Modern irons have made it easier and quicker to press and iron out the wrinkles on clothes and steam generator irons are the best of the lot. Steam irons can take care of a small batch of clothes but if you’ve got a large pile you do once a week, a steam generator iron would be ideal. If you find it challenging to choose from among the variety of models in the market, here’s a guide to buying the best steam generator iron and a look at the top favourites.
Steam Generator Iron Buying Guide:
These are the features you need to consider when shopping for a steam generator iron:
1. What kind of soleplate does it have?
The soleplate at the bottom of the iron and which comes into contact with garments is usually made of ceramic, stainless steel, aluminium or other non-stick materials. The most durable soleplates are made of ceramic and are also scratch-proof. Stainless steel is the next best option. Thinner soleplates are also better for ironing clothes with buttons.
2. What is the capacity of the water tank?
Bigger water tanks mean longer steam time; however this also means a bulkier iron which you may not want depending on the space you have for ironing and for storage. You will also need to check how easy the water tank is to fill with water and if there’s a way to tell if the water has run low.
3. What are the safety features?
A must-have safety feature is the automatic shut off which switches the iron off when it’s not used for a period of time. This can vary depending on the brand; but on average, it’s around eight minutes if the iron is left upright and 30 seconds when the iron is lying on its soleplate.
4. How easy is it to use and store afterwards?
Longer cords give you more flexibility and room to move and you’ll want one that’s retractable at the same time for convenient storage. Another thing to consider is the size and weight of the iron. Bigger, and consequently, heavier irons with large tanks can be used longer, but they will also require sturdier ironing boards. Also, check on how long the iron takes to heat up before you can use it.
5. Does it have an anti-scale feature?
Since it’s natural for limescale to accumulate in the iron because of the hard scale water, the latest irons often have anti-scale features like a filter or cartridge.
|Bosch i-Temp TDS4571GB||Powerful 3100W steam generator iron with i-Temp setting for optimum combo of temperature & steam; irons all fabrics without changing temperature; extra deep steam for better fabric penetration; 3 intensive steam shots up to 400g||Very Good||Low||4.1 / 5|
|Braun IS5042 CareStyle 5||Auto Shut-Off 6-bar steam pressure iron with Eloxal 3D sole plate; up to 340g/min concentrated steam output; features Eco mode, anti-calc indicator with 10 minutes auto shut-off & iCare technology||Good||Mid-Range||4 / 5|
|Breville Digital Technique VIN276||High Powered 3000w steam iron with large nano-ceramic diamond-shaped soleplate for increased glide; easy-to-use digital controls with LCD display; 7 fabric settings, 120g steam shot & 60g constant steam||Good||Mid-Range||4 / 5|
|Hoover Ironspeed SRD4110||Features exclusive multi-steam technology, ceramic soleplate for easy glide & steam brush for vertical cleaning; removable for easy refill; fitted with carry handle for easy transport||Good||High||4 / 5|
|Morphy Richards ComfiGrip Steam Iron 301011||Superior ionic soleplate minimizes static & promotes a soft, silky-smooth finish; features high wattage for fast heat-up, 55g constant steam with 200g stubborn crease boost; auto shut-off for safety||Very Good||Mid-Range||4.2 / 5|
|Philips PerfectCare Aqua GC8616/30||Pressurised steam generator produces 5 bars steam pressure & uses OptimalTEMP technology requiring no setting; 120g/min continuous steam & 240g steam boost; T-IonicGlide soleplate glide and scratch resistance||Very Good||Mid-Range||4.3 / 5|
|Rowenta Silence Steam DG8960||Has exclusive built-in Silence Technology to minimise noise; powerful 6-bar pressure and 260g/min steam shot; features Calc-Away anti-scale collector, New Microsteam400 Profile Laser Soleplate with Precision Tip||Good||Mid-Range||4 / 5|
|Tefal Ultimate Anti Calc Steam Iron FV9630||Anti-calc limescale collector for long-lasting steam performance & hassle-free maintenance; features Ultraglide Diffusion soleplate for easy glide, auto-off and extra stable heel with large front opening; 2600W & powerful 200 g/min steam shot||Excellent||Mid-Range||4.4 / 5|
Best Steam Generator Irons 2017:
1. Bosch i-Temp TDS4571GB
The Bosch i-Temp TDS4571GB is a powerful steam generator iron which looks old-fashioned but attractive. With a 1.3 litre water tank, steam is produced continuously, 120g a minute, so you can iron more efficiently; and the 400g per minute steam shot is sure to remove tough creases. This iron also has ingenious settings which can be used for almost any fabric. Heating up time does not take too long, only two minutes, and there’s an indicator light when the iron is low on water plus an anti-scale system. The safety features include automatic shut-off and a safety lock.
