Best Travel Flat Irons

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

19 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
144 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best travel flat irons

Last Updated December 2019

Curly, wavy, straight, smooth, wild – all hair types can be beautiful, but if you've made it to this page, you’d probably like to straighten yours. Keeping your hair straight and smooth isn't a part-time job, however. If you're going on vacation or a business trip, you'll need a travel flat iron to stay on top of it.

You might know you want to buy a travel flat iron, but the question is, which one? With hundreds of options on the market, it can feel daunting trying to find the product that's right for you.

To aid you in your search, we've written this comprehensive guide, including our top recommendations, to tell you all you need to know about travel flat irons before you buy.

Choose a lightweight travel flat iron. Anything too heavy isn't ideal when you're trying to pack light.

Key considerations

Type

Cordless: Cordless travel flats irons are – as the name suggests – flat irons that work without needing to be plugged in. They usually have a built-in rechargeable battery.

  • Pros:

    • Most can be charged using a standard micro USB cable, which is convenient since the bulk of phones and tablets have the same charger.

    • Many cordless flat irons can last two or three days on a single charge, so you won't need to worry about recharging it on short trips.

    • They are extremely compact and take up little room in your bag.

    • You won't need to worry about bringing a plug converter if traveling to a country that uses a different socket type (although you will need somewhere to plug in your USB cable).

  • Cons:

    • If you'll be charging it while out of the country, you'll need a dual voltage model.

    • Cordless models aren't quite as effective as corded, especially for straightening large sections of hair.
       

Corded: Corded travel flat irons are much like standard flat irons but compact enough to be suitable for travel.

  • Pros:

    • These give you the same great results as full-size flat irons.

    • They usually have a higher maximum temperature than cordless models, important if you usually use the highest setting.

    • Many are dual voltage, letting you easily use them in other countries.

  • Cons:

    • These are slightly bulkier than cordless varieties, especially when you factor in the space taken by the power cord.

Salon style

The one-inch ceramic plates and overall compact size of the CHI Air Expert Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron make it the perfect travel companion. It reduces both static and frizz, giving you perfectly smooth hair with a salon-quality finish wherever you are.

Travel flat iron features

Plate width: The plates are the parts that heat up and you move down your hair to straighten it. Travel flat irons usually have plates that are one inch wide or less, since the idea is that these models should be compact. While slim plates are versatile and suitable for any hair type, it will take more time to straighten long or thick hair.

Overall size: If you often travel only with a small bag or carry on, the smaller the flat iron the better. A compact model leaves more space in your bag for other items. Check the manufacturer's specifications to find the exact dimensions of any flat irons you're considering. If in doubt, those listed as "mini” tend to be the smallest. Some travel flat irons are close to full size but offer other features that make them suitable for travel.

Dual voltage: A dual voltage travel flat iron can be a lifesaver when vacationing abroad. In the United States, home electrical systems are 110 volts, but most of Europe uses 220 volts. Even if your U.S. plug fits in a European outlet, you might end up frying your flat iron because the circuitry is 220 volts. Dual voltage travel flat irons are able to work with both electrical systems.

Plate material: The plate material or coating can make a big difference in the performance of your travel flat iron. Solid ceramic plates give great results and are smooth, which can help avoid snags or tangles. Titanium plates are lightweight and durable, and they heat up quickly. Because the heat transfer is lower, titanium cause less damage to hair, especially the ends. However, titanium can be expensive. Newer on the market are tourmaline-coated ceramic plates, which are more durable and even smoother than ceramic for superior results.

Temperature control: The temperature you require depends on a range of factors, including hair type and the results you want. As such, a quality travel flat iron should offer a wide range of temperature settings. Some flat irons can reach a high temperature of 450°F, though most people won't need to use the highest setting.

DID YOU KNOW?

If you don't have a dual voltage travel flat iron, you'll need a power converter to use it in countries with a 220-volt electrical system. Some travel adapters have a built-in converter.

DID YOU KNOW?

Avoid travel flat irons with metal plates (other than titanium) because they're more likely to damage your hair.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some travel flat irons have auto shutoff, which automatically turns the appliance off after 30 to 60 minutes – excellent news for forgetful users.

Travel flat iron prices

The good news is that you don't need to spend a huge amount on a travel flat iron unless you want to.

Inexpensive

We found some excellent budget choices for as little as $10 to $20. They might not give you the same silky-smooth finish as the most expensive options, but they're fine for minor straightening jobs or touch-ups while you're away.

Mid-range

These travel flat irons cost about $30 to $80 and will suffice for all but the most frequent travelers.

Expensive

If you're serious about having poker-straight hair at all times, you might want to splurge on a high-end travel flat iron, but expect to pay $90 to $150.

Beauty bargain

The results might not be quite as impressive as those from some of the most expensive options on the market, but the Andis flat iron is an absolute bargain and performs very well for the price. Its 20 heat settings allow you to fine-tune this flat iron to get the best results for your hair type.

Tips

  • Think about versatility. Travel flat irons with rounded plates can curl hair as well as straighten it.

  • Decide if you need a storage pouch. This will help protect your flat iron if you take it while traveling.

  • Embrace ionic technology. Some travel flat irons use ionic technology, emitting negative ions to neutralize positive ions to give your hair a smooth, frizz-free finish.

  • Consider how often you'll use your travel flat iron. Assuming you also have a full-size flat iron, you'll only be using your travel model when you're away from home. If you travel regularly, you'll get more use out of a portable flat iron. If you only need it for a week or two a year, splurging on a high-end model might be unnecessary.

Other products we considered

We’ve featured our five top travel flat irons, but it was an extremely close call. We found a number of other models that are up there with our favorites for your consideration. Thanks to its slim one-inch floating plates and worldwide dual voltage, the KIPOZI Professional Flat Iron is perfect for packing in your carry on, especially for overseas travel. If you'd like the convenience of wireless, try the Deogra Cordless Mini Flat Iron, which charges via a micro USB cable. Last but not least, consider the Lovani Mini Portable Flat Iron. Its small size is perfect for travel, and the ionic technology increases hair’s smoothness and shine.

Check how quickly your chosen flat iron heats up. If you're usually in a rush when traveling, you'll appreciate a quick-heating model.

FAQ

Q. How will I know when my travel flat iron is ready to use?

A. The vast majority have an LED indicator light to alert you when the flat iron has reached the desired temperature and is ready to use.

Q. How can I tell if my travel flat iron is dual voltage?

A. When looking online, it should state whether it is dual voltage in the description or the manufacturer's specifications. Otherwise, check the packaging or the instruction manual.

Q. I have thick, coarse hair. What should I look for in a travel flat iron?

A. You'll generally need to use a higher heat setting for perfectly smooth results with thick and/or coarse hair. Choose a travel flat iron that heats up to at least 410°F but preferably 450°F.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

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