Ironing is hard work, your iron shouldn’t make it harder! If you’ve ever tangled with a cord or had your iron's cord wrinkle up a section of a shirt that you just ironed, you know how frustrating it can be! A cordless iron may be your answer: The iron itself has no cord, but it sits on a base with a cord that plugs into a nearby outlet. Every time you place the iron back on the base, it heats up to the temperature you’ve selected. It gives you the freedom to iron left- or right-handed, in any direction and from either side of the board without fussing with, you guessed it, that pesky cord. Keep in mind that a cordless iron starts to cool down as soon as you take it off the base, so stubborn wrinkles may need an extra pass or two and it won’t produce the same amount of steam or as strong a burst of steam as a traditional iron does.
The Good Housekeeping Institute's Cleaning Lab evaluates irons for how much steam they produce, how heavy they are, the temperatures reached by the soleplate at the various settings, and how well they remove wrinkles from nylon, silk, wool, cotton and linen fabric swatches that we’ve balled up and wrinkled overnight. We also check safety features, like automatic shut-off and how easily they tip over. Finally, we assess how comfortable the iron is to hold, how easy it is to fill, and how easy the buttons and dials are to press and adjust. These cordless models come from the same companies as many of the corded models in our previous tests:
Best Overall Cordless Iron: Panasonic Cordless Multi-Directional Iron
Best Value Cordless Iron: Sunbeam Versa Glide Cordless/Corded Iron
Best Large Cordless Iron: Panasonic Cordless Steam Dry Iron
Best No-Drip Cordless Iron: Rowenta Freemove Cordless Anti-Drip Clothes Steam Iron
Most Versatile Cordless Iron: Black + Decker Light ‘N Go Cordless Iron
Best Overall Cordless Iron
Panasonic Cordless Multi-Directional Iron
This is one of the most unique irons we've ever seen. With a pointed tip at each end of the soleplate and no cord to get in the way, there’s no place this iron can’t go. Its design means the entire soleplate is usable, not just the tip or center like on most irons: You’ll not only get your ironing done faster, but you’ll never have the flat end scrunching and wrinkling up what you’ve just pressed. De-wrinkling large items, like tablecloths and draperies, is particularly easy and speedy with this iron.
The holes around its entire perimeter mean it emits steam from any direction. It has a removable water tank for easy filling at the sink and steam, spray and temperature controls all located on the handle for convenient one-finger reach. If you get called away, no worries: The base automatically shuts off if no movement is sensed after 10 minutes, so there’s no fear of inadvertently leaving it on. We love the deep button groove that runs around the entire soleplate so whenever you come across a button, rivet, or snap you can quickly zip around it.
Best Value Cordless Iron
Sunbeam Versa Glide Cordless/Corded Iron
Use the Sunbeam Versa Glide to get out those pesky winkles without the hassle of the cord or use it with the cord for longer periods of steam and heat without placing it back on the base. The base actually attaches to the rear of the iron. It isn’t bulky and it's still very light relative to other irons we tested, even with the base attached. Plus, it’s one of the best deals around, especially for a 2-in-1 product! The vertical steam function is very strong and all of the controls were intuitive and easy to use.
Best Large Cordless Iron
Panasonic Cordless Steam Dry Iron
This Panasonic has many of the same features as the Panasonic 360º, like fingertip controls, automatic shut-off, a base with a retractable cord and a carrying case, but its size and soleplate are more like that of a traditional iron. Steam holes line both sides and the tip and deep channels help spread the steam toward the center and trap pockets of air for easy gliding over fabrics. The two steam levels, high for sturdy fabrics and low for delicates and the option to use it dry with no steam at all, helped it compete with the corded irons in our tests.
Best No-Drip Cordless Iron
Rowenta Freemove Cordless Anti-Drip Clothes Steam Iron
No dripping and a strong steam burst makes the Freemove stand out. This basic Rowenta lacks adjustable steam like other models, but we like how a smart light and tone alert you when the unit needs to be recharged. The tank is easy to fill because of the large opening, it's transparent, and there's a clearly marked max line. Its auto shut-off feature powers down the base if untouched for more than 8 minutes. Sometimes, it takes a couple of extra passes to achieve good results because it cools down quickly.
Most Versatile Cordless Iron
Black + Decker Light ‘N Go Cordless Iron
Once the Black+Decker picks up steam, it’s hard to put down… until you have to charge it again (like all cordless irons). But unlike some, light and sound indications on the unit make it easy to know when the iron needs to be placed back onto the base to heat-up and also when it’s ready to go. It is lightweight and its ceramic non-stick soleplate allows the iron to glide smoothly, rarely snagging the edges of our test fabric swatches. The transparent water tank made it difficult to overfill the unit and there was no drip!
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