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The 5 Best Sewing Irons
If you do any sort of sewing projects, you need to have the best sewing iron to smooth out your fabric. While irons are mostly known for getting the wrinkles out of your nice shirts before work or big events, irons for sewing are vital pieces of sewing equipment. If you’ve ever made a quilt, you know it’s vital to flatten down your steams after stitching them together on your sewing machine or embroidery machine, so every sewer needs to have a good sewing iron. Keep reading for our iron for sewing reviews and ratings.
In This Article
A sewing iron is as important to your sewing room setup as a good pair of sewing scissors, but there are also elements of sewing that simply require an iron, like seam pressing and iron-on interfacing, but they can be so much more. To help you in your search, we did all the testing to find the top five best irons for sewing so you can buy with confidence.
The Rowenta 1700-Watt Micro Steam Iron with Stainless Steel Soleplate is the best iron for sewing because it is designed to work with tap water, has a stainless steel precision tip for tight corners, and has a safety 3-way automatic shutoff.
The Rowenta 1700-Watt Micro Steam Iron with Stainless Steel Soleplate has several features that make it an excellent choice for an iron for sewing. The stainless steel soleplate and precision tip glide easily across a variety of fabrics and allow you to access hard-to-reach areas or do small-scale ironing tasks like pleating and pressing seams. With more than 400 steam holes, the steam is distributed evenly so that no one part of the fabrics receives more steam and heat than another, lowering the risk of damage or burning. Plus, the steam can be useful if you ever want to steam a knitting project from your knitting machine.
One of the best features of this sewing iron is that it can be filled with basic tap water, so there’s no need to go to the store and purchase distilled water solely for an iron. This is because the Rowenta has an internal system to clean up calcium and other minerals that naturally occur in tap water. This German-manufactured iron also has an easily adjustable thermostat knob to change the steam and heat output basic on the fabric and a 3-way automatic shut off system to prevent burning.
- Manufactured in Germany
- Optimized for use with tap water
- 3-way automatic shut off system
- Small surface area may not be convenient for large projects
The Sapporo Gravity Feed Bottle Steam Ironing System with Demineralizer is the best iron for sewing because it is energy efficient and heats up quickly with its gravity-feed bottle system. The kit contains everything you need to iron and sew safely and efficiently.
The Sapporo Gravity Feed Bottle Steam Ironing System with Demineralizer comes in a kit with a glide shoe and demineralizer. This high-tech sewing iron does not require a boiler because the (included) water bottle holds water separately above your working surface and the contained wire heaters heat it up quickly as needed. This system is more energy efficient and shortens heating time because the iron is trying to heat up a full tank of water at once—just what the iron needs right then.
Gravity itself provides the needed pressure because of the water bottle hanging above, so the iron doesn’t need to create the necessary pressure itself, either. The kit also comes with demineralizer cartridges to remove calcium and other unwanted minerals from the water and a glide ironing shoe for working with delicate materials like taffeta, nylon, and other heat-sensitive synthetic materials.
- Energy efficient
- Sheathed wire heater shortens heating time
- Water reservoir is huge
- May be less intuitive than traditional iron models
The BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron is the best iron for sewing because it is affordable, practical with its separate temperature and steam controls, and safe with its 3-way automatic shut-off.
The BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron is a great affordable, intuitive iron for sewing. It has easy-to-use digital settings to adjust the amount of steam to the fabric you are working with, and the LCD screen will flash “Ready” when the iron has reached the correct temperature for the chosen setting. The automatic shut-off system will turn off the heat if the iron sits idle on its base for 8 minutes, or on its face or side for 30 seconds, so you can have some peace of mind knowing it won’t burn your fabrics, ironing board, or cutting mat.
This iron can also be used vertically as a steamer by blasting steam on hanging clothes while still on the hanger, or smoothing wrinkles in drapes or curtains. For flat ironing, the stainless steel soleplate is durable and built to last, so you can plan on keeping this iron for a long time.
- Separate steam and temperature controls
- Comes in gray and blue varieties
- LCD screen is easy to read
- With a full water tank, may be quite heavy compared to true lightweight irons
The CHI Steam Iron for Clothes with Titanium Infused Ceramic Soleplate is the best iron for sewing because it is made with the name premium materials as their world-renowned hair styling products; titanium infused ceramic soleplate, retractable 8ft power cord, and a 2-year limited warranty.
With a titanium infused ceramic soleplate, retractable cord, automatic 3-way shutoff, and over 400 steam holes for ideal steam distribution, the CHI Steam Iron for Clothes with Titanium Infused Ceramic Soleplate is tough to beat. The CHI 13102 offers the same advanced heating iron technology as their world-renowned hairstyling products.
This model offers precise control with the adjustable steam lever, and the adjustment knob easily twists open for access to the water tank. CHI is confident enough in their iron to offer a 2-year limited warranty, so you can purchase with confidence if you decide that this is the iron for you.
- 2-year limited warranty
- 3-way automatic shutoff
- 8ft retractable cord
- The settings are for different fabrics, so you can’t choose a specific temperature
The MARTISAN Super Hot 1800W Steam Iron with Nano-Ceramic Soleplate & Auto-Shut is the best iron for sewing because it takes care of itself with self-cleaning, auto shutoff, and anti-calcium buildup features.
