Best Iron for Sewing and Quilting Steam Iron Review

woman wearing grey shirt using a grey iron on a grey ironing board

Here’s my review of my favorite steam iron. 

Sure, it looks like a regular iron. But after regular use over the past 9 years through sewing, quilting, and laundry adventures, let me tell you why I think this good iron is really a GREAT iron!

If you read through this, and decide this iron is for you, feel free to use my affiliate link here!

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Budget-Friendly Iron

If you’re looking for a good quality iron that doesn’t break the bank, it’s hard to go wrong with this Hamilton Beach steam iron.

Even being made by a well-known brand, at the time of this post, this iron is selling for $26 on Amazon. It’s difficult to find anything worth buying for $26 in the market today.

And again, I’ve had this iron under heavy usage for a long time (9 years — a lot of sewing during that time!), and it still works like a new iron!

Price is always such a big factor for me, especially with an item that really only needs to perform a basic task.

I have not found any reason to spend hundreds of dollars for an iron.

It gets hot, will effectively press seams, makes steam for tougher parts… I personally have not found a reason to spend hundreds of dollars for that function vs the twenty-odd-dollars for this iron.

This iron simply gets the job done.

General Features

Here are some general features that this iron offers:

  • Dry Iron — this iron works as a dry iron, with no steam.
  • Steam Function — the iron has an adjustable steam function for stubborn wrinkles.
  • Heat Settings — there are 6 levels of heat for different fabrics, from synthetics (lowest) to cotton (highest)
  • Weight of the Iron — this is not a heavy iron — it’s lightweight iron for comfort of use.
  • Precision tip — the iron has a nice pointed tip making it easy to get into tight corners/areas
  • Power Cord — this iron has a nifty 8 foot long retractable cord 
  • Safety Features — automatic shutoff 

Let’s look at these features a little more closely!

Dry Iron:

I usually use this feature for small projects, or for quilting projects.

Basically, anything I just need to be quick and hot!

The iron gets hot very quickly.

I usually set up my ironing board in my kitchen, and place my iron on my heat-resistant counter (or my stove it I’m certain it’s turned off and is completely cool) while it heats up.

Since the iron has a retractable cord, I also keep the cord as short as possible while it’s heating up, just in my paranoia that it could somehow catch themselves on a long cord and burn themselves. (which has literally never happened, and probably never will happen, but this will always be a mom worry!) 

Steam Function: 

In day to day life, I find myself using the steam function for large projects, a large amount of wrinkly fabric, or for clothes.

I love that this iron has many options for how you prefer to use your steam.

In the regular soleplate steam mode, you can easily adjust how much steam you would like to come out of the iron.

On the lowest side of the dial, it’s just enough steam for those slight wrinkles you’re trying to get out.

On the high side of the steam dial, the hisssssss gets a little more intense, and it makes you feel almost as if you stepped into the bathroom after a hot shower was running.

It has some pretty decent steam power!

This iron also has two buttons on top.

The first top button is a steam blast button.

When pressed, the iron goes, “POOF!” and a blast of steam poofs through the holes on the soleplate.

It’s so fun you’ll definitely want to press it one or two more times.

The second top button is for a spray option at the pointed top end of your iron.

It sprays straight OUT, so unless you want a slippery floor right next to your hot iron, make sure you’re aiming properly before engaging in open fire.

Heat Settings:

The iron has individualized heat settings for synthetic fibers, wool, silk, linen, and cotton.

My iron is a bit older than the most current model, so it has a button to press for the setting I need.

The button beeps with each change, and a little light is lit next to the setting in use. In order to get to each setting, you have to first press the through all of the lower settings until you get to your choice.

So, if you’re trying to set your iron to “cotton” (the highest setting) and accidentally beep past it and end up back at the beginning, you have to beep through all of the other options again before you make it up to cotton.

However, on the NEWEST model of this iron, they replaced the button heat settings with a dial!

So, only those of us with the older version will have to suffer through that mild inconvenience.

The rest of you will just turn a dial to the heat setting you need!

Weight of the Iron:

This iron is lightweight, making it very easy to maneuver around your fabric.

It’s not so light that it doesn’t press fabric well.

But it glides smoothly, and has no negative impact on your wrists.

If you want a little extra weight, just make sure to keep the water reservoir full!

