Our Favorite Small Iron for Quilting

Looking for a small iron for quilting or sewing? Check out our tips for buying a mini sewing iron and our very favorite mini iron!

Let’s talk mini irons! These handy little gadgets can make your quilting life so much easier. There’s nothing that makes us quilters happier than crisp seams and a good small iron for quilting will help you achieve just that.

In this article, we’re sharing what to look for when buying a small iron for quilting, and which mini iron we own and LOVE!

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What is a Mini Sewing Iron?

A mini sewing iron, sometimes referred to as a compact sewing iron or small quilting iron, is a small-sized, portable iron that comes super handy for sewing and quilting tasks. These mini irons are much smaller and lighter than regular household irons and are great for more detailed and precise work in the quilting and sewing process.

Do you need it? I mean… I’m not gonna say it’s an essential quilting tool and you can’t be a quilter without it. But is it nice to have? You betcha! Some of these babies (they really are babies cause they’re so cute and tiny) do such an impressive job you might find yourself using them more than your regular iron.

Because they’re so cute (and affordable) they also make excellent gifts for a quilter!

What to Look for When Buying a Small Iron

When choosing a small iron for quilting, there are several different factors to consider (no it’s not just about which is the cutest!).

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect mini:

  1. Size and Weight: A small iron should be easy to handle, especially for pressing small quilt pieces and tight corners.
  2. Comfortable grip: A comfortable handle is important for ease of use.
  3. Adjustable temperature control: Look for an iron that allows you to control the temperature based on the fabric you’re working with. Different fabrics require different heat settings to avoid damage.
  4. Steam function: I know many quilters never use the steam function on their iron, and that’s ok. But I do, so having a steam function is a must. If you’re like me, make sure the iron has both dry and steam settings.
  5. Non-stick soleplate: A smooth and non-stick soleplate helps prevent fabric from sticking or scorching during pressing.
  6. Sufficient cord length: Ensure that the iron has a cord long enough to reach your work area comfortably.
  7. Safety features: Look for safety features like auto shut-off and a stable base to prevent tipping over.
  8. Quality construction: Check the build quality and materials to ensure durability and longevity.
  9. Brand and reviews: Choose a reputable brand and read customer reviews to get an idea of the iron’s performance and durability.
  10. Portability features: Some small irons come with travel-friendly features like a folding handle or a carrying pouch – if you’re one to travel a lot to quilt retreats and such, look for travel features.
  11. Extra features: Some irons may have additional features like vertical steam, burst of steam, or anti-drip functions. If you know you like a certain feature on your regular iron, check to see if it’s available in a mini.
  12. Consider your budget: Small irons for quilting come in various price ranges, so define your budget and choose the best in that price range.
  13. Warranty coverage: Look for an iron with a warranty that provides peace of mind in case of defects or malfunctions.

Our Favorite Mini Quilting Iron

Now that we know the mini iron theory, I can finally share which small iron we use and LOVE here at the dtq studio.

Cue the fanfare…

It’s the Rowenta Pro Compact!

Although it’s primarily advertised as a travel iron the Rowenta Pro Compact has become a favorite among quilters and crafters, as well.

I first bought it when I was on maternity leave and I sewed in the kids’ room while the baby napped. I knew I wanted something small, so I could put it away when I didn’t need it.

So I was essentially getting it as a ‘backup’ iron. Little did I know it would become my favorite for some quilting tasks!

Now that my maternity leave is just a distant memory, we have the Rowenta at the studio. We use it interchangeably with the larger steam station iron we have.

I’ll say that ironing large fabric pieces when they come out the drier (team prewash here!) is much more efficient with the larger iron. 

However, pressing seams and ironing smaller fabric pieces is done just as easily (if not even more so) with the Roventa Travel.

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It’s very easy to maneouver, it comes into all those tight spaces. But at the same time it still feels like a proper iron. Can you tell that we love it?

PROS
  • Impressive ironing comparable to regular sized household irons.
  • Excellent steam feature – I am super impressed with the steam feature, it works amazingly well. (It even has a vertical steam feature for steaming clothes on hangers, which could be great for travel.)
  • Easy to maneuver.
  • Foldable, so great for travel (a travel puch is also included).
CONS
  • The foldable handle is prone to cracking, so you must be careful not to put too much pressure on it. It’s not a deal breaker, but definitely something to be aware of.
  • No auto off feature, so be super careful to turn it off when you’re done ironing!

We’ve had the Rowenta for over two years now and I would 100% recommend it for anyone looking for a mini quilting iron.

Do you have a mini iron in your quilting toolbox? Which one do you have and what do you love/not love about it? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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