T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord FV4379 Review

From $40 Best

The manufacturer of non-stick cookware has applied its know-how to irons, and many say this inexpensive model rivals those costing three times as much. It puts out lots of steam and heat and boasts a ceramic soleplate; a retractable cord and large water tank add to its appeal.

This iron does just what the middle part of its name implies, say T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord FV4379 reviews; that is, it fairly glides over clothes, rendering them smooth and wrinkle-free. Reviews, like those found at Sears, praise its user-friendly operation and effectiveness on fabrics of varying weights and thickness. Frugal consumers compare it favorably to high-end irons, and some report having purchased the T-Fal Ultraglide as a replacement when the pricey brand quit. In reviews on J&R, users rave about the sizable output of steam, which makes quick work of seams and bothersome creases. (Have you tried ironing linen lately?) The Ultraglide also finds favor with people who iron denim because it removes wrinkles in one pass without having to hold the iron on one spot. Users generally appreciate its heft, although a few consider it a bit too heavy, and they note the nine-foot cord doesn't get in the way -- even if you're left-handed. We did, however, come across several reviews on Amazon that gripe about water leaks.

Among the budget irons that we researched, the T-Fal Ultralide Easycord FV4379 out-powers the bunch with a whopping 1700 watts, which ensures hot, sustainable heat. It also features 64 steam holes that help evenly distribute the heat and steam, and a generous nine-ounce water tank that means fewer interruptions for refills. BTW, refilling the T-Fal Ultraglide is easy -- just walk to the tap and hold the iron in a horizontal position, or use a cup; the translucent tank provides a clear line of sight to the water level. The non-stick ceramic soleplate demands little strength to push and an extra-large heel provides stability when the iron is set upright. This model also boasts a self-cleaning function but does not have a mister.

The discount irons universe claims the T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord as a winner. Consumers who take their ironing seriously and those who just want an iron that does its job provide consistently strong T-Fal Ultraglide Easycare reviews.

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T-Fal Prima FV3056 Review

From $25 Good

The T-Fal Prima FV3056 is a good, functional iron with desirable features, such as a large water tank and steam surge. Users like its heat, steam, and balanced weight.

Another budget iron from T-Fal that wins accolades from consumers is the Prima FV3056. Although it lacks some of the enhanced features found on the Ultraglide Easycord FV4379, like retractable cord and ceramic soleplate, this one's got the basics -- lots of heat and steam and a nonstick soleplate. T-Fal Prima FV3056 reviews say it has enough heft to press heavy items and ensure that dress shirts look almost starched. Reviews on Walmart note that it can iron coats and steam curtains, and another review at Macy's credits the weight of the iron with easing the workload. The nonstick surface showed its stuff, reports a review on Amazon, when it came time to wipe off a crayon transfer that had bled onto the iron from some fabric. This model doesn't totally escape grumble-free, however. Some reviews report a bit of leaking and staining, say the dark window on the water tank makes it hard to gauge what's inside, and suggest that it needs more temperature/fabric settings.

The manufacturer doesn't list the wattage of the T-Fal Prima, but users seem satisfied with the speed at which it heats up and the amount of heat and steam it delivers. An indicator light signals whether the iron is on or off, and the standard three-way auto shutoff ensures that it shuts down when tipped over or resting too long. The water tank holds 10 ounces, which is almost over-sized in the low-cost iron segment. The cord is well-placed for lefties, and it wraps around the iron when you're done.

In all, this iron is a strong performer that's available at a cheap price. Hard to go wrong with this one.

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Panasonic NIS-300TR Review

From $29 Good

With the cordless option, you can maneuver around anything while you're ironing, and the detachable water tank adds to the convenience. But users aren't sold, noting the heat doesn't hold up in cordless mode and the docking mechanism is troublesome.

Squarely in the budget category, the Panasonic NI-S300TR might not perform as well as the upscale models, but most users aren't complaining. In fact, Panasonic NI-S300TR reviews indicate that many consumers who bought this model as a replacement for one of the high-priced brands are happy to have made the switch. Many echo this review on Amazon, which concedes that the low price was the deciding factor in the purchase but the accompanying low performance expectations were dashed. Users like the curved titanium soleplate with its sharp point, the iron's weight, and the smooth results on shirts, blouses, and pants; one seamstress who works with fusible webbing reports the material is easily removed when it sticks to the soleplate. But others demur, saying you get what you pay for. In some reviews, users gripe about slow heating, sputtering and leaking water, inadequate steam when held vertically, and defective thermostats. On Viewpoints, a few reviews conclude this model passes if you don't do lots of ironing, especially of heavy fabrics, or need to press exceptionally wrinkled clothing.

