Best Steam Iron – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Steam Iron – Reviews & Buying Guide (November 2019)

Updated: February 5, 2019

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron

After 41 hours spent researching the best steam irons, we think CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: dimensions, soleplate material, type, energy consumption, auto shut-off side / soleplate, auto shut-off heel rest, steam vents, temperature control, grip handle, self-clean, retractable cord, anti-drip, vertical steam, weight, and warranty, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityDurabilityAppearanceMaintenanceValue for Moneydimensionssoleplate materialtypeenergy consumptionauto shut-off side / soleplateauto shut-off heel reststeam ventstemperature controlgrip handleself-cleanretractable cordanti-dripvertical steamweightwarranty
CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam IronCHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam IronCheck Price4.95.04.55.05.05.04.8 x 12.3 x 6.4 inTitanium-infused ceramicMicro-steam1700 W30 sec8 min400+ holes5 levelsErgonomicNoYesYesNo3.5 lbs2 years
Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam IronRowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam IronCheck Price4.85.04.54.55.05.011 x 5 x 6 inStainless steelMicro-steam1700 W30 sec8 min400 holes5 levelsErgonomicYesNoYesYes3.4 lbs1 year
Black+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam IronBlack+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam IronCheck Price4.65.04.04.55.04.55 x 11.5 x 6 inStainless steel Classic1500 W30 sec8 min62 holes7 levelsErgonomicYesNoYesYes4 lbs1 year
Black+Decker Allure D3030 Professional Steam IronBlack+Decker Allure D3030 Professional Steam IronCheck Price4.44.55.04.04.04.54.3 x 5.7 x 11.7 inStainless steel Classic1600 W30 sec8 min23 holes5 levelsErgonomicYesNoYesYes1.89 lbs2 years
Sunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam IronSunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam IronCheck Price4.34.54.04.04.54.512 x 4.9 x 5.5 inStainless steel Classic1400 W30 sec15 min15 holesVariableErgonomicYesYesYesYes2.95 lbs1 year
Best Steam Iron

Handheld steamers have become popular in recent years but the best steam iron can accomplish the same tasks.

Martha Stewart’s celebrated blog proclaims confidently that the steam function of an iron should be your friend. The practical applications go far beyond removing wrinkles.

Pity the poor souls who had to use the original flat irons heated on a wood burning stove! Electric models finally showed up in the late 1800s but they were far from the sleek effective ones available today.

An overflowing laundry basket is much easier to deal with now. We get to use an automatic washing machine, extract reasonably-smooth items from an energy efficient clothes dryer, set up a sturdy ironing board and get any unavoidable ironing done quickly. Even a typical ironing board cover is made of materials that make the job of pressing more effective.

Treated fabrics are available today, too. When washed with an effective laundry detergent or gentle hand-wash detergent and the addition of a fabric softener, clothing articles may only require being placed on hangers or a clothes drying rack to look their best.

Despite all these marvelous improvements, there are still various times you need the assistance of heat plus steam to get items looking their best.

Some swear by placing a garment on a clothes rack and dealing with wrinkles using a handheld clothes steamer, but the best steam iron works just as well in most situations as a clothes steamer, and can sometimes be even a better choice.

Selection Of The Best Steam Irons

Here are the best steam irons for most people according to Outlinist:

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
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When they needed an iron for clothes, our great grandmothers used to put a heavy iron on the fire to heat up. The handle was wrapped because it got as hot as the iron.

The automatic shut off feature on those old irons was called time.

Since then, things have changed. The only thing great-grandma would recognize is the shape.

Today’s steam irons, heavy duty or not, are a distant cousin from the originals. We look for the best iron for linen or the best iron for wrinkles.

Now the best steam irons on the market are almost specialist tools for a specifically defined task.

Information

The 8 foot long cord is fully retractable which means it winds itself up into the heel of the unit.

Enter the CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron. This is a steam iron with a ceramic soleplate. The alternative by the way is stainless steel which has a reputation for being hotter. However, this soleplate is titanium infused which overcomes any heat reservations.

This is a high-end unit, and so there’s plenty of attention to detail. This model has electronic controls which means that you’ll never have to guess the temperature. And, of course, it is self-cleaning – what else would you expect?

There are two color variations to choose from; grey with red highlights or grey with gold. The bottom slopes upward at the end of the soleplate so that only the soleplate (the hot part) comes into contact with fabric you’re ironing. It also means CHI has put a lot of effort into making sure the balance sits where it needs to for the most efficient press and the entire weight is only 3.5 pounds.

dimensions4.8 x 12.3 x 6.4 in
soleplate materialTitanium-infused ceramic
typeMicro-steam
energy consumption1700 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest8 min
steam vents400+ holes
temperature control5 levels
grip handleErgonomic
self-cleanNo
retractable cordYes
anti-dripYes
vertical steamNo
weight3.5 lbs
warranty2 years

CHI has incorporated plenty of nice touches into the design of the 13102 model. The 8 foot long cord is fully retractable which means it winds itself up into the heel of the unit. Besides not being an eyesore, it also saves wear and tear on the cord itself helping it to last.

Another nice touch is easy access to the water tank, and the reservoir has an extra-large opening that makes filling without spilling an easy task. The temperature dial is easy to reach and it has an automatic shut off feature

You want an iron to be comfortable in your hand, and the CHI 13102 certainly is. The handle has a comfortable grip and the steam burst slider is conveniently located near the thumb.

