The Best Flat Irons

Even though textured, fresh-out-of-the-shower hair has been making waves the past few years as beauty magazines embrace the natural beauty look, flat irons are still vastly popular. And it's not hard to see why. When you flip through fashion magazines from the 50s onwards, it becomes clear that the straight and glossy style will always be in, no matter the era or age. But while the popularity of straight hair isn't going anywhere, flat irons themselves have undergone many changes and improvements over the years. Here we've done the research, smoothed out the kinks, and compiled a list of our fav straighteners to give you a bit of that timeless sleekness in your locks.

HSI Professional Glider Flat Iron

A Safer, Smoother Shine

Straightening even the coarsest hair smoothly and swiftly in just one pass, the HSI Professional Glider lives up to its name.
Best Overall

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It’s not every day you stumble upon a product that has so many great features while still doing its main job extraordinarily well, but the HSI Professional Glider is not your run-of-the-beauty-store flat iron. This option is fast and efficient and works with any hair type or texture. The tourmaline-infused ceramic plates heat up in mere seconds at a wide temperature range of 140 to 450 degrees and work to evenly distribute the heat on your strands. With such even heating, you’ll experience less frizz and damage. You’ll also get to style your hair how you want it. And with this much flexibility, why not do more with the same tool? The HSI flat iron’s floating plates also make it possible to curl and flip your hair when you want to shake things up a bit.

Pros:

  • Long length, 360-degree swivel cord
  • Dual voltage for international travel
  • Comes with a heat-resistant glove, style guide, travel-size argan oil hair treatment, and carrying case

Cons:

  • The temperature dial is kind of hard to read
  • No auto shut-off

Conair Double Ceramic Flat Iron

Classic and Convenient

The Conair Double Ceramic Flat Iron has everything you'd expect from a classic, efficient ceramic straightener - at half the price of other products.
Best Ceramic

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When we think of hair straighteners, the word “ceramic” comes naturally to mind, but what do ceramic flat irons actually do? Ceramic is commonly used in straighteners because it distributes heat evenly, enabling straighter hair at lower temperatures, which subsequently cuts down the time necessary for the plates to heat up and also reduces long-term damage. Additionally, ceramic plates tend to be smoother, providing for a snag-free glide. This iron from Conair is a classic example of ceramic at its finest. With 1-inch extra-long floating plates that straighten your locks faster, this double ceramic flat iron will give you flawless softness and gloss every time. Just keep in mind that these specific straighteners tend to work better for finer hair.

Pros:

  • 5 easy-to-read heat settings up to 410 degrees
  • 30-second heat-up
  • Automatically shuts off
  • Great cost value

Cons:

  • Single voltage
  • Works best on finer hair

KIPOZI Professional Titanium Flat Iron

Tame the Thickest Tresses

With three versatile temperature settings, the KIPOZI Professional Titanium Flat Iron is made to straighten and smooth all hair textures.
Best Titanium

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Every thick textured, curly-haired chica knows that when it comes to hair straightening, not all flat irons are created equal. While ceramic irons can work their magic on finer, thinner hair, they don’t do much for hard-to-tame tresses. That’s where titanium straighteners come in. Heating up faster and hotter than ceramic plates, titanium plates have a higher ionic distribution for a glossier finish on even the densest hair types. And while these straighteners can damage finer hair if used incorrectly, our top titanium flat iron choice by KIPOZI has three settings for different hair types to make sure you get silky-smooth, and not singed, strands. Lastly, although titanium irons tend to be more expensive, we think this one is an absolute steal.

Pros:

  • Worldwide usage circuit
  • Digital LCD Display
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Great cost value

Cons:

  • Outside of the plates get very hot

BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Straightener

Premium Professional Performance

Treat yourself to a salon styled coif every time with BaBylissPro's Nano Titanium Straightener.
Premium Pick

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Used and recommended by hair stylists and clients everywhere, BaByLiss’s products are known for their premium quality, and this Nano Titanium Straightener is no exception. While this flat iron is at a higher price point than the others on our list, we think that spending a bit more for better results makes total sense, especially if you straighten your hair often. With nano-titanium materials that resist corrosion and chipping and 5″ long plates that straighten wide sections at a time, the BaByLissPro iron will smooth your tresses quickly and efficiently. But this straightener’s most beloved feature comes with a learning curve. This iron gets hot quickly and stays that way, so be careful when handling it or placing it down next to other items.

Pros:

  • 50 Different heat settings
  • Nano-titanium plates
  • Slim design for a lightweight handling

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • On/off switch located too close to handling point

NITION Professional Salon Hair Straightener

5 Elements in One

The NITION Professional Salon Hair Straightener is designed with every straightening style in mind, leaving you with smooth, silky hair without the need for extra products.
Best with Argan Oil

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Wouldn’t it be convenient to have a straightener that does it all, for all types of hair? Meet the NITION Professional Salon Hair Straightener, which blends its ceramic plate with five different styling elements: Nano Silver, Argan Oil, Tourmaline, and Titanium. The combination of these elements in the heating plate locks in natural moisture and allows the plate to glide through any type of hair to leave it shiny, sleek, and without static. Argan oil, for example, delivers a rich mix of nutrients, such as Vitamin E and antioxidants, while also functioning as a heat protectant due to its high smoke point. Normally you would add some oil to your hair before or after the flattening process, but since it’s integrated into the NITION plate, you don’t need to worry about purchasing any other products. Talk about all-in-one.

Pros:

  • 6 Precise temperature options
  • Auto-shutoff feature
  • 360-degree swivel, 9 ft cord with hanging hook
  • Comes with heat-resistant glove and accessories

Cons:

  • The iron gets very hot so the glove is recommended

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a flat iron every day?

In general, try to only use a straightener once or twice a week. If you’re straightening your hair every day, this will likely damage it over time, especially if you have coarse, dry hair already. Of course, there are some straighteners and heat protectants designed for assisting specifically those customers that are gentler.

This doesn’t mean you have to give up on your glossy locks the rest of the days. Instead, you can use a straightening product to make the hairstyle last longer for those days when you give your hair a break and also try colder showers to minimize the heat exposure your tresses normally get in addition to the hot plates.

How often should I replace my straightener, and how can I tell when it’s time? 

This depends on the durability and quality of the hair straightener. In general, we recommend switching up your iron every 2-3 years in order to avoid damage to your hair. Keep your eye out for signs of damage on the plates – the plate may be lifting off the plastic frame or there may be scratches and chips on the plate itself. Sometimes, the heat light can also be an indicator – if it keeps blinking even after the temperature is right, then your straightener may be on its way out.