Every home needs one of the best irons, they're essential for banishing creases and smartening up clothes whenever you need them. We've rounded up top picks for using at home or when you're travelling, so you can always have one of these handy devices when you're completing your laundry.
As well as being great for sprucing up garments, the best irons are also known as being excellent counterparts to the best sewing machines, making a stitcher's life much simpler through steaming. The more steam that an iron can output, the better it will perform, so keep an eye out for models with a large water capacity and a high number of steam holes.
Of course, high temperatures mean that safety features are essential. This includes shut-off mechanisms to prevent scorching clothes, or your home. It's also important to check the cord length of different irons, the heat settings available, and how manageable it is to use.
The best irons come at a range of different prices, with models available from $30 to up to $300. Which one you choose, you'll be sure to reap the rewards of their steaming abilities. For more laundry essentials, check out our guide to the best front load washers and the best dryers.
The best irons
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Ready to find the best iron for you? We've selected the top models that are currently available, taking price, performance and other factors into consideration. We've reviewed most of the models below and are in the process of reviewing the others. Any irons that don't have dedicated reviews have a round-up of user reviews instead.
1. Black + Decker IR1010 Light ‘N Easy Iron: Best cheap iron
The Black + Decker IR1010 Light ‘N Easy Iron is a budget iron that still has all the basic features you need in an iron. You can expect a non-stick slide plate and SmartSteam Technology - a feature that automatically selects how much steam to use based on the heat setting you’re using.
As with most irons, you can also expect automatic shut-off, anti-drip, and a spray mist button. The Black + Decker IR1010 Light ‘N Easy Iron is a little awkward to fill up though, and its cap over the water hole can shut when you’re trying to add water.
The Black + Decker IR1010 Light ‘N Easy Iron does come with a two-year warranty, which, considering the price is under $30, is pretty good. What’s more, the cord on this iron can be easily wrapped about the base, so that you don’t have to bother with detangling each time you use it.
While the steam is automatically adjusted by this iron, there isn’t an additional steam boosting button, which for some stubborn creases may be a real drawback.
2. Rowenta DW5080 Steam Iron: Best steam iron for precision
The Rowenta DW5080 Steam Iron is one of the more pricey irons in our roundup, but for the money you can expect a powerful iron with 400 micro steam holes - the highest number of steam holes we came across. This iron has been designed to work with tap water, and its stainless steel soleplate will glide smoothly across your clothes.
It may sound simple but the shape of this iron is one of its key selling points. Having a pointed tip means you can reach into tight corners if you’re ironing shirts or collars, and you can get a crisp finish on quilts and sewing projects too.
The warranty on the Rowenta DW5080 Steam Iron is only for one year, which is shorter than others and disappointing considering this iron is more than double the price of some other irons in our guide that have warranties that are longer. It also doesn’t have a digital display or retractable cord that some other more expensive models offer. If these aspects aren’t that important to you though, the impressive amount of steam holes make this iron a solid choice.
3. SteamFast SF-750 Mini Steam Iron: Best steam iron for travel
The SteamFast SF-750 Mini Steam Iron is designed to be used when you need to iron away from home or when you’re on vacation.
This mini steam iron takes three minutes to heat up and doesn’t feature your normal handle on top, which makes it feel a little strange to hold. The SteamFast does come with a travel bag though, and a measuring cup.
Weighing just 1.32 lbs, this travel steam iron is super light and it still has a useful steam burst option for getting rid of creases that need a bit more attention. The SteamFast SF-750 Mini Steam Iron is lacking a self-cleaning function though and it does only offer five steam holes, however, this iron has been designed for traveling and has a relatively low price tag too.
4. Black + Decker Allure Pro D3030 Steam Iron: Best steam iron for professionals
The Black + Decker Allure Pro D3030 Steam Iron is a quality model that features an auto-clean system and multiple temperature options. You can also use this steam iron for clothing that’s on a hanger or hanging curtains due to its handy vertical steam setting.
There is both a steam button and a water spray so that you can take on tougher areas. Compared to some other leading models, the Black + Decker Allure Pro D3030 Steam Iron can produce an impressive amount of steam which means you’ll be able to get through your ironing pile much faster.
An auto shut-off makes the Black + Decker Allure Pro D3030 Steam Iron a good choice. At 3.89 lbs, this steam iron is one of the heaviest we reviewed, which could be a real set back if you’re looking for something that’s super lightweight.
5. T-fal Ultraglide Plus Steam FV5841U0: Best steam iron under $50
With 1800 watts of power and a 30 g/minute of continuous steam output, the T-fal Ultraglide Plus Steam FV5841U0 is fast, efficient, and powerful. At under $50, it's one of the more affordable in our roundup, so it's a great choice if you're in need of a fast tool for ironing less frequently.
What sets this iron apart is the vertical steam setting. If you have more sensitive materials such as satin, silk, or linen, or even if you just want a perfect finish on shirts, steaming is highly effective. It's also great for sprucing up household items like curtains, as you can keep them hanging and use the iron to steam the lengths.
