Last updated, 23rd January 2017
Instinctively it seems like purchasing a flat iron should be straightforward—after all, it’s one of the simplest tools you use—but there are so many companies and models available that it can be confusing for even the most experienced customers. What you need depends entirely on how you use your flat iron, so do your research now and save yourself the trouble of experimenting with several expensive flat irons.
Best Flat Iron 2017
Bio Ionic Onepass Flat Iron
Why we selected this item:
- Fitted with silicone speed strips for faster performance
- Instantly heats up to 400 Degrees F with instant recovery
- Infused with NanoIonic Mineral to keep plates safe to use
What should you look for in a flat iron?
There are several different materials used to create flat iron plates and what material is best depends on what you want to do with your hair straightener. Every material heats up at a different speed and retains a different amount of heat, so this also impacts how you use the straightener itself.
Finding The Best Ceramic Flat Irons
Ceramic plates are excellent at retaining heat and get quite hot, but they do take a little bit longer to heat up than most other flat iron materials. Be careful to get real ceramic plates instead of ceramic coated plates which are usually actually made of cheap metal that doesn’t retain the heat nearly as well as a proper ceramic plate.
Hair straighteners with real ceramic plates typically have a high range of heat options. The highly smooth surface of the ceramic plates also means that the plates are heated evenly across the surface so you won’t accidentally burn a spot of your hair. These straighteners are great for getting rid of frizz and straightening your hair completely.
Finding The Best Titanium Flat Irons
Titanium is the ideal material if you’re always looking to straighten your hair in a hurry because it heats up quite quickly and can retain the heat for a while. They’re also quite light, making these straighteners excellent for anyone who’s always on the go.
If you get a high quality titanium hair straightener you can also count on having it for a long time. Titanium is an incredibly durable material and these straighteners are quite an investment. You will usually spend a lot more money on a good titanium straightener but they can last for decades when cared for properly.
Finding The Best Tourmaline Flat Irons
If you want to really invest in a hair straightener you’ll have for a long time—and one that’s quite attractive to boot—you can get a straightener with tourmaline plates. Tourmaline is actually a gemstone which is formed into thin plates for hair straighteners. It is much less likely to chip or crack than most other materials used for hair straighteners.
You can count on spending a sizeable chunk of money on a real tourmaline hair straightener but if you get a high quality one it will be well worth it. You might never have to replace one of these flat irons.
Some hair straighteners are made out of glass or metals other than titanium but these are usually low quality machines that are more likely to suffer from heat spikes and burn your hair or simply fall apart after a small amount of usage.
If you’re really concerned about your hair getting tangled up and you want to preserve the lifetime of your plates you can also get coverings made from silicone or rubber to help keep the process smooth and prevent tangling.
Some flat irons come with extra features such as the following:
- Exact temperatures – Any high quality iron should allow you to control the exact temperature of your iron and the best give a wide range of options to suit every look and hair type
- Auto shutoff – If you’re the type of person who tends to just put your iron down and walk away when you’re finished you might want to get one that has a timed automatic shutoff. Just make sure the time is long enough for you to actually straighten your hair or this might get really annoying
- Locks – These days many irons come with a lock you can use when you’re done to keep the iron closed while it’s not in use. Not as important as the automatic shutoff but this is definitely handy for storage
- Stands – Some irons come with their own stands and some of these can actually be hidden inside or around the body of the hair straightener while it’s in use
- Flat Mats – You’ll probably have to buy this one yourself, but a small, flat mat made out of silicone can save you from burning your counters as long as you remember to set your iron down on the mat instead of another part of the counter
All in all, what you’re looking for should depend on your needs and your budget—but that doesn’t mean you should immediately purchase the most expensive straightener you can afford. Expensive straighteners typically last longer but there are some exceptions so it’s important to read different reviews before you make a purchase.
Flat Iron Reviews 2017
We’ve done hours of research to find the best hair straighteners for women of all hair types in 2016. If you’re willing to scroll down the page you’re sure to find the perfect flat iron for your needs.
|Flat Iron Brand||Key Features||User Feedback||Price Level||Our Rating|
|BaByBliss Pro Nano Titanium||Ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight, Nano titanium plates, Ceramic heater instant heat & recovery with settings up to 450°F||Very Good||Medium||4 / 5|
|Rusk RSK686/RSK732 Str8 Iron||Titanium-infused ceramic plates , Instant and steady heat up to 450⁰, Digital temperature display & memory function,||Very good||Medium||4.5 / 5|
|HSI Professional Flat Iron||1 inch solid ceramic tourmaline plates for fine to coarse hair to Straighten, Flip and Curl, Advanced infrared heat technology, 360 degree swivel cord||Very good||Very Low||4 / 5|
|CHI Air Expert Classic Flat Iron||Reduces static and frizz, Innovative tourmaline ceramic technology, Ideal for all hair styling, including straightening, smoothing, curling, waving, & spiraling||Very good||Low||4 / 5|
|Bio Ionic Onepass Flat Iron||Bio Ionic technology, Fastest iron, Straightens hair half the time||Excellent||Medium||5 / 5|
|Turboion Croc Classic||Nano silver-coated dual cover, 9 ft. power cord length with 360° swivel, Advanced "nano-fine" ceramic heating element||Very good||High||4.5 / 5|
|Karmin G3 Professional 1″ Flat Iron||1" pure tourmaline ceramic plates, Plates heat in under 30 seconds, Curl, flip, straighten or add volume and body||Very good||High||4 / 5|
Best Hair Straightener For Natural Hair
1. BaByBliss Pro Nano Titanium
The BaByBliss Pro Nano Titanium is the best overall hair straightener for women with slightly to moderately curly hair. It features a long body which makes it possible to get more hair straightened with every grab. You can even curl your hair quite nicely with this flat iron because of how thin—1″—the plates are.
You can heat this iron all the way up to 450 degrees(and do it fast) which is enough heat for pretty much any type of hair. More heat than that would actually severely damage most hair types and even this can be too much for quite a few hair types, so if you have heat sensitive hair you should be extremely careful with this iron.
2. RUSK Engineering CTC Technology Professional Straight Iron
The Rusk RSK686/RSK732 is considered by many customers to be the best straightener for naturally coarse African American hair. If you’re always struggling to get the right amount of heat onto your hair you will love this flat iron. It features a Sol-Gel that helps more effectively organize your hair on the plates and give you even smoother results with each pull.
With a minimum temperature of 280 this flat iron might not be so great for people with particularly heat sensitive hair but its maximum temperature of 450 degrees makes it perfect for people who really need to throw everything they can at their hair to get the effects they want.
It should be noted that the shape of this flat iron means it isn’t good for small passes and thus should be avoided by people with short hair. If you don’t tend to let your hair grow much past your shoulders this iron probably isn’t right for you.
3. HSI Professional Flat Iron
Looking on a strict budget? Look no further than the HSI Professional Flat Iron. Featuring tourmaline plates and a wide range of temperature settings to suit different hair types. This iron is particularly good for fine hair as it has enough grip to properly heat it all up.
The HSI Professional is designed to be travel friendly, working at voltages suitable for both North American homes and European homes. You’ll also love the convenient travel bag it comes with and the additional glove which protects your hand from getting burnt on the plates.
Heating isn’t even throughout the entire plate so you will have to learn how to maneuver it to get the most out of each grab, but this is a fair compromise when you consider that it costs only $50, less than half of what most professional hair straighteners cost.
4. CHI Air Expert Classic Flat Iron
By far the best ceramic hair straightener currently on the market, the CHI Air Expert Classic features extremely smooth ceramic plates, allowing the heat to be distributed evenly throughout the surface of the entire straightener. This model also comes with easy to control temperature wheel housed on the inside of the machine so you don’t accidentally change settings mid-grab.
The slim body of the CHI Air Expert Classic makes it possible to do more than just straighten, too. You can easily perfect and tighten your curls using this wonderful flat iron. The slimness of this design does sacrifice some of the protective bulk that other hair straighteners have, making it important to be a little more careful than you would be with another straightener, but it is still an excellent flat iron and certainly the best ceramic one.
5. Bio Ionic Onepass Flat Iron
The Bio Ionic Onepass Flat Iron is called Onepass for a reason—it is the best straightener for long, thick hair. Many other “one pass” hair straighteners either take too long to heat up, don’t stay hot long enough or suffer from heat spots that don’t evenly smooth out individual grabs. The Bio Ionic Onepass, on the other hand, actually delivers on its promise, saving you as much as 15 minutes(and that’s if you’re using a good hair straightener that heats up fast). You can even choose the size appropriate for how long your hair is—1″ or 1.5″—and save even more time with the larger version.
Ceramic plates with silicon covers provide even heating that will last as long as you need it to and organize your hair so every strand is straightened. A range of temperature settings go up to 400 degrees which isn’t as much as some of the others on this list but is still plenty for most hair types.
6. Turboion Croc Classic
If you have small hands and really curly hair that you spend a long time on each morning you will love this uniquely designed hair straightener. The base is actually narrower than the area where the plates are so the handle fits more easily in your hand. It’s also designed to minimize the chances of burning yourself on the iron during use.
Another cool factor of the Turboion Croc Classic is that it actually remembers the setting you leave it on every day. This might not sound like a big deal but other straighteners with digital temperature controls often don’t have it and resetting your temperature each morning can get irritating fast.
The Turboion Croc Classic only comes with one plate size, 1.5″, but the body is quite slim so you still have a high level of control over the movements of this straightener.
All in all, this is the best straightener for comfort. If you spend a lot of time straightening hair you will absolutely love the Turboion Croc Classic.
7. Karmin G3 Professional 1″ Flat Iron
Karmin is a brand known for producing the highest quality flat irons on the market. Many professional hairdressers swear by their straighteners and this is definitely one of the best. It features plates with a special mixture of tourmaline and ceramic which allows the iron to heat up more quickly. This blend also makes for even heating throughout the entire iron so every grab will be wonderfully smooth.
This straightener also has dual voltage to make it easier to travel and a wide temperature range that goes all the way up to 410.
If you’re looking to invest in a high quality straightener you’ll have for years to come you simply cannot go wrong with a Karmin G3.
