The Best Steam Iron for Clothing and Home Use 2020

best steam iron for clothes

The best steam iron for clothes needs to be powerful and easy to operate with high steam output, quality design and much more! We’ll cover everything in the article below.

But if you’re not in the mood to read and just want the best iron money can buy, then without a doubt…

Our absolute winner is the Rowenta Steamforce DW9280

It has incredibly powerful steam for getting rid of wrinkles and heats up in seconds with very high-quality design and comfortable feel in your hand. If you want the best iron that can do everything you need with minimal effort, this is the perfect choice!

Bianca

our-winner


1. Rowenta Steamforce – Best Steam Iron

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The Rowenta 1800 Watt Steamforce DW 9280 is the best overall iron I’ve ever used. It has great amount of powerful steam thanks to the built-in steam generator. The anti-drip stainless steel soleplate has a “precision tip” design which helps you iron tight corners and is excellent at removing wrinkles due its ample steam holes. The large electronic heat setting display on the side makes it incredibly simple to monitor the temperature at a quick glance. A smart motion sensor turns off the steam when the iron stops moving, saving electricity and reducing the number of tank refills needed. In terms of quality, it’s the best iron with the highest steam production and the most comfortable feel. We also consider it the best iron for sewing or quilting too.  Full Review

  • 65 grams per min variable (regular) amount of steam
  • 210 grams per min highest steam burst
  • Combined steam function and temperature dial
  • Steam saving motion sensor
  • LED temperature display
  • Large 12-ounce water tank
  • Highest 1800 watts, so it heats up in seconds (Same as Oliso)
  • Best high-pressure steam iron
  • A little pricey

2. Rowenta Focus DW5080 – Great Value Steam Iron

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This is an incredible steam iron and loves smoothing out wrinkles. It has all the features of its big brother except the steam is less and there’s no temperature display on the side. However, you’ll be getting an ultra-reliable, top rated iron with that unbeatable Rowenta craftsmanship and stainless steel soleplate with extra steam holes at a good price. Full Review

  • Excellent build and value for money
  • Super easy home iron and comfortable to use
  • 35 grams per min variable steam function
  • 100 grams per min burst
  • No digital temperature display

3. Black & Decker – Good Budget Iron with Digital Display

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The Black & Decker has a fantastic price for a budget clothes iron that includes an LCD digital display. The digital display shows the heat setting in the form a number in a large, clear digit. It also has an audible ready alert and performs well for such a competitively priced laundry iron. It doesn’t have that top-notch feel that you get from the Rowenta’s, or as many steam holes, but if budget’s a concern, this is the best of the cheaper irons we’ve tested that does very well at removing all  kinds of wrinkles. As with most Black & Decker products, also very easy to use. Full Review

  • Good budget option for home use
  • Audible alerts when ready
  • LED temperature display
  • Large 12 ounce water tank
  • Fair build
  • Fair steam production

4. Chi Steam Iron with Titanium Infused Ceramic Soleplate

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This sleek-looking newcomer iron has a unique Titanium-Infused Soleplate. The Chi brand first gained popularity in the hair industry before launching the Chi steam iron. It’s a durable, well-made, well rated iron with excellent steam distribution from its 300 hole soleplate. It also has a 30-minute auto shutoff, a big plus for ironers and sewers who don’t want the iron to power down during short pauses.

  • Unique titanium infused soleplate
  • Easy and precise steam adjustment settings
  • Comfortable texture grip handle
  • 30 minute auto shutoff
  • Soleplate has less glide compared to stainless steel
  • Watertank is a bit tricky to fill

5. Beautural 1800 Watt Double Layer Ceramic Soleplate

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The Beautural is a high powered 1800 watt steam iron with a unique double-layer and coated soleplate, This ensures even heat distribution while ironing. It has a conveniently located temperature button on the side of the iron so you can adjust the settings with one hand, and without having to stop ironing. Additionally, it’s digital display LCD screen makes it so easy to check heat settings at a glance and it’s incredibly well priced for its impressive performance.

