Best Iron for Perler Beads Guide: To to Enjoy This Craft Even More!

I have to be honest here, Perler beads are super fun and addictive, and consequently, it’s been difficult to pull myself away from my set of beads to share some best practices for crafting with them.  But, I realize that crafting is not nearly as fun if you don’t have the proper equipment, and I really do want you to enjoy this craft.  So, I’ll set aside my Perler beads for a few minutes so I can help you find the best iron to use with your set of beads.

What Are Perler Beads?

Even though you are reading this article to find some equipment for this craft, I can’t assume you already know what Perler beads are.  Perhaps you clicked on this article out of curiosity.  Perhaps it was sent your way by someone who would like a new crafting tool in their stocking this year.  Or, perhaps you were browsing Craft & Stitch to find a new hobby this winter.  Whatever the reason that brought you here, I don’t want to leave you hanging, so let’s talk about what these things are already.

Once you see a picture or I explain what Perler beads are, you will probably recognize them.  They are tiny and colorful plastic tubes that are meant to be put on pegboards and melted together with a hot iron.  This is a popular kid’s craft, especially around the holidays since they make cute Christmas tree ornaments.

Perler beads are typically sold in sets that contain beads in a variety of colors, as well as, a few differently shaped pegboards.  Some sets contain only one or two projects’ worth of beads, but there are other sets that contain enough beads for dozens of projects.  We will discuss some bead set options later in this article, but for now, let’s get back to irons.

perler beads

The Features of the Best Iron

When my sister and I were young and just beginning to experience the addictive fun that is Perler bead crafting, we didn’t care about what type of iron we used.  We used whatever we had, even the iron stowed away in a hotel closet.  As long as the craft was fused together, we didn’t care.

Now that I’m older and have crafted for many years, I recognize that not all irons are created equal. I’m fond of my German-engineered iron and would not trade it for just any amount of money, but I’d still be hesitant to use it on Perler beads. This is why we need to discuss the features that make an iron ideal to use on this craft.  The next step is to find out what these features are, and then, we can discover what irons offer them.  Here is a list of the features you need in an iron used with Perler beads:


Make sure the iron you select has a comfortable and sturdy handle. You don’t want to get a piece of equipment that is difficult to hold or is unreliable.

Safety Lights

Look for an iron that has lights on it to indicate that it is on and is hot. This is more of a safety feature than a crafting feature, but it may prevent you and fellow crafters from accidentally burning yourselves when you’re focused on your designs.


This craft is typically small and intricately designed, so it makes sense that the iron used to fuse the beads together should have a small soleplate.  A small soleplate allows you to have better control over what areas of the Perler bead craft you are fusing.

Temperature Control

All the best irons can adjust their heat levels.  Since you shouldn’t iron Perler beads at very high heat, the iron you purchase should have a low or medium heat setting.


The lighter the iron is, the easier it is to control.  This issue of control is important when it comes to fusing together Perler beads.  If the iron produces too much pressure on the beads, they may melt unevenly, and the project will not look its best.

Sneak Peek:  My Top Three Favorite Irons for Perler Beads

If you don’t have time or interest in reading about every single iron I recommend, I want to give you a sneak peek into my very favorite irons.

Recommended Irons

Now that we have made a list of the features we want in the iron we select for Perler bead crafts, we can begin shopping for irons.  For your convenience, I’ve pulled together a list of the top seven irons on the market.  These recommendations were gathered using the following criteria:

  • Ratings & Reviews – each iron on this list must have at least a 4-star customer review to be included.
  • Size – the irons on this list should be compact enough to work well with this craft.
  • Temperature Control – each iron on this list must offer adjustable temperatures.
  • Weight – the irons on this list should be lightweight so that they are easy to control while fusing the beads together.

Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot Travel Iron

Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot 800 Watt Compact Non-Stick Soleplate Travel Iron

This compact iron may be primarily designed for those who have the travel bug, but it is also perfectly designed for working with Perler beads.  Its uniquely shaped handle will keep your hands safe from the heat or from cramping after several uses.  The fact that it can be used with or without steam makes it incredibly versatile and worth your consideration.


  • Lightweight (1 pound)
  • Dual voltage (120V & 240V)
  • Designed with a temperature control dial
  • Designed with a safety light
  • Currently, customers have given this iron a 4.5-star rating
  • Heats quickly


  • Customers have commented that it takes around half an hour to cool completely
  • Customers have had issues with the steaming feature malfunctioning
  • Does not include a switch to turn it on or off

Ivation Mini Iron

Small Mini Iron

Advertised as a travel iron that can be used with or without steam, this mini iron has the qualities necessary for crafting with Perler beads.  Give it a look over, and you will probably agree.


  • Designed with an extra-long cord (7.5 feet)
  • Heats in 15 seconds
  • Includes three temperature options
  • Lightweight (1.08 pounds)
  • Designed with a safety light
  • Currently, customers have given this iron a 4.5-star rating


  • Customers have mentioned that it doesn’t get as hot when used outside of the US
  • Customers have had issues with the iron leaking water

Sharper Image Mini Steam Iron

Sharper Image SI-755 Mini Steam Iron with Dual Voltage for Travel

This iron is meant for travel and uses on compact items, which means it is great for Perler beads.  Plus, it offers a 1-year warranty and customer support based out of Kansas.  


  • Dual voltage (120V & 240V)
  • Includes three temperature options
  • Designed with a rust-resistant and non-stick soleplate
  • Includes an extra-long cord (8 feet)
  • Currently, customers have given this iron a 4.5-star rating
  • Lightweight (1 pound)


  • Customers have commented that it doesn’t last very long
  • Customers have commented that the temperature dial is in an awkward place 
  • Does not include a safety light 

Clover MCI-900 Mini Iron

Clover MCI-900 Mini Iron

If you craft with fabric at all, you should definitely invest in this iron.  It is an amazing crafting tool to use in tight areas or on small projects. The shape, design, and size of this iron not only make it ideal to use in fabric crafting but also on Perler beads.


