We spent over 30 hours researching and testing 12 different kinds of flat irons and found that performance, materials, and cost were most important. The HIS Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron
scored high marks in every category and is our top pick. Using this flat iron will turn your frizzy, dull hair into sleek, straight locks that you will love showing off. It heats up quickly and has a convenient swivel cord that makes it easy to handle. The ergonomic design of the handle makes it comfortable and sturdy to grip. The versatile heat setting selection allows you to choose which setting is best for your needs.
10 mins to read
24 products considered
12 products reviewed
30 hours reviewing
Best Overall Flat Iron
As I just mentioned, your experience with any given flat iron may be completely different from everyone else’s. This is because no two heads of hair are alike. As I’m sure you have already come to find, this makes shopping for flat irons a bit of a pain at times, especially if you’re a fan of informed consumerism and take every step necessary to ensure you’re getting the best product. This is why the Ionic Flat Iron deserves first place on this list. Going against the grain of nearly every other product of its type, the Ionic Flat Iron does not cater to one specific type of hair. It doesn’t matter what hair you have going into it and it doesn’t matter what hair you want to have going out of it. No matter what, the Ionic Flat Iron can handle your hair
This is easily the Ionic Flat Iron’s best characteristic. Not only does its high degree of versatility make things a whole lot easier in terms of picking out a flat iron, it makes it one of the safer purchases on the market, being that you’ll never come out disappointed with its ability to handle your hair. Although it might not have any specific specialities to speak of, it certainly doesn’t have any drawbacks to speak of either. This also makes it great if you’re sick of reading the specs on different flat irons and would simply like to get on with your purchase. Not to mention, having such a versatile flat iron which can handle all types of hair is great if you know you won’t be the only one in the house using the iron in question.
The Ionic Flat Iron’s versatility isn’t its only attractive feature. It also does a great job of doing what it was meant to do in the first place – straightening hair. Of course, a unit’s level of effectiveness is the most important thing to look for in any flat iron and is an area where the Ionic Flat Iron greatly excels. Though, don’t take my word for it. If you take a look on the unit’s official Amazon page (by clicking on the product’s name above), you’ll see that it has an average rating of well over four stars. What’s more, this average has been taken over twenty-four thousand different reviews. If that’s not a good sample size I don’t know what is. In terms of the Ionic Flat Iron’s overall level of effectiveness, there’s not a whole lot to say other than noting that it’s one of the very best (most likely the best) in this regard.
– Sarah Lytle
Best Overall Flat Iron – Runner Up
This is a brand who you’ve likely come to recognize if you’ve spent any substantial amount of time searching around for different flat irons. Why? Because it works. Now, of all flat iron brands, the BaByliss might take the top place when it comes to the variation between each of their products. While you might love one of their irons, you might hate the other. Rather than trying to garner some sort of brand loyalty among their customers, the brand takes an interesting approach in that it releases a product for everybody, with each product catering to a very specific group of people. And, as it turns out, this product is no different. So, before continuing, I’ll make a point of saying that this flat iron is best for thick, frizzy or otherwise hard-to-work-with hair. While it may work for other sorts of hair, you won’t notice all of the iron’s benefits unless you belong to the group which the iron has been made for.
The BaByliss Pro is the workhorse of all flat irons. No matter how curly, frizzy or downright frustrating your hair may be at times, you don’t have to worry about whether or not this flat iron can tackle any job you may happen to throw at it. One way it achieves such an effect is through its sheer power. You’ll find that, when using this flat iron, your first pass over a strand of hair will always be your last pass. It also just does a great job of gliding through hair. I won’t ask how it does this, but I’ll note that it does a great job in this regard. When no other straighteners can seem to beat your hair in a duel, look no further than the BaByliss Pro.
