Are you searching for the best iron for your quilting projects?
If you love quilting and want to ensure a quality product, you need to invest in quality tools.
You want to create a quilt that is not only beautiful but also practical and useful for generations.
A quilt can be an heirloom treasure that deserves you having the proper equipment in your quilting set-up.
You may not focus on quilting irons as much as you might your sewing machine, fabrics, or batting — but this important piece of hardware shouldn’t be overlooked or purchased without some consideration and research.
- Why do you need a quilting iron?
- The Modern Quality Quilting Iron
- The Top Features In Quality Quilting Irons
- Here Is Our List Of The Best Quilting Irons
The Modern Quality Quilting Iron
This is the age of stealth-looking irons. Some folks might refer to them as “George Jetson” irons because they have that space-age, do-anything kind of look.
These irons are up for any task, but not all of them live up to their space-age look.
You did all the hard work. You’ve sewn your blocks and basted your tops. Then you artfully quilted your creation.
Once you pull your quilt out of the dryer, while it is still warm and wrinkled, the feeling of accomplishment sets in. It’s time to make your creation a true work of art, so you reach for your iron to put on the finishing touches.
You need an iron with all the bells and whistles to do what you need it to do.
The right iron features will make your quilts look like show-quality pieces.
The Top Features In Quality Quilting Irons
- Power: You need an iron with at least 1500 watts of power; irons with 1600 to 1800 watts are better.
- Steam Holes: An iron with 300 steam holes may be better than an iron with 24 steam holes, but that is a hot debate in some quilting circles.
- Soleplate Shape: The tapered soleplate seems to be the way to go for some quilters, while others use irons with the U-shaped soleplate.
- Heating Speed: Irons that can heat-up in 24 seconds are great, but irons that heat-up in 55 seconds works just as well for many quilters.
- Soleplate Material: Stainless is the way to go, but ceramic and aluminum soleplates can do the job too.
- Maximum Temperature: The maximum temperature varies, but most irons reach 150 to 190 degrees. There are even some irons that can reach 500 degrees.
- Soleplate Length: The best soleplate length is 9.25 inches. Some soleplates can be as long as 9.63 inches.
- Water Chamber and Adjustable Steam: The built-in water chamber should be at least 8 to 12 ounces to do an entire regular-size quilt. And, it should have an adjustable steam setting. Plus, vertical steam and steam burst features are also good to have.
- Scratch-Resistant Soleplate: A quality quilting iron should have an open soleplate and be scratch-resistant. It should also have an anti-calcium system and an anti-scale system.
- Cord Length: A 12-foot cord may work for some quilters, but a 9- or 10-foot cord is good too.
Other key features include an 8-minute upright automatic shut-off, a 30-second horizontal automatic shut-off, a self-cleaning feature, an ergonomic soft-grip handle, plus an easy-to-fill transparent reservoir with a cover.
A swivel cord, digital display, and 5-year warranty are also quality quilting iron features.
Here Is Our List Of The Best Quilting Irons
Rowenta is a well-known brand in irons, and the DW2459 is an excellent choice for quilters. You can use this iron for all of your ironing needs, from pressing quilt blocks to ironing garments.
Let’s look at some of its other features:
- The cord is retractable for easy storage.
- It has a stainless steel soleplate with 350 steam holes for even steaming.
- This iron has an easy-fill water tank with an anti-spill opening. You can use tap water for steam options.
- There are two auto shut-off features for this iron. The 30-second shut-off if you leave the iron face down on any surface for 30 seconds or longer and an 8-minute shut-off if the iron is idle for more than 8 minutes.
- It weighs just under 4 pounds.
CHI has taken their useful hair flat iron technology and infused it into a steam iron. A unique feature of this iron is its titanium ceramic soleplate that is scratch-resistant and ensures an even heat distribution.
Other features of the CHI Steam Iron:
- An easy retractable 8’ cord for quick clean-up.
- If you have tough wrinkles to get out, this iron has 400 steam holes to deliver an even amount of steam throughout the plate to press evenly.
- Weighing in at 3 ½ pounds, this is a great iron for hobbyists or professional quilters.
- This iron is a 1700 watt professional-grade model and can be used for a wide variety of projects and needs.
The Rowenta DW6080 Eco-Intelligence is one of those stealth-looking irons that has the features you need. It looks like a small robotic creature, and it almost acts like one.
Here are the other features of the Rowenta DW6080 Eco-Intelligence:
- Thanks to 1700 watts of steam, this iron is powerful as well as good looking.
- It uses 25% less energy than standard irons.
- The eco steam system has three settings. The dry setting is for a perfect finish. The eco setting is for energy-saving steam. And the boost setting is for stubborn creases.
- This iron has a scratch-resistant, stainless steel soleplate with the precision point feature. There are 400 steam holes, so you get even distribution.
- The 3D soleplate design forces steam below the soleplate and that means less steam loss. Plus, it uses regular tap water.
- There’s a vertical steam setting for use on hanging garments. There is also an anti-drip feature, and a self-clean feature, as well as a soft-grip handle.