  • Currently, customers have given this iron a 4.5-star rating
  • Customers are raving about how hot it gets and how quickly it heats up
  • Designed to be used in tight spaces and curves
  • Lightweight (90 grams)
  • Comes with a holder that allows you to set the iron down in between uses


  • There is no handguard to protect against the heat of the iron wand
  • Only high and low-temperature options; no medium
  • Does not include a safety light

Honoson Mini Heat Press Machine

2 Pieces Mini Heat Press Machine Mini Craft Iron

This is an iron-shaped heat press machine that is specifically designed for crafting.  It is tiny, lightweight, cute, and easy to use.  Think about it: an item such as this would make a great stocking stuffer along with a set of Perler beads.


  • Lightweight
  • Compact size (4″ long by 2.4″ wide by 2.6″ tall)
  • Includes pressing cloth
  • Includes a heat-resistant silicon mat
  • Currently, customers have given this iron a 4.4-star rating
  • Includes a safety light when on


  • Customers have commented that it does not get very hot
  • It only has one temperature setting

Oliso M2 Mini Project Steam Iron

Oliso M2 Mini Project Steam Iron with Solemate

This little iron is made to do it all.  It is perfectly designed for use in all types of crafts while still being able to handle your wardrobe when you’re on the road. Don’t miss out on this amazing product.


  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Comes with an extra-long cord (8 feet)
  • Includes a heat-resistant silicone mat
  • Heats up in 45 seconds
  • Includes a temperature control feature
  • Currently, customers have given this iron a 4.4-star rating
  • Available in three different colors
  • Lightweight
  • Designed with a Teflon Soleplate


  • Some customers have commented that it gets so hot that even the handle will burn you

Cohotek Mini Steam Iron

Cohotek Mini Steam Iron for Clothes

This is a highly versatile iron that can be used for both steam ironing and dry ironing.  Its compact design makes it great for travel and for crafting.


  • Lightweight (22.6 ounces)
  • Can be used as a steamer and an iron
  • Heats in 60 seconds
  • Comes with a 12-month warranty
  • Designed with an ergonomic handle
  • Includes three temperature settings
  • Currently, customers have given this iron a 4.4-star rating


  • Some customers have had issues with it leaking
  • Some customers have had their iron break on them very soon after purchasing it


Question: What are the Best Perler Bead Kits on the Market?

Answer: The answer to this is a matter of personal preference, but I would love to share a few of my favorite kits with you.  Hopefully, one of these will satisfy your craving for crafting creativity this winter.
Mini Beads Large Tray
Mini Beads Large Tray
I love the colors in this set because they are so bright and vibrant.  When I craft during the winter, I need something cheery to keep my spirits up and this set provides just that.  This is a set of mini beads so you will need a pegboard that fits them and some tweezers, but they are so fun.
Gingerbread House Kit
Gingerbread House Kit
I get too hungry to create real gingerbread houses so this is what I prefer to do instead.  It is so fun to put together and so cute that you might want to do several with your family during the holiday season.
Smithsonian Dinosaur Box
Smithsonian Dinosaur Box
When you have a kid, dinosaurs are everything; well, technically, they were everything before kids too.  This set is an inspiration to allow creativity and science to play together, which is something I think every parent wants for their kids.
Question: Are There Any Best Practices for Working with Perler Beads?
Answer: Yes, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind if you want to create good-looking and successful Perler bead projects.  These tips are:
When fusing the beads together with your iron, do not put a lot of pressure on the beads. Too much pressure may cause them to melt more than you want or to melt in an uneven pattern.
When fusing together your project, don’t leave the iron on it very long.  It is better to hold it on your project for a few seconds, check the status of the fusing, and then reapply the iron if needed.
Always use parchment paper between the Perler beads and a hot iron.
Never use the steam function of your iron on a Perler bead project.  The steam will only cause the beads to shift their position or melt unevenly.

Question: Can Perler Beads be put in an Oven or a Microwave?

Answer: Yes, you can safely melt Perler beads in both.  Here are the steps for how to do so:
Oven or Toaster Oven:
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
Put parchment paper on a sheet tray
Put the pegboard filled with Perler beads on the parchment paper
Put the sheet tray in the oven for ten minutes (if the beads have not melted after ten minutes, keep them in a little longer, but watch them closely so they don’t melt too much)
While this method will melt Perler beads, there is no guarantee that your project will look very good after using it.  Microwaves do not use the same type of heat that ovens use so they will unevenly melt the beads.  If you have no other alternative for melting your Perler bead project, do so very carefully and set the timer for short intervals to check on the status of the beads.
Note:  You can also melt Perler beads with a hairdryer, a hot pan, or a candle.  Always use parchment paper over the beads and be careful to not burn yourself if you try these methods.

Question: Are Perler Beads Toxic?

Answer: No, they are not.  Perler beads are made from non-toxic and food-grade plastic.

In Conclusion

I think we can all agree that Perler beads are awesome and we all need a set to work on this winter.  My hope is to get a Cohotek Mini Steam Iron and use it on a Gingerbread House Kit.  This would be a Christmas dream come true.

What about you?  Are you planning to get one of the recommended irons for your Perler bead sets?  Hopefully, this article has guided you to just the right one.  If we have helped you make your decision on this item, let us help you find some other crafting items.  We at Craft & Stitch live to help other crafters do what they love and find new things to love.  Happy Crafting!

Research Citations

The Creative Folk

Crafters Diary

Find Any Answer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top