Pros

The most interesting thing is that it is scratch resistant. It keeps the plate looking good and lasting longer.

That narrative gives you plenty to think about, but there are a bunch of features which make the CHI 13102 something out of the ordinary. Here are six other really interesting features which add to the attractiveness of this steam iron.

  • It’s a steam iron, so let’s talk about steam to start: You don’t need to worry about steam volume. With 400 holes in the plate there’s more than enough to go around. The generous number of holes along with the titanium and ceramic plate make it hot enough with enough steam to handle the worst wrinkles.
  • Digital display screen: A tough yet sensitive plate displays in clear English the temperature along with the fabric for which the setting is appropriate. Linen, cotton wool, silk and synthetics are the options. Leave the guessing game to other, less precise steam irons.
  • A high-power rating adds nicely to the iron’s great convenience: You might be asking why you care about the power rating. Well here’s the answer: With a full 1700 watts you get plenty of power, which means, you’re not waiting for the steam. It heats up quickly, and a quick burst of extra steam responds fast.
  • Retractable cord is a real bonus: It’s not a rarity any more – there are a lot of products with retractable cords, but it is great when it comes to storage. It’s good for the cord and it is just a nice touch to help your iron last.
  • Ceramic and titanium soleplate has its advantages: The most interesting thing is that it is scratch resistant. It keeps the plate looking good and lasting longer. It’s easy to keep clean and it is also really strong too. The titanium is particularly efficient with transferring heat.
  • Good-sized opening for filling the water tank: The temperature display swivels to the side and you have a huge opening to fill the iron quickly and easily without a special pitcher or measuring cup with a small spout. It is a really neat finish and a clever use of the space available.

Cons

If that all seems just a little too positive, there are a few potential downsides to the CHI 13102 iron which are worth bringing to your attention. These probably will not rule it out, but it’s still good to know the minuses before making a purchase.

  • Retractable cord takes up space: Because 8 feet of cord length and the mechanism to wind it have to be stored in the heel of the iron, it necessarily has to be on the larger side. It is not over the top, and the design helps.
  • Cord is fairly short: There has to be a compromise between the length of the retractable cord and the space needed to hold it. In this case the length is 8 ft. That might be plenty for you, but some need at least a 9 or 10 foot cord to comfortably reach an outlet.
  • Take care of the soleplate exactly according to the instructions: The ceramic finish needs a little care. Clean it by heating to linen temperature and then rubbing with damp cotton. If you follow the guidelines all should be well, but make sure that you protect the surface to keep it in good condition.

Comparison

 

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam IronCHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron

Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam IronRowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron

Black+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam IronBlack+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam Iron

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
dimensions4.8 x 12.3 x 6.4 in11 x 5 x 6 in5 x 11.5 x 6 in
soleplate materialTitanium-infused ceramicStainless steelStainless steel
typeMicro-steamMicro-steamClassic
energy consumption1700 W1700 W1500 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec30 sec30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest8 min8 min8 min
steam vents400+ holes400 holes62 holes
temperature control5 levels5 levels7 levels
grip handleErgonomicErgonomicErgonomic
self-cleanNoYesYes
retractable cordYesNoNo
anti-dripYesYesYes
vertical steamNoYesYes
weight3.5 lbs3.4 lbs4 lbs
warranty2 years1 year1 year

Summary

It has a nice enough weight that there’s no pushing and getting wrinkles out by the weight you put in.

The CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron has plenty of technology to make for a smooth glide across all types of materials.

It has a nice enough weight that there’s no pushing and getting wrinkles out by the weight you put in. With 400 steam holes and 1700 watts of power, there’s plenty of steam available no matter what the job is.

The display on its own almost makes the iron by itself. It’s a clearly legible panel which swivels around to reveal the opening to the reservoir that is larger than most traditional reservoir openings and can be filled directly. There’s little wonder this steam iron is classed professional.


Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron

Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron
(rated 4.8 / 5)
Quality
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When it comes to steam ironing clothes, Rowenta irons have their name up there as an iron to look at.

Read almost any Rowenta steam iron review and you’ll find very happy owners who have used their iron 15 years or more before having to buy a new one.

If it has been that long since you looked at steam iron ratings, you’re in for a shock.

Things have come a long way since then, and like everything else, irons incorporate new technology.

You can expect today’s steam iron to be lightweight, efficient and to power through a pile of wrinkled garments.

Information

The sole plate is stainless steel which heats up very quickly, is easy to keep clean and is long-lasting.

Is the Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron worthy of its great name and reputation in the market? Of course it is. This German made iron lives up to both the promise of the brand and the German engineering reputation as well.

The first thing you will notice about this Rowenta steam iron is that it looks sleek and modern. Its color scheme is officially brown, but it is more like a mushroom color offset by cream. The entire iron angles forward as if it is hungry to be ironing and, in a hurry, to get going. The cord is just shy of 8 feet long and doesn’t retract.

The thermostat control is any easy to use dial that’s fatter at the center of the control which makes it much easier to align with the chosen setting. No more need to squint at a dial to figure out what setting you’ve chosen.

dimensions11 x 5 x 6 in
soleplate materialStainless steel
typeMicro-steam
energy consumption1700 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest8 min
steam vents400 holes
temperature control5 levels
grip handleErgonomic
self-cleanYes
retractable cordNo
anti-dripYes
vertical steamYes
weight3.4 lbs
warranty1 year

The sole plate is stainless steel which heats up very quickly, is easy to keep clean and is long-lasting. The plate consists of 400 individual steam holes, a plus because the more steam the easier the job.

