Iron Reviews with Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness

on October 2 | in Products | by | with 484 Comments

Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness is the author of the upcoming Big-City Bags: Sew Handbags with Style, Sass, and Sophistication. We’ll share more about Big-City Bags later this month! Today Sara stopped by to share some iron reviews. If you sew you probably have some iron experiences to share!– The expensive iron that didn’t live up to the hype? The time your fusible interfacing fused to, well, the iron?! If you’re thinking about a new iron this is the post for you!

Be sure to stop by Sara’s Sew Sweetness pattern shop, where all of her beautiful bag designs are offered in PDF format. You should also check out Purse Palooza 2013 which runs on the Sew Sweetness blog for the entire month of October. There are daily pattern reviews, giveaways, prizes and more!

Don’t miss the giveaway with today’s post below. You can comment for a chance to win one of two new irons, and we’d also love to hear from you about your iron. Answer the questions below on your site and add a link!
Hello everyone! My name is Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness. I am a handbag designing fiend, and so my iron takes a lot of wear and tear. Don’t get me wrong, I love making quilts too, but I feel like making bags takes an especially trustworthy iron because I need to utilize all of the features of the iron in order to fuse bag interfacing to my fabric; steam, water spritz, sometimes higher temperatures– the whole she-bang.

Last month, my iron started leaking water out of the bottom of the iron in large amounts. It ruined one of my husband’s work shirts (which he was ironing himself, as I don’t iron clothes!). I thought how could this be? I received the iron only 18 months ago as a Christmas gift, and it was a $100 iron. The warranty for the iron was only for 1 year, so I was out of luck.

When I emailed the manufacturer they asked what kind of water I had been using, and they stated a different type of water was suggested in their manual. I felt extremely let down by the product. In my quest to find a new iron, I decided to compare a group of irons to see how they would initially stack up against each other. Here are my results!

The Contenders

Black and Decker The Classic iron (model number F67E) – Retail price $29.99, found on Amazon for $24.94

Sunbeam Turbo Steam Master (model number GCSBCS-112) – Retail price $49.99, found on Amazon

Shark Ultimate Professional iron (model number GI568) – Retail price $59.99, found on Amazon for $53.99

Singer Expert Finish iron – Retail price $89.99, found on Amazon

Rowenta Professional iron (model number DW8060) – Retail price $125.00, found on Amazon for $84.71

Oliso Pro smartiron (model number TG1600) – Retail price $199.99, found on Amazon for $146.84

The Warranties

What type of warranty a product has is always an important consideration when purchasing a new product. This is your insurance that, if something goes wrong with the product, the company will either repair your iron or provide you with another iron.

Black and Decker – 2 year limited warranty (in the U.S. and Canada only)
Sunbeam – 1 year limited warranty
Shark – 1 year limited warranty
Singer – 2 year warranty
Rowenta – 1 year warranty
Oliso – 1 year warranty

Customer Service

How a company handles consumer questions is also important to me. In this digital age, I feel like any company should be available to handle questions over the computer (who has time to sit on the phone and wait “in line”?). I contacted each of these companies via email or on a form on the company website, and here is my experience about their customer service:

Black and Decker – On their website there is a button on their top navigation that says “Contact Us”; when you click, it takes you to a form that either has an email to a particular department (as Black and Decker manufactures a lot of different types of products), or an automated form to answer a question. I contacted them, and never received any type of response. Rating: F

Sunbeam – I received a prompt response to my question from someone in the applicable department. Response was friendly and personable. Rating: A+

Shark – I did not see an area on their website to contact them. There was a tiny link on their website for “Feedback” and I tried that link, which supplied me with some sort of email address. I received an automated response that my message had been received, but I never received a response. Rating: D-

Singer – There is a contact form on their website, as well as an actual email address to contact. I emailed them, and their customer service is apparently very well set up, as my email was forwarded to the appropriate person to answer my question. I received a response from an actual person a couple hours later. The email was very friendly and personal. Rating: A+

Rowenta – On the Rowenta site there is a contact form, as well as an email address for media and press. I tried both the contact form and the media email address that was provided. I received an automated email response (i.e. Thank you for contacting us, we will respond shortly…), but never received an actual response to my questions. Rating: D-

Oliso – Oliso has a contact form on their site, as well as an email address to contact them. I contacted them twice, receiving a friendly email from an actual person both times. I never got a resolution to my emailed question, but I appreciated the time the customer service rep took in answering my initial emails (and it was actually the same person both times, so she remembered me). Rating: B+


A major point of confusion for me is what type of water to use in my iron. Each type of iron and, it also seems, each person, has a different point of view. My answer for each iron was taken directly from that iron’s user manual. The Oliso, the Shark, and the Black and Decker irons came with little plastic pouring cups, which made pouring water into the irons a bit easier.

Black and Decker – Tap water.
Sunbeam – Tap water.
Shark – Tap water is okay unless you have hard water, then use distilled water.
Singer – Tap water, unless you have hard water, then use cheap bottled spring water.
Rowenta – Tap water.
Oliso – Tap water, or if you have hard water, use cheap bottled spring water.


I read each iron’s user manual, and here are some of the special features that were talked about in the manuals.

Black and Decker – 3-way auto shut-off, anti-drip.
Sunbeam – Vertical steam, motion smart auto-off feature, self-cleaning.
Shark – Anti-drip feature, anti-calcium (prolongs life of the iron), self-cleaning.
Singer – 3-way Smart auto-off, anti-drip, anti-scale, self-cleaning.
Rowenta – Anti-drip, 3 position auto-off, anti-scale cartridge, self-clean function.
Oliso – I-touch function (this iron allows you to keep it in the down position at all times; the user touches the iron handle and the iron senses your hand and lowers against your fabric; let the sensor go and the scorch guard raises the iron above the fabric). This is a neat feature and seems exclusive to the Oliso irons.

First Impressions

These are my first impressions about the irons, their appearance and about how they felt in my hand. These are clearly just my opinions. This is with the irons unplugged, before I even used them.

Black and Decker – This was the smallest iron out of the group. It felt heavy in my hand. There is a manual turn dial to choose your fabric setting, and a bright orange button for steam. Due to the small size, the water tank appears to be very small.

Sunbeam – The iron feels very light-weight. It has an electronic face for choosing fabric type. There is also a button for steam.

Shark – Has four different settings for fabric. There is a button for steam, and also for a stream of water.

Singer – This is the only iron with a digital setting for choosing fabric type, etc. There is a button for steam, and also for a stream of water. This is the lightest iron of the group.

Rowenta – There is a round dial to choose from many fabric settings. There is also a horizontal button in which you can choose the strength of the steam output. There is a button for steam and one for stream of water.

Oliso – There is a horizontal button which allows you to choose what type of fabric, from 3 different settings. There is another horizontal button for the amount of steam output, as well as a button for steam and one for stream of water. The water tank is clear plastic, which allows you to easily see how much water is left.

The Experiment

I plugged each iron in, added some water to the water tank and got ready to iron! I washed and partially dried (to make sure they were extra wrinkly) a piece of quilt shop quality cotton, as well as a piece of silky apparel fabric, to test how well the irons did in a real life situation.

Black and Decker – The iron was hot and ready to go in about 2 minutes. I was thoroughly impressed with how quickly the iron got all the wrinkles out of the quilting cotton. I mean, both fabrics were perfectly flat. I did not need to use a spritz of water to get these results. The iron felt very heavy in my hand, as it feels like all of the iron body parts (except the handle) are metal. I feel it did not glide as smoothly across the fabric.

Sunbeam – The iron got hot quickly. It was easy to press the electronic dial and choose “Cotton”. It was very clear and simple. The iron got all of the wrinkles out of the fabric without having to use water, despite that it felt light-weight compared to the others.

Shark – The iron heated up in less than a minute. It glided smoothly across the fabric, but I needed to use a little spritz of water to get the wrinkles out. The water sprays out from about 2″ above the iron plate.

Singer – I like the digital display on this iron a lot. It is a good-sized display, and there is no question about what kind of fabric type you have chosen as a number and fabric reads on the display. The iron beeps when plugged in, and beeps when heated up, which is a great feature. The iron has a tiny awkward glide when going across the fabric; I can’t really put my finger on it. It doesn’t really bother me but I did just notice it when I first tried it out. The iron gets all the wrinkles out, even before spritzing.

Rowenta – The iron heats up quickly. The iron plate has an elongated pointy tip area, which is longer than the other irons. This tip is very useful when ironing open seams of quilt blocks. I needed to use a bit of spritz to get all of the wrinkles out of the cotton fabric. Super smooth glide.

Oliso – The iTouch feature is *awesome*. As soon as I put the plate of the iron against my ironing board and took my hand off the handle, the little feet came up, lifting the iron off my ironing board. It’s not a super-smooth glide; I would just say that it is moderate. I felt that the iron got the fabric almost all the way flat without use of spritz of water.


Here are some of my thoughts after researching and actually using these irons. Again, I want to stress that these are just my opinions. Of course, I have not tested the irons for long-term usage.

I feel like any of these irons would work well, depending on your usage and needs. For example, if the user had arthritis or pain in their hands or wrists, I would probably gravitate toward an iron that glided smoothly and was not super heavy, or even one like the Oliso where you did not have to rest the iron at all, minimizing your hand movement. I liked the fact that the cheapest iron, the Black and Decker, produced the smoothest fabric. In addition to that, the Black and Decker had the longest warranty of the group, although the lack of customer service worried me. Sunbeam did better than I expected; this was a very good and light-weight iron! For people who have trouble learning to use new devices I found the Singer to be the most user-friendly, with the digital display and beeping when plugged in and when heated up. I like the pointy tip of the Rowenta; for ironing open seams on quilts, I feel like this is a small yet awesome feature. Although the Shark did not perform poorly, it didn’t have any features or output that wowed me.

I think budget also plays a part when people choose which iron to purchase. The prices for these irons are a very wide range. Some you can find in most big-box stores (like the Black and Decker), and some are only available in specialty stores (like the Oliso).

When purchasing a new iron, I think it’s important to rate which features you think are most important to you (glide? weight? price? getting it smooth on the first go? other features? customer service?). You can use some of the observations I have made here, and rank them according to importance.

With these recommendations I think I will be making my husband purchase his own iron… Because an iron is like your sewing scissors– it’s only meant to be used on your good fabric and nothing else!

I invite you to link back to this post with a blog post of your own, and let me know the answers to the following questions about your iron usage! Since you’ve had your iron longer than I’ve had these review irons, I’m curious to see what your long-term opinion is about your iron:

1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
2. Do you use steam or no steam?
3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
4. Do you use spray starch?
5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?

We are also giving away TWO Sunbeam irons, one to each winner (sorry, U.S. only)! The Sunbeam Turbo Steam Master Professional and the Sunbeam Steam Master will be awarded to one randomly-drawn winner each. Comment below for a chance to win!

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484 Responses to Iron Reviews with Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness

  1. Angie says:

    Thank you for the review. It’s interesting that you liked the Black and Decker iron. I had one, and found the sole plate holes too large along with the back edge of the sole plate for some reason the iron would catch on the corner and selvage edges if I didn’t place it correctly on the fabric and pull it which created a crease. I donated the iron to a local thrift shop.

  2. LuAnn Prickett says:

    In the market for a new iron, my B&D has stopped heating, and the $10 cheapie I bought floods my quilting pieces! Ugh! Thanks for the info! And for the opportunity to win!

  3. Marlene Carlson says:

    I have owned 2 expensive Rowenta irons and will never buy another one–the first stopped heating and the second leaked (a problem I have heard many complain about). I have always used the water specified. I now own a Reliable and love it. It is heavier than some but not enough to make me not use it. I also own a cheaper Hamilton Beach that I love and I use the smaller Dritz and Euroflex Monster irons on blocks to iron seams open.

  4. Amy says:

    I really like my iron, it works great, and I’ve had it for years. It recently took a fall onto our tile floor, so now the top point has a little dent 🙁
    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? – Panasonic that I bought years ago, maybe 10 years ago? Probably around $25.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? – Both, I have a couple options too – a lot of steam, a little steam, or none.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? – Yes, both, depends on what I’m doing.
    4. Do you use spray starch? – No
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Not usually – a pressing ham, or a smaller ironing board if I need it.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? – No.

  5. Faith says:

    I would love to win an new iron. Mine has started leaking and needs to be replaced.

  6. Angie says:

    Thank you for such a great review of the irons. I don’t own any of the brands you mentioned presently. I’m a quilter and go through irons in about a years time. Which I think is pretty good considering my iron has to cycle off and on many times during the day and gets a tremendous amount of usage compared to what a family who only uses their iron perhaps once a week. I’ve had most major brands of irons. I’m surprised you liked the Black and Decker as I found the large steam holes on the bottom of the iron caught on the selvage edge of my fabrics when I used it. That is the reason I know longer have it. I purchased the yellow Oliso iron, but it leaked at the back. Got a replacement which did the same thing. I gave up on that brand. I wish you would have included the Reliable iron in your review and the Panasonic irons. I presently have a Panasonic iron, and it’s been very good. However the best iron I own is the amazing 8 yrs. old white travel iron by Rowenta! It is used every day by the side of my sewing machine for pressing small quilt block seams. It just keeps going and going, and has kept a consist “hot” temp all these years.

  7. Marisa says:

    Am I too late? I’ve had the same iron (steam component broken) forever, but technically, it still works, so I don’t NEED a new one. I sure would love one though-thanks for the opportunity!

  8. Carolyn O. Howell says:

    Granny needing a new iron!!!!

  9. Jessica says:

    great resource! i seem to go through irons very quickly, this will be helpful when i need a new one.

  10. Kristen says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?

    I have a Sunbeam. I don’t know the cost; it was a gift. It is one of the lower-cost ones, though. I would be excited to win a fancier one!

    2. Do you use steam or no steam?

    Steam, frequently

    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?


    4. Do you use spray starch?


    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?


    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?

    I don’t quilt

  11. Jayme says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?Hamilton Beach, $30
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Steam!
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? No
    4. Do you use spray starch? When quilting I do
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? No
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? Not really…sometimes less steam when quilting

    Thanks for the reviews!

  12. Linda H. says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    I use a T-Fal iron, a Consumers’ Report recommendation, and I LOVE it. $70
    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    Almost always: steam
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    No need for a pressing cloth.
    4. Do you use spray starch?
    Yep. I make my own homemade spray starch from a Mark Lipinski recipe.
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?
    Nope. I just use it differently when ironing clothing. 🙂

  13. Sarah Hurd says:

    My iron cost 5$ from walmart.

  14. Karen Gray says:

    Sun beam. It costed about $50.
    Some times I use steam But most the time I use a pressing cloth.
    Yes I use a pressing cloth. It depends on what I’m doing if it’s wet or dry
    Yes I use starch with my little cotton dresses and my hubby’s western shirts.
    If I need to I use a seam ripper. I use a guide tool so I don’t sew my fingers.
    Not really when you press you press when you transfer you transfer. There really isn’t any other ways to use your iron I use it a lot more when I’m doing a pieced quilt than when I’m doing a little peasant dress or pair of leggins.

  15. Lori B says:

    I use an expensive Rowenta that I bought at Costco several years ago. It’s a good, heavy iron and has lasted for a long time. My major complaint is that I have to very slowly pour water into the tank or it backs up and spills all over. I guess it’s teaching me patience, but I’m not a good student apparently. I use steam when I’m pressing yardage and clothes, but not for pieced work for fear of stretching the fabric (was taught that many years ago). I use a spray starch for yardage before I cut into it, but nothing that makes it too stiff. Sometimes I use a pressing cloth if it’s a delicate fabric or if I’m using a fusible web for applique and don’t want any of the glue to get on my iron. Thanks for the article.

  16. Amy Mayen says:

    GREAT post! As someone who is in the market for a new iron, this helps me a lot. I like the idea of an elongated tip. I have a sunbeam now, and it’s held up really well. It’s one of the very inexpensive versions, and fabulous for pressing clothes. I want one more geared towards sewing now though. I wish I could bring them all home and try them out:)

  17. Patti says:

    This is very helpful information since I’m in the market for a new iron. My last 2 were Rowentas and, although I can’t complain about them, they were pricey. I’m thinking of trying one of the cheaper brands since I replace it every few years anyway!

  18. Kristin says:

    I have a Rowenta Focus, and it is my second Rowenta. When I read Sara’s experience with her fairly new iron, I thought, wow, that sounds just like my irons. My first Rowenta started leaking water heavily from the body very early on, so I figured it was something I did or from someone else in the house dropping it or something. I figured since it was such an expensive iron it had to be something other than the iron. So, I bought another Rowenta, an even higher model than the original and it took longer for it to leak like crazy from the bottom, but it did. I have giant water stains on my pressing board from it! Anyway, the nice thing about the Rowentas is that they are pretty darn hot, I have a few scars to attest for that, however the leaking is pretty bad. I can’t even put water in mine anymore because now as soon as I pour it in it comes out! I do like to use steam for some things, so now my iron is pretty limited. I have been in the market for a new iron for a while, so this post is perfect. Thanks so much.

  19. jm says:

    I need a new iron. Thank you for the invaluable reviews!

  20. Jayne says:

    Great post! Irons are so essential and I have found one that I love!
    I use a Black & Decker Digital Advantage. It’s my second one. The first developed a leak, but buying another one was a no brainier for me! This iron has great steam. I love steam! It has 7 settings, lots of steam or adjustable, cleaning setting and it lets you know when to clean it. Great cord length. It does have the auto off feature, which is sometimes irritating, but it heats up quickly. This one was very affordable, $40 approx.
    I do use starch, no to a pressing cloth.

  21. Southern Gal says:

    I used a Rowenta for years before it developed a crack and started leaking. Right now I’m trying to decide what iron to go with so this was very helpful. In the meantime I’m using a cheap Hamilton Beach iron that I bought for my son when he moved out. He had another iron from a friend so he gave the one I bought back when my Rowenta broke. I use steam and occasionally I’ll use a damp press cloth. I usually don’t starch, but am considering beginning that soon. I need a new iron and would love to have one of these. Thanks for the chance.

  22. Jansie Martin says:

    What an awesome blog post. I am definitely in the market for a new iron and this has been very helpful. I was actually leaning towards the Sunbeam, so if you want to throw one my way, that would be really cool! 😉

    Thanks again.

  23. Catherine says:

    This is so thorough – – thank you! My husband & I have been discussing getting a new iron, but I feel like choosing one is overwhelming.

  24. Roni says:

    I have the Rowenta 1700w that I bought at Target for $89.99 a couple of years ago. It started leaking through the steam vents, but doesn’t remove wrinkles well w/o water. I now have to manually spritz fabric with a spray bottle. Not the end of the world, but I expected more life out of the iron than I got. I haven’t replaced it because 1) I spent a bit of money on it, and 2) I haven’t been sure how to find a better iron within my budget (less than what I spent). This review has been very helpful. Thanks!

    As for the Black&Decker, I had the original version from my grandmother with shiny stainless. Everything about that iron was wonderful. It was bigger, no drag, good steam, etc. It was heavy, but I found that helpful as I didn’t have to put ANY pressure on the fabric. All good. Then we moved and it dropped and the ironing party was over. I replaced it with the new version and discovered the surface is now brushed and it’s quite a bit smaller. I really didn’t like the drag from the brushed stainless and it just didn’t work the same, so I exchanged it for my Rowenta. sigh.

  25. Tara J. says:

    I recently bought a $10 iron at a $ store b/c somewhere along the lines of a recent move, the VERY nice, somewhat pricey iron I’d bought became lost in the shuffle. Because I HATE buying the same thing twice, I purchased the cheapest iron I could find “to get me through” until I can find my good one. I appreciate this review because although I’ve been making LOTS of purchases to get into the field of sewing (mostly fabric, but all the tools and a decent sewing machine, too), I haven’t actually started yet. If I don’t find my good iron and this cheapy one doesn’t cut it (which I fully expect), then your review is going to be SO useful! Thank you.

  26. Kate Maeda says:

    I’ve been using a Black & Decker Digital for several years. It works perfectly.
    Pros: It’s easy to fill, has a really large see through reservoir, seldom spits or drips. It has spray, surge of steam. This is different for all people but to me the weight is just right, about 3.5 lbs.
    Cons: It has a 360 degree rotating cord but I find that it doesn’t move easily enough when I go to set it on the heel and it doesn’t feel as stable as I’d like when it’s resting. It only has one choice of vertical auto shut off, ten minutes, which is acceptable but not perfect. If I’m ironing lengths of fabric it give me plenty of time to set the fabric flat to cool so that I’m not immediately folding lines back into it. If I’m sewing for a quilt it’s mostly enough to do several components, iron them, sew them into a block and iron that. If I’m sewing a bag or garment it has to be heated just about every time I go back to it. I suppose if I were more organized, had everything cut, laid out in an ergonomic plan, maybe pre-pinned so that all I was doing was sewing a seam, ironing, sewing another seam it might work. For me it’s more like sew a seam, iron, remove the cat from the pile of pieces, try to find the next piece, re-read the instructions, decide I don’t need to pin, sew the seam, rip out the seam, pin and sew the seam again… by the time I get back to iron the seam, usually more than ten minutes have passed. And it doesn’t heat up all that quickly. I can usually go do some small amount of tidying up in the time it takes to get to cotton setting. One good thing, it beeps before it shuts off so you can just walk over to it and tip it to reset the auto-off timer.

    The story: I was moving from NC to WV and sold the place in NC several months before repairs on the house in WV were completed so I went to stay with family in FL. There was no iron or ironing board so I bought them an over the door ironing board and, because I’d decided I wanted to upgrade my iron to the Oliso I offered to leave my iron behind. Of course, when I finished closing on the house there was no money for the immediate purchase of a new iron. I bought the first inexpensive iron I saw, a very basic B&D steam iron for about $13. It does, eventually, make fabric flat. The dial for changing the temperature is very inconveniently placed. The guide to what setting is for what fabric is on the heel plate and hard to find. But, it does iron and one day I’ll get a better one!

  27. Mary Ellen` says:

    This “test” was very helpful. I’ve always wondered if expensive irons were really worth it. I have an old “Phillips” iron that I use for quilting because it doesn’t have an auto off feature. I have been known to leave the house and forget to turn it off however!

  28. benessi says:

    I use Sunbeam Steam & Dry Iron, model 4243. I think I’ve had it maybe around 5 years or so. I’ve been getting my irons from Costco – not many options but Costco customer service rocks! This cost around $40. I use steam, the more the better! I use wet pressing cloth occasionally, not often. I rarely use starch or sizing. This model is hefty and has some weight to it – I tend to like some weight but probably lighter weight would be more comfortable if there were lot to iron. I use my iron the same way, quilting, sewing or just plain ironing. The only tool I use is a separate spray bottle, I don’t like the iron sprayer.

  29. kim t. says:

    this is helpful. it’s nice to know that you don’t necessarily need an expensive iron to work well.

  30. Joy says:

    I have only been sewing a few months and bought an $8 Rival at Target. So far it’s done the job well. It does not have an auto shut-off, which I actually find helpful. It steams well, spritzes water, the tank isn’t too small. But for $8, I am not sure it will last at all! But so far, I’m happy with it!

