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, but nothing beats a flat iron for incredibly sleek hair. Whether your hair is naturally curly, wavy, thick, or thin, we’ve rounded up the best hair straighteners for you. Read on for our favorite 13.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The Best Straightener for Damaged Hair
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.
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.
The Instagram-Friendly Straightener
T3’s white and rose-gold flat iron seems almost too Instagram-pretty to function, but hey, sometimes miracles happen. It has four temperature settings ranging from 260 to 410 degrees, and the tool heats up in about a minute. The ceramic plates are infused with tourmaline, a mineral said to make hair extra smooth because it emits negatively charged ions. There’s no scientific evidence to support this, but my unscientific bathroom study found that this flat iron does indeed make my hair look shinier.
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.
The Best Flat Iron for Thick Hair
Xtava’s two-inch-wide plates are massive, making them perfect for people with thick or coarse hair. Aside from the plates, everything else about this flat iron is fairly standard. You can use it at a temperature range in between 265 and 445 degrees Fahrenheit, the plates are made with tourmaline and ceramic, and it takes less than two minutes for the tool to fully heat.
The Best Flat Iron for Waves
Compared to 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.
The Flat Iron Gisele Uses
Reviewers love this flatiron created by celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh for its overall ease. At 1.25 inches, the plates are slightly wider, making it faster to straighten your whole head. The plates are also curved with a nice grip, so you can pull hair through without it slipping or gripping too tightly to create a weird kink. The reviews online are all five stars, praising it was being “an absolute favorite” and “expensive but worth it.” This is just one of the very same tools used to create Gisele Bündchen’s signature beachy waves.
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.
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.
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.