Travel Clothes Irons
Every traveler knows that clothes are going to come out of the suitcase rumpled. Hotels often have steam irons, but many of them have seen better days. If you do not want your crisp appearance to be a coin toss, carrying your own travel iron is the way to go.What makes an iron a travel iron?
Travel irons are more compact and lighter than irons that are intended for home use. They typically have fewer settings. Most are steam irons, but a few are not. They are intended for light ironing of garments that have been packed.What features do travel irons offer?
You may be surprised by how different compact travel irons can be. Think about your needs when you consider the following options.
- Size, shape, and weight: If you are traveling with a backpack, a lightweight steam iron may be essential. In other cases, you may not care. Travel irons also come in different shapes. Some people who travel by air believe that it is an advantage to have an iron that is immediately recognizable by airport security.
- Steam: Most travel irons can be used as both dry and steam irons. A couple of options are the steam shot and vertical steamer features. Steam shot lets you produce a burst of steam to get out a stubborn wrinkle. The vertical steam feature lets you attend to wrinkles while the clothing is still on the hanger.
- Water capacity: The amount of water a steam iron holds determines how long it will produce steam. If you typically only need to press a crease out of a shirt, a small water tank may be enough. If you travel with your family and will be ironing several pieces of clothing, a steamer with a larger water tank may be important.
- Temperature controls: The wider the variety of fabrics you need to iron, the wider the range of temperature controls you need. Ironing silk requires a very low setting, while linen needs a lot of heat. Cotton, wool, and synthetic fabrics fall in between.
- Nonstick soleplate: The soleplate is the part of the steam iron that makes contact with your clothes when you are ironing. A nonstick soleplate means that it glides smoothly without grabbing.
- Dual voltage: If you travel outside the U.S., you will want dual voltage. Dual voltage means that you can use the steam iron with either 100 volts or 240 volts. If it also includes a travel adapter that fits the outlets common in other countries, that is a great add-on.
- Power cord: There are cordless models, but most travel irons have cords. Since outlets are often in inconvenient places, a travel iron with a cord that is at least seven feet is handier.
- Auto shutoff: Some people want a steam iron that turns itself off. You can find either option in travel irons.
- Heat-resistant carrying bag: A heat-resistant bag to tuck a compact steam iron into is a convenient accessory. Some travel irons include them.