Hair straighteners can become a crucial part of one’s beauty routine, or provide an occasional glamorous look for a night out—whether you’re going for a flat, sleek, silky finish or use the styler to create big, bouncy curls. A quality device will last several years, and even the best hair straightener these days won’t break the bank. Beauty consumers want heavily-used products like hair straighteners to be at least reliable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing, as well as portable and travel-friendly. A bathroom essential that passes through your hair frequently must be of quality; don’t skimp on cheap flat irons, but be wary of lofty promises and make sure the product fits your needs. No matter what device you’re using, never make the mistake of straightening wet hair with a flat iron.
With so much choice on the market, it can sometimes be hard to actually end up with the best hair straightener for your needs. Instead, you may end up spending money on something that isn’t purchase worthy, even if the price and looks may indicate otherwise. Before we head into our top 10 flat iron reviews, below, we list some of the popular tools that we think are among the best on the market.
- Hair Straightener Reviews
- Choosing A Hair Straightener
- Bottom Line
Hair Straightener Reviews
HSI Professional Glider
A company that markets itself as a trusted beauty resource for high-end straightening products, and keeps it professional with a utilitarian line of salon-grade tools, it is perfectly evident with the HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic flat iron. The ceramic-tourmaline floating plates on this black 1” straightener is all manual: a small wheel quickly turns the heat up to a maximum of 450 degrees and will only turn off when you flip the switch. At the base of the 7’ swivel cord, a subtle hook allows the styler to be hung up on a hook, and its curved design works decently well for making curls. Though it has only a year-long warranty, this HSI straightener offers dual voltage and durability beyond the norm.
CHI Original Flat Iron
CHI has been a household name in the hair world for years, overshadowing other brands with its brand recognition and superior quality gadgets, it is often considered to be the best hair straightener by those who own a pair. Used in salons and on the runway, the CHI flat iron has 1” ceramic tourmaline plates which leave hair soft and shiny and are a yellowish color, allowing dirt to be seen better and cleaned sooner. Some would argue that the fixed temperature of 392 degrees is too hot for regular strands of hair, so this choice bodes better for thick hair and heavy-duty jobs as opposed to fine or brittle types. The CHI Original has a warranty that lasts for two years, but the iron’s outlet compatibility and voltage are unclear, and its cord leaves much to be desired.
Similar to the Classic GHD Styler, possibly the best hair straightener for thick hair on the market today is the ceramic GHD Gold. It draws buyers in with a 9’ cord and universal voltage, but this model looks sleeker, having a more angular shape and an all-black color scheme (also available in white). The Gold also heats up to and remains at 365 degrees, but reaches that temperature in just 25 seconds. Again, the sleep timer kicks in after a half hour like its Classic predecessor, but the company extended the warranty on this fancier product to three years instead of two. Altogether, there’s not much of a difference between the GHD Gold and the Classic model, but both would be a recommended choice and have become very popular with all hair types and beauty experts.
GHD Classic 1 Inch Styler
Beloved by countless beauty snobs, U.K.-based GHD (which stands for Good Hair Day) manufactures some of the best flat irons and most respected heat styling products around. Get in on the action by trying the Classic 1” Styler, a timeless device that has a black body, golden yellow, pure ceramic plates and quickly heats up to a safe yet effective 365 degrees—and stays there. Due to its popularity, it almost commands the need for universal voltage and will work anywhere with an outlet. The two-year warranty might not work for how long and how often people tend to use the styler, but it can curl hair and has a 9’ cord, which really makes a difference. It’s also great at saving power and goes to sleep after 30 minutes. Unfortunately, many knock-offs are out there, so double-check before splurging on a sham.
Cheap but by no means the worst of our top rated flat iron reviews comes the Remington S5500 Anti Static. Bold and brightly designed, the dark purple Remington 1” straightener with ceramic floating plates comes with the digital display and color-coordinated controls typical for the brand, and has a satisfying cord length at seven feet long. Heating up to 410 degrees in 30 seconds, this stylish tool will turn off automatically after an hour, operates at 120v, and has a modest two-year warranty but is most likely to last you much longer.
Well known for producing quality products ranging from top rated hair dryers to the new and more technological IPL laser machines, the 200-year-old company offers good hair straighteners for an array of styling needs too. The high-end S9520 with 2” ceramic pearl floating plates, also known as the Remington Pearl straightener, is a truly stunning piece of manufacturing. This product boasts lilac purple plates with color-coordinated digital controls, automatic shut-off, and even a temperature lock. Its intensity is made clear by reaching 450 degrees in 15 seconds, hooking up at 120v. Sadly, the 6’ swivel cord might be a deal-breaker for pickier customers, in spite of the four-year warranty.
The Revlon Salon is a swanky ceramic and nano copper hair straightener that is available in various sizes (1 inch, 1.5 inches, and 2 inches). It appears luxurious by way of its copper plates and black exterior, but it will also leave those who use it looking like bombshells. The device is gentle on damaged hair and uses smart technology to accommodate hair as it straightens, removing the need for a control knob. This might take some of the work out of styling your hair. Many people will also like the slick digital monitor. The heat takes a mere 10 seconds to reach an astonishing 455 degrees, and there are 30 LCD heat settings to choose from. Also, it can remember your temperature in memory, which is a beautiful touch at such a low price.
