A good iron is an essential tool for any quilter – amateur and professional alike. It will ultimately determine whether your finished product will look either pristine and beautiful or rugged and sloppy. Without a good iron, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your designs are or how expensive your fabrics are or even how intricate your stitches are – your quilted creation will never be able to live up to its full potential.
Conversely, with a good iron, you’ll be able to do countless things to bring your quilt to the next level: from ironing out creases to assisting you in making accurate cuts (thus minimizing material wastage) to even ensuring that the beautiful patterns you draw up actually line up in practice.
Now if you’re in the market for a good iron for quilting, take careful note that you’ll need an iron that is designed specifically for quilting. You’ll have to carefully consider the type of iron, the heat settings, the type of metal, the steam power and a whole host of other factors. One big thing to note is weight – irons can be heavy and burdensome, and nobody wants to feel sore after just ironing!
Additionally, while conventional, normal-sized irons are great tools to have, you’ll find that when it comes to quilting, they don’t always do the trick. They especially fall short when working with tight spaces and intricate designs. This is where mini-irons come in – with their lightweight and unique functionalities, they are an essential mainstay in any quilter’s repertoire.
On that note, based on our personal preferences and experiences, we’ve reviewed and compiled a list of some of the best mini irons for quilting out there in the market. If you’re interested in purchasing one for yourself, we encourage you to give our little list below a good read.
Best Mini Iron for Quilting of 2020
1. Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron with Dual Voltage
By far one of the most popular options on our list is Steamfast’s Mini Stream Iron. Clean, slick and pristine looking, portability appears to be the prime consideration taken into this product’s design. Fitting easily on the palm of a single hand, coming at a weight of just 1 lb and having a product dimension of 5.2 x 3 x 3.1 inches, Steamfast’s promise that this is the world’s smallest steam iron certainly rings true.
Complementing this mini iron’s portability, its power cord length of 7.5 ft. ensures that you’ll be able to move around freely throughout your workspace while you work on your quilt. Even if you’re a frequent traveler, have no fear for Steamfast includes a complimentary travel bag for you in addition to the iron’s dual voltage capabilities. Pack it up, stuff it on your bag and you’re ready to go!
Make no mistake, however – it does not for a moment sacrifice functionality and power for its portability. Turn the power on and you’ll find that within a frame of just merely 15 seconds, it’ll reach peak heat capacity and will deliver a full gush of steam. If all this wasn’t enough, you’ll be pleased to know that you can use Steamfast for a range of other tasks as well.
This includes ironing dresses, drapes, curtains, skirts and even shirts with effortless ease. However, we do stress that the Steamfast isn’t the most powerful iron out there for quilting. It’ll certainly be more than adequate as a secondary iron so you should consider this before making a purchase.
2. Cricut Easy Press Mini
Staying true to the idea that big things come in small packages, Cricut’s Easy Press Mini lives up to this mantra by staying steadfast to their commitment in delivering a mini iron that’s mini but mighty. The Cricut may not be the lightest nor smallest iron on our list, weighing out at just under 1.58 lbs and coming with dimensions of 7.7 x 6 x 3.7-inches but what it lacks in portability, it certainly does makeup in functionality.
Do note, however, while we may say this, it still is a comparatively small product when compared to the general competition!
Firstly, you can control how much heat you’re using by taking advance of its 3 heat settings and secondly, with its tapered design, you’ll be able to iron out even the narrowest of spaces and trickiest of corners anywhere on your quilt. Even when it comes to raw heat power, you’ll be surprised to find that the Easy Press Mini can reach temperatures higher than your average, full-sized iron at over 400 degrees.
We want to stress that this is pretty hot and when it comes to quilts, we suggest you work your way up starting with the lowest setting to prevent any burns on your creation!
Finally, in terms of design, you’ll notice how intuitive everything is – from its easy-to-use handle grip design to the notification sounds it makes when it reaches a pre-selected temperature to even its automatic shut down after a set amount of time, it’s hard to mess up with such an iron.
3. Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot 800 Watt Travel Iron
While not quite compact as the Steamfast or as uniquely designed like the Cricut, Sunbeam’s Hot-2-Trot 800 Watt takes a step back and opts for a much more orthodox design and affordable price point. It may look deceptively bulky with its dimensions of 3.6 x 7.9 x 4 inches but upon lifting it up, you’ll notice that it still is definitely lightweight with its weight checking out at 1.39 lbs.
