Steam Iron Reviews, News & Best Buys
Thursday 5th March 2015
Looking for a new steam iron or steam generator iron? With so many different models and features it can be quite a task - and that's before you start price comparing to find the best deal!
Well, help is at hand - we've got news and reviews of the best steam irons and best steam generator irons on the market for 2015, and tracked down all the latest deals from the UK's top retailers.
Which steam iron is the best? We have strict criteria for including products on this site including performance, value for money, features and user feedback. There are many similar irons out there (even from the same manufacturer) so we only include those that meet our criteria.
Latest News, Offers and Best Buys
Most Viewed Products In The Last 24 Hours
New On The Market
Braun Relaunch Iron Range in UK
Premium German brand Braun have recently relaunched their steam irons and 6 models are now available. There are in fact two ranges, the TexStyle 3 for everyday use and TexStyle 7 for the power users among you.
The TexStyle 3 range features two models, the TS345 and TS355A. Competitively priced, they both offer a ceramic soleplate, 30g of continuous steam and a 100g steam shot. The 355A adds an auto off safety feature - one of the cheapest to do so.
The TexStyle 7 range has 4 models, the TS725 and TS745A both have Eloxal anodised coated soleplates for superior scratch resistance, up to 50g of continuous steam and a generous 180g steam shot. The TS745A adds auto off.
The two top models are the TS755 and TS765A with premium Saphir soleplates - 4 times harder than stainless steel and virtually scratchproof! Steam shot is boosted to 200g/min and both irons have a more comfortable open handle design. All 7 series models have large 400ml water tanks.
All models have a 2 year manufacturer's warranty for extra peace of mind. Exclusive hands-on reviews coming soon!
Welcome Morphy Richards
We are pleased to announce that we are now featuring Morphy Richards as a retailer on our site. Buy with confidence direct from the manufacturer!
One of their best selling models right now is the Power Steam Elite 42223 which has a huge 2 litre water tank and delivers up to 180grams of steam per minute!
There's also an auto-shut off facility and a 2 year guarantee for total peace of mind all round.
Steam Irons: A Quick Guide
Here is a distilled version of our buyers guide that tells you all you need to know when looking to purchase an iron for yourself or as a gift for somebody else.
Steam Irons for Light UseIf you're an occasional ironer then pick a steam iron that's quick and hassle-free - look for one with features like a large filling spout, power cord that can wrap around the base and basic controls - steam, more steam and 3 heat settings will probably do!
Irons for Normal, Everyday UseFor regular ironing duties, pick one with variable steam of at last 30g per minute and a 100g steam shot - this should cover you for most eventualities. An auto-off safety feature is good to have, especially in a busy family household where you may be distracted.
Most irons these days have water spray, calc-clean and vertical steam (for ironing hanging garments or curtains). Water tanks should be 300ml or greater otherwise you'll be constantly refilling. Power cords should ideally be 2.5 metres or more.
Steam GeneratorsConsider a steam generator if you have a lot of ironing to do on a regular basis and/or you deal with a lot of thick fabrics like denim. A steam generator can provide much more powerful steam and greatly reduce ironing time. Do remember that steam generators are quite bulky and may need a more robust ironing board or adjacent table/worktop to place the unit on.
Try a Fully Automatic Iron - No Settings to Fiddle WithIf you have a larger budget and find ironing all the different fabrics and related settings too complicated consider an automatic iron. Most major manufacturers offer normal irons and generators that automatically set the heat and steam for you.
SoleplatesIn all cases, you should try and select an iron with a ceramic or anodised coated soleplate for smoothest gliding and maximum scratch resistance. These are better than stainless steel, aluminium or 'non-stick coating'.
WeightIf you will iron for long periods then think about the weight of the iron. An average steam iron can be 1.5kg - 1.7kg when full of water. A steam generator iron may only be 1kg - 1.2kg as the water and many components are in the base unit.
