Are you looking for the best irons you can purchase with change from $100?
Whether you're looking for a fully fledged steam or traditional iron, there are a wide range of options out there that won't break the bank.
Our writer has spent over 40 hours looking at the different features and functionalities offered by each of the irons listed here, ensuring you're getting value for money and the very best features in this overcrowded marketplace.
Best Irons Under $100
1. Philips PowerLife
The description states that the iron puts out a continuous 45g/min so it’s not at the highest end of the range but it’s pretty good. The shot-of-steam is up to 185g/min so that’s right in the middle of the ideal range.
The 2400-Watt power is a good power for fast heat up and quick ironing time.
The iron has an anti-scratch and anti-stick SteamGlide soleplate with integrated calc-clean. It has a 5-layer coating on the plate including an anti-corrosive base, for a smooth glide over the garments.
It can be used vertically to steam and refresh your drapery and hanging garments. It claims to be safe from dripping when the temperature is reduced to iron delicate fabrics.
The description claims that the iron can be safely used with tap water without risk of calcium buildup or limescale due to its built-in cleaning function.
In terms of comfort, the handle is apparently textured for an ergonomic grip.
The iron weighs 1.26kgs which is reasonably lightweight to manage over an extended period, but is it heavy enough to do the job? Reviewers raise this as a concern. They also say that it is quite a large iron and therefore can be quite difficult to use.
There is no information about the tank size.
In terms of safety features, the iron shuts off if left standing still on its heel in 8 minutes, or in 30 seconds if flat on its plate.
In terms of other comments reviewers have made, the cord is apparently not long enough for comfort. But apart from that, the steam is continuous and excellent, the heat up time is extremely quick, the plate glides smoothly, and overall it is an excellent product.
If all the features included in the manufacturer’s description are true, and there is absolutely no reason to suspect not, then this iron meets all the criteria we listed as being important considerations in buying an iron, and it comes in well under $99.
2. Kambrook Steamline KI735
Priced on Amazon affordably the Kambrook Steamline Advance KI735 is an extremely cheap steam iron.
The main features of this iron are its FabriGlide soleplate which provides a smooth gliding performance.
The iron has a 360ml water tank. The power cord measures 2.5metres, which is a good length. The iron itself measures 31.4L x 12.6W x 14H cm.
The iron has a powerful shot of steam function as well as a fine mist water spray and an anti-drip system.
The collar tip makes it easier to iron around hard to reach areas such as buttons etc. It has a self-clean function, variable temperature control and a strong 2400W power.
From this basic information, we know that on paper the Steamline Advance iron meets quite a few of the listed criteria but we don’t know enough about it to judge it fully.
The 2400W power probably means that it would have a good steam output and a quick heat up time. The water tank is a good size. It has two shot functions: water and steam.
It also has a self-clean function so we assume that one can use tap water. Using it on delicate fabrics is also presumably safe with its anti-drip system.
Based on customer reviews we also know that it has an auto-shutoff function for safety.
Customer reviews of this product are very mixed indeed. Some customers love the iron and praise everything about it.
Others are very unhappy and focus on the fact that it simply doesn’t do the job intended. For example that despite the power rating it doesn’t heat up as one would expect, the plate sticks to clothes, it fails to remove creases, it leaves brown stains on clothing, etc.
These mixed reviews and the limited information we have about the product leaves the review of this iron up in the air.
3. Russell Hobbs RHC909
Another steam iron coming in at a very low price is the RHC Steam Glide from Russell Hobbs at $34.
Featuring a ceramic non-stick soleplate, the iron has a 385ml water tank, self-clean button and auto shut off, anti-drip and anti-scale functions.
The iron has a power output of 2400W and features a variable steam control function, with a steam output of a low 35g/min with a 90g/min shot of steam function, again very low. It also has a spray water mist function.
The iron measures 18 x 22.5 x 30cm.
From numerous reviews looked at (84) we can say that this iron is a popular product with the majority of those who have purchased it, rated 4 to 5 stars by 95+% of them. Just to quote a few comments as examples:
Pros: irons beautifully. Glides smoothly on fabric. Nice to use. Very fast to heat up. The power cord is a great length (3.3m). Cord rotates with you. Good steam.
Good weight for ironing but not too heavy to be uncomfortable. Shot of cold water mist is great. Shot of steam/mist is well directed. Great value for money. Recommended by Choice Magazine.
Cons: That the water tank is a bit on the small side. It’s quite a large iron which may not suit everyone. Difficult to clean.
Overall, therefore, we can say that this iron meets many of the criteria although we have some doubts around the strength of the steam output compared to other irons like the Phillips.
4. Braun TexStyle 5
Hitting the Amazon Australia shelves at the highest price of all irons featured today, is the German manufactured Braun TexStyle 5 steam iron.
The premium feature of this iron is the unique Saphir soleplate which claims to be scratch-resistant and smooth gliding over all fabrics.
The anodised plate is four times harder than stainless steel due to its having six layers. This, in turn, guarantees durability and scratch-free performance for perfectly smooth gliding every time.
