The automatic steam feature lets you iron away without adjusting the steam level every time you change the garment. The cord, measuring 3 metres long, makes sure you can place the ironing board pretty much anywhere you want. The 100% active steam holes at the tip, on both sides, and in the middle provide unsurpassed steam distribution.
The model takes ages to cool down.
The Tefal FV9830 is as powerful as it is compact and manoeuvrable. With this steam iron, the largest garment piles will seem like the easiest task you can face. Nevertheless, the model weighs just 1.45 kilogrammes. Plus, the 2-in-1 micro-calc filter delivers 100% pure steam, preventing the most microscopic calc particles from being released.
Steam 55 g/min
Steam boost 240 g/min
Integrated anti-scale and Aanti-scale setting, Micro-calc filter, Auto-off, Anti-drip, Vertical steam, Tip, side, and heart continuous steam diffusion
Spray function, Comfort handle, Stable rest hill, Extra-large water filling hole
The SteamGlide advanced will have no issues delivering improved gliding performance over just about any fabric. It is as non-stick and scratch-resistant as soleplates come. The model's 250 g/min steam boost will let you penetrate deep into the heaviest fabrics and easily remove the most stubborn creases.
The steam boost doesn't last very long.
The Philips GC4567/86 Azur is the best model in the mid-range price bracket. Its performance is excellent. The steam iron does not disappoint on the safety and functionality fronts too. You'll have no maintenance issues. The iron will have no problems keeping your clothes presentable without damaging them.
Steam 50 g/min
Steam boost 250 g/min
Quick calc release in 15 seconds, Drip-stop system, 3-way auto shut-off, Vertical steam
Spray function, Traditional temperature settings, Soft-touch handle
The shaped precision tip enables easy navigation around different decorative details, from buttons to pockets. The curved edges and one rolled edge will be preventing snagging. The stable rest hill will keep the unit secure as you're texting or answering a phone call.
The handle is not especially comfortable.
The Morphy Richards 303131 is powerful yet lightweight and manoeuvrable. Using this steam iron, you'll be able to handle all ironable fabrics, from cashmere and cotton to everything in-between. The IntelliTemp setting will allow you to iron them all without adjusting the temperature.
Steam 55 g/min
Steam boost 200 g/min
Pearl ceramic with Tri-Zone Soleplate technology
Anti-scale, Anti-drip, Variable steam, Vertical steam, Auto shut-off
Intelli Temp (auto temp control), Spray function, Precision tip, Stable rest hill
The tapered tip with a button groove will allow you to reach every corner of any clothing item so that you won't have to deal with those few annoying creases that are often there even after you've ironed the entire thing. The triple-action self-cleaning system simplifies maintenance.
The cover on the water filter is a little awkward to open.
The Russell Hobbs 20630 is all you need to keep a sharp appearance. The modest price combined with the well-thought-out design make this product one hell of a bargain. Being one of the most powerful budget irons, the model will waste a lot less of your time than most similar options.
Steam 45 g/min
Steam boost 210 g/min
Anti-drip, Triple-cleaning action, Vertical steam, Anti-scale, Auto shut-off
Spray function, Button grooves, Soft-touch handle
The handle illuminates when the iron reaches the set temperature. The easy-fill inlet will let you re-fill the iron's tank spill-free. The tank measures 400 millilitres capacity-wise, meaning more ironing and less re-filling. The wide soleplate presses more fabric and removes more wrinkles at a time.
You can accidentally catch the rotating temperature dial sometimes.
The Breville VIN401 DiamondXpress Steam Iron looks more like some elegant decorative article than an everyday household appliance. With its glamorous appearance, the iron conceals much more impressive tech than you would expect from its modest price, including a few interesting features that even premium models are seldom offering.
