What To Look For in a Travel Iron

By: Annabel Love

The only thing more frustrating than trying to fit all your clothes in your suitcase while traveling is the inevitable wrinkles that are revealed when you unpack your wardrobe. Whether you're traveling for business or for a nice getaway vacation, nothing says “scruffy” as much as a wrinkled outfit.

Thankfully, the traditional ironing process–which usually involves an iron and board—has evolved over the years for your convenience. The creation of travel irons is a godsend, as it can get you a polished and put-together look on your vacation days without taking up as much time and space as a traditional iron.

Check out our list of what to look for in a travel iron!

Why Do You Need A Travel Iron?

As mentioned previously, ironing your clothes is a necessity after they’ve spent hours bunched up in tight suitcases. 

Of course, attempts can be made to proactively combat the formation of wrinkles, such as with the use of garment bags. Unfortunately, there are limitations to that, especially when traveling long distances. In other words, lugging around a large garment bag might not be the easiest or most efficient way to go. 

Another option that people tend to turn to are travel steamers. While they do a decent job at getting the wrinkles out in a timely manner, it’s really difficult to remove the deep-set creases. For that task, a travel iron—more specifically, a travel steam iron—would do the trick for a crisp result. On top of that, travel irons don’t require the use of an ironing board, as is the case with travel steamers. 

All in all, there are so many benefits to owning a travel iron, and the appliance is definitely better than other options for tackling the removal of wrinkles formed after hours of being compressed in a suitcase. 

What To Look For In A Travel Iron

So now we know that travel irons are an important investment and should be a travel essential: what’s next? 

There’s a lot to consider before purchasing a travel iron. With several different styles, features, and options to choose from, you want to select one that fits your specific travel needs in the long run.

Here, we go over what to look for in a travel iron:

Portability and Lightweight

If there’s one thing we hate, it’s the ridiculous heaviness of traditional irons and ironing boards. While the weight works in favor of wrinkle removal in clothes with these appliances, it’s a bit counterintuitive to have a heavy travel iron. 

As with any “travel size” item, you want your travel iron to be lightweight and portable–the perfect combination for on-the-go items. This ensures that it won’t take up too much space in your suitcase or weigh you down. The smaller, the better, especially if you can stick it in your carry-on (which is a saving grace if the airport ever loses one of your suitcases).

The Nori Press is a great example of a compact appliance for travel, weighing in at only 1.4lbs. If you’re someone who uses and travels with a hair straightener, this product sizing is one that won’t be unfamiliar to you. The Nori Press was inspired by a hair straightener and has quite a bit of a resemblance to it. The portability and lightweight nature of the product ensure that it fits comfortably among the rest of your items and guarantees no hassle whatsoever. 

Heating Controls

Some irons come with heating controls and settings, which make the process significantly easier and more manageable, especially if you’re in a rush for a big meeting or a fancy brunch outing. 

With irons that don’t have heating controls or settings, you don’t really have a frame of reference as to what temperature the iron is at after turning it on. Naturally, the longer it’s on, the hotter it is. This can be especially challenging when ironing multiple clothes, as different fabrics need different temperatures. 

You want to iron out the wrinkles in your clothes, not scorch them, and heating controls are the way to find that balance. If you look around, you may even be able to find irons that take this to the next level. 

The Nori Press, for example, has six fabric-specific heat settings. This makes it significantly easier to find the right temperature for your clothing, as it’s already set in just one click of a button. 

Non-Stick Plates

In general, One of the biggest challenges that people face with irons is their clothing sticking to their appliances. This could be due to a number of reasons, such as having a sticky soleplate (this can be fixed through consistent cleaning of the iron). 

Another factor, however, could be the soleplate material. There are several options that you can choose from for the material of the soleplate, with the most common ones being ceramic and stainless steel. In general, and especially for travel, it’s best to go with a non-stick material.

A wonderful feature included in the Nori Press is non-stick aluminum plates. Due to the hair straightener-inspired structure, this product can iron both the front and back of the clothing simultaneously in a smooth, gliding manner using a clamp mechanism. 

Not only are they built for durability, but they’re also incredibly efficient at ironing all your different materials without them sticking to the plate—which you’ll appreciate when you're in a rush to get out the door. This, along with the heating controls we mentioned earlier, saves you so much time and energy.

Multifunctional

There are two different types of iron: steam and dry. Both have their own unique set of qualities, and each shines in different circumstances. Rather than trying to decide between the two, why not get the best of both?

In fact, Steam irons can double as a dry iron, which makes for great two-in-one, space-saving travel appliances. Selecting a travel iron that specifies such multifunctional abilities is extremely beneficial, as it makes adapting to future travel needs so much easier. The Nori Press has multiple features that help specifically for dry ironing and steam ironing, and it’s very easy to switch between the two functions!

Accessibility

When traveling, you want to pack light and efficiently since you likely won’t have a ton of space wherever you go and are staying. Looking for a travel iron that has features that make the ironing process more accessible to you is key. 

Of course, the features we discussed previously all contribute to the accessibility of the product. For example, lightweight travel irons make transporting it and setting it up more accessible. Beyond that, some travel irons come with very long cords, which helps when trying to navigate a hotel room that has less than ideal outlet locations.

The mere structure of the Nori Press (that is, the clamping mechanism) makes for convenient and accessible usage. Additionally, it has a pointed tip for those hard-to-reach creases, as well as elongated arms so you can reach every part of your clothing.

Extra Features

All travel irons have similar, if not the same, basic features. However, some have extra ones that are irresistible and extremely helpful when traveling. 

For example, safety features are a huge bonus. The Nori Press comes with built-in tilt sensors, which serve to ensure automatic shut off after ten minutes of no movement. So if you forgot to turn off your travel iron before you left the hotel room, don’t sweat it. Crisis averted.

Another really great feature that the Nori Press comes with is a steam reservoir designed for controlled steam release. This helps get the tough wrinkles out of the fabric without taking up too much of your time. 

Among the challenges of ironing with steam irons are the spitting and spraying of water from the water tank. Luckily, the Nori Press is designed in a way that prevents such leakage, so long as it’s used correctly (hint: keep the nose of the device pointed upwards so the pump can continually source water and steadily push out steam).

If you still worry about water leaking out and making a mess on your hotel floor, we’d recommend opting for the Nori Fabric Facial, which is a steam solution with a subtle fragrance that can be used in the water tank instead of water. What’s better than a fresh scent to accompany your newly ironed attire?

Travel Ready!

No matter where you travel this summer or next, travel irons are sure to be the best companion. From its small, compact size to a plethora of features, your travel iron is guaranteed to make your clothes look stylish, chic, and 100% wrinkle-free for any and all occasions. 

 

Sources:

Select the Right Setting for Ironing Any Fabric | The Spruce

How to Clean an Iron: 11 Ways to Tackle an Iron Bottom | Architectural Digest 

The Best Ways to Carry a Suit on an Airplane | USA Today

 

Shop The Article

The Nori Press

The Nori Press

$120.00

Our premier wrinkle-removal product designed to press, steam and refresh your clothes with ease. The best part? No board, leakage or headaches included.… read more

Fabric Facial

Fabric Facial

$15.00

Meet the Nori Press’ Partner in crime. This 8 oz. steam solution can be used as a spray or fill agent to improve your iron’s performance. … read more

« Back to Blog