Comparing iron and steamer | Determining the best one

Today we use a huge number of devices in everyday life, the main task of which is to make our daily life more comfortable. Devices designed for ironing fabric products – these include. In the following we will discuss two of the most popular devices, irons and steamers, which are very popular with our consumers. Which device is better and how they differ from each other? Our experts know all the details.

About irons


Iron – a simple and convenient device, knowing the features of which, you can choose the product for any preference.

Features, functions

Modern models of irons have an incredible variety of functions and are designed to eliminate wrinkles on different types of fabrics, including delicate. The ergonomic design and economical power consumption in operation make the iron a faithful helper in everyday life.

The irons have built-in elements that automatically keep the temperature set at the right level. The product cools down when the bimetallic plate, which directly carries out the ironing of things. Thanks to the constant improvements made by the manufacturers of irons, the market of household appliances offers a huge variety of the latter, conditionally divided into several groups:

  1. Simple – similar to the first models of electric steam irons. Devices have no extra options and are designed solely for dry ironing. This is a simple product that is seldom on sale.

  2. Steam irons are the most popular among customers. Ideal for both dry and wet ironing. The steam function is used in the latter case. Such models of irons have a number of advantages compared to others. First, they are multifunctional (suitable for processing articles with varying degrees of wrinkles). Secondly, they are easy to use. Thirdly, allow you to iron hard-to-reach places near buttons or buttons.

  3. With a thermostat – already losing popularity due to the appearance of more advanced models of irons on the market.

  4. With steam generator – so called steam cleaners or irons, called “steam stations. Rather expensive product, best for working with big amount of clothes.

  5. Travel – don’t differ much from the standard multifunctional models. The main distinguishing feature is the size of the product: travel irons are very compact, equipped with the optimal number of options.

The criteria for choosing the right appliance

When choosing a suitable iron, it is advisable to be guided by a number of criteria, thanks to which you can buy the best model, taking into account personal preferences:

  1. The soleplate– Steel and aluminum are usually used for its production (sometimes their derivatives). The first option is the easiest, but none the less practical: it is sturdy, hardly deformable, glides well over the fabric, etc. The second option does not differ much from the first in its functionality, but with a small feature: if even the slightest deformation appears on the soleplate, it will affect the clothes (it will appear puffs). There is another option of the soleplate used in irons – Teflon. Rather comfortable, but not very practical, because easily scratched by buttons, metal elements, etc.

  2. Power– An important aspect, because it depends on how fast the iron heats up and how efficiently it works. The power of 1500 watts is enough to process things of different density, the power of 1800 watts will eliminate the wrinkles of heavy fabrics (for example, winter clothes). Devices with power over 2000 watts are used exclusively for professional purposes.

  3. Temperature setting– modern models of irons are equipped with a special switch to control the temperature – each of the modes indicated on it is designed for a particular type of fabric.

  4. Steam humidification system– is found in most models of irons and is represented by two kinds: horizontal and vertical. The former is designed for treating over-dried fabrics like jeans, the latter is suitable for ironing outerwear or coats, for example, without having to remove them from the hanger.

  5. Water tank– Available in different volumes – the bigger the tank, the longer the ironing time, especially when ironing large textiles.

About the steamers


Ergonomic, powerful, efficient – these steamers are designed for those who appreciate fast results and high volumes of work.

Features, functions

The steamer is often more compact than a standard size iron. It is based on the principle of an electric kettle. An ordinary steamer cannot cope with very dense fabrics, but lightweight items can. This is the ideal option for ironing delicate underwear.

The essence of the steamer is simple: in operation, the device generates steam, which, when penetrating into the fabric, straightens its fibers. Simply plug in the appliance and fill the reservoir with water. Just wait a few seconds, and it is ready to use. Remarkable that the steamer, unlike the iron, does not leave shiny spots on clothes, does not burn them. It is the ideal tool for removing wrinkles on naughty fabrics like silk, and fabrics with lots of decorative features (frills, sequins) or pleats.

NOTE. When using the steamer, we recommend using only purified water. The use of tap water will lead to the formation of lime deposits on the inner walls of the tank, and limescale is notoriously difficult to remove.

There are two categories of steamers: hand-held and floor-standing. The first ones are ideal for business and travel. Their work cycle is measured in minutes: so, for example, if the water tank capacity is 200 ml, it will be enough to steam 2-3 things, which is equivalent to 15 minutes of work.

Floor devices (considered professional) have significant size, including a large water tank (about 1.5-2 liters). The working time of such a “monster” reaches several hours. The process of steaming the product is vertical, and the design of floor steamers provides the option of “steam blow”, the essence of which is the issuance of steam under high pressure (however, the duration of this “blow” usually does not exceed a couple of minutes).

The criteria for choosing the right appliance

To make a steamer not just a stylish, but also a useful accessory for the home, the following criteria should be used when choosing a suitable product:

  1. Power and quantity of steam– Below 1000 watts, the steamer will not provide sufficient steam: the average water flow is less than 20 ml/min. This appliance often “spits,” leaving stains on clothing. And the power, close to 2,000 watts, increases the performance of the appliance, allowing you to effectively use it to iron any items.

  2. Type of iron– We should give preference to the model with an ironing board made of metal or ceramic. Plastics often warp when exposed to heat, and dry steam is the best way to handle fabrics, especially tough ones.

  3. Length of hose– The greater the size, the more comfortable the steamer is. Also, small or medium length of hose indicates no heating function. And this, in turn, means that the device generates only wet steam (after ironing, things have to dry).

  4. Extra accessories– cleaning pad (perfectly removes lint, wool); fabric brush (aligns the threads, allowing steam to penetrate deeper); protective glove (prevents possible burns from high temperatures).

Comparative characteristics


The traditional comparison. After consideration of all the features of irons and steamers, our experts have compiled a detailed comparison table.




Ideal for natural fabrics such as linen and cotton. Excellent for creating arrows on pants, ironing linens, remove wrinkles from which it is possible with such a device

Ideal for delicate or tricky synthetics (like polyester) or heavy fabrics, often used in outerwear

Speed of operation

Usually takes a couple of minutes to heat up. Only then can you begin the ironing process

Ready to go in a minute, the ironing process goes very quickly


Lightweight, small (but sometimes requires the use of an ironing board)

Only the transportable models are compact, the others are solid, but still provide the perfect result

Extra features

Only high-end multifunctional models have steam shock function; access to difficult ironing spots (around buttons, for instance) only applies to models with steam function

The “steam blow” function, quality ironing of things with lots of decor, folds, vertical ironing (e.g. curtains can be ironed on the ledge)


Low to high

Medium to high

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