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Q: What is the Best Iron? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: What is the Best Iron?
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: firefly-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 25 Apr 2002 12:44 PDT
Expires: 02 May 2002 12:44 PDT
Question ID: 6027
Hi. I need to a buy a new iron (so that i am not a wrinkled mess at
work!). I would like information on the features available in
different irons at different price rages (i.e. a feature comparison
that tells me if I spend $10 or $20 more i get x-added
features)...features are very important, as are explanations of the
benefits/detractors of those features.

I would like an iron that has a "steaming" option so i can steam
delicate materials. I am willing to spend up to $125 on an iron, but
want breakdowns at different price levels (so i can determine if it is
really worth it to spend that much on an iron). Price levels could be
(suggested list as there may be a more natural break-up in pricing):
$25, $50, $80, $125. I would also like information on where I can go
and buy this iron -- both online and offline. Oh, I really want an iron
that automatically turns off.

I'd appreciate it if you would check out these sites in your answer:
martha stewart (i've seen her with some crazy iron setup) target. Info
from consumer reports would be nice.

Subject: Re: What is the Best Iron?
Answered By: trailhead-ga on 25 Apr 2002 16:49 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Firefly, 

Irons, like most household appliances, come in a variety of price
ranges.  The feature set changes depending on the price you are
willing to spend. states that most irons have the
standard features of “flexible cords, a spray or mist button, five or
more temperature settings, and at least a one-year warranty.”  Here’s
a list of features to look for:

Non-stick soleplates are easy to clean; starch buildup wipes right
off. Despite manufacturer claims, Consumer Reports says that soleplate
material does not affect glide.

Variable steam automatically adjusts the amount of steam for the heat
setting, ensuring that you don't get high steam on more delicate

Vertical steam allows you to use the iron like a steamer, to steam out
wrinkles on hanging garments.

Burst of steam gives you an extra steam surge, allowing you to tackle
particularly nasty wrinkles. This is by far the favorite feature of

Auto shutoff is a must for most consumers. But you can still find
irons without this feature, since people who do a lot of sewing prefer
the iron to be on all the time. Be sure to read the box and know what
you're getting.

A self-cleaning feature enables you to shoot air through the steam
vents to clear out mineral buildup, which prevents eventual clogging
and leaks from stopped-up steam holes.

An anti-calcium filter helps prevent mineral buildup, which can clog
steam vents. Higher-end models generally have this feature, but the
Sunbeam Steam Master boasts an anti-calc feature as well.

A removable water tank saves you from having to unplug the iron and
take it to the sink for refilling. The Rowenta Professional has such a

A drip-stop system, found on some higher-end models, is a way of
controlling dripping water from steam vents. But experts warn that
irons with only a cover over the water funnel often still leak.
Steam Iron Page

Good questions to ask when buying an iron are what feature is
important to you?  Do you absolutely need the steam functions?  Are
you forgetful and feel safer with the auto shutoff feature?  Do you
want a small vs. a large iron?  Lastly, how frequently do you use the

When looking at the cheaper price ranged irons ($19- $30), you’re
going to run into the same type of feature sets:  flexible cords,
spray and mist features, temperature settings, auto-shut off, and a
1-year warranty.

The Black & Decker Quick N’ Easy X380 is a contender for the best
bargain.  For a reasonable price ($20-$25) it has two times more steam
then its previous model, it has a dial control for steam variation,
heat and cleaning functions, and includes a 1-year warranty.

To see six consumer reviews of this tested iron check out’s reviews:
Black & Decker Quick N’ Easy X380

Another contender for best bargain is the Panasonic Jet Steam Iron
(approximately $29).  This iron offers the following unique features:
“jet of steam” technology, retractable cord, nonstick titanium
surface, large waterfill, automatic shutoff (both while horizontal and
vertical, and a 1-year warranty.

Consumer reviews at and both ranked
high.  Here are the reviews:
Panasonic Jet Steam Iron
Panasonic Jet Steam Iron

Higher priced irons run the price range from $60 - $100.  Many share a
common feature set of: having a longer shelf-life, heavier in weight,
greater steam control, variable steam settings, glide surfaces, drip
stop systems for steam vents, and self-cleaning mechanisms.

Many of the professional reviewers recommend the Rowenta line of
irons.  They run  anywhere from $90- $130.   Rowenta’s steam and
vertical steam output rival other high end irons, allowing you to
adjust to each fabric.  Many of their models have a self cleaning
“Vapodur” Valve helping to prevent mildew and mold build-up and a
detachable tank for easier fill.  Consumers are also happy with the
dimpled soleplate allowing the iron to glide as opposed to sticking. 
Rowenta irons come in two recommended models: Rowenta DM-880
Professional Luxe Iron and the Rowenta DM-991 Ultra Professional Iron.

Rowenta DM-880 Professional Luxe Iron 4 sells for approximately $99.99
has been rated 5 out of 5 stars by consumers at  The
features include:

- Polished-stainless-steel, dimpled soleplate provides smooth glide 
- Shuts off in 30 seconds if left horizontal or tipped, 8 minutes if
left vertical
- Self-cleaning water tank 
- Various steam settings include vertical steam, misting spray, steam
burst; anti-drip system
- Airglide Soleplate offering stability
- Center-mounted pivoting cord; anti-skid bumpers
- 1-year warranty
Rowenta DM-880 Professional Luxe

Rowenta DM-991 Ultra Professional Iron sells for approximately $129
and has been rated 5 out of 5 stars by 2 consumers at  The
features include:

- Hardened, polished, stainless-steel soleplate provides smooth glide
- Shuts off in 30 seconds if left horizontal or tipped, 8 minutes if
left vertical
- Self-cleaning to flush out mineral buildup; resin neutralizes
minerals, also
- Vertical and variable steam; misting spray; steam-burst; anti-drip
- 10.8-ounce water tank; center-mounted pivoting cord; anti-skid
- Anti-drip system helping to prevent leaking
- 1-year warranty
Rowenta DM-991 Ultra Professional Iron

Given a choice between the Rowenta DM880 and the Rowenta DM-991, I
think I would choose the former.  They both weigh the same (4 pounds)
and the feature sets are very similar, with the higher priced model
only giving a larger water tank (10.8 ounce) and a anti-drip system to
prevent spilling and leaking.  An user even states that
"Consumer Reports" listed the DM-880 as the #1 rated iron.

If you’re looking to buy irons online, I would recommend using,, Bed Bath & Beyond, or (Links are
found below).  If you are looking to buy an iron offline, I would
recommend Target, Bestbuy, K-mart, JoAnn’s Fabrics, Linens N’ Things,
or Bed Bath and Beyond.

I hope this helps your ironing search!

Websites that may interest you:
Iron Review Page
Iron Review Page
Steam Iron Page

Black and Decker 
Irons Page

Irons Page

Rowenta Irons



Bed Bath and Beyond


firefly-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
This answer was EXACTLY what i was looking for. Thank you!!!!

Subject: Re: What is the Best Iron?
From: cu-ga on 25 Apr 2002 23:50 PDT
stunning response trailhead!
Subject: Re: What is the Best Iron?
From: darren-ga on 26 Apr 2002 08:46 PDT
That is a well thought out, excellently documented response. Ditto the amazement!
Subject: Re: What is the Best Iron?
From: blakemo-ga on 26 Apr 2002 10:10 PDT
Wow! I am really impressed. A world-class response Trailhead! I
already have an iron, but I may go buy another just so I can use your
Subject: Re: What is the Best Iron?
From: sjbst17-ga on 09 Aug 2004 08:44 PDT
Just wanted to chime in and say thanks for the great answer, Trailhead.

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