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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > Buying Guides > Choosing an Iron

Choosing an Iron

Even with today's easy-care fabric and "wrinkle-free" garments, if you want to look your best, you probably still need to do some ironing. Natural fibres such as linen and cotton especially need pressing. Permanent press fabric also benefits from an occasional touch-up. The buying guide information below helps you select the best iron to suit your needs. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.

How to Buy a Clothes Iron

For an iron to do its job it must have heat, water (in the form of steam) and a surface(soleplate) to apply them to the fabric. Buying an iron requires attention to the distinct features of each iron and finding the best one for your needs. Each manufacturer is likely to have their own term for their irons' features. Here are the basics to look for when buying an iron:


  • Adjustable settings for delicate fabrics to cotton/wool.

  • Thermostat to regulate heat.

  • Auto-off to turn the iron off after a pre-set time of non-activity.

  • Higher and quicker heat to make better steam.

  • Steam or heat only with no steam option.


  • Steam is the best wrinkle remover. Base your steam choice on the type of fabric.

  • A burst or surge of steam will help with tough wrinkles.

  • A spray nozzle will pre-moisten the fabric in front of the iron.

  • The self-clean feature uses a burst of steam to clear the holes in the soleplate.

  • A clear gauge on the water tank allows you to visually monitor the water level. Look for a tank that's easy to fill (some are removable).

  • If you iron a lot, a larger capacity tank will save you refill time and re-heat time.


  • Non-stick surfaces are usually the same non-stick coating material that's used on cookware.

  • Stainless steel or aluminum soleplates are also efficient.

  • A soleplate that cleans easily is a plus.


  • Extra long cords allow more mobility.

  • Reversible or pivoting cords allow right- and left-handed ironers to work comfortably.

  • Cordless rechargeable irons offer the ultimate in freedom of movement.


  • Feel like pumping some iron? A full size iron weighs about three pounds. Lightweight irons weigh about one and a half pounds.


Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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