Looking for smooth, sleek, straight hair? These are our picks of the best hair straighteners available right now
Straight hair will never go out of fashion, so neither will the best hair straighteners you can use to achieve it. GHD and Cloud Nine are the dominant names in this market, but an ever-growing number of brands promise super-sleek, frizz-free straightening.
Modern hair straighteners boast adjustable heat settings and protective technology that’s designed to reduce damage while achieving a smooth finish. Some straighteners are especially suitable for thick, long, curly or afro-textured hair, while other cordless models are great for styling on the go. The most versatile models are even designed to create all types of styles from poker-straight to loose curls and beachy waves.
To help you choose between all of these options, here’s our guide to the best hair straighteners for super-sleek and healthy locks, no matter your hair type. Alternatively, if you know what kind of straightener you’re looking for, click below to see our tried and tested recommendations.
Best hair straighteners: At a glance
|Best premium straighteners
|Dyson Corrale (~£400)
|Check price at Dyson
|Best hair straighteners for healthy hair
|Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straighteners (~£199)
|Check price at Cloud Nine
|Best hair straighteners for versatility
|Babyliss 9000 Cordless Straighteners (~£90)
|Check price at LookFantastic
|Best hair straighteners for glossy hair
|Remington Shine Therapy (~£29)
|Check price at Amazon
How we test hair straighteners
At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the best and most complete information about a product. As such, we personally test all the hair straighteners we review, using each model as recommended on dry hair. Where applicable we assess the various heat settings, and where straighteners are recommended for a particular hair type or use, we test on that hair type to ensure we’re making an accurate recommendation.
As well as recording the time it takes each tool to heat up from when it’s switched on, we also measure how quickly we’re able to straighten a full head of hair (noting the length and texture of the hair on which we’re testing). As well as evaluating the overall ease of use of the straightening tool, how it feels in the hand, and the finish and feel of the hair after straightening, we also assess battery life, if applicable. We provide information on how well straightened styles last over the course of a typical day of wear – and, finally, confirm the weight and dimensions of the tool.
How to choose the best hair straighteners for you
How do hair straighteners work?
Hair straighteners comprise two heated metal or ceramic plates, which are joined by a spring-loaded hinge point. When pressed together around a section of hair, simply running the heated plates down from the roots to the ends creates a smooth, straight finish.
So how does heat styling cause the natural shape of hair to change? Heat causes the hydrogen bonds in the hair to break. Once a straightener is passed over the hair, the hair cools and the hydrogen bonds re-form into a new, flat position. If the hair is wrapped around the tool, rather than held straight while cooling, then the hair will take on a loose curl shape instead.
Straighteners with non-metallic plates – such as ceramic or tourmaline – typically heat more gently and evenly, producing a shinier finish. Plates might also be coated in titanium, which heats up very quickly. This not only cuts the overall time required for styling, it reduces the amount of time that the hair is exposed to heat.
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How do you use hair straighteners?
Hair straighteners are simple to use. Simply clamp a section of hair between the two plates of a straightener, and drag the iron down the hair’s length. Follow these steps to ensure you get the best results every time:
- Always ensure hair is completely dry before straightening
- Spray hair with a heat-protective product before you begin styling to keep heat damage to a minimum
- Section hair prior to styling, starting with the bottom layers of hair at the nape of the neck, working your way up to the crown in small sections
- Straighten the hair in inch-wide sections for the best results
Depending on the thickness of your hair, and the level of practice you’ve had, a straightening routine can take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes.
Which temperature setting should you use?
Hair straighteners often come with adjustable heat settings. Most manufacturers recommend styling at 180˚C for the healthiest finish. However, you’ll achieve better results on textured, more dense hair at temperatures up to 210ºC. Those with fine, damaged or colour-treated hair should stick to lower temperature settings, of around 165ºC.
Exercise caution when choosing a heat setting, since high heat can frazzle and even break fine hair. Even thick and curly hair types require only slightly higher temperatures. The keratin protein that makes up your hair starts to melt at 233˚C, so avoid going up this high.
Those who straighten their hair often should consider spending a little more on a tool that works effectively at cooler settings. Straightening tools that use tourmaline plates can achieve optimum results at lower temperatures, resulting in less heat damage with regular use.
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What size heating plates are best for you?
The best hair straighteners for thick hair are those with large, wide plates. Although plates that are over an inch wide make it more difficult to achieve curly styles, they will make straightening long, thick or curly hair a breeze.
Plates of around one inch are perfect for most types of hair, and far better for curling and shaping the hair. Short hair will get on best with thinner plates because they will allow you to get close to the root and deliver the precision you’ll need.
What other features should you look out for?
Plate size and material are of most importance when it comes to choosing hair straighteners, but there are some other features to consider, too.
A long cable is a godsend if you don’t want to be stuck next to the plug socket, especially if there isn’t a socket close to your mirror. Some cheaper models arrive with cords of less than 2m in length, while top-end models have professional-length cables of 4m.
If you can, get a rotating swivel cord, too. Some swivel through 360-degrees, which can make all the difference when attempting to style hard-to-reach parts of the head.
Look for straighteners with curved edges if you want to create curls, waves and flicks, as you can shape your hair around the body of the irons.
Some irons automatically switch off after a certain period of inactivity (usually 30 minutes), which greatly reduces the risk of accidental fire – and is a must for forgetful types.
A quick heat-up time will be welcome for those who are often in a hurry.
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1. GHD Platinum Plus Styler: The best hair straighteners for straightening curly hair
Price when reviewed: £229 | Check price at Amazon
The Platinum Plus is GHD’s premium offering, with floating ceramic plates designed to deliver optimum heat for your hair type and maintain that temperature using intelligent heat technology that measures and adjusts it constantly while styling. The result is even heat across the plates that won’t scorch the hair, leaving hair looking glossy and feeling healthy. The smooth gliding plates and even heat distribution mean you won’t have to run the Platinum Plus through the same strands more than once to see results, and the wishbone-shaped hinge reduces the risk of catching or snagging hair as you style.
The GHD Platinum Plus Styler also wins points for its looks. Available in both white and black, there’s also a range of limited-edition colours – new for this year are Peach Pink and Alluring Jade. We found that the Platinum Plus straightened our curly hair in around half the time of other straightening tools, producing shinier, healthier tresses with less breakage.
Read our full GHD Platinum Plus Styler review
Key specs – Plates: 2.7cm ceramic plates; Maximum temperature: 185°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 2.7m swivel cord; Automatic shut-off time: 30 minutes; Warranty: 2 years
2. Remington Shine Therapy Straighteners: The best hair straighteners for glossy hair
Price when reviewed: £29 | Check price at Amazon
If sleek and shiny tresses are your go-to look, you’ll need straighteners that can easily create a poker-straight style without damaging the health of your hair. Luckily, these Remington straighteners use ceramic plates infused with conditioning properties, such as Moroccan argan oil and vitamin E, to keep your hair looking and feeling its very best.
The floating plates (set on springs) ensure an even pressure and grip on the hair, helping it to pass through the tool smoothly. There are nine heat settings that make it easy to select the correct heat for your hair type and texture. It’s also easy to switch between temperatures, so you can use a recommended 180°C for the bulk of the hair and a cooler setting for the thinner, more fragile front sections. The straighteners heat up in just 15 seconds and feature automatic switch-off after one hour.
Remington’s Shine Therapy straighteners are perfect if you’re after a “glass hair” look: simply combine the hot tool with a shine-boosting serum for glossy, silky smooth locks.
Key specs – Plates: Ceramic plates enriched with micro conditioners; Heat settings: 9; Maximum temperature: 230°C; Cord length: Swivel cord; Automatic shut-off time: One hour; Warranty: 180 days
3. Revlon Smoothstay Coconut-infused hair straighteners: The best budget straighteners for a glossy finish
Price when reviewed: £28 | Check price at Amazon
Beauty heavyweight Revlon offers a simple but good-value option in these straightening irons. The ceramic coating on the floating heating plates is infused with moisturising coconut oil, paired with ionic technology to maintain hydration in the hair shaft and discourage frizz and flyaways.
The heat settings can be adjusted anywhere between 80ºC for ultra-gentle styling to 235ºC for thicker hair; it’s easy to adjust the temperature for different areas of the hair, and the LED display lights up to clearly show the setting you’ve chosen. The tool heats up to your chosen temperature in just 10 seconds, and shuts off after one minute of non-use for safety.
The styling head itself is longer than most at 100mm, with rounded edges that allow easy curling and waving as well as straightening if you like to switch up your style. The Smoothstay is light in the hand and in your handbag at 410g, making it perfect to carry with you for styling touch-ups between work and play. For the price, Revlon’s Smoothstay delivers very good results and leaves hair shiny and frizz-free.
Key specs – Plates: 2.5cm ceramic plates; Maximum temperature: 235°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 1.8m swivel cord; Automatic shut-off time: 1 minutes; Warranty: 2 years
4. Dyson Corrale: The best premium cordless hair straighteners
Price when reviewed: £400 | Check price at John Lewis
Thanks to a clever heat-control system and flexible copper alloy plates that shape around strands of hair, the Dyson Corrale delivers efficient straightening while minimising damage to your locks.
