The 5 Best Steam Irons for Clothes, Tested and Reviewed

By: Annabel Love
11 minute read

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Looking for the perfect steam iron to keep your clothes wrinkle-free and well-pressed? With numerous options available in the market, choosing the best steam iron for clothes can be quite a challenge. Worry not, we’ve got you covered! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the 5 best steam irons for clothes, factors to consider when choosing the best steam iron for clothes, and tips on how to use and maintain your iron. Let’s dive in!

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Key Takeaways

  • The 5 Best Steam Iron for Clothes of 2024, Tested and Reviewed offer exceptional performance, value, cordless, and professional use features.

  • Consider factors such as temperature settings, steam output & soleplate material when selecting a steam iron.

  • Proper storage & maintenance are necessary to extend the lifespan of iron while reducing the risk of damage or accidents.

Top 5 Steam Irons for Clothes

Choosing the best steam iron requires careful consideration of its effectiveness in wrinkle removal across different fabrics. After extensive testing and evaluation, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best steam irons for clothes that excel in overall performance, value, cordless, travel, and professional use. We will now examine the distinct features of each of these exceptional irons.

Best Overall: The Nori Press

The Nori Press

If you're seeking a high-quality steam iron that offers excellent performance, look no further than the Nori Prss steam iron. The Nori Press is a handheld steam iron that has two aluminum iron plates that can simultaneously press both sides of a garment, all without the use of an ironing board. It has six fabric-specific heat settings (poly, silk, wool, cotton, denim, and linen), allowing you to customize the heat setting per garment to prevent any possible damage.

The Nori Press also has a steamer function that can be used by filling the reservoir with water or the brand’s Fabric Facial solution and selecting the steamer setting. The Nori Press is available in six colors (white, blue, pink, green, hunter green, black, and navy).

The Nori Press is a great investment for anyone who wants to save time and energy, especially for those with limited space, such as studio apartment dwellers. It is also a great tool for world travelers as it stores away easily in a carry-on bag.

The Nori Press is worth the investment as it is a modern, wrinkle-removal tool that will inspire you to toss out your decades-old iron and ironing board.

Best Value: CHI Model Steam Iron

CHI model steam iron

With prices ranging from $59.99 to $99.00, this iron provides outstanding value for your money. The CHI steam iron is adept at smoothing out wrinkles and its steam burst functionality ensures powerful wrinkle removal.

Moreover, the iron with a retractable cord is lightweight and easy to maneuver, making it perfect for everyday use. Its retractable cord adds to the convenience, allowing for tidy storage until the next laundry session.

Best Cordless: Smart Temp Steam Iron

Smart Temp Steam Iron

For those who require convenience and freedom of movement while ironing large fabrics or quilting projects, Rowenta irons, like the Smart Temp Steam Iron, are the top cordless options. This iron is equipped with a stainless steel soleplate and an anti-calc system, ensuring durability and high-quality performance.

The Panasonic 1500-watt Dry and Steam Cordless Iron is another excellent choice, particularly for quilters or crafters. It includes:

  • Detachable water tank

  • Vertical steam function

  • Auto shut-off after 10 minutes

  • Anti-calcium system

  • Anti-drip system

These features, including the self-cleaning function, offer a hassle-free ironing experience on your ironing board.

Best for Travel: The Rowenta DA1560 Pro Compact Steam Iron

Rowenta DA1560 Pro Compact Steam Iron

The Rowenta DA1560 Pro Compact Steam Iron is a highly-rated travel steam iron that provides exemplary performance when compared to other steam irons. Its reliability, compact design, and effectiveness in removing wrinkles make it the perfect companion for travelers who want to keep their clothes looking sharp on the go.

A travel steam iron should ideally have a compact and lightweight design, dual voltage capability, multiple steam settings, vertical steaming feature, quick heating, and a long cord length.

Best for Professionals: The Rowenta Steamforce DW9280

Rowenta Steamforce DW9280

Professionals often require a high-end steam iron with powerful steam output and advanced features. The Rowenta Steamforce DW9280 fits the bill perfectly. This iron offers:

  • Versatility and ease of use

  • Automatic safety features

  • Strong steam output

  • Stainless steel soleplate

  • One-touch controls

  • Cool spray mist

  • Integrated anti-calcium system

  • Steam Motion Sensor

These features ensure that the iron upright provides long-lasting performance and convenience.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Steam Iron

Choosing a steam iron involves considering factors like:

  • Temperature settings

  • Steam output

  • Soleplate material

  • Safety features

In the subsequent sections, we will analyze these factors to assist you in making an informed purchase decision for your ideal steam iron.

Temperature Settings and Heat Time

Precise temperature control is essential to prevent fabric damage, while rapid heat-up time facilitates quick clothing refreshment. Different fabrics require different heat settings for ironing to ensure they are not burned or harmed. The Nori Press steam iron, for instance, features an LCD screen that allows scrolling between six pre-set fabric-specific heat settings. Steam iron with a quick heat-up time, like the Nori Press, ensures that you can start ironing almost immediately, making your ironing sessions more efficient and time-saving. 

Steam Output and Vertical Steaming

Steam output and vertical steaming are essential for effective wrinkle removal. Here are some advantages of vertical steaming over traditional ironing:

  • Killing germs

  • Less fabric damage

  • No technique required

  • Maintenance-free

  • Convenient storage

  • Improved performance on heavier fabrics

  • Vertical steam capability

A higher steam output, which helps to produce steam more efficiently, ensures more effective wrinkle removal, even for deep wrinkles.

