No, you’re not crazy – you’re not the only one who still irons!
It’s true that the days when every self-respecting housewife spent nearly half her day ironing are long gone – they did not have this best steam iron list back in the day! Modern wrinkle-free fabrics, dryers with “wrinkle-free” settings and the predominance of casual outfits have largely eliminated the need to iron every piece of laundry before it’s put away.
Most people who still need to wear carefully-pressed clothes to work don’t have the time to iron and can afford to drop their wardrobe off at the dry cleaners. And, of course, “self-respecting housewives” have gone the same way as the ironing board that used to be set up in every home and apartment.
Still, You Do Not Have to Be a Drill Sergeant to Love an Outfit That Has Been Hand-Pressed
Nevertheless, there are plenty of people who love the look or feel of an outfit that’s been hand-pressed, others who wear clothing or uniforms which call for perfect creases, and some who actually find ironing relaxing and rewarding. That’s not including people who were taught that ironing is “mandatory,” such as those who served in the military or whose mother was their own personal drill sergeant.
The Best Steam Iron List Is Full of Highly Functional, Inexpensive Models
The number and variety of steam irons on the market is proof that lots of people still iron. And the huge number and variety of irons available gives them a wide choice of appliances – in fact, it may be more difficult to find an ironing board than a steam iron these days.
Today’s best steam irons are noteworthy because they’re so inexpensive, with even cheap models providing most of the features you’d have had to pay extra for just ten or twenty years ago.
Best Steam Iron – Not All Are Created Equal
That doesn’t mean irons are all the same.
Most will have adjustable settings for different fabrics, the ability to iron dry or with steam, auto-turnoff to prevent burns or fires, nonstick soleplates, and long cords.
What sets the best apart from the rest? Some factors are the types of fabrics that can be properly ironed, the power of the steam bursts, the number of steam holes on the plate, the size of the water tank, whether tap water can be used to iron and the weight of the appliance.
The functionality of controls and the sturdiness of the iron’s construction also come into play, and the better units will have extra features like self-cleaning cycles and anti-calcium systems.
What Groom+Style think counts the most, though, is how well the thing does what it’s supposed to do – iron creases.
Let’s iron out the facts and find the best steam iron available for you – here is the Groom+Style review team’s top 5 list.
1. Rowenta DW2070 Effective Comfort Steam Iron
Rowenta makes superior steam irons, and we considered two models for the number one spot in our rankings.
The one we didn’t rank, the DW9280, is unquestionably a better iron. It has 400 steam holes instead of 300, it’s an 1800-watt iron rather than a 1600-watt unit, and it absolutely blasts away wrinkles. It’s also very heavy – and costs a lot more than the DW2070. Unless you’re a seamstress or other professional there’s little chance you need that much iron, so the Groom+Style review team has gone with the best steam iron at a reasonable price.
With that out of the way, let’s look at the Rowenta 2070. Its 1600 watts is still a lot of power for a home iron, and the 300 steam micro vents on the soleplate are more than any other competitors in this price range.
Speaking of the plate, it’s non-stick, scratch-resistant stainless steel and has a unique and effective shape; it looks like a teardrop, with the narrow tip ideal for ironing hard-to-reach areas like the fabric underneath buttons and the large rounded bottom unlikely to create new wrinkles.[youtube id=”G3yZcc1JDSw” width=”750″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
The constant steam settings are controlled by a six-position switch that varies the steam from maximum down to zero, with spray and steam boost buttons providing extra steam or mist when needed.
The temperature can either be set to low, medium or high or chosen according to fabric (cotton, linen, wool, nylon, silk). There’s also vertical steam capability. The controls are placed where they’re easy to reach as you’re ironing, and the ergonomically-designed unit feels good in your hand.
There’s one thing to watch out for, though: the Rowenta 2070 can be touchy and might leak if you don’t use a steam setting that matches the temperature you’ve chosen; take a few minutes to read the directions first, and you shouldn’t have an issue.
This iron can hold a little over eight ounces of tap water (a mix of tap and distilled water is recommended in areas with hard water), there is a self-clean cycle along with an anti-calcium filter, and dual-function auto-shutoff which turns off the power if the iron is horizontal for more than 30 seconds, or if it hasn’t been used for eight minutes.
The power cord could be a bit longer, but that’s just nit-picking.
Higher-priced Rowentas are sensational irons. If you’ve used one in the past you might think the 2070 is sub-par, since it’s not quite as solid as the company’s more expensive models which are made in Germany (this model is made in China).
But for this price range, it is a brilliant iron that will meet most people’s needs.