WaterIn most of England you will get 'hard' water from the tap - limescale deposits can clog your iron over time. Use 50% tap water with 50% distilled water and perform the calc-clean procedure regularly.
Bargain Buy Steam Generator!
The Co-Op Electrical Shop have a great deal on the Philips GC8370 steam generator at the moment.
Dating from 2013, it's not one of the latest models, and it's angular plastic appearance won't win any beauty contents.
However it has a great spec that you just won't normally find at this price. 120g continuous steam, 260g steam shot, 5.2 bar pressure, auto-off, ceramic soleplate, eco mode - the list goes on!
Price at less than £100, it's sure to be popular, get it while you can!
Ready for Take Off!
Following on from the success of it's predecessor the FV9920, Tefal have now launched two new models, both available at John Lewis.
Forget any previous experiences you may have had with underpowered cordless irons in the past that only lasted a few seconds before needing a recharge, these irons have 2600 watts and are as powerful as any corded rival.
On it's own, both irons are well priced given the spec, but we think they will particularly appeal to people who find the cord always getting in the way of the ironing.
Two into One?
Meet the Philips Brothers!
Two fairly new entries in the Philips range caught our eye this week. The 2045/26 and GC2045/40 seem technically similar although the colour schemes are quite different and they seem to be available at different retailers (but not both from the same one!). We also think the GC2045/26 comes in a fancy looking box!
Spec wise they both have 2300 watts, 35g of continuous steam and a respectable 120g steam shot.
At the time of writing, Currys have the GC2045/26 (the one with with fancy box) on sale for around £35, beating Amazon by £10!
Best Buy for Autumn
Budget Level Ceramic Soleplate
If you're looking for a budget steam iron but still want a recognisable name and a smooth ceramic soleplate, then the Philips Easyspeed 2042 could be the one.
With only 35g of continuous steam and 100g steam shot, it won't win any awards but this is still a decent amount of steam for most uses.
At under £30 at John Lewis including their renowned 2 year warranty it's hard to beat as an entry level model, and ideal for students just starting uni!
New Review Format!
Morphy Richards 301012
We're revamping our hands-on reviews, with expanded details and more pictures! We're also preparing a brand new look for the website with a fresh layout and mobile compatibility.
In the first of our extended reviews, we look at the Morphy Richards Comfigrip 301012 and see if it's unusual design and low price make one for your shortlist.
New and Updated
Buying an Ironing Board
One thing that helps get the ironing over and done with quickly is a decent ironing board. Trivia note: some manufacturers call theirs 'ironing tables'.
There are many different sizes available depending on your needs and budget so here is our top buying advice plus we summarise some of the best boards on the market right now.
Check the Attachments
Clean Up With the Hoover Steam Generator
Last year Hoover launched their first Steam Generator, and since then it has developed quite a following with some great user feedback. One of it's big talking points is the patented steam brush attachment.
This makes it so easy to steam hanging items like dresses, jackets and curtains. We wonder why nobody thought of it before!
Originally launched at quite a high price, you can now find it for around £150.
New Double-Ender from Panasonic!
Just when you thought there could be no more innovations in steam iron design, Panasonic bring out their new NI range.
As well as being stylish and good to look at, the soleplate is pointed at both ends. So with two 'ends' this means far less rotating and twisting, which should result in a quicker and more comfortable ironing experience.
This short video from Panasonic helpfully demonstrates why this design is so much better than the traditional one. Also note that there are 3 models in this range, but shopping around, this top-of-the-range NI-W920 is just as cheap as the others so making it the best buy model.
New Power Demon from Bosch
Another iron featuring Bosch's 'Edition Rosso' branding, this one certainly lives up to the strong image those colours suggest.
Its got a massive 3050 watts on tap making just about the most powerful iron on the market (only really matched by other Bosch models).
The continuous steam output of 50g is pretty useful and so is the 200g steam shot. It's certainly one for the shortlist if you need an iron that performs as good as it looks.
