Before you decide which iron you purchase make a mental list of your own ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ from an iron. What do you want this iron for? If you are a pro sewist then buying an expensive iron is worth your money but if you want one as a beginner then a cheaper iron is the way to go.
I have made a list of steam irons for multiple reasons, the first is that steams irons are lighter to use.
Sewists are usually victims of carpal tunnel syndrome which is when your median nerve is compressed due to repeated wrist activity. In our everyday lives we are already using a keyboard, iron, sewing machine (if you’re a sewist) and perhaps much more, so using lighter equipment is the best way to go.
All the irons on this list are steam irons which are by default lighter.
If you have arthritis then do make sure your iron of choice is a steam iron. The last iron on this list is quite durable but not for anyone with rheumatoid arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Which Iron Sould I Buy For Sewing And Quilting
If you want a quick answer then just buy iron number 4 on this list. You’ll get a reliable iron at a reasonable price. The iron has all the basics and more.
If you are undecided on what to buy or what your options are then read on. I’ve put all sorts of details that will help you make the best choice on what to buy.
How To Choose The Best Steam Iron
Steam irons usually stop working because the calc builds up inside the iron blocking the steam vents. This causes dripping, rust stains and the eventual burnout of your iron.
My number one tip is to buy an iron that has an external calc removal section. No matter the specifications of iron if there is no calc removal section, where you can physically remove and clean out the calcium deposits, your iron will be on a faster countdown.
The new steam irons have this feature but sadly not all of them do.
1. Mini Sewing And Quilting Iron For Beginners
Oliso M2 Mini Project Steam Iron
- Made by: Oliso
- Colour: Pink
- Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 6.5 inches
- Wattage: 1000
- Dual voltage
The iron comes with a silicone stand which is a huge plus if you want to store your iron easily. Its stand is made to be hung on the wall and while ironing you can use it to keep your iron resting on it without worrying about burning your table.
It is a small iron and absolutely perfect for delicate materials and beginner sewists. You can buy this iron for any young aspiring sewist for their mini sewing projects. The wattage is only 1000 watts which will prevent it from becoming too hot and safer for inexperienced young sewists. Additionally, there are five heat settings to choose from and any beginner sewist should find it easy to use.
If you want to look at other options as a gift for a special young person then check out our post on the best sewing machines for kids and teenagers.
Oliso is perhaps one of the very few companies that have made an iron that has an adjustable cord for right and left-handed people alike.
My favourite feature is the extra steam burst button.
Here are a few tips for this iron. If you leave your iron on for some time, while you sew, remember to reduce the heat as it can overheat and make the handle hot.
This iron is not meant to be kept standing and that is why it comes with a silicone plate. It is an overall good purchase and reliable manufacturer but it does have a few differences from some irons. The iron can be hung straight on the wall after you have emptied it but while in use it should not be kept upright.
You can read the user manual for more help.
This is not a great buy for seasoned sewists or big sewing projects.
2. Best Mini Iron For Sewing And Quilting, Beginners
Rowenta DA1560 Travel-Ready
- Made by: Rowenta
- Colour: Purple
- Voltage: Dual voltage (at the touch of a button)
- Dimensions: 8.62 x 3.88 x 4.88 inches
It has a stainless steel soleplate which is a plus. Because all irons get the black burnt residue it is easy to clean off with steel plating.
The handle of this Iron folds flat and it comes with a pouch. It’s a good travelling iron too. I like it for ironing small pieces of fabric, like face masks and tiny bags.
It’s a great buy for a beginner sewist and for ironing tiny pieces of fabric. If you want to read a post we wrote on how to set up your sewing room read our detailed thoughts here.
It is small and I would not buy this iron for any major sewing project.
3. Best Steam Iron For Sewing
Rowenta DW2459 Access Steam Iron with Retractable Cord
- Made by: Rowenta (Rowenta DW2459 Access Steam Iron with Retractable Cord)
- Colour: Purple
- Voltage: Dimensions
- Tranparant water tank
- Anti drip
- Automatic shut off system
- 3 heat settings
- Extra steam button for stubborn creases
- There is a retractable cord real for a neat and tidy sewist like myself
- Vertical steam system
The calc collector is the best feature! I have used many steam irons and they always stopped working due to the calc build-up. The calc blocks the steam holes and causes dripping. It gets worse when the water eventually goes into parts of the iron it shouldn’t and then there is a rusty drip that stains your fabrics.