The MARTISAN Super Hot 1800W Steam Iron with Nano-Ceramic Soleplate & Auto-Shut can reach very high temperatures with its 1800W of power and is ready to go and generating steam in less than one minute. The ceramic coating on the soleplate prevents rusting and reaches a higher temperature than your typical standard ceramic plates. The ceramic coating also allows for better distribution and prevents annoying static cling, whether you’re ironing large swaths of fabric or doing detailed press work.
This is an iron that can take care of itself. The MARTISAN is self-cleaning, has an anti-calcium function to prevent harmful mineral buildup, and has an automatic shut-off function (15 minutes if upright, 30 seconds if flat on its face or tipped over). The iron comes with a water filling cup and user manual, but for the most part it is very self-sufficient and low-maintenance on your end.
- Resin filter is permanent and doesn’t need to be replaced
- Self-cleaning and anti-calcium buildup functions
- Steam production is harder to control with the existing controls
Features to Consider for the Best Sewing Iron
As you can see from our iron for sewing reviews, modern-day irons have come a long way since the stove-top flat irons (actually made of iron) back in the day, and they have a huge variety of features to choose from. What you need in a new iron for sewing depends on the type of sewing you do, what materials you work with, and how often you will need to use it.
Irons with three-way shutoff are excellent for heat safety because they will automatically shut off whether sitting up on the base, face-down, or fallen on their side. Some irons even varied shut-off times for each of these idling positions—for example, shutting off much quicker if left flat on its face than if it’s sitting up safely on its base.
Digital Temperature Control
While many of the best steam irons for sewing may have different fabric settings (like a “cotton” setting and a “silk” setting, for example), some irons let you get extremely precise which exact temperature controls. Digital temperature control allows you to make the temperature just as exact as you need it to be to allow for as much precision and fabric safety as possible. This lets you pick the exact temperature for different fabrics. For example, silk burns easily and needs to be ironed on a lower heat.
Retractable cords are an easily overlooked but incredibly convenient feature in some irons for sewing. Instead of having to be wrapped up wrangled between uses, a retractable cord is stores within the body of the iron itself, saving time and space. Having a retractable cord also limits the possibility of accidentally setting the iron down Easily to wrangle, won’t trip it on or burn the cord accidentally.
Ceramic Versus Stainless Steel Soleplates
Most iron soleplates are either stainless steel, ceramic, or metal with a ceramic coating. Whether stainless steel or ceramic is a better option depends on the type of ironing that you do most often, so here are a few pros and cons to keep in mind. Stainless steel is more widely available, easy to clean, durable, and can quickly and evenly conduct heat. Ceramic also conducts heat evenly, but they prevent and eliminate static during the ironing process (invaluable for certain synthetic materials), and they also prevent clothes or layers of fabrics from sticking to each other, even when working at very high temperatures.
Benefits of Using Sewing Irons
The best iron for quilting iron is an invaluable tool when sewing, and often features in sewing patterns as a necessary tool. Here are some of the uses and benefits you can experience once you find your best iron for sewing.
While interfacing can be sewed or basted onto the outer fabric, iron-on interfacing is a quick and convenient interfacing option when sewing. However, as the name implies, you need an iron to get it to stick correctly!
One of the most common uses for a quilters iron while sewing is pressing seams created by your serger or other sewing machine. Often, seams are not facing the direction that you want them to (or the two sides need to be flattened down the middle), but it can be difficult to get the seams to lie down the direction you need them to go without the heat and steam of an iron. While it is probably possible to do without, sewing would be a much more frustrating process without an iron.
Pressing Bias Tape to Seams
Bias tape is used to finish raw edges, binding seams, and making piping, among other uses. However, it can be quite unruly when trying to pin and secure it to a raw edge, so it’s important to have a good iron to secure it down and fold it with heat so it can be sewed to the fabric more easily.
Precautions of Using Sewing Irons
Most modern-day irons for sewing work by combining heat and water to create steam, which is extremely effective but can also be dangerous. Here are a few precautions to keep in mind when operating your iron.
Watch Irons Without Automatic Shutoff
Irons that have automatic shut-off will automatically turn off their own heat if left idle for a certain amount of time (depending on the make and model), but irons without this capability will remain hot until manually turned off. This can burn fabric or the surface that they’re resting on, and in the worst-case scenario could cause a fire. If you’re using a manual shut-off iron, consider setting a timer on your phone while working to make sure that you don’t leave it hot too long (especially when its on its face).
Too High of Temperatures
Some fabrics are more sensitive to heat than others, so if you work with a variety of fabrics, it may be beneficial to consider an iron for sewing that has exact temperature control. For example, silk and synthetics can burn very easily, but cotton and linens tend to be more resistant with heat.
Of all these great irons, we’ve voted the Rowenta 1700-Watt Micro Steam Iron with Stainless Steel Soleplate as the best iron for sewing. We chose this model as our best iron for sewing because it does everything that you need for stress-free (well, as stress-free as possible) sewing like 3-way automatic shutoff and the stainless steel precision tip. The kicker was that it is designed to work specifically with tap water without becoming damaged, and it is just difficult to beat that kind of convenience.
Which one is your favorite? We hoped we were helpful in helping you find the best iron for sewing for your household!