Steam Irons: Ratings of Sources
Total of 11 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Steam Iron Ratings
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org tests 42 irons on steaming rate (calculated for 10 minutes; cordless irons are calculated for three minutes), and evaluates each iron's performance on fabrics ranging from silks and cotton-poly blends to wools and linens. Editors also check the thermostat and soleplate pattern (for uniformity in heat distribution), and measure temperature swings. Finally, they rate the iron on how easy it is to fill, how leakproof it is and how well the iron steams at every setting. In tests, irons with nonstick soleplates don't perform as well as their stainless-steel counterparts, and editors aren't impressed when cordless models need to be reheated frequently. In the end, three steam irons are chosen as best buys and another three are tagged as recommended.
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com is the best place to find user reviews for steam irons. Many models receive more than 100 owner-written ratings, and owners aren't shy about cataloging annoyances. It's especially interesting to compare some of the irons chosen as best in professional reviews with the user feedback here; the disparity can be a shock. For example, the Euro-Pro Shark Rapido Electronic iron, chosen as the best budget iron by Real Simple editors, gets a sad overall score of just 2 stars out of 5 here (in nearly 50 reviews). Among better-rated steam irons, the Panasonic NI-C78SR and Black & Decker Digital Advantage D2030 are both solid less expensive irons; each averages a score of 4.5 stars out of 5 in more than 300 reviews. The Panasonic Cordless NI-L70SR gets a similar high rating, despite the fact that ConsumerReports.org doesn't much like cordless irons.
The Best Irons
by Editors of Real Simple
Our AssessmentThis roundup at Real Simple isn't dated, but judging by the included products, we'd guess it was posted within the last year. Another annoyance: Although editors say they tested 40 steam irons, they identify only their six favorites, leaving us to wonder about the lesser-performing models. Neither do editors reveal exactly how or who performed the testing. Write-ups for each favored iron are short and skimp on detail. Picks include the Euro-Pro Shark Rapido Electronic as the best budget iron; best all-around is the Rowenta Steamium. The Oliso Smart Pro is lauded for its anti-scorch feature while the T-fal Ultraglide wins as "best topple-proof" due to its wide, sturdy base. The Panasonic 360 Freestyle cordless iron and the Black & Decker First Impressions (with its retractable cord) are also highlighted, along with the Rowenta First Class travel iron and the DeLonghi Easy Turbo that's said to glide easily.
The Best Steam Irons
by Good Housekeeping Research Institute
Our AssessmentEleven irons are evaluated for this article, but since the testing is more than two years old, several of the recommended items have been discontinued. Testing itself is sound: Editors measure soleplate temperatures and steam production, check each iron's stability and weight, and determine ease of use in working the controls and filling the water tank. They also rate how helpful the customer service lines are. The only still-available iron of the three recommended here is the Reliable Digital Velocity V95, which houses an internal steam generator; testers say it's heavy, but it's the only model they found that completely removes wrinkles from silk and wool.
Steam Irons: Budget Buys
by Good Housekeeping Research Institute
Our AssessmentGood Housekeeping tests steam irons in the $40 to $120 range in another older review. The Shark Lightweight Professional GI462 has fewer temperature fluctuations than other models tested and its light weight makes it easy to use (but also easy to tip over). The Black & Decker Classic is a retro-styled, updated version of a classic 1960s iron. It's cool-looking but basic, with weaker steam output and no burst of steam feature, but does an "acceptable" job on wrinkles.
by Chris Barnes
Our AssessmentThe experts at this subscription-only Australian consumer site test 11 irons, measuring performance levels at different temperature settings on a wide range of fabrics, including synthetic organza, silk, wool, shirt cotton, denim and linen. They assess how quickly wrinkles are removed with and without water spray, and check the water tank for ease of monitoring and filling. They also consider how easy it is to maneuver the iron and use the temperature and steam/spray controls, and test for electrical safety. In the end, they say you don't need to spend a fortune to get a really good iron -- but you still need to steer clear of the ultra-cheapies. None of the tested models are available in the U.S., but if you live in Australia, this is a very helpful review.
Irons and Steamers
by Contributors to QVC.com
Our AssessmentQVC sells several irons on its site and on TV, and owners are invited to comment on their purchases. However, not many irons get a critical mass of reviews. The Rowenta Steamium has the largest number of ratings (more than 150), but it actually gets more 1-star scores than 5-star. The Rowenta Pro also has a similar split in owner opinion. While the Rowenta Acti-Steam has only two dozen reviews so far, its rating is higher.
by Contributors to Viewpoints.com
Our AssessmentAbout 60 Viewpoints reviewers weigh in on various models of Rowenta steam irons, and in general, a majority recommends the brand. However, some users say their Rowentas leak water and have a bad cord design, and several say their irons burnt out in less than a year. Still, one reviewer says he has had only two Rowenta irons in 20 years, and several others say the Rowenta is the best iron they've ever had. A few other irons also receive ratings, but not as many as at Amazon.com.
Irons and Steamers
by Contributors to Macys.com
Our AssessmentThe Macy's website isn't a convenient place to read user reviews. There's no easy way to see ratings at a glance; you have to click through to each item to view ratings, then click again to read reviews. Most irons get between a dozen and 20 owner comments. The Rowenta Steamium earns some enthusiastic posts here, with about a dozen users attesting to the professional results of this model. One calls it the "Bentley of irons." There are about 30 mainly positive reviews here for the Rowenta Steam Station, but they come with a couple of leak complaints due to a faulty steam knob.
by Contributors to various sites
Our AssessmentThis review aggregate site features user posts from a variety of websites, including Amazon.com and other retailers. Rowenta, Black & Decker and Panasonic are particularly popular brands among steam iron user posts that have been re-posted here.
The Pressing Question -- Which Iron Works Best?
by Tom Bartlett
Our AssessmentBack in 2006, Tom Bartlett tested seven irons on a variety of fabrics, including cotton, silk and a polyester blend. In this review, he rates the irons on ease of use, the "feel factor," steaming power and how well the iron eliminates wrinkles. Bartlett writes, "I ironed until my wrist became tired, my back achy, my soul deadened." This is an excellent comparison review of irons, but many of the models tested have since been discontinued.