Standard curling irons are typically designed to be plugged into an electrical outlet. In many places, this is no hardship as most buildings are equipped with electricity. Old-style butane curling irons typically required users to refill the butane chamber with a can of butane which can typically be obtained at drugstores, supermarkets or hardware stores. The modern butane curling iron, on the other hand, typically uses cartridges which easily snap in and out of the iron. The use of cartridges can minimize the risk of exposure to butane gas and can make it very easy to refill one's curling iron. As of 2011, flyers can generally carry one butane curling iron on airline flights to most destinations, but are not permitted to actually use the curling iron while on the airplane. Carrying extra refill cartridges is not permitted.
The best curling iron size for you depends on the type of hair you have, and the style you want to create. Many women own a few different sizes of curling irons to create different looks and styles. In addition, various brands or curling iron manufacturers may sell a number of different sizes, or only a few, so your choice also depends largely on whether you want to stick with a favorite manufacturer. The curling iron size will directly correspond to the size of the curls created; for example, a small barrel on a curling iron will create small, tight curls, whereas a larger barrel can create bigger, looser waves.