This doesn’t add an excess of weight, but if you want the iron to “press” into the fabric a bit more, adding water can help add a small amount of extra weight!

But — don’t worry if you don’t want the iron to be heavy when filled with water. It’s still not a very heavy iron.

Precision tip:

The tip of the iron is pointed — making it easy to get into all the tight places! 

There is also a “gap” between the soleplate and the rest of the iron, so you can just use the low profile tip of the iron if you need to.

Power cord: 

The power cord is 8′ long.

It’s not a very long cord, and you’ll have to set up your ironing board right near an outlet/wall.

But this is not a negative — remember that it wouldn’t be safe to have a long cord draped along the floor leading up to a hot iron!

Count the 8′ cord as a safety feature — it keeps you close to an outlet, and it’s still plenty to move your iron around!

I think my favorite part of this iron is the retractable power cord.

Once your iron is unplugged and cool, press the button right next to the power cord and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzip!

It makes a very satisfying sound as the cord swishes away inside the iron.

I’ve been using this iron like a workhorse for nine years, and this feature still works perfectly!

I love that it still functions like the day I purchased it!

The retractable power cord also makes this iron a breeze to store!

There’s no tangled up cord to mess around with — everything is neatly tucked inside!

Ready to use your iron again?

Just pull the cord back out, and it will make a nice “tick tick tick tick tick” sound as your 8′ cord reemerges.

Safety Features:

Perhaps the most important feature of this iron is the auto shut off feature.

If your iron is on but left still for a bit, you’ll hear a, “Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep!” 

This indicates that the iron is automatically turning off. 

Hamilton Beach thought the timing for the automatic shut-off through.

If the iron is in an upright position, it will automatically turn off after 15 minutes.

15 minutes is a very reasonable amount of time for someone who is walking back and forth from the iron to their sewing machine.

If the iron is left “down” in an ironing position, the automatic shut off triggers after 30 seconds.

Now, when you’ve been actively ironing for 30 seconds and you hear the automatic shut off being triggered, this does not mean that the iron has immediately become any cooler.

You’ll still maintain an even level of heat as long as you deactivate the automatic shut off.

It’s easy to deactivate. I just briefly turn my iron upright and then go right back to ironing.

You don’t need to set the iron down in an upright position every time you hear the automatic shut off.

You only need a very slight and brief movement to let the iron know that you are still consciously and purposefully ironing with no intention of burning your fabric.

The iron will stop beeping the moment you trigger this feature back off.

And, if the beeping annoys you (it’s not a very loud or annoying beep), you can simply get into a rhythm of flicking your wrist a bit roughly every 20 seconds or so, then you’ll never hear the beep!

Only Downside

I would like to point out two downsides to this iron.

Firstly, mineral deposits can build up and come out as tiny hard particles in the steam holes.

This isn’t terribly common, and could really be solved altogether if I used distilled water instead of tap water in the water tank like I’m supposed to.

After all, I live in an area with extremely hard water, and our crawlspace isn’t large enough for anything more than the tiny two person “eco water filter” it has, so hard water is something we struggle with in ALL areas of our home.

It’s no surprise that this iron is no exception!

Thankfully, it’s easy to “reset” the iron by pouring distilled water into the water reservoir, and using the self-cleaning feature to “steam out” all the ick.

Secondly, I would slightly critique the soleplate material.

This iron does not have a stainless-steel soleplate or a ceramic soleplate as most standard irons do.

Instead, it has a “Durathon Nonstick” soleplate.

This means that the iron soleplate has an aluminum base covered with ceramic, and then is topped with a nonstick coating.

I really wish it was just a stainless-steel soleplate.

Now, the nonstick is free of both PTFE and PFOA chemicals, and I have never noticed any amount of chipping, peeling, or off-gassing smells from the iron, so that’s an excellent sign.

But, if it were going to be a perfect iron, I wish that they had left the coating off of the ceramic “middle” of the soleplate sandwich. 


I hope this was a helpful guide for those of you considering buying this iron, especially for those of you who plan to use it for sewing purposes!

I enjoyed sharing my experience of this iron with you! I truly do enjoy this iron, and have no plans on upgrading to anything else ever.

On the off chance that this seemingly indestructible iron ever dies, I’ll most likely be replacing it with the exact same model.

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