Best Irons of 2018

Angela Parkinson ·
Home & Appliance Editor
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

Our testers put 10 irons to the test with various fabrics to find which were easiest to use, had the most safety features and performed the best. The Rowenta DW2070 was the best overall iron, coming out on top in our testing because of its excellent steaming capabilities, anti-mineral deposit system and self-cleaning features. It also performed the best on every type of material. The Rowenta clothing iron is well balanced, reducing fatigue on your arms and wrists as it runs smoothly over any type of fabric.  

Best Overall
Rowenta DW2070
Our testers remarked on the smoothness of the iron’s movements as they ran it over every fabric type in our tests. They were also impressed with the iron’s excellent steam performance.
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Best Value
Maytag SmartFill M800
Not many irons have a detachable water reservoir, but the Maytag SmartFill’s can hold up to 7.1 ounces. We were also impressed that the SmartFill heats up to the desired temperature in under a minute.
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Best Digital Display
Black & Decker D2030
If you want to have more control over your iron’s temperature, then the Black & Decker D2030 is a great choice. This iron lets you set temperature and steam settings independent of each other.
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Product
Price
Overall Rating
Performance
Ease of Use
Safety
Warranty & Support
Polyester
Wool Blend
Denim
Linen
Silk
Cotton
Easy-to-Fill Reservoir
Length (inches)
Intuitive Interface
Width (inches)
Cord Length (feet)
Temperature-Ready Alert
Digital Display
Self-Cleaning
Height (inches)
Transparent Reservoir
Sealed Reservoir Cover
Ergonomic Handle
Reservoir Type
Reservoir Capacity (ounces)
Swivel Cord
Anti-Drip System
Weight (pounds)
Soft Grip
Upright Auto Shut Off (minutes)
Horizontal Auto Shut Off (seconds)
Soleplate Auto Shut Off (seconds)
Warranty
Live Chat
Online Manual
FAQ
Phone
Email
Maximum Temperature
Steam-Circulating Soleplate
Steam Burst
Open Soleplate
Scratch-Resistant Soleplate
Soleplate Shape
Steam Regeneration Time (seconds)
Anti-Calcium System
Vertical Steam
Power (watts)
Steam Holes
Anti-Scale System
Adjustable Steam
Soleplate Length (inches)
Fabric Option Quantity
Heating Speed (seconds)
Soleplate Material
$88.04 Amazon
9.8 9.8 10 9.8 9.8
A
A
B+
A-
A
A
11
4.75
9
Light
-
6
Built-In
8.45
2.43
8
30
30
5 Years
-
176
Tapered
10
1600
300
9.25
6
24
Stainless Steel
$44.99 Amazon
9.8 10 9.8 9.8 9.3
A
A
B-
A-
A
A
11.1
5.3
12
Light
-
5.9
Built-In
9
2.5
8
30
30
1 Year
-
500
-
U
10
1725
64
9.25
6
24
Ceramic
$49.95 Amazon
9.7 9.5 9.8 10 10
B+
A-
B+
B+
A-
A
12.4
4.5
8
Light
-
6.8
Built-In
12.1
3.18
4
30
30
5 Years
150
-
-
Tapered
7
1800
176
9.38
6
32
Stainless Steel
$55.95 Amazon
9.4 9.3 9.5 9.8 9.5
B
B+
B+
B
B
A
11.5
4.2
8
Light
6
-
Built-In
9.8
2.4
8
30
30
2 Years
-
190
-
-
U
10
1700
23
8.75
9
26
Stainless Steel
$40.56 Amazon
9 8.5 9.3 9.8 8.8
A
B-
B-
C+
B-
A-
12
5.1
8
Both
6.3
-
Built-In
10
3.76
8
30
30
2 Years
-
-
170
-
-
U
10
-
1500
26
-
9.63
7
45
Stainless Steel
$36.95 Amazon
8.8 8.3 8.8 9.8 9.5
B
C
C+
B-
B-
A
-
11.2
4.5
8
Light
-
5.5
-
Removable
7.1
-
2.76
8
30
30
2 Years
151
-
-
U
10
1500
34
-
9.38
7
55
Stainless Steel
$39.99 Amazon
8.2 8 8.8 7 8.8
B
B-
C
C
B-
A-
11.5
4.9
8
Tone
6.3
-
-
Built-In
12
-
2.94
10
-
-
2 Years
-
-
160
-
-
U
7
-
1500
31
-
9.25
7
40
Stainless Steel
$23.83 Amazon
7.3 7.3 8 4.3 9.3
C+
C+
C-
C-
B-
B+
5.2
2.99
8
Lilght
-
-
3.07
Built-In
1.4
-
-
.96
8
-
-
1 Year
360
-
-
-
U
N/A
-
-
420
4
-
5.13
5
15
Ceramic
Best Overall
The Rowenta DW2070 is our pick for the best overall iron due to its impressive performance and features. This steam iron glides smoothly over fabrics thanks to its stainless steel soleplate and the 300 steam holes deliver powerful and consistent steam to your clothes to eliminate creases and wrinkles quickly.
The DW2070 heats to its lowest heat setting in approximately 24 seconds, one of the fastest heating times of all the irons we tested. Quick heating means less time spent waiting, and more garments pressed. We were impressed with the comfortable rubberized ergonomic grip and how accessible the controls were while holding the iron without being too close to change accidentally. The water reservoir holds up to 8.45 ounces, which in a standard iron would be quite large, but with the increased steam output of the DW2070 you will find yourself refilling more often because of how much steam comes out at the higher settings. This clothing iron has an impressive five-year warranty, much longer than the standard one or two-year warranty offered by other manufacturers. The DW2070 also has great shut-off safety features, automatically turning the iron off if left upright for eight minutes, or for 30 seconds face-down or if tipped over onto its side. The only downside to having a fast shut-off time is if you are working on a project where you have to let the iron sit for a while. But for regular ironing, these features are impressive.
Pros
  • Has 300 steam holes
