Dry Iron vs Steam Iron: What’s The Difference & Which Is Better?

Dry Iron vs Steam Iron: What’s The Difference & Which Is Better?

Choosing the correct iron machine can be overwhelming, considering so many models are available these days. You can generally find two types of iron in the market: dry iron and steam iron. Both these appliances have different features and functions. So, dry iron vs steam iron – what is the difference and which one is better? Let’s explore the details.

Nobody can deny the importance of ironing clothes. Well-ironed clothes play a crucial role in forming a great first impression. They make you look better and sophisticated. Be it a date or an interview, wrinkled-free clothes help you stand out.

While buying an iron, it’s important to consider which one is better for you so that you can get the desired results: dry iron or steam iron. If you are confused about it, don’t worry because you are at the right place. This detailed article will help you figure out the difference between steam iron and dry iron and pick the right one.

Dry iron vs steam iron: difference at a glance

Dry IronSteam Iron
Dry Iron has a flat and smooth soleplate which gets heated up for ironingSteam iron has steam holes which give out steam for ironing.
It can iron most of the fabrics.It can iron limited fabrics.
Dry iron has limited featuresSteam iron has many features
Non versatileVersatile
Lightweight and easy to carryHeavy and a bit tough to carry
Ironing quality is averageIroning quality is great
It can’t be used as steam iron.It can be used as dry iron.
Easy to cleanComparatively harder to clean

What is dry iron?

Dry iron features and advantages

A dry iron is an iron which makes use of a flat and smooth soleplate for ironing. This soleplate gets heated up and removes wrinkle when pressed onto the clothes. Unlike steam iron, there is no requirement of a water tank in a dry iron and since dry iron doesn’t involve water or steam, there are no chances of your clothes getting spoiled with leaks or spits.

A dry iron is a really basic iron. It is extremely easy to use and is best option for people who don’t know how to iron clothes or how to handle an iron machine. It has a knob/dial using which you can control the fabric or temperature settings.

Advantages of dry iron:

  • Dry iron is really easy to use.
  • It is lightweight and great for regular use
  • It can iron most of the fabrics without any problem.
  • Dry iron is budget-friendly.
  • It doesn’t spoil the clothes with leaks or spits.
  • It is easy to clean
  • Auto shutdown feature is available.
  • Temperature control feature is available.
  • It is almost maintenance-free

Disadvantages of dry iron:

  • Dry iron can’t remove wrinkles as effectively as steam iron.
  • It doesn’t allow vertical ironing.
  • It doesn’t have features like spray mist and 360 degree movement.
  • Dry iron can’t be used as a steam iron.
  • It takes comparatively more time to iron the clothes.
  • The fabric gets a bit rough after ironing.

What is steam iron?

Steam iron features and advantages

A steam iron is an iron which makes use of steam holes or steam output for ironing. The steam holes give out huge amount of heat to get rid of wrinkles from the clothes. Unlike dry iron, a steam iron has water tank which helps in the production of the heat.

Some of them even come with spray mist feature which lets you dampen the clothes for better ironing. However, there are always chances of leaks or spits that can stain or spoil the clothes.

A steam iron is really effective when it comes to ironing and it is best for de-wrinkling the clothes. It can be even used as a dry iron. It has a great number of features which makes it extremely versatile.

Advantages of steam iron:

  • Steam iron is highly effective in removing stubborn wrinkles from the clothes.
  • It has additional features like spray option and 360 degree movement.
  • Steam can be used as a dry iron.
  • It allows vertical ironing.
  • You can even use it on furniture, upholstery, and curtains with the help of multiple steam options.
  • Auto shutdown feature is available.
  • It offers better performance.
  • The fabric stays smooth after ironing.

Disadvantages of steam iron:

  • There are chances of clothes getting spoiled with the leaks/spits.
  • Steam iron is heavy in weight and also requires more energy to operate.
  • It is comparatively difficult to clean.
  • It can iron only limited fabrics.
  • Steam iron can be complex to operate because there are too many settings.