Steam 70 g/min
Steam boost 200 g/min
Anti-scale, Anti-drip, Auto shut-off feature, Self-clean feature, Vertical steam facility
Automatic steam, Spray function, Soft-grip handle with illumination, Wide heel design
Tefal FV9830 Ultimate Pure
Unparalleled Steam Distribution
The Tefal FV9830 will cost you around 100 quid, which is not cheap. Nevertheless, considering the model's performance and build, the price is more reasonable than you'd expect. Of course, the appliance shares certain similarities with its step-down stablemates as well. For starters, we've seen the Durilium Airglide soleplate before but, this time around, it's been upgraded. Bringing ~33% more glide than the previous generation, the soleplate coasts through garments like nobody's business. But what's more important is the 100% active steam holes at the tip, on both sides, and in the middle, providing unparalleled steam distribution. With these holes, you'll be covering more fabric in less time.
With steam irons, what determines the model's performance is the steam output first and everything else second. In this case, the continuous output reaches 55 g/min, which's nothing to sneeze at, but not quite as impressive as you would expect from the high-end price tag. The more impressive part is the 240 g/min steam boost, taking out the toughest, most stubborn creases within seconds. Contributing towards the same cause is the automatic steam feature, letting you handle sizable laundry loads without setting the steam level for each garment.
2-in-1 Micro-Calc Filter
At this price point, the 3000-watt output comes without saying, making sure that the model heats up within ~25 seconds. Where things get a little hairy is with the cooldown duration. Keeping the same price in mind, this steam iron takes ages to cool down. On the plus side, the 3-metre cord will let you set up the ironing board virtually anywhere, ensuring maximum manoeuvrability and making the ironing experience more comfortable. Likewise, the 350-millilitre tank is plenty generous, so you'll be spending less time refilling and more time ironing.
Whilst this feature does not quite sound as sexy as the ones we've reviewed above, what separates this appliance from its more affordable competition is the 2-in-1 micro-calc filter. Delivering 100% filtered steam, the model prevents calc stains on the linen. Capturing the smallest calc particles inside and producing the purest steam, this feature lets you iron away without worrying about staining your favourite clothes.
Without discussing the features and/or the accessories that are basically obligatory at this level, the Tefal FV9830 makes the otherwise steep price pretty reasonable and a choice in its favour fairly appealing.
|Last updated price||£128.00|
Major Steam Boost Action
The Philips GC4567/86 Azur means business, and it packs a major punch. This little machine doesn't necessarily disappoint on the practicality/functionality front but its biggest selling point has to be the model's performance. Of course, we've seen 2600-watt irons before. The model requires very little time to heat up but, again, that's nothing we haven't seen before.
We can extend the same sentiment towards the 50 g/min continuous steam output. It's alright and gives precisely the right amount of steam to remove regular creases but steam irons that are able to deliver similar continuous steam output are a dime a dozen these days.
We can't say the same about the model's 250 g/min steam boost though. There aren't too many irons that are able to match that and there are definitely no models (as far as we're aware) within this price range that come even close to that. That's big-time performance. It will let you penetrate deep into the heaviest fabrics and easily remove the most stubborn creases.
Setting these numbers aside, the model doesn't necessarily present anything new that we haven't seen many times in high-end steam irons but that is actually impressive considering its mid-range price bracket.
Improved Gliding Performance
The company's SteamGlide advanced soleplate is also no joke. Incorporating next-level titanium layering and detailed coating, the soleplate has no issues delivering improved gliding performance over just about any fabric. It is as non-stick and scratch-resistant as soleplates come, meaning that it is pretty easy to maintain.
Maintenance will present no challenges as far as the entire steam iron is concerned. The 15-second quick calc release feature will make sure cleaning the iron is always a breeze and that its performance will be excellent for years to come.
Philips' drip-stop system has always been effective and the particular example here is no exception. It will be able to keep all garments clean while ironing. The spray function is present, which is always a plus in our book.
