Flat irons and hair straighteners have quickly become indispensable to many beauty regimes. They can turn the dullest of hair into sleek and shiny locks in mere seconds, and many are versatile enough to also create curls and waves with a little practice. 

Unfortunately, though, choosing the wrong hair straightener may result in disappointing or dangerous results. Overpowered and difficult to use models may burn your hair and cause lasting damage, while those that lack safety functions can pose a risk of fire if left unattended for a length of time. So, if you’re looking for a new flat iron, which one should you go for? The huge range of sizes, features, and settings available can be a little confusing to navigate, especially if you have never used a hair straightener before. 

From style to budget and size to weight, we have reviewed five of the best flat irons and hair straighteners to help you get your money’s worth and also choose a model that suits your individual needs. We have also written a useful hair straightener buying guide towards the end of this article, so you can be certain you are making the right choice before purchasing. After all, the more efficiently your flat iron does its job, the greater the benefits for you and your hair.

  • 1” ceramic plates 
  • 140-450° Fahrenheit adjustable temperature
  • Dual-voltage
  • Long cord
  • Comes with pouch, gloves, and hair treatment oil
  • One-year warranty

  • 1.75” titanium plates
  • Auto shut off feature
  • Universal voltage
  • 170F-450° Fahrenheit adjustable temperature
  • Digital LCD screen
  • One-year warranty

  • 2” floating tourmaline ceramic plates 
  • 15-second heat up
  • Dual voltage
  • 5 heat settings
  • Auto shut-off
  • Five-year warranty

  • 1” floating ceramic plates 
  • 30-second heat up
  • Hinge lock
  • Anti-static 
  • Auto off feature
  • 6 heat settings
  • Four-year warranty


This extremely popular flat iron is one of the best on the market. It has ceramic and tourmaline plates for the smoothest finish, so it is gentler on your hair and less likely to damage your delicate strands. It straightens, flips, and curls to turn the most unruly and wild hair into beautiful, sleek locks in mere minutes. The narrow 1” plates are also perfect for straightening your bangs or creating more detailed styles. 

It heats up quickly and has an extra-long cord for convenience. The dual voltage also makes it easy to take along anywhere you may travel. It has highly-rated adjustable heat settings of between 140-450° Fahrenheit, which means you can control the amount of heat to which your hair is exposed. All you need to do is turn the dial to adjust the temperature as required for the thickness and overall health of your hair, but it is worth noting that some users found that the temperature wasn’t always consistent and required a little practice to get right. 

As an added bonus, it comes complete with a sleek protective glove, storage pouch, and argan oil treatment to help you achieve that special salon finish. If you have very thick hair, however, it is worth bearing in mind that the 1” plates may not be wide enough to get the job done quickly.

Pros

  • 1” plates good for bangs
  • Travel size with dual voltage
  • Extra long cord
  • Comes with pouch, gloves and hair treatment oil
  • Adjustable temperature

Cons

  • Temperature isn’t reliable
  • Those with thicker hair may struggle with 1” plates

This flat iron features a beautiful design in sleek black and gold, and comes with a temperature range of 170-450° Fahrenheit, so it is easily adaptable to your particular hair type and requirements. 

The design allows the heat to be dispersed consistently, while the smooth floating titanium plates help it to glide over your hair no matter what the texture. This means you don’t have to worry about your hair splitting or getting caught during use. The attractive digital LCD screen allows you to keep a close eye on the settings, so you can be sure to not over-stress your locks. Its universal voltage makes this model a travel-friendly option.

The auto shut off feature is an attractive prospect to have, especially if you are prone to leaving your gadgets on when in a hurry. You can rest assured that it will switch itself off automatically after 60 minutes of non-use, thus reducing the risk of a burnt dressing table or fire should you have a slip of the mind.

Unfortunately, some users have complained about the plates not being as aligned as perfectly as expected. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it may take a few attempts to reach all your hair strands effectively.

Pros

  • Auto shut off feature
  • Universal voltage
  • Unisex design
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Digital LCD screen

Cons

  • Plates not always aligned well

Conair is internationally celebrated as a reliable company for hairstyling products, and this INFINITIPRO Conair flat iron is certainly no exception. It is very well made and will be a worthy addition to your hair styling gadgets. 

The smooth 2” ceramic floating plates are designed to provide consistent and even heat distribution. This is despite its ability to operate at the highest temperature we have seen (455° Fahrenheit), making this model a great choice for even the most difficult to manage hair types. In addition, the 5 heat settings mean you can adjust it to your individual hair texture and type to reduce the chances of burning finer or color-damaged hair. 

If you want an effective hair styling tool with which you can travel, then the Conair’s dual voltage will be useful for operation in many countries. The 2” width of the plates means you can cover more hair in less time while also being able to create beautiful wavy styles quickly and easily by simply rotating your wrist during use. This makes this model a great choice if you have very long locks that usually take a long time to style. 

It is worth remembering, however, that the greater width means it isn’t well-suited for styling bangs. Some users have also complained that the temperature indicator light is prone to failing, leaving them unsure as to whether or not this flat iron has reached the desired temperature.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Dual voltage
  • 2” plates for maximum coverage
  • Ceramic coated plates gentle on hair
  • Reliable manufacturer

Cons

  • Not ideal for bangs
  • Temperature indicator prone to failure


If you’re looking for a budget model which can still pack a punch, this flat iron from Remington makes a great choice. At its modest price tag, the compact S5500 features slim 1” ceramic plates and is convenient for travelling. 

The 1” size also makes this flat iron especially effective for shorter or finer hair and perfect for detailed straightening or styling of bangs. The deep purple color may also be attractive if you want a change from the usual black hue most straighteners offer. There are 6 heat settings ranging from 310° Fahrenheit  to 410° Fahrenheit , but it should be noted that the lowest temperature of 310° Fahrenheit may still be too hot for users with delicate or color-damaged hair. 

A great feature of the Remington S5500 is the floating ceramic plates that make it easier to smoothly glide over your hair while styling. This is especially useful if you are worried about snagging your hair and causing damage. Furthermore, smart “anti-static” technology ensures up to 50% less static, so that even those with naturally frizzy hair will be left with sleek and shiny results. These Remington straighteners also heat up in only 30-seconds, which is super-convenient if you always end up styling your hair in a hurry. In addition, the auto shut-off feature will keep you safe should you ever forget to switch it off. 

Unfortunately, even though this model offers 30% longer plates, like other narrow-plated flat irons, it may not be the best choice for thicker hair. Moreover, some users have complained of an unpleasant burning smell during use.

Pros

  • Anti-static technology
  • Attractive colour
  • 30% longer, floating ceramic plates
  • Modest price tag
  • Auto-off feature

Cons

  • Not very effective for thick hair
  • May cause a burning smell
  • Lowest temperature of 310° Fahrenheit may be too high for some users

Comparison Chart

FeatureHSI Professional GliderKIPOZI Professional TitaniumINFINITIPRO BY CONAIRRemington S5500
Plate Width (in)11.7521
Plate MaterialCeramic/tourmalineTitaniumTourmaline CeramicCeramic
Max Heat (F)450450455410
Suitable for Wet HairXXXX
Auto Off
Digital DisplayXX
Weight (lbs)1.21.611.41.1
Warranty1-year1-year5-year4-year

Buyer’s Guide:

Flat Irons & Hair Straighteners

If you have curly or frizzy hair and desire straighter locks, then a flat iron can deliver the hair of your dreams in mere minutes. Many flat irons also double as curlers and wavers too. Therefore, if you easily get bored of the same old hair and like to try out different styles, a flat iron will enable you to get creative with your look. For those who struggle with unruly bangs, a flat iron can help tame them, leaving you feeling confident about your hair without the hassle.

Your hair strands are constructed from a type of protein known as keratin, which is also found in your fingernails and the enamel of your teeth. The keratin in your hair is held together by hydrogen bonds, which are what gives each hair strand its shape. If you alter these bonds, then you alter the shape of the hair. Such alteration of the hydrogen bonds can take place due to interaction with heat or water, allowing the bonds to be temporarily broken down and rearranged. When heat is applied with a flat iron, these bonds can be rearranged into the desired shape until the bonds are reset, usually with water when washing your hair or due to high humidity in the atmosphere. So, if you have newly-straightened hair, try to avoid rain and humidity. If you can do this, then your hair can sometimes stay straight right up until your next wash.

