What Types of Clothes Irons Are There?

What's the best clothing iron? This electro-domestic can vary in size and ability. By simply knowing the characteristics of the different types of irons, you'll know which is the best for your needs.
What Types of Clothes Irons Are There?

Last update: 07 October, 2021

We all like our clothes to look clean and wrinkle-free. According to a conference on creating a professional image when looking for a job published by the University of Rioja, 93% of a first impression is based on appearance. A helping hand for this mission is one of the many different kinds of clothes irons you can get.

Today, this object is commonplace in many houses. Although it’s traditional, it has evolved over the years. Irons are no longer coal-heated iron boxes that we can press our pants with; there’s now a lot more variety.

Let’s take a closer look.

Types of clothes irons

Being an object that many people use, there’s an abundance of offers of kinds of clothes irons. There’s nothing wrong with buying an economical model if that’s what you want for the basics, but the best thing to do is take a closer look at the characteristics and performance so that your investment is worth it.

Below, we discuss the types of clothes irons that you can find on the market.

1. Basic steam iron

These are easy, economic, and perhaps the most popular. Specialists have made them smooth out synthetic textures, cotton, and jeans with ease. Just turn it on and set it, and it’ll get to work.

Some have a water container to steam the item you’re ironing to remove the wrinkles quicker. Others expel vapor from the bottom with the same intention of smoothing over even the most resistant materials.

They don’t take long to heat up; they can get through average volumes of clothing; and as they’re not usually that big, you can store them away easily, in any part of your home. An advantage? They often have an automatic off switch that they use if the temperature is too high, which is a great security measure.

Iron on an ironing board with some folded shirts
Most homes will have a clothes iron and this has caused the market to expand their range, and offer you some variety.

2. Vertical iron

As its name suggests, this type of clothes iron is vertical. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it horizontally.

People exclusively use this kind for things that they store on hangers, such as curtains, shirts, or dresses; as long as they’re not made from very tough fabrics.

Within the range for this kind of iron, you’ll find some with a base and a bar that you can use to hang clothes from. They work with steam.

3. Travel iron

The distinctive feature of these is their size: they’re smaller than the traditional kinds so you can easily pack them. They’re best for a small number of clothes that you want to highlight whilst on vacation.

If you’re one of those people that travels from one city to another or leaves the country frequently, don’t forget your travel iron to ensure that your clothes are always presentable. Thinking about your peace of mind, the manufacturers created it with double voltage to consider the electrical differences between zones.

4. Ironing plate

This has an independent tank, which gives it a greater capacity to produce vapor, shortening the amount of time it needs as a result.

These work with a lot more ease than the electric ones. Although they’re usually only used professionally, you can also use them at home for their speed and good results.

The performance of these ironing centers is best suited for large volumes of clothes. If there’s one thing to criticize them for, however, it’s that they take up a lot of space and they’re more expensive than the more traditional types.

5. Wireless irons

These are a response to the advance in technology in the home. They don’t require a cable to work. They come with a rechargeable base and you can use them after a few minutes.

You may also be interested in: The 8 Best Tips to Simplify Domestic Tasks

What should you consider when choosing clothes irons?

The main thing when it comes to selecting a kind of clothes iron is to remember the volume of clothes you’ll be ironing with it and how frequently you’ll do this. Knowing the characteristics that we explained above makes the decision a lot easier.

Electricity usage and power

No one wants to hike up their utility bills and irons are typically objects that demand too much. Before paying for this electro-domestic, be sure to check how much energy it uses.

In general, the power of an iron varies between 800 and 220 watts or between 2400 and 3200 watts, and sometimes more if it’s a superior model. If we’re talking about an ironing center then the power is higher as it can heat up in less than 2 minutes.

Water deposit

Consult the seller about the capacity of the boiler; the bigger it is, the less frequently you’ll have to refill it.

Another noteworthy aspect about the water in clothes irons is if the model allows you to fill it from the faucet. Some irons have an anti-limescale feature, but we recommend you mix distilled water with that from the faucet when you’re in a hard water area.

Cable length

The more extension the better, because that way you won’t have to work next to a socket! If the cable measures between 2 and 2.7 yards and you can rotate it, you’ll be able to iron with comfort and freedom.

Heat regulator

Temperature control in clothes irons can be many stages or just one. This factor is important for the task.

Anti-dripping feature

For more delicate materials, like underwear, the temperature of the iron has to be low, so that it doesn’t have time to create vapor and subsequently drip, staining the items.

How can you prevent this? Well, with a drop-stop or aqua-stop clothes iron. They’re more expensive but they help look after your clothes.

Vapor outlet

Even the simplest of clothes irons have a vapor outlet so that your clothes stay soft. You can set it so the vapor is continuous or sporadic for more defined wrinkles.

A note about descaling

Limescale can build up in the deposits of these electro-domestics, which can obstruct the vapor outlets. Luckily, some clothes irons advise you when you need to descale them. When a light flashes, you’ll know that it’s time to clean the filter.

Soleplate model

There are three types of soleplates and they vary in their ability to conduct heat. The best materials are the following:

  • Aluminum: This is light but gets scratched easily and they’re not that soft when they move. This type of iron heats and cools with speed.
  • Stainless steel: This is more resistant, but also heavier. Although these irons are better heat conductors, they take longer to cool down.
  • Ceramic covering: This may be made of aluminum, steel, or alloy inside. These irons are excellent heat conductors, spreading it between all the clothes. The disadvantage here is that they’re fragile and wear easily.


You have to bear the weight of your clothes iron in your hand and it’s more comfortable if it weighs less, because this means less effort. Alternatively, when it comes to ironing thicker materials like curtains, duvet covers, or pajamas, heavier clothes irons are better.

Generally, clothes irons weigh between 2.9 lbs and 3.3 lbs. This is different of course for the ironing centers as the water deposit for those isn’t integrated into the body of the iron.

person in stripped shirt ironing clothes

Ease of management

Ensure that your chosen object has an ergonomic handle – comfortable and easy to manage. Clothes irons that make them with rubber avoid your hand from slipping when you spend a lot of time ironing and become sweaty.

Automatic off

There are basic rules for managing objects that work with electricity. To avoid any risk of accident that may involve or harm children, it’s best to buy a clothes iron that has an automatic off feature.

By this, we mean in simple terms, that if you pause for a moment, the clothes iron will turn off for a few minutes and later restart its connection. This way you’ll avoid burns and fires, and you’ll save energy.

Take advantage of the different types of clothes irons available

With the different types of clothes irons, different functions, and characteristics, it’s easy to conclude that to choose the best one, the key points to bear in mind are the following:

  • The amount of clothing and how frequently you iron.
  • The anti-limescale function and the automatic off if you’re easily distracted.
  • Travel irons may be an additional tool for your home.
  • Make sure it doesn’t drip to protect your delicate clothing from staining.

Remember that you have to clean your iron so that it’s always at its best. How often you use it is worth thinking about when it comes to spending money; if you invest in a good one it’ll surely last for many years.

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