Quilters have many fabrics, notions, scissors, and machines to choose from, and to add to the mix; irons are another tool to take into consideration.
With years of quilting behind us and countless products tried, we want to show some of our favorite quilting irons in this guide.
The best iron for quilting varies from quilter to quilter, so we offer you a wide range of options and provide you with useful tips that will help you choose the right one.
Top 10 Irons for Quilting Table
How to Narrow down the Choices
To choose the best quilting iron for your needs, you should start by narrowing down the options.
Do you prefer a corded or a cordless model? Will you be using it mostly at home or on the road?
- Corded or Cordless. How many irons have gone flying to the floor because you tripped over the cord? We cringe at the number of times ours have met their end by flying off the ironing board.
While corded options are capable of producing more steam and get much hotter than cordless irons, the latter is so much more convenient.
- Full-Size or Travel. Many choose a full-size iron for home use since it can handle clothing in addition to quilts.
If you head to quilting shows where you’ll be displaying your quilts, the last thing you want to lug around is a full-size iron. Your best option, in this case, is to get a travel iron.
They are much easier to transport, and if you’ve never used one before, you’ll be surprised at how handy they are in your quilt room at home, too.
Important Details to Consider
There are so many small, important details to take into consideration as you shop for the best irons for quilting, and we will go over some of the most important ones that quilters need to keep in mind as they compare models.
- Steam. Most quilters prefer a steam iron, as do we. Using steam isn’t always beneficial, however, since it can make the fabric stretch too far. Some fabrics may even bleed or shrink up if they haven’t been pre-washed (cotton, for example), and paper piecing can get messy with steam.
While most irons with steam allow you to turn it off, the risk of leaking water is still a possibility.
You either need to use it on an empty tank or opt for a dry iron like the Clover Mini Iron II.
- Soleplate Material. Another thing you should consider is the plate material. Manufacturers use either stainless steel, ceramic or aluminum.
Stainless steel is the most common and the most durable and easy to clean. It can have hot spots, however, and burn spots are a risk.
Ceramic plates – which are covered with a ceramic coating and not solid pieces of ceramic – distribute heat evenly, and it creates less static, but that coating will eventually wear off over time.
A less common option is anodized aluminum, which is very hard (durable), scratch-resistant and is naturally non-stick. These units are usually more expensive.
Top 3 Best Iron for Quilting Reviews
Have you ever used a multi-directional iron? If not, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you like it.
This model from Panasonic is a favorite of quilters. It is cordless, so you won’t have to worry about tripping over any cords, and the soleplate is omnidirectional; this allows you to iron smoothly in any direction since the design helps prevent you from dragging the fabric.
We like that it is heavy enough to make seam pressing easy but light enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re lifting an anvil. At 4.4 pounds, most find it to be the right balance between pressure and comfort.
Quilters love that it heats up quickly, but there is a bit of a learning curve since most aren’t used to the charging base concept. You’ll need to place it back on the base between uses to make sure that it maintains that temperature, but once you get the hang of it, it’s smooth sailing.
Quilters who want an iron to use for pretty much any ironing task in the home often go with the Rowenta DW8080.
The anti-drip feature is marvelous because as all you quilters know, water at the wrong time can create quite a few problems for your project.
The soleplate has 400 holes in it, allowing you to glide over fabrics like butter, and with 1700 watts of power, you can really get some strong shots of steam out of it to help you rid that fabric of wrinkles.
It has many typical features like auto-shut off, anti-calc button and a precise tip to help you iron out the corners.
We found it to be very comfortable in the hand and it is actually lighter than the previous iron at just 3.5 pounds.
If you can’t spring for the Panasonic or simply didn’t feel that it met your quilting needs, try this one.
Oliso is one of the most popular irons for serious quilters. It has a rather high price tag, but it is one of the coolest irons you’ll ever try!
The Smart Iron is smart because it senses your touch. You can actually leave this iron in the horizontal position, and when you remove your hand, it raises up and is held up by little platforms. Once you touch it again, it will lower back onto the fabric.
Quilters love this feature for pressing seams and everything else about the iron wonderful in the sewing room – easy-to-fill tank, smooth-gliding soleplate, swivel cord, auto-shut off, and they even throw in an ironing board cover that supposedly lasts longer.
We realize that not everyone can get this one due to the price, but if you’re thinking about it and are serious about your quilt projects, go for it. You won’t regret the purchase.