The best ghd straighteners, as ranked by a beauty editor

Wondering which ghd straighteners to choose? We’ve got the ultimate guide to the best ghds, from basic to brimming with extra features

ghd straighteners: max, platinum+, gold, original IV stylers
(Image credit: GHD)

Where would we be without ghd straighteners? The cult hair-tool brand was founded back in 2001, and didn’t take long to gain global recognition for creating some of the best hair straighteners to ever appear at salons, backstage, on our vanities, and in gym changing rooms worldwide.

The genuine power of the brand’s instantly smoothing straightening irons is just as apparent today as it was a decade ago; ghd remains a market leader, has won 300 awards globally, and still sees top stylists everywhere in agreement about its second-to-none styling results. Through its consistent ceramic-heat technology and tried-and-tested damage-minimizing 185ºC sweet spot, the ‘good hair day’ promise continues to be well and truly fulfilled almost two decades in.

Within that 20 years, there have been many new launches too, meaning there’s more than the much-loved original ghd straighteners on offer— including one of the best hair dryers on the market and new intuitive models that reduce breakage and protect your color.

So, how do you know what’s the right product for you? When you’re considering paying triple-digits for a hair tool, it definitely needs to check all the boxes, so we analyzed everything from size and weight to ease and speed of styling—while also considering cost—so that you can make the best choice (and investment) possible.

Read on for our beauty editor-vetted verdict on the full ghd hair straightener portfolio:

Best ghd hair straighteners: our verdict 

ghd gold styler

(Image credit: GHD)

1. GHD Gold

Best GHD straightener for versatility

This styler’s glossy, ceramic-coated plates aren’t just adept at quickly gliding through hair—they do it at the optimum temperature for effective styling, without sizzling your strands (no hot spots!), due to the sensitive heat sensor in each plate. With two sensors allowing for even more controlled styling, repeatedly passing through the hair is a thing of the past; it’s now a ‘one-and-done’ scenario.

When it comes to adding texture, the curved design and round barrel create curls and waves at a quicker rate than any iron we’ve tried (Ed's tip: leave the ends free for a modern, beachy look), while the floating plates move easily down the hair shaft if you’re after a sleek style. These straighteners heat up in just 25 seconds and are pleasingly lightweight and easy to maneuver—this beauty editor has had her pair for years, and is yet to have a dramatic ‘dropping on floor’ episode!

If you’re after versatility, style your hair often, and want advanced heat-protection technology, plus are pushed for time when it comes to a haircare routine (because, who isn't), you can’t go wrong with the ghd Gold. While there’s no ionic technology to keep static at bay, the sheen you achieve thanks to the evenly heated plates is seriously impressive.

ghd Platinum+ black

(Image credit: GHD)

The ghd Platinum+ and Gold are both great stylers, but if you’re concerned about the drying effects of heat-styling on brittle, delicate, or damaged hair, we recommend the Platinum+ between the two. While these hair straighteners are certainly not cheap, for the extra spend, you gain peace of mind: The predictive heat technology is adapted to the thickness and density of the individual section of hair that you’re working on, meaning more control, less damage (split ends, be gone!). 

How is this possible? High-tech sensors monitor the heat of your straighteners 250 times a second, automatically making micro-adjustments to the temperature of the high-gloss plates.

They heat up almost as quickly too: These hair straighteners are ready to roll, smooth, or curl your locks in just 15 seconds. The wishbone hinge makes styling feel altogether easier and lighter than with older ghd models—there’s no clamping or awkward angles to contend with—and the plates are ultra-smooth. 

It’s also worth noting that Platinum+ comes with a three-year warranty, in case your model misbehaves (all other ghd hair straighteners hold a two-year warranty).

The fact that you can achieve swishy results in a matter of minutes is a bonus. Just bear in mind that while they may be significantly less damaging to hair than other hair straighteners on the market, the tech doesn’t necessarily equate to a free pass to overstyle, especially if your hair is on the weaker side. They’re amazing, but they’re not a foolproof solution to heat-damage.

Read our full ghd Platinum+ hair straightener review

ghd max

(Image credit: GHD)

If you have thick, textured, or curly hair, or simply require straighteners that straighten incredibly effectively without the need for a curling function, the ghd Max is one of the best straighteners for curly hair on the market. 

With wider plates than any other ghd model (two inches vs. the usual single inch), the broader plates are best for smoothing larger, longer sections of hair or ensuring that thick hair only requires a once-over. The more generous plate size also allows you to style thick hair at a consistent temperature of 185ºC, while still achieving silky results. This sets it apart from other brands’ straightening irons designed for thick hair, many of which rely on higher heat settings that can trigger breakage and damage over time. 

The ceramic-coated plates take slightly longer to heat up than other ghd hair straighteners, but at just 30 seconds it's a fair trade—and the time you’ll save during styling thanks to its XL design will more than make up for it. The broader plates are also great for restyling hair extensions in one go. The only aspect that our beauty editor didn’t like as much was with how it created waves, as the plates were a little too wide to bend the hair easily. Otherwise, Max out. 

ghd original IV

(Image credit: GHD)

4. ghd Original IV

Best ghd straightener for occasional users

The original 2001 model could be The One for those of you who aren’t too concerned about flashy functions but instead do want a straighteners that get the job done with ease, at a safe temperature. Like all ghds, they power down automatically after 30 minutes, so if they aren’t part of your daily routine, they still won’t trigger the dreaded ‘have-I-left-my-iron-on’ anxiety when you’re already waiting at the bus stop. 

The slim, curved plates heat up evenly in 30 seconds, and the long cord ensures that you don’t get in a tangle as you do your thing. The ceramic heat technology is as effective as it ever was, with a two-year warranty to guard against the slim chance of malfunctions. 

These are probably as simple and as straightforward to use as flat irons can be, and while it takes a little longer to cover your whole head, the slimmer handle allows you to get closer to the hairline when styling. Just don’t go chucking them in an overnight bag or straight onto your vanity table directly after use—there’s no protective plate guard supplied, unlike with other ghd hair straighteners.

ghd mini

(Image credit: GHD)

5. ghd Mini

Best ghd straightener for short hair, bangs, and quick touch-ups

Whether you’re rocking a side fringe hairstyle, a pixie crop, or simply want a pair of hair straighteners to really iron out hard-to-reach roots, the ghd Mini will definitely come in handy.

With a plate width of just half an inch, they allow for precision styling that won’t have you clamping on air as you go. Expect the same styling power as other ghd models too, with slimline, contoured ceramic-coated plates that smooth over rebellious flyaways and cowlicks and define corkscrew curls. 

If you find that your short hair sticks out at weird angles when using conventional straighteners, you’ll likely fall in love with the Mini. Doing all your sections may technically take a little longer, but the seamless results will be worth it. Good luck!