For me, wearing pressed clothes is an affordable luxury all by itself. The few minutes it takes to do a touch-up press and maybe add a shot of heavy-duty starch to garments made of wrinkly natural fibers makes me feel as though I am much better put together. Casual clothes that are machine-laundered at home may need quite a bit of pressing to look their best. The German-made Rowenta irons have the features I appreciate in an iron: they are heavy, which I think irons should be, they have an auto shut-off feature so you won’t burn the house down if you forget them and the burst of steam feature is fun to shoot through stubborn areas of your clothes. My DW 8080, discounted to under $95, seems to hit the price/performance sweet spot and should last for the long haul.
Affordability: 4 Luxury: 8
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Want more luxury? If Rowenta makes the Mercedes-Benz of irons, costing about 3 times as much as most other irons, then Delonghi makes the Ferrari. The Stiromeglio Compact PRO 300 to some people is worth it for the design alone, although it is a great steam iron.
Affordability: 3 Luxury: 9