Using a clothes iron in Bulgaria

Bulgarian power outlet

Summary

First check your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Bulgaria:

  • If your clothes iron can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you will only need to bring the right power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need a suitable power adapter for Bulgaria 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 Bulgarian power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Bulgaria, therefore please check that the voltage transformer has a power adapter for Bulgaria otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your own existing clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in a suitcase. [7]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your clothes iron in Bulgaria please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Bulgaria

Will my clothes iron work in Bulgaria?

That will depend on if your clothes iron is designed to operate using the 230 volt power outlets used in Bulgaria. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to operate using 230 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you can use it in Bulgaria. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter. Read the section on can you use a power converter with your domestic clothes iron in Bulgaria for help deciding which option is more suitable. [7]

Bulgaria power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Bulgaria?

Power outlets in Bulgaria are 230 volts.

What frequency is used in a Bulgarian power outlet?

The frequency used in a Bulgarian power outlet is 50Hz. [8]

Which power adapter will you need when using a clothes iron in Bulgaria?

Type C and F power outlets

Which power adapter will you need when using a clothes iron in Bulgaria?

There are two types of power outlets used in Bulgaria, these are type F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can identify the power outlet by the two round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins go.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise this plug outlet by the two 4.8mm circular adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral, plus two thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A suitable travel adapter to bring to use a 230 volt clothes iron in Bulgaria is a Type F plug adapter; read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a travel adapter for Bulgaria. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to confirm if you also need to use a voltage converter.  [6] [9]

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

A simple way to tell if your clothes iron can accept a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the base, handle or plug of your clothes iron. The location might vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron, it could also be written on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other irons will have a button which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are visiting.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Bulgaria then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Bulgarian 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 230 volts used in a Bulgarian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Bulgaria.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Bulgaria or any other country.

Travelling to Bulgaria with a clothes iron

Can you carry on a clothes iron to Bulgaria?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should check that the airline that is taking you to Bulgaria 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 recommends wrapping cables tightly around clothes irons.

If you intend to bring 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 knocks and drops during transit.   [10] [11]

Power converters for Bulgaria

Do I need a voltage converter to use my clothes iron in Bulgaria?

The correct model of power converter (or voltage transformer) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Bulgaria. Travellers wishing to bring their own clothes iron can use a power converter, however it might be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a power converter is substantially heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suitable for packing compared to a travel clothes iron. [7]

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for Bulgaria?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for Bulgaria?

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 found in Bulgaria, whereas a more expensive and heavier power converter will transform a 230 volt Bulgarian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron. [7]

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

How to power a clothes iron in Bulgaria using a two prong Type C power adapter.

  1. Please check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Travel irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting; please refer to the user guide to find out where this switch is.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Bulgaria. The power adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Bulgaria 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 230 volt supply.
  3. Start by plugging the Type C plug adapter into the Bulgarian power outlet. You can identify this plug supply by the two round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Bulgarian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on the iron to use in Bulgaria.
How to use a clothes iron in Bulgaria using a type C power adapter

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

A page showing how to use your clothes iron in Bulgaria with a Type F travel charger.

  1. Please ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't continue because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Bulgaria, please refer to the manufacturers instructions to find out where this switch is.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6] if the type of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in Bulgaria. The Type F plug adapter will help convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Bulgaria by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type F plug adapter into the power outlet. The sunken round plug supply can be recognised by two round holes 19 mm next to each other where the live and neutral pins go and a pair of thin grounding clips above and below.
  4. After that plug in your clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Bulgarian power outlet. You can now turn on your iron in Bulgaria.
How to use a clothes iron in Bulgaria using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Bulgarian 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, priced around £10.
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. 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, £10-£15.
  7. 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 at £100-£110.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, £40-£45.