Due to the high efficiency and comfort that it provides, as well as the unique limescale collector, the Rowenta DW7180 is worth every penny. Read below why we chose this model as the best steam iron of 2021, and also check out our TOP 7 list.
- Patented limescale collector
- 400 micro holes provide good steam production and distribution
- Lightweight yet sturdy
- Has a long life
- Comes at a reasonable price
Know what is it that the Britons hate the most?
You guessed it – doing the ironing.
Hence the reason why we recommend switching over to the steam irons.
Apart from working wonders on rumpled garments, the best steam irons are a cinch to use. Also, while they do generate enough steam to easily smooth linen and dry cotton, you can scale down their heat to handle the most delicate silk as well.
Best steam irons of 2021
Steam iron reviews
Rowenta DW7180 – Best overall
- 1750-watt power
- Premium stainless-steel soleplate with precision tip
- Anti-drip system
- Self-cleaning mechanism
- 10 oz. water tank
- 400 micro holes in steam technology
- Patented limescale collector
This 1750-watt Rowenta steam iron is given the moniker ‘Everlast’ which does not come as a surprise considering the unique patented limescale collector installed in it. The limescale collector collects the build-up due to hard water which usually marks the end of working of a steam iron. Getting rid of the scale only decreases the performance of iron over time, which is why the limescale collector greatly increases the life of this steam iron.
The manufacturer has clearly succeeded to make this product easy to use and maintain. The anti-calc feature flushes out all the calcium particles using the steam holes making the ironing process overall efficient.
Like all other Rowenta irons, this one also comes with a stainless steel soleplate which features 400 micro holes. The holes are responsible for delivering optimal steam distribution throughout the surface area. This professional steam iron comes with 3 steam options namely: variable, vertical, and steam burst. These modes manage to cover the ironing needs of different types of clothes.
This German-made iron by Rowenta is specifically made for durability which it delivers. The cherry on top is the good looks it comes with. All these charming looks and high-end performance are topped with a reasonable price.
Patented scale collector
Most of the tap water is hard, it has numerous salts, minerals, and other dissolved materials. The water inside the steam iron undergoes a few processes, as a result of which these minerals and salts deposit on the inside of the iron. Similar to how they deposit on the inside of a pot you use to boil water or in an electric kettle. However, Rowenta has come up with a solution for this issue called the anti-calc technology. The anti-calc is a limescale collector installed in the iron and traps about 1 tsp of scales and deposits in three months. This prevention of build-up materials increases the life of the iron and helps in good maintenance.
400 micro hole steam technology
This cutting-edge technology is only present in a few of Rowenta models as of now. This steam iron comes with uniformly distributed 400 micro holes on the stainless-steel soleplate. The position of holes and the huge number of wholes ensure the proper production and later distribution of steam. The key to proper ironing is the proper distribution of steam on the cloth. Rowenta has achieved that with the 400 micro hole technology. This is one of the key traits of a very effective and efficient iron. This combined with high-quality stainless-steel soleplate that comes with a thick central core provides an easy and ideal ironing experience.
What we like:
- Has a good steam generation and distribution
- Comes with a vertical steaming option for hanging clothes. Hence, can be used as a vertical steamer
- A patented scale collector that makes maintenance easy and increases the lifespan
- Easy maneuvering due to precision tip
What we didn’t like:
- The power cord is not as long as it should be
Oliso Pro TG1600
- Patented iTouch technology
- A precision detailer tip
- 7 z. water tank
- Delayed auto shutoff
- 12 feet power cord
- Thick stainless-steel soleplate
This powerful Oliso steam iron is an 1800-watt iron that heats up in less than 60 seconds so that you can start on with your work in no time. The speed heat steam iron technology makes it ideal for professional use and uses at home. The iron’s soleplate is made of stainless steel and is extra thick for better heat retention. In comparison to a ceramic soleplate, this soleplate prevents dimpled impressions and can tackle 99 percent of the creases as well.
The key selling feature of this iron is its iTouch technology. It is basically a stand like structure that lowers down just on the touch of your hand. This stand like structure slightly lifts the iron up such that there is a gap between the board and the soleplate preventing anything from burning. Thus, while ironing, you don’t have to lift and place the iron horizontally every time.
Apart from this, the steam master features standard Oliso steam iron specifications like self-cleaning technology, anti-drip technology, variable steam, and water spray function. The controls for adjusting temperature and steam are present at the front of the iron-making it easy to access and use.
