The 8 Best Flat Irons — & They’re All Under $50

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By The Commerce Team
Originally Published: 

A good flat iron doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the best cheap flat irons work just as well — if not better — than their (much) pricier counterparts. With that said, the key to finding a solid straightener for under $50 is knowing what to look for and what to avoid: Namely, they feature high-quality plates and offer temperature control.

The biggest make-or-break feature in a flat iron, regardless of price, is the material of its plates. Over the years, there's been plenty of advances in technology that have made certain plate materials (like ceramic, for example) cheaper and more accessible to consumers — but that doesn't mean every cheap straightener is made of these materials. To determine which plate material is best for you, look to your hair type. If you have curly or thick hair, you might prefer a titanium iron; Titanium transfers heat to the hair faster, which makes it easier to straighten coarse textures. Alternatively, if you have fine or thin hair, you should look for plates made of or coated in ceramic. Ceramic is known to be gentle on all hair types and produces even heating that won't snag or damage your hair with hot spots.

Another feature that's important to look for when choosing a cheap flat iron, and one that will protect your hair from damage, is temperature control. A wide range of temperatures and easy-to-use controls makes a straightener more versatile and safer for you hair. Ultimately, the best cheap flat iron really depends on your hair type and your needs.

If you're not sure where to start, try one of the eight options below, all of which are budget-friendly and perfect for maintaining healthy hair.


The Overall Best: A Popular Flat Iron With Pearls To Reduce Frizz

It’s hard to argue with over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon. The Remington Pearl Pro Ceramic Flat Iron is one of the best overall irons in terms of value and superior results. The 1-inch floating ceramic plates are infused with real pearls for a smoother glide and even heating, both of which help to reduce frizz. Additionally, it has a digital LCD temperature control display, can heat up to 400-degrees in 30 seconds, and also boasts temperature control lock to prevent you from overheating you hair.

According to one fan: “This iron is super light weight, has the digital temp so I know I'm not overfrying my hair, its nice and thin, super silky so my hair never pulls or gets stuck, and it's cheaper than most! Don't be put off by the price, this thing is amazing! I'll always be a loyal Remington fan after this experience!”


The Best Budget Straightener: A Versatile Flat Iron For Less Than $30

Didn't think you could get solid ceramic straightener for under $30? Think again. The Herstyler SuperStyler Onyx Ceramic Flat Iron has a quarter-inch solid ceramic plates that make for an incredibly gentle yet highly effective straightening experience. It also reduces frizz and prevents hair damage. It has a temperature control dial and heats up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in order to accommodate stubborn hair types, but is perfect for thin or fine hair that requires even heating.

According to one fan: “The best hot iron ever!!! I blow dry my hair and then all i need to do run this baby on my strands just once and im ready to go! I don't really write reviews for products but i had to for this one! Its worth every sister told me about this product because she used her friend straighter and she told her she got this one from then my sister got one, I got one and i been telling my friends about this. The price is SO good...where are you going to find a GREAT straightener for this price. NOWHERE!”


A 2-In-1 Straightener: This Tool That Also Curls

Most thinner flat irons can also curl hair, but the FURIDEN two-in-one hair straightener is specifically designed for it. That’s all due to its rounded shape, snag-free ceramic tourmaline plates, 1.4-inch width, and 350-degree swivel cord. That said, whether you’re straightening or curling, it heats up fast, keeps a constant temperature, and glides over strands while reducing styling time. “Curling with a flat iron has never been easier,” one reviewer raved — and since it also has dual voltage, you can achieve multiple hairstyles while traveling, too.

According to one fan: “I have been using my regular flat iron to curl my hair because I like how the curls come out more wavy. I never realized what a game changer it would be to curl my hair with a curling iron with rounded edges until I recently started watching beauty and hair videos on YouTube and many used this brand iron. [...] Because this curler is round, flipping it is so easy and so smooth and effortless. I really like how this curls/waves my hair and the curl stays even the next day after I sleep in it.”


The Best-Selling Straightener On Amazon

Even though ceramic tourmaline, ions, and high heat are some of the best features for curly, thick, or natural hair, these things are also pretty pricey. With the HSI Professional Glider, however, you get all the benefits of a high-end straightener at an affordable price. That explains why it has more than 70,000 reviews and a number-one best-selling status. In addition to its ionic ceramic tourmaline plates, it also has temperature options ranging from 140 to 450 Fahrenheit, not to mention micro-sensors that evenly distribute the warmth. It even comes with a free heat glove, storage sleeve, and conditioning treatment. “This is the holy grail, guys. They’ve done it. They’ve made a flat iron that can control the beast (my hair),” wrote one reviewer with “EXTREMELY thick/coarse hair.”

According to one fan: “It never pulls my hair, it heats up super fast, and leaves my hair shiny and frizz free. I have super curly hair so I usually have to crank my flat irons all the way up and I don't have to with this one.”


The Editor’s Pick: A High-End Feel For A Low Price

If you’re looking for a recommendation from our team, check out the l'ange Hair Aplatir flat iron. Despite its low price tag, it has floating, tourmaline-infused ceramic plates, a temperature range up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and an extra-long 9-foot cord. "I primarily use this straightener to make loose waves and curls in my hair, and it works great!” noted BDG Associate Commerce Editor Carina Finn. “The rounded edges make it good for straightening and curling, and it heats up pretty quickly and doesn't ever singe my hair like some other flat irons. I also love the matte pink finish, especially since it matches my L'ange hair dryer and brush."

According to one fan:When I first got this I noticed it is well made. The iron feels nice in the hand and the cord is a great length. I started using it on a lower setting, but it did not straighten. I turned the heat up slightly and gave it a little time to adjust. It works amazingly well. It does not snag my hair, it glides easily. I can straighten my hair or curl it with this.”


A Great Snag-Free Option: A Straightener With Floating Plates

For those whose hair tends to snag on flat irons, the xtava Pro Satin is the way to go. Its tourmaline ceramic plates are super smooth, not to mention floating, so they glide through even the coarsest hair. This one also heats up in 90 seconds and automatically turns off after 60 minutes, and you can even lock it for safer travel and storage. The 10 temperature settings are displayed on the LCD digital screen and range from 265 to 445 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to one fan: “This flat iron is awesome!! It goes through my hair so smoothly. It doesn't snag my hair at all. It doesn't leave the burnt smell in my hair, like some flat irons do, my hair still smells as good as it did after it was washed.”


A Travel-Friendly Mini Iron With Durable, Fast-Heating Titanium Plates

The BaBylissPRO Travel Iron is exactly as it suggests — great for travel. But it’s much more than just a mini iron that can fit in your purse or carry-on. With its unique, 1-inch, nano titanium-ceramic plates, this iron can reach temperatures up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it great for all hair types — even those that are super thick or curly. Also, since titanium is the strongest and most durable material, you don’t have worry about it cracking in your bag and you'll be able to achieve smooth, straight hair wherever you go.

According to one fan: “Purchased this for a trip to New Zealand and Australia. So much more compact and light weight than your standard straightening iron. The dual voltage is built in so I did not have to purchase a converter. Although smaller than my normal flat iron, the blades are still large enough that it only took me about 5 extra minutes to flat iron my hair (I have long (8-10 inches past my shoulders) medium thick hair).”


The Best For Long Hair: A Tourmaline-Ceramic Flat Iron With Extra-Wide Plates

With 2-inch, extra-long tourmaline ceramic floating plates, the Infiniti Pro Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron is one of the best cheap flat irons for long lengths. This is because you can easily achieve more (and better) contact with your hair, which leads to straighter results in a shorter amount of time. Also, while the iron can impressively heat up to 455 degrees in 15 seconds, it has 30 heat settings, so you can adjust the temperature to your hair type, which is key. However, if you like the style but don’t need such wide plates, it’s also available in 1-inch and 1.5-inch sizes for a little less.

According to one fan: “I have been using this one for almost 3 years and it still works perfectly! I have very thick and longhair so I need a sturdy and wide flat iron and this one is perfect for my needs. I highly recommend it.”