Our list includes a range of brands, sizes, and power levels. Because steam irons can also function as dry irons, all of our picks have steam functionality for maximum versatility.
Black + Decker
Micro Steam Iron
Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron
Ultraglide Easycord Steam Iron
Professional Grade Steam Iron
Cordless 360º Freestyle Steam/Dry Iron (NI-WL600)
Steam Iron & Vertical Steamer
Mini Steam Iron
A Sleek Ceramic Iron With Plenty of Steam
High Quality Steam Even Without Quality Water
An LCD Display for Easy Customization
Extra Steam for Stubborn Wrinkles
High Capacity Continuous Steam
A Heavy Iron With a Sharp Tip
A Truly Freestyle Iron
Steam in Two Directions
A No-Frills Iron With a Classic Look
A Portable Iron for the Jet-Setting Professional
|Soleplate||Ceramic||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Ceramic||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Durathon||Not provided||Not provided|
|Wattage||1700 W||1700 W||1500 W||1400 W||1725 W||1500 W||1500 W||1700 W||1200 W||420 W|
|Weight||2.9 lbs||3.4 lbs||3.2 lbs||3 lbs||3 lbs||3.36 lbs||2.25 lbs||Not provided||2.64 lbs||0.96 lbs|
Doing a quick web search will tell you that there are a million and one different irons on the market. It may seem hard to distinguish between them at first, but there are a few things to look out for when making a purchase.
Most irons available for home use billow out steam but there are also dry models. They’re each good for different things, so figure out what items you’ll be ironing most and then decide between them.
Steam irons are the most common type of iron that you’ll find in stores. You fill them up with water, and the iron will create high-temperature steam that smooths wrinkles. The more steam an iron produces, the easier it is to get rid of wrinkles (though the amount needed will also depend on the fabric that you’re ironing).
Many irons also have a steam burst nozzle that can shoot out a targeted puff of steam. This can be especially helpful for tough wrinkles that require more moisture to remove.
That being said, dry irons can reach higher temperatures, and because they don’t have steam holes, their soleplates are completely flat. This means that heat transfers more effectively, which can be good for large items or arts and crafts projects. A flat soleplate is also easier to clean.
For versatility, though, a steam iron wins. They can essentially function as both a steam iron and a dry iron, while a dry iron can only do one thing.
Ceramic soleplates are made from metal coated with a layer of ceramic. Compared to stainless steel, they wear down more quickly. However, they have the benefit of eliminating static, which can create a smoother glide on synthetics.
Also, consider the shape of the soleplate tip. A thinner tip allows you to get into corners and iron small areas, like the spaces between buttons.
Two things that determine an iron’s effectiveness are its weight and power. When it comes to weight, it's important to find a good balance. A heavier iron will more easily smooth wrinkles and press pleats, but it’ll also tire you out more quickly. A lighter iron is easier to use, but may take more passes for a wrinkle-free finish.
As for power, wattage is directly converted into the heat output of an iron. An iron with a higher wattage will heat up more quickly and stay hot for longer. For home use, look for an iron between 1000 and 2000 watts. Note that below 1000 watts, the iron may have trouble performing well on tough wrinkles, while irons over 1400 watts may require a bit more care when ironing.
Some irons get hot within moments of turning on and others take a longer time to warm up. Some will maintain heat and others will see it peak and trough. Naturally, an iron that heats up quickly and stays hot will make for a quicker, more effective ironing experience.
Of course, it's hard to determine this based on the manufacturer's description. The best way to find an iron that heats quickly and retains heat well is to read the reviews from people who have owned and used it.
Additionally, its charging dock gives you a safe resting place for when you need to put the iron down. You may, however, have to put the iron down more frequently than you want, as cordless irons will lose heat the longer they are off the dock.
Corded irons, on the other hand, will hold heat better since they’re constantly powered. But cords can get in the way while ironing and can be a pain to store. If you do want a corded iron, it may be best to get one with a retractable cord so that it takes up less space and is easier to put away.
Doing laundry is never at the top of anyone's list, but having the right tools can make it feel like less of a chore. Check out some of our other favorite laundry-related products below.
There are so many things to consider when choosing an iron, from wattage to weight to soleplate material. While everyone's preferences will be different, we hope our buying guide and product list help you get started on your hunt.
Having the right iron can take the drudgery out of ironing and might even make it fun. But not too much fun – be careful, they’re hot!
Having freshly pressed clothes is just one part of the laundry equation. Don't forget about that clean laundry scent! Sustainability and travel advocate Julia Miller recommends this laundry detergent as an effective and natural substitute for traditional detergent.
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