Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 06, 2021
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If you find yourself regularly searching for an iron to use whenever you are on your travels, you may be thinking about purchasing the best travel iron to accompany you on your journey. A travel iron is designed for practicality and is sized to fit into your luggage. It’s also the perfect companion whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, as it allows you to look your best and get the creases out of any crumpled up and folded clothes which many of us find ourselves with when we empty our luggage!
Travel irons differ from the standard irons that we tend to use at home as they are visually more compact and smaller in structure than their bigger counterparts. They still provide almost the same power as such regular irons, but they offer a different purpose. In this guide we paid much attention not only to power and size, but also the number of settings, temperature range, water capacity and heating time. Many travel irons also come with a travel bag to hold the iron and any other accessories, and it’s always worth noting whether your preferred model allows for dual voltage, should you be traveling internationally.
It’s not that easy to choose the best travel iron. This review looks at five good quality travel irons taking you through essential features of each, from listing them in a table and providing you with a detailed product review. We have also included a practical buying guide and a frequently asked questions section to help you make the best purchasing decision when it comes to selecting your own travel iron.
The Steamfast is a small but perfectly formed travel iron with impressive stats, features, and additions, making this overall an excellent pick for travelers. Steamfast products are renowned for their sturdiness and durability and nowhere is this more obvious than in the SF-717 model. With a rapid heat up time, the iron is ready to use within a matter of seconds and can accommodate 1.4oz of water capacity. Complete with a handy one-touch steam control there is also a selection of three temperature settings for added convenience when dealing with different fabric types. Perhaps one of the most powerful of models, the Steamfast provides a staggering 420 watts making the job of removing wrinkles from your clothes effortless. Extremely lightweight, the Steamfast delivers an anti-slip handle for improved grip and extra safety measures along with a power chord measuring 7.5 feet for reachability. With a tiny non-stick soleplate, this iron can reach areas of clothing that many bigger irons struggle with. Perfect for use within the home, this travel iron also has its very own travel bag as well as the essential dual voltage making it an ideal traveling companion worldwide.
Customers rate the Steamfast highly for its ability to do an excellent job of ironing, despite its smaller size. Furthermore, this model is considered an excellent buy for sewers and other hobbyists due to its ability to press seams through its powerful heating capacity and when getting into tiny corners of the material.
Why are we impressed?
Quick heat up time
Dry or steam functions
Travel bag included
What negatives must you be aware of?
Takes a little time to cool down so cannot be packed away immediately
The Sunbeam travel iron is light on the budget while still packing in a commanding performance from its 800-watt model. Complete with the standard voltage system of both 240V and 120V, this iron has a soft touch handle and dial which adds to user comfort each time it is in use and will inform you that the iron has reached its required temperature through its indicator light, conveniently placed at the fore of the iron. With a feature that produces a shot of steam, all wrinkles and creases can be ironed through use of the Sunbeam’s smooth gliding soleplate and its variable temperature controls which allow you to select and control the desired heat for any material type. A rather simplistic design, there is ample opportunity for all users, regardless of left or right handed, to use this model with ease due to its dexterity of allowing access from both sides of the iron and all buttons and controls are easily controlled and accessed by your fingertips. With an easy-to-fill reservoir enabling simplicity when filling the tank for steam ironing, this is a simple but effective travel iron.
Customers rate the Sunbeam model as a comfortable little appliance when packing for travel. With an efficient iron possible each time, the performance of such a budget travel iron is well received by those looking for a more fundamental and straightforward portable design to add to their luggage.
What stands out?
Quick heating up time
Lightweight to travel but heavy enough to get the job done
The SMAGREHO Travel Steam Dry Iron is considered a great gift choice because of its inclusivity for offering great ironing results each time as well as an added travel bag when purchased. With a selection of use for steam or dry ironing, this model gives users dual voltage, making it a great travel companion for all over the world. It also offers extras such as a convenient travel bag to house it in, a plastic measuring cup and a protective ironing scorch-saving mesh pressing pad! Perhaps a more visually pleasing product, the SMAGREHO is a vibrant red model which certainly stands out from the more standard plain white irons on the market. More so, its ability to offer many more features is impressive, including a 1.4oz water tank which heats to the maximum in a record of 15 seconds, three levels of temperature settings, a non-stick soleplate, and one-touch steam control. Most importantly, this travel system iron works to remove wrinkles from almost any type of fabric and is not only compact and lightweight for placing in your luggage but can also be used in the home, such are its strength and durability of the design.
Customers rate the SMAGREHO Travel Steam Dry Iron as an all-around ideal product which handles well in use and heats up instantly. The additional accessories included here are also greatly received.
What makes it stand out?
