Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Ironing machines can make housework much easier. Ironing shirts, blouses and trousers in particular takes a lot of time and practice. There are special ironing dolls that can help you perfectly and do not require any ironing skills. If you have a lot of laundry, we recommend that you buy an ironing machine.

The correct fit of a crease in suit trousers can also be achieved without much effort. With our big ironing machine test 2022 we want to help you find the best ironing machine for you. We have compared ironing dummies, ironing machines and steam ironing presses with each other and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




The most important

  • Automatic ironing machines make ironing easier. If you need freshly ironed shirts or blouses for your job every day, ironing dolls will help you. You don’t need to practice ironing and the result is wrinkle-free.
  • If you have a large amount of laundry, it’s a great advantage to work in a way that is easy on your back and joints. Steam ironing presses and ironing machines meet this requirement, as they can be operated from a sitting position
  • Delicate textiles can also be easily ironed with an automatic ironing machine. Here, the ironing dummy and the steam press offer clear advantages over a steam iron due to their temperature selection and low contact pressure.

The Best Ironing Machine: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an ironing machine

Who is an automatic ironer suitable for?

It doesn’t matter whether it’s for everyday clothes or bed linen. In principle, an ironing machine is suitable for every household. In order to get the most out of the ironing machine, the type, the material and the number of items to be ironed play an important role.

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Large piles of laundry are an easy task for an automatic iron. An ironing machine smoothes the laundry in no time.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Gerhard Gellinger)

Ironing shirts takes time and requires a lot of practice.With an ironing dummy, the shirt or blouse becomes wrinkle-free quickly and without much effort.

Especially people who need a freshly ironed shirt or a wrinkle-free blouse every day in the office will not want to miss this time saving. In addition, so-called ‘non-iron shirts’ become even smoother. Due to daily use in the office, suit trousers have seat creases in the knee area. Here, a special trouser iron or an ironing attachment for trousers is the first choice. Fabric trousers become wrinkle-free and the next day nothing stands in the way of the meeting with the boss. It also puts an end to the tiresome topic of “how do I iron my shirt”.

T-shirts of any size are simply slipped onto the ironing dummy and after a few minutes they are ready. Any outdoor clothing that can be ironed is quickly made ready for use by an automatic ironing machine. Bed linen and tablecloths are very large items of laundry and very awkward to iron with an iron. Here, the ironing machine or steam iron is more suitable.

For a large family, the automatic ironing machine brings time advantages in addition to the clothes. Towels, bed linen and tablecloths become wrinkle-free.

Fine linen and wool should not be ironed unconditionally with the automatic iron. If you have a lot of laundry made of wool or stretch material, an automatic ironing machine is not really suitable.

What types of automatic ironers are there?

There are actually three types of automatic ironers. Here we briefly present the different ironing processes in the table.

Type ironing process
Ironing dummy irons and dries with warm air or steam
Ironing machine irons with heated trough or heated roller and contact pressure
Steam ironing press irons with steam and contact pressure

How does an automatic ironer work?

The aim of any automatic ironer is to remove the creases from the laundry. This can be done with different methods. Automatic ironers that work with hot air can be thought of as a kind of oversized hairdryer.

However, the hot air alone does not make a shirt wrinkle-free. There must be an additional shape over which the still damp garment can be placed. This shape either corresponds to a torso and is thus suitable for shirts etc.. Or it looks like two legs and you can put trousers over it. The mould is inflated by the hot air and thus presses against the garment. This way it is dried by the air and pressed smooth at the same time.

With steam, the fibres of the garment swell and can thus be shaped. But here, too, additional pressure is usually exerted on the garment. Water is heated to a very high temperature in a container until steam is generated.

The steam is then pressed onto the garment. It can penetrate deep into the fibres and then shapes them. In addition, light pressure is exerted by two heatable surfaces between which the garment lies. Pressure, heat and moisture bring the textiles back into shape.

However, there is also the possibility of ironing the textiles without wrinkles using only pressure and a heated surface. A rotating roller moves the garments past a heated surface that is shaped like a trough. The temperature of the trough can be selected according to the textiles.

What does an automatic ironer cost?

There are big differences depending on the manufacturer, use and quality.

Automatic ironers are available for (almost) every budget. The price range is enormous and lies between 60 and 2000 euros.

An ironing dummy that is only suitable for shirts can be obtained for as little as 60 euros. With a trouser attachment, the price starts at around 80 euros. However, there are also professional devices for just under 650 euros. A steam ironing press is available from about 180 euros. The most expensive presses cost around 650 euros. The average price is 300 euros.An ironing machine is the most expensive purchase. It starts at 700 euros and ends at about 2000 euros.

