There probably are hundreds of different brands of steam irons for many purposes such as travel, garment steaming, quilting, cordless, commercial in the market today. All of them have different features and are priced from under $20-50 to even over the $200 mark. It can be confusing to choose a good quality steam iron and which comes at a reasonable price. Different steam generator iron brands and different models deliver different results. As a buyer, you must also know that, price does not necessarily reflect the quality or the performance of a steam iron. The best steam irons however stand out from their counterparts and can be identified with a little scrutiny.
Which Steam Iron is Best to Buy?
Concentrate on the features the iron delivers rather than its aesthetic appeal. Lookout for uniqueness. Some steam irons incorporate new technology that is not available in the other models. Identify those ones especially if there is little or no price difference. Go for steam irons that offer high performance while requiring little or no maintenance. Safety is also an important factor to consider. It is important to go for a model that offers automatic power off after a period of inactivity especially for domestic use. A good steam iron must be easy to glide while ironing and should be light enough. It should be made of durable material and shouldn’t be bulky to reduce storage challenges.
Our In-depth Reviews:
Top 10 Clothing Irons of 2016 & 2017 – Expert Review
We have made list of top rated, best selling, cheap & affordable steam irons from which some of irons are under $50 / under $100 and few of them are above $200 too to help you take your clever decision in no-time. Let’s have a look.
1. Rowenta DW5080 Steam Iron
This is a German made iron that comes in taupe. It is the most popular Rowenta brands under the $100 mark and is among the top highest rated steam irons. The iron combines ergonomic controls that are easily readable and adjustable. It has been designed to offer ultimate precision and maximum control. It has outstanding steam generation capability unavailable to brands with less than 400 micro holes. Read our full review on Rowenta DW5080.
- It is very effective. The 400 micro holes allow it to produce a lot of steam. It also boasts a powerful 100g/min burst of steam to remove tough wrinkles.
- 1700 watts power.This high power allows it to heat up very quickly and iron faster.
- a unique precision tip to reach difficult areas.
- an enhanced anti drip system that prevents water drops.
- self clean and anti calc function to auto remove impurities and increase lifespan.
- stable on its heel.
- vertical steam capability to straighten hanging clothes.
- auto steam feature that adjusts the steam output to match the temperature of the sole plate.
- auto off function.
- relatively heavy weighing 3.4lbs
- It exhausts the tank quickly during ironing due to the large amount of steam it produces
2. The Rowenta DW8080 Steam Iron
This is a professional grade German made iron that comes with a comfort grip handle and an extra large water tank. It has one of the most powerful short of steam feature available in the market that melts creases effortlessly on any fabric. It is very similar to the DW5080 but comes at a cheaper price. Read our full review on Rowenta DW8080 to know more.
- excellent steam generation combining 400 micro holes with 1700 watts of power and therefore very effective.
- Powerful vertical steam feature and burst of steam at 200g/min.
- 12.7 ounce water tank that is one of the largest and does not deplete quickly.
- Self clean and ant calc function that flashes out accumulated deposits and prevents furring
- 1 year manufacturer guarantee.
- 3 way power auto off for safety.
- Stainless steel precision tip allows it to glide smoothly while ironing and reach tricky areas.
- variable steam feature that allows control of steam output depending on the fabric.
- relatively heavy and can be tiresome over a long period of use.
- Its water tank is poorly labelled and water level not visible.
- The cord is only 7 foot and therefore relatively short.
3. The Rowenta DW5197 Steam Iron
This German made iron offers powerful performance; combining high power and very generous steam generation thanks to the Rowenta technology. It is a very reliable iron crafted for the special needs of designers and tailors. Unlike many other irons, it does not go off even after long period of stationary use making it appropriate for tasks like embossing or pleating. It also comes with an ergonomic thermostat knob for heat precision. Read our full review on DW5197 to know more.
- 1725 watts of power. This is high power that allows the iron to heat up quickly and clear up creases more easily.
- Excellent steam generation combining high power and 400 micro holes.
- Highly effective and specifically suited for professional use.
- Stainless steel precision tip for durability and ease of reach to difficult garment sections.
- Auto steam function that matches the steam output to the sole temperature for ease of ironing.
- Powerful burst of steam 180g/min that removes creases easily.
- Self clean and ant calc function that increases efficiency and lifespan.
- Anti drip feature to protect delicate garments.
- Vertical steam feature that allows straightening of hanging garments.
- It lacks auto power off which can lead to fires if left on accidentally.
- Its tank is only 10 oz and requires frequent refills during ironing.