Great overall package
Super-fast heat up
Good sized water tank
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Its smaller size can be awkward at times for some users
The Ivation No-Drip Steam Iron is mini and compact in design but gives many of the larger irons a run with its powerful 420 Watts model. With additional quick heat technology as standard, making this ready to go in just 15 seconds maximum, more impressive here is its offering of not only one but a total of three heat power levels. Complete with a non-stick ceramic soleplate and a conveniently located one-touch steam control, the Ivation also offers customers variable voltages. Designed to remove wrinkles with ease from almost any fabric type, this mini travel iron also has an anti-drip design which is innovatively added to ensure that the iron not only works to prevent leakages of any unsightly water stains but, most importantly, works to avoid any nasty and harmful skin burns, making this a safer choice. Accompanied by an extra-long power cord than many similar models offered, at 7.5 feet in total, the Ivation accommodates simple wrapping of the lead after use with convenient clips located around the iron handle.
Customers rate the Ivation travel iron as a more accessible of travel irons with this model being able to fit neatly into the palm of your hand and still be comfortable to use. With a good grip, it is deemed a great little iron which offers a longer than usual cord, as well as an essential anti-drip feature which many customers claim they don’t tend to see in similar types of products.
The PurSteam travel iron is a lightweight steam iron which is considered by its makers to be the ultimate product when it comes to travel irons! Designed to ensure intense power, this model has the capacity to produce up to 30% more of steam flow than many other steamer irons on the market and does this through its continuously superheated steamer function, like in clothes steamers. Complete with a dual voltage, the PurSteam is designed to be the perfect companion for regular travelers and can be used at almost any destination. With a long 6.5-foot power cord attached it also boasts an anti-slip handle and non-stick soleplate making it not only ultra-comfortable to use on an ongoing basis but also safe in the process. This 420 Watts travel iron is extremely lightweight in design both regarding practicality and visibility and can be easily packed up to fit into all luggage types with the minimum amount of fuss.
Customers rate the PurSteam for its ability to offer some fantastic results despite being such a simplistic and minimally designed model. Claimed to work very well indeed at getting wrinkles out of a variety of clothing in a short space of time, the powerful steam flow is a much-appreciated addition to this travel iron with many pleasantly surprised at how well the water lasts so long even when using this facility regularly. Ultimately, the steam facility of the PurSteam travel iron is what gets the most thumbs up from those who purchase this model.
Why is it special?
Small but powerful
Quick heat up time
What are the flaws?
No travel bag included
Some people find the steam function can be a little overpowering if constant
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve had a chance to look through some of the best travel irons on the market, you may be looking for some additional information about travel irons overall before you make your final decision. This buying guide aims to cover all the relevant information you need to ensure you select the right model type for your specific needs.
Who needs a travel iron?
Anyone who takes a vacation, travels for work, or simply stays away from home for various amounts of time would benefit significantly from a travel iron. Alternatively, you may have moved into a smaller apartment or room and don’t have much storage space, therefore, needing to downsize your appliances. A travel iron is also highly favored by those who craft with materials as it is seen as a more convenient tool to store, move around, and work with. It is not as powerful as a steam generator iron yet more convenient to take with you.
Features to consider when choosing a travel iron
There are several key features which travel irons come with which you may want to check before choosing your preferred product. This is a list of the critical features which explain in a little more detail about what you should be looking for to get the best from your selected travel iron.
Quite simply, the higher the wattage of your chosen travel iron, the better the performance in speed and power. Unfortunately, travel irons have long had a somewhat misleading reputation when it comes to performance, with many believing that you cannot possibly get a good enough wattage in them, but this just isn’t true. In fact, considering that some people also use travel irons at home, their power is more than adequate to cope with any material. In this case, the Sunbeam GCSBTR-100 offers an astounding 800 watts. With the standard average iron reaching around 1100 watts when heated on high, this is a very impressive spec for a travel iron. Yet, you may want to consider, especially if cost is an issue, that the higher the wattage, the more electricity you will be using and therefore paying for. Thus, the other four models offering an average of 450 watts may be just what you need for such temporary circumstances.
Temperature settings and range
What people find more and more these days is that with such a varied mixture of the material type in all clothing they buy, one iron temperature is just not good enough to accommodate ironing on a range of different materials. And there not always is a place with steam presses waiting to be used. If you find yourself traveling with a combination of clothing types and need a travel iron that will offer you the option of changing the temperature to accommodate each item, then you’ll need to look for one which has a variety of settings and ranges. Both the SMAGREHO Travel Steam Dry Iron and the Steamfast SF-717 offer customers a choice of three temperature settings, with the rest comprising of a dial range to control the temperature of the iron overall. If you are purchasing your iron with the intentions of ironing a specific material, it’s a good idea to check what both the maximum and indeed the minimum temperature your preferred model can cope with beforehand, especially if that material is delicate.
An important aspect for many travel iron users is the amount of water their chosen model accommodates. With so many people preferring to have the steam facility in their iron as standard, this need also refers to the travel iron, with a vast number of customers believing that nowhere is it more crucial to have a steam function when traveling with this appliance. This is predominantly because when you travel your clothes inevitability get creased and crumbled, more so than what they would if they were folded and hanging at home.
If you don’t want to be continually moving back and forth to the tap to fill up your iron, you’ll need to look at getting an excellently sized water capacity, especially if the steam function of the model is high spec, such as the PurSteam Travel Steam Iron for example.
