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Best Electric Steam Irons Buying Guide

Updated on February 27, 2011

The first electric steam irons were introduced to the consumer market in the early 1950s. However, they have changed dramatically since those days. Quality and durability have increased, as well as the number of features available. Almost 90 percent of all households in the United States own an electric steam iron. They can be found to meet the needs of any budget, and in this hub, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular and reliable models in each price bracket.

Proctor Silex 17410 Easy Press Lightweight Iron
Proctor Silex 17410 Easy Press Lightweight Iron

Purchase Electric Steam Irons Under $20

Electric Steam Irons Under $20

Following are reviews of the top three electric steam irons under $20, including pros and cons of each model, and average user rating.

Proctor Silex 17410 Easy Press Lightweight Iron

The Proctor Silex 17410 (pictured to the right) is one of the least expensive electric steam irons, with an average price of around $15. Its prominent features include adjustable steam performance, a spray setting, a full view water reservoir, and a 360 degree pivot cord.

  • PROS: Lightweight, heats quickly, great steam performance, low price
  • CONS: Can be leaky, not for heavy duty use, spray function can be faulty

Overall, the proctor Silex 17410 gets a rating of 3.5 stars. While it is very easy to use, the leakage can be a factor. It would make a great back-up, or travel iron, but can’t be relied upon for heavy or daily use.

Black & Decker F1000 Steam Advantage Iron

The Black & Decker F1000 is another of the least expensive electric steam irons with a price of around $17. Its primary features include a smart steam feature, anti-drip mechanism, auto-shutoff, and a non-stick soleplate.

  • PROS: Easy to use settings, auto-shutoff prevents fire hazard, heats quickly, doesn’t drip or splash,
  • CONS: Unable to see water level, can’t hold much water, small dial is hard to see and turn, iron must be unplugged to reset after auto-shutoff

Overall, the Black & Decker F1000 gets a rating of 3.5 stars. The auto-shutoff, anti-drip, and non-stick features are great. It seems the iron can stand up to heavy usage. For the price, this electric steam iron might not be a bad purchase as long as you can deal with the auto shutoff reset, and the inability to see the water level.

Smartek ST-1200G Steam Iron

The Smartek ST-1200 G is another of the cheapest electric steam irons available, priced at around $15. Its also one of the best I’ve ever used in this price bracket. Features include steam or dry ironing, adjustable heat, burst of steam setting, spray and mist settings, self-cleaning, non-stick soleplate, and a built in water cover.

  • PROS: Multiple settings for steam and temperatures, heats quickly, can be used heavily, lightweight, low price, self-cleaning and non-stick, doesn’t drip or splash, visible water reservoir
  • CONS: Temperature dial is small, very lightweight and is easily knocked over

Overall, the Smartek ST-1200G is the best of the best in the under $20 category. It gets a rating of 4.5 stars, and with good reason. It has more features than any of the other electric steam irons in this price bracket, and has very few disadvantages. It can be used on a daily basis with no problems, and is a great value for the price. If you’re looking for an electric steam iron under $20, this one is highly recommended.

Black & Decker F930 Light 'N Easy Smart-Steam Nonstick Iron
Black & Decker F930 Light 'N Easy Smart-Steam Nonstick Iron

Electric Steam Irons Under $50

Following are reviews of the top three electric steam irons under $50, including pros and cons of each model, and average user rating.

Black & Decker F930 Light 'N Easy Smart-Steam Nonstick Iron

The Black & Decker F930 (pictured to the right) is one of the most moderately priced electric steam irons, coming in at around $25. Its prominent features include smart steam technology, spray-mist settings, non-stick soleplate, and a 360 degree swivel cord.

  • PROS: Easy temperature adjustment, lightweight, non-stick, multiple steam settings, doesn’t drip or splash, large water tank, long 10 foot cord, heats in 90 seconds, reasonably priced, can be used daily
  • CONS: Squared tip has a tendency to catch fabric, no on/off indicator light, temperature settings may be too high for some fabrics

Overall, the Black & Decker F930 gets a rating of 4 stars. Its many features and ease of use make it a great buy for the price. This is one of the moderately priced electric steam irons that can be used regularly without problems, and it has very few shortcomings. The Smart-steam technology generates exactly the right amount of steam for the type of fabric being ironed. This iron is highly recommended for the under $50 price bracket.

Panasonic NI-S300TR 1200-Watt Steam Iron

The Panasonic NI-S300TR is another of the best electric steam irons in the under $50 price bracket, coming in at around $30. Its primary features include a titanium coated soleplate, auto-shutoff, adjustable steam and temperature settings, and a retractable cord.

