Finding a cheap iron is not difficult, but finding a quality one that lasts can be another problem entirely. There are several cheap irons available, but buying cheap can be a waste of time and energy if the appliance only lasts a month or two… if that.
The good news is there are several winners out there…and we’ve done the research and testing for you. We’ve found the best steam irons for sale online that are not just affordable, but well worth the money!
Here are 5 of the best steam iron under $50 for you to choose from. (If you can stretch the budget, see our overall best iron review.)
1. Best Value Rowenta Focus DW5080
For our winner in this category, we may be a tiny bit over the $50 budget, but it’s without a doubt the best price-to-performance iron we’ve ever tested.
This German-made steam iron has an incredibly solid build and it’s a pleasure to iron with, plus… it steams like a dream, so you’ll flatten wrinkles in record time. This directly impacts how long you spend ironing and we REALLY get it… the less time ironing, the better.
It has all the bells and whistles you’d want from a modern iron; great steam production, easy temperature control, safety, self-cleaning and modern design. The Rowenta Focus has all of that, plus an added bonus, it’s a brand with a quality reputation and an unbeatable 400-hole stainless steel soleplate for even steam distribution. At its price, it’s a steal. Full Review
- Best build and value for money
- Super easy and comfortable to use
- 35 g/min variable steam & 100 g/min steam burst
- Slightly over the $50 mark
2. Affordable Budget Iron BLACK+DECKER
The BLACK+DECKER is just under the $50 mark and is not short of fancy features, which make it an awesome iron to use. Compared to the Rowenta Focus, you can immediately notice the difference in product quality, but it works well none the less.
At this affordable price, you even get a digital temperature display which makes monitoring and changing the heat of your iron a breeze. Plus, it has an audible “ready” alert which is something I haven’t seen… or heard, on any other iron I’ve worked with.
I genuinely enjoy working with this iron. The buttons and dials feel a little less precise and loose, but it does the job beautifully. Also, it has a stainless steel soleplate which I love for its smooth ironing and easy cleaning. Full Review
- Affordable budget iron
- LED temperature display
- Audible alerts when ready
- 12 ounce water tank
- Medium quality build
3. Pur Steam Inexpensive Steam Iron
The Pur Steam is even cheaper than the Black+Decker and like the 2 previous irons, it has all the necessary features that make it easy to use. (All features except the digital display unique to the Black+Decker.) Plus it packs a pretty mean steam output.
Pur Steam is known for its quality steaming appliances like garment steamers and steam cleaners, but their steam iron selection is limited to this clothing iron and a smaller travel iron. It’s a German-designed steam iron but is made in China.
The build quality is no Rowenta, but it works well and despite reports of occasional leaking, it has anti-drip technology which should avoid spitting at cooler temperatures.
My personal reservation is the coated soleplate which, in my experience is harder to care for and ages long before stainless steel soleplates.
- Cheap price
- Great steam output at 55g/min
- Coated soleplate
4. Cheapest Sunbeam Steammaster Iron
This is the cheapest of the large irons and a fairly popular iron for sale on Amazon because (I believe) of its low, low price. What got my initial attention was the retractable cord and it looked pretty awesome in pictures.
But… after checking it out and using it first hand, it’s nowhere near one of my favorites. Unfortunately, the casing feels weak and the dials, buttons and even the water hole cover, don’t give the confidence that it will last well.
It also occasionally leaks and the retractable cord needs some careful guidance to reel all the way back in after you use it. Full Review
- Very cheap
- Retractable power cord
- Poor build quality
- The cord doesn’t always recoil properly
5. Steamfast SF-717 Super Cheap Student or Batchelor Iron
If you only have the occasional piece of clothing that needs ironing or are looking for an iron when you travel, then this little Steamfast is all you’ll need. It’s super light and super space-savvy. If you’re looking for a low-cost iron to add to a sewing kit, it will also work perfectly.
At only 420 watts, it’s powerful enough to heat up in seconds and it does a great job on a shirt here, or a dress there. Full Review
- Lightest steam iron you’ll find
- Dual voltage settings, suitable for anywhere in the world
- Heats up in seconds
- Compact and easy to store or carry
- Average quality
- Not for large ironing loads
Choosing the Best Budget Iron Under 50 Dollars – Buyers Guide
After personally testing out the top choices, we are super excited to pin down the best budget steam irons. In this review, it’s our mission to help weed out the poor performers so you get a great deal, even on a limited budget.
