The Best Irons

There are few worse impressions you can make with your physical appearance than to have wrinkled and rumpled clothing. Whether you’re leading a big pitch at work, on a first date, or just out some place you want to look together and fashionable, having a crisp attire is a big confidence booster. Not only will you feel confident and at your best, you’ll likely notice others will treat you accordingly. While it may seem shallow to judge a person based on their appearance, taking care of yourself will tell those around you that you’re a responsible adult who does what’s necessary to make sure you’re a cut above. If you’re stuck on what kind of iron to get, though, don’t worry, we have you covered.

We reviewed dozens of irons to identify the best of the best. We found the traditional irons, the steam irons, and even the vertical irons that you can use as a steamer, too. We found the battery powered irons and the mini irons, so you can make sure you’re clothing is perfect, even away from home. No matter what you’ll use the iron for, we have the best one for you.

If you’re looking at irons because you’re just starting to think about building the necessities of a new home, you won’t want to miss, What Questions To Ask When Buying A Home: The Six Things You Want To Know Before You Buy, According To The Experts. And for those who struggle with getting stains out, there is still hope. Try the easy steps detailed in How To Remove Old Grease Stains (In 7 Steps).

Best Iron Overall
Rowenta Micro Steam Iron
For an iron that will give you the best results, look no further than the Rowenta Micro Steam Iron.

From the beginning of our research the Rowenta Micro Steam Iron was the obvious choice as the best overall iron. It stood out among its peers with the most impressive ratings and the safety features make it a win for any home.

The 5 Top-Rated Irons

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Iron OverallRowenta Micro Steam Iron4.3
Best Mini IronSteamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron4.4
Best Budget IronSunbeam Steam Master Iron4.4
Best Vertical Steam IronPurSteam World's Best Steamers Professional Grade Steam Iron4.5
Best Cordless IronPanasonic Cordless Multi-Directional Iron4.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Iron Overall: Rowenta Micro Steam Iron

The Rowenta Micro Steam Iron has an impressive 400 micro steam holes to make sure no one area of your garment is getting oversaturated with steam while the other areas singe without any moisture. The steam burst technology will allow 100 grams of moisture to be released every minute, making it an effective steamer as well as iron and with a ten ounce water tank, there’s plenty of reserved water to make sure you can get your ironing done before refilling.

The iron has an anti-calcium design to make sure you won’t be seeing any calcium deposits no matter how long you own it and the anti-drip design ensures you won’t end up with spills and messes to clean up while you’re making your clothing look otherwise sleek and sophisticated.

With over 7,000 customer reviews on Amazon and an impressive overall rating of 4.3 stars, there’s every reason for you to expect your satisfaction in this product. After all, thousands of people can’t all be wrong.

Rowenta Micro Steam Iron Key Features:

  • Auto-off safety function
  • Vertical steam option
  • 2 power options; 1700 watts or 1750 watts

Best Mini Iron: Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron

Best Mini Iron
Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron
For an iron that’s small in size but big in performance, don’t miss the Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron.

The Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron has three heat settings to make sure you’re ironing each fabric with the setting that it will respond best with and the one-touch steam control will give you steam when you want it, and not when you don’t. It has a compact design and therefore you’ll probably only be able to steam iron a few articles of clothing between refills, but the 1.4 ounce tank means you won’t have to refill every few minutes.

Included with your purchase is a measureing cup to make sure you’re not guessing each time you fill your iron and a carry case to protect it from dust and debris as well as make it ultra-portable. It has a 7.5 foot power cord so you won’t have much to wrap in your travels, but will still give you plenty of consistent power for the whole ironing job.

Nearly 3,000 customer reviews on Amazon have awarded this iron an overall rating of 4.4 stars, and that’s not too shabby! In fact, we think with just a few minutes browsing those reviews and you’ll also be convinced this iron is the one for anyone in the market for a mini iron.

Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron Key Features:

  • Anti-slip handle
  • 15-seconds to heated
  • 2-year warranty

Best Budget Iron: Sunbeam Steam Master Iron

Best Budget Iron
Sunbeam Steam Master Iron
The Sunbeam Steam Master Iron is one that will press flat your clothing but not your budget.

Sunbeam Steam Master Iron has a self-cleaning function that means you won’t need to scrub mineral deposits after each use and, in fact, you may just stop checking it entirely after a few uses with this luxury feature. The anti-drip system will prevent spills and leaks and keep your clothing clean and the verticle steam capability means you won’t need to take curtains and drapery off the walls to rid them of wrinkles.

