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Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot Review

A steam iron that is perfect for travel but is too weak for regular chores at home
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Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot Review
Credit: Laura Casner
Price:  $25 List
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Manufacturer:   Sunbeam
By Maggie Nichols, Michelle Powell, and Hayley Thomas  ⋅  May 3, 2023
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Ironing Performance - 40% 6.8
  • Steam Output - 25% 3.0
  • Heating - 15% 9.5
  • Detailing - 10% 5.6
  • Ease of Use - 10% 4.7

Our Verdict

The Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot is a budget and travel-friendly appliance. This compact steam iron may not be very powerful, but it will fit seamlessly into your suitcase and won't come close to emptying your wallet. It is not the most agile, and it does not come with features like water spray, but it heats up quickly and will get the job done, as long as you don't mind putting in a few extra swipes. Overall, this steam iron is best used by someone constantly on the go. You'll want something more robust for larger regular tasks at home.
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Portable
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacking in power
Underwhelming ironing performance
Editor's Note: We updated this review on May 3, 2023, to include information and comparisons from our most recent round of testing with updated metrics.

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Bottom Line Portable for traveling, but lacks the punch needed for regular useGood ironing performance and detailing work, but uneven heating keeps this iron from being even betterLacking a lid over the water reservoir and with a mediocre ironing performance, this isn't a great ironThis classic iron is simple and without frills - more like the irons of decades ago than today's feature-filled modelsThere isn't a whole lot to like about this iron, save for maybe its tiny size and low price
Rating Categories Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot Black+Decker Profes... Black+Decker Easy S... Sunbeam Classic GCSBC Utopia Home
Ironing Performance (40%)
6.8
7.8
5.8
6.0
5.8
Steam Output (25%)
3.0
5.5
4.0
3.7
5.0
Heating (15%)
9.5
6.7
7.1
6.2
3.0
Detailing (10%)
5.6
7.9
7.4
8.0
2.1
Ease of Use (10%)
4.7
6.5
4.7
5.5
4.5
Specs Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot Black+Decker Profes... Black+Decker Easy S... Sunbeam Classic GCSBC Utopia Home
Measured Steam Output 12 g 82 g 39 g 33 g 70 g
Measured Average Temperature 347 °F 293 °F 302 °F 283 °F 223 °F
Number of Steam Holes 7 18 21 29 23
Wattage 800W 1500W 1200W 1200W 1200W
Weight 1.3 lbs 2.1 Ibs 1.6 lbs 2.3 lbs 1.8 Ibs
Cord Length 8' 9' 7.8' 8.1' 7'
Soleplate Material Non-Stick Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Non-Stick Non-stick

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hot-2-Trot didn't score very high in our review, but it's still capable enough to be used in a pinch when you're on the road and need to get some wrinkles out. If you're looking for a cheap iron for your weekly shirt pressing session at home, there are plenty of other viable options in our best clothes iron review, but the Hot-2-Trot is a great supplemental option for the frequent traveler.

Performance Comparison


sunbeam hot-2-trot - this compact iron is perfect for travel.
This compact iron is perfect for travel.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ironing Performance


The Hot-2-Trot performs about how we expected it to — poorly. The non-stick soleplate still sticks to certain materials giving one of the least smooth experiences we encountered. This does not hinder your ability to steam iron a garment, but it does make it far less enjoyable. The relative lack of power also requires multiple swipes over the same spot to yield a wrinkle-free result. These things aside, it is still one of the better compact options.

We tested each iron out on a plethora of different materials. The Hot-2-Trot performed surprisingly well on some fabrics and expectedly subpar on others. It worked well on cotton, although we had to use the steam burst on one particularly stubborn area, which left calcium spots behind. Tests with linen went well, requiring zero additional steam.

sunbeam hot-2-trot - the hot-2-trot has mediocre glide and little power, making it...
The Hot-2-Trot has mediocre glide and little power, making it suitable only for small and occasional ironing jobs.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The iron doesn't glide smoothly over linen, but the noticeable drag wasn't so much as to impede the process. The Hot-2-Trot moved across silk with no need for additional steam. On the other hand, polyester needed so much steam that it left the fabric wet and covered in calcium chunks.

