Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Vietnam?

Vietnamese power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Vietnam:

  • If your clothes iron can run using 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you'll only need to use the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your clothes iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use the right power adapter for Vietnam however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet, however this is substantially heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in Vietnam, therefore check that the voltage transformer comes with a suitable power adapter for Vietnam otherwise you will also need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your existing clothes iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk potential damage in your suitcase. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 220 volts you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in Vietnam please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Vietnam

Will my clothes iron work in Vietnam?

This will depend on if your clothes iron can operate using the 220 volts which are used in Vietnam:

Vietnam power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Vietnam?

Power outlets in Vietnam are 220 volts.

What electrical frequency is used in Vietnam?

The frequency from a Vietnamese power outlet is 50 Hz. [10]

Which travel adapter will you need to use a clothes iron in Vietnam?

Type A, C and G power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to use a clothes iron in Vietnam?

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

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the power outlet by 2 slots adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type C - This unearthed wall outlet, also called the Europlug, is identified by two circular adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into.
  • Plug Type G - This wall outlet, also known as a type G power outlet, looks like three vertical rectangular slots in a triangular pattern for live, neutral and earth pins.

A Type G plug adapter will allow you to use a 220 volt clothes iron in Vietnam, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in Vietnam. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to check if you also need to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [11] [AD]

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 supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or handle of the clothes iron. This location might depend on the make or model of your clothes iron and could also state on the box. Some dual voltage clothes irons will change automatically but other irons will have a switch which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are visiting.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Vietnam then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Vietnamese power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 220 volts used in a Vietnamese power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Vietnam.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Vietnam or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Vietnam with a clothes iron

Can I carry on a clothes iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline that is flying you to Vietnam will allow a clothes iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also suggests wrapping cables tightly around electric items such as clothes irons. If you 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 greatest protection against drops and knocks during your journey.   [12] [13] [AD]

Power converters for Vietnam

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter transforms the voltage of 220 volts from a Vietnamese power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron, but a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Vietnam. [9] [AD]

Do you need a converter to use a clothes iron in Vietnam?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) allows your clothes iron using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Vietnam. Travellers wishing to use their own domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, however it might be a lot less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. Also worth noting, a power converter is significantly heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for packing in luggage compared to a travel clothes iron. [9] [AD]

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

Instructions showing how to use your clothes iron in Vietnam with a two pinned Type C travel adapter.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to the 220 volt setting for use in Vietnam; consult the owners manual to find out where the switch is located.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Vietnam. This Type C plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Vietnam by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the Vietnamese power outlet. This unearthed wall supply (sometimes known as the Type C power outlet [3]) can be identified by two round adjacent holes next to each other.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Vietnamese power outlet. The clothes iron can now be powered on.
How to use a clothes iron in Vietnam using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Vietnam using a type G power adapter

Instructions showing how to power a clothes iron in Vietnam with a three pin Type G travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed because you might 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 ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting - please consult the user guide for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the plug shape on your clothes iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Vietnam you'll need to buy a Type G plug adapter [6]. The Type G plug adapter will help fit plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in Vietnam simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type G plug adapter and inserting it into the wall outlet. This wall supply (technically known as the Type G power outlet [5]) looks like three slots containing shutters forming a triangular pattern.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Vietnamese power outlet. You can now turn on the iron in Vietnam.
How to use a clothes iron in Vietnam using a type G power adapter

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

How to power a clothes iron in Vietnam by using a Type A power charger.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply - but if not then don't proceed because you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a dual voltage travel iron ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in Vietnam, please consult the user guide for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. Check that you're not already using a clothes iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but still check that your clothes iron can work with a 220 volt power outlet). You will need to buy a Type A plug adapter [8] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in Vietnam. This power adapter helps fit different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in Vietnam by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type A plug adapter in the Vietnamese power outlet. You can recognise the power supply by 2 thin slots adjacent to each other.
  4. Next plug in your clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Vietnamese power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in Vietnam.
How to use a clothes iron in Vietnam using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia entry about Vietnam
  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, costs £5-£10.
  5. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  6. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, £10-£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, £4-£5.
  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 £140.
  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, priced at £40-£45.