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It is unlikely to be your favourite household chore but ironing is, unfortunately, a necessary part of day to day life for many people. Whilst it is certainly difficult to make the chore fun, when you buy the best steam iron for your needs, it can at least make this tiresome job much easier and faster to complete.
Steam irons help to improve the process and save you time by quickly loosening creases using highly pressurised steam. However, because the manufacturers of these devices are continually improving their product designs and adding new functions, it can make deciding upon the right steam iron feel like a chore in itself!
Luckily for you, we are here to help. In our steam iron reviews, we examine the top ten irons on the market in detail, so you can buy the perfect one for your lifestyle and workload.
Before we get started, it is useful for you to consider your ironing workload and lifestyle by asking yourself the following questions:
What types of fabric do you have in your closet and home? Are you ironing for just yourself, a family or is it a source of income for you? Are you doing it only about once a week or is it a daily task? Does your task include drapes and bedding along with clothing? Is your wardrobe mainly dress shirts and slacks with accessories to iron around or jeans and t-shirts?
Once you have figured out the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of what product qualities will be most important to you when you buy.
Keep these in mind as we now take a look at our top ten steam irons.
Best Steam Iron Reviews – Top 10 Picks
Offering 7.5 bars of pressure and an extra steam boost of 500g per minute, the Tefal GV9071 is an iron with great power.
It has a large 1.6 L water tank in the base, which not only lasts a long time but is also removable for quick refilling. This is a great benefit when you have lots of ironing to do. Furthermore, the 1.8m electric cord helps you to easily iron bigger pieces without having to move the fabric closer. You won’t need to worry about burning your clothes when using this steam iron. It has 5 dedicated settings which create a perfect balance of heat and steam for each type of fabric. Also, it also has an easy glide feature which to helps speed up your chore, so you can spend less time on the chores. The extra steam boost function is very effective but requires three clicks of the button to activate it. This can get a bit annoying if you are using it for a long time. Stains are avoided and the soleplate is kept clean by the removable scale collector. Unfortunately, some users found this iron sometimes leaks discoloured water, which often means that item needs to be re-washed.
- Higher steam pressure than previous steam irons for rapid crease removal
- Lightweight while not compromising on quality, making it easy to use without tiring from extended usage
- Has a safety lock to prevent accidents when not in use.
- Original and unique scale remover which ensures a longer lifespan for the iron
- Button must be pressed three times to generate extra steam which can get tedious
- Has been known to release rusty coloured steam or water from time to time which can stain clothes
- The ceramic plate can quickly discolour with heavy use
This Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra comes in a sleek and unisex design, making it attractive to all members of the family. This steam iron releases continuous steam at a rate of 45g per minute and offers an additional steam burst feature of 210g per minute for those really tough creases.
As the Russell Hobbs is a traditional steam iron, the tank is located within the body of the iron itself. As a result, the capacity is only 350ml, so it will need refilling more often. However, this means the Russell Hobbs only weighs 1.6kg, which is great when used both traditional, or vertical steam options. It will not take up much room on your board or require abundant storage space. This Russell Hobbs iron also has a 3m long cord that will help you manoeuvre more easily during use. Unfortunately, though, there isn’t any storage feature for the cord in the Powersteam Ultra, which can be frustrating. As an added benefit, this Russell Hobbs iron includes an anti-scale feature. Reducing scale build-up aids longevity, so you should find this iron lasts a reasonable length of time, even with heavy use. The Russell Hobbs also offers auto shut-off. This is a useful safety feature if you are often in a hurry to get out the door.
- Anti-scale feature enhances durability
- 3m long cord allows freedom of movement
- Auto shut off safety feature gives peace of mind
- Vertical steam option allows quick ironing of awkward fabrics
- No feature at base for wrapping cord when stowing away
- Not as efficient at steam release as others on the market making it less capable of removing very rigid creases
- Can leak water when temperature is adjusted
This is another steam generating iron from Philips, promising faster ironing due to the power of its steam output which can penetrate multiple layers at once, as well as deep into your tougher and thicker fabrics.
It offers one temperature that is suitable for all fabrics, making it stress-free to use. With this iron, you don’t have to worry about regulating the temperature manually for each particular piece of clothing or material. If you encounter tough creases, the 420g steam boost packs a hefty punch, leaving you with smooth results quickly. Even so, the iron itself is only 0.8kg, so you should find it lightweight and simple to use even when vertical steaming. This will be especially welcome if you have arthritis or other such conditions. The hefty 1.8L capacity means you don’t have to refill often. However, this can also make the entire product very heavy. Therefore, you will need to make sure you have a board that can hold this weight safely.