Last but not least, the 3-way automatic shut-off feature is extremely convenient and beneficial towards the model's safety side. The iron will shut itself off when you leave the unit standing still. On its soleplate, the iron automatically switches off after two minutes. On its heel rest, the model will automatically turn off after 8 minutes.
Long story short, the Philips GC4567/86 Azur is the best model in the mid-range price bracket. Its performance is excellent. The steam iron also does not disappoint on the safety and functionality fronts, and you'll have no maintenance issues. The iron will have no problems keeping your clothes presentable without damaging them.
|Last updated price||£57.99|
|Stock||May be out of stock|
Morphy Richards 303131 Turbosteam Pro
Morphy Richards appliances are usually effective, efficient, and dependable, all whilst keeping the price affordable. The Morphy Richards 303131 fits this mold with ease. The price's almost too affordable considering how versatile and adaptable this appliance is. To start with, there's the Tri-Zone Soleplate tech that tackles creases from three different angles. First, there're the ~200 g/min steam shot and the model's precision tip that allow you to handle tough creases in hard-to-reach places. In the meantime, the 55 g/min constant steam output will be relaxing the fibres, whilst the pressing plate with its rolled edge will removing excess water to prevent re-creasing.
This tech alone's enough to separate this steam iron from its budget peers and we're only getting started here. Besides the Tri-Zone Soleplate system, the model's drawing and outputting 3100 watts, allowing the unit to reach the desired temperature within seconds so that you're able to start ironing straight away.
All that being said, the issue usually lies not with the timeframe but with matching the fabrics. That's when the model's IntelliTemp setting comes into play though. Adopting only one optimal setting that's nonetheless suitable for all ironable fabrics, the setting allows you to iron without adjusting the temperature between different garments and waiting for the unit to heat up or cool down. Yet, there's also the separate max temperature setting that you can use when you know the fabric can handle anything and do not any time to spare.
Stable Rest Hill
Some find the model's handle pretty fat and thus not necessarily comfortable but that's too subjective. What's less subjective is that, when ironing heavy items, like cotton duvet covers and curtains, the machine does not always get them as crisp and smooth as one would expect, so you'll occasionally have to switch to that maximum temperature setting that we've mentioned above and redo the job.
We're willing to let that slide though since, on the upside, the appliance requires very little attention maintenance-wise. The self-clean feature flushes the tank, preventing limescale builds, so all you have to do is occasionally hold the iron over the sink as the water is flushing through the soleplate. We can also get behind the stable rest hill that allows you to place the iron vertically, address something that requires immediate addressing (anything from a message or a phone call to your cat meowing for seemingly no reason), and go back to ironing without turning off and hiding the unit.
To bring it home, the Morphy Richards 303131 produces immediate results and makes ironing that much more comfortable, all at an affordable price.
|Last updated price||£45.18|
Russell Hobbs 20630
Get It Out of the Way
As per usual, Russell Hobbs provides a quality household appliance at an affordable price. The idea here is simple. Nobody enjoys ironing, including the weirdos who say that they do. But we all like to look sharp. We would all like to spend as little time as possible on ironing. We don't want to buy a new iron every year. We want the process to be as effortless as possible. And, in a nutshell, that is exactly what you'll get out of this steam iron from Russell Hobbs.
Any tool like that starts with power, the power that allows you to use all of its functions. In this case, 3100 watts of power, more than enough to heat up the iron faster than any other similar model in this price range. The faster it heats up, the faster you'll be able to get it all out of the way.
Now, before we move on to the model's functions, we would like to give a quick shoutout to its appearance. Sure, the appearance is not the most important part of an appliance like this, but the sleek architecture and the combination of black and grey make the steam iron look sharp and dynamic, a nice addition to an already impressive product.
Doesn't Waste Your Time
One of the biggest concerns with steam irons is usually the question of maintenance. It's one thing to maintain your clothes but having to keep a tool like that in a serviceable condition is often too much for most people. Luckily enough, that isn't really an issue here, mostly thanks to the so-called triple-action self-cleaning system.
