Compare clothes irons from Tefal, Russell Hobbs, Electrolux, Philips, Kambrook, Sunbeam, Big W, Braun, Kmart and Target on effectiveness, ease of ironing, functionality, design, weight, durability, value for money and overall customer satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Doing the ironing is a household chore that many people don’t enjoy. But why is that? After all, it’s not especially labour-intensive, and it’s an important job if you want to look your best. Maybe it’s because many of us have been stuck with old, hard to use and ineffective clothes irons. You know what they say about a workman only being as good as his tools! When it comes to ironing your clothes, it’s really true. You also know what they say about doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results! So, if it’s time you hung your old clothes iron out to dry, our customer ratings can offer a guide as to which way to turn next.
We’ve surveyed hundreds of Australian consumers who have recently bought and used a new clothes iron to find out which brands are actually living up to their crease-busting expectations, and which are leaving people feeling a little wrinkled. Ten major brands have featured in our customer ratings, but for the first time in three years, we have a new winner – Russell Hobbs. It replaces Tefal at the top of the standings after two years of dominance, scoring five-star reviews across every single research category.
But where can you find the best clothes iron for your specific needs? Let’s review each of the brands in this year’s ratings and see what they have on offer, starting with the highest rated in our review. We’ll then offer some guidance on what you should look for when buying a new iron.
Here is a guide to the 10 clothes iron brands in this year’s customer review, with a particular focus on their offerings around the $75 mark – the average amount spent by consumers on new clothes irons.
Russell Hobbs takes the lead with its concise range of clothes irons and it sure packs a punch with the features. For around $40, its Steamglide Iron (RHC909) uses a non-stick soleplate and has an auto shut off safety feature for peace of mind. It features temperature ready and power on safety lights, which may be especially handy to help identify when the iron is hot. Additionally you will find the standard anti-drip, anti-scale and self-clean systems for durability. You can expect to find these same features across its full range along with a 360° swivel cord for easy movability, over 300ml water tank capacity, vertical steam and variable steam controls.
Russell Hobbs further boasts 46% improved glideability with its Smooth IQ Plus Iron (RHC700) which is designed with soleplate softening agents, claimed to condition and smooth out fabric as well as provide an anti-static finish. These irons are said to be inspired by hair straightener technology with tourmaline infused into the soleplate. If you’re after additional durability, Russell Hobbs also has you covered with its Impact Steam Iron (RHC800) that is claimed to be engineered to withstand a 1.2m drop.
Whatever your ironing needs, Russell Hobbs seems to be impressing, scoring five-star reviews across the board this year.
5 products available through Appliances Online
$49 - $118
(as at 11:37 on 05.10.2018*)
In Australia, Electrolux currently only offers one model in its product range – the Electrolux UltraSteam Precision Clothes Iron. It’s a 2300W iron that provides 35g/min of continuous steam output and 130g of turbo steam. With 500 steam holes, a stainless steel precision tip and a multi-zone soleplate design, it’s certainly a competitive clothes iron that has allowed Electrolux to achieve four stars for effectiveness, durability and overall satisfaction in our latest review. Additionally this iron features an anti-drip system and anti-scale cartridge as well as auto-steam controls. Although it has achieved three stars on value for money, it may provide you with the functionality you are after.
Kambrook has a concise range of clothes irons, all priced under $50. In this year’s review, Kambrook achieved five stars for design, so even if you’re on a budget there is plenty of choice in the market for effective irons. Kambrook’s steam irons feature a non-stick soleplate design with an auto-off safety system. Although the water tank capacity is around 200ml, it boasts an easy to fill water tank, so that if you find yourself needing to refill more often, it’s a smooth process. Standard features across the full range include an anti-drip system, self-clean function, non-slip handle, variable temperature and steam control.
The highest heating power Kambrook has is 2200W with its Steamline Detach Steam Iron (KIR795MAU). This iron features a fully detachable water tank along with FabriGlide soleplate, which is claimed to glide smoothly and effortlessly over any ironable fabric. In addition to its top marks for design, Kambrook rated four stars for overall satisfaction and in every other research category.
3 products available through Appliances Online
$29 - $49
(as at 11:38 on 05.10.2018*)
Philips has a number of price points for its clothes iron range, staring from around $50 and going all the way up to $180. At around the $75 mark, it offers its 2300W EasySpeed Steam Iron (GC2048/30), which is claimed to speed up the ironing process with its triple precision tip as well as its even heat distribution across the soleplate and continuous steam functionality. For around the same price you might like to consider the PoweLife Steam iron, which provides 2400W of power and has a five-layer coating on its soleplate including an anti-corrosive base.
Its latest model, for which you can expect to pay $150, features ‘OptimalTEMP’ technology, claimed to give an effective combination of heat and steam so that you don’t have to adjust temperature settings whether you’re ironing your jeans or silk. With this system you also won’t have to wait for ages until the iron heats up cools down before changing the type of fabric you are ironing.
Philips was a consistent performer in our latest review, scoring four stars in every research category.
7 products available through Appliances Online
$50 - $199
(as at 11:39 on 05.10.2018*)
Sunbeam offers an extensive range of clothes irons and has achieved a consistent four stars across all categories. For a lightweight model at around $60, Sunbeam offers its Prosteam Auto Off (SR4315) iron that weighs in at 1.4kg and has a 280ml water tank. Similarly to other brands, it uses a ceramic soleplate for easy glideability and scratch resistance. Additionally it has a safety auto off system and allows for vertical system to iron hanging garments.
With its 2400W Verve 65 Platinum (SR6550) iron, Sunbeam boasts patented dual steam chambers that have optimised steam pressure and are claimed to deeply penetrate fibres for faster ironing. Sunbeam also has a couple of other models over the $100 price tag, designed with digital control and thermostat for precise temperature control and aerodynamic soleplate with precision collar tip and channelling for efficient results. These aim to be lightweight and have a large 300ml water tank capacity.
9 products available through Appliances Online
$39 - $141
(as at 11:39 on 05.10.2018*)
Another brand with a wide range of clothes irons is Tefal, providing a variety of options for consumers. It divides its clothes irons into three categories – advanced, efficient and essential – with the efficient range coming in at around the $75 price mark. The Tefal Aquaspeed 375 features a concentrated shot of steam to soften clothes, an ergonomic steam trigger for comfort and provides 2400W of heating power. It’s also designed with a 300ml water-tank capacity and an integrated anti-scale system apparently for easy maintenance.
At the high end of the price spectrum, Tefal’s Ultimate Anti-Calc (FV9740) clothes iron is boasted for its automatic steam setting so you don’t have to worry about selecting the amount of steam for the clothes your ironing, simply select the temperature and the iron is claimed to do all the rest for you. With these additional features, Tefal achieved five stars for its functionality, design and effectiveness in our latest review. However, this previous winner had to settle for four stars overall this time.
6 products available through Appliances Online
$104 - $178
(as at 11:40 on 05.10.2018*)
There is only one model available in the Big W Smart Value clothes iron range – the Smart Value Steam Iron (KB0152A2). It costs $12 and claims to make laundry day a breeze. Although for $12 you shouldn’t expect any extensive features, it still packs a number of standard iron features including a non-stick sole plate, thermostat control and a steam boost function for wrinkle-free results. It’s also designed with a soft touch handle and provides 2000W of heating power, so if you’re on a budget it may be worth a try.
Making its first appearance in our annual review of clothes irons, Big W achieved three stars for overall satisfaction and every other research category.
Braun tends to sit in the high-end price range for clothes irons, which might explain why it only scored three stars on value for money. Under $100, you will find the TexStyle 7 clothes iron range with large 400ml water tanks and heating power between 2300 and 2400W. The TexStyle 7 (TS 765ATP) model is designed with a saphir soleplate, which Braun claims to be 4x harder than stainless steel. It also boasts a textile protector, which reduces the soleplate temperature to a safe yet effective level to help prevent heat damage and minimise risk of shiny patches on dark delicate garments. The range also features a triangle steam zone with up to 150g/min steam, vertical steam and an auto-off system.
Braun’s most premium clothes iron – the TexStyle 9 (SI 9148 BK) – is its fastest steam iron equipped with iCare technology that is claimed to reach the perfect temperature to protect textiles. With this model, Braun also boasts the world’s first 3D Saphir BlackGlide soleplate, which is a patented upward curving soleplate allowing for 360° glideability over any fabric and obstacle such as sliding the iron backwards.
Braun has achieved four stars for functionality and design in our review, but had to settle for three stars in all other areas, including overall satisfaction.
3 products available through Appliances Online
$69 - $196
(as at 11:45 on 05.10.2018*)
Kmart Homemaker clothes irons are all priced under $40, but there are only a small number of models to choose from. On average clothes irons start at around $40 so this range sits towards the budget side of things without any extensive features. Nevertheless, Kmart Homemaker has several design elements, including an LCD display, which helps to keep these irons competitive for the price.
