Best Flat Iron

UPDATED DECEMBER 2018

With a flat iron, you can change your hairstyle and your look every day of the week.

BEST
FLAT IRON 2018

BOTTOM LINE

Thanks to three ceramic layers, this flat iron from Mixed Chicks evenly distributes heat down the length of the two plates to give you the great look that you want without burning your hair. The one-inch plates work on a variety of styles too.

PROS

With a variable temperature range of up to 450-degrees Fahrenheit, this flat iron works on all types and styles of hair. It features a swivel cord that allows you to move freely as you use the iron.

CONS

As this model does not have an automatic shut off, you need to make sure you shut it off each time you work on your hair. A small number of users complained about the width of the plates.

BOTTOM LINE

Isa Professional built an LCD display into this flat iron and added a temperature range that reaches a maximum of 450-degrees Fahrenheit. You can use the end on bangs and other smaller areas and then use the length of the iron for longer sections of hair.

PROS

An LCD display built into the iron shows you the correct temperature before you use it. It also features a temperature range of up to 450-degrees Fahrenheit.

CONS

Some women found that long hair caught on the floating plates and stuck in the iron. Other users complained that it didn’t get hot enough for use on their hair.

BOTTOM LINE

Get the professional look that a stylist would give you in a fraction of the time at home with the G3. Though this is a little more expensive than other flat irons, it works quickly on all types of hair.

PROS

This professional styling iron works just like the ones used in salons do. It reaches its maximum temperature of more than 400-degrees Fahrenheit in only 30 seconds.

CONS

Some reviews came from shoppers who found that the G3 stopped working six to nine months after buying it. Those with thicker or curlier hair may need to go over the same section multiple times to get the results they desire.

BOTTOM LINE

Despite its low price tag, this Tool Science flat iron offers the same professional results as models three times its price. It features an advanced microprocessor that works with the ceramic plates to distribute heat evenly while preventing hot spots.

PROS

Suitable for use on the curliest and frizziest of hair, this professional flat iron has a digital display and plates that use both tourmaline and ceramic materials. Its bright red finish is a nice alternative to the primarily black models on the market.

CONS

Suitable for use on the curliest and frizziest of hair, this professional flat iron has a digital display and plates that use both tourmaline and ceramic materials. Its bright red finish is a nice alternative to the primarily black models on the market.

BOTTOM LINE

The HSI Professional Glider is a solid flat iron for those who want to achieve professional results at home without spending hundreds of dollars. It features ceramic plates with built-in crystals that seal in the moisture of your hair and make it look glossier.

PROS

Customers give the Glider high reviews because of the small sensors that distribute hair along each plate. They also like the crystals added to the ceramic plates that make their hair look shinier.

CONS

A small number of customers had problems with the iron reaching its maximum temperature. An even smaller number of users found that the hair iron pulled or tugged on their locks.

Shopping Guide for the Best Flat Iron

You may remember hearing your older adult relatives talk about ironing their hair back in the day to get completely straight locks. Using the best flat iron instead of an actual iron gives you the same sleek look without the risk that you might fry your strands. The best flat iron 2018 products that we found are easy to use and come in convenient sizes that anyone can use. You can use one of these tools to get the perfectly flat hair that you always dreamed of having.

Though some think flat iron 2018 products are only for women, many of the top models will work on men who have shorter or longer hair too. Flat irons do more than just make your hair straight also. These devices are great for getting those perfect spiral curls that you want before a night on the town. You can even use one to add some waves to your hair and to get the body that you need.

We did all the legwork necessary to find the top flat irons. Use the handy chart at the top of this page to get a look at the top five best products. You’ll find even more information further down on the page.

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Shopping Guide for the Best Flat Iron

Selection Criteria​

Shopping for beauty supplies often requires a lot of trial and error. When you need something as simple as a new foundation, you might try multiple shades and products before finding one that matches your skin tone. We took some of the guesswork out of shopping for a flat iron because we found the top five products for 2018. Though our list includes some models that came out a few years ago, we also included some newer models that work well.