2. Braun IS5042 CareStyle 5
Another excellent steam generator iron is the Braun IS5042 CareStyle 5. The temperature settings have no need for adjustment and can cleverly deal with just about any fabric. With a water tank that can hold 1.4 litres and which takes only two minutes to heat up, you can iron uninterrupted for a couple of hours. The 340 g per minute steam shot can also decently remove most creases. Other features of this iron are the auto-shut off and a simple anti-scale system, plus it comes at a reasonable price.
3. Breville Digital Technique VIN276
Household appliances from Breville are always top of the line and the Breville Digital Technique VIN276 is no exception. This handy iron has one of the best soleplates: ceramic, the most durable, and it narrows toward the tip so you can smoothly iron pleats. There are plenty of fabric settings options in the dial control as well as an auto shut-off, anti-scale and self-cleaning feature. The 350ml water tank is easy to handle and the 120g per minute steam shot can manage most creases. The cushioned handle also gives a comfortable and firm grip.
4. Hoover Ironspeed SRD4110
A brand popular for years for their vacuum cleaners, Hoover developed their steam generator iron, the Hoover Ironspeed SRD4110, with the same care and precision. The 1 litre water tank produces sufficiently powerful steam, and up to 120g per minute. You only need to wait two minutes for the iron to heat up as well. Other essential features of this iron are the anti-scale cartridge, auto shut-off and safety lock. A steam brush attachment also comes with the iron so you can steam clothes while they’re hanging.
5. Morphy Richards ComfiGrip Steam Iron 301011
The Morphy Richards ComfiGrip Steam Iron 301011 highlights their special anti-static soleplate which should glide smoothly over most clothes. The water tank is not as impressive as others, 0.35 litres, but can last over 20 minutes before needing refilling. It’s a very handy, easy to store device and it effectively removes wrinkles and creases. It even allows vertical steaming for hanging clothes. There are different temperature settings to suit every type of fabric and of course, it also has auto shut-off and anti-scale features.
6. Philips PerfectCare Aqua GC8616/30
You can always count on Philips to create top quality devices and the Philips PerfectCare Aqua GC8616/30 performs superbly while looking good. Wrinkles and creases are removed with no trouble and the water tank’s capacity is an impressive 2.5 litres, so it lasts quite a while before needing refilling. The water heats up in less than two minutes and the steam settings are automatic, no need for adjustment. The environmentally conscious consumer will also be pleased to note that this iron has an eco-option. The iron has an anti-scale system as well and its soleplate is durable ceramic.
7. Rowenta Silence Steam DG8960
Among its peers, the Rowenta Silence Steam DG8960 stands out for its sleek looks and power. The 1.5 litre water tank yields 120 g per min. of continuous steam and a 260 g per min. steam shot capable of removing stubborn creases. Like its name implies, the Silence Steam is nicely quiet and it even has an eco-option for less steam. The stainless steel soleplate is durable and does a good job of gliding over fabrics. An anti-scale collecting device also effectively removes limescale.
8. Tefal Ultimate Anti Calc Steam Iron FV9630
Tefal is one of the top brands in household products and their steam generator iron, the Tefal Ultimate Anti Calc Steam Iron FV9630 is another bestseller. It uses automatic steam settings so you don’t have to keep adjusting for different fabrics. The 350ml water tank creates 50 g per min of steam lasting several minutes and 200 g per min steam shot. The soleplate is made of ceramic and specially treated so that the iron deals with wrinkles and creases easily and smoothly. There is also an auto shut-off feature and a limescale collecting device for the anti-scale system.
Steam generator irons have many advantages. They have a higher steam output than standard irons so they can iron out creases more efficiently. They also last longer without needing constant refilling of water. So if you’re planning to get a steam generator iron to make your task of household ironing quicker and easier, there are none better than the models we’ve listed.