This model uses Smart Technology, which provides the optimal balance of heat and steam for five fabrics such as synthetic, cotton, wool, silk and linen. As a result, you won't need to deal with an array of complicated controls and will be able to get started at a single touch of the button.
Takes some time to cool off after switching from high to medium settings.
The Tefal GV9071 is a top choice for those users who want to have a sufficient level of control over the ironing process but don't want to deal with a whole array of useless and often underwhelming settings.
Durilium Airglide Autoclean
Patented removable scale collector, 5 settings, Spiral protect, Handy lock system, Auto-off, Eco mode
Soft-grip handle, Stable base, Auto-cord rewind
The AutoClean feature will be removing limescale without any involvement on your part. The descale light will illuminate, telling you when it is due but this is only to notify you. The cable storage compartment around the base lets you keep the cables and wires nice and tidy.
The iron gets quite heavy when it is full of water.
The Morphy Richards 332013, with its steam tank-inspired profile, matches the menacing appearance with tremendous performance. Though the 310 g/min steam boost is nothing to sneeze at, the 200 g/min constant steam output will be enough to handle the most stubborn creases.
AutoClean feature, Variable steam settings, Vertical steam, Auto shut off
Soft-grip handle, Stable base, Auto-cord rewind, Safe and easy carry lock
1 year (+1 year after registration)
This steam generator boasts great convenience. The OptimalTEMP technology that it utilises saves you the need to set it manually and guess the temperature. In addition to that, it makes an easy job of removing tough wrinkles while also lowering the risk of burning your clothes.
Emptying the water tank could be easier.
Philips' GC7842/46 is suitable for both vertical steaming and traditional ironing. Thanks to the ProVelocity technology, it has a very compact design and requires very little storage space, making it a great deal for dormitory rooms, home use, trips, and many more.
Auto off, Eco mode, Smart descaling, OptimalTEMP technology
Soft grip handle, Stable base, Power cord storage, Safety carry lock
Reaching 8 bars, the iron can penetrate the thickest, heaviest fabrics. Featuring 5 steam and temperature settings, the model lets you choose between quite a few steam and heat combinations. The Autoclean catalytic coating protects the soleplate from stains.
Little space for the cord and plug.
The Tefal GV9580 is a powerhouse, offering not just high-end specs but also more settings and convenience features than you can find virtually anywhere else. To add more, the Protect system works like a charm preventing stains, whereas the new and improved scale collector picks up 10x more scale.
Durilium Airglide Autoclean
5 steam & temperature settings, Removable anti-scale collector, Scale alert, Vertical steam, Auto shut-off, Protect system
Soft-grip handle, Stable base, Auto-cord rewind
Elaborately designed, the Russell Hobbs steam generator will never run out of steam. Delivering 4.5-bar pressure, the appliance has a continuous fill feature, in other words, you can top up the water tank without turning the unit off.
It takes some time for the steam to appear as you press the button.
Featuring a sturdy and reliable base and boasting a fast heating time, this unit is a real find for those who want to spend less time ironing. The steam generator iron uses a calc cleaning system that filters the water on its way to the reservoir to reduce the limescale build-up. The appliance will easily handle even deep-set creases.
Anti-calc cartridge, Removable water tank, Temperature ready light, Power indicator light
Soft grip handle, Stable base, Cord storage
Control the Process
The Tefal GV9071 will prove to be a great option for those individuals that know exactly what they're doing when it comes to ironing, ergo they know exactly what they want out of a clothes iron. Where some manufacturers fall into the trap of incorporating way too many setting options and others fail to deliver enough of them, the people behind this one managed to gracefully land right between these two.
What allowed them to achieve such a feat is the Smart Technology that provides the user with the most precise ironing results, all at a single touch of a button. You won't have to deal with an array of complicated controls, just choose one of the preset ironing levels – ‘synthetics’, ‘silk’, ‘wool’, ‘cotton’ and ‘linen’ and let the model sort out the rest for you by ensuring the optimal balance of temperature and steam for each fabric.
In terms of performance, the Tefal steam generator iron offers a steam output of 120 g/min, which isn't too shabby at all, but what is far more impressive is that the model produces up to 7.5 bars of pressure while releasing the ridiculously powerful steam boost of up to 500g/min, something that no other steam iron out there is capable of offering its customers, at least as far as we know. Suffice it to say, you will be able to deal with any wrinkle in no time by simply activating the steam boost option.
Then, there's the double protection system that, in addition to the usual anti-scale technology, also protects your clothes by utilising the anti-drip function. As you'd probably guess, the latter will be able to virtually eliminate any potential risk of garment staining. The system simply catches all of those dirty water droplets and transforms them into steam before they ever have a chance of staining your precious clothes.
