obsessive tester

16 Best Hair Straighteners, No Matter Your Budget

Courtesy of the retailers. Photo: Courtesy of the retailers.

If you want your hair to look straight and smooth at home, you’re going to need a hot hair tool. Blow-dryers can be helpful and they work their magic too, but nothing beats a flat iron for incredibly sleek hair.

A hair straightener paired with a heat protectant to shield your tresses from damage? That’s a match made in hair heaven.

Whether your hair is naturally curly, wavy, thick, or thin, the Cut Shop team has rounded up the best hair straighteners we’ve tested, spotted backstage during Fashion Week, or have added to our wish list because our group chats can’t stop raving about them.

The Best Affordable Hair Straightener

The Amazon reviews — nearly 11,500 of them — agree: This is a pretty solid straightener. It feels flimsier than premium ones, but it smooths my hair just as well. And although a few reviewers note a plasticky smell, I didn’t think it was worse than any other heating tool. Ashley Weatherford

The Best Hair Straightener on Amazon

If you’re willing to spend a little bit more money, this flat iron — with over 21,000 five-star reviews — is your best bet from Amazon. For less than $60, it’s pretty spectacular, though it doesn’t beat the fancier ones in terms of performance. The temperature automatically drops after 15 minutes of use. And while it’s easy to adjust that, it is also slightly inconvenient. It’s also dual voltage, so it will work internationally. A.W.

The One Beyoncé Uses

FHI’s rounded edge allows you to easily curl or add waves without much effort. It’s almost as small as a travel flat iron, and I love that it straightens even the poofiest sections with just a single pass. But don’t just take my word for it, listen to Beyoncé (via InStyle): “I’m crazy about it! I can’t live without my flat iron! It takes me about an hour to do my hair, and the only time I don’t is when I’m on vacation.” (Picture younger Beyoncé, doing her own hair on vacation). A.W.

The One With a Long Cord

For just under $40, you can count on this flat iron to get the job done, no matter where the power outlet is located. Its five-foot cord is ideal for those who have odd room layouts. Plus the ceramic plates heat up quickly and evenly with up to 30 heat settings for the most accurate styling. — Chinea Rodriguez

The Best Flat Iron for Waves

Compared with all the fancy flat irons, this one is a great value. And Target reviewers agree — it has almost 200 five-star reviews. It’s called a “3-in-1” iron because the iron has curved plates, so you can use it to create smooth waves, curls, and sleek, straight styles. It heats up quickly, and has a long (nine feet) cord so you can maneuver with dexterity. And don’t worry about having to rush home because you can’t remember if you shut off the flat iron — there’s an automatic shutoff. Celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess also has some great videos showing you how to use it at home. A.W.

The Best Travel Hair Straightener

A lot of travel flat irons are so small that they seem like they’ll only work on tiny doll hairs, but Babybliss’s Mini Straightener doesn’t skimp on heat. It can reach up to 430 degrees in a few minutes, and its half-inch ceramic plates won’t take up too much space in your bag. Even if you don’t travel a ton, it’s a great tool for bangs, too. A.W.

The Best Flat Iron for Short Hair

This highly rated, ultrathin iron is perfect for getting bobs, lobs, and bangs stick straight. Its long, slim plates also make it easy to reach frizz that sits at the roots of naturally curly hair, along with any baby hairs that hang out on the hairline. Hair length and texture aside, this straightener has become a go-to for stylists and non-stylists alike because it has 50 heat settings, up to 450° F, and a lightweight body that’s easy to hold. — Erica Smith

The Best Straightener for Damaged Hair

GHD Platinum Styler

GHD’s “styler” is permanently set to 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which the company says is the highest temperature hair can tolerate before it becomes damaged. As a person who went from a dark brunette to blonde highlights, I can vouch for its straightening power on processed hair. And though I don’t typically think of “comfort” as something I need from a flat iron, the springy hinge that connects the two plates really did make it easier to clamp and glide the tool down my hair with minimal effort. A.W.

The Best Flat Iron With Multiple Temperatures

One of the many struggles of straightening your hair is picking the right temperature for your hair type. If you have to Google which temp will give you pin-straight locks without lasting damage, this might be the tool for you since it has three color-coded modes for fine, medium, and coarse hair. — C.R.

The Hottest Flat Iron

The Sedu’s ceramic plates not only straighten hair, they seal the hair’s cuticle to stop frizziness before it starts. It’s one of the hottest flat irons — its maximum temperature caps at 450 degrees — but its adjustable temperature is handy when I want to precisely control the level of heat I put on my hair. A.W.

The Smart Straightener

T3’s white-and-rose-gold flat iron seems almost too Instagram pretty to function, but it has brains to go with its beauty. It comes with a smart-touch interface that takes all the guesswork out of finding the optimal temperature: Its nine heat settings automatically adjust to your personal profile based on your hair’s texture, length, and color treatments. — E.S.

The Hair Dryer and Straightener in One

This viral hair tool is a hair dryer and straightener in one. It won’t make your hair super-sleek or shiny, but if you want to straighten and style your whole head quickly, this is your best bet — fans call it a game changer. A.W.

The Straightener That’s Also a Bunch of Other Tools

Thanks to this tool’s many attachments, you can use it as a curling iron or straightener/blow-dryer. Unlike a typical flat iron, you can use it on wet hair without any danger of sizzle or hair damage. With the brush attachment, you can straighten and style hair at the same time. Like the Revlon, it won’t give you the same sleekness you’ll get with a traditional flat iron, but you can straighten hair quickly and with less damage. Kathleen Hou

The Luxury Flat Iron

This flat iron of the future is completely cordless. You charge this one by battery. It comes with lots of fancy technological details, including manganese copper plates designed to bend around hair rather than stamp it flat. And Dyson promises that you have to pass through each section of hair only once, rather than multiple times. K.H.

Another Cordless Option

If you want the convenience of a cordless hair straightener with a price tag that isn’t as steep as the Dyson Corale, then consider this one from GHD. It takes around two hours to charge fully and the battery only lasts 20 to 30 minutes. Luckily, it straightens multiple sections in just one pass, so you’ll be ready before then. If you have very thick and long hair, you might want to reconsider this option, since the charging cord isn’t very long and you can’t really use the hair styler while it’s plugged in. — Bianca Nieves

The One TikTok Recommends

TikTok is known for its beauty recommendations so you bet we searched one that has been tried and tested by the app users. The L’Oreal Professionnel Steampod Flat Iron & Styler uses steam technology and an integrated comb to really straighten and add shine to your hair without having to refill the water tank. — B.N.

This article was originally published February 9, 2018. It has been updated throughout. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission. 

16 Best Hair Straighteners for Every Hair Type