Plate Size

Depending on your hair length and texture, plate size can be crucial. As a general guide:

  • 2” plates are best for thicker and longer hair
  • 1 ½” plates are suitable for mid-length hair which isn’t too thick and curly
  • 1” plates are the best choice for shorter and finer hair. This size also works well when styling bangs 
Temperature Control

This is an important feature to have at your disposal, as it allows you to set the most suitable temperature for your hair type. For those with fine or color-damaged hair, you should look for a flat iron that has a relatively low heat option. Models that start at around 350° Fahrenheit will be less suitable for sensitive hair and run the risk of long-lasting damage to the hair strands. For thicker, curlier or generally unruly locks, a flat iron which has higher heat options is your best bet. This hair type often requires higher temperatures up to 450° Fahrenheit to be applied to achieve the desired results. 

Voltage & Transportability

Most people like a hair straightener that is travel ready. If this is you then look out for a dual or universal voltage model. In addition, if you are thinking of regularly dropping it into your travel bag, then having a relatively compact model which comes with a storage pouch will be handy. If you regularly travel abroad, then a lightweight flat iron such as the Remington S5500 would be the best choice. 

Material

The plates on a flat iron or hair straightener are usually constructed from titanium, ceramic, tourmaline, or a combination of these materials. Titanium is a high heat conductor and is efficient at taming or straightening frizzy or thick hair, but it is often more expensive than the alternatives.

On the other hand, ceramic plates are best for finer hair. The natural material has mineral properties and is more gentle on your hair. You must check whether the plates are fully ceramic and not merely ceramic-coated, as ceramic-coated plates may not always be the best quality since the ceramic can wear off over time and thus lead to uneven heat distribution with regular use.

Tourmaline is a semi-precious material. It is ground to create a smooth coating over the flat iron plates. Tourmaline produces more negative ions when heated, which are known to help protect the hair from high-heat damage and frizziness. This makes tourmaline the preferred choice if your hair is naturally prone to frizz or static. Unfortunately, however, it is generally less durable than ceramic and titanium. 

Weight

Since you are using hair straighteners with your arms, and often for extended periods, it is worth choosing one that has a weight which is comfortable for you. Heavier flat irons will be tiring, and you are less likely to get the full benefits from your flat iron if it fatigues your muscles during use. This is especially important if you have long or thick hair, as these hair types often take longer to straighten than finer or shorter styles.

The best way to use hair straighteners starts with the preparation. Grease, pollution, and hair products can all react with the heat causing undesirable, frizzy, and lacklustre results for your hair. As a result, start by washing your hair thoroughly. After this, dry it from root to tip, and untangle any knots with a fine comb. Unless the flat iron is compatible with wet hair, do not apply flat irons to wet hair. Hair is much weaker when wet and this may damage or burn it.

Once your hair is dry, it is advisable to apply heat protection. Then divide your hair into layers and sections to help you straighten your hair evenly. Finally, make sure the flat iron is set to the correct temperature and start straightening, taking it a section at a time. When finished, spritz with an anti-humidity hairspray to help lock in your new look.

Pros:
  • Salon hair at home: owning your own hair straighteners means that you can achieve salon hair at home. Going to the salon is often a luxury that many people do not have the time or money to indulge in regularly. With your own flat iron, you can practice your favorite salon styles and become better at achieving them without professional help.
  • Versatility: having your own flat iron means you can change your hairstyle at your whim. With a little practice, most flat irons can also create beautiful loose curls or waves with a simple twist of the wrist. This eliminates the need to purchase a separate curler or carry two appliances with you when traveling. 
  • Get rid of frizz: Frizz can be difficult to tame. A good quality hair straightener promises you sleek, glossy and frizz-free locks with minimal effort.
  • Great for unruly bangs: If your bangs are looking wild and you struggle to get them to lie how you would like them too – then good quality hair straighteners are just what you need. You can straighten them, tame them to lie on one side, or even curl them at the ends and enjoy a stylish look every day. 
Cons:
  • Dry and brittle hair: the main con of a hair straightener is that the heat can damage your hair over time with regular use. However, using a high-quality heat protection treatment can go a long way to mitigate these effects.
  • Fire and burn risk: hair straighteners are capable of reaching very high temperatures, which are required to change the smoothness and shape of your hair strands. Unfortunately, this means there is a risk of fire and burns if they are not used carefully. Most models feature an auto shut-off, which reduces the risk of a fire breaking out if you forget to switch them off, but unless you use heat-resistant gloves there is always a chance you may burn your fingers when using them.
Flat Irons & Hair Straighteners