Saving money doesn’t mean you should buy the cheapest steam iron you can find. If it works poorly or needs replacing in less time than it should, you could end up spending more. Buy right the first time.
From our selection above, we feel confident that you’ll be getting one of the best clothes iron under $50.
The more steam, the faster the wrinkles are flattened. The normal steam output of most of the irons below 50 dollars, falls between 20 and 55 g/min. The steam burst of the Rowenta Focus measures 100g/min which will wipe out even the most stubborn creases.
A powerful steam output will drastically reduce your ironing time and that’s why its one of the key features we focus on.
The irons vertical steaming performance will also be much more effective with a higher steam output. Steam irons are not ideal for vertical steaming but work well enough if you have to freshen up the occasional hanging garment or drapes.
Power and Heating Speed
The higher the wattage, the quicker the iron tends to heat up… or reheat if the auto-off has kicked in while ironing. In this review, the Rowenta Focus and the Pur Steam have the highest 1700 watts of power.
Comfort and Ease of Use
A steam iron is pretty simple to operate. There’s not much more to it than filling a water tank, plugging it in and setting it to the right temperature. But, depending on the time you spend ironing, the grip, buttons, and dials need to feel comfy.
Settings should be clear to see and easy to change. Buttons and dials should be responsive so you know you’re getting results when you push or turn them. Obvious, yes… but not all manufacturers prioritize ergonomics or user experience. Even a small issue can become massively irritating after 20 minutes.
Stainless steel soleplates are simple but effective, and for that reason, we prefer them and avoid coated soleplates. At this moment in time, my all-time favorite soleplate is that of the Rowenta. The 400-hole stainless steel soleplate with the precision tip is almost identical on all their top modes… and it’s no different on the Rowenta Focus.
Some manufacturers argue less is more and only have a few strategically placed steam holes, but for now, I’m sticking with more-is-more.
Comfort & Weight
A medium weight iron (around 3.5 pounds) is my happy place. It’s light enough to move around without my arm getting tired, but it’s also just the right amount of downforce so you don’t need to add pressure to iron out wrinkles.
For the multi-taskers out there, all the irons in our selection (except for the baby Steamfast) have an auto-off feature of between 8 and 15 minutes. If the iron is left on its heel and is inactive for that period of time, it will automatically power down to avoid fire hazards.
Water Type & Capacity
If the water tank is too small, you’ll find yourself topping up the tank more often which can be frustrating. 10 ounces is a good middle ground. The Black+Decker has 12 ounces which means you get more ironing done before having to refill the reservoir.
Its also incredibly convenient that modern irons use tap water. In some areas, hard water can take its toll on appliances. (Hard water is when tap water is high in minerals and these build up around the heating elements of the appliance.) In these cases, diluting tap water 50/50 with distilled or even bottled water. This will help keep your appliance working optimally.
The small Steamfast is by far the lightest and easiest to store, but then again, it doesn’t suit everyone’s ironing needs.
Then there’s the Sunbeams retractable cord that makes it a pleasure to carry around, it’s a welcome change from lengths of cord…but…
The 3 superior irons in this review all have 8 foot cords to manage and they all store perfectly resting on their heels. For the vast difference in overall performance and functionality, I’m happy to wrestle with a cable from time to time.
Customer Care and Warranty
Rowenta is well known for its excellent customer support and commitment to the environment. They work to repair, rather than replace so they have less of an impact on the planet. You’ve got to love that!
Most steam irons have a 1 to 3 year limited warranty which covers manufacturers defects.
Where to Buy Cheap Irons?
These are the most affordable steam irons we’re researched and they are all available online through Amazon.
Whether you select the cheap Rowenta, the cheaper BLACK+DECKER or the cheapest Pur Steam, Sunbeam and Steamfast, if you’re not 100% happy, you can send it back within 30 days.
If it’s faulty, leaking or just doesn’t feel like you hoped it would, you get to return it and try again.
The Rowenta Focus is the most likely iron to bring you pleasure every time you use it. I know that may sound strange as its ironing we’re talking about, but it’s a kick-ass product. You definitely won’t feel like you’ve taken a step down just because you had to work within a budget. Plus, you’ll be buying into a brand that you’ll love for a lifetime.
The Black+Decker is a close second, not just for its affordability but also for its cool digital display.
Let us know which looks like the right fit for you? And if you’d like us to compare any other features or even irons, please send us a message.