- Super lightweight iron which limits fatigue
- One optimal temperature makes using it on multiple fabrics a stress-free experience
- High capacity reservoir reduces the refill frequency
- Heats up in 2 minutes which saves you time
- Auto descale function increases longevity and performance
- Can be used for vertical steaming
- Quite large and bulky than other steam irons
- At over 5kg including the base, the whole unit is quite heavy
- While it is considered a quiet iron for a steam generating iron, some people found it noisier than other steam irons on the market
This Breville Press Xpress is a great choice of low-cost iron, which doesn’t compromise on quality. It has a special wide ceramic finish soleplate, enabling you to easily iron up and down as well as side to side.
The tank is 400ml, which isn’t particularly large. However, you should find it easy to refill thanks to the wide opening at the front of the iron. If your clothes have tough creases, they are easily penetrated and smoothed by the 180g steam shot, leaving you with a sleek finish. The steam button is located on the handle, which may be a slight design flaw as you can easily press it accidentally. However, you have the option of using without the steam function if you prefer. This will help you limit the number of times you need to refill the reservoir. It also boasts of an anti-drip function, meaning it minimizes the risk of water leaking onto your clothes. But some people found it will still leak if it is left still for too long. It comes with an extra-long 3m cord which means you can use the iron in other areas of the room from where it is set up. While this is convenient in some instances, a very long cord may also get in your way.
- Multi-directional feature on the ceramic plate makes using it easier
- 400ml water tank is easy to refill
- Long 3m cord ensures flexible use
- Can be used with or without the steam function
- The extra-long cord can get in the way
- Can leak if left still for too long
- Steam button can be easily pressed accidentally
If you regularly iron shirts, the Philips GC9650/80 is a great option. Promising “ultra-fast” results, this attractive and compact iron also protects against fabric burns so you can be sure your shirts will be crisp in all the right ways.
The power of its 150g per minute steam output means this iron can penetrate layers of clothing as well as your thicker, denser fabrics, such as suit jackets and jeans. The single temperature setting means you can iron stress-free since it is suitable for all types of fabric, no matter how delicate. If you want to up the power, the 500g steam boost will make short work of troublesome crumples. There is also a vertical steam option, but you may find the iron leaks when using this method. The iron itself is lightweight, at only 0.8kg, making it appropriate for use by most people. However, due to the large 1.8L reservoir, the entire unit is quite heavy at 5.1kg. You should take this into consideration if you have a lightweight board.
- One fixed temperature that is optimal for all fabric types
- Large 1.8L container lasts for a long time before needing a refill
- Iron is lightweight enough for everyone
- Vertical steam option enables smoothing of hanging fabrics
- 500g steam boost eliminates tough creases
- The whole product is heavy, weighing in at over 5kg
- Upright steaming of hanging clothes may cause some water leaks
- Ceramic plate is not as durable as stainless steel and may show signs of wear more quickly
This Jet steam iron from Morphy Richards comes in an attractive purple and white colour. It combines steaming and heat and also has a water spray feature to help tackle tough creases.
The steam generator heats up rapidly, being ready to go in under two minutes. This is great if you are in a rush to iron your favourite outfit before heading out. The Morphy Richards can produce 100g of steam that softens the fibres in your fabrics, which helps smooth them out. This amount of steam output is lower than other similar steam irons we have seen but is still effective nonetheless. If you often iron large fabrics, the Morphy Richards has a long 1.6m cord that makes it much easier to use without feeling tethered to the wall. The stainless steel soleplate is highly durable, so you can be sure this iron will not let you down for many years. The Morphy Richards also offers a detachable 1L reservoir, enabling you to get more done before requiring a refill. Furthermore, the special continuous fill boiler allows for refilling during use, so you do not need to interrupt your chores to top up the water. However, this does add to the overall weight and size of the unit, making the Morphy Richards quite heavy.
- 1L removable reservoir can be refilled during use
- Long power cord enables more freedom of movement
- Water spray option enhances performance against stubborn creases.
- Stainless steel soleplate is highly durable
- Comfortable handle
- Some people said it occasionally spits steam unexpectedly
- The 100g steam output is considerably less than other options on the market
- You may need to invest in an board that is sturdy enough to support the size of the iron
The Philips GC4526/87 Azur Performer is another popular model from this brand. Although it is only able to produce around 50g per minute of continuous steam, this iron also offers an additional 210g steam booster to help you deal with persistent creases.
The 300ml tank is smaller than the others we have seen. However, this does mean that it doesn’t add too much extra weight to the iron when filled. Therefore, the Azur Performer makes it a good choice if you get fatigued easily. Furthermore, the highly durable smooth glide soleplate makes the chore easier because it doesn’t require you to expend much effort. This Azur Performer iron has intelligent temperature controls, which apply the perfect amount of steam for every type of fabric you are likely to throw at it. However, these controls are located in an awkward place under the handle, which means you may accidentally knock them during use. The cord length of the Azur Performer is a considerable 2.5m which makes it flexible for different types of usage like vertical steaming, but it can also be rather cumbersome and may pose a trip hazard.
