Best Inexpensive Steam Iron

I just asked Siri*, “How do most people relax?” She rattled off a list of activities including, “nosh on chocolate,” “rub your feet over a golf ball,” “count backward,” “meditate” and “drip cold water on your wrists.” Siri completely missed my favorite way to relax. I iron (not to be confused with I pump iron, which I do not). No really. There’s something soothing and instantly gratifying about a good steam iron with a heft of heat and steam gliding back and forth over wrinkled fabric.

Steam and Heat

That’s why I was excited to get another request, this time from Marianne, “I need a new iron. I’ve searched the Internet trying to find the best steam iron for the best price, and all I get is terribly confused! Can’t someone make a decent steam iron? Suggestions, please!”

I kind of jumped for joy at that question because yes, and I do have suggestions—three to be exact, based on these criteria: steaming rate, ironing quality, features, and price.

Here they are—my current** top three steam irons:

Best Inexpensive



Best Better Quality



Best Steam Iron Station



There you go, Marianne. I hope that clears away the confusion and helps you make a confident decision.


*the voice-activated app for iPhone

**Steam iron manufacturers frequently introduce new models, not unlike car manufacturers. My recommendations may change from time to time. Gotta’ keep up.


Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.


First published: 10-15-18; Updated 12-10-21


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

More from Everyday Cheapskate

A woman cleaning soot from the glass of the fireplace. Homework daily winter routine
Pouring bleach close up on red background
Fresh green celery isolated on white
A freshly baked pizza margherita with olive oil, tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese.
hot deals banner
news u can use sep 2023
life insurance concept
campsite at sunrise
money under lock chain to show concept of retirement account

Please keep your comments positive, encouraging, helpful, brief,
and on-topic in keeping with EC Commenting Guidelines

Caught yourself reading all the way 'til the end? Why not share with a friend.

8 replies
  1. Kay Jones says:

    I know it says you can use tap water but I have always taken the precaution of using distilled water. My water is very hard and I have had my iron for years without any issues and think not using tap water has helped.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      I’d caution you to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in that regard. There’s a reason that iron was made to use tap water: The use of 100% distilled/reverse osmosis waters should be avoided due to the fact it will only convert to steam at a higher temperature. If the manual says to use tap water … you are best advised to use tap water.

  2. Sue in MN says:

    You missed my favorite. I sew – a lot. That means I use my irons a lot. For many years I have used and loved the Velocity steam iron by Reliable. My favorite features are the separate heating elements for the iron and the steam, which means no spitting EVER, and the option to shut off the “Auto Shut Off” feature when I want the iron to stay hot. I got my first one MANY years ago at a trade show, after trying and giving away so many irons I lost count, when my husband insisted it was what I needed. At the time it cost almost $100 and I was horrified – until I used it for a while. It was better then the much more costly steam generator I had. A few years ago we got a seasonal home, and I was lucky to score an almost unused Velocity at a flea market for $5 because it was missing its plug, which was easily replaced for $3. This summer the original died, and I immediately ordered a replacement – the Velocity 200IR – I am happy to report it is even better than the original – improved vents, larger tank, and controls in a better location. It is widely available on line for about $150 – $170, or 20% less at Bed Bath & Beyond with their coupon. It easily outlasted 4 or 5 $40 irons, and I never once cursed it for dripping on my clothes or sewing projects.

  3. Linda Waud says:

    We have had a very miserable experience with our Rowenta Pro Steam 1700 watt iron. It has just started dumping water out all over the board, the floor, the clothes…checking online I found that this is evidently a common sore spot across all the stand-alone versions of the Rowenta steam irons. It has to do with a line in their owners pamphlet that states: “Do not use distilled water…” Very counter-intuitive instruction, and, at best, a lie. Distilled water will not hurt an iron. Even if the iron is designed to work with tap water, distilled water can only damage the seals in an iron if they are extremely soluble. The real reason the iron leaks is in the construction of the tank and the handle, which is very poor. It is all held together by little plastic clips instead of screws. This is the same for the 50 dollar Pro Steam all the way to the 179 dollar model. They are designed to fail, which is a characteristic of so many modern appliances.
    Our next purchase will definitely not be a Rowenta branded product.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Counterintuitive, perhaps. However,there are reasons to follow that instruction. Manufacturers, including Rowenta, make steam irons these days to work best with tap water. It has to do with producing the best and most efficient steam, but also to keep the iron working well.

      I’m going to defend Rowenta. I have or have had, nearly all of the Rowenta models through the years. When used as instructed, it is a fabulous piece of equipment. My current Rowenta is 3 years old and has been given a heavy-duty workout on a regular basis. As I sit and look at it now I would say it is in pristine condition—does not leak, spit or malfunction. And I pour tap water into it by the gallon. That would be my only complaint: I need a gallon-sized reservoir!!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *