Cord retracts with a lot of force
Steam burst is not very powerful
Doesn’t work as well on thicker fabrics
We purchased Sunbeam's Steam Master Iron so our writer could put it to the test on her wrinkliest clothes. Keep reading for our full product review.
From travel size and cordless to professional and quilting, there’s no shortage of irons on the market. But which do you choose? To help you make a wise decision, we tested one of the best-rated irons—the Sunbeam Steam Master Iron. We ironed and steamed many different types of clothing and linens over the course of several weeks. We tested its setup, design, extra features, and overall performance. Keep reading to see what we found and if it’s worth purchasing.
Design: Attractive and easy to store
The Sunbeam Steam Master Iron is very stylish. One of the first things we noticed about this iron is its modern, sleek look with beautiful teal and chrome details. It also feels lightweight, weighing in at 3.02 pounds. (Anything above 3.5 pounds for steam irons starts to feel too heavy in our opinion.) As for the icons found on each of the buttons or dials, they are all intuitive and easy to read.
This iron is also easy to store thanks to its retractable cord, so no need to worry about wrapping it neatly around the iron. Just press the retractable button located below the handle, and it’s ready to be placed neatly in the closet without worrying about the hassle of the long cord.
Setup Process: Fill with water, plug in, set, and go
For dry ironing, the initial setup is fairly simple: Just remove the iron from the packaging, plug it in, and turn the Fabric Select Dial, located above the handle, to the desired setting depending on the fabric being ironed. Make sure the steam lever is in the off position. There are five settings on the Fabric Select Dial: Off, Synthetic Blends, Silk, Wool, Cotton, and Linen. The total time it takes for the iron to heat up is about two to three minutes.
The steam function requires a little more setup. To begin steam ironing, the user must first fill the water reservoir located above the Fabric Select Dial prior to plugging in. We found that it was somewhat difficult to see the water level as we were filling it up from the faucet. The backside of the iron, where the water lives, is only slightly translucent, which made it difficult to see how much water was filling in. We ended up needing to dump some water out because we filled above the max line.
Once the water reservoir is filled, there is a steam lever right below the Fabric Select Dial with three different levels of steam to choose from, as well as an option for no steam. There are two additional buttons below the steam lever for extra steam functions: the spray mist feature and the shot of steam feature. The spray mist feature acts as a powerful water spray mist that dampens that fabric to aid in removing wrinkles from heavy fabrics and for setting creases. The shot of steam feature provides an extra burst of steam for deep penetration of stubborn wrinkles. This feature can be used when dry or steam ironing.
Performance: Removes most wrinkles flawlessly and quickly
The Sunbeam Steam Master removes wrinkles from most clothing effortlessly. We ironed fabrics made of cotton, polyester, and silk with excellent results. We liked how we were able to release steam while ironing to remove creases faster. The stainless steel soleplate comes with macro-sized steam holes that allow for this. The vertical steam option is especially helpful for ironing professional clothing. Thanks to this feature, we were able to move the iron vertically over the top of our blouses and dresses, while on the hanger, to get them completely smooth in a matter of minutes. We were able to get the wrinkles out of the back and front easily and quickly using this feature.
We also used this iron for thicker fabrics such as cotton towels, pillowcases, and table linens. We noticed that the highest setting with steam was not quite enough to get rid of the wrinkles we had in our table linens. Even when using the burst of steam feature while ironing, we were not able to get a totally smooth piece of fabric in the end. It’s just not powerful enough to use on thicker fabrics.
Retractable Cord: Nice for storage, but retracts forcefully
One of our favorite features of the Sunbeam Steam Master is the retractable cord. To extend the cord, just pull on the end with the plug, located below the iron handle. It measures out to 8 feet in length when fully extended, which allowed us to use the iron farther away from the wall. We also loved that the retractable cord makes storage super easy because we didn’t have to wrap the long cord around the iron, as it retracts into the unit.
The only issue we noticed with the cord is that when we pressed and held the retractable button, the cord retracts fast and with a lot of force. We were whipped by the cord several times. We figured out that if we held the cord as we pressed and held the button, we weren’t as at risk of getting hit by the cord.
Features: Anti-drip and automatic shut-off
This iron also comes with a list of extra features including an anti-drip system that prevents water leakage and a three-way motion smart automatic shut-off for safety.
This iron comes with an anti-drip system that prevents water leakage and a three-way motion smart automatic shut-off for safety.
The three-way motion smart automatic shut-off is an especially nice feature. If we ever forgot the iron was on after we were done using it, it automatically turned off. Similarly, the iron also shuts off if accidentally tipped over.
Ease of Cleaning: Self-cleaning features
This model comes with an anti-calcium system. This feature allows the user to prevent calcium or other mineral deposits. To prolong the life of the iron, this should be done every 30 days or every 30 uses.
To use this feature, first turn the iron off. Next, add 1 teaspoon of salt to ¾ cup of water, and fill the water reservoir with this solution. Leave the solution in the water reservoir for 15 minutes, shaking occasionally. Next, empty the water reservoir through the fill hole or through the “clean method.” Repeat this once more. Lastly, fill the water reservoir with fresh water to rinse through and empty this water out as in the previous step. The iron is now thoroughly cleansed.
This model also boasts a self-clean feature. Self-cleaning should be done once a month or every 30 uses to maintain the iron properly. There are more detailed instructions on how to use this feature in the manual.
Price: A great price
The Sunbeam Steam Master Iron retails for around $30, which is a great price considering all of its extra features, from several steaming options and an anti-drip system to self-cleaning and three-way motion smart automatic shut-off. We think this steam iron is a steal for all that it can do. Plus, it comes with a three-year limited warranty.
We think this steam iron is a steal for all that it can do.
Sunbeam Steam Master Iron vs. Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Steam Iron
The Rowenta DW5080 Focus Micro Steam Iron, retailing around $60, is another steam iron on the market that has received excellent reviews for its powerful performance. Like the Sunbeam Steam Master, the Rowenta has an anti-drip design, an anti-calcium system, and an automatic shut-off for added safety.
The main difference between the two is in their performance, as the Rowenta heats up very quickly, has impressive steam distribution, and its precision tip allows for access into tighter spots. Both are great options, but we think the Sunbeam Steam Master may be better for someone looking for a cheaper option that gets the job done and stores easily.
- Product Name Steam Master Iron with Retractable Cord
- Product Brand Sunbeam
- MPN GCSBSP-201-000
- Price $29.99
- Weight 3.02 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 5.55 x 4.84 x 12.2 in.
- Warranty 3 years, limited
- Cord Length 8 ft.
- Watts 1,400
- Voltage 120V