Appliances

Top 5 Irons for Sewing and Quilting – Reviews and Buying Guide

If you like to sew or make quilts, you can’t but agree that a good iron is a must-have in your toolbox. It is critical for a quality quilting iron to not only set steams, press out creases, smooth out the fabric but to also be durable. But with such plenty of choices, how do you choose one? We made a research and found out the critical things to check up.

While the best iron for quilting depends largely upon the quilter, there are several important features that one must consider before purchasing an iron. The main criteria we must look at before buying are usually power functions, weight, variable heat settings, and soleplate. The power function tells us the rate at which the iron delivers a steady flow of stem. The weight of an iron informs us whether or not it is easy to use for pressing. Heat settings allow us to make adjustments depending upon the fabric being ironed to find the perfect temperature for that material, and lastly, the soleplate should be non-stick for all irons. We kept these aspects in mind during our research when we compared hundreds of models of different irons. We also went through customer reviews of each product before choosing our final top five.

Top 5 Irons for Quilting Review 2018

After our research for the best iron for quilting, we narrowed down our list to five products. The structure of this article is such that there is a table with nominations for each iron, followed by in-detail reviews of each, and in the end, there is a buying guide to clear things up and to help you make up your mind.

Name and Features Image Rating Price
1. Rowenta DW9280 Steam Force (Best All-Around Iron for Quilting)
An ideal iron for quilting – it’s heavier, heats up fast, and has outstanding steam features
RowentaDW9280
2. Oliso TG1100 Smart Iron (Most Upgrade Iron for Quilters)
User-friendly iron with iTouch Technology, variable auto shut-off, and an easily gliding surface
Oliso-TG1100
3. Rowenta DW5197 Partner of Fashion (Best Iron with No Auto Shut-off)
An iron designed with DIYs in mind, with excellent steam performance and no auto shut-off feature
RowentaDW5197
4. CHI (13106) Steam Iron (Best for Convenience)
The most convenient iron with an extremely durable titanium infused ceramic plating
CHI13106
5. BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron, D2530 (Budget Pick)
A very affordable iron with easy temperature and steam controls and an ideal weight
BLACKDECKER

The Rowenta DW9280 is a powerful iron which ensures that creases will be gone with one swift press. This iron is quite heavy, weighing in at around 4 lbs. The Rowenta DW9280, being a 1800W iron, also heats up quicker than other low Watt irons and it can maintain that heat better than most irons as well. And when this iron is heating or cooling to the required temperature, the LED light blinks, making it convenient for the user. It has a stainless steel soleplate with a non-stick coating which is scratch proof and also allows the iron to glide easily. It has 400 steam holes and even helps save water by stopping the iron from steaming unnecessarily.

What makes it good for quilters

The Rowenta DW9280 is an ideal iron for quilting for numerous reasons. It’s heavier than most irons so you won’t have to apply much pressure to straighten those creases. It also heats up fast, which will be good if you’re trying to save time. It also has 5 settings for steam and temperature, so you can use it for a variety of fabrics. The Rowenta DW9280 is known to iron fabric quicker because it’s hot and has a high steam output, which is around 210 g/min.

PROS:
  • Heats up quickly and maintains heat well
  • Saves money by reducing electric cost as well as water cost
  • Gives out a lot of steam

CONS:
  • Some people find it a bit heavy
  • Water level is difficult to read as the water tank is dark
  • It’s a bit expensive

Overall rating

The Oliso TG1100 is all about ease of use and comfortability. The main feature of this iron is the iTouch technology. You don’t have to spend your time and energy lifting the iron and setting it upright. And, if you’re worried about your iron tipping over and setting the fabric on fire, the Oliso TG1100 has an auto shut-off feature which activates when the iron is idle for 10 minutes or 30 seconds after it’s knocked over. The Oliso TG1100 also has the ideal weight, 3.7 lbs. This makes it easier for you to get rid of the wrinkles without pressing too hard.

What makes it good for quilters

For quilting, the Oliso TG1100 is a great option because it’s really easy to get the hang of. For starters, you won’t have to waste time setting the iron upright, and with the auto-lift, there’s a lower chance of fire. The Oliso TG1100 is also user-friendly. There’s a temperature selector which can be accessed easily on the top of the iron rather than a temperature dial. This iron also has a stainless steel soleplate, which is more durable and ensures that there aren’t any stains. This, combined with the steam of the iron, lets the iron glide effortlessly across fabrics.