- Scratch-resistant soleplate extends the life and preserves the effectiveness
- Continuous steam release and vertical steam option saves time
- Small water tank means it is not heavy to use when filled up with water
- Lightweight iron makes it easy to use for different types of people including those suffering from arthritis and similar conditions
- Has an inbuilt cleaner which extends the life of the iron
- The long cord could prove a hazard or nuisance
- Inbuilt reservoir can be awkward to fill and empty without spills
- Temperature control is under the handle which can be accidentally adjusted
The Rowenta DG8962 is a high-pressure steam generating iron, which is capable of producing impressive 460g/min bursts of steam to tackle difficult creases without being overly noisy.
It heats up quickly and has a durable and scratch-proof stainless steel soleplate which helps it glide smoothly over all fabric types. This can considerably shorten the time required to complete your chore since it takes much less effort. It also has hundreds of tiny holes for even steam distribution across your garments. If you often iron around buttons or complex items, the narrow tip design ensures you can get to even the hardest to reach corners of your clothing. You may find the overall unit heavy at 5.3kg, but the generous 1.4L capacity will last you through a tall pile of laundry. Some people found the reservoir quite frustrating to remove, so you may have to practice this a few times before you get used to it.
- Iron heats up and is ready for use within 2 minutes
- Is much quieter than other products
- Hundreds of micro-holes in the soleplate ensure even steam distribution
- Narrow tip design helps you iron around buttons
- Generously sized reservoir
- Bulkier design than some other steam irons out there
- Water tank can be fiddly to remove
- The product manual isn’t very detailed
The Tefal GV7466 Express offers a 1.6L reservoir, up to 6.5 bars of pressure and 120g of steam per minute to leave your clothes looking sleek and smooth in no time.
While 120g/min of steam is certainly impressive, this iron also has a variable steam dial which enables you to adjust the amount of steam output as required for the fabric you are working with. This allows you the flexibility to choose the correct setting, whether you are using it on delicate or stubborn fabrics. However, some people found that the steam generation seems to decline with use, and the iron needs to be restarted to solve this issue. Furthermore, it has been known to occasionally leak rusty water, which isn’t at all helpful. With regard to durability, this iron has an anti-calc feature which protects iron performance and endurance in hard water areas. The easy to use calc collector also allows you to remove the calc deposits without any fuss. Unfortunately, there isn’t an auto shut-off feature which may be important if you are prone to leaving the iron and rushing out in the morning
- Abundant and continual steam release
- Lock feature on iron for safety while it steams
- High-pressure feature means layers of clothing can be ironed at once, thus reducing overall time.
- Variable steam controls for efficient use
- Anti-calc feature protects and ensures endurance
- Has been known to sometimes leak rusty water
- Steam can subside after some use and may need restarting to regenerate optimal steam output
- No auto shut-off feature
Always struggling with huge piles of laundry? If so, the Morphy Richards steam generator iron could be the answer to your prayers.
Boasting a large 2.2L water tank and specialised ‘Ceramaslide’ soleplate, this model has the capacity to power through your ironing heap in one session. You won’t have to keep halting your progress to refill. Its choice of variable steam settings means that it’s suitable for use on most fabrics. Additionally, the 190g steam output makes short work of even the most stubborn creases. If you have crumpled curtains, the vertical steam option enables you to smooth them out without having to take them down. With such a variety of choices, you’ll be pleased to know that the settings are simple to master. The temperature and steam output controls are cleverly designed with large clearly marked buttons, all within easy reach. That said, should you get distracted and leave the iron switched on, the auto shut-off will kick in to reduce the risk of fire. Furthermore, in case of hard water issues, the ‘auto-clean’ function helps to keep this steam iron performing at its best. If limescale build-up occurs, the Morphy Richards Steam Generator will activate this mode to preserve optimum performance. The only problem is that this mode may be activated at any time. Hence, should this happen in the middle of a rushed ironing session, you may find it quite inconvenient. It is also worth noting that, due to its size and power, this model is rather bulky and takes up a lot of space. Water may also leak from the soleplate on lower steam settings. Therefore, bear this in mind when working with more delicate fabrics.
- Large 2.2L water tank
- Easy-glide, ‘Ceramaslide’ soleplate
- Multiple steam options
- Auto shut-off
- Automatic cleaning function
- Auto-clean function can be frustrating
- May leak water on lower settings
- Bulky design takes up lots of space
How Do Steam Irons Work?
