An iron is still the best way to get wrinkles out of garments. There are many different models, types and manufacturers of irons and therefore it can be hard for you to find the right device. We would like to explain in more detail to you in our iron comparison how you can find the ideal iron for yourself and what differences there are between the individual models.
For this, we have selected 15 irons and compared their advantages and disadvantages. Following the comparison, you will find our guide, which will help you to choose a suitable iron. You will learn about the different types of these devices and what to look for when buying and using irons. In addition, you will read, among other things, how to best clean and maintain this home appliance, so that you have a long time.
Top 10 Irons
- ULTRA-PRESS STAINLESS STEEL SOLEPLATE - Thick chromium finish soleplate for durability, scratch resistance and unparalleled glide; specially designed...
- EASY THERMOSTAT CONTROL & AXIAL STEAM HOLES - Based on fabric type, you can easily select the ideal steam output and keep the temperature how you...
- CUT YOUR IRONING TIME IN HALF - With our Rapid Even Heat Technology and 1700-Watts of Power you can easily glide across various garments and smooth...
- Steammaster steam iron features 1400 watts of power, large stainless steel nonstick soleplate, large water tank, and anti-drip system to prevent water...
- Clothes iron has a Shot of Steam feature for an extra burst of steam on flat surfaces or vertically hanging clothes or draperies
- 3-Way Motion Smart auto-off for safety and peace of mind
- FASTER HEATING - Mueller Retractable Steam Iron only takes 3 seconds for steam to regenerate and reach max temperature in less than a minute much...
- STAINLESS STEEL SOLEPLATE - Effortlessly glides over fabrics and allows for tight spots and corners. Suitable for all types of fabrics, even the most...
- RETRACTABLE CORD - The 8 ft. retractable cord winds up quickly with the touch of a button. Makes your iron storage more convenient and tidy.
- Stainless-steel soleplate - Easy gliding across different garments, smoothing hard-to-reach areas, and 1725 Watts of steam power
- 350 Plus Steam holes with 180 g/min shot of steam – excellent steam distribution and powerful wrinkle removal
- Retractable cordreel - Ultimate ease of use and storage
- Shot of Steam Feature offers an extra burst of steam on flat surfaces or Vertically steaming hanging clothes or draperies
- Anti-drip system prevents water leakage at any temperature setting to eliminate unwanted drips
- 30 minute timed Auto-off for safety and peace of mind
- SmartSteam Technology - This proprietary technology automatically regulates the amount of steam based on the temperature setting to streamline...
- 3-Way Auto Shutoff- Get peace of mind with motion-sensitive technology that automatically shuts off the iron if left inactive on its heel, side or...
- Anti-Drip- Engineered to prevent dripping by maintaining water at the proper temperature needed to generate steam. Volts : 120V. Wattage : 1200W
- 9 PRESET MODES - features a clear-view LCD screen, Stop with the guesswork and don’t burn your clothes! Select your fabric type and always iron with...
- DOUBLE CERAMIC SOLEPLATE - Harder than stainless steel, super scratch resistant, and more durable and easier to clean! Protect your delicate clothes...
- BE SAFER WITH AUTO SHUTOFF - We all get distracted at some point, so DON’T PUT THOSE AROUND YOU AT RISK! Motion sensors automatically shut off the...
- TrueGlide Nonstick Soleplate - The enhanced nonstick soleplate is engineered to glide smoothly across all types of fabrics
- SmartSteam Technology - Take the guesswork out of ironing. SmartSteam automatically optimizes the amount of steam based on the temperature you select
- Anti-Drip - The iron is engineered to prevent dripping by closely regulating water temperatures
- 1800 WATTS OF POWER TO CLEAN THE WHOLE HOUSE - Iron out the wrinkles and refresh not only any type of clothing, but also other house hold garments...
- POWERFUL BURST OF STEAM (210G) - Smothes out even the worst wrinkles on thick garments such as suits or curtains with up to 30% more steam than irons...