The Oliso Pro TG1600 comes with a large 12.7 oz. water tank which provides a high steam capability. It also has a long 12-feet cord which makes maneuvering easy.
This technology, exclusive to Oliso Pro TG1600 and a few other Oliso steam irons makes it an intelligent and smart steam iron in true sense. If you pause working during the ironing process, in case, to either remove the piece of clothing from the board or put on a new one, you don’t have to pick up the iron and place it horizontally. Rather, when you take off your hand from the iron handle, the iTouch technology senses it and automatically takes out the base stand to lift the iron up. The main purpose of this technology is to prevent scorching of the iron board. When you touch the iron handle again, the base stand retracts, and you can go on with your ironing.
Soleplate and detailer tip
This Oliso smart iron has a heavy stainless-steel soleplate with a bead blast chromium finish. The chromium finish ensures a smooth glide and the thick stainless-steel soleplate ensures proper heat retention. Moreover, the thickness of the soleplate also ensures dimple free ironing and helps in smoothing out all the creases. The soleplate is scratch resistant.
The detailer tip incorporated in the whole package allows access to tricky areas which can be areas around cuffs, collars, pockets, etc. The Oliso Pro TG1600’s detailer tip makes it ideal for designers and tailors due to the easy access it provides.
What we like:
- Comes with a 1-year limited warranty
- 30-minutes auto shutoff makes it perfect for quilts and similar material
- iTouch technology prevents scorching
- Large water tank
What we didn’t like:
- After one-year or so, the anti-leak technology fails to kick in
- Digital Control Dial with Fabric Selection
- Over 400 Steam Holes
- Steam Lever for controlling steam output
- Retractable 8-foot long cord
For those of you who are dissuaded by the price tag of the abovementioned model – and want something a little less expensive – the CHI 13102 steam iron is definitely worth a shot. That said, its decreased price tag means it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of the Rowenta.
One feature of this model that has genuinely impressed us is its electronic temperature control.
Instead of forcing you to manually set the temperature, this feature asks you to select the fabric. That’s right; stop the dial at the fabric which you might want to iron – from the list of linen, cotton, wool, silk, and synthetic – and the CHI 13102 would automatically adjust its temperature.
Using common sense, CHI realized that one way to increase the steam output of this model is to increase the number of steam holes. Consequently, they have provided this model with over 400 steam holes. As a result, you’d be able to cover a big part of the fabric in a single swoop.
To give you more control over the device, it comes with a steam release lever. This feature lets you control the amount of steam that will be released by the iron. In this way, you can moderate the iron’s steam output to avoid refilling its tank again and again.
Turning our attention to its soleplate, and what you’d find there is a combo of titanium and ceramic. While titanium forms the base of the soleplate, its coating is of ceramic. That way you can get the increased durability of titanium and the even heat transfer of ceramic at the same time.
Furthermore, making this device a cinch to use are two specific features, both of which deserve a mention. The first among those is its textured grip which you can easily hold in your hands without fear of the iron getting slippery even in sweaty hands.
Second, it has a retractable cord using which you can easily store the iron when not using it. Also, since the length of the cord is a considerable 8 feet, you won’t need to park your clothes near an electrical socket to use this iron.
The only thing which troubled us while testing this product was the lack of a safety shutoff feature.
What we like:
- Electronic Temperature Control
- 400 Steam Holes
- Steam lever for precise control over steam output
What we didn’t like:
- No safety shutoff
BLACK & DECKER D2530
- LED Display and digital temperature control
- Variable steam controls
- Automatic shut-off and self-cleaning system
- Doubles as a steamer to iron hanging clothes
The Black & Decker D2530 offers a no-nonsense steaming power with high-end ironing and a large reservoir. Therefore, if all you want to do is to iron efficiently, check out this model.
Operating at a massive 1,500 watts, the D2530 can tackle steaming or ironing most fabrics with ease. Complementing the power of this model is its stainless steel U-shaped soleplate. With seven temperature and fabric settings, the soleplate can touch temperatures up to 160 degrees.
Even though this model is one of the bulky ones out there, it has made good use of its added weight. Take the example of its reservoir capacity, for instance. Capable of storing 12 ounces of water, the built-in, transparent reservoir won’t bother you with frequent refills.
What’s more, this unit won’t require you to look at its digital display to check whether the iron has reached your desired temperature or not. Instead, it provides tone-sounds that start beeping the moment your set temperature is met.