A generous 10 ounce water tank is heated quickly to steam by 1700 watts of power. You’re ready to iron in moments after plugging it in, and 10 ounces of water creates plenty of steam without having to fill up all of the time.

The extra burst of steam is particularly powerful at 100 gram/minute, plus you can use the Rowenta DW5080 vertically on drapes or to quickly freshen up a hanging garment.

Pros

There’s lots you can do to look after your iron, but this iron does a lot on its own.

There’s a lot to love about the Rowenta DW5080 steam iron. The stainless steel plate, the power rating and the 400 steam holes, for example. But in addition, here are 6 features that make it just a little bit more special.

  • Precision tip is brilliant: The nose comes to a sharp point, which is called a precision tip for good reason. It’s very helpful when you need to iron into pleats, around buttons, or get under a collar. This is design taken to a new level.
  • Vertical steam is something you didn’t know you wanted: Vertical steam is how you iron the curtains without taking them down. Hold the iron with the handle facing you and freshen the drapes with a blast of steam as they hang in place. You can even use it like a handheld clothes steamer on a dress or suit on a hanger.
  • The power off feature is a tribute to safety first: The DW5080 is similar to other irons in that it is a steam iron with auto shut off if left vertical for 8 minutes. But Rowenta adds further safety features to shut it down after 30 seconds if it is left horizontal or on its side.
  • Self-cleaning feature and an anti-calcium valve help keep it tip-top: There’s lots you can do to look after your iron, but this iron does a lot on its own. There is a valve neatly called the “calc-away valve” which prevents calcium and impurities from building up. Of course, the iron is self-cleaning too.
  • Extra steam means extra pressing power and an easier job: 400 micro steam holes are helped out by a burst of steam at 100 gram/minute for extra power when you need to tackle a really stubborn crease. If you’ve ever run the shower and hung something in the bathroom, you know why this matters.
  • This is the iron to have when you have piles of ironing: The stainless steel plate and its finish give you a powerful gliding action which means less effort on your part. You might not think it matters until you have to iron for four people.

Cons

Just in case you’re wondering if there is something, anything about the Rowenta DW5080 that has a sniff of negative about it, here are three less positive features which you might want to think about.

  • Weighs a bit more than other irons: The iron weighs 3.4 pounds which is more than others in its class. However, the weight is offset by how easy it is to push around and the very good glide provided by the stainless steel soleplate.
  • Be prepared to refill the tank frequently: Although the 10 ounce water reservoir is generously sized, the iron produces so much steam that it uses up the water rather fast. This is a tradeoff between a quality steam iron that makes ironing easier and one that produces less steam.
  • Don’t leave the tank full: Be sure to follow the instructions on care. Leaving water in the iron is going to compromise it long term because though the plate is stainless steel there are other parts which are not. It could lead to leaks.

Comparison

 

Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam IronRowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam IronCHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron

Black+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam IronBlack+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam Iron

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
dimensions11 x 5 x 6 in4.8 x 12.3 x 6.4 in5 x 11.5 x 6 in
soleplate materialStainless steelTitanium-infused ceramicStainless steel
typeMicro-steamMicro-steamClassic
energy consumption1700 W1700 W1500 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec30 sec30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest8 min8 min8 min
steam vents400 holes400+ holes62 holes
temperature control5 levels5 levels7 levels
grip handleErgonomicErgonomicErgonomic
self-cleanYesNoYes
retractable cordNoYesNo
anti-dripYesYesYes
vertical steamYesNoYes
weight3.4 lbs3.5 lbs4 lbs
warranty1 year2 years1 year

Summary

The safety features go beyond the standard automatic shut off if left vertical, with a 30 second auto shut off if you leave it face down or it drops sideways by accident.

The Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron is this century’s iron. It has a smooth stainless steel soleplate with 400 steam release holes and it comes to a sharp point at the front for precision ironing around buttons and collars.

The safety features go beyond the standard automatic shut off if left vertical, with a 30 second auto shut off if you leave it face down or it drops sideways by accident. The vertical steam feature and the sheer volume of steam means you can make sure that window drapes look great as well as doing quick touch ups of hanging garments.

This is a top-of-the line steam iron engineered and manufactured in Germany. It’s a high-quality iron that will serve you well for the next decade and beyond.


Black+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam Iron

Black+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam Iron
(rated 4.6 / 5)
Quality
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Appearance
Maintenance
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Check Price

It’s hard to imagine someone running happily toward their iron and ironing board, eagerly anticipating the wrinkle-free clothes they are about to have.

It’s even harder to imagine that anyone likes ironing at all. Maybe a good steam iron can change that.

Ironing for some people is, at best, a quick and thoughtless activity and, at worst, an evil chore to be avoided.

For most, there are probably one or two parts about ironing that truly makes you crazy.

If you choose an iron that makes the parts you hate less awful, you may find that ironing your clothes isn’t nearly as terrible as it once was.

Information

With a good sturdy weight of three pounds, the ergonomic handle keeps your arm, wrist and hand comfortable regardless of how long you’ve been trying to put the perfect crease in each pair of jeans.

