An effective iron is a must-have in every laundry arsenal. These handy appliances smooth out wrinkles and leave clothes looking crisp and fresh. A cordless iron is an even more convenient option. Instead of using a power cord, a cordless iron heats up on a corded base. This design allows for unrestricted movement while ironing, although you’ll still need to frequently dock the iron on the base to reheat.
The best cordless iron has many of the same features of a high-quality corded iron, including a smooth soleplate, adjustable settings, and reliable temperature controls to ensure it will work on a variety of fabrics to leave clothes wrinkle-free and ready to wear. Read on to learn about several essential factors to consider as you shop for a cordless iron, and then explore some of the top options on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Panasonic Contoured Stainless Steel Soleplate
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Sunbeam Cordless or Corded 1500-Watt Anti-Drip
- UPGRADE PICK: Panasonic 360 Ceramic Cordless Freestyle Iron
- BEST LARGE: Black+Decker ICL500 Light ‘N Go Cordless Iron
- BEST NO-DRIP: PowerXL Cordless Iron and Steamer
- BEST FOR TRAVEL: Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless, Portable 1500W Contoured
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cordless Iron
The main benefit of using a cordless iron is the freedom of movement; there’s no need to worry about a stiff, tangled, or restrictive cord. When shopping for the best cordless iron, it’s worth splurging for a steam iron. A dry iron uses only heat, while a steam iron combines heat and steam for stronger wrinkle-busting power. A steam iron can also be used dry, whereas you can’t add steam to a dry iron. With this feature in mind, keep reading to discover more factors to consider when choosing a cordless iron.
Cordless irons are available in a range of sizes. Smaller, more compact irons are better for detail work as well as for those looking for a lighter iron that offers portability for vacations, business trips, or sewing classes. However, a smaller iron also has a smaller soleplate. This can make ironing more tedious since the iron will cover less surface area with each pass.
Larger irons usually feature a larger soleplate. With this oversize surface area, they can get the job done faster. However, larger irons are often heavier and take up more storage space, making them less portable.
As mentioned above, the soleplate is the part of the iron that makes contact with the fabric. Common soleplate materials include stainless steel, ceramic, aluminum, and nonstick materials. Stainless steel is a popular option. The smooth surface is easy to maintain and effectively transfers heat. Ceramic is another preferred pick; it is also smooth, eliminates static, and provides even heat distribution.
Aluminum is generally considered a budget-friendly material that doesn’t perform as well as stainless steel and ceramic. Cordless irons often feature a nonstick coating over a core material. While nonstick material is easy to clean, the coating can become scratched and lose its nonstick feature over time.
A larger soleplate will cover more surface area with each swipe, which is ideal for ironing larger pieces like curtains. On the other hand, a smaller soleplate is better for more detailed tasks, like sewing and crafting projects; the smaller size allows for more precise work, such as ironing around buttons.
Steam irons include steam holes within the soleplate. The number of steam holes doesn’t matter as much as even distribution to provide for more consistent steaming.
The shape of the soleplate is also a feature to consider. A tapered, precision tip can be helpful with precision ironing along seams, collars, and cuffs.
A higher wattage rating means there is more power available to heat up the iron. More wattage means faster heating and longer heat retention. A sufficient wattage is especially important for cordless irons since they usually stay hot for only a few minutes and then need to be placed on the base to reheat. As a result, faster heating and better retention reduce waiting time.
Too little wattage means the iron can take longer to heat and may cool off too quickly. Ironing will take longer, and the iron may not retain enough heat to tackle tough wrinkles. Overall, a high-wattage iron will heat faster and maintain its temperature better than a low-wattage iron. Most high-quality cordless irons are around 1,500 watts. An iron in this wattage range offers suitable performance for most home needs.
A steam iron includes a water tank to hold the water that it will convert into steam. The tank capacity determines how long the iron can release steam and effectively function.
A small water tank will require more frequent refilling, but the lower water volume will keep the iron lightweight. On the other hand, a larger tank needs less frequent refilling, but it will also be heavier once filled. Consider an iron with a removable water tank, as it is easier to refill.
Other features to consider include transparent water tanks or water markers. These features help monitor the water level inside the tank.