PROS:
  • The weight of this iron is ideal
  • Its iTouch technology saves time while ironing

CONS:
  • It’s expensive for a steam iron
  • Sometimes the auto-life mechanism can break down and cause problems

Overall rating

The Rowenta DW5197’s main feature is the steam output. It can dish out an astonishing 180 grams per minute. It has a stainless steel soleplate which can iron the fabric smoothly. Its anti-drip and anti-calc features will ensure that there aren’t any drop marks on your fabric and that the steam vents on the soleplate won’t get clogged up. The Rowenta DW5197 has an auto-clean feature will help save time and keep the steam vents clean. It also has a precision tip which will help you get to tricky places on the fabric and press them.

What makes it good for quilters

Not having an auto shut-off feature might seem like a bad deal, but for quilters, it’s actually a good thing. The Rowenta DW5197 heats up nicely with 1725W, and because of its stainless steel soleplate, it retains the heat better, for about a minute, before needing to heat up again. Not having an auto shut-off feature helps you iron big piles of clothing in one go. The auto steam feature is also another plus and it gives ample amount of steam. The Rowenta DW5197 is based on German technology, so it’s really durable and will serve you for a long time.

PROS:
  • This iron provides loads of steam
  • The heat time for the iron is low
  • This iron is sturdier than others in the market

CONS:
  • The water level can’t be easily deduced from the water tank
  • It can be difficult to work with as the instruction guide isn’t clear

Overall rating

The CHI Steam Iron is best known for being convenient. Its soleplate is built from the same flat iron technology that uses titanium infused ceramic plating which is extremely durable and has a modern look. The iron also has strong steam coming out of its 400 steam vents. It’s easy to use as the temperature dial has fabrics on them, so you can eliminate making assumptions when ironing your precious fabric.

What makes it good for quilters

The CHI Steam Iron has a heavy duty soleplate which makes ironing quilts easy. It also has a 10 oz. water tank which makes it so that you can use more steam while ironing, easily getting rid of those pesky wrinkles. While it does weigh less than other 1700W irons, the CHI Steam Iron is good for long ironing sessions as it won’t tire out your hand as much.

PROS:
  • Its soleplate is more durable than most in the market
  • It’s light so it won’t tire you out as much
  • Has a high capacity water tank

CONS:
  • You will need to apply more pressure to get wrinkles out
  • The cord doesn’t retract properly
  • Can sometimes stain your shirts

Overall rating

The Black + Decker D2530’s most prominent feature is its variable temperature setting. You can easily control the temperature and steam. The variable temperature and steam settings give you the ability to customize for each type of fabric you have. It also has an auto shut-off feature which turns the iron off after 8 minutes of inactivity or 30 seconds if it’s on its soleplate or its side. The Black + Decker D2530 also prevents drips and water marks. This iron heats up quickly and conserves the heat with the help of the stainless steel soleplate.

What makes it good for quilters

The Black + Decker D2530 is of decent weight. It’s not overbearingly heavy or too light that you’ll need to apply so much pressure to get the wrinkles out. This iron also has strong steam output. In addition to that, it also gives out steam in bursts so it is easier to iron and squeeze out wrinkles. The Black + Decker D2530 is not as expensive as most irons and it gets the job done quite well.

PROS:
  • The digital display is nice and adds to its ease of use
  • It’s of the ideal weight
  • It’s quite cheap

CONS:
  • Water leaks do happen from time to time
  • It doesn’t iron as well as other steam irons in the market

Overall rating

Buying Guide

Although there are numerous quality irons readily available these days, it can be tough to find one that is great for both sewing and quilting. Whether you’re someone who has only just gotten into sewing and quilting or whether you are someone who is working on highly precise sewing projects, it is necessary to find an iron that works best for you. With this buying guide, we’re here to clarify your confusions, answer some of your questions and help you pick the best iron for your sewing/quilting adventures.

Can’t you use just any iron for your sewing and quilting projects?

Iron for sewing

While you can use any iron for your quilting projects, having an iron catered to your needs will be of great help to you. Using an iron differently than planned will just reduce efficiency while increasing the cost of your electric and water bills. So, it is best if you get an iron which meets your requirements.

What makes an iron best for sewing and quilting?