T-fal has a new patented Durilium AirGlide soleplate that ensures a smooth glide and is ultra scratch-resistant. Not only will it protect your clothes, but it will also last for years to come. The auto-off feature means the iron will automatically turn off after it has been left on it's side for 30 seconds, offering you peace of mind that it won't keep running or potentially burning anything. Eco mode also uses up to 20% less energy, so it's a handy mode to choose when you don't need full power.
The customer reviews for this iron are generally positive, but a few have mentioned that the cord isn't long enough. Cordless options offer you much more flexibility for ironing away from a power outlet, so this is something to bear in mind if you don't have accessible areas to place an ironing board.
6. Sundu LE-IR002: Best large steam iron
If you're looking for a steam iron with a substantial water tank for getting through large piles of laundry in one sitting, the Sundu LE-IR002 will be a great choice. It has a 1.5L water capacity and the tank is detachable making it easy to fill up under the tap. It's also equipped with a measuring cup so you can use this to directly fill the tank if you want to avoid removing it.
Despite it's size, Sundu have made this steam iron as easy to carry as possible. It's designed with a locking device that stabilizes the iron into the base and allows you to lift it with one hand. When it's not in use, you can also store the cord into the storage slot in the base, making it tidy and compact to store.
This model also has a sleek LED display that makes it simple to operate all functions including temperature level, automatic shut-off, water shortage protection, and self-cleaning.
This steam iron does come at a steeper price, so it's important to know that it will stand the test of time. It has a double-layer ceramic soleplate and a stainless steel finish that not only protects your delicate clothing but also is more durable, safer, and anti-scratch. This product has been given an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 on Amazon, however, a few negative reviews state that users weren't impressed with the steam function.
7. Rowenta DW9280: Best premium steam iron
If professional quality is what you're looking for, and you have a higher budget to match, then it's hard to go wrong with the Rowenta DW9280. The 1800 watts of power and a stainless steel soleplate are pretty standard in our steam iron roundup, but the powerful steam boost is what elevates this choice. Pump injection technology pushes 30% more steam into fabric for much faster wrinkle removal, so you can complete your ironing pile quickly. You can use it for vertical steaming too which is perfect for garments such as curtains, suits, or evening dresses.
With 400 steam holes, this is significantly higher than other irons in our selection. This distributes steam much more effectively so every inch of the garment is paid the same attention. The smart motion sensor also stops steam when the iron is not moving, so it's safer and more energy-efficient to use.
Overall, this steam iron has notable upgrades that make it worthy of the higher price, and it will definitely enhance your ironing routine. Reviews on Amazon were positive but one user did note that the steam was concentrated in the tip of the device and a single blast was very powerful. It's hard to pick fault with this choice but this could be something to consider.
Buying advice for the best irons
If you're looking for a quick way to make your ironing more efficient, power is the first thing to watch out for. A higher wattage means less work when it comes to ironing clothes, and a larger number of steam holes will also produce fuller steam bursts. Additionally, adjustable steam gauges allow you to have control over how much steam you use at a time. If you use a lot of steam, you'll want to look out for units that have short steam regeneration times between bursts.
Soleplates come in many different shapes, too. The most common are the standard U shape or a tapered design, which makes it easy to get into the corners of buttons, collars, and other difficult areas. Non-stick soleplates are also essential for keeping your iron and clothes clean. Look out for a self-cleaning function, as well as anti-calcification and anti-scale system. This will help to reduce and remove impurities from the inner soleplate of your iron so that you can avoid any marks on your garments.
Ease of use
The best steam irons have a long cord, giving you as much freedom of movement as possible when you iron. You might not have a power outlet easily accessible where you choose to iron, or you might be ironing a large garment that requires more flexibility. An iron should also have additional helpful features, such as a temperature alert to let you know when the iron is ready to use, and, for digital irons, an intuitive interface that is easy to operate and adjust.
It's also important to find the right balance of weight, size, and usability. A slightly heavier iron lends itself well to smooth passes over fabric, but an iron that is too heavy is hard to use and maneuver. Whether you have lots of laundry to iron or just need to touch up a shirt, an iron should be comfortable so look for an ergonomic grip. A good steam iron will also have all of its buttons and dials within easy reach of the handle to make it easier to adjust.
We've all experienced the panic of thinking you've left an appliance plugged in, but most modern irons will have you covered. Consider an iron with safety features such as automatic shut off to give you peace of mind that you won't burn anything if your mind wanders off for a minute. Most irons are designed to turn off in around eight to 15 minutes if left in an upright position, or in 30 seconds if left tipped over or face down.
How much does an iron cost?
We tested irons that cost between $20 and $80 and come with large water reservoirs, responsive steam settings, and quite a bit of power. There are irons available for closer to $20, but they usually have fewer features and don’t work as well on delicate fabrics.