The auto-off safety feature ensures you won’t be ruining the iron when you’re out of water, nor will you be burning down your home if you step away orforget about it being on. The non-stick soleplate is stainless steel, so you won’t ever have to worry about sticks or rust stains, and that’s big help for an iron you’ll keep for years.

With right around 3,000 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.4 stars on Amazon, it’s hard to believe the figures on this iron get better. One look at the prce, though and we’re sure you’ll be swayed; picking up this iron will cost you under $25!

Sunbeam Steam Master Iron Key Features:

  • 1400 watts of power
  • Variable steam control
  • 3-year warranty

Best Vertical Steam Iron: PurSteam World’s Best Steamers Professional Grade Steam Iron

Best Vertical Steam Iron
PurSteam World's Best Steamers Professional Grade Steam Iron
The PurSteam World’s Best Steamers Professional Grade Steam Iron is all about versatility, and steaming is as easy as ironing with this.

The PurSteam World’s Best Steamers Professional Grade Steam Iron has all the great features you’d like in an iron. Not only will it steam and heat to press your clothing smooth, you can flip the iron upright to a vertical position and steam your more delicate clothing from a distance. That means you can use the same iron to gently pull wrinkles out and immediately turn around and press your heavy-duty work pants to make sure you’re crisp and fresh looking, no matter what you’re wearing.

The ant-drip feature makes sure you won’t spill the water onto anything and the extra long eight foot power cord ensures you can circle around your garment to get the right angle every time. You can control the temperature sand the steam bursts with the touch of a button or turn of a dial and the self-cleaning function will keep you from cleaning all day.

Well over 3,000 customer reviews will give you a pretty accurate indication of a product’s worth and with this iron, that’s more the better. It’s the current #1 Best Seller in Irons on Amazon and has an overall rating of 4.5 stars – not too bad!

PurSteam World’s Best Steamers Professional Grade Steam Iron Key Features:

  • 1700-watts of power
  • Stainless steel soleplate
  • 3-way shut off system

Best Cordless Iron: Panasonic Cordless Multi-Directional Iron

Best Cordless Iron
Panasonic Cordless Multi-Directional Iron
If you want maximum portability, you won’t want to miss the Panasonic Cordless Multi-Directional Iron.

The Panasonic Cordless Multi-Directional Iron goes where you go to make ironing possible just about anywhere. Not only does it operate on battery power, (that recharges via the plugged in base), the entire system has a cover that doubles as a carrying case to make transporting it a breeze. The case is even heat resistant, so you can lock it into place with a snap just seconds after you unplug it and be on your way faster than ever. (which definitely comes in handy if you keep this iron at work to touch up before a big meeting.)

The stainless steel soleplate features venting holes all along it to make ironing as effective from any angle and without the cord, you really will get full use of the 360-degrees of ironing capability – without ever tangling yourself into the cord!

Over 800 customer reviews on Amazon have awarded this cordless iron an overall rating of 4.3 stars, which it pretty solid, but take into consideration all the versatility of a reliable cordless iron and we think you’ll be convinced this is the one for you.

Panasonic Cordless Iron Key Features:

  • Heat, steam, and dry settings
  • Includes matching carrying case
  • 1500-watts of power

Who Should Buy an Iron

If you have clothing that wrinkles, then you’ll need an iron. You can’t expect to get by 100% with the “wrinkle free” setting on your dryer – unfortunately, it doesn’t handle everything. For those times when you absolutely need a smooth fabric, an iron is still, undeniably, the best and most sure-fire path there. If you’re planning a big night, a job interview, or just want to make a good first impression, making the extra effort to iron your clothing will go a long way toward controlling how you’re viewed. Even if you don’t use it regularly, having an iron in your home is necessary for the odd “special occasion” that will inevitably occur. And because the cost isn’t too steep, it’s not a luxury item, but rather a must-have for any home.

You’ll definitely require the use of an iron when you have a career where you have to wear a uniform – military, airlines, chef, police – the list goes on. When your job requires a uniform, the primary reasoning is to make sure all the employees of that field look professional and distinct. For police, it’s important they are easily recognizable as those who protect and serve. Fire fighters without a wrinkled uniform are more likely to have their uniform and career respected if there are no wrinkles to undermine it. An airline pilot should be recognizable to be allowed through the gates, and military will need to wear uniforms that will prove functional for their specific branch. No matter the reason each uniform is chosen,

Best Iron Overall
Rowenta Micro Steam Iron
For an iron that will give you the best results, look no further than the Rowenta Micro Steam Iron.