We experienced some leakage when using the Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Steam Output


Unfortunately, there isn't much we can say that we find redeeming about the Hot-2-Trot in regard to output. The steam holes are placed in the middle of the top of the soleplate, and there are only seven, which is significantly fewer than the top contenders in our test suite. The Hot-2-Trot emits the lowest levels of steam of any in our lineup — by far — and has a tendency to become rather leaky over time.

These seven steam holes are not what we would consider efficient.
These seven steam holes are not what we would consider efficient.
The Hot-2-Trot had the weakest steam output of any of the models we...
The Hot-2-Trot had the weakest steam output of any of the models we tested, but still enough to get some wrinkles out in a pinch.
The Hot-2-Trot puts out very little steam and only in a concentrated area.

Heating


We are happy to announce that the Hot-2-Trot performs admirably here. It may not offer a hefty amount of steam or a pointy nose to maneuver around buttons, but this iron heats up quickly and evenly. After five minutes, the average temperate registered at about 380°F, making it the hottest model we've tested. That said, like just about every iron we tested, there were large differences in temperature between the hottest and coolest parts of the soleplate.

sunbeam hot-2-trot - the hot-2-trot is very small when compared to a full-sized iron.
The Hot-2-Trot is very small when compared to a full-sized iron.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Detailing


While the Hot-2-Trot is small and maneuverable, it is not very precise. The shape of the soleplate presents some issues when trying to move around obstacles like buttons or between pleats. Though this is a tiny iron, it's not a very narrow shape, which would help it detail better. It works fine in a pinch but is far from the most impressive detailer we tested.

sunbeam hot-2-trot - the hot-2-trot doesn't have a water spray like most of its...
The Hot-2-Trot doesn't have a water spray like most of its competitors.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


We paid special attention to how each tested steam iron handles, how easy it is to fill up, and how convenient (or not) the cord is. We weren't particularly impressed with the performance of the Hot-2-Trot, though it is very easy to fill. This iron is small, lightweight, and decently comfortable to hold in the palm of your hand. It could, however, be more comfortable if the transition from the top of the handle to the groove for your fingers was smoother. As it stands, the rough edge can be a little irritating.

sunbeam hot-2-trot - the hot-2-trot is a little rough around the edges.
The Hot-2-Trot is a little rough around the edges.
Credit: Laura Casner

Regarding handling, the Hot-2Trot has a very small soleplate that requires a larger number of passes to get a garment fully smooth. It also lacks a sharply pointed nose, so ironing around buttons and under collars can be a bit of a hassle. The cord is eight feet long, which feels a little bulky for such a small appliance. But a shorter cord would make ironing more difficult overall, so while this can feel unruly when cleaning up and for storage, we're glad for the length while the iron is in use. This appliance's most redeeming quality is how simple it is to fill up. Because it is so small, you can easily fill it up in shallow sinks. But while the Hot-2-Trot is minimalistic and travel-friendly, it does not come with standard features like a water spray.

sunbeam hot-2-trot - due to its size, this steam iron is easy to fill up no matter what...
Due to its size, this steam iron is easy to fill up no matter what size sink you have.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should You Buy the Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot?


The Hot-2-Trot is ideal for travel applications, small space living, and occasional use, but it doesn't have the power or durability for regular ironing chores. There are other options in our test suite that are more efficient and only a little more expensive, so take a minute to consider your priorities before making your purchase.

What Other Irons Should You Consider?


The Hot-2-Trot is among the least expensive options in our test suite. With this low price comes a lack of performance and power, so this is only a valuable purchase if your main concern is portability. If saving money is a priority, the Black+Decker D3030 Allure is a top-scoring product with excellent detailing ability for an affordable price. But if portability truly is your main concern and your travel ironing jobs aren't that difficult, the miniature Hot-2-Trot may just have what you need.

sunbeam hot-2-trot - the hot-2-trot may be small but it lives up to its name.
The Hot-2-Trot may be small but it lives up to its name.
Credit: Laura Casner

Maggie Nichols, Michelle Powell, and Hayley Thomas