The 9 Best Flat Irons of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The EVA NYC Healthy Heat Nano Silk Styling Iron is our best overall

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Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Flat irons are a must for anyone who wants a sleek look. However, if you use them for too long, they can damage your hair. According to stylist Gina Rivera, choosing a quality flat iron makes all the difference. “It ensures that you don't need to make multiple passes over the hair and further increase the likelihood of damage,” she says. 

However, because there are hundreds of flat irons on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. The good news? To make shopping easier for you, we headed over to The Lab, located in Manhattan, to conduct our own comprehensive tests.

Byrdie Tested & Approved

According to our testers, EVA NYC Healthy Heat Nano Silk Styling Iron is the best flat iron on the market because it was super effective at delivering a silky hairstyle in under 40 minutes on the lowest setting. However, if you're on a budget, our testers loved the LANDOT hair straightener and curler, a comparable product that also straightens in a single pass.

After consulting experts for their top picks, we tested the hair straighteners in The Lab for 16 hours. The flat irons were tested on all different hair types (fine, thick/wavy, type 4 textured curls, you name it) and rated on a scale of one to five on ease of use, glide performance, straightening ability, and durability (yes, we dropped the irons on the floor to see if they would break or crack—these are an investment, after all). 

Keep reading to discover the best flat irons.

Best Overall

Eva NYC Healthy Heat Nano Silk Styling Iron

5
EVA NYC Healthy Heat Nano Silk Styling Iron

Bed Bath & Beyond

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Straightening Ability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Great for damaged hair

  • Negative ions fight frizz

  • Silk plates

What We Don't Like
  • Lowest setting doesn't get super hot

In order to take the top spot as Best Overall, a straightening iron really needed to impress us. The Eva NYC Healthy Heat Nano Silk Styling Iron did just that, thanks to a straightforward control panel and its ability to straighten pieces of hair in one pass. The iron’s nano silk plates combine minerals and ceramic nano-particles to ensure a sleek finish on both damp and dry hair without damage. And, although it’s gentle on hair, our tester says it leaves strands “very smooth.” 

Price at time of publish: $65

Temperature: 200°F - 400 °F | Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord: Yes | Plate Size: 1 inch

What Our Testers Say

“I didn’t have to worry about my hair overheating or burning. I had it on the lowest setting and the slide was smooth as silk.” — Leslie Kelly, Tester

Best Budget

LANDOT Hair Straightener and Curler

5
LANDOT Hair Straightener and Curler

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Straightening Ability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Doubles as a curling iron

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Functions can be confusing

If you’re just getting started with flat ironing your hair (or just don’t want to spend a ton of money on a tool), this Landot pick is for you. The tool features and ergonomic design that makes it easy to switch back and forth between straightening and curling. In addition, the temperature is easy to control and it straightens hair quickly and efficiently. According to our tester, the shape adds to its ease of use and, as a matter of fact, smoothed out her 3B strands “the straightest it could.” 

Price at time of publish: $66

Temperature: 250 °F - 450 °F | Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord: Yes | Plate Size: 1 inch

What Our Testers Say

This flat iron is extremely cheap and should be worth more. I was honestly surprised when I saw the price. I would definitely purchase it—what a steal!” — Breanna Chase, Tester

Best Quick Styling

Drybar Reserve Vibrating Styling Iron

4.5
Drybar Reserve Vibrating Styling Iron

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Glide Performance
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Straightening Ability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Easy to control buttons

  • Long cord

What We Don't Like
  • Can pull if you work too fast

To put it plainly, our tester found this flat iron “a luxury” to use. The minute you turn it on, you’re able to understand what each button does—for example, plus and minus buttons indicate higher or lower temperatures. The cord is long enough so that you’re able to comfortably style your hair while being plugged into an outlet and the vibrating technology creates the perfect tension to straighten or curl your hair like a pro. Just take note that if you pass the straightener through your hair too fast, it might snag. 

Price at time of publish: $190

Temperature: 250 °F - 450 °F | Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord: Yes  | Plate Size: 1 inch

What Our Testers Say

“My hair looks beautifully straight with the perfect volume. I achieved my desired results in one to two passes. You get what you pay for; this tool is totally worth the investment for your crown.” — Maritza Chacon

Best for Curly Hair

Paul Mitchell 1-Inch Neuro Halo Styling Iron

4.6
Paul Mitchell 1-Inch Neuro Halo Styling Iron

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Straightening Ability
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Smooth curls

  • Effective on coils

  • Variety of temperature options

What We Don't Like
  • Buttons can be confusing

Curly hair requires a little more effort when it comes to straightening. Thankfully, there are certain tools that work wonders on curls, no matter how tight they are. Our tester, who has 3C hair, shared that the Paul Mitchell 1-Inch Neuro Halo Styling Iron is “one of the best straighteners” she has ever used. It made her hair look noticeably sleek and smooth—all in a matter of seconds. One thing to note: She was a bit confused by the buttons, but after a few minutes of toying around with the device, she was able to get the hang of it. 

