Curls and waves are beautiful, but sometimes you want sleek, straight hair for a streamlined look. Thus, you need a hair straightener.
While we’re using the terms “flat iron” and “hair straightener” pretty interchangeably throughout this piece, it should be noted there’s a difference between the two:
-A flat iron refers specifically to a two-plated device you use on small sections of hair to flatten
-A hair straightener refers to any device that (you guessed it) straightens hair and that includes flat irons, hot combs, straightening brushes, etc.
That said, we are focusing on flat irons here. We looked at top selling models from popular places to buy hair tools, and the following were frequently ranked among the best rated, most popular, and most raved-about models on the market.
Keep reading to discover which flat iron, whether bougie and pricey or budget-friendly and basic, will work best in your routine.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
This pro-level straightener is made from natural volcanic mineral that promises to fuse “micro hydration” into the hair shaft as vibrating plates smooth hair in around 10 minutes, depending on thickness. A rounded tip lets you get into all the nooks and crannies, leaving hair flawlessly silky from root to tip.
For an economical buy that will work best on fine, not too curly hair, this Conair model is a steal. The ceramic plates reach 455 degrees with 30 settings and a 15-second heatup time. It also looks great sitting on your countertop or vanity–we love rainbow finish!
While attractive and cheap, this iron is best for the casual user. If you like something pretty to look at and only go for the sleek look once or twice a week, this is a great pick.
The best bargain yet on this list is also one that promises to best serve the widest margin of hair types with keratin and argon oil infused plates. Like others here, you get the rounded tip for accuracy and detailed straightening, a clear digital display with six heat settings, and bonus clips and heat gloves to help the process along. There are also automatic shutoff and safety lock functions, making this an all-around great buy for you or someone you love.
The brand name is a bit off-putting, but that’s precisely the point. Generic Value Products mimic the styles of many popular tools, shampoos and conditioners, hair masks–you name it, they’re copying it well.
This straightening iron is meant to work similarly to a Chi product that costs a good bit more based on name alone. If you’re not afraid to give up brand recognition in lieu of a no-frills, quality product, give this basic 1 1/12 inch flat iron a try.
This iron promises to work for all hair types (straight, wavy, curvy, and coily) and textures (fine, medium, and thick), and delivers high-tech heat in nine different settings so you get smooth strands in a single pass.
The Lucea has a smart microchip that constantly monitors the iron’s internal heat settings to ensure even delivery, constant reheating as needed, and the best results possible. Users love it for its ability to create curls, too, as popularized by various TikTokers discovering the tool’s multiple uses!
There’s plenty of clichés about smoke and fire, following the crowd, etc., but sometimes it really does come down to popularity contests. And this flat iron is a winner.
With nearly 70,000 ratings and counting, this handy and affordable straightening kit comes with an argan oil sample, heat protectant glove, red or white satin travel case, and handy one inch iron that is easy to use on shorter hair, including bangs. It also has a 360 degree swivel cord, so you’ll ever get tangled up again.
For thick hair havers with little cash to spare, this is a fantastic option. This anti-static flat iron promises to reduce negatively charged particles that lead to frizz, static, and flyaways, and eight heat settings with a clear LCD screen let you choose your hair type and temperature for the best results. Says one buyer:
“I have multiple irons and unfortunately left them all home when I went away, so I purchased this on in a pinch. I extremely surprised and impressed by this flatiron,” and continues on, noting it heats quickly, has curved edges for beach waves, and the buttons are placed so you don’t accidentally turn it off mid-styling.