As we do with all our shopping guides, we turned to actual customers for help creating our list. Not only did we look at the star ratings for products, but we also looked at the reviews that customers posted. Once we weeded our flat irons with a lower rating, we eliminated the products with a middle of the road rating. That helped us identify the top products based on both reviews and ratings.

While we did take cost into account, we didn’t use cost when listing those products. Some models cost a little more and are like the hair irons used in salons, but other models are much cheaper and will fit smaller budgets. We found flat irons for all types of users.

Best Flat Iron Selection Criteria
The bright orange color of this flat iron will catch your eye instantly, but all its impressive features will make you stick around. This styling tool features three different ceramic layers that evenly distribute the heat along the entire iron. Not only do those layers eliminate any hot spots, but the design also reduces the risk of you burning your hand or hair. Many shoppers like the variable temperature range on this model because they like using different temperatures when creating different styles. That temperature range also makes this a suitable option for shared homes because those with short, long, thick, thin or curly hair can all use the iron at a different temperature. You can use this model at a maximum temperature of 450-degrees Fahrenheit. Customers also like the swivel cord, which helps them move the iron through their hair and move around their bathrooms or homes at the same time. Mixed Chicks recommends using this flat iron on one layer of your hair at a time and working your way from the top layer to the bottom layer. It works on both thick and kinky hair as well as thinner and shorter hair.
In-Depth Product Review Mixed Chicks Variable Temperature Ceramic Flat Iron

Can You Use a Flat Iron on Wet Hair?

Though you can use a flat iron on damp hair, you should avoid using one on hair that is wetter. Most flat irons do not produce enough heat to completely dry your hair and straighten it or add curls/waves.

What is a Flat Iron?

A flat iron is a basic styling tool that those who want to experiment with different looks need in their beauty supply arsenal. These tools typically consist of several different parts, including:

  • Handle
  • Cord
  • Plates
  • Display

Though not all models come with a display, many feature a digital display that lets you double check on the temperature that you want to use and to keep an eye on that temperature while working with the tool. Manufacturers can include a basic handle or one with an ergonomic design that reduces tension in your hands. Flat irons have plates that you run through your hair and a cord that plugs into an outlet.

Many men and women use flat irons because they want to straighten their hair. The high temperature and the slick plates work together to smooth out any curls or waves. You’ll get hair that looks as flat as a board. While some assume that these tools are only for straightening hair, you can also use one to enhance the curls or waves you already have and to make your hair look curlier or wavier. Manufacturers usually include booklets that walk you through the steps of achieving these styles.

Setting the temperature that is right for your hair is easy with this flat iron, which features a digital display on the handle. The manufacturer used a neon design to ensure that you can see the setting regardless of the light available. With a minimum temperature range of 265-degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum temperature of 450-degrees Fahrenheit, this model is suitable for both thick and thin hair. You can use it when creating a sleek look, adding some body or making perfect curls. Instead of using the same ceramic plates that other irons do, this one uses titanium plates. Titanium will last longer and does a better job of spreading the heat through each plate than ceramic materials can. This model will work on dry hair as well as damp hair. Each plate features a small arched area at each end that is just the right size for use on smaller sections of hair like your bangs. The larger section of the plates allows you to move the whole iron from the roots down to the edges of your hair. Isa Professional includes a gift box in this model for those who purchase the iron as a gift.
In-Depth Product Review Isa Professional Titanium Flat Iron

Manufacturer Recommendations

Isa Professional offers some recommendations for those using this hair iron:

  • Use it only on this or smaller sections of hair at a time
  • Maintain a smooth and constant motion
  • Completely dry your hair and brush it before using the iron

What are Some of the Benefits of Using a Flat Iron?

