What is a Steam Iron
Nowadays, everyone wants to look nice and neat. As we all know, ironing clothes after washing is very important if you want to have a brilliant appearance and make a good impression on the others. A steam iron is a household appliance used by billions of people all over the world, and it is a real key to success for people. Removing wrinkles on different fabrics is not the only way you can use a steam iron for. You can also disinfect and freshen up your clothes with the help of steam.
If you've got lots of clothes, made from delicate fabrics, you may also want to read our comparison of the best Garment Steamers.
What Features to Compare
There are 2 types of steam irons for home use on the market: corded and cordless. In our review, we are going to present you only corded models because it is the most widespread and efficient type. Such appliances are easy-to-use and cheap though you can use it near the power outlet (to which it's connected) only. However, a good iron features a long cord and you are not limited in movements. To explain you the difference between these 2 types of steam irons we will briefly tell you about cordless models. The introduction of such appliance solved the problem of portability. Cordless models have an operation mode that reminds of electric kettles that stand on the reheating base. Similar to it, the iron has a station which is connected to a power outlet via a cord and the iron heats up when you put it on the station. Using a cordless iron, you can reach any point of the ironing board. Hovewer, these 2 types feature the same capabilities and available setting and differ only in price.
The most outstanding feature of a steam iron is the power which directly impacts the ironing speed. The higher it is, the faster your iron heats up to the pre-set temperature. The steam output also depends on power, so the more powerful a steam iron is, the denser the steam release will be, which means that the ironing will be more efficient. The average steam output is 75-140 g/min. You should pay attention to the location of steam holes, they must be spread over the whole soleplate surface. The water tank capacity is usually about 200-400 ml and a tank should be transparent, so you can see the water level.
The soleplate surface, the weight and the size of the iron are very important features for comfortable usage. Nowadays, manufacturers use a variety of materials in their products. So, the soleplate can be made from stainless steel, ceramics or metal-ceramics. Irons with stainless steel soleplates slide better and they are scratch-resistant. Ceramic and metal-ceramic soleplates also ensure high-quality ironing too, they are scratch- and scuff-resistant, slide well on fabric and do not burn synthetic fabrics. If you iron a large number of clothes frequently, you should consider the weight and the size of a steam iron too. If it is too heavy, you can get tired fast, if it is too lightweight, it will be difficult to iron dense and heavy fabrics. The average weight of the iron is 1.3-1.6 kg.
Currently, steam irons have a lot of extras aside from water spray and self-cleaning. Most of them have a safe auto shut-off feature which turns the iron off if you don't use it for some time.