The power output is 2000W (lower than the previous 3 irons looked at) but it claims to be able to iron up to 15 T-shirts in 30 minutes (we expect that this depends on the skill of the ironer rather than the iron alone).
The steam shot is directed both horizontally and vertically at 130g/min (again lower than the recommended range referred to above) so you can refresh your curtains and hanging garments.
The explanation for the steam output being effective despite the low rating is that it is directed more accurately at the clothing underneath the soleplate and not into the surrounding air a sis the case with many steam irons.
The iron is comparatively lightweight and compact, with a soft touch open handle design, for ergonomic comfort.
The water tank is a reasonably sized 300ml. The iron measures 2 x 10 x 12 cm.
The cord swivels to move with you as you iron, a nice touch.
There is an auto-off safety feature as well.
Customer reviews of this iron are consistently positive (4+ star reviews from 1,259 reviews), interestingly with positive comments about the steam output despite the iron’s low power and g/min rating.
5. Philips PerfectCare
Combining heat and steam for the perfect finish to your clothing the Phillips PerfectCare steam iron is on the market at Amazon Australia for $99.
The iron features OptimalTemp technology which removes creases without any risk of burn or shine. A radical new feature with this iron is that there is no need to adjust the temperature control – ever!
That is a very difficult concept to get your head around. To quote the marketing ‘”no more waiting for the iron to heat up or down and cool down.
You’re ready for any fabric, any time”. You can even leave the iron face down on your clothes on the ironing board without fear.
The iron has a 2400W power output, continuous steam of 45g/min and a steam shot up to 180g/min. These are the same ratings as Phillips other iron in this review, their PowerLife.
The SteamGlide Soleplate is also the same plate as the PowerLife has – 6 layers and an advanced titanium layer to assure you of non-stick and scratch-resistance.
It also features auto shut off. And a non-drip feature on delicate fabrics. And also the built-in calc-clean slider.
It’s difficult to tell whether the ‘temperature sensor’ concept works for everyone in practice without looking to customers who’ve tried it out.
So that’s what we did (46 reviews), because apart from that feature this iron seems on paper to be pretty much the same as the Phillips PowerLife steam iron looked at above.
The bottom line seems to be that the concept is not a particularly good one and that’s because the iron relies purely on steam to iron the clothes.
You need to adjust the steam output to achieve the right result and that just doesn’t seem to work, especially with heavy and creased fabrics.
Other criticisms are that the cord is too short, the water tank too small, the iron steams continuously even when in an upright position, it dribbles and spits water continuously, etc.
To be fair there are also many who like this iron and have left very positive reviews. On balance it’s difficult to rate this iron as a good buy compared to the Phillips PowerLife or the Braun Texstyle 5 which are in the same price bracket.
But it may suit some. Our advice would be to conduct your own research on this iron as it seems to be a bit of a contentious product.
How To Choose Best Iron
What features do you really want in an iron and do you think you can find an inexpensive option which has them all?
Let’s start with the first part of that question.
Most people would include features such as a consistently good output of steam to take out creases quickly and without too much pressure required.
A comfortable shot of higher steam output to penetrate the fabric (not the surrounding air) to easily take out stubborn creases. And a shot of water mist spray is also a useful feature to help iron out accidental creases. An iron which can be used vertically to freshen up curtains and clothes on hangers is a nice feature.
Good responsive and reliable temperature controls with no risk of burning or melting delicate fabrics or drip problems at lower temperatures.
Surface, Tank, Handle
A long-lasting and smooth ironing surface plate which doesn’t scratch or build up brown or burnt areas. An iron which can use tap water without building up calcium or limescale.
A decent-sized water tank is also important – having to continuously fill the tank is annoying.
A handle which is comfortable to hold over extended periods - many people do their weekly ironing in a single session of at least an hour if not a lot longer.
The comfort factor is extremely important. So, weight is also important: the iron needs to be heavy enough to actually iron the clothes but light enough to be comfortable for the user.
A cord which doesn’t get in the way or tied up in knots and is long enough to comfortably reach from the power outlet to where you set up your ironing board.
And last but certainly not least, safety features to avoid any possibilities of nasty accidents.
Below we have looked at five irons under $100 to see how they stack up against these criteria so that you can judge for yourself. All prices quoted are at Amazon Australia at the time of writing and are subject to change.
For reference: steam output is measured in grams per minute (g/min). An output of 50g/min is considered to be a good high output for a household steam iron.
The ideal shot-of-steam output to look for is a range of 150g/min – 250g/min. Water tank capacity is another measurable feature and a tank of between 0.27 – 0.4 litres is what you would ideally want.
In terms of heat-up times and speed of ironing, that depends on wattage, so the higher the iron's wattage the faster the ironing time.
It’s clear that there are some very good irons on the market for under $100. We believe the best one to purchase is the Philips PowerLife. None of the irons we looked at had all of the features we’d ideally love to have in a steam iron, proving you might have to spend more than $100 to get a steam iron with all the premium features.
Jill lives in Perth and loves the outdoors. When she’s not writing articles you’ll find her mountain biking, kayaking and spending time with her family. She likes to write about health and wellness.