Choosing the best irons for quilting is no easy task, an iron is a must have staple in any quilters toolbox. Every quilter has certain irons that work best for their quilt project. But for the rest of us, it’s hard to know which irons are worth our time and money.
To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular and best-reviewed irons — from inexpensive to upscale brands like Rowenta. This list should help you choose from reputable and reliable manufacturers who produce quality products that will last long enough to make your quilt projects in the future!
Updated 08/16/22: Included updated reviews and a new iron I was able to test.
Before we jump into our list, let’s take a few moments to review the different types of irons for quilting.
Table of Contents
Types of Irons for Quilting
1. Traditional steam irons:
● Not designed for all types of fabrics, but great for home quilters who only need a quick touch-up before sewing their final stitches
● Steam is a must when pressing seams and will help you work through difficult fabrics like wool, velvet or cotton with ease
● Gives the best results on woven fabrics, but can leave streaks or wrinkles in open mesh materials like rayon and silk.
2. Steam ironing system:
● Can be used to press both woven and non-woven materials, including cotton/polyester blends
● Takes up a lot of space but can be placed on a chair or drawers toward the corner
No auto shutoff, so will require you to turn it off before putting away
● Provides consistent and high steam power
3. Lightweight, corded irons:
● Less damaging than traditional steam irons on fabric than most power irons and handheld irons
● Better for small projects where minimal pressure is needed
● Not meant to be used on fabrics or open mesh materials with a high heat setting
4. Handheld/Travel irons:
● Great for quilting projects when you need to set things up on-the-go
● Can be easily packed away and transported to sewing retreats or weekend workshops
● Many come with different heat settings so you can press both fine fabrics and more stable materials like wool.
5. Cordless Irons:
● Convenient to use and lightweight, especially for chunky quilts.
● Cordless irons are not designed for all types of fabrics, so some quilters prefer to use a traditional iron.
● Cordless irons will also require batteries that should be replaced as soon as performance decreases.
● Some users complain that the cordless units are less powerful than regular and steam irons for quilting.
10 Best Irons for Quilting in 2021 Reviews
Without further ado, we give you our top picks!
Rowenta DW9280 -Best Steam Iron
Rowenta DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron, 1800-Watt
Best Steam Iron
In my opinion it simply does not get better than the German designed Rowenta DW9280! This 1800 watt iron features everything a quilter could want with the only real drawback being it is pricey but definitely worth it if you want the best steam iron for quilting.
The steam output is electronically controlled by the fabric selection you choose. This takes the guesswork out of trying to manually controlling the amount of steam you use. A high-capacity, full-steam steam iron with SteamForce technology for fast, effective removal of wrinkles from all types of fabrics.
Integrated electronic steam pump delivers powerful bursts of steam, and a tank that holds 350 ml. of water and a cord that extends to 7 feet, the Iron has a handle that is ergonomically designed for comfort and stability. Continuous steam output: 35 grams per minute (gpm) The smooth-gliding stainless-steel soleplate with nonstick coating is perfect for use with delicate fabrics.
The 400 steam holes are evenly distributed across the soleplate, ensuring that the steaming surface is completely coated. The LED ready indicator lets you know when the steam is on. Features 3-way auto shut-off, anti-calcium and self-clean systems.
The Rowenta company was founded by Dietrich Reichert in 1934 and has headquarters in Germany. It produces a variety of household appliances including irons, sewing machines, vacuum cleaners and water purifiers.
Rowenta is one of the top 10 largest producers of domestic appliances in the world. Their first product was an electric iron merely a few years after their founding in 1934 by Dietrich Reichert. The first pen-shaped “diamond point” manual iron was released in 1941 which helped to increase popularity for the company and gave it some notoriety for its distinctive shape. In 1949 mechanical armatures were introduced into the products which was an innovation that made them much easier to produce with mass quantities as well as being more efficient for the consumer.
What we liked about the Rowenta DW9280:
● This is without a doubt the best iron for quilting there is on the market. It will get rid of any wrinkles in your fabric, even those nasty ones that make it hard to move your quilt around.
● The steam control works incredibly well and allows you to customize your steam output based on what type of fabric you’re working with. Whether it’s a cotton fabric or fine silk this iron will have your fabrics looking their best every time.
● The added heft of this iron (3.4 pounds) is an added bonus that makes it more durable while you’re working on your quilt. The excellent weight balance helps to ensure a steady and effective press every single time.