– Sarah Lytle
Best Budget Flat Iron
The Xtava Pro-Satin, as its name suggests, relies on infrared heating to give your hair a great straightening without being too rough in the process. Now, companies are always throwing around a bunch of jargon which often serves no other purpose than to confuse potential customers into buying their product. As such, you may feel a little nervous buying from a brand making wild claims about infrared heating. However, I’ll note that the Xtava Pro-Satin more than lives up to its name in terms of having a very gentle effect on your hair. I don’t know whether or not this truly has anything to do with “infrared heating,” though, whatever this straightener is up to, it works like a charm.
What’s interesting here isn’t that the Xtava Pro-Satin is very gentle, it’s that the flat iron’s overall level of effectiveness is actually quite a bit above average. If you’ve used more than two or three straighteners in the past, you’ve likely noticed that “gentle” and “effective” are two words which can never be used to describe a single flat iron. The Xtava Pro-Satin; however, breaks this trend by keeping your hair intact while tackling jobs with ease. Its gentleness-to-effectiveness ratio is easily the best in the business.
– Sarah Lytle
Flat Iron Buying Guide
What is a Flat Iron?
If you’re not quite sure whether or not the above three flat irons have just what you need, you may find it beneficial to do some shopping for yourself. While doing so, your odds of walking away with the perfect flat iron for your hair type will be greatly increased by knowing just what it is to look for in a flat iron in the first place. Trying keeping some of the following considerations in mind when shopping to ensure your excursion proves fruitful.
How hot does your flat iron need to go?
When a flat iron is too hot, it damages your hair. When it isn’t hot enough, it hardly does anything at all. While you could simply look at any given unit’s heat output in its specifications, a better alternative might be to read its reviews. Every product will have both positive and negative reviews, there’s no doubt about it. However, try deciphering just who it is that’s leaving positive reviews. Do they mention whether their hair is thick, thin, curly or frizzy? If a flat iron works for other people with your hair type, you can bet it will work for you.
How much hair do you typically work with at one time?
Everyone has their own straightening techniques. What are yours? Do you often work on a very large strand of hair at once or do you work with smaller ones? While a shorter flat iron may be less prone to burn-related mishaps, it may not be as great at tackling very thick strands of hair in one go. Most flat irons should have their dimensions listed. Otherwise, you can often get a somewhat accurate idea of how long they are simply by their look.
Types of Flat Iron Plates
There are two main types of flat irons available which are marked by the material their plates are made out of. Do you know which plates are best for you?
- Ceramic Plates – Although there are a few exceptions to this rule (such as one of the units we covered above), ceramic plats tend to be very mild. While they don’t always produce as much heat, they tend to hold a very consistent temperature throughout and are generally more gentle on your hair. Ceramic plates are best if you know you’ll be straightening your hair on a daily basis, as your risk of hair damage will lower significantly while using these plates.
- Titanium Plates – Titanium plates could be considered as being rather rough around the edges. Because their heat isn’t always spread as evenly throughout when compared to ceramic plates, your risk of hair damage will increase substantially if using a titanium-plated flat iron on a daily basis. However, these tend to get the job done quickly and efficiently, which is why you’ll almost always see them used over ceramic plates in professional settings. These plates also tend to be more durable and long-lasting than their ceramic counterparts, which is a nice bonus at the very least. Beware, these plates are made for occasional usage.
Common Flat Iron Features
There are a few flat iron features which always prove beneficial, no matter your hair type. If you can, try picking up a flat iron exhibiting these characteristics.
- Heat Settings – If you’ve never seen a unit without heat settings, you may be surprised to find that such products exist. When you buy a flat iron without said settings, you’re banking on the unit’s steady heat to be exactly what your hair needs. As I’m sure you can guess, this is rather unlikely.
- A Good Gentleness-to-Effectiveness Ratio – Take a look at what others have to say about the flat iron you have your sights set on through looking at its user reviews. After doing so, you should be able to come to a conclusion as to how gentle and effective a flat iron is.
As you can see, there are several factors which must be taken into account when deciding on a flat iron. With the knowledge you’ve gained through the above review and buyer’s guide; however, you’ll now have the advantage in that you know just what it is said factors entail. Straightening your hair can sometimes burn, though shopping doesn’t have to.