- 400 STEAMHOLES AND STAINLESS STEEL SOLEPLATE - Even steam distribution and smooth gliding across different garments for years to come. Power cord...
- Easy Glide - The aluminum soleplate is built to last, with a smooth, nonstick finish that glides over all fabric types to quickly remove wrinkles A...
- Steam or Dry Ironing - Switch on the steam setting to help iron out tough wrinkles, or turn it off when dry ironing delicate fabrics
- Anti-Drip - The iron is engineered to prevent dripping by closely regulating water temperatures. 7 Temperature Settings - The intuitive temperature...
What types of iron are there?
In general, there are three main types of irons: the steam iron, the dry iron and the ironing station. The steam iron is the modern variant of an iron. When ironing with this device, the textiles are sprayed with steam and thus moistened, so that the fabric fibres for the subsequent smoothing process are more susceptible. With a steam iron, you get your laundry by the action of heat and the weight of the soleplate nice and smooth. For even better ironing results also provides the hot steam. These are the advantages and disadvantages of a steam iron:
- Smoothes many types of fabric and also heavy fabrics
- Mostly equipped with automatic switch-off for more safety
- Better ironing results due to hot steam
- High-tech soleplates with constant development
- Also cheap devices often with good steam boost performance
- Often has other features like a spray feature
- Lower price than steam ironing stations
- Water must be refilled
- Without lime function, distilled water must be used
- Danger of clogging of the nozzles by lime
- Relatively high power consumption
- Partly longer heating time
- Usually more expensive to buy than dry iron
The advantages and disadvantages of other types of iron
The steam ironing station is a good helper in households where larger laundry mountains must be processed. It works a lot faster than with a conventional iron and can iron efficiently. A dry iron, on the other hand, works without steam but is usually quite inexpensive to have. The advantages and disadvantages of this and other types of iron in the summary:
- Steam ironing station: There are many areas of application for such a station, for example as a trouser press. With a steam brush for silky fabrics, you also ensure even finer ironing results. The disadvantages include the somewhat high water and electricity consumption. Steam ironing stations also take up a lot of space.
- Dry irons: These irons run without steam, therefore there is no water consumption. The devices are usually cheap to buy. Some models are even wireless and you can take them with you because of their small size. The disadvantage: Not all substances can be processed with it.
- Travel irons: They are useful as a handy mini-irons and save energy. However, you can use it to smooth only minor wrinkles.
- Ironing machine: This is a complete ironing system or ironing press. An ironing machine gives you first-class ironing results and is an excellent alternative to the lack of linen. However, ironing machines are relatively expensive and require a lot of space.
Which material for the soleplate is the best?
Most appliances have a stainless steel or ceramic soleplate, more rarely aluminium. Stainless steel soles make the iron a bit heavier, but the additional weight supports the flattening process. In addition, stainless steel is considered robust and lubricious. Aluminium is a lot lighter than stainless steel, but also more sensitive to scratches. At the same time, this material conducts heat better than stainless steel.
This is why irons with aluminium soles usually heat up faster and respond more quickly to temperature changes. Most flat irons in our comparison have a ceramic soleplate. For this material, the manufacturers use many different names such as Elysium, steam glide, titanium, Ultragliss or Durilium. Devices with ceramic soles are considered particularly robust and reliable. Their advantages and disadvantages we have summarized for you:
- Very good steam distribution
- Often provided with additional coatings against shiny spots
- Excellent sliding properties
- Particularly robust and long-lasting
- Also protects delicate textiles
- Often higher priced than soleplates made of aluminium or stainless steel
Iron with cable or rechargeable battery
There is another distinction of irons – namely the use with or without cable. But which variant suits you best? We would like to find out below. Thus, iron with cable are usually lighter than the devices that are powered by battery. When ironing, therefore, the armless fatigues under the weight of an iron with a cable. This is especially beneficial for you if you regularly have to work on big laundry mountains. Manufacturers are always working to reduce the weight of the iron – this applies to both models, with and without cables. However, irons with cable can become a hazard if children around them are frolicking and romping and tripping over the cable.
