I don’t iron my clothes. In fact, I think I’ve only used an iron once in my life.
Pretty lame, I know.
Still, I have to admit that the concept of iron is really interesting. Using steam and red-hot metal to press all the wrinkles out of clothing, leaving the surface smooth and new? Brilliant.
I’m sure you can imagine that some irons are better than others. You can also imagine that not everyone wants to spend $400 on a top-notch steam iron. Some people seldom use an iron, reserving it for their suit or dress for a major interview. Others are more fastidious and iron everything all the time.
Fortunately, there is iron out there for everyone and to fit every budget. Join me as I review ten of the best steam irons on the market.
Things to Consider
Naturally, there are a few things you want to keep in mind when purchasing a steam iron. Most of these things are admittedly pretty basic, but it can be really easy sometimes to overlook those really basic things on occasion.
I mean, who hasn’t come home from the grocery store only to remember they forgot milk or toilet paper? It happens to the best of us.
With no further ado, here are five things to remember before buying a steam iron. If it helps, you can always refer back to this list when browsing online.
1. Water Storage
Most irons are going to hold enough water for your needs, and not all irons indicate exactly what their volume is anyway. This isn’t the most important detail to consider, but one thing that does help is if the iron offers a clear view of how much water is left in your iron. Most do this, but not all.
Wattage is directly related to how much power and oomph an iron will give you. The higher the wattage, the hotter and more efficient an iron will work, getting those wrinkles out all the sooner.
3. Temperature Gauge
Not all clothes are made of cotton. Polyester, wool and other materials are common in clothing. As you may know, different fabrics and materials work best with different temperatures. This is why you never want to wash wool clothes in a dryer. (I found that out the hard way.) A lot of irons have an adjustable temperature gauge that helps you regulate this.
4. Steam Holes
The number of holes present on iron has a direct bearing on the amount of steam being directed to the fabric, and therefore on the time and quality of the iron. Irons with more steam holes spread steam more evenly across the entire surface.
At the end of the day, everything comes down to price. Just how much are wrinkle-free clothes worth to you? If you seldom iron clothes, you don’t need an expensive steam iron. But if you iron frequently, you may wish to consider a more expensive iron. Even if it costs more than you’d like to pay, the amount of time you could save may well pay off.
The DW9280 is a very modern-looking iron that once again delivers a great performance.
Like other Rowenta steamers, it is specially designed to make it easier to reach any area of your garment or material, making steaming easier.
400 steam holes in the soleplate evenly distribute the steam, and up to 210 grams of steam can be issued as an answer for tough wrinkles.
Variable temperature controls.
Auto-off safety features.
Sorting through a long list of steamers can be time-consuming, and comparing them can be frustrating, considering that most irons have more in common than indifference. We’re pleased to offer our recommendation.
If you don’t have time to go shopping around, you can’t go wrong with the Rowenta DW9280. This iron offers a fine balance of performance and quality at a very modest price. Rowenta makes some of the best-selling steam irons in the world, and they are trusted by thousands.
Here are just a few of the great features that recommend this steamer
- 1800 watts of power for better results
- 400 steam holes improve the distribution of steam
- Steam Force pump pushes more steam than other irons
- LED indicator lets you know when your iron is ready to go
- Three-way auto safety shut-off automatically cuts off power when not in use
Best Steam Irons Under $50
10. Sunbeam Steam Master
The Steam Master is your basic budget steam iron. It looks and feels a little cheap, but that’s to be expected at this price. Still, the iron performs pretty well all things considered.
The Steam Master is a 1400 watt iron. It has an eight-foot power cord, and the sole plate is made of stainless steel. The iron has variable steam settings and even allows you to dry iron sensitive materials such as wool. It also has an anti-drip design. That’s a nice feature because hot water burns aren’t fun. An auto-clean feature keeps annoying rust at bay.
Another feature I liked was the Shot of Steam. The iron allows you to shoot a direct blast of steam to try and remove stubborn wrinkles. It also allows for vertical shots of steam. The iron has an auto-off feature which automatically turns it off after 30 seconds or 15 minutes of use, depending on the circumstances.
This is not a professional grade steam iron, but for occasional home use it should hold up just fine.
