If ironing your clothes gets you as excited as your boss calling you in at work on your day off, then know that the best steam iron can make this task more enjoyable. But when household chores are not exactly your strongest point, picking the right appliance could be confusing.
Should you go for a traditional steam iron or a steam generator iron? What’s the difference between the two, and which will get your laundry pile in the best shape faster?
Do you need variable temperature or should you aim for a one-temperature-fits-all approach?
Finding a dream iron – perhaps one that does ironing all by itself – is often impossible, so the best way to find the right one for you is to choose your priorities and go from there. To help you out, we’ve put together this list of steam irons most users swear by. Check them out below!
The Best Steam Iron
Oh, how we love the word professional next to a steam iron. It gives a sense of ironing security even if this is the first time you give this task a try. The BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage transforms crumpled clothes in super-smooth fabrics in the blink of an eye, and they are also said to stay crease-free for quite some time.
All this is possible due to the heavy-duty stainless steel soleplate designed to glide smoothly over most fabrics. A comfort grip handle reduces fatigue, while the high steam rate can easily straighten out even the stubborn wrinkles. Variable temperature and steam controls let you customize each setting for best results across all types of fabric, while the automatic shutoff function adds priceless peace of mind. Make sure you also check our guide to the best clothes steamers.
Stainless steel soleplate
Independent steam and temperature controls
High steam rate
Vertical use capability
- Weight4 pounds
The vertical steaming capability allows you to iron clothes on a hanger.
Three-way automatic shutoff function protects the iron and prevents domestic accidents.
AutoClean System flushes out mineral deposits and keeps iron at peak performance.
Suitable to use on all types of fabrics.
The iron is a bit heavier than expected.
It may sometimes drip water.
One of the best steam irons you can come across, the Rowenta DW9280 brings German innovation to your home. This powerful iron can straighten out wrinkles from all types of clothing, but also from curtains, bedding, or blankets if you feel like boosting your ironing game to the next level. Four hundred steam holes ensure you’ll get an even distribution of steam across the surface. At the same time, the stainless steel soleplate glides seamlessly on all fabrics.
A nice perk is the handy digital display and one-touch controls that bring a bit of fun technology. Handy LED indicators will let you know exactly what type of fabric to iron based on the temperature you selected. This professional appliance may be designed for those who iron often, but trust us that you’ll love its unsurpassed versatility even if you’re only planning to iron one shirt before Christmas.
One-touch controls with LED indicator lights
400 steam holes
Stainless steel soleplate
3-way automatic shutoff
Anti-calcium self-cleaning system
- Weight3.85 pounds
The vertical steam setting allows the ironing of hanging garments and drapes.
Integrated self-cleaning system for long-lasting performance.
Durable stainless steel soleplate glides smoothly on all fabrics.
Smart steam motion sensor turns on steam when you stop moving the iron.
Little clearance between handle and heat dial.
The dark blue color makes it difficult to check the level of water in the reservoir.
Did you know that steam irons – pretty much like anything else – have evolved and went cordless? If you didn’t, then you should check out this Panasonic NI-L70SRW cordless iron. It will give you a chance to enjoy hassle-free ironing whenever and wherever you want. Steam and dry iron settings make this workhorse perfect to use on all fabrics, while the curved soleplate glides smoothly over all garments. Three heat settings and vertical steam options add up to the game, letting you get rid of wrinkles even on hanging garments.
Leaving performance aside, this cordless iron also impresses with flawless aesthetics. Perhaps you don’t like ironing, but we’re sure everyone will admire you for your taste. An ergonomic grip and conveniently located controls, a stylish charging base, and useful cover have gained this iron a worthy best-in-class title. Our handy guide to the best smart home devices features more great products like this.
Three-piece cordless steam iron
Ergonomic handle with electronic controls
Stay Clean steam vents
Removable water tank
- Weight5 pounds
Cordless iron comes with a sturdy charging base and transparent carrying case.
