Looking for the best flat iron for fine, coarse, curly, coily, thick, or frizzy hair? Good thing you’re here. We compared and ranked the top straighteners on the market to find the best for each hair type.


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Do I Really Need the Best Flat Iron?

The best flat irons all put into a blue lay flat image with squares in the back

When I was growing up, the flat iron was a staple in my morning routine. I did everything wrong in those days. I’d crank the heat all the way up and grab huge sections to straighten with no heat protectant in sight. Smokin’! 

With these mammoth sections, I’d end up making dozens of passes through each one just to make it into some semblance of straight. My frazzled ends told the story.

And straightening the back of my hair? Forget about it (from the looks of some of my photos, I know I did). I might have been clueless, but I was also working with some pretty low-quality tools back then.

Now I know the importance of carefully choosing a hot tool.

They can be a source of serious hair damage, so choosing a good one is an investment in your hair’s health and appearance. A flat iron that works perfectly for you might be a one-way ticket to Frizzville for your curly-haired friend.

One that gets super hot and quickly straightens coily hair could fry fine tresses. That’s why it’s so essential to look for a flat iron that is designed specifically for your hair type. 

We make it easy to find out which flat iron is best for you in our guide. You’ll see the top models for each hair type and how they rank in terms of their material, temperature, features, reviews, and price.

Our Top Picks:

  1. Best Flat Iron for Fine Hair: Conair Double Ceramic Straightener
  2. Best Flat Iron for Coarse Hair: VANESSA Flat Iron Hair Straightener
  3. Best Flat Iron for Coily Hair: KIPOZI Professional Titanium Straightener
  4. Best Flat Iron for Thick Hair: Remington S9250 Pro Ceramic Straightener
  5. Best Flat Iron for Frizzy Hair: HSI Professional Glider Hair Straightener

We’ll outline the pros and cons of each one and things to consider before you buy. Let’s get started! 

Our Flat Iron Rating Criteria

Best Flat Iron Rating Criteria

How can we be sure we’re picking the top flat iron for each hair type? We’ve ranked them according to their material, temperature, features, reviews, and price. Here’s a quick look at how we’ve structured the ratings for each category. 

Material

The material used for flat iron plates varies, but most are ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline. There are pros and cons for each one that will affect the star rating a flat iron receives in the material category. 

Tourmaline flat iron plates are quite popular. These plates are made with crushed tourmaline (a gemstone) often added to ceramic. Tourmaline emits negative ions when it’s heated up, which neutralize frizz, seal in moisture, and help break down water molecules into microparticles. Tourmaline flat irons get a 4 star material rating in our guide. 

Ceramic is a commonly used material for flat iron plates. While it doesn’t emit negative ions, it heats up quickly and holds temperature well. For 100% ceramic plates or double-coated ceramic plates, we’ll give a 5 star rating. For ceramic coated plates, which feature a thin coating of ceramic over metal, we’ll give a 4 star material rating. 

Titanium is becoming a more popular flat iron plate material. This material heats up very quickly, is lightweight, and emits negative ions to neutralize frizz and lock in moisture. It is typically a more expensive material so titanium flat irons tend to be higher priced. If a flat iron uses titanium plates, it gets a 5 star material rating. 

Temperature

The temperature capabilities of a flat iron are important to consider when you’re shopping around. It’s important for a flat iron to be capable of reaching high temperatures – up to 450 degrees – to properly straighten some hair types. 

While you might use your flat iron at a lower temperature setting than the maximum, it’s always a good idea to choose one that can go up to 450 degrees. So for our guide, flat irons that reach 450 degrees get a 5 star temperature rating.

Others will receive a lower rating. Flat irons that use a dial instead of a digital temperature display will receive a lower rating due to the imprecise temperature selection. 

Features

The top flat irons will come with some additional features. You’ll find special bonus features like rounded edges, digital temperature displays, automatic shutoff, and swivel power cords.

Added features can increase the functionality of a flat iron and make it easier to use. They can make a flat iron into a dual use tool, allowing you to straighten or curl/wave your hair.

Digital temperature display features allow for the most precise temperature selection so you can protect your hair from heat damage while getting it straight with 1 or 2 passes. 