The iron could then fall down and possibly hurt the child due to the heat. In such cases, it may be better to use a cordless iron. Irons with rechargeable batteries are also a good choice for travellers and campers because they can even be ironed out in the open air. However, you should rely on an iron with a very long battery life. In industrial ironing, however, the use of an ironing station with string makes sense. Such ironing stations are designed so that the cord rarely falls to the ground, but is held up by a device. This will prevent cable clutter. The question of which type of iron seems more appropriate concerns the parents in particular.
But business travellers will also appreciate the benefits of a battery-operated iron. A disadvantage of a rechargeable iron, however, is the diminishing performance. When comparing and buying a rechargeable iron, be sure to keep track of how long the battery lasts and how powerful the iron is. The most common battery-operated irons have a capacity of 1,800 to 2,200 watts. The higher the power, the faster the iron gets hot and the faster you can start ironing. Also, be aware that a rechargeable iron has an automatic shut-off feature. This is an additional safety feature to another, thus saving battery life. It also prevents the iron from overheating when not in use.
What to look for when buying an iron
When buying a suitable iron, there are several criteria to consider. For most customers, the handling and the price in the choice is determining. However, there are a few more criteria that you should not disregard:
1. Handiness: If you have a large amount of ironing to work on, then good handiness is an important factor when choosing an iron. The lowest possible weight can be decisive because, with the long ironing, each gram can be in your arms over time. Ironing results that are worth seeing depend on four factors: heat, dead weight, smoothness and water vapour. A “bearable” weight thus plays an essential role in the purchase of a new iron. In addition, the device should be well in the hand and ergonomically shaped as far as possible, which ensures a total fatigue-free working.
2. Steam quantity: In comparison to a modern steam iron, dry iron is only conditionally efficient. Steam irons usually provide better ironing results, especially if the right amount of water vapour is present. The pressure also plays an important role. For a medium-sized amount of ironing, a steam quantity of around 40 grams per minute is recommended, with a steam of at least 100 grams per minute. This will give you solid ironing results. However, if you regularly have a lot of laundry to iron, then you may need a stronger iron. A steam pressure of at least 4 to 6 bar is needed, with a steam ironing station being a good alternative.
3. Soleplate: The cheaper devices usually have a soleplate made of aluminium, which is quite soft and not very resistant. Medium-sized irons are usually equipped with a stainless steel soleplate. Stainless steel soleplates are particularly suitable for an average-sized laundry. Ceramic soles are particularly high quality and durable. You will enjoy using such an iron for years. In addition to the material of the soleplate pay attention to the coating of the sole when buying. The classic coating variants are for example Alumits, Steamglide, Durilium, PTFE or Teflon or Glissium.
4. Anti-limescale system: The steam iron can be very helpful if it has an anti-limescale system. This allows you to iron your laundry with tap water. Otherwise, you would need to use distilled water.
5. Drip Stop Function: This feature is especially useful at low temperatures. The steam iron stopper function prevents water from dripping on clothing and staining delicate laundry items.
6. Cable: Cable length also plays an important role for good and safe handling. The cable should be at least 2 meters long if you do not want to work with a cordless iron. A rotatable cable joint is also extremely helpful so that the cable should not be in the way. In order to stow the iron well, a cable winder is also advantageous.
7. Safety: For your safe use of the iron, the appliance should have an overheating function. So the flat iron switches off by itself if it gets too hot. An automatic shutdown is extremely useful. This ensures that the iron goes automatically to stand-by during a longer break. In this way you also save electricity.
8. Price: If you want to buy iron as cheaply as possible, then the Internet is a good choice. There is a wide range of different iron models. From provider to provider, however, prices and offers vary. In a price comparison in the network, you can find the cheapest deal for yourself. Of course, the price depends not only on the supplier or the brand but also on the features and accessories.