Though a bit too grandiose of a name for our taste, the system essentially boils down to an anti-scale cartridge that keeps the harmful limescale at bay. The cartridge cleans itself, thus minimising the buildup of that scale. This way, it prolongs the service life of the iron and ensures optimal performance for years to come, aside from the aforementioned benefit of hassle-free maintenance.
The usual array of standard features haven't been omitted either. The spray function will soften up the fabric, so it will be easier to iron your clothes. A quick and tiny spritz of water is all you need for a smooth result, without having to increase the heat. With the vertical steam function, you'll be able to get the wrinkles out of hanging garments, curtains, and upholstery. Plus, the variable steam function will help you control the level of steam.
Finally, easily the most noticeable and important part of the model's design is a tapered tip with a button groove. It will allow you to reach every corner of any clothing item so that you won't have to deal with those few annoying creases that are often there even after you've ironed the entire thing.
In short, this Russell Hobbs steam iron is all you need to keep a sharp appearance. The modest price, combined with the well-thought-out design, make this product one hell of a bargain.
|Last updated price||£34.99|
Breville VIN401 DiamondXpress
Steam Like a Diamond
The Breville VIN401 DiamondXpress Steam Iron is not necessarily pushing the envelope but the iron guarantees results without entailing noticeable discomfort, which is not a bad promise when you're discussing affordable models. That being said, this is not some cheap unit that has no discernible features. No, quite the opposite, there's more to this model than meets the eye, starting with the ceramic soleplates that integrates real crushed diamonds.
While we cannot quite prove the claim, we can tell you that the 'plate glides with a smooth action, the smooth action that even the more expensive models seldom match. To add more, the soleplate has been stretched width-wise, with its multi-directional setup enabling effortless all-direction gliding, so you can press more fabric and remove more wrinkles with every glide. Meanwhile, the central steam channels and the unit's precision tip let you remain carefully accurate, shooting steam where and when it is required without hiccups.
Taking a break and settings its performance aside though, let's pivot towards the model's looks for but a moment. While steam irons are not necessarily reliant upon aesthetics, there's nothing wrong with the unit's high gloss white finish that's accented with rose gold embellishment and a glittering diamond print detail. There's certainly nothing wrong with the temperature dial displaying bright crystals, creating this luxurious finish that makes the product look much more elegant and expensive than its price tag would suggest.
Illuminating the Handle
Now, back to the more important features, the iron adopts an effective anti-scale and anti-drip tech that prevents the unit from building up limescale. This is nothing we haven't seen before though. What we haven't seen quite as frequently before is the model's soft-grip handle that illuminates to indicate that the iron has reached the temperature that you've chosen. With this handle, the product's more unique features conclude, but not the more important ones.
Sure, there's nothing new about the unit drawing 3100 watts and ensuring fast heat-up and recovery times but we cannot overlook this part nonetheless. We also cannot overlook the easy-fill inlet that lets you easily refill the tank without spilling, whilst the sizable 400-millilitre tank will ensure that you'll be wasting less time refilling it.
Bottom line, the Breville VIN401 DiamondXpress Steam Iron is an almost glamorous unit that hides an impressive gliding action behind its elegant appearance.
|Last updated price||£39.99|
What Is a Steam Iron?
As the famous saying goes: "Clothes make the man", but it doesn't necessarily mean that you need to fill your closet with clothes. What this means is that you need to put a little effort into keeping the clothes you already own neat and clean. To help you with that, the market offers a lot of useful devices, and a steam iron is one of them. Popular with millions of people from all corners of the world, this device proves indispensable when it comes to quickly getting rid of wrinkles on clothing. Moreover, since it operates using steam, it can instantly give your clothes a fresh look, as well as being used for disinfecting various surfaces. Looking for your perfect tool? You're in luck because for this article, we've picked the best five models of steam irons available right now to meet the needs of everyone.
