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. Canstar Blue compares the top brands in the market to help you find your next best laundry pal!
Canstar Blue surveyed 688 Australians for their feedback on the clothes iron brand(s) they’ve purchased and used in the last three years. Note: this does not include garment steamers which are covered in a separate rating.
Respondents rate their satisfaction with their clothes iron brand(s) from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:
The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.
Tefal was the only brand to score five-star reviews in all categories, including for important factors like value for money, and overall satisfaction. Meanwhile, several brands also managed to give Tefal some competition in the performance stakes namely Philips, Braun, and Russell Hobbs which all scored five stars for that category. Philips and Braun additionally got top marks for features and functionality, with Braun receiving extra marks for ease of use.
Find more detailed information on our ratings methodology.
Not sure which clothes iron to buy? Check out our buying guide below.
Tefal was the only brand to score five-star reviews and managed to do so in every category. This resulted in a win for performance, ease of use, design, features and functionality, value for money, and overall satisfaction.
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. The brand also offers the Ultimate Airglide range for big ironing jobs like linen, sheets, and curtains. Most models offer up to 55g/min of continuous steam, a 230g/min steam boost function to tackle more stubborn creases, automatic steam adjustment by selected linen type, an anti-scale setting, and an auto-clean Durilium soleplate.
Philips received five-star reviews for performance, and features and functionality, plus four stars for ease of use, design, 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 3000 Series Steam Iron range, which includes features such as a non-stick ceramic plate, steam boost, up to 40g/min of continuous steam, and a 1.9m cord.
If you’re after something with a bit more steam, then you might want to check out Philips’ 6000 Series range. These models feature a safety auto-off function, a larger 550ml 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 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.
Sunbeam rated four stars for most categories including performance, ease of use, design, features and functionality, and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for value for money.
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.
Braun scored five stars for performance, ease of use, and features and functionality. It got four stars for design, and overall satisfaction, plus three stars for value for money.
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’ and features the world’s first FreeGlide3D soleplate that guarantees 360° ‘glideability’ ─ allowing you to glide over buttons, zippers and pockets. It also comes with a Smart iCare mode for temperature control on all fabrics. In addition to the scratch-resistant plate, the TexStyle 9 also includes auto-off and anti-drip functions, steam boost, and more.
Kambrook achieved a solid four stars in most categories, including for performance, ease of use, features and functionality, value for money, and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for design.
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 SwiftSteam Ultimate Steam Station which comes with 2200W of steam power with three steam levels, IdealTemp technology, an LED display, a 150ml water tank, FabriGlide soleplates, and self-cleaning functions.
Russell Hobbs was rated five stars for performance, and four stars for ease of use, features and functionality, design, and value for money. It got three stars for overall satisfaction.
Russell Hobbs provides several models, including the Advanced Glide Iron, Digital Supreme Iron, and Freedom Cordless Iron ─ all of which are available from local electronics and homeware retailers. As the name suggests, the Freedom Cordless Iron has a cordless design to allow you to whizz through your ironing pile in no time. Other features include a copper-coated ceramic soleplate, a quick 30-second heat-up and five-second reheat time, 40g/min of continuous steam output, and a steam boost function.
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.
Kmart rounded up the results with four stars for value for money, and three stars in the remaining categories including performance, ease of use, features and functionality, design, and overall satisfaction.
Kmart offers a few budget-friendly irons and garment steamers for less than $50, with the cheapest model setting you back just $7.50!
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 ($29 RRP*) includes additional features such as an anti-drip function and continuous steam. It also has a short recharge time of 10 seconds.
Not all clothes iron brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are several more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.
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 left over. 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 (40%).
Prices for clothes irons vary greatly based on their technology, wattage, and settings ─ cheaper models can cost under $50, while more expensive ones can fetch up to $500. Our survey revealed that Australians tend to be more on the frugal side and spend an average of $53 on a new clothes iron.
Our latest review shows Tefal is not only the best pick among many Aussies for overall satisfaction, but also an all-rounder after rating best in all categories. Philips and Braun also impressed consumers in some key categories like performance and features.
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 most people (44%) tackling some sort of ironing every week, it’s important to have the right iron on hand to not only save time on chores but avoid getting your knickers in a twist over a model that leaks or isn’t up to the job. With that in mind, we hope you find our clothes iron ratings helpful.
Megan is Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Editor, leading the team that focuses on consumer products and services, ranging from supermarkets and groceries to home and personal appliances and retail stores. She interprets Canstar Blue’s bespoke research on the thousands of brands that we compare, rate and review, to help shoppers make better purchasing decisions.
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.
*Prices are taken from respective retailers and Appliances Online, correct as of January 2023.
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