If you want your clothes to stay looking neat and crisp (and who doesn’t?) a good iron is crucial to have in your arsenal of household tools. From that perfect job interview outfit to duds for a fun night out with friends, keeping your wardrobe in tip-top shape and looking perfectly polished requires one of the best irons on the market.
Why do people iron clothing?
Whether you’ve got a closet full of clothes that aren’t exactly dryer-friendly or simply have a few pieces you’ll need help keeping prim and fresh, an iron is a staple that no household should go without. They work on all kinds of fabrics, from sensitive silk to cozy cotton and everything in between.
There are irons out there at every price point, so you don’t need to break the bank to get wrinkle-free clothes. There are also tons of styles to fit your lifestyle, whether you’re a busy professional with a slew of work wardrobe essentials or a crafty quilter that loves a good DIY.
Dry Iron vs Steam Iron
Though steam irons are more widely available on the market, a dry iron might be a good option if you don't want to deal with a potentially leaky water tank or a ton of complex dials. Dry irons typically have a simple knob to control the heat settings with no water reservoir, which means there'll be no chance of accidental garment spills or stains. They tend to work best on delicate fabrics like silk and satin. Dry irons don’t have a spray mist function, however, so you’ll need to use a good old-fashioned spray bottle if you choose to go that route.
Steam irons, on the other hand, work via a series of steam holes on the metal face, or soleplate, to iron out creases on your clothes. Many have a wide range of features including steam triggers, LED displays, steam levers, and spray jets.
If you want the bells and whistles of the steam models but worry about stains, you can typically use a steam iron as a dry iron by leaving the water tank empty. Anti-drip features, which prevent drippage when the iron is set to lower temperatures (such as silks and synthetics), can also be key.
What is the best iron?
When it comes to the best irons, it all depends on what you like best. A few key features to look for are quick heat-up, a temperature-ready alert (such as an audible “beep” or indicator light), and an auto shut-off feature, so you can avoid that panicky moment after you’ve already left the house and can’t remember if you actually turned it off.
For steam irons, you’ll want to consider the size of the water tank (more steam = a faster-heating iron), as well as a feature called “vertical steaming,” which turns your horizontal iron into a freehand steamer to remove wrinkles without direct contact.
Then, there's the soleplate material. Stainless steel is good for natural fabrics, such as cotton and wool, because it tends to conduct heat better, resulting in better steam. It works especially well on sleeves and pant legs. Aluminum is generally a more affordable option that's great at distributing heat evenly across garments. Ceramic, meanwhile, is typically made of aluminum and coated with a ceramic layer. It exceeds at resisting static on synthetic fibers.
While all will get the job done, stainless steel plates can stick to glues and decals at higher temperatures, so crafty ironers should stick to aluminum or ceramic. Ceramic tends to absorb colors from natural fibers like cotton and wool, and it can also peel or wear down over time.
No matter which type suits you best, we've found a wrinkle-banishing option that is sure to fit your needs. Keep scrolling to shop Woman’s World's picks for the best irons to say ‘so long' to crinkled clothes forever!
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