Be honest. How many cute outfits have you passed on because you didn't have time (aka, the patience) to iron it? Can you count the times you've forgotten to contact your Airbnb host ahead of time to confirm an iron is available, only to discover there isn't one? (Am I the only one who turns on the shower, locks my clothes inside the bathroom and prays to the steam gods for the best?)
Right up there with changing bed sheets, dropping clothes off at the dry cleaners and other tedious chores, taking the iron out usually isn't at the top of my list. And it's not the first thing I think of when preparing for an event or getaway. So, when Oprah Winfrey dropped her list of favorites last year, I was thankful to come across a product designed to make this humdrum of a task more bearable. It's called the Nori Press, and like Miss Winfrey, I'm a little obsessed with it.
My current iron is a questionable number of decades old, stained from burned shirts and on its last legs, so I was eager to give this device a go. First impressions: It looks like a straightener ... but for your clothes. I opened the box and was greeted with "A Little Guide" of directions that looked short and rather easy to follow (which they were when the time came to trying). All I really had to do was plug it in and press the power button. Off to a good start.
How do you use the Nori Press?
The only step I needed to take before ironing was choosing my fabric type, a feature that I find not only useful but also perfect for easing my mind when it comes to not burning certain materials. You're able to choose between polyester, silk, wool, cotton, denim or linen, and the Nori will automatically adjust the heat setting to a safe temperature. This is a huge step up from my normal routine of laying a bandana over my more delicate tops and bottoms to protect them from marks and burns.
I didn't make things easy for my first attempt, choosing a pair of rumpled linen cargo pants with several pockets along each leg. The Nori only took about two minutes to heat up, so I was able to get started right away. My first mistake was treating this like an actual hair straightener, clamping the material between the two aluminum plates and quickly pulling it through as if scared to singe off my strands. I took heed of the directions to "clamp firmly and drag slowly," choosing to trust that the temperature was properly set to keep my (expensive) pants from irreparable damage — and it worked. I took my time through each pass, and it worked well to smooth out wrinkles. The pointed tip even made it easy to stick the device into the pockets to work on harder-to-reach lines.
Things got a little tricky when I tried to iron out my white button-down. I had to be careful that the flowy fabric remained smooth underneath the plates, or else I would create a strange pleating effect instead of making it completely smooth. I found that placing the garment on a hanger while ironing made it easier to manipulate the fabric, but don't be surprised if it takes a few tries to get the hang of it.
Unlike a hair straightener, I don't have to worry about burning my fingers with this tool. Although the plates get very hot, the outer surface doesn't heat up to the point that contact with it causes any pain. I wouldn't suggest leaving your hand or fingers on it, but it's clear that the brand kept the user's safety in mind while creating this. As well as sanity — the long 8-foot cord made it that much easier to maneuver.
Can you steam with the Nori Press?
Like a regular iron, the Nori Press is designed to iron as well as steam. The water reservoir is built into the handle but doesn't hold much water. The hole is also rather small and fills up quicker than you'd expect, so fill with caution. I think I overfilled on my first try because water started spurting out of the plates as soon as I pressed the "steam" button on the handle. I clearly didn't follow the directions, which clearly state to point the tip of the Nori upwards to prevent water from spitting.
It's a must-have for traveling
While "Nori" is just the word "iron" backwards, this clever gadget is a prime example of forward-thinking. Thanks to its elongated design (instead of the bulky, triangular shape of your typical iron), this can easily fit inside luggage or a weekend bag. Plus, it is compact — as compact as a portable iron could be if you want it to be effective. There are plenty of out-of-state weddings and work trips I can think back on, where I would have been thankful to have this in my suitcase. This is great in a pinch, especially if you've experienced broken hotel irons or seen ironing boards that look like they haven't been cleaned in years.
At $120, it's safe to say this is an investment piece (so take advantage of the current sale price while you still can). If you have an iron that works well, this tool isn't doing anything new for me to justify spending over $100 to replace it. However, if you're looking for the perfect present for that special someone who is constantly traveling, this is a gift that keeps on giving.