sleep in rollers review

How to Use Sleep In Rollers | Review

Thinking of trying sleep-in-rollers? Here’s a quick review…

Er, by which I mean a really LONG Sleep in Rollers review. Because you know me: why use 20 words, when you can use 2,000 words instead? Exactly. Also: why post photos of yourself in a nice outfit, when you can post photos of yourself with a head-full of bright pink rollers? On second thoughts, don’t answer that..

Here are the rollers in question:

Sleep in rollers: review and how toSleep in rollers: review and how toSleep In Rollers
Sleep in Rollers Review

Sleep in rollers: review and how to

Sleep In Rollers: buy them here

Sleep In Rollers are, as I’m sure you already know, rollers. That you sleep in. The name kinda gives it away, huh? This is not, obviously, a new idea: little old ladies and 50s-housewives have been sleeping in their rollers since time began (or since rollers were invented, I guess), but lately they’ve become popular thanks to the cast of TOWIE, and other reality TV shows. Or so I’m told, anyway: I don’t actually watch TOWIE (I had to Google it to find out what it was, when people started mentioning it on Twitter etc. I thought it was some kind of internet-speak, like LOL, or something. “Haha, that’s so funny, TOWIE”. God, I feel old sometimes.), so the first I knew about Sleep In Rollers was when beauty bloggers starting reviewing them, and honestly? I wasn’t particularly sold on the idea.

The idea behind Sleep In Rollers, just for those of you who haven’t heard of them, is that you put them in before bed, go to sleep, and wake up to a head full of bouncy, voluminous hair.  Sounds great in theory, but I’m a light sleeper at the best of times, and although these rollers are specifically designed to allow you to sleep in them, I somehow doubted that would happen for me. Also, although I just said that TOWIE etc makes me feel old, I don’t yet feel QUITE old enough to be heading to bed in rollers and a hairnet, you know? Even if I did, I normally try to work out in the mornings, before I get showered and dressed for the day (“try” being the operative word here…), so any bouncy curls I managed to cultivate overnight would be lost to the sweat and the shower, so it didn’t really seem worth the sleepless night I suspected I’d be subjecting myself to.

Sleep In Rollers: before

So I bought them anyway. Because OF COURSE I did.

How to use Sleep In Rollers

The Sleep In Rollers come in their own bag (Which isn’t anything to get excited about, being a cheap plastic number. Mine ripped right away, which is why it doesn’t feature in these photos…), complete with an instructional DVD (which I haven’t watched, so can’t comment on), and a little pouch filled with grips to hold them in place. You get twenty rollers in the bag, which I found was more than enough for my hair, and they’re really easy to use: you basically just wind them into your hair, as you would with any other rollers.

There are two ways to wind, and two different effects you can achieve: winding clockwise creates the big, bouncy hair I was after, while winding anti-clockwise will give you that “flicked out” look at the ends. I decided to roll mine clockwise, and this was the result:

how to use sleep-in-rollers

Sleep In Rollers ReviewSleep inRollers: how to use them

I used 17 of the  20 rollers in these photos, and while I could have gained more volume by using them all (and rolling smaller sections of hair), I wasn’t sure I’d have been able to fit the extra three on my head. Once you’ve rolled all of the hair, that’s it: you get into bed and have a wonderful night’s sleep. Or… not. For the purposes of this review, I only wore the rollers for a couple of hours during the day , which is why I haven’t used the grips in this photo: the rollers actually grip the hair well enough without them to stay in place if you’re just wearing them around the house, as I was here. If you ARE going to be wearing them overnight, though, I’d suggest using the grips, just to be sure. Speaking of wearing them overnight, I did try that too, which brings me to the next question…


Are sleep in rollers comfortable enough to actually, you know, sleep in?


In a word: no. When I first got into bed with these in, I had no idea how I’d ever manage to sleep in them, because although they feel spongy and soft when you’re putting them in, once I tried to actually lie down in them, they felt as hard as rocks. Part of the issue is that they’re so bulky that when you lie down, your neck isn’t supported by the pillow: I solved this problem by taking my Save My Face Pillow, folding it in half, and placing it under my neck. By doing that, I was able to lie on my back with my neck supported, and my head just resting on the pillow. It wasn’t the most comfortable night’s sleep I’ve ever had (I find it difficult to sleep on my back even when I’m NOT wearing a head-full of rollers…) but I actually fell asleep quicker than I’d expected to, so it wasn’t TOO awful. (If you don’t have a Save My Face pillow, one of those little travel pillows which fit round your neck would probably work just as well.)


Sleep In Rollers: the result


When I woke up the next morning, I was quite surprised to find the rollers more-or-less in place. I’d expected to wake up with them all over the bedroom, but while some strands of hair had escaped, and the overall effect was pretty messy, they had actually stayed in pretty well. The best advice is to leave them in for as long as you possibly can: I, of course, couldn’t wait to begin my new life as the owner of big, bouncy hair, so I took them out right away, and here’s the result on my normally poker-straight hair:

sleep in rollers: after

The important thing to note here is that rollers this large won’t really CURL your hair: the effect is of volume more than anything else. I had expected this, and was quite pleased with the volume I’d achieved, but Terry was quite surprised to see that after lying like a statue all night, I didn’t even have any curls to show for it! If you are tempted to try these, it’s important to know what to expect (volume) – and what NOT to expect (curls).

