Want to spend less time stood at your ironing board? Using a steam iron can help you to smooth away troublesome creases in seconds. What steam iron, though, is the best to get the job done?

After researching a wide range of models, our top pick for both quality and value for money is the PurSteam Professional Grade Steam Iron. Boasting an impressive 1700W power, true position axial-aligned steam outlets, a three-way auto shut-off and vertical steam function, this steam iron has all the features you need to tackle that looming laundry pile.

Interested to learn about several great options? Read on to find out which other models we recommend.

  • 1700W
  • Easy-control thermostat dial
  • Axial-aligned steam holes
  • Automatic three-way shut-off
  • Vertical steam feature

  • 1500W
  • Cordless design
  • Four steam options plus spray mist
  • Vertical steam function
  • Ceramic non-stick soleplate

  • 1200W
  • SmartSteam Technology
  • Three-way auto shut-off
  • TrueGlide non-stick soleplate
  • Push-button spray mist function

  • 1800W with 5.2 bars of pressure
  • Large 47oz removable water tank
  • 400 microsteam-hole stainless steel soleplate
  • Vertical steam option
  • Comfort grip handle and precision tip

  • 1200W
  • Scratch-resistant ceramic soleplate
  • Self-cleaning system
  • Adjustable steam lever and temperature dial
  • Vertical steam function


Our favorite steam iron is the PurSteam Professional Grade. This high-quality, powerful iron has all the features you need at an unbeatable value. With its 1700W power, this model heats up quickly to release a high quantity of steam that’s perfect for ironing out deep creases in heavier fabrics. You can also make use of its vertical steam function to remove crumples and kinks from hanging garments or drapes.

The scratch-resistant, stainless steel soleplate ensures an even heat distribution and features true position axial aligned steam holes. These holes have been carefully aligned to ensure the most effective steam distribution for rapid results. The easy-control thermostat dial makes steam selection simple, while the three-way auto shut-off prevents accidents by turning off after a set amount of inactive time.

Not only is this model safe and effective, but it’s easy to maintain too. The special ‘self-cleaning’ function keeps this iron in tip-top shape at the press of a button so you can finish your ironing and get on with your day. The only slight drawback to this model is that it’s fairly heavy, which may cause fatigue if you have lots of laundry to get through. Even so, with its robust construction and expert engineering, we think this model offers all of the performance and features of an expensive steam iron at a very reasonable price.

Pros

  • Heats up quickly so you won’t need to wait around
  • Vertical steam function is perfect for hanging fabrics
  • Cleverly aligned steam holes provide optimum steam distribution
  • Scratch-resistant soleplate for durability
  • Self-cleaning function for simple maintenance

Cons

  • Fairly heavy

If you frequently get your iron cord tangled, check out the Black+Decker Light ‘N’ Go, our best cordless steam iron pick. Fast and powerful, thanks to its 1500W power, this cordless model comes complete with an illuminated charging base that lets you know at a glance when your iron is at your desired temperature. This iron charges up quickly, offering an average of 25 seconds cordless ironing per 10 second charge.

The charging base has a six-foot power cord for easy positioning and can be effortlessly packed away due to its convenient cord storage system. This model also benefits from a self-clean function that helps to remove scale buildup over time. With a ceramic soleplate for even heat distribution and a choice of four steam options, this model is both effective and easy to use. Bear in mind, though, that the short charge duration means this model might be less suitable for large loads. In addition, there are fewer steam outlet holes than on corded versions like our top pick, so you may need to run the iron over deep creases a few times to get them out.

We also thought that the included instructions could be a little more detailed. On the whole, however, we were very impressed with this cordless steam iron. If you’re looking for a maneuverable model that’s reliable and heats up fast, the Black+Decker Light ‘N’ Go could be your perfect match.

Pros

  • Heats up in 10 seconds
  • Cordless design is easy to maneuver
  • Illuminated charging base lets you know when iron is ready to use
  • Ceramic soleplate provides even heat distribution
  • Self-clean function removes scale buildup

Cons

  • Fewer steam holes than corded models
  • Charge doesn’t last very long
  • Instructions could be more detailed

The Black+Decker Easy Steam is our top compact choice. Weighing a little over 1 lb and the smallest steam iron on our list (4.4 x 5.8 x 10.4), this no-frills steam iron is perfect if you’re looking for a lightweight model for traveling. With 1200W of power, complete with a TrueGlide non-stick soleplate, this steam iron glides across all fabric types with ease. The SmartSteam Technology automatically configures the amount of steam to your temperature setting, while the push-button spray mist function works well to remove deeper, more stubborn creases from your garments.

If you tend to get distracted while ironing, this model’s three-way auto shut-off will give you peace of mind. Should you leave it plugged in and inactive on its heel, side or soleplate, its motion-sensitive technology will trigger an automatic shutdown – keeping you, and your laundry safe.