  • Double layer soleplate
  • Excellent value for money
  • High steam – 40g/min
  • Comfortable wide grip handle
  • Audible alerts
  • Short 6 foot cord length
  • Water hole difficult to fill

6. Panasonic Multi-Directional Cordless Iron with Carry-case

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This steam iron is a good fit for quilting and sewing classes as well as home use. We also love the benefits of a carry case and a cordless iron… it’s a welcome convenience if you need something portable. The tapered front and back of the stainless steel soleplate make ironing in any direction possible without even lifting your iron. The cordless freedom makes ironing a pleasure and its super easy to rest the iron in its base between uses. Full Review

  • Cordless freedom and convenience
  • Multi-directional ironing
  • Portable for classes, sewing retreats, and even mobile homes & camping
  • Heat resistant carry case means you can pack it away even when hot
  • Double-sided detailing stainless steel soleplate
  • Small 4 ounce water tank

7. Rowenta Steam Generator Iron with 47 Ounce Water Tank

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The 1800 watt Rowenta DG8520 steam generator iron is an eco-friendly energy saving and professional steam iron with a powerful 80 grams per minute steam. The 5 bars of pressure that create the impressive steam function, make it ideal for ironing all fabrics as well as vertical steaming drapes and furniture. It has a giant water tank at 47 ounces, which is excellent and heats up in 3 minutes with no auto shutoff features to interrupt your ironing sessions.

  • High steam for effective ironing
  • Eco-friendly and energy saving
  • No Auto shut-off
  • Can be a bit noisy

8. Rowenta First Class Travel Companion

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The Rowenta First Class offers high performance for such a compact appliance. This is ideal for students, young bachelors who don’t do much ironing but want to stay wrinkle free. If you travel, it’s also the perfect size to simply throw in your travel bag, plus its dual voltage capabilities mean you can use it anywhere in the world. It’s light body makes it extremely easy to use. Full Review

  • Perfect for people who only iron occasionally
  • Dual-voltage capabilities for travel
  • Compact, flat-folding handle & storage pouch
  • Vertical steaming capabilities
  • Small water tank
  • Ideal for ironing only a few items at a time

9. T-fal Ultraglide with Ceramic Soleplate Iron

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I didn’t love the soleplate of this iron. It claims to make ironing “faster” but we didn’t feel the difference. The 12 foot power cord could be helpful to some compared to the average 8 feet of the others in this review. Full Review

  • Fair build and value for money
  • 35 grams per min variable steam
  • 100 grams per min burst
  • No Digital Temperature display

10. Sunbeam Steammaster with Retractable Cord

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The Sunbeam Steam Master is lightweight steam iron with stainless steel soleplate that has a retractable cord which I thought would be cool, but it feels weak and low quality when you work with it so it doesn’t get my vote. It also has a limited number of steam holes. The retractable cord makes life a little easier though. being a retractable cord, you can set it to your desired length and avoid some potential mishaps. Still, my recommendation would be to spend a little more and to get better value for your money. Full Review

  • Retractable cord
  • Cheap
  • No digital temperature display
  • Poor build quality

Steam Iron Comparison Video

Every year, we round up the best irons and run them through some real-world tests to find the best overall. Check out the video for an in-depth look at each iron.


Ironing Guides


Check Out Our Other Reviews

Not every steam iron works perfectly in each situation. What about Quilting, Travel or Commercial Use? That’s why we spend hours on each best rated iron, testing it for different uses. Check out our articles below for the top performers in each category.


Best Iron to Buy for Clothing – What to Consider

Product Rowenta Steamforce Rowenta Focus Black+Decker T-fal Ultraglide Sunbeam Steammaster
Image rowenta-steam-force-dw9280 rowenta-focus-dw5080 black-and-decker-digital-advantage t-fal-ultraglide sunbeam-steam-master
Model DW 9280 DW5080 D2530 FV4495 Series 2
Key Feature Highest Steam & Quality High Quality Digital Display Ceramic Soleplate Retractable Cord
Weight 3.85 lb 3.4 lb 3.9 lb 3 lb 2.9 lb
Variable Steam 65g/min 35g/min 25g/min – TBC 35g/min 21g/min – TBC
Steam Burst 210g/min 100g/min Not confirmed 100g/min Not confirmed
Vertical Steam Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Soleplate Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Coated Stainless Steel
Water Volume 12 Ounces 10 Ounces 12 Ounces 9 Ounces 8 Ounces
Leak Test Excellent Good Average Poor Poor
Auto Shut-off 8 minutes  8 minutes  10 minutes  8 minutes  15 minutes
Time to Hot 0.45 seconds 1.40 minutes  1.16 minutes  1.19 minutes  2 minutes plus
Power 1800 watts 1700 watts 1500 watts 1725 watts 1400 watts
Cord Length 8 feet 8 feet 8 feet 12 feet 8 feet
Anti-Calc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Warranty 1 Year  1 Year  2 Years TBC  3 Years
Made in Germany  Germany  China China China

