Steam Iron Reviews:
- Many of us still use steam irons eventhough dry cleaners have made it possible for the current generation to get away with not even knowing what an iron is or how to use it. I rarely use my iron at home, but at least I know what I'm doing. It's a basic model that fits my needs and because I work at home, I'm not required to have pressed shirts ready for work each day. When deciding on an iron, first decide how often you will use it. Paying for extra steaming power or other features is not worth the extra money if you are only going to bring out the iron once a month. Wrinkle free garments and easy-care fabrics make ironing even less likely in mens wardrobes, but some linens and cottons always need pressing or ironing in order to smooth them out a bit. You will need to consider 3 things when purchasing an iron - water, heat, and surface.
- Look for irons that have adjustable heat settings so you can handle cotton, wool, or delicate fabrics with no problem. You want an iron wiht a thermostat that will regulate the heat. In order to produce better steam, get an iron that has higher and quicker heat. You will also want an iron with an auto shut off feature so that it will turn itself off after a pre-set time with no activity. Steam is the ideal way to remove wrinkles from garments and having a "burst of steam" feature on your iron will help with any tough wrinkles you come across. In order to pre-moisten the fabric in front of the iron you will want the iron to have a spray nozzle. An iron with a clear gauge on the water tank is really useful so you don't have to wonder if it needs more water. Look for one with an easy to fill water tank - some are even removable. When purchasing a steam iron, look for scratch resistant bases (stainless steel or aluminum), non-stick or easy glide sole plates, and one with enough water capacity to do lots of ironing (if you have a larger family). You ultimately want an iron that glides across garments and takes little effort on your part to create the pressure needed to get crease free clothing. If you anticipate needing lots of mobility, consider an iron with a long cord or go cordless. In all the reviews and comments we read, almost all steam irons break or leak eventually (usually after 2-3 years) no matter the cost. Higher end steam iron generators and presses worked much better for a longer period of time, but tend to be impractical for homeowners who don't do much ironing. We will focus our reviews to steam irons since those are the most common purchased by consumers. We went to Amazon.com, Epinions, Target.com and other small appliance forums to find the best irons in each category. See the results below. You can view the list of best-selling steam irons here
Best Steam Iron:
When it comes to steam irons, Rowenta is the top brand and offers the best selling models in all price ranges (see all Rowenta models here
). We choose the Rowenta DG-980 Expert Steam Generator
($199) as the best overall steam iron since it received the best reviews from all sites we visited. The Rowenta DG-980 is a professional style steam iron with 1800-watts and works great in any home. The stainless steel laser soleplate comes with a precision tip and is scratch-resistant. Comes with adjustable steam output including "steam on demand" and features a dual-chamber pump system for the most efficient ironing possible. The water tank is not only removable but you can see through it so you always know how much water is left. Owners say it works great on hanging garments, is easy to handle (although a little heavy), and heats up quickly. We've rarely read so many reviews from people that say "this is the best product ever". If $200 is too much to spend on an iron (and experts hint that is the case), then consider the cheaper T-Fal 1769 Ultraglide Diffusion Iron
($50) with many of the same features that Rowenta irons offers. Features auto shut off, vertical steam capability, glide sole plate, and visible water reservoir. Many owners say you can't beat the value on this T-Fal iron and ironing is not such a tedious job anymore. We didn't include the Bosch TDA2301 Steam Iron
($70) in our findings yet since it's relatively new and not enough users have reviewed it (first two give it 5 of 5 stars).
Cordless Steam Iron:
For convenience and mobility that corded irons just can't offer, we say go with the Panasonic NI-L45NR Cordless Iron
($52) - features electronic temperature control, all-temperature steam, nonstick ironing surface, automatic shut-off, 1-year warranty, jet of steam button for tough wrinkles, it's self cleaning, and offers vertical ironing. Owners say this cordless steam iron from Panasonic works great, heats up fast, and they like the detachable water container for easy refills and no spilling. For the majority of users, the iron stays hot long enough to iron clothes and then it is supposed to be placed back on its charger to reheat itself. Some users say the charge (of heat) doesn't last long enough to iron for more than 15 seconds or so, but most people had no problem with ironing, then adjusting the clothes while the iron reheats (only a few seconds) and then ironing again. The SharpTek Cord/ Cordless Steam Iron ($40) is another cordless iron that can actually work with the cord as well if you want. Owners love its versatility and ability to iron and smooth out clothes with no problems. For the best ironing boards, see this list
Surprisingly enough, experts say irons have the same lifespan whether they are expensive or cheap so we thought we should include a few budget models that get good reviews. The Panasonic NI-R54NR Vertical Steam Iron
($27) - has a 3 way shut off, adjustable steam, spray mist, pushbutton steam/dry selector, non-stick coating, and an automatic retractable cord. Although inexpensive, this model does the job on basic garments and seems to be worth money. One owner says her iron quit after 1 year of use (but she used it daily) while everyone else that reviewed it said the Panasonic iron was running fine a few years down the road.