When looking for the best clothes iron, the most important thing is to consider your ironing needs. This page contains a great deal of information on clothes iron features, which should help you determine what is available and what you need. Most clothes iron manufacturers use different terminology for the same features, so this article should also help you better understand what their names mean.
- 1. Automatic safety shut off feature. Most clothes irons have this feature, but not all do. There are also variances in how long the irons shut off when not in use. Most people will want this feature, but if you are a crafter or do a lot of sewing enthusiast, nothing is more annoying than having your iron shut off every 10 minutes.
- 2. How long does the iron take to warm up? How long does it take to re-heat?
- 3. Does it have adjustable heat settings, from delicate fabrics to cotton/wool?
- 4. Is the iron cordless or not? If it has a cord, how long is it? Reversible or pivoting cords allow right and left handed ironers to work comfortably.
- 5. Does the iron offer a steam setting, or not? Does it offer a burst of steam? A burst of steam is particularly helpful for eliminating tough wrinkles.
- 6. Does it have a non-stick sole plate? Non-stick soleplates are usually the same type of coating material used on cookware. A soleplate that cleans easily is a plus.
- 7. Does it have a self-clean feature? Some types of clothes iron use a burst of steam to clear the holes in the sole plate.
- 8. What is the size of the water tank? The bigger the water tank, the less frequently you will need to refill it. Also, some irons have removable water tanks, so you don’t have to unplug the iron when refilling. A clear gauge on the water tank allows you to visually monitor the water level.
- 9. Vertical steam allows you to use the iron like a steamer, to steam out wrinkles on things like curtains and hanging garments.
- 10. An anti-calcium filter helps prevent mineral buildup, which can clog steam vents. Most higher end models have this features, but other types of clothes iron may too.
- 11. Most irons these days do not require you to use distilled water. In fact, distilled water may even harm your clothes iron, as may softened water. As a result, you will definitely want to check the instructions before putting any water into the clothes iron.
- 12. Feel. The best clothes iron for you will have a contoured handle and built-in thumb rest that feels comfortable in your hand and isn’t too heavy to lift or move.
13. Variable steam. Variable steam automatically adjusts the amount of steam for the heat setting, ensuring you don’t get high steam on more delicate fabrics.
14. Weight. A full size iron weighs about 3 lbs, whereas a lightweight one weighs about 1.5 lbs.