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10 Best Hair Straighteners for Every Hair Type and Budget

Frizzy, curly, thick hair is no match for these top-tested flat irons.

the best flat irons
Ulta Beauty

There's nothing quite like the shine and sleekness that comes from sealing your style with a straightening iron. The problem: It can be difficult to find the one that's best for your hair type (and budget). That's why each year in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, we evaluate thousands of hair tools, from the best hair dryers to top-tested curling irons and hair-smoothing hair dryer brushes, to find the only ones that are actually worth your money.

After over 4,914 heat data points measured, 972 survey questions tallied and 108 swatch expansion measurements taken in our most recent Beauty Lab test, we found the top flat irons and straightening brushes at all price points for every hair type that make easy work of straightening your hair — we even found the best flat irons that can curl your hair (just before to douse hair with heat protectant before using!).

Our top picks:

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      BEST OVERALL HAIR STRAIGHTENER
      Lava Ceramic Hairstyling Iron
      CHI
      Chi

      • Top performance scores in Beauty Lab tests
      • Top consumer satisfaction and ease of use scores

      • No audible alert once iron reaches temperature

      This speed-heating, power-smoothing CHI earned a rare perfect score with GH’s expert evaluators and was far and away our top-tested flat iron. In tests, it warmed up to 96% of max temp in 60 seconds, and ranked top at fully straightening hair and keeping it sleek and frizz-free all day. It also got perfect marks from testers for gliding smoothly through hair and being easy to use, with all commenting on the "noticeable shine" in just one pass.

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      • Temperature settings:
      Adjustable up to 450ºF
      • Auto shut-off
      : 60 minutes

      BEST VALUE HAIR STRAIGHTENER
      1” Flat Iron with Anti-Static Technology
      Remington
      Remington

      • Budget-friendly
      • Feature-rich

      • May not be as durable as other picks

      Though we haven't tested it in the Lab, with over 34,00 reviews on Amazon and an average 4.6 star rating, people are absolutely obsessed with this flat iron, and it has an astounding amount of great features for an under-$20 hair tool. Floating ceramic plates are coated with titanium for even heating and a silky smooth glide through the hair, and the temperature is adjustable up to 410ºF, so you can tweak it according to your hair type.

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      Temperature settings: Adjustable up to 410ºF
      • Auto shut-off:
      60 minutes

      BEST HAIR STRAIGHTENER FOR DAMAGED HAIR
      Platinum+ Professional Performance Styler
      ghd
      ghd

      • Maintains 365º to protect hair from damage
      • Rounded edges are great for curling hair

      • Lack of adjustable temperature may be a turn-off for some hair types

      Thanks to rounded edges and a universally convenient 1-inch plate, this flat iron is great for both straightening and curling hair. The plates are super smooth, which means no more snags or broken pieces of hair, even as you curl. In Lab tests, we found that the flat iron heated up the quickest, reaching 99% of its claimed temperature in 30 seconds. It maintained a consistent, steady temperature of 365º to protect hair from excessive heat damage and its technology ensures even heat across the entire plate for even styling, too. A favorite of several celebrity stylists we interviewed for this article, Mane Addicts stylist Sabrina Porsche says, "I recommend GHD irons for anyone who has natural hair and wants to use the best iron that won't damage your hair with heat."

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      • Temperature settings:
      None
      • Auto shut-off:
      30 minutes

      BEST HAIR STRAIGHTENER FOR FRIZZY HAIR
      Pro 1" Pearl Ceramic Flat Iron
      Remington
      Remington

      • Best scores for maintaining sleekness that lasts
      • Lightweight maneuverability

      • Shorter-than-average cord length

      This lightweight and bargain-priced Remington delivers smooth strands that stay in place. The tool was the lightest-weight of the winners in our most recent test (0.77 pound!) and tied for best at maintaining sleekness. “One pass for effective straightening that lasted,” an evaluator said, with another adding hair "felt soft and looked straight with this iron," perfect for even tough-to-manage frizzy hair. In Lab tests, it heated up to 93% of its claimed temperature in 60 seconds, which is speedy but not as fast as the 15 seconds claimed.