The Panasonic NI-S300TR has 1200 watts and weighs a bit over three pounds. The temperature selections range between 176 and 392 degrees and the six-ounce water tank reportedly generates plenty of steam. You can unleash a jet of steam or a spray mist, and you can also choose to iron dry. The retractable cord gets a thumbs-up in a Panasonic NI-S300TR review on Camera World, although we did note a comment about the cord placement proving to be biased against lefties.

On the whole, the Panasonic NI-S300TR is a good, but not stellar, iron. If you don't need an amazing wrinkle remover on the first pass, this could be the bargain you're looking for.

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Smartek ST2000 Cord/Cordless Review

From $29 Think Twice

With the cordless option, you can maneuver around anything while you're ironing, and the detachable water tank adds to the convenience. But users aren't sold, noting the heat doesn't hold up in cordless mode and the docking mechanism is troublesome.

It seems like such a great idea -- an iron that does its thing without a cord, and one that starts at $29, no less. But consumers attracted to the Smartek Cord/Cordless ST-2000 by those very features are often disappointed. Smartek Cord/Cordless ST-2000 reviews posted on Overstock, for example, say the iron heats up quickly in cordless mode but then needs a recharge in short order. But then, continue reviews on Walmart and Amazon, dealing with the recharging dock can be a challenge. First, you have to wait for the indicator light to come on to signal the iron is hot (some users say this happens quickly). Second, third, and fourth, users complain that the locking mechanism on the base sometimes doesn't hold, putting it in the base and taking it off requires two hands, and the plastic base withers under the onslaught of heat. The alternative of using the iron in corded mode can be problematic, as well; a Smartek Cord/Cordless ST-2000 review says the cord makes it bulky and heavy.

The Smartek Cord/Cordless ST-2000 iron has 1200 watts of power, a burst of steam for vertical ironing and tough wrinkles, a mister to set in creases, and a nonstick stainless steel soleplate. The six-ounce water tank is transparent, so you can see when it needs a refill, and it's detachable, so it's easy to refill at the tap.

Despite the conveniences, an iron that fails to provide sustained and sufficient heat to de-wrinkle whatever needs pressing is no bargain at all.

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Shark Professional Rapido G1468 Review

From $30 Think Twice

With lots of power and so-called intelligent controls, this iron makes a great first impression. But user reports of leaks and assorted build quality problems cast a pall on the original glow.

The Shark Professional Rapido G1468 certainly looks impressive fresh out of the box: good features for a modest price. But based on the Shark Professional Rapido G1468 reviews that we read, the glow wears off quickly. Complaints about this model concern performance and durability. In reviews on Target, for example, users report severe water leaks that cause fabrics to burn (one user says the water was rusty), white crystals that flake all over, smoking instead of heating, controls that don't work, and units that conk out entirely within months. Users posting reviews on Amazon also gripe about problems adjusting the heat because of the awkward placement of the controls, a short in the cord, and disintegrating chrome. To be sure, some consumers say the Shark Rapido irons smoothly and produces lots of steam; it handily meets the needs of a woman who sews a lot and presses seams and hems, according to a review on Epinions, although she notes that it does blast through the water in the tank.

With 1500 watts, the Shark Rapido is a powerhouse, and one consumer comments on Amazon that it reduces ironing time by 75%. It features a steam surge button and vertical steaming, which a few reviews suggest lets you steam hanging garments up to a foot away. The 10-foot cord pivots 360 degrees. There's an automatic shut-off after seven minutes of inactivity, but we read some reports about shut downs after just three minutes or as much as 15 minutes.

The Shark Professional Rapido G1468 has done the job for some consumers, but for most it's been a dud. You can do better elsewhere.

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Buying Guide

Most any clothes iron, whether cheap or pricey, will meet the needs of anyone who irons once in a while. And with the rise of casual work-wear and synthetic fibers, who really needs an iron anymore? But if iron you must -- for sewers and quilters, an iron is mandatory, as it is for folks who wear mostly cotton -- experts say there's no longer any reason to pay a premium for a gratifying ironing experience. In other words, the best cheap clothes irons often perform at least as well as models costing $100 and more.

Cheap Irons Buying Guide

Our research into the best cheap clothes irons set the price ceiling at $40 and turned up several models that are feature-rich, easy to use, and leave your clothing wrinkle-free. Our picks for best cheap clothes iron are the T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord FV4379 (starting at $40) and the Black & Decker F67E Classic (starting at $25) -- the former because it heats up quickly, has lots of holes for lots of steam, and boasts a large water tank; the latter because it's a no-frills model just like mom's that gets really hot and gets the job done. As runners-up we like the T-Fal Prima FV3056 (starting at $25) and Panasonic NI-S300TR (starting at $23) for their overall value and plentiful steam output. Two cheap irons that don't make the grade are the Smartek Cord/Cordless ST2000 (starting at $29), which is hard to dock in its base and loses heat rapidly in cordless mode, and the Shark Professional Rapido G1468 (starting at $30), which seems plagued by a variety of build quality problems.

As ironers surely know, the most critical features in an iron are the production of heat and steam and the size of the water tank. To make a lot of steam, you need a lot of heat. On the whole, higher-priced irons heat up faster, reach the very high temperatures (about 400 degrees) needed to iron wrinkles out of cotton, and have more holes through which steam emerges. Upscale models usually have 1500-1700 watts of power, compared to the 1200 or so common among cheap irons. Heat matters because if it's too low, there's a higher possibility of leakage, the bane of every ironer because leaking water can stain fabric. Large quantities of steam come from large quantities of water, so if you want lots of steam, it helps if the water tank is big, easy to refill, and easy to gauge the water level. More important than anything else, though, is the ease with which an iron does its job - the better it works, the less muscle power you'll exert. This is partly dependent on the weight of the iron. If it's heavy enough, it will press out wrinkles, but an iron that's too heavy is uncomfortable to use for any length of time.

The basic features found on cheap irons are more or less standard across models. In fact, the better budget irons now incorporate many features once reserved for upscale irons. For example, most cheap irons have a "burst of steam" that quickly sets creases and can be used a vertical steamer. They typically provide some sort of guide indicating the heat and steam required for various fabrics. The soleplate (the bottom of the iron) is almost always described as "non-stick" regardless of its composition -- often stainless steel, although aluminum, ceramic, titanium, and Teflon also make their appearance on inexpensive irons. Automatic shut-off is found all through the price spectrum. Some cheap irons feature a retractable cord and the occasional cordless iron shows up at the low-price end of the market. Most steam irons take ordinary tap water (except if you live in an area with extremely hard water, in which case you should use distilled water), and some feature a self-cleaning setting that flushes out any build-up.

The cheap irons universe is dominated by T-Fal, Black & Decker, Panasonic, Sunbeam, and Hamilton Beach. Each of these brands offers a range of products with varied features, although sometimes it's hard to discern the difference between models from the same manufacturer. When you start shopping for a cheap iron, bear in mind your ironing profile; that is, the type of fabrics you iron most frequently. For example, you'll need a heavier iron with more heat and more steam if you work with a lot of denim rather than synthetic fabrics. If you iron a lot of clothing at once, you'll want a water tank that holds more than a cup; tank size won't matter so much if you only iron one or two items at a time.

Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table

Cheap Steam Irons, Cordless Irons

Steam Iron Water Tank.

How much water can cheap steam irons hold? That depends on the model. If you're a big-time ironer, look for a cheap steam iron with a large water tank so you don't have to refill midstream. Among the models we researched, the low end of the range is filled by the Black & Decker F67E Classic (starting at $25) and the Black & Decker F1060 Steam Advantage (starting at $15) with four-ounce water tanks, followed by the Panasonic NI-S300TR (starting at $23) and Smartek ST2000 Cord/Cordless (starting at $29) with six-ounce tanks. The T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord FV4379 (starting at $40) features a nine-ounce tank, the Kalorik DA-31750 (starting at $27) has a 9.5 ounce tank, and the T-Fal Prima FV3056 (starting at $25) holds 10 ounces. By contrast, the upscale Rowenta DW8080 Pro Master (starting at $99) boasts a tank that holds close to 13 ounces of water.

The water tank is usually transparent, which lets you see when it needs refilling. The all-metal Black & Decker F67E Classic features an internal tank with a small window that a review on Amazon says makes it tough to know how much water is left.

A few cheap steam irons, like the Smartek Cord/Cordless ST2000, have a detachable tank that makes refilling much easier. The Panasonic NI-S300TR sports a small hole in the front for water intake that's covered with a hinged lid. But the hinge often gets in the way while refilling, and, say user reviews, doesn't always snap tightly closed. One of our picks for best cheap irons, the T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord FV4379, features a spring-assisted cover with a large sealed opening. The Black & Decker F67E Classic just has an uncapped hole with a little gauge to signal when it's full; according to the reviews we read, the lack of a cap doesn't seem to bother users because the water doesn't leak unless you turn the iron upside down.

Steam Options.

There may be times in your ironing life when you don't need steam at all -- when ironing damp clothes, for example, or a fabric that requires a low temperature. So it's practical to have an option for steam or dry ironing; some budget steam irons, including the Black & Decker F67E Classic, Kalorik DA-31750, and Panasonic NI-S300TR, afford you that choice with a dial or button.

When using your iron's steam, there should be plenty of it. The more steam holes, the steamier and the more evenly the steam is dispersed. Some high-end irons have scores of holes; the Rowenta DW8080 boasts 400. The T-Fal Ultraglide FV4379 features 64 holes, including 27 large holes intended for bursts of steam and 37 microholes, mostly concentrated at the tip, to disperse steam.

Two related features are the steam burst, or surge, and spray mist. All the models we researched, except the Black & Decker F67E Classic, feature a steam burst that's supposed to vanquish stubborn wrinkles and flatten seams; it also serves as a vertical steamer for items like curtains. The spray mist, helpful for tasks like setting or taking out creases, is found on the Black & Decker F1060 Steam Advantage, Panasonic NI-S300TR, Kalorik DA-31750, Smartek ST2000, and Shark Professional Rapido G1468 (starting at $30).

Cordless Irons.

It's a fact of the ironing life that the cord gets in the way. So a cord that swivels or retracts is a big deal, and a cordless iron can seem like the Holy Grail. The T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord FV4379 gets half its name from a system that keeps the nine-foot cord lifted up and out of the way, and then retracts when your work is done; the Panasonic NI-S300TR also boasts a retractable cord. The Black & Decker F67E Classic and F1060 Steam Advantage, Kalorik DA-31750, and Shark Rapido G1468 feature cords that swivel for greater maneuverability. Cords on most cheap steam irons measure between eight and ten feet. The cordless irons option, available with the Smartek ST2000, is a big draw for some users.

Steam Iron Power.

The wattage of the cheap steam irons we researched varies. At the high end is the T-Fal Ultraglide FV4379 with 1700 watts of power followed by the Shark Rapido F1468 with 1500 watts. The Panasonic NI-S300TR and Smartek ST2000 each have 1200 watts and the Black & Decker F67E Classic has 1100 watts. Based on the reviews that we read, these different power levels generally produce sufficient steam and heat.

Temperature Controls.

The many different types of fabric that need ironing require different degrees of heat. All the irons we researched let you choose the temperature that suits whatever type of fabric is on the board.

Iron Safety.

Automatic shut-off is an important safety feature. Most every iron these days turns off automatically after a maximum one minute of inactivity if resting face down or tipped over on its side (timing varies by model; some shut off after 30 seconds). If the iron is sitting upright on its heel, it shuts off after several minutes; between seven and 10 minutes is the norm for cheap steam irons.

Steam Iron Reviews, Iron Reviews

Some people iron occasionally, some iron several items on a daily basis, and some iron a lot of stuff frequently. Regardless, steam iron reviews assert that a good iron helps make the task so much easier. Heat is the number one quality that users want, according to iron reviews, because heat (together with steam) removes wrinkles quickly -- and the faster the iron heats up, the better. Other attributes users favor include ease-of-use and durability. An iron that drips, say steam iron reviews, causes users themselves to steam.

Heat and Pressing.

According to experts, cheap irons often perform as well as their expensive counterparts. Indeed, we read steam irons reviews by users that tell of ditching pricey irons for the budget variety because cheaper was better.

For a brand often associated with non-stick cookware, it's perhaps no surprise that consumers and experts wax lyrical about the T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord FV4379. It almost literally glides across the fabric, says About.com; dozens of users report likewise, noting it flattens seams and smoothes out jeans in a flash. Steam iron reviews on J&R say the T-Fal Ultraglide heats up quickly and produces lots of consistent steam, which makes ironing almost effortless. The Black & Decker F67E Classic also earns mostly rave reviews, often from consumers such as this one commenting on Amazon who remember it fondly as the iron of their youth. Other iron reviews on Walmart admire its heavy-duty, no-extras simplicity, and most importantly, its heat. Consumers also attribute the excellent pressing performance to its all-metal construction and three-plus-pound weight, features that set it apart from what one user calls "flimsy" plastic models.

Plenty of consumers also comment favorably on the 3.4-pound Panasonic NI-S200TR. In steam iron reviews on Amazon, many users say this inexpensive model heats up quickly and sends out plenty of steam, although we read some griping about inadequate heat and needing to refill the tank often, as well as some sputtering and dripping. (Note that such reports surface to some extent in reviews about most cheap irons.) The T-Fal Prima FV3056 is a good basic iron for the money, conclude steam iron reviews. One post on the Macy's website says the iron produces plenty of steam and heat and slides easily over jeans. Comparing the Prima FV3056 to the T-Fal Ultraglide FV4379 in a review on Amazon, one consumer says the former gets hotter but she prefers the ceramic soleplate of the Ultraglide to the non-stick soleplate on the Prima.

The one cordless iron we researched, the Smartek ST2000, is done in by the speed with which it loses heat, say steam irons reviews on Overstock, while other users gripe on Walmart about inadequate heat. Opinion is divided in steam iron reviews on Target about how hot the Shark Professional Rapido G1468 gets, but the big irritants seem to be water leakage, white crystals that spray out of the tank, and staining of clothing.

Best Irons, Best Steam Irons

Ease of Use.

Generally speaking, irons are uncomplicated appliances. Indeed, the basic, no-frills, "old-school" styling and features of the Black & Decker F67E Classic account for much of its appeal. But some of the 21st century bells and whistles found on other models win over plenty of consumers. The catch is, sometimes these features turn out not to be so user-friendly. The cordless option on the Smartek ST2000, for example, is a welcome convenience, according to reviews of the best irons at Walmart, and Amazon, but the allure wanes due to problems with the docking mechanism on the power base and the frequent need to reheat the iron; consumers also grouse about its weight and bulkiness when using the power cord. And the "intelligent" temperature control on the Shark Professional Rapido G1468 might just as well be dumb, say steam irons reviews on Target, because the location of the settings function makes it all too easy to accidentally hit and change it; a similar complaint is lodged against the Panasonic NI-S300TR. One user notes that she bought the T-Fal Ultraglide Easycord partly because of the retractable cord but then struggled to figure out how to use it. And the fabric guide on the T-Fal Prima FVB3056 uses a dot code that requires the owner's manual to decipher. And we read a number of steam iron reviews for the Panasonic NI-S300TR that respond to users' grousing about leaking water by stressing the importance of first reading the manual: the iron apparently won't leak if you switch on the steam after the water reaches maximum heat.

For our top picks, these are minor issues that don't deter most users. In fact, consumers say the models on our list of favorites make ironing less of a chore and one that's completed in record time. They tell of ironing a man's shirt 20% faster with the Panasonic NI-S300TR and a chiffon blouse in less than 60 seconds with the Black & Decker F67E Classic. Best iron reviews extol the virtues of the T-Fal Ultraglide, noting that the cord doesn't get in your way, the water tank is easy to fill, the iron feels solid and is stable when resting on its heel. Consumers like the heft of the aluminum housing on the Black & Decker F67E Classic, according to steam iron reviews on the Macy's website, and the general ease of handling. Reviews of the best irons say the Panasonic NI-S300TR doesn't require frequent refilling and the curved titanium soleplate with its sharp point makes quick work of creases and pleats. And the T-Fal Prima FV3056 wins points for its evenly distributed weight, wide heel that keeps it from wobbling while resting on the board, and a cord that's lefty-friendly.

Iron Durability.

Irons take an amazing amount of abuse. Steam iron reviews refer to their being knocked over by 20-pound cats, flying out of RV cabinets, tugged at by children, toppling off the ironing board, and so on. Users seem perfectly willing to take the fall for their iron's demise due to such mishaps, but they get cranky when an iron -- even a cheap iron -- gives out in a matter of months, let alone days.

Our top picks seem to suffer few problems with durability. The Black & Decker F67E Classic benefits from its all-metal construction, say consumers, many of whom tell of having used one for years and buying a new model when the old finally gave out. The reasonably-priced T-Fal Ultraglide FV4379 holds up better than bottom-of-the-line models, assert steam irons reviews, although a few note some leaking and say the steam can be erratic at times. We found a few scattered comments about leaking with the T-Fal Prima FV3056 and Panasonic NI-S300TR, with a couple reporting early flame-out of the latter but also accounts of having used this model for several years. Compared to the other irons we researched, build quality issues afflict the Shark Rapido G1468; users report issues like a short in the cord, flaking chrome, inaccurate timing on the auto-shutoff, stuck steam buttons, and units that quit in a matter of weeks. The Smartek ST2000 also takes a few hits for its flimsy construction and design.