  31. LynAnne Smucker says:

    Interesting reading. I have a good iron, but it has an auto shut off if you don’t use it consistently which means if I need a quick press as I’m quilting, sometimes I have to wait for it to heat up again. Nice safety feature, but a bit annoying for use while sewing.

  32. Debbie says:

    I use an old Rowenta iron, that has seen better days. I always use the steam setting. I use spray starch when I’m pressing jeans. I tend to use the tip of the iron when I’m pressing quilting seams.

  33. Janet E says:

    Wow – Thanks for taking the time to do this review – very helpful!!!!!!! My old Rowenta Pro from 1994 recently died, great iron, but heavy. It also had a teflon soleplate. I have a 30+ year old small Sunbeam that is great, but doesn’t turn off anymore and stays on hot for cottons, but need to retire it – very comfortable to use and has been a very good iron, prefered it for quilting because of the smaller size. Recently acquired a Shark and won’t keep it – terrible all the way around!!!!!!
    Thanks for the chance to win a new iron that I really need!!!!!!

  34. Jeane Walker says:

    Thank you for your review, insightful. I have owned several irons over the past 20 years. Currently, I use an Oliso (5 years old) and find that it does relieve the hand and wrist fatigue. I do use it with steam. I also have a professional steamer with a wand. This doesn’t get much use. In addition, I also have a reserve iron, a Teflon steam iron which I really like because of the Teflon coating, it is about twelve years old and is used in our RV when traveling . In the past I have had numerous Rowenta which most developed drips when using the steam function or not. causing spotting on fabrics. Most were fairly expensive with the Rowentas costing more than the others. I am not certain if one of my current irons died what I would do. I mostly only use the Oliso for sewing, regular pressing of pillowcases, with light clothing pressing. I pre dampen the pillowcases (old school), and sometimes will add a spritz from a bottle. My favorite sewing spray is Dryell light spray starch alternative (no longer available) and the costly Best Press, used very sparingly. Often times I pick up a large bottle of linen spray from TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Ross that has been discounted. There is one thing I do not tolerate is the spitting that will happen when the irons begin to deteriorate. When that happens…out they go. Good topic and thanks once again,. Jeane

  35. NiCaam says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? – Black & Decker® Digital Advantage™ Iron
    How much did it cost (approximately)? Bought with a 20% discount from Bed Bath and Beyond (so down from $45 to around $38
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Both, large water tank.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Not usually, but have used a damp cloth a few times.
    4. Do you use spray starch? yes
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? I only use the steam to open up the steams…Holy Steam Dispersion Batman!!! The thing is like Ole Faithful.
    I’ve had my iron for about 6 mos. but considering I had a very, very, very used Sunbeam I feel like I can’t honestly compare it to newer models fairly. I love it….BUT, if I had the money for it I would absolutely have bought the Olsen. That automatic lift is too trippy to not want to try. Other than that I think I like the look of the Black and Decker classic…that little guy brings a definite tear of nostalgia to my eye…my mom has Alzeimers now, so all things that remind me of her healthier years are bittersweet. She was proud of her homemaker skills, always tried to teach me to iron shirts, but I guffawed at the notion…Who knew I would even comment on irons one day. LOL!
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? no

  36. Julie Pauley says:

    In would love to replace my old iron!!!!

  37. Susan says:

    I currently have a Rowenta that is not steaming at all. Bought it for around $60 about 1 year ago. I need to find a new iron and am so disappointed that the Rowenta did not perform well. They had a great reputation awhile back. My iron is used for pressing clothes, sewing and quilting. I use sleeve rolls, hams and clappers along with a damp press cloth. Depending on the project, may use steam or iron dry. I wondered about irons with a separate tank as this was recommended on an ASG video. If I typically buy a new iron every year or so, it may be worth the extra investment if the iron will last more than a couple of years? Thanks so much for your survey – very nicely done and I appreciate the information. Happy sewing! Susan

  38. Pat Enterkin says:

    I have gone through probably 1 1/2 dozen irons in my 35 yrs of sewing and none have lasted very long except an old GE traveling iron. I loved that thing and it died this past year. It was about 35 yrs. old. I have Rowenta, Black & Decker, T-Fal, etc. I love the Rowenta Pro that I have but unfortunately Rowentas love to spit and spew water. I have had about 4 of them. They iron beautifully but are very heavy and feel even heavier after using it for awhile.

    I found this post very helpful and appreciate the time you put into doing the research. Wish we could find this kind of info on other items that we need and buy so often. Thanks. I wouldn’t mind having a new iron and trying the Singer. I think it is the only brand I haven’t tried.

  39. Amy L says:

    I have a Rowenta Steamium iron. It’s does not get very hot, which is disappointing. In order to get quilting cotton smooth, I have to spritz with water, and iron for several minutes. My husband just bought me a vintage Sunbeam (looks like your Black and Decker) from a thrift store, and she is wonderful! I’d love to see how the new generation Sunbeams stack up to her.

  40. Honey says:

    I have a Sunbeam SteamMaster LX & I’ve had it for about 15 years. I don’t use a press cloth, but probably should. I use it daily for regular clothes ironing and very often for sewing. My favorite detail is the retractable cord! It’s been a great iron. Winning a new up-to-date one would be wonderful.

  41. Laura says:

    I really need a new iron so this was helpful.

  42. Valerie says:

    I have had a TFal for about 25 ($75 at that time so not cheap) years and it still works great but the buttons for steam want spritzing broke and pop off everytime I use them so I decided to get a new iron a couple of years ago. I purchased an Oliso ($150) which worked okay for awhile. The pop up feature is very nice for your wrist but it was problematic to share at a guild retreat. After using the Oliso people would forget to lift other shared irons off the board and would burn the ironing boards so you should only have Oliso available or don’t share it. Anyway just after warranty was up it sprang a leak. the water ran out of the holes as fast as you could pour it it. I tried using it as a dry iron but it doesn’t get hot enough. I also bought a Eurosteam ($200) because everyone was going on about how wonderful it steamed and I was already noticing that the Oliso didn’t do as good. However this iron, even though it still works doesn’t do a very good job. So based on the fact that I have purchased very expensive irons and the only one that still works well is the TFal, I bought a new TFal Aquafeed 5335 a few weeks ago. It has a power point nozzle that shoots steam out of its tip and this works well for quilting. I was leaning towards a Rowenta but based on review all over the place and supported by yours it seems that they are either well loved or considered inferior.
    Thanks for writing this. The replies are really interesting.

  43. Great review… I am always interested in an objective review of irons. When my Rowenta croaked last December I bought a Black & Decker Digital Advantage ($45 at I like it quite well, it’s hot and it doesn’t spit like my Rowenta used to. I use steam when pressing fabrics or quilt tops during assembly but not usually when I’m making blocks. I don’t use a pressing cloth and rarely use starch (Best Press if I’m having trouble with something). I’m a careful presser and find that takes care of most issues! As they said press… don’t iron.

  44. Linda in TX says:

    I have a Sunbeam Steammaster, which I’ve had for some time. I recently purchased a Centennial dry iron to use with some of the quilting, as I’ve heard that steam messes up the blocks. I guess it’s one of those, “whatever turns you on” kind of things. I’d love to win a new iron, though, as I figure mine is getting close to the end of it’s useful life.

  45. Julie McCluney says:

    Love my Oliso – the up and down function is wonderful. i loved reading everyones comments. It is always great to get a first handers experience. This was a very helpful and informational post. Keep up the great work.

  46. lysa says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? – sunbeam How much did it cost (approximately)? $50
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? no steam, becasue it started to leak
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?dry
    4. Do you use spray starch? yes
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? no but I miss my old iron that has a pointy end
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? no

    Thank you so much for this post!* Sigh of relief!* I bought an iron two years ago and I’m not thrilled with it. I’ve given up on warranties, it’s always the part that isn’t under warranty that breaks, such a hassle. I bought my iron from Costco because they at least have a good return policy. However, like I said, I’m not in love with it and I will be pouring over this article for quite sometime! Thanks again!

  47. Barbara McDonald says:

    I use a Black & Decker iron, but a different model than the one above; I LOVE the one I use! It puts out a great deal of steam when I need it to for my long-arm quilting business and has a longer cord on it – mark me as a satisfied customer!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  48. Catherine says:

    I have loved my Rowenta irons although they are bad to leak. Thank you for a great comparison of these irons. Even the Black and Decker looked appealing-I sometimes like a heaver iron.

  49. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the information. I am needing a different iron and leaning towards a Black and Decker. My mom has one she has used for many years, and it’s still the best. I currently own a Shark that only gives me steam when it’s in the mood – very frustrating. Prior to that I had a Rowenta that was pretty worthless, as it just didn’t get hot. More expensive doesn’t always mean better.

  50. Sheila says:

    Thanks for the reviews. I have had a Rowenta for about 6 years,I love it. I quilt and usually use a dry iron, so no problems with leakage.

  51. 1.Ihave a sunbeam that I have had for years. I do not remember what I paid for it but I have been very happy with it.2.yes I use steam quite often.3 do not use a steam cloth.4 I do use homemade spray starch5. When opening seams I usually use the front tip on the iron or my fingers.6.I usually use same methods for ironing reg and my fabrics.. Thankyou for the information you have given. I do like the service from my present sunbeam but I wish the auto shut off lasted more than 30 minutes sometimes.jan

  52. Roberta says:

    I presently have a Rowenta that I got 2nd hand a couple of years ago. I like the heavy weight to it and the steam. Although it is leaking every once in a while. I have been thinking about a Reliable iron next, I’ve heard they have good reviews.

  53. vonda wise says:

    Only Black and Decker for me,no leaking or spitting.Good price at walmart,easy to replace.Used for years. vonda

  54. Linda Schluchter says:

    I am currently using my second Rowenta. My first Rowenta stopped making steam after about 2 years of use, you could still spritz fabric but it refused to create steam and even the steam “boost” button didn’t steam. I used it as a dry iron for another 2 years. When I began to work on a farmers wife quilt I decided some of the small pieces needed steam so I went shopping and bought another Rowenta. One of the features was that my model had a retractable cord and you can pull out as little or as much of the cord as you need. And you can store the iron without having to wrap the cord around the iron. I do use tap water and we have wonderful water in my area. When I went to use the iron last weekend on my husband’s white shirt for a wedding thankfully something told me to use it first on the ironing board and not on his shirt. The iron spit out a lot of rusty water! I used the steam boost button 4-5 times before the steam was clear. I’m very disappointed that it happened but short of that I love the iron. I don’t think it is too heavy and I love the long point that makes opening seams quite easy. The iron was on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond and I had one of their coupons so the iron that was originally $89 only cost me $49. And the store offers an additional warranty for a limited cost.

  55. Linda says:

    Years ago I had a wonderful Rowenta iron that lasted about 10 years. It was made in Ger any. I replaced it with a Rowenta pro and it began leaking horribly after 7 months. Customer service said since it was a professional model, the warranty was only good for 6 months. It was made in China.
    Replaced that one with a Shark, which I loved, but it only lasted about 14 months before it started leaking. I am done with expensive irons. I am now using an inexpensive ($23.00) Black and Decker (not the model in your article) and it has lasted about 18 months and still going strong.
    I have come to the conclusion that you just have to write in $$ every couple of years into your sewing budget to replace your iron!

  56. Nancy says:

    I have a Rowenta and a Bernina(they don’t make them anymore). I have never had problems with either one. I don’t get to use my Bernina much anymore because the quilting pad next to my machine is always covered with stuff.

  57. Sally says:

    You certainly did an extensive and thorough job of evaluating these irons! My last decent iron walked with which ever child took it to college. Now I have a yard sale reject which will not see me through my holiday sewing. Think I will head to one of the big box stores to heft a few since the feel in my hand and the weight outweigh the pros and cons. No matter what the investment I’ll enjoy using it until it’s demise and look for another that “fits me”. They may get better but I’m getting older! Thank you for all your insight and tips.

  58. Teresa says:

    I have a Rowenta and I hate the way it leaks and spits. I’ve been thinking about the Oliso. Your review makes me think I need to try out one of the less expensive brands. Thanks!

  59. Kitty Jensen says:

    This is great information. Thank you for all your work.

  60. Amy says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    I’ve had a Rowenta for over 20 years, and it’s still going strong. I love the steam I get out of it. At a quilting group I go to, they have a Black & Decker like the one you reviewed. They never put water in it and like it fine for quilting. But I love the extended point on my Rowenta- it makes it so easy to press open seams and I can get my fingers right up to the point without burning them while I work on small pressing details while sewing.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    Steam. Lots of steam.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    Depending on the fabric, I’ll use a press cloth, often a silk organza one, dry. Once in a while only a wet cotton press cloth will do.
    4. Do you use spray starch?
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
    I have seam board and a sleeve board and a ham. Use them a lot.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?
    I’m not much of a quilter, but like I said, the quilting group I go to tends to use a dry iron, where I love to use steam.

  61. Sheri says:

    I am a professional seamstress and currently have 4 irons. I have the Black & Decker which I find is too heavy for a lot of use when I am sewing and need quick touchups using my ironing mat and not the board. I got a very lightweight iron (Procter Silex) that was working well until it just stopped heating one day. Was never dropped and only had it for a little over a year, so not sure what the problem was – it was inexpensive at about $25, but a good iron. I then got a Rowenta Pro and after only THREE months, it started leaking water from around the soleplate. Cascades of water! Customer service is non-existent and has been of no help with this problem even though the iron is under warranty. So now I am using a Sunbeam that works well except for the auto off feature. I do not like the auto off and hate the fact that the iron shuts off after 30 secs of use. This makes it difficult to fuse interfacing as it is necessary to keep lifting the iron upright after every press. Thank you for your insights as I am looking for iron #5.

  62. Denise Stahl says:

    I had. Bernina iron that finally died after many years of use. Sadly, it is no longer made. After searching and reading reviews and user comments, I purchased a Black and Decker that is doing an ok job. The Sunbeam iron interests me.

  63. Emily says:

    I use a shark with steam and water. It gets super hot but still leaves wrinkles unless I make the fabric pretty damp. I’ve accidently scorched fabric. I’ve been looking at new ions. This was helpful. Thanks!

  64. Jeifner says:

    P.S. did you know that irons are rated for use? Some companies consider ironing 7 x’s a YEAR to be heavy use.

  65. Lydia says:

    I have a black & decker that has been dropped, so the steam no longer works, but still heats up to get the job done. I end up using a lot of spritzed water to get the wrinkles out, though I am thinking of switching to a spray starch to improve my piecing. I don’t think I paid more than $30 for it, probably 15 years ago or more, and I have been thinking it is probably time to replace it, so your post was gratefully received, thank you!

  66. Jeifner says:

    After our last two expensive Rowentas conked out on us, we said never again. The pointy tipped one’s good for piecing but I found it annoying for clothes ironing as it meant you had to go over the same place more times than usual to get the garment pressed. The pointy tip means that portion doesn’t iron as much as a wider tip. The last Rowenta had a Big problem with spitting water out of the bottom, even when the steam was “off”. I was so scared many times as an almost finished project would get a squirt of brown liquid. Thankfully most of it came out of most things. It would cake on the bottom as well and didnt seam to iron out arinllThe irons also quit working after a year or less. No more of those. We got a … Sunbeam? Which so far has performed quite well and lasted up to this point as long as the R’s. As you can tell, not a fan of those as it happened multiple times.
    The velocity ones were a bit heavy to me but you need a big reservoir as they eat water. For good reason-that sucker teams up like crazy, never seen anything that even comes close to it. Sometimes it’s like getting a facial but those seams just give up and lie down flat. Even my wrinkles dry linen looked good after a turn with that steam. (I used them at the summit as well.)
    I press when I piece/quilt and iron my clothes. Ironing is just so magical after pressing. Ironing with abandon! I use starch more for quilting. I especially use it if I know I’ll be piecing tricky or bias pieces.

  67. Mom C says:

    I’ve used a Black and Decker for a number of years now, not the one you tested, mine isn’t as metal as yours. After dropping my Oreck for the final time, I go for cheap. They all seem to work well for the 1st while and then OK for a while longer. Plus, I’m hard on irons, I use them a lot cause I do iron clothes. So when I start to have problems I buy a new one. But I dream about getting a really good one. Thanks for the review.

  68. kristen says:

    great review!! I am in the market for an iron and this is really helpful!

  69. Diane W says:

    1. Black & Decker, ~$40 from WalMart
    2. No steam
    3. No
    4. Yes
    5. I have a seam stick (?) but haven’t really used it.
    6. I don’t really do much sewing.

  70. Elizabeth says:

    Like this. Hope you keep us up-to-date on how they do over the long haul…

  71. Marijayne Favata says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    Presently I have a Rowenta Effective Cost $49.99 $49.99 Kohl’s
    Previously I used a Shark and I was impressed with the Effectiveness and the Cost.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    I use both Steam and Non – Steam
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    I use a Wet Pressing cloth for Wool and cottton to get the stubborn Rinkles out of cotton and to set a Sleeve n a Jacket.
    What I find the best is the Iron Boot. They come in Metal, A material like plastic. When you use this tool you do not need a pressing cloth and the best of all when you iron on the rifht side of fabric it does not shine.

    4. Do you use spray starch?
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
    No. I press the seam as stitiched togeather flat and then repress to open the seam

    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?

  72. Paula Fraker says:

    Great review!! I am in the market for an iron now since I conveniently knocked mine off the ironing board a last week *DOH* and have actually looked at most of the ones you’ve reviewed. Price is probably the biggest factor for me, but I also would like one with auto-shutoff.
    Thanks for not only a clearly-written review of each one, but also the pictures~ especially the one of them all lined up together. It is hard to tell anything about their size by just looking at the stock internet pictures. Thanks again!!

  73. Karen says:

    Ps. I own a Rowena which had done well for me over the years but I don’t use it every day so can’t say much about its stamina. So far it’s been fine for quilting–I like the sharp point feature–and it had survived being dropped a few times! But I’m keeping your review on hand should I need to replace it in the near future.

  74. Karen says:

    Wonderful review! Thanks for all your hard work on a topic so important to quilters. This posting was quite timely for me as our quilt guild–nimble fingers–just had a charity quilt making day that featured a lot of ironing. Four irons were loaned to the cause by quilters and one died “on duty”! Not very helpful for us and I’m sorry I can’t recall which brand but as a result there was a lot of chatter among members waiting their turn to iron about their personal irons and which brands were best. I plan to send your posting to all our members. I think it will be helpful to everyone. Thanks again for such a thorough review of irons!

  75. Ellen Rob says:

    Thanks for the thorough research. So informative. 🙂

  76. Lisa says:

    I too have had several Rowenta irons, and I don’t think I’d ever buy another brand. These reviews were very informative, but I like a heavy iron with lots of steam available for some projects, especially home dec fabrics.

  77. Rachel says:

    Love the timely review. I’ve been through two Rowenta travel size. I have hard water so the steam quits working or the iron just quits after one year. I got the travel size because my hands and shoulder hurt after lifting the iron all day quilting. I currently have the Sunbeam Professional and love the steam but I think it’s heavy. I would love if they made a small travel size.

  78. Kris says:

    I to am looking at buying a new iron. I own a Shark iron and hate it. It leaks and when you don’t use it within like five minutes it gets cold.

  79. Janice Peavler says:

    I use a Rowenta. Have had for about 5 years now. It works pretty well; but the steam feature does not work quite as well as it used to. I would love to have an automatic shut off, because sometimes I do forget to shut it off. Good job on your review. And, thanks for the chance to win a new iron.

  80. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for the review. Wish I had read this before I bought a Rowenta Focus last week. I was getting tired to figure out where my iron went when I need it.

    1. I have the Rowenta Professional for quite a few years. My 15- and 17-year-old daughters use it more than I do until recently when I take up quilting again. I think I paid around $150 then (can’t be sure…it’s so long ago.)
    2. I do use steam often?
    3. I use the dry pressing cloth for quilt-piecing and steam-blocking my knitting projects.
    4. No.
    5. Nice about the Professional model–it has a rather long tip that is perfect for opening seams. This is only “tool” I use for the function.
    6. Not that I can think of at the moment.

    I do like my Professional iron. The weight is nice. It’s super user-friendly. The steam is perfect. I can’t think of using another iron though. At this point, I’m debating if the new iron goes to the girls so I’d keep the Professional.

  81. Cecilia says:

    Thanks for the great review. I have an inexpensive Sunbeam and it leaks when I use steam. I would love to try another brand.

  82. Therese Ramsey says:

    Fascinating comments! I use an old Black and Decker iron I found new in a box at my mom’s house. It has no auto shut off that I like. I use steam and from reading this I should be emptying the water chamber to protect the iron and also because there is white stuff floating in there! I don’t believe in spending too much money on irons, because they die too young or suffer a fall of the ironing board, learned from years of experience. I won an Olisso but gave it away because I didn’t like that up/down feature.

  83. Joyce says:

    Thanks for the great reviews. I have an old Black and Decker extra long cord that is likely 20 years old so I probably paid very little for it:-) I has worked great, steam still does a good job and I like the very pointy tip to press open seams. I bought a Rowenta about 4 years ago because my quilt buddy said it was so much better. I only use it for ironing clothing as I still prefer the old reliable Black and Decker.
    Thanks for the chance to win a new iron as my old one could quit on me any day!

  84. Laura says:

    I’ve got a Black and Decker which lost the cover to its water compartment when I dropped it, but otherwise kept on ticking. It was my now-husband’s first, so I have no idea how much it cost but I’m sure it wasn’t much. I occasionally use spray starch, and spritz water often to get wrinkles out of things like linen. I have seen the Oliso at quilt festivals and think it looks really great if you have wrist problems or if you quilt, because there’s a lot of fiddly little pressing when piecing blocks.

  85. Joy says:

    I have the Rowenta and love it for general ironing. I also have a Black & Decker that I take to quilt retreats. Love them both!

  86. Nancy J says:

    Thank you so much for this iron review. You certainly have done a very professional job on the review. Watch out! Consumer Reports is going to be calling you! Your review is really appreciated because I am considering a new iron but just didn’t know which one would work best.

    To answer all the questions:
    I have had a Rowenta for at least 10 years and one before that.
    I use a wet pressing cloth.
    I prefer to use steam except where indicated by instructions on patterns, etc.
    I occasionally use spray starch
    I don’t have a seam opener but I use my clapper a lot to make sharp edges and flatten the seam.
    I don’t use my iron differently when doing regular sewing and quilting.

    I sew a great deal. My favorite sewing projects are “things” like purses, bags, home dec, scarves, etc. My Rowenta heats fairly fast, has a stream of water plus a burst of steam. The temperature control is a dial. I am always concerned that it isn’t off because there is no “off” button so I have it on a power strip and I turn the strip off. My only problem is that it leaks water and leaves spots. It has even left big spots on my ironing board cover which now needs replacing.

    Thank you again for the review.

  87. Cricket says:

    Thanks for doing a great review of all those irons! It came at the perfect moment for me. My iron just up and quit last week.

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    The one that just bought the farm is a Sunbeam Turbo Steam. It was $30 at a salvage store a year ago. I am kind of picky about irons; I like glide and heft and a crapload of steam. This one was excellent right up until it very suddenly stopped dead and steamed no more. And it had a retractable cord, which was a bonus.

    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    Steam and more steam. Until it is time to refill, then I do no steam till I get annoyed and refill. I use tap water.