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      • Temperature settings:
      Adjustable up to 450ºF
      • Auto shut-off:
      60 minutes

      BEST HAIR STRAIGHTENER FOR FINE HAIR
      Lucea ID 1'' Smart Flat Iron
      T3
      T3
      Now 14% off

      • Personalized settings for your specific hair type
      • Top scores for making hair shiny and silky-smooth

      • Testers found the touch screen power and adjustability buttons difficult to use
      • Takes a while to heat up

      This smart flat iron allows you to plug in personal info like hair length and texture to automatically calculate the perfect styling temperature for your hair. "Far too many times, people use a hotter setting than they actually need," our Lab pros say, but with nine temperature settings, this iron has the perfect fit for everyone, meaning you won't scorch even super fine hair. It nabbed top scores for making hair noticeably shiny, with testers noting it "glided effortlessly" through strands without pulling, tugging or creases for a style that "lasted all day long." Porsche says, "I love T3 because if I am doing a silk press, I know I am getting super straight and shiny results." The iron remembers your settings but also offers instructions for re-touches and manual setup, plus 60-minute auto shut-off for peace of mind.

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      • Temperature settings:
      Adjustable up to 410ºF
      • Auto shut-off:
      60 minutes

      BEST HAIR STRAIGHTENER FOR THICK HAIR
      Salon Straightener Copper Smooth Flat Iron
      Revlon
      REVLON
      Now 28% off

      • Super long plates to smooth long or thick hair quickly
      • Wide temperature range to suit many hair types

      • No audible tone when it reaches temperature
      • Shorter-than-average cord

      Revlon’s super long, 1-inch-wide tool gave lasting straightness to even the longest, thickest hair. It had the widest temp range (180°F to 455°F) in our tests and at 4.9 inches, the longest plate length we tested ("but not too long," said testers!) which aided in “making the process quicker,” a pro noted. It took around a minute to reach 94% of its claimed temperature, and it earned the top score for maintaining hair straightness in our technical test, though the lowest score for keeping hair straight, shiny and frizz-free all day long, so make sure you use an anti-frizz serum!

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      • Temperature settings:
      Adjustable up to 455ºF
      • Auto shut-off:
      60 minutes

      BEST CORDLESS HAIR STRAIGHTENER
      Corrale Hair Straightener
      DYSON
      Dyson

      • Can be used cordless or corded
      • Flexing plates for voluminous yet sleek hair

      • Heavy, bulky profile
      • Narrow range of heat settings

      Perfect for travel (or inconveniently placed outlets in the bathroom), this Dyson flat iron can be used cord-free: The brand claims one 70-minute charge grants 30 minutes of cordless styling. Unlike traditional flat irons that have a solid surface, the Dyson's plates are flexible so hair doesn't get squished flat which "left [hair] a bit voluminous like a blowout" and a style that testers said "retained volume," yet "stayed straight and kept its body." It's heavy and bulky, but experts found that “it didn’t seem to matter during use.” From the operational standpoint, the Dyson excelled: It heated up to 95% of its claimed temperature in 60 seconds and maintained a steady plate temperature for 15 minutes, while the outside surface temperature stays cool to the touch. However, in Lab tests, hair struggled to maintain straightness after 24-hour humidity exposure, and our experts found it pulled and snagged hair more than other irons during styling.