  • Works great will all types of fabrics
  • Anti-mineral deposit system
Cons
  • Water needs refilling often
  • No digital display
  • Automatic shut-off happens frequently, annoying for sewing projects
$57.27Amazon
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Best Value
When it comes to choosing an iron, you can go cheap, but you’ll most likely end up replacing it within a year with constant use. We chose the Maytag SmartFill M800 as our best value because it is an affordable option, has good performance and quick heating speed, and comes with a two-year warranty.
One of the features that really sets the SmartFill M800 apart from regular irons is the detachable water reservoir. This makes it easier to refill your water without the hassle of sticking a hot iron under the faucet or having to use a funnel to refill. The stainless steel soleplate has 34 steam holes, a standard number for steam irons, and it only takes 10 seconds for the steam to regenerate after you release a few bursts. The Maytag SmartFill M800 only weighs 2.76 pounds, helping you iron longer. Additionally, it has a swivel cord to help keep the cord out of your way for the most part. If you leave the iron on in an upright position, it will automatically switch off after eight minutes. We were disappointed that the handle isn’t ergonomic, but for the price point and features, this steam iron is a great value.
Pros
  • Removable water tank
  • Heats up in under a minute
  • Steam regenerates in three seconds
Cons
  • Handle isn’t ergonomic
  • Smaller reservoir
  • No anti-scale system
$45.83Amazon
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Best Digital Display
Most irons have a dial to control the temperature, leaving you to fiddle around with it to get the precise temperature that works best with your clothes. Fortunately, with the digital display on the Black & Decker D2030, you can set the desired temperature setting to the exact fabric you are working on, eliminating the guesswork.
The LED display shows a large number that corresponds to the fabric type shown on the chart under the handle. Our testers enjoyed working with this iron, and they were impressed with the individual heat and steam controls. This enabled them to add or reduce the amount of steam easily, although some reviewers noted that their fingers would sometime bump the steam switch. Running out of water when using the steam function doesn’t happen very often with the Black & Decker D2030 thanks to its 12-ounce water reservoir. This is one of the largest water tanks of all the irons we tested, and our testers remarked on how nice it was to not have to worry about refilling as often. One of the great things about the D2030 is that you can use it as a vertical steam iron, which is great for quick touch-ups on clothes that are on hangers. And because the iron heats up quickly, you don’t have to wait long for the steam to recharge between bursts.
Pros
  • Large 12-ounce reservoir
  • Independent steam and temperature controls
  • Tone alert when temperature reached
Cons
  • 8-foot cord is shorter than most irons
  • No horizontal or tip automatic shut-off
  • No shut-off button – you have to unplug it
$39.99Amazon
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Best for Cotton
Working with cotton requires some serious heat but the T-fal FV4495 is capable.
It uses 1,725 watts to get up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the hottest iron we tested. This is ideal for working with unyielding fabrics or steam-touchups. This iron has an impressive 64 steam holes and an easy-to-use dial to control steam intensity. The 9.25-inch soleplate is nonstick and scratch resistant and the whole package weighs 2.5 pounds, so arm fatigue isn’t much of a problem. If the iron is on but unused for 8 minutes, or if it’s on and tipped down on its face for 30 seconds, it automatically shuts off. These safety features make this powerful iron nearly foolproof.
Pros
  • Very hot
Cons
  • Water reservoir is mid-range in size
$52.99T-fal
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Best for Professionals
If you work with clothing for a living, the Shark Ultimate Professional GI505 is a great the machine.
The 9.38-inch soleplate reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit to get the winkles out of any fabric. The anti-calcium and anti-scale systems in the iron help deal with mineral deposits and the massive 12.1-ounce reservoir holds enough water for repeated use without refilling. The whole thing weighs a little over 3 pounds, giving it the feel of a high-end piece of machinery. If it goes unused for 4 minutes, it automatically shuts off. This fast-acting safety feature is vital when working with a lot of different fabrics. An unattended iron could spell disaster around flammable material. The Shark Ultimate Professional has a ton of steam holes, 176 to be exact, and you only have to wait 7 seconds between each steam burst, making this a great iron for continual use in a professional setting.
Pros
  • 176 steam holes
Cons
  • Short cord
$49.99Shark
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Why Trust Us?

