Canstar Blue’s clothes iron review has compared Russell Hobbs, Tefal, Sunbeam, Philips, Kambrook, Braun and Kmart on their effectiveness, ease of use, features, weight & size, design, durability, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
When it comes to the list of chores that people generally don’t want to do, doing the ironing is right up there. While not the most physically exhausting of chores, it can be time consuming, particularly if you have to iron your family’s clothes as well! Add in an iron that doesn’t work properly and it can quickly leave you feeling a little hot under the collar. Finding a good clothes iron can be equally frustrating. While all brands promise to take care of any creases and wrinkles you have, picking the best clothes iron that suits your ironing workload as well as preferences and budget, isn’t easy. But when you do, you’ll be able to ‘let off some steam’.
To help you find the best fit, we’ve again surveyed more than 700 Australian consumers for their feedback on the clothes iron(s) or garment steamer(s) they’ve purchased and used in the last three years. Respondents scored brands on ease of use, features, durability, effectiveness, weight and size, design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Brands that received the minimum survey sample size of 30 responses are featured in this report.
Russell Hobbs flattened the competition in our latest ratings, receiving the only five-star review for overall satisfaction. It also earned full marks in most of the other categories!
Here are the best clothes iron brands in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Russell Hobbs was the hot pick after receiving five-star reviews in most research areas, including effectiveness, value for money, and overall satisfaction. Tefal was the only other brand that scored full marks in any category, namely for ease of use, design, and weight and size. It landed on four stars for overall satisfaction, alongside Sunbeam and Philips, while the remaining brands ended on three stars for overall satisfaction.
Russell Hobbs provides several models, including the Easy Store, Impact and Steam Glide lines, all of which are available from local electronics and homeware retailers. There’s also the Digital Supreme Iron, which contains Colour Control Technology and an Easy Colour reference guide to help you use the correct temperature on any fabric. It also features a Colour Protect ceramic soleplate with UV protection to prevent ironing out the colour from materials.
There’s also the Russell Hobbs Impact Steam Iron, which comes with a protective over-mould for supposedly longer-lasting performance. It also offers variable steaming options for tougher fabrics. Plus, the brand claims it’s durable enough to survive a 1.2m drop, so it might be worth checking out if you have a house full of butterfingers.
Some models from Russell Hobbs include:
Russell Hobbs cleaned up with a solid five-star review for most categories, namely durability, ease of use, features, effectiveness, value for money and overall satisfaction. It scored four stars for design and weight and size.
A well-known household appliance brand, Tefal offers a wide variety of clothes irons, including cordless models and models suitable for dry-cleaning businesses. Tefal’s irons are available for purchase at homeware and electronics stores, as well as online.
Tefal’s introductory model – the Comfort Glide – comes with a Durilium soleplate for easy cleaning, along with a vertical steam function and anti-drip design for supposedly easier use. There’s also the UltraGliss range, which includes features such as an auto shut-off function and a comfort handle for those long ironing sessions in front of the TV.
Some clothes irons from Tefal’s range include:
Tefal rated best for design and weight and size, achieving five stars, and scored an extra set of full marks for ease of use. It also received four stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.
Sunbeam is a staple in the small appliances market and offers one of the more affordable clothes iron ranges. You can usually find something for $60 to $200 at all major electronics and homeware stores.
Sunbeam’s ProSteam range includes the Glide, Auto Off, Compact and Travel models. Each of these comes with either a 12 or 24-month warranty. The Glide model weighs in at only 1.37kg thanks to its aluminium soleplate – apparently making it easy to manoeuvre, while the other ProSteam models feature ceramic or EasyGlide plates. Sunbeam also has a travel clothes iron for those who need to look good on the go, weighing in at under 1kg.
The Verve collection alternatively uses Sunbeam’s patented dual-steam chambers to improve the steam pressure for an apparently smoother iron. Expect features such as a drip stop, fine mist spray and cord storage on all Verve models.
Sunbeam’s clothes iron range features:
Sunbeam maintained four-star reviews across the board, such as for durability, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Dutch electronics company Philips offers many stylish clothes irons for Aussie shoppers to choose from, at a variety of price points. Starting from just under $50 is the EasySpeed range, which includes features such as a non-stick plate and a 2.5m cord.
If you’re after something with a bit more steam, then you might want to check out Philips’ PowerLife range. These models feature a safety auto-off function, a larger water tank capacity and extra stability in the heel rest. This line offers 2400W of power to iron out tough creases.
One of Philips’ top-of-the-line clothes iron is the Azur Elite Steam Iron with ‘OptimalTEMP’ technology. This 2400W model is claimed to help prevent the risk of burning fabrics like jeans or silk, and can supposedly save up to 20% energy with specific steam modes.
Philips’ clothes iron and garment steamer line-up includes:
Philips cleared this year’s ratings with four stars in all research categories, including for durability, ease of use, features, design, value for money, overall satisfaction and everywhere else.
One of the most affordable ranges available, Kambrook’s clothes irons are usually available for less than $60, depending on your local retailer of choice. The range begins with the Steamline collection, which includes the Steamline Auto Advance Steam Iron. This comes with a 2400W power output and FabriGlide soleplate.
The line-up alternatively includes the Steamline Detach Steam Iron. It comes with a 2200W power output, 180ml water tank, a FabriGlide soleplate and self-cleaning functions. Other features include variable temperature and steam controls, plus a safety auto-off function.
Kambrook’s clothes iron and garment steamer range includes:
Kambrook received four stars for durability and value for money, plus three stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.
