The 13 best Steam Irons of 2020 UK

Iron any crease in shirts, blouses, pants and other clothes quickly with the very important helper the Steam Iron, whcih belongs in every household.

Which steam Irons are the best in comparison?

– The best steam iron can be found in our best seller overview. We have taken a detailed look in our guide for what to look when buying one.

➤ Click here to go directly to the winner out of the best seller.

Top Best selling Steam Iron

How to Choose the Right Steam Iron

Ironing is easier when the textiles are slightly damp. The water vapor does not only have a superficial effect. It penetrates the textile fabric, causes the fibers to swell a little and thus ensures that wrinkles are quickly ironed out.

 

Ironing with steam is an advantage, especially with thick and firm fabrics such as linen or cotton.

 

Important criteria when buying include the amount of steam, the size of the water tank, the coating on the soleplate, the performance and the range of functions.

 

Extra functions such as automatic switch-off, overheating protection, eco mode and a descaling function ensure safety and a longer service life of the steam iron.

Steam Ironing

Ironing is one of the most unpopular household task which can hardly be avoided by anyone while a freshly ironed shirt, on the other hand, looks great. Smooth fabrics feel much more comfortable on the skin. Ironed clothes also look neat and well-groomed. Wearing ironed clothes at an official meeting also conveys respect for each other. Therefore, on a festive occasion, it is appropriate to appear in wrinkle-free clothing. In some business sectors, too, you cannot do without a suit, tie and ironed shirt. Or how convincing would a lawyer look in a wrinkled shirt?

It doesn’t help: we have to pick up the hot iron every now and then. With the right iron, we even have the opportunity to let off some steam.

How the steam irons work?

Steam irons now dominate the range of irons on the market. Be it at home or on the go as a travel iron. No wonder, because an iron with steam glides effortlessly over the laundry. The annoying ironing is done quickly and at the same time with the best results.

The (removable) water tank is the typical feature of the steam iron. The plastic handle and heated soleplate are of course just as available as with the conventional iron. The water in the tank turns into water vapor at a certain temperature. When ironing, this flows at the push of a button through small holes in the soleplate – the steam nozzles – onto the laundry and slightly dampens it.

This slight moisture simplifies the ironing process. The water vapor softens the textile fibers, making them easier to shape. The moisture evaporates due to the heat from the soleplate. With thicker textiles in particular, the steam can draw the heat into the laundry better. The effect: the laundry becomes nice and smooth with little effort.

With a steam iron, ironing with a burst of steam is only possible from a higher or highest temperature level, with most irons from level 3.

What are the advantages of the steam iron?
  • Ideal for little ironing
  • Takes up little space
  • Fast ironing of firm and thick fabrics as well as heavily creased laundry
  • Low energy consumption
  • Cheap price

Which one is better - Steam iron or steam station?

The steam iron is the most popular model on the market. Thanks to the steam mechanism, the iron with water tank effortlessly irons any suitable fabric in a very short time without creasing. The laundry is smoothed using heat, pressure on the laundry and steam. In contrast to the dry iron, the steam iron delivers a very good performance even with thick fabrics and heavily creased items of laundry.

 

As with all household appliances that work with water, steam irons also run the risk of damage from lime scale, especially in areas with a higher degree of water hardness. To avoid this, experts advise using distilled water instead of tap water. This means that additional costs can arise.

Irons with an integrated water tank are cheaper to buy than a steam ironing station. However, the water tank is relatively small and may have to be refilled several times for larger amounts of ironing. In addition, the steam output is significantly lower at around 40 grams per minute. For the vacation as a travel iron, on the other hand, these criteria play a secondary role, since there are usually only a few items of clothing where the creases are to be removed by the travel case.

Advantages
  • Fast and effective ironing thanks to steam
  • Smooths even thick fabrics in a short time
  • Low acquisition costs

Disadvantage

  • Regular descaling required
  • Additional costs when using distilled water

There are different designs for steam irons

  • Cordless steam iron with charging station and battery
  • Steam iron with just a single temperature and steam combination

Cordless steam irons , for example from Tefal or Philips , allow more freedom of movement.

What the ironing with only one temperature setting is concerned, every manufacturer has its own name for it: Philips calls it as “OptimalTEMP technology,” Brown speaks of the “iCare technology.” The highlight: the user no longer needs to sort the laundry according to its temperature sensitivity before ironing. He also no longer has to adjust the temperature and wait until it has adapted. Instead, he can iron the jeans directly after the silk blouse and still achieve an optimal ironing result.

The ironing station

The steam ironing station is in two parts. It consists of the iron and a separate water tank with a steam generator. The steam enters the iron through a hose during ironing. Thanks to the external steam generator, the user can work with steam at any temperature. With most steam irons, this is only possible in the high temperature settings. In addition, the steam output of 120 grams per minute with the ironing station is considerably higher than with the steam iron. In particular, thicker fabrics such as jeans or linen become smooth more quickly. However, such a device takes up a lot of space. In addition, steam generators are not cheap. Interested buyers should also consider maintenance: regular descaling is mandatory if you want to enjoy the device for a long time.

Advantages
  • Time saving
  • Powerful steam pressure
  • Big water tank
  • Steam even at low temperature

Disadvantage

  • Unsuitable for small mountains of laundry
  • High acquisition costs
  • Maintenance and descaling required

Advantages of the steam iron compared to a steam ironing station

When it comes to ironing with steam, the ironing station seems much more attractive at first glance. The external steam generator of the ironing station makes it possible for the user to have a good portion of steam even at low temperatures. In addition, the steam output and steam output of the ironing station are higher. A larger amount of steam is used and this flows into the laundry at a higher pressure (approx. 4 to 6 bar). The user can quickly iron out heavy, thick and multi-layer fabrics.

Furthermore, the water tank of an ironing station is larger. The user does not need to refill water as often.

However, these advantages come at a price. In addition, an ironing station takes up a lot of space and uses more electricity than a steam iron. The purchase is therefore only worthwhile for consumers

  • the large mountains of laundry to cope with when ironing (frequent ironing),
  • who attach great importance to perfectly smooth laundry and
  • who like to iron and therefore often iron.

If you iron little, seldom or preferably not at all, you would be better off using a good steam iron. Compared to an ironing station, a steam iron is compact, light and easy to store. The power consumption of the compact iron is significantly lower. This also means that the electricity costs are lower than with an ironing station.

Last but not least, a steam iron is much cheaper to buy. You can get a good device for around 40 euros. With a steam ironing station, the prices are usually in the three-digit range.

Purchase criteria

The decision has been made: it should be a steam iron. Now it is important to find the right device from the diverse range. The mix of functionality, handling and price has to be right. The following criteria will help you make a decision:

Handling

In order for the ironing to be done quickly, the iron should lie comfortably in the hand. An ergonomic design is a recommendation here. The weight of the device is also not insignificant. A light iron glides over the laundry as light as a feather, but it may not have the necessary pressure to smooth the laundry well. But remember that the filled water tank also weighs something. A steam iron that weighs approximately 1.2 kilograms (kg) or less is a very lightweight device. The norm is around 1.25 kg. The “heavyweights” among the steam irons weigh around 1.3 kg or more. Overall, the steam iron should have a comfortable weight and a suitable size.

Continuous steam output & burst of steam

Thick fabrics can only be ironed smoothly with proper pressure. The continuous steam output indicates how much water vapor escapes during normal steam ironing. More is more in this case. The faster and the more steam escapes, the better the textile fibers are moistened and the easier it is to iron the laundry. The value for steam irons is usually between 40 and 45 grams per minute (g / min). High-quality devices manage more than 50 g / min.

 

For thick and firm fabrics or heavily wrinkled fabrics, there is also a selective burst of steam . With this function, the user can briefly work with more steam at the push of a button. The steam boost is then around 120 grams per minute on average. But many devices have more to offer: The best steam irons offer a steam boost of 150 to 200 g / min.

Fill volume of the water tank

A steam iron with a large water tank can iron longer with steam. However, these devices are also quite bulky and quite heavy when filled with water. A common size is a volume of 300 milliliters (ml). More than 350 milliliters are rare. How long you can iron with one load also depends on how often you use the steam jet from the iron. If the amount of steam is high, the tank will be empty after about 10 minutes.

Coating of the soleplate

The sole of the iron should be perfectly smooth and scratch-resistant. In addition, the user can choose from three surface coatings:

  • Aluminum is the cheapest material. It is sturdy, durable and light. Compared to other steam irons, the somewhat rough aluminum sole does not always slide smoothly over the textiles.
  • Stainless steel is currently the standard version. The material is also robust and glides smoothly over ironing. However, it is quite difficult compared to aluminum.
  • Ironing soles of ceramics are highest quality, but also the most expensive. The material is characterized by its hardness and scratch resistance. It is also very easy to care for thanks to a self-cleaning function. Unfortunately, it’s not as impact-resistant as the metals.

Manufacturers use coating materials with promising names for longer durability and better sliding properties. Tefal calls its coating “Durilium”, AEG “Glissium”, Panasonic “Alumite” and Bosch “Glissée”. Usually this is a coating with enamel. This material is said to be harder than steel. Because the coating materials hardly differ despite the different names, users do not need to pay much attention to this criterion when deciding on the best steam iron.

Number and arrangement of the steam nozzles

Instead, it is worth taking a look at the arrangement of the steam nozzles on the soleplate. These should ideally be arranged so that as little steam as possible escapes to the side. However, the user can only determine this beyond any doubt if he subjects the new steam iron to a practical test.

 

If you iron a lot of shirts and blouses, you should make sure that the ironing tip is also provided with steam nozzles. This equipment simplifies the ironing of small areas such as shirt collars, button strips or cuffs.