Over the past three years, Top Ten Reviews has tested more than 30 irons from a dozen brands. We’ve tested each one on a variety of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, denim and silk. Our expertise with these laundry appliances has grown with each test, and we’ve learned what to expect from the best irons.

We've also asked people who know irons to help us understand what matters for this type of product. Quilters use irons during their creative process and they need one that works well on lots of different fabrics in order to get the ideal finished product.

"A regular iron just won't cut it. I have to have a top-quality iron," said Brooke Johnsen, a Utah-based quilter and member of the Modern Quilt Guild.

Johnsen said if the fabric is not creased by the iron correctly she has to redo her sewing, so she looks for a heavy iron with even heating across the whole surface. Bonnie Browning, executive show director with American Quilter's Society, agreed that heft and even heating are what counts for the precise ironing that quilters do.

"When we quilt we really just press – lifting the iron up and setting it down, letting the iron do the work," Browning said.  

Even heating combined with steam capabilities is important for everyday ironing, according to Matt Kosloske, senior product marketing manager with Spectrum Brands, which includes Black & Decker and Russell Hobbs.  

"All irons heat up, steam is what makes the difference," Kosloske emphasized.

Kosloske indicated that the right sole plate and water tank size matter, too. If you are ironing a lot it might be worth it to invest in easy-glide ceramic, but stainless steel will work fine if you iron less often. Those who iron every day need larger water tanks. 

How We Tested 

We meticulously inspected and compared the most important features of each iron, such as steam output, weight, heating time and cord length. We found that the best steam irons have safety features that turn off the iron if it’s left unattended for a short amount of time, or tip over, and have easy-to-read controls you can adjust easily. The comfort of the handle was also a serious consideration in our testing.

In our evaluation process, we tested each iron's steaming, ironing and safety capacities. We used the clothing irons on a variety of everyday fabrics and some nicer fabrics, such as silk, and looked for good performance. For steaming, we noted how well the steam controls worked and whether they could remove wrinkles as well as a vertical iron. We also checked to see if each iron engaged its timed safety shut-off feature when tipped or upright, as claimed by the manufacturer.

How Much Does an Iron Cost?

We tested irons that cost an average of $43 and come with large water reservoirs, responsive steam settings and quite a bit of power. There are irons available for closer to $10, but they usually have fewer features and don’t work as well on delicate fabrics.

Performance: High Wattage & Steam to the Rescue 

If you find a steam iron with high wattage, you may suddenly find yourself doing less work when it comes to ironing clothes. More power means more efficient ironing, a higher steam capacity and less work for you per garment. An iron with a large number of steam holes can also produce fuller steam bursts. Additionally, adjustable steam gauges let you have control over how much steam you use at a time, if any. If you plan on using a lot of steam, you will want to look for units that have short steam regeneration times between bursts.

There are multiple kinds of soleplate shapes as well, the most common of which are the standard U shape or a tapered shape, which makes it easy to iron around buttons, collars and other tricky areas. It is also important to have irons with nonstick soleplates that stay clean or are at least easy to clean. Look for a self-cleaning function, as well as anti-calcification and anti-scale systems, all of which work to reduce and remove impurities from the inner soleplate area of your iron.

Ease of Use: Let Convenient & Easy Work for You 


The best irons feature a long cord, providing you more freedom of movement as you iron, which is especially important if you are doing a sewing or quilting project. It 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 figure out and adjust.

It is important to find the right balance of weight, size and usability. While it is true that a slightly heavier iron lends itself well to smooth passes over fabric, an iron that is too heavy or bulky is difficult to use, especially if you have a lot to iron. Whether you just need to touch up a dress with a steamer or do your whole family's ironing, your iron should be comfortable to hold. Look for an iron with an ergonomic grip so your hand and arm won't get as tired as you work. A great iron has all of its buttons and dials within easy reach of the handle so you don't have to strain yourself.

An iron with a water reservoir of at least 8.5 ounces, like the Black & Decker D2030, lets you keep ironing for longer between refills. And when you do go to refill your iron, it shouldn't be yet another chore. A quality steam iron is easy to fill, with wide water ports, a transparent reservoir and accurately marked fill lines.
 
Safety: Don't Get Burned 

It can be easy to forget you have an iron plugged in if you get an unexpected phone call or are watching a gripping TV show while ironing your favorite T-shirt, but most modern irons have you covered. Make sure you consider irons with safety features, such as automatic shut-off. Most irons are programmed to shut off in about eight to 15 minutes if left unused in the upright position, or in 30 seconds if left tipped over or face down. This feature can prevent you from having a burnt garment or worse damage.

Warranty: Irons Should Work as Hard as You Do 

You need a clothing iron that can stand up to everyday use. Even if you don't use it that often, you should still look for one that comes with a manufacturer's warranty in case of damage. Some irons come backed by a comprehensive five-year warranty, while others only offer a short one.


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