How to Choose a Steam Iron – A Buyer’s Guide

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People have been using irons on garments for centuries, and the steam iron is a very common household appliance. Nearly every home owns a steam iron to get wrinkles out of clothes. In recent years steam irons have rapidly improved.

Irons are no longer one-dimensional appliances, though, today’s models have many options that make them more useful around the house. Even if you don’t necessarily like to have all of your clothes ironed regularly, it pays to understand how much steam irons have evolved in recent years before you buy one.

Steam Irons were created to make the job of ironing easier. With steam irons rather than having to use a spray bottle to dampen the fabric to help set a crease or even get a crease out the iron does all of that and more on its own. How a steam iron works is water is added to the tank where an internal pump heats the water up to a certain temperature based on what type of fabric is being ironed.

While ironing the fabric steam is released from the iron based on the setting to help smooth out the wrinkles. Steam irons differ from traditional dry irons because they use water to eliminate wrinkles, which might not work for all types of fabrics.

Types of Steam Irons on the Market

When it comes to steam irons there are several different types of irons that you can choose from based on your current ironing needs. The simple steam iron is the first type of steam iron to choose from, which this iron simply uses steam to eliminate wrinkles and often comes with a trigger to enable more steam to be released depending on what is needed.

Another choice is the steam/dry iron, which is a combination of a dry iron and a steam iron. This type of steam iron can be used like a traditional dry iron on fabrics that will be damaged by steam, but the iron can also be used just like a steam iron. The other option is a pressure iron, which is basically a steam iron and garments teamer mixed into one.

With this option the iron comes with a large water tank that is called a boiler or a generator, the tank is separate from the iron itself. A water hose connects the iron to the water tank to deliver the steam. He iron can be used in a horizontal or vertical position so items can be ironed on an ironing board or hung from a hanger and steamed to release the wrinkles.

Factors to Consider When You Are Buying Steam Irons

best steam iron

What the steam iron looked like in 1938!

Like any other product, you should have some key features that you look for in a steam iron. Of course, the basic functionality is going to be to remove wrinkles, but there are options and features on some steam irons that make this job a lot easier to do. Here are the main things you should look for when purchasing a steam iron.

  1. Quick Heating & High Temperature. Ironing is all about generating enough heat and steam to get wrinkles out of different types of materials. We are busier today than ever before, so make sure you find an iron that heats up quickly. If you only have a limited amount of time to spend ironing, you don’t want to wait forever for it to warm up.

    Also, using an iron that’s not hot enough to start with can damage your clothes and add more time to your ironing chores. Look for quick heating steam irons with variable temperature settings to maximize your ironing time.

  2. Quality of Steam Production. Steam is the key to eliminating wrinkles and making clothes look great. Be sure to get an iron that produces plenty of steam evenly. Look at the holes on the bottom of the iron and make sure that they are placed evenly, so that steam hits the entire garment while you are ironing it.

    Some types of clothing will require more steam than others, so make sure that the iron you choose has steam options for different types of garments. The same steam you use for denim is not going to be effective for more delicate items, so take your time while checking out the steam settings on the steam irons you plan to purchase.

  3. Safety Features. Irons get very hot and they can be dangerous. Common safety hazards include hot irons being pulled down on children, and house fires because of irons left on unattended. Look for an iron with plenty of cord length or even a cordless model to eliminate the danger of children tugging on the cord.

    You should also get an iron that has automated shut off features so that the iron will shut itself off after a certain amount of inactivity. No convenience is worth the well being of your family or your home, so make sure that you buy an iron that is equipped with robust safety features.

Keep these three key points in mind as you search for the perfect steam iron. There are plenty of extra features and bells and whistles on today’s irons, but make sure that these features are there before you venture off to check out the additional features. Nothing beats the appearance and feel of freshly ironed clothes, and a great steam iron will help you have the look and feel you want any time you want them.

Features You’ll Find in the Best Steam Iron

As all other products steam irons have certain features that are considered must haves, while other features are considered optional. While price is a huge factor in picking out a steam iron users must also look to ensure the iron has the features that they need. Steam irons that have these features will be able users to pick the perfect iron for their needs.

  • Automatic Shut Off – One of the best safety features hat steam irons come equipped with is an automatic shut off. Most irons that come with an automatic shut off have a three way shut off feature meaning they will turn off if left unattended in an upright position for several minutes, but will also turn off if left lying flat or if it is tipped onto its side. For those that do a lot of ironing find one that has an override switch to shut down the automatic shut off option.

  • Well Designed Cord – The last thing people need is a cord dragging across the items they are ironing or cords hanging around everywhere. Choose an iron that has a well-designed cord, such as a pivoting cord or even a retractable cord so it can be kept off the fabric being ironed.

  • Anti-Drip – Water damage often occurs on fabric from the water dripping onto eh fabric without users noticing. Steam irons with an anti-drip feature prevent this. How the anti-drip feature works is a seal is in place to prevent water from dripping when the iron starts to cool down. Steam won’t emit until he iron has heated back up to the correct temperature.

  • AntiCalcium – Steam irons that use tap water often get clogged with calcium deposits in the steam vents, which is why so many people use distilled water. Steam irons with an anti-calcium feature cleans out the steam vents to prevent any calcium build up from occurring.

  • Extra Steam Option – This allows users to adjust the amount of steam being issued by the iron. This is a must have feature because certain fabrics require more steam, so the extra spurt of steam at the touch of a button is nice. There is also something called a variable steam option that automatically adjust the steam being emitted based on the fabrics being ironed.

  • Material of soleplate – Irons have differ types of soleplates, and not all are the right choice for each user. What users need to do is choose a soleplate based on their own personal preferences. Stainless steel and ceramic soleplates glide smother than others, but if starch is used, they can be harder to clean.

Knowing the must have feature is one-way to choose the right steam iron, but so is knowing about the most popular brand. Rowenta is one of the most popular brands of steam irons because of how many different models they have available, which covers just about every type of steam iron.

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