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      • Temperature settings
      : Three heat settings (330°F, 365°F, 410°F)
      • Auto shut-off:
      10 minutes

      BEST STRAIGHTENER FOR CURLY HAIR
      Nano Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
      BaBylissPRO
      BaBylissPRO

      • Plates extend to iron's edge for smoothing frizzy hair
      • Smoothly glides through hair

      • No auto shut-off
      • Takes longer to heat up than other irons

      This iron is our Beauty Lab standard: We use it for various evaluations such as anti-frizz studies. It glides through hair without tugging and is easy to use according to consumer testers. Plus, with over 10,000 five star reviews on Amazon, it's safe to say people are obsessed with this flat iron from BaBylissPRO. Because the titanium iron is so thin and the plates go all the way to the edge of the clamp, it's able to nab frizz right at the root of the hair, making this iron perfect for stubborn frizz or super-curly and natural hair. One reviewer who says she has "very, very curly hair," claims that this flat iron cuts her styling time in half and gets rid of frizz in one pass.

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      • Temperature settings:
      Adjustable up to 450ºF
      • Auto shut-off
      : None

      BEST HAIR STRAIGHTENER BRUSH
      Polished Perfection Straightening Brush 2.0
      Amika
      Amika

      • Retains volume at the roots

      • Limited styling functionality

      This clever brush requires absolutely no styling skills to transform your hair into smoother strands, plus it won't sacrifice volume at the root or give hair that crunchy, too-straight look. Don't expect it to get your hair as pin-straight as it might with a traditional straightening iron, but we recommend using it whenever hair is misbehaving but doesn't need to be stick-straight. It slashed one of our curly-haired editor's straightening time in half.

      Temperature settings: Adjustable up to 450ºF
      Auto shut-off: 60 minutes

      MOST POPULAR HAIR STRAIGHTENER ON AMAZON
      Glider Ceramic Flat Iron
      HSI
      HSI Professional

      • Amazon reviewer favorite

      • Low performance scores in Beauty Lab tests

      According to Amazon reviewers, this is the best flat iron money can buy (and for under $50!), racking up over 55,000 five-star reviews on Amazon (it's worth checking out the thousands of before and after photos, too). Reviewers say it can press hair silky smooth in one pass, cut down on styling time and is snag-free. In our Beauty Lab tests, however, it scored low for ease of use and satisfaction with testers citing the heat dial as "difficult to adjust," plus it took the longest of all irons to heat up — we also found hair didn't remain straight.

      • Plate size: 1-inch
      • Temperature settings:
      Adjustable up to 450ºF
      • Auto shut-off
      : None

      How we test flat irons
      linebreak

      In our penultimate test of flat irons, we rounded up more than 50 products from over 20 manufacturers to find the best flat irons — and in our most recent test, we added 18 more. In the Lab, we test them on swatches of frizzy hair in our controlled Climatology Chamber to evaluate each iron's ability to maintain straightness. We do so by measuring width and thickness expansion after 24 hour exposure to a controlled amount of relative humidity — the photo here shows a comparison between a hair straightener that maintained straightness after 24 hours (left) compared to one that did not maintain straightness after 24 hours (right).

      two photos of hair swatches in gh lab tests showing a comparison between a hair straightener that maintained straightness after 24 hours at left compared to one that did not maintain straightness after 24 hours at right
      Danusia Wnek

      We also consider each iron's weight and size, ease of use, user satisfaction, ability to impart shine and ability smooth hair, plus durability, safety and efficacy. After all of this, we tallied up 4,914 heat data points, 972 survey questions and 108 swatch expansion measurements in our latest test to find the best of the best.

      What type of hair straightener do professionals use?
      tk
      Herast

      Some flat irons claim to prevent damage, others claim to be made with the best material for healthy shine, but as a shopper, it can be confusing to tell which is best.

      When it comes to material, professionals tend to favor titanium flat irons. "Titanium is preferred among stylists because [it tends] to get hot really quickly," says Eugene Toye, stylist at celebrity-favorite hair salon Rita Hazan. According to stylist Sabrina Porsche, titanium has even heat distribution, which makes for smooth, silky hair. "Titanium is ideal as a flat iron plate," agrees Kevin Hughes, celebrity stylist and artistic director for Moroccanoil. "It heats up quickly and is a very even heat, which translates to better results and less time go over the same strands of hair."