Flat Iron Buying Guide
Flat irons are extremely helpful in keeping your hair tamed and styled. There are so many options available today that can accommodate various hair types. Some models are even capable of handling even the toughest hair. If you dream of having sleek and straight hair, then you are in the right page. It is time to stop being envious of women with beautiful locks because this article will introduce you to the power of hair straighteners.
Hair Types and Textures
The right flat iron should be capable of handling your hair texture. If it does not match your hair straightening needs, then you just let your money go down the drain. This buying guide will help you know more about your hair type and which flat iron design will suit your needs.
Fine, Straight Hair
This is the sleekest hair texture. You need to be extra careful when getting a flat iron for fine, straight hair. This is because some models are too hot that they can burn your locks. Look for a model with smooth heating plates and lower heat settings.
Fine, Curly Hair
This hair texture is less diverse and much thicker than the previous type. Since your hair is both fine and curly, this means you have a variable hair density. Look for a hair straightener with different temperature range. Tourmaline and titanium flat irons are your perfect choices.
Thick, Straight Hair
The strands are stubborn and difficult to tame. They demand more heat to flatten out the follicles. Look for a flat iron with variable heat setting.
Thick, Curly Hair
You will need a flat iron with high-quality heating plates and have temperature settings. You also need to keep your strands protected. Since they need extra heat, use protective coating before using the flat iron to prevent burning.
Normal, Wavy Hair
This hair type is fairly easy to straighten. Look for a flat iron that comes with medium settings. Such model will do fine for this hair type.
Thin, Fine Hair
It may seem easy to straighten, but it requires full focus in reality. You need to keep your full attention to your hair as you straighten it because they can get burned easily. Look for a flat iron with a lower output.
Types of Flat Iron
Hair straighteners are designed to flatten any curls in your hair. You can also use it to create charming waves or tighter curls to add volume. Regardless of hair type, there is a flat iron that can match your needs. Flat irons are primarily gauged based on the materials used on the heating plates because they can make or break your look.
Metal Flat Irons
These flat irons have heating plates made of metal. The temperature settings are fewer: low, medium, and high. This is preferred by people who only occasionally use a hair straightener on small portions.
Ionic Flat Irons
These hair straighteners are more advanced. The ionic technology used on the heating plates help remove the static frizz. It basically locks the natural moisture of the hair.
Ceramic Flat Irons
They are the most popular type. The material used is known for preventing fried hair. It also helps lock in the moisture to keep the hair smooth.
Titanium Flat Irons
These hair straighteners are more efficient than the previous types. Its conductive capability allows for instant heating, perfect for busy people. The material is also durable.
Tourmaline Flat Irons
Tourmaline hair straightening devices are the most ideal. The material works well with ceramic heating plate to provide a smoother and frizz-free finish. Moreover, tourmaline requires less power, but heats up in an instant.
Knowing the Right Heat Setting
It is important to know how much heat you need to style your hair without causing damage. Below are quick tips to help you out:
- For coarse, curly, and thick hair at above-shoulder length: you will need a plate width of one-half- to one-and-a-half–inch, and the temperature setting should be between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For coarse, curly, and thick hair at shoulder length: you will need a plate width of one to two inches, and the temperature setting should be between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For coarse, curly, and thick hair at below-shoulder length: you will need a plate width of one-and-a-half to two inches, and the temperature setting should be between 380 and 410 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For normal to medium thickness or wavy hair at above-shoulder length: you will need a plate width of 0.5 to 1.25 inches, and the temperature setting should be between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For normal to medium thickness or wavy hair at shoulder length: you will need a plate width of 1 to 1.5 inches, and the temperature setting should be between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For normal to medium thickness or wavy hair at below-shoulder length: you will need a plate width of 1.5 to 2 inches, and the temperature setting should be between 360 and 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For fine, thin, damaged or naturally-straight hair: any plate width will do, but the temperature setting should be between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For fragile hair: you will need a plate width of 0.5 to 1.5 inches, and the temperature setting should be under 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Choosing A Flat Iron
It is crucial to find the most suitable flat iron for you because you want to get your money’s worth. You need to look for a model that can handle your hair type and produce your preferred style. Here are the important factors that you have to consider when searching for the right hair straightener:
- Plate size/width: The right plate width will depend on your hair type. Check out the previous part of this article to know the plate size for your needs. Basically, people with naturally straight hair can go for any plate size, but those with thicker locks will need around one to two inches.
- Plate material: The material used will determine the quality of the flat iron. There are many types of heating materials: ceramic, metal, tourmaline, and titanium. Ceramic is the most common, but tourmaline is highly-preferred because of its instant heat and frizz-free capabilities.
- Weight: Heavy straighteners are difficult to use because they easily cause fatigue. Choose a model that is light enough to keep your hand from being tired right away.
- Cost: Your budget plays an important role in looking for a flat iron. There are models out there that offer high-quality hair straightening at a reasonable price.
- Warranty: Look for a model with at least one year of warranty, so you can keep your favorite flat iron for a longer period of time.
There are dozens of flat irons to choose from but if you stick with the ones on this list your shopping will be much easier—and more rewarding.