If you automatically think of CHI when you think of flat irons, you’re not alone: The brand has long been synonymous with straighteners. I still love the 2-inch CHI mini straightener that I’ve had for 14 years. As Reviewed’s resident hair tools expert, and who also happens to have a mass of thick, curly hair that I’ve been taming for years, I set out to find what makes a good flat iron, and which ones are actually worth the money.

We rounded up the best flat irons on the market, narrowed the lot down to top-rated inexpensive picks ranging from $15 to $250, and tested the best of the best. We loved the Paul Mitchell Neuro Smooth, and we were also blown away by the performance of the cheapest straightener we tried: the $15 Remington Anti-Static Ceramic Hair Straightener. But, we were shocked that some of the most expensive and notorious brands—like CHI and GHD—performed at the bottom of the pack.

We tested for heat adjustability, value, ease of use, safety features, button placement, cord length, and much more

BioSilk Titanium Hair Styling Iron

The bottom line: A high-end flat iron that imparts serious shine.

Safety features: Auto shut off after 1 hour

Heat settings: Adjustable to the degree up to 410º

Ready-to-use notification: Bars on digital screen oscillate until it’s up to temperature, then remain steady. It also has a digital screen that displays temperature.

The details: This straightener gave my hair the mirror-smooth shine that ladies with naturally straight hair have and ladies with curly hair (hi!) crave. It has a legible screen, only took 33 seconds to reach 355º, and has a nice long cord.

This iron would have snagged our top spot, but the main downfall is its buttons: They’re rubberized and raised, making them very easy to press, which isn’t ideal since they’re positioned on the side of the iron. You will likely accidentally hit them as you’re styling. If you can be careful of them, it’s still a great pick for shiny locks.

BioSilk 1″ Titanium Hairstyling Iron

BioSilk 1” Titanium Professional Hairstyling iron combines the power of ceramic and titanium elements for the smoothest, silkiest straightening results. The plates heat quickly and evenly while retaining even heat distribution. Titanium is high in strength and low in density allowing for a lightweight, scratch-resistant tool. Titanium produces incredible shine while sealing the hair cuticle and locking out humidity. Provides a superior glide in fewer passes, allowing for faster styling time.

Features:

  • 1” Titanium Plates
  • Max temperature of 210°C
  • LED Digital Temperature Display
  • Preset Temperature Settings:
    LOW 1 Bar: 130°C – 180°C Fine Hair
    MED 2 Bars: 180°C – 190°C Medium Hair
    HIGH 3 Bars: 190°C – 210°C Coarse Hair
  • 1 hour auto shut-off
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