The 8 Best Steam Irons of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Rowenta DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron was the crowd favorite

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Photo: People/Tara Donne

First impressions are important, and one of the best ways to leave a lasting impression is with a perfectly-pressed outfit. A proper steam iron can help you do just that. PEOPLE tested 30 steam irons and assessed each one's heat-up time, design, and portability. We pressed out samples of cotton, linen, and satin fabrics to see which models easily smoothed wrinkles and stubborn creases.

"The heated front plate [of a steam iron] helps to improve the steam quality and dries the fabric," Frej Lewenhaupt, CEO and co-founder of Steamery explains. "[This] makes it possible to both steam your clothes and to use it as an iron for a more pressed look." In short, the combination of a traditional heated front plate and steaming capabilities is a game-changer for de-wrinkling your clothes.

Our tested favorite is the Rowenta DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron because it heats up quickly, works out wrinkles effectively, and features a handy LED temperature indicator. And we're not the only fans of our top pick — Martha Stewart has also used it to expertly wipe out wrinkles on Facebook Live.

These eight corded steam irons were considered the most impressive that PEOPLE Tested.

These three corded steam irons were considered the most im-press-ive that PEOPLE Tested.

Best Overall: Rowenta DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron

steam iron


  • Heats up quickly
  • Most effective for working out wrinkles
  • Automatic shutoff


  • On the pricey side
  • Heavy to use when water tank is full

The speediest of the bunch to fire up, the Rowenta impressed us with how quickly it got hot (44 seconds for cotton, 55 seconds for linen, and 50 seconds for satin). With a few passes, persistent creases easily came out of linen. Its intuitive design, with an LED temperature indicator, was also a hit. By the end of the test, we'd found that it was super easy to use, pretty whisper-quiet and never sprayed any water.

The Rowenta weighs almost 4 pounds out of the box and felt heavy when its 10.8-ounce water tank was full — which could deter a first-time or reluctant ironer. Even though we thought it was a little denser than the others, its pressure power made up for it.

What's more, the Rowenta is manufactured with an anti-drip system, which stops water from spitting out of the soleplate when the temperature is too low. The extra-perforated soleplate (which the brand claims expels 30 percent more steam than a model without a pump) is especially handy for ironing shirts.

Other "above and beyond" features include a cord with 360-degree pivoting abilities and automatic shutoff, sending this one straight to the winner's circle.

Price at time of publish: $149.95

Dimensions: 11.4 x 4.9 x 6 inches | Weight: 3.85 lbs | Wattage: 1800 | Water tank capacity: 10.8 oz | Cord length: 7 ft | Setting options: Nylon, silk, wool, cotton, linen | Soleplate material: Stainless steel

best steam irons
People/Tara Donne

Best Budget: BEAUTURAL 1800-Watt Steam Iron

steam iron


  • Affordable price point
  • Heats up quickly
  • Easy to maneuver


  • Heavy to use when the tank is full
  • Large reservoir

Sturdy and steady sum up the Beautural iron, which is about the same size as the Rowenta — at a third of the price. We loved its smart LCD screen, which is used to set the exact temperature necessary to press nine different types of fabric.

The double-layer design of the Beautural's ceramic soleplate also makes it a standout for its even heating, scoring at least a 4 out of 5 stars in the tests for cotton, linen, and satin. The wrinkles practically came out in a single pass, even on linen, the stiffest of the set. Its steam power also continued to be satisfactory after six months of consistent use.

The model's water reservoir size is especially large at 11.5 ounces and felt heavy when the tank was full. The comfortable handle makes the machine easy to maneuver, while its cord length is average at 6 feet.

In sum, the Beautural's many modes at an affordable price point make it a good buy.

