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

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Last updatedLast updated: March 09, 2021
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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.

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.

Top 5 Irons for Quilting Review 2021

1.

Rowenta DW9280 Steam ForceEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Precision chrome tip for easy gliding into pockets and curved to access narrow edges, seams and collars
  • New profiled soleplate design to ensure an optimum glide in all directions
  • Burst of steam 210g/min – variable steam 0.35g/min
  • Vertical steam to steam curtains or hanging garment
  • Integrated anti-scale valve for more durability ensures a constant flow of steam for better performance and longer life
  • Material Type:Plastic

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.

What we liked:

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

What could be better:

  • Some people find it a bit heavy
  • Water level is difficult to read as the water tank is dark
  • It’s a bit expensive
2.

Rowenta Focus Xcel DW5260Best Tip Precision

Features
  • new microsteam 400 HD soleplate
  • powerful results with 1715 Watts
  • 11 oz. water tank with water-level viewing window
  • works with tap water
  • anti-drip system for no drips, even at low heat
  • high-precision metal tip for easy access to difficult areas
  • Auto shut off for safety

As for the Rowenta Focus Xcel DW5260, the second iron for quilting on our list, there are many positive things to expect if you decide the machine is for you. For one, there’s a water tank and window that allows you to see the water level at all times. The tanks can hold a maximum of 11 oz of water when full. Additionally, this machine doesn’t drip even in low heat settings.

As a side note, there’s no need to look for distilled water to put in this iron’s tank as it’s capable of handling tap water without any glitches. Once the water has been integrated into the iron, the machine can produce 40 g/min of continuous steam. However, users can take this up a notch by using the 100g burst of steam when necessary.

Notably, the 100g steam is ideal for when you encounter those stubborn quilts that don’t straighten up easily. It also works when you’re hanging your quilts. Another top-tier feature is the auto-shutoff. It might help prevent costly accidents in your workshop.

What makes it good for quilters

The microsteam 400 HD soleplate is one of the top features for quilters. Remember that you want even steam distribution as that almost always leads to straighter fabrics and the soleplate is able to deliver on that.

Also, at 1715 watts power production, the device is powerful enough to smooth out wrinkles that might otherwise be bothersome. Lastly, with the metal tip, this iron will reach all the hard-to-access areas of your quilts and straighten them out as well.

What we liked:

  • Excellent steam distribution
  • Burst steam for stubborn wrinkles
  • Auto-shutoff for safety

What could be better:

  • There is a short delay before steam action is engaged
  • Little space to work with between handle and dial
3.

Oliso M2 Pro Mini Project Iron Best Compact Iron

Features
  • power of a full-sized iron (1000 watts)
  • universal voltage
  • 180° pivot cord
  • heats to its highest setting in only 45 seconds
  • diamond-coated ceramic soleplate with precision tip
  • evenly distributes the ideal heat for synthetics, wool, and cotton
  • 3-year limited warranty

Next, we have the Oliso M2 Pro Mini Project Iron, and just as the name suggests, this option is compact. If you travel with your quilting projects, you’re going to want to take this with you as well. Notably, it allows for 120V sockets when you’re in the US. However, if you’re outside the country, you can push a button to allow 240V usage.

You get a highly rated soleplate that’s made primarily out of ceramic. However, it’s also diamond-coated, which is partly why the machine can glide effortlessly over fabrics. Another positive is the 180° pivot cord which works in conjunction with the machine’s design to allow for dual-handed use. You don’t have to be limited to either your left or right hand.

From the moment you start the machine, it takes a maximum of 45 seconds to get to the highest heat setting. Additionally, an indicator light is provided to let you know when the machine is sufficiently heated up. The solemate accessory should come in handy during storage. This is because it comes with a hook and cord tether. It also works as an ironing board cover.

What makes it good for quilters

The iron has various heat settings for the different fabrics you’ll be using for quilting. Also, the design is excellent for those hard-to-reach wrinkles in your quilting project. Lastly, steam capabilities are included.

What we liked:

  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Allows for both right-handed and left-handed use
  • Quick start time
  • Works with both 120V and 240V power options
  • Three-year warranty

What could be better:

  • Steam is inconsistent
  • Handle gets hot
4.

CHI (13106) Steam IronBest for Convenience

Features
  • Titanium-infused ceramic soleplate – scratch resistant – extra-smooth glide – heats quickly – over 400 steam holes for Superior performance
  • Temperature and steam control – precise temperature control – unique adjustable steam control
  • Comfort grip
  • 8′ Retractable cord for easy storage
  • Limited 2 year warranty

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.

What we liked:

  • 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

What could be better:

  • You will need to apply more pressure to get wrinkles out
  • The cord doesn’t retract properly
  • Can sometimes stain your shirts
Features
  • High Steam Rate – Blast away wrinkles efficiently with customizable digital settings that deliver the perfect amount of steam according to fabric type.
  • Digital Temperature Control – The clear-view LCD screen makes it easy to customize fabric and steam settings. Plus, the screen will flash “READY” once the iron is preheated to the selected temperature.
  • Stainless Steel Soleplate – The durable, heavy-duty soleplate glides smoothly over all fabric types to press out wrinkles in no time.
  • Variable Temperature and Steam Controls – Independent steam and temperature controls give you the ability to customize each setting separately for the best results across all fabric types.
  • 3-Way Auto Shutoff – For added peace of mind, the iron shuts off when left unattended for 30 seconds on its side or soleplate, and after 8 minutes on the heel rest.

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. This model is just one of the cleverest ever put to the market by Black and Decker in their variety of ironing items.

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.

What we liked:

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

What could be better:

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

Things to Consider

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. Remember that soleplates need your attention and regular cleaning, so check out some helpful tips and tricks on maintaining your iron.

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. We know exactly what you need to start sewing, so we are ready to give you our final advice on the products reviewed. Rowenta Focus Xcel DW5260 is relatively expensive, but we think it’s worth the price. It’s capable of handling tap water without any glitches and features a handy shut-off. Oliso M2 Pro Mini Project Iron is the most compact iron and has various heat settings for the different fabrics you’ll be using. Its design is excellent for those hard-to-reach wrinkles in your quilting project. 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.

3 Comments
  1. Is there any decent portable iron for quilting model? With a foldable handle or anything of that kind… Thanks in advance!

    • Adam Clapton Adam Clapton Jun 7, 2019

      Hi, Ginny! When it comes to irons for quilting, it makes sense to look for something heavy and powerful so that it could cope with thick blankets, pillowcases, etc. If you’re interested in travel versions, check our article on the best travel irons out.

  2. Avatar Amy Johnson Jul 24, 2019

    Glad to see the Rowenta model took the 1st place in this rating. I’ve been having a very similar iron for quilting by them and it works wonders 🙂

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