Primarily known for its beauty and personal hygiene range, German manufacturer Braun has a variety of steam irons available, usually priced between just under $100 and up to $140, depending on which model you decide to take home.
Braun’s range is primarily split between different variations of the TexStyle clothes iron. This includes the TexStyle 9, which is described as the brand’s ‘fastest steam iron’. It’s packed with features such as Turbo steam to increase the steam output, helping permeate the fabric faster and more deeply. It also contains a curved ‘FreeGlide’ soleplate for easy ironing around pockets, buttons, and other bumps. In addition to the scratch-resistant plate, the TexStyle 9 also includes auto-off and anti-drip functions, with multiple steaming options to offer textile protection for various fabrics.
Some clothes irons to expect from Braun include:
Braun achieved a four-star rating for features, plus three stars everywhere else, including overall satisfaction
Kmart offers a few budget-friendly irons and garment steamers for less than $50, with the cheapest model setting you back just $7!
Kmart’s cheapest clothes iron comes with a non-stick soleplate, self-cleaning function, plus 2000W of power behind it. The more expensive 2400W Cordless Steam Iron includes additional features such as an anti-drip function and continuous steam. It also has a short recharge time of 10 seconds.
Kmart’s clothes iron and garment steamers line-up features:
Kmart rounded up the scores on four stars for value for money, and three stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.
Aside from the brands that received the minimum sample size to be included in our ratings, there are plenty of other options worth checking out:
The German supermarket has previously sold two models from its ALDI Stirling line, including the LCD Steam Iron and the Steam Station Iron, for shoppers to pick up in seasonal Special Buys. The LCD model is a slightly modern take on the traditional iron, featuring a double ceramic coated soleplate, LCD electronic display and steam and temperature controls, making ironing feel a bit more hi-tech.
The Steam Station is a bit larger than the LCD, boasting a removable 1.7L water tank. It also has an adjustable steam rate and cord storage, and offers 2400W of power to help make light work of those tough wrinkles.
Target currently offers just one clothes iron, the 2000W Ceramic Steam Iron. Available for $19, it comes with a 200ml water tank and features such as anti-drip, anti-calc and automatic shut-off. This model additionally has a ceramic soleplate and offers dry and continuous adjustable steam.
However, Target’s appliance range may change throughout the year, so keep an eye out for more models.
Similar to Target, Big W just has its Brilliant Basics Steam Iron up for grabs. For $12, you’ll get features like a soft touch handle, temperature control dial and a non-stick soleplate. The Big W clothes iron is said to pack 2000W of power, which means it should be able to handle plenty of wrinkled clothes and fabrics. Additionally, it comes with a water spray function, self-clean function, and steam boost function.
When it comes to buying a clothes iron, there are a few factors you might like to consider before jumping into a purchase. These include:
But before we unpack these factors in detail, here’s what our survey revealed:
Ultimately, you’ll want your clothes iron to remove creases from clothes, but if it doesn’t have enough heating power, you may be stuck ironing the same shirt for 10 minutes. The effectiveness of a clothes iron also depends on the soleplate material.
Although you may find that a non-stick soleplate is easier to maintain and clean compared with 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 systems can help to reduce water marks while still providing the powerful shots of steam necessary to remove wrinkles. The button groove between the iron body and the soleplate is also important to help with the ‘glide ability’ 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. But any regularly cleaned 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 you might want to look out for:
One common function is an auto shut-off system, which 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, having a large water tank can make a huge difference since it means you won’t have to refill the iron as frequently compared to an iron with a smaller reservoir. Other features that you may find useful include a power-on light so that you know when the soleplate is hot, plus a thermostat to get a better idea of how hot the iron is when applying it to different types of fabrics.
A transparent water reservoir lets you check how much water is leftover. Some clothes irons also come with a removable water tank to minimise the risk of spilling water when you refill.
You may also like to consider an iron with 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 irons, with an average iron coming in between 1–3kg. 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 it is the right fit for you, as well as if the controls are easy to see.
Ultimately, it will be your budget that goes a long way to determining your final decision on which iron to go with. In fact, our survey found that price was the main factor that influenced which model most of our respondents ended up buying (47%).
Clothes irons generally cost between $65 and $599. Our survey revealed that Australians spend an average of $71 on a new clothes iron, much less compared to last year ($91). The cost of a clothes iron largely depends on the wattage power, which allows for a fast heat-up time and maintains the temperature.
Our latest review shows Russell Hobbs is not only the best pick among many Aussies, but also an all-rounder after rating best for overall satisfaction and scoring full marks in the majority of categories. Tefal also clearly impressed consumers, especially in terms of ease of use, design and weight and size.
You would be forgiven for not giving much thought to which brand and model of clothes iron you pick up at the store, but you may be left working a lot harder on your shirts if you get the wrong one. With plenty of features such as temperature controls, water tank capacity and self-cleaning functions all available on select models, there’s certainly plenty to consider.
With one in 10 survey respondents (10%) claiming they’re often frustrated with the performance of their iron, having the right iron can not only save you time, but also avoid getting your knickers in a twist. With that in mind, we hope you find our clothes iron ratings helpful.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com, Wstockstudio/Shutterstock.com, Igor Kardasov/Shutterstock.com.
*Prices are taken from respective retailers and Appliances Online, correct as of December 2021.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 6,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a clothes iron and/or garment steamer in the last three years – in this case, 722 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 by mean overall satisfaction. 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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