Review of Reliable Maven 140IS Iron 

The number one question in my inbox and DM’s is “How do you like your Reliable iron?” The short answer is: “I love it!” But I’ll bet you want more details than that! Read on for my in-depth review of the Reliable Maven 140IS 1.5L Home Ironing Station, where I'm diving into alllll the features of this sexy iron!

A hand reaches into the frame, holding onto the handle of a blue and white iron.

Design & Size

First things first: you probably noticed that the Reliable Maven 140IS doesn’t look like most hand-held irons. That’s because it has a large base (it’s a water tank), and the iron head rests on top of it. The head and the base are connected by a long (60”) hose that’s sturdy and thick.

The design is intriguing and attractive, and I find that people have LOTS of questions for me whenever I show this iron. Also? People want to touch it. I don’t blame them! The build quality is solid, and the iron head feels nice and sturdy in your hand. 

Because of the tank, this iron has a larger footprint compared to a hand-held model. When I placed mine at the end of my ironing board, I found that it took up valuable ironing real estate. I would have much preferred it if I could have placed the Maven off to the side of my ironing surface (but that wasn’t possible with my current sewing room set up).

Be warned: you’re going to need a bit more room for this unit. 

A blue and white iron sits on a wooden counter with a quilt block in the foreground.

Water & Steam

I’m firmly in the “put water in your iron” camp. Personally, I find I get much better pressing results when I use steam while ironing (as opposed to spritzing my fabric with water and using a dry iron). 

Good news: Reliable irons were MADE to have water in them. They produce massive amounts of continuous steam (no bursts) which is activated by using the trigger on the iron head. You can also control the amount of steam that’s produced on the control panel on the base of the unit.

The only problem with tonnes of steam is that it takes a lot of water to produce it. With a hand held version, that would require you to refill your iron regularly (which is sometimes an awkward job). The Maven 140IS has a large water tank (it holds 1.5L of water) that can be removed from the base and brought to your kitchen sink for easy refilling. 

A woman fills the tank with water at the kitchen sink.

I found that with heavy use, I only needed to refill my tank once every couple of days. What a joy!

The Maven also includes an anti-scale cartridge and has a self-cleaning mode which makes it safe to use regular tap water with this iron. However, the owner’s manual does indicate that if you want to prolong the life of your iron, you should use distilled water.

Hot tip: the folks at Reliable told me that if you REALLY want to prolong the life of your iron, you should remove the water if your machine is going to sit unused for any amount of time. I had never heard that before, so I thought I should share!

A short looping video of a blue and white iron producing steam.


When it comes to pressing quilt seams, the hotter the iron the better. If you do a quick online search, you’ll find that it’s recommended to press cotton fabric at a temperature of 400°F. Great. But how do you know if your iron is reaching that temperature?

I wanted to find out for sure, so I bought myself an infrared thermometer and tested every iron I could get my hands on. 

The Reliable Maven 140IS was the only iron I found that actually reached 400°F. Woohoo!! 

A laser thermometer indicates that an iron's temperature is 400 degrees F.

Comfort / Weight

If an iron doesn’t feel good in your hand, you’re not going to use it. I’ve also heard from a lot of people that an iron that’s too heavy isn’t a good option (for a variety of reasons). 

That’s why I was happy to find that the head of the Maven 140IS was lightweight (1.2 kg or 2 lbs 11 oz) and felt nice in my hand. It was easy to maneuver around my ironing board, and the steam trigger felt like it was in a natural position and was very easy to pull. 

I did find that depending on where I positioned the base of the unit and how I rotated my quilt blocks, if I removed my hand from the iron head, the heavy-duty hose would sometimes pull the head into a different posititon (check out the YouTube video for a better explanation). That meant I needed to keep my hand on the handle in order to keep the head in the correct spot while pressing. 

But, if I kept my hand perfectly still while pulling the steam trigger continuously, the steam would curl around the iron head and make my hand uncomfortably hot. That meant I either needed to pull the stem trigger and then adjust my hand, or keep the iron head moving while pressing my seams. 

Both required me to slightly adjust my pressing technique, which made me feel like the Maven wouldn’t be a seamless adjustment for me.

A blue and white iron sits on a scale, with a digital readout of 1.2 kg.


I’ve been using (and raving about) Reliable irons for years, because they *WORK*. I cannot STAND it when I borrow someone’s (sometimes expensive and popular) iron, press a block, and find that my seams are still lumpy. What is the point of irons like that??? It drives me bananas!!

I’ve grown accustomed to the super flat seams that my Reliable iron produces, and now I’m a total iron snob - if it doesn’t work like it’s meant to, I don’t want to use it.

With the high temperature and massive amounts of steam, I found that the Maven 140IS created incredibly flat seams when pressing even heavy fabrics like linen.

Try it and I think you’ll be impressed. 

Overhead view of a blue and white iron pressing a quilt block.

Ease of Use

This iron is super simple to use. When you plug it in, it turns on in Eco mode. From there, you can increase the temperature and the amount of steam by pressing the one and only button on the control panel. So easy!

After a period of 10 minutes of inactivity, the Maven 140IS will turn off the heating element and go into a standby mode. If you’d like to turn the heat back on, you simply need to hold down the (one and only) button for 2 seconds. The machine will heat back up within 60 seconds, and you’ll be ready to continue ironing in no time. 

I do wish I could disable the auto-off function (like I can on my handheld Reliable iron), but I’m honestly nit-picking. It gets hot super fast and is a great safety feature.

The Maven is also incredibly quiet. As someone who often sews in a room next to a sleeping shift worker, this is an important feature for me! You might not care about this as much as I do. 

A finger hovers over the "temperature" button on the rear of an iron.

Who is it for?

If you’re in the market for a new iron, the Reliable Maven 140IS would be a great option for you if:

  • You have room for the larger base
  • You prefer a lightweight option
  • You don’t want to compromise on performance
  • You want to iron for dayssss between tank refills
  • You love super flat seams. 
A blue and white iron sits on a wooden counter.

Where can I get a Reliable Maven 140IS?

I’ve included some affiliate links below in order to make it super easy for you to pick up one of these sexy beasts! If you click on the links below and make a purchase, I may be compensated.



Want more? Check out the video!

Want to receive my WILDLY popular newsletter?

Sign up and you'll get:

  • My Three Things Thursday newsletter
  • Links to new blog posts - never miss an update
  • Early access to sales and exclusive discounts!
Black outline of envelope surrounded by black circle
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}