Design-wise, the wireless Corrale straighteners are heavier in the hand than some other brands, due to the added weight of their rechargeable battery. Their portable nature helps them stand out against rival models. With a 30-minute battery life, these hair straighteners have enough juice in the tank for the majority of people to get their hair straight and sleek.
They come with adjustable heat control, so you can select the right temperature for your hair texture, from 165ºC to 210ºC. The intelligent heat-control system takes 100 measurements per second to ensure the temperature remains even throughout the process, so there’s no risk of damage from scorching.
In our tests, we found that the Corrale straighteners worked well, tackling our test hair in a significantly shorter time than many other models we tried. At £400, they’re definitely an investment, but if you straighten your hair often then the Corrale are worth the price.
Read our full Dyson Corrale review
Key specs – Plates: Flexing copper alloy plates; Heat settings: Three temperature control options; Maximum temperature: 210°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 4.3m; Automatic shut-off time: 10 minutes; Warranty: 1 year
5. Revamp Progloss Liberate Cordless Ceramic Compact Hair Straightener ST-1700: The best compact straighteners
Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at Boots
The Revamp Progloss Liberate Cordless Ceramic Compact Hair Straightener is a very compact cordless styling tool with ceramic and ionic floating plates infused with keratin and argan oil, which glides easily through the hair without pulling or tugging. The straighteners have three temperature settings – 160°C, 180°C and 210°C – making them suitable for use on a range of hair textures, and the inbuilt intelligent heat control system checks the temperature of the tool 100 times per second to ensure no risk of hot spots or scorching. It heats up in under a minute, and uses a steady light to let you know when it’s ready.
The lithium-ion battery charges fully in three hours and lasts for around 30 minutes of consistent styling, which should be enough to straighten a full head of typical length and thickness. The compact tool is absolutely perfect for travel or styling hair when you’re away from home, and it comes with a travel safety lock on the handle, a handy carry bag and a UK/EU interchangeable adaptor for the charging cable. This is a great compact tool for on-the-go styling.
Key specs – Plates: Ceramic plates enriched with keratin and oils; Heat settings: Three temperature control options; Maximum temperature: 210°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord: cordless; Automatic shut-off time: n/a; Warranty: 2 years
6. GHD Unplugged: Best cordless straighteners for on-the-go styling
Price when reviewed: £299 | Check price at LookFantastic
You could be forgiven for thinking that straightening your hair can only happen at home, with access to a mains socket. While cordless straighteners have been around for a few years, the ghd Unplugged takes the convenience of rechargeable hair straighteners a step further.
Size-wise, it’s just 22cm long and weighs 300g, which is substantially lighter than the Dyson Corrale at 561g. This makes it much easier to toss into a tote bag and carry around with you out and about. As a result of its compact size, the heated plates here are slightly narrower than average, but the “floating” spring mounts adjust to the contours of your hair, allowing the straighteners to effortlessly glide over sections of hair without any tugging or snagging. This will reduce the time it takes to style your hair, and means that the Unplugged’s 20-minute battery life will go further than you think.
Even better for travel, these straighteners charge via a handy USB-C cable. So, you can charge from any place with a USB socket, such as your laptop, a car, or just a portable charger in your bag (although this will need to have a large battery). For more information and our full verdict, take a look at our full GHD Unplugged review; but to cut a long story short, the ghd Unplugged are great compact cordless straighteners that we’re happy to recommend.
Key specs – Plates: Ceramic-coated, “floating spring” plates; Heat settings: 185ºC; Maximum temperature: 185ºC; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: N/A; Automatic shut-off time: 3 minutes; Warranty: 2 years
7. Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straighteners: Best hair straighteners for healthy hair
Price when reviewed: £199 | Check price at Amazon
Launched by one of the founders of GHD, Cloud Nine’s Original hair straighteners glide easily through the hair without any pull or drag. They leave hair feeling silky, looking shiny, and – most importantly – poker straight. Hair health is a key drive of this product’s design: the ceramic plates are mineral-infused to reduce snagging, leaving hair with extra shine, and there are six heat settings, from 100ºC to 200ºC. The plates perform well at lower temperatures, which means less risk of damage to hair.
Ergonomically, the Cloud Nine Original are comfortable in the hand, and lightweight at just 247g. We found the slim, curved barrel easy to use for flicking and curling, as well as for straight styles. The unit heats up in just 20 seconds and shuts off automatically after 30 minutes for added safety. The controls on the inside surface of the straighteners can be a little fiddly to access, but, overall, this is an excellent product that gives the GHD Gold a run for its money.