Wide temperature range from 248 to 392°F.
Multiple steam and dry ironing settings.
Automatic shutoff function gives you peace of mind.
The iron misses a temperature indicator light.
The removable water tank is pretty small.
One of the leading brands in the world and the inventor of non-stick cookware, T-fal also produces a range of high-quality steam irons. Among them, the FV4495 UltraglideEasycord stands out. Designed to do ironing as quick and effortless as possible, this steam iron embodies innovation and high performance in a compact and ergonomic product. Thoughtful design and perfect steam distribution can get rid of wrinkles even from the most stubborn fabrics.
Its scratch resistance and non-stick properties also ensure long-lasting durability. Furthermore, the ceramic soleplate glides smoother than stainless steel. Ergonomic and easy to use, this unit can help you become an ironing master regardless of your level of expertise.
Non-stick ceramic soleplate
Powerful steam output
Extra-long 12-foot power cord
- Weight3 pounds
Extra-large water inlet reduces spillage when filling the reservoir.
Steam power of up to 35g ensures efficient removal of wrinkles.
3-way automatic shutoff feature.
Lightweight iron provides enhanced ergonomics.
Iron may leak.
The Panasonic NI-W810CS looks as aggressive as it is, with its 360-degree ironing capability given by the double-tipped soleplate. Never has an iron brought so much versatility and innovation. Its strongest point is undoubtedly the soleplate, characterized by an elliptical shape that will never catch on fabric and make new creases when you’re moving backward.
Smooth and effortless gliding apart, the soleplate also has a slightly curved bottom designed for smooth side-to-side movements. A dial temperature control and adjustable steam feature complete this iron’s design, helping you adjust the performance depending on the fabric to iron. Stubborn wrinkles should start to worry too, as the Jet of Steam provides a powerful burst that can easily get rid of them. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best kitchen gadgets.
Faster ironing with up to 25%
Temperature and steam controls
3-way automatic shutoff
- Weight3 pounds
Wide temperature range between 176 and 392°F.
Anti-drip and anti-calcium systems.
Five fabric settings plus dry/steam position selector.
Nonstick ceramic soleplate coating.
360-degree rotating cord.
Plastic housing feels rather cheap.
Heat settings could have had a better design.
Here’s a model that can satisfy you with a lower price tag. The Maytag Speed Heat steam iron may be cheaper, but it’s designed for performance. Using it feels like driving a race car against a saloon, reaching its max temperature setting in less than one minute.
Much faster than most traditional irons, this one will let you get rid of wrinkles on your clothes quickly and easily. A fast steam regeneration will also save you the frustration of waiting for the spray to go off. You won’t even have to do complicated temperature calculations to make sure you’re not going to end up with a hole in your favorite shirt. Just turn the dial to get the precise temperature for cotton, linen, silk, wool, nylon, or synthetic fabrics, making the whole process much more enjoyable.
Vertical steaming capability
Stainless steel soleplate
Excellent steam distribution
Ergonomic soft touch grip
Fast steam regeneration
- Weight2.97 pounds
Powerful iron combines an attractive price tag with unrivaled capabilities.
Vertical steaming lets you steam out wrinkles on hanging garments.
Precision thermostat for ironing specialty fabrics.
Stainless steel soleplate ensures an even distribution of steam.
Awkward tank filling position.
The water level is hard to read.
We surely balked at the price tag, but the Rowenta Perfect is a sound investment for anyone who knows that a shirt needs a good going over even if you’re already running late for dinner. It heats up fast and provides an exceptional 5-bar of steam pressure, ideal for removing wrinkles from any garment.
The micro-steam stainless steel soleplate provides an even distribution of vapor, so you won’t have to pass over the same spot over and over again. You will also like the constant steam supply available at the touch of a trigger. Perhaps not your regular iron, this station steam iron might take up some space in your laundry room, but it’s made to save energy when set on Eco mode. Thanks to its large, removable tank, you’ll also get a whopping 1.5 hours of continuous ironing, so that you can finish the whole laundry pile in one go. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best robotic vacuum cleaners.