    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    Sometimes I use a wet pressing cloth, sometimes I use nothing.

    4. Do you use spray starch?
    Rarely. When I do, it is starch I mix up myself.

    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?

    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?
    Ah. I don’t really quilt. I love quilts, but I pretty much stink at making them. I mostly make kids clothes nowadays.

  88. Honora says:

    I have the Black and Decker you reviewed. I love the weight! It looks like and feels just like my grandmother’s iron. And, as you said it get smokin’ hot! I do use steam a lot, but as you noted the tank is not very large. I’m happy to go old school and spray my water on myself. I never run out, and for pressing with a damp cloth, nothing is better. I use this for all of my bonding needs as well. So, even if customer service is poor, I will feel lucky to get 2 yrs out of an iron!

  89. PtcquilterMrsjer says:

    Timely discussion as I am in the market for new iron. I solved the leaky iron issue by not putting water in the iron. I use a spray bottle to dampen wrinkles. Thank you for taking the time to study and share the results.

  90. Anya says:

    Thanks for the analysis. I had a super cheap (as in it came free inside a mini-fridge cheap) and it worked GREAT for years and years. I don’t even know the brand . After about 10 years it finally died and I bought a Black and Decker that works ok. Who knows how long it will last.

  91. Granny Sharon says:

    Thanks for the comparisons. I’ve been using that
    Black & Decker for years. I like it because of its weight. It does a good job as I iron almost everything. I’ve had a cordless Oreck and hated it. The only issue with the Black & Decker is the low water capacity and not much ability to adjust the settings. It’s good to get unbiased feedback.

  92. Kathy Cvitanovich says:

    I own the Black & Decker and am VERY pleased with its performance. My Rowenta died on me after a few year ( not great luck. My first Rowenta died too shortly after I purchased it). The first thing I noticed was its “old school” look. It heats up quickly and irons all of my fabrics AND clothing quickly. The only complaint, I wish it didn’t have the automatic shut off. Glad it had good reviews.

  93. Susan K says:

    I’ve had a Sunbeam iron for years. Mine has the steam and water spray options. It has held up very well.

  94. Maria Smith says:

    I have an 8 yr. old Rowenta. It has lasted and done well for me except for the occasional spritz of water and steam that makes a wet spot on the fabric. Other than that it has worked well. I have arthritis and it is not so heavy to lift and use and the handle is not too wide. Not sure which way I would go if I had to replace it, but thanks for your review. Good insight.

  95. Christine says:

    I have always owned Rowentas. Then I got tired of them dying and always used tap/spring water and then steam wouldn’t work etc. I read a review by Cathie Mack (she has an online fabric shop) and I was like a panting dog looking for its next treat…it was a Black and Decker (don’t remember the model) and how it was perfect for LOTS of steam etc. They were no where to be found, the article said, but then I found it at Bed Bath and Beyond, and with the 20% off coupon, it was $32. I LOVE IT! I’m a quilter but also iron my husband’s cotton shirts, and this iron is good for this. BUT a supreme steamer like the Sunbeam wouldn’t be turned away!!!!! and I would love to win one.

    As to the water thing (chemist here!) and why distilled shouldn’t be used: steam needs particles/minerals to form it. Distilled has none of these. Regular tap water has all the stuff for steam formation.

  96. Heather says:

    Thanks, this was helpful. I have a Rowenta iron that cost over $100 that just broke and I am looking for a new iron. I would not buy another Rowenta. I had it only for a year and it just stopped working. It also would leak a lot, sometimes staining the fabric I was ironing. For the cost I think there are less expensive irons out there that can do a better job.

  97. Carla says:

    I have had several Rowenta irons. While they are a good iron, they do not last as long as they should. Most were over $100 which I consider kind of expensive. I use water from our reverse osmosis tap as we have bad water.
    I use it to iron clothes as well as quilt and sewing project. The one I have now has the pointed tip
    which I find helpful in most all ironing applications. So far this one is three or four years old and have not had a problem, although it does occasionally leak. I like a heavier, more sturdy iron and one that will really steam. The Rowenta seems to do that nicely. I have had the rust situation before so I will take Jan’s advice and empty it after each use. I do use a dry pressing cloth on occasion. I starch only occasionally. I love your blog and this one was especially helpful as I seem to go through irons!

  98. Cindy says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?I just bought a rivol for $7.00 from WM two days ago. I had to have an iron. My other one disappered in moving.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Steam most of the time, but sometimes dry iron.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? No pressing cloth
    4. Do you use spray starch? Sometimes but not that often
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Sometimes I use my hams, but most of the times I just use my fingers.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? I don’t quilt yet. I am trying to learn how to quilt or take a class for it if I can work it into my schedule.
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to possibly win an iron. I really appreciate all your hard work on the iron reviews. When I get ready to get a serious iron, I will be pulling up these notes again.
    Thanks, Cindy

  99. Susan Stanton says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post your review of irons. It seems like the perfect one hasn’t been manufactured…yet! I have an old Norelco that is about on it’s last legs, so this was helpful!

  100. Paula Huys says:

    Love to see real world reviews Thank you!

  101. Bridget says:

    I would happy with any new iron, thanks for all the info and the chance to win.

  102. Rebecca says:

    I use an old GE heavy duty metal iron and a spray bottle of water and a can of sizing as needed. I paid $3.49 at a thrift shop some 20 years ago and tossed my new lightweight teflon coated iron in the garbage.

    I love that this old iron gets really hot and has some heft to it due to the use of real metal!
    I don’t use any special tools and I don’t use the steam function, I would rather spray water directly onto my fabric in a controlled amount and location.

  103. Kathleen says:

    I could use a new iron, and I love Sunbeams! That’s what I have now and I can’t even remember how old it is but I know I’ve had it for quite a while. Thanks for the giveaway!

  104. Paula Kimmich says:

    This observation from you is very very helpful. I will definitely use your info next time I buy an iron, or maybe I will win one of these! Thanks!

  105. Judy says:

    Thank you for this great review of irons. I currently use a Sunbeam iron that I paid under $40.00 for and I am pretty happy with it. Once in a while it leaks water but it doesn’t happen enough to make me unhappy and I actually think that it might be the setting I have it on at the time more than the fault of the iron. It does have a teflon bottom so glides easily. The use of steam depends on what I am ironing and I use a pressing cloth and starch also depending on what I am ironing. I do not use any tools to open the seams just the point of the iron. When I am quilting the only thing I do differently with the iron is leave it plugged in while I am sewing so that it is ready to use when I go to iron a seam. It has an automatic shutoff which I find very handy as on occasion I get side tracked and forget it is on and I have peace of mind knowing it has shutoff automatically when I remember it later. Before I bought this iron I had a Rowenta that I spent way more money on than I would normally spend on an iron but I had read how great they were. The only problem was that just after the warranty expired mine quit working. I then purchased a really inexpensive Sunbeam that quit working about 2 months later. I took a chance when I bought a Sunbeam for my next iron and fortunately for me this one has worked out nicely. Basically I would probably never buy an expensive iron again because there is no guarantee that they are going to last and for the price only getting a year warranty is not enough. Another thing that I always pay attention to is the type of water that is to be used in an iron as I know using the wrong kind can ruin the iron.
    I had to laugh when you said your husband ironed his own clothes. I thought I was the only one whose husband did that. My husband is so much better at ironing clothes than I am that he just does it himself.

  106. Teresa says:

    A new iron would be very helpful, as the Oreck that I’ve had for 10 years just doesn’t heat up or get the wrinkles out as I would like.
    Thank you for the great review – very helpful!

  107. Michelle k says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! Mine just died and this is the iron I was thinking to replace it with so the chance to win it is fabulous. Thank You!

  108. Victoria says:

    Rowenta-leaks like crazy, but irons great.
    Thanks for a fabulous article!

  109. Rowenta. For years and years, and many many hours of work each day.
    Just saw that Rowenta was the chosen iron for “Fashion Week, NY” also.
    Specific models can act as iron AND steamer (no board required – on hanging garments).

  110. Wendy says:

    I love to iron and have found that pressing when sewing has greatly improved my end result. Would love a new iron!

  111. Angie K says:

    A thorough experiment! Thanks for all the time you put into this ^_^. I’ve used the Rowenta for only a year, and am fairly pleased with it. The anti-calc feature didn’t seem to work, though, at my old apartment (very hard water)… Every time I clicked for steam, little white flakes (calcium buildup, I assume) would flutter onto my clothing or sewing project. At the moment I don’t have that problem, with a water softener, but that won’t last for long. I do like that extended tip feature, too. I am very surprised by the price you quote for it, though! I believe I got mine for only 30-some dollars, at Kohl’s (with a store coupon). Anyway, thanks for the giveaway opportunity! ^_^

  112. Donna W says:

    Thanks for the great post. The last 2 irons I have had have been Rowenta. I like both of them. I received a newer one as a gift. I still use both of them. But the older one has become the iron for “messier” work—fusing, etc. I use spray starch or spray sizing. I usually do not use steam, but will use a spray bottle of water when needed. Pressing cloths are usually for “special” types of fabric. Thanks for the chance to win this great giveaway.

  113. Sandy N says:

    I’ve owned many irons over the years and my best one was a Rowenta. I spent the huge amount on the Oliso and was horribly disappointed with it. It leaked very shortly after I got it and ended up needing them to replace it (which they did with no problems). I ended up selling the new one without ever taking it out of the box. I would love to try one of the new Sunbeams. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  114. Becky says:

    Those Proctor Silex irons were really good. My mom had one she loved, but when it broke down, they were not making them anymore. Have you tried vinegar and soda or salt to clean the iron plate? Something non abrasive, but will cut the starch.

  115. Becky says:

    Thanks for the review. It confirms much of what I know about the irons I have used. I was disappointed in the Oreck and Shark brands, of which both had thermostats that went out at about a year of use. I went through two of each type. I really liked the Shark, it had a good feel and did a good job, but the service dept required sending the iron to them ($10 shipping each way) and then I would have to pay for the repair, so a $40 iron wasn’t worth it. At the time, my husband was ironing a shirt a day and I was using them irregularly for sewing and quilting. I landed on the Black and Decker model you reviewed and it heats and irons well, but the steam vents are not cut smoothly enough and catch fabric and then I press a mess like a Ruffles potato chip into the corner of the fabric. It’s a common problem when I am pressing a stack of blocks I am piecing. I would like to win the Sunbeam, but if not, I might go buy one for myself.

  116. Shirley says:

    I have a Sunbeam Iron that I’ve had around 35 -40 years, it stopped spraying water but it still heats up and Irons, just not as good as it did when I bought it. I’ve made due with what I have, but if I won a new one I’d be so happy.

  117. Nat says:

    Great review. I always wanted a Rowenta but after reading some of the comments from your readers I might opt for getting a cheaper model so I don’t get so disappointed when the expensive one goes.

  118. Marilyn Denman says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    I have a cheap Sunbeam that cost about $25.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    I use lots of steam because I wash and dry all fabrics. Then they get steam pressed. It means that I need to refill the tank often though.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    Rarely, if ever. If I need to do some serious pressing I have a steam press to use.
    4. Do you use spray starch?
    I use spray starch with slippery fabrics.
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
    Yes. Point turner, clapper, point press, sleeve press and ham.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?
    I don’t really quilt much. Mostly garment sewing.

    I’m happy with my cheap Sunbeam. People with expensive irons seem to complain about leaking and such.

  119. pat says:

    Thanks for a very informative review…right now I only have a little Shark that I love for piecing, but I’d love a full sized iron.

  120. Jennifer says:

    I have that exact shark iron and it’s been nothing but trouble for me. First the lid over the water compartment broke off then it started leaking (HOT!!) water from the base of the iron. I burnt my foot several times. I still use it but have totally drained the water from the iron and use a separate spray bottle for wetting fabrics.

    I would definitely NOT recommend.

  121. Marilyn Denman says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    I have a cheap Sunbeam that cost about $25.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    I use lots of steam. I steam press all fabrics after they are washed and dried. It uses lots of water which means refilling the tank fairly often.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    I use a damp press cloth with wool sometimes, but it’s rare. I have a press that can do this much better.
    4. Do you use spray starch?
    I do if I’m sewing with a slippery fabric.
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
    Yes. I use a ham and a sleeve press. Also I just bought a point press/clapper combo.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?
    I don’t quilt much, but no.

  122. Denise/Folsom,Calif. says:

    Thank you for so much useful information!

  123. Connie says:

    I’ve had a Rowenta Professional (paid little over $100) about a year ago. I use steam a lot…I love how this leaves my seams perfectly flat BUT the Rowenta leaks and that is a pain. I need a new iron…..thanks for a great post!

  124. Betty Drake says:

    I have three Rowenta irons. My professional iron was bought 5 years ago to make my grandson’s christening outfit. I like it very much but the water leaks down to 1/4th if you leave it sit for a couple of hours. Currently, I only use it to press yardage
    I have the small/travel Rowenta iron I bought to make my granddaughter’s christening dress. I wanted it for the lace shaping and ruffles but found I use it all the time. It is great for patchwork. I have a small ironing mat so leave this iron out all the time. I do not put water in this iron as I travel with it.
    Since I can’t be without an iron, when I am sewing, I bought the third iron on sale so I would have it when needed.

  125. Kim Johnson says:

    This was a very helpful! I have had many irons, including 2 Rowentas and currently an Oliso. I was not happy with either one of the Rowentas. I found I was replacing irons about every 1 1/2 years. I have been the happiest with the Oliso and it has lasted the longest. I have had it for going on 3 years now. My favorite feature on the Oliso is it does automatically shut off, but not for 30 minutes. It is truly designed with the sewist or quilter in mind. It is so frustrating to constantly have to wait for the iron to heat up. Mine has just recently started dripping water, brown water, which can be aggravating. Of course, it always seems to happen when my husband is ironing his shirts or I’m ironing something light colored. You’re right, that it doesn’t have a super glide, but I do like the weight of it.

    Thanks for the chance to win a new iron!

  126. Karen says:

    Very informative, thank you! I use a travel Rowenta that I purchase a couple of years ago at Bed Bath and Beyond. I really like the small size and quick heat-up. For a travel size iron it has a pretty big water holding area too. This said, sometimes it would be nice to have a full-size iron. 🙂

  127. Pattie C says:

    Being left handed I really like a cordless iron, thanks for the reviews.

  128. L Stallings says:

    I have a Rowenta iron and the shot of steam feature does not work well. I used tap water at first and after reviewing the manual and it said to use distilled water. I am using distilled water in the iron but the shot of steam still does not work well. The iron was expensive and I am disappointed in the performance of it. My daughter has a Black and Decker and it works better.

  129. Jamie says:

    So which iron did he pick??? Did you get one for yourself? That’s how we work it at my house–I have my own for quilting and then my husband has his own for work clothes. That way if I get sticky on the plate, I don’t have to worry about it ruining his clothes if I don’t catch it right away (that has happened before).

    I have a Rowenta I got from Kohls for about half the retail price. It’s my second Rowenta. I ran into similar problems with my first one using water and then having some rusty/brown water start leaking. I had no idea you are supposed to empty the water reservoir after every use. But as it turned out, as I got much better at piecing, I stopped using steam at all and now just use starch *before* I cut fabric. I found that starching after sewing seams distorts them just a teensy bit (making them a little larger and flatter) than the pattern size calls for, which adds up if all the seams are like that.

    I got to use an Oliso at Fabric Fest and loved it! But I think I am a little bit of a Luddite at heart and shy away from anything too fancy because it seems like the lift system could break and be expensive to fix or replace. When I got home from Fabric Fest my arm was already trained to use the iron and for the next few days I had a hard time remembering to lift up my regular iron…which did result in a nice burn on my ironing board cover. 🙂

    Thanks for this wonderful review!

  130. Bonnie says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    currently Black and Decker… I think around (40), I also have a Singer (50) something that I just bought as my back up iron..
    Had a Rowenta (90) and it started smoking one day and just caught fire inside wiring. contacted Rowenta and no reply.. so no more Rowenta.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    most time I use steam
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    Pressing cloth for applique work, dry
    4. Do you use spray starch?
    yes on my quilt blocks and border strips
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
    nope, just the iron
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?
    Nope, use it the same

  131. Audrey says:

    Great post and perfect timing! I’m in the market for a new iron, you’ve given some great info! Thanks

  132. Rhonda Laws says:

    I hate the way irons seem to be disposable these days (unless of course you refinance your house to buy one). Recently my iron died and I had to dig out an old one (cordless) that I am not very fond of. This is temporary – maybe sooner than I thought if I win one of yours.

  133. DawnR says:

    The feet on the Oliso is an additctive feature, which is why I have two leaky Oliso’s. Good to know the company may replace them.
    I have been through several Rowenta’s which I loved until they began to leak and spurt rusty water even though I always filled them with purchased spring water. All 4 failed at just over a year. What’s with that?
    I now have a Reliable Velocity. I love the huge amount of steam, the override feature for the auto shut off, and its weight. It does require distilled water and I haven’t had it long enough to vouch for its longevity.

  134. Rosemary Shannon says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? Sunbeam Steam Master, cost about $30. It has an automatic shut off which I like, good steam, but sometimes takes awhile to get going. I always use distilled water, I think the instructions say so.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? almost always steam.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Used both, wet for ironing interfacing.
    4. Do you use spray starch? Only during theater shows.
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Fingers, mostly
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? I press a lot, seams to make sewing turned under edges easier.
    PS – I still have my original iron from Sears that is about 40 years old. It does not have a Teflon sole plate and needed to be cleaned regularly (and ironed on wax paper to help it glide). I also bought a cheap iron (about $9) in the discount section at Home Depot about 5 years ago to take to school for theater costume sewing and ironing between shows. My son took that iron to college. Yes, he does iron his shirts!

  135. Faye says:

    Definitely can’t afford the higher priced irons, and I have many Sunbeam products which I have been very satisfied with, so I would surely like to have the Sunbeam iron; my current iron came from the local dump!

  136. Karen Vail says:

    I have a Rowenta, but I’m not overly happy with it. It doesn’t get wrinkles out without water, and I don’t like to spray my quilt fabric with water when I’m sewing. I’m looking for a new iron!

  137. Norma Carter says:

    I have a very old GE iron that looks very, very similar to the Black & Decker model that you reviewed. When I moved away from home over 30 years ago my Mom gave it to me. Over those 30 plus years I rarely used it because I don’t like to iron clothes. But 4 years ago when I took up quilting it started getting heavy usage! It heats up in under a minute. I use tap water in it because my sister (much more experienced quilter) told me I did not need to use distilled water, and tap water seems to be fine. I use steam most of the time, unless I’m too lazy to walk to the kitchen to get a cup of water. I do not use a pressing cloth. I do not use starch. I do not use any tools to open my seams, but I wish I had one. I’ve nearly burned my finger many times when getting the steam of the iron too close to my finger when trying to press a seam open. I’ll have to look for a tool that will help with that.

    I also bought a cordless iron at GoodWill for $8. I thought I would like the cordless feature. The problem is, you have to keep charging it in its base, and it only holds a charge for about a minute and then you have to plop it back in the base and wait a bit before continuing. Kind of aggravating. It worked OK. Didn’t always seem hot enough. I can’t even find it right now to tell you the brand. The best thing I got from it was a little plastic cup with a pouring spout for the water, so I use that all the time now with my regular iron.

  138. Linda says:

    I go through irons like pancakes so because of that I usually go with an inexpensive iron. I have tried higher end irons and have found the results not worth the extra money. I currently use a 2 year old low end Rowenta but it has recently started leaking so I anticipate needing a new iron soon.

  139. Christine says:

    I had a Rival iron from Walmart, and it lasted me about 10 years with no problems. Now my ironing area is in a high-travel path in our house, so the iron got a little more abuse as of late. After the 10th(?) time it was knocked off the table, it quit heating up. So disappointing. My lovely father replaced it for me with a vintage West Bend cordless iron. It sits in a base to heat, and then you just pick up and go. It holds heat for a reasonable amount of time, enough to do whats on the board, and will reheat in about the time it takes for me to re-position the fabric (and warn the kids that the iron is HOT). It has steam and a water spray option, though I prefer a spray bottle. Overall I like it a lot, my favorite feature is the fact that it’s cordless. Least favorite feature, sometimes it doesn’t seem to be hot enough to get stubborn wrinkles out of cotton/linen fabric, even after sitting on the base for a while.

  140. Fran says:

    Thank you for the reviews! I’m always on a quest for the perfect iron. The best iron I ever had (at least 20 years ago) was a Norelco E-Z Steam, unfortunately they are no longer made. I’m currently using a Rowenta, but I’m not a fan. Based on your review, I’m going to give Black and Decker a try, and that price is a bargain. Thank you! 🙂 –Fran

  141. {Pat says:

    Great Information. I have a Rowenta received as a Christmas gift about 10 years ago. It is a steam iron but I don’t put water in it. I have ruened two irons that way. I use spray starch or sizing spray, but I also clean the sole plate often.

  142. Debbie says:

    Thank you for the heads up as I am doing research on a new iron for crafting purposes right now.

  143. Diana W. says:

    I am using the Black and Decker for weight alone! I can’t remember what my old iron was, but it died. The B & D iron is fine, but I bought it for $ and heft. Interesting article, I appreciate the info!

  144. Karen Brehm says:

    This was very informative. I recently purchased the Rowenta and I really like the pointy tip. It is great for opening seams!

    However, it would be great to have a second iron. I sometimes have friends over for craft day!


  145. Finding the proper iron is very important. I seem to always be looking for an iron that can steam without spitting or get hot enough to the job. I appreciate the time that was taken for this review and the information shared with us!

  146. Linda says:

    Thanks for the reviews and giveaway!

  147. Emily says:

    I have a Sunbeam that I got at Costco a couple years ago for about $60. It did leak rusty water at one point (grrrr) but after a thorough vinegar cleaning it hasn’t happened since. Besides that it works great!

  148. Sharon says:

    I have owned a Shark (not this model) for about 4 to 5 years now. I have been very happy with it both for sewing, crafting and ironing. The dial regulating the amount of steam came loose about a year in, but it has not been a problem. I love it’s auto shut off and the long cord. I had wanted a Rowenta at the time, but could not justify the cost which at that time here in Canada was over $200.00 if I recall. They have come down some since. I believe my Shark was around $80.00 at a Canadian chain store, but I believe I got it on sale for a little less. It is definitely the best iron I have owned and has never (touch wood) emitted rusty water all over my pressing or ironing project as has been the case with some I have owned in the past. \I sew and craft a lot so my iron has to be decent. I have owned a Sunbeam in the past and a couple of other brands not represented here, but this one has beat those hands down.

  149. Kathy Lambert says:

    Hi Sara, thanks for the review. I purchased the Oliso about 8 monthes ago and I LOVE it. I love the fact that when you let go it pops up. It gets hot quickly and does fabulous on all fabrics. Not sure if I could go back to a regular iron again.