Power

The power of an electrical device is always given in watts (W). This physical quantity describes how much electrical power the device consumes in a certain period of time. The output power is lower. For steam irons, the value is usually between 2,400 watts and 3,000 watts. With a higher wattage, the iron heats up faster and keeps the temperature longer.

Battery or electricity operation (+ cable length)

In addition to the conventional steam iron with a power connection, there are also cordless irons. These models come with a charging station in which they are regularly charged. The advantage of these models is that no cord gets in the way when ironing. However, if the device discharges quickly, the ironing work takes an unnecessarily long time. So if you iron a lot, you will be better off with a wired steam iron.

 

The iron’s cord is a point that is often overlooked when making a purchase decision. With some devices the cable is quite short. Other irons come with a three-meter line. Most important, however, is flexible attachment of the cable. In this way, the user can handle the iron without twisting the cable. The power cord must not be in the way when the (hot) iron is set down.

Extras

In addition to the basic functions presented above, most steam irons have several extras and convenience functions, for example.

steam-iron-energy-saving-function

ECO / energy saving functions

Reduced bursts of steam or less steam production reduce the iron’s energy consumption. This process can reduce electricity consumption by around 25 to 30 percent and water consumption by around 40 percent.

steam-iron-spray-function

Spray function

If the fabric is too dry, the user can quickly dampen it with a little water before ironing. This is also recommended for very wrinkled textiles. Even fabrics that cannot tolerate steam can be moistened quickly while ironing.

steam-iron-vertical-steam

Vertical steam

Some items of clothing are easier to straighten if they hang on the hanger. To do this, you need an iron with vertical steam. These devices emit steam even if you hold them vertically.

 

steam-iron-auto-switch-off

Automatic switch-off

This function is a recommended security feature. If the iron is not moved for a long time, it automatically switches to stand-by mode and stops heating. Some devices go to standby as soon as the user takes their hand off the handle. This prevents damage to clothing and also saves energy.

over-heating-protection

Overheating protection

This function is also used for safety. The device switches off before the temperature rises dangerously and the soleplate becomes too hot. If you forget to switch off the iron, the overheating protection prevents a possible fire.

self-cleaning-function

Descaling & self-cleaning function

After a while, lime builds up in the steam nozzles. The nozzles clean themselves at the push of a button. Some models, for example from Braun, Tefal or Rowenta, have an anti-limescale function. This prevents lime scale from building up in the device.

drip-stop

Drip stop

If the steam iron cools down a little with the steam function activated, there is a risk that condensation will drip from the nozzles onto the laundry and leave unsightly stains. The drip stop function prevents this. This means that users can easily iron textiles at a low temperature in between.

Steam Ironing tips

Most accidents happen in the home, and ironing is also a source of danger. Even fiddling with a hot iron is not entirely safe. This is why manufacturers such as Tefal, Bosch, Siemens, Philips and AEG have equipped their models with safety features that make ironing much safer. Nevertheless, when ironing, it is important to create a safe workplace to avoid injuries.

Caution hot! - Safe handling of the hot iron

Ironing requires caution and attention. Careless movement can result in burns on the hot soleplate. Before heating up, ensure that the iron is on a safe position . It must not fall off the ironing board. The table should also be firm and secure.

 

The front, pointed part of the steam iron is the hottest. So do not touch this part, otherwise there is a risk of burns . Caution is also advised when activating the steam, as contact with very hot steam can also be painful.

Tap water or distilled water - what goes into the water tank?

The prevailing opinion is still that tap water should not be used for ironing because of its lime content, especially in areas with high water hardness (more than 14 ° dH). The limescale can build up in the appliance and impair the function of the steam iron . And conventional water from the tap leaves ugly stains on ironing. Therefore, consumers should prefer to use distilled water.

 

It is of course true that mineral and calcareous water is not good for electrical kitchen appliances that heat water. Over time, the lime loosened from the water is deposited in the device, in the water containers or on the heating elements. This affects functionality and can cause the material to break.

 

However, modern steam irons today are mostly geared towards using tap water. They have an anti-limescale system that filters the limescale particles out of the water and collects them. This prevents lime scale from building up in the device. The user only has to take the filter out of the device and clean it from time to time.

 

In addition, distilled water is not quite as harmless as many consumers suspect. It has a lower pH than tap water (up to 5.8). This acidic water attacks stainless steel, for example. If you live in an area with very hard drinking water, you can mix tap water and distilled water .

A third possibility is ironing water , which drugstores carry in their range. However, these sometimes contain fragrances. This is one reason why device manufacturers advise against ironing water: the scents and soaps can damage the device. Another disadvantage: the special water causes additional costs.

Find the right temperature

Not every fabric can withstand high ironing temperatures. In principle, the following applies: Sensitive textiles such as viscose, silk or synthetic fibers such as polyester only want to get little heat. Cotton or linen, on the other hand, are ironed at the highest level. You can find more detailed information about the material and the ironing temperature on the label sewn into each item of laundry.

The meaning of the ironing symbols in clothing

general-ironing

General ironing

  • The item of