Steam Output of the Best Ironing Machines

Steam output is the most important feature to look for in a professional steam iron It’s the powerful steam that ultimately removes the wrinkles. You should consider both the regular steam while ironing and the burst of steam feature that’s designed to target more stubborn creases.

The more powerful the steam, the more effective the ironing process is at removing wrinkles, resulting in the test being done much faster. The average steam production for an iron is around 35 grams per minute and steam bursts are around 100 grams per minute.

This is where the Rowenta Steamforce 9280 out-steams the rest. Its powerful steam burst produces double that of the average steam for other irons because of its built-in steam generator and makes it the best high-pressure steam iron for removing wrinkles on our list.

• Can you Vertical Steaming with a Laundry Iron? Each iron above can be used for vertical steaming which is ideal for steaming curtains, drapes, and even furniture. Although not what they’re primarily designed for, the vertical steam force can be highly effective at removing these wrinkles.  The appliances with a higher steam perform more efficiently here.

High Wattage for Improved Heating Speed and Power

The higher the wattage of your electric iron, the quicker it heats up. Should the automatic shut-off power the iron down, interrupting your session, a more powerful iron will heat back up in seconds. Steam volume is also improved on the more powerful machines.

Variable Heat and Steam Settings

While all the best irons allow you to adjust the temperature of your iron, you should also have the option of steam and/or dry ironing to remove wrinkles from clothing or other items. Each iron above include this feature. Some will include a digital display to show the current heat setting. This isn’t all that necessary though.

Leakproof Irons and Anti-Drip Design

The rated irons we bought and tested performed well and did not leak when used correctly. Most leaking issues come from overfilling. Where we picked up issues, the problem was due to the steam iron not being hot enough and the steam setting set too high.

The Sunbeam Steammaster was the most likely iron to leak when stored flat. As a rule, all ironing should be stored empty and in an upright position unless their design dictates otherwise. Why does an iron leak?

Water Type and De-Scaling Options

The above steam irons use tap water which is super convenient because it’s easy to come by. However, if you iron in hard water areas, it is advisable to dilute your water with 50% distilled water. Click here to learn more about hard-water what water to use.

A de-calc system allows you to rid the iron of the “limescale” buildup and this ensures it continues to work as it should. Each iron above is equipped with calc-cleaning systems.

Soleplate Design

• Stainless Steel or Ceramic Coated: Stainless steel is so much less maintenance and easier to clean. A non-scratch stainless steel soleplate offers excellent glide that is hard to top, however.

In the past, coated soleplates were prone to aging and were particularly hard to clean, but with developments in recent years, they perform well and improve heat distribution over the surface of the soleplate.

• Size: Larger coverage means you get more ironing done in a single stroke. This is also ideal for larger items like bedsheets and pillowcases.

Shape: The tip of the soleplate should narrow to a point to make precision work like ironing collars, pleats, and spaces between buttons effortless.

Steam Holes: The 400 steam holes on the bottom of the Rowenta also creates an even distribution of steam through the holes and into the fabric.

Steam Iron Ergonomics

Easy to use?  The overall comfort of a steam iron is vital to ensure ironing is not unnecessarily taxing. We’ve looked at several aspects that impact on the user.

• Temperature Displays: LED display panels are a great way to check your heat settings at a quick glance when working on different fabrics. This is a great feature to help avoid accidentally scorching fabrics with your iron when switching between polyester, wool, or cotton. The Rowenta 9280, Black Decker and the Beautural are our favorites for this reason.

All the other irons rely on a more basic light system that either flash when it’s adjusting to the right temperature or shows a solid light when it’s ready.

• Weight: Each iron above is categorize as medium weight, the ideal ironing weight for easy ironing glide. They’re light enough to move around without your arm getting tired, but heavy enough so that you don’t need to apply excessive downforce to smooth out creases.