Fully Automatic Steam Iron
New GC4912 from Philips
If you are often confused about which heat and steam settings to use for particular fabrics, then this could be the iron for you.
It has OptimalTemp technology that has already featured in their steam generator range.
It will automatically maintain safe heat and steam output for any kind of fabric - even delicates like silk and cashmere. There's a button to delivery extra steam for thicker fabrics but that's it for user controls!
Sub £100 Steam Generator
New Entry Level from Tefal
Tefal has finally caught up with other brands and launched a sub-£100 steam generator iron, the "GV5225 Easy Pressing".
It's quite basic in terms of specification, there isn't any kind of anti-calc system and there isn't even a see-through water tank.
It does retain the smooth ceramic soleplate of the bigger Tefal models and the smaller 1 litre water tank does mean the unit is less bulky than them too.
Shock Survey Findings!
14% of UK Households Iron Their Underwear!
Yes, 14% of UK households actually bother to iron their underwear (and 3% said it was none of our business when we asked!)
This is just one fun fact from our UK Ironing Survey we ran back in May. Thank you to all who responded, and congratulations to Mrs A.C. of Yorkshire who won a Spa day for 2!
Click below to see the full survey results.
Biggest Water Tank Around!
New Morphy Richards 42223
If you are annoyed by constantly having to refill your iron with water, then this could be the one for you.
It's 2 litre water tank is pretty much the biggest on the market and even using the top rate of steam (an impressive 180g/minute) it'll take quite a while before a top-up is required.
There's a ceramic soleplate, easy push-button controls and a rather fetching purple and black colour scheme! Good value at around £130.
Must Read New Article!
Steam Generator Irons Round-Up
Here is the first in a new series of our in-depth features in which we look at 5 of the best steam generators on the market at the moment. We've picked a wide selection of the top rated models - it's a must read if you are looking for a steam generator now!
Water for Steam Irons
Water is just water isn't it? Well, actually no.
Many people are unsure about exactly what water they should use in their steam iron or steam generator iron and there seems to be much conflicting advice online.
Read our new article on the subject - use the right water and follow your iron's cleaning procedures to prolong the life of your iron and keep it in tip-top condition.
Oh yes, and check out our cool water animation too!
Worth Watching: A Video Explainer from Philips
Philips PerfectCare - Look No Settings!
Last year Philips launched their revolutionary PerfectCare range of steam generators that are fully automatic - there are no steam or heat settings for the user to worry about, you just have move the iron over your garment and the iron does the rest!
Update: The range now starts at an affordable £150 for the GC9220 which still has a remarkably high specification (decent steam output and big water tank). Great value, and good feedback from users too.
This 2 minute video from Philips clearly shows exactly how the system works:
Ready for Take Off!
Cordless Comeback! (Part 2)
Looks like 2013 could be the year that cordless irons make a comeback. This new one from Tefal follows on from Philips recently launched model (see below)
Forget any previous experiences you may have had with underpowered cordless irons that only lasted a few seconds before needing a recharge.
Like the Philips, this unit is as powerful as an equivalent corded iron and can deliver up to 170g of steam via a handy trigger under the handle. Currently available from John Lewis, it will appeal to people who find the cord always getting in the way of the ironing.
How to Clean a Steam Iron
One of the worst nightmares about ironing is when you get brown or white deposits being spat out of the iron onto your freshly cleaned garments, often causing an unsightly stain.
This short (3 min) video from Bosch clearly explains how to go about cleaning your steam iron or steam generator iron and get rid of those pesky 'bits'!
Large Water Tank - Small Price!
Morphy Richards Best Value Steam Generator
A recent new model from Morphy Richards, the 42221 is priced at around £100 but has a few features that you might not expect at this low price, which has not surprisingly made it a popular buy at the moment.
First, the water tank is extremely generous at 1.7 litres. This really cuts down on the amount of refilling you'll need to do especially over extended ironing sessions.