Steam irons generate steam by using a built-in boiler to heat water to a very high temperature. Depending on the model, the water reservoir may be located either in the base of the iron or in a separate unit attached by a cord. Once the water has been heated to an adequate temperature to create steam, the steam is then pressurised and forced out through the holes in the soleplate of the iron. As it penetrates the fabric, the powerful steam relaxes and loosens the fibres within, thus allowing any creases to be easily pressed flat by the weight of the iron. The steam also kills most of the bacteria and germs that tend to stick to fabrics. Some also offer a ‘vertical steam ironing’ feature. This is designed to be used on fabrics which are either too delicate or too inconvenient to iron in the traditional way such as curtains. As the name suggests, this is a process which removes creases without needing to press down upon the fabric. This may be available on the iron itself, or via the use of an attached handheld wand.
Types of Steam Irons
When you buy a steam iron, there are two main types to consider: traditional steam irons, or steam generator irons. The best choice for your needs will greatly depend on your habits and workload. Below, we examine the differences between each type in more detail:
Traditional Steam Irons
Some of the best steam irons UK buyers prefer are those that incorporate the water reservoir into the iron itself. In some steam irons, the handle will be hollow to increase the capacity of the reservoir while still maintaining a more compact size. Traditional ones cannot generate as much powerful steam as steam generator irons and will require re-filling with water more frequently. Even so, traditional ones are very effective, simple to use and do not take up much space. Therefore, it is a good choice to buy if you only deal with small amounts of household laundry.
Steam Generator Irons
If you regularly iron heavy-duty fabrics such as denim and linens, or need an iron for commercial use, steam generator irons are likely what you need to buy. Once heated, this type of steam iron offers a constant supply of high-pressure steam power, helping you to get through large piles of laundry fast. The water reservoir is much larger and located in a separate unit, connected to the iron by a hose. This large reservoir doesn’t need to be refilled very frequently. Without the reservoir in the iron itself, this makes it weigh much lighter. However, one downside is the size. The combination of a separate high-capacity reservoir and iron means the overall machine is quite large and bulky. Unless you have a large ironing board, you will likely find yourself having to place the steam generator iron on a chair or nearby table during use.
How to Use a Steam Iron for Best Results
If you are currently looking at a large pile of crumpled laundry, you will be pleased to hear that steam irons are very simple to use. While the functions and individual specifications will naturally vary with each model, most have the same basic options and instructions which are not difficult to master. In this section, we tell you how to get the most out of your steam iron, so you can easily achieve beautiful, crease-free fabrics.
1. Packaging and Manual
When you buy your steam iron, the very first step is to remove all the packaging and read the manual thoroughly. Most manuals will recommend filling the water reservoir while the iron is unplugged and cold. Some have removable reservoirs. Therefore, they can be filled directly under the tap while other steam irons which have fixed reservoirs may come with a pitcher to help you fill it up without spills. Also, check for further instructions on how to clean your steam iron for maintenance and longevity.
2. Fill the Water Reservoir
No matter how you fill it, it is important that you only fill to the max water line marked on the side. This is so you can avoid any splashing or leaking from the machine during use. Always use clean water, or distilled water if possible for best results. Never pour hot water into the reservoir.
3. Plug and Wait
Once you have filled the reservoir to the correct level, plug in the iron and allow time for it to heat. The amount of time required to heat the water will vary depending on the type and model of steam iron you are using. Some can take as little as 2 minutes to heat up.
4. Check the Label
If you are ironing delicate fabrics, it is advised to check the label to find the recommended heat setting. You can then set the temperature level according to this to avoid damage. If your model is equipped with a light indicator, wait for the light to notify you that the iron is hot and ready to use.
5. Iron the Fabric
When your steam iron is ready to go, lay the fabric out across the ironing board as flat as you can. Move the iron with the grain of the fabric, releasing steam regularly to relax and loosen the creases. If the garment has any graphics or vinyl designs, you should iron it inside out so they don’t melt. Furthermore, never iron over buttons or zippers as this can damage them and your iron. Some have special notches in the soleplates which are designed to make it around buttons easier.
A Quick Note About Safety
When setting the iron down, make sure to place it on its heel unless you have a model which has a dedicated ‘no burn’ base plate which it can be safely rested upon. Also, always ensure to keep it facing away from you during use. Not only is it very hot, but any accidental steam ejection can cause burns.
All of the products in our steam iron reviews would make great choices, but if we had to pick our favourite, the winner would have to be the Tefal GV9071 Pro Express. We love how this impressive steam generator iron has enough power for most jobs by offering an incredible 7.5 bar of pressure as well as a hefty 500g boost of steam when required. Five individual settings for various fabrics mean that your clothes stay protected from burns, while those stubborn creases stand absolutely no chance of escape. This iron also provides a generous 1.6L detachable water tank, which means you will spend less time refilling. Other aspects that make this the best steam iron are its easy glide, self-cleaning soleplate, removable scale collector and useful safety lock. Overall, if you want a steam iron which can bring a little joy to your chores, we think the Tefal GV9071 Pro Express Care is the best for you.