Are GHD or Cloud Nine hair straighteners better?

Anula Wiwatowska
May 13, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read
// Hot competition

We might make money if you buy something through these links. Click as many as you want.

GHD and Cloud Nine are both huge names in hair straighteners, but their relationship doesn't stop there. Cloud Nine was founded by Robert Powls who also happens to be one of the original GHD founders.

With such a trusted source backing Cloud Nine, the brand sky rocketed in the Australian market. According to Sales and Marketing Director Seaneen Copeland, 40% of Cloud Nine's revenue comes from us here down under.

Founder politics aside, we're here to talk about the tech.In this guide we look at performance, hair health, design, and price to figure out which hair straightener will have you sailing smooth.

In this guide:

GHD vs Cloud Nine hair straighteners quick comparison

Hair dryer
Hair dryer
Price range
Key specs
Rating
Retailers
Cloud Nine Original IronCloud nine Original iron
$339
Temperature range: 100°C - 200°C
Hot within: 20 secs
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Cloud Nine Touch IronCloud Nine Touch Iron
$289
Temperature range: 165°C - 195°C
Hot within: "An instant"
4 out of 5 stars
4
Cloud Nine Original Iron Pro PearlCloud Nine Original Iron Pro Pearl
$389
Temperature range: 100°C - 200°C
Hot within: 20 secs
4 out of 5 stars
4
Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron ProCloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Pro Iron
$499
Temperature range: 100°C - 200°C
Hot within: 35 secs
4 out of 5 stars
4
GHD ChronosGHD Chronos
$465
Temperature range: 185°C only
Hot within: 20 secs
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
GHD Platinum+GHD platinum plus
$415
Temperature range: 185°C only
Hot within: 30 secs
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
GHD GoldGHD Gold
$340
Temperature range: 185°C only
Hot within: 25 secs
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
GHD OriginalGHD original
$270
Temperature range: 185°C only
Hot within: 30 secs
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25

GHD vs Cloud Nine hair straighteners: Performance

Cloud nine Original iron
Top performance pick: Cloud Nine Original Iron
Performance
4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9

Temperature range: 100°C - 200°C
Auto-off: After 30 mins
Heat up time: 20 secs

Prices are accurate as of the publish date. We may earn money if you purchase something through one of these links. Click as many as you want.

Looking at performance and features we want to find the hair straightener that is going to work the best for the most amount of people. While some features are going to be good for everyone, like even heat distribution and floating plates, we are also looking for some variety. Afterall everyone has different hair, and each hair type benefits from different treatment. The only way to accomplish this is by offering the user choice.

For the most part, both GHD and Cloud Nine offer those one-size-fits-all features. Every classic straightener these brands range come with auto-off, snappy heat up time, floating plates and technology to provide even heat distribution. Every straightener from GHD and Cloud Nine have auto-off features called 'Hibernate' and 'Sleep Mode' respectively. These kick in after 30 minutes, apart from the GHD Chronos which switches off after 10 minutes. They also all have floating plates, which just means there is a space between each plate allowing the hair to slide through without getting crimped and caught. Plus they all heat up within 35 seconds, although Cloud Nine's Original Iron is the fastest at just 20 seconds.

Where the brands really differentiate themselves is within temperature choice. Cloud Nine allows for degree level temperature control, ranging from 100°C - 200°C on every device apart from The Touch Iron which has a smaller range of 165°C - 195°C. GHD on the other hand uses what it calls "the optimal temperature" which is 185°C. The problem is that 185°C isn't optimal for every hair type. Thin, fine hair can benefit from much lower temperatures between 120°C - 140°C, while coarser, thick hair can handle upward of 200°C and may need it to hold a style.

According to GHD's various product pages, the majority of the brand's testing has been done on brown caucasian hair, so if that isn't you then the temperature may in fact be suboptimal. Plus, the damage from this temperature was testing against a "competitor styler working at 235°C". Hair can start to melt at 228°C, so that doesn't really seem like a fair comparison to us. 

GHD vs Cloud Nine hair straighteners: Hair health

Cloud nine Original iron
Top hair health pick: Cloud Nine Original Iron
Hair health
5 out of 5 stars
5

Temperature range: 100°C - 200°C
Auto-off: After 30 mins
Heat up time: 20 secs

Prices are accurate as of the publish date. We may earn money if you purchase something through one of these links. Click as many as you want.

