How do I use a clothes iron in Thailand?

Thai power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can work in Thailand:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you will only need to bring the correct power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron won't fit.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need to use the correct power adapter for Thailand however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Thai power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Thailand, therefore please check that the voltage transformer has the right power adapter for Thailand otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your own existing clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in your suitcase. [9]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 220 volts used in Thailand you run the risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in Thailand check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Thailand

Will my clothes iron work in Thailand?

That depends on if your clothes iron is designed to operate using the 220 volt power outlets used in Thailand. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 220 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you'll be able to use your clothes iron in Thailand. If not then you will need to consider using either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read our section on will a voltage converter work with a domestic clothes iron in Thailand for help deciding which option is more suitable. [9]

Thailand power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Thailand?

Power outlets in Thailand are 220 volts.

What frequency is used in Thailand?

The frequency used in a Thai power outlet is 50 Hz. [10]

Which power adapter do you need to bring for using a clothes iron in Thailand?

Type A, B and C power outlets

Which power adapter do you need to bring for using a clothes iron in Thailand?

There are three types of power outlets used in Thailand, these are type B, A and C with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - This unearthed power socket, also known as a type A power outlet, is identified by the two adjacent slots next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type B - This plug outlet, also known as a type B power outlet, can be identified by the 2 slots adjacent to each other with a single semicircular shaped hole below for the longer grounded pin.
  • Plug Type C - You can recognise the wall socket by the two circular adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.

A suitable power adapter to bring when using a 220 volt clothes iron in Thailand is a Type B power adapter, read the step by step guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in Thailand using a power adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to see if you also need to bring a power converter.  [4] [11]

Dual voltage travel irons

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

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

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Thailand then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Thai 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 220 volts used in a Thai power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Thailand.
  • A large range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Thailand or any other country.

Travelling to Thailand with a clothes iron

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

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that the airline which is flying you to Thailand 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 suggests wrapping wires tightly around electric items such as clothes irons. If you do intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during transit.   [12] [13]

Power converters for Thailand

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Thailand, however a more expensive and heavier power converter will transform a 220 volt Thai power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron. [9]

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

The correct voltage transformer (or power converter) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 220 volt power outlet used in Thailand. Travellers wishing to use their existing clothes iron can use a power converter, but it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a power converter is substantially bulkier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for packing. [9]

How to use a clothes iron in Thailand using a type B power adapter

How to power a clothes iron in Thailand using a Type B travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply; but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel iron ensure you have set it to the 220 volt setting, consult the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to use a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Thailand. The plug adapter will help adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for use in an electrical outlet used in Thailand by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type B plug adapter into the Thai power outlet. This wall outlet (sometimes called the Type B power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the 2 thin slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the earthed pin.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Thai power outlet.
  6. The clothes iron can now be used in Thailand.
How to use a clothes iron in Thailand using a type B power adapter

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

A guide showing how to power your clothes iron in Thailand by using a two pronged Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 220 volt setting; please consult the owners manual for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet which is used in Thailand isn't the same shape as the plug on your clothes iron. The power adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Thailand by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. First you'll need to insert the Type C plug adapter in the power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by the two circular adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Thai power outlet. You can now switch on the iron for use in Thailand.
How to use a clothes iron in Thailand using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Thailand using a type A power adapter

How to power your clothes iron in Thailand using a Type A travel charger.

  1. Ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel iron ensure you have set it to the 220 volt setting; consult the instructions for more information on where this switch is.
  2. Please check that you don't already own a clothes iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but you will still need to check that your clothes iron can work with a 220 volt power supply). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [8] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Thailand. The plug adapter will help adapt plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet used in Thailand by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Plug the Type A plug adapter into the Thai power outlet. You can identify the power supply by the 2 thin slots next to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Thai power outlet. Your clothes iron can now be used in Thailand.
How to use a clothes iron in Thailand using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Thai Wikipedia web page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - US and Japanese 3 pinned Type B plug adapters have a single unearthed round pin along with 2 shorter parallel rectangular flat blades containing holes in each blade, estimated cost C$5-C$10.
  5. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  6. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, under C$15.
  7. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, costing C$10-C$15.
  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, priced under C$80.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated price around C$70.