Just bear in mind that there’s no option to adjust the steam level independently of the temperature. Therefore, you may struggle to steam creases in delicate fabrics while using lower temperature. It’s more than adequate, though, for use on weekend trips away. There is also no cover for the water-fill hole, so if you fill the reservoir up to its maximum level you may get some unwelcome spillages while ironing.

Pros

  • Compact, lightweight design is perfect for travel
  • TrueGlide soleplate slides over fabrics without snagging
  • Three-way auto shut-off increases safety

Cons

  • Cannot adjust steam level independently
  • No cover for water-fill hole

If you regularly have large amounts of ironing to get through, make it easier and faster with the Rowenta Perfect Steam – our top pick for large loads. This steam iron and station is on the expensive side, it lacks an auto shut-off, and it will take a while to get fully heated up. Once you’ve got it ready to go, though, it is a fantastically easy-to-use, highly efficient model. With 1800W and 5.2 bars of pressure, this high-powered iron will make light work of the most stubborn creases. You can even use it vertically to remove creases from hanging drapes and garments.

With its easy-fill, removable 47oz water tank, you can iron continuously for up to two hours without having to stop to refill. The microsteam stainless steel hotplate features an aluminum core to ensure even heat distribution, while the 400 microsteam holes offer unbeatable steam performance.

The comfort grip handle makes light work of even long ironing sessions, while the precision tip is specifically designed to make ironing collars and pockets a piece of cake. In short, this steam iron system is the best steam iron for your household if you’re often faced with mammoth piles of laundry.

Pros

  • Makes short work of the most stubborn creases
  • Large 47oz water tank provides 2 hours of continuous ironing
  • Comfort grip handle is perfect for extended ironing sessions
  • Precision tip makes ironing collars and pockets easy

Cons

  • No auto shut-off
  • Takes a while to heat up
  • Expensive


Looking for a budget steam iron? Then check out this model by Deik, our top low price pick. It has a respectable 1200W of power for a fast heat up and efficient steam production. Simply use the adjustable lever to increase or decrease the steam to your desired level and fine-tune the temperature with the easy-to-turn, clearly illustrated dial. Lightweight and easy to use, this budget model will glide through your piles of laundry.

The four-times scratch-resistant ceramic soleplate is non-stick and ensures faster ironing on all fabric types. This anti-calc steam iron also features a self-cleaning system for hassle-free maintenance.

On the downside, unfortunately this model doesn’t have an auto shut-off feature. This means you’ll need to make extra sure that you switch it off after each use to prevent any accidents. Moreover, the steam burst option isn’t particularly effective, so you may find yourself having to go over deep creases multiple times. If, though, you’re looking for a low-priced, no-frills model for day-to-day ironing, this steam iron ticks all the boxes.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Self-cleaning system for simple maintenance
  • Non-stick soleplate glides over fabrics
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • No auto shut-off
  • Steam burst not very effective

Comparison Chart

PurSteam Professional GradeBlack+Decker Light ‘N’ GoBlack+Decker Easy SteamRowenta Perfect SteamDeik Steam Iron
Wattage17001500120017501200
Soleplate MaterialStainless SteelCeramicStainless SteelStainless SteelCeramic
Water Capacity (oz)141254710
Vertical SteamX
Steam Adjustment ControlsXX
Self-CleaningXX
Auto Shut-offX
Reservoir CoverX
Corded/CordlessCordedCordlessCordedCordedCorded
Mist FunctionX
Price Range$$$$$$
Warranty2-years2-years2-years1-year3-years

Buyer’s Guide:

Steam Irons

Performance

Steam irons provide superior performance to regular irons. The hot steam generated penetrates the fabric, loosening it so you can remove creases and folds with ease. If you often struggle to get your ironing crease-free, especially on heavier fabrics with deep fold lines, using a steam iron is the way to go.

Spray Mist Function

As conventional irons lack a water tank, if you ever need to moisten your fabric for removing extra deep creases, you’ll need to keep a spray bottle to hand. With a steam iron, though, you can simply press your mist button to release a fine spritz of water that’s carefully designed not to soak your garment.

Multipurpose

Steam irons can also be used as dry irons. If you don’t need to use the steam function for whatever reason, simply turn it off and make sure that there is no water in your iron’s reservoir. With a dry iron, you only have to option to use it as a dry iron. What’s more, if your steam iron has a vertical steaming feature, you can use it to easily steam the creases out of hanging drapes or garments.

Soleplate Material

When choosing your new steam iron, you should pay attention to the soleplate material. For the most part, high-quality steam irons will feature either ceramic or stainless steel soleplates. Ceramic is durable and retains heat for longer but may snag and stick to fabrics at higher temperatures. On the other hand, stainless-steel soleplates are non-stick and will glide smoothly over all fabrics but may not last quite as long as ceramic options.