You should pay attention to this when using an iron
In order for the iron to serve you well for as long as possible and to achieve the desired ironing result, certain things must be taken into account and taken into account during operation.
Tap water or distilled water?
It is especially important to fill the iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Many devices are suitable for tap water. However, it is sometimes recommended to use distilled water. Because the tap water, depending on the region, be very calcareous, so that can lime deposit in the device during use. Over time, your iron loses power, because the water vapour can not penetrate through the openings in the soleplate to the outside. If your device has a descaling function, you still need to clean and maintain it regularly. This is especially true if you use tap water.
Protect the soleplate and treat it with care
In addition, you should make sure that the soleplate never comes into contact with sharp objects. When the nozzles are clogged with limescale, many consumers resort to knitting needles or similar sharp objects to rid the openings of the lime. This can damage the sensitive surface coating. This can also happen when ironing if you slide the iron too tight over trouser buttons or zippers.
Adjust the temperature to the material
When ironing, adjust the heat or the temperature optimally to the processed textiles, otherwise overheating may occur. Some irons have no corresponding control lamp, so when ironing special care is required. Be sure to look at the label of the garment, which ironing temperature is recommended. It is best to test in an inconspicuous place if the fabric can withstand the selected temperature. Rules of thumb for the different types of fabric are the following temperatures:
- Nylon, viscose, acrylic, polyester, acetate, polyacrylic and polyamide: maximum 105 degrees Celsius
- Cashmere, wool, silk, alpaca and mohair: maximum 165 degrees Celsius
- Bamboo wool, linen and ramie: maximum 220 degrees Celsius
Set the ironing board correctly
If you iron more often, you will be thankful for a good ironing board. Otherwise, it can quickly lead to back pain. To prevent this, the ironing board should have the correct height and be adjustable accordingly. The height is perfect if you do not have to bend your arm when flattening or have to stretch it completely.
Place well and sort
Before you start, get everything ready so that nothing stands in the way or stands and at the same time everything is at hand. If necessary, use extension cords so that the cord does not get in the way of ironing and you constantly stumble over them or something similar. Sort your ironing clothes from easy to heavy or lightly wrinkled to heavily crumpled – this will allow you to slowly go higher with the temperature.
More tips for easy, safe and effective ironing
- If the laundry is still slightly damp, you will achieve particularly good ironing results. For example, use the “Ironing” program in the tumble dryer and straighten your laundry immediately after you have taken it out of the dryer.
- With a special reference on the ironing board, the heat of the flat iron is reflected and the laundry is also smoothed out from the other side. Similar results can be achieved with aluminium foil.
- Never leave the switched on iron unattended. If in doubt, rather pull the plug. Before stowing the unit, the soleplate should be completely cool.
- Please do not spray silk with water, then the fabric will get stained. This material is best ironed from left to level one.
- Viscose is also a sensitive substance. Therefore, for safety’s sake, place a damp cloth between the iron and the laundry.
Which alternatives to the iron are there?
Everybody comes into a situation in which he absolutely needs a piece of clothing which, however, is currently wrinkled and thus unusable. This can happen, for example, when you are travelling and the clothes in your suitcase are crumpled up. Without iron, this can be a problem. One solution could be to use appropriate garment bags or hangers so that the clothes do not wrinkle. However, these are usually bulky and / or expensive to buy.
Another option: hang the wrinkled garment neatly on a hanger in the bathroom. Then set the shower water to the highest possible temperature. In this way, the steam develops its smoothing effect. Make sure, however, that the garment does not come into contact with the water if possible. The wrinkles in textiles are not smoothed by water, but by the water vapour.
At the same time, make sure that no fresh air from the outside enters the shower cubicle as much as possible. This could interfere with the attempt to wrinkle the garment. If you place a wrinkled garment in a damp towel and then press firmly on the material, the wrinkles may be at least partially removed. A similar tip: Lay the garment smooth on a soft surface and cover it with a damp bath towel. Now wrap the garment so that it creates a kind of roll. Although this method seems peculiar at first glance, the results are startling.
