Cosmopolitan January 19, 2022



15 Best Hair Straighteners and Flat Irons of 2022


For every hair type, budget, and preference (yeah, I really did that for you).

Whether your high-school years were in the era of skinny jeans (hi, fellow millennials), or in the era of center hair parts (hello, youths), I'm willing to bet that the one thing that hasn't changed since 10th grade is your trusty old flat iron. And hey, I’m all for getting the most uses out of something, but just because your hair straightener still heats up when you plug it in, doesn’t mean it’s still working for you. If it takes more than two or three passes to straighten a section of hair, I'm afraid to say it’s scorching your hair, not styling it. But don't freak—I promise everything you love about your current tool can be found in a newer model, but better. Think: a flat iron that's lightweight, ergonomic, doesn't snag or pull your hair, has smart heat settings, and is designed for your specific hair type.

Basically, the problem of today isn't the quality of your flat iron—it's quantity. With so many different hair straighteners to choose from, it's hard to know what the best plate material is or how to choose the best flat iron for fine, thin, curly hair vs. coarse, thick hair. So to help you out, we hand-selected the 15 best flat irons of today for all different hair needs and budgets. Glance over a handful of the best hair straighteners below, then read on for more in-depth reviews and answers to your ~burning~ questions from expert hairstylists.

The best hair straighteners of 2022


  • Best overall hair straightener: Hot Tools Radiant Blue Digital Flat Iron
  • Best straightener for damaged hair: InStyler Cerasilk Woven Ceramic Styling Iron
  • Best straightener for thick hair: T3 SinglePass X Straightening Iron
  • Best straightener for fine hair: Conair InfinitiPro Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron
  • Best straightener for curly hair: Bio Ionic 10x Pro Straightening & Styling Iron
  • Best straightener for curling: Kristin Ess 3-in-1 Flat Iron

How to choose the best hair straightener for your hair


I *wish* the only factor to take into account when buying a new hair straightener was the price, but that's really only a fraction of the decision. Of course, the price tag might help you narrow down the selection, but you still gotta decide between all the devices in your budget. Here are a few points to think about to find the right tool for you.

Consider your hair type and condition

The best flat iron depends on your hair's thickness, texture, length, and condition, so a straightener that suits your hair type is crucial. Amy Abramite, creative director and Stylist at Maxine Salon, says the heat factor has to be taken into careful consideration for all hair types, noting that higher temperatures might be necessary for coarser textures to get the desired smoothness, but “hair that's finely textured, compromised by chemicals, or damaged from heat styling may not be able to handle hot temperatures and still remain healthy.”

In general, pick a ceramic hair straightener if your hair is fine, wavy, fragile, or just easy to straighten, and choose a titanium straightener if your hair is coarse, curly, coily, and harder to straighten (we'll get into the titanium vs. ceramic debate more below).

Compare the features

Seek out the flat-iron features that are top priorities for you, like an auto shut-off if you're always forgetting to unplug it, or a straightener with lots of heat setting options if you plan on using it on other people, too. You might have to pay a little more for a tool that has more than just the basics, but hair pros argue that a nice design is absolutely worth it. “When looking for a flat iron, a well-designed tool should close evenly on the hair to prevent pulling or uneven tension,” Abramite says. “It should glide smoothly through the strands and feel comfortable when maneuvering.”

Meanwhile, any flat iron that offers flexibility will also help prevent tension while styling (meaning less breakage overall). Floating plates are key for a smooth, tension-free finish, a fact hairstylists Annagjid "Kee" Taylor and David Lopez have previously told Cosmo, and don't forget about a long 360-degree swivel cord, if you're constantly catching your cord on bathroom drawer handles.

Choose the intended use

Are you wanting a flat iron for both straightening your hair and curling it? Are you using it to style bangs or a short pixie cut and need something that can get close to the root? Are you planning on traveling with your flat iron? These are all questions to ask yourself before clicking that “Place Order” button so you don't end up with a device that doesn't fit your needs. Because at the end of the day, even the best flat iron won't do you any good if it doesn't have the shape, design, features, and modes that you're looking for.

Which is better: titanium or ceramic hair straighteners?

Neither is necessarily better overall—it's just that one is likely better for your specific hair type. “Ceramic plates are the safest because they suit dry, damaged, or fragile hair,” Abramite says. “Ceramic plates have negative ions which help retain moisture, add shine, and prevent frizz for a smooth, shiny cuticle.” The overall temperature of ceramic irons stays in a relatively safe range with even heat distribution to prevent hot spots that can cause damage.

Meanwhile, titanium plates heat up very quickly and can reach higher temperatures than ceramic irons. In a Cosmo article about silk presses, hairstylist Kerry Joly says titanium flat irons are ideal for getting an extra-smooth finish on natural hair. Regardless of the flat iron you choose, keep the heat at the lowest and safest temperature possible to still straighten your hair and use a good heat-protectant spray beforehand.

Now, keep reading to find the 15 best flat irons and hair straighteners of 2022:


The Beachwaver Co. Coast Pro Ceramic (2 piece)

If you have to choose between a curling iron or a hair straightener to save space or money, go with the hair straightener—and more specifically, go with this one. Whether you want a super-straight finish, curled ends, a soft bend, or beachy waves, this ceramic flat iron can do it all. It comes with rounded attachment pieces that clip onto the outside casing and allow you to achieve multiple looks all with one convenient little tool.