Extra-large, transparent water tank
Constant high powered steam
Vertical steam capability
- Weight12.21 pounds
The convenient control panel includes indicators designed to ease up your ironing sessions.
Eco setting reduces the steam output, saving up to 20% energy.
Anti-scale system prolongs the unit’s lifespan.
The removable water tank is easy to refill.
Now, if you’re the sporty guy who mostly wears performance fabrics that need little to no ironing, this Sunbeam AERO clothes iron could be great for you. It comes at a decent price point, and you’ll get to choose from an analog or digital variant.
Designed for easy wrinkle removal, the unit can glide smoothly on most fabrics. The ceramic soleplate is durable and resists scratches, while the mist trigger allows you to transform the steam into a fine mist to deal with heavier creases. You’ll also get a Shot of Steam feature developed for vertical steaming. Other features include a 3-way automatic shutoff, as well as self-cleaning and anti-drip systems.
Self-cleaning steam iron
Lifetime limited warranty on the soleplate
Motion smart shutoff system
- Weight3 pounds
The ceramic soleplate is scratch resistant and ideal for delicate or synthetic garments.
The drip-free system prevents annoying water leaks on garments.
Iron can function vertically and is easy to use as a garment steamer.
The dry function allows you to shut off the steam when not needed.
This iron has awkward ergonomics.
This iron will blitz its way even through the tallest pile of laundry in no time, thanks to its easy-glide stainless steel soleplate with over 400 micro holes for thorough steam distribution. The 3D design of the soleplate can also concentrate steam under the soleplate, reducing its loss. Rowenta DW6080 works with regular tap water and comes with an Eco-Intelligence mode that lets you deal with all types of wrinkles and creases.
The looks can satisfy even the most thoughtful soul. Attractive flowers on a black background and acid green details give elegance to this utilitarian appliance. Besides, you’ll get all you could expect from a modern steam iron, such as vertical steaming, anti-drip and self-clean systems, and automatic shutoff. This also makes a perfect housewarming gift for your loved ones.
3D soleplate design for concentrated steam
Vertical steam capability
Suitable to use with tap water
- Weight3.46 pounds
Eco Steam function allows to choose from dry, eco steam, and boost steam.
Scratch-resistant stainless steel soleplate glides smoothly on all fabrics.
Even steam distribution.
Vertical steaming capability for hanging garments.
The iron is on the heavier side.
The CHI 13101 steam iron is designed to help you achieve a polished look regardless of your definition of it. Be it a well-pressed suit or a wrinkle-free shirt for work; this iron delivers high-performance power. Undoubtedly, its greatest feature is the titanium-infused ceramic soleplate that boasts scratch resistance and durability. It also heats up quickly, so you won’t have to worry about growing old next to a laundry pile.
Performance apart, this iron also has a looks great. A sleek design and matte chrome accents give this workhorse an aggressive look, all worthy of standing in a guy’s cupboard. And to help you look like a pro, it even comes with a comprehensive fabric guide that’ll let you know just how to set the temperature to achieve the best results.
Over 300 steam holes
Adjustable temperature and steam
Titanium-infused ceramic soleplate
- BrandCHI Steam
- Weight2.9 pounds
Fabric guides on dial cut off the guesswork, so you can iron like a pro.
Precise temperature and steam control for easy ironing of all fabrics.
Vertical steam capability for hanging garments.
Ten feet power cord gives freedom of movement.
Ceramic coating will wear off eventually.
Rather hard to fill.
Shark is on-trend when it comes to class-leading vacuums and innovative kitchen appliances, but can it revolutionize a steam iron? Apparently, yes. The Steam Iron BLUE 3 Count is bound to become your trustworthy go-to tool for all those moments when you aim for a crisp tailored finish. Its secret is the ultra-fast heat up time that will grant you a more effective pressing of all fabrics. Compact and ergonomic design allows for effortless operation, while the 1,600 watts of power gives you the ability to control even the most stubborn wrinkles.