However, if you don’t like the noise, you can turn off the sound and turn to the unit’s LED display. For, when the iron has reached your desired temperature, the screen flashes “READY”. In addition, you can also use this model as a steamer to vertically iron hanging clothes.
Moving on, and to improve both the lifespan of this model and also your ease of using it, it has a self-cleaning function. This feature does that by automatically removing impurities off the soleplate. Hence there is no need for you to manually clean this unit.
Also, if you leave the iron unattended for 10 minutes, its built-in safety feature would automatically turn it off. The iron’s buttons, dials, and body also stay cool-to-the-touch even when the soleplate is searing hot.
Compare it with other steam iron reviews, and you’d notice that its 31 steam holes are well below par. For, the best steam irons off up to 10 times as many steam holes as the D2530.
What we like:
- Auto-shutoff and self-cleaning system
- Multiple temperature and steam settings
- Digital, LED display
- Considerable capacity of water tank
What we didn’t like:
- Fewer steam holes
Panasonic NI-WL600 – Best cordless steam iron
It doesn’t matter which list of the top-rated irons you turn to, the name of Panasonic will always be there. That said, it wasn’t the brand name but the performance and stellar reviews received by this steam iron which merited its inclusion in this review.
Starting with the best this cordless steam iron has to offer, and its ease of usage comes to the fore. Three steam preferences and three heat levels are all neatly stacked – and easily accessible – atop the iron. They allow you to quickly switch between acrylics (low), wools (medium), and cotton (high).
Maneuverability is one feature of this model where it unabashedly shows off. It has a curved soleplate which you can move in all directions with minimum fuss. What’s more, the movement also feels natural and stainless steel adds to the glide ability as well.
In case you are wondering, the absence of the cord doesn’t mean that the WL600 runs on batteries. Instead, it comes with a charging base that has a 6’ retractable cord. If the iron requires charging, simply place it in the charging base, plug the base in, and it will heat up.
Furthermore, the detachable water tank of this model doesn’t fail to impress, either. That means there is no need to bring to the sink the whole iron to refill. You can leave the iron charging in the base and simply detach its tank for refilling.
Just like the best irons out there, the WL600 comes with auto-shutoff and anti-calcium systems. It has an electric sensor that would turn off the iron after it stays for 10 minutes in the base. The anti-calcium system, meanwhile, prevents sediments from building up inside its vaporizing chamber.
Lastly, it has an anti-drip system with a water-seal on the inner side. Provided with a sensor, this system shields fabrics from water spotting. Next to it is the vertical steam button pressing which the iron would provide a steady spurt of steam to hanging garments.
The capacity of the water tank of this model is a mere 4 ounces. That means you might need to frequently refill it during long ironing sessions.
What we like:
- 360-degree functionality
- Top-notch wrinkle removal
- Auto-shutoff, anti-calcium and anti-drip systems
- Detachable water tank
What we didn’t like:
- Capacity of water tank is low
- 5-bar steam pressure
- 400 steam holes
- Eco Mode to save energy
- 47-ounce capacity of detachable water tank
The Rowenta DG8520 is one of the most inexpensive steam generator irons in this review. Fortunately, its reduced price tag has done no harm to the features that this portable steam iron provides.
First things first, you’d never yearn for more steaming power when operating this model. It has an 1800 watt system that generates 5 bars of pressurized steam on the push of a button. Also, provided its tank is full, the DG8520 would operate nonstop for a full 90 minutes.
That is, because, this unit is equipped with a massive 47-ounce water tank; more than any other iron in this review. And if you set the steam setting at low – since there are three on offer, a full tank would last up to 2-hours on one refilling. That means you won’t have to refill it even during long ironing sessions.
Making full use of the massive water capacity of the tank is the 400 steam holes in this model. The distribution of these holes along the soleplate ensures that they provide even steam diffusion. The soleplate, meanwhile, has a scale collector which keeps corrosion at bay.
However, for those of you who want a more delicate touch, this model provides the same with its Eco-energy mode. Activate this model, and the iron would consume 20% less energy and only require less than 2 minutes to heat up.
Lastly, provided you want to refill the tank, don’t bother taking the whole iron to the sink. Instead, merely remove the tank because it is detachable. Similar ease is on offer when you look at the power cord which measures a considerable 1.9 meters.
As the savvy eyed among you might have noted, this lightweight steam iron lacks the auto-shutoff feature.