On the note of helpful devices, you may also be interested in checking our garment steamers review. This device excels at ironing delicate fabrics such as silk, flax, satin, offering you a safe way of caring for your clothes. Also, it's the ideal tool for keeping your clothes fresh between washes. Choose a handheld or full-size model depending on your needs.
What Features to Compare
Power and Steam Options
The most outstanding feature of a steam iron is the power which directly affects the ironing performance. The higher it is, the faster your iron heats up to the pre-set temperature. The steam output also depends on the power, so the more powerful the iron is, the denser the steam release will be, and the more efficient the ironing will be. The average steam output is 75-140 g/min. You should also take a look at the location of steam holes at the base of the iron. They should be spread across the whole surface to provide even heat distribution without hot/cold spots. The capacity of a water tank varies within 200-400 ml. To let you check the water level in the tank, most steam irons feature transparent housings.
The soleplate can be made of aluminium, stainless steel, ceramics or metal-ceramics. Being the thinnest and the most lightweight metal used in electric appliances manufacturing, aluminium boasts exceptional thermal conductivity and therefore, guarantees very fast heat-up. More often than not, the aluminium surface is finished for better sliding over different types of fabric. Ceramic and metal-ceramic soleplates ensure high-quality ironing too; they are scratch- and scuff-resistant, slide well on fabric and do not burn synthetic fabrics.
The manufacturers of steam irons often equip their appliances with the features that make their use more convenient. For example, the calc clean function allows the self-cleaning of the iron, saving users the trouble of cleaning it manually with vinegar or detergents. The auto shut-off function ensures the safety of use. If you do the ironing too often, we'd recommend you to consider the weight of the iron so that you can hold it longer without hand fatigue.
Still, it's not advisable to opt for the smallest items as they might appear inefficient on dense and heavy fabrics. What you should look out for is a good balance between size and weight of the iron.
Of course, the handle has to be comfortable as well because you won't be able to iron for prolonged periods of time otherwise.
Apart from that, these irons sometimes come equipped with heel rests, which are nice since they let you rest the hands yet keep the appliance ready and easily accessible at all times.
This one's pretty obvious yet way too many customers forget to look into this aspect. When the cord is too short, the appliance keeps you tied to the mains, meaning that you're not able to iron wherever you want.
How to Clean a Steam Iron
When ironing delicate or light-coloured fabrics, it is essential for your steam iron to be clean and rust-free. Otherwise, it can permanently stain and damage your clothes, towels, napkins, or any other items you need to iron. Even though a lot of modern devices come with self-clean functions, some of the models may require some maintenance. So here we would like to share a few tips on how to keep your steam iron clean.
One of the most frequently used elements for DIY household cleaning solutions is baking soda. With just some soda and water, you will be able to create an iron cleaning paste that will thoroughly remove all the dirt from the iron's base. Yet, there are a few things you need to remember when using such a paste. First of all, you need to make sure that there are no harsh soda grains in the mix and everything is nicely softened with the water. Otherwise, you can scratch the base of the iron, which will make future cleanings more challenging. And secondly, after removing the solution from the base, don’t forget to clean the steam holes. For that, you can use basic cotton tips. Otherwise, baking soda will get dry ang clog the holes.
The next insanely popular cleaning ingredient is vinegar. With its help, you can remove even the most dried-out stains. There are a few methods of using vinegar for iron cleaning. The first one is to soak a piece of cloth, a towel, or a napkin in vinegar and iron it as you usually do. This way, you will clean the iron base in mere seconds. The second method is to add some vinegar to a water tank and steam a piece of cloth. It will clean the steam holes from the inside and help prevent the appearance of limescale in the steam canals. Yet, you need to make sure that all the cleaning solution is evaporated before adding water and ironing if you don’t want your clothes to smell like vinegar.