- Easy to check water level
- Auto-off safety feature
- Retractable cord for easy storage
9. Black + Decker 2030
The 2030 has a slightly more streamlined look than the Steam, Iron Master. It is also a bit more advanced and features a digital LCD screen that allows you to verify that you’re working on the right setting quickly.
Speaking of setting, I really liked the way the 2030 handled temperature control. It features a sliding bar that allows you to fine-tune the steam temperature for perfect results every time. It is both anti-drip and auto-clean, which come in handy. The handle is comfortable, which is good if you plan on ironing a lot.
It also has a couple of different steam settings, including a quick burst of steam. It has a large water reservoir, so you won’t have to worry about constantly refilling it. It features a three-way auto shut-off that turns the iron off after 30 seconds or eight minutes.
This isn’t the best steamer I ended up trying, but it’s one of the best steamers in its price range. You’re not likely to be disappointed.
Best Steam Irons Under $75
8. Black + Decker 2630
The 2630 Digital Advantage improves on some of the features of the 2030, offering, even more, value for a very reasonable price. The appearance is streamlined iron, and the functionality is improved.
The 2630 has many of the same features as the last one, but they’re streamlined ever so slightly. Perhaps the biggest improvement is the temperature control. There are seven digital presets that work as a fabric guide, helping you to choose the right team and temperature settings for any material, taking the guesswork out of ironing. This is a big improvement in my book because I’m not an ironing expert.
The rest of the features are the same: anti-drip soleplate, variable steam and spray mist features, auto shut-off. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The 2630 keeps everything that the 2030 had right, offering just enough added features to justify a higher price. Definitely a good budget steam iron.
7. Rowenta DW5080 Focus
The 5080 is the first of four Rowenta steam irons I reviewed for this article. So I don’t repeat myself later, all Rowenta irons are made in Germany. That’s a very good thing in my opinion because I have a lot of respect for German manufacturing and craftsmanship.
The 5080 is one of the best-selling irons on the market, thanks, both for its affordability and some great features that set it apart from other steam irons. The first thing I noticed was the different design of the soleplates. The soleplates are designed with 400 holes that allow a lot of micro steam to escape, providing exceptionally thorough steam.
The rest of the features are the same as the rest of the irons I’ve reviewed: adjustable thermostat, bursts of steam, automatic shut-off, anti-calcium design, etc. The DW5080 has a 10-ounce water tank with a level indicator that lets you see just how much water is left in the iron.
All in all, this is a very nice iron. It doesn’t have an LCD screen, but the thermostat knob is very easy to read, and the 400 micro steam holes are wonderful.
6. Panasonic NI-L70SR
The NI-L70SR from Panasonic is the only cordless steam iron in these reviews. This steam iron features a substantially different design from the other irons and may not be exactly what you’re used to. However, it does what it’s supposed to do very well.
Because it is cordless, the NI-L70SR relies on battery power to operate. A charging base is included with the purchase. The iron also has a detachable water tank, which makes filling the water up a cinch. Also included is a heat-resistant carrying case, making it easier to store and carry the iron after use.
This cordless iron differs from the others stylistically, but it still functions more or less the same. The iron comes with a steam temperature chart to help you determine the proper temperature for all your ironing needs. It also features an automatic shut-off, a helpful anti-drip system, and self-cleaning vents. It has three different heat settings and a variety of different steaming options.
If you’re not a fan of dealing with cords and want an iron that can be operated remotely, it’s easy to recommend this iron.
5. Rowenta DW5197 Partner of Fashion
As the name of the DW5197 suggests, this is a steam iron geared towards those who tend to rely on iron to keep their clothes looking neat and wrinkle-free. One of the biggest differences between this and the irons that came before is that there is no automatic shut-off feature. The iron will stay on until it is unplugged, so it’s a good idea to keep that in mind.
Like the DW5080, this iron is designed with a precision tip, making it easier to iron even hard-to-reach areas. It too has 400 holes, leading to a thorough distribution of steam and thus better performance.
With 1725 watts of power, the DW5197 is somewhat more powerful than the DW5080. In most respects, however, it is similar. It too has a variable temperature knob, and like the other irons has anti-drip and anti-calcium designs and a variety of steam options. The water tank makes it easy to see the water level, but it does seem a little small.
While the lack of an auto-off safety feature may be off-putting to some, it’s perfect for fashion designers and crafters working on hems or other things which don’t want to have to worry about their iron turning off. This iron is not for everyone, but it’s a great choice for those in the fashion industry.