Speeding up the ironing process is also the 8-inch stainless steel soleplate developed to glide smoothly and provide an even steam distribution. No doubt, Shark will help you look at your best on all occasions.
Large premium stainless steel soleplate
Smooth glide maneuverability
Multi-position automatic shutoff
Rapid heat-up time
Ideal to use on all fabrics
- Weight3.5 pounds
Perfectly balanced for ergonomic operation.
Outstanding steaming capability either horizontally or vertically.
Electronic fabric selector dial.
Multi-position automatic shutoff increases safety and lifespan.
Steam button is hard to press.
It is somewhat difficult to fill the tank.
Another Shark iron that’s made it to our list. The Steam Iron Red comes with an 8.5 inches soleplate dotted with micro holes designed to promote an even distribution of steam. The powerful steam system is also capable of straightening all wrinkles and creases quickly and easily.
One thing you’ll like is the easy-fill door that is large enough to let water flow in without issues. This doesn’t mean you won’t have to keep the iron in a vertical position while filling it, but the process is simpler than on similar appliances. A button-fit tip also ensures smooth glide maneuverability on most fabrics. A nice heft of only 3.2 pounds and great balance also make this iron easy to use.
Large stainless steel soleplate
Steam micro holes
260ml water tank capacity
- Weight3.2 pounds
Multi-position automatic shutoff.
Ergonomic handle design with finger-tip positioned steam button.
Stainless steel soleplate ensures smooth glide maneuverability.
Dry and steam ironing capabilities.
Iron makes an annoying noise when in use.
Rather short power cord.
If you’re serious about pressing your clothes and looking flawless each time you walk out the door, the Hamilton Beach Professional Steam Generator could satisfy all your needs. This 1750-watt iron features a 5-bar boiler pressure able to produce a continuous and generous amount of steam. A long steam hose allows for vertical steaming for up to 5 feet; at the same time, an onboard hose wrap and cord strap provide convenient storage options.
We also liked the unit’s eco mode designed to reduce wattage and consequently the energy consumption. Easy to clean thanks to the included brush and built-in water softener, this professional steam generator delivers unrivaled performance and long life.
Professional steam generator
Over an hour of continuous steam
Energy saving eco mode
Cleaning tools included
- BrandHamilton Beach
- Weight8.82 pounds
The ergonomic iron design ensures comfortable operation.
Adjustable temperature for use with all fabrics.
Included boiler cleaning brush for easy maintenance.
Built-in water softener boosts performance and prolongs product’s life.
Tricky to use for vertical steaming.
Steam Iron Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Steam Irons
Let’s be honest for a bit and admit that we, guys, are not exactly masters of ironing. This is more of a ladies’ chore. That’s why, when the time comes to press your own shirts, you must be sure the iron you get makes your job easier. We know how important it is to have a reliable steam iron by your side, that’s why we focused our choice on the criteria below.
Brand – a brand is not always a guarantee for the quality, but chances are a big name will produce reliable appliances. As a good starting point in making our selection, we decided to focus on the most popular home appliances brands.
Reviews – with dozens of brands out there, we had to find a way to narrow down our circle. After deciding which brands to focus on, we weighted in consumer reviews. Reviews have always helped us make a rough list of the products we want to test, and things were no different with steam irons. They even helped us get an impression of the brands before actually trying them.
Price – defining affordable and expensive is a tricky task. Most people only think of the upfront cost, but a poor choice can make you spend much more in the long run. All steam irons that have made it to our list bring excellent value for money and have fair prices for their quality.
Quality – lastly, we considered the quality of the product. To assess quality, we considered both performance and longevity. All steam irons featured in this article have the capacity to remove wrinkles from all fabrics quickly and easily, and they all come from brands renowned for the longevity of their products.
