Using your clothes iron in Italy

Want to use a clothes iron on a trip abroad but confused about which power adapter to use? A guide for those going to Italy and using their clothes iron.

Italian power outlet

Summary

First check your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Italy:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need to use the right power adapter for Italy but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [9] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with an 230 volt Italian power outlet, however this is considerably heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter changes the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Italy, therefore please check that the power converter [9] includes an appropriate power adapter for Italy otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your own personal clothes iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Before using your clothes iron in Italy check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Italy

Will my clothes iron work in Italy?

That will depend on if your clothes iron is designed to operate using the 230 volts which are used in Italy. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to operate using 230 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you should be able to use the clothes iron in Italy. If not then then you will need to consider using either a power converter [9] or a dual voltage travel iron [2]. Read the section on can you use a voltage converter to use a domestic clothes iron in Italy for help deciding which option is more suitable.

How can I use my US clothes iron in Italy?

The guides on this page assume that you're an America reader visiting Italy and provide guidance for using your American clothes iron with an Italian power outlet.

Italy power outlets

What is the electrical frequency used in Italy?

The frequency of the current from an Italian power outlet is 50 Hz.

What mains voltage is used in Italy?

Power outlets in Italy are 230 volts.

Which plug adapter will you need when using a clothes iron in Italy?

Type C, F and L power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need when using a clothes iron in Italy?

There are three different types of power outlets used in Italy, types L, C and F with the primary power outlets being type L:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise this plug outlet by the two adjacent holes next to each other where the twin pins slide into.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise this plug outlet by the two large holes 19 mm adjacent to each other and a pair of thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  • Plug Type L - You can recognise this squashed hexagon shaped power outlet by the three round holes forming a line. Note that there are two types of Type L wall socket rated for 10 and 16 amps. The 10 amp wall socket has 4mm thick pins spaced 5.5mm apart, and the 16 amp version has larger 5mm round pins which are spaced 8mm apart.

A suitable power adapter to bring for using a 230 volt clothes iron in Italy is a Type L plug adapter [8]; read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in Italy. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to bring a power converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, handle or base of your clothes iron. The location might vary depending on the make and model of your clothes iron and should also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other irons will have a button or switch which allows you to change between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Italy then you should be able to use your clothes iron with an Italian power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 230 volts used in an Italian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Italy.
  • Dual voltage will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Italy or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Italy with a clothes iron

Can you bring a clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage to Italy?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [12] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that your airline who is taking you to Italy will allow a clothes iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. The TSA also recommends wrapping cords tightly around electronic items. If you do intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and drops during your journey.

Power converters for Italy

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter [9] will convert a 230 volt Italian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter [13] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Italy.

Do I need a power converter to use a normal clothes iron in Italy?

The correct model of power converter [9] (or voltage transformer) will allow your clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Italy. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who wish to use their existing domestic clothes iron, however it might be considerably less expensive to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. In addition, a travel clothes iron can be considerably lighter and smaller than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for packing.

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

The WikiConnections page showing how to use a clothes iron in Italy using a Type C travel charger.

  1. Please check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet - if not then do not attempt these instructions as you might blow a fuse, damage your iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts; please refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in Italy won't accomodate the plug shape of your clothes iron. The Type C plug adapter helps fit plugs from other countries for an electrical outlet used in Italy by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type C plug adapter into the power outlet. This ungrounded plug supply (sometimes called the Europlug or Type C power outlet [3]) can be recognised by 2 round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Italian power outlet. The clothes iron can now be used in Italy.
How to use a clothes iron in Italy using a type C power adapter

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

How to power your clothes iron in Italy with a 2 pronged Type F power charger.

  1. Ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't continue because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts; please refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on how to do this.
  2. You will need to buy a Type F plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Italy. The Type F plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries for an electrical outlet used in Italy by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Plug the Type F plug adapter into the power outlet. The sunken circular power supply, sometimes called the Type F power outlet [5], can be identified by the two circular adjacent holes for live and neutral pins, plus two metal grounding clips above and below.
  4. After that plug in your clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Italian power outlet. You can now turn on your iron for use in Italy.
How to use a clothes iron in Italy using a type F power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Italy using a type L power adapter

How to power your clothes iron in Italy with a 3 pronged Type L power adapter.

  1. Please check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet - if not then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Some dual voltage irons might usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Italy, consult the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your clothes iron isn't the same type of outlet used in Italy you'll need to bring a Type L plug adapter [8]. This plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet found in Italy simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type L plug adapter into the power outlet. The hexagon shaped wall outlet (technically called the Type L power outlet [7]) can be recognised by 3 large adjecent holes in a line for live, neutral and earth. You'll find there are two different variations of Type L power supply rated at 10 and 16 amps. The 10 amp power outlet has 4mm thick pins spaced 5.5mm apart, and the 16 amp version has larger 5mm round pins which are spaced 8mm apart.
  4. After that plug in your clothes iron into the Type L plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Italian power outlet.
  6. Your clothes iron should now be ready to use.
How to use a clothes iron in Italy using a type L power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italy - Wikipedia entry about Italy
  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. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeL.htm - Type L power outlet
  8. Type L plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type L power outlets without converting voltage
  9. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  11. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  12. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  13. 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