How to choose a steam iron

Written by perri sams
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How to choose a steam iron
The right steam iron saves you time and effort. (iron image by Robert Grzywaczewski from

The right steam iron can minimise the time and effort normally needed for your ironing jobs. Steam irons vary in price from £6 to over £65. For those prices, irons range from the light use variety for occasional ironing, to the most decked-out steam iron used by seamstresses, craft enthusiasts, and drapers. Your steam iron purchase should be based on several factors: comfort and ergonomics, use, price, and features.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Go to your local retailer and "test drive" the irons they sell. Most retailers have small appliances out of their boxes and on display. Pick up the irons and check the weight. Your steam iron should be easy for you to lift and should fit your hand comfortably.

    How to choose a steam iron
    Make sure the iron fits your hand. (bügeln image by Daniel Fuhr from
  2. 2

    Read all information concerning warranties, repair and replacement. Be sure you understand where you will mail or return your steam iron if it breaks. Some stores will replace broken small appliances within three to six months. After that time, some stores require you to send the appliance back to the manufacturer for repair or replacement. If your steam iron use is heavy, the conditions and the time for repair can make a difference in your satisfaction level.

    How to choose a steam iron
    Know what your warranty says. (One year warranty gold medal image by patrimonio designs from
  3. 3

    Determine what features are most important to you. Depending on the manufacturer, steam irons may offer retractable cords, auto shut-off, shot of steam, transparent water reservoir, and many other features. For frequent ironing of natural fibres like cotton or linen, or heavy fabrics like denim, the shot of steam and water spray features help remove stubborn wrinkles. Certain features, like auto shut-off, make ironing safer and save energy.

    How to choose a steam iron
    Water sprayers help with stubborn wrinkles. (ironing image by jovica antoski from
  4. 4

    Compare and weigh the value of the features, comfort, and warranties with the price. Stay within your budget, if possible.

    How to choose a steam iron
    Weigh the cost of the iron with the other factors. (scales image by dinostock from

Tips and warnings

  • Steam irons can leak water at low temperatures. For lower temperature ironing, drain water.
  • Let the iron warm up to the temperature you have chosen before use. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Never leave a hot iron unattended. Ironing cords can cause tripping and burning hazards. Place iron cords out of walkways.

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