When it comes to getting your laundry pressed and wrinkle-free, there’s no better tool than a steam iron. The
best steam irons offer a range of settings so they're safe to use on most fabric types with ease and efficiency.
What are the
benefits of using a steam iron? They’re usually more efficient than a dry iron for removing wrinkles from fabrics. Many steam irons even provide a burst of steam for extra wrinkle-releasing power. All of the irons on this list can even be used both vertically and horizontally. Vertical steaming is helpful when you want to get rid of wrinkles in curtains or other hanging fabrics, as well as light fabrics that can be difficult to iron. I've also included a garment steamer at the end of this list, which is lighter and more portable than a standard steam iron.
If the fabric you’re ironing calls for a dry iron, such as some silks or satins, you can simply
leave the water tank empty on most steam irons. The downside of using a steam iron is that the water sometimes leaks onto your laundry and ironing board; most models have anti-drip systems, but they’re not always 100% effective. And when it comes to water, it's best to use filtered water with steam irons, unless the unit has a filter that works with tap water.
Whether you use an iron every day or just bring it out for specific garments, these are the
best steam irons to get your laundry wrinkle-free in a flash.
The Best Overall Steam Iron
For a reliable pick at a mid-range price, this
BLACK+DECKER steam iron has lots of helpful features. There are easy-to-use settings for different fabric types, and the LCD lets you know when the heavy-duty stainless steel soleplate (aka the part of the iron that touches the garment) has reached the desired temperature. The separate steam and temperatures settings give you a lot of control.
Safety-wise, it automatically shuts off when it’s left on its side or front for 30 seconds and after eight minutes when it's propped up. The iron also helps prevent dripping by monitoring water temperatures. Plus, the Auto Clean System flushes out mineral deposits, and the iron lets you know when it’s time for a cleaning.
What fans say: "A good (very) heavy iron. Heats up quickly. It has a tapered tip which is perfect for ironing collars and cuffs. The 'burst of steam' feature is fantastic - sometimes I just use the iron upright to steam clothes, especially pants that might get a 'shine' on them. Works great!”
The Best Budget Steam Iron
For a no-frills,
classic iron with steam at an affordable price, you can't go wrong with this popular model from Sunbeam. It features a mid-size nonstick soleplate, and an anti-drip system prevents water leaks. You can use the shot of steam feature for an extra burst of steam both vertically and on flat surfaces. Also, the handy self-clean system helps remove mineral deposits. For safety, the iron turns off automatically after 30 minutes, which doesn't quite compare to the safety features of the previous pick but is still helpful. What fans say: "I came across this in a hotel and loved it. Simple, no bells and whistles, just works!”
The Best High-End Steam Iron
While the first pick on this list has many thoughtful features, this German-made
Rowenta steam iron offers even more power and control while you're ironing. It features micro-steam technology and a stainless steel soleplate for even distribution of steam while ironing. The angled precision tip allows you to maneuver around buttons, collars, and other hard-to-iron areas. The thermostat knob lets you control steam output for different fabric types, and you can use a powerful shot of steam both vertically and horizontally to quickly get rid of wrinkles. Tap water can clog most steam irons, but that's not an issue with this one. It’s optimized to use with tap water because the anti-calcium system prevents build-up by removing minerals, the only one on this list. There's also an anti-drip system to prevent leaks. For safety, the three-way auto-shutoff system turns the iron off after 30 seconds of inactivity face down or on its side, and eight minutes of inactivity on its base. What fans say: "Have used Rowenta for years. [...] This has a huge amount of steam vents and irons beautifully. Likely a bit heavier than some, but it feels good in the hand and does a great job of pressing clothes. I would recommend without hesitation and definitely purchase again.”
The Best Cordless Steam Iron
If you prefer the freedom of cordless appliances, this
Panasonic cordless iron is a great option. It comes with a carrying case and a charging base that deactivates after 10 minutes if left plugged in and unused. This iron also features a curved stainless steel soleplate and vertical steam function, and an adjustable steam button lets you control the concentration on different fabric types. Also, the water tank is detachable, which may make refills easier. What fans say: "It has plenty of steam and heat for a long time off the base and it takes no time to re-charge the iron between pressings. If you quilt, you will LOVE this iron."
Also Great: A Portable Handheld Steamer
With thousands of reviews and a 4.5-star rating, it's no surprise this
garment steamer is a best-seller on Amazon. If you want the power of steam but don't need the pressing abilities of a traditional iron, or just want something more portable, this is a good alternative. It preheats in 30 seconds and offers about 15 minutes of continuous steaming. Plus, it’s safe to use on almost all fabric types. Its leak-proof design allows you to steam clothes vertically or horizontally, too. The water tank is detachable, which makes refills easier. This handheld steamer also comes with three removable attachments: a fabric brush, lint brush, and a creaser. What fans say: "I'm a tv wardrobe stylist, and I do A LOT of steaming. This is, hands down, the best steamer I've ever used." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.