Dimensions and weight
Travel irons are initially designed as smaller overall sizes and lighter weights in mind. This is for the simple fact that when you travel, you really don’t want to be lugging an oversized heavy iron around with you everywhere you go. More so, you want to be able to pack your travel iron into your luggage and not have to worry about any issues arising at the airport regarding safety and extra baggage weight. Most travel irons are compact, but you may still need to get an idea of how comfortable these products feel when you use them as with those smaller measurements naturally comes a more compressed design that isn’t always great for more extended periods of use, particularly if you have large hands. The Ivation No-Drip Mini Steam Iron is considered a better ergonomically designed travel iron and works to prevent any aches and pains and is a most comfortable design, especially if you wish to use it more frequently. Some of the home-used cordless irons are quite undersized if you ever need a more powerful portable version of an iron with you.
Though often not always associated with such irons, you should still consider what warranties are on offer by each company when you come to purchase your travel iron. All decent companies will offer a specific set time guarantee on their product, and though you may not be intending to use your travel iron on a regular basis, it is still essential to opt for a model which offers that extra peace of mind. This is important when you find yourself traveling to a foreign country or somewhere on the other side of the world, and you discover your iron has stopped working or has a defect. Getting all that way only to find your product is rendered useless is hugely annoying, more so if you can’t access another iron at that time. Look out for those models that offer a one-year limited warranty or at least your money back.
Your travel iron may come complete with a host of additional features, some which may be useful to you or some which you may never need. However, there are some other features which really do earn their keep on these appliances. The cord length is an excellent example as depending on where you use your travel iron – you may find that a longer cord length is a practical feature, especially if you discover socket space is limited on your travels. Then there are additional features that make ironing a little more comfortable such as anti-slip handles, which are crucial for those who struggle with heavy irons and need improved grip. The soleplate material of each iron may also be an aspect you want to consider, perhaps opting for one such as the SMAGREHO Travel Steam Dry Iron which has a non-stick Teflon plate.
How to take care of your travel iron?
As with all standard irons, the more care you take with your travel iron, the longer the lifespan of it will be and the better it will perform each time you use it. Store your iron away carefully, ensuring the cord is wrapped neatly. Adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines as much as possible, filling it up correctly and with the recommended type of water. You will learn more from cleaning irons review.
Try not to let your steam travel iron run dry and take care when refilling it, switching it off to do so. Most importantly, make sure to use the correct settings for all the materials you iron and keep a check on the plate, cleaning when necessary. It is ideal to keep your travel iron stored away in a specific travel bag when traveling.
The most important aspect when purchasing a travel iron is discovering firsthand whether you can use it when you travel to another country. With the danger of damaging your travel iron, blowing a fuse or even causing an electrical fire by getting this information wrong, regular travelers need to be aware of the voltage which is to be used at each of their destinations. This is simple to do but, if you purchase a specific travel iron which offers a dual voltage, all you will then have to do is take a power adaptor with you on your travels to accommodate such outlets.
Though these travel irons are not steamers, they do all offer a steam feature which allows you to do the same job as a steamer to a certain effect, that is eliminating wrinkles and creases from your clothes. Though these travel irons emit steam like that of a steamer does, they do need to make contact with your clothes, whereas a steamer does not. Therefore, if it’s a steamer which you are looking for, these travel irons or indeed any other type of iron will not do such a job. However, most people find that the high-powered steam capacity present in a travel iron is strong enough to sufficiently get out all manner of creases and crinkles in even the most stubborn of clothes.
When using an iron on silk material, you need to make sure you select the correct temperature setting for the job before you begin. Many irons, including travel irons, will now offer a specific setting for such delicate material, and you merely need to select that option before switching them on. However, many travel irons will provide an easy-to-use heat adjustment dial range which means if you intend to iron on silk, you’ll need to select the lowest temperature setting possible for this. Alternatively, check with your appliances instruction manual first.
It’s easy to assume that travel irons can only be used for those who actually travel further afield from home, but that isn’t necessarily always the case. If you find yourself ironing on the odd occasion and can’t justify the cost or even offer the extra room to a standard iron, a travel iron could be a perfect purchase for you. Though they aren’t equipped to deal with frequent and masses of materials, there is no reason why they also can’t be used on the odd occasion in the home as well.
Hopefully, this guide has given you a clearer picture of what travel steam irons do and what specifications you should be looking at to get the best model to suit your specific ironing needs. All five of these travel irons are great at what they do and thoroughly transportable for all customers wishing to take their iron with them on their journey. Our best budget pick, the Sunbeam GCSBTR-100, offers undeniable power in the form of 800 watts, with the SMAGREHO Travel Steam Dry Iron providing an all-around inclusive product and vital essentials all in the one purchase. However, our favorite travel iron must be that of the Steamfast SF-717. A most durable product built to last, this small but powerful travel iron offers users perfect results each time and is the best appliance when it comes to traveling or packing a punch for use within the home if you’d prefer.