FAQ – Frequently asked questions about the iron
What is the benefit of a steam iron?
The steam acts as an ironing accelerator, so you save time and energy at work and the laundry is faster smooth. The steam penetrates into the fabric fibres, causing them to swell. Now the iron can slide much easier over your ironing. Often you get already devices at a low price with good steam power.
What should I look for in the ironing board?
A high-quality ironing board is – especially if you are “Vielbügler” – of no small importance. First of all, it should be safe and not wobble. Otherwise, this would jeopardize safety on the one hand, but also make it unnecessarily difficult to flatten it on the other hand. If the ironing board has a cable guide, you get extra legroom and the risk of tripping is reduced. Also important is the height adjustment, so you can set a comfortable height and – with some models – even ironing while sitting. Last but not least, more expensive ironing boards are provided with their own extension cable and socket, which is especially useful if your iron has too short a power cord.
How can shiny spots be avoided when ironing?
The glossy areas are usually then on your ironing when ironed with too high temperatures. This is especially true if the surface of the garment is uneven – for example, by a fold on the bottom or by a bag. The next time the laundry is washed, the shine disappears again. From the outset, you can avoid shiny spots by not ironing over wrinkles and seams as much as possible. It can also be helpful if you place a cotton cloth on the area to be ironed or work with a protective sole.
What accessories are available for irons yet?
In addition to an ironing board, for example, you can buy a sleeve board. This accessory makes it easier for you to straighten shirt or blouse sleeves. Ironing soles or iron sheets help you iron delicate fabrics such as viscose or silk more easily and prevent shiny spots. A similar function is provided by a protective cloth that you simply place on the garment when straightening. Ironing blankets are available as an alternative to the ironing board. These can simply be put on the table. Ironing covers should withstand high heat, reflect heat and be suitable for steam irons. In this case, you may additionally have an iron tray made of silicone or similar material helpful. This accessory is also useful if your ironing board does not have a shelf.
How do I clean an iron?
Regular descaling and proper care will extend the life of your iron. If you find that white stains appear on your laundry or your iron is no longer steaming, it is high time to descale the (steam) iron. The best cleaning method is an iron descaler. The modern steam iron models or stations are equipped with an anti-lime cartridge. In this case, it is sufficient to simply replace the cartridge. You open the cartridge compartment and remove the old cartridge. The new cartridge must be firmly pressed into the cartridge compartment, and once engaged, you can close the cartridge compartment and continue ironing.
You can also clean the iron with a conventional descaler. For this purpose, fill the drained water tank with a descaling fluid and turn the iron to the highest setting. Then a few bursts of steam are released. After about 15 minutes, repeat this process until the steam and spray function works smoothly. Finally, rinse with water to remove descaling residues from the piping system. The remaining limescale on the soleplate can be removed with a soft cloth.
How do I get the soleplate lubricated and clean again?
It may happen that the soleplate becomes dull after some time and you can not move the device so well over your ironing. In addition, the soleplate can become dirty over time or form a matte finish. To get the soleplate lubricious, clean and shiny again, there are several tips depending on the material – in case of doubt ask the manufacturer if the method is suitable for your special flat iron:
- Rub hot sole with candle wax and then polish with a soft cloth.
- For more lubricity can also provide the use of vinegar or silicone spray.
- Remove light soiling from the cooled surface with an eraser or dirt eraser.
- For stubborn dirt, try a glass-ceramic field scraper, oven spray or stainless steel polish.
- Treat matte surfaces in the cooled state with glass-ceramic cleaner, table salt, toothpaste or lemon juice.
What do irons cost?
The price range is quite large. It starts at about 20 euros for cheap equipment, with a dry iron in this price category already has a good quality. These devices cost about 50 euros. Steam irons are available up to 200 euros. For good equipment, you should spend at least 50 euros. From a price of about 100 €, you get usually steam irons with very high steam output, which are therefore suitable for larger amounts of laundry.