How do I use my curling iron in Singapore?

Singapore power outlet

Summary

First check your curling iron can handle the voltage in Singapore:

  • If your curling iron can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your curling iron will not fit.

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need a suitable power adapter for Singapore however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Singapore power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Singapore, therefore please check that the voltage transformer has a power adapter for Singapore otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Please be aware that your own personal curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you risk potential damage in a suitcase. [9]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts you run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before using your curling iron in Singapore please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Singapore

Will my curling iron work in Singapore?

It depends on if your curling iron can handle the 230 volts which are used in Singapore:

Singapore power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in Singapore?

The frequency found in a Singapore power outlet is 50Hz. [10]

What is the mains voltage in Singapore?

The normal voltage used in Singapore is 230 volts.

Which power adapter will you need for using a curling iron in Singapore?

Type C, G and M power outlets

Which power adapter will you need for using a curling iron in Singapore?

There are three different types of power outlets used in Singapore, types G, C and M with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise the wall socket by two holes next to each other. Please note that Type C electrical sockets are less commonplace in Singapore.
  • Plug Type G - Type G power sockets will be the most commonly used outlets in Singapore. This power socket, also known as a type G power outlet, can be recognised by 3 vertical rectangular slots forming a triangular configuration.
  • Plug Type M - You can recognise the wall socket by three circular holes forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth. Also note that Type M power sockets in Singapore aren't as commonplace.

A suitable plug adapter to bring when using a 230 volt curling iron in Singapore is a Type G power adapter, read the step by step guide below for full details of using a curling iron in Singapore. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you need to use a voltage converter.  [6] [11]

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron supports a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of the curling iron. The location will depend on the make or model of your curling iron and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically, however other irons will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Singapore then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Singapore power outlet.
  • Single voltage could also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 230 volts used in a Singapore power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Singapore.
  • Dual voltage will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Singapore or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Singapore with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in carry on hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should check that the airline that is taking you to Singapore 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 by airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping wires tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against bumps and knocks during transit.   [12] [13] [14]

Should I bring my domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Singapore?

Bringing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to packing your existing curling iron as it ensures that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Singapore power outlet, as long as you use the correct plug adapter for Singapore. It is also worth bearing in mind that bringing your expensive domestic curling iron might place it at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by airport baggage handlers. The inconvenience and costs involved in repairing or replacing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Singapore could overshadow the costs of buying a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to bring your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slot it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be packed immediately after use without waiting to cool down.  [13]

Power converters for Singapore

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

An expensive and heavy power converter will convert a 230 volt Singapore power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, whereas a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Singapore. [9]

Do I need a voltage converter to use my curling iron in Singapore?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) allows a curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Singapore. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to bring their existing domestic curling iron, however it can be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a power converter is noticeably bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for packing. [9]

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

A guide showing how to power your curling iron in Singapore with a two prong Type C power adapter.

  1. Make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet but if not then do not proceed because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts to use in Singapore - refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Singapore you will need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. This Type C plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Singapore by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. First you'll need to insert the Type C plug adapter in the power outlet. The wall outlet, sometimes called the Europlug or Type C power outlet [3], can be identified by the 2 circular adjacent holes for live and neutral. Type C power sockets in Singapore might not be as commonplace.
  4. Then plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Singapore power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron should now be ready to use.
How to use a curling iron in Singapore using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Singapore using a type G power adapter

A guide showing how to power your curling iron in Singapore by using a three prong Type G power charger.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Some travel curling irons will usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to accept 230 volts, consult the instructions for more information on where this switch is.
  2. You will need to use a Type G plug adapter [6] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in Singapore. This plug adapter will help adapt plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Singapore by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type G plug adapter and inserting it in the wall outlet. You can identify the wall supply by the three vertical holes with plastic shutters forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and ground. The most common outlets found in Singapore are Type G electrical outlets.
  4. After that plug in your curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Singapore power outlet. You can now turn on your curling iron for use in Singapore.
How to use a curling iron in Singapore using a type G power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Singapore using a type M power adapter

How to power your curling iron in Singapore using a three pronged Type M travel charger.

  1. Please ensure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts to use in Singapore - please refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Singapore you will need to buy a Type M plug adapter [8]. This Type M plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Singapore simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. First you'll need to insert the Type M plug adapter in the power outlet. This plug supply, technically known as a Type M power outlet [7], can be identified by 3 large round holes in a triangular shape for live, neutral and ground pins. These sockets aren't as common in Singapore.
  4. After that plug in the curling iron into the Type M plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Singapore power outlet. The hair curling iron is ready to be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in Singapore using a type M power adapter

See also

  1. Visitsingapore - Visit Singapore
  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, under C$15.
  5. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  6. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, estimated price C$10-C$15.
  7. iec.ch - Type M power outlet
  8. Type M plug adapter - South African Type M power adapters have three large circular pins in a triangular shape with the top earthed pin longer and larger in diameter, under C$15.
  9. 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, priced at C$70-C$80.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  13. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, costs under C$25.
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costing under C$80.