4. Rowenta DW9280 Steam Iron
This is one of the most aesthetically appealing Rowenta models combining high power, ultra modern technology and brilliant performance. This German make, though costing close to $150 delivers professional results in considerably short time. It combines LED indicators and a steam motion sensor for efficiency. It also comes with a one touch controls and a digital LED display for ease of use. Read our full review on Rowenta DW9280 Steam Force to know more.
- A very high power iron with 1800 watts which allows it to heat very fast and this reduces the time required for ironing.
- Steam force technology which delivers a lot of steam through the 400 micro steam holes and produces very high quality results.
- An integrated electronic steam pump that delivers a very powerful burst of steam at 210g/min. This burst which is 30% more than what irons without electronic pump produces, straightens even the toughest creases there can be on any fabric.
- Smart steam motion sensor for efficiency and in conserving power and water.
- Stainless steel sole plate with ultra thin silicate coating for non stick and superior gliding capability.
- A digital LED display for easy reading.
- Auto power shut off.
- Relatively expensive.
- It requires frequent refills because the high amount of steam produced exhausts the tank very quickly.
- Slightly heavy.
5. Sunbeam Steam Master Iron
This is an American brand that is relatively low priced possibly because it is manufactured in China. It nonetheless delivers good results even though it does not incorporate high end features. For easier removal of creases, It has a dual spray mist button. It also comes with a large water tank and 1400 watts of power. To enhance its looks and increase durability, It has a chrome finish. Read our full review on Sunbeam Steam Master.
- A stainless steel sole plate with non stick properties.
- 15 steam macro holes in its sole plate for release of steam during ironing and removes creases faster.
- Shot of steam that helps in tackling more difficult creases and helps in vertical steaming.
- A very efficient anti drip system that prevents damage to delicate fabrics.
- A 8 foot and retractable cord.
- Variable steam that has 4 different settings.
- Light in weight.
- Self clean and anti calc feature increases efficiency and lifespan.
- The macro holes do not deliver as much steam as micro holes.
- The burst of steam is not as powerful as in other models.
6. Black & Decker D3030 Steam Iron
Even though this model has its manufacturing China, Black and Decker is an An American brand that has been respected over many years.The D3030 combines high power and dynamic steam technology and promises high quality results. It comes with a comfort grip handle with ergonomic features for comfort and ease of use.
- A wide stainless steel sole plate which is durable and easy to glide.
- 1600 watts of power.
- Dynamic steam technology that enables it to produce up to 30% more steam than other models in its price range
- Wider sprout at the tank for easy refilling.
- A separate steam and temperature control feature for best results.
- Burst of steam and spray mist functions to straighten tough creases.
- Auto off for power.
- No on and off button and relies on the automatic off function.
- No self clean or anti calc system.
- The sole plate is uncoated and has no anti stick properties.
- The tank is poorly calibrated.
7. Black & Decker D2030 Steam Iron
This is one of the most popular black and decker brands and one of the best selling irons. It comes with a heavy duty sole plate that easily presses creases and a digital display that allows the choice of appropriate steam level, temperature and fabric setting. It fits nicely in the hand and has comfort grip with ergonomic features. Read our full review on Black & Decker D2030.
- An LCD display that shows clearly the mode of fabric the iron is on.
- A stainless steel sole plate.
- Variable temperature and steam control.
- An auto clean function.
- Powerful burst of steam and vertical steam
- It does not have a retractable cord
- It does not have anti stick coating on its sole and is prone to sticking or tugging.
- The water tank cover breaks easily and therefore leaks.
- It does not have anti calc feature and requires manual cleaning.
8. Panasonic NI-E660SR Steam Iron
The most outstanding feature about this model is that it has a U shaped base and has a curved sole plate. When ironing, pressure is concentrated at the center of the plate rather than the tip allowing easier movement and less strain.It also allows less tugging. This model also functions as both a steam and dry iron with steam level settings. Read our full review on NI-E660SR to know more.
- A curved and non stick stainless steel sole plate which allows easy glide.
- A u shape for distribution of steam for more effectiveness.
- Both steam and dry iron settings.
- A clear water tank.
- It comes with only 1200 watts of power which is relatively low.
- No anti drip system.
9. Shark GI505 Steam Iron
This is model that has charming looks a heavy sole plate with advanced stability. It has an easy electronic selector for different fabrics and beautiful led indicator lights for the thermostat. It is a high power iron which promises superior steam generation and professional results. Read our full review of Shark GI505 to know more.
- 1800 watts. This allows it to heat up very quickly and quickly remove creases.
- A large stainless steel sole plate that easily flattens creases.
- The water tank has a large fill door.
- Led indicator lights for easy monitoring.
- Self clean and anti calc feature allows allow efficiency and extended life span
- Relatively heavy.
- The steam button seems to malfunction after a while.
- With continued use, the steam production reduces considerably.
