Rowenta Effective Cord Reel DX1900, $60 (shown, left) This 1,500-watt model blew (all right, steamed) past the competition, leaving yards of smooth fabric in its wake. Taking just over a minute to heat to maximum temperature, the stainless-steel soleplate (the part of the iron that touches the fabric) eliminated wrinkles twice as quickly as other models. One reason: a feature that detects the amount of steam needed at any given temperature. The iron also offers self-cleaning and antidrip features. And it shuts off automatically after 30 seconds when horizontal, eight minutes when vertical. To buy:amazon.com.
Best Travel Iron
Travel Smart, $42 (shown, right) This is the little iron that could. Weighing in at just 1½ pounds, it’s the lightest of the bunch and also the most efficient. Boasting two heating units (most other models had one) and 14 holes (concentrated in the top half of the soleplate), this 700-watt iron provides continuous steam. The temperature control is easy to read and adjust; a light on the side lets you know when the desired temperature has been reached. Another perk? The whole thing folds flat for compact storage in a travel pouch, allowing you to make room for that extra pair of kitten-heeled mules in your suitcase. Now, that’s hot! To buy:Unfortunately, ths item is no longer available, but find similar products atconair.com.
2 of 2Mark Lund
For the Pro and for the Step Up
Best for Heavy-Duty Fabrics
Rowenta Pro Master DW-8080, $100 (shown, left) You could say the DW-8080 is the Porsche of irons. After all, it is pricey and streamlined and delivers unparalleled performance. Able to hold 12.7 ounces of water (the most of all the irons tested), the DW-8080 produced extra-long bursts of steam (think billowing clouds that last several seconds), which, according to garment-care experts, are the key to knocking out wrinkles. Even heavy linen and denim emerged so smooth they looked professionally pressed. Self-cleaning and automatic-shutoff features add to the appeal. To buy:bedbathandbeyond.com.
Oliso Auto-Lift Iron, $150 (shown, right) Auto-shutoff, self-clean, antidrip―this iron has all the special features, plus one that’s really special: auto-lift. Heat-resistant legs pop up whenever you release the handle while ironing, raising the hot soleplate immediately from the fabric. When you grip the touch-sensitive handle, the legs retract so you can continue. This unique feature allows you to stop and start without tipping the iron up―a real time (and wrist) saver. And, yes, this gizmo gets out the wrinkles, too. To buy:amazon.com.