The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting

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Inside: The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting

Me and irons; what can I say. I once accidentally answered the iron instead of the phone. #ouch

I’ve dropped almost every iron I’ve ever owned – occasionally taking out sheetrock and once gouging a newly refinished wood floor.

When I dropped needed to replace my (kind of expensive) iron, I was set on getting a budget-friendly iron because…well, you know, I’m an ironing disaster.

The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting image

An Ironing Dilemma

As a sewist and quilter I need an iron that gets really hot and produces massive amounts of steam. It shouldn’t leak or spit water, and it needs to be heavy enough to sit firmly on the end of an ironing board.

I’ve considered a steam generator iron. They’re heavy enough to not drop off an ironing board, but most steam generator irons require a little maintenance, and don’t have automatic shut off. Plus, a steam generator iron requires more space which I’m not willing to part with at this time.

An Ironing Solution

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In a perfect world, I would be able to find an iron that offers the heat and steam capabilities of a steam generator iron but still has all of the other benefits of a regular iron.

I’m here to tell you there is an iron that does this.

Let me introduce you to the Reliable Velocity 270IR Compact Vapor Generator Iron.

Velocity 260ir image

This iron combines the best of a steam generating iron with a regular iron. How does the Velocity 260IR do this?

  • The Velocity 270IR has a compact vapor generator with patented dual heating element technology. Fancy words that mean the pre-heated water is turned into steam before it reaches the soleplate. For us regular folks that means the iron doesn’t drip, dribble, or spit water. Ever!
  • Touch the sensor handle and get steam on-demand. Just pick up the iron and the steam starts flowing. If you don’t need steam, touch the steam button and it stops.
  • The settings on the 270IR are pretty impressive. There are eight settings and each has steam or no-steam.
  • The iron defaults to AUTO which is setting #4. Perfect for most needs.

Then, there is the TURBO setting #8. I’m talking full Krakatoa here! It gets super hot, super fast and can kill a wrinkle in quilting fabric like nobody’s business. 

Below is a typical fat quarter with creases that can be difficult to remove.

example with wrinkles

A few seconds later and no creases AFTER using TURBO heat and high steam (setting #8).

example without wrinkles

Note: There is no burst of steam button because it’s not needed. If you don’t want or need steam, just tap the Steam On/Off button. 

Why this is the Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting

There is really nothing negative I can say about the Velocity 270IR. It does all of the things you want an iron to do and it does them extremely well. That’s why I’ve dubbed it The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting.

What I Love

  • There are 8 Ironing Programs. AUTO is the default program and is perfect for quilting. The other 7 Ironing Programs cover every type of fabric that needs ironing.
  • It works as a garment steamer when you need to remove wrinkles but don’t want to touch the fabric with an iron.
  • The steam functions are amazing. Lots of steam. No drips or dribbles. Ever. This was also true with my previous Velocity 200IR.
  • The anodized aluminum soleplate effortlessly glides over fabric and hardly needs cleaning. 
  • The red steam button is very accessible when ironing and can easily toggle between steam and no-steam. 
  • It has a nifty digital dial. You can set the the heat and steam level and easily adjust to the fabric being ironed.
    • Notice these displays: The steam setting is in blue on the left, the auto setting of #4 in the middle, and the heat setting in red on the right. 
settings dial
  • The water chamber is huge (1.25 Cups) with a wide opening and a handy water jug with a clever spout. No unnecessary spilling when you refill the iron.
  • There is an auto-shutoff AND the ability to bypass the auto-shutoff. 
  • The Touch Sensor Handle quickly wakes up the iron from auto-shutoff. It also shuts off the steam when it’s not being held – which means the water in the tank lasts longer. 

This is My Second Velocity Iron

This iron is a bit of an upfront investment, but it will outlast inexpensive irons, making it less costly in the long run. It’s ideal for people who do a lot of quilting and sewing.

I totally stand behind this iron. The Velocity 270IR is my second iron from the Reliable Corporation. My first iron was from a previous generation. In the nearly five years of daily use it never once spit or spewed water and still functions today. 

Note: I followed Reliable’s recommendation of only using distilled water.

Get the Velocity 270IR here:

All About Ironing Boards

Why I Won’t Be Dropping Anymore Irons

When I first met the Reliable people at Quilt Market, I mentioned that I’ve been known to drop an iron or two. The representative assured me that there was a solution to my dilemma. It wasn’t the iron or the iron-er; it was the ironing board.

lady ironing shirt

The Solution

The Reliable Corporation makes these super-sized ironing boards that are much wider than a standard sized board (such as one you’d find at a discount store) and seemed like a good option for my clumsy ways.

I’m so glad I listened because after using one of these ironing boards for almost five years, I have not once even come close to dropping an iron.

Choosing the Best Ironing Board

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Having a wider surface means more space to set the iron and less opportunity to drop the iron. Fortunately, Reliable Ironing Boards come with an ergonomic support tray for the iron to rest when not being used.

They make two very stable ironing boards that include all of the best features you’d want.

The Board 120IB is a sturdy ironing board that includes a heavy-duty support tray that is durable enough to hold a steam generating iron.

The Board 220IB is the same size, has the same features, but includes double-wishbone legs which make it even more stable and ideal for large projects like quilts. It also includes a laundry rack.

Ironing Quilts and Other Large Projects

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Many of you are likely thinking I need to take my old ironing board and convert it into one specifically for quilts. In an ideal world, yes! But, I only have space for one ironing board which means I don’t have enough room for a second ironing board dedicated to quilting.

