Iron Buying Guide

Clothes Iron Buying Guide

This is the most detailed and comprehensive clothes iron buying guide. It will cover a majority of clothing irons perspectives and issues.

Electric irons have existed for years now. Indeed long ago before we had them, there were non-electric (charcoal) irons.

Charcoal irons are still in use today mainly in areas where there is no electricity connection.

Today, however, there are advanced electric irons that have a steam producing mechanism to make ironing easier for you.

What is an iron box? This is an electrical appliance used to iron and in the process remove creases from clothes.  

When the iron’s plate is heated, you just press the hot plate onto clothes and the creases are gone. With ironing, clothes feel more comfortable and this also helps in keeping clothes durable.

Furthermore, research has shown that ironing also helps in preventing infectious diseases.

Clothes Iron Buying Guide (Iron Parts)

The first part of this iron buying guide will tackle the parts of a clothing iron.


Mainly built of iron and chromium to prevent rust, this is the triangular-shaped bottom part side of electric irons.

Other materials used in the manufacture of sole plates include;

  • Stainless steel
  • Titanium
  • Non-stick
  • Ceramic
  • Cast iron
  • Steam Iron 

All top-rated steam irons should have the above mentioned material.

Pressure plate

This plate is screwed to the soleplate and follows the same triangular shape of the soleplate.

A pressure plate is an important part of an iron box as it helps by handling and transferring pressure as you iron.

Heating element

Another important part of electric irons. This is the part that heats the soleplate.

In some irons, the heating element is permanently attached (in-built) to the soleplate while on others it is detachable.

It is located between the soleplate and pressure plate and is mainly made of nichrome wire and a mica sheet wounded around.


This is a fabric covered electric cable that has a top plug on one end and the other end connects to the heating element via the thermostat.

Due to twisting as one iron’s, the cable is made of sisal like fabric to aid in movement and flexibility as one is ironing.

Furthermore, the fabric cover protects the cable wires from damage and also protects you from the risk of an electric shock.

The fabric material acts as an insulator.


This protects the interference of radio waves.


This is the most important part of an electric iron. In layman language, this is a switch that regulates the temperature of your electric iron.

In addition, the switch also incorporates a thermal fuse that has a set temperature rating.

In case of excessive heating due to thermostat failure, this thermal fuse then blows off preventing damage to the heating element.

Moreover, this mechanism can also protect you from fires that may arise from burning garments.  

Pilot lamp

This is an indicator lamp that indicates to you that the iron box has switched on.

The lamp connects to the thermostat and is the first thing you should check if your electric iron box is faulty.

In addition, it is placed on the side of the cover plate.


Well, this part is attached to the pressure plate and is the part that you hold as you iron your clothes.

Cover plate

The cover plate is attached to the pressure plate on the bottom side and the handle on the top side.

I would refer this to the housing of electric irons. In addition, it also houses the lamp and thermostat switch knob.

Types of heating elements

Well, there are two types of heating elements in regards to attachment mode. They are:


This type is attached to the soleplate. The majority of the electric irons have this type. In case of damage, you need to get a complete soleplate for replacement.


This one, on the other hand, is independent and can be bought as a single item in case of a replacement need.

Thank you for reading up to this point below we have more to learn. Kindly keep reading.

Types of irons

Dry irons

This electric iron-type does not produce any steam. They just produce dry heat that is in turn applied via the soleplate to help in ironing.

Steam irons

This one has an inbuilt steam-generating mechanism that helps in reducing ironing work. We shall come across several top rated steam irons below.

The steam is sprinkled onto your garments as you iron by pressing on a button situated at the top of the handle.

Non-Electric (Charcoal) irons

A charcoal iron is a device used to iron clothes by utilizing charcoal. It has a thick soleplate.

The soleplate absorbs heat from the burning charcoal and this is, in turn, is what one applies to iron clothes.

Iron Buying Guide – Steam Irons

In today’s society, owning an iron box has become a must for most households. The trickiest part is usually when deciding whether to go for a dry or steam iron box.

Removing creases from clothes is a common goal that can be accomplished by either of the irons but, a steam iron makes it easier.

Well, there are numerous brands of iron boxes for various purposes like professional, commercial, garment steaming, laundry, cordless, quilting, and travel.

The features of these apparatus vary and the pricing depends on them.

Some irons sell for over $200 although most will be at reasonable prices of between $20 and $50 marks.

The process of getting a good ironing gadget can be very tedious unless you are aware of what to look for.

And the purpose of this review is to provide an insight into the top-rated steam irons available in the market.

A lot of in-depth research has been conducted on this topic and it’s my hope you will find it useful and make the right choice next time you are out there making a purchase.

Generally speaking, in order to make best iron boxes purchase- whether a dry or steam iron, consider looking for an iron that checks all or most of these points:

Features of a Good Iron Box

  • Different irons offer different results as they are created for various purposes.
  • Whereas a dry iron is the best option for clearing creases from silk fabric, a steamer would be most appropriate for materials made from wool.
  • Price differs depending on the brand and model of the apparatus. It’s imperative to know as a buyer that price in most cases is not a reflection of the performance of an iron. There are some cheaper brands with advanced features; however, most iron boxes with high-end features are expensive.
  • The higher the power wattage the better functionality – heats up quickly and removes creases easily.
  • For best dry iron, the wattage of 1000 is the most ideal and it’s advisable to have a higher wattage for ironing difficult fabric like denim.
  • Steam iron should at least have 1200 plus wattage in order to achieve the best results.
  • The weight and size of the iron boxes vary. While a lighter one has its advantage, it also has its own drawbacks.
  • A compact iron is highly preferred to a bulky one as it needs less storage space.
  • Soleplates for best iron boxes are non-stick and made from durable materials such as ceramic, anodized aluminum, or stainless steel.
  • The type of cord differs from one model to another. It could be short, long, retractable, wireless or the type that can easily get entangled.
  • Safety consideration is paramount- does the iron box have an automatic cut out power in case of inactivity? Instances of fire break out are minimal if a gadget has this feature.
  • Best iron boxes have handles that feel comfortable and smooth when held.

7 important aspects to consider when choosing a good iron

Steam irons are typical irons with holes on the soleplate that allow steam out into the surfaces of the fabric that is being ironed.

  • Watt power determines the rate of heating and steam produced. Steam iron with higher watts will heat faster and emit steam that is more than low watt iron
  • Establish the purpose for the steam iron; is it for home or professional use? What kind of fabric is it for?  Answering these questions will guide you into the amount of steam required. Note that difficult fabrics need an iron that generates a high amount of steam. 
  • The number and size of holes in steam irons vary. For large steam output, consider an iron with micro-holes over macro holes and one with a high number of holes.
  • Control dial that allows for variation of the amount of steam being generated should be easy to reach and operate.
  • The quantity and time consumed ironing will advise the size of the tank for the iron. A lot of ironing will require an iron box with continuous production of steam. Decide if you are comfortable to keep on refilling a small water tank or buying one with a larger tank.
  • The level of maintenance required to keep the steamer in good working condition is less in gadgets with self-cleaning functions.  Dirt and deposits accumulated in the iron box can easily be flushed out.
  •  In case of hard water usage, consider the anti-calcium system in order to prevent deposits of calcium and other minerals.
  • You might want to consider steamers with a vertical steaming option as it enables one to straighten hanging fabric.

To Sum it Up

The above iron buying guide and tips therein acts as a guideline to anyone looking at acquiring the best iron.

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