  • Versatile looks: One benefit of using a flat iron is that you can change your look from one day to the next. You can rock a sleek and straight look one day and then show off a blaze of curls the next.
  • Take care of your hair: Using a flat iron helps you see the condition of your hair right off the bat. These irons will highlight dry or damaged hair, which lets you see what areas you need to work on and which products you should use on your hair.
  • More safety: When you use a curling iron or a hair straightener, you risk setting off an electrical fire every time you set down that device and walk away. Many of the models we found, including some of those on our list, will automatically shut off after 30 to 90 minutes to prevent the risk of a fire breaking out.
  • Faster styling: You’ll also find that flat irons help you style your hair faster. Instead of using multiple products and working on tiny sections of hair at a time, you can get the look you want without any products and as you work on larger sections of your hair.

Cleaning a Flat Iron

  1. Unplug the flat iron and let it sit to cool down for a few minutes.
  2. Rub a cotton swab or cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol across each plate.
  3. Use more rubbing alcohol and cotton to wipe down the handle.
  4. Place a small amount of alcohol directly on any stuck-on stains and let sit for several minutes
    before removing.
Professional styling and hair irons can easily cost $400 or more, but the G3 provides the same results at a fraction of the price. Designed for those who want to save time, it has a temperature sensor that brings the iron up to the maximum temperature setting in only 30 seconds after you plug it in and turn it on. Weighing just 12-ounces, this model helps you work on longer and thicker hair without feeling the pressure and discomfort in your hands that occur when you use a heavier tool. Its temperature range makes it suitable for use on all types and textures of hair too.

Unlike other plates that have a small gap in the center, the plates on the G3 form a tight seal when closed on your hair. This keeps strands from sticking out and prevents your hair from catching or tangling inside the styling tool. Other flat irons do not shut off automatically, but this one does, which saves you some worries. After you set the tool down and walk away, it will keep track of that inactivity and shut itself off without requiring that you turn the power off or unplug the device.

What Customers Love Best

Even heat
Good warranty
Works on curly hair
Easy to use
Smooths hair
Durable Plates

How Do You Use a Flat Iron?

1. Place the flat iron on a flat surface like your bathroom counter. Plug the end of the cord into an outlet.

2. If you use a model with a variable temperature range, press the power button and select the temperature that you prefer.

3. Use hair clips to separate your hair into multiple layers. You should start with the layers on the top and work your way towards the bottom.

4. Remove one of the clips from your hair. Place the flat iron as close as possible to your scalp to reach your roots. Close the flat iron down on this section of hair until the plates clamp down on the hair.

5. Using a light amount of pressure, slowly pull the iron down along your hair until you reach the ends. If your hair isn’t as straight as you would like, you can go over this section a second time.

6. Move that section of hair off to the side and secure with a clip.

7. Repeat these steps with each section of hair and with each layer until you use the iron on each section of your hair. You can then remove the clips and put them away for the next time you want to change your style.

Designed for use on healthy hair, this professional flat iron from Tool Science features nano-silver components on each tourmaline plate that make your hair look shinier, fuller and healthier with each pass. The microprocessor inside works with the ceramic plates to perform two different functions. That microprocessor allows the iron to reach a higher temperature faster and maintains that heat level over time. Even if you put the iron down to divide your hair, it will maintain its higher temperature when you pick it back up again. The plates on this flat iron use both tourmaline and ceramic, which creates an effective balance of power and protection. That combination of materials allows the plates to better regulate their temperature and stops the hot spots from forming that can damage your hair. Those plates have a floating design that ensures each one moves smoothly through any type of hair. Each plate measures 1.25-inches wide and allows you to move through a larger section of hair. As this iron has a temperature range of 300-degrees to 450-degrees Fahrenheit, it’s better for thicker and curlier hair. When used on hair that is fine or thin, the iron may damage those strands.

