11 Best Steam Irons, According to Clothing Experts
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These are the steam irons the pros recommend for getting your clothes wrinkle-free.
“A good steam iron can make all the difference in how you present yourself to the world,” says Erin Busbee, style expert and founder of Busbee Style. “It may feel like a small detail but ironing your outfit has a big impact on your overall look. Using a steam iron is a simple way to look sharper and more put together.” Find out how to iron.
A steam iron is a better option than a dry iron because it can actually serve the purpose of both. If you leave the steam iron’s water tank empty, you literally have a dry iron. A dry iron, on the other hand, can’t double as a steam iron. Check out the simple style secrets of women who always look polished.
So how do you choose the best steam irons when there are so many out there?
Things to consider when purchasing a steam iron
According to Busbee, there are ten features to keep in mind when looking for the best steam irons:
- Water tank size. A larger tank will produce more steam and cut down on the number of times you have to refill it, enabling you to get your ironing done more quickly.
- Wattage. The higher the wattage, the more powerful the steam. This impacts how well the iron heats up and how well it works on wrinkles. Here are some tricks for getting wrinkles out of clothes.
- Weight. A lightweight iron is much easier to handle but heavier ones tend to be better for smoothing wrinkles and pressing seams.
- No leakage. Check reviews for this information. If a lot of people are complaining about leaks, don’t buy that iron.
- Auto shut-off. Safety should always come first, and you don’t want to have to worry about whether you left your iron on.
- Multiple temperature settings. This should be a standard feature so you can iron a variety of fabrics but double-check.
- Scratch-resistant. Make sure the soleplate, the bottom part of the iron that comes in contact with your clothing, is scratch-resistant.
- Precision tip. This is a pointed tip that helps you iron spots that are tricky to reach, like between buttons, and it’s a huge help.
- Self-cleaning. This will make your life so much easier.
With these tips in mind, we asked a group of experts (see below) to share their recommendations for the best steam irons.
Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.
Best overall steam iron: Maytag M400 SpeedHeat
This Amazon’s Choice is also the experts’ choice because it comes with lots of great features at an affordable price. It heats faster, reaching maximum temperature in less than a minute, self-cleans, comes with a precision thermostat, and even has a vertical steam function. “I always use it when working with my private clients or on a photoshoot to ensure that the wardrobe is in pristine condition,” says stylist Samantha Brown.
Best budget steam iron: Black + Decker Vitessa Advanced Steam Iron
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a hard-working iron, as the highly-rated Vitessa from Black + Decker proves. With its Even Steam Soleplate Design, TrueGlide Nonstick Soleplate and SmartSteam Technology, it gets the wrinkles out quickly and looks gorgeous in green.
Best touchscreen steam iron: CHI Steam Iron with Advanced Touchscreen
Using the same titanium-infused ceramic soleplate technology that powers CHI’s popular hair styling tools, this steam iron features an Advanced Touchscreen that lets you swipe through to select the right temperature for your garment, eliminating all guesswork. A unique, adjustable steam lever goes from no steam to full power with just a quick slide.
Best steam iron for delicate fabrics: Rowenta DW3261 No Setting No Burning Steam Iron
Thanks to its no-burn, smart protect technology, this iron is powerful enough for the most stubborn wrinkles yet safe for even delicate silks. “It’s like the psychic of steam irons,” says Busbee. “It knows exactly which temperature to set for your fabric without you having to do a thing.”
Best cordless steam iron: Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless Steam Iron
Ironing is so much less frustrating without having to worry about twisted, tangled cords that you can trip over. This cordless steam iron recharges quickly and comes with a matching, lightweight, heat-resistant carrying case that snaps easily onto the iron and power base for portability and storage.
Best steam iron/steamer: CHI Steam Shot
This multi-tasker boasts an innovative design that allows it to do the job of an iron while also functioning as a handle-held steamer. CHI’s signature titanium-infused soleplate provides a smooth glide over any fabric while the dedicated steam nozzle transforms the iron into a steamer. Is it better to steam or iron your clothes?
Best eco-friendly steam iron: Rowenta Eco Intelligence Steam Iron
Wayne Edelman, president of Meurice, a New York City luxury dry cleaner, recommends this steam iron not only for its energy-saving benefits—it uses 25 percent less energy than standard irons—but because it “feels nice in your hand and has all the bells and whistles.” Those bells and whistles include a new patented Microsteam 3De stainless steel soleplate to reduce steam loss and increase efficiency, auto shut-off, and a sharp precision tip to reach difficult areas between buttons.
Best steam iron for travel: PurSteam World’s Best Steamers Travel Steamer Iron Mini
“It’s compact enough to carry in my bag, and it has an actual handle, which I like for grip,” says on-set stylist Joanna Lovering, founder of Copper + Rise. “It heats up incredibly fast so it’s great for quick touch-ups, and it has a huge capacity for the water for steam—much larger than its competitors.”
Best luxury steam iron: Laurastar Go Plus All-In-One Ironing System
If you want to care for expensive clothing like the pros do, take a tip from Doug Greenberg, founder of Garde Robe, and opt for this all-in-one system that includes both the iron and the board. The iron also steams and purifies your textiles, and Laurastar’s Dry Microfine Steam works 15 times faster than steam from standard generators and won’t leave your clothes wet. The 4-speed vacuum and blower system inflates the ironing board with air to straighten fabrics and prevent unwanted creases or to hold clothes firmly on the board for flawless folds.
Best steam iron for vertical steaming: Rowenta DW 2171 Accessteam Steam Iron
“I’ve always used this steam iron when working on our store displays and photoshoots,” says Michael Verbert, Visual Director for Paul Stuart. “The fact that it can press vertically is very important for what I’m doing. It heats up quickly, produces a significant amount of steam, and has more weight than others. Plus, the quality is unparalleled and it rarely needs replacing or repairs.”
Best high-tech steam iron: Reliable Velocity 230IR Steam Iron
If you’re a tech-lover like Busbee, you’ll love the sensor on this handle. “Just grab it and the iron knows you’re ready to steam,” she explains. “Now, if only they would create one that does the ironing for you.”
- Erin Busbee, style expert, Busbee Style
- Samantha Brown, stylist, Samantha Brown Style
- Wayne Edelman, president, Meurice NYC
- Doug Greenberg, founder, Garde Robe
- Michael Verbert, visual director, Paul Stuart
- Joanna Lovering, stylist, Copper + Rise