Pros

  • Salon quality results at home
  • Can also create curled styles
  • Reduce frizz
  • Keeps bangs under control

Cons

  • May damage hair with frequent use
  • Poses a risk of fire and burns

  • Are hair straighteners suitable for all hair types?
  • Hair straighteners are suitable for all but the most damaged of hair types, you just need to be mindful of the settings which are most compatible. Different width plates and temperature settings enable many models to be adjusted to suit your individual needs. Thicker and coarser hair will achieve better results when heated to higher temperatures over a larger surface area, so high heat settings and wider plates are best in this case. Finer or shorter hair is best suited to low to mid temperatures to limit stress on the hair and 1-1 ½” ceramic plates for easier detailing.

  • Can flat irons damage my hair?
  • Unfortunately, there is evidence to suggest that repeated use and exposure to heat via a flat iron can result in dry and dull hair. This can be countered with special treatment conditioners which are designed to restore moisture and shine to your hair.

  • Can hair straighteners kill head lice?
  • It’s safe to say nobody likes head lice. These parasites can easily spread from one person to another, usually leaving you with a head you just can’t stop scratching. Head lice cannot survive beyond 104° Fahrenheit, so if you use hair straighteners beyond this temperature, adult lice and nits will thankfully die. Flat irons, however, are not a recommended one-stop solution to head lice infestations. This is because the eggs are laid close to the scalp, so they are unlikely to be killed using this method alone. Due to this, you will need additional treatment to get rid of them for good. A fine comb and a dedicated head lice treatment used in combination is the only way to ensure head lice are completely eliminated.

  • How often should hair straighteners be replaced?
  • Like most appliances and gadgets, hair straighteners and flat irons do not last forever. Ceramic coated and tourmaline models in particular can become worn out, causing hair to get caught or burnt. These worn and uneven surfaces can lead to uneven heat distribution and reduced effectiveness. If you use them rarely, then you may get away with replacing them every 5-6 + years; however, if you use them on a daily basis, you should expect to replace them every 3-4 years on average.

Final Thoughts 

Flat irons and hair straighteners are a must for anyone seeking glossy salon-like hair at home. These popular appliances are incredibly easy to use to create sleek straight results as well as glamorous loose waves and curls. Their versatility and range of temperature settings make great hair possible for any hair type or length, so long as you understand how best to use them for your individual requirements. 

Hopefully our hair straightener reviews and buying guide has helped you to determine which is the best flat iron for your needs, but if you’re still a little confused about which one to go for, we recommend the HSI Professional Glider. The ceramic and tourmaline plates will protect your hair, and it is versatile to allow you to straighten, flip the ends, or curl your hair with ease. The 1” plate is also perfect for straightening bangs or curling with too. The extra long cord is convenient if your power outlet is far from the mirror, and the dual voltage makes it easy to travel with. The wide temperature range is a great option for all hair types – while the included heat-resistant glove, storage pouch, and hair treatment make the HSI Professional Glider a superb option for beginners and experienced users alike. 

If you’re looking for a flat iron that will get the job done without hurting your pocket, however, the attractive Remington S5500 is our top budget choice. The floating plates are kind on the hair, and the 1” plates also make this model a great choice for curling or styling your bangs, too. The lowest temperature may be quite high for very fragile hair, but for most users, this shouldn’t cause an issue so long as a heat protectant product is used. 

All in all, we’re sure you’ll agree that a flat iron or hair straightener is a must for anybody who wants to try out new styles and keep their hair looking its best without needing to visit the salon.

Further Reading

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