Price at time of publish: $180

Temperature: 160 °F - 450 °F | Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord: Yes  | Plate Size: 1 inch

What Our Testers Say

 “I was amazed at how easily the tool glided and flattened my hair. Usually it takes hours to completely straighten my whole head, but in this case, it took about 30 minutes.” —Cydnie Cole, Commerce Lab Producer

Best for Thick Hair

Ion Magnesium Flat Iron 1.25 Inch

4.8
Ion Magnesium Flat Iron 1.25 Inch

Sally Beauty

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Straightening Ability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Comfortable to hold for a long time

  • Straightens hair in one pass

What We Don't Like
  • Default temperature is hottest

Have thick hair? This flat iron from ion is about to become your new best friend. It heats fast up to 450 degrees, maintains a stable temperature, and leaves hair looking and feeling shiny and smooth. Due to a combination of magnesium and ceramic tourmaline, the iron recovers heat quickly after every pass through your hair, resulting in less damage and requiring less time. Our tester, who has thick hair, explained that her hair looked “beautifully straight” after two passes. She said her favorite part was that it “tamed frizz well,” even on a rainy NYC day. 

Price at time of publish: $82

Temperature: TK - 450 °F  | Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord:  Yes | Plate Size: 1.25 inch

Best Splurge

Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener

5
Dyson Corrale Straightener Styling Iron

Dyson

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Straightening Ability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Cordless option

  • Flexing plates

  • Great for damaged hair

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Heavy

True to the Dyson name, this flat iron features some of the coolest technology we've ever seen in a straightener. It boasts unique flexing plates that conform to the shape of your hair to straighten it in less time and with less damage. Another perk? It can be used cordless for up to 32 minutes (don’t worry—we tested it until the battery ran out), making it easier than ever to style your hair wherever you are. The downside is that the tool is pretty heavy. One tester even compared the weight to that of her MacBook Pro. The iron comes in at 1.23 pounds to be exact, and to blame is the large battery that’s in it. We’d be remiss not to mention the price, which is steep, though not necessarily a far cry from other Dyson hair tools. The iron heats up to its maximum temperature of 410 in under a minute and turns off automatically after five minutes of not being used—which is especially great because it preserves battery life.

Price at time of publish: $500

Temperature: 330°F, 365°F, and 410°F | Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord: Removable  | Plate Size: 1 inch

Best for Color Treated Hair

CHI Lava 2.0 Flat Iron

4.8
CHI Lava 2.0 Flat Iron

JC Penny

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Straightening Ability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Long cord

What We Don't Like
  • Lowest temperature is pretty hot

Respect the integrity of your color-treated hair with this flat iron from Chi. This hair tool harnesses the power of the brand’s lava mineral composition (made of silicon, iron, magnesium, sodium, titanium, and more) so you can use lower heat while maintaining a consistent temperature. This is good news for those with color-treated hair—the less damage and lower the temperature, the better your color will be. Our tester was impressed by how effectively the iron straightened her hair (it only took one pass) and how lightweight it felt in her hands. 

Price at time of publish: $200

Temperature: 330°F, 365°F, and 410°F | Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord: Yes  | Plate Size: 1 inch

Best for Heating Up Quickly

T3 SinglePass LUXE 1-Inch Professional Straightening Iron

4.2
T3 SinglePass LUXE 1-Inch Professional Straightening Iron

Nordstrom

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Glide Performance
    4/5
  • Value
    3/5
  • Straightening Ability
    4/5
What We Like
  • Straightens hair in seconds

  • Durable against drops

  • Aesthetic design

What We Don't Like
  • Does not have a digital display

  • Buttons can be confusing at first

Achieving glass-like hair can take some serious time and effort—not to mention the right hot tool. This iron is the one for the job, especially if you have medium thick hair. Once the iron is set to your desired setting, an embedded microchip ensures the heat stays at the same level as you style. Our testers loved how quickly it straightened their hair, sharing that it “straightened curls in one pass.” This iron heated up to its maximum temperature in just 47 seconds, and shut off just like it was supposed to, one hour after being turned on. Design-wise, this iron’s gold and white detailing is stunning and would look pretty on any vanity. 

Price at time of publish: $180

Temperature: 260°F– 410°F  | Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord: Yes | Plate Size: 1.5 inch

Best Drugstore

Kristin Ess 3-in-One Flat Iron

4.8
Kristin Ess Hair 3-In-One

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Glide Performance
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Straightening Ability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Feels sturdy

  • Has a digital display

  • Comfortable to hold

What We Don't Like
  • Changing temperature isn't intuitive

While there are cheaper drugstore flat irons out there, this iron is our top pick of the bunch. It’s a stylist’s fave, too: “Some of my favorite features are the 30-minute automatic shut-off, four temperature settings, and the 9-foot-long swivel cord that makes it comfortable to hold and use,” says hairstylist Erlis Aguilar.  In our testing, we can stand by all this: The flat iron did take 30 minutes to turn off after not being used. It also took one minute and 16 seconds to heat up to its highest temperature. The best part is that our tester said it gave her wavy hair a sleek look, and all it took was one or two passes per section and very little effort. It’s also comfortable to hold for an extended period of time, which is key if you’ll be hoisting it above your head to get those hard-to-reach strands of hair.