Price at time of publish: $44.97

Dimensions: 11.3 x 4.8 x 5.75 inches | Weight: 3.18 lbs | Wattage: 1800 | Water tank capacity: 11.5 oz | Cord length: 6 ft | Setting options: Acrylic, nylon, silk, polyester, blended, wool, cotton, jeans, linen | Soleplate material: Ceramic coated

best steam irons
People/Tara Donne

Best Investment: Rowenta DG8624U1 Perfect Pro Station

Best Steam Irons


  • Reaches small corners with tapered tip
  • Removable tank for easy cleaning and portability
  • Spacious reservoir


  • Large, complex design
  • Tank increases the overall weight

The Rowenta models continued to impress during our tests, with the Perfect Pro Station steam iron scoring a 4.5 rating out of 5 overall. This heavy-duty iron means business, from its powerful wrinkle removal capabilities to its stainless steel laser soleplate, we were thrilled with its performance both in the testing lab and after six months of use.

We found that the large, detachable water tank was a plus for this corded iron, letting you get more use out of the iron without stopping to refill it after a few uses. The sharp design features an acute tip, which allows the iron to get into those small corners like pillowcases or shoulders for a fine press.

The iron took very few passes to de-wrinkle satin, linen, and cotton fabrics, and it continued to work efficiently on several types of clothing and materials after six months of consistent use. It still sits on our ironing board so it's always handy now, even months later. Though this model may be a bit large when attached to its water tank, we think that it's a very useful and versatile tool to invest in.

Price at time of publish: $299.99

Dimensions: 29.9 x 35.6 x 45.7 inches | Weight: 0.95 lbs | Wattage: 1800 | Water tank capacity: 37 oz | Cord length: 11.5 ft | Setting options: Not specified | Soleplate material: Stainless steel

Rowenta DG8624U1 Perfect Pro Station 1800 Watts Fast Heat Up
People / Dera Burreson

Best Travel: IRIS USA TSTM-01 Compact Travel Steam Iron

steam iron


  • Compact size
  • Simple to maneuver
  • Easy to carry


  • No automatic shutoff safety feature
  • Only one heat setting, so you can't adjust for different fabrics

Small and simple, the Iris iron was PEOPLE's most powerful portable pick. More basic than the two other top models, the machine's only button turns it on, so there is no way to tweak the temperature for different fabrics. It also does not have a digital display.

What it lacks in customization, it makes up for with ease of use. Lightweight and user-friendly, the tiny iron promises 5.5 minutes of steam with a full water tank. The iron can be used while clothes are hanging up — a plus for dresses or longer garments.

Though its heating was speedy at 40 seconds, we found that the fabric was still damp after steam ironing. While the Iris quickly smoothed out creases on cotton and satin, it took a few more passes than expected to work out the wrinkles on linens.

The Iris might not have the power of a large model, but its small size makes it possible to use vertically while clothes are hanging up. The heat-resistant stand is also helpful, especially when on the go.

Even if the only place you'll be traveling with this iron is around the house, the Iris iron is a good buy for the price. Just remember to turn it off while not in use because it does not have an automatic shutoff safety feature.

Price at time of publish: $29.99

Dimensions: 6.50 x 2.76 x 5.12 inches (not including base) | Weight: 2 lbs | Wattage: 800 | Water tank capacity: 2 oz | Cord length: 8 ft | Setting options: Not specified, can treat velvet, wool, cashmere, acrylic, silk, rayon, polyester, hemp, and cotton | Soleplate material: Aluminum

best steam irons
People/Tara Donne

Best with Retractable Cord: Black+Decker ICR2020 Steam Iron

Best Steam Irons


  • Efficiently retracts
  • Handy for sewing and quilting
  • Lightweight despite size


  • Handle isn't as grippy as we'd like

There's so much to love about this steam iron, but the standout feature of this Black+Decker model was its outstanding retractable cord. No one wants a cord coiling up in the closet and taking up too much space, so this iron is not only an incredible performer and super lightweight option, but it's easy to store, too.

This steam iron performed beautifully in the initial satin, linen and cotton tests, needing only one pass for an effective de-wrinkling. (We only needed to go back for one more swipe when it came to the linen fabric.) In fact, the effect was so immediate on the cotton piece that we couldn't even tell where the crease originally was.

While we did notice that the handle lacked a bit of grip, it didn't make the iron hard to hold. In fact, the iron was so lightweight and mobile that we would recommend it to quilters in particular, or anyone with hand and wrist issues or arthritis. This is a standout steamer at a stellar price, for sure.

