Steam Irons: Ratings of Sources
After consulting professional tests, opinions from users, and experts in clothing care, Jackie Reeve selects seven top-rated steam 100 iron for a hands-on test. A team of testers with varying levels of experience uses each iron on assortment of fabrics, including silk, linen, quilting cotton, t-shirts, and button-down shirts. They then rate each iron on performance, comfort, and ease of use. Finally, Reeve subjects the top pick, the Black & Decker Allure D3030, to weekly use for a full six months. However, in a November update, the site notes some issues with its top pick and adds that it plans to update their guide.
Here, Reeve combs through user reviews, consults specialty blogs, and talks with quilters to choose the best ironing boards for testing. The top picks – including nine ironing boards and three flexible pads - get used by a team of testers, working with a variety of fabrics. Testers evaluate the boards based on their size, how sturdy they feel, and how easy they are to set up.
Editors at ConsumerReports.org test and rate steam irons on multiple criteria. Testers iron a linen tablecloth to rate ironing performance and steam fabric for ten minutes (three minutes for cordless models) to test steaming rate. They also evaluate ease of use based on several factors, including the ease of setting, filling, and emptying the iron, the visibility of water levels and other indicators, and how likely the iron is to leak.
Editors at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluate steam irons to see how well they remove wrinkles on nylon, silk, wool, cotton, and linen. Testers rate each iron's steam production, fluctuations in soleplate temperature, ease of use, and safety features. They even call each manufacturer's customer service line to see how helpful it is.
There are tons of clothes irons sold at Amazon.com, though not all of them are steam irons. Some models only get a handful of reviews, but other steam irons get hundreds of reviews, and a few get thousands. Amazon reviews are based on real-world experience, so they provide useful information about durability, which laboratories can't test very well. The site also has numerous reviews for ironing boards on a separate page.
You can find more than 200 irons and 350 ironing boards for sale at Walmart.com. Most models have only a few reviews, but we found three steam irons that earn ratings of at least 4.5 stars overall from 75 users or more. Ironing boards don't get quite as much feedback, but there are three with ratings of 4 stars or better from at least 40 owners.
HSN.com carries only a very smell selection of irons and ironing boards. We found only two steam irons with a significant number of reviews, and one of those is discontinued. However, the two products that earn 4-star ratings from 200 owners or more are both Panasonic cordless irons, a type that doesn't get a ton of feedback elsewhere.
BedBathAndBeyond.com has a much smaller selection of irons than Amazon.com, and only a handful have positive reviews from 50 users or more. We also found two ironing boards with high ratings from 25 users or more. Owners rate products on a 5-star scale, with separate ratings for value and quality, and they can say whether or not they would recommend their iron to a friend.
Real Simple editors test 40 irons and name their top picks in 10 categories, including "Best All-Around," "Best Budget," and "Cordless and Nimble." However, they don't provide any information about their testing methods or criteria, and each winner gets only a brief write-up of one or two sentences. Also, the review is not dated, and several of the winners are discontinued.
BestBuy.com lists more than 50 irons on its site. Most only get a little bit of feedback or none at all, but there are a few with high ratings from 200 users or more. The top-rated models here are all from Shark, a brand that's not widely reviewed elsewhere. However, we also found some useful feedback on Rowenta and Hamilton Beach irons.