Important Features to Consider

An iron should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting an iron for your home:

  • Steam holes. More is always better; bigger is better – except with they’re not. Sometimes it’s not about the size of the steam holes, but the quantity and sometimes it’s about the size. If you plan to regularly use your iron to vertically steam clothing, the larger holes will release more moisture and steam it a bit easier. If you’re using delicate clothing that is more prone to getting “wet” rather than steamed, you may want to consider more, smaller steam homes.
  • Corded vs. cordless. Obviously a cordless iron will be incredibly useful if you plan on travelling with your iron. It means that you’ll be able to walk around what you’re ironing a full 360 degrees, and you won’t ever have to worry about getting tripped up in the cord. However, you may not appreciate the limits in your options, as there are far fewer to choose from if you limit your selection to just cordless. It also means that you have a time limit on your ironing, so if you put the task off until you’ve piled up a stack of clothing, you may not be able to get through it all. (Which may be a selling point for you.)
  • Steam Control. If you have an iron that emits steam, then it’s nothing but a big plus if you can use that steam to change the ironing experience a bit to reflect the task you have each time. If you have a particularly stubborn wrinkle, a couple extra bursts of steam will certainly help matters and sometimes you’re just running an iron quickly over a delicate fabric that won’t need the extra steam at all. Controlling when you get steam by the use of a button will help you with each of these tasks and more. Some steaming irons will even work vertically to let you use it exclusively as a clothes steamer, making it the most versatile of all.
  • Soleplate construction. A steel plate is probably what you think of as the traditional iron. It’s a metal base that will allow you to press or steam your fabric flat. It won’t stain (and if it’s stainless steel, it won’t rust, either). It does scratch, however. Ceramic won’t stain or stick, but can break. Aluminum is a less expensive material and does transfer heat well, albeit a bit less evenly. You’ll be able to find a ceramic coating on either metal to reinforce the iron’s effectiveness. Titanium soleplates have the added bonus of an even transfer in addition to corrosion resistance and the fastest heat transfer; which means you won’t be waiting long for your iron to heat up before you can begin to use it.
  • Auto-off. This is probably one of the most important features for home safety in regards to your home. You can have two different types of auto-off options and both are equally important, depending on your iron type. For a steam iron, once the water runs out, the auto-off will turn the iron off and save you from overheating and destroying the iron or your clothing (or more). For a dry iron, the auto-off function will serve as a timer of sorts. This will keep you from burning your house down if you step away from the iron and forget it’s still going.
  • Retractable cord. As we mentioned, cordless irons are incredibly handy, but they’re not the most common, so finding the one of that type that gives you everything you want would be much more difficult than if you wanted a corded. A retractable cord doesn’t maximize your portability, but it does make storage quite a bit easier. Rather than worrying about how you’re wrapping the cord, or it getting in the way where you store it, a retractable cord will wrap it neatly and store it within the iron itself at the push of a button so that you won see it again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an iron and how does it work?

A clothes iron is an electronic advancement that evolved from a basic concept: Heat flattens fabric. Before electric, the iron would be heated on a stove or fire, then used to press the fabric of clothing to rid them of any wrinkles and create clean, crisp lines and pleats. Because no electric meant that clothing wasn’t dried in a dryer, there was likely less of a need as air drying tends to prevent wrinkles, as well. However, shortly after electricity was introduced, so too was the high spin cycle to create wrinkles in nearly all clothing. The dryer could remove some with it’s own heat, but the iron was what really eliminated them entirely. The soleplate is the bottom, which is heated and glides over the fabric to smooth out any edges and with a bit of starch, the iron will create semi-permanent creases or folds that lend to a very put-together appearance. This is the function of the dry iron; use heat to press the clothing flat.

A steam iron will still heat the soleplate, but utilize steam to relax the fibers of the clothing to make the wrinkles easier to remove. Steam will work better on more delicate fabrics so that you won’t need to worry about damaging the material with too much heat. You can sometimes use your steam irons as a clothes “steamer” as well, holding it vertically and releasing gusts of steam to directly contact the wrinkle and pull lightly to pull the wrinkles out.

Which soleplate is best for ironing?

