Best Steam Iron:
Irons have undergone considerable improvement when it comes to fabric care. In addition to safety and convenience features, textile changes and new synthetics have signaled the need for variable heat and steam functions, to enhance ironing while better protecting the fabric. There has also been an increase in wattage for many models, which combined with a smooth soleplate make ironing a much quicker task, with less passes needed to achieve the desired result. The feature in particular we've chosen to focus on for this list is the steam feature, which has become almost ubiquitous in modern irons.
These best steam irons have the ability to produce even and consistent steam, with the option for a burst of steam when needed. With the steam comes the risk of drips that can potentially damage fabric, so these models are well-designed and constructed so that they will not drip. Finally, these best steam irons heat up quickly and maintain accurate temperatures, so there's no extended wait time to get the job done or unpleasant surprises when the temperature is not correct for the fabric at hand. The following picks range quite widely in price, but they all deliver this combination of superior basic ironing performance with excellent steam capabilities, making ironing a relatively quick and painless task.
The Black & Decker D2030 offers some of the best all-around performance available for typical use. This iron is affordable, while having excellent temperature control, steam features, and an auto-off feature for safety. Read Full Review
For those willing to pay a bit more, the Rowenta DW5080 offers high-quality construction and design that better distribute steam and heat evenly and consistently. A self-clean and anti-drip feature mean less maintenance, making ironing quick and easy. Read Full Review
The T-fal FV4476 is designed to make ironing easy, with a cord that stays out of the way, a smooth nonstick ceramic soleplate with a lifetime warranty, and powerful steam performance. Although on the more expensive side, this iron is well worth the price for the convenience it brings. Read Full Review
For being the most budget-friendly model on this list, the Panasonic NI-E200T delivers quite a bit of performance. A curved soleplate design helps to reduce snagging and improve steam circulation, resulting in less effort required to get garments smooth and wrinkle-free. Read Full Review
Best Travel Iron:
Many hotels offer an iron in each room for your convenience, but your delicate fabrics and professional wardrobe could be in danger of stains, snags, and snares if said appliance isn’t well maintained. Instead, many people choose to travel with a portable or compact size iron and steamer. International travelers are not the only people who have found a use for travel irons; they are finding homes in college dorms where storage space is at a premium, crafters and quilters who iron small projects on the go, and even some bakery chefs have been known to use these devices when working with fondant. These best travel irons are compact and lightweight, but still offer the performance and steam capabilities of a full-sized iron. These selections heat up quickly, provide consistent steam without water leaking onto your garments, and then pack away when you’re finished without taking up too much space in your luggage.
The Sunbeam GCSBTR-100 is an excellent all-around compact iron, useful for both travel and for delicate sewing projects. This travel iron offers steam capability, a dual voltage selector, and variable temperature control, features that make it useful both while traveling as well as when you’re at home. Read Full Review
Steam capabilities add wrinkle-removing power to an already excellent travel iron; the SteamFast SF-717 is lightweight, effective, and compact. Its dual voltage selector allows for leaving the adapters and converters at home, and the iron comes with a heat-resistant bag to allow for convenient packing the unit away. Read Full Review
With a fold-down handle and compact size, this Hamilton Beach travel iron and steamer packs neatly away into its included carry bag. This iron heats up quickly and produces continuous steam, making it an excellent choice both for travel and for quick at-home tasks. Read Full Review
Despite being slightly more expensive than the other picks on this list, the Rowenta DA1560 offers excellent performance, including a vertical steam option for effective wrinkle removal. This iron has a fold-down handle for compact storage, as well as a dual voltage selector for travel. Read Full Review