Here's why cordless irons are a waste of money

Cordless Iron
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Like most, I find ironing to be one of the most annoying chores. It can take hours of standing and sweating to work your way through the weekly laundry pile. That’s why I was excited when cordless irons were first introduced — if they could make ironing any easier then every household would want one. Above all, cordless irons promise convenience, so I was a little perplexed when I had a go with one for the first time. Here we take a look at the pros and cons and iron out the details.  

What are cordless irons?

As the name suggests, a cordless iron is an iron which doesn’t have a cord. Instead, it sits on an independent base to charge up and once they reach the optimum temperature they alert you that they’re ready to use. They come with much the same settings as standard irons, but give you more freedom and convenience as there’s no cord to hold you back. It’s worth adding that while there’s no cord, the base still needs to be connected to a power supply. 

Why I don't like cordless irons

On testing my first cordless iron, I waited eagerly for it to heat up. It took about as long as you would expect a corded iron to heat, so there were no surprises there. It let me know it was ready with an audible noise. I picked it up with ease, pressed it to a cotton shirt and with my first stroke, I was happy to see the creases removed as you would expect. But here’s where the problems started. 

As I pulled back and continued to iron, I noticed that the quality of the crease removal was already deteriorating. The cordless iron had sadly lost much of its heat in the first stroke. I continued to iron, noticing that it was now making next to no difference on the cotton shirt, until it finally beeped to let me know it needed to recharge. I placed it back on the base and waited again for it to heat. It needed about 5-10 seconds each time to heat up — not a huge amount of time, but enough to make you impatient after the second charge. 

I continued in this pattern until at last the shirt was ironed 5 minutes later. This took a lot longer than it should thanks to the added charging and I wasn’t even happy with the finished product. The shirt looked hit and miss in terms of wrinkle removal. While it was nice not to be held back by the cord, the cost to the performance was not worth this small convenience. That’s why I’ve stuck to corded irons since.

If you're still not convinced, here are the pros and cons of a cordless iron. 

Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless, Portable 1500W Contoured Multi-Directional Steam/Dry Iron

(Image credit: Panasonic)

Cordless irons: Pros

  • It’s naturally convenient that there’s no cable.
    This makes cordless irons much easier to maneuver into awkward spaces as there’s no cable pulling at it. You also don’t have to worry about a cable cutting across to the socket or anyone tripping over it.
  • Cordless irons tend to be more lightweight than corded models.
    Again, this makes them more convenient to handle.    
  • You can set up the ironing board wherever you want.
    Although you will still need a power source for the charging base. 
  • These are good to use if you’re not too fussy about the results and you’ve got a small ironing pile.
    Cordless irons will also perform well on lightweight fabrics such as nylon, as not so much heat is required. 

Cordless irons: Cons

  • These will add time to your ironing.
    You need to continually place the iron back on the base to recharge. How often you do this depends on the setting you’re using and the material you’re ironing. But, the hotter the setting, the more often it will be. This means the job can take much longer than it should if you’ve got a large ironing pile.
  • Recharge bases can also be very bulky.
    Bear in mind that some bases are much bigger than others. Whichever cordless iron you choose, it’s naturally going to take up more space in the cupboard than a corded model.   
  • You still need to plug in the recharge base somewhere.
    While cordless iron implies there’s no cord, you will still need to plug in and power the charging base. You will also need to have easy access to it while ironing.
  • Results aren’t as consistent as a corded iron.
    In my experience, the results may be as good for a single stroke or two, but it quickly deteriorates as it loses heat. Corded irons on the other hand give you steady, consistent crease removal.
  • The lifespan can be shorter than corded models.
    Cordless irons contain batteries which will likely die before any other fault develops. These batteries are non-replaceable which means the whole iron will need replacing more regularly.    


(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Are cordless irons worth it?

Despite the drawbacks I’ve mentioned above, some still praise the convenience of a cordless iron. Personally, I’m not convinced, but if you’ve got a small stack of laundry and the cord really annoys you that much, then cordless could be the way to go.  

Katie Mortram
Homes Editor

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be air purifiers, as the information provided and the difference between performances is extensive.