You never know when you're going to have to run out the door and the jeans you planned to wear are totally wrinkled. It's best to keep an iron on hand for these pressing (get it?) situations. Not only should irons be used in case of fashion emergencies, but they're sleek, they're slick, and they'll make your clothes smooth and neat anytime. Steam irons are a necessity for anyone who wants wrinkle-free clothing without the hassle of going to the dry cleaner all the time. Dry cleaning bills add up! Even some of the less expensive irons starting at around $25 are effective at getting the job done right. Think of how much you would save! If you are looking for a more top-of-the-line model, you could spend up to $200. Even so, an iron will pay for itself after so many uses.
Non Steam Irons
Recommendations for Steam Iron
While some of the more expensive models may work better out of the box than the inexpensive models, ConsumerSearch.com found that almost every model was prone to leakage or malfunctions within two years of purchase. Unless you really need one of the special features offered on a more expensive model, you will probably get just as much use out of a less expensive one. These recommendations are from ConsumerSearch. You can also read Good Housekeeping's entirely different set of recommendations, but their testing methodology is not explained and they only include models under $70.
Cord vs. Cordless
Features that Matter
* '''Steam Control and Power '''
** The more steam, the faster you can get out stubborn wrinkles and be on your way.
** While automatic models produce large amounts of steam, it's best to invest in a model that has adjustable steam since the steam usually only comes on full-force for the first 10 minutes and then reduces in power as the water depletes.
*** If you are planning to work on large jobs, like tablecloths, adjusting steam levels can help prolong the steam for the whole job, thus reducing the need to refill and saving time.
** It's also helpful to have a steam button that only releases steam when you need it, conserving water and saving time in the long run.
** Choose a model that is "drip-free." While most will drip over time, these may last longer without dripping.
** Also look for a models that offer a "burst of steam" feature. A burst will help get out the most stubborn wrinkles.
** A larger number of steam vents near the tip of the iron will make collars, cuffs, and other tight areas easier to press.
** Check out the ironing tips in the External Links below for more information about avoiding drips.
* '''Controls and Indicators'''
** The temperature controls and fabric guide should be easy to read and adjust.
** The indicator light should be easy to see as well-you don't want to burnn yourself because you didn't know that the iron was on.
* '''Automatic shut-off '''
** This is an important safety measure that most people prefer and is found on most irons as a safety precaution.
** Some sewers or quilters may prefer an iron that does not automatically shut off. There are a few models on the market to accommodate these users, including the two basic models listed in the recommendations.
* '''Water reservoir '''
** These should be as easy to remove and refill as possible. It makes cleaning calcium deposits much easier.
** If they are clear, all the better. Then you can see when you need to refill.
** Also watch out for an iron with a good cover over the water compartment to avoid leakage and spilling.
** Some more expensive models offer a self-cleaning function as well as an anti-calcium system.
** The anti-calcium system helps prevent clogged steam vents, which ensures an even flow of steam instead of dripping.
** The self-cleaning system blows air through the steam vents to blow out mineral deposits; doing this regularly will prevent these deposits from ejecting themselves on your nice black shirt.
** You want to make sure that the iron doesn't drag.
** Non-stick and stainless steel work very well, but most irons do a good job.
** The main advantage of non-stick is that it is easier to clean starch off of a non-stick plate.
* '''Vertical Steam '''
** Useful for steaming hanging garments and curtains instead of buying a separate steamer.
* Laundry Room: You'll need more than just an iron to keep your clothes in good order. Here's a guide that will help you find it all.
* Clothes Dryers: A good dryer can help reduce wrinkles as well. Plus, make sure to remove clothes and fold immediately after the dryer buzzes.
* Cleaning and Organization: For all of your cleaning needs, check out this guide for a begining resource.