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Best features to look for in a steam iron

Tamara Avatar By: Tamara | Last updated January 12, 2021

woman white shirt holding steam iron steam coming out gray background

The best question you should ask yourself is do you need a steam iron and why is that a good investment. Steam irons are a good investment for those who want their clothes to look professional and fresh with no much hassle. They use the power of steam and heat to press almost any kind of material, to straighten it no matter how much crumpled it is and the final effect is a fresh look. The following features will introduce you some of the basic and more advanced designs, depending on the purpose and the effectiveness you would like to have. 

The Heating speed is important when you want to save your time and not wait long for the iron to reach the desired heat and you should look for the models that are heating up quickly. At the same time, it is desirable that these iron models can maintain the heat longer with a precise temperature. It is usually below 70 seconds for high-speed heating. Every model should also have a light that indicates when the iron reached the heat and is ready to use.

Safety is probably the most important feature you should look for. Any iron can cause a fire and there are several features that can prevent it. One of them, that can be found in some more expensive models, is iTouch Technology designed to reach and lift the iron from the surface when it’s not in use. Auto-shutoff features are very important. The “stand-by” mechanism will be activated when the iron is not in use. This feature is different in terms of the time when the iron stands vertical or horizontal. 

Construction can be essential for maintaining heat. Multi-layer iron construction can also provide optimum temperature for longer periods. Soleplate technology can make a lot of difference. Some of the best soleplate technologies are aluminum, non-stick soleplate, stainless steel, and ceramic. It’s also important to look out for the durability of the soleplate, and scratch resistance. One of the best soleplates uses Dirilium technology which distributes even more steam release because it has holes in the center, sides, and tips. The ceramic soleplate is good at heat-conducting capability, eliminating statics and it produces the heat evenly on the surface. Stainless soleplates are durable, easy to maintain, and they are great heat conductors.

Performance is related to construction and the type of steam diffusion. The steam output is important because it will result in the quality of ironing. The more robust and consistent steam output will result in better ironing and more power to straighten the toughest wrinkles. Some iron models have automatic steam settings, while others can be set up manually. Steam generator irons will increase the amount of steam up to several times, unlike the standard iron. Non-pressured and pressured iron generators are two models (the pressure level is measured in bars). The pressured iron generator will produce higher steam output for ironing really bad creases.

Also, continuous steam diffusion is another great feature covering the whole material surface with the holes on the soleplate’s side, heart, and tip. Vertical steam within the performance is an add-on feature that can be more convenient for many users. It allows you to vertically iron the clothes with high power and great efficiency.

Comfort is about the features that are related to several different aspects:

One of them is the leak test that should result in an anti-drip. This will prevent you from leaving a stain spot on your clothes, but it will also prevent any heat hazards.

Eco Mode feature is perfect for eco-friendly users because it has Eco Intelligence that will efficiently save power when less steam is needed.

Power cord length is usually around 2 or 3 meters allowing you to move and to be more flexible in your room.

Water filling hole and water tank capacity come within comfort features. The water filling hole can be small, medium or extra-large. Steam irons with a medium filling hole can be just enough, while those with small holes can be trouble sometimes.

The Water tanks can be traditionally built-in. This water tank produces steam to iron the fabric and the higher the steam output, the better the performance will be. Irons with a separate water tank produce a bigger amount of steam from a higher pressure and more power. With these irons, the process is faster because you can halve the ironing time by pressing only one side of the clothes. Of course, these models will cost you more, but it can be worth it.

The Anti-scale function is important for maintaining and extending the life of the iron. This anti-scale function is integrated with a filter that measures the level of limescale inside the iron. Limescale can ruin the mechanism of the iron and that’s why it is important to have a technology that will measure the “hardness” of the water you fill in.

A fair price for a decent model is something all of us are looking for. Of course, the price can go higher if you’re looking for models with high-tech features, modern technology like eco-friendly options, 3D soleplate technology, iTouch technology or something else. The price depends on the features and whether you want to buy it for personal and home use or if you are a professional crafter and sewer.

Design is not just an aesthetic characteristic but is also serves the practical approach. The design of every iron must offer comfort, lightness and some features that will ease your use. One of these features is the digital interface. It has a feature with an indicator telling you when it’s ready to use, to measure the heating time. Some steam iron models also have an audio feature within this display that will beep when the iron is ready to use. Now we can see how design can be important for safety while offering the lightness and comfort when using it.