Today:17 April, 2024

Dry iron vs steam iron – which one is better?

Dry iron vs steam iron… This topic is still actively discussed by housewives.

Steam irons have been on the market for years now, helping us iron our clothes effectively and promptly. But what about dry irons? Are they still being used? Yes, they are. Just because they were invented a long time that doesn’t mean they are of no use now. In fact, they are known for their durability and simplicity.

While most people prefer steam irons because of a variety of features and functions they come with, those who appreciate the art of pressing clothes with a solid iron always choose a dry model.

Which one do you prefer?

Oh, you don’t know the answer yet… Well, you’re about to find it out. This article will answer the question “What is the difference between dry iron and steam iron?” to help you make a wise choice and get just what you need.

Dry iron vs steam iron

Both steamless iron and a steam iron have something to offer, only to a group of people with different needs and preferences. Below you’ll find out their features.

Water Tank

As you probably know, steam irons come with a water tank that should be filled with distilled water. But, why there is a water tank on that iron? Because it makes ironing clothes full of wrinkles and heavy fabrics a whole lot easier!

The iron usually has two functions – spray and steam. You can choose one or the other in times of need. Thanks to this feature, you will no longer hate ironing shirts and other clothes and fabrics that easily get wrinkled. The same goes for jeans and heavy fabrics that need a couple of passes with a dry iron before even start looking like a decent garment. A steam iron will get the job done much more quickly and efficiently. However, steam iron with a tank may start leaking which leads to water stains on the garments.


Dry irons are built with durability in mind. They come with sturdy soleplates that should easily last a decade. They feature a flat plate without holes that offer much better heat transfer, perfect for getting a crisp look. Iron without steam holes is much easier to clean as there are no holes that can get clogged.

Steam irons, on the other hand, come with soleplates with holes. Many of the best steam irons today come with even 400 steam holes for even distribution of steam which makes ironing faster and easier. However, steam iron with holes can be a bit tricky to clean if it doesn’t feature a self-cleaning mechanism.


Versatility is one of the greatest perks of steam irons. Steam irons can function as dry irons as long as you disable ‘steam’ function. This option is great when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to bother with filling the tank.

Also, not all of the fabrics need to be ironed with steam. Some are better suited for dry ironing – silk, for example. Wait, we know what you’re thinking, “Is dry ironing function effective on a steam iron?” Yes, it is, so you don’t have to worry about that. Creases and wrinkles will surely be gone with a dry iron function.

Aside from this function, some steam irons offer the vertical method of ironing. Meaning, a steam iron converts into a steamer so there’s no need for an ironing board. Garment steamers are particularly effective for softer and delicate fabrics that don’t require pressing.

Dry irons cannot be converted into a steam iron. If you need steam for ironing most of your clothes, and dry ironing for ironing particular garments, a steam iron would probably be the best bet for you. But, if most of the time you would use a dry function on a steam iron, there is no need to spend all that money but rather invest in a good quality dry iron.

Extra features

Not only is a steam iron versatile but it also offers more features compared to a non-steam iron. Your grandma probably used a dry iron and was in love with it. But nowadays, this iron only comes with the basic features such as adjustable temperature settings; heal rest, swivel cord, and a temperature-ready light. Better models come with an automatic shut-off.

The truth is, dry irons lack a lot of handy features you can find on best steam irons. Some of those features are a self-cleaning mechanism, digital control dial, anti-drip system, and an auto shut-off option. You can also choose between models with a retractable cord and cordless irons.


Here are some questions regarding the dry iron vs steam iron debate, so feel free to browse through them.

Q: Can I use steam iron without distilled water?

A: Yes, but first you have to disable the steam function on your iron.

Q: Can I use tap water instead of distilled water?

A: Tap water is full of minerals which, over time, can hinder the performance of your steam iron, if not completely destroy it. So, no tap water allowed in your iron.

Q: Which iron is best for clothes?

A: It depends on what you’re ironing. A dry iron is great for silk and other delicate fabrics, whereas a steam iron works wonders on shirts and other difficult-to-iron garments.

Q: How can I remove scale buildup on my iron?

A: Here is a great way to clean your iron.

Q: How to clean my iron from burnt fabric?

A: Cleaning burnt fabric on iron is not as hard as it looks, but it is vital for your iron’s performance. Here’s how to remove burnt fabrics from your iron.

The bottom line

And that would be all, our friends. Now that you know the difference between dry iron vs steam iron, you should be able to find a model that suits your preferences. A good iron, whether steam or dry, will help you iron clothes more eagerly than before!

Joseph is the founder and Chief Editor of "Indoor To Outdoor". He is an entrepreneur with experience in sales of household products. He also travels a lot, takes pictures and loves to ride a bike.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *