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 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
Dubbed "the ultimate weapon against limescale", the scale collector picks up 10 times more scale particles than your average anti-scale solution. Aside from impressive performance, the collector is also removable. You can simply pull it out at the rear of the device and clean the whole thing in a minute.
The instruction manual could use some improvement.
The Tefal FV9788 is being advertised as the ammo you need to battle limescale. But we would say that this steam iron is a fairly well-balanced product that has quite a lot to offer and a sufficient number of well-executed functions to compete with the best in the business.
Steam 55 g/min
Steam boost 230 g/min
Durilium Airglide Autoclean
Vertical steam, Anti-scale function, Scale collector, Anti-drip, Auto shut-off
Automatic steam, Spray function, Cord storage compartment
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||£99.99|
Major Steam Boost Action
The Philips GC4567/86 Azur means business. This steam iron packs 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 no joke too though. 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 too.
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 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 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.
|Last updated price||£57.99|
|Stock||May be out of stock|
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 that, 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, Russell Hobbs 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||£32.00|
Don't Let Limescale Win
More than fifty percent of homes in the United Kingdom are supplied with hard water. That hard water is the biggest cause of limescale. Without some sort of anti-scale feature, you will end up with loads of scale particles inside the iron. These particles don't just shorten the lifespan of the appliances but also stain your clothes.
Which is why the primary focus of people behind this particular steam iron was the scale collector. Dubbed as the ultimate weapon against limescale, the company's very own scale collector picks up about 10 times more scale particles than your average anti-scale solution. Aside from performance, the best part about this scale collector it that is is also removable. You can simply pull it out at the rear of the device and clean the whole thing in a minute. Thanks to this feature, your steam iron will last longer and deliver efficient crease removal season after season.
Serious Steam Boost
Of course, the anti-scale function with the scale collector is one of many features that define this product. But the one we would like to focus on for now is the steam boost. Any steam iron comes equipped with this function, but very few of them feature a 230 g/min output. With steam boost this powerful, you will be able to tackle and subdue any crease in a heartbeat. The feature can also be used for vertical garment steaming. All you have to do is pulse the trigger and steam away.
You can't always rely on the steam boost. But the model's 55 g/min continuous steam output is also one of the best in its price range. It relaxes fibres and allows you to handle just about any load of laundry.
Every clothing item is different, mostly because every fabric is different, too. But the model's automatic steam setting is pretty good at adapting to every fabric. It won't ruin your clothes and it will allow you to enjoy effortless high-precision ironing.
All of the usual features like the spray function or the anti-drip one are also there. You're probably familiar with them by now so we don't feel the need to give them too much attention. But we would like to highlight the Durilium Airglide Autoclean soleplate. The said Durilium technology provides superior glide and steam distribution, another element of the model's design that ensures an effortless ironing process.
Again, the Tefal FV9788 is being advertised as the ammo you need to battle limescale. But we would say that this steam iron is a fairly well-balanced that has quite a lot to offer and a sufficient number of well-executed functions to compete with the best in the business.
|Last updated price||£57.99|
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||£42.00|
What Is a Steam Iron?
It is natural that we all want to look nice, neat, and elegant. And this is where the saying "Clothes make the man" is just to the point. Wearing clothes that look fresh and ironed can help make the right impression on people anywhere you go. A steam iron is a household appliance designed exactly for this purpose and is used by millions of people worldwide. With it, not only will you be able to quickly get rid of wrinkles on clothing, but also you will be able to disinfect and add a fresh look to it. The manufacturers are gradually improving their products, doing their best to make steam irons they produce as usable, ergonomic, and functional as possible. Our steam iron reviews should help you make up your mind and choose the type of steamer that meets your requirements and budget best.
A garment steamer is one more useful appliance, designed for ironing delicate fabrics such as silk, flax, satin, etc. that you may want to add to your arsenal of household devices. It will easily and carefully iron your valuable blouses, scarfs, and other delicate clothes with a matter of a few minutes.
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.
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. How to buy the best steam iron or steam generator iron, Good Housekeeping.
3. Buying Guide: Irons, Harvey Norman.
4. Kristie Brown How to Select & Compare Steam Irons, SFGate.
5. Chris Torney How to choose a new iron, Saga. September 22, 2015.
6. Kelly Lynn Marie Steam Iron vs. Dry Iron, eHow.
7. Susan M. Keenan How to Clean Your Iron, DoItYourself.com.
8. Clothes iron, Wikipedia. September 23, 2016.