  • PROS: Comfortable weight and grip, multiple steam and temperature settings, jet-of-stream function, auto-shutoff, push button spray mist, retractable cord, heats quickly, titanium soleplate cleans easily, large water window, easy to use controls
  • CONS: Hard to see water reservoir while filling

Overall, the Panasonic NI-S300TR gets a rating of 4.5 stars. It is one of the best moderately priced electric steam irons, with numerous settings that are easily switched between, and a comfortable, easy to clean design. The only disadvantage is the difficulty seeing the fill line while adding water. However, with a quick measurement this can be fixed. Highly recommended.

Sunbeam Professional Iron

The Sunbeam Professional Iron is moderately priced, at around $40. While lacking some of the features of the other electric steam irons in this price bracket, it is still a great iron for the money.

  • PROS: Lightweight, auto-shutoff, numerous steam settings, stainless steel soleplate, self cleaning, doesn’t drip or splash, digital controls, anti-calcium buildup system, long cord
  • CONS: Digital controls may be confusing to some

Overall, the Sunbeam Professional Iron gets a rating of 4.5 stars. It’s myriad of steam settings make it great for regular ironing of many different fabrics. The anti-calcium buildup system is great for anyone who has had problems with electric steam irons becoming clogged in the past. Digital controls are more modern but may be difficult to understand if you’re used to slide dials.

Panasonic NI-L70SR Cordless Steam/Dry Iron w/Stainless Steel Soleplate
Panasonic NI-L70SR Cordless Steam/Dry Iron w/Stainless Steel Soleplate

Electric Steam Irons Under $100

Following are reviews of the top three electric steam irons under $100, including pros and cons of each model, and average user rating.

Panasonic NI-L70SR Cordless Steam/Dry Iron

The Panasonic NI-70SR is one of the least expensive electric steam irons in the under $100 price bracket, with an average price of around $60. Its primary features include cordless technology, self-cleaning, and a vertical steam function.

  • PROS: Cordless convenience, heats quickly, strong steam output, smooth gliding and durable soleplate, easy fill water tank, auto-shutoff, self cleaning, great for travel or regular home use, numerous steam and temperature settings
  • CONS: Needs frequent reheating in the base, small water capacity, doesn’t reheat while ironing

Overall, the Panasonic NI-70SR gets a rating of 4.5 stars. It’s arguably one of the best cordless electric steam irons on the market. The convenience far outweighs the few disadvantages, such as having to place it on the base for a few seconds in between ironings. This iron is highly recommended for anyone who needs a good household iron, and it can also be easily taken while traveling.

Rowenta DZ5080 Focus Stainless-Steel 1700-Watt Iron

The Rowenta DZ5080 is another of the best electric steam irons in the under $100 price range, priced at around $80. It features electronic controls, a non-stick soleplate, self-cleaning system, auto-shutoff, and vertical steaming capability.

  • PROS: Heats quickly, heat is evenly distributed, narrow tip to get in between buttons, produces lots of steam, electronic controls for ease of use, non-stick, auto-shutoff, self-cleaning, vertical steaming
  • CONS: No on/off button – must rely on auto-shutoff or unplug, may be too heavy for anyone with arthritis or otherwise weak wrists, cannot adjust steam levels

Overall, the Rowenta DZ5080 gets a rating of 4.5 stars. It’s easy to use and produces copious amounts of steam. It typically only takes one pass to remove wrinkles, even on heavy fabrics like linen and cotton. The advantages far outweigh the few disadvantages. This is one the most highly recommended electric steam irons by professional tailors and anyone who works with fabrics regularly. It can be used heavily and will stand the test of time.

Sunbeam 4215 Steam Master(tm) Iron

The Sunbeam 4215 is the last on our list of electric steam irons under $100. It’s priced at around $80, and while it lacks some functionality of the other electric steam irons in this price bracket, it can still hold its own.

  • PROS: Multiple steam settings, auto-shutoff, vertical steam, self-cleaning, non-stick soleplate, retractable cord, comfortable grip, stylish design, lightweight, easy to use
  • CONS: Has a tendency to drip occasionally, although not so much that it’s a hindrance

Overall, the Sunbeam 4215 gets a rating of 4 stars. It offers basic functionality compared to other electric steam irons in this price range. However, it is extremely durable and reliable. It is highly recommended to anyone looking for a good, basic, household iron that will perform well for years.

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