10. SINGER Expert Finish 1700 Watts Steam Iron
Singer is one of the world’s most trusted brands. This iron has not gained the many positive ratings and reviews for nothing. It combines excellent power and innovative steam features to combat even stubborn wrinkles. A break from the rest, it possesses an open tip that is very effective in ironing button areas or pleats. It comes with a limited 2 year warranty from the manufacturer. Read our full review on SINGER Expert Finish to know more.
- 1700 watts of power that produces a generous amount of steam achieving high quality results.
- An intelligent LCD display that guides on 9 different fabric choice.
- Vertical and burst of steam feature that is very effective in removing creases.
- Automatic power off.
- Anti clean and anti calc features.
- Stainless steel sole with an open tip which allows ease of ironing in tricky spots.
- Relatively heavy and can be tiresome over long use.
- Leaks occasionally.
- The cord is only 8ft long.
Which Steam Iron You Should Choose to Buy?
Even though the Rowenta DW2070 is promising on the features and looks, many customers found out that it had issues with leakage and its water tank depletes too quickly. Based on its quality and the features its packed with, The Rowenta DW8080 is likely to be best steam iron below the $100 mark. However, it is rivaled by other way cheaper brands which offer almost similar features. The tfal FV4495 offers more power than the Rowenta DW8080 and comes with a 12 foot cord compared to the 8 foot for the Rowenta.
The T-Fal FV4495 comes in a ceramic sole plate which is superior to the stainless steel offered by the Rowenta. However, the Rowenta offers 400 micro holes which is unique. Even though it offers less power, the Panasonic NI-W810CS also comes in ceramic sole plate and offers multi directional moving having double tips. It is obviously a better choice than the Panasonic NI-E250TR. The only iron that rivals the T-Fal FV4495, is the black and decker D2030 and surprisingly these two cost the same. It is difficult to say who outdoes the other between the two.
Factors and Features to Consider When Buying Steam Irons
- Power Wattage : The higher the power wattage, the quicker the iron heats up and the easier it is to remove creases.
- The Sole Plate : The plate should be made of a durable material and one that does not stick to clothes. Common materials include stainless steel, anodized aluminum and ceramic.
- The Purpose of The Iron : Different irons achieve different results and are built for different purposes. There are some steam irons that are built specifically for professional use and might not be suitable for home use because they may lack some certain features.
- Steam Out Put : Some irons have a higher output of steam than others. If you regularly work with difficult fabrics, an iron with high steam generation is more appropriate.
- Weight : Some steam irons are considerably heavier than others. While a heavier iron has its advantages, it certainly has its drawbacks.
- Self Cleaning : Some irons come with a self clean function that allows them to flush out dirt and other deposits that might have accumulated inside. This makes them to require less maintenance.
- Anti Calcium System : This feature allows steam irons to operate without accumulating calcium and other mineral deposits which result from the use of hard water. This therefore allows the user to use tap water.
- Automatic Off : This feature allows the iron to cut out power automatically after a period of inactivity reducing the chances of fires.
- Length and Type of Cord : Some models come with short cords while others are longer. Some cords are also easily entangled while others are retractable allowing ease of use and storage. Some more modern models have incorporated wireless cord technology.
- Size of The Water Tank : Steam irons require to be filled with water so as to produce steam. The bigger the tank, the less the frequency of refills.
Tips on Choosing The Best Clothes Iron
- Choose an iron with good quality material : Ceramic is the best material for the sole as it is durable and glossy and therefore glides easily. Stainless steel is also equally suitable as it does not scratch and is long lasting.
- Choose a high watt power over low watt iron : A higher watt steam iron heats faster and is likely to produce more steam over a low watt iron.
- Choose an iron that has Vertical steam and variable steam features : Vertical steam option allows you to straighten clothes even when they are still hanging on the hanging lines. The variable steam gives control over how much steam the iron produces.
- Choose an iron that has a higher number of holes for steam output : The higher the number of holes, the more the steam that can be released. Micro holes are also more preferable than macro holes as they are more effective.
- Choose an iron that has self clean features and anticalc system : Self clean allows the iron to rid itself of dirt and impurities. Anticalc feature increases the lifespan of the steam iron and makes it possible to use tap water for the tank.
- Check the size of the tank : A larger tank is not depleted as quickly as a smaller tank. There are irons that offer tanks as big as 12 ounces
- Choose the type of the cord : A retractable cord is definitely more desirable than one that does not.
- Price : Some models have high end features which makes them expensive however there are some cheaper brands that offer advanced features.
- Importance of Ergonomic handle and controls : The handle should be smooth and comfortable to hold. Some models have anti slip handles and are generally more comfortable to use than others.
I would be glad if you provide your honest input on which Iron is the best to buy to help other find the affordable steam iron.