An iron that makes one of the worst household chores fun – can such an iron exist?

The real question is does a person exist that likes to iron. The world may never have the answer but the Black+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam Iron certainly is made for such a person.

With a good sturdy weight of three pounds, the ergonomic handle keeps your arm, wrist and hand comfortable regardless of how long you’ve been trying to put the perfect crease in each pair of jeans. The smart digital display keeps you informed of just about everything going on. Ideal for those who love to multitask around the house, one glance and you’ll know if the iron is ready, the temperature and what fabric setting it’s set to.

dimensions5 x 11.5 x 6 in
soleplate materialStainless steel
typeClassic
energy consumption1500 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest8 min
steam vents62 holes
temperature control7 levels
grip handleErgonomic
self-cleanYes
retractable cordNo
anti-dripYes
vertical steamYes
weight4 lbs
warranty1 year

1500 watts of power heat this machine up to 160 degrees, easily hammering the wrinkles out of your clothes while the unit itself, buttons, dials and the body, remain cool to the touch. A standard steam iron with an auto shut off feature, it will turn itself off if left idle for longer than 10 minutes.

The soleplate reduces drag, smoothly glides across fabric, evenly distributes heat and, most importantly, can be cleaned very easily. The non-stock INOX stainless steel the soleplate is composed of is a special alloy that prevents rust and corrosion from forming.

It is durable, backed by a 1 year warranty, and best of all it helps you get your ironing done more quickly so you can spend more time not ironing.

Pros

Choose a surge of steam for extra tough wrinkles or a gentle mist.

Considered the best iron some people have ever had, this Black and Decker D2030 is a model that has been tested and found to be a true friend of those who both love and hate ironing. There’s really not much more that needs to be said.

  • Start ironing quickly with its fast heat up time: Waiting for your iron to heat up can be just the reason you need to skip ironing altogether. Not so with this steam iron by Black + Decker. It heats up quickly and even beeps to let you know it’s ready.
  • Get the right temperature every time, no guesswork needed: The D2030 lets you customize the temperature thanks for its LCD digital display. A convenient fabric guide also helps you determine the heat level for different types of material. You’ll always know the right setting to choose.
  • A large water tank that lets you iron more: The iron’s casing is clear so you can see the water levels at all times, but you’ll barely need to monitor it. Large and easy to fill, the steam iron water tank can hold 12 ounces. Refill less often and iron uninterrupted longer.
  • Steam that puts a sauna to shame: This clothes iron really shines when it comes to the steam. Not because it has a total of 62 vents to shoot steam, but because of the seven different steam options. Choose a surge of steam for extra tough wrinkles or a gentle mist.
  • More than an iron, use it as a steamer too: Have drapes or a dress that’s too delicate to be ironed? No problem for this work horse. Turn this iron vertically to steam the wrinkles right out. Delicate fabrics and clothing with heavy beading or embroidery will also benefit from this machine’s versatility.
  • Overall value that cannot be denied: Many steam producing irons just don’t last beyond the one year mark, making this one all the more impressive. Known for its dependability, performance and affordable price, it’s hard to disagree with adding this one to your collection of household appliances.

Cons

Can an iron in this price range with such good performance, durability and user-friendly features be without flaws? Did you laugh out loud at that question? Good. The issues are not deal breakers for most, but it’s good to know them nonetheless.

  • Awkward placement of steam selector setting dial: The dial is located right underneath the front of the handle, making it the perfect place to accidentally change the setting while ironing. You’ll notice the mistake once the amount of steam coming out is more or less than you intended.
  • Fragile water tank cap: The cap is made of plastic and feels a bit on the delicate side. You’ll have to handle the iron with a good amount of care to keep the cap intact. Even then, the cap may still break over time.
  • Non-retractable cord could be longer: Though the cord can pivot 360 degrees, meaning it never tangles and moves smoothly, it doesn’t retract for easy storage when not in use. It’s also only 8 feet. That may be long enough for some; it all depends on how close the nearest outlet is.

Comparison

 

Black+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam IronBlack+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam Iron

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam IronCHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron

Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam IronRowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
dimensions5 x 11.5 x 6 in4.8 x 12.3 x 6.4 in11 x 5 x 6 in
soleplate materialStainless steel Titanium-infused ceramicStainless steel
typeClassicMicro-steamMicro-steam
energy consumption1500 W1700 W1700 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec30 sec30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest8 min8 min8 min
steam vents62 holes400+ holes400 holes
temperature control7 levels5 levels5 levels
grip handleErgonomicErgonomicErgonomic
self-cleanYesNoYes
retractable cordNoYesNo
anti-dripYesYesYes
vertical steamYesNoYes
weight4 lbs3.5 lbs3.4 lbs
warranty1 year2 years1 year

Summary

Though it doesn’t have a retractable cord and some of its pieces are more fragile than they should be, it more than makes up for what it lacks with its affordable price tag, versatile steaming options and ease of use.

For the casual ironing-hater to the expert who has tried every iron, the Black+Decker Digital Advantage D2030 Professional Steam Iron is loved by the entire spectrum. Its large tank, digital display and dependable construction stand out, making this one model worth looking into when it’s time for finally getting a new iron.

Though it doesn’t have a retractable cord and some of its pieces are more fragile than they should be, it more than makes up for what it lacks with its affordable price tag, versatile steaming options and ease of use.

