Which power adapter do I need to bring for using a clothes iron in Laos?

Lao power outlet

Summary

First check that your clothes iron can work in Laos:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you will only need to use a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your clothes iron will not fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use a power adapter for Laos however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Lao power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter changes the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in Laos, so please check that the power converter has the right power adapter for Laos otherwise you will need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Please be aware your existing clothes iron might not be suitable for travel and you risk potential damage in your luggage. [9]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 230 volts used in Laos you run the potential risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your clothes iron in Laos please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Laos

Will my clothes iron work in Laos?

It depends on if your clothes iron can operate using the 230 volt power outlets used in Laos. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron can handle 230 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you should be able to use it in Laos. If not then you will need to consider using either a power converter or a dual voltage travel iron [2]. Read our guide on will a voltage converter work with a domestic clothes iron in Laos for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [9]

Will my US clothes iron work in Laos?

The guides on this page assume that you are a reader from the US visiting Laos and provide advice on using your US clothes iron with a Lao power outlet.

Laos

Laos power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in Laos?

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

What voltage is used in Laos?

Power outlets in Laos are 230 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need for using a clothes iron in Laos?

Type C, E and F power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need for using a clothes iron in Laos?

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

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise this wall socket by the 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other where the pins go.
  • Plug Type E - The recessed round wall socket, technically called a type E power outlet, can be recognised by two holes 19mm adjacent to each other where the two pins go and a single long metal earth pin protruding in the top forming a triangular configuration.
  • Plug Type F - This recessed circular wall outlet (also known as a type F power outlet or Schuko plug) can be recognised by two 4.8mm holes 19 mm next to each other for live and neutral pins along with two thin grounding clips above and below.

A suitable travel adapter to bring for using a 230 volt clothes iron in Laos is a Type F power adapter, read the simple guide below for full details of using a travel adapter for Laos. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to use a voltage converter.  [8] [11]

Dual voltage travel irons

How can I tell if my clothes iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron will accept dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or the handle. The location might depend on the make or model of your clothes iron and should also be written on the box. Some dual voltage clothes irons might change automatically but other irons will have a button which allows you to change between different regions depending on which country you are visiting.

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

Travelling to Laos with a clothes iron

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

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 US. The TSA also recommends that you should check that your airline who is flying you to Laos will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also recommends wrapping cables 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 provides the most protection against drops and knocks during your journey.   [12] [13]

Power converters for Laos

Do you need a converter for Laos to use your clothes iron?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Laos. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to use their existing clothes iron, however it could be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a travel clothes iron can be considerably smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suitable when packing. [9]

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

Voltage converter

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

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet in Laos, but a more expensive and heavier power converter will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a Lao power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron. [9]

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

How to power a clothes iron in Laos using a 2 pin Type C power charger.

  1. Please check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 230 volt setting - refer to the user guide to find out where the switch is found.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet used in Laos doesn't take the plug shape on your clothes iron you'll need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4]. The power adapter is designed to adapt plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Laos simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Firstly plug in the Type C plug adapter into the Lao power outlet. This unearthed power outlet is recognised by two holes next to each other for live and neutral pins.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Lao power outlet. You can now switch on your iron in Laos.
How to use a clothes iron in Laos using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Laos using a type E power adapter

Instructions on how to use your clothes iron in Laos by using a Type E power adapter.

  1. Ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply; if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts to use in Laos; please consult the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. If the type of power outlet which is used in Laos isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron you will need to buy a Type E plug adapter [6]. This Type E plug adapter helps convert different plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet used in Laos by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type E plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. This recessed circular wall outlet (sometimes known as a Type E power outlet [5] or CEE 7/7 outlet) can be recognised by two 4.8mm holes 19mm adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins and a long metal earth pin protruding from the top forming a triangular shape.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Lao power outlet. Your iron can now be used in Laos.
How to use a clothes iron in Laos using a type E power adapter

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

How to use a clothes iron in Laos with a two pronged Type F travel charger.

  1. Please ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not proceed because you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 230 volt setting, consult the manufacturers instructions to find out where the switch is located.
  2. If the plug shape on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Laos you'll need to use a Type F plug adapter [8]. The power adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Laos simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. First plug in the Type F plug adapter in the Lao power outlet. You can identify this plug outlet by two large round adjacent holes next to each other, plus thin metal grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Next plug in your clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Lao power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your iron in Laos.
How to use a clothes iron in Laos using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Laos Wikipedia web page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, between $5 to $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - There are two 4.8mm pins on the Type E plug adapter which are placed 19mm apart and includes a hole in the top for an earthing pin, estimated price between $5 to $10.
  7. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  8. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, estimated cost between $5 to $10.
  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, under $100.
  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, costs under $50.