These ironing machines are usually only brand-name products and therefore have a corresponding price. They are designed for large quantities of laundry and require very good quality.

What are the alternatives to an automatic ironer?

There are a few alternatives to ironing dummies, steam ironing presses etc. These also have their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Steam iron: The classic and inexpensive alternative is certainly the iron or steam iron. Towels, tablecloths, T-shirts and trousers can be ironed quickly with an iron. With a shirt or blouse, it takes some practice to achieve a wrinkle-free result. In addition, the steam iron needs to be refilled with water more often if a large amount of laundry is being ironed.
  • Steam ironing station: With a steam ironing station, the hot water is generated in an external water tank. The heated water is fed through a hose into the iron, where it produces steam. The external water tank is much larger than that of an iron and therefore you can iron for longer. However, practice in ironing is still required for good results.
  • Steam straighteners: Steam straighteners or steam brushes are practical little helpers that smooth delicate textiles without wrinkles. Steam can be used to smooth laundry while it is hanging. However, steam straighteners should only be seen as a supplement. Due to the small tank, larger quantities of laundry can only be processed to a limited extent. But they are very suitable for travelling.

Decision: What types of ironing machines are there and which is the right one for you?

You want to buy an ironing machine, but you don’t really know which one is right for you. There are three alternatives, which we will present to you with their advantages and disadvantages:

  • Ironing dummy
  • Steam iron
  • Ironing machine

There are differences in the handling of the different ironing machines and especially in the areas of application.

What distinguishes an ironing dummy and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An ironing dummy works like a large hot air dryer. The shirts are put over the torso and stretched. It is important that the shirt fits correctly. You should pay a lot of attention to the button placket, the shirt collar and the sleeves. If everything fits correctly, the ironing process can begin. You do not have to be present and can do other things around the house in the meantime, e.g. fold the previously dried shirt or hang it in the wardrobe.

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With an ironing dummy you can achieve a wrinkle-free result in just a few minutes.
(Image source: pixabay.com / whitesession)

The blouses are not only smoothed, but also dried. Therefore, the residual moisture of the outerwear is important. It should be up to 40 %. Using an ironing dummy is therefore gentler than using a tumble dryer or a steam iron. The fibres are not treated too hot and are not formed with high pressure.

Advantages
  • Smoothes and dries textiles
  • gentler than a tumble dryer
  • attachment for shirts possible
Disadvantages
  • Only suitable for outerwear
  • Correct fit on torso necessary

Ironing dummies are suitable for all common clothing sizes. From XS to XXL, all tops can be stretched. However, many suppliers also supply special ironing bags for larger and smaller sizes. In addition to shirts, blouses and T-shirts, the ironing dummy can also be used to shape trousers. The ironing dummy is not suitable for other types of laundry.

What are the features of a steam ironing press and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

With a steam ironing press, the laundry items are shaped by pressure, heat and moisture. Laundry items that have a simple shape can be smoothed out without any problems. These include, for example, trousers, towels, duvet covers, T-shirts and cloth handkerchiefs. You can operate the ironing press while sitting, which is very easy on the back.

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With a steam ironing press, towels can be quickly shaped and smoothed.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Alexas_Fotos)

The steam press consists of a so-called lower shoe and a movable upper shoe. The laundry items are placed on the lower shoe and pressed with the movable upper shoe. The pressure can be adjusted so that you don’t work with too much pressure.

Advantages
  • Problem-free smoothing of simple items of laundry
  • operation while sitting is easy on the back
  • suitable for delicate textiles
Disadvantages
  • Shirts difficult to smooth

Due to the size of the heated surfaces, you can even iron an entire item of laundry in one pass. All in all, this saves a lot of time. The temperature of the ironing press is adjustable and therefore also suitable for delicate textiles. Silk scarves become smooth and wrinkle-free again. Accurate creases for suit trousers are no witchcraft with a steam press, but can be achieved quickly and easily.

What are the features of an ironing machine and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An ironing machine and an ironing press work in a similar way. However, an ironing machine automatically pulls in the laundry and guides it through a heated roller. The heat and pressure smoothes the garments.

Advantages
  • Automatically pulls in the laundry
  • ironing is easy on the hands and joints
Disadvantages
  • Smoothing takes place primarily through pressure
  • Requires a fixed place in the room

Bed linen, towels and tablecloths can be ironed in this way without exerting too much force. When using the ironing machine for shirts and trousers, a lot of practice and special dexterity is required. For other textiles, the ironing machine is not recommended because, if used incorrectly, it will cause more creases to appear on the textiles instead of smoothing out wrinkles.