The cord reaches out to a paltry six feet long, and the warranty lasts for a standard two years. Fortunately, Revlon makes up for this with universal dual voltage compatibility and the potential to double as a curling iron.
6th Sense Professional FH-1
The natural-minded pros at 6th Sense Styling Technology knocked their best flat iron out of the park with intuitive features, eye-catching details, and a microchip heating mechanism. Great for all types of straight look or curl, including long and thick hair, the FH-1 can spike up to 445 degrees in under 30 seconds but can adjust through increments through the digital controls. Their website describes the floating ceramic plates as “impregnated” with tourmaline, an apt way to illustrate how the straightener passes through the hair with ease.
The black exterior of the professional flat iron is black with a rainbow strip that lights up when ready for use, while the plates are a creamy gold. Along with universal voltage, the warranty lasts for four years and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not falling in love with the tool. Still included in the deal are a white mini hair straightener and curler and a carrying case for all your traveling hair essentials. Though SST’s item of interest rivals the players like CHI and Conair, a huge negative for this iron is its short 5.75’ cord, a major blemish on its appeal.
Possibly the best hair straightener for curly hair, this shiny and futuristic Kipozi flat iron utilizes smooth nano titanium floating plates and infrared heat rays to reduce frizz and burning. It shows the desired temperature on a digital display, blinking until the goal temp is reached. The onboard microprocessor allows the choice of different temperature settings, and the 2” plates cover a lot of surface area which can heat up to its maximum setting, 450 degrees, within 30 seconds. At eight feet long, the swivel cord beats out many of its competitors, and its voltage is a dual 110-240v, meaning it can be used anywhere in the world. This professional flat iron comes with an auto-shutoff feature, travel velvet pouch, heat-resistant glove, salon comb, gift box, and a 1-year warranty. Available in Rose Gold, and Purple.
BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium
If you’re after a thin hair straightener, glide through your morning routine with the Babylisspro nano titanium 1-inch ultra-thin straightening iron. It’s a lightweight and ergonomic design which makes it exceptionally comfortable and easy to use, whether making wavy or straightening hair.
The Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium reaches 450 degrees in a super quick time, and has a whopping 50 heat settings.
This is a fantastic choice to tame thick, unruly manes making it the best flat iron for thick hair, and even has a lengthy warranty for 3 years. The cord is estimated at between 8 and 9 feet in length and has 120-240v in power capacity. For forgetful folks the Babyliss Pro straightener doesn’t feature an auto-shutoff off after periods of non-use, unlike some of the other flat irons here. Also available in 1 Inch, 1-1/2 Inch, 2 Inch options.
Choosing A Hair Straightener
Every person’s hair has suffered a different amount of damage, be it sun exposure, heat styling, or years of color changes.
Along with regular conditioning and hydrating products, take action to prevent further damage to your locks by using serum and heat protectant when blow drying, curling, or straightening. When looking for a new smoothing device, people with brittle hair should seek out irons with adjustable heat settings, or those that have a fixed, but moderate temperature. Also, notice those straighteners that claim to be “one pass”: some theorize that the less time an iron is spent on your hair, the better, stopping it from frying.
Conversely, if you have to straighten thick hair, the follicles can handle higher temperatures and particularly stylers made of titanium. Coarse, full heads of hair that also happen to be long will benefit from a two-inch iron over a standard one-inch straightener, and vice versa for shorter-haired people. In fact, there are tiny hair straighteners on the market for baby hairs, bangs, and other delicate areas. Tourmaline-ceramic irons will be generally easier on sensitive locks than those with more common straight ceramic plates.
Most bathroom situations are not ideal for comfortably styling hair, and even so, your frequently used appliances should be able to function outside your home (let alone in another country). A longer cord on a product is always preferable to one that hampers your mobility, but luckily almost all of the best hair straighteners on the market have swivel cord bases. Depending on your lifestyle, it might be important to check that the device can operate in other countries or at a particular voltage.
A girl will rarely go on holiday without her flatiron. And that’s why product weight is an important factor too. Any travel with heavy items can be a drag. Travel aside, even when using the product, if it’s too heavy, it can be uncomfortable to use. Buying something that’s lightweight would be the preferred option.
Saving Energy And Time
Some flat irons take longer to heat up than their competitors, which makes a difference when getting ready in the morning. Others have a feature that turns off if left unattended for an extended period of time, a safeguard that prevents accidental burns, wasting energy, and wearing out the straightener. The best hair straightener will have a combination of both, i.e., quick heat-up times and auto-shutoff.
Authenticity And Warranties
Steer clear of sketchy vendors and look out for questionable credentials, because the warranty that comes with good flat irons can vary from one to four years and can really give skeptical buyers peace of mind. Take stock of a seller’s reputation.
Although straightening hair is a simple act, the technology and devices used to perform this beautifying process is far more complex than the act itself. As you may have gathered from our buying guide, there are plenty of options and features to look out for before you buy any type of flatiron.
In fact, many of the products above will suit the everyday consumer whether you want to look like a celebrity, or just getting readu for work, Some of the above are even used in salons. In order to keep you from wasting money on something that doesn’t fit your budget or needs, our guide and recommendations will have hopefully given insight into what’s good and what isn’t.
Ash is a self-confessed hair expert and blogger. He loves styling his son’s hair and will sometimes even cut and style his wife’s hair (when she’s feeling brave).