Flat irons

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What's behind our flat iron Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 5 models in flat irons to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    A composite of the product's performance, ease of use, and features.
  • Straightening performance
    The ability of the product to straighten human hair swatches.
  • Ease of use
    Represents the judgment of panel testers of how easy the flat iron is to use
  • Features
    The usefulness of the unit's features scored as advantages and disadvantages



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We lab-tested flat irons on swatches of naturally curly hair to see how many passes it took to get the hair straight. If you're looking for information about flat irons, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports' flat iron reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our flat iron buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and flat iron reviews to help you choose the best flat iron for your needs.

Flat iron buying guide

Flat iron buying guide

When you want to iron out those curls and kinks and a blow dryer isn't enough, straightening irons can get the job done--if you pick the right one. Our tests turned up a few winners that will keep your tresses on the straight and narrow, no matter what kind of bed head you wake up with. We tested flat irons in our humidity chamber (to keep moisture and temperature steady) on swatches of naturally curly human hair, and testers counted how many passes it took to straighten them. To see how the flat irons perform on hair that's still attached to someone's head, we also asked nine staff members to try them at home.

As with blow dryers, wattage wasn't any indicator of performance; neither were high temperature settings. Claims of ionic, tourmaline, and nano silver technology didn't seem to make a difference in straightening performance either. (Something else to consider: Our experts say nano silver in consumer products has raised concerns about long-term safety.)

Our testers found that paying a higher price doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get a better flat iron. And you can't count on brand names to guide you to the best, either.

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