Best Y-level for Iron in Minecraft 1.19

Learn how to find Minecraft iron easily in the new Minecraft updates
Best Y-levels for Iron Ore in Minecraft 1.19Article posted on December 2, 2023 - 04:00 PM
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To be successful in survival Minecraft, you must understand where the best Minecraft y-level for iron is. Unlike older versions of Minecraft, the distribution of iron has significantly changed in recent updates, mainly for the better. This article will show you how to find iron in Minecraft extremely easily, giving you a significant edge over other Minecraft survival players.

Where to find iron in Minecraft

The first method of mining we recommend for finding iron is to explore a cave system. This method is profitable because it does not require much unnecessary digging. Unlike strip mining or other methods, you only need to grab a night vision potion and explore caves. You will find plenty of iron in the open, ready to be mined.

This photo shows a Iron ore located in a dark cave in the game of Minecraft
To enhance this method even further, here are three tips that you should consider.

1. Use the Fullbright Minecraft mod.
The Fullbright Minecraft mod is a mod in Minecraft that allows you to see everything around you in full light, even if you have not placed any light sources. At a basic level, the mod mimics the night-vision potion but lasts infinitely long and doesn't require you to craft anything in the game.

The easiest way to start using this mod is through a Minecraft client with the mod pre-installed. We recommend downloading Badlion Client since it will provide the largest FPS boost while giving you plenty of additional features and mods to improve your Minecraft survival experience.

Without Fullbright Mod:
This photo shows a large dark Minecraft cave

With Fullbright Mod:
This photo shows a lit up Minecraft cave using the Fullbright mod

2. Bring scaffolding for large caves or ravines.
When exploring caves, you will find that many veins of iron will be inaccessible at ground level, requiring you to build up to them. While this can be easily achieved with dirt or any other blocks, if you have spare resources, we recommend creating scaffolding blocks. Unlike dirt blocks, you can easily set up and take down scaffolding blocks, all in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, you can ascend and descend scaffolding as many times as you need without having to tower up, making scaffolding more convenient and safe. A half stack of scaffolding will make your ore mining experience more efficient and enjoyable!

A photo of scaffolding in a Minecraft cave leading to an iron ore block

2. Enchant your pick-axe with fortune.
Ever since the cave update, the way players mine iron in Minecraft has completely changed. You no longer get just a block of ore; instead, you get Raw Iron. The most crucial difference between Raw Iron and iron Ore is that the fortune enchantment, which you can add to pickaxes in Minecraft, works with Raw Iron. This means when you mine one iron ore block, you can get multiple pieces of Raw Iron, which can dramatically increase the efficiency of mining.

To learn about the Fortune enchantment and other Minecraft enchantments, check out this Tool Enchantments article.

Mountain mining for iron in Minecraft

One of the most notable changes in the cave and cliffs update was the distribution of iron ore. You can find iron ore in larger quantities at surprisingly high y-levels. You have the most significant chance of finding iron ore at y-level 232, much higher than older Minecraft ore distributions!

Because of this new distribution, you will want to find a mountainous biome like the Stoney Peaks biome. Like caving, you won’t have to do much digging, as there will be plenty of iron at the surface. Mining mountains in Minecraft is much easier, as you can often see an entire face of the mountain at one time, allowing you to go straight to iron ores without exploring a complicated cave network.

A photo of the top of a mountain in Minecraft showing a lot of iron ores
If you are later into the game, try using an elytra for mountain minging. It will make it a lot easier to find mountain biomes and navigate up and down mountains without worrying about getting stuck in powdered snow.

In addition, we recommend bringing a shovel if the mountain biome is in a snowy area. This will make it exponentially easier to remove any snow that may be covering iron veins.

Strip mining in mountains

Strip mining is a method of mining that is favored by a lot of players. To start strip mining, you will create a series of parallel tunnels separated by two blocks, each tunnel being two blocks tall and one black wide. Continue this series for as long as you desire, and you will soon have a strip mine system.

This photo shows a Minecraft strip mine design for mining iron ore in Minecraft
This method can be used deep underground at y-level 16 and within mountains at y-level 232. However, we recommend going to y-level 232 if you can find a mountain biome. You will find much more iron there, meaning your time will be used much more efficiently.

Additionally, depending on your mining tool, you can increase the efficiency of your mining operations by creating a one-block tunnel instead of a two-block tunnel. This is done by placing a trap door in a 2-block tall area. Open the trap door and stand in the way of it closing. Then, close the trap door, and you will find yourself in a crawling position from which you can mine.

This photo shows a mining tunnel in Minecraft that is one block by one block
As we mentioned, this method is only efficient if using a relatively slow tool, such as an iron pickaxe. If you use a faster tool, you should stick to creating 2-block tall tunnels instead.

With that, you now have all the information you need to make a fortune mining for iron. If you would like to learn more about ore distribution in Minecraft, check out our Minecraft ore distribution article here. If you would like to use the mods listed in this article, check out and download Badlion Client here.
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