Performance and hair health do tie together, but we think hair health is important enough to have its own category. What's the point of having beautifully styled hair if it is all fried off? This isn't the 2000's emo era. Styling with heat can irreversibly damage your hair if you're not careful, so the main thing to look out for is temperature control. Hair actually starts to damage at just 60°C, and at 140°C that damage can become structural and irreversible. Some brands like Dyson are taking this number really seriously - their new Nural Supersonic hair dryer has a 55°C operation temperature.

Naturally lower heat means less damage but of course sometimes you need something hotter to achieve the style you're after. Since GHD doesn't actually give you a choice in temperature, we have to recommend Cloud Nine. Most of its straighteners have a 100°C range for you to work within, to find what is right for your hair.

What we look for in hair straighteners

Price Tag
Price

Apart from the outright price, we also compare warranty and repair options to help you find a straightener that will last you.

Bullhorn
Hair health

Keeping hair healthy is crucial to heat styling. We look at the temperature options on hair straighteners along with any other heat protection features.

Info Box
Performance

We compare the performance specs including temperature range, heat distribution, and the heat up time along with other standout features.

Light Bulb
Design

We assess the weight, and ergonomics of the hair straightener to find something that is comfortable to use for long sessions.

GHD vs Cloud Nine hair straighteners: Design

Cloud Nine Touch Iron
Top design pick: Cloud Nine Touch Iron
Design
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25

Temperature range: 165°C - 195°C
Auto-off: After 30 mins
Heat up time: "In an instant"

Prices are accurate as of the publish date. We may earn money if you purchase something through one of these links. Click as many as you want.

Apart from looking cute, the design and ergonomics of a hair straightener are surprisingly important. If you've ever had one with weird button positioning, or a short cable then you know what I'm talking about. Once again Cloud Nine wins out against GHD here, but the competition is a bit hotter.

Every GHD straightener has a cable length of 2.7m, while Cloud Nine has 3m. It isn't much of a difference, but having a bit more slack to work with is never a bad thing. They also all have a 360° swivel cord so you won't end up tangled up.

Each brand has straighteners sitting between the 400-500g range, so straightening your hair won't turn into an upper body workout. For comparison that is around the same weight as most salon-quality hair dryers. Conversely both the GHD Chronos and the GHD Original are upwards of 600g, so those might get your biceps pumping. Cloud Nine doesn't provide the weight of its 2-in-1 Contouring Iron, so we can't say for sure how the whole range stacks up, but the rest are under 500g.

GHD vs Cloud Nine hair straighteners: Price

GHD original
Best price: GHD Original
Price
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5

Temperature range: 185°C only
Auto-off: After 30 mins
Heat up time: 30 secs

Prices are accurate as of the publish date. We may earn money if you purchase something through one of these links. Click as many as you want.

Price-wise the two are complicated to compare. Cloud Nine is cheaper overall but has a shorter warranty period. GHD has a smaller returns window, but also has the cheapest straightener of the lot. You'll need to look at what is more important to you - outright price, or ongoing support.

Generally GHD hair straighteners are more expensive than Cloud Nine devices, apart from the GHD Original which is the cheapest of the lot. Half of GHD's classic range are $400+, while only one Cloud Nine straightener hits that price point.

Out of the box GHD does have a better warranty however. Every straightener comes with a three year warranty, as opposed to Cloud Nine's products that come with just a year. You can upgrade this to three however, but you just need to register the product within 14 days of purchase.

Cloud Nine's return policy is a bit better capping out at 45-days while GHD's is just 21 days. 

Notably neither brand have a repairs program independent to their warranty repairs. Even though straighteners tend to last you a long time, we would love to see more transparency from both manufacturers about how to get more longevity out of your straightener.

Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

Related Articles

Photograph of detective pointing to pinboard
MVNOs in Australia: Every provider explained
Untangling Australia’s web of cheaper mobile providers and MVNOs on the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone...
Stock photograph of an astronaut using ultrafast NBN 1000 plans
The best NBN 1000 (gigabit internet) plans in Australia
As the FTTP upgrade program rolls out across Australia, Ultrafast NBN 1000 plans are going...