Sleep In Rollers | Review

do sleep in rollers work?

Well, folks, it rained all weekend (and all of the week that preceded it, actually), so rather than the weekend outfit shots I normally bring you on a Monday, I thought I’d do a quick Sleep In Rollers review instead. 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

Sleep In Rollers Boots

Sleep in Rollers Review

Sleep In Rollers: £19.96

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.

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

I actually got these right before our trip to London (Why, yes, I AM still talking about that!), thinking they could be the perfect way to make my very early start that day a little easier. Although I almost always wear my hair in exactly the same way, you see, it’s surprisingly high maintenance, and needs to be washed every day, or it looks like an oil slick.

(I’ll just pause here to let you all tell me I shouldn’t be washing my hair every day, because it’ll all fall out if I do that, and that if I just force myself to leave it for a while, I will eventually be able to “train” it not to produce so much oil. Yeah, I’ve tried that, and I always last about two days before the disgusting mess on my head forces me to hit the shampoo. I just can’t do it. Also, when I work out, I seem to sweat mostly from my scalp, and the idea of going for a run and then NOT washing my hair afterwards makes me want to gag. Stylists always tell me how healthy my hair is, though, so my frequent washing doesn’t seem to be doing the damage people always tell me it will…)

sleep in rollers: before

My hair before using Sleep in Rollers

Most of the time, this daily washing isn’t an issue. I mean, sure, there are things I’d RATHER be doing than washing my hair, but I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s just part of my morning routine, and I don’t really think about it… until I have to get up in the middle of the night to catch a flight, and then the thought of getting up EVEN EARLIER just to wash and blow-dry my hair makes me want to cry. Sleep in Rollers seemed like the perfect solution to this: I don’t really sleep the night before a flight anyway, (Because DANGER), so I could put them in, lie awake thinking about air crashes all night as usual, and then head to the airport looking like a very tired Cheryl Cole. Awesome! Unusually for me, I decided NOT to test my theory on the day of the flight itself, and, in a rare moment of sense, did a trial run a couple of days before it. That trial run was enough to tell me my plan wasn’t a good ‘un, and it’s also the reason why, although I HAVE worn the rollers overnight, and will be talking about that in a moment, for the purposes of this Sleep In Rollers Review, I only wore them for a couple of hours. This will give you some idea how I felt about them, but first, the basics…

Sleep In Rollers: How to Use Them

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:

Sleep In Rollers Review

Sleep 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. As you can see from the photos, because I wasn’t planning to sleep in them, I didn’t bother with the hair grips here. I DID use the grips the first time I tried these (when I wore them overnight), and found them quite fiddly to use: 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…

Are Sleep In Rollers comfortable enough to actually 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:


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. 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.

Although the marketing of these is very much based around the “sleep in” part of the brand name, I know a lot of people don’t actually wear them overnight, and will, instead, just put them in for a couple of hours before a night-out. Obviously the longer you wear them, the better the results should theoretically be: I, however, didn’t see  dramatic difference between wearing them overnight and wearing them for a couple of hours, so while I will use them again, I WON’T be subjecting myself to any more uncomfortable nights over them!

sleep in rollers before and after

Sleep In Rollers Before and After

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



  • Flavia Unterman says:

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

    • Amber says:

      Thanks! I haven’t used anything recently, but there’s a post about the products I use to enhance colour here:

  • Inez Ruiter says:

    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?

    • Amber says:

      I haven’t, because my hair takes forever to dry, but I’ve read you get a better result that way, so it’s probably worth trying!

      • 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…

  • Mana says:

    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

  • Nina says:

    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! :)

    I hope I didn’t miss it if you did say that you used them on wet hair. Your hair looks amazing anyway! :)

    • Amber says:

      Nope, I’ve never been able to sleep with wet/damp hair (mine takes a really long time to dry, so when I have tried to do it with other styles it’s still been damp in the morning and I’ve ended up having to just blow-dry it straight anyway!), and the instructions on these specifically advise you to use them on blown-dry hair:

      I’m actually going out tonight, though, so I might try them on damp hair and see how I get on – assuming I can get it to dry in time!

      • Nina says:

        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! :)

  • CiCi says:

    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!

  • Anastasia says:

    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!!!

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

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