Reliable has a solution and that’s what I purchased. The Reliable 320LB 2-in-1 Ironing Board has the stability of the 220IB, but easily converts from a regular shaped ironing board into a very large, very stable rectangular ironing board that’s perfect for ironing quilt projects. I’ve even been able to iron the full width of my fabric on the ironing table. I’m sure it could handle tablecloths and sheets, too (but I’m not ironing these anytime soon).

The entire unit comes assembled as a regular ironing board and includes a beautiful ironing board cover. However, in about two minutes it converts into this amazing ironing table. The set also includes the rectangular ironing board cover with a heat-resistant zone. 

This image shows the extension piece that slips over the narrow end of the ironing board, forming a rectangle. I found it to be simple to install/remove and it didn’t affect the sturdiness of the ironing surface.

All of these pieces are included with The Board 320LB 2-in-1 Ironing Board.

While the ironing board was a significant investment, overall, I am thrilled with this ironing set up. For me, this combination offers the perfect solution to my needs. I have an awesome iron that gets the job done and the convertible ironing-board-to-ironing table is the best solution for my sewing and ironing space.

And, my iron rests nicely in the support tray so my iron-dropping-ways may have come to an end.

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  1. Loved my velocity and recently upgraded my iron to the g reliable 300is for my garment and tailoring needs. Absolutely love it!!!

    1. My Shark Pro just quit working. Up until that, it was wonderful, though it ran out of water faster than I would have liked. Lots of steam though.

  2. This is awesome! My iron recently met with a similar fate and I was frantically searching for a new iron. I settled for an iron that was on sale, knowing that it was only a matter of time, but I needed something NOW. Thanks for doing all the research for me! Hopefully I’ll be getting this in the next few weeks!

  3. Oh, oh,oh….I do SO wish this setup was available in Australia! I have been looking at a steam generation iron, but can’t justify the cost. And by the time I get around to making an extension board for my (still perfectly fine) ironing board, they’ll be carting me out in a box!!

  4. Love it !! I too drop my iron, went though many of them. My iron board is not stable when ironing large pieces of fabric. I will have to see who sells them in my area. May I ask where you bought yours.

  5. Wow! If I did pinterest of facebook I’d definitely share this post. I was cracking up reading it, especially imagining you answering your iron! That was hilarious. I once threw away my dirty clothes and the trash is just below the laundry chute. Good thing I came to my senses before I threw them out!
    I’ll have to investigate this iron and board. I have an ironrite that I do large pieces of fabric and everthing else, but it’s in my basement and I sew upstairs. Thanks for such an informative post.

  6. Always LOVE your fun and very informative posts. Wow! Would love, love, love this setup. A real thing of beauty! I have always wanted a great iron (I iron everything in addition to being an avid presser-while-sewing lady!). Will have to save my SS pennies for a while before I can invest, but it’s on my wish list at Amazon! Thanks for keeping us up to date on things, making us more informed!

  7. Hello there! It must have been fate because I subscribe to tons of blogs, and have very little time to read any of them. But I do scan. I scanned yours and found information about this iron…and I bought it.

    I am about to embark on a huge project for work, and dreaded the thought of using my old iron which was one of the higher end priced, but has never delivered enough heat for linens and table cloths. So based on your review, I thought I’d give this iron and chance before I go up in price and buy an industrial one.

    I have used it once on my dinner linen napkins which I have held off ironing because I was thinking I need to set alot of time aside for that. It only took one swipe of the Reliable iron to smooth out those napkins!

    Now I get to see how it works for my professional work.

  8. Love the iron and the new ironing board, but do they make one that doesn’t break toes. I have a few of those. I use to keep my iron in a closet on a high shelf.

  9. Thanks for the great review. I’m ordering one today! In my sewing room, I have a small lamp by the door that comes on when I turn on my ironing station. If that hard to miss on the way out the door light is on, I know I have forgotten to turn off the iron. Now I can by pass the auto off and the annoying cold iron wait time with my new Reliable 200IR.

  10. Leslie, I same problem with irons until I purchased my Polder ironing board it has a resting place at the end of the board that is saved my iron many times. Many years ago I purchased a new ironing board because in my garment construction I needed sharp creases and pleats. On several occasions when I was using my Clapper I literally collapsed the ironing board. I would use the clapper and then I would press firmly on my fabric to get the sharp crease I wanted. I collapsed several ironing boards. They just could not take the pressure that I was exerting. That was started making flimsy lightweight irons that just did not perform the way I needed them to in my clothing construction.
    At about same time I once dropped another iron. So it was also time for new iron and I found my first Rowenta. I loved that iron and at the time it was pretty pricey at a little over $100 in the mid-80s. After buying the expensive iron I certainly didn’t want to ruin it collapsing another ironing board so that’s when I bought my Polder. It was a pretty hefty price at the time between the ironing board I think it was about $85 and an iron of over $100 but it was so well worth it. Of course I have since worn out several Rowenta’s and I’m not as thrilled as I have been with the previous ones. I was really disappointed when they did away with the removable water reservoir which brings up a question. Rowenta says not to use distilled water to just use plain old tap water which is what I’ve always done. Do you have to use distilled water with this iron that you have dubbed to be the best?

  11. I really enjoyed your remarks on the Velocity 2601R iron. If I hadn’t recently bought a new iron I would definitely buy this one. I did go to their web site because I am looking for a “mini” iron to put by my sewing machine. I will use it mostly for pressing seams as I quilt. They do have a mini iron that does steam. Has anyone used this and if so, does it give good steam? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

  12. Hope all is well with you Leslie, after snowmageddon! I just happen to need a new iron and your review came at just the right moment. I ordered one today! It won’t replace my Elna press but the press isn’t great for a number of things. Thanks for the excellent review!

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