Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Best Irons For Quilting - Reviewed By A Quilter

Whether you are a 'new' or an 'experienced' quilter, you need a reliable iron for your quilting projects.  Trying to figure out which one to invest in is not always easy.  Balancing how much to spend versus quality will help you determine 'the best tool for the job'.

In the early days, I used to buy the cheapest iron I could find at a box store like Wally World or other box stores.  I figured if I got a years worth of use out it, it was money was well spent  (OK, this was usually because they quit working after being knocked on the floor several times...).  I did 'a little' ironing clothes for work, but mostly for ironing in my quilting projects, and happily letting the young kiddos help me with ironing, resulting in many mishaps with the iron.

Hopefully, this post will help you select the iron that will save you money, and work as 'the best tool for the job'.  Reviews are solely my experience and my opinion, and are in no particular order.

Best Irons for Quilting

Rowenta DG8624 - Perfect Pro Stainless Steel Sole-plate Steam Station

This has to be my favorite iron.   We went on a quilting cruise earlier this year, and this was the iron that they provided for us to use during the classes.  It was awesome. It is really considered an ironing station. The water tank lifts off to make it easy to re-fill.  A little pricey, but checks all the marks.

Cordless Steam Iron 360 Freestyle

This one was a little harder to get used to.  Two of my friends who are professional T-Shirt Quilt makers tout this as their favorite iron. It charges and stays hot while on the base.  They love you can iron from either direction (double point design).  Detachable water tank. No cord to get tangles or caught on the end of the ironing board.

Oliso TG 1600 Irons

This is a great iron.  Three of the retreat establishments that we visited in Texas used these irons.  Takes a little getting used to leaving the iron face down.  However, my quilting buddies that have these Oliso irons, constantly leave my non-Oliso irons face down and scalding my ironing board.  Power cord is an astonishing 12 foot in length!  Automatically shuts off in 30 minutes.

Oliso Travel Iron - 1000 watt mini iron

Oh, this is the best mini-iron for retreats and classes.  Comes in several colors and is very affordable. This little puppy gets hot, has steam and will take care of you when you are at a quilting retreat, class, sew-in or sewing with others.  Only caveat is over-filling the water tank, it will drip you do. Comes with a silicon hot pad.

 CHI Steam Iron With Retractable Cord, Titanium Infused Ceramic Soleplate



This was a nice hardworking iron.  Pretty durable and held up well during an industrial type sewing environment.  (That means I keep irons going about ten hours a day).  Has a retractable cord, but I leave my irons on 'all day'.   The sole plate uses the same technology as 'flat iron' tech as used for hair products. Nice two year warranty.

Sunbeam Steammaster 1400 Watt Steam Iron with 8' Retractable Cord

This is a lower priced iron.  I absolutely love it.  It has taken several 'falls to the floor' and keeps on working.  My motto is 'steam it into submission' and this iron does the job. 

BLACK+DECKER Light ‘N Easy™ Compact Steam Iron 

This is a workhorse.  Whether ironing clothing or quilt projects.  This one will last for ages.  Auto-shut-off, easy to use and light-weight.  Love this one. 

Iron Press

Before we upgraded to the professional Heat Press iron, we used a smaller home style press for ironing.  Granted, initially, it was to save money, and I was ironing hubbies slacks for corporate, because we couldn't afford weekly dry-cleaning charges. When we started our t-shirt quilt business, we started out with the press we had already had for years.   It was very basic, no steam.  But, was great for ironing clothes and finished quilt blocks.

Heat Press

Iron press for pressing t-shirt quilts
Iron Press

There are many types, styles and sizes of a good heat press.  While we were in business of making T-Shirt Quilts for around 15 years, we used an industrial heat press with a 20" x 20" bed.  This made so we could attach the cotton fusible to the back of a t-shirt in just three seconds and one press.   Be sure to check the size of the ironing bed to suit your needs.  No steam needed on these irons.

What to Look for When Buying a Quilting Iron

My motto is always... 'buy the best tool for the job'.  You will see this whether I am talking about irons, rotary cutters, thread or any other tool.  When is comes to an iron.  Are you just making regular quilt blocks, you don't necessarily need the most expensive, most steam producing, most whatever.  You don't have to spend $200 when a $30 iron works just as well, but might not last quite as long as a more expensive iron.

Things to Consider:

  • 30 minute time out, iron turns off.  Is this a plus or negative?
  • Steam/no-steam
  • Sole plate - easy to clean?  How important is this to you. 
  • Heat settings

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