Facts and figures for the Rowenta DW2070 Effective Comfort Steam Iron:
2. Black+Decker D3030 Allure Iron
The Allure puts out an awful lot of steam for the money, not quite as much as the Rowenta but a lot closer to it than we would have expected from a Black+Decker iron, particularly one with only 31 vents on the soleplate. The limited number of holes normally would have been a disqualifier to us, but the steam produced is so impressive the holes aren’t an issue. Something the company calls “Dynamic Steam Technology” (but doesn’t describe) is apparently responsible. Whatever it is, it works.
There are five temperature settings on the Allure, and a very nice touch is a digital display which shows you the proper steam setting for each temperature. There’s no guesswork and no need to check the manual.
The spray and burst buttons are easy to reach on this iron, which feels extremely comfortable to use. The wider-than-usual soleplate is stainless steel and while it’s billed as anti-scratch and non-stick, it’s not quite as good as the one on the Rowenta and might catch on sheer fabrics occasionally.
Like the Rowenta, though, this is a 1600 watt iron and has many of the same convenience features such as a tapered soleplate, vertical steam, auto shutoff, and self-cleaning mode. Its 10-ounce reservoir takes tap water (except in areas with hard water), and the iron is easy to both fill and use. Performance on materials like cotton and polyester was excellent, but the iron struggled a bit with heavier material like linen.
Groom+Style didn’t think the Allure measured up to the top-ranked model on our best steam iron list, but it’s a very good buy.
More info on the Black+Decker D3030 Allure Iron:
3. Shark GI505 Ultimate Professional Iron
This is the most powerful and largest steam iron on our list, and we would have expected it to be among the best. It is, but it doesn’t measure up to the Rowenta or Allure because its steam doesn’t pack quite the same punch and its primarily plastic construction is more likely to break down over time. (We shouldn’t have to mention that any reasonably priced iron isn’t going to be a lifetime investment, of course, but you might get less use out of the Shark than those other models.)
The 1800 watts of power is well above average for this range of irons, and the 176 holes in the soleplate are more than enough to get the job done. But you’ll find the Shark only has four fabric/temperature settings (cotton/linen, silk/wool, polyester and acrylic/nylon), the maximum temperature the iron can hit (150°) is lower than that of any competitors, and the steam can only be set to high, low or off, which is likely why its performance wasn’t up to the level of our two higher-ranked steam irons once we got past cotton and wool items. There are the standard burst and spray buttons.
When you add in multi-position auto-shutoff, self-clean and anti-calcium features, a long ten-inch power cord and a tapered soleplate, you’d expect this to be the best value-priced steam iron on the market. For the retail price, however, it only comes in at #3.
Details for the Shark GI505 Ultimate Professional Iron:
4. T-fal FV4495 Ultraglide Steam Iron
There’s a lot to like about this T-fal iron. It’s the second-most powerful of the steam irons we’ve reviewed at 1725 watts, so it heats up quickly. The non-stick, scratch-resistant soleplate is made from ceramic and is very smooth, gliding across fabric without a hitch or snag (and the soleplate is backed by a five-year warranty). And the 12-foot cord comes in very handy when working with an ironing board.
The reason the Ultraglide falls to #4, though, is that the steam produced through its 64 soleplate holes is very difficult to control; you’re just as likely to have uncontrollable steam bursts and leaking as you are to have an “enjoyable” ironing experience – at least until you have used this iron for a while and have become accustomed to its quirks.
There are four steam settings (plus off) and four temperature choices, plus burst and spray buttons, and the iron does a great job sliding over all fabrics and removing wrinkles unless you have to deal with the leaks-and-overly-powerful-steam issue. Reaching the temperature control while ironing is difficult, however.
The Groom+Style review team really liked the T-fal for its performance and wish we could rank it higher since it is available at a great price for the performance. It’s just a bit too finicky to be rated higher.
Digging deeper on the T-fal FV4495 Ultraglide Steam Iron:
5. Singer Expert Finish Steam Iron
Groom+Style finish our best steam iron list with one more model we really wanted to love. The Singer is powerful (1700 watts) and heats up quickly, has an amazing nine fabric/temperature settings (including separate choices for cotton, polyester, and cotton-poly blend) , the digital display is really good – but it only has 23 vents in the stainless steel soleplate, which limits performance to a degree.
It also, for some reason, doesn’t have a sealed water reservoir so even though the iron may shut off when if the iron tips over, the water may spill out.
Don’t get us wrong, the performance of the Expert Finish was good on all ranges of fabrics, the steam was more than acceptable, and there’s a full complement of nice features like vertical steam, self-clean and anti-calcium systems.
But as the highest-price steam iron on our rankings, we would want it to outperform irons like the Rowenta and the Allure. It didn’t. That doesn’t make it a bad iron at all. It just makes the Singer #5 – beating out all of the other irons that didn’t even qualify for the list.
Specifications for the Singer Expert Finish Steam Iron:
If you are on a roll and in the mood for other steamy home products, why not check out Groom+Style’s review of the best steam mops – it’s sure to heat things up!