Hair Flat Iron Buying Guide – What to Look for in a High Quality Flat Iron In 2021

This guide has been put together to be used a bit like a buyers check-list. Key features and attributes to look out for when you are on the hunt for a new hair straightener.

There is an abundance of hair flat irons available, but not all are high quality so it’s important to know where to put your money. Invest wisely as it can be sole destroying to damage your hair for the sake of a few bucks.

Some of the cheaper straighteners sound great, but like most things in life, you get what you pay for. The cheaper brands can chip losing their protective coating, become faulty, over-heat, or even die way before their time.

So here’s the straight and narrow when it comes to your next purchase.

Flat Iron Safety

Safety is king. Make sure the iron it is made with high quality materials to avoid damage that can result from cheap parts.

Ensure the materials that the heating plates are made of are top notch. Metal plates such as steel or aluminum are usually not safe for hair as they unevenly distribute heat, making hair more prone to damage.

Be mindful of ceramic-coated (or anything coated) plates as this will usually chip off over time exposing the harsh metal beneath. A bit like a frying pan losing its protective coating if it’s not the real deal.

Suitable For Your Hair Type

One size does not fit all in the flat iron world. There are different features and to look out for depending on your hair type. Whether you have thick, thin, fine, coarse, curly or just plain annoying hair, knowing what it needs in a styling tool can certainly take the heat out of the search.


Auto shut-off

Hot or not? This really is a safety feature that all straighteners should possess. We all have moments of absent-mindedness and its comforting to know when we are half way to work wondering if we turned it off…that it will switch off automatically after a certain length of time untouched (usually 30mins). Phew.

Most of the newer versions come with this super handy feature.

Reputable Brand

Knowing you are buying from a big name brand that has plenty of experience and research in designing and producing hair appliances under their belt is an important factor when looking to purchase a styling iron.

More on some of the leading flat iron brands here. The big guns that have established a reputable name usually offer warranties on their products and have great customer service too.

Latest Technology

Why not buy the latest and greatest? Straighteners these days are made with fancy materials that are able to emit large amounts of negative ions when heated. These negative ions possess hair protecting qualities, anti-static abilities and help to tame the mane no matter how unruly it may be.

Buying an iron that is up to date with the latest trends when it comes to flat iron technology can only be a good thing.

Furthermore, modern irons have LCD screens that display temperatures for optimum control. Chances are, the more advanced your flat iron is, the more perks you can expect from it.


You want one that is designed to outlast most regular brands on the market. There is no single device that can function perfectly forever, but ideally, a good quality hair iron that is moderately used should last at the very least a couple of years.

Who wants to be buying one every few months? Investing in a high quality one is the smartest way to go.

Control Features & Adjustable Temperature Settings

A high quality iron can give you your desired control, especially when it comes to temperature regulation. This is very important, especially if you will be using your iron for different types and styles of hair; like for an event, or for a sleepover with friends.

An LCD display screen is user-friendly and usually has more control options for the user.

Being able to control and manually regulate your hot iron temperature will allow you to heat it up or cool it down as necessary. A flat iron that is not hot enough will struggle to straighten thick hair, and if it is too hot, damage thin or treated hair.

Adjustable temps also allows more variety to style and enables you to take the heat off every so often if you want more of a quick flick and less of a ‘done’ look.

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Ergonomically Designed & Comfortable To Use

Especially important for those with long or thick & long hair. You don’t want to find yourself straining or getting arm cramp while using it.

Clamping the irons down and passing it through the hair while maintaining consistent pressure can be straining for those longer manes. Going for the lightweight and ergonomically friendly ones when you can will make ironing a positive experience.

Look for a handy handle that is not too big or too small so that you can grip it properly and with the greatest of ease.

Aside from being easy on the hand, the plates should also be smooth enough to slide comfortably through hair shafts without snagging or pulling. And thanks to the ever-evolving plate material this is getting better and better.

Is it going to be used at home or does it need to primarily be a flat iron for travel, so that you can take it on the road wherever you go.

Positive Customer Reviews

Everybody loves a good rap. Customer reviews will tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. Always read what the buyers are saying. but keep in mind however, that one negative review doesn’t suddenly make a product bad.

Look for the top selling products with heaps of reviews to wade through. This gives a more accurate overall picture.


Always a good idea. Most appliances come with at least a 1 year warranty, but always check before you buy that your covered should it be faulty. Hold on to your receipt in case it packs a sad. Some straighteners even come with a 30 day trial period now too.


Stylish and trendy – many flat irons these days come in different colors to fit your personality. Some even have decorative prints on them. Others are even studded with gems and may even be covered in glitter.

You now have a wide assortment of designs to choose from so that you can be proud of your new hair straightener. Your own device can now reflect you perfectly. But don’t lose sight of the important stuff underneath.


These are some key features to look out for when on the hunt for a new hair straightener. So remember to get one that is going to suit your particular hair type and style/s you are after, and buying a good quality flat iron could be the difference between a good hair day and a bad hair day…everyday….

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