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.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot on April 21, 2022, with an assessment of value and suggestions for other comparable products that may better suit your needs and budget.
Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot Review
Pros: Inexpensive, portable
Cons: Lacking in power, underwhelming ironing performance
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|Pros||Inexpensive, portable||Powerful steam burst, pointed nose for precision, budget-friendly||Efficiently reduces wrinkles, misty water spray, 400+ steam holes, retractable cord||High heat, inexpensive||Small, budget-friendly|
|Cons||Lacking in power, underwhelming ironing performance||Minimal steam output, lack of steam holes on soleplate||Filling the water tank could be easier||Poor steam output, not very maneuverable, generally cheap performance||Lacks power, no steam burst, no water spray|
|Bottom Line||A steam iron that is perfect for travel but is too weak for regular chores at home||A high-performing iron equipped with a powerful steam burst and the ability to tackle most fabrics and most wrinkles||An above-average steam iron with a conveniently retractable chord and an ergonomic soleplate that can tackle most wrinkles||Low price and a convenient retractable cord help to make up for mediocre steam output||This compact steam iron acts as a budget-friendly travel companion but lacks the power for daily use|
|Rating Categories||Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot||Black+Decker D3030...||CHI Steam Titanium||Sunbeam Steam Master||Steamfast SF-717 Mini|
|Ironing Performance (35%)|
|Steam Output (25%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot||Black+Decker D3030...||CHI Steam Titanium||Sunbeam Steam Master||Steamfast SF-717 Mini|
|Weight||1.3 lbs||1.9 lbs||2.9 lbs||3 lbs||0.96 lbs|
|Soleplate Material||Non-Stick||Stainless Steel||Titanium Infused Ceramic||Stainless Steel||Non-Stick|
|Measured Steam Output||6 g/min||22 g/min||55 g/min||20 g/min||10 g/min|
|Temperature After 5 Minutes of Heating||332 °F||337.6 °F||304 °F||359 °F||287.8 °F|
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 test suite, but the Hot-2-Trot is a great supplemental option for the frequent traveler.
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 steam 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.
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.
The Hot-2-Trot is minimalistic and travel-friendly, so it does not come with standard features like a water spray. And while it 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, but with a few extra passes, it works just fine.
Unfortunately, there isn't much we can say that we find redeeming about the Hot-2-Trot in the steam output metric.
The steam holes are placed in the middle of the top of the soleplate. There are only seven, which is significantly less than most of the other models in our test suite.
The Hot-2-Trot also only emits six grams of steam per minute. This is shockingly low when compared to others on the market.
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.
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 in the ease of use department is how simple it is to fill up. Because it is so small, you can easily fill it up in shallow sinks.
We are happy to announce that the Hot-2-Trot performs admirably in this metric. 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 332 degrees Fahrenheit.
We found a difference of 61 degrees from the hottest to the coolest part of the soleplate, but the whole thing heats up to over 300 degrees.
Should You Buy the Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot?
The Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot is perfect for travel applications 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 Steam 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. For a little bit more, you can easily purchase a higher-performing, full-size steam iron, like the Sunbeam Steam Master. But if you are going to take that step up in price point, consider spending just a few dollars more for a higher-performing steam iron like the award-winning Black+Decker D3030 Allure.
— Michelle Powell and Hayley Thomas
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