What we like:
- 47-ounce water tank capacity
- Eco Mode saves energy
- Provides steam at high pressure
- 1.9-meter power cord
What we didn’t like:
- No auto-shutoff feature
- 1400 watts of power
- Large stainless-steel soleplate
- Anti-drip system
- 15 macro holes for steam
- Self-cleaning technology
- Shot of steam option
- Auto power off
The Sunbeam steam iron embraces a stainless-steel soleplate, which glides on all kinds of surfaces easily. It comes with 15 steam holes over the soleplate, they are far less than what Rowenta DW87180 features, but come on! Considering this is the cheapest steam iron, it can get away with that. Since you get what you pay for. Unlike Rowenta, the steam holes on this iron are big-sized and emit a larger amount of steam from one hole.
The iron has a ‘shot of steam’ feature which helps in smoothing out those stubborn wrinkles. To activate the feature, there is a button on top that can be pressed. Once activated, the feature works at 3 seconds intervals and also works as a vertical steaming option. However, before activating the feature, it is better to ensure that the steam iron water tank is full.
When it comes to variable steam options, this iron has 4 steam options one of which is a dry mode for clothing material like wool. Like all other steam irons, this steam master also comes with anti-drip technology which kicks in when the iron is in the heating-up phase. It also has a dual spray mist option when needed.
There is a self-clean feature in the iron but cleaning it once a month is required to prevent any build-up that can hinder the working.
The Sunbeam Steam Master comes with a large stainless-steel soleplate which offers a large surface area. Thus, you can finish your ironing process in lesser time and by using lesser power. The soleplate is made to glide on all types of surfaces easily. On top of this, the soleplate is also non-stick. It does not hold up to the level of non-stickiness provided by other premium brands, but we get some good non-stick properties that work very well. It prevents all the tugging and stretching that can damage the clothes being ironed especially the chiffon and other delicate material.
This model is equipped with a ‘shot of steam’ technology that lets out a jet of steam on the touch of a button. This is mainly added to the iron to get rid of the stubborn creases. The feature is not unique to this model only, we find it in many other steam irons as well. However, in this model, it works in 3 seconds intervals and can also be used to convert the iron into a vertical steamer. This feature allows the user to iron hanging garments or other stuff like curtains, blinds, etc.
What we like:
- The macro holes continuously release steam
- It comes with a retractable 8 feet long cord
- Lightweight and durable
- 3 years limited warranty
- Variable steam control with 4 settings
What we didn’t like:
- The macro holes are not very efficient in producing the right amounts of uniform steam
Steam iron vs. dry iron – why steam rocks!
First thing first, the reason we recommend steam irons is because they are miles ahead of their dry counterparts in every aspect. Have doubts about the veracity of this statement? Let’s quash them
- Low Ironing Time: Thanks to the dual application of heat and water, steam irons easily remove wrinkles from even the toughest of fabrics. Consequently, you can be done with the ironing in no time.
- Easily Remove Wrinkles: Almost all of us at one time or the other come across the fabric with stubborn wrinkles. In such times, having a steam iron would be a godsend. That is, because, it allows easy removal of wrinkles by wetting them with its mist droplets.
- 2–in-1 Option: Ever come across an electric iron that lets you convert it into its steamy counterpart? Me neither. However, you can easily use steam iron as a dry iron provided you don’t put water in their tank. So you can easily take advantage of a 2-in-1 model.
- Less Costly: Even though they are easier to use, steam irons still cost less than their waterless counterpart. That is, because, they are less complicated and are devoid of those high-end features which you’ll never use.
Types of steam irons
Steam irons are divided into three types due to the soleplate they use; which is the metal plate that forms the base of your iron. Let’s look at each of these types to decide which one will suit you the best.
Ceramic steam iron
Such irons have either an aluminum or a plastic soleplate with a ceramic coating over it. Since ceramic is made from clay, the application of heat makes it hard and brittle. Consequently, it becomes better suited to iron your clothes. That said, as you will see next, not all is hunky-dory with ceramic steam irons.
- Most inexpensive of the lot
- Eliminate or prevent statics
- Prevent clothes from sticking to the soleplate’s surface
- Can melt lightweight materials i.e. silk at high temperatures
Stainless steel soleplate
When it comes to durability, nothing can match the sturdiness of stainless steel soleplates. Also, in stark contrast to ceramic, stainless steel conducts heat evenly, which means there are less/negligible chances of hotspots.