Dry iron vs steam iron: which is better?

Both dry iron and steam iron have different features. Before considering which is better, it is important to compare both these iron to have a better picture. This table will help you understand which iron is best for your requirements:

The full comparison:

Type Of IronDry IronSteam Iron
SoleplateDry iron has a flat and smooth soleplate that gets heated up. Ceramic and non-stick soleplate is more effective.Steam iron has steam holes release steam. Stainless steel or ceramic plate ensures even distribution of heat.
DesignSince dry iron doesn’t need steam, it doesn’t have a water tank.It has water tank which is filled with water. This water produces hot steam for ironing clothes.
Cord LengthDry iron comes with different cord lengths. Always check the cord length before making the purchase. Unlike steam iron, dry iron’s cord doesn’t offer retractable cords or 360 degree movement.It also comes with different cord lengths. Go for a steam iron with 360 degree movement cord. It provides flexibility. Some models also come with retractable cords.
Weight & SizeDry iron is lightweight and luggage-friendly.It is heavy in weight. It is not luggage friendly.
VersatilityIt isn’t as versatile as steam iron. It can’t be used as steam iron. Vertical ironing isn’t possible with dry iron. However, you can iron most of the fabrics with a dry iron.It’s highly versatile. You can even use it as a dry iron. Vertical ironing is possible with steam iron. You can use it to iron carpets and curtains. However, it can iron only limited fabrics.
Settings/FeaturesSince dry iron is a very basic iron, it has limited settings. There are not much features besides temperature control.Apart from temperature settings, it has a number of features like spraying mist, LED, and steam trigger. You can use these features as per your requirements.
ComplexityAs it is basic, it is really easy to useDue to multiple settings, it can be a bit complex to use.
PriceDry irons are budget-friendly.Steam irons are comparatively costlier.


Is steaming better than ironing?

Steaming is definitely better than ironing. It is, in fact, more versatile and effective. It is highly effective in removing stubborn wrinkles from clothes. Steaming is even perfect for items like pillows, carpets, and upholstery.

Apart from dry-cleaning or removing wrinkles, steaming is also effective in killing odour-causing bacteria. It will keep your clothes fresh. It hardly takes much time and is a rather quick process. Unlike ironing, you can hang your clothes and steam them anytime anywhere.

Can I use steam iron as dry iron?

Yes. One of the best things about steam irons is that it can be used as a dry iron so you get the benefits of two in one. All you have to do is empty the water tank and turn off the steam option.

Without water or steam option, steam iron works as a dry iron. It also helps you iron fabrics that can’t be generally ironed with steam iron, such as polyester and silk. Hence, steam iron is a smart investment.

Can I use tap water in steam iron?

It is important to be considerate about the water you use in steam iron. Tap water shouldn’t be used in steam iron because it contains minerals. These minerals can clog the steam holes, preventing the steam from coming out.

So you won’t be able to iron your clothes. It is better to use water that doesn’t contain minerals so that the holes don’t get clogged. You can use purified water or de-ionised water.

However, most of the modern steam irons are designed in such a way that you can even use a tap water. Do check out the feature while buying a steam iron.

Dry iron vs steam iron: final verdict

Ironing clothes is such a necessary and basic activity that investing money in a good iron machine is a smart move. Having an effective iron at home makes your job easier and quicker.

Dry iron is definitely a great option for beginners but I’d personally suggest you to go for steam iron. Be it features or versatility, steam iron definitely has an edge over dry iron. And since you can use it as a dry iron as well, it serves dual purpose. It is highly effective in removing stubborn wrinkles and also does the job quicker.

According to me, steam iron is better. Before you make the purchase, do go through different models while keeping your requirements in mind.

This article has already discussed about dry iron vs steam iron in detail to make your job easier. However, if you still have doubt or query, feel free to contact us or leave it in the comment section below.

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