A high-quality cordless iron will include a range of steam settings. Generally, more steam will smooth items faster and be more effective on heavier fabrics. A range of settings means more flexibility to smooth out different types of fabric. Some steam irons feature a no-drip design to prevent water from dripping on low-steam settings. Common steam options include an adjustable steam setting, a steam burst setting, and a vertical steam setting.
- Adjustable steam settings let users control how much steam the iron releases to suit different fabric types.
- Steam burst settings deliver a concentrated burst of steam to tackle stubborn wrinkles or for use on certain fabrics, like heavy denim or linen.
- Vertical steam settings emit steam while the iron is upright, allowing it to be used as a clothes steamer or for items like curtains.
One main drawback of cordless irons is they don’t offer a continuous run time like corded options. A cordless iron needs to frequently dock on its corded base to reheat. Once docked, it can take a few seconds to several minutes to heat back up to an effective temperature. As mentioned above, higher wattage can help with speedy reheating and limit waiting time.
Since cordless irons don’t receive a constant flow of power, they may be less powerful than corded options. These irons may not be able to produce as long a flow or as strong a burst of steam. For many users, this trade-off is worth it for the extra maneuverability provided by a cordless iron.
Weight and Maneuverability
One of the main features of a cordless iron is this maneuverability. Since there’s no cord to restrict it, a cordless iron can move in any direction without the cord twisting or catching on the item being ironed. A smooth soleplate also aids in maneuverability, preventing snags on fabric.
The ideal weight of a cordless iron will depend on personal preference. A lightweight iron is ideal for those with hand or wrist weakness or pain. Also, since most people iron with one hand, a lightweight design makes it easier to lift and maneuver the iron.
A heavier iron also has its benefits. A weighty iron requires less pressure to smooth out wrinkles, since the weight of the iron will automatically do some of the pressing for you.
Iron safety starts even before switching on the iron. Since cordless irons have to reheat on a corded base, ensure the base is placed on a flat and sturdy surface like an ironing board. The power cord should also be safely positioned so it’s not a tripping hazard.
An automatic shutoff is a practical safety feature to consider. This safety feature will power down the iron if it doesn’t move after a period of time to prevent a fire.
No-drip irons are designed to prevent water from dripping when the steam setting is low or off. A no-drip iron isn’t only a convenience feature, it also makes the iron safer to use. Avoid using a damaged or excessively leaky iron since this raises the risk of electric shock.
Our Top Picks
These top picks take into consideration the abovementioned features by offering a smooth soleplate and possessing adjustable and reliable temperature and steam settings for use on a variety of fabric types. Read on to learn more about some of the best cordless irons on the market in a variety of categories for pressing clothes at home and on the go.
A multifunction iron makes ironing feel like less of a chore. This 1,500-watt cordless iron from Panasonic includes several essential features to ensure crease-free clothing. Via the touch buttons on the ergonomic handle, users can easily switch between temperatures, steam settings, and extra features on this iron. A spray mist button shoots out a stream of moisture to deal with stubborn wrinkles and folds. An anti-drip feature means no annoying water dribbles while steaming, and when the water level is low, the removable water tank makes this iron easy to refill.
The contoured stainless steel soleplate glides smoothly over wrinkles and creases. For steaming garments and curtains, this iron also provides a vertical steam setting. In case of any distractions, this iron also includes an automatic shutoff feature. Once the ironing job is complete, place the iron on the base and store it in the included heat-resistant carrying case.
Use this versatile product from Sunbeam as either a cordless or a corded iron. To convert the iron from corded to cordless, just flip the switch and detach it from the base. This hybrid design offers flexibility to suit a variety of chores and projects. Although this iron is budget-friendly, it isn’t lacking in features. For effective ironing, the LED indicator light notifies the user when the iron is losing too much heat and needs a recharge. Each charge provides up to 60 seconds of run time while in cordless mode. Once placed on the base, the iron can reheat to the appropriate temperature in just 25 seconds.
The ceramic soleplate combined with the adjustable heat level and steam controls ensure this cordless iron is suitable for a range of fabrics. Features include a spray mist button, a steam burst function, and a vertical steam setting for easy garment steaming, making this 1,500-watt cordless iron a feature-packed pick for an affordable price.