Standard features also include an auto-shut off and self-cleaning system as well as an anti-drip ceramic soleplate. Several models also provide up to 2400W of heating power but others just 1200W. If you are really strapped for cash, Kmart Homemaker has an iron for $7.50, with a one-year warranty. However, it seems consumers are not overly impressed, rating Kmart three stars across all research categories this year.
Target has two clothes irons in its product line, both priced under $30. The Target Steam Iron (TESIR50) is just $12 and provides a competitive 2000W of heating power. It features a steam boost, self-cleaning and anti-drip functions, along with variable temperature control and vertical steam. These are just the standard features you’d expect from an iron, but if that’s all you need or want, you’re in luck.
The second Target Iron (TARIR17) will cost you a little bit extra ($29) and is claimed to provide pro-steam power with an auto shut off system for safety. Additionally it boasts an anti-calc system and features an Easyglide soleplate. It’s another simple model without features, but aims to keep the price down. That said, consumers only rated Target three stars on value for money and all other research categories.
The main function you’d expect an iron to provide is remove creases out of clothes. If it doesn’t have enough heating power, you may be stuck ironing the same shirt for over 10 minutes. The effectiveness of an iron also depends on the soleplate material. Although you may find that a non-stick soleplate is easier to maintain and clean compared to a stainless steel soleplate, it’s important to not scratch it as this will decrease its effectiveness. Polished stainless steel, however, may also scratch and stain over time, making the iron drag.
Another element of the soleplate is the anti-drip properties. These types of system helps to reduce water marks while still provide the powerful shots of steams necessary to remove wrinkles. The button groove between the iron body and the soleplate is also important to help with the glideability around buttons and is a fairly standard design element across all brands.
Durability will depend on the material build of the clothes iron construction, as well as the soleplate. Most irons use plastic for the construction and non-stick soleplates. A non-stick soleplate is certainly a must for easier cleaning on starch build-up. However, any regular clean soleplate should glide just as easily. Higher priced models provide further technology to increase scratch resistance. A self-cleaning system aims to help remove mineral deposits from vents and maintain the longevity of the iron.
There are several key features to look out for including an auto-shut off system that cuts off power if the iron is left unattended or tipped over. You may also find this feature to be a useful energy saving tool. If you tend to iron large batches, then an iron with a large water tank is necessary so that you don’t have to refill the iron too regularly.
Other features that you may find useful include a power-on light so that you know when the soleplate is hot and a thermostat as it allows for precision control on a variety of fabrics. Additionally a transparent reservoir helps to see how much water is remaining while a removable water tank design, allows you to refill without spilling. You may also like to consider an iron with a wraparound cord storage that clips in securely for convenience. There are also cordless irons that allow you to iron in any direction with ease but the downfall is that some struggle to maintain consistent heat before needing to recharge.
Lightweight designs allow an iron to move easily but may require more pressure when ironing. On the other hand a heavier iron uses less downward pressure but may not be as easily movable. Many brands boast light clothes iron with an average iron coming in between 1 – 2kg. Opting for a lightweight model may be a consideration if you have younger children helping out with the clothes ironing chore. You may also like to look at the design of the handle and see whether the handle is the right fit for your hand as well as if the controls are easy to see.
Ultimately it will be the budget that determines your final decision on which iron to go with. What influences the cost of an iron is a high wattage power that allows for a fast heat up time and maintains the temperature, as well as the material build and extra features. The Australian consumers that we surveyed spend an average of about $75 on their clothes irons. Typically clothes irons start from $40 and you can find a number of perfectly efficient clothes irons at different price points. Whether you want a standard iron for occasional use or you would like to invest in a high-tech iron to reduce the time you spend ironing, there is plenty of options in the market.
There is certainly a lot to consider with the number of clothes irons on offer at a variety of price points. It would be wise to take in account the features that are most important to you while also keeping in mind the effectiveness of the iron to get your shirts crisp and wrinkle free in an instant.
Several key design features to look out for include weight, depending whether you prefer a lightweight or heavier build for less pressure, a long cord length for easy movability and a durable soleplate surface. On average, most clothes irons are built with a non-stick ceramic soleplate but if you prefer to invest in a more expensive iron with additional soleplate technology there are a number of models on offer. The steam production features including both variable steam and adjustable levels are also important as this allows softening the fabric and getting the job done.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a new clothes iron in the last 3 years – in this case, 929 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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See our Ratings Methodology.
*Product availability and price range are current as of the stated date, may be subject to change.
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