This powerful steam output guarantees excellent ironing results and reduces the effort required to remove wrinkles from fabrics.

Soleplate Material

Ceramic and stainless steel are the two most common soleplates used in steam irons. Ceramic soleplates offer greater protection from accidental burns while ironing but are more prone to wear and tear. On the other hand, stainless steel soleplates are more durable but may adhere to the fabric when the temperature is set to a high level.

Both materials have their own benefits when it comes to heat distribution. Ceramic soleplates are renowned for their smooth gliding and even heat distribution, while stainless steel soleplates offer durability and effective heat distribution.

Safety Features and Auto Shut-Off

Safety should be a top priority when choosing a steam iron. Most steam irons come equipped with an automatic shut-off safety feature, which serves to reduce the risk of accidents and conserve energy. 

Choosing a steam iron equipped with these safety features can enhance your ironing experience and safeguard your clothes from potential damage caused by clothing irons.

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Steam Iron vs. Dry Iron

A steam iron has a water tank and small steam holes. These steam holes help to discharge hot steam on the fabric in combination with heat and pressure. A dry iron has only a soleplate that applies heat and pressure to remove wrinkles. This means no water or steam is needed for the process. Steam irons are more proficient at eradicating deep creases with less exertion, more delicate on fabrics, and can accomplish a smooth, ironed press.

On the other hand, a dry iron is ideal for fabrics such as cotton and linen and can provide a smooth, pressed finish. Ultimately, the choice between a steam iron and a dry iron depends on your ironing needs and the type of fabrics you frequently work with.

How to Use and Maintain Your Steam Iron

Proper use and maintenance of your steam iron are critical to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. In the subsequent sections, we will provide tips and guidelines on filling the water tank, cleaning the soleplate, and safe storage of your iron.

Filling the Water Tank

Most steam irons are built for tap water use. They are easy to operate and save time when ironing clothes. However, if your water is hard, the manufacturer may suggest a combination of distilled and tap water.

To fill a steam iron with water, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure the iron is unplugged and cooled.

  2. Open the water fill cover or lid.

  3. Use a clean cup or water container to pour water into the water-filling hole or reservoir.

  4. Fill the iron with water up to the maximum level indicated, usually marked with a dot or line.

Make sure to follow these steps before using the steam function on your iron:

  1. Close the water fill cover or lid securely.

  2. Plug in the iron and allow it to heat up.

  3. Properly fill the water tank to ensure optimal steam output and prevent potential damage to your iron.

Cleaning the Soleplate

Cleaning the soleplate of your steam iron is essential to prevent mineral deposits and maintain optimal performance. To clean the soleplate, unplug the iron and ensure it is cool, dampen a paper towel or soft rag with distilled white vinegar, and wipe the soleplate to remove any gunk or residue.

If there is still residue remaining, follow these steps to clean your iron’s soleplate:

  1. Soak a clean paper towel or rag in vinegar and place it on the soleplate for a few minutes.

  2. Gently scrub the soleplate with a cloth or sponge to remove any persistent stains or build-up.

  3. Rinse the soleplate with water to remove any vinegar residue.

  4. Dry the soleplate thoroughly before using the iron again.

Storing Your Iron

Safely storing your iron after use is crucial to prevent damage and prolong its lifespan. To store your iron, unplug it and allow it to cool to room temperature on a heat-resistant surface, and empty the water tank before storing the iron.

Emptying the water tank can prevent the formation of calcification, rust, algae, and mold, and leaving water in the tank can lead to leakage and staining of clothing. Proper storage of your iron ensures its longevity and reduces the risk of accidents.


In conclusion, finding the perfect steam iron for your needs can be a daunting task, but this comprehensive guide should make it easier for you. From the 5 best steam irons for clothes to key factors to consider when choosing a steam iron, and how to use and maintain your iron, we’ve covered all the essential aspects to help you make an informed decision. With the right steam iron by your side, you’ll be able to keep your clothes wrinkle-free and well-pressed, making a great impression wherever you go. For the best overall steam iron, we highly recommend the Nori Press.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is steaming or ironing better for clothes?

When deciding between steaming or ironing, it comes down to the fabric material and the desired finish. Ironing is recommended for cotton, linens, and tough fabrics to achieve a crisp look, while steamers are best for delicate materials like silk, lace, wool, and cashmere. Steaming is also faster and easier, but an iron provides more polish.

What is the main difference between a steam iron and a dry iron?

The main difference between a steam iron and a dry iron is that a steam iron has a water tank and steam holes to discharge hot steam, while a dry iron only has a soleplate that applies heat and pressure.

What type of water should I use with a steam iron?

For best results, it is recommended to use a combination of distilled and tap water in your steam iron if your water is hard.

How often should I clean the soleplate of my steam iron?

It is recommended to clean the soleplate of your steam iron as needed, depending on the frequency of use and any residue or build-up. Regular cleaning is essential for optimal performance.

What safety features should I look for when purchasing a steam iron?

When purchasing a steam iron, make sure to look for safety features like automatic shut-off and anti-drip functions for a worry-free experience and protection of your garments.

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