Best Hair Straightener 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

If you are looking to buy a pair of hair straighteners, there is a good chance you love having smooth, sleek hair which doesn’t frizz up and split five minutes after straightening.

The sheer range of choice out there is baffling, from different plate materials and temperatures to the price tags. Is a higher price always justified? Do I need a flat iron which reaches over 200°C?

To make your decision a bit easier, we have rounded up a list of the best hair straighteners available at the moment, based on reviews:

The Best Hair Straightners – Our Top Picks

Best Professional Hair Straighteners: Cloud Nine
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Cloud Nine Original Iron
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  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 20 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 5
  • Cord Length - 2.9m
Best Travel: ghd Mini
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ghd Mini
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  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 Seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 1
  • Cord Length - 2.7m
Best Budget Hair Straighteners: Remington S3500
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Remington S3500 Ceramic Plates
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  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 15 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 10
  • Cord Length - 1.8m swivel cord

Best Professional Hair Straightners

Cloud Nine Original Iron

The choice of celebrity hairstylists and professionals from all over the world, this Cloud Nine model is powerful yet adaptable to suit your styling preferences.

The temperature range is 100 to 200°C, so whether you need to tackle your full head of frizzy hair or just touch up your fringe, you won’t risk causing any unnecessary damage. Super smooth plates and the curved body means it can also create curls, waves and flicks with ease – no need for two separate appliances cluttering the dressing table.

A great pick if you want high end, but are put off with the lack of temperature control which comes with ghds.

Mineral infused plates ensure easy gliding, which leaves your hair smooth and silky and lasts the next day too. Anions (negative ions) lock in moisture, so your hair won’t be left dry and losing structure.

We like

  • Cord length
  • Temperature control
  • Heat resistant carry case and protective guard included

We disike

  • Being picky, the design could be a bit fancier

Final Verdict

Seen by most as being an even better version of ghds, with much more flexibility and for a similar price

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 20 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 5
  • Cord Length - 2.9m

ghd Platinum+® Hair Straighteners

As expected with the brand, these ghd Platinum+ straighteners are incredibly powerful at tackling all hair types. They are also great at preventing heat damage, with Tri-Zone technology in each plate to ensure the temperature is consistent across the entire plate, preventing any breakages or damage. The use of the three sensors also increases shine by 20% compared to other rivals which reach 230°C.

The automatic switch off feature helps to keep you and your surfaces safe. After 30 minutes of being left idle, the straighteners will turn off, so you don’t have to worry about whether you left them on or not.

If you have found that, with previous straighteners, the hinge has either caught in your hair or snapped on your fingers, the innovative wishbone hinge will keep you safe as well as giving more control over your movement.
Universal voltage also makes them a great pick wherever you are in the world, and the heat-resistant protective plate guard lets you pack them away even if they haven’t completely cooled.

We like

  • Rounded shape for hair curling
  • Don’t get too hot on the outer casing

We disike

  • No temperature variation

Final Verdict

The great technology that ghd are known for which leaves hair healthy in an instant

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Heating Time: 20 seconds
  • Temperature Settings: 1
  • Cord Length: 2.7m

+ Downloads

ghd Platinum+® Hair Straighteners User Manual

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Panasonic Sensor Nanoe Moisture Infused Hair Straightener

The most expensive of our picks, but it gets rave reviews for being one of the few straighteners on the market which really does what it promises, and locks in moisture to hair. Nanoe™ particles generated from air holes at the tip of its ceramic coated iron plates ensure glossy straight hairs, preventing the damage which is caused by heat.

The five temperature controls, ranging from 150 to 200C, mean you don’t have to use a hotter setting than required, further protecting your hair.

So, if you’ve tried a lot of straighteners and heat protection over the years but still feel like your hair is left looking and feeling like straw, these Panasonic’s may be your best bet. The price is steep, but with regular use, over the years it will likely be justified – especially if you’re prone to making regular trips to the salon and spending your money there.

We like

  • The best nourishing flat iron on the market
  • Generous length cord
  • Sleek design

We disike

  • Price, but easily justified for those who really need it

Final Verdict

Expensive, but there is a reason Panasonic are so successful - they know their stuff, even when it comes to straighteners

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 5
  • Cord Length - 2.7m

Toni & Guy Salon Professional XL Wide Plate

The best choice if you’re after a pair of hair straighteners with extra wide plates, this Toni and Guy model also has 20% longer plates than a lot of its rivals – perfect for anyone with a lot of hair but a lot less time.

They are also really well suited to anyone with very thick, long hair due to the tourmaline plates, which creates a shiny and sleek finish. Ionic conditioning locks in moisture, resulting in less damage and frizz.

The superior heater technology also ensures it heats up to the maximum temperature of 235°C in 15 seconds, so you’re not waiting for long considering how powerful they are.