In terms of build, it is relatively ergonomic and intuitive to use (we’re sure everyone recognizes what dial does) and will easily fit in any bag if you intend to travel with it. It too comes with a dual voltage system of 120V and 240V so you could, in theory, use this mini iron anywhere in the world!
Yes, it has your set of temperature controls, handy little indicator light, and even a no-stick soleplate but these are all beside the point. It’s the biggest feature however comes in its steam function. Kitted out with over 6 steam vents and 4 fully fleshed steam functions, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say this thing can puff like a smoky dragon. It heats up extremely quickly as well so if you’re in a hurry to get your creation out there into the real world, Sunbeam’s Hot-2-Trot would be just right for you.
4. Dritz 29500 Petite Press Portable Mini Iron
If the first thing you think about is a can opener when looking at Dritz’s Petite Press, we will not hold it against you! Open this thing up and once you put it to work, you’ll find that the Petite Portable is designed almost exclusively for quilters in mind – especially when it comes down to intricate seam work.
The word petite isn’t just there for show. Weighing barely 0.7 lbs despite its dimensions of 6.4 x 3.1 x 13.2 inches, this is by far the lightest product on our list. The size of the Petite Press and its four changeable head positioning options means that much like the Cricut, it can be used to iron out even the smallest and hardest to reach of areas on your quilt.
Now while the Petite Press can’t quite reach the blazing temperatures of a conventional iron even with its four temperature settings, you’ll find that it heats up relatively quickly, retains heat for long periods of time and will certainly be more than adequate for any quilt.
That being said, we suggest that this product be used as a secondary product (like the Steamfast) and shouldn’t necessarily replace a standard iron in your quilter’s toolkit.
5. Darice, White Mini Electric Iron
The last mini iron on our list takes a step back into the realm of ordinary-looking irons. The Darice Mini Electric Iron may be the best option for those just starting out with quilting given its easy-to-use design and highly affordable price point. Nothing could be simpler to use – power the iron up and iron away just as you would any normal iron.
Regardless, like the other mini irons on our list, the Darice is, by all means, a mini iron with a weight of 0.55 lbs and dimensions of 9.2 x 2.8 x 5.4 inches. This means not only will you easily be able to use this effortlessly with all but a single hand, packing this iron into any travel bag will be almost unnoticeable given its lightweight.
It only comes with one temperature setting however which can be a blessing for beginners as simplicity is golden, but more experienced quilters may find the lack of options an annoyance.
However, we do emphasize that the temperature it reaches is more than adequate for ordinary quilting.
Do be careful though – this isn’t any toy despite its toy-like size. This mini iron does not come with automatic shut down features so do ensure you plug it out after you’re done ironing your quilt. Be especially careful as well if you have kids or pets running about!
Three Things to Look out for in Mini Irons
Without adequate heat, you’ll never be able to work with your quilt properly. Now this will not be a problem with any mini iron on our list, but you should if possible, look for irons that have multiple heat settings.
Without this, you’ll be working in the dark, trying to guesstimate which temperature you’re at which can add a dimension of uncertainty when it comes to knowing whether you’ve reached the optimal temperature for the type of material you’re dealing working with.
While this may be applicable to even standard-sized irons, this is especially important for mini irons. Oftentimes, portability and functionality are featured at the expense of durability – many mini irons aren’t very sturdy in terms of their build quality or design. So, if handled roughly or accidentally dropped, you’ll be finding yourself back to Amazon and making another costly purchase.
On this note, we suggest you invest in a slightly less affordable but far more durable mini iron to get the biggest bang for your buck (e.g. Steamfast’s Mini Iron is well known for its durability).
Size & Weight
The point of a mini-iron is that it is well, mini. This doesn’t just mean that it should ‘look’ small – small looking objects can be dense in reality after all – but it should also be lightweight. A rough cursory glance at the market for mini irons reveals that most weigh around 1 lb which we think is just right. Less weight makes transporting your iron and using it far easier so make sure you double-check any product’s weight before purchasing.