It also delivers steam at up to 160g per minute, which although is only at 4.5 bar pressure, is still plenty to tackle even thick fabrics. There is a handy auto-off safety feature which is something else not normally found in this price range.
There's some excellent user feedback from Amazon users and at around £100 including delivery, it makes a very strong case for itself!
Cordless irons have been rather conspicuous by their absence in recent years especially from the bigger manufacturers. However Philips have now rectified this with their brand new cordless Azur model.
Although it's cordless, the clever base is in two parts - the iron rest and the cordless charging base. Clever because the cordless base can be attached to the iron turning it into a regular corded one so you get maximum flexibility.
Spec wise the continuous steam output tops out at 30g per minute, which is a little below average these days, though there is a beefy 160g steam shot which should suffice for even quite thick fabrics. The ceramic soleplate is anodilium coated making it ultra scratchproof.
If you are constantly annoyed by the flex of your current iron, this could be the answer! Available now from Amazon and John Lewis.
Updated Range Launched
New Steam Generator Irons From Tefal
Tefal has just released updates to two of it's top steam generator iron models. As well as some upgraded steam outputs, they also deliver pressure at an amazing 5.5 bar with the GV8461 at 6 bar. Also present is a new eco mode which uses 20% less energy. Currently available at a bit of a premium to their replacements, which you might still find available at some retailers.
A replacement for the GV8431, this new model retains the clever anti-calc system of it's predecessor and has the same steam output of 120g (now delivered at the upgraded rate of 5.5 bar) and now also gains the turbo mode of a 240g steam shot which the GV8430 lacked.
Philips Perfect Care Silence
Philips new addition to it's top-of-the-range Perfect Care line is this GC9540 model in a rather fetching gold and white colour scheme.
As well as packing 6 bar pressure (one of only a few steam generators to offer this much) and a massive 290g steam shot it also claims to be much quieter than a normal steam generator, though we've not been able to verify this yet.
It also shares the OptiTemp technology of the other Perfect Care models which basically means the iron will automatically adjust to the fabric type you are ironing and set the correct heat and steam - so no fiddling around with different settings.
It also has an improved anti-calc system which means there is no rinsing out required as is usual with most other generators.
The Ultimate Steam Generator?
New Top of Range from Bosch
With Tefal and Philips both recently launching new top of the range super powerful steam generators, Bosch may have been feeling a bit left out.
Well, now they've rectified that with their new TDS4570GB model, also rather grandly dubbed the Ultimate Steam Generator and so the battle of the top-end steam generators begins!
It has an impressive 6 bar of steam pressure which makes it the most powerful currently available. It can output a continuous 130g of steam and has a massive 250g steam shot, all fed from a 1.3 litre water tank. Naturally there is auto-off, eco mode and an advanced anti-scale system.
Now available from a few retailers such as John Lewis.
Tefal FV4488 Steam Iron
More news from Tefal, and we are seeing a lot of good feedback about the FV4488, a mid range iron.
It features their UltraGlide ceramic soleplate, highly regarded as a smooth glider which is what you'd probably expect from the company that innovated non-stick coatings!
The water tank is a little on the small side and the steam shot only goes up to 100g but this model does have an auto off safety feature - not common at this price. A 3 metre power cord is also very useful.
Easy to Fill - No more Spills!
Russell Hobbs Easy Fill Steam Iron
Called 'Heather' owing to it's bright purple colour scheme, the 17877 features Russell Hobb's unique EasyFill system which has a wide funnel located in the base. So much easier than the usual small filling hole and one of the best steam iron features we've seen recently.
Not only is the illuminated water tank easy to fill, but at 0.4 litres it is also one of the largest capacity tanks in a standard steam iron meaning plenty of steam before a fill-up is required.
The cord, generous at 3 metres, wraps fully around the base which is handy, and the soleplate is made from ceramic so it glides smoothly over any fabric. Good value and ideal for fuss-free ironing!
Help Us to Help You
Your Steam Iron Reviews
We're building up quite a knowledge base of steam iron reviews here, but we can always do with more details and feedback!
