Last updated: 16/10/2022

Welcome to our big travel iron test 2022. Here we present all the travel irons we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best travel iron for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a travel iron.




Summary

  • Travel irons are a smaller, more compact version of a conventional iron, which are ideal for travellers, business people or sewing enthusiasts.
  • Travel irons can be divided into two categories. Accordingly, there are travel dry irons and travel steam irons. The latter is the most popular choice.
  • You can easily carry travel irons in your suitcase or hand luggage when travelling by air. You should only check with your tour operator before travelling by ship, as they are usually not allowed.

The Best Travel Iron: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a travel iron

What is a travel iron and how is it different from a normal iron?
A travel iron is, as the name suggests, a smaller, more compact version of a regular iron.

If you need perfectly ironed clothes every time you travel, a travel iron is just what you need. (Image source: unsplash.com / Angelina Litvin)

Thanks to their compact size, they are ideal for travelling and can easily be carried in a suitcase or bag.

These days, these travel companions offer very similar performance to their larger counterparts. In addition, they often heat up faster and also have several modes for ironing different textiles.

In most cases, these mini irons have a voltage switch so that they can be used in many different countries with different mains voltages.

Voltages from 110-240 volts are possible.

As far as safety is concerned, you should make sure that your travel iron has high-quality feet to prevent direct contact between the soleplate and the ironing surface (e.g. ironing board).

Who are travel irons suitable for?

Travel irons are particularly suitable for people who travel a lot and do not want to do without ironed clothes. But mini irons are also essential for business people and important appointments while travelling to make a good first impression.

The travel hairdryer for the right styling should not be missing either.

But these small irons are also useful for sewing enthusiasts, for example to iron on plotter patterns or to join iron-on interfacing to fabric.

What does a travel iron cost?

The price of a travel iron depends on the quality, type and features of the travel iron.

As these are electronic devices, the safety aspect plays an important role. It is therefore important to mention that caution should be exercised with particularly inexpensive models.

You should therefore pay particular attention to good workmanship, high-quality feet and safety instructions from the seller.

Type price
Very basic models up to 10 GBP (caution advised)
Good quality models from 15GBP

What are the alternatives to travel irons?

Depending on the intended use, there are of course other alternatives to travel irons.

For one thing, you might want to switch to a conventional iron for very regular use.

However, only a steam brush is a comparable alternative for travellers and those on the road. This smoothes textiles using only steam and is also available in compact versions suitable for travel.

However, these steam brushes are usually only suitable for smaller fabric creases or for freshening up. With these, no ironing base is necessary and water fillings are usually sufficient for approx. 2 T-shirts, or 1 dress or 1 jacket.

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

Travel irons can be roughly divided into two categories, which can then be further differentiated based on certain features.

Accordingly, there are:

  • Travel dry iron
  • Travel steam iron

The decision for a type of these mini irons depends on one’s own needs and the desired application. Travel steam irons are widely used due to their efficient action.

In the following, we will describe the two categories in more detail. We will explain the advantages and disadvantages, which can help you make your decision.

What distinguishes travel dry irons and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Travel dry irons correspond to the classic version of an iron. The smoothing of the textiles is only done by the heat of the soleplate and the pressure when gliding.

Due to the lack of a water tank, this form of travel iron is often somewhat smaller and lighter than other variants.

Advantages
  • Lightweight
  • Usually cheaper
  • No leakage when travelling
Disadvantages
  • More difficult with heavy fabrics and deep creases
  • Sometimes separate moistening necessary
  • Sometimes high temperatures necessary

What distinguishes travel steam irons and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Unlike dry irons, travel steam irons straighten textiles with additional steam. Water from a water tank and the soleplate are heated. This is transferred to the textiles through outlet holes on the soleplate.

At a steam temperature of approx. 130 degrees, physical pressure is no longer necessary for smoothing. The steam thus leads to perfect smoothing of deep creases and additional moistening is no longer necessary.

At a steam temperature of 130 degrees, physical pressure is no longer necessary for smoothing textiles. (Image source: pixabay.com / athree23)

The use of steam irons is particularly recommended for shirts and suits.

Advantages
  • Easier ironing
  • Also suitable for deep wrinkles, No pressure necessary
Disadvantages
  • Residual water could leak when travelling
  • Usually somewhat more expensive than dry irons

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and rate travel irons

In the following, we would like to show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate travel irons. This will give you a good overview and help you decide on a suitable product.

In summary, the important buying criteria are as follows:

  • Folding handle, weight and size
  • Water tank and capacity
  • Cable/battery
  • Eco function and soleplate material
  • Additional functions/extras

In the following, you can read exactly what is hidden behind these criteria and what role they should play in the decision.

Folding handle, weight and size

The most important criterion for travel irons is probably the weight and size. Since this is a matter of easy transport, you should definitely pay attention to the corresponding dimensions and weight specifications.

The size should not exceed 15x8x8 cm. In terms of weight, most models are around 400-500 g and thus fit easily into any suitcase or travel bag.

Another feature that is also related to the weight and size of the travel iron is the handle. It often makes sense to choose a retractable model to save even more space.

Water tank and power

In the meantime, the performance of travel irons with very high quality models is not too different from conventional irons. Most very high-quality models have a maximum power of 1000 watts.

For travel steam irons, the size of the water tank should also be taken into account. However, it is not true that the bigger the better. Smaller tanks need to be refilled more often, but this also has an impact on the weight.

Since weight is a super decisive factor when travelling, you should consider the size of the water tank carefully.

Cord/battery

Travel irons can be equipped with either a conventional power cord or a rechargeable battery. You can charge batteries with a normal battery charger.

Cordless travel irons have the advantage of not needing a power connection. This can be very practical, especially in remote places when travelling. However, they rarely provide the same performance as corded versions.

It is also important to mention that you should pay attention to the length of the cable. A length of 2 m is ideal for most situations.

Cables should also be well insulated and the travel iron should be equipped with a control LED to prevent electric shocks, overheating and thus fire.

You should also make sure you have the right mains adapter for your destination country. Most travel irons have an integrated voltage switch for the different mains voltages.

The following table gives you a brief overview of some countries and their mains voltages.

Region mains voltage in volts
Germany 230 V
France 230 V
Australia 230 V
Balearic Islands 220 V
China 220 V
Italy 230 V
Spain 230 V

Eco-function and material of the soleplate

Like their larger counterparts, many modern, high-quality travel irons have a so-called eco-function. This saves energy and is often quieter due to different steam production.

The material of the soleplate is also worth considering when buying a travel iron. Manufacturers usually use titanium or stainless steel. These are scratch-resistant and rustproof. Titanium is also lighter and equally robust.

A non-stick coating on the soleplate prevents the textiles from burning. Ceramic soles are also popular and are known for their good gliding properties.

With travel steam irons, the even arrangement of steam outlet holes is particularly important to ensure optimal results without pressure. (Image source: pixabay.com / RitaE)

With all materials, the gliding properties of the soleplate and the number and arrangement of the steam outlet holes are decisive. With steam irons, the even arrangement of the holes ensures that the steam is distributed evenly, thus enabling fast ironing.

Additional functions/extras

Travel irons can be equipped with many different additional functions or purchased with special extras.

The following table will give you a brief overview of some of the additional functions and extras and briefly explain what they are.

Additional function Description
Steam function Steam blast for deep penetration into fibres
Spray function Spraying water onto garment
Full-surface steam Even steam distribution over soleplate
Vertical steam function Removing wrinkles from hanging textiles
Stepless temperature control Special temperature control possible for different types of textiles
Protective bag Easy to transport

Facts worth knowing about travel irons

How do I iron properly?

If you are wondering how to iron properly or what tips there are, we would like to link you to a video from Sat.1 Frühstücksfernsehen.

How do you use a travel iron without an ironing board?

Since an ironing board is a bit too big for suitcases and the like, you can be inventive when ironing while travelling in order to find a suitable surface.

You can use any flat surface, such as a table, desk or the seat of a chair. However, make sure to protect the surface of your shelf. You can do this with towels or thin blankets, for example.

However, it is also important that nothing stains the textiles, which is why the top layer of your shelf should be light-coloured fabric (e.g. a bed sheet).

For frequent users, there are also special ironing boards that take up little space.

Are mini irons allowed on planes, in hand luggage or on ships?

You can take your travel iron in your suitcase or hand luggage when travelling by plane. However, you should make sure that there is no water in the steam iron in your hand luggage.

Similar to other electronic devices, travel irons are usually not allowed on ships. (Image source: pixabay.com / ed2456)

For safety reasons, travel irons are usually not allowed on ships. You should check again on the website of your tour operator.

Should you use normal or distilled water for ironing?

For most irons, the use of distilled water is recommended. Unlike normal water, distilled water does not contain limescale and therefore does not leave any residue on the soleplate. This benefits both the textiles and the cleaning of the iron.

However, there are also travel iron models that clean themselves. The limescale is collected in an anti-limescale cassette and can be easily removed and cleaned later. With these models, distilled water is not necessary.

Image source: pixabay.com / Steve Buissinne

Reviews