      Another great pick: Ceramic or tourmaline (which is actually "a high grade of ceramic," says Toye). "These plates are safe for thin/fine hair and don't get extremely hot," says Porsche. "Most ceramic flat irons provide faster results in less time, meaning less heat on your hair." That said, our Beauty Lab pros have found great flat irons come in all sorts of materials, from ceramic to titanium and beyond, so don't get too caught up in material claims and focus on other important aspects like adjustable heat settings, cord length and budget.

      What to consider when shopping for the best hair straightener
      linebreak

      Beyond material, "some of the aspects that make a great flat iron include the heating element ... a good visual digital thermometer, the quality of the plates and the length of the cord," says Toye. "The best flat irons are ones that sit comfortably in your hands, have an even heat distribution and selection of temperatures so that you don't damage your hair," adds Porsche. Here's what else to keep in mind:

      ✔️ Heat settings: A flat iron with multiple heat settings allows for more customization and flexibility when styling since you’re able to select a temperature that works for your hair type/needs. Our expert testers preferred having an option of a temperature range for their flat irons, and Hughes agrees: “It is a must for all hair types. Most irons go up to 430-450ºF,” but that doesn't mean you should crank up the heat all the way! We recommend always starting off at a lower temperature and increase temperature as needed since temperatures above 450ºF can cause decomposition of hair's protein content, causing irreparable damage. Although there is no scientific guidance on the best temperature ranges to use for different textures, our pros averaged all the temperature suggestions from manufacturers for fine, medium and thick, coarse hair: fine hair should stick to 240- 330°F, medium to normal hair can style at 330- 370°F and thick, coarse hair can start at 390°F.

      ✔️ Plate width and length: “1-inch plates are ideal,” says Hughes. “I think if a plate is too wide it makes the tool more difficult to use or maneuver in the hair.” These narrower plates also make it easier to do detailed styling (like curling, bending or waving) and they’re also better for getting closer to the root of the hair. One exception: if hair is super long and you're just looking to press hair straight, a 1.5-inch or 2-inch width can make faster work of the task.

      ✔️ Cord length: If you’re planning on styling hair in a bathroom or close to an outlet, cord length might not be an issue, but if you don’t have an outlet by your mirror, you may want to opt for a longer (or “professional”) length. Cord length in our study varied from 5.6 to 10.8 feet, with an average of 8.1 feet — the longer the cord, the more convenience and range you’ll have. “Also, if the cord swivels, that is a great feature so you can move easier,” says Hughes.

      ✔️ Auto shut-off: “People are busy and we can all forget to turn off an iron when we are running late, so auto shut-off ensures you some peace of mind,” says Hughes. In our tests, auto shut-off varied from five minutes to two hours, which is handy when you can't quite remember if you turned the tool off — but we still recommend powering off and unplugging the tool after use to ensure it is completely off.

      Why trust Good Housekeeping?
      tk
      Herast

      Good Housekeeping Institute Deputy Editor Jessica Teich has over 10 years of experience formally researching, testing and writing about haircare products, from hair tools (like hairdryer brushes, curling irons and wands and flat irons) to styling tips (like how to get beach waves, how to use a diffuser and how to cut your own hair) and hair products, including dry shampoo and the best curly hair products. An authority on (and a guinea pig for testing) new-to-market tools on curly hair, she regularly teams up with GH's Beauty Lab to synthesize its data in putting together product reviews on the very best haircare on the market, according to testing.

      For this story, she worked closely with Danusia Wnek, a chemist in the Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab, who has a B.S. in chemistry from St. John’s University, an M.S. in pharmaceutical sciences with concentration in cosmetic science from the University of Cincinnati and 10 years of experience in the personal care industry including formulation, product development, claim evaluation and efficacy testing. Danusia has spent seven years researching and developing testing protocols for haircare products for the Good Housekeeping Institute. These categories include cleansing conditioners, moisturizing and volumizing shampoo and conditioners, volumizing sprays, flat irons, hairdryer brushes and dry shampoos.

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