Benefits of Smaller and Travel Flat Irons

  • Takes up less space in your bag
  • Comes with a rechargeable battery
  • Included travel adapter works with the different outlets used in countries around the world
In-Depth Product Review Tool Science Professional Digital Flat Iron
HSI Professional gives you a number of accessories with its Glider that make this model perfect for travelers. The included pouch protects the plates from damage and allows you to store the iron in your bag or your home. You also get a glove that you can wear on one hand as you apply a product to your hair. This glove also helps you soothe flyaway spots without transferring static electricity onto your hair. Suitable for use on curly hair and frizzy spots, the Glider has a temperature range of between 150-degrees and 450-degrees Fahrenheit that also makes it suitable for use on thin and normal hair. HSI Professional puts a trial sample of argan oil in each box that can further tame frizzy hair. Inside the flat iron are two ceramic plates with a balanced design. As you move the iron through your hair, those plates move effortlessly to prevent tangles. It also has an ergonomic design and a textured handle on the base to keep you from using too much pressure as you work on your hair. Whether or not you use products, the Glider seals in natural moisture to make your hair look softer and shinier.

Warranty Basics

Many manufacturers offer a warranty that lasts for one to two years or more. You may need to
register the product on the manufacturer’s site to use that warranty in the future. Some companies
require that you keep a copy of your original receipt too.

What Features Should You Consider?

Finding a flat iron that works with your hair texture and thickness is probably the most important thing on your mind. You should also consider some features such as:

  • Temperature Range: Some models have just one temperature setting. Flat irons with a wider temperature range allow you to work on both your roots and bangs as well as create different styles on different hair types.
  • Plate Type: Though we already gave you some tips on what plate sizes are appropriate for each hair type, you also need to consider the type of plate on the iron. Manufacturers today typically use either a ceramic material or tourmaline. You’ll also find plates that use a combination of materials and models that come with titanium plates.
  • Cord Length: Check the length of the cord on any model you want to buy to ensure that it will work in your bathroom or bedroom. Many shoppers prefer swivel cords that move with them.
What Features Should You Consider

What Does a Sizzling Sound Mean?

A sizzling sound means that you used the hair iron with the wrong products. When you use any
hair care product that has alcohol in its ingredient listing, you’ll hear this sound. Those products
can also cause build up on the iron’s plates.

How Much Do Flat Irons Cost?

One of the biggest questions likely on your mind is about how much a flat iron costs. You’ll typically find these products priced in several different ranges:

  • $20 to $50
  • $50 to $100
  • $100 and up

Those priced in the range of $20 to $50 are budget models that are best for beginners and those who want to see how hair irons work. Many of these models do not have any type of temperature range. You can also use the iron on one setting. The manufacturer generally picks a setting that will work for most hair types.

Hair irons in the $50 to $100 price range come with more features like an automatic shut off and a small temperature range. The temperature range lets you use the flat iron at a temperature of around 200-degrees Fahrenheit to more than 400-degrees Fahrenheit.

When you can afford to spend $100 or more on a flat iron, you’ll find some of the top models around. These products come with all the same features as the ones your stylist uses in the salon. More expensive flat irons typically reach your temperature setting in less time than cheaper models will.

How Much Do Flat Irons Cost

COARSE, THICK, CURLY HAIR

Need plates of between 0.5 inches and 1.5 inches.

NORMAL AND WAVY HAIR

Need plates of between 1 inch and 2 inches.

FINE
AND THIN HAIR

Need plates of between 0.5 inches and 1 inch.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: If you have fragile, thin, fine or damaged hair, you want to use a lower temperature. A temperature of between 200-degrees and 250-degrees Fahrenheit is best. Those with thick, coarse or curly hair can use a temperature of up to 400-degrees or even 450-degrees Fahrenheit.

A: A good way to reduce the heat damage that can occur with frequent use of a flat iron is with a little hair butter or oil. You can use olive oil, shea butter, argan oil and similar products. Apply just a dab of the product to the roots of your hair before running the oil or butter through the strands to your roots.

A: You really can use a flat iron on any hair type. These products work on thick and coarse hair, thin and fine hair, normal hair and hair with a kinky texture. Depending on the thickness of your hair, you may need one with a larger gap between the two plates. This gap will accommodate your thicker strands.

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