Clothes irons (or flatirons) 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.
It's tempting to go for the cheapest available option, but it's well worth it to do a bit of research to select an iron that will perform well and last for years. The best irons provide even temperature distribution and can be used with a wide range of fabrics. Many 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 we selected 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.
Rowenta DW5080 Steam Iron
Black & Decker D2030 Auto-Off Iron
Rowenta DW8080 Pro Master Steam Iron
Sunbeam GCSBTR-100 Travel Iron
This high-quality iron is made in Germany, with superior design touches such as a specially pointed tip for precision. With 1700 watts of power, the iron heats up quickly, while the stainless steel soleplate glides smoothly over fabric and has holes designed to evenly distribute steam. Temperatures are accurate and consistent thanks to the enhanced thermostat, creating an iron that requires minimal effort to get the desired result. A three-way auto off enhances safety, ensuring the iron will turn itself off if tipped over or left sitting too long. The large water tank has a self-clean system to flush out mineral deposits and reduce maintenance required, as well an anti-drip system so there will be no unexpected messes when ironing. The Rowenta DW5080 might be pricey, but you certainly get what you pay for.
The Black & Decker D2030 delivers great performance while being easy to use and well-priced. For well under $50 at major online retailers, it's a great option for anyone looking for a new iron without spending a fortune. This 1500-watt iron offers easy fabric settings so you no longer have to guess which temperature is the right one, and features a small digital display for verifying the temperature. Audible temperature alerts let you know when the iron is heated up, while a motion-sensitive auto-off feature turns the iron off when left unused for ten minutes. Variable steam control allows for bursts of steam and vertical steaming, producing lots of steam for better wrinkle and odor removal. The steel soleplate glides smoothly over all types of fabric, making ironing a simple and painless task. For typical use, the Black & Decker D2030 is an affordable and convenient choice.
The powerful Rowenta DW8080 offers profession-grade ironing performance. While this comes at a premium price, the DW8080 has 1700 watts of power and strong steam capabilities to make ironing a quick and easy task. The highly polished stainless steel soleplate is designed with a special tip for better precision around collars, buttons, and other tough areas; this iron heats up very quickly and maintains consistent and accurate temperature.
As one of Rowenta's top offerings, the DW8080 comes packed with features. Steam performance is even and effective, getting deep into clothing to remove both wrinkles and odors. A large water tank means having to fill it up less frequently. Cool mist spray, variable steam, and both a burst of steam and vertical steam capabilities are all included. This iron also has self-cleaning and anti-drip features, adding to the convenience factor. For safety, a three-way auto-off feature ensures the iron will shut itself off if knocked over or left unattended for too long. Although expensive, the Rowenta DW8080 is a good choice for those with heavy-duty ironing needs.
This compact travel iron offers performance rivaling that of a full-size model, including a shot of steam feature, variable temperature control, and a nonstick soleplate. The Sunbeam GCSBTR-100 is lightweight, weighing in at about a pound, and its small size makes it suitable for sewing projects as well as for travel. When it comes to traveling with the GCSBTR-100, it includes a dual voltage selector, allowing you to leave your adapters and converters at home. The iron is ergonomic and easy to use, and also includes an indicator light to let you know when it’s hot. Sunbeam offers a one-year warranty with this model.