Features To Look For In Steam Irons
Buying a steam iron can seem more complicated than it is. Once you know what features to look for though, the game gets easy. Here are the most important things you should consider before buying.
Wattage – although more watts don’t necessarily mean a better iron, there are quite a few things you should consider about this number. First, you must understand that higher wattage means higher power generation. The soleplate will heat up quicker and will stay hot for longer. This also means a higher capacity for producing hot steam.
But this doesn’t mean that you need an iron with over 1,800 watts. For home use, more than that would mean a hefty electricity bill, especially if you iron your clothes frequently.
Less than 1,000 watts could also have a negative impact on your electricity bill because the iron will not have enough power to keep the soleplate hot for more than a few minutes. Due to this issue, the appliance will have to keep running for longer. Not only it will consume more energy, but it will also eat more of your time.
Steam output – another important thing to check is the steam output. Smaller irons may not have the continuous steam capability, but you’ll still want to aim for one that can output at least 30 g/min of steam.
Output aside, you might also want to check how the unit releases the steam. Some irons will ask you to keep a button pressed to release the steam. Others may have a lever that allows you to choose between dry or steam ironing.
If you’re known to iron quite a lot of clothes, opt for a steam generator able to provide a continuous output.
Also, check the iron’s capability to steam vertically; this feature is particularly useful if you want to remove wrinkles on hanging clothes.
Self-cleaning – while some steam irons may work with distilled water, many of the models on the market only work with tap water. Tap water may be hard, and it can scale on the steam vents over time. An iron with self-cleaning features can help keep the vents clean for longer, boosting performance.
Anti-calcium–another feature that helps keep your iron in good conditions for longer. The anti-calcium mechanism traps scale-forming minerals so you can remove and clean your iron easily, prolonging the unit’s life.
Water tank size – the size of the water tank can make or break the deal, especially if you have to iron large piles of laundry at a time. If the tank is too small, you’ll most likely have to interrupt ironing and refill the reservoir. Some of the best steam irons though can hold sufficient water for over an hour of continuous ironing.
Auto-off – if you don’t want distractions to catch you by surprise, get a steam iron with automatic shutoff function. Most models come with 3-way shutoff function that usually turns off the iron in 30 seconds if positioned horizontally and in a few minutes if positioned vertically on the ironing board.
Soleplates–the part that comes in contact with your fabrics and ultimately determines the performance of the iron is the soleplate. The vast majority are made from stainless steel, although some models are either ceramic or titanium-plated. While stainless steel is harder to keep clean, ceramic and titanium coatings may wear off in time and are more prone to scratches.
Controls – last but not least, also check the controls. The best steam irons let you adjust both the temperature and steam level, although some units may come with a fixed temperature setting. All models included on our list come with both temperature and steam controls. When picking the iron, make sure they are located within easy reach and allow for ergonomic handling of the appliance.
Types Of Steam Irons
Another important thing to check before buying is the type of steam iron you need. Your choices are basically reduced to either corded or cordless.
Corded steam irons – draw energy from a standard wall outlet and represent the vast majority of irons on the market. These models are powerful and reliable, but you’ll only be able to use them at home or, anyway, in the proximity of a power source.
Cordless steam irons – come equipped with a battery and can be used anywhere as long as the battery is charged. These irons are usually heavier due to the presence of the battery and depending on the size of the laundry pile; you might have to recharge them while you’re in the middle of your work.
Steam Iron FAQ
Q: How do you clean a steam iron?
A: No matter what the manufacturers claim, your steam iron will probably need cleaning sooner or later. To clean the soleplates, slightly warm the iron and wipe over with a damp soft cloth. If there is build-up grime on your plates, rub a small amount of white toothpaste on the soleplate, then rinse with a clean damp cloth.
If the iron has an auto-cleaning feature, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions.
Clogged steam vents are easy to clean with cotton buds soaked in vinegar. To avoid the build-up of scale in your iron, drain the leftover water in the tank as soon as you’re through with your chore.