Additional Products We Considered

Black & Decker F67E Classic Review

From $25

This is a no-frills, basic iron with a retro look and plenty of heft -- just the qualities that attract its many admirers, who attest to its smooth and easy pressing performance.

It's really surprising how many people rave about the Black & Decker F-67E Classic given its limited range of features. But Black & Decker F-67E Classic reviews reveal that its adherents are legion and indifferent to the allure of ostensibly more modern models. In its defense, reviews cite the iron's weight, durability, and ease of use. As one review on Lowe's comments, this all-metal iron stands far and above the other low-cost models with their plastic housing and can withstand a bit of abuse. Some users favor the Black & Decker Classic because it's reminiscent of their youth, but reviews on Amazon also laud its performance, which eliminates wrinkles and smoothes fabric in record time -- a feat that many users attribute to its three-plus-pound weight. Few would argue with a consumer reviewer on Buy.com who says that having used both "fancy" irons and the Black & Decker Classic, this is the one that deserves the love.

The Black & Decker F67E Classic has just 1100 watts of power, which trails behind the other budget irons we researched but doesn't seem to hinder heat levels. And unlike many other low-cost steam irons, the Black & Decker Classic doesn't offer a surge of steam or come with a mister; several users' Black & Decker F67E Classic reviews advise keeping a spray bottle handy. The water tank holds just four ounces, but one distinguishing feature of this model is the ability to iron without steam (many cheap irons are steam only). There's a temperature control dial with guidance about which temperature suits which fabric. The 10-foot cord pivots so it shouldn't tangle. And like other 21st century irons, it has a three-way automatic shut-off.

If it's simplicity and durability you crave in a budget iron, you can't do better than the Black & Decker F67E Classic. And if you think they don't make 'em like they used to, this one proves they do.

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Black and Decker Steam F1060 Advantage Review

From $15

Consumers' experience with this Black & Decker iron is mixed. The features and price are worthy of applause, say Black & Decker Steam Advantage 1060 reviews on sites like Walmart and Amazon, but the performance doesn't always measure up. Some reviews say this iron is easy to use -- the weight is just right, the stainless steel non-stick soleplate glides over fabric, the steam is steady. One review posted on Epinions by a man jokes that his wife now thinks he's mastered the art of ironing. On the other hand, Black & Decker Steam Advantage reviews carp about irritants like steam-burst buttons that stick, water that leaks, calcium crystals that spew out, and heat that isn't hot enough. One seamstress concludes that the iron is useless for her line of work because it doesn't produce sufficient steam and takes too long to heat up, but then never reaches really hot temperatures. The iron's two-plus-pound weight may also be a disadvantage. In a Black & Decker Steam Advantage review on Viewpoints, one user says the light weight is fine if you're doing a quick ironing job and feeling kind of listless, but it makes ironing fabrics that are thick or wrinkled, such as linen, a very demanding chore.

The Black & Decker F1060 Steam Advantage is a 1200-watt model with steam surge, spray mist, and self-cleaning features. There's a translucent water tank, which holds just four ounces, but you can easily see when it's time for a refill. The cord pivots 360 degrees and won't get in your way. Safety features include a non-tip heel (although some users are skeptical, noting the ease with which it tips over) and a three-way automatic shutoff.

A budget iron with mediocre ratings, the Black & Decker F1060 Steam Advantage might be something of a gamble. But if you iron only occasionally and find this one on sale, it just might do.

Kalorik DA-31750 Review

From $27

A good basic iron with all the features you might need, this iron is made by a company famous for its kitchen appliances. We found only a handful of Kalorik Pink DA-31750 reviews, and the comments therein are positive. On the Drugstore.com site, for example, reviews praise the even heating, light weight, and effectiveness of the steam settings; one consumer even says it's far less temperamental than upmarket models. A review posted at Walmart simply says the iron leaks when the water tank is full because the cap doesn't snap closed.

The Kalorik DA-31750 has 1200 watts of power and lets you choose between light steam and regular steam, or no steam at all. You can also get a burst of steam or a spray mist, and like most other irons, it has a dial for adjusting the temperature to suit the fabric. The water tank holds 9.3 ounces, which you can fill with the accompanying water cup. The soleplate is nonstick stainless steel and the cord swivels. This model also features a self-cleaning system that should prevent mineral build-up.

We don't have much user information to go on, but the Kalorik Pink DA-31750 looks as though it might be a contender.

Where to buy