Reviews You Can Rely On

Sunbeam Classic GCSBC Review

Here, "classic" means old-school, simple, and lacking in many of the technological features and advances most other irons have
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Sunbeam Classic GCSBC Review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $33 List
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Manufacturer:   Sunbeam
By Maggie Nichols and Jessica Riconscente  ⋅  May 3, 2023
56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 14
  • Ironing Performance - 40% 6.0
  • Steam Output - 25% 3.7
  • Heating - 15% 6.2
  • Detailing - 10% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 10% 5.5

Our Verdict

The Sunbeam Classic GCSBC is aptly named. This simplistic model lacks many of the features that now come standard on modern irons. It puts out minimal steam and requires many passes to get wrinkles fully flattened out of linen and polyester. It doesn't get as hot as most of the other irons we tested, and we could tell the difference in its ironing performance. Its indicator light is very basic, with no system to tell you when it's done heating. On the other hand, its smaller and narrower shape and lighter weight make it easier to push around. Its nose offers excellent ironing performance, making it a solid choice for detailing work. For small areas that just need some touching up, the Sunbeam Classic can do the job. To see how it stacks up against the competition, check out our clothing iron review.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Good detailing
REASONS TO AVOID
Poor steam output
Not great on linen
Unimpressive heating
Remedial interface

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Bottom Line This classic iron is simple and without frills - more like the irons of decades ago than today's feature-filled modelsA little clunky, but an impressive iron overall, with strong steam performanceGood ironing performance and detailing work, but uneven heating keeps this iron from being even betterThis budget-friendly iron suffers from awkward handling and leaks a bit, but it compensates with its impressive heat and steam capabilities and convenient retracting cordPortable for traveling, but lacks the punch needed for regular use
Rating Categories Sunbeam Classic GCSBC Hamilton Beach Dura... Black+Decker Profes... Black+Decker Vitess... Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot
Ironing Performance (40%)
6.0
7.4
7.8
7.8
6.8
Steam Output (25%)
3.7
9.5
5.5
6.5
3.0
Heating (15%)
6.2
7.5
6.7
6.9
9.5
Detailing (10%)
8.0
5.8
7.9
3.7
5.6
Ease of Use (10%)
5.5
7.0
6.5
5.2
4.7
Specs Sunbeam Classic GCSBC Hamilton Beach Dura... Black+Decker Profes... Black+Decker Vitess... Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot
Measured Steam Output 33 g 196 g 82 g 111 g 12 g
Measured Average Temperature 283 °F 309 °F 293 °F 298 °F 347 °F
Number of Steam Holes 29 192 18 26 7
Wattage 1200W 1500W 1500W 1200W 800W
Weight 2.3 lbs 3.4 Ibs 2.1 Ibs 2.6 lbs 1.3 lbs
Cord Length 8.1' 8.1' 9' 7.6' 8'
Soleplate Material Non-Stick Non-stick Stainless Steel Non-stick Non-Stick

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Sunbeam Classic is a simple iron with basic features. It puts out very little steam and doesn't get as hot as others, but it has an effective nose that makes it a solid choice for detailing.

Performance Comparison


sunbeam classic gcsbc - the sunbeam classic is a no-frills model, reminiscent of older irons.
The Sunbeam Classic is a no-frills model, reminiscent of older irons.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ironing Performance


The Sunbeam Classic took more passes to get wrinkles out than most of our tested models. It works best on cotton, needing about four passes to completely smooth the fabric. The steam boost was necessary to get the most stubborn wrinkles out, but we found its performance on cotton, silk, and satin to be reasonable, if not particularly noteworthy. It didn't perform as well on linen or polyester, though, requiring many more passes over the fabric to smooth them completely. We were unable to achieve that crisp look on linen, despite spending more time and more steam bursts working on it. The Classic has fewer steam vents than almost any other model we tested, though its performance close to the nose was above average.

sunbeam classic gcsbc - we spent more time ironing with this basic product, making it feel...
We spent more time ironing with this basic product, making it feel like even more of a chore.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Steam Output


Measuring the standard steam output of the Sunbeam Classic revealed further shortcomings. It emitted very little steam compared to the rest of our lineup. Materials we ironed never felt particularly saturated with steam, and this lack of water directly translated into a longer and more arduous ironing experience. It does have a larger divet around the hole on the nose, though, which extends the steam closer to the point of the iron. Where the rest of the ironing experience fell short, the Classic delivered adequate steam to the material at the tip of the iron.

sunbeam classic gcsbc - steam is delivered almost all the way to the tip of the nose...
Steam is delivered almost all the way to the tip of the nose, offering better ironing performance to a point - but falling short across the rest of the sole plate.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Heating


The Sunbeam Classic came in well under the average temperature among the irons we tested. The particular one we tested ended up far warmer on the right side than the left (344°F vs. 300°F, respectively). Its average soleplate temperature was 311°F, which is far below average for the ones we tested. While most irons' coolest area of the soleplate is the bottom, the Sunbeam's bottom section measured even lower than expected, hitting just 262°F. On the other hand, its nose proved its hottest point, averaging 345°F.

sunbeam classic gcsbc - the heating performance across different areas of the sunbeam...
The heating performance across different areas of the Sunbeam Classic sole plate.

Detailing


Because of its hotter nose and extra steam at its tip, the Sunbeam Classic does an excellent job with detailing work. It's a mid-sized iron with a thinner body overall, making it easier to fit between buttons and into corners. It's one of the lightest irons we tested and glides smoothly across fabrics. With a good solid grip and no buttons in the way, maneuvering this neat iron to get out wrinkles in harder-to-reach areas was a cinch.

sunbeam classic gcsbc - despite fewer steam holes, the narrow soleplate has steam...
Despite fewer steam holes, the narrow soleplate has steam concentrated at the nose, aiding in the detailing process.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


With a cord just over 8 feet long, the Classic allows plenty of space for you to move around. It doesn't have a great cord storage system, though, and we ended up just wrapping it through the handle to get it to stay. Lacking a nuanced indicator system, the single red light stays lit throughout the heating process, leaving you to wonder when it's hot enough to use. It blinks before the auto shut-off engages, but there are no beeps or other cues to keep you updated if you're not looking at it. The opening to the water tank is very small, requiring a tedious trickle to fill. However, the additional steam function is one of our favorites, emitting a fine mist that we wish all other irons were capable of. This function greatly enhances the overall ironing experience.

sunbeam classic gcsbc - the classic controls are simple and straightforward, if a bit...
The Classic controls are simple and straightforward, if a bit rudimentary.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Sunbeam Classic GCSBC?


The Classic is an affordably priced iron with all the basic functions most people will need. It doesn't get as hot as many others, nor does it let off as much steam. However, its nose has the heat and steam combination to give it great detailing performance. This budget-friendly model can still be a solid choice for folks who don't need the high heat and steam for quick big jobs but instead are looking to accomplish small, detailing jobs.

What Other Irons Should You Consider?


Where the Sunbeam Classic is best for smaller jobs, the PurSteam Pro 1800W has the size, heat, and impressive steam output to make quick work of big jobs — and still for a reasonable price. The Chi Steam Titanium is another great option, with excellent all-around performance on all fabrics, and it's easy to use and not too hard on the wallet.

sunbeam classic gcsbc - a simple iron with slightly below average performance for a very...
A simple iron with slightly below average performance for a very reasonable price.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Maggie Nichols and Jessica Riconscente