What to know about a pressing issue.

By Betsy Berne
Updated August 30, 2004
Rolando Bello

Choose one with a powerful steam thrust, which is as effective as starch. Get a variable steam feature that adjusts for various materials. And go for a high wattage (1,400 watts, say), because stronger heat means more-effective steam. Heavier irons (three to four pounds) do some of the muscle work for you. An automatic shutoff turns off the iron if it tips over.
Best bet: The Rowenta Professional ($125; for store locations, go to rowentausa.com).