Whether on a business trip or vacationing elsewhere in the country or the world, a travel steam iron is a compact, lightweight appliance that tucks neatly away in a bag or suitcase. Depending on the model, one can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. Made by such brands as Hamilton Beach, Rowenta and Black & Decker, one of the most unique features of a travel steam iron is its universal applicability. One cannot simply bring along their iron that runs on standard 110-volt electricity and expect it to work in a foreign country where voltage differs. Try it, and it may short out the entire building.
Uses and Benefits
Travel irons can just as easily be used at home as when traveling. Usable on virtually all iron-safe fabrics, don't be caught with any wrinkled clothing when heading out on an important business lunch or giving a demonstration or talk. Likewise, vacationers feel a little bit more at home when they can spend a few minutes getting the unsightly wrinkles out of their suitcase-confined clothing, perfect for a special dinner or night on the town. Thanks to its ultra-compact design and fold-flat handle, travel steam irons can fit just about anywhere.
In the United States, small appliances are designed to run on 110 volts. In other countries, such as in Europe and elsewhere, the voltage ratings are different, between 220 and 240 volts. Simply put, a 110-volt rated iron will not function when plugged into an outlet that puts out up to 240 volts. Travel steam irons, for this reason, include a universal voltage adapter to accommodate all electricity differences.
Basic design features of a travel steam iron, aside from its portability, including a stainless steel soleplate that makes for easy gliding over fabrics and good heat retention. For use both horizontally on a board or vertically, travel irons smooth collars, edges and seams with ease, quickly removing wrinkles and giving clothes a brand-new look. Travel irons include a convenient travel and/or storage bag, variable temperature and steam control and an automatic safety shutoff circuit when left unattended for a certain time.
More comprehensive travel steam irons are available that offer a greater number of features. Select models are designed to iron with or without steam. Distilled water is not required for most, with tap water being perfectly sufficient to use. With many models, to increase its compactness, the handle doubles as the water tank. Transparent for easy viewing, one knows when to refill the tank. The ergonomically-designed handles rotate to reduce overall size when on the go. Besides the handy storage/travel bag, many travel irons feature other accessories such as a lint brush. Once the ironing is complete, run this brush over clothing to remove any pieces of fluff or lint that has stuck to the clothing.
Travel steam irons each come with dimensions specific to the brand. Typically less than 5 inches high by 3 to 4 inches wide and 7 inches long, these measurements are a good general estimate of the size one can expect.