Buying an iron isn't too difficult, however there are features that make them easier to use and that shorten the ironing time - that's right, I did say 'shorten' the ironing time.
There are also steam generating ironing systems which deliver quality, professional results, as do garment presses.
Clothes Iron - Definition
What Influences Iron PricesFeatures and wattage influence the prices of irons which start under $20 and can run well over $100. Some are must-have features and others are nice to have if you want to pay for the convenience. Price is also influenced by the power performance of the iron - how much wattage it has, and the higher the watts, the hotter it is and the quicker the ironing. Wattage isn't always easily noticeable on the packaging; you may have to read a lot of fine print.
Must-Have FeaturesAlthough a base model iron will suffice in many cases, I've found that certain features are more than worth the small increase in price:
Steam - which helps immensely to take out wrinkles. Check that the water reservoir is easy to fill and the iron has a few steam vents.
Non-stick coated finish or stainless steel soleplate - helps the iron to glide easily and not stick; helps to protect the fabric and makes ironing quicker.
Swivel cord base - really helps with handling the iron.
Variable heat/fabric settings - so you can safely iron various fabrics from cottons to silk with the correct amount of heat.
Nice to Have FeaturesThese features would sure be nice to have, but they'll increase the cost:
Cordless Ironing - no cord to wrap around or worry about. It has limits to how long you can iron before re-charging the base. Increased wattage - the higher the wattage - the quicker the ironing, but a very hot iron demands more handling care.
Look for at least 1200 - 1400 watts or even higher.
Important Optional Safety FeaturesAutomatic shut-off if left idle for several minutes - this is a great feature, but it's not available on all models.
Metal plate rest for the ironing board.
Alert system or auto shut-off if iron has been left on and face down on the ironing board.