Tried and Tested – Steam Irons
Irons are these days packed with features to make the job easier and quicker. We took a look at budget, cordless and steam-generator options and challenged them to smooth a dry cotton pillowcase, damp tea towel, a man’s dress shirt and a frilly delicate.
Steam generator irons
These irons sit on top of a large water tank. The pros are they can handle a heavy workload with ease and produce steam at a consistent heat and power. The cons? They are large, can be heavy to lift and are more expensive.
Hoover IronVision Elite
shop.hoover.co.uk, Argos, Amazon
With a large 2-litre tank, this iron makes short work of bone-dry cotton pillowcases and slides quickly and easily over silk, without snagging. If you have a lot of ironing to get through in a week, this is a real time saver – a work shirt can be done in less than a minute. It can also be used vertically, for curtains or suits, for example. However, you need to remember to do a manual limescale removal every couple of months.
Beldray 2400W Steam Surge Pro
This 2-litre tank-fed iron proved a high-performance model. Creases were removed easily and the smooth gliding of the plate made ironing a pleasure. Also offers vertical steaming, which is great for your curtains or even to give T-shirts on hangers a quick going-over before putting away. We loved the inbuilt anti-calc filter, which helps to prevent limescale, which can damage. When heating up, the tank can sound like a kettle!
Paying half the cost of a high-performance steam generator iron doesn’t have to mean double the creases. If you want an iron that delivers, but don’t want to pay over the odds, these are for you…
Tefal Maestro Steam Iron FV3770
flubit.com (a new British website offering thousands of products at discount prices)
A good little performer, easy to handle, lightweight without being feeble, and a great price too. Its 300ml water tank means it doesn’t need constantly refilling, the steam shot was more than able to tackle stubborn creases and the long cord allows for good manoeuvrability. It self-maintains, too, with built-in anti-scale and self-clean properties.
Tefal Ultraglide Anti-Scale FV2660
This steam iron features Tefal’s patented scale collector technology, designed to remove limescale particles directly from the steam chamber so the steam holes will never block. We found the steam power and the steam boost that blasts away stubborn creases stayed consistent, though it did use up water super fast. The black container also made it hard to see how much water remained – but otherwise, a solid performer.
Morphy Richards Turbo Steam Pro Iron 303116
This proved an efficient iron, and the generous 400ml water tank meant refills weren’t too often. It also has an anti-static plate. which helps it to glide over delicate fabrics like a dream. Our tester also loved the safety cut-off feature – it turns off after it has been lying flat for 1 minute or after it has been in the upright position for 8 minutes. Great for those who “forget” to turn things off!
Cordless irons make life easier, allowing you to iron anywhere and avoid the cord tangling with clothing, and they can make irons a little lighter to use. But is the power and performance up to scratch?
Tefal Freemove Cordless Steam Iron
If you’ve only ever known corded models, the freedom to manoeuvre this iron where you please is quite a revelation. It is necessary to place the iron into the base, which clips to the ironing board for safety, every 30 seconds or so, but it becomes second nature. Speedy reheating – a couple of seconds – was welcome. Best performs using the steam facility, but holding on to the steam button throughout a session of ironing could be quite difficult for weaker hands, and the weight of the iron became a bit of an issue.
Phillips Freedom Cordless 2400W Steam Iron 23300
With its upright charging base this looks a bit different from other models – and you need to be sure you point the hot bit away from you! It attaches to your ironing board and the compact size is excellent. We liked that the base cord wraps neatly for storage. It takes less than 6 seconds to reheat, and is quite powerful. We liked the clever light that indicates the status of your iron at any time, as well as the vertical steam and spray function.