I'm moving around quite frequently and I adore classic suits. I can't be sure that my suit will be ironed correctly when i'm giving it to the hotel service workers or something. Also, when i'm moving to another apartments long term I'm not carrying anything that doesn't fit in my luggage.

Therefore again and again i'm facing the issue that i don't have a 99% reliable way to have my suits ironed whenever i need.

Right now i'm carrying a small portable iron with me, but this is not the right tool, as it needs ironing board or something similar and it's relatively heavy.

Is there some sort of tool that i can use to iron my suit without necessity to have ironing board. I've seen tools called "steamers", but they seems to be incapable of ironing suits or shirts (because of creases).

  • As I can't comment but would like to add to johns answer, depending on the type of travel, would it be possible to take a suitcase with a flat side, throw a towel over it and be careful not to overheat it if its plastic. This has worked for me in a pinch several times
    – J.Doe
    Jan 2, 2018 at 16:46
  • 2
    I have never had a problem with dry cleaners, but maybe the chemicals might be a problem with a "classic suit" (whatever that is)? You could also try asking on lifehacks.stackexchange.com
    – Mawg
    Jan 3, 2018 at 12:08
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    Travelling with an iron? This sounds like a case for extreme ironing man : -)
    – Mawg
    Jan 3, 2018 at 12:09
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    For a suit, you actually don't use an ironing board. You get the steam going on the iron, and just sort of glide the steaming iron over the suit. It sounds like you just need a steam iron rather than the (rare thing that is a) non-steam iron. As other have said almost every hotel with include or give you a (steam) iron!
    – Fattie
    Jan 3, 2018 at 19:33
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    you are wrong about these ... I've seen tools called "steamers", but they seems to be incapable of ironing suits or shirts
    – jsotola
    Jan 4, 2018 at 7:44

6 Answers 6


Consider that an ironing board is just a firm surface.

I frequently use a folded towel on a desk, or even bed, while traveling.

  • 7
    A bit more than that... It is heat resistant, steam flows easily through it, and it does not transfer dye colors to the garment when blasted with steam. Jan 3, 2018 at 0:00
  • 3
    @Harper in many ways that's like a typical white hotel towel (but getting the towel smooth enough can be tricky) Jan 3, 2018 at 9:51
  • 3
    Even easier, just use a towel laid on the bathroom floor. This should minimise the risk of the heat of the iron damaging whatever you're resting on.
    – user52676
    Jan 3, 2018 at 10:40
  • Right, "folded towel on something" is the solution!
    – Fattie
    Jan 3, 2018 at 19:32

In all the hotels I have stayed in, either there is an iron and ironing board already in the room, or I can call the front desk and one will be delivered to my room.

As for long term apartment usage - consider the price of an iron vs how long you will stay there. If an iron costs $20 and you are there for 2 months then buy a new iron and consider the price as being the "Iron rental fee" of $0.33 per day, and leave the iron when you leave. I have done similar things before - even though it pains me to do so - and possibly you can expense it/claim on tax if you are on a business trip.

I just remembered the one and only hotel that I have stayed in a very long time ago that didn't have an iron or ironing board in it. But as it was located in Magnitogorsk in Eastern Russia (technically Siberia as it is just East of the Urals), it is an extremely out of the ordinary location. But based on the accommodation it would count as a 2/3 star hotel.

(warning - anecdote ahead)

There was this one time where I had staff wash my clothes and I needed them first thing in the next morning, so I wanted to pick them up that night. But the staff wanted to keep them overnight and were worried about them not being able to dry in time. Yet it was the middle of winter and -40° outside at night with humidity so low that I saw a laminated wooden table de-laminate. And if you had a bucket of water in your room it would virtually disappear before your eyes. I got my clothes from the staff and they were bone dry by the morning.

  • 8
    In June 2017 I was staying in a 4-star hotel in central Paris, France. After I arrived around 22:00, I requested an iron as there wasn't one in the room. I was told that they cannot give me one due to hotel policy. I could give my shirts to the maid the next day to be ironed - for free, but that would be after 9 am in the morning (totally useless to me, as I had to be at a conference at 8:30). I ended up spraying the shirt with cold water and then using hair dryer while stretching the material with the other hand - worked like a charm on a shirt, but probably wouldn't on a suit.
    – Aleks G
    Jan 2, 2018 at 21:29
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    @AleksG I must be staying in a different class of hotel :D
    – Peter M
    Jan 2, 2018 at 23:04
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    The problem is too classy, and the presumption becomes that you are accustomed to having service people do that, and of course, are in the habit of planning accordingly. Anyway I agree, if you can afford a nice hotel, you can afford a quick outing to Target, Redoute or Wickes for an iron and board, and write it off. The minimum wage cleaning staff may even appreciate the gift. Jan 2, 2018 at 23:55
  • 6
    Could be that some hotels could consider it as a serious fire hazard and therefore only offer ironing as a service. Jan 3, 2018 at 0:13

A hand held steamer like the fridja f10 might be the type of thing you are looking for. The manufacturer says it is suitable for suits. They don't have video of the F10 but they do have a videos of the f1000 working which they say is the same as the f10 only not portable. I haven't used these steamers before (bar a quick demo/test) but the company I work for does resell them, and the F10 has been popular since it we very recently starting to sell it.

for more info http://fridja.com

There is of course other handheld steamers on the market, but the f10 is the only one I know about.

  • 2
    Steamers can remove wrinkles, and work pretty well, but they can't press a crease into a garment that should traditionally have certain crisp creases.
    – JPhi1618
    Jan 2, 2018 at 21:28
  • I think some have an attachment that tackles that, but I don't know if the f10 has that, and I don't know how good it really is: fridja.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Clasp-Attachment1.jpg
    – PaddyD
    Jan 3, 2018 at 9:16

In a pinch, I've used an oven mitt on my hand as a flat surface to iron against. For my uses, this was done on a hanging garment and only for spot ironing (removing a few wrinkles).


There were times when I faced similar issues. I find a cordless iron helpful(like Panasonic PAN-NI-WL600).


  • I can use any available surface - a table top, a bed
  • Since it is a proper iron, the results are decent


  • The iron set itself is heavier to carry than a regular portable iron. (But I feel the tradeoff is worth it)

Warning: Ancecdote

The one time that I'd been caught without an iron and in desperate need of one, the hostel (1-star hotel) had an electric stove. I managed to iron out a shirt by sliding a small pot of near-boiling water on the shirt as it was laid out on a towel on the bed.

After mentioning this to a coworker he was unimpressed: his method of carefully laying the shirt under the mattress for the night required less effort and did almost just as good a job.

So now you have two life-hack alternatives: Use a hot pot (with a lid to prevent spills), or simply press the shirt under the mattress. Be sure that the shirt is perfectly flat under the mattress, though, so there are no wrinkles left in the shirt.

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