The 14 Best Clothes Irons to Keep You Looking Crisp and Polished
Nothing ruins a stellar outfit like unwanted wrinkles. Unless you happen to live next door to a dry cleaner, the quickest and most cost-effective route to that polished look is a session with a handheld clothes iron. Clothes irons, also known as steam irons, use a combination of steam and pressure to eradicate wrinkles and keep garments looking fresh and crisp. Since not all are created equal, we've selected the best clothes irons according to customer reviews. There's one to suit every need, from durability to speed, and to accommodate every household budget.
The 14 Best Clothes Irons of 2021
- Best Overall Clothes Iron: Chi Electronic Iron
- Best Durable Clothes Iron: Hamilton Beach Durathon Iron
- Best Affordable Clothes Iron: Black & Decker Steam Iron
- Best Splurge Clothes Iron: Miele Rotary Clothes Iron
- Best Lightweight Clothes Iron: Shark Professional Steam Iron
- Best Quick-Heating Clothes Iron: Conair ExtremeSteam Pro Steam Iron
- Best Travel Clothes Iron: Steamfast Mini Steam Iron
- Best Cordless Clothes Iron: Panasonic Contoured Cordless Steam Iron
- Best Retractable Clothes Iron: Rowenta Access Steam Iron
- Best Beginner Clothes Iron: Sunbeam Steammaster Steam Iron
- Best Self-Cleaning Clothes Iron: Maytag M400 Steam Iron
- Best Clothes Iron for Thick Clothes: Reliable Velocity 230IR Steam Iron
- Best Clothes Iron for Fast Jobs: Rowenta DW9280 Steam Iron
- The Social Media-Favorite Clothes Iron: The Nori Press
How to Pick the Right Clothes Iron
The basic things to look for when buying a new clothes iron are high wattage, non-drip capabilities, and a nonstick base (also called a soleplate). These important details will ensure that your chosen iron has a powerful steam output and will have no trouble gliding across your clothes, plus minimizing your chances of spills or damaging your garments. Keeping those essentials in mind, there are myriad options to choose from.
Some models have digital displays with fabric options to make sure you don't scorch your lighter materials or beaded embellishing. Others include an anti-calc feature, which captures the minerals in hard water and extends the life of your iron, as well as prevents crusty bits from ending up on your clothes. Many high-quality clothes irons also include an automatic shut-off for safety. And for your convenience, there are ones that come with 360-degree swiveling and retractable cords so you have free range of motion. Or, you can skip cords all together and opt for a cordless option instead.
Below, explore the best irons that not only have thousands of glowing reviews but also excel in their category.
Best Overall Clothes Iron: Chi Electronic Iron
Chi hair irons have always had a loyal fan base, so it's not too surprising that the brand's advanced ceramic technology also excels in the world of clothing care. The benefit of a ceramic clothing iron soleplate is the unparalleled glide you get across fabric, resulting in a crisp finish even on tough or heavy fabrics. It has a retractable cord for easy and safe storage and an LED display screen to pick a setting based on the fabric you're working with. According to reviewers, this "sensible" and "impressive" iron results in less drippage, sputtering, and spitting than others they have used in the past.
If it's out of stock during your next Amazon visit, you can also grab this top-selling clothes iron at target.com.
BUY IT: $69.99 (orig. $99); amazon.com
Best Durable Clothes Iron: Hamilton Beach Durathon Iron
What makes this clothes iron stand out from the pack is the special "Durathon" coated soleplate that's 10 times more durable than traditional nonstick steam irons. Hamilton Beach is so confident in this promise that it backs it up with a 10-year warranty. The iron has other handy features that will make you want to keep it around that long, such as a 360-degree swivel cord, a digital control panel, an automatic shutoff feature, and a self-cleaning function. Reviewers say the end result is that clean, crisp just-from-the-dry-cleaner look, even on items that are typically difficult to iron. Fans of the iron were also quick to point out that it's surprisingly powerful and that it doesn't drip or need to be refilled often.
BUY IT: $44.99; amazon.com
Best Affordable Clothes Iron: Black & Decker Steam Iron
This tried-and-true iron has all the necessary features you could want from a clothes iron, including a 10-foot-long pivoting cord, an automatic shutoff component, and a nonstick plate, which is oversized and strategically pointed to accommodate a variety of fabrics and clothing types. One reviewer said that the iron is lightweight and compact, easily glides over clothes, and has a good volume of steam output. Some shoppers noted the spout for refilling the water reservoir is on the smaller side, but that caveat doesn't outweigh the value and results you'll see from this reliable iron.
BUY IT: $27.44 (orig. $29.99); amazon.com
Best Splurge Clothes Iron: Miele Rotary Clothes Iron
While it might seem excessive to spend this much money on an iron, the Miele Rotary iron is not your standard handheld steamer. Rather, it's an entire experience that evokes old-fashioned laundry mangles. The design features rollers in a sturdy frame with a foot pedal, which allows you to sit while you press garments, linens, and bedding. It even features a swing-out bar to hang finished items and a rack underneath for pressed garments. And when you're all done, the machine folds up and fits neatly into a closet or corner. For many reviewers, the device brings back memories of their parents, or even grandparents, pressing laundry, and they say it offers them that sentimental experience without the bulky appliances of the old days. This clothes iron is definitely a splurge, but it's worth it if you have a penchant for professionally pressed clothes with a side of nostalgia.
BUY IT: $2,049.95; williams-sonoma.com
Best Lightweight Clothes Iron: Shark Professional Steam Iron
Most of the irons on this list weigh in anywhere from 3.25 to five pounds, but this model from Shark is a mere 2.9 pounds. And trust us, every ounce adds up when you're working through a large pile of laundry. In addition to its weight, the compact iron has a unique vertical steam function, which makes it useful not only for clothing, but also for drapes and upholstery. "This works great, heats up very fast, and is easy to maneuver over fabric," one reviewer wrote. Light, durable, and affordable with professional-quality results? That's what we would call a total package.
BUY IT: $24.99 (orig. $39.99); amazon.com
Best Quick-Heating Clothes Iron: Conair ExtremeSteam Pro Steam Iron
We've all had those moments when we're running late and in desperate need of an iron. This is where the Conair ExtremeSteam Pro Iron will really shine. The clothes iron only takes 60 seconds to heat up, even at its maximum heat setting, and it "dumps steam like a boss," according to one reviewer. That means you can be wrinkle-free with basically no advance notice. Other reviewers note that the nonstick plate and smaller water reservoir make it easy to move quickly through your ironing pile, although you might find yourself refilling the water more frequently than with other steam irons.
BUY IT: $49.99; amazon.com
Best Travel Clothes Iron: Steamfast Mini Steam Iron
Don't be fooled by its size—this adorable, affordable steam iron gets the job done. It features dual voltage and comes with its own travel bag, making it the perfect companion no matter where you're headed. Reviewers call the Steamfast "small but mighty," and they mention that it's ideal not only for travel, but also for patchwork and other small projects. "The iron works well with tailor's tools, like the seam roll, tailor's ham, and seam stick," one reviewer wrote. However, due to its compact size and impressive heat output, the whole unit gets quite warm while in use. So be warned, you might want to use a potholder or another protective garment while ironing.
BUY IT: $21.69 (orig. $30); amazon.com
Best Cordless Clothes Iron: Panasonic Contoured Cordless Steam Iron
No cords means no more maneuvering, no more searching for an outlet, and no more little ones or pets getting tangled while you iron. This cordless steam/dry model from Panasonic removes creases and wrinkles with ease thanks to its curved soleplate, which also produces a powerful vertical steam for garments that require a little extra T.L.C and features an anti-calcium system to protect your clothes from sediment build-ups. It comes with a detachable water reservoir that ensures there are no spills and connects to a compact charging base that all fits inside a convenient carrying case for easy storage. "It has plenty of steam and heat for a long time off the base and it takes no time to recharge the iron between pressings," wrote one reviewer, who added that it makes an excellent iron for crafts.
BUY IT: $84.95; amazon.com
Best Retractable Clothes Iron: Rowenta Access Steam Iron
Rowenta's fast-retracting Access Steam Iron allows for hassle-free ironing thanks to its thoughtful design, which runs on 1,725 watts of power and includes a durable soleplate with 350 steam holes for professional-level wrinkle elimination, pleats, and presses. It glides over fabric and has a handy vertical steam feature for particularly stubborn wrinkles and creases. Plus, it has a textured ergonomic handle and an easy-to-refill water tank that is intended for tap water—no more distilled water! "I love the iron over all: It's easy to fill, minimum time to heat up, it's lightweight, and the price is about right," raved one Amazon shopper. "The thing that attracted me the most is the retractable cord… Bottom line, this iron is worth the buy."
BUY IT: $89; amazon.com
Best Beginner Clothes Iron: Sunbeam Steammaster Steam Iron
Between its retractable cord, automatic shut-off, and overall straightforward design, the Sunbeam Steammaster Steam Iron is one of the easiest models for first-time ironers. Its stainless steel soleplate is durable and features macro-sized steam holes for fast results. It can accommodate multiple fabrics with its variable steam lever, but reviewers say it is easy to navigate even if you're a beginner, and a large water tank. Once you're comfortable, make sure to utilize its vertical steam feature. "I'm a 37-year-old man and I am definitely not an expert when it comes to ironing out clothes," one customer began their review. "This thing has been amazing. It heats up very quickly."
BUY IT: $32.37 (orig. $39.99); amazon.com
Best Self-Cleaning Clothes Iron: Maytag M400 Steam Iron
The Maytag M400 Steam Iron isn't only a fan-favorite for its quick-heating soleplate, 360-degree swivel, precision thermostat, or powerful anti-wrinkle steam shot. This highly rated iron also has a handy self-cleaning feature, which activates at the press of a button and rids the iron of fabric-hindering calcium and scale deposits while keeping it in pristine condition. It's also a great choice for anyone that wants to treat their delicate garments with a little extra care. "Two months later, still pleased with this iron," one reviewer wrote. "Self-cleans beautifully and it produces fabulous steam, even on low."
BUY IT: $45; amazon.com
Best Clothes Iron for Thick Clothes: Reliable Velocity 230IR Steam Iron
Bulky, thick clothes are oftentimes the most time-consuming garments to iron—that is, if you're using the wrong iron. With the Reliable Velocity 230IR Steam Iron, no job is too difficult thanks to its dual heating element, which heats the water before it reaches the soleplate for maximum steaming action. It also has a powerful turbo setting, which will come in handy for heavy pieces made from denim, cotton, and linen. Switch to its eco mode, which is designed to handle every fabric, including delicates. Plus, it has a cool sensor on the handle that automatically starts the steam when you grab it. No wonder it's earned a near-perfect 4.9-star rating from reviewers.
BUY IT: $149; wayfair.com
Best Clothes Iron for Fast Jobs: Rowenta DW9280 Steam Iron
Renowned for its quick-heating steam, the Rowenta DW9280 Steam Iron makes ironing feel like less of a chore with its silky-smooth gliding soleplate and fast-working SteamForce technology. In fact, it produces 30 percent more steam than its counterparts, which means you'll spend less time standing over your ironing board. Other key details like its extra-large water tank, 360-degree swivel, strategic soleplate point, and ergonomic handle also help speed up the process. "I hate that cheaper irons leak and collect dirt and grime which inevitably stains your clothes when you're pressed for time," explained one Amazon reviewer. "I've had this model for at least two years, and it still heats up quickly, pumps out tons of steam, and makes quick work of getting ready in the morning."
If it's sold out during your next Amazon visit, you can also purchase the Rowenta DW9280 Steam Iron at williams-sonoma.com for the same price.
BUY IT: $139.99 (orig. $199.99); amazon.com
The Social Media-Favorite Clothes Iron: The Nori Press
Gaining notoriety on social media for its sleek and innovative design, the Nori Press Clothes Iron combines the effectiveness of a traditional iron with the functionality of a straight iron for hassle-free wrinkle removal. Thanks to its pointed aluminum sole plates, lightweight construction, and long-reaching arms, you're able to cover more surface area and perfectly press difficult details like cuffs and collars. It has six steam settings for customized results and you don't need a board, which is great if your home isn't big enough to accommodate one. According to reviewers, the Nori Press is perfect for travelers, beginners, or anyone that finds traditional irons too tricky to navigate. "I purchased my Nori after hearing about it on Instagram," shared one customer. "I would highly recommend this product to everyone who might be thinking of a change. No more heavy irons and dry cleaning for me."
BUY IT: $120; nori.co