● This iron is also suitable for other household uses, but doesn’t have the bells and whistles that are common with household irons. If you’re looking for a versatile iron that will be perfect for your everyday household chores as well as your quilt projects, this is a great option.
What we didn’t like about the Rowenta DW9280:
● This is not the cheapest iron on our list but once you start getting into irons like this, it’s hard to justify spending less money.
Looking to start quilting: Read our An Introduction to Quilt Kits
Oliso Pro TG1600 Smart Iron – Runner-up Best Steam Iron
Oliso TG1600 Pro Plus 1800 Watt SmartIron with Auto Lift
Runner-up Best Steam Iron
The Oliso is our runner-up for best steam iron and it is so close in quality to the Rowenta DW 9280 we almost called it a tie! The main differencing point for me is I found the weight balance a little awkward on the Oliso vs how comfortable and well- balanced the Rowenta is.
The ProPlus Smart Iron Auto-Lift is not only the first electric flat iron that automatically lifts while you’re pressing, but it also protects your garments from getting burned. In addition, it’s ultra-smooth and glides effortlessly over all fabrics! You really can’t go wrong with this steamer for any fabric type.
By heating rapidly, this steamer is more powerful than any other one on the market. With 1800 watts of horizontal, vertical, and variable steam bursts that can easily remove wrinkles and press in sharp creases. In addition, the new anti-scale system keeps the ProPlus steaming stronger for a longer time period.
With its unique side water tank that holds 12.7 oz, you’d be hard-pressed to go wrong with this one. This sewing machine will make your life simpler, especially if you’re a quilter or seamstress. It has an automatic shut off option for quilting and stitching, so you won’t have to worry about it draining the battery. It comes with a three-year warranty, which is outstanding for such a high-quality machine at this price point.
Oliso is a company that sells appliances for home use, including irons and sewing machines. They are based in San-Francisco, California. They sell products to large conglomerates, as well as craft and hobby companies. They are known for their innovation in the sewing machine industry, especially for the sewing machine’s metal frame, which was revolutionary at the time.
What we liked about the Oliso Pro TG1600 Smart Iron:
● This iron will be a great addition to your home, whether you’re a quilter or just looking for something to press clothes with. It offers the best of both worlds with its automatic lift feature and also offers a steam burst feature which is ideal for getting out tough wrinkles.
● This iron will get really hot really fast, which makes it great for use on all fabrics. Whether you’re working with fine silk or cotton sheets this will have your fabrics nice and crisp without leaving any burns behind.
● One of the best features about this iron is the automatic lift which protects you from burning your clothes. It also has a unique steam burst button so you can get out any really tough wrinkles.
● This iron offers a lot of versatility, whether you’re working with delicate silks or cotton sheets this will do a great job.
The 12 feet in length cord is very useful when ironing bed sheets or large draperies.
With a 3 year warranty, it offers some reassurance the iron will last a while.
What we didn’t like about the Oliso Pro TG1600 Smart Iron:
● This iron is hard to beat with its price and quality of performance. If you’re looking for the best, this iron will be hard to beat and is great for quilters or anyone else who might be looking for an iron to use on a regular basis.
What we didn’t like about the Oliso TG1600 Smart Iron:
● This is definitely one of the more expensive irons on our list, so if you’re looking for a cheaper option this is not your best bet.
● The weight balance is just awkward enough to make it frustrating to work with at times.
CHI Steam Iron – Best Sub $100 Quilting Steam Iron
CHI Steam Iron with Titanium Infused Ceramic Soleplate, 1700 Watts
Best Sub $100 Quilting Steam Iron
Made with Chi flat iron technology. designed using the same titanium infused ceramic soleplate technology that powers chi’s hair styling tools. Powerful steam for effortless ironing with over 400 steam holes, this iron delivers powerful steam that makes the process of steaming out wrinkles smooth and fast.
The temperature control swivels open for easy access to the water tank. The 8 ft retractable cord winds up quickly with the touch of a button and is great for easy use and storage. The temperature can be adjusted with the electronic control. It eliminates the guesswork by using an infrared sensor which can be adjusted according to your requirements.
With the steaming lever you can easily adjust the power and the steam level. The handle with textured grip gives you complete control over the iron, so you can quickly move the lever from one end to the other without having to worry about it. The handle also comes in matte chrome, which adds a polished look to your iron.
You don’t have to worry about the heating elements because the iron is made of titanium-infused ceramic. This will help the element stay cool. In addition, there are matte chrome accents on the iron, which will give you a modern design.