  150. Charlene says:

    I recently purchased the Black and Decker Iron (admittedly) for nostalgic reasons (looks just like the old 50’s Sunbeam model)and budget price, only. But once I used the iron I was really impressed. It is absolutely true that steam was not needed on cotton and with my first sewing project, this iron was excellent. It did glide smoothly over the fabric and the heat level stayed true. I wanted something heavy vs light weight plastic. Here’s one reason why…on the 2nd day of my project, my nephew barreled into my sewing room, bumped into the ironing board….and down went my brand new iron, smacking into the wood floor. The iron shut off on impact and after checking for damage, there were no dents, scratches or broken pieces..(no plastic to break). A good feature on this iron is that is does have auto shut-off when it stands unused for (maybe 5-10 minutes. After testing it on my fabric…perfect! No damage to the inside either-no pieces rattling around inside. This iron is great for it’s intended purpose, as well as it’s durability. I did use steam a few times… it sprays evenly and powerfully. However I do use distilled water because my area water is hard and I want to keep the inside free of deposits. This iron does not leak at all and feels solid as a rock I am really satisfied with my new Black and Decker and hope this helps others who are looking for a good iron that gives a good press and stands up to accidents. BTW, I have since moved my ironing board out of the path of travel 🙂

  151. 1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? Sunbeam $20-25 from Walgreens late one night when I needed it to finish a project on a tight deadline. Been very pleased with it!
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Always steam & DRIPS DRIVE ME INSANE!
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Yes. Dry for appliqué, wet for iron on inter facings.
    4. Do you use spray starch? Best Press!
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Fingers only
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? No.

  152. nancy says:

    I’ve tried most brands except for the Oliso which would probably be good for me since I have arthritis. Everyone raved about the Rowenta when I first started quilting so I spent the big bucks and got the best. Over the years I have realized that they all seem to last a few years and then start spurting and spritzing and leaking. I’m now using a Panasonic iron with a titanium soleplate (fusible web doesn’t stick) from amazon for about $20.00. So far it is working well but I need to be ready when it goes kaput! Thanks!

  153. nicole w says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? – sunbeam How much did it cost (approximately)? $25 (it’s old, we’ve had it for about 10 years now)
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? steam
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? wet
    4. Do you use spray starch? yes
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? no
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? no

  154. June says:

    Irons are the bane of my existence!!! I have had many different brands. My issues are partially due to the fact that my daughter and I seem to drop them. Yikes! About 6 months ago I bought a rowenta steam station-you know the big one with the large base that is also the water tank. It was very pricey, $145.00 at bed bath and beyond. But with a 50% off coupon, a $5 off coupon and birthday money, I was thrilled to get it. Initially, it worked well. The iron comes with a funnel to fill the water tank with. It has a “float” type indicator to let you know if the tank is full. That never worked so I was always overflowing the reservoir. Annoying. It takes 10 or 12 minutes to heat up, so you can’t turn it on to quickly iron something on the way out the door. That said it worked wonderfully-at first. Then it started to spit out a lot of water when I would press the steam trigger on the handle. About 4 months after I got it, water poured out of the bottom! SO disappointing. My dream iron turned out to be a nightmare. I brought it back to the store and they replaced it after looking up the purchase using the credit card I used. I was assured that I could return it again and again if it failed again. Or I could return it for a full refund at any time. They were super nice and accommodating.
    I know I must sound like a spoiled brat complaining about such an expensive iron. When I’m in my zone, I need a dependable iron.
    Thanks for the great reviews!

  155. Katy says:

    I have used a Sunbeam iron for over twelve years . It still works! I know I need to replace it but the thought of choosing is daunting. Thank you for taking the time to compare the pros and cons of each iron.

  156. Becky says:

    My iron is just about to give out! Thank you for the opportunity to possibly win a new one! Having the right tools is the key! A good iron is one of the most important tools a sewist can have! Irons rock!

  157. Denise Swanson says:

    I paid about $20 for my Sunbeam almost 18 years ago. Has worked great with no issues and has taken some abuse. It’s getting time for a new one. I appreciate the review. Hmmm. which to pick??

  158. Carol Mendes says:

    Thank you for doing the research. I’m shopping for a new iron

  159. Diane says:

    Thank you for the in depth review. I need a new iron desperately! Great information.

  160. Chris says:

    I have 2 irons and really need to buy one for my daughter. I love my cheap BD F1060 and my no steam iron. She wants one for herself. I can’t blame. It’s tough to use mine. Everyone has there own preference.

  161. DeDe says:

    You’re going to think I’m nuts but I have a Rowenta, which cost $79 or $89 (Not sure but I remember using a coupon) for clothes and a $10 Rival for quilting. I use steam for clothes but not for quilting.I only use a pressing cloth if it is recommended or on delicate fabrics. I use starch on clothes but use Best Press when quilting. Haven’t experimented with tools to open seams other than the point of the iron or my fingers. (Ouch!) I bought the Rival for quilting because it doesn’t have an automatic shut-off. I got tired of always having to wait for the iron to heat back up when I just needed a quick press. Since it doesn’t shut-off automaticlyI put a sticky note on my light switch to remind me to unplug the iron. Crazy, I know!

  162. KatieQ says:

    I currently have a Sunbeam iron I bought at Walmart’s for $20. It replaced a Shark that fell off my ironing board and cracked open. The Sunbeam heats up very quickly. I thought that the pointy tip of the iron would be good for opening up seams and ironing the edges of applique pieces. Unfortunately, I have to be very careful because it can get caught when ironing patchwork and causes wrinkles. I no longer use steam because I find that it causes an early demise for my irons. I have hard water and even though we have a water softener, I can’t use the tap water in my iron. When I was using steam, I purchase distilled water to fill the tank. Instead, I have a plastic spray bottle and lightly spray my blocks or fabric before ironing them.
    I do occasionally use spray starch and use a pressing cloth when ironing applique.
    Thank you for the very well written review. Irons are essential for quilters and with so many different brands and models available it’s hard to make a comparison.

  163. Laura G says:

    Great review of irons! I’ve been a Rowenta fan since I first used one 15 years ago; can’t beat the smooth glide over fabrics! Owned a few over the years, they last about 4-6 yrs then start to leak, usually. Most recently Rowenta Professional from Bed Bath and Beyond w/ coupon for about $80. Heats up lightening fast, love the steam/ spritz options, can see the water level in the tank, I use water from basement sink, comes from Lake Michigan, so probably a bit nasty! I iron family laundry when necessary as well as sewing, I make heavy home decor as well as clothing. I am very protective of my iron; made my husband buy one for himself when he was about to use my beloved Rowenta to iron wood veneer to his woodworking project! He was a good sport, and ran to the store instead! So we have a $10 “craft” iron that he and the kids use, and I am the keeper of the Rowenta! (But I loved seeing the Black and Decker, brought back childhood memories, but I never liked ironing with it- so heavy!)

  164. Ellen says:

    Very thorough review. It has definitely given me something to think about when I go to buy my next iron!

  165. Nana Brenda says:

    I have seen the Oliso iron on the Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorials and I am very impressed. However it was the most expensive iron at Joannes. I appreciate your compairing all the irons and will keep that in mind next time I am shopping for a new iron. Thanks!

  166. Thank you sooo much for this. I am in dire need of a new iron and I now know that I will be buying another Black and Decker for it’s way of really really getting the wrinkles out is what I loved most about my last one. Thank you for the giveaway Sara.

  167. Kara Moaratty says:

    Fascinating! I’m glad someone took the opportunity to try something I’ve always wondered about.

  168. Pam says:

    Thanks for the review! I’m currently ironing with an old GE that I bought at a rummage sale and it works well – it’s hot and heavy. But I would love a steam iron!

  169. Tami Chaulk says:

    My iron that I’ve been using for over 10 years just recently bit the dust. I had a separate one that my daughter left at my house that I’ve been using, but I’ll need to return it to her. I’d love to win a new one! Thanks for the chance!

  170. Jeanette says:

    I have a Rowenta that’s probably 22 years old and still going strong… The water spritzer quit a few years ago but the shot of steam still works great. I love the weight of It preferring a heavy iron… I also have a $6 walmart iron that I haul in my sewing bag to groups and class. Light weight so doesn’t give a great press but it’s fine for hauling around. Thank you for your review!

  171. Chiska says:

    Thanks for the terrific review and all the responses! It’s been very helpful!

  172. Jeanette says:

    I have a Rowenta that’s probably 22 years old and still going strong… The water spritzer quit a few years ago but the shot of steam still works great. I love the weight of It preferring a heavy iron… I also have a $6 walmart iron that I haul in my sewing bag to groups and class. Light weight so doesn’t give a great press but it’s fine for hauling around.

  173. Karen Seitz says:

    Thanks for the reviews! I use a Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Smart Lift iron which I believe is no longer available (I got mine about 2 years ago). I like it — it is heavy and glides well. And the price was definitely right — $19.99 on closeout. I am happy to report that I have never had to contact customer service!

  174. Colleen says:

    I have had the T-Fal Ultraglide for at least 10 years. I paid $99 Canadian for it, back then, but I don’t think it’s much more now. It is fantastic! It heats up quickly, stays at the right temperature, steams well, NEVER drips and gets all the wrinkles out. I actually have a second T-Fal, which I use on my upstairs ironing board for clothing only. It is a cheaper model, probably 25 years old, and still chugging away.
    (PS – don’t tell the people I work with that I have TWO irons and ironing boards. They already think I’m strange for having this quilting obsession.)

  175. Cheryl says:

    I inherited my mother’s retractable cord iron–brand name eludes me at the moment–and I hate it. Off balance due to the cord reel in the bottom, sputters water at random moments, and the auto-off when horizontal kicks in after just a few seconds, so that you have to stop and raise the iron upright constantly to keep it on. I would dearly love a new one! I use steam and starch when pressing the fabric prior to cutting, none while piecing. I use a dry pressing cloth only on needlework and shiny or velvet fabrics. I utilize a stiletto and a wooden chopstick when working with applique pieces, and I adhere to the “iron garments, but press quilting” rule.

  176. Diane says:

    Thanks for your thorough review. I have a Black & Decker Digital Advantage that I’ve had for many years so I don’t remember how much it cost. I use it with both steam and no steam. I use a dry pressing cloth on certain fabrics and started using spray starch when I made my first quilt a few months ago. I don’t have any tools to open seams. I don’t think I do anything differently when quilting vs. sewing.

  177. Sandy says:

    You can buy iron cleaner which comes in a tube to clean a gunky iron sole plate. Also, I recently bought an old iron with a sole plate that was almost totally covered with black, cooked-on gunk and I cleaned (scrubbed!) it with a Brillo pad! I got all the gunk off and then ironed a piece of waxed paper to make it slick and smooth again. Worked great!

  178. Cindy says:

    Thank you for the chance to win. Appreciate the information from your article. Thank you.

  179. Kathy C in OR says:

    I had an Oliso and loved it until the lift function stopped in the ‘feet’ down position and became unusable.
    I also have a Sunbeam that cost about $25 and has been a workhorse for 10 years now.
    Thanks for the wonderful and thorough review.

  180. Toni Anne says:

    I’m looking for a new iron, my Rowenta Pro has on and off leaking fits. I paid $120, 3 yrs ago at Target, I use lots of steam, pressing cloth only when using fusables, I starch sometimes. My favorite feature is the long and pointy tip. Thanks so much for your input, you’ve given me a lot to think about.

  181. Nancy S. says:

    Until just a few months ago, I was using a 35+ year old GE iron that had belonged to my mother. It still works, but I wanted one with a stainless-steel plate. So, now I have a Singer Expert Finish that I found at Target for $42 (marked down from $59.99). I don’t put water in it, mostly dry iron, or when I need moisture, use a spray bottle. The cotton setting sometimes doesn’t seem quite hot enough, so I click up one to the ‘jeans’ setting. I appreciate the auto-off feature as I had left my other iron on for extended periods a couple of times.

  182. Chris says:

    3.usually dry pressing cloth
    4.depends on the project
    5 I use a wooden chopstick

  183. Linda Armenti says:

    I actually read that whole post, it was really informative. I had a Rowenta professional for over 10 years. I needed something light and got a dry iron for $15. and love it. I could use a light steam iron.

  184. Melissa says:

    Thank you for your insightful review of the irons. I have the Rowenta you reviewed. It works fine, but not great. I feel it just doesn’t get hot enough. Maybe I will try the Singer. Thanks again.

  185. Debby says:

    The first paragraph had me laughing: my Oreck, sitting in my closet as I write this, has fusible interfacing fused onto it. Duh!
    My second iron is an old Black & Decker Quick-n-Easy 340. Your article is timely. I’ve been feeling due for a new iron: the B&D leaks when it feels like it and the Oreck is big and clunky.
    I appreciate this information and I will definitely put it to use! Thanks much!

  186. KathyH says:

    What a timely post! My iron also started leaking out the bottom this week!

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? I had a basic black and decker iron for 20 years and it still works but I decided to upgrade, a few years ago, to a Rowenta made in Germany. It is a steam iron, much like the one you reviewed. It is the one that started to leak. Still, it was a very good iron. I had it for 3-4 years.

    2. Do you use steam or no steam? I blast with steam!!

    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? I use a pressing cloth only when sewing with fusible interfacing.

    4. Do you use spray starch? Very rarely. Only when sewing with wiggly knits.

    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? No

    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? I use the same iron for the family’s clothing as for sewing.

  187. WyoDi says:

    I’ve purchased so many irons over the years, and they just keep taking themselves to iron heaven….would be nice to win one!

  188. Kelie says:

    Such a great post, very informative! Thanks for sharing!

  189. Jodi says:

    I really appreciated this review! I have the Black & Decker classic iron and really like the way it irons. I almost always use the steam setting. The only thing I don’t care for is that I can’t see the water level, and as you said, it doesn’t hold a lot of water. I have had it for about 8 years and it still works great though! I think it cost about $20-$25. When I use a press cloth, which isn’t very often, I use it damp.

    Tools to open seams? Just my fingers and the point of the iron plate as I iron along the seam.

    I have used a Rowenta iron and didn’t feel it was worth the extra money; it didn’t last very long. It leaked and didn’t get the wrinkles out as well as the B&D. I think, based on your review & my experience, I will try out the Sunbeam or get another Black & Decker Classic the next time I buy an iron.

  190. Deb says:

    I use a Rowenta that I’ve had for about 14 years. It’s great. Uses tap water, glides very well, has a cleaning cycle, shuts off after 8 minutes, turns on when you tilt it. I can see the water level. It has a shot of steam button and a spritz of water button. I use itfor quilting and sewing, including fusing. I use parchment paper or a press cloth or a silicone mat when fusing. I have cleaned the soleplate from time to time. Sometimes I use another iron that has a flat soleplate for fusing, as the steamholes on the Rowenta leave impressions on some fabrics. I paid more than $100, but I don’t remember exactly.

  191. Daphne says:

    I have a Black and Decker classic. Love it ,but it needs replacing.

  192. Sylvia says:

    Thanks for the detailed review. I love my Oliso iron. I’ve had it about a year. I’ve also enjoyed the Shark before with good results. Plan on passing this info to my daughter, a new seamstress.

  193. SonJa says:

    Krista, you might want to check out the Vermont Country Store and check into their dry iron. I bought one a few years back and I love it! It’s heavy as Hell, but the sole plate is solid with no vent holes and is great for pressing patchwork and appliqué. When I need steam, I just use a spray bottle. I love love love this iron…only about $30 as I recall.
    And Sara, nice review that prompted lots of comments.
    I don’t understand why people put water in any iron….it’s not that hard to use a spray bottle and it’s clear that’s what kills irons!

  194. Bethany M says:

    What a wonderful post! I am so glad I read this article. Thanks for the chance!

  195. Valerie says:

    I chose a Rowenta travel iron for my piecing. This iron doesn’t have an auto-off feature, so it is perfect for me. It is also dual voltage so I take it with me when I travel. Small and light weight. I do use steam. As others have mentioned, I empty the water out of my iron every day. This iron is listed at $50, $39.99 on Amazon. Sometimes you can get it for less with a JoAnn coupon (unless irons are excluded, which is often the case.) My workhorse iron is a Bernette that I bought ages ago. I don’t think they make them anymore. I love it.

  196. Liz says:

    I have the Sunbeam you reviewed. It works ok (and does shoot streams of water as well as steam). I got it from Cosco after I dropped my previous iron and it broke. I have also dropped the Sunbeam (sensing a pattern here?), but managed to salvage it so that it works for the most part. Just gotta watch the electronic components on the handle!

  197. Nan V says:

    Great post, thanks for the comparison. I have been using the same GE iron that I bought when going away to college 40 years ago, both for clothing and quilting. It’s heavy, heats up quickly, has great steam, and holds a full cup of water. No auto turn off, which is perfect. I hate appliances that think they are smarter than me! I have always used distilled water in it, have never cleaned it even once, and it has NEVER leaked or spit water. My mom has a GE iron that is even older, and says the same things about it. I just can’t understand why all irons made now seem to be expected to leak in a year or two. I have no idea what I would get to replace it, but since they all sound like short term purchases, it would probably be something inexpensive.

  198. Hollie L. MNeely says:

    I buy Rowena but they always end up leaking. The get hot fast but because of the auto shut off if you step away you have to turn it up to get it to reactivate. I use spray starch when I piece and I use a water/starch mix when I iron my clothes. To totally get wrinkles out I need to use more than the iron. I finally decided I like the iron but I never use water in it.
    Hollie McNeely

  199. Cindy derryberry says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? I use Oliso (the yellow one). I am on my third one. Each one has lasted about a year. I have had EXCELLENT customer service.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? No steam
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Only in special instances.
    4. Do you use spray starch? I use Best Press when necessary.
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Just my fingers.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? No. I iron the same.

  200. Kathy Bumb says:

    I have just put my Rowenta to rest. It lasted for 10 years without any problems. I found it superior due to the fact that it was very hot. I loved this feature as I not only sew clothing, but also home decor and purses. It was fantastic – somewhat expensive but well worth the price. Great giveaway as I desperately need a new iron. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway.

  201. Kathy says:

    I have owned at least 5 Rowena irons over the years but all start having problems with spitting and leaking water after 2-4 years despite using the recommended water. However I keep buying them because I like the amount of steam they produce and the way they handle. I prefer steam always and use wet pressing cloths, spray starch, best press or sizing. I don’t use special tools as I am mainly a quilter. My real confession however is that I currently own at least five other irons, maybe a few more of various makes and models, mostly cheap sale ones, a few inherited. I have an iron fetish!

  202. Pat says:

    Thank you so much. I’ve been shopping for an iron and wasn’t sure what to buy. Your thoughts and research are so helpful. It would be nice to win and iron too!

  203. Kay Jones says:

    Thanks for the review. I have been a Rowenta user for many years but they never last long enough to justify the cost. A few years ago there was no comparison between a Rowenta and the cheaper brands so I was willing to replace it every couple of years to get better results. Based on the info here, I think that may have changed. I recently bought a Singer( Big Lots for $39) for our camper and have been pleasantly surprised by the performance. I have been seriously considering an Oliso to replace my leaking Rowenta. After reading your reviews I may try one of the less expensive brands.

  204. Joyce Adams says:

    The Rowenta has been my iron of choice over the past 10 years. I would not mind having other choices.

  205. Debbie says:

    I would love a chance to win a Sunbeam iron! I currently use an Oreck that I picked up at a rummage sale and it is okay, but only steams when the water chamber is over half full. Prior to that I had a Black & Decker that finally gave out after about 35 years of use. This review was helpful because I am in the market for a new iron. Thanks!

  206. Bess says:

    I’ve been needing a new iron for a while now (I’m using a used iron the my boyfriend gave me 17 years ago lol). The reviews are so mixed on even the expensive ones so I haven’t been able to make up my mind. Thanks for the thoughtful reviews.

  207. Missy says:

    Thanks for the great review! I’ve been dying for a new iron but have been paralyzed with indecision because nothing seems to be an overwhelming favorite to me. It really helps to read your review and the great comments posted by others! Nice job! 🙂

  208. Judy Johnson says:

    Very helpful. My iron is on its last legs and I will likely need a new one soon. (Darn – money I could be spending on fabric!!)

  209. Sharon Lichter says:

    I like the weight on the Black and Decker, and also the fact that it is not auto-off which is good for quilting, but I had to get rid of it because the large holes on the faceplate get caught on my piecing and cause no end of problems.
    I also have a Rowenta which is light weight and irons well. My complaint is that the auto off is quick to shut off and it does not get hot again very fast so while piecing, I do a lot of waiting for it to heat back up.

  210. Rachel Booth says:

    I have a little Sunbeam and it works okay! I’d love an iron that heats up a little faster!

    Thanks for the chance tow in!

  211. Lyndalee says:

    My Rowena gave way after 5 years. I use it daily. I couldn’t use the steam function from the beginning as water dripped ouy. I resorted to a spray bottle of water or best press. I press some clothes but mostly cotton quilting pieces. I’ll never buy another. I has a backup of the cheapest Sunbeam which didn’t get hot enough for the cotton. I’d love a new iron.

  212. Marcia Herath says:

    I have a Black and Decker that I really like but I have had it for a number of years, so I could use a new one.

  213. Rhonda G says:

    I use to have a Rowenta and loved it. That was about 20 years ago. I have a cheapie iron now, and it leaks water terribly. Would love to win a new one and toss the one I have.

  214. karen says:

    I just got that identical Rowenta like three months ago. It replaces a previous Rowenta that lasted like five years…it stopped producing steam! This new version is good but it spits regularly and last time I used it, it deposited light rusty water on my fabric! I don’t know what to replace this one with… thanks for all your research!

  215. superstitches says:

    Thanks for the review. It seems as though I “kill” my iron every two – three years. It’s just about time to buy a new one.

  216. Diane Calvi says:

    Loved your iron tutorial. You went through a lot of processes to come up with such a good selection. My Rowenta,of many years, is used for ironing clothes and pillowcases and sewing and quilting projects. Would love to win a new iron.
    Thanks for the give a way.

  217. Linda Heck says:

    I have a GE, and it’s alright, there is not always enough steam though as I would like. I do hope maybe just maybe I could win a good one like on your web site. My iron is about 2 yrs old, it does get a work out in spurts, and I do believe I paid about $50.00 for it. I think it’s about middle of the road for the iron it is.

  218. Sheryl F. says:

    I have a cordless Oreck iron that came free when I purchased a vacuum. It works pretty good. I would love to have a new iron. Fan4may at aol dot com

  219. Sherill says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? Rowenta How much did it cost (approximately)? $100
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Both
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Sometimes Wet or dry? Both
    4. Do you use spray starch? Occasionally
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Yes, hams, sleeve arms ect…
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? Yes
    Thanks for the great review

  220. Diane Calvi says:

    Love your tutorial on irons. For many years I have used my Rowenta and I am looking for a new iron. I like to iron my clothes and pillowcases plus my sewing and quilting projects so I am in need of a new iron. Thanks for the give a way.

  221. Kathy M. Upton says:

    I use an ancient GE iron that’s just about ready for the dustbin! It’s spitting and has started turning itself off after just a few minutes….a NEW iron would be wonderful! Thanks for testing these 6 models….it was very interesting.

  222. Melinda says:

    My mother and I both own a Shark GI460N with an open handle. It is so small and very lightweight but defiantly packs a punch. It gets hot quickly and steams up very well. My mother has owned her’s for about three years and I have owned mine just over two years. I wouldn’t trade mine for anything.

  223. Melinda says:

    My mother and I both own a Shark GI460N with an open handle. It is so small and very lightweight but defiantly packs a punch. It gets hot quickly and steams up very well. My mother has owned her’s for about three years and I have owned mine just over two years. I wouldn’t trade mine for anything.

  224. Deb says:

    I have a Black & Decker. It cost under $30. I use steam at times, but the iron leaks. Pressing cloths and I don’t get along so I don’t use them or any tools. When I iron clothing, I tend to go more quickly and am not as picky with the outcome. Thanks for the chance to win!

  225. Sharon Buffington says:

    I have been using an iron that I bought at Walmart for $6 and really need to replace it. Don’t have the funds to get a new one right now. Winning one would be a true blessing!!!

  226. Linda Hartley says:

    Thank you so much for this review. I am currently using a very inexpensive iron for my sewing area as I found that the more expensive irons tended to spurt water. I would like to give the sunbeam a test run!

  227. Michelle says:

    Wow, thanks for the extremely thorough reviews! I have been using my cheapo iron for the past 20 years. I am well informed now to pick out an iron.

  228. Anita says:

    I have been thinking about purchasing a new iron for a while so even if I don’t win this is great information yo have. Thanks

  229. Sophia DeLonghi says:

    I have had a Black & Decker for about two years with no problems whatsoever! I have had three Rowenta’s in past and liked the weight of them and how they ironed, however, they inevitably start leaking and I will not buy another as they were the most expensive of all that I have had. My sister has Oliso and loves it!

  230. Debbie K says:

    Thanks! I’ve never seen such a great comparison.

  231. Jessica says:

    My current iron is old and driving me a little nuts. Auto shut-off is a feature that I always look for because I like the extra peace of mind. However, my iron’s auto-shut off must be on the fritz. It shuts down, but turning the power dial won’t turn it back on. I have to unplug the iron to reset it. I haven’t started to look for a new iron yet, but I do know that I have a new ironing board cover on my Christmas wishlist. At a local quilt show, I saw someone demonstrating the Miracle Ironing Board Cover. It was amazing because it reflects heat back up to the fabric, allowing you to thoroughly press both sides at once. While I was watching the demonstration, a woman ran over to buy one for someone in her family who wanted one after being amazed by seeing it in action over the years she had owned it, so I figured that was a pretty good endorsement.

  232. kat says:

    A good iron is SO important for sewing!!!! I would love to try a new iron- mine is several years old and should be replaced. Thanks for taking the time and effort to review these! I did wonder however if there was a difference in how the irons took care of the two different fabrics, and if you thought the settings were accurate.

  233. Debra J Webb says:

    Thank you for this very detailed and informative product reviews of these irons by various manufacturers!
    The iron I am currently using is a GE General Electric Auto Shut Off Lightweight with
    a spray and steam option to target the wet spray onto fabrics. This iron has a turn dial with 4 steam settings cotton, linen, rayon, polyester and wool. The dry settings are 2 for silk, nylon and acrylics. This iron has an auto red light for “on” on the top and back side of iron and auto shut off when not in use for a number of minutes. It is white with gray accent trim color and has a blue transparent water window with a Max fill line. It has a gray non stick sole plate. I purchased this iron at Target because it had the most features for a great price.

  234. Nice review! I use two of the Reliable irons, the V50 and the V100. To open seams I use a 6th finger stiletto and I like Best Press and I also use Magic Sizing on occasion. I use steam before I’ve cut my fabrics. When I’m piecing I don’t use steam, I just press.

    I really liked that you pointed out the weight of the irons as preferences can vary widely among quilters for a variety of reasons. Size of hands also play a role I’ve learned. Very interesting information, thanks 🙂


  235. Amie Tarpley says:

    I use Maytag cordless irons. Love that I can walk to my longarm and just press a wrinkle and place it back on the dock. They don’t shut of for about 20 minutes and gets hot again if moved.

  236. Ceil says:

    I have two Rowenta irons. One is the Promaster which I purchased for about $75 with a coupon at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It’s great and produces an amazing amount of steam. I usually use steam, sometimes with a pressing cloth when doing anything that might gunk up the soleplate (I do not like cleaning them!) I usually use the pressing cloth dry but with steam and sometimes use Best Press. If I use a tool to open seams it’s a chopstick.
    The other Rowenta iron is an “Expert”. It was given to me as a gift but would have been out of my price range. It’s the kind that sits on a tank of water. I just love this iron. It does a great job of pressing dry to open seams, etc. when your fingers are there and then you press an easy to use button on the handle when you want steam. Now that I have one, I’d never be without it and yes, it would be worth the cost as it is both a dry and a steam iron at the same time and the steam is not to be believed. It does a great job!
    Important to note that I have somewhat hard water and use only bottled water in both irons as I don’t want to take a chance on ruining them. If you ever get little white flakes coming out of the iron, you should switch to bottled water before it ruins the insides. Also, some people complain that Rowenta irons drip. I’ve found that you must shut off the steam function on the Promaster (and I assume similar) when the iron is off if you’re going to use it when unplugged. If I unplug the iron, and while it is still “hot” but not on, try to press with it, it will spit if I haven’t turned off the steam button.

  237. Sheree says:

    I have been using my rowenta for 4 years and it occasionally leaks from the bottom so I would love a new iron! Your post was very informative and interesting.

  238. Karen says:

    Currently have a Sunbeam. Age ? Cost? Love it. If I won, I’d share with my daughter. Use it for sewing and quilting, no steam. Spray bottle. Thanks for your reviews and the give-away!

  239. Dawn Larimer says:

    I used to buy Rowenta because it was, hands down, the best iron for people who sew. Then something happened to them because their irons just stopped being fantastic. I’ve gone back to cheap little irons for now because I can just throw away and buy a new one when it dies. It is hard to find an iron that gets as hot as my old Rowenta or put out as much steam. Sad me.

  240. CC Dery says:

    I have a Rowenta that’s approximately 5 years old. Think it was $85 at Costco. This is my third Rowenta. The other two both started leaking. I only bought this third Rowenta because I couldn’t figure out what else to buy.

    I have to have auto-off and shot of steam and it can’t be too heavy. Your review has given me some good info for when I need to purchase a new iron.

  241. Susan says:

    Great review and very timely as I need a new iron!

  242. Mary BROGDON says:

    Fun article. I just finished an intro to quilting class this Summer at a very popular quilt shop here in San Diego, California. Guess what? They used Sunbeam irons…yep. They did NOT glide at all, but – boy,did they do the job! They have a Teflon-looking ironing surface and it gets waaaay hotter (that’s a technical term) than my old Rowenta iron. There just was no comparison when I’d iron in the classroom and then finish ironing at home. This made me really want to get a new Sunbeam iron. That’s why your article caught my eye.
    Our Rowenta was top o’ the line about 15 years ago. It does have the extra pointy nose you mentioned. Makes me want to give it another chance….just let it warm up as hot as it can ; One big HOWEVER, though, is the awful white crud that came pouring from her steam holes after being stored. I guess we have hard water. So I always use distilled water in her (yes, it’s a “her”….Elsa, as a matter of fact).

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? see above and I don’t remember
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? both
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? only with iron-on transfers
    4. Do you use spray starch? oh, yeah
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? no
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? Our quilting instructor said to only use steam if you’re trying to finagle a bit more space in a piece of block. In other words, steam will stretch your block and dry won’t.

  243. Michelle says:

    Thanks for the article. Very informative! Would love to win a new iron. I have a cheap one I got at Wal Mart when I bought my first sewing machine a few months ago. It was fine to start out with but it’s by no means getting the job done. Thanks for the giveaway!!!!

  244. Katy says:

    I use an old Sunbeam iron that I have owned for over 12 years. It has been faithful to me, doesn’t work that great anymore but I guess I’m sentimental. Buying a new iron seems overwhelming, thanks for the review. I would love a new iron, then I wouldn’t have to make that decision.

  245. Debbie Redfern says:

    Thanks for the great gift 🙂

  246. Candace says:

    Oh, I am shopping for a new iron and am trying to decide how much I should spend. I have a Rowenta that I purchased 15+ years ago. It has been pretty good but is bad to spit water on my fabric and lately the steam is out of control and burns my hand when I am trying to really work on something. Your reviews are helpful and I am leaning toward the simplicity of the Black and Decker. But if I win one of these, all my problems solved. Just sayin’.

    Thanks for this whole post!

  247. Leslie says:

    I’m hoping this give-a-way is still open as I need a new iron! I’ve been through a Rowenta (leaked terribly) several proctor silex that were given to me, and a sunbeam or two. I’m just hard on irons! I usually empty them if I use water for steam. Currently using an Oreck cordless that is 7 years old and cranky. It’s getting way too hot and leaky. (I scorched a shirt of my hubby’s that was a favorite of his – whoops!) I need a light weight iron and appreciate you reviewing that as a feature. Great job investigating!! Thank you for researching irons so well. Even if I don’t win, I’m now well informed enough to purchase a new iron. Oknonnie(at)hotmail(dot)com

  248. Nancy says:

    Just a note about features. I chose my Rowenta (about $160 originally) because it had a long (5 minute) auto shut-off feature. Drove me nuts to have my iron shut off while I was chain-stitching seams. The Rowenta has been great, except for spitting rusty water (we have very hard water). But it gets so hot, I just use it dry now. Will try cleaning it with vinegar to see if that helps. Also, the Rowentas have a great sole plate cleaning kit that has kept my iron gliding smoothly for years!

    Thanks for all the comments and hints.

  249. Esther says:

    I have the Singer Expert Finish that I love. I do use steam a lot and use spring water per the manufacturer’s recommendation (extremely hard water here). I don’t normally use a pressing cloth and this iron never spits water at me. It was recommended by Consumer’s Report.

  250. susan says:

    i currently have a sunbeam that i paid about $35 for. i researched irons a bit and it seemed people had issues no matter how much they spent. i generally buy the cheapos because it didnt seem to make a difference. next time i will look into a singer. thanks

  251. Candy says:

    I love the Classic which is now Black and Decker but used to be something else , maybe GE. I love a heavy iron and I abhor auto shut off– Not good for quilting. One day while out with my thrift shop queen sister I spotted an old old old GE iron, which the classic is fashioned after, at a road side yard sale. It was 25 cents and it is by far the best iron ever. It still has the old cotton cord which is a little short but is adequate. I don’t like the Jetson’s- space age – looking new irons and have had no luck with them They tip ver easily, the controls are hard to get to and they sputter water. i don’t put water in my irons rather opt for a spray bottle close at hand. They are not balanced well and fall fall and break and are useless I bought an expensive Rowenta but abandoned it in favor of my old GE and classic

  252. Judith says:

    I have a new Rowenta, but the steam seems to be unreliable. I think it has something to do with the automatic shut off. Although, sometimes when I am at the ironing board, it doesn’t steam.
    I would love a Oliso, but it was too expensive to buy. It’s features seem awesome! Thanks for the review.

  253. Jennifer says:

    I’ve never had a really good iron, I always cheap out or have had hand me downs.

  254. Mary McIntyre says:

    I have a black and decker that is just starting to leak. I have been researching irons trying to figure which was my best choice. Thank you for the article!!

  255. Carol Jordan says:

    I have a Reliant iron which is about 4 years old. It has great steam, does not leak and has just the right weight/feel. Unfortunately, just recently the controls have become erratic. I feel like the ‘mother board’ is dying. I spent over $100 for this iron and I really like it. I believe that quilters use their irons a lot more than non-quilters and our expectations may be too high. I always keep a Walmart cheap iron on hand for emergencies – you cannot quilt without an iron. I think a new Sunbeam would be great.

  256. Janet Wilson says:

    I have two Panasonic irons, one the cordless, which I use at my little machine-side pressing station (which is fab, got it from Wineberry fabrics…it clamps onto my sewing table). I like both my irons, which heat up quickly, glide well and get out all but the most stubborn wrinkles. But your review was really interesting and well done, that Black and Decker looks adorable and I am impressed such an inexpensive iron rated so highly!

  257. Ruthann says:

    Really appreciate this review! Still using a Rowenta but it’s not “perfect” by a long-shot. Drips like crazy if I add water.
    Would love to try something else, have a Black and Decker and it just doesn’t seem to get hot enough,thanks again for the great info!

  258. rockandrollbob says:

    My girl just got me a couple of Black and Decker digital’s from a store she works at. I had to take back one because it would not work ,,Probably because it was dropped ! They took it back anyway ! They seem to work fine. I had a Rowenta but it had a bad cord connection from years of use so I replaced it. These digital Black and Decker’s were very inexpensive ($59.00 retail) I paid $23.00 each . Would have liked to choose my irons other than by price. But I seem to go through a lot of Iron’s. I keep one in each of my sewing room’s. I could always use another backup ! If anyone cares to see what I sew , check out my facebook page Sew, What about Bob ? Thanks , and I am looking forward to my new Iron !!!!! hahahaha

  259. Kathy says:

    This is perfect timing as my last iron broke once and for all (too many falls off the ironing board!)
    Thank you!

  260. Excellent post. Thank you!

    I am a devoted fan of Panasonic irons. After buying and using 4 different Rowenta’s, with failures from all in a relatively short amount of time, I went over to Panasonic . I think that the model I have was approximately $50.00 and have not had a single problem with it (lime green) after owning it for at least 6-9 years (I can’t remember when I got it exactly!).

    Panasonic irons have a titanium sole plate that really hold up well and is a boon when you are working with fusibles. I also love the cord reel. I have absolutely no affiliation with the company what-so-ever, I’m, just a happy ironer of things (not clothes!)

    I guess that we all take our iron choice seriously! They are such an important tool though that it makes sense – somewhat like our sewing machines!

  261. Cindy S says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? Shark
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Steam.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Rarely, but wet if I have especially difficult wrinkles and dry if I’m using an adhesive.
    4. Do you use spray starch? No.
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Little wooden pointed thingee.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? No.

    I love my Shark iron now but I had to contact EuroPro because my old model would not steam if the reservoir was less than half full. I emailed them (EuroPro who is the parent company, on a link I found searching for my particular model) even though I had my iron for over a year and didn’t have a receipt. They emailed me back, asking a few questions, and ultimately sent me a new iron along with a paid RMA label to return my old iron — for no charge. So I’m happy with their customer service and the iron.

    This one steams well, but must be kept upright for storage or it will drip. It is kind of heavy and I would love to have an Oliso if they were less expensive.

  262. Nell Kozub says:

    I do not understand why anyone actually sewing a lot would try to use a home iron to finish their project. A lot of problems can be eliminated with a commercial iron and they are not that much more than your top home irons. I have used many in my over 40 years of professional sewing. You can get a gravity feed commercial iron for around $250 or less. Some in my one catalog are $99. I have a small table top boiler and the iron to go with that. It runs between just under $400 to $650. . But, steam is never a problem. Sussman, is the number one, but there are several others that are not made here but are still good irons. Hi-Steam is a good one, as is the Pacific Steam. Naomoto is also a good brand. Most say tap water can be used, but I ALWAYS use distilled. I have a water softener and still use distilled. Irons last much longer that way. These irons are made to run at least 8 hours a day which is not usually needed by a home sewer. They are heavier than home irons, but for crisp pressing, the weight is needed. They also have a “shoe” on them that helps with heat shine (bought separately). I also never use one without the shoe. Yes, this may be a little more expensive, but in the long run will be on a par with a home iron being replaced every year or two. Every once in awhile, you can even find one on E-Bay for about $50 used. These irons can be found at any company selling tailor or major sewing supplies. Most can be ordered online with free shipping in a lot of cases. So, I have not used a home iron (with the exception of a very small Sunbeam shot of steam for very small areas on some projects–not made any longer) for thirty years. My daughters have grown up with commercial irons and do not even know how to use the normal home iron. Have used needle boards for velvet, but not normally a pressing cloth. Used pressing cloth only if trying to get an old hem out of a garment (putting a cord over the hem mark and pressing with a LOT of heavy steam). Vinegar also helps with this problem. The shoe on the iron keeps the iron from burning the garment even if setting appliques, lettering or gluing patches. And, helps to keep from burning you if accidentally touched. I use a razor blade to open seams as do all professional seamstresses or tailors. I use my fingers or the edge of a table or ironing board to press open seams until I can press them with the iron. And, the one thing I have to say is that commercial irons do not leak. They do spit if unfiltered water is used for a long time or the iron is not up to temp when you try to use it but leaking has never been a problem with any iron I have ever used commercially. So, again I say that I do not understand why anyone actually sewing a lot would put up with a home iron. Wasted money.

  263. Suzanne says:

    I have used a Black and Decker Easy Glide for over 10 years with no problem until recently when I notice that it has to be turned on the highest setting to get the wrinkles out and then sometimes it gets too hot suddenly and nearly scorched a few things. This past weekend I bought a Hamilton Beach non-stick surface for about $45..I just needed something fast and went to KMart – this one had the smallest holes in the soleplate. I have struggled with my B&D pressing little quilt square seams – they seem to catch on the holes and wrinkle…so I’m hoping this one won’t have that problem…always looking for a better iron – thanks for the review.

  264. Muriel says:

    I have the Black and Decker and I LOVE IT….my personal choice when bringing my own iron to a sew-in…Thanks for the review…I have been looking at the Sunbeam with steam for a long time.

  265. happy zombie says:

    GREAT REVIEW!! Being an Oliso owner, I just want to point out to anyone interested that if the yellow doesn’t float their boat (I’m not fond of the yellow’s *gilde*) – that the blue one has a shiny sole plate and glides nicely across the fabric. It’s also less wattage so it’s easier on your home’s ec. And it’s lower in price. I bought my most recent blue Oliso at using my red card (I save 5% and had free shipping).

  266. Susan P says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? Oliso, Tourch & Glide, I don’t know how much it cost as it was a gift.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? I do both, depends on application
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Sometimes, and if so, it’s dry
    4. Do you use spray starch? Yes, Mary Ellen’s Best Press
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Yes, I press seams open and use The Strip Stick. I have 3 sizes, a 9″, 18″ and 45″. It’s flat on one side and curved on the other side. You place the seam you are pressing on the curved side and the rest of the quilt falls away.It’s the best pressing tool I have every found. Find it at
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? Yes, I press when making a quilt and iron (glide) when doing clothing.

  267. Great reviews. I love the options. I have the rowenta and want something a wee bit heavier. Thanks for sharing these with all of us. You know we all love it!

  268. I am on my second Rowenta and paid about $100 for each of them. I am very happy with Rowenta even though I may try the Oliso next time just because I love the lift feature.
    I do use steam.I dont use a pressing cloth.I use Best Press. I dont use tools.
    I press fabric but iron clothes. I’m equally picky regardless of which one I am doing.

  269. Adele says:

    I use my iron ALOT and I love steam! Seems like no matter how much I spend on one, it lasts 1-11/2 years and then the dreaded spitting starts.

  270. Jeannette says:

    I have had a Rowenta Precision for several years–purchased for approximately $65 at Costco. The only complaint I have with my Rowenta, is that it is heavy. I have not had an issue with leaking (there is an anti-drip function) or sputtering. It has a self-cleaning function, a steam function and a spray function. It automatically turns off if left in the upright position for very long. At first, I thought this would be an issue, as when I am sewing, I leave the iron on for periods of time. However, even after the auto turn-off function deploys, the iron heats back up very quickly. If I use the steam, the water in the tank evaporates rather quickly so it requires refilling on a regular basis. All in all, I have been very satisfied with the Rowenta and would probably purchase another one. I have tried the Reliable at a quilt retreat. It was fine, but for the money, I wasn’t that impressed.
    Thanks for the informative review.

  271. Dianna Wilson says:

    Thanks for a wonderful review. I sew as well as quilt, so I use my iron quite a bit. My newest iron tends to leak which is really strange. Got to find a fix before something gets ruined. Thank you for taking the time to write this article!

  272. Linda D says:

    I’ve been sewing for over fifty years, so I’ve owned a lot of irons. Some of the earlier ones lasted a very long time, but nowadays I’m lucky to get a year out of any of them. I use the correct water as indicated by the company and I empty the water tank after each use. I’ve read as many reviews online as I can find, and it seems that every company gets good and bad reviews. I think it’s time for me to stick with the cheap (disposable) irons so I don’t feel so bad about throwing them away. They all seem to start spitting water after only a few months. Just today I purchased a new Rowenta iron, but after reading these reviews and lots of others, I don’t hold out much hope for the long run. I fully expect to be in the market for a new iron again very soon. My last iron was a TFal that I loved for about six months, but now it’s leaving puddles of water on the ironing board and gurgling and spitting all the time. I sew almost every day and I need a better product than what seems to be on the market today. I may go Vermont Country Store and buy a dry iron and a spray bottle and see if I have any better luck. Or maybe I could win a new iron from this site!

  273. Sandy Campbell says:

    I have a Black and Decker Digital Advantage. It cost less than $40. It is the best iron I have had in a long time. Have had 2 Rowentas that didn’t last or perform near as well and were way more expensive. I use steam and dry. Yes I press differently when I quilt than I do when I iron clothing. I use Ellen’s Best Press when I am piecing. Rarely use spray starch for piecing.

  274. Renee says:

    This was a very informative. Like all appliances
    It’s great to have some research and opinions
    go to. I personally love being able to read
    The settings. Now that I am 50 that is a very
    important feature. I love when the cord retracts
    And the iron has automatic shut off. because of
    this post I will personally be emptying water after
    every use. I personally own a Sunbeam and wish
    The displays were more legiable for easy setting’s
    reading. Anyway that’s my story and I ‘m
    Sticking to it! Happy Ironing and Thank You


  275. Cathy Briggs says:

    Thank you for the opportunity. Good article.

  276. Carol Kelley says:

    Really thorough review. I have a Rowena and am only moderately satisfied with it. I am glad of the descriptions.

  277. Beth says:

    I am in need of a new iron! Fingers crossed!

  278. Jennifer says:

    What a great and informative article!

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    >> I’m currently using a dry iron from Vermont Country Store. It cost about $30.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    >> Since it’s a dry iron, there is no steam so no water or rust issues!
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    >> Sometimes I’ll use parchment paper as a pressing cloth with applique.
    4. Do you use spray starch?
    >>Yes, I use Best Press on any stubborn wrinkles.
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
    >>Just my fingers!
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?
    >> Yes, I think I use the iron more often while quilting (especially paper piecing) than for general sewing purposes.

  279. Gaye says:

    When I bought my Oreck vacuum they gave me a free Oreck iron! That was 10 years ago and it is just starting to tire. Using a Rowenta now that spits and leaks. Also it does not “fine tune” the temperature as it should. Loved the reviews so I can replace both irons intelligently!

  280. Barbara says:

    What a marvelous comparison study. the Sunbeam irons will make a tasty prize.
    Thank you

  281. Brenda K says:

    thank you for doing this! I always wondered about the Singer and Oliso irons. I use Rowenta Steamium, a pink one I bought from Nancy’s Notions several years ago for around $110. I really like it and it has held up well. I bought a cheaper Rowenta from Joanns for around $40 on sale, and that did not hold up at all. I found that the cheaper ones are made in Mexico while the more expensive Rowenta is made in Germany. I will probably by another Rowenta, but was looking for a less expensive iron for retreats. I just might go with the Black and Decker. I did win a Sunbeam digital iron and within three months, the Teflon coating on the sole plate was peeling.