- Would remain with you for years on a good handling
- Easy to maintain due to cleaner surfaces
- Even heat distribution
- Might cause sticking of decals or glues at high temperature
Best of the lot, titanium soleplates are incredibly lightweight yet provide excellent transfer of heat. Also, since they have a corrosion-resistant surface, titanium soleplates are a cinch to clean. Consequently, you won’t have the problem of encountering sticky surfaces on ironing lightweight clothes.
- Corrosion-resistant surface and incredibly easy to clean
- Fast Heat Transfer with no hotspots and even heat distribution
- Incredibly lightweight yet durable
- Can reach high temperatures
Things to consider when choosing a steam iron
Before making the purchase, we recommend you go through this buying guide first. For, it contains the features which separate the best steam iron from the riffraff.
Ever wondered why some steam irons – after performing incredibly for the first few months – literally lose steam? That happens because of the buildup of a cheek, white crust known as limescale inside their water tank. The particles of this substance impede the flow of steam, hence reducing its output.
Fortunately, most of the steam irons these days realize the mess caused by limescale and therefore come with limescale filters. Still, it’s worth checking whether the model you’re looking at provides the same or not.
Since they contain water in a considerable amount, steam irons tend to be not as lightweight as dry irons. It is crucial therefore that their handle is comfy so as to evenly distribute the weight to prevent your wrist from straining.
Handles that are comfy have a handle that isn’t too wide and hence allows for an easy grip. Similarly, its ridges and the seams in the plastic aren’t too hard, either. Otherwise, if that isn’t the case, they might dig into your palm and cause discomfort.
Ergonomically-designed water tank
No other feature of a steam plate plays as crucial a part in your ease of using it like its water tank. Select a one that is too big, and the resulting weight would strain your wrist. Conversely, if it is too small, you’d have no choice but to refill it incessantly even during ironing.
Therefore, when choosing a water tank, make sure its size is neither too big nor too small.
Also, it would be best if the tank is transparent to let you easily see how much water is left in it. A nice bonus would be a removable reservoir which lets you detach it from the main unit for easy refilling.
The tapered and thin soleplate
Since we have already talked about various types of the soleplate in detail, we’ll limit this section to their design. Soleplates which taper at the nose is a cinch to slide into tight pleats and under buttons. Also, you might want them to be thin because bulky soleplates tend to get stuck into zips and buttons.
Another advantage of a thin and tapered soleplate is its ease of cleaning. With less area for corrosion to accumulate, they aren’t hard to clean and require a few rubs of a coarse cloth to start shining again.
Adjustable steam and retractable cord
Starting with the former, some irons provide an anti-drip feature to stop leaks, especially when you’re ironing at lower temperature settings. In this way, you can easily adjust the amount of steam according to the thickness of your fabric.
As for the retractable cord, it makes sure the cord stays out of the way during ironing. At the same time, it prevents the cord from whipping during retracting.
When deciding about safety features, you can check for the following four in your model. First, it should contain indicator lights to tell you when the iron has become too hot. As a result, there would be less chance of the iron getting damaged due to overheating.
Second, having an automatic shutoff feature – which turns the unit off automatically on sensing abnormal temperatures – is also recommended. This feature gives you peace of mind – and saves energy – by automatically turning off the unit if you haven’t used it for some time.
Finally, no other feature guarantees the safety of a model as much as a certification from a reputed body. When it comes to steam irons, two certification bodies – UL and ETL – are famous. Make sure your model contains the stamp of at least one of these.
Before we tell you what these features are, beware that they do not come cheap. So you’d have to spend a little bit over the odds to have them in your model.
One convenient feature which we like is a burst of spray mist. By providing an instantaneous burst of steam, it helps to remove permanent creases in pleats or pants. A vertical steaming feature, meanwhile, allows you to remove wrinkles out of hanging clothes.
Next comes the anti-calcification feature which allows you to use tap water in your iron. While we recommend this feature as optional, it becomes crucial if your iron doesn’t have a limescale filter. That means that you might want your iron to have – at least – one of the two.
We have given Rowenta DW7180 the title of ‘Best Iron’ due to the high efficiency and comfort it provides. The iron is self-cleaning and low maintenance which increases its lifespan. The best part is its limescale collector which prevents the device from malfunctioning due to deposits. The even distribution and generation of steam help in proper ironing.
Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Jim is our staff editor and writer. He has a degree in engineering. His hobbies are radio engineering and new technologies about which he has been writing for more than 7 years.