If you sometimes struggle with getting the temperature just right, the digital display should help you out here. It also lets you know how long you have been using the straightener for, with a 60-minute countdown and automatic turn off.

We like

  • Really long power cord
  • Digital controls and display
  • A fantastic price for the performance

We disike

  • Due to the plate size, the design is quite chunky

Final Verdict

People with thick hair or who can't be bothered with the hassle will be thankful for the larger plates and more powerful performance

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Tourmaline-ceramic
  • Heating Time - 15 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 5
  • Cord Length - 3m

Best Budget Hair Straightners

BaByliss 2069U Ceramic Pro 230

With two temperature settings of either 200°C or 230°C, the BaByliss 2069U gives you a decent amount of control depending on how much power you need to straighten your hair. It is also very quick to heat up in just 30 seconds for the highest temperature, so even if you are in a rush, you won’t have to do without.

Featuring a slim, compact design, it doesn’t take up much room if you have to transport them. They’re also really easy to manoeuvre around your head and aren’t heavy to hold at only 0.32 kg.

We like

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Leaves hair smooth

We disike

  • Only two temperature settings

Final Verdict

Really great price to say it leaves your hair looking smooth and well-cared for

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 2
  • Cord Length - 2m swivel cord

Remington S3500 Ceramic Plates

Our choice if you’re on a budget. Fast working to reach the maximum temperature of 230°C, the Remington S3500 is the best budget flat iron money can buy in our opinion. Not only is it fast, but the massive ten heat settings give a great variety for all hair types – crank it up if your hair is very thick and frizzy, or keep it low for fine hair or fringes.

There is also a great auto shut-off feature which will activate if the straightener has been left on for 60 minutes, which could not only save energy but also prevent any accidents if you forget to turn them off.

The plates are also longer than with a lot of its rivals at the lower end of the market, which is great for doing large chunks of hair at the one time if you are in a rush or just need a bit of extra styling.

As an extra, it also comes with a heat proof styling pouch so you can keep them safe in storage, or cover them up if you need to pop them in your suitcase.

We like

  • Wide choice of heat settings
  • Auto shut-off
  • Quick heating

We disike

  • Gets quite hot so can’t keep on hair for too long

Final Verdict

By far one of the front-running choices for anyone who needs variety when it comes to heat and how much hair it can handle

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 15 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 10
  • Cord Length - 1.8m swivel cord

+ Downloads

Remington S3500 User Manual

Download

Best Travel Hair Straighteners

BaByliss Nano Travel

Only half the size of a regular pair of hair straighteners, but with no loss of power. The BaByliss Nano reaches a maximum temperature of 200°C, which is great for almost all types of hair. The ceramic plates leave hair shiny and smooth, as well as being easy to glide through hair.

Worldwide voltage makes them an ideal option for anyone who is looking to take them abroad. The toiletries bag which comes with the straightener is handy for keeping it safe and unscathed while in your suitcase.

As with all travel and mini straighteners, they may take ages to get through very thick or long hair, but they are one of the best bets for anyone who likes to touch up your fringe or any random kinks at home as well as abroad.

We like

  • Good maximum temperature
  • Multi-voltage for travel

We disike

  • Long warming up time

Final Verdict

Brilliant for home, on-the-go or travelling around the world - pretty unbeatable for portability

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 60 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 1
  • Cord Length - 1.8m swivel cord

ghd Mini

With the iconic ghd design, this mini hair straightener is perfect for travelling or popping in your bag if you’re going out for the whole day.

The sleek, narrow plates are great for smaller more delicate parts of your hair, such as fringes, cowlicks and any little kinks which need going over. As the temperature reaches 185°C, there is enough power to tackle your hair but not damage it at the same time.

As it is indeed small, it’s best suited for someone with short hair which doesn’t need much attention. Somebody with very thick or frizz-prone hair may find they take a while to get through.

Due to its curved design, it could also handily double up as a curler, so you don’t have to pack two separate products.

The handy protective guard is one thing which makes it a great travel option – you can pack it away straight after use without waiting around for it to cool down. The other stand-out is the massive 2.7m cord length, which is brilliant for those hotel rooms where the plug is nowhere near the mirror.

We like

  • Great design
  • Narrow plates good for fine touches

We disike

  • Temperature not high enough for difficult hair

Final Verdict

If you're a fan of ghd, you will not be let down. A must-have to finish off your collection.

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 Seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 1
  • Cord Length - 2.7m

Best Brush Hair Straighteners

Glamoriser gla025a Detangle and Straight

Not a hair straightening brush as such, but more a pair of flat irons which incorporates a brush. If you spend ages trying to run a brush through your hair in the mornings before you even turn your straighteners on, or need to style your hair with a comb at the same time, this could save you a lot of effort.

Each plate has heated combs incorporated into the curved ceramic plates so that you can detangle while you use them.

The Black Diamond Oil infused plates not only cut down on heating and styling time but also give your hair an extra moisture boost with a shiny finish. The variable temperature choice gives you full control, and they will automatically shut off after 60 minutes so you’ll never have to panic about whether you’ve left them on while you’re sat on the train to work.

We like

  • Diamond ceramic plates and ionic conditioning
  • Incorporated detangling combs
  • Worldwide voltage for travelling

We disike

  • Nothing to say!

Final Verdict

The pros of a straightening brush without the cons - all-round care for your hair.

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Diamond Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 15 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 6
  • Cord Length - 3m

Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Straightening Brush

Straightening brushes are seen as a pretty revolutionary product as they do 2 jobs in 1 item, but they often get a bad reputation for not being as good as the real thing. The Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo brush is a great product which could test this theory and show how much technology has moved on.

There is a digital display, and the settings are very adjustable to suit your individual hair type.

If you’re wondering where the name comes from – the bristles are infused with the wonder product that is coconut oil. This nourishes your hair and scalp and prevents damage.

The brush shuts off after 60 minutes, so it will never be left on all day if you forget to do it yourself.

It still isn’t as great as plated hair straighteners, but is much better than a lot of the other options on the market, with the right technology to bring it right up to date. Perfect if you like to straighten your hair to get rid of any flyaways as opposed to making your thick hair poker straight.

We like

  • Good temperature choice
  • Coconut oil infused bristles

We disike

  • Brush is large, so best for longer hairstyles

Final Verdict

If you're desperate for a straightener brush and are struggling to find the best, the CoCo LoCo is your best bet.

+ Specifications

  • Plate Material - Ceramic
  • Heating Time - 30 seconds
  • Temperature Settings - 5
  • Cord Length - 2m

Hair Straightener Buying Guide

Heat Up Time

You don’t want to be waiting around forever for your flat iron to heat, especially if you just want to tame your fringe before you hurry out of the door in the morning.

A short heating time generally means a more powerful product, but it does depend on the temperature that the straighteners are trying to reach.

They will take longer to heat up to the maximum temperature if it is over 200C than if they needed to heat up to 100C.

Temperature Range

All types of hair need different heat settings to be straightened. Long, thick, frizzy hair requires a hotter temperature than fine, almost straight hair.

If you know that it doesn’t take a lot to style your hair, then you are free to choose from the wide range of temperatures available but are best sticking to the lower end of the scale. However, those with unruly manes may need to get a pair of hair straighteners which reach beyond 200C.

It is still a good option to get a model which has an adjustable temperature, as a high temperature isn’t ideal for finer straightening such as fringes and cowlicks.

Plate Type

This makes a big difference to your straightening experience. Ceramic coated straighteners are often the most popular, and they glide smoothly through your hair and cause little damage and snagging.

Fully ceramic plates heat up even quicker, and diffuse heat better for fuller temperature regulation. There are also Tourmaline and Diamond Ceramic plates available, which give that little bit of an extra moisture boost and shine – perhaps the best choice for anyone with dry, brittle hair.

Plate Width

The larger the plates with your straighteners, the more hair they can generally straighten at any one time. Getting a larger plate size is a great option if you have very long or thick hair that is usually quite a chore and time consuming to straighten.

Size

Most straighteners are a pretty regular size, with the only variation being the size of the plates.

Think about how much hair you will have to look after on a daily basis – a full head will require standard size, but if you only straighten your fringe or touch up small kinks, a small pair such as a travel or mini size may be best.

Bear in mind that the smaller the straighteners, the easier they are to generally manage. Make sure they aren’t too bulky to manoeuvre, particularly if you have a lot of hair and need to focus on the back of your head.

FAQS

Do I Need An Expensive Straightener?

Not necessarily. As technology has moved on, a lot of lower priced options are now perfectly capable of reaching high temperatures, as well as being adjustable. The majority also have ceramic coated heating plates, so you don’t have to worry about your hair being damaged.

The more high-end straighteners often do have some extra benefits, such as faster heating up times and safety features.

If you are serious about hair straightening, then investing could see you reap the benefits. But for occasional use, or if your hair is pretty used to doing what you want it to do, it may not be necessary.

Which Brands Make The Best Hair Straightener?

Most general hair care brands have a wide range of models available, from low budget to high end. You may see items from Remington, BaByliss, Lee Stafford, Remington and TRESemme, who also make things like shampoo.

Generally, brands such as ghd, Toni & Guy and Cloud 9 produce higher quality items at a professional standard.

Other brands which may be best known for other care products such as shavers also have good straighteners available, such as Braun and Philips, and there is no denying they know their stuff.

Do I Always Need To Use Heat Defence Spray?

Yes. Even if you get the swankiest pair of hair straighteners available which promise to cause little heat damage, there is no 100% guarantee they’ll do what they say.

Heat damage causes split ends, brittle hair and frizz. Always use heat defence products such as sprays or creams, and regularly condition your hair during washes.