Of course, all of that works through the Durilium Airglide Autoclean soleplate, one of the better parts of this model that delivers exceptional steam distribution, all while providing +33% extra glide if you compare it to Tefal gv8461 and other previous iterations of its line.
Without even touching upon the subjects of safety and transportation, something that this product excels at just as well, we can say that the Tefal GV9071 is the best steam generator iron for those customers that prefer to have a sufficient level of control over the ironing process but don't want to deal with a whole array of useless and often underwhelming settings.
Morphy Richards 332013
The Morphy Richards 332013 looks peculiar even by steam generator irons' standards, which are odd-looking machines to begin with. There's nothing odd about its output though. Featuring 200 g/min constant steam and 310 g/min pressurised steam boost, the unit offers intense crease-busting prowess steam production that is able to easily penetrate multiple layers, cutting the ironing time in half. Even the toughest fabrics do not stand a chance.
Using the Ceramaslide soleplate, you'll be gliding the unit across different garments with matching ease, removing creases without ruining these garments thanks to the non-stick coating. The unit lets you switch between multiple steam output and temperature settings, so you can go from ironing shirts to jeans to the kids' school uniforms to different bedding items too. Besides that, this iron also offers vertical steaming. With this mode, you'll be removing creases from hanging curtains and refreshing duvets and mattresses.
With great steam output come great water needs. Fortunately, the 2200-milliletre tank more than fulfils these needs, allowing you to spend less time refilling and more time steaming. Because the tank is so spacious though, the unit gets quite heavy when it is full of water but this is the trade-off we're willing to accept.
We can also talk about the AutoClean feature removing limescale and the safe carry lock but even without them, the Morphy Richards 332013 makes a pretty compelling case, offering you the steam output powerful enough to penetrate multiple layers and allowing you to iron without taking frequent breaks.
|Last updated price||£189.00|
Philips GC7842/46 PerfectCare Compact
Compact Yet Mighty
Philips offers an extensive line of household appliances that can make your life easier. One such appliance is the Philips PerfectCare Compact Steam Generator Iron. What's cool about it is that it can both reduce the ironing time and provide excellent results.
To begin with, this steam generator is one of the safest models to use on all types of fabric, including the most delicate ones. Thanks to the OptimalTEMP technology, it automatically detects the optimal combination of heat and temperature for any particular type. As a result, there is a lower chance to burn down your clothes.
Another thing that sets this model apart from its rivals is the size. This steam generator iron is significantly smaller than most similar irons, allowing you to easily fit it on an ironing board and store it away after use. Despite its smaller size, the unit boasts a working power of 2400 watts, which allows it to generate a 120 g/min steam stream.
The only component of the iron that was affected by the size reduction is a water tank. It fits around 1500 ml, which is slightly less than the other reviewed models. That said, it is still enough to iron and steam a decent amount of clothing without a refill.
So, if you are looking for a decent steam generator suitable for vertical steaming and horizontal ironing, consider opting for the Philips GC7842/46 PerfectCare. It is powerful yet delicate, compact, and has a reasonable price.
Tefal GV9580 Pro Express Ultimate High Pressure
An Almost Different Breed
The Tefal GV9580 is a massive machine that delivers professional results. Before discussing its specs, the company's Protect system, converting droplets into steam, is able to prevent stains, whilst the upgraded scale collector collects ten times more scale, ensuring long-term use without hiccups.
But, as far as premium steam generator irons go, the biggest difference has to come from the specs. To that end, this model outputs 8 bars, 180g/min continuous steam, and 600g/min steam boost, delivering efficient ironing and handling even the toughest, most stubborn wrinkles with ease. Removing these numbers from the equation, the subject iron comes equipped with 5 steam and temperature settings on the handle, so you can switch between different steam and heat combinations, accommodating the fabric at hand.
As always, Tefal steam irons are not complete without the Durilium Airglide Autoclean soleplate. Besides giving you ~33% more glide, the soleplate improves steam diffusion, spreading it across the entire garment, whilst the Autoclean catalytic coating keeps the 'plate stain-free.
The easy-carry lock is nice, offering safe and secure protection. Likewise, the 1.9-litre removable tank is not bad either, covering sizable laundry piles without frequent refilling.