  282. Staci Mann Torgerson says:

    Loved the review. Have always wondered about Rowenta. You gave great information. Thanks.

  283. Cathy says:

    I always pick an iron that has some weight to it.

  284. Lorena says:

    I could use a new iron. This info was very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  285. Jean says:

    Great post! I have been using the Black & Decker classic and so far have had no problem with it. This iron is a bit heavy for me. I have arthritis in both wrists so I really need to change to a lighter weight iron. Thanks for your review. I think the Sunbeam may be just the one I need.

  286. Pam Biswas says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? Rowenta around $100
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? I use it both with and without steam
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? I use a cloth sometimes and usually it is damp.
    4. Do you use spray starch? I do use spray starch for clothes and quilting fabrics
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Sometimes I finger press my seams or use a tool before ironing open or to one side.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? I mostly iron when quilting and sewing new garments and leave the clothes ironing to my husband who wants his shirts pressed nicely. I am good at ironing flat things and he is very good with clothes.

  287. beth esmont says:

    I have always used Rowenta irons for quilting but I got all of mine reconditioned at a discount. the older models were workhorses but the last one I got is not my favorite, but do love that pointy tip!

  288. Laurie says:

    Wow, loved your detailed research. I have two Black and Deckers….one in sewing room is ProFinish and clothes one is Digital Advantage. Both work fine, have fabric type settings, light weight and easy glides. The Digital Advantage one recently was leaking and I used a Rowenta brand iron cleaner and haven’t had leaking issue since. I like to use Best Press with crafts and quilting. I had an expensive Rowenta and it died so I won’t ever “invest” in an iron again. Was certainly curious about the Oliso and glad to read more about it. My Grandma had a Sunbeam and she could make anything crisp and wrinkle free with it! Thank you for chance to win. I would share with my daughter in law who doesn’t have one!

  289. Cindy says:

    Perfect timing! About a year ago,when staying in our favorite hotel by the ocean, I used the room iron for some quilting I had brought along. I LOVED it and bought one online while we were still at the hotel. It is a Hamilton Beach Commercial, about $25 I think. Great steam, lightweight. Just this week it leaked on something I was ironing. I think it MIGHT have been because I was in a hurry and started ironing before the water was completed heated up, as I have heard that can cause a leaking problem. I haven’t had a chance to try it again with a complete heat-up, so have been using it try with Best Press. But this weekend I will make sure the water is heated, so I can see if it leaks. Hope it doesn’t because I LOVE this iron!

  290. Kathy says:

    I use an iron I bought at a yard sale about 5 years ago for $2. Its a Sunbeam Steam Master. Its a very nice iron, has 3 steam settings, auto-off, and clear plastic reservoir for the water. It does both shots of steam and spritz of water. I use steam ironing for just about everything. I dry iron pattern tissue. I don’t use a pressing cloth or spray starch and I don’t quilt (yet). And I use distilled water. Thank you for the opportunity to win a new iron, I could use a new one.

  291. Sandy says:

    I iron all the time. It’s rare for the ironing board to stay in the closet more than a day or two. I’ve often thought I should add on to the house just for a room for the ironing board, not a laundry room (have one of those) but an ironing room! I have used the Black and Decker classic for as long as I can remember. When it goes out I’m on the hunt for another one. A few years someone said they were going to discontinue them so I bought two!!!
    I iron with and without water (tap), my clothes, the kids clothes, table cloths, doll clothes, anytime I sew the iron is the first thing to come out. I friend said I would probably iron my under garments if given the chance. I must admit, the other day I actually hung a t-shirt in the closet for one of the kids not ironed. For the past few day’s I’ve debated getting it out on pressing it. If I win the contest, I’ll let you know how the other brand stands up to Black and Decker.

  292. Donita says:

    I have a Rowenta travel iron that I absolutely love. It is the hottest iron I have ever used. I only use it when going to quilt class. My home all purpose iron is a Singer Classic. It is adequate but nothing special. I would love to try one of the new full size Rowenta.

  293. Donna P. says:

    1. I use a Shark which I purchased at WalMart for I believe $40.00.
    2. Mine steams and I use both steam and no steam.
    3. I use a pressing cloth for fine fabrics, to prevent shine and a damp cloth for deep wrinkles as in denim or twill when steaming just is not that effective.
    4. I do use spray starch and have a recipe for homemade starch.
    5.The only tools I use are my fingers in finger pressing a seam open prior to ironing.
    6. I almost always use steam when sewing and quilting but I do not use steam when not indicated, as in applique.

    My ironing board is always up and I use my iron often. I have no complaints about my Shark.It has auto shut-off and a temperature indicator and steams well. Good deal.
    Unfortunately, no one in the house gets to use my iron so we sure could use another.

  294. Ruth Ann Martin says:

    I have a Rowenta thats at least 10 years old. I got clogged up but I put some stuff in it to clean it and it works fine now. I love that it shuts off in a certain period of time of no use without me having to turn it off. That way if I forget to turn it off no harm done. I am spoiled with that feature. I would recommend it even at the cost which wasn’t cheap. Perhaps they have a cheaper model now than what I paid at least 10 years ago.

  295. Vicky Walker says:

    I was happy to see this post because I need a new iron. Thanks for the chance to win!

  296. Amy says:

    I would love a new iron! thanks!

  297. Donna S says:

    About 6 years ago I purchased an Oreck Vacuum. At that time I got to pick out one other item and I picked an iron. I am impressed that it has lasted so long. It has a base to heat up on so that I can use it cordless or with a cord, for me it is a little too heavy, but it does not leak and gets all the wrinkles out. I keep thinking I want a new iron, but keep talking myself out of it. I have heard Panasonic has a good one, but never used one.

  298. Donna says:

    This was a very helpful review! Thank you so much for addressing all the different concerns and issues in choosing a new iron.

  299. Amy says:

    I hope it’s ok to post a link to my amazon review here (mine is the first one) – it’seasier than rewriting all the specs. I used this TFAL iron for both clothes and sewing, and am sad to say I’m still using it 4 years later even though I don’t like it at all. I would LOVE to get a new one (fingers crossed)

  300. BethW says:

    Hi! I have given up on steam irons and now am a master with the spritz bottle. Loved my Rowenta steam iron but it gave out after a year or so, and I never did to find a review that identified an iron with water in it that would last for multiple years. After mine died, I inherited on old, steam-free model Rowenta. Frankly, I love that thing. It is much easier to use, and the spray bottle I keep at hand does a better job than the steam iron ever did. I spritz the spot with water, and the iron steams it then and there….

    Thanks for taking the time to do this major analysis. SO useful! Maybe I’ll reconsider the steam option!

  301. Theresa says:

    I have been considering getting a second iron just for my swing projects so I won’t have to move the iron up and down the stairs. This has really given me some good for thought. Thanks!

  302. Stephanie says:

    I might as well reply to your mail, as I agree completely. Gravity works so well in my house, there’s no point in me buying a swanky iron (although I’d love a steamer with a tank). Added idea is using some self-hardening material like Sugru to widen the stance of the iron to prevent tipping. Just bought another Sunbeam at the thrift store last night, my first coated iron. With NO AUTO SHUTOFF! and the lever for on/off/temp settings. The horizonal dials are impossible for my RA to turn; am a little surprised they are so prevalent.

  303. Valerie says:

    I have a Shark that was a panic purchase after my Rowenta gave up the ghost … It’s ‘okay’ but I’m constantly running out of steam … Ha ha! I do not like the auto off feature when I am sewing for long periods but I no longer have to ask myself if I turned the iron off. My Mom had a Sunbeam years ago and never complained … I’d like to give it a try! Thanks for a great article & give-away!

  304. Anna says:

    1. I use a $20 Hamilton Beach cheapo (but cutely colored and patterned) iron I had from college.
    2. I don’t use steam. I find it a pain to fill and empty… so I will just make my fabric damp by flicking or wiping water.
    3. I only use a pressing cloth when needed for sensitive items, dry (needlepoints, cross stitches) or when requested for interfacing, wet (and only sometimes then!).
    4. HAHAHHAAHA. No.
    5. Fingers? A metal hem guide.
    6. I use my iron a lot more when I quilt. A lot.

  305. EllenB says:

    I’ve used a Rowenta for the past couple of years that works well and glides smoothly. I quit using steam several years ago, after every iron I purchased (Shark and Rival) leaked and spit terribly. I use a water bottle, spray starch, or sizing depending on the project. No special tools except a wood block or tile to flatten block centers with lots of seams, and I use the same iron for everything. I do have a Rowenta travel iron which has been the best of all. Thanks for publishing your helpful review.

  306. Carol Mierley says:

    I’ve had three Rowenta’s. The first one lasted over 10 years. Since then I’ve purchased two others and both leaked water and rust and they were under a year old. I iron lot he’s and quilt. I also use starch. I now have a sunbeam and it leaks. I put a sole plate on it and it no longer leaks. I now but cheaper irons because they don’t last. Even the expensive ones leak. Loved your article.

  307. Erin Marie says:

    I have a Panasonic iron I got for Christmas a few years ago. I never thought I’d be so excited about a household appliance. I do like it (it’s cordless, so there’s no cord to worry about) but there are a few things I don’t like about it (it’s cordless, so you can’t iron endlessly).

    I like the sound of the heaviness of the Black & Decker.

    I’d love to win a new iron, though. 🙂 I’ve begun having friends over to sew, and you sometimes need more than one iron at a time.

  308. Mama Lusco says:

    I have a Black & Decker, bought at a big-box store on a budget. I try to get the most steam-holes on the bottom that I can afford and always steam if the fabric allows. We have well-water, so I always have distilled on hand for ironing. I have a love-hate relationship with ironing…hate the extra time it takes but love the results when I do 🙂

  309. Mel says:

    1. Black & Decker 2. steam 3. no cloth 4. sometimes starch 5. no tools 6. nothing different

  310. Ginger Seidel says:

    This was a very helpful article. I have had my Rowenta iron for several years, but it is heavy! I do use steam and occasionally a press cloth. Very seldom do I use spray starch, and try to wash it off my iron right away. I don’t have any special tools, and usually press my quilted items the same way as my other projects.

  311. Lisa says:

    I HAD the Rowenta shiwn above BECAUSE of the cool and very useful point but the steam never worked properly/consistently (despite reading and following the manual fully) and just after the warranty ended it leaked all over (and ruined) an almost finished project. I am now using a cheap Black and Decker that I hate(not the one shown). I almost always use steam and a pressing cloth only when it is appropriate which is not often. I never use spray starch ( I also NEVER iron clothing). I occasionally use a (wooden) point turner when ironing. I usually use a ton of steam as I most often use cotton. However, if it is any other material, I will use a dry iron.
    I will add, that the Rowenta, when working properly was a wonderful iron. It also had a very long ‘on’ cycle before the auto shut off which is great when you are making garments. It just didn’t work properly very often.

  312. darlene macdonald says:

    Thank you for doing these reviews. I’m so frustrated with irons. I do garment sewing and have gone thru at least 5 irons in 5 years. My husband and I don’t get it! We clean them, and use filtered water even though supposedly you can use just plain in some. I’ve had black n decker, sunbeam, procter-silex, many others. I finally bought a dollar store one for my son so no more black streaks are left on his clothes because my newest one-purple black n decker with pointed tip-has a hot spot on it and is blackened by something that touches it! I love having the pointed tip especially for collars and such but my goodness! The dollar store brand is just fine for my son and no complaints I guess just so frustrating to go thru so many irons. They don’t last, or spit water like crazy, doesn’t matter the brand or price. We don’t know what to do with our “hot” spot iron. Guess I’ll get another dollar store brand! haha

    I love to use spray starch it makes fabric so nice to sew on, yes use pressing cloth or your iron sole plate is black (guilty) . I do use my stiletto to open seams at times cause my cats ran off with my rubber tips for my fingers.(gotta find them-LOL).

    Would love to win a new one thanks for the giveaway and opportunity!

  313. charlotte m. says:

    Thanks for the informative post. I love reading about products that can help me to figure out what brand is best, or at least how they all work and compare. More expensive is not always better.

  314. Connie says:

    I have the black and decker iron you reviewed. I cannot use it to press pieced units/blocks because the steam holes catch on the edges of the fabric pulling the fabric askew.

  315. Marci says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? I have 3 Rowenta irons. Most expensive had MSRP of $120 but I got it on CL about a month after it had been given to her as a gift. “I just don’t iron.” was her comment!
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Steam

    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Both wet & dry press cloth depending on the sewing I am doing.

    4. Do you use spray starch? Yes. & Mary Ellen’s Best Press
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Sometimes a tailor’s ham or a clapper.

    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? Not really.

    Thanks for the great give away!

  316. Carol Y says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? Currently have the Oliso – I got a discount because I was working at a quilt shop. Been using it for a couple years. The shop had one for classes and it held up very well under frequent use.

    2. Do you use steam or no steam? both, usually no steam. I do like the easy filling port, but it’s difficult to empty the iron, so I don’t. The shop iron always had water in it.

    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Not usually unless my fabric has a nap.

    4. Do you use spray starch? Mary Ellen’s Best Press

    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? nope

    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? I press more when quilting (trying not to distort seams)

    My mom had a old Black and Decker for YEARS – what a workhorse iron. Then we ‘upgraded’ her to an expensive cordless Maytag iron with a titanium nonstick base. Worked great for a while – LOVE the cordless feature, but the nonstick coating started coming off the tip. Also it had large steam holes on the bottom that always caught the fabric edges and corners, creating wrinkles.

    The Oliso has very small steam holes, so I never catch corners anymore!

  317. Linda says:

    Thanks for all the info – I’ve been a Rowenta girl for years and have loved them

  318. Donna says:

    Thank you for the interesting and helpful reviews! I have a Sunbeam SteamMaster right now, after my Black & Decker finally bit the dust. I love that it’s lightweight and it performs well for quilt-making. I don’t use steam, just spray starch. My one criticism is that the base of the iron isn’t very stable when it’s upright. I’ve bumped it off my ironing board, causing dents in the wood floor and it didn’t take much of a bump for that to happen. 🙁 Other than that, it’s great – I just need to be extra careful.

  319. Sheila says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    Proctor Silex Steam Excel, Cost? Not sure, I’ve had it for maybe 12 years or so. $30 range?
    2. Do you use steam or no steam?
    I use steam quite often. Only no steam on my fine fabrics (or when laminating something…putting my presscloth over the laminated item)
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    Mostly dry. I love using my pressing cloth. I feel that I’m protecting my iron and my material. I don’t use the press cloth when ironing clothes though.
    4. Do you use spray starch?
    Very rarely. (Like maybe once every couple of years.)
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)?
    No, just my fingers.
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?
    I mostly use mine for sewing. With what little quilting I’ve done, I think that I use the iron the same.

    I will say that while I love my current iron; I was greatly disappointed in the amount of water it holds. 🙁 I feel like I constantly have to refill while ironing. My old iron held lots of water. Having to refill the iron constantly can be pretty annoying.

    Thank you for posting this review. I would love to know how much water each iron holds. I thought all irons were the same before I purchased my current one. This review will definitely help me when deciding which iron to purchase next. I’ve wondered how the Rowenta and the Oliso differed. Thanks for posting!

  320. Lorie says:

    I have a “Shark”, (not the same model as shown) it’s an ok iron. The feature that I particularly do not like is that there is no “off” button. It has a safety feature that will power down and turn off the iron if not used within a certain length of time. So if I’m using it while sewing, I need to restart it by pushing to the desired heat level. Kinda annoying to me…..

  321. Kim B says:

    I have a rowenta that I have had for about six years+, a few years ago my puppy chewed the end off and my husband replaced it with a larger plug but I would love love love a new iron. The rowenta works pretty good but with the occassional spurt of water onto the fabric I am ironing. Great info!

  322. Kim B says:

    I have a rowenta that I found about 5 years ago at Big Lots for $30, still works pretty good but occassionally spurts a puff of water. OH, and a few years ago my puppy chew threw the cord and my husband had to replace the end so I would love a new iron. Great info, very helpful.

  323. stephanie says:

    thanks for this review!

  324. Karen says:

    Thanks Jan – great tip and I should be doing this too!

  325. Karen says:

    Great review – I’ve had two Rowenta irons and not happy with either one. I currently have an Oliso that is about 5 years old so I need a new one. While there are many features about the Oliso I like, for the money I’m not sure it is worth it. Thanks to Jan for the tip about dumping the water…..that would help quite a bit. Anyway this will help me as I prepare to try a new iron. Thanks again!

  326. I have been needing a new iron for a while. I have a 20 year old Proctor Silex that the plate is starting to get gunky and I can’t get rid of the gunk. It gets sooo hot so fast though! I got a $40 Black and Decker but it never really heats up how I like.

    I use lllooooots of starch which is perhaps why my Proctor Silex is gunky…

    • rockandrollbob says:

      ? Try spraying your starch on the opposite side of the fabric you are ironing !

  327. Sonya says:

    I really enjoyed this. You have provided lots of useful information! I would LOVE to win a new iron! Thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  328. Tamie says:

    Sara, well written comparison. Thank you for taking the time to write this. The next time I am in the market for a new iron I will keep your notes handy.

  329. KennaQuilts says:

    I have an ancient Rowenta that was my grandmother’s. It’s heavy as hell and has never let me down….but at Sewing Summit I tried the Reliable iron….and if you use steam I LOVE it. LOVE. It worked REALLY well on bags and I can only imagine it would rock when ironing a shirt!!

  330. Josefina says:

    What a wonderful review. We are still using an old-fashioned and heavy GE iron that my hubby owned before we got married almost 4 decades ago. It takes out wrinkles easily without the need for spritzing. We use distilled water due to the water hardness in our area. Your review will help me easily determine which iron to buy when our old one gives out. Thank you for sharing your review and thank you for the chance to win.

  331. Krista says:

    Thanks for your reviews! I go through a lot of irons with my retreat business. They get dropped on the floor and cracked often, so I buy fairly inexpensive ones. Because you didn’t use the irons on patchwork in your testing, I wanted to alert you to a problem with the vintage style Black & Decker. I bought this same iron at Target thinking the great steam and weight of it, plus the sharp edge of the plate, would be great for pressing patchwork. Not so much! The steam vents are cut straight (ie perpendicular to the plate) and they catch on seam allowances, scrunching up the edge of blocks. It’s awesome for clothing or pressing yardage, but frustrating for patchwork.

    For me, I must have an auto turn off feature at home. I forget to unplug all the time!!

  332. Holly says:

    Barbara, how long ago did you buy it? I overhead at a recent market that the Oliso irons had a bad batch of irons a couple of years ago, and they seemed to be very gracious to everyone who mentioned their problems and offered replacements. I got one from them in May and use it for probably 5 days out of each week (handbags, totes, etc., business),and it hasn’t failed me yet.
    If you didn’t literally throw it away, you might give them a call and tell them your serial number. They can tell from that number if yours was in that group. Either way, and again if you still physically have it, they are great about replacing things still under warranty. I’d at least give it a try if it’s not too late! Sorry it didn’t work for you!

  333. OHSue says:

    Right now I am using a ten year old Rowenta with no complaints, but I have had a number of friends who have had lots of trouble with leaking Rowentas. Mine was $100+ cost at that time. Could always use a back up iron.

  334. Sue Staum says:

    I got a Rowenta iron for Christmas last year and just love it! It heats up very quickly and produces lots of steam. Because I have hard water the manual says to use cheap spring water and that has worked well. I love the narrow tip and can attest to how easy it makes ironing seams open.
    All that said, however, I would love to win a Sunbeam iron. They also sound like a good product and then I would have an iron to take with me when attending retreats!!
    Thanks for a chance to win!

  335. Bree says:

    I’d love a chance to win a new iron. My current iron was a freebie on freecycle and I’m pretty sure it’s dying. Plus I’ve accidentally ironed the wrong side of iron on interfacing! Yuck!

    jitterbug1 (at) gmail dot com

  336. Naomi STewart says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? I think it’s a shark…had the highest review rating. I think it was right under $30.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Lots of steam.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? no cloth used, unless needed (applique, etc.)
    4. Do you use spray starch? Lots of starch
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? i recently bought a half-of large dowel kind of tool to open up complex seams…it appears to work well (limited use so far).
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? Yes…i pay more attention!

  337. DebA says:

    I have a Rowenta that I like fairly well. I’ve used it with both water and without and it does fairly well with both. I do use either Best Press or starch at times and it does fine. Thanks for the iron review, it’s very helpful if looking for a new iron. thanks for the chance to win a new iron!

  338. kristin says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)? rowenta professional $100
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? steam
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? no
    4. Do you use spray starch? i use something called crease release
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? no my fingers
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re no its pretty much the same

  339. Hannah says:

    Thanks for the reviews. Always appreciate more info on irons, as it seems I haven’t found the perfect one yet!

  340. Jan says:

    Forgot to mention … I empty the water out of my iron as soon as I finished ironing … while the iron is still hot. Leaving water in the iron is what causes the inside to rust. I learned this tip at a quilting class many years ago.

  341. Jan says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    My Rowenta is approximately 20 years old. Don’t remember how much it

    2. Do you use steam or no steam? Steam.

    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry?
    Wet pressing cloth only when doing raw edge applique.

    4. Do you use spray starch? Yes, when ironing quilting cotton.

    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? No

    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? No.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a new iron. Mine is on it’s last leg.

  342. Leslie says:

    I have a Rowenta Focus Stainless Steel, i got it about 2 years ago at a Big Lots for $20! it was “refurbished” but it came with a 1 yr warranty so i took the chance and i have never had an issue. I have used the heck out of it and it is still going strong! My mother bought one at the same time and she loves hers just as much as I do. I LOVE it, so please if you see a Rowenta and it says it’s refurbished don’t be fooled it is still wonderful it’s just cheaper! Thanks for the Iron reviews, I always wondered which one was the best and i have been curious about the Oliso Pro iron.

  343. Nicole says:

    You’ll be fine. But if you’re made of money, then by all means have specific-for-each use irons 8)

  344. Brittney G. says:

    Such a helpful post! I’ve been thinking about putting an iron on my Christmas wish list, but didn’t know which one to put . . . thank you!

  345. Linda L says:

    What a great review. I have an ancient (15 years plus ) Norelco Walmart iron that I ALWAYS use with steam and that is just now starting to go. So this post is quite timely for me.

  346. Marty says:

    Both my daughter (the one that sews) and I have talked about irons and how to judge if one is good or not. I have a many-years old Black and Decker, I believe, and it seems sporadic. Sometimes it steams, sometimes not. My daughter inherited my mother’s old Rowenta and had the shut off problem some people have commented on. I do both clothes ironing and quilt/fabric ironing. Thanks again for the review.

  347. Angela H. says:

    This was a really great read! Oddly enough, my 3 year old Black and Decker (the exact same one you reviewed) completely conked out on me the other night, so I need to get another one. I knew my procrastination would pay off! 😉 Even if I don’t win, I think I am going to go with the Sunbeam one after reading your reviews. I went with the Black and Decker because it was cheap and it was heavy. But if I can get a cheap and a light one that still irons easily, I’m all for it! Thank you!

  348. Tami says:

    Thanks for such an informative article. When you go to buy an iron you always wonder if your getting the right one or if there is a better one out there. Now I have the stats right in from of me. I bought a panasonic and have been fairly happy with it. It really gets hot when pressing cotton for quilts. Thanks for the chance would love to own an even better iron.