Nail Polish Remover or Acetone
If there is some leakage from steam holes that stains the iron base, you can quickly get rid of it by using acetone-based nail polish remover or even pure acetone. Just soak a cotton pad in the remover and gently wipe the base. However, this method is somewhat dangerous since you need to wipe the iron while it is still hot. That’s why don’t forget to wear heat-resistant gloves to prevent burns.
As you can see, there is no need to purchase pricey cleaning solutions to always keep your iron clean and ready for use. So we hope our recommendations will help you with the maintenance of your household appliances in the future.
Q: What does it mean if a steam iron (just bought) contains a little bit of water in the tank? Is it ok?
A: In order to prevent defects in their products, manufacturers test irons using water. Which is why if you notice drops of water in the tank of your new steam iron, it means nothing but the fact that the iron was tested and conforms to the requirements of quality standards. By no means does it mean someone else has used it before.
Q: How does the Quick Calc Release function work?
A: The Quick Calc Release function is the function designed to clean the iron from scale. Using it is as simple as anything. Basically, you do not need to do anything but pressing a single button upon the end of an ironing cycle and the Quick Calc Release will remove the residue of scale from the water container. Why this function is so good is because it doesn't require using any additional cleaners like vinegar or descaling agents, for example. All you'll ever need is use it after each use of the iron.
Q: How does the auto power off function of a clothes iron work?
A: Not all steam irons have an auto power off function, however, those that do offer their owners a great advantage. Even if you ever manage to leave a steam iron plugged in, the auto power off function will turn it off after a certain amount of time. On average, if the iron is left in a horizontal position and not used for longer than 30 seconds, it should turn off in less than 30 seconds. In a vertical position, it switches off in around 8 minutes. For a user's convenience of use, most steam irons feature special indicators that tell them whether the iron is working or not. Suchwise, if the indicator isn't blinking and the iron isn't being moved for some time, it means the auto shut off function has been activated.
Q: What is an automatic steam supply adjustment?
A: Some steam irons have a function of automatic steam adjustment which allows customizing the intensity of the steam automatically in accordance with the type of fabric that needs ironing. This is a very handy feature which will rid you of the necessity to be guessing whether the setting you've chosen is good or not. The steam function isn't constant, though, and if you need to iron delicate fabrics or you've got tasks that require thermo-transfer printing, it can be switched off completely.
Q: Is it necessary to drain water from the tank after each use of a steam iron?
A: The answer is "yes". It is recommended to drain water from the tank after each ironing. This will prevent the accumulation of mineral deposits on the water tank bottom during storage.
Q: What is the best way to store an iron steamer?
A: For sure, if you want your appliance to serve you as long as possible, you should maintain it properly. Disconnect the iron from the mains and drain the water from the water compartment. Place the iron in a safe place and wait until it cools down. Wind the power cord around the back of the iron. Store the iron in an upright position. Following these simple yet useful pieces of advice, you should be able to effectively prolong the service life of your iron.
Q: What's the best type of water to use in a steam iron?
A: Basically, all household appliances are designed to be used only with tap water. It is not recommended to use flavoured water, water containing chemicals or water from the dryer, because this may result in the damage of the steamer. Using distilled water is also not advisable since this type of water does not contain any minerals and hence possesses no conductivity properties. Because of this, the sensor in the water heater may fail to determine the exact water level in the iron. So the only true way is to use simple tap water. In order to protect a steam iron from calcareous deposits formation and prevent corrosion, some manufacturers recommend installing special granules or scale cartridges which filter all salts. This helps to significantly extend the service life of the iron as well as maintain its effective operation.
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2. Buying Guide: Irons, Harvey Norman.
3. Kristie Brown How to Select & Compare Steam Irons, SFGate.
4. Chris Torney How to choose a new iron, Saga. September 22, 2015.
5. Kelly Lynn Marie Steam Iron vs. Dry Iron, eHow.
6. Susan M. Keenan How to Clean Your Iron, DoItYourself.com.
7. Clothes iron, Wikipedia. September 23, 2016.