What we liked about the CHI Steam Iron (Pros):
● It takes very little time to heat up, about 30 seconds and is ready for use.
● The retractable cord is great so it does not get in the way.
● This iron works great on all different types of materials and fabrics, quilt cotton, denim, silk.
● Auto shut-off if the iron is on and it is laid down it will shut off after 60 seconds
What we didn’t like about the CHI Steam Iron (Cons):
● When you first get this iron, be sure to check that the water tank is seated correctly as it can leak if not lined up correctly.
● It was a little difficult to fill without spilling water on the counter but once you get used to it, it’s not a problem.
Shark GI468 – Best Lightweight Iron
Shark GI468 Lightweight Professional Iron
Best Lightweight Iron
I know a lot of quilters prefer a lightweight iron. After testing out a bunch I found the best in this category to be the Shark GI468. It features a variety of great features not only for quilting but also for everyday ironing and is reasonably priced offering a high price to performance ratio.
The ideal vertical steamer is the Shark Lightweight Professional Iron GI468. It’s agile and durable, and it generates powerful concentrated steam bursts that can easily remove wrinkles from clothing and curtains that are lying flat or hanging vertically. The intelligent electronic temperature control allows you to select your exact fabric type and quickly heat up the iron to help remove wrinkles quickly.
It’s one of the most advanced fabric iron on the market, featuring a stainless steel soleplate that glides over all fabric with ease and provides uniform heat distribution and retention. This iron features 1500 watts of power, an anti-drip system feature, multi-position automatic shut-off, a self-clean mode and a an affordable price.
The premium stainless steel sole plate delivers even heat distribution and an intelligent temperature control that keeps you comfortable while you’re vertical steaming. The lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver in even the tightest spaces. And with its multi-position auto steam shut-off, you’ll be able to steam where you want it.
What we liked about the Shark GI468 Iron:
● This iron is lightweight and portable, which makes it easy to use in any area around the house.
● This iron gives you a good balance between price and performance.
● The 1500 watts of heat are more than enough to remove wrinkles form clothing and curtains.
● It features a self-clean function that makes it easy to clean the sole plate after use.
What we didn’t like about the Shark GI468 Iron:
● It does not feature automatic shut-off. To turn off you need to turn the dial or unplug.
Black and Decker D3030 – Best Budget Steam Iron
BLACK+DECKER D3030 Allure Professional Steam Iron
Best Budget Steam Iron
If you are new to quilting or trying to keep on a budget, the Black+Decker D3030 may be the perfect iron for you. It offers many of the features of the best irons for quilting while not breaking the bank.
This iron is great for ironing quilt fabrics as well as everyday use! Using the steamer you can quickly touch up your hanger and your curtains and drapes.
It has five different temperature settings and an easy to read digital display that clearly shows you what temperature you need for each fabric type. The stainless steel sole plate smoothly glides over all fabric types and will not scratch or scorch your fabrics.
The ergonomic design makes it easy to hold and the soft grip handle is comfortable in your hand. Designed for superior performance on fabric, the BLACK+DECKER D3030 Steam Iron provides a dynamic steam action and a variable steam temperature control. A great tool for all your ironing needs.
With a dual moisture control button, you can blast wrinkles with steam, or gently mist fabrics to dampen, even when ironing. From ease of use to the quick, professional results, it’s no wonder the D3030 from BLACK+DECKER is a trusted name in fabric irons.
What we liked about the Black and Decker D3030 Iron (Pros):
● This iron offers many of the same features as the best irons for quilting without a heavy price tag.
● The 1400 watts of heat are more than enough to get rid of any wrinkles on your fabric, even thick fabrics.
● The ergonomic design is comfortable and easy to use.
● The 5 temperature settings allow you to choose the right setting for each fabric type.
● The stainless steel sole plate ensures that especially your quilting fabrics are protected.
● We did not experience any issues with it spitting steam
What we didn’t like about the Black and Decker D3030 Iron (Cons):
● The plastic knob seems flimsy and cheap
Amazon Basics Ceramic Soleplate Steam Iron, 1700-Watt – Best Budget Steam Iron Runner-up
Amazon Basics Ceramic Soleplate Steam Iron, 1700-Watt
Best Budget Steam Iron Runner-up
I will be honest and let you know I was not sure what to expect from the Amazon Basics steam iron as I did not have any prior experience with them. I am pleased to report back after trying it out that i was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked this iron. It has a lot going for it at this price range.
One note, I only had a few weeks of time with the iron so I am unsure of the long-term durability but it does come with a 1 year warranty.
Anti-drip, anti-calcification, and self-clean functions promote reliable performance. Three-way automatic safety shuts off the iron automatically when it’s done steaming.
The ceramic soleplate minimizes static and friction and helps the iron glide smoothly. Its narrow tip reaches easily into tight spaces. Remove wrinkles from fabric with this steam iron. The thermostat controls the temperature, and it can be set for specific fabrics or steam levels to accommodate different fabrics. tip reaches easily into tight spots, like between buttons
Adjustable thermostat control: temperature settings for cotton, wool, silk, linen, polyester, nylon for optimal steam based on fabric type. The iron delivers the max amount of steam needed while still maintaining the desired temperature across the surface of the soleplate; the iron’s steam holes are perfectly placed, aligned, and sized for excellent results Dependable design that looks like it will hold up well over time along with an anti-drip system makes it perfect for any quilter.
What we liked about the Amazon Basic Iron (Pros):
● This iron has many of the same features as the best irons for quilting without the heavy price tag.
● It works great for ironing all different types of fabrics, for curtains and hangers to quilt fabric.
● It comes with a 1 year warranty which most of these types of irons don’t come with.
What we liked about the Amazon Basic Iron (Cons):
● The steam button is easy to accidentally press and it shoots out a burst of steam. This is more of a user error than an actual issue with the iron.
● Unable top test long term reliability and durability.
Singer 7061 Combination Steam/Dry Iron – Bonus Best Budget Steam Iron
SINGER SteamLogic 7061 1775 Watts
Bonus Best Budget Steam Iron
Since there were so many great affordable quilting irons, I wanted to include a bonus pick that almost made our list of best irons a quilter should consider. I’ve been looking for a good steam iron that is affordable and still has the ability to be used for both steam and dry ironing. I found it in the Singer 7061 Combination Steam/Dry Iron! I have been using this for about 6 months now and I am very impressed with it’s performance.
It features a 1200 watt high-pressure steam generator that provides steady, consistent steam, or variable heat to suit your fabric type or finished project. The 5-way auto shut off and anti-calc system make it a great choice for any quilter.
The steam is a little weak but that is to be expected from a small iron. If you are looking for something that will compete with an air jet or high pressure steam technique, this won’t do the job.
If you are in the market for an affordable high quality iron that can go the distance, this one is definitely worth your consideration.
Gravity Feed ES-300 – Best Gravity Fed Quilting Iron
Gravity- Feed Steam Iron ES-300
Best Gravity Fed Quilting Iron
Some quilters love gravity fed irons and others can not stand the extra space they require. I have a large workspace and personally love using mine but to each their own. For the best gravity fed quilting iron, I use the Gravity Feed ES-300.
The main benefits of a gravity feed quilting iron is the large water reservoir that you can use to top off the iron before quilting. It does take a little longer to heat up, especially compared to an iron with a steam function but with the large reservoir you only need to fill it once.
I love how it has a nice long cord and plug so I don’t have to worry about the cord getting in my way or tripping me up when I am working quickly on a quilt. The long cord also makes moving around your workspace much easier than some of the other irons we reviewed here.
The amount of steam is controlled by the amount of water in the base. The more water, the more steam. It does not have a steam button to release a burst of steam as some irons do. The temperature can be adjusted using a dial at the base of the iron but there are no temperature controls for different fabric types.
What we liked about the Gravity Feed Water Iron:
● This is a heavy iron and if you prefer that over a light iron, this one suits you well.
● It is great that it is gravity fed as it takes a little longer to heat up but I don’t find this to be a problem at all.
What we didn’t like about the Gravity Feed Water Iron:
● It is a heavy iron. If you prefer your iron lighter, this one might not be for you.
● The temperature dial does not change the temperature for fabric type so it can be difficult to choose the best setting for different fabrics.
Panasonic NI-WL600 – Best Cordless Steam Iron
Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless Iron, Portable 1500W
Best Cordless Steam Iron
Cut the cord with the Panasonic NI-WL600, our pick for the best affordable cordless quilting iron. This steam iron is the quintessential cordless quilting iron that you need to get out of your workspace, quilt and keep it in the drawer. A perfect addition to the toolbox of any quilter.