  349. Bre says:

    I need a new iron! This is a great review – thanks!

  350. Gypsy at Heart says:

    I recently replaced my water-leaking, rust-spitting iron with a GE and have been quite happy with it. This was a very good review over a nce variety of options.. Didn’t check “Consumer’s Report” but it mught have some invations. Have to admit I didn’t do a whole lot of research but bought the best of the cheaper brands available at the discount store. Have decided it is easier to replace the cheaper ones than deal with the eccentricities of the expensive brands/dealers.
    Thanks for the enlightening review!

  351. Great post, Sara! I have a response to your questions on my blog at but I don’t know how to “link back” to here. Any suggestions?

  352. Lisa says:

    Thanks for doing all that experimenting. I know I started to have my favorite as I read your information.

  353. Patti Morlock says:

    I’ve had 2 different Rowentas. A regular iron and one with a separate water tank. Both leak terribly when using the steam function. Both spit water at random times even when not engaging the steam. I dislike this about the Rowentas. I’ve also had the Shark and liked it while it worked. Had it for about 4 years and it simply stopped working. Didn’t heat up or anything. If course this was after warranty had expired. I quilt so use iron almost daily. Also use to iron clothes.

  354. Alicia says:

    My current iron is a Sunbeam; and older one. Would love to have the Olisio; but for now I will continue to us the Sunbeam until it quits.

  355. PatD says:

    Very interesting analogy. I purchased a Rowenta eight years ago. While it is still a good iron, I have had to take it out of the sewing room because it was steaming rust, and no one wants that on their fabric or in the middle of a quilt. I have actually cleaned the tank with vinegar and it is better now. I replaced it with a Reliable Iron. I have not been so impressed with this iron. While the Rowenta went eight years with no issues, this iron has had issues from the get go. I think that it is the electronics. I have sent it back to the factory, but no different. Something to think about, where is the factory. I had to sent the Reliable back to Canada. Filling out the customs forms and sending it back was a regular pain. And a bit costly thru international lines. I paid $135 for the Reliable, have spent another $50 sending it in to the factory…I have too much money invested in that iron. The iron that shuts off when using it, continues to steam when I set it up(not suppose to do that). I am now back to my old Black and Decker iron. I put it away because it does not steam well, but the heat is great! It is light weight, but it gets hot. I took my daughters advice and I now use a spray bottle of water for steam…no rust, no facial…but, it saves me money. Those expensive irons do not iron any better than the cheaper ones.

  356. Elizabeth C says:

    I am a newbie to sewing (started in April) and i use the same iron(newer model Black and decker from Target) for my clothes as for my sewing project. Am I committing a sewing sin?

  357. Roxanne says:

    Oh, was a great prize! I have a nice Shark iron that my mom bought me several years ago and I’ve almost always had trouble with streams of water pouring out from the plate, so I just use it without steam. It works alright, but it would be so nice to use one that can hold water for the steam feature!

  358. Rina H. says:

    Love this post, Sara! Like you, I hate ironing clothes and love ironing my own quilting cottonsI Wonder why that is? How awesome is it that your husband is doing his ironing! Yay!

    I have the exact Rowenta model you tested and I have to agree with everything you said. I most often use it dry and empty, with Best Press spray. I’ve never had any leaking problems when I do use water. That small pointy end is just perfect for my quilt blocks and that feature beats out other models for me. It heats up really quickly, comes with a refill water cup, and has been trouble-free so far for me for just under a year. Thanks for the chance to win!

  359. Seana says:

    Thanks for the info! I’ve always bought my irons second-hand (because they just don’t makem’ like they used to!) and since I’ve started quilting I’ve been contemplating an investment in something more modern. Would be great to have auto-shutoff for those late night quilting spazms (sp?).

  360. Beth T. says:

    Thanks for this, Sara. When our 25 year old Black and Decker died recently, I bought a Rowenta. While I am satisfied with it, I’m now wowed by it. After reading your review and considering what matters to me, I”m wondering if I should go over to Target and buy the inexpensive Black and Decker you tried out. It originally caught my eye because it reminded me of the iron my mom used when I was a kid: simple, heavy metal.

  361. Ranessa J says:

    I have a Rowenta and it is wonderful. If you watch Black Friday ads you can get one cheap. I got mine 2 years ago for $40 (very similar to the one you demonstrated). My Mom uses her iron so often she breaks them quickly. I would love to be able to give her a new one. Great article and good insight into the different types of irons.

  362. Bonnie Pfrimmer says:

    Thank you so much for the review. You did a wonderful job. I have a cheap Walmart Black and Decker that is slowly going out. I can’t put water in any more so I use a water bottle. I wanted the Olsio but not in the budget. Thank you for the chance to win a new iron.

  363. Melinda says:

    I so needed this! I seem to go through irons more often than I should. I like the idea of the Oliso but it’s nice to know that several of the much cheaper irons performed just as well, if not better.

  364. Connie says:

    I had a rowenta and my son dropped it. I saw the olsio and bought it . I like the features, especially when you take your hand off it raises up.

  365. Susan says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I go through irons every year or two and every time I have the cheap iron vs expensive iron debate. I am a big steam user and the dripping water drives me nuts. I have tried B&D ($20-30) and a couple of Sharks ($50) and am currently using a TFal ($35) which I selected because of the nonstick plate. I do love that feature, but sadly after only a few months it is leaking water from the base. I just can’t bring myself to splurge on a $200 iron, so next one will probably be another Shark which do a good job for the price. One other thing to note is the surface you are ironing on. After ironing on a heavily padded surface at a seamstress friend’s studio, I’ve added a couple layers of fleece under my ironing board cover and have had much better results.

  366. Beth says:

    I believe I got my iron when I went off to college a (long) time ago. Could it be time to buy a grown up iron? I think so!

  367. Jennifer says:

    Thanks so much for this review. I dropped a beloved Sunbeam iron on its nose over twenty years ago and since then have never been able to find a better iron. The model I had (the Steam-somethingorother) was replaced with the Steam Master and for whatever reason I felt like it wasn’t the perfect replacement, and since I had started quilting I figured I’d splurge on a fancy, expensive Rowenta. At $130 it leaked, never reached the correct temperature, and was a real disappointment. Since then I’ve been buying relatively inexpensive irons ($30 – $40) that have auto shut-off, steam and spray settings, and a range of temps for different fabrics. My biggest issue is water. I prefer an iron that can use tap water since I can’t be bothered to buy distilled, but even the tap water models carry a warning about artificially softened water, which we have. In order to fill my iron I have to go to the basement and fill a jug directly from the incoming water pump that bypasses the softener. I use my iron for clothing and sewing, so it gets a workout. I admit to occasional laziness and when I’m in a hurry and my jug is empty, I use water directly from the tap. The wrong water definitely reduces an iron’s life. I’ve been replacing irons every 2 to 3 years, so when my current one kicks (T-fal Ultraglide), I’ll try Sunbeam again.

  368. Joanna says:

    I have a Rowenta that sometimes spits rusty water. I think the lower priced irons are more reliable.

  369. Joyce Moore says:

    My biggest problem has been finding an iron that gets hot enough (to iron quilting cotton well). I have a Rowenta Professional and like it a lot.

  370. Teresa says:

    I have been wandering about the different iron’s out there, great post and very helpful. I have a Rowenta and LOVE the longer pointy tip its great for getting in corners! But my steam button has quit working for that extra burst of steam once in a while. I would definitely buy another Rowenta again. Great post Sara!

  371. Tammy Bowser says:

    Loved is article and all the comments. I have an old, old Sunbeam, bought at Goodwill for .99 about 15 years ago. I use it for everything that gets ironed in this house. the steam part does not work, so just spritz if I need to. I have knocked it off the board a bunch of times, lots of chips and pieces missing, but it still gets as hot as it should. I know one of these days it is going to die. Would like to give one of these new ones a try.

  372. Colleen from WA says:

    I have an old Rowenta, probably 20 years old that I still use and love. It heats quickly and works well. The only complaint I have is sometimes it leaks water out when it has water in it for steam. Usually I do not use steam but Best Press and that’s it.

  373. Lorraine says:

    Thank you for your reviews! I don’t need a new iron yet, but my old one is becoming a bit cranky so I am keeping my eye out for a good replacement. My old one is a Black & Decker that was given to me as a wedding present a long time ago. I think it has lasted this long because I don’t like to iron clothes either 🙂

  374. mjb says:

    I love my black and decker – that heavy weight and the fact that it’s been bumped off the ironing board a couple times and still works, plus is cheap to replace (my rowentas did not survive falls). It does worry me though that (mine) doesn’t have an auto shut-off and would hurt if (while off) my kids bumped it off the ironing board to the floor.

  375. Dee says:

    I use the same iron that Becky Thompson describes (see above). I also found it through Amazon and the great reviews it received. I have to say that I love this iron, no cord to get in the way. The iron is great for quilting and sewing but I feel that my Rowenta is better for ironing clothes.

  376. I have a plain Shark which has been serving me for 4 years with no problem. Still working. I would like to have an iron that got the wrinkles out without spritzing which this one does not.

  377. Jackie VanNorman says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I need a new iron as mine self destructed 🙁 I never know which one to buy as they all seem to leak or shut off while in use. I appreciate you taking the time to do the research and share what you found!

  378. Daryl says:

    Even one brand can have good and bad irons, so it’s impossible to really test them all. Price means nothing. I have had a bad Rowenta that the cord got worn and sparks were shooting out making it dangerous. Of course it was just past the warranty. Based on that experience I won’t buy another Rowenta , which may not be fair, but I don’t want it to happen again. I bought a more expensive Black and Decker than you had here in your review. It is a digital. Something happened to it and it wouldn’t work anymore. Still under warranty I contacted B&D and followed their instructions to send them the end of the cord and they sent me a new iron. So I had a good experience with the customer service and the iron is great.
    I still have a Norelco iron I bought more than 20 years ago, but it beeps when you don’t iron with it after a couple of minutes and that drives me nuts. So I use that iron with distilled water when I want to steam and my B&D I keep dry. I find that even expensive irons will sometimes spit water and stain fabric, so I prefer no water in irons, except my Norleco works great with water. Always use distilled water no matter what the company says. Distilled doesn’t have the minerals in the water that can stain and it also won’t corrode your iron. Your iron will last much longer with distilled water.
    There is no perfect iron (or sewing machine either) so I have more than one iron and more than one sewing machine too. Plus we are all different and have different needs too. I always wonder if women or men design irons, sewing machines, etc. because as mostly women who use these things, we would design them differently than a man would!

  379. Elizabeth Monahan says:

    I use a Panasonic which I have had for about ten years. It cost about $40 new. My only gripe might be that the water tank is a bit small, but it is clear, so you can see the level AND you can remove it to fill it at a faucet. It’s a nice medium weight and glides well. And the times I’ve goofed and gotten gunk on the sole plate it has cleaned easily.

  380. Patricia S says:

    I don’t have a blog to link back to but thought I’d give my two cents anyway. 🙂

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?…..I have a Black and Decker (not the classic tha you reviewed) that is about 17 years old. I bought it to replace the same model that I had for about 12 years prior. I can’t remember how much I paid for it…probably less than $20. It’s just a basic steam/spray iron.
    2. Do you use steam or no steam? I do use steam when necessary on seams I want crisp.
    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? I do use a pressing cloth sometimes because my iron leaves black streaks (it needs a good cleaning) if I don’t. If I’m not wanting ‘steam’ I use a dry cloth.
    4. Do you use spray starch? no
    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? Just the tip of the iron or my fingers 🙂
    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing? I do not quilt often…when I do it’s only small pieces. I don’t use my iron any differently with quilting than I do with other sewing.

    I’ve been looking at irons lately because mine has started to spit our water instead of steam and like I mentioned is leaving black marks on my fabric, but have no idea what I really want so your review was rather helpful. thank you !!

  381. Gene Black says:

    I have a variety of irons including the Velocity and the Oliso. I love the steam and iTouch on the Oliso. I love the steam on the Velocity, but don’t like the distilled water requirement. I use filtered water from the tap in my Oliso.

    Since your fabric was partially dry, you didn’t need steam. I do wish that you had used wrinkle but dry fabric.

  382. Veronica says:

    Wow, I’d love to win a new iron. Thanks for this helpful blog post.

  383. cassie says:

    great reviews! you would assume all irons would just “work”, but there is quite a difference between the ones you’ve reviewed

  384. Linda-Sue Lohse-Lange says:

    I lost my Sunbeam in a house fire 5 years ago. Only the soleplate remained in a heap of roof beams, attic insulation, charred sewing notions on a pegboard rack, my spinning wheel, & other craft items. But I rescued 2 sets of quilt blocks & an unquilted feathered star tree skirt!

    Having seen Shark products advertised, I purchased a Shark iron at WalMart because it seemed the most arthritic-friendly of the few irons they had on display. I’m not over the moon about it because, without too much spritzing & too many water leaks, it doesn’t do a wrinkle-free job on pre-washed yardage for 100% cotton quilts or for various garments & fashion fabrics. I’m moving to senior housing this month, planning to sew together those rescued quilts, & considering buying a new iron & leaving the Shark with my son. Therefore, I obviously would be delighted to win either Sunbeam iron!

  385. Lisa Marie says:

    Great information, thanks for sharing!

  386. sarapiggy says:

    This is a great giveaway! I’ve been looking to get a new iron. I thought I was being smart when I put a towel over a thin remnant that so I don’t damage it. Unfortunately, I had grabbed a towel that was microfiber and that melted onto the iron right away. I tried to clean it with some special paste but it’s never been the same. Still has some burned marks on it. Sigh…. Please randomly pick me! =)

  387. Rebecca Monce says:

    I have a Proctor Silex. It was super cheap and I’ve had it forever. It has however seen a few to many experiment projects and is all gooped up 🙁 I’ve tried all the tricks to clean it but I can get 1 or 2 uses out of it before it’s not wanting to glide very well again. Pretty sure it’s just time to get a new one! I rarely use steam but it’s a nice feature to have when it’s needed! I occasionally need a pressing cloth… I use a piece of an old bed sheet. I don’t use spray starch or any special tools.

  388. Terry Druga says:

    Wow. Why is finding the right iron so difficult?! About 6 months ago, after research and reviews on Amazon, I bought a T-Fal UltraGlide. I’ve been disappointed with it from day one (I should have returned it, but life interfered). After the iron heats up and after using it for about 20 minutes, while the iron is standing up not being used, it chugs out steam (sounds like a train) and forces water out the filling hole to puddle around the base. Ugh. I am definitely in the market for a new one. Tanks for the timely review and the giveaway!

  389. Aubien says:

    We have a Rowenta that we’ve been using for about 3 years now and it is finally wearing out and just not getting hot any more. I have been looking online for suggestions about whether to continue with Rowenta or try another brand so this post comes in especially handy for me right now. Thanks for the chance to win!

  390. Kristin S. says:

    I like the comparisons you’ve made but of course, it’s frustrating to find that every iron has both a legion of devoted fans as well as a rabid group of haters. I own the Rowenta in your review. After about three months of use it started spitting and dripping…and it constantly “hisses” when the steam is off but it has water in the tank. So now I test it on a towel before every pass and hope it holds out because I actually love it otherwise for the weight and smoothness (and because it was a gift.) So I press on! (Pardon the pun.) I’m a firm believer that the right tools make the job so much more enjoyable.

  391. Wendy says:

    I would love one of these Sunbeam irons especially because it is lightweight and I have trouble with my hands!

  392. Veronica says:

    I have a Rowenta that I’ve used for about a year and a half. When I researched it back then, it got high reviews. I really liked the iron at first, but within just a couple of months, things started bothering me. First of all, the water tank is blue, just like the one you reviewed, and it is very difficult to see the water level. Also, my Rowenta has gotten to the point where it only works on the highest heat setting with steam on. Otherwise, water just pours out the holes on the sole plate. Although I use filtered water as recommended in the manual, it spits white sediment out of it all the time, even though I clean it regularly. And finally, it doesn’t really do that great of a job of removing wrinkles from quilting cotton. I desperately need a new iron, but even after reading your reviews, I’m still not sure which one I want! Thanks for summarizing all the information on these 5 models.

  393. sue says:

    I’m using a T-Fal iron that cost about $40 on Amazon. I love the steam and the glide on this iron. After a year of hard use it is starting to spit. I am an iron abuser, I leave them on all day and occasionally drop them. As much as I would like the jumping up Oliso, it would be a foolish waste of money for me. I plan to replace any iron every year. I try to look for a lighter weight iron with the controls on top rather than under the handle which I find annoying. Also clear water tanks are a plus on my list.

    Thanks for your review! Input always helps. My neighbor let me borrow hers when my old one died and that’s how I found out about the T-Fal.

  394. Barbara says:

    I had an Oliso and was very disappointed. the feet quit working within 3 months and it stopped heating up within 5 months. I threw it away. I need a new iron!
    thanks for your reviews. I will check them out again before I purchase another one.

  395. kristina pendleton says:

    Thanks for the review! My iron hasn’t really been getting the wrinkles out well so I, too, am in the market for a new one. Thanks for all your good advice!

  396. Pat says:

    Great article. Thanks!

  397. Melissa says:

    I use a Rowenta and love it. The first one I had lasted 12 yrs and tons of abuse. I only bought a new one because one day my old one just wouldn’t turn on anymore, I think 12 yrs of almost daily use killed it. I have wanted to try other brands because I do have psoriatic arthritis in my hands, but never have out of fear of getting an inferior product so I love this post. Thank you!

  398. Dott Patton says:

    I have the Rowenta and love it…I have the travel size also and it has worked great for years!

  399. Candy says:

    So interested in this post. I have the Oliso and am not impressed. It cost alot of money and was leaking water within the year. It is also heavy and I find the leg lift annoying. I think I may try the Black and Decker one now…..thanks again

  400. Mary Lou says:

    I had a Sunbeam and it leaked water all over 1 day after 30 day warranty. Believe me they do not stand behind their products. I have not bought a Sunbeam product since 25 Years ago. My iron is an Oreck cordless or with cord love it.

  401. Jane Ritz says:

    I have an old, old iron. It’s at least 40 years old. When you put it on stream, sometimes it will steam, others not. The heat control doesn’t work properly. I don’t dare to iron without putting a cloth over my parmet or piece that I’m ironing, I burned and ruined too many things. I think my sewing and ironing would look much better with a new one. Thanks so much for this most useful giveaway.

  402. Tsigeyusv says:

    I currently have a Rowena that I’m not thrilled with. The wrinkles are better, but not gone, after I use if. It’s disappointing to take the trouble to iron and not see the difference..
    I generally iron hot, little steam (occasionally it wrinkles the fabric worse from the iron). Sometimes starch, again depending on the project. I do like a spray bottle of water. It seems to work, regardless of the iron used.

  403. Samina says:

    I’ve got an old Rowenta that I’ve had for over 20 years. It sat unused for over 10 years & I’m back to using it again. I’m lucky that it’s been ok, but I think it’s starting to leak & may need to be replaced soon.

  404. Faye N says:

    I have 2 Rowenta irons. They cost approx. $100. I use steam almost always. I use a pressing cloth of dresswear that might turn “shiny” from the use of the iron. I can’t live with out spray starch. I use Bounce or make my own, non flaking, from cheap vodka, lavender oil and water. I don’t use any tools. When quilting, I press rather than iron.

    BTW, great article.

  405. Jo says:

    T-fal is the current brand of iron holding pride of place in my sewing room (the Big Board ironing surface). They are reasonably priced, and the steam feature is good. Auto shut off is a necessity for me. They are fairly lightweight and glide nicely on the fabric. So far, does not leak or spit water, which was a consistent problem with Rowenta, and I have had about 4 of them. Finally have given up on Rowenta. My friend bought the T-Fal for me because she did not like the iron I was currently using and she comes to work in my sewing room quite frequently. I also have two vintage Black and Decker irons that sit in small ironing stations next to my sewing machines. They do not produce steam anymore, so I use spritz with them. And then there is the $ 29.99 lightweight Black and Decker which is a newer vintage that resides at the third small pressing station close to my go to machine. I do not know how to sew without an iron right by my side!

  406. Rose says:

    I have a lot of irons and so far the black and decker digital advantage has held up the best. I’ve been through two rowentas recently. A sunbeam which was ok. My friend had three different Oliso and the all failed burning up her ironing board. I’ve been wanting to try the reliable, but find sticking with the less expensive I don’t feel bad if I have to pitch and buy a new one. Also I only use cheap spring water. We have softened water and I guess that’s not good for an iron either.

  407. Melissa says:

    Thanks for your reviews:) i ruined my iron last weekend and needed to do research to buy a new one and am thrilled that you have done much of that research for me!!! My currently deceased iron is a Sunbeam that I paid approx $40 for about 5-6 years ago. I have used it for everything from sewing to clothing. Thanks again for your complete review that has let me know that the most expensive irons aren’t necessarily the best for my needs:)

  408. Melissa says:

    Thanks for your reviews:) I destroyed my iron last week and have been meaning to do research to choose a new one ever since and was thrilled to see that you had done part of that research for me! My recently killed iron was a ~$40 Sunbeam and I have used it for sewing room and clothing ironing for 5-6 years now. It is good for me to know that the more expensive irons aren’t necessarily better for my needs.

  409. Laura Kammarmeyer says:

    I have an iron that the teflon coating is wearing off the bottom ,would love a new one!

  410. I picked up a Panasonic cordless iron off a couple of weeks ago. Before purchasing, I checked the stars rating on Amazon and it had 4.5 stars so I indulged. I’m SO glad I did! Even cordless, it’s as heavy as my old Rowenta that I stopped using for the leaking problem. It only has 3 temps & steam settings: low, med, & high. I usually use high temp with a medium steam setting. It gets out wrinkles good enough for this sewer and quilter. It holds a temp pretty well while ironing and then immediately reheats when set down, even if just for a few seconds. The best part of a cordless iron for me, is that I iron a lot of large pieces of fabric that hang to the floor over the ironing board. I no longer have to worry about the cord dragging along and wrinkling what I just ironed. That always bothered me with the corded irons. I can add water from the top or pull the entire water tank off the iron to hold under a faucet – which I don’t do bc I have very hard water. It also glides easily with no drag. I’ve had it about 3 months now and overall I’m very happy with it.

  411. I got my iron January 24th, Black & Decker F1060 Steam Advantage
    Paid $20 with free shipping at ($65 on Amazon)
    I do use steam but my only complaint is it burns through distilled water pretty quickly so I keep a spray bottle of tap water handy for quick spritzing
    I like Magic Sizing starch
    Use a wooden point turner for difficult seams
    It’s great for quilting, sewing and clothes
    I really like this iron a lot — no leaking or dripping, it’s light weight with a stainless sole plate, and it was a great value at $20

  412. elsa says:

    What a great post and review! My iron is so important to me ~ I use it every day (I iron my clothes too). Right now I have a Reliable iron, so far I’m pretty happy with it. But I could always use another. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  413. Pam says:

    I have used the bright orange Reliable “Velocity” for at least 4 years. I cannot say enough good things about this iron. It is heavy, and glides over the material but the most important feature is the separate water tank that is not connected to the plate of the iron so you never had leakage on what you are ironing. It heats up quickly and you can override the turn off which is a great feature when quilting. When I had a question I called their toll free number and was connected to someone in the factory that explained how the iron worked and the steam build up was the problem and not leakage. It runs around $99 and was the best money I have ever spent on an iron. The only con to the iron is it has heavy steam and therefore used a lot of distilled water when the steam is on. It is easy to know when you have left it on as you think you have a steam engine coming through your house. My husband, who irons his own clothes, thinks it is the greatest iron he has ever used also. I wish it had a retractable cord, but I highly recommend it to either quilters, and for average household use. I would love to purchase another of their professional irons but for now I am very happy with this model.