Best Steam Irons Under $150
4. Rowenta DW9280 Steam Force
The DW9280 is a very modern-looking iron that once again delivers a great performance. Like other Rowenta steamers, it is specially designed to make it easier to reach any area of your garment or material, making steaming easier. 400 steam holes in the soleplate evenly distribute the steam, and up to 210 grams of steam can be issued as an answer for tough wrinkles.
At 1800 watts, the DW9280 has a lot of power, but you never have to worry about getting the job done. The iron uses a pump injector to project more steam into the fabric than regular steam irons – up to a 30% increase. More steam means wrinkles are taken care of faster, making this an ideal iron for anyone who finds themselves ironing on a regular basis.
One of the features I liked was its handy LED display setting controls. The display indicates when the iron has reached appropriate temperatures for linen, cotton, silk, wool, and nylon. This visually striking design removes second-guessing, letting you know for sure when the temperature is right.
Another cool feature is a motion sensor that regulates variable steam. When the iron is not in motion, the iron stops producing variable steam, which saves money while also limiting the water usage. The iron has all the other features you’d expect from an iron, including an anti-drip design, offers a three-way automatic shut-off and has a self-cleaning system. An excellent choice.
Best Steam Irons Under $200
3. Oliso TG1600 Smart Iron
This 1800-watt steam iron is the bee’s knees. It has a lot of intuitive, built-in safety features that make ironing safer and easier. For example, Oliso’s Smart Iron uses an innovative iTouch technology that automatically lowers itself when you touch the handle, reducing the chance of burns.
The iron is also developed with smart steam technology that automatically stops the steam when the iron is no longer in contact with clothing or fabric. OnePass technology is designed to minimize the number of times you have to go over your clothes. This feature was really nice too.
Because the iron is 1800 watts, it heats up very quickly. It has a large, 12.7-ounce water tank you so don’t have to refill it constantly. Anti-drip soleplates, automatic shut-off, three different steam settings and several other features combine to make this a very capable iron. It’s a little on the expensive side, but it’s definitely capable.
Best Steam Irons Under $300
2. SteamFast SP-660 Table Top Steam Press
This steam press is a little bit different than a standard hand iron. Although it functions under the same principles – using hot steam and metal to press the wrinkles out of clothes – they operate differently.
You have a lot more control over a hand iron, but the process is also time-consuming. With a tabletop steam press, you simply place your clothes in the press, and it does all the work for you.
Nothing can ever be so simple, of course. There is a learning curve to using a steam press over a hand iron to get the job done. I’m not sure I have the process down pat. You’ll probably have to spend some time practicing to get the process figured out, but once you do, this can be quite a time-saver. With 1300 watts of power, it does take a bit of time to heat up, however.
The steam press has ten ounces of water capacity. Like most irons, it also has an automatic shut-off feature. Adjustable temperature settings allow you to work with different fabrics.
The SteamFast steam press is a lot bulkier than a traditional iron and is considerably more expensive, but for those who iron frequently, it could be a promising investment.
1. Rowenta DG8520 Perfect Steam
This is a very futuristic-looking iron. If I didn’t know what it was, I might have mistaken it for a robot. As an iron, it has a lot going for it.
The first thing I noticed, right off the bat, is that it has a huge water tank. Its 47-ounce tank holds just under three quarts of water, allowing you to iron continuously for over an hour and a half without refilling your iron.
The iron comes with a digital workstation that provides a lot of information to make your ironing go easier. A display light informs you when you need to refill your water tank. A control panel lets you monitor different settings at a glance. And an energy-saving eco setting reduces your power output by 20%.
Everything else is just as you would expect. Like all Rowenta irons, it has 400 steam holes in the pressure plate. It also features automatic safety shut-off, variable temperature and steam settings and more. This iron is pretty expensive and not for the faint of heart. But for those who need a professional-grade iron that doesn’t need to be refilled a lot, you can’t go wrong here.
There is a perfect iron out there for everybody. For some, it may be the budget-friendly Sunbeam Steam Master.
Others will prefer the improved performance of the Black + Decker. Ironing enthusiasts can’t go wrong with any of Rowenta’s fine irons, such as the DW9280.
Whether you decide to buy one of these irons or another similar one, I hope this information helps you make an informed decision.