If you’ll be ironing a wide variety of different fabrics at varying temperatures, we recommend opting for a steam iron with a stainless steel soleplate like our top pick. They may be a little less durable, but the increased heat control and non-stick properties will make for a more enjoyable ironing experience.

Reservoir Capacity

If you tend to get through large loads of laundry, you’ll appreciate a steam iron with a large capacity reservoir. A large water tank means you won’t have to stop as frequently to refill, allowing you to get through your pile of ironing faster with a minimum of distractions. Our favorite large capacity model is the Rowenta Perfect Steam, as a single fill will last for 2 hours of ironing.

Reservoir Type

Some steam iron reservoirs are easier to fill than others. Our top pick offers an easy-access flip-down opening for effortless filling, while large steam iron systems such as the Rowenta Perfect Steam feature removable water tanks which can be filled under the faucet. All our favorite models have a reservoir cover to prevent leaks, except the Black + Decker Easy Steam. Therefore, if you opt for this model, you’ll need to be careful not to overfill it.

Pros

  • Fast & Effective – By removing more folds and creases first time around, you won’t have to spend extra effort turning your garment and going over the same area again and again.
  • Reduce Microbes – Steam is great for killing bacteria and microbes. This adds an extra element of hygiene to your laundry and can help to keep you and your family healthier.
  • Use on Hanging Drapes and Garments – Use the vertical function on your steam iron to save time and effort. Long hanging drapes can be steamed without having to struggle to remove them and shaping them over your board.
  • Steam Delicates – Your delicate garments can be steamed (not steam ironed) using your vertical steam setting. This ensures that you can remove creases from delicate fabrics without risking damaging them.

Cons

  • Leaks  – Steam irons may occasionally leak onto your garments if you overfill the reservoir or use them before they have reached the correct temperature.
Steam Irons

Pros

  • Remove creases quicker and more effectively than dry irons
  • Reduce microbes
  • Some models can be used to steam hanging items or delicate fabrics

Cons

  • Potential for leaks

  • Can steam irons be used with hard water?
  • The majority of steam irons have been designed for use with tap water and many feature self-cleaning functions. If you live in an area with hard water, you may still experience rapid scale buildup. To avoid this, you can use distilled or demineralized water (or a mixture of tap water with distilled water for better value) in your steam iron.

  • How do I clean my steam iron?
  • Most steam irons feature self-cleaning systems which should be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions. From time to time, though, you may want to give your steam iron a good clean to prevent any buildup and to keep it in good working order.

    1. Remove any leftover water from your iron’s reservoir.
    2. Wipe over your slightly warmed iron’s soleplate with a thick, damp cloth to remove any residue.
    3. Mix white vinegar in equal parts to water and pour the solution into your iron’s reservoir.
    4. Select a high or medium steam setting and allow your iron to steam through the water and vinegar solution. If your iron features an auto shut-off system, be sure to move it every so often to keep it powered on.
    5. Once the solution has passed through the steam holes, carefully rinse out your reservoir with clean, fresh water.
    6. Refill with water and allow your iron to steam this through as in step four, but using only fresh water.
    7. Before using it again on your laundry, we recommend refilling the tank again and ironing over a kitchen cloth or other unimportant item to ensure that all traces have been removed.
  • Will a steam iron damage delicate fabrics?
  • Generally, it’s not advisable to steam iron delicate fabrics such as silk, wool and certain synthetics. These fabrics often cannot stand up to the high temperatures of ironing. While you won’t want to iron them directly, you can still use your steam iron to gently steam them without putting the soleplate in contact with the fabric. Doing so will gently remove any fold marks and creases without damaging your delicate items.

Final Thoughts

Steam irons really are the best way to a crease-free wardrobe. Our favorite, the PurSteam Professional Grade, is our top steam iron choice. Combining high-quality construction with a functional design, this model provides the durability, reliability, and performance of a top-end steam iron without the hefty price tag. It also features an auto shut-off safety function and provides you with a powerful 1700W for a fast heat up and exceptional all-round ease of use.

As we all have different needs, we also strongly recommend these alternative models depending upon your circumstances. If you’re looking for a steam iron for large loads of laundry, for example, we recommend the Rowenta Perfect Steam. This powerful model packs enough capacity for 2 hours non-stop ironing per fill.

On the other hand, if you’re short on space, check out the Black+Decker Easy Steam. It’s fairly basic, but provides a great no-frills choice with built-in SmartSteam Technology that automatically adapts your steam level to your desired temperature.

If you have time on your hands but always end up with your cord in a tangle, we recommend you go for Black+Decker’s Light ‘N’ Easy Cordless, while budget shoppers should opt for the Deik Steam Iron for simple, day-to-day ironing tasks.

Further Reading

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