Can I use my clothes iron in Costa Rica?
Using a clothes iron in Costa Rica
Bringing your clothes iron from home? Make sure it works at your travel destination beforehand without taking any chances!
Whether your clothes iron will work in Costa Rica or not depends on two things, the voltage supported by your clothes iron and the type of power plug of your clothes iron.
Will my clothes iron work in Costa Rica?
- First check if your clothes iron can run on 120V, the voltage used in Costa Rica (read how). If your clothes iron can run on 120V, you'll just need the right power plug to connect to the power sockets used in Costa Rica.
- Your clothes iron can't run on 120V or you're not sure? You risk damaging your equipment or blowing a fuse making your device unusable when connecting to the power socket. Travel irons are specifically designed to work with multiple voltages so you can safely connect wherever you go.
Does your clothes iron have the right power plug?
Your clothes iron runs on 120V? Great news! Now you'll need to make sure you can connect it to the local power outlets in Costa Rica. We've listed the power outlets used in Costa Rica below. If they don't look familiar you'll need to use a power plug adapter.
If you are not sure, you can use the tool on this page to check if you need a power adapter for Costa Rica.
How to check the voltage of your iron
To check the voltage that is supported by your clothes iron you should look for a label or numbers printed on the handle, base or power plug, the exact location will vary depending on the make and model of your iron:
If you can't find the voltage on your device, be sure to check the instruction manual that came with your iron.
Single voltage irons will have a single number such as 230V or 110V. If this number matches the 120V used in Costa Rica, you can use your clothes iron in Costa Rica.
It is also possible that a single voltage iron supports a small voltage range such as 220-240V or 100-120V, which means that the iron can handle small fluctuations in voltage. As long as the 120V used in Costa Rica falls within this range, your clothes iron will work in Costa Rica.
Dual voltage irons, such as travel irons, will list a larger voltage range separated by either a dash or a slash, for example 100-240V or 100/240V. If this is the case for your iron, you can use it in Costa Rica, because dual voltage travel irons can be used in all countries.
It is important to note that some dual voltage irons will handle different voltages automatically, while others have a switch that you can use to choose the correct voltage. So if you have a dual voltage iron, make sure to check how it handles different voltages.
What if my iron doesn't support the voltage used in Costa Rica?
If your iron does not support the 120V used in Costa Rica, it's probably best to go for a travel iron. This is the cheaper option compared to buying a voltage converter.
Dual voltage travel iron
Travel irons are specifically designed for travel, lightweight, often with a folding handle and capable of handling different voltages. This means they will work in any country you choose to travel to.
Do make sure your travel iron is set to operate in 120V when plugging it in. The voltage switch is normally found on the base or the handle of the iron, you might need a coin to turn it.
When plugging in, your iron's plug should still be compatible with the outlets used at your destination. If this is not the case, you will still need a power adapter.
A voltage converter enables you to use your own clothes iron and other appliances with the 120V outlets used in Costa Rica. However, voltage converters have several drawbacks:
- A voltage converter will convert the voltage, but you still have to check if the voltage converter comes with plugs that will fit in the outlets in Costa Rica. If they don’t, you still have to get a power adapter.
- Voltage converters suitable for travel usually have a maximum supported power, for example 200 or 250 watt. This is not enough to be able to use an iron, which can use up to 2000 watts. Many travel irons operate on a lower voltage.
- Converters that support higher power requirements are quite bulky and heavy, so these voltage converters are not really suitable for travel.
Because of these reasons you are usually better of using a dedicated dual voltage travel iron instead of a voltage converter.
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