Even without discussing the small but handy little features like scale alert or the usual soft-grip handle and auto-cord rewind that steam generator irons always have these days, the Tefal GV9580 is a different breed, a breed that's worth a premium cost.
|Last updated price||£279.00|
Russell Hobbs 24420
Cuts Your Ironing Time in Half
If you want to get through piles of ironing with minimum time and effort spent, consider buying the Russell Hobbs 24420 steam generator iron. The steam produced by this powerful unit can penetrate several layers of fabric, smoothing even the most stubborn creases. Equipped with a continuous fill feature (you can add water to the reservoir without turning the unit off), the appliance will keep producing steam for as long as you need. The water tank is pretty capacious too—it can be filled with 1.3 litres of water.
The unit has a 60-second heat-up time, so it will be ready for use in no time. Offering 4.5 bar pressure, the machine uses 90g steam output for removing crinkles and creases. To make ironing as smooth as possible, the iron has a stainless steel soleplate with a non-stick coating. Needless to say, it was designed to withstand the powerful steam the generator produces. When not in use, the iron locks to the base for easy storage and transportation. There is also handy storage for the cord and lead.
Finally, the steam station iron has an ergonomic calc cleaning system that filters and purifies the water you add to reduce limescale build-up and eliminate the need for cleaning the reservoir.
Summing up, if you are looking for an efficient and reliable steam generator iron for home use, consider this Russell Hobbs model. Though it has a smaller water tank compared to its rivals, the unit is also more compact and portable.
What Is a Steam Generator Iron?
Cleaning clothes is an everyday task that, in most cases, can be handled at home if you use the right tools. That's exactly where a steam generator comes in, a home appliance with a water tank meant to smooth wrinkles and creases with steam.
Although most steam generators look very much like conventional irons, they are not the same. The former come equipped with a water tank and pump water into a special chamber, where it evaporates, turning into steam.
The advantage of ironing with steam is that it softens fabric by adding moisture and eliminates foul odours. So, compared to regular irons that often dry out clothes, damage them, and leave prints and markings, a steam generator iron takes care of your garments and ensures that they remain in good shape for years to come.
Surely, steam generators are a bit more demanding in terms of maintenance than traditional irons; however, the advantages they offer make them well worth it.
On the note of domestic chores, we also recommend that you read about iRobot Roomba robot vacuums. A breakthrough in the cleaning industry, they can take the burden off of you by doing all the tedious work for you. Another appliance you may be interested in is a garment steamer. Make sure to read our next review.
What Features to Compare
A pretty straightforward parameter—the more powerful your device is, the faster it works, and the easier it will be to deal with big piles of clothes. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and you’ll have to wield the more powerful appliances carefully so that you don’t damage your outfits. While a 2000 W iron will smooth wrinkles more efficiently than a 1000 W one, in fact, anything below a thousand should mostly be used as a travel model. Anything above two thousand is a good iron that will be sufficient even for a big family. Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the electricity expenses and, if you want to have a lower bill, consider getting a medium-power model.
You won’t need to make whole clouds of steam that fill the room, but larger garments need more output and if you have a big family, you should consider a more powerful iron. Plus, don’t forget to check the number of holes through which the steam is emitted. The more, the better, as it allows steam to spread and reduces moisture.
Water Tank Capacity
The bigger the water tank is, the less often you’ll have to refill an iron during ironing. This saves you time and is just overall more convenient. Of course, a bigger tank might also mean a larger appliance that might be tougher to handle.
While most types of coating have their own advantages and should be chosen accordingly, there are some that we’d recommend over others. Depending on the material, the sole may glide easier, hold temperature better, and require lower or higher maintenance. One of the most popular coatings is stainless steel that smoothly glides on all clothes, is easy to clean and difficult to damage even after years of use. It does, however, get stained really fast and isn’t the most hygienic material out there. High-end irons often use ceramic soles, which are more gentle and don’t damage the fabric. Plus, they slide like a knife into butter. But ceramic is easier to break and requires very careful treatment.
Make sure that the model you buy has some useful extra features such as a steaming function, calc away and lock systems. Don't fall for flashy extras meant to pad out the features list, such as additional indicators or some sort of reinforced handle. The latter should be a simple soft-grip type that will be comfortable to hold for a long period of time.
Did you know?
Appliances such as a clothes iron have become so commonplace that we barely ever pay any attention to them. However, the household device has a long and complicated history, which we’re going to dive into right now!
Everything Is Made in China
Way, way back in the first century, the journey towards a modern smoothing iron began. In China, where progress has always seemed to be surging ahead, boiling hot water was poured into metal pans which were then used to get rid of creases and smells in garments. Of course, this is far from the appliance we use today, but the method at its core is the same. The white-hot pan would warm clothing as well as smooth it, despite not being as advanced.
When in Rome
A few centuries later, Romans decided that an approach as refined as “warm water in a pan” was too basic for them. They want for a unique technique called “using metal hammers to hit clothes really hard until the creases are smoothed”. Pretty innovative stuff, really, though it failed to catch on in modern times. It was, however, called a flat iron, largely because it was, indeed, flat and, most of the time, made of iron.
