Updated: 08.11.2022 16:01:37

Today we use a huge number of devices in everyday life, the main task of which is to make our daily life more comfortable. Devices designed for ironing fabric products are among them. Next, we will talk about the two most common devices among ordinary consumers — irons and steamers. Which device is better and how do they differ from each other? Our experts know about all the subtleties.

About irons


An iron is a simple and convenient device, knowing the features of which, you can choose a product for any preference.

Features, functions

Modern models of irons are distinguished by an incredible variety of functions and are designed to eliminate wrinkling on various types of fabrics, including delicate ones. And the ergonomic design and economical power consumption during operation make the iron a faithful assistant in everyday life.

The irons have built-in elements that maintain the selected temperature on automatic. The cooling of the product occurs when the bimetallic plate cools down, which directly carries out the ironing of things. Thanks to the constant improvements made by iron manufacturers, a huge variety of the latter is presented on the household appliances market, conditionally divided into several groups:

  1. Simple — similar to the first models of electric irons. The devices are not equipped with additional options and are intended exclusively for dry ironing. This is a simple product that is rarely found on sale.

  2. Steam — the most in demand by consumers. Ideal for both dry and wet ironing. And in the latter case, the steam function is used. Such models of irons have a number of advantages compared to the rest. Firstly, they are multifunctional (suitable for processing products with varying degrees of wrinkling). Secondly, they are easy to operate. Thirdly, they allow you to iron hard-to-reach places near buttons or buttons.

  3. With a thermostat — they are already losing their popularity due to the appearance on the market of more advanced models of irons.

  4. With a steam generator — the so-called steam cleaners or irons, referred to as «steam stations». Quite expensive products, optimal when working with a large number of clothes.

  5. Road — do not have any special differences from standard multifunctional models. The main distinguishing point is the size of the product: travel irons are very compact, equipped with the optimal number of options.

Criteria for selecting a suitable instrument

When choosing a suitable iron, it is advisable to be guided by a number of criteria, thanks to which you can purchase the optimal model, taking into account personal preferences:

  1. Sole — for its manufacture, steel and aluminum are used as standard (sometimes their derivatives). The first option is the simplest, but no less practical: it is durable, weakly deformable, glides well over the fabric, etc. The second option is not particularly distinguishable from the first in its functionality, but with a small feature: if even the slightest deformation appears on the sole , this will affect the clothes (puffs will appear on it). There is another option for the sole used in irons — Teflon. Quite comfortable, but not very practical, because it is easily scratched by buttons, metal elements, etc.

  2. Power — an important aspect, because the heating rate of the iron and the efficiency of its work depend on it. A power of 1500 W is enough to process things of various densities, a power of 1800 W will eliminate wrinkling of heavy fabrics (for example, winter ones). Devices with a power above 2000 W are used exclusively for professional purposes.

  3. Temperature regime — modern models of irons are equipped with a special switch to control the temperature — each of the modes indicated on it is designed for a specific type of fabric.

  4. Steam humidification system — found in most models of irons and is represented by two types: horizontal and vertical. The first is designed for processing overdried fabrics like jeans, the second is suitable for ironing outerwear or coats, for example, without having to remove them from the hanger.

  5. water tank — it happens in different volumes — the larger it is, the longer the ironing process can be, which is important when processing fabric products in large volumes.

About steamers


Ergonomic, powerful, efficient — steamers will appeal to connoisseurs of fast results with large amounts of work.

Features, functions

Steamer — a device often more compact than a standard-sized iron. Its operation is based on the principle of an electric kettle. A regular steamer is not able to cope with very dense fabric, but it can process light things. This is ideal for ironing delicate underwear.

The essence of the steamer is simple: during operation, the device generates steam, which, when it penetrates the fabric, straightens its fibers. To use the device, you just need to plug it into the network, after filling a special tank with water. Just wait a few seconds and it’s ready to go. It is noteworthy that the steamer, unlike the iron, does not leave shiny spots on clothes, does not burn it. This is an ideal «tool» for removing wrinkling on whimsical fabrics like silk and things with a lot of decorative elements (ruffles, sequins) or folds.

ON A NOTE. When operating the steamer, we recommend using only purified water. The use of tap water will lead to the formation of lime deposits on the inner walls of the tank, and scale is notoriously difficult to remove.

Steamers are divided into two categories: manual and floor. The former are ideal for business trips and travel. Their duty cycle is measured in minutes: so, for example, if the capacity of the water tank is 200 ml, this will be enough to steam 2-3 things, which is equivalent to 15 minutes of work.

Outdoor appliances (considered professional) are distinguished by significant dimensions, including a large water tank (about 1.5-2 liters). The duration of such a «monster» reaches several hours. The process of steaming the product takes place vertically, and the design of floor steamers also provides for the “steam boost” option, the essence of which is to deliver steam under high pressure (however, the duration of such a “strike” usually does not exceed a couple of minutes).

Criteria for selecting a suitable instrument

In order for the steamer to become not just a stylish, but also a useful accessory for the home, when choosing the right product, you should be guided by the following criteria:

  1. Steam power and quantity — if this figure is below 1000 W, the steamer will not be able to provide sufficient steam flow: the average water flow will be no more than 20 ml / min. Such a device often «spits», leaving stains on clothes. But the power, close to 2000 W, increases the efficiency of the device, allowing you to effectively use it for ironing any things.

  2. Type of iron — it is worth giving preference to a model with an iron made of metal or ceramics. Plastic is often susceptible to deformation under the influence of high temperatures, and it is dry steam that will allow better processing of the fabric (especially dense).

  3. Hose length — the larger it is, the more comfortable the steamer is to use. In addition, a short or medium length of the hose indicates the absence of a heating function. And this, in turn, means that the device produces only wet steam (after ironing, things will have to be dried).

  4. Additional accessories — cleaning pad (perfectly removes lint, wool); fabric brush (aligns the threads, allowing the steam to penetrate deeper); protective glove (prevents possible burns from high temperatures).

Comparative characteristics


Traditional debriefing. Having considered all the features of irons and steamers, our experts have compiled a detailed comparative table.





Ideal for natural fabrics like linen or cotton. Great for creating arrows on trousers, ironing bed linen, which can be removed from wrinkling with just such a device

Ideal for ironing delicate as well as «whimsical» synthetic fabrics (such as polyester) or heavy fabrics often used in outerwear

Work speed

It usually takes a couple of minutes to warm up. Only then can the ironing process begin.

Ready to use in a minute, the ironing process is very fast


Lightweight, small-sized (but sometimes requires the use of an ironing board)

Only road models differ in compactness, all the rest are massive, but at the same time provide an ideal result.

Additional features

The “steam boost” function is only for expensive multifunctional models; access to difficult to iron places (near buttons, for example) — only applies to models with a steam function

Steam boost function, high-quality ironing of things with a lot of decor, folds, vertical ironing (for example, curtains can be ironed on the eaves)


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