The Panasonic 360 Ceramic Freestyle cordless iron boasts a functional dual-point design, with a tapered tip on each end of the soleplate. This symmetrical soleplate offers the versatility to iron in any direction and with either hand, making the iron very easy to use. The pointed design allows for ironing in narrow spaces, like fabric around buttons and delicate details. The center of the soleplate has a wide surface area that is great for sweeping across larger fabrics, like curtains and tablecloths, enabling this iron to easily tackle larger jobs as well.
The ceramic soleplate also features steam holes around the entire perimeter for even steam distribution. The adjustable steam and temperature settings are also convenient to control via the ergonomic handle. In addition to the dual-point design and adjustable settings, this 1,500-watt cordless iron features a spray mist setting, a no-drip design, a vertical steam function, and a detachable, no-spill water tank. A handy carrying case is an extra plus to make this versatile iron easier to carry and store.
A larger iron can make ironing several loads of laundry less tedious. To avoid the need for constant refilling, this 1,550-watt cordless iron from Black & Decker features a large water tank. The larger size means users can use the adjustable spray mist and steam functions for an entire load of laundry rather than just a few shirts, as is the case with some smaller cordless irons. With a nonstick ceramic soleplate, this iron can manage a wide variety of fabrics. A vertical steam setting is useful for steaming hanging garments to a crease-free finish.
The illuminated charging base indicates when the iron needs a charge by flashing green when the iron is ready to use and red when it’s time for a charge. Each 10-second recharge provides up to 25 seconds of cordless ironing.
The PowerXL cordless iron features a no-drip design that prevents water dribbles when the steam setting is off or on low. This iron also includes a high-steam setting, and the vertical steam feature sends out a burst of steam through the soleplate to relax tough wrinkles. The adjustable heat and steam settings ensure this cordless iron can tackle a variety of fabric types. Additionally, a temperature control dial allows users to select from a range of settings based on the unique fabric type. To control the steam, the adjustable steam lever slides from zero to full power with the push of a finger on the easy-to-grip handle.
To reduce waiting time, this 1,400-watt cordless iron charges to full heat in 30 seconds. A temperature light indicates when the iron is ready to use. Once hot, the nonstick ceramic soleplate provides advanced ion technology and a tapered precision tip to leave fabrics smooth and wrinkle-free.
For easy portability, this cordless iron from Panasonic includes a lightweight, heat-resistant carrying case. The convenient case snaps directly onto the iron’s base and features a flip-up handle for hassle-free travel. The 1500-watt cordless iron offers full functionality to keep clothes looking fresh at home or on the road. It features a dual-tip and nonstick stainless steel soleplate that allows for 360-degree ironing. Each end of the contoured soleplate boasts a precision tapered tip for ironing between buttons and details.
Like most high-quality cordless irons, this model provides adjustable heat and steam settings, including both spray mist and vertical steam functions. The settings are easy to toggle between directly on the handle. These functions allow this versatile iron to double as a convenient travel steamer for crisp garments while on the go.
FAQs About Cordless Irons
In addition to being a handy travel tool, cordless irons are a convenient appliance for a range of household tasks, from pressing dress shirts to sewing and crafting projects. To learn more about cordless iron functionality, check out several of the most frequently asked questions and answers to help you choose the best model for your needs.
Q. Are cordless irons as effective as corded ones?
Cordless irons are comparable to corded irons in many ways. They can offer as much wattage power and will still successfully complete an ironing job, although it may take a little more time and patience. Unlike corded options, cordless irons don’t have a constant power source. This means they gradually lose heat, starting as soon as they leave the docking base, and must be frequently reheated. Corded irons offer a steadier stream of heat and steam but less maneuverability and portability.
Q. Should I get a ceramic iron or a stainless steel iron?
Stainless steel irons tend to be more durable and easier to clean but can stick to decals and other decorations on high-heat settings. Ceramic irons can eliminate static and are less likely to stick at high heat, but the ceramic can wear down over time. Both are excellent materials, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Q. How do I maintain my cordless iron?
A cordless iron requires the same maintenance as a corded iron. Both require occasional cleaning. Clean the soleplate and water tank about once a month or at least once a season for infrequent users.