If you have a large family, or regularly accrue an ironing pile the size of a small mountain, then purchasing a steam generator iron could do wonders for your productivity. Yes, they tend to cost a little more than a conventional iron, but after using one it’s unlikely that you’ll ever return to a standard iron again.
However, with so many different marketable terms thrown around when searching for one, it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re going to need. We’ll be looking at some of the most established brands such as Philips, Morphy Richards & Tefal. We’ll be providing options for every budget, from under £100 to the more extravagant, and we’re sure we’ll have it all ironed out in no time (we’re not even sorry)
Top 10 best steam iron in UK 2021
Now that we know what we are looking at, but more importantly, what we are looking for, it’s time to take a look at our best steam iron. We hope you find the right one for you!
1. Russell Hobbs 24420
Russell Hobbs has given us a generously priced first offering here. It has more than capable steam pressure with 4.5 bar, and a ridiculously quick start-up time of just one minute, so you’ll be good to get going on that laundry pile almost straight away.
There are some things to point out though. Unfortunately, it only has a continuous steam flow of 90g/min, which puts it under what we would say is ideal, and also it only comes with 1.3-litre water tank, so if you have a small mound to make your way through you may have to fill up. Still, at this price, we think it more than justifies its inclusion on our list.
2. Morphy Richards 332017
The joint winner of this category, this Morphy Richards model is a one temperature steam generator iron that boasts a 2.2-litre detachable water tank and an “IntelliTemp” setting, which works to find an optimal balance of temperature on any fabric.
3. Tefal Ultimate Pure
This iron is Tefal’s most powerful (at 3100w), so it gets very hot extremely quickly. It’s far more powerful and effective than the other irons I tried. It also boasts a MicroScale filter designed to stop scale from building up and ensure pure, filtered steam only – which means very little chance of ending up with limescale stains and nasty marks on your Sunday best. t works by capturing even the tiniest of scale particles polluting the steam chamber. It’s also anti-drip, to stop water stains and wet splotches.
4. Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra
This 3100w steam iron might look old school but the features which it incorporates are pretty modern. It can generate steam at 45G consistently. Also, with such high wattage, you will not have to wait for a longer period of time in order to heat the iron. Also, it has a self-cleaning feature which ensures that you can easily use it for a longer period of time without any interruptions. The self-cleaning feature also ensures that you do not have to worry about cleaning it again and again.
5. Morphy Richards Turbosteam Pro
This all-in-one steam iron uses the same low temperature to iron everything – so you don’t ever need to change the setting, unless you want to. The long, 3.1-metre cord means you can set your board up well away from the plug socket, which is handy if you like to watch TV while you iron.
6. Philips Azur Steam Iron
The calc is washable easily in less than 15 seconds so it can deliver great results over time. Faster warm-up and provides a powerful performance so your ironing can be done quickly
7. Tefal Ultimate Anti-Scale
The Tefal FV9788 heats up quickly and packs a lot of power into a regular-sized iron, but you’re probably wondering what else it has to offer for its price tag. The answer is a whole bunch of features which together make for an effortless ironing experience. Tefal’s Durilium soleplate glides over clothes with barely any resistance, and the ergonomic steam trigger, automatic steam function, anti-drip system, and auto-clean function are welcome additions.
8. Tefal Freemove
The Freemove is very lightweight in the hand, not least because it’s cordless. Yes, you read right, cordless. After around 30 seconds of ironing, the base beeps to remind you to recharge. Then it takes 11 seconds to recharge – just enough time for you to adjust the garment to a new position. The timings work. As do the ergonomics: it slides comfortably onto the base and ironing cordlessly feels very natural.
9. Breville DiamondXPress
With its quick heating, spacious water tank and strong steam bursts, the Breville DiamondXPress covers all the basics and has some good extras too, such as automatic shut-off, anti-scale, anti-drip and a self-clean feature.
The 400ml water tank on this iron means that you can use it for long periods without needing to refill it. The multi-directional soleplate allows for an easy glide while ironing and a three-metre cord gives you plenty of room to work. We also like the unusual rose gold and silver colourway.
10. BOSCH SENSIXX’X TDA3021GB
The Sensixx’x heats up pretty pronto and features an easy-glide CeraniumGlissée soleplate with precision tip and a 40 g/min continuous steam output that makes light work of even the most rebellious fabrics. And should you reach a crease too far, simply hold in the 180g boost button and it’ll flatten it in a thrice. It also comes with an easy-to-fill 320ml water reservoir and an excellent three-stage anti calc system to keep scaly spurts at bay.
How to Choose best steam iron
When buying a steam generator iron many factors should be considered. Here, we’re going to walk you through the various choices that we think are most crucial.
Know What You’ll Be Ironing to Get the Best Steam Flow
We think the most important aspect to consider is the continuous steam flow. What this means is, how much steam is continuously released by the iron.
Steam generator irons don’t tend to drop below 100g/per min, which is decent, especially if you’re ironing a lot of fabric, not tough fabric. If, however, you’re thinking that you’re going to be needing to get out some pretty hefty creases, in some resolute material, then we would recommend an iron that produces 150g/min or above.
Pressurised or Non-Pressurised? It’s Down to Personal Preference and Budget
So, pressurised or non-pressurised? Well, the fact is that both will help you achieve crease-free clothes in a much quicker time than it would usually take. And while there is only a small difference, there is one, and it comes down to personal preference.
Non-Pressurised Use Less Force and Therefore Take a Little Longer
Non-pressurised steam irons will still deliver similar stream flow outputs/per min as their pressurized counterparts, it’s just that this steam isn’t fed through with quite as much force, thus taking slightly longer.
But less pressure means a lower price, so if you’re looking for a product without breaking the bank this is more likely going to be in your price range.
Pressurised Will Work Faster but Be More Pricey
A pressurised system, on the other hand, will push the steam through the soleplate with much greater power due to the pressurised boiler. This allows the steam to penetrate further into materials and therefore cuts down on ironing time.
Ordinarily, if a steam generator iron is pressurised it will come with something called a ‘bar-rating’. If you’re looking for something that’s going to make a considerable difference, and justify buying pressurised, we recommend looking for a product with a bar rating of 3.5 or more, with top-end models coming with ratings as 5 or above.
Find Your ‘Soul’-Plate
The quality of the soleplate on your iron is incredibly important as this is the surface that comes in to contact with our fabrics, so we must consider what material it is made from. Most irons will use either aluminium, stainless steel or ceramic.
Choose Aluminium If Your Number 1 Priority Is Heat Conduction
This metal is a good choice if speed is of the essence as it is a better conductor of heat, and therefore will be ready to go quicker and have a better distribution across the whole plate.
Aluminium though is known to be easily scratched, sometimes beyond repair, and also has a tendency to form bumps, which can severely affect what fabrics you are ironing.
Stainless Steel Is Super Durable
Stainless steel is sort of like the anti-aluminium, it’s supremely durable and resistant to scratches. They’re also all considered non-stick, therefore they provide a smoother experience and more security for your materials.
Stainless steel’s main issue is that they’re not as good at conducting heat, so you can expect to have to wait longer for the iron to be ready and you may be required to go over certain tough areas several times to rid crinkles.
Ceramic Offers Good Heat Distribution and Smoothness
These tend to be aluminium or plastic initially, but then have ceramic bonded or baked on to them. They also have a good, even distribution of heat and are great at eliminating static, even at high temperatures.
They’re also very smooth and tend not to stick like stainless steel.The downside to ceramic is that they wear down over time, meaning you could have ceramic coating peeling off your iron, leading you to pick up a replacement sooner than you would have liked.
The Less Re-Fills, the Quicker It’s All Done
One of the most obvious differences between a normal iron and generator iron is that the water tank is separate and has a much larger volume. If you used to fill the regular iron multiple times when ironing before, this will no longer be necessary. We would endorse picking an option that has at least 1.5-litre capacity, this should see most people through their load.
The benefits of this are not just that you don’t need to refill as often, but also that you are not required to lift this weight when using the iron, making for an easier and more comfortable experience.
We would also recommend picking up an iron with a clear water tank, which enables you to easily see how much water you have in there when you are re-filling or during the ironing.
Added Features Can Make Life Even Easier
There are many additional functions to consider when shopping for a steam generator iron. Whilst we won’t be covering all of them here, we are going to mention a few that we think are the most important.
Auto-Stop Turns Off Your Iron Automatically
Firstly, auto-stop. This great addition will banish that ‘did I leave the iron on?’ thought popping in your head as you’re just leaving the driveway.
This feature, as you may have guessed, turns the iron off after not being in use for a certain amount of time (generally about 10 minutes), not only preventing accidents when you get distracted but also cutting down energy bills.
Prevent Limescale From Building Up and Damaging Efficiency
Next up it’s anti-limescale, another very practical function to look out for. This means that even if you live in a hard-water area, like London or Kent, you can just use the tap water as the iron itself will help to prevent the build-up of limescale.
Iron in All Directions With a Vertical Ironing
Lastly, we have vertical ironing. If you plan on ironing suits and blouses on the hanger, or you want to make sure your house is looking crisp with super straight curtains, a vertical option would be a good choice for you. Making sure it has this option just means that you can use the iron vertically without fear of there being any leakage from the iron.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your appliance, or you’ve just got a little bit too old to be asking one of your parents to do it for you, we hope you’ve managed to find the best steam iron. Maybe you’ll even be a little excited next time it comes to attacking the mammoth pile, but even if you’re not, we’re sure you’ll manage it in half the time.