How we tested
We asked Sweethome staffers to test irons and boards in our New York City office. Photo: Michael Hession
We set up irons and boards all over the Sweethome office and asked staffers to come in and try them. Our testers' familiarity with irons ranged from the occasional user to the fairly expert. We put out silks, table linens, quilting cottons, button-down shirts, and T-shirts at every ironing station, alongside feedback forms that asked questions such as "How easy is it to use? How much steam does it release? How does it feel to hold—does it feel well designed and well built?" We also asked whether the ironing boards felt sturdy, and we requested thoughts on their size (both of their surface and of their frame when folded up). And then we let the ironers get to it.
Our top pick, the Black+Decker D3030 Allure, has a smooth glide, tons of steam, a user-friendly design, and an extended warranty at a great price. Photo: Michael Hession
Among the irons we tested, the Black+Decker D3030 Allure packed the best combination of features, offering a smooth glide, tons of steam, a user-friendly design, and an extended warranty, all at a great price. The Allure generally retails for around $50, but often you can pick it up for as little as $35. It isn't as powerful as our upgrade pick, the Rowenta SteamForce, but in our testing it came in only second to the SteamForce in giving off steam, and it costs a quarter of the price. The Allure is also lighter than most of the irons we looked at, and our testers agreed that its Comfort Grip handle felt the best to hold and use overall.
Our runner-up pick, the Shark Ultimate Professional GI505, is high-powered and equipped with a generous 10-foot cord. Photo: Michael Hession
If the Black+Decker D3030 Allure is sold out or unavailable, we recommend the Shark Ultimate Professional GI505 in its place. It would be a great buy at a steep sale price, too. Equipped with a nice, long, 10-foot cord, it heated up quickly and tackled wrinkles about as well as the Allure. But it's a little heavier and a bit more expensive (closer to $60), and it comes with just a one-year warranty. It also has a temperature-control display that's a little less intuitive to use.
The Rowenta DW9280 SteamForce, our upgrade pick, shoots out more steam than any other iron. Photo: Michael Hession
The Rowenta DW9280 SteamForce iron was the best overall at wrinkle busting in our tests. It melted creases out of linen napkins and pressed quilt seams with almost no effort. We've never seen an iron give off more steam. But it's heavier and much more expensive than our top pick and runner-up, so we recommend it only for crafters, sewers, and anyone with busy households or tons of laundry—that is, anyone who's willing to make the investment to save time and energy.
The Homz Durabilt ironing board was by far our favorite. But it'll cost you both dollars and space. Photo: Michael Hession
We investigated ironing boards for the first time and were floored by the smart design and sturdiness of the Homz Durabilt. The top of the board itself is metal mesh rather than metal with holes, which helps steam flow through your garment. The cover is made of high-quality cotton and thick foam padding that fits well, and in our testing it was the easiest board to open and adjust. But it's pricey and a little bulky if you're short on storage or ironing space.
We honestly weren't wild about any of the more affordable boards we researched and tested; all were fairly mediocre. For something that's compact and at least sturdier than other ironing boards at a similar price, you might want to look at the Laundry Solutions by Westex board.
If you need an ironing mat option, we have a recommendation in our full guide.
Wrapping it up
After more than 20 hours of research and testing, our pick is the Black+Decker D3030 Allure. It's the easiest-to-use and most reliable iron we tested, and it produced almost as much steam as an iron that costs three times as much. We'd pair it with either the compact and inexpensive Laundry Solutions by Westex ironing board or the bulkier but smartly designed Homz Durabilt.
This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.