While the electric iron didn’t make its debut until the 1880s, humans have been using smoothing irons to flatten clothes and introduce pleats as far back as the Greek and Roman times. Today’s generation of cordless, steam-powered irons promises to make this chore easier than ever. Read on for some of our favorites.
- Steam: Speak to any laundry expert and they’ll tell you that steam is key to making your ironing speedy. So when you’re looking at specs, look for the figure for continuous steam—this is usually given in g/min, and you can expect it to be around 40 or 50. Don’t confuse that with the steam shot function, which is used to give an extra boost of power when dealing with stubborn creases, and is usually anywhere between 200 and 250g/min. Bear in mind, the more powerful the steam, function, the more frequently you’ll have to refill the tank.
- Self-Cleaning Function: If you live in a hard water area, a self-cleaning function is a must. Yes, ideally you’d only use distilled water in your iron to reduce any limescale build-up, but in reality, you’re probably filling from the tap, and that means the scale can build up over time, reducing the performance of your iron. So look for features that will mitigate this, such as anti-scale cartridges or receptacles that collect scale and allow you to dispose of it easily.
- Consider Cordless: Fed up with getting tangled in the cord? You probably won’t be surprised to hear that cordless irons are an option these days. But bear in mind that cordless irons aren’t like a cordless drill or vacuum, so you can’t take them away and expect to get an hour’s ironing out of them. Instead, they come with baseplates that reheat them when you put them down intermittently—so you’ll probably get a couple of minutes pressing time at most before you need to place it down. When you think about how stop/start ironing is, this shouldn’t be a huge inconvenience.
Our Picks for the Best Irons on Amazon
Top Pick Overall: Russell Hobbs Powersteam Steam Iron
Easy To Clean: Philips Azur Steam Iron
Great Value: Morphy Richards Cordless Steam Iron
Also Consider: Morphy Richards Steam Iron
Interesting Things is a shopping-advice and product-review site brought to you by the publishers of Popular Science and Field & Stream magazines. We’re here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.