For Sewing

Generally, it’s better for sewing irons to have a wider temperature control. This is because we use a wide variety of fabrics from acrylic to cotton. For sewing, it’s also good if the soleplate has a precision tip so that it can reach those pesky nooks and crannies.

For Quilting

Often, when quilting, we use tough fabrics so having an iron that can reach high temperatures is preferable. The soleplate of the iron, instead of being precise, can be big so that it can cover more area on the quilt. And, as for the weight, you can use heavy irons so that you don’t have to apply as much pressure when ironing.

Power

The power of an iron is essentially the iron’s performance. It measures how well the iron produces and manages heat. The power of an iron is expressed in Watts. An iron that has a higher watt gets hotter and can reach the highest temperature faster than one with a lower watt. If a 1200 Watt iron can reach its highest temperature in 2 minutes, a 2400 Watt iron can reach its highest temperature much faster. Apart from that, an iron with a higher watt also means that it generates more heat.

Soleplate

Sole plateThe soleplate is the metal plate that is underneath the iron. It reduces friction between the iron and the clothes and helps protect the fabric. Soleplates should be durable, be able to distribute steam evenly and glide over fabrics easily. The type of soleplate used is different for each iron. There are numerous materials to choose from for each soleplate such as stainless steel, anodized aluminum, titanium, ceramic and nonstick. Most high-quality soleplates are often non-stick because they are durable and smooth, however, they are prone to scratching, especially over zippers and buttons.

Steam outputs

Steam output of an iron describes the way it emits its steam. Ideally, you want an iron that releases a consistent and strong flow of steam. There are several types of steam output functions such as vertical steam, variable steam, burst of steam and continuous stream. Vertical steam output option is for hanging clothes that are made out of delicate materials like suits and gowns. Variable steam output automatically adjusts its steam output depending upon the type of fabric.

The burst of steam function delivers a shot of steam directly onto the fabric while the continuous stream function slowly and continuously delivers puffs of steam. The best iron will allow you to adjust and control your steam output efficiently.

Water tank capacity

The water tank capacity of an iron

The water tank capacity of an iron is the amount of water that it can contain in its reservoir or base unit. The water reservoir should be free of leaks and should also be able to hold a lot of water. If the water tank capacity of an iron is high, then you will have to spend less time refilling the tank and the steam output will also be more constant. So, an iron with a greater water tank capacity is generally preferred over one with less. It would be better if you could get a transparent water tank as that would make monitoring the water level very easy.

Weight

The weight of an iron is an important factor to consider. Most irons weigh between 2 to 4 pounds. While we usually opt for light and portable items, you will notice that when it comes to irons, it is better to go for the heavier option. If the iron is heavy, then you will have to exert more power when you press your clothes. This means that you won’t have to go back and press again; doing it once will get the job done well. Overall, you will personally also have to apply less pressure. But, keep in mind that they can be more difficult to use. On the other hand, however, an iron’s weight determines its ease of use and convenience.

So, light irons are portable, easy to maneuver around creases and glide more smoothly. If you will be doing a lot of pressing, we recommend going for the heavier options as they will be more durable.

Price and warranty

The price and warranty depend upon the type of iron being considered. Most irons have a one-year warranty period but it could be less or even more with certain companies. The best irons for quilting and sewing start at a price of about $50 and go up to $200.

Our Verdict

Each iron we’ve kept in our list has its own strengths and weaknesses. Whether you value price over efficiency, or convenience over the number of features, we’ve listed the irons we think will help you improve your quilting game. Oliso TG1100 Smart Iron with iTouch Technology certainly is expensive, but we think it’s worth the price. Its main feature is the auto life feature which helps the iron maintain a safe distance away from your fabric while also minimizing the strain on your wrist. Rowenta DW5197 Partner of Fashion is overall a great iron and its lack of an auto shut-off feature makes it ideal for sewers. You can iron and press large piles of clothing in one go without having to worry about the iron cooling down. The BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron is a cheap option if you’re thinking of getting into quilting. Even though the iron does seem mediocre, we were impressed by its steaming capability for such an affordable price. CHI (13106) Steam Iron is the easiest to use out of the five irons we tested. It is powerful and also has a unique soleplate, ceramic infused with titanium, which makes ironing a breeze. While all the irons we tested in this review are good for quilting and sewing, we believe that, overall, the Rowenta DW9280 Steam Force is the best iron for sewers and quilters because of its Smart Steam Motion Sensor feature.

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