Price at time of publish: $27.87

Dimensions: 5.8 x 11.7 x 4.8 inches | Weight: 2 lbs | Wattage: 1200 | Water tank capacity: 10.82 oz | Cord length: 8 ft | Setting options: Synthetic, nylon, silk, polyester, rayon, blend, wool, cotton | Soleplate material: Stainless steel

Black+Decker ICR2020
People / Dera Burreson

Best Lightweight: Black+Decker IR1010 Light 'N Easy Compact Steam Iron

Best Steam Irons


  • Easy to carry
  • Great for sewing and quilting
  • Budget-friendly price


  • No signal when desired temperature is reached

It can be tiresome to steam iron a large amount of clothes or long tablecloths, which is why you'll want to look for an iron that is just as lightweight as it is effective. The Black+Decker Light 'N Easy steam iron is a compact model that puts in the power without being too heavy-handed.

The satin wrinkles were pressed in one simple pass, even without a designated satin setting, and it took two short passes to erase the creases on the linen and cotton samples. We loved using this iron when quilting and sewing over the next few months of use, as its lightweight body made it easily transportable.

The inclusion of automatic shutoff was a welcome addition to this simple machine and the iron was still able to hold a large amount of water despite its petite size. Our only qualm was that there was no indication when the iron had reached its desired temperature, which became somewhat of a guessing game. Still, the price of this iron can't be beat.

Price at time of publish: $18.39

Dimensions: 4 x 11 x 6 inches | Weight: 2.5 lbs | Wattage: 1200 | Water tank capacity: 10.8 oz | Cord length: 8 ft | Setting options: Synthetic, nylon, silk, polyester, blend, wool, cotton | Soleplate material: Stainless steel

People / Dera Burreson

Best Small Iron: Conair EZ Press 800 Watt Handheld Steam Iron

Best Steam Irons


  • Very portable and lightweight
  • Performed especially well on cotton
  • Light lets you know when temperature is reached


  • Tedious to use on large items

This petite iron is a reminder that sometimes the best things come in small boxes. The Conair EZ Press iron impressed us with its easy-to-use interface despite its basically text-less design.

Due to its minimalist design we had to look to the instructions to learn how to set heating times and figure out the indicator light for temperature settings, but the iron was a breeze to use after a bit of light reading. There were satisfactory results after just one pass on dry satin fabric, but linen and cotton only needed another quick press to get a smooth surface. It was a bit harder to get creases completely out, but using the steam did just the trick.

For anyone who doesn't want their hand to get tired or wants to use an iron on-the-go, this model is a great contender. It's featherweight design also makes this iron an option for people with wrist or hand pain. However, it could be a bit tedious to iron larger items due to its small size — but if you need a quick fix, then this is the one for you.

Price at time of publish: $24.99

Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 5.1 inches | Weight: 1 lb | Wattage: 800 | Water tank capacity: Not specified | Cord length: 8 ft | Setting options: Not specified | Soleplate material: Stainless steel

Conair EZ Press 800 Watt Handheld Steam Iron
People / Dera Burreson

Best Cordless: Panasonic NI-L70SR Cordless 1500W Steam/Dry Iron


  • Portable, thanks to an included carrying case
  • Quick and effective results
  • Removable water tank


  • On the pricier end
  • Always needs to be charged

If you're looking to bring your steam iron into the 21st century, then we've got the one for you. The Panasonic Cordless Steam and Dry Iron comes in a carrying case that not only makes it super portable, but charges it as well (and it's also how this iron manages to be cordless). You can not only dry press with this iron, but vertically steam and spray, as well.

We appreciated the anti-drip system installed inside this model and how quickly it was able to reach its desired temperatures. The heat settings in particular were lauded for how easy they were to figure out "for a newbie" and the ironed results were impressive as well — smoothing most fabrics in just one or two passes and performing particularly well when sprayed beforehand.

There was a bit of trouble when it came to steam ironing the linens, which took a few passes to get a wrinkle-free surface. However, we did find ourselves coming back to this model over the course of six months when steaming or ironing something like curtains or anything far away from an outlet — a huge advantage for people with larger spaces. Just treat it like your phone and remember to set it on the charger when you're done.

