Which travel adapter will I need for using a clothes iron in Germany?

Confused by travel adaptors? Straightforward advice for those going to Germany and bringing a clothes iron.

German power outlet

Summary

First check that your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Germany:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to bring the correct power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron will not fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use an appropriate power adapter for Germany however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt German power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in Germany, so please check that your voltage transformer includes an appropriate power adapter for Germany otherwise you will also need to purchase another power adapter. Please note that your personal clothes iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 230 volts used in Germany you run a risk of a blown fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your clothes iron in Germany please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Germany

Will my clothes iron work in Germany?

It depends on if your clothes iron is designed to handle the 230 volts used in Germany. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 230 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you should be able to use it in Germany. If not then then you will need to consider using either a power converter [7] or a dual voltage travel iron [2], read our section on will a power converter work with your domestic clothes iron in Germany for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

How can I use my US clothes iron in Germany?

The instructions on this page assume that you are a reader from America travelling to Germany and provide guidance for using your US clothes iron with a German power outlet.

Germany power outlets

What is the frequency used in a German power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a German power outlet is 50 Hz.

What mains voltage is used in Germany?

The voltage used in Germany is 230 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need for using a clothes iron in Germany?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Germany, types F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can identify this power socket by the 2 round adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type F - This sunken circular plug outlet can be identified by the two 4.8mm holes 19 mm apart from each other along with thin metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A Type F power adapter [6] will allow you to use a 230 volt clothes iron in Germany, read the simple guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in Germany. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to bring a voltage converter.

Which travel adapter do you need for using a clothes iron in Germany?

Dual voltage travel irons

How can you tell if your clothes iron is dual voltage?

One way to tell if your clothes iron can support dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or the handle of the clothes iron. This location will vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron, it should also state on the box. Some dual voltage clothes irons might change automatically, however other irons will feature a button or switch which allows you to operate between different voltages.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Germany then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a German power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage clothes iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 230 volts used in a German power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Germany.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Germany or any other country.

Travelling to Germany with a clothes iron

Can I carry on a clothes iron to Germany?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should check that the airline who is flying you to Germany will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. The TSA also suggests wrapping wires tightly around electronic items. If you intend to bring a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against knocks and drops during your journey.

Power converters for Germany

What is the difference between a power adapter and a voltage converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power adapter and a voltage converter?

An expensive and bulky power converter [7] will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a German power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron, however a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter [11] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet found in Germany.

Can I use a voltage converter to use my clothes iron in Germany?

The correct power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in Germany. Travellers who want to bring along their existing domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, but it might be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. A power converter is also substantially bulkier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage compared to a travel clothes iron.

How to use a clothes iron in Germany using a type C power adapter

A guide showing you how to use your clothes iron in Germany using a 2 prong Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply; if it doesn't then do not proceed because you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 230 volt setting - please refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in Germany. The Type C plug adapter will convert different plugs from other countries for use in an electrical outlet found in Germany simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type C plug adapter and inserting it into the German power outlet. You can identify the plug outlet by two circular adjacent holes.
  4. Next plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the German power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the iron in Germany.
How to use a clothes iron in Germany using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Germany using a type F power adapter

The WikiConnections guide on how to power a clothes iron in Germany with a Type F travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet; but if it doesn't then don't proceed as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting - refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type F plug adapter [6] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in Germany doesn't take the plug on your clothes iron. The plug adapter will fit different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet used in Germany simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by taking the Type F plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. This sunken circular plug supply can be identified by the two large holes 19 mm apart from each other along with thin metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the German power outlet. Your iron can now be used in Germany.
How to use a clothes iron in Germany using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany - German page on wikipedia
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Small-Mini-Iron-Non-Stick-Extra-Long/dp/B01AK9ZUGO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1483620272&sr=8-4&keywords=dual+voltage+travel+iron&refinements=p_72:2661618011&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=2f036aaac07e425cbd203ec0166146cb - dual voltage travel iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeF.htm - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter transformer converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  11. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter