Can Steam Iron Be Used Without Water? (Dry Iron vs Steam Iron)

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Can Steam Iron Be Used Without Water?

Steam irons are great tools to use to keep your clothes and other fabrics fresh and wrinkle-free. But there are so many kinds of steam irons, and there are different options that steam irons have, like wet and dry. So can a steam iron be used without water?

Steam iron can be used without water. Most steam irons come with an option to use it dry, so you don’t have to empty the water. Without that option, you can still easily empty the water of your steam iron. You can use steam iron without water for as long as you want. 

This article explains whether or not you have to use steam with a steam iron and if you can use a Philips steam iron without water. I’ll also explain how to use a steam iron as a dry iron and the difference between steam and dry irons. A few steamers in this article also work great with or without water.

Best Steam Irons You Can Use With Our Without Water

Maybe you want to get a steam iron for everyday use, but you wonder if you could use it both with and without water. Note that you can use steam irons with or without water. It’s important that you select the right iron to ensure you can iron your clothes with no problems.

Here are a few great steam irons you can use with or without water (available on

  • BEAUTURAL Portable Handheld Steamer. This handheld steamer heats up in 30 seconds and will remove wrinkles from any fabric you need. There’s a large tank, so you don’t have to worry about running out of water in the middle of ironing, and the tank is detachable for easy filling and emptying if you want to use your iron without water.
  • Brookline Handheld Garment Steam Iron. This steamer will run for ten minutes continuously, and it has a nine-foot cord, so you don’t need to worry about steaming right by an outlet, even if it’s inconvenient. There’s an auto-shut-down feature as a safety precaution.
  • Panasonic Cordless Iron. This iron is the perfect portable dry and steam iron combo that comes with a carrying case and retracting cord, so you can use it wherever you go. It’s more like a traditional iron, but you can use it to steam anything with or without water.

Can Philips Steam Iron Be Used Without Water?

The Philips Steam Iron can be used without water. If your Philips Steam Iron has the option, you can just turn it on in dry mode and not worry about having water in it. Or, you can just empty the steamer’s water and use it like normal. 

This video on YouTube from Philips shows you how their portable, handheld steamer works:

Can Steam Iron Be Used As Dry Iron?

Steam iron can be used as a dry iron, in general. You can do so depending on your steam irons and their options. Note that not all steam irons are suitable for dry ironing.

If your steam iron can be used as a dry iron, all you have to do is flip a switch or hit the button for the dry open and use your iron as necessary. If you notice any water or steam coming out of your iron when using it in dry mode, just empty the water before using the dry mode.

As discussed, not all steam irons have a dry steam option. But you can still use the iron without water. All you need to do is empty the water from the steamer, then use it as you normally would.

A steam iron without water still works a little differently than a standard dry iron because you won’t be putting the steamer right on the fabric like a dry iron.

What Is The Difference Between Dry Iron And Steam Iron?

Whether you should use a dry iron or a steam iron depends on how you want to control the appliance and how hot you want the material you are ironing to get.

The difference between dry iron and steam iron is that steam iron doesn’t need an ironing board, but dry iron requires one. A steam iron allows you to iron your clothes while they’re hanging. Because steam irons are portable and easy to use, they’re excellent for travel.

First, a steam iron is easier to use because you don’t need an ironing board. You can just hang up your fabric anywhere and use the steamer. Being able to use steam irons anywhere is why they’re great for travel because they are so portable.

However, since a dry iron comes in contact with the fabric and lays on a flat surface, it can work better. If you have a dense material that gets wrinkled or needs the wrinkles to come out fast, you should use a dry iron. You just need to keep an eye on the temperature of your dry iron because it can damage your clothes and fabrics quickly because of the hot heat making direct contact with them.


Panasonic Automatic Iron (Dry Iron) NI-A66-K (BLACK)【Japan Domestic genuine products】【Ships from JAPAN】


Steam irons are better than dry irons for delicate fabrics since the steam iron doesn’t touch the fabric—you don’t have to worry about the risk of damaging your delicates. And you don’t have to touch a steam iron to the fabric to use it, which is better for delicate items.

Finally, dry irons give you more control over the iron since you’re directly guiding it with your hand. With a steam iron, you need to guide the steam to the fabric without having an ironing board behind the fabric for support. Because of this, dry irons are better if you’re trying to iron a small area or a difficult-to-reach area like creases or pockets.

Most clothes and other fabrics will have a tag or other directions letting you know if you should use a steam iron, a dry iron, or another method for wrinkle removal.

Final Thoughts

You can use steam iron without water, and steam irons often have a dry option to use them without water. Whether you use them with or without water, Steam irons have benefits over traditional dry irons, including ease of use and portability. They’re better to use on delicate fabrics.