What every best Steam Irons has:
- Fast, adjustable heat.
- Smooth performance.
- Powerful steam.
Jackie Reeve, a long-time quilter with lots of ironing experience, consults professional tests, opinions from users, and experts in clothing care to select 13 top-rated steam irons for a hands-on test. She uses each iron on assortment of fabrics, including silk, quilting cotton, t-shirts, synthetics, and acrylic sweaters. Reeve evaluates each iron on heating time, tank size, wrinkle-fighting prowess, steam production, comfort, and ease of use before naming her top picks.
Here, Reeve combs through user reviews, consults specialty blogs, talks with quilters, and surveys readers to choose the best ironing boards for testing. She tests her four new selections in her home, comparing the results against last year's top picks (nine ironing boards and three flexible pads). Reeve evaluates the boards based on their size, pad thickness, stability, and how easy they are to set up.
The Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab evaluates the newest steam irons. Testers rate each iron's steam output, wrinkle-fighting power, heat-up time, temperature, and ease of use. The review gives of the five top performers a few sentences outlining its high points. The site also hosts separate reviews for some older steam irons.
There are tons of clothes irons sold at Amazon, though not all of them are steam irons. Many models only get a handful of reviews, but some steam irons have hundreds of reviews, and a handfulhave 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 350 irons and 300 ironing boards for sale at Walmart. Most models have only a few reviews, but we found three steam irons that earn ratings of at least 4.5 stars overall from 100 users or more. Ironing boards don't get quite as much feedback, but there are three with ratings of 4.5 stars or better from at least 50 owners.
HSN carries only a very smell selection of irons and ironing boards. We found only two steam irons with a significant number of reviews. However, the two products that earn 4-star ratings from 400 owners or more are both Panasonic cordless irons, a type that doesn't get a ton of feedback elsewhere.
Bed Bath and Beyond has a much smaller selection of irons than Amazon, and only a handful have positive reviews from 50 users or more. We also found three 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.
Best Buy 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 Sunbeam irons.
Consumer Reports is not currently testing steam irons, but its earlier round of testing includes lots of current models, so it is still useful and informative. 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.