The most important thing I look for in any iron is ease of use and reliability. With this iron, that was not a problem at all. The steam here was amazing and it heated up super fast. I had no issues with the steam button accidentally getting pressed either, which is something I have had a hard time over with other irons in this price range.
With many of the steam buttons on irons, they seem to get stuck and get pressed down. The only issue I had was that you have to hold the iron at a slight angle in order to get the water reservoir open. This is hard to describe but it seems that they could have designed it somehow so you wouldn’t have to hold it at an odd angle.
Even though it is cordless the iron still features 1500W of steam power. This is enough to easily remove wrinkles in any fabric type, including quilting fabrics. It comes with adjustable steam settings, which is a must-have feature for every iron.
The settings are straight forward with Heat, Steam and Dry settings.
It also is great for travel and comes with a heat-resistant hard-shell case and automatic shutoff. If you are looking to do light ironing, the water tank removes with one click.
What we liked about the Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless Quilting Iron (Pros):
● The cordless iron. No cords to trip over or unplug.
● Lightweight and compact, is easy to pack up and travel with.
● Adjustable settings, eases the user into more advanced steam settings.
● The water tank is removed easily with one button. Very quick and easy to use.
What we didn’t like about the Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless Quilting Iron (Cons):
● The water reservoir is quite small and must be refilled often.
● Some users has seen issues with water leaking
● There is no heat adjustment for fabric type, so for the best results, you need to know what settings work best for your project.
Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron – Best Mini Travel Quilt Iron
Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron
Best Mini Travel Quilt Iron
If you are a quilter looking for a travel iron and not needing cordless like the Panasonic NI-WL600, the Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron is perfect for you.
A 1.4 ounce water tank heats up in 15 seconds, equipped with 1-touch steam control and 3 temperature settings for various fabrics types. With a Steamfast steamer you get a versatile, powerful, easy to use device with superior support and a sleek and modern design.
This little iron will get hot and will adjust between 100 and 240 volts. I do wish it had fabric presets but I guess that would add to the size but it does have an automatic shut-off.
I have mainly used it as a dry iron for my travel use as I find it easier to use a spray bottle.
It also has a convenient handle . If you are looking for an easy to use, affordable and compact iron that will make your life easier, then this is a great choice!
What we liked about the Steamfast SF-717 Mini Quilting Iron (Pros):
● Also great for dry ironing.
● Affordable, no-fuss travel iron.
● Compact and lightweight, perfect for a quilter on the go.
● Convenient handle to easily hold and move it around.
● 15 seconds heat up time
What we didn’t like about the Steamfast SF-717 Mini Quilting Iron (Cons):
● No fabric presets.
SINGER Intelligent Steam – Best Quilt Steam Press
SINGER Intelligent Steam Press-26, 26"
Best Quilt Steam Press
Singer is well-known for providing high quality sewing machines, but it is also well-known for its steam irons. Singer’s irons are some of the most popular and highly rated irons on the market. These irons feature a lot of steam options to tailor your ironing cycle, including cotton setting and microfiber setting.
The benefits of a steam press is that it dries your quilting fabric quickly, enabling you to not need a pressing cloth. In addition it provides a huge pressing area much larger than a conventional steam iron. Another great feature is the large water reservoir on most steam presses. You could also use it to press clothes. .
The Singer Intelligent Steam has an 800 ml Tank Capacity for a total Pressing time of 1.5 hours.
The Singer Intelligent Steam is easy to use, refill it with water quickly, and also has LED lights to provide you with your desired results. You can also press clothes on this machine as well. it heats up to the Nylon setting in only 96 seconds.
There are 5 different settings to choose from: Steam, Wool, Cotton, Nylon and Dry Iron which is perfect for any type of fabric. It also has a continuous steam feature that jets out steam continuously until the tank runs out or you turn it off.
The Singer Steam press features a 26″ pressing area that is perfect for a quilter (7 times more pressing space than a traditional iron) and the Non-Stick Pressing Surface is safe for all fabrics.
What we liked about the Steamfast SF-717 Singer Steam Press (Pros):
● The large pressing area works great for a quilter looking to do lots of quilting.
● It has several different settings for different types of fabric.
● Fast heat up time considering the large pressing area
● Huge 800 ml water tank
What we didn’t like about the Steamfast SF-717 Singer Steam Press (Cons):
● Expensive when compared to traditional quilting irons
In conclusion, there are several great irons for quilting on the market to fit almost any need or budget. The options above are my personal favorites but review each one to see which best suits your needs. Have additional favorite irons, let us know in the comments below.