It may not be the feature-heavy steam iron that has every safety and auto-clean feature but it does have the heat and steam power to quickly get your clothes creased in the right places and wrinkle free.


Black+Decker Allure D3030 Professional Steam Iron

Black+Decker Allure D3030 Professional Steam Iron
(rated 4.4 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Who do you think of when it comes to the best steam iron brand?

Are there names you’d recognize to put on your list? If not and you just want a steam iron for clothes, where do you start?

Perhaps you just want a steam iron with an auto shut off feature because there are children around?

Whatever is important on your list, if this is the first time you’ve ever bought an iron or it has been a while, prepare to be amazed at how high tech the humble steam iron has become.

This is not your mother’s steam iron – no way!

Information

It’s safe to use regular tap water since the Allure D3030 has an automatic cleaning system to flush out calcium and other mineral deposits.

Are you wondering if it’s possible to get excited about a steam iron? Well it turns out you can. The Black+Decker Allure D3030 Professional Steam Iron is quite worthy of a little enthusiasm.

You might see a steam iron with a stainless steel soleplate as something totally utilitarian, or you might get a thrill from a pile of beautifully ironed clothes. Either way, when it comes to steam ironing clothes, the Allure D3030 has a lot going for it.

This is a sleek looking iron. The stainless steel finish, highlighted with a bit of dark blue, gives it a professional look and it tapers to a good point for precision ironing around buttons and pleated sleeves. The cord is placed right at the back of the heel, but is balanced nicely so it’s not going to fall over when you have it upright.

dimensions4.3 x 5.7 x 11.7 in
soleplate materialStainless steel
typeClassic
energy consumption1600 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest8 min
steam vents23 holes
temperature control5 levels
grip handleErgonomic
self-cleanYes
retractable cordNo
anti-dripYes
vertical steamYes
weight1.89 lbs
warranty2 years

It’s safe to use regular tap water since the Allure D3030 has an automatic cleaning system to flush out calcium and other mineral deposits. The water reservoir is conveniently located in the front for easy access. There are plenty of steam holes in the soleplate and the steam blast feature gives extra oomph when you need it.

With 5 different temperature settings as well as variable steam volume you have total control over temperature and steam (or no steam) on all fabric types.

It also is incredibly light compared to other similar irons. It weighs less than 2 pounds so you’re not going to build the muscles in one arm if you have a family’s worth of ironing.

Pros

Ironing doesn’t have to be hard physical labor anymore.

What makes one iron so much better or worse than another one? It is the features, and this Black and Decker has a lot of positive ones. Here are 6 features which make it special.

  • Vertical steam function: The vertical steam capability makes this the perfect steam iron for curtains. Hold the iron vertically and press the steam blast button as usual. You get a perfect blast of steam. No need to hang clothes in a steamy bathroom either. The vertical steam functions like a handheld steamer.
  • Three way safety feature: If the iron is on its heel, it will shut off after 8 minutes. But if it’s knocked over or left plate down it only takes 30 seconds before it starts to cool down. No more worrying about the kids jostling the ironing board if you leave the room.
  • Lightweight but effective: The Allure D3030 weighs only 1.89 pounds, but if you think that a heavier iron will work better, think again. The steam blast technology delivers a seriously hot blast exactly where you need it. Ironing doesn’t have to be hard physical labor anymore.
  • Stainless steel soleplate makes gliding across clothes a breeze: The stainless steel is already going to help transfer heat to the fabric to ensure wrinkle removal, but the finish means that it glides rather than you having to force it over the material.
  • Comfort grip designed to reduce hand strain: If you have a mountain of ironing you know that your hand can get achy, especially if you have to exert any pressure. The comfort grip on the Allure D3030 is designed to help you get through the mountain without getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Regular tap water is safe to use: With Black and Decker’s trademarked Auto Clean system, there’s no need to worry about having to use distilled water. The system removes mineral deposits left by tap water over time keeping it in tip top condition.

Cons

If all that sounds too good to be true then be assured there are some minuses to this Black and Decker iron. Every product, even ones from reputable manufacturers have something that’s not stellar. Here are three potential drawbacks to be aware of.

  • Setting the right temperature could be easier: The temperature dial does not have any suggested settings for various fabrics. Maybe you know all that by now, but it’s nice to have reminders and it’s something that most irons provide.
  • No on/off switch: Most irons have some way of manually turning them off; either by turning the dial all the way down to the off setting or with a switch. With the D3030, the only way to turn it off is to unplug it.
  • Cord attachment is not flexible: This will only matter if you’re one of those people who ties knots in cords. The cord doesn’t pivot where it’s attached to the iron which means you have to make a bit of an effort to maneuver it as you go.

Comparison

 

Black+Decker Allure D3030 Professional Steam IronBlack+Decker Allure D3030 Professional Steam Iron

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam IronCHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron

Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam IronRowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
dimensions4.3 x 5.7 x 11.7 in4.8 x 12.3 x 6.4 in11 x 5 x 6 in
soleplate materialStainless steel Titanium-infused ceramicStainless steel
typeClassicMicro-steamMicro-steam
energy consumption1600 W1700 W1700 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec30 sec30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest8 min8 min8 min
steam vents23 holes400+ holes400 holes
temperature control5 levels5 levels5 levels
grip handleErgonomicErgonomicErgonomic
self-cleanYesNoYes
retractable cordNoYesNo
anti-dripYesYesYes
vertical steamYesNoYes
weight1.89 lbs3.5 lbs3.4 lbs
warranty2 years2 years1 year

Summary

It is amazingly lightweight by comparison with other irons in the same sector.

The Black+Decker Allure D3030 Professional Steam Iron carries its professional title with pride. As a mid-range product it provides a lot of features and functionality and has the storied Black and Decker name backing its quality.

It is amazingly lightweight by comparison with other irons in the same sector. But what it lacks in heft, it makes up for in heat and steam. This is a hot iron and its steam technology is superior to other irons in its class – including other Black and Decker models.

Easy to use with a high glide factor and plenty of steam from a good sized reservoir, plus vertical steam functionality. What’s not to love about this steam iron?


Sunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam Iron

Sunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam Iron
(rated 4.3 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

It’s okay if you don’t have the best steam iron in the world, as long as you know that you’re getting what you pay for.

If it heats up and gives you a good dose of steam, your clothes will be fine.

Ironing can definitely rub people the wrong way, with some being completely okay walking out the door with the deepest wrinkles before they pick up an iron.

This Sunbeam iron is for those people.

If you want a decent iron, but you don’t iron most days, something affordable that doesn’t ask you to work too hard is the ticket.

Information

The steam vents are large and run along the side of the soleplate to evenly distribute the steam.

Not fully loaded, not the sleekest and certainly not a professional high-end model, the Sunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam Iron is a very good iron nonetheless.

With a 15 minute automatic shut off, quilters will think this is the best iron for sewing. The 1400 watts of power is not the highest, but it does heat up fast and stays hot while ironing. It performs at a high enough level to be used for pressing seams in a tailor shop.

The non-stick, stainless steel soleplate is large, offering a wide coverage of most garments. The smooth plate glides easily over the surface. The stainless also happens to be very easy to clean. This sunbeam model proves you don’t have to be sophisticated to get a good product that doesn’t tug or damage your clothes.

dimensions12 x 4.9 x 5.5 in
soleplate materialStainless steel
typeClassic
energy consumption1400 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest15 min
steam vents15 holes
temperature controlVariable
grip handleErgonomic
self-cleanYes
retractable cordYes
anti-dripYes
vertical steamYes
weight2.95 lbs
warranty1 year

The steam vents are large and run along the side of the soleplate to evenly distribute the steam. The steam options put an end to the steam iron vs dry iron conundrum; you can choose either option with this iron, making it perfect for wool sweaters that shouldn’t use steam.

Self-cleaning, this iron does all it can to make your job easier. The integrated system pushes out dirt and anything else that can block the steam holes, helping to prolong the lifespan of the unit.

At an affordable price, this iron performs far above anything you’d expect. If you know you have no intention of using most features on higher-end models, stop looking and buy this Sunbeam.

Pros

While most irons place the dial directly under the handle, this machine puts it at the front, next to the steam lever.

Sunbeam is one of those steam iron brands that knows who it is, and doesn’t try to be anything else. They create affordable irons that have decent heat and steam, don’t come with a range of bells and whistles but perform admirably.

  • Takes some of the load off of your plate: Though not the hottest iron, it can still help you get a lot done. Weighing in around 3 pounds, it’s heavy enough to remove wrinkles but light enough that you aren’t completely spent after doing a big load, or loads, of laundry.
  • Easy to store after use: Though the 8 foot cord may be a bit bulky for some and hard to get used to, it does retract for easy storage once you’re doing using the unit. For the price point, this is truly a feature to celebrate.
  • Get rid of wrinkles and creases quickly: The best steam iron for clothes allows you to skip the iron and go full steam. When you need a shirt now, this Sunbeam steam iron can be used vertically as a clothes steamer. Blast it with some steam and go.
  • Extremely safe: If you tip the unit over as you race to answer your phone or lay it on its soleplate, the unit will shut off after 30 seconds. If it’s left on its heel, it will automatically shut off after 15 seconds.
  • Easily change the heat settings: While most irons place the dial directly under the handle, this machine puts it at the front, next to the steam lever. You can check the setting you’re currently using and even change the temperature, all while you’re in the middle of ironing.
  • Seriously affordable: For the person who hates steam ironing, and does it only when absolutely necessary, it doesn’t make much sense to spend a lot on an iron. This iron is affordable but still gets the job done, and it does have some nice features like the retractable cord usually only found on high-end models.

Cons

If you’re getting a Sunbeam, you probably already know the reliable and utilitarian name. Any iron in this price range just won’t have the capability of models at the higher end of the market. For most people, that is just fine.

  • No indicator telling you when to start: Waiting for the iron to heat up is a pet peeve for many, and this unit makes it worse by leaving you in limbo about when it’s ready to go. There is no LED light or beeping noise indicating that the specified temperature has been reached.
  • Anti-leak protection still leaks: Be careful with this iron. The hard to see water levels may overflow and drops of water sometimes will collect at the steam vents located on the soleplate. Your clothes will be at risk of getting hurt by them.
  • Won’t last a lifetime: This is not saying do not buy one, we’re just telling you it may not work effectively for a long time. Issues like the cord not retracting and too much leakage are examples of potential quality control issues that can shorten its useful life.

Comparison

 

Sunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam IronSunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam Iron

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam IronCHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron

Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam IronRowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Stainless Steam Iron

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
dimensions12 x 4.9 x 5.5 in4.8 x 12.3 x 6.4 in11 x 5 x 6 in
soleplate materialStainless steel Titanium-infused ceramicStainless steel
typeClassicMicro-steamMicro-steam
energy consumption1400 W1700 W1700 W
auto shut-off side / soleplate30 sec30 sec30 sec
auto shut-off heel rest15 min8 min8 min
steam vents15 holes400+ holes400 holes
temperature controlVariable5 levels5 levels
grip handleErgonomicErgonomicErgonomic
self-cleanYesNoYes
retractable cordYesYesNo
anti-dripYesYesYes
vertical steamYesNoYes
weight2.95 lbs3.5 lbs3.4 lbs
warranty1 year2 years1 year

Summary

The Sunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam Iron will get the wrinkles out of almost all fabrics, but may experience some issues with linen and wool materials.

This steam iron falls into the category of some will love it, claiming it gives off great amounts of steam and heat, and some will hate it and will claim just the opposite. With the right expectations, you will be able to figure out if it’s really worth the money.

The Sunbeam Steam Master GCSBSP-201-FFP Steam Iron will get the wrinkles out of almost all fabrics, but may experience some issues with linen and wool materials. The retractable cord, alone, makes this iron worth taking a second look at, especially if you don’t have a lot of space to store things.

An affordable product that gets the job done, this steam iron could be just the ticket for those who hate ironing and only pull it out when absolutely necessary.

Best Cat Tree Buying Guide

Type of steam iron

Two main types of steam irons are the classic steam iron and the micro-steam iron. A micro-steam iron has hundreds of tiny holes in the soleplate to release steam and battle wrinkles. The classic has plenty too, but not as many and they’re spread out further.

It may be obvious, but more holes equal more steam. If you frequently encounter lots of wrinkles, which is very common in all-natural fabrics like cotton and linen, your best iron to buy is a micro-steam model.

Length and width

Most irons are around 12 inches in length, and six inches is typical for the width. Those dimensions don’t define the best clothing irons, though. The shape, specifically the soleplate, determines which is the best iron for your typical use.

For those who use a sewing kit and create quilts or garments using a sewing machine, a narrow more pointed shape suits pressing corners, pleats and between buttons. If you only iron tablecloths and less structured clothing, you’ll do fine with a wider shape.

Weight

A larger iron is not necessarily a heavier iron. It depends on the materials used. You can find irons under 2 pounds made with more plastic components. Even irons that are considered heavy, such as a commercial grade steam iron typically weigh under 5 pounds, so there isn’t a very large weight range.

But there’s an important consideration: unless there are physical limitations that prevent your lifting or moving a heftier model, a heavy iron usually removes wrinkles better than a lightweight one.

Soleplate material

The soleplate is that hot surface that lies flat against whatever is being ironed. The most common soleplate materials are ceramic, stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and nonstick surfaces. Nonstick surfaces don’t “glide” over fabrics as well as others. Aluminum isn’t as durable or easy to clean.

Stainless steel is the most common for good reasons. It heats up quickly, allows for more steam holes, and is easy to clean. Ceramic heats evenly and resists static electricity build-up, but it can wear away after a while.

Number of steam vents

As noted before, the more holes there are present on the soleplate for steam, the better! Although the best ironing board helps, it doesn’t improve the look of clothes itself – but pair it with the best steam iron and wrinkles don’t stand a chance.

Micro-steam models have 400+ small-to-tiny holes for even distribution of steam. Classic irons can range from the teens to 50+ “macro” size holes (larger than the micro ones), and typically distributed evenly along the longer edges of the soleplate.

Temperature control

Like most appliances, the technology and features of steam irons have improved greatly in recent years. The first electric irons were one temperature – hot. Now you can easily adjust the temperature to suit the fabric and prevent damage.

Temperature control can be selected by turning a dial or pushing a slide over to the mark for your fabric type. Digital controls are even simpler to use. A pushbutton allows you to choose a fabric and the iron automatically reaches just the right temperature.

Type of handle

Next to the weight of the iron itself, the feel of the iron’s handle determines how well-suited it is for your grip. Since ironing is not usually a favorite task to begin with, finding an ergonomic handle that feels well-balanced improve your chances of actually using it.

Just as important, is it easy or awkward to set the iron upright on its heel? You’ll be back and forth between using the iron and setting it upright, so make sure it’s an easy motion.

Self-cleaning or not self-cleaning

Cleaning an iron prevents getting marks and stains on fabric you’re ironing. It’s not critical but it’s helpful to have a self-cleaning model, especially in areas with very hard water. Most tap water is ok for steam irons. Very hard water creates lime scale build-up over time and clogs up the steam vents.

Self-cleaning systems are usually as simple as a button to push, generating extra pressure with steam to push clogs out of the vents. The manual will provide details.

Anti-drip

It’s exasperating to end up with drips of water on a freshly pressed garment or experience leaks coming from steam vents, especially on fabrics like silk that show water spots. When an iron includes an anti-drip feature it will eliminate that annoyance.

Most irons now are anti-drip models. Two things that may cause dripping are: failing to wait for the iron to fully reach the temperature you selected, and moving too quickly from vertical to the horizontal position when the steam feature is on.

Retractable cord

Cords on irons need to be quite long in order to be safe and allow for easy movement. That only becomes an issue for some users when they want to store away their iron between uses.

The best steam iron with a retractable cord eliminates waiting for the iron to completely cool off or figuring out how to wind the cord for compact storage. Usually, one or two pushes of a button get the cord completely out of the way.

Energy consumption

All heat-producing appliances use quite a bit of electricity. Perhaps your iron has a lonely life, and you only get it out once in a while. But if you use it frequently, you’ll want to know how much energy it uses and how that can impact your budget.

Irons use 800 to 2000 watts, with the average being around 1100 watts. Save some time and money and take items out of the dryer promptly to eliminate the need for ironing many types of fabrics.

Vertical steaming

This is a type of wrinkle elimination many people don’t realize an average steam iron can handle nicely. Drapes, upholstery, suits and formal dresses on hangers, and other items will benefit from using the best vertical steam iron to get them looking their best.

You’ll need to be cautious when doing this. Keep your hands out of the way when steam is ejected. Always check labels for cleaning care to ensure that the fabric can handle the temperature and steam, then steam away!

Auto shut off when laid flat

Gone are the days when users agonized over whether they remembered to turn their iron off! A 3-way turnoff means the iron turns off automatically whether it’s left upright (vertical) or flat, or turned on its side. All three reduce the possibility of scorching or fire.

An iron used carelessly could fall over, or the user might simply get distracted and leave it flat on the board. Typically there is a 30-second turnoff for an iron that’s flat or on its side.

Auto shut off in vertical position

It may seem especially important for an iron to turn off quickly when laid flat on any surface, but even an iron set on its heel, but still connected, causes risks (imagine a pet knocking it off the board) or could use up a lot of electricity.

Fortunately, most steam press irons for sale turn off after several minutes of inactivity, so electricity consumption is limited and the risk of general safety hazards is far less than it would be.

Warranty

Ironing is a frequent enough task that the average 1-3 year warranty is sufficient to discover if it’s functioning as hoped. Commercial steam irons often have longer warranty periods than the iron that a homeowner would purchase

If you use an iron heavily, you could pay a bit extra to extend the warranty. Some retail stores offer this option at the time of purchase. Once you’ve settled on features you require, the choice of the best steam iron will stand out among the pack.

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron
Our pick for the best steam iron is: CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching steam irons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which features are most important in a steam iron?

That depends primarily on your personal preferences and everyday needs. Some want the best steam iron for clothes. Others are searching for the best iron with vertical steam for touching up drapery, upholstery, or even disinfecting surfaces by using steam.

Safety and easy care are appealing, so most users agree that automatic turnoff and self-cleaning features are high on the priority list. A soleplate that glides easily over fabric, stays smooth and which can be cleaned easily is the most beneficial.

What is the best iron for a wide variety of clothing?

For a wide variety of ironing needs, a steam iron which can also be used as a dry iron is a good choice. Simply empty out the water reservoir and let the moisture evaporate before using on silks or other delicate fabrics.

If you tend to have a lot of heavily wrinkled clothes, opt for a micro-steam model which evenly releases loads of steam throughout the entire soleplate. This tackles wrinkles even better than the classic style with fewer steam vents.

Is it better to get a lightweight iron or a heavy one?

Since most models are well under 5 pounds, weight isn’t a concern as it was in your grandmother’s era when irons were made of – you guessed it – iron! If for any reason you are not able to lift or move an iron easily, a lightweight model is best.

A heavier iron is more effective at removing wrinkles. If you choose a heavier one, check on the comfort of the handle and the overall balance to make sure you like the feel of it.

Should I get a cordless iron or one with a cord?

There are obvious tradeoffs between the two types of irons. A cordless iron can seem liberating since both you and the iron can move around more easily. However, there’s a frequent complaint that a cordless iron doesn’t hold the heat very long.

You’ll end up needing to replace it on its base, and wait until it heats up enough. When only a few items need pressing, this isn’t a problem. With a large batch, you may find the process taking too long.

Is an automatic shut off essential?

For safety purposes, the answer is yes! Automatic shutoffs for steam irons are pretty much a given these days. Most models have a very short shutoff time for an iron that is left in place horizontally, either flat or on its side.

Even a neglected vertical iron definitely needs to turn off after time has passed. It may have been forgotten and it’s using up energy unnecessarily. No one would want to leave behind a potential hazard to their home, family members or pets.

CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron
Our pick for the best steam iron is: CHI 13102 Professional Titanium Ceramic Steam Iron. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching steam irons.

Sources

  1. Steam iron cleaning, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, June 10, 2013
  2. "Steam-O-Matic" Electric Iron, National Museum of American History
  3. Clothes iron, Wikipedia
  4. Development of a clothing iron safety device, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Jan 30, 2009
  5. Iron burns: a problem in adults as well as children, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Dec 31, 2013
  6. Clothing Irons Recalled by Conair Corporation Due to Fire Hazard, United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Mar 31, 2009
  7. Dignity: Discovering the Importance of Appearance and Pressed Clothes, Berkeley MDP
  8. 5 Steam Irons That Are a Wrinkle's Worst Enemy, Good Housekeeping, Feb 26, 2018
  9. 8 of the best irons and steamers for 2018, The Telegraph, May 9, 2018
  10. Ironing, Wikipedia

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