Being able to physically remove the calc is a sure way to give your steam iron a longer life.
The second best part about this iron is the extra steam button. You will find it particularly useful when ironing out stubborn creases.
Thirdly you may like this iron for its tip. There is a narrow tip that is very useful for ironing small fiddly parts of sewn fabric.
None that I can think of.
4. Best Steam Iron For Quilting
BLACK+DECKER D3030 Allure Professional Steam Iron
- Made by: BLACK+DECKER (BLACK+DECKER D3030 Allure Professional Steam Iron)
- Colour: Gray/Blue
- Dimensions: 4.28 x 5.69 x 11.68 inches
- Vertical steam
- Self cleaning system for calc
- Automatic shut off system
I have not listed it as a feature because all the steam irons on the market will have an “auto clean system” but that means very little. This iron has a calc residue collector which you can and should clean often. Most steam irons will start dripping and staining your fabrics because over time the calc collects in the iron causing a number of problems.
The calc residue collector will by default make your iron last much longer than a steam iron without one.
5. Best Steam Iron For Sewing and Big Sewing Projects
Rowenta DG8624U1 Perfect Pro Station
- Made by: Rowenta
- Dimensions: 29.85 x 35.56 x 45.72 inches
- Wattage: 1800 watts
- Colour: Blue
There is no shut off timer. I know this is sometimes a bad thing but for seasoned sewists having the automatic shut off system is tedious and unnecessary.
My favourite part is that there is a big water tank for the steam. Most irons have to be refilled repeatedly. There is a built-in calcium collector and if you want you can fill it with distilled water to make your iron last longer.
Although this is a bulkier piece of equipment it is totally worth your while. We have had one for some years and it is still going strong. Additionally, unlike, seemingly, 90% of products, online this one is made in France.
It is an expensive purchase.
6. Best Cordless Iron For Quilting, Steam And Dry Ironing
Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless
- Made by: Panasonic
- Colour: Silver and white
- Dimensions: 11.25 x 6.94 x 8.33 inches
- Steam and dry ironing for quilting
A cordless iron is very handy when you’re at your sewing workstation. I have multiple tables and a desk for my sewing work and the portability of this iron makes it perfect to iron small pieces of cloth as you quilt.
This iron has a double tip which is useful for ironing backwards.
The best part is that you can switch it to dry mode if you want to iron more delicate fabrics. Quilting is all about ironing small pieces of cloth and this iron proved to be the best cordless iron for quilting.
The iron comes with a cover that is heat resistant and can be used for easy transport and storage.
The voltage is 120 volts which makes this a great purchase for Canada and America but not the rest of the world (unless it is different where you live). Some might find putting the iron back to reheat troublesome.
7. Best Heavy Duty Steam Iron For Professional Sewists
Silver Star Gravity Feed Tailor’s Steam Iron
- Made by: GOLDSTAR
- Colour: Black
- 5 heat settings
- Aheat resistent iron rest
This is not your average iron and not necessary for most sewists. If you are looking for a “no fuss” iron then this is your best option. What now feels like aeons ago we had an iron by them which never died, ever! These irons just iron and they seem to live forever.
The water tank has to be suspended and it’s a similar setup as an IV drip unit. Easy to use and understand.
If you want heavy-duty equipment that will last you some years this is your safest bet. Since we are here talking about industrial equipment you might want to read this post on the best industrial sewing machines to buy.
It is a little over 2 kilograms (4 1/2 lbs) in weight. Not ideal if you don’t want a heavy iron.
How To Maintain Your Iron For A Longer Life
If you choose to buy just the iron without the separate water tank then the best tip anyone can give you is to empty the water when you are done. If you buy a steam iron with a separate water tank then emptying the tank is not necessary.
Instead once a week, remove the water tank and clean the parts that are attached to the water tank.
If your steam iron has a calc collector clean it often or according to how much you use it.
It may be expensive but using distilled water instead of tap water is the best way to go.
I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions on irons, please comment or reach out to us via our contact page. We are always happy to help.
Keep an eye out for small features you like and want in your new iron. You’ll quickly find the right iron for your quilting and sewing journey. If you’ve done it before power on and if it’s your first-time good luck!