Variations on Perfection
Look, if we had the absolute wonder that was the Roman flat iron nowadays, society would have been unquestionably better. But sadly, sometime in the fifteenth century or so, someone came up with an idea to make the device hollow and fill it with a heat source. Anything was acceptable, from burning coals to, you guessed it, boiling water. With that, people began to think that hitting clothes wasn’t the optimal approach and began to actually use the process of ironing.
In the seventeenth century, the gas iron was invented. It could be hooked up to the household’s gas line via a special pipe and, using a burner, heated itself up. Even gasoline was used sometimes, which would drive modern car owners mad.
As Close as It Gets
At the end of the seventeenth century, electricity became pretty common and available to households all over the world. And in 1882, the plug-in iron was invented, the first electricity-powered appliance of its kind. Of course, it was pretty basic with no temperature controls or any of the cool features we have now. In fact, it was actually heated on a special stand and both the heating and the cooling occurred gradually and somewhat slowly. One load of laundry would require several reheatings, which could take hours.
Two centuries later, the very first steam model was invented, finally reaching pretty close to the ones we use today. A journey this long is worth respect even if it was rocky and, occasionally, extremely strange. We went from hitting our clothes with rocks to heating up gasoline (do not try this at home) to using danger-free and ecologically friendly steam! So when you’re using your electrically powered steam generator iron, don’t lament how boring it is to smooth your outfits, remember that you could be sitting outside and smacking your jeans on a stone instead. We’ve got it good compared to those poor crazy Romans and their mallets.
Q: Could steam damage more delicate garments such as nightwear or underwear? Should I be worried about leaving them ruined after using this kind of device?
A: Most delicate fabrics actually benefit from a steam cleaning. For example, fluffing woolen outfits with steam erases wrinkles as well as gives them a fresher look. Just try not to touch the clothes, simply hover above the outfit with the sole. You’ll also see your silk clothes become good as new if you use just a bit of steam on them, as long as you remember not to use the iron directly. In fact, just as a rule of thumb, try to only apply steam to any delicate materials. Direct contact is not necessary for cleaning. Cottons and linens can be steam-cleaned as well if you want some really fresh bed sheets or need a crisp shirt for a job interview.
Q: Someone in my family is allergic, would steam ironing help at all?
A: Steam destroys bacteria and not just the kind that creates the odor on your clothes. It can eliminate dust mites and other undesirables that may contaminate the outfit. If you need a way to curb allergies, steam cleaning might actually be one of the easiest as well as the most affordable methods. Use steam on everyday clothes to destroy allergens and alleviate any reactions. That way you don’t have to resort to chemicals, which may be used during dry cleaning and trigger allergies. It’s safer and simpler!
Q: Is there a certain procedure to using steam on different clothing types? Where should I start and how much steam does a garment need?
A: Other than trying not to touch the fabric and steaming it from a distance, the procedure doesn’t have too many rules. What we could only add is that it's best to clean it from the top to the bottom methodically going through sleeves and cuffs. In case your garments have some sort of lining, it has to be steamed first and only then the outside of the outfit.
Q: Can I use special liquids instead of water? I have some perfume that I want to use in order to add some fragrance to my garments!
A: Adding anything but water to the tank can be extremely dangerous and could potentially ruin your appliance. While it may be tempting to experiment a little, we’d advise against resorting to any unusual fuel unless it’s specifically stated in the manual that this type of liquid can indeed be used. A steam generator is a pretty simple device and you don’t need to fill it with distilled or carbonated water so why bother experimenting on something that already works?
Q: Is it possible to use the steamer option as a drying method?
A: While steam is quite hot and can be used to clean garments, only high-end models provide pure steam while low-cost ones may have some moisture mixed in, which will leave your clothes a bit damp in spots. That would be easier to dry than a completely wet outfit but we only recommend resorting to such methods when you’ve run out of options. In fact, if the fabric is not too delicate, just use the basic ironing function instead, it will work just as well and save you time. We’d only advise steam-drying materials like silk or wool, which shouldn’t be ironed the standard way.
1. Ironing: Tips and Guidelines, HowStuffWorks.
2. Esra Gurkan Expert Home top tips for IRONING your clothes revealed, Daily Mail. April 25, 2017.
3. 10 Ironing Tips, Momtastic.
4. Mary Marlowe Leverette How to Iron Clothes Correctly, The Spruce. March 3, 2018.
5. Stephanie Mitchell How to Properly Use a Steam Iron, SF Gate.