As I said, this photo shows my hair after wearing the rollers for just a couple of hours, and on dry hair. When I wore them overnight, though, the effect was much the same: there was perhaps a little more volume immediately after removing them, but it quickly settled down, and the end result was pretty much the same as the one you see above, which definitely isn’t enough to justify wearing them overnight, as far as I’m concerned. On damp hair, meanwhile, there’s a little more volume still, but I personally find it doesn’t really last, and it takes my hair literally HOURS to dry in rollers, so, again, it’s not worth the effort for me.


sleep in rollers before and after

So, is it worth buying a set of sleep in rollers? 


Actually, yes, I think they are . Although I don’t use these overnight, or on wet hair, I do use them at least a few times every week, and find they really help my poker-straight hair look smoother, and, well, BIGGER. For day-to-day use, I’ll put them in while I’m doing my makeup etc, and that’s generally long enough to create a little bit of bounce, and also to define my layers a bit. For a night-out, meanwhile, I’ll leave them in for as long as possible – as with most rollers, the longer you leave them, the better the effect.

Although I wouldn’t want to be without these now, I don’t think you need to buy this exact brand: they are, after all, not anything revolutionary. Velcro rollers have been around for a long time, and that’s all these really are, so if you’re not planing to sleep in them, and can find a cheaper version, I honestly don’t think you’d find much of a difference.

Anyone else tried Sleep-In Rollers? What did you think of them?

How to use sleep-in rollers to get big, bouncy hair

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  • Flavia Unterman


    Oh my God! Your hair is gorgeous! I know you’re a natural redhead but do you use something to enhance your hair color?

    August 18, 2014
  • The volume you achieved is quite good though! I have been wondering about sleep in rollers, I generally have course hair, being half African, so they’re not ideal for me to use on my dry hair. I was wondering if you have ever tried using them while your hair is wet or half dry?

    August 18, 2014
      • My hair takes forever to dry too. I used to spritz it very lightly with water before setting waves overnight and it usually managed to dry ok if the weather was warm. It does give a much better result.

        I saw a suggestion somewhere to have a hot shower in the evening, keeping your hair bundled up in a cap to stay ‘dry’. The steam from the air should add just enough moisture evenly through your hair to help set the curl. I’ve been meaning to give that a try…

        August 29, 2014
      • Christa


        Is it possible to sleep on hot rollers…. like if you put them in then let them cool then go to bed…??

        March 29, 2017
  • Ooh this reminded me I have some Velcro rollers that will solve my volume issues for my hair since I cut it! I usually cheat the time by aiming a blow dryer in the cool setting at the base of the rollers. It takes less time for the same effect that way.
    Your hair looks gorgeous, but I can’t believe you slept in them!

    Fashion and Happy Things

    August 18, 2014
  • Nina


    I don’t know if I missed it but you did put them on when your hair was wet, right? If you didn’t you should at least try it once because that’s how you get those nice and bouncy curls. If your hair is dry it won’t work! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope I didn’t miss it if you did say that you used them on wet hair. Your hair looks amazing anyway! ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 19, 2014
      • Nina


        You could always try to put them on when your hair is damp or wet and then blow dry it. Your hair looks great ether way, curly or straight! ๐Ÿ™‚

        August 23, 2014
  • These don’t sound worth the effort at all – I could just imagine it would take me hours to get to sleep and then if I don’t wake up looking like I’ve had a professional blow dry, what’s the point?! I like the effect it gave you, but as you say, if it happens after two hours anyway… I’m still convinced the best rollers are heated ones, so easy and so quick compared to all this nonsense!

    August 19, 2014
  • Oh, that is a really act of bravery! I love the effect of using the rollers but with my type of hair I need to spend hours in them to see it…Thanks for useful info!;)
    And tnx for visiting my blog dear!!!

    August 19, 2014
  • Looks pretty cool, I have these, but havenยดt used them in this way, only on my fringe to lift it up a bit, must try in on the weekend. Thanks!

    August 20, 2014
  • Ken Courtice


    Hi Amber, another very informative professionally produced video. I don’t curl my locks , BUT if I did , I would value this info , and feel I could pull it off!! Another Great info Gab

    June 6, 2015
  • TraciT


    Thanks so much for this! After looking around a bit online and reading various reviews, I got Sleep In Rollers not only for me (bra-strap length, blonde, fine) but for my BF (shoulder-length, auburn, thick) as well. We both love them — he actually sleeps in them more often than I do. We found that having hair slightly damp when we put our rollers in, and using a bonnet dryer for 15 mins or so on our sets before bed, really helps the volume and wave. I also give our sets a good spray before taking the rollers out. It gives us a lot of flexibility in how we style our next-day hair (up, down, back in a headband, etc.) and we get compliments and “How do you do your hair?” questions all the time.

    June 23, 2015
  • Staci Roslein


    I have been sleeping in rollers my whole life, my mom set my hair from a very early age every night and I still do. If you want to see a different you need the hard plastic rollers in different sizes to get the effect you want volume curl or volume on top and curls on bottom. Set your hair wet but dry with some heat to set the hair before you go sleep use a couple roller pins or roller clips to secure each roller. Before you go to sleep place a roller net over your rollers and you might want a scarf as well. It takes a few times before you get used to sleeping in head full of rollers. Honestly back in the day women had amazing hair that held forever, but there was a price. If you go to a real salon they do the old way hard plastic rollers and pins on wet hair under big hair dryer. No quick Velcro or sleep in rollers

    June 28, 2015
  • Isobelle


    How long do the curls/volume last?

    May 27, 2018
  • Chris


    I really would recommend a hairnet just in case.

    April 24, 2020