If you have experience, good or bad, of a steam iron or steam generator iron featured on this site then why not let us know? you will find a link to a comments form on each of our iron reviews pages. You can even upload a photo if you want!
Just jot down a few pros and cons as you see them and we'll include your comments along with your name so you'll get full credit. The more information we can provide about each product will make it so much easier for new purchasers seeking the best steam iron for their needs.
New Steam Generator Irons
Philips Starts A Revolution!
Imagine a top of the range steam iron that doesn't require any fiddling with temperature settings or fabric types, and yet can allow you to be ironing cotton one minute, and cashmere the next!
Philips have been working with fabric specialists for the last 3 years to create a steam iron that can perfectly iron any fabric type without burning and without having to change anything! The resultant time savings can therefore be quite dramatic. With a 1.5 litre water tank, Philips claim almost 2 hours of steam generation.
This range of steam generator irons will be of particular interest to to people that often have to iron many mixed fabric types and who simply have a lot of ironing to get through - up to 240grams of steam will power through those creases!
> Philips GC9220 PerfectCare Steam Generator Iron
> Philips GC9230 PerfectCare Steam Generator Iron
Best Selling UK Iron Last Year
Bosch Tops The Charts
According to market research experts GfK, the Bosch TDA5620 was the most popular selling steam iron in the UK last year.
With a quick glance at its specification it is not difficult to see why. With 2750 watts on tap it's one of the most powerful and really cuts down heat up times. There's a decent 40g continuous steam output and a 120g steam shot for more stubborn creases.
Theres a long 3 metre powercord and a 2 year guarantee for peace of mind (second year by registering free on their website).
Answering the Question:
What are the Best Steam Generator Irons?
This is a question we are often asked, and the answer really does depend on your budget of course, and also the amount of ironing that you do on a regular basis.
The key things to look for when purchasing a steam generator iron are:
- Ceramic soleplate for the smoothest possible gliding
- Sufficient wattage for quick heat-up times - ideally 2400 watts or higher
- Anti scale system to prevent damaging limescale build-up
- Large water capacity - the bigger the better for power users
Read through our steam generator iron reviews to find the perfect one for your needs.
Here is a quick summary version of our exclusive steam irons buyers guide
Demystifying The Jargon
Emit low rate continuous steam, but often have higher "burst shots" for stubborn creases
A hand held iron is coupled to a separate unit with a large water tank producing higher rates of continuous steam for longer. Can halve time spent at the iron
Measured in grams per minute, continuous steam is a constant output; a steam shot is a higher, short burst
Ceramic or stainless steel are best and give smoother gliding and are more scratch resistant
In additon to the basic temperature presets, some irons can regulate temperature and steam for different fabric types
The higher the wattage the quicker the iron heats up
Longer cords (up to 3 metres) will give more flexibility when ironing larger items
Iron curtains and clothes as they hang
A safety feature that switches the iron off after a period of inactivity
Choosing The Right Iron
There are many irons on the market, but when it comes to deciding whether you need a steam iron or a steam generator, and how much steam output to go for, there are three main things to review: the size of your average ironing load, the types of fabrics and how often you use the iron.
Other factors include the length of the cable and anti-scale systems if you live in a hard water area. We recommend to try and get one with a ceramic sole plate if possible - they give the smoothest gliding.
If you don't iron on a regular basis then normal steam irons with around 30g of constant steam and a shot of around 80g should suffice.
For an average family's weekly ironing needs, consider a more heavy duty steam iron with greater constant steam. Look for one with 2400 watts or more - they heat up and stay hot, quicker. If you have a lot of thicker or crease prone fabrics then you may want to consider a steam generator.
Does your ironing pile never seem to go down, iron working overtime? You would certainly benefit from the extra muscle of a steam generator. Their large water tanks can produce huge amounts of high pressure steam for a couple of hours before a top-up is needed. You won't want to go back to using a regular steam iron ever again!