The soleplate is the flat, glider that will be directly applied to your clothing to smooth and iron it. Traditionally those were cast iron, but since becoming electric, they’ve primarily been metals. The most common these days has been steel plates, but iron manufacturers have relatively recently been producing a larger variety  to include aluminum, ceramic, and nonstick. Full disclosure: the nonstick seems to be universally thought of as the worst option. Cast iron is too heavy for practical use, and stainless steel, though will not rust, will get sticky over time. Ceramic sticks less than the metals, and it conducts heat well, giving it a consistent temperature throughout and insuring evenly pressed clothes, no matter what part of the plate is touching the fabric. However, ceramic can chip and stain and it is more expensive than stainless steel. Therefore, a combination of two is the best iron soleplate; ceramic coating over steel is the most effective for ironing.

How long should an iron last?

The longevity of any product is all down to the quality with which it was made. One good indication of the quality of an iron is the warranty or guarantee. If the company knows the iron won’t last more than a year or two, they won’t offer you a warranty. It wouldn’t make any economic sense to produce a product the company will consistently give two irons for every one purchased. Most warranties, even if there is one offered, will be one year, so if you find an iron that offers a warranty of five years, you know the company is confident that the iron is made well. The old adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” does generally stand with your iron, but you will want to be liberal on your definition of “broke” in this circumstance. If it’s scratched, takes too long to heat up, or sticks to your clothing, consider it broke and fix it. A handheld appliance that costs less than a dinner out is certainly not worth the effort to fix it. Irons aren’t meant to last forever, but you can reasonably expect one to last your home a handful of years. If you use it more or less frequently, that number will obviously be impacted, but any iron that lasts eight to ten years is an impressive one, to be sure.

Why does my iron stick to my clothes?

The easy answer is probably the most common: if your iron is sticking, it may be dirty. Even if not dirty in the sense that it has dirt or gunk on it, it may have starch or another additive you’ve put onto your clothing (like fabric softener) stuck to it. The fabric will stick as it transfers the substance to your iron’s soleplate and it builds up over time making all clothing subject to sticking to your iron. Alternatively, your iron may be overheating and melting some of the fibers of your clothing. Particularly delicate clothing is susceptible to scorching and melting so you’ll want to make sure you’re not ironing on too high a temperature. If your iron has scratches, it will be more prone to overheating in specific areas, and those areas will stick, even on what would normally be a reasonable temperature.

If your iron is sticking, try turning down the temperature first. If that doesn’t work, clean it thoroughly (you should at least wipe it down after use anyways, but a good cleaning to make sure all debris is removed will help, too.). If neither works, consider getting a new iron.

Other Irons We Reviewed

Best Iron Overall
Rowenta Micro Steam Iron
For an iron that will give you the best results, look no further than the Rowenta Micro Steam Iron.

We looked at 20 other irons. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best irons list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for you. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Cordless Irons

Panasonic 360 Ceramic Cordless Freestyle

Panasonic 360 Ceramic Cordless Freestyle

With a ceramic-coated soleplate, you won’t have to worry about this iron sticking on your clothing.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable steam/vertical steam
  • Detachable water tank
  • Double-point soleplate

Cost: $120

Sunbeam Versa Glide Cordless or Corded Iron

Sunbeam Versa Glide Cordless or Corded Iron

With a power corded base that will allow you to detach when you want to go cordless or use with the base attached, this iron offers plenty of options.

Key Features:

  • Leak-free design
  • 10′ power cord
  • Auto-shut-off 30 minutes

Cost: $35

Traditionally Corded Irons

AICOK Steam Iron

AICOK Steam Iron

This iron has a self-cleaning function that will remove calcium deposits for you so that you can use your iron to the highest performance for even longer.

Key Features:

  • 370 mL capacity
  • BPA-free
  • 3 steam settings

Cost: $25

Beautural Steam Iron

Beautural Steam Iron

This iron has an impressive double ceramic soleplate to ensure no scratches or sticking, making it perfect for your delicate clothing.

Key Features:

  • 9 preset modes
  • Auto-shut off
  • 100% fully pre-tested

Cost: $50

BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron

BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron

With an iron like this, you’ll be able to use the high steam rate to blast wrinkles away safely and efficiently.

Key Features:

  • 11″L x 5.6″W x 4.6″H
  • Digital LCD display
  • 1500-watts of power

Cost: $40

CHI Steam Iron for Clothes

CHI Steam Iron for Clothes

This iron features over 300 steam holes to make sure you’re getting full-coverage on your garments and ironing evenly with consistent steam and heat.

Key Features:

  • 2 colors available
  • Titanium-infused ceramic soleplate
  • Includes bonus fabric guide

Cost: $60

MARTISAN Steam Iron

MARTISAN Steam Iron

The 8.5 foot power cord on this iron will swivel as you use it so you’ll spend less time rearranging the cord and more time actually ironing.

