Steam Iron Buying Guide
Before we get started, we’ll let you in on a few shopping tricks. To find the best steam iron, you’ll need to check a few stats to see if it’s the right tool for you.
How do you do that?
Simply read our steam iron buying guide below. We’ll discuss all the little secrets and tips you’ll need to know to find best steam iron in 2018.
First things first. Soleplates (arguably) act as the most important piece of any iron—steam powered or not. After all, this is the piece that will be sliding over your garments most often.
For the best experience, you’ll want a soleplate with scratch resistance. This will remove any worries when you glide over those metal zippers and buttons. Plus, scratches on your iron’s soleplate will only reduce its lifespan.
Furthermore, you’ll find soleplates come in a variety of surfaces. The best options are easily ceramic and stainless steel. Not only do these materials offer some nice durability, but they also allow for a smooth and easy iron over any fabric.
With newer irons, controls have changed quite a bit over time. For the most part, you’ll want to ensure your steam iron doesn’t feel too convoluted to work.
Most irons today still use the classic slides and dials for producing steam and heat. Many even offer large buttons atop their handles for easy access to steam shots.
If you’re new to ironing, some steam irons will even automatically detect the fabrics for you. This eliminates some guesswork when deciding the right amounts of steam and heat to apply to your garments.
Here’s another super important step. If you allow scale and calc to build on your iron, these nasty materials will destroy your soleplate. You don’t want any extra costs, right?
To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to clean your iron regularly.
Some irons make this easy with auto clean features to flush that gunk out of your iron. Others will even offer scale filters to reduce the amount of sediments that ever reach your iron.
These features not only make cleaning easier for you, but they will also prolong the life of your iron. Thus, you’ll want to check for the ease of cleaning when searching for the best steam iron on the market.
As a whole, higher steam outputs allow you to iron garments easier and faster.
This works since steam reduce the tightness of fibres in your fabrics. Even the most stubborn of wrinkles and creases flatten with enough steam. With this in mind, you can figure out why you want high amounts of constant steam and high volume steam shots. When it comes to steam, you’ll usually find two categories:
Steam Shot / Burst : This nifty feature offers an on-demand power burst of steam, which will help flatten the most resistant of creases. Usually, you’ll find the power measured in grams per minute. The higher the grams, the more powerful the steam pressure that comes from the iron.
Continuous Steam Output : This value refers to the steam continuously emitting from your iron. The constant steam will allow you to more easily control those wrinkles and creases that occur within your fabric. Again, you’ll find this value mentioned in grams per minute. The higher the grams, the more powerful the iron.
Wattage and Heat Up Times
The watts are not listed for the sole purpose of knowing how much energy your iron will consume. Instead, this spec also gives you an idea of how long your iron will need to heat.
With steam irons, you’ll usually need less than a minute with 2400 or more watts.
Water Reservoir / Tank
With steam irons, you will need water. And the reservoir is where you will store that water.
For the most part, you’ll want to ensure the tank offers enough visibility to see water levels. Often times, dark tanks obscure the amount of remaining water.
Also, keep in mind that these tanks come in different sizes. As a general rule of thumb—larger water tanks require less refills during your ironing sessions.
This is a really nifty feature for those times you need to iron hanging garments. You simply release steam and iron out any unsightly wrinkles.
But this feature is not limited to your clothes. Instead, this works great for ironing those hanging drapes and curtains. So, if this is something you’d like to do during your household chores, look for this feature.
Auto Shut Off
Life happens. Iron manufacturers understand this statement. Sometimes, you get calls that take longer than expected. Other times, people knock at the door and want to talk for ages. So, in these cases, what if you forget you left your iron running?
Thankfully, most irons offer an auto shut off feature. This is great for those times life becomes a bit busy during your chores.
Most steam irons will power off after eight minutes of idle activity on their heals. When placed face down, these irons will often shut off in 30 seconds.
As a whole, auto shut off is a fantastic safety feature. You won’t need to worry about your unattended iron damaging any garments. Furthermore, you won’t need to worry about pets or loved ones accidentally touching your heated iron.
This one mostly speaks for itself. The length of your iron’s lead determines how far away from outlets you can perform your ironing.
Generally speaking, longer is better. You gain some more freedom in determining where you’ll perform your household chore.
Most irons on the market come with cords around 3m in length, which is enough to perform your ironing a comfortable distance away from your walls if you prefer.
The Handle, Weight, and Size
All in all, this spec is pretty straightforward. Really, you’re checking for two things here:
Comfort — You’ll want to ensure you can hold, lift, and move your iron without any issues.
Storage — Ask if the iron is small enough to stow in your home. Most steam irons aren’t too large, so you likely won’t find too many issues with this step.
Of course, you won’t want to skim this step. Sometimes parts break for reasons outside your control. When this happens, you’ll certainly want your guarantee or warranty to save you some money.
Most irons will offer a one-year guarantee. Sometimes, you can even extend this period by registering your products with the manufacturers. Check if this is an option with your iron—you don’t want to cheat yourself a few years of protection!