Price at time of publish: $84.95

Dimensions: 7 x 11.9 x 9.3 inches | Weight: 5 lbs | Wattage: 1500 | Water tank capacity: 5.2 oz | Cord length: Not applicable | Setting options: Not specified | Soleplate material: Stainless steel

Panasonic NI-L70SR Cordless
People / Dera Burreson

Things to Consider Before Buying a Steam Iron

Intended Use

It's wise to think about how often, and who, will be using the iron in your household. If the machine will be in heavy rotation or is replacing an old favorite, a pricier purchase, like the Rowenta Steamforce Iron, could be worth every penny.

A lighter model in a smaller size may also be a wise option if a pre-teen or older family member will be firing it up as well — consider the Black + Decker Light 'N Easy Compact Steam Iron for ironing amateurs.


Open up your closet – what looks wrinkly? A powerful model with a large water tank is a must for thicker fabrics, while a lightweight choice will do the trick for warm-weather cottons. For travelers, compact irons like the Iris Compact Travel Steam Iron also leave that much more room in your carry-on for another outfit.

Special Features

Do you need settings to steam nylons and acrylics, or will a more basic machine get the job done? Consider whether the iron will be taking its place next to a standard steamer in your linen closet, or if you need a multi-tasking machine that can steam with the same ease.


It's always smart to factor cost into the purchase you're planning on making, and that's especially important when it comes to devices that will be used on your clothes, which also were likely costly to buy. You don't want to invest in a model that is going to damage or not properly press your clothing just because it has a lower price tag, but you also don't want to overpay for something that performs poorly.

After careful selection we've found that standout steam irons can be as little as $45, like the Beautural 1800-Watt Steam Iron, or can go as high as $234 with a bevy of extra features, like the Rowenta DG8624U1 Perfect Pro Station. We won't steer you wrong, but it's important to use your judgment on what feels feasible for your budget.

How We Tested Steam Irons

A team of 14 testers tried 30 irons on three different fabrics to see how well they removed wrinkles on satin, linen, and cotton fabrics. If a model had a steam setting (which our top three do), it was also assessed in the test, with the exclusion of satin which should never be steamed.

A few days before the test, wrinkles were set by wetting napkins of each of the three fabrics and securing them tightly with a rubber band to create real-life, laundry-day conditions. Then, during the trial, bands were removed and testers timed how long it took to remove wrinkles from each type of material. Raising the stakes, ironed creases were also added to each fabric to see how effective each model truly was.

While working with the irons, testers also took note of some technical specifications. To measure each appliance's heat-up time, they timed to see how quickly the models got hot for each fabric category it offered. Eyeing product design, they took note of how the iron felt in their hand, if the water reservoir leaked at all, and general aesthetic. Finally, to consider portability, our testers evaluated how heavy the irons were with a full tank of water as well as overall ease of use with each respective cord length.


Is steam ironing as good as dry ironing?

Steam irons offer several benefits over dry irons. The steam makes it easier to remove wrinkles, and many steam irons can also be used dry (without steam). In addition, you can use steam irons vertically on curtains and upholstery.

What is the best wattage for a steam iron?

For an iron with the most powerful steam capability, look for a steam iron with 1500 to 1800 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster it will heat up. Our top pick, the Rowenta Digital Display Steam Iron operates at 1800 watts and heats up in less than a minute.

Do steam irons remove wrinkles?

Steam irons are pros at removing wrinkles. "Steam helps to get into creases by penetrating the fabrics, leading to a flatter fabric in a shorter amount of time," says Carlin van Noppen, interior designer and owner of Fig Linens and Home. Because of this heat manipulation, the addition of steam helps loosen wrinkles to make the ironing process faster and easier.

How do you steam properly?

First, check the manufacturer's recommendations for your particular steam iron. Next, fill the steam iron with water and plug it in. Choose a setting for your individual garment and allow the iron to heat. Lay the article of clothing on an ironing board. Move the iron back and forth across small sections of fabric. Based on your setting, steam will be released as you iron. The material will remain damp but the wrinkles will smooth as you move the iron. If wrinkles are particularly stubborn, press to release additional steam. Continue with different sections of the garment until finished.

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our People Tested content.

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