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Steam Vs Iron Dry Iron – Which One’s Better For You

Steam iron vs dry iron

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Steam iron is creating a lot of buzz these days. But are they really better than the age old dry irons? Is it time to stop using your regular iron and buy a new one?

If you are having similar questions, read this article. We have shared everything you should know about these two types of irons. After going through the article, you will be able to decide which one’s better for you. Before moving ahead, keep in mind that we are writing about the light-weighted dry irons used at home. Kindly do not consider it the coal iron used by local pressmen.

Now, let’s begin: 

Which Iron Should Be Used On Different Fabrics

Even though you can use any iron on almost all fabrics, it require some extra precautions or effort in some cases. For example, if you will iron cotton clothes with a dry iron, it will take a lot of time and multiple attempts to remove wrinkles. Whereas, it will be ironed quickly if you will use a steam iron. Whereas, if you will use a steam iron on woollen clothes, it will not work properly. The steam will get into the woollen fibres and make the clothes damp. Dry iron can give a crisp and wrinkle-free look to woollens very easily.

This means, both of them works more effectively on a particular set of fabrics. And to make it easy for you to choose one from steam iron and dry iron, we have made a list. It will let you know which iron works best on different fabrics.

Steam Iron
Cotton, Muslin, Denim, Curduroy, Velvet, Linen
Dry Iron
Wool, Polyester, Nylon, Embroidered garments, Laced garments, Sik, Rayon, Acetate, Acrylic, Satin

Now you know which iron works best for different fabrics. You can assess what types of fabrics you need to iron a lot and choose one accordingly. If you have a mix of these clothes, then you can move ahead to see some other differences between steam iron and dry iron.

What Is The Difference Between Dry Iron And Steam Iron

Here are the key differences between a steam iron and dry iron:

  1. Water tank: A steam iron has a water tank to produce steam. It helps in emitting steam properly which can remove stubborn wrinkles. Sometimes, when the water tank is not closed properly or it doesn’t function ideally the steam iron may leak water. Whereas, a dry iron doesn’t contain any such tank. Due to this dry irons don’t leak water onto your clothes in any case.
  2. Soleplate: A dry iron has a soleplate that heats up. The soleplate of the dry iron heats up and you can press it onto clothes to get rid of wrinkles. Whereas, the soleplate of a steam iron has tiny holes which emit hot steam. It is slightly tough to clean the soleplate of a steam iron because you need to clean all the holes individually or else they can get blocked up. 
  3. Spray mist: Many steam irons come with a spray mist. It helps in dampening the clothes which help in getting rid of wrinkles easily. Whereas, dry irons don’t have such elements. People often use a spray bottle to dampen clothes ironing clothes with a dry iron. 

Pros & Cons of Steam Iron And Dry Iron

Pros & Cons of Steam Iron

Pros of steam iron
Steam iron


  • It is very effective at removing creases.
  • It has both steam and sprays options.
  • It allows ironing while clothes are hung, i.e. vertical ironing.
  • It can be used on curtains, upholstery, and furniture as well. 

Some pieces of furniture like sofas and beds have non-detachable fabric on their surfaces. Steam iron can be used on those fabrics to give them a crisp and clean look as well.

  • It can also work as a dry iron.
  • It removes wrinkles quickly.
  • Lesser chances of burn marks


  • It is heavier than dry iron.
  • It requires more energy to run.
  • It doesn’t work with all fabrics.
  • It is tough to clean steam iron.
  • It can leak.
  • It is more expensive than dry iron.

Pros & Cons of Dry Iron

Pros of dry iron
Dry iron


  • It is easy to clean.
  • It is easy to maintain.
  • It can work on more fabrics than a steam iron.
  • It is less expensive than a steam iron.
  • It doesn’t leave any water marks on the clothes.


  • It doesn’t have a spray or steam function.
  • It cannot remove stubborn wrinkles quickly.
  • It has a higher chance of burn marks.

Steam Iron Can Work Like A Dry Iron

Steam iron can be used as a dry iron too
Steam iron can be used as a dry iron too

Now that you have read everything else, it’s time to know that some of steam irons are versatile. They can work as a dry iron too. Here is how you can use your steam iron as a dry iron:

  • Empty the water tank first.
  • Turn off the steam function of the iron.
  • That’s it.

You can use it as usual and it will not release steam. This means you will have your dry iron ready in just a few minutes.

Steam Iron Or Dry Iron: Which One Is Better

Both of the irons have their own pros and cons. You may consider steam iron better than dry ironWe cannot term any of these as good or bad. While steam ironing is best for fabrics like velvet and cotton, dry iron is best for wool, silk, stain, etc.  So, you need to understand what kind of clothes you wear more often, and which iron will suit your garments best. Next, you can also consider your budget as well.

The key is to see which iron suits your requirements.

FAQs on Steam Iron and Dry Iron

Yes, you can if you have normal water supply in your area. If you have hard water supply in your area, then you should not leave water in the steam iron. However, the best practice is to empty the iron after every use.

There are certain garments where manufacturers give clear instructions to not to use steam. Some of these fabrics are wool, silk, stain. They can shrink with steam ironing.

The ideal situation would be that you can fill your steam iron up with water from the tap. However, that might not always be the case. It totally depends on your iron, so check with the manufacturer before filling up the water tank. For the most part, you should be able to use tap water for ironing. However, if you live in a hard water area, it’s recommended that you mix tap water half and half with distilled water. This is so that there’s no build-up inside the water tank.

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