Price at time of publish: $90

Temperature: 280°F - 440°F| Auto Shut-Off: Yes | Cord: Yes | Plate Size: 1.25 inch

Final Verdict

While we were skeptical about its ease of use at first, the EVA NYC Healthy Heat Nano Silk Styling Iron impressed our testers the most with its straightening ability, heat settings, and durability. For those looking to splurge, look no further than the Dyson Corrale; its innovative flex plates and rapid heat up time will be sure to impress you. However, if you’re looking to save some pennies the LANDOT hair straightener and curler will get the job done for less than $40.

Meet the Expert

  • Gina Rivera is a beauty expert, stylist, and founder of Phenix Salon Suites. She's from a family with over 90 years of experience in the beauty industry.
  • Erlis Aguilar is a Covet & Mane hairstylist at East Coast Salon in Denville, New Jersey. She specializes in both custom hair extensions and dimensional color.
  • Joseph Maine is a celebrity hairstylist who works in both New York and Los Angeles. He has styled global campaigns for corporations, Fashion Week, red carpets, and more.

How We Tested 

Byrdie editors did extensive research on popular flat irons, taking expert recommendations and customer reviews into account before choosing 29 to test out first-hand. Our testers examined the ease of use, strengthening abilities, glide performance, time it took to straighten hair,  and overall value of each one. Since every type of hair has a different experience with a hair straightener we had testers with different hair types try each of these flat irons. We tested on fine hair, wavy and thick, and textured curls.

What to Look for in Flat Irons

Temperature

According to celebrity hairstylist Joseph Maine, nearly every time you sandwich your hair between two hot plates, it’ll straighten. “I believe heat temperatures are important so you can customize the iron to your specific texture,” he says. “Damaged and highlighted hair should use a lower temperature.” If you aren’t sure what temperature is suited for your hair type, irons (like the Paul Mitchell 1-Inch Neuro Halo Styling Iron) take the guesswork out by suggesting that lower temperatures are a great starting point for most hair. 

While CHI is such a well-known brand—our testers have all used a CHI Iron at some point in their lives—we couldn’t add the Chi Original 1" Iron to our list. All three testers' feedback was that the iron took multiple runs to straighten their hair. “The plates of this product didn't line up properly, so it was difficult to straighten my hair; I had to press very hard several times to straighten wavy strands,” says one tester. Plus, there is no display screen or automatic shut-off.

Auto Shut-Off

We have all walked out the door just to panic about whether or not we turned our hot tools off. Never worry about burning the house down again by opting for an iron that has an automatic shut-off button that cools the tool down when it’s not in use. Some, like the T3 SinglePass Luxe Flat Iron, take an hour, but others (like the Kristin Ess 3-in-One Flatiron) shut off in just a few minutes. 

Plate Size

Flat irons come in all different sizes. One-inch plates are perhaps the most commonly found size—they’re great for straightening strands as well as making loose waves and tight curls. The larger the plate gets (1.5 inches, 1.75 inches, or 2 inches, for example), the easier it will be to straighten long, curly, coarse, and thick hair in less time. (The ion Magnesium Flat Iron 1.25 Inch is great for this). If you wish to style bangs and shorter hairs, reach for a plate size that’s less than one inch as it will be easier to get close to your scalp. If you’re not sure which plate size is best for you, we recommend opting for one-inch plates as it’s the most versatile option. 

FAQ
  • How do you use a flat iron?

    Start by making sure your hair is completely dry and combed through so that there are no tangles, then divide your hair into sections. Run the iron over each section with a consistent speed, not letting it sit on one area for too long. 

  • How do you clean a flat iron?

    Once it’s unplugged and completely cooled off, Rivera suggests wiping down the plates with a cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol. Then, give them another wipe down with a clean cotton pad to make sure the plates are completely dry. 

  • How do you curl hair with a flat iron?

    Taking one section of hair at a time, clamp the hair in the flat iron at mid-shaft and wrap the rest of the hair (except for the very ends) gently around the flat iron, says Rivera. Then, gently pull down and release. 

What is Byrdie Verified?

Did you notice the Byrdie Verified seal of approval at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology that’s designed to focus on what our readers really want to know—and to deliver insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.

Why Trust Byrdie

Caitlyn Martyn is an experienced beauty writer and product tester. She has tested dozens of flat irons — including several on this list from brands like Dyson, T3, and more. Caitlyn has been a writer at Byrdie since 2022, where she covers all things beauty.

Updated by Jill Di Donato

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