CHI G2 Professional Flat Iron

If you plan on using your hair straightener on different hair types and textures (ahem, sharing with roomies or siblings), you want something versatile, like this titanium-infused ceramic straightener. It has a digital heat control panel that lights up in one of three colors to indicate when the temperature has reached the right range for certain hair types. The screen shines blue for fine or delicate hair until it reaches 370 degrees. When the iron hits 375 to 395 degrees, the light will switch to green, which tells you it's now the ideal temp for medium texture or wavy hair. Anything between 400 and the maximum temperature of 425 turns the screen red and is best for coarse hair or hair that's resistant to straightening.


Deeper Than Hair 22TiTania Flat Iron (Signature Royal)

This titanium flat iron from Taylor's brand can reach super-hot temps (a max of 465 degrees) but is still gentle on the hair, thanks to the floating plates that bend as you style to prevent unwanted creases and tension. The rounded metal casing doesn't only look sleek, but it also adds to the functionality of the flat iron by allowing you to create curled styles as well. To sweeten the deal, this tool also comes with a metal carrying case for storage and travel.


BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron

Those with thick or coarse hair might gravitate toward wider straighteners (the bigger the plates, the more area you can cover at once), but don’t be deceived by this ultra-thin straightener. Abramite says the slender design makes it easier to reach the root area for straightening and smoothing than larger, chunkier designs. These plates are made from titanium, which heats up quickly and evenly, and are longer than the average iron with an impressive five-inch length, making it ideal for straightening wider sections of hair and cutting down on the time spent. Honestly, one of the best flat irons you’ll find on Ulta.


Conair InfinitiPro Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron

This flat iron is a dream for anyone who's absolutely terrified of destroying their damaged or fine hair with heat tools. It has 30 heat settings (so it's suuuper customizable for fine or damaged hair), and its tourmaline/ceramic combo means your hair gets straighter with fewer passes and less heat. For under $30? You really can't beat it.


Hot Tools Radiant Blue Digital Flat Iron

This titanium iron heats up fast, bringing its plates back to the ideal temperature quickly after each pass, so you won’t need to go over each section multiple times and destroy your hair. To get your hair extra sleek and straight, brush through each section with a fine-tooth comb while following right behind it with the straightener.


Kristin Ess 3-in-1 Flat Iron

You know when you try to curl your hair with a straightener, and you're left with creases, bumps, and snags? Yeah, that won't be the case with this rounded-edge flat iron. It's perfectly curved to allow you to clamp, twirl, and twist so your flat-iron waves and curls look genuinely good, not just good-for-a-flat-iron good.


Revlon Salon Straight Copper Smooth XL Flat Iron

Copper is famously known for being an even heat conductor (just ask any cook), which is why it makes for the perfect plates on a flat iron. And fewer strokes over each section results in less heat damage. Bonus: The detachable comb also smooths and distributes your coarse hair evenly over the plates, so you’re left with stick-straight hair on the first pass.


T3 SinglePass X Straightening Iron

If you’re looking to cut down the time it takes to style a thicker head of hair, try this iron. Designed for full, thick hair, this tourmaline-and-ceramic straightening iron with one-and-a-half-inch plates helps straighten fuller hair types with one pass—i.e., no more having to straighten the same section over and over (and over) again.


Ghd Platinum+ Professional Performance Styler

Perfect for all hair types, this flat iron needs only 20 seconds to reach its maximum temperature of 365 degrees. According to the smarties in research and development at Ghd, this is the optimal straightener temperature for changing the shape of your hair with as minimal damage as possible. So if you’ve already got damaged, brittle hair, get yourself this straightener ASAP.


Bio Ionic 10x Pro Straightening & Styling Iron

Don’t let the light vibrations in this iron surprise you when you clamp down. The oscillating plates encourage your curls and waves to spread out evenly between the plates to help you get the smoothest, most even finish all the way down the length of your hair. FYI: This is the flat-iron I use most times I straighten my hair.


InStyler Cerasilk Woven Ceramic Styling Iron

You obviously sleep with a silk pillowcase to protect your hair (if you don’t, do it now, k?), so why not heat style with it too? The silk-and-ceramic ridges on this iron mean that less of your hair comes in contact with the direct heat, which equals less damage and breakage for you.


Amika Mighty Mini Styler

No joke: I have this mini hair straightener in my drawer right now, and I freakin' love it for touch-ups. The half-inch-wide plates make it super easy to straighten bumps near your roots, along with messed-up bangs that wider flat irons usually can’t touch without burning your forehead. It also comes in a cute pouch, so you can keep the cord wrapped up and stowed away if you bring it in your purse or carry-on.


Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener

Yup, this is a Very Expensive Flat Iron. Yup, this is something you'd definitely splurge on, save up for, or beg for from the person who loves you most, but it'll be worth it. This cordless/corded—you can do both—flat iron uses flexible copper plates that subtly move with your hair to evenly distribute heat across every strand, leaving you with less damage and smoother hair. I've used it, and it really is a freaking thing of the future.


Kim Kimble Vapor Infusion Iron with Silk Argan Oil

Steam-based flat irons can be tricky. Even though they can be magical for straightening 4c hair, they can also be hella drying (the steam attaches itself to the water in your hair strand, pulling it out and evaporating it). But this one from Kim Kimble uses a mix of steam and argan oil-filled cartridges to smooth and moisturize hair with fewer passes. And that means way less damage for you.