• Grip: For the average-sized hand, the grip should feel natural and allow easy access to the buttons and dials. Adjusting the settings on dials or pushing buttons was especially easy on the Rowentas which have a very solid build quality, but on the cheaper budget irons, you can pick up that dials feel a bit lose.

Stability: The iron should safely and comfortably rest on its heel to make placing the iron down a natural movement and avoid accidents. A sturdy ironing board plays a large role here.

• Power Cord: Power cords vary between 6 and 12 feet, however, this makes little difference to the ironing experience. More importantly, is how the cord connects to the iron. Most of these products use a multi-directional cord swivel which helped keep the cord out the way while ironing

• Water Capacity: A large water tank means less topping up. The Oliso iron wins in this category but is rarely in stock, followed by the Rowenta Steammaster and the Black Decker who have an impressively large water tank at 12-ounce capacity.

Best Clothes Iron on a Budget

Our best budget iron is the Beautural 1800 Watt Double Layer Soleplate. It’s incredibly easy to use and has all the key features of the top performers to leave you wrinkle free. Although this iron doesn’t have the high-quality finish of the Rowentas or as powerful steam creation, it’s a reliable machine that will get the job done well.

A cheap iron can end up costing you more by damaging clothing and needing replacement much sooner. Where possible, invest a little more in a quality product that will last.

Best Portable Iron

We’ve also included a travel iron to the list for those of you with less traditional ironing needs. If you only iron the occasional item or need something compact for travel, then the Rowenta First class is the ideal fit. It’s about the same price as the budget irons, only a lot smaller and with dual voltage capabilities for traveling abroad. You can even get away with using a small table or countertop as an ironing board.

The cordless Panasonic in its heat resistance carry-case is also a convenient travel iron for sewing classes and RV’s.

Personally, I think a retractable cord is slightly better than a cordless iron. The best retractable cord iron would be the Sunbeam Steammaster with average quality but convenience of the retractable cord makes up for it a little.

Auto Shut-Off and Safety Systems

Even the best irons can be a fire hazard if left on accidentally. The above irons vary from 8 to 30 minutes. The Rowenta steam generator has no auto shutoff. This is a deliberate feature as professional ironing services and sewers often need an iron to stay hot all day and an shut-off feature reduces productivity.

If the steam iron falls on its side or is left face down, it will switch off after 30 seconds. Every iron, except for the Rowenta First Class mini iron includes this feature.

Customer Care and Product Warranty

Most warranties are limited to manufacturer defects and this is usually something you’ll pick up in the first few times using the iron. Rowenta seems to have the best warranty in relation to product quality and customer support.

If you iron regularly or professionally and experience breakdowns that need repairs and replacements every few months, a warranty might save you on parts and replacements. Note: If your iron falls off an ironing board, it may very well need serious repairs as the electronic components may have taken some damage.


How We Test the Best Machine for Ironing?

how-we-test-clothing-irons

We personally test and review the best irons and ironing boards in great detail. If you’d like to know more about each product in the above lineup, click on the link next to the image. We cover all the features of each of the models, as well as the pros and cons of the home and professional steam irons we review. The products were tested normally and in a vertical steam position. We may earn a commission if you purchase a steam iron above at no extra cost to you.

We welcome any updates and feedback from our followers.


In Conclusion, What is Best Steam Iron for Clothes?

More than the brand and cost of the appliance, it’s about how effectively it works. Most agree that ironing is a grudging chore, but being that neatly pressed clothes are essential to looking groomed and creating a good impression, it simply needs to get done.

If you’re asking us what iron should you buy? Without a doubt, the undisputed best overall winner is the Rowenta Steamforce DW9280.

Steam, quality, comfort, and ease of use are all first class. It’s a powerful ironing machine that stands out way above the rest. It was the top performer in all areas. Yes, it comes with a slightly higher price tag, but you are getting so much more iron for your money and this translates into way less time spent ironing.

If budget is a concern, the Rowenta DW5080 Focus is a close second. It may not have the temperature display on the side or the same volume of steam, but it has everything else that the Rowenta Steamforce has, only at a more affordable price.

Where to buy the best iron, you ask? These are without a doubt some of the best steam irons in the world and they are all available online through Amazon.com and can be delivered right to your front door. We may earn a commission for our research.