I purchased at Winners/Marshalls at least 6 years ago for $20 . . . with no issues. It really is a work horse.<<

That is fine -- so have a lot of people. But any dual voltage appliance that heats up is prone to failure. Sometimes w/ spectacular results -- like knocking out the power in the entire B&B which makes your fellow travelers <i>really</i> happy. Or filling the room w/ that lovely scent of melted plastic.
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 07:18 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<But any dual voltage appliance that heats up is prone to failure. Sometimes w/ spectacular results >
Oh for heaven's sake! Just as I suspected--you haven't used a dual voltage device yourself, but are happy to fear monger. And yet your fears of "spectacular" disaster do not constitute good advice, do they?
NewbE is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 08:01 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Please remember that this is called a "Hair Straightener" in Europe, especially in the UK. A flat iron is a different thing altogether>

lol, it was indeed an iron that I thought the OP wanted and I was very confused by the talk of hair straighteners.

If I want an iron in the US, what do I ask for?

presumably not hair straighteners!
annhig is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 08:20 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,219
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
I've owned several dual voltage hair straighteners and hair dryers -- probably 7 or 8 (4 dryers and 3 or 4 flat irons) -- and <i>most of the time</i> they work fine (though at lower temps than at home) over probably 30+ trips.

But two have failed. One flat iron/hair straightener simply burned out in London -- didn't catch fire but got overheated and essentially melted.

One hair dryer tripped circuits in the small hotel I was staying in Paris and about 1/3 of the bedrooms and the breakfast room went dark during the morning rush. That wasn't fun.

Most of the time they work just hunky dory . . . but when they don't it is not fun.
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 08:31 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,624
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
While it's been years, I do remember trying to use a dual-voltage hairdryer in Europe. It worked, but not well. I also recalling seeing threads about a number of unpleasant incidents with the darn things.

annhig,

Iron is an iron here in the US, too.
elberko is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 08:47 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,921
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've used a dual voltage hair dryer all over Europe and Egypt and never had a single problem with it, it worked fine for years and years (just runs a little hotter/faster which isn't a problem, you set it on low). That was before most hotels had them.

IN the US these appliances are called hair straighteners, but sometimes flat irons.
Christina is online now  
Old Jun 29th, 2015, 10:22 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Iron is an iron here in the US, too.>>

thank you, elberko. Not that I like to do much ironing on holiday, but it's useful to know these things, just in case.
annhig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -