Portable irons can be handy for travel, of course, but in owner reviews, we found a lot of other uses for them. For example, quilters and students like to take them to classes, or even use them at home since their small size works well when piecing quilts. Those who like to make baby and doll clothes also appreciate these smaller irons. The Rowenta First Class gets top honors from the editors of Real Simple magazine, thanks to a powerful burst-of-steam button and vertical/horizontal steaming functions. The handle folds into the body for storage and a travel pouch is included.
A handful of user reviews on the Williams-Sonoma website also recommend the Rowenta First Class; one owner says it's great for crafters and quilters on the go, while others say it heats up fast and gives out a lot of steam for a compact iron. A few posters say they even used it to replace their regular irons at home. Amazon.com reviewers also like this travel iron, although some say it's a bit more delicate than they had hoped and one complains that the water-reservoir cover snapped off.
1. Real Simple
The experts at Real Simple choose the Rowenta First Class Travel Compact Steam Iron as one of their favorite steam irons, thanks to its 1,000 watts, powerful burst-of-steam button, 200 steam-hole soleplate and compact design.
Review: The Best Irons, Editors of Real Simple, Not dated
Amazon reviewers tend to like this travel iron because of its great steam output, burst-of-steam button and dual voltage; if you need a travel iron, this is the one to get, they say. However, a number of users complain that the housing is fragile, and one says the water plug broke off her unit. For regular ironing jobs, this lightweight model can do the job, but many posters say it's better to stick with your regular home iron for everyday use and save this one for use on the road.
Review: Rowenta DA1560 Classic 1000-Watt Compact Steam Iron with 400 Hole Stainless Steel Soleplate, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Oct. 2011
Williams-Sonoma customers like this Rowenta travel iron for the same reasons Amazon customers do -- it's lightweight, it has dual-voltage and burst-of-steam capabilities, and it's impressive for so small an iron. A few posters say they've even used it to replace their full-size irons at home, but others say it doesn't work as well for ironing heavier fabrics.
Review: Rowenta Compact Iron, Contributors to Williams-Sonoma.com, As of Oct. 2011