We’ll give a 5 star rating for the best features and lower ratings for features that aren’t as useful or flat irons that don’t have any special features. 

Reviews

Another factor in our flat iron selection is how satisfied real users are with the product. User reviews give us a peek into what people really like about a flat iron, things they’d change, and features that stand out or fall short. 

When it comes to finding the best flat iron for your hair type, there’s no better research than knowing what other women with your hair type think about it.

Good marketing and advertising can make a flat iron seem like the best one around, but looking at the reviews will either back those claims up or show you that users aren’t satisfied. We’ve tallied and averaged reviews for each flat iron on our list and have rated them as follows in the reviews category:

  • 1 star = 1/5
  • 2 stars = 2/5
  • 3 stars = 3/5
  • 4 stars = 4/5 
  • 5 stars = 5/5

Since very few products have an overall 5 star rating, we’ll consider ratings 4.6 and higher to be 5 stars.

Price

Finally, we’ll be looking closely at the price of each flat iron on our list. Many things affect the overall price of a flat iron – the brand, material, features, and more. Most flat irons range in price from around $20 for a basic iron to as much as $500 for top-of-the-line models.

Since we’re not considering the material, temperature, features, or reviews in the price category, we’ll rate flat irons on the price only. So be aware that some of the best flat irons might receive a lower rating in the price category. Here’s how we structured price ratings for flat irons on our list:

  • $20-$40 = 5/5
  • $41-$60 = 4/5
  • $61-$80 = 3/5
  • $81-$100 = 2/5
  • $101+ = 1/5 

The Best Flat Iron for Every Hair Type

Now, let’s take a look at the winners from our flat iron roundup. The models you’ll see below beat out the other flat irons in their category and stand out as the best for a specific hair type. Whether you have fine, coarse, damaged, or frizzy hair, you’ll find the straightener that best suits your hair below. 

1. Best Flat Iron for Fine Hair

Best for Fine Hair
Conair Double Ceramic Flat Iron, 1 Inch, White/Rose Gold
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Fine hair has a smaller strand diameter and is sensitive to high temperatures. If you have fine hair, you need a flat iron that allows you to adjust the temperature to a lower setting and has plates made of or coated with ceramic for the most even heating. 

That’s why the Conair Double Ceramic 1″ Flat Iron is the best straightener for fine hair. Here’s what you need to know about it. 

The pros: Built with fine hair in mind, this iron’s maximum temperature setting is 410 degrees, which is a little lower than other models on the market. The extra-long plates are double-coated with ceramic so the coating won’t chip off. It turns off automatically after about 20 minutes if you forget to unplug. 

A swivel cord, floating plates that let you sandwich plenty of hair in for each pass, and super affordable price are all pluses, too. It gets 4.5 stars out of more than 9,300 reviews!  

The cons: The cord is only 5 feet long, so there’s not a ton of extra room if your outlet isn’t close by. The biggest downfall might be the lack of a digital temperature display – instead, you can choose from 5 different heat settings. The lower max temperature of 410 degrees is perfect for fine hair, but may not work for medium or coarse hair as well. 

  • Material: 5/5
  • Temperature: 4/5
  • Features: 4/5
  • Reviews: 4/5
  • Price: 5/5
  • Overall rating: 22/25

2. Best Flat Iron for Coarse or Curly Hair

Best for Coarse Hair
VANESSA Flat Iron Hair Straightener and Curler
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Coarse or curly hair can be a challenge to straighten completely, but the right flat iron will make the process a cinch. Frizz, thick hair that requires multiple passes.

And stubborn curls that require high heat to flatten are all concerns when you’re shopping for a flat iron for coarse or curly hair. We’ve found that the Vanessa Straightener/Curler Titanium Flat Iron is the very best option for coarse or curly hair. Here’s why. 

The pros: The temperature settings go up to 450 degrees on this baby, which is ideal for super coarse hair or curls. Titanium plates emit negative ions to combat frizz and increase shine. Rounded plate edges make curling or waving easy if you’d rather define your curls than straighten them. 

The plates are extra long – the longest on the market – so you can style more hair in each pass. An 8 foot long swivel cord is super convenient, as well as the auto off feature when you haven’t used it for 30 minutes. It’s dual voltage so you can even travel abroad with it. More than 5,300 reviewers give it an average 4.4 out of 5 stars! 

The cons: The lowest temperature setting is 265 degrees, so it might not be low enough for someone with super fine hair. But for coarse hair, this iron reaches the high temps needed for great results. Since it does go up to 450 degrees, it’s possible for the body of the iron to get hot while using. You’ll need to be careful to ensure you don’t burn your hand. 

  • Material: 5/5
  • Temperature: 5/5
  • Features: 5/5
  • Reviews: 4/5
  • Price: 5/5
  • Overall rating: 24/25

3. Best Flat Iron for Coily Hair

Best for Coily Hair
KIPOZI Professional Titanium Flat Iron Hair Straightener with Digital LCD Display
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Coily hair is Type 4 – super curly/kinky, very coarse, with a tendency to be dry and fragile. This requires a special solution when it comes to finding the right flat iron.

The straightener needs to be capable of reaching very hot temperatures but offer the hair enough heat protection to prevent burning or frying the hair in the process. 

That’s precisely what the Kipozi Professional Titanium 1.75″ Flat Iron does. It’s the best for coily hair and we’ll explain why. 

The pros: This iron goes up to 450 degrees, which is as hot as any flat iron will get without burning the hair. This makes it perfect for super coarse and coily hair that is typically harder to straighten. The titanium plates perfectly compress coily hair for a smooth, frizz-free, straight result in 2 or so passes. 

The floating plates are a little wider than most at 1.75″, making it perfect for hair that is very thick and hard to sandwich between other straightener plates. There are also some quick temperature presets you can use for convenience. An 8-foot swivel cord and automatic shutoff after 60 minutes are huge bonuses, too. 

The cons: The plates aren’t rounded, so they’re difficult to use for waving or curling the hair for touch ups. If you don’t take the time to manually set the temperature, you’ll have to choose one of the 3 presets: 270, 350, or 410 degrees. The handle can get hot when it’s set to 450 degrees. 

  • Material: 5/5
  • Temperature: 5/5
  • Features: 4/5 
  • Reviews: 5/5
  • Price: 5/5
  • Overall rating: 24/25

4. Best Flat Iron for Thick Hair

Best for Thick Hair
Remington S9520 Pro 2" Pearl Ceramic Flat Iron
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When you have thick hair and want to straighten or wave your hair with a flat iron, it takes forever. There’s a lot of hair to work through!

So thick hair needs a flat iron that is wider than average, capable of high temperature settings, and designed to protect the hair from high heat. Basically, we’re describing the Remington Pro 2″ Pearl Ceramic Flat Iron.

It’s perfect for ultra-thick hair that typically takes 45 minutes or more to straighten. You can cut your time in half and get smoother, healthier results when you use it.

In fact, it’s actually the top-rated flat iron from our guide! Here’s what you need to know about this straightener. 

The pros: The 2″ plates are a lifesaver when you have thick hair because more hair in each pass=less time straightening! Ceramic plates infused with crushed pearls – seriously, how boujee – is designed to evenly heat, even at high temperatures, while protecting hair from damage.

The crushed pearl infused plates have 8 times more ceramic than the original flat iron and have been proven to reduce heat damage. Digital temperature controls make it easy to select from 9 temperature settings that go up to 450 degrees.

Set it as low as 300 degrees for finer hair. There’s a 60-minute auto off feature and a swivel cord for easier use. More than 6,100 reviewers give it an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars! 

The cons: The swivel cord is 6 feet long, which could be perfect or a little short depending on your bathroom setup. The temperature is easily adjustable, but there are 9 preset temperatures instead of allowing you to choose the exact temperature you want. Since the plates are wider to accommodate thick hair, it can be a little awkward to use at first. 

  • Material: 5/5
  • Temperature: 5/5
  • Features: 5/5
  • Reviews: 5/5
  • Price: 5/5
  • Overall rating: 25/25

5. Best Flat Iron for Frizzy Hair

Best for Frizzy Hair
HSI Professional Glider | Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair Straightener
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The best option for hair that tends to get frizzy is the HSI Professional Glider. With tourmaline-infused ceramic plates and several top-notch features, this straightener is definitely a winner with a 23/25 rating. Here’s what we found out. 

The pros: The swivel cord makes it easy to move this iron around as you straighten or curl your hair with it. We were impressed by the HeatBalance microsensors on the ceramic/tourmaline plates. These mini sensors ensure the heating is even across the plates for no hot or cool spots. 

The ceramic and tourmaline plates are designed to release negative ions to eliminate frizz, lock in moisture, and increase shine. It reaches up to 450 degrees.

So it’s appropriate for even the coarsest hair. The price is affordable and reviewers absolutely rave about the effectiveness of this flat iron. It has a 4.3 star average from more than 67,800 reviews! 

The cons: The 1″ plates mean this flat iron is great for using on shorter hair or bangs, but it does create a little more work if you have long or very thick hair. Using smaller sections can eliminate the inconvenience of smaller plates, but if you’re used to a slightly larger iron, the 1″ size can be annoying. 

  • Material: 5/5
  • Temperature: 5/5
  • Features: 5/5
  • Reviews: 4/5
  • Price: 4/5
  • Overall rating: 23/25

Before You Buy a Flat Iron…

Before you grab one of the flat irons on our list, you should check off this list first. Following these steps will ensure you end up with a flat iron that is perfectly suited for your hair and will give you the results you want. 

1. Know Your Hair Type

Type of hair illustrated into a graph for a piece on the best flat irons
Gritsalak Karalak/Shutterstock

Choosing a flat iron starts with knowing what hair type and texture you have. If you start with this info, you can easily choose the straightener from our list that best suits your hair.

Fine hair needs an iron capable of a low heat setting; coarse hair needs an iron with the capability to go as high as 450 degrees. You need to know if your hair is fine, medium, or coarse.

Then, you should determine if it’s straight (Type 1), wavy (Type 2), curly (Type 3), or coily (Type 4). We have a complete guide to finding out your hair type here: How Often Should You Wash Your Hair? 

2. Determine How You’ll Use Your Flat Iron

Woman holding the best flat iron in her hand while holding the left side of her chin
Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Despite the fact that many of us use flat iron and straightener interchangeably, not everyone uses a flat iron to straighten the hair. If you opt for a model that has curved or rounded plates, it can also be used to wave or curl the hair. 

If you plan to wave or curl your hair with your new flat iron, you need to specifically look for a model that has rounded or curved plates. 

3. Set Your Budget

Woman deciding how she will spend her money on the best flat iron while fanning out a bunch of dollar bills in front of an orange background
Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

You can spend as little or as much as you’re comfortable with on a flat iron. We’ve seen models under $20 and the top-rated Dyson Corrale straightener sells for $499!

That’s quite a wide price range. If you set a budget you’re comfortable with, you’ll be able to narrow your search down a bit and ensure you don’t spend more (or too much less) than you planned.

The irons on our list range in price from around $30 to around $60 to fit into most budgets, and these are all top-notch quality flat irons. 

4. Get a Heat Protectant

Woman holding a flat iron and a heat protectant in her hand and looking at the camera while smiling
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Protecting your hair from heat damage is not optional if you want healthy hair. You can find heat protectants that you spray onto the hair or apply with your fingers. John Frieda’s FrizzEase is a great, affordable option if you don’t have a good heat protectant already.

It eliminates frizz and protects hair from the high heat of flat irons. You’ll want to evenly spray it all over your damp or wet hair, then air dry or blow dry before using a flat iron to further protect your hair from heat damage. 

So, What’s the Best Flat Iron?

That’s all you need to know to find the best flat iron for your hair! Once you know your hair type, whether you’ll use it to straighten, wave, or curl, how much you want to spend, and have a good heat protectant on hand, you’re ready to click Add to Cart and put your new flat iron to use! 

Whether you’re dreaming of sleek, silky straight locks or beachy, frizz-free waves, one of the flat irons on our list is going to be the key.

Just choose the one that matches your hair type and budget. Don’t forget to add a hair mask to your weekly routine to ensure your hair stays healthy and nourished when you’re using heat styling regularly!

 
Author: Debra Carpenter

Debra is a Nashville-based content creator and strategist. As the daughter of a long-time hair stylist and salon owner, she’s spent most of her life as a guinea pig for new color and cut techniques. Writing for respected publications like Forbes and HuffPost, she’s committed to bringing her passion for great hair to the masses.