- The auto shut-off safety feature automatically turns off the heat after 8 minutes if left vertical, or after 30 seconds if left horizontal or tipped over.
Oliso is probably the most well-known “quilters iron” brand on the market, and for a good reason. This iron was designed with quilters in mind.
Check out all these fantastic features:
- It comes in four beautiful colors: pink, yellow, aqua, and purple.
- The soleplate is made from diamond-infused ceramic with non-stick properties, excellent for quilters who use fusible materials.
- With patented auto lift technology, the iron has built-in “feet” that will lift off the surface you place it on once you take your hand off the handle. When you place your hand back on the handle, the feet raise and allow the iron to press back onto the surface.
- This iron also has a large 12.7 oz water tank when you need to use steam and a powerful 1800 watt system.
- You can have peace of mind when you purchase this iron since it comes with a 3-year warranty, and the company strives to make your experience with their irons the best possible.
- The cord measures 12’ and has a convenient swivel base, so you’ll never get tangled up with the cord.
This space-age black, grey, and white beauty is ready for any quilting challenge. The sensor touch technology is a time-saver, as is the 360-degree swivel cord.
Here are the other features of the Reliable Velocity 200IR Compact Vapor Generator:
- The patented, continuous-steam technology really gets the job done.
- Sensor touch technology is a real time-saver.
- The hard, anodized, aluminum soleplate gives stainless steel a run for the money.
- The bypass for the 8-minute auto shut-off allows for continuous use on large projects.
- The 360º swivel cord gives you the freedom to move around.
This cordless Panasonic iron is perfect on the road as well as at home. Panasonic put important tech features into this cordless iron and that’s why we like it so much.
Here are the other features of the Panasonic NI-L70SRW Cordless:
- This 3-piece cordless steam and dry iron make ironing safer and easier.
- The sturdy charging base has an automatic retractable cord and a steam and temperature chart.
- This ergonomic iron features a stainless-steel soleplate as well as pushbutton and electronic controls.
- The automatic shut-off system, as well as anti-drip system, are great safety features.
- The Stay Clean steam vents and three heat settings, as well as an adjustable steam setting, spray mist, and jet-of-steam feature, gives you the steam you need, and there is also an option for vertical steam.
- The removable water tank is a plus, and the heat-resistant transparent carrying case keeps the iron protected.
Sunbeam has been around for a long time, creating reliable small appliances. This mid-size iron is a great choice for those who may want a smaller iron that still works great on stubborn wrinkles and pressing seams.
Other features of the Sunbeam Steam Master include:
- With a retractable 8’ cord, this iron is easy to use and easy to store in between projects.
- This iron features “no-drip” technology so you can press your seams with peace of mind and not worry about water spots or drips when using it.
- The Steam Master also has 3 Way Motion Smart Auto Shut Off technology, so it will shut off after 8 minutes if you accidentally leave it on. It will also shut off if you leave it face down and unattended for 30 seconds.
- The soleplate has nonstick stainless steel, which is an excellent feature if you use fusible materials or glue on your projects.
- This small iron weighs 2.6 pounds and is the perfect companion for traveling quilters or someone with arthritis in their wrists.
How To Avoid Dropping Your Iron
As a quilter, you’ll need a large surface to work on many aspects of your quilting projects and that includes your surface for ironing.
It’s not easy to iron a large quilt on a skinny, small ironing board or table. And you sure don’t want this hot piece of equipment wobbling off the surface and onto the floor.
When an iron is resting on a narrow surface, it’s easier for it to fall off.
The best way to stop dropping your iron is to use a wide surface with a quilting ironing board or ironing board overlay that gives you the room you need.
Tips For Extending The Life Of Your Iron
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Why do you need a quilting iron?
You’ll need a decent iron for quilting projects for various reasons. These include:
- Pressing seam allowances to get the most from your blocks of fabric.
- Pressing quilt blocks so they fit together exactly as they should when you assemble the quilt.
- Pressing all of the assembled blocks before you add batting and complete the quilt (for a smooth finished product).
- Pressing a completed quilt after washing or extended use.
For each of these ironing projects, many quilters have their go-to irons that they swear by.
They’ve likely also experienced some frustrating quilting iron fails that have left stains or burns on their masterpieces.
Some iron brands create an instant feeling of love or hate depending on how they perform.
Other not-so-lovable irons can drip, or they can be too finicky to use on certain quilting projects.
Quilters like to recommend iron brands to their friends, but what works for a friend could be the iron the from hell for you.
Irons are like automobiles: every quilter has a favorite manufacturer.
A good iron is a quilter’s best friend, and like all best friends, you need to treat it with love and respect.
Quilters know to protect their irons from any elements which might make ironing a frustrating experience.
There are a lot of iron choices on the market. Picking one that will become your quilting partner takes research and a little time.
Most irons stick around for years, although you may be the kind of quilter who always wants the latest equipment.
You’re only as good as your quilting tools, so choosing an iron shouldn’t be a knee-jerk decision.
Doing a little online surfing, and reading reviews will give you the information you need to pick the right iron for your creative projects.