  414. Wendi Gratz says:

    I love my Oliso (so please don’t pick me – I’m just adding to the conversation). I use starch a lot for machine applique and have had no problems cleaning it. I’ve never had the water leaking problem someone mentioned and I don’t empty the tank when I turn it off. I use steam and (very rarely) a spritz of water. A couple of things I love about it that you didn’t mention are the extra-large water tank, the very small steam holes (still makes plenty of steam but the smaller holes means a smoother adhesion when using fusible adhesive), and the way the light flashes when it’s heating up, then shows steady when it’s hot. It also makes a little click when it’s ready.

    I really love that stand-up feature. I do a lot of applique so I often use my ironing board as an extra work space and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned my forearms on the edge of the iron by bumping into it. And if I’m doing a marathon ironing session (like opening the seams on a LOT of blocks) I can tell the difference in my wrist at the end of the day from not having to stand a heavy iron up over and over again. Nice!

  415. Rachel says:

    I have the Rowenta Professional and love it. Does it’s job with no hassles. I love the variable steam feature.

  416. I use a Black and Decker Quick and Easy 480 that I got when I first went to college so it is over 10 years old. Picked it up at the local grocery store for around $15. It has worked great for years and I am sad to see it start to act up. It produces a lot of steam to get out the tough wrinkles. I always keep it nice and hot, too, on the cotton setting. I know that it is hot cause I have lost count of how many time I have burned myself, even on my forehead, haha. When I know I will be working with bias edges I press with Best Press, works wonders. I don’t use any special tools when I press open seams either, just my finger and my iron.

  417. Sherri says:

    Thanks for the reviews, I currently have an oliso. It’s my second iron from them. The first one I had was having a problem and I contacted their customer service and they replaced it for me. Although I did have to pay to ship my old one back, I was grateful for the replacement. Thanks for a chance to win!!

  418. BeckyB says:

    I tend toward Rowenta, but am always in the market to try a shiny new iron.

  419. Cathy King says:

    I love my Reliable Velosity!! I can bypass the auto shut off feature….great when I’m sewing or quilting!! I vary with using steam or dry. I’ve had no problems at all with it. The price was around $99.

    I bought a shark before this one and didn’t like it at all…..I gave it to a guy I worked with!!

  420. Holly says:

    I love the timing of your blog! I have been looking into getting an iron today. Thank you for the helpful information! I would love to win one of these irons, but I am very grateful for your time and effort into providing this information for us all!

  421. Adri H. says:

    I use a Philips Steam Iron. It glides nicely, isn’t too heavy, and makes an audible click sound when it’s reached the level of intended heat. I haven’t had any issues with it, and I do use a dry press cloth if necessary to prevent over-ironing.

  422. Cathie says:

    I bought a Shark at Costco a while back and it leaks like a sieve! So no steam ironing for me. If I need steam, I use a spray bottle. Thanks for the great research!

  423. kbo says:

    I seem to go through Roweta’s like the sputtering water it drips but no more …when this one kicks the bucket I will find another like the vintage $3 sunbeam which was perfect for quilting but I dropped it, sadly.

  424. Fran says:

    I use a Continental iron with no steam. It does not have a steam feature and there are no holes in the bottom of the iron. The iron costs around $30 and the first one lasted about four years. I immediately replaced it with the same brand iron, but it is not exactly the same. The original iron had a bakelite type of rest built in, so that in the up position, the hot metal surface of the iron never touched the ironing board cover. The new iron does not have this feature, and I worry that the butt end of the iron may scortch the ironing board cover. It does not have auto shutoff, which is one of the features I like. It has a very pointy tip whoch is great for easing applique shapes around a mylar pattern piece. I do use starch and like the fact that I don’t get steam hole impressions when ironing. Thanks for a great post and the chance to win.

  425. Jennifer says:

    I had a Rowinta for 7 years and it worked great until the cord shorted out. I bought another Rowinta but have had to have it replaced (thanks costco) 3 times. It leaks water. I don’t want to replace it with the same model so I’ve been on the hunt but haven’t found the one yet. I love the weight and pointy tip of the Rowinta,as I iron a lot of clothes and quilt. Thanks for your testing! Send the sunbeam my way!

  426. Michelle says:

    I am currently using the same Oliso that was reviewed here. I like it. The auto lift is nice. Every now and then, it catches on my fabric when I’m sewing, which does annoy me but it isn’t a problem and may be that I let up on the handle a bit too early, I’m not sure, so I won’t blame the iron. I find I need to use either steam or spritz to get the fabric really wrinkle free. It may be that mine doesn’t get hot enough. I’ve owned it too long now to ask to try another one.

    Before this I used a sunbeam I got at costco for about $45.00. It was a very heavy iron and I felt like it took too much wrist power to operate it. I gave it to my DD as her iron had just died. Then I got to buy the Oliso from a LQS as they had it for $130

    I want to get a rowenta travel size iron as I’ve read they are great for piecing and keep watching to see if JoAnns will ever offer it with one of their coupons.

    The B&D reviewed here looks interesting. I like the slightly smaller footprint as I think it gives us more control of how we iron or press our project.

    I know that I want an iron that gets the fabric fully pressed flat without scorching.

    Thank you for taking the time to review these irons. It is always a topic that comes across my quilting list.

  427. Tobie says:

    I really appreciate this review of irons. I have 2 irons-neither of which I like very much.
    One doesn’t get too hot and the other doesn’t glide well. I did have a cat who would often jump on the ironing board and the iron would fall to the ground-probably damaging it. The cat has recently gone so I will now replace. I might just get the Black and Decker.

  428. Cathie says:

    I thought you article was full of great information; you did all the leg work for me. I am so in the market for a new iron, mine has seen better days by far. Thank you for the chance to win,

  429. Tasha says:

    Awesome information! I’ll be coming back to this post the next time I’m shopping for an iron!

  430. Tammie says:

    Thanks for the info. I have a Rowena and find it to be too heavy.

  431. Brooke says:

    I use a super cheap sunbeam iron. I really liked my first one but had to recently purchase another one and its not quite the same.

  432. Emily T says:

    I wish you could see the state of my “perfection” brand iron that my husband picked up from the drugstore 5 years ago. I don’t use the steam anymore because it pours right back out, and the hot plate part has a huge chip off the front end, so I have to be careful not to glide forward 🙂
    So, I have been thinking of getting a new iron, and your review (and now everyone’s comments) is so helpful! Thanks!

  433. RMSReid says:

    I don’t know how, but I’ve had the same Shark for 10 years. It doesn’t do much without steam, but if I press rather than slide, it works so well!

  434. Jody Noble says:

    I have an old Black and Decker – Digital Advantage. It was about $50, if I remember correctly. I use steam pretty much all the time except for damp linen when I use a dry iron. I use a press cloth on fine fabrics wet and dry. I also use spray starch sometimes. This B+D can be pretty sputtery at the beginning, so I have to be careful. Even on the linen setting, I don’t think it gets sufficiently hot. However, overall, it has been a great iron.

  435. I also have a new Rowenta that has dumped water out the bottom from day one, GRRR!

  436. Mary says:

    I don’t know if I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I buy a new iron about every 2 years. I just go to Target and get something that is about $25 because my experience is that I am just awful with irons (or they are awful with me), and after a couple of years, they die. I thought it was because I wasn’t paying enough for better quality, but then I inherited an expensive Rowenta, and the same thing happened. I should always have a backup (which I don’t) because when they break, it’s always in the middle of a major project that has an impending deadline. 🙂

    Great post, and thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  437. Jen says:

    Thanks for the information! I am in need of a new iron so this is helpful!

  438. Jen says:

    Thanks for all of this info and research! A good iron makes all the difference!

  439. Kathyh says:

    1. What brand of iron do you use? How much did it cost (approximately)?
    I had a Shark which started leaking exactly one day after the warranty expired. I think it cost $40 or so.
    Two years ago I bought a dry iron on Sewing Review’s advice from the Vermont Country store for under $30. It’s heavy, it glides, it will never spit. I wish it had auto shut-off.

    2. Do you use steam or no steam? No water in a dry iron. I use Mary Ellen’s spray.

    3. Do you use a pressing cloth? Wet or dry? Occasionally – dry – old hanky.

    4. Do you use spray starch? It depends on the fabric/project. Usually Mary Ellen’s Spray, sometimes Magic Sizing, sometimes spray starch.

    5. Do you use any tools (to open seams, etc.)? I finger press. I also have a wood angled block presser tool to help. Mostly my fingers.

    6. Do you use your iron differently when you’re quilting than when you’re sewing?

    I’ve had it with leaking irons. I love my dry Iron.

  440. Marsha says:

    I’ve owned nearly every brand of iron in the last 30 years, and in my opinion, you’re better off buying a low- to medium-priced one. Get one with features you like that doesn’t cost too much. My current irons (one in upstairs closet and one in basement sewing room) are Sharks that I bought about 5 years ago for about $35 each. A tip: to preserve the life of your iron and prevent leaking of rusty water, empty the extra water out every time you’re through using it while the iron is still hot. The heat will evaporate any remaining trace of water and it’s a lot less likely to rust.

  441. Susan says:

    I would love an iron that can get all the wrinkles out. I’m not sure that mine gets as hot as it should. Thanks for the useful information.

  442. Linda W. says:

    Great info. I have had a rowenta for many years for sewing. Unfortunately it fell off the board and has never been the same. Time for a new one. I use a lot of steam and a press cloth. Although I use spray starch on occasion I never use it for sewing.

  443. Pam says:

    My boyfriend has had two Rowentas and they both cracked. He’s in need of a new iron for his work shirts

  444. Great information! Thank you Sara and Sew Mama Sew!

  445. Debra says:

    Thank-you for all the information, I have been shopping for a new iron but have not made a decision – so many choices! Your blog post was very helpful thanks again for sharing!

  446. Brittany says:

    Have a 15 year-old Hamilton Beach iron that heats well but stopped producing steam a few years ago. Looking to get something new since I started sewing last year. Thanks for the giveaway opportunities!

  447. Jenifer says:

    I’ve had a Rowenta Professional for 6 years and it has leaked the whole time! So over it and hoping I get lucky and win a new Sunbeam!

  448. Jenifer says:

    I have a Rowenta Professional and it has leaked since I bought it 6 years ago. Should have returned it. I’m just about fed up and would love to have a new, non-leaking iron for my quilting and crafts!

  449. MC says:

    The best iron I’ve ever owned was a General Electric Iron Model # 169134 With Retractable Cord (thanks Mom for the lovey present!) It had a nice weight, great steam action, auto shut off, and was really easy to use. Unfortunately, my cat knocked it off the ironing board and it smashed on the floor.

    I haven’t been able to find one nearly as good since. Until I find another one, I buy cheap irons from the second hand store that I won’t feel bad about breaking. I might check out the Black and Decker actually. Thanks for the great review!

  450. Becky C. says:

    After owning and seeing the deaths of two Rowenta irons, I bought a $25 Black and Decker from Wally-world. Never sputters, never leaks, glides perfectly. I liked the Rowenta for the same reason you did – super sharp tip that got into every corner. However, mine always leaked out the bottom when I would go to stand it up in between ironings. Never could figure it out. Love me some cheap Black and Decker now because at least I won’t cry when it kicks the bucket!

  451. Jessica says:

    My iron just starting spitting water last week so now I’m back to the old back up iron which takes forever to do its job….Errrrrrr!
    Thanks for the chance at your giveaway, I could really really really use a new iron!!

  452. Robbin says:

    I have been an iron snob in the past but have I found that the cheaper the better. I have a no name brand iron from the dollar store. This iron cost approximately 8-10$. I use steam and Mary Ellen’s Best Press to whip fabric into shape. I don’t use a pressing cloth or any special tools. I only quilt so I always use my iron to press when quilting. I enjoyed reading your comparisons. .

  453. Bergere says:

    I use a variety of them depending on where I sew. I go back and foth about the efficacy of the auto-shut off models. I use water from a spray bottle only and when I can afford it, I use Best Press.

    I prefer to iron fabric when it is ever so slightly wet.

  454. Lesley says:

    I had the Black and Decker classic. The holes on the bottom catch all seams and iron in an accordian of wrinkles! SO annoying. It does fine on a big flat surface but as a quilter I use mine for seams. Big fail!
    I now have a t-fal with a super smooth plate that I love

  455. Carolyn Beck says:

    I need a new iron, also. Hard to choose. I have had two Rowentas that started spurting water after what I considered a short time, but more than the warranty. Would love to win an iron. Thanks for the reviews and the giveaway.

  456. Loretta B. says:

    I have had a Rowenta iron for the past 15 years and it has been wonderful. I used bottled water, since we have water that has a lot of calcium in it. It recently died on me, so I purchased a Black & Decker. I got a lighter weight version that the one you reviewed. It works really well and also gives a beep when it reaches full temperature, has a see-thru water tank and a stainless steel soleplate. I use a dry iron for quilting and steam for everything else.

  457. Kristen says:

    Thanks for this information. I definitely need a new iron and his is helpful

  458. Angela says:

    This is great! My Walmart iron is going on 5 years old and ill be needing a new one soon! Maybe ill win one! 🙂

  459. Kristine says:

    I have a Shark, but it has an indicator to show how hot it is, and auto-shutoff. It’s worked well so far.

  460. Serena says:

    I recently ordered that same model of Black & Decker and loved it at first. It does not glide smoothly like my old, old Rowenta, but it got wrinkles out so well I didn’t mind…until boiling water started shooting out the top. It was very strange. I had not overfilled it, I’d used the right water, but as I was ironing, the water boiled up out of the opening, fortunately missing me, but soaking my project and ironing board. I thought maybe it was a fluke, and kept trying it out over the next week, but it kept happening, so I returned it. I was quite horrified, because boiling water can cause serious injury. That is a serious design flaw.

    I’ve gone back to my old Rowenta and am hoping a good Self-Clean cycle will resolve the brown water issue that caused me to stop using it in the first place. My Rowenta was the cheapest model they made about 10 years ago, and it’s wonderful. Glides so smoothly and gets the wrinkles out easily, even with it being very lightweight. Good steam and spray, too. I use a press cloth as needed, but not always, and don’t typically use tools. I’m not much of a quilter, so I can’t speak to that. Oh, and it doesn’t have automatic off, which is just about impossible to find these days. I do not like auto-off, because I want my iron hot when I need it to be, and I often am sewing for longer than the cycle.

  461. laurel says:

    my iron has suddenly started spurting random bits of RUSTY WATER when i’m ironing… i stained a completed quilt top. do you know what that did to my blood pressure? argh! time to get a new one. but our iron is one of the few things left of my husband’s-bachelor-days, and he feels an inordinate attachment to it. not that he ever uses it, but you know…

  462. Michele C says:

    I’ve been buying a new iron about every six months. The Rowenta I had was great but died. I cannot believe I’ve bought so many irons in the last 5-6 years. Lots of sewing here, but that does seem ridiculous. I used to get angry but then had to give up and decide that it was just easier to buy another when needed. I would be very happy to win an iron in preparation for my next six-month new iron need. — Michele

  463. aimee says:

    I don’t have a blog but I’ll tell you about my $30 Sunbeam iron! I liked my old sunbeam, so it when it stopped heating up (after almost 10 yrs I think), I got another. It’s got a great glide and a retractable cord (which I love). Maybe I’m good to my irons (without knowing it) but I never have any problems keeping them clean and working well. The only issue I’ve ever had with it is if I try and use it before it’s hot– if the steam is on it’ll spit rusty-ish water. It’s only happened twice though and I think only when it hasn’t been used in a while. Anyway, to summarize, I iron almost everything with high heat, a lot of steam and spray starch (and paint it on for applique), no tools (maybe I should to save my fingers?!). And I mostly quilt but iron everything the same way. Pressing cloth if I’m using something fusible that calls for it.

  464. Anya says:

    I have a Black and Decker Digital Advantage (about $50). My first one didn’t last more than a few months — they wanted me to pay for shipping to return it, but I refused and they gave in and sent me a free one and all I sent was the end of the cord. I wouldn’t buy another one with a digital display — that seems to be the first thing to go bad on today’s irons, at least for me, mainly because they’re cheaply made. And I don’t need a beep to tell me when the iron is hot. I use Best Press instead of starch. Thanks for the chance!

  465. Sarah says:

    What great information! I feel like I go through irons really quickly and it’s not worth it to spend a lot of money on them. Because of that, I’d probably gravitate toward the Black and Decker.

  466. Becky N. in MO says:

    I have a Panasonic with a cord reel (I really love the cord reel feature, which is why I bought it). It has a button for steam and a button for water stream. There is also a lever for two steam settings. The thing I HATE about this iron is the very small base area when the iron is upright. It makes the iron seem top-heavy. One bump on the ironing board and that thing topples (not good with a two-year old under foot)!! Thanks for the time and effort put into this review. I find it VERY helpful.
    Which one had the best (biggest, safest) base area for when it’s sitting upright, not in use (but still hot)??

  467. MaryAnn says:

    I use a euro steam. It started out great, but after a few years, it is having some issues. I have been pondering the iron situation, so I greatly appreciate your research. Thanks.

  468. Tamie says:

    Thanks for your great and very through review. Irons are a hard thing. I have had many brands over the years and none seem to last as long as I think they should. Currently I have a Black and Decker Digital Advantage and it is working well. I don’t like those that have the dial underneath the handle like the Rowenta. It seems so inconvenient. Thanks again and for the giveaway.

  469. melissa says:

    I’ve had a Rowenta Power Press iron for years. Not sure exactly how long or how much I paid for it. A dream of mine is to find an iron that doesn’t leak. This one does at times. Because of this I’ve emptied the water out and use a spray bottle. Steam and spray are both important to me. I do use spray starch at times. If the fabric requires it, I will use a press cloth. I use the cloth dry and spray water on it if moisture is necessary.

  470. I have both a Rowenta (7 years) and a Sunbeam (15 years) iron and love them both. I have found them to be great irons. As mine are older, there are no electronics, just manual dials and buttons. I rarely use steam but I do use Best Press. I press ALOT!

  471. Samarra says:

    Love this post! I use my husband’s old Sunbeam from before we were married. I now, I know, gasp! No lie, I detest ironing anyway, so I haven’t put the most effort into mastering any love of my iron. I don’t use any extra tools, starch, steam or anything and am about as utilitarian as it gets. I use the same iron for all types of projects. A friend has an Oliso and I do kind of like it, but until mine breaks, I’ll stick with it. Good to know there are other less pricey options that work just as well. Thanks for posting!

  472. Judith Martinez says:

    We bought a Rowenta at Costco about 10 years ago and it finally died last Spring. We replaced it with a Shark which quit working just shortly after the warranty expired. We need a new iron so this article was quite timely. We like to have a lot of steam and we hate drips.

  473. Anya King says:

    Great information. I have a Black and Decker that I have had for about 20 years. I am looking to replace it, so I have been reading lots of reviews. This is the most thorough. Thank you.

  474. Ruthann says:

    I had a Rowenta that just died…no reason, just stopped heating up. Until that point I loved it. It was heavy,didn’t leak, heated up quickly, etc……that being said I have heard from many that the new Rowenta’s have many, many issues. Knowing my iron died my husband got me an Oliso for my birthday. Not the one you show but one step down. So far I love it. I love not having to set my iron on it’s end as I always at some point knock it over an onto the floor. One tip on the Oliso, don’t leave water in it and turn it off. The water will leak down where the feet are and into your ironing board. It is not a problem, just remember to drain your water. You should anyhow on any iron.

  475. MaryD says:

    I love my Oliso but have used many irons over the years. Most irons do the job and like all tools you get used to what it will do and what it will not do.

  476. Angela says:

    Wow! thank you so much. My iron has a hard time getting wrinkles out, i know its probably time to replace the poor ole lady (10 years) but … im kinda attached. I appreciate that you tried out some of the cheaper models. I have gotten to play with some of the big quilting favorites during retreats, but i do not have the budget. Thanks again!

  477. beth says:

    Thank you so much for this helpful review!

  478. Rina says:

    I have a Sunbeam Steam Master that I love. I purchased it for about $40.00 after getting tired of my high dollar Rowenta shutting off after less than two minutes and spitting water. I use both the dry iron and steam feature depending on what I’m ironing and find that the steam feature puts out a lot of steam. I use it as a dry iron when using spray starch while ironing quilting fabric. Another thing I like about this iron is that it heats up fast and stays on for about 10 minutes before shutting off. It’s also fairly lightweight so doesn’t tire your arm out when you’re doing a lot of ironing. I’ve had it about two years and it still works like a champ.

  479. ashley says:

    I love this post!! I used a Black and Decker iron (not sure which model) for about 12 years…then noticed a few months ago that the steam setting just didn’t seem to be working anymore. I was having a very difficult time getting wrinkles out of clothing and fabric. So I started researching irons, and literally ended up with no conclusion as to which one I should purchase. Well, not long after that, my sweet grandmother passed away. While going through her possessions, we found her fairly new, simple, Black and Decker Steam Advantage iron, so I gratefully decided to keep it. That particular iron, I believe is about $25 on Amazon, so I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I LOVE it! It may just be that my old iron was so worn out, I don’t have very high expectations : ) But seriously, it’s so much better, and I have been very happy with it. The steam setting is great for what I need it for, and I tend to use it all the time. I’ve been so happy with my iron, and truthfully, I’m not sure I would have made a purchasing decision…too overwhelming!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  480. Marci Girl says:

    This was a great blog post, thanks Sara! I need a new iron, so pick me!

  481. Sara Y. says:

    I use a Hamilton Beach Duration iron. I love it. I think the cost was around $30. The iron I had before this one was an Oliso. I really liked it when it was new but about 2 months in the auto-lift stopped working. Then the feet would hang out about half way part of the time and drag across the fabric. Grrr! The Hamilton Beach has a dial for setting temperature, a variable steam setting, and buttons for puffs of steam or water spray. The bottom has lots of little holes around the edge for steam to come out. I was worried about this when I got it as the Oliso had holes all over the bottom but it’s not an issue. It actually presses better with less effort on my part. This is one of the best irons I’ve had in 25 years.
    I do use a pressing cloth depending on what I’m pressing. If I’m ironing onto fleece, setting interfacing, iron ons, or ironing synthetics then I usually use a cloth. I don’t use spray starch very often but I do use ironing spray a lot. It’s just a little essential oil mixed with water in a spritz bottle. It just gives the finished product a nice smell.

  482. Sarah says:

    Glad I read this before I buy a new iron! Or maybe I’ll win one of these!

  483. Laurie says:

    Thanks for this. I need a new iron so this was very helpful.

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