Key specs – Plates: 4cm mineral-infused ceramic plates; Heat settings: Five temperature control options; Maximum temperature: 200°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 2.6m; Automatic shut-off time: 30 minutes; Warranty: 1 year
8. BaByliss 3Q Hair Straighteners: The best mid-price straighteners
Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at Boots
BaByliss has a history of producing must-have hair tools that dates back to the 1960s, and many of its inventions – including the Perfect Curl and Big Hair – are cult favourites. The 3Q hair straighteners are the company’s latest such tool and we love the way they heat up quickly and transform frizz into fabulous smoothness. In addition, they even protect damaged hair with the aptly named Protect button, which switches temperature accurately in just a few seconds.
In fact, the BaByliss 3Q Hair Straighteners boast many of the features of their high-end contemporaries, using sensors to work out the correct temperature for your hair, maintaining heat and leaving a salon-shine finish. If you have more delicate or damaged hair, then the lower temperatures will certainly help keep your hair healthy. The 3Q straighteners aren’t the quietest in operation and sometimes make a rather disconcerting buzzing noise; but they represent good value for money in the middle of the market.
Key specs – Plates: 2.8cm quartz-ceramic plates; Heat settings: 12 digital options; Maximum temperature: 235°C; Cord length: 3m swivel cable; Automatic shut-off time: 72 minutes; Warranty: 5 years
8. Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy Straighteners: The best budget straighteners
Price when reviewed: £59 | Check price at Amazon
Hairdresser Nicky Clarke has a range of hair styling tools that deliver great results while being very budget-friendly – and these straighteners are no exception. The plates are ceramic- and tourmaline-coated to ensure a smooth glide through the hair, locking in moisture to leave hair soft and shiny. There are eight heat settings from 160ºC to 230ºC and the LED display is clear to read. A simple touch button makes it easy to switch between higher heat settings for thicker sections of hair, to a cooler setting for the finer hair around the front of the head.
The Hair Therapy straighteners heat up in 60 seconds and have a decent-length 3m swivel cord, which makes it super-easy to manoeuvre the tool around the head to reach any tricky parts of the hair. The straighteners work well on all hair types, including long and thick hair, and offer excellent results for the price.
Key specs – Plates: ceramic/tourmaline; Heat settings: 8; Maximum temperature: 230ºC; Cord length: 3m; Automatic shut-off time: 60 minutes; Warranty: 1 year
9. Cloud Nine Contouring Iron Pro: Best hair straighteners for straight and curly styles
Price when reviewed: £299 | Check price at Boots
Hair straighteners aren’t just good for straight styles – they can also be used to curl hair if you use the right technique. However, it’s incredibly difficult for some people to master the art of straightener curls – and that’s where the Cloud Nine Contouring Iron Pro comes in. Its innovative design has two interlocking curved plates, which help to guide the hair into big bouncy curls with a simple turn away from the face. This shape, paired with the floating plates, means that hair glides beautifully through the iron, without any snagging or pulling. The iron can also be used to achieve perfectly straight looks – just drag it straight down without turning it.
The Contouring Iron also comes equipped with an impressive temperature range, with 11 temperature settings between 100°C and 200°C. There’s also a “Revive” mode, which fixes the temperature at 150°C, but uses micro-vibrations in the plates during styling to help create longer-lasting styles, despite the low heat. This is a step up from the Cloud Nine Original Iron, featured above, and worked remarkably well in our testing. There’s no getting around the fact that this is an expensive curling iron, but it’s the perfect all-in-one styler for those willing to splash out.
Key specs – Plates: Floating; Maximum temperature: 200ºC; Voltage: 100-240V; Cord length: 3m; Automatic shut-off time: 30 minutes; Warranty: 3 years
Read our full Cloud Nine Contouring Iron Pro review
10. BaByliss 9000 Cordless Straighteners: The best versatile hair straighteners
Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at LookFantastic
A cordless straightening tool with floating ceramic plates that glide over the hair, the BaByliss 9000 makes light work of straightening all hair types and textures. At the same time, the slim, curved body of the tool is perfect for creating “straightener curls”. Since the tool is cordless, it’s super-easy to wrap the hair around at any angle around the head, without getting into a tangle.
These straighteners offer three heat settings – 160°C, 180°C and 200°C – and heat up in just seconds. The battery charges fully in three hours and lasts for 30 minutes, which will be sufficient to style most types and lengths of hair. The floating ceramic plates heat up evenly, and it’s easy to operate the tool using a single button that controls both power and heat selection. The cordless straighteners are perfect for styling on the go and come with a handy travel bag.
If you’re in the market for a versatile straightening tool that can handle both straight and curly styles with ease, the Babyliss 9000 is our recommendation.
Key specs – Plates: floating ceramic; Heat settings: Three temperature control options; Maximum temperature: 200°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length (charging cable): 1m; Automatic shut-off time: 150 minutes; Warranty: 2 years