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What's behind our steam iron Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 37 models in steam irons to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Based on performance, convenience, and features. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Steaming rate
    Steaming is calculated over a period of 10 minutes, except for the cordless which are evaluated over a 3 minute period.
  • Ironing fabric
    Based on: ironing a linen table cloth, thermostat set point and temperature swing
  • Ease of use
    Rates a number of factors, including how easy it was to set, fill, and empty the iron, and to see water levels and markings and indicator lights. Other factors include leaking and how well the iron produced steam at low settings.


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Recommended steam irons

Recommended steam irons are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
To get that crisp, pressed look, you don't need to drop a bundle on an iron. Manufacturers are offering drudgery-cutting features like digital displays, retractable cords, and drip-free steaming. If you're looking for information about steam irons, Consumer Reports is your best resource. We provide unbiased ratings and steam iron reviews to help you choose the best iron for your needs and budget, and use our steam iron buying guide to discover features that matter most.

Steam iron buying guide

A hot, steamy iron with a good soleplate can work wonders on rumpled garments. Many new irons are easier to use and release enough steam to smooth dry cotton and linen.

Irons cost anywhere from $15 to $150 and our tests show that price doesn't always indicate performance--several top pick irons are around $50. You won't see cordless irons in our Ratings. They were unimpressive in past tests so for now, we're not testing them. Use this guide to help you choose the best iron for your needs and budget.

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