Large ironing machines are for commercial use. However, there are also small ironers for home use. Families with large piles of laundry can benefit from an ironing machine.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate automatic ironers

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the many possible ironing machines. The aspects you can use to compare ironing machines are:

Size

An ironing dummy is very handy, with average dimensions of 40 x 40 x 160 cm. It can be placed on the table and thus has a comfortable working height. The average size of a tabletop steam ironing press is 62 x 26 cm.

The steam press can therefore be placed on any table. A stand-alone unit with a telescopic stand has an additional height of up to 90 cm. Due to its size, the ironing machine needs a fixed place in the room. Roller widths of up to 85 cm are standard. A chair is also needed so that the ironer can be operated.

Stowability and weight

After ironing, the ironing dummy can be stowed away to save space by retracting the telescopic bar or removing the top frame. Thus, it can be stored in any cupboard. The weight is between 2 and 18 kg. The ironing dummy can be easily stowed away, although some devices require a little more force.

All of the automatic ironers presented here can be easily stored. Either in the cupboard or in a niche.

The weight of a steam ironing press varies between 12 and 15 kg. This means that transporting a steam press requires some effort. Despite the fixed size, the ironing press can be stowed away to save space… A steam press with a stand is simply placed next to the cupboard. An ironing press that can be folded and pushed by sturdy transport wheels can be stored next to the cupboard in a very space-saving way.

Due to the weight of up to 40 kg, it is advisable if the floor is level. To ensure that the ironing machine glides easily over the floor, an existing carpet should not have a high pile.

Energy efficiency

An output of 800 to over 3000 watts is not uncommon for ironing machines. The higher the wattage, the more electricity the ironing machine consumes. However, the ironing time is also shorter. The lower the wattage, the longer it takes the ironing dummy to smooth and dry the textiles. Steam ironing presses and ironing machines have an output of up to 2500 watts.

If the wattage is over 1000 watts, it is recommended to use the ironing machine alone on a power socket.

Facts worth knowing about automatic ironers

All automatic ironers require care. Whether it is gentle cleaning with a damp cloth or rag or replacing the roller cover.

How do I care for my ironing machine?

Most ironing machines without steam function do not require any special cleaning. Both the ironing dummy and the ironing machine are only wiped with a damp cloth. With the ironing dummy, it may be necessary to wash the balloon or inflation bag after a certain period of time. You can wash the inflation bag at max. 30°C in the washing machine or by hand. It can then be spun. Please make sure that the maximum speed is 800 rpm.

If you wash the balloon by hand, you should hang it up so that the water can drip off. If the balloon is still wet, you can finish drying it directly on the balloon doll. If the bag is still dripping wet, this drying process is not recommended because water can drip into the appliance and destroy it. Please make sure to use distilled water with the steam iron and the ironing machine. This is strongly recommended by most manufacturers.

If you do not use distilled water, you must decalcify your appliance regularly. Otherwise, the build-up of limescale in the water tank, the hoses and the steam outlets will impair the function in the long term or the appliance will no longer work at all. Such damage will not be repaired free of charge due to improper use.

With some machines, you can also use tap water without any problems, as they have a built-in descaling capsule. This automatically decalcifies the tap water and does not cause any damage to the machine.

Are there accessories or spare parts?

If the ironing dummy is used frequently, the inflatable bag can be damaged when shirts and T-shirts are pulled over it. It must then be replaced. The manufacturers offer corresponding replacement balloons in the shape of a torso.

With the steam ironing press and the ironing machine, it is recommended to replace the cover after some time. The cover becomes unsightly through use. Most covers are not washable, but can be replaced with a washable cover, which is slightly more expensive. For steam ironing machines where you can use tap water instead of distilled water, there are replacement descaler capsules. Simply read the operating instructions to find out how to change the capsule. We have compiled the most important tips for you in the following list.

Ironing machine Possible replacement Care tips
Ironing dummy Balloon bag as a torso or in the shape of trousers Wash the inflation bag as required at 30°C and spin at a maximum of 800 rpm. Dry directly on the ironing dummy
Steam ironing press Replacement covers for the heating plates and descaling capsules By using distilled water no descaling necessary
Ironing machine Covering for the rollers If no steam function is integrated, no descaling necessary

Picture source: Kachmar/ 123rf.com

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