Key Features:

  • Non-stick soleplate
  • Self-cleaning system
  • 5 temperature settings

Cost: $20

Maytag M400 Speed Heat Steam Iron

Maytag M400 Speed Heat Steam Iron

This iron will be one you don’t need to clean yourself with a self cleaning function that eliminates calcium and scale to remain in pristine condition.

Key Features:

  • 8′ swivel cord
  • 1500-watts of power
  • 2-year warranty

Cost: $50

Oliso TG1100 Smart Iron

Oliso TG1100 Smart Iron

The scorch guard on this iron is automatic, which means that as soon as you lift your hand, the guard comes down to prevent burning your garments.

Key Features:

  • Auto-shut off
  • 2 color options
  • 1800-watts of power

Cost: $135

Shark Professional Steam Iron

Shark Professional Steam Iron

With an anti-calcification and anti-drop features, this iron will surely last you for years to come.

Key Features:

  • 1800-watts of power
  • 9.5″ Stainless steel soleplate
  • 300 mL water tank

Cost: $50

Shark Steam Iron

Shark Steam Iron

This iron is safe for extended use, but includes an auto-off function that will prevent damage to your clothing and dangerous situations in your home.

Key Features:

  • 8.5″ stainless steel soleplate
  • 1500-watts of power
  • 360 mL water tank

Cost: $25

Retractable Cord Irons

BLACK+DECKER Vitessa Advanced Steam Iron

BLACK+DECKER Vitessa Advanced Steam Iron

The retractable cord stows at the push of a button making cleaning up and putting it away a piece of cake.

Key Features:

  • 6″H x 11.9″L
  • SmartSteam optimizes amount of steam based on temperature
  • Vertical steaming

Cost: $30

Decen Steam Iron

Decen Steam Iron

With customizable steam settings, you’ll easily be able to steam flat or vertically hanging garments.

Key Features:

  • 1600-watts of power
  • 300 mL water tank
  • 5 temperature levels

Cost: $20

Hamilton Beach Steam Iron

Hamilton Beach Steam Iron

The 3-way auto shut off will turn the iron off after 30 seconds when placed on the soleplate or side and 15 minutes after being propped upright, so no matter how you leave your iron, your home and clothing will be safe.

Key Features:

  • Vertical steam function
  • 8′ retractable cord
  • 1500-watts of power

Cost: $25

Panasonic Dry and Steam Iron

Panasonic Dry and Steam Iron

This iron features a curved titanium coated soleplate so you won’t ever have to worry about it sticking while it distributes steam evenly and effortlessly.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable steam settings
  • 1200-watts of power
  • Safety auto-shut off

Cost: $30

Rowenta Access Steam Cord Reel Iron

Rowenta Access Steam Cord Reel Iron

You can use this steam iron as you would use any other, or you can use it to vertically steam your clothing while it hangs and you pull wrinkles out.

Key Features:

  • Retractable or pivoting cord options available
  • 1500-watts of power
  • 8.45 oz water tank

Cost: $55

Sharper Products Handheld Steam Iron

Sharper Products Handheld Steam Iron

With an anti-drip function, you won’t need to worry that this iron’s nine ounce reserve water tank is going to spill or leak onto your clothing or anything else, either.

Key Features:

  • Steam-surge technology
  • 3-way auto-shut off
  • 2-year warranty

Cost: $40

Travel Irons

Oliso M2 Pro Mini Project Iron with Solemate

Oliso M2 Pro Mini Project Iron with Solemate

This mini iron is so compact it will easily fit in your bag and with 1000-watts of power, you’re sure to get all your clothing pressed and looking fresh, even on the go.

Key Features:

  • 8′ pivot power cord
  • 2 color options
  • 3-year warranty

Cost: $50

PurSteam World’s Best Steamers Travel Steamer Iron Mini

PurSteam World's Best Steamers Travel Steamer Iron Mini

This compact iron has a non-stick soleplate and dual voltage, so you can take it with you while you travel abroad, as well.

Key Features:

  • 800-watts of power
  • Anti-slip handle
  • Money back guarantee

Cost: $20

SMAGREHO Mini Travel Steam Iron

SMAGREHO Mini Travel Steam Iron

This iron really is mini and will fit in the palm of your hand to iron your clothing flat with an automatic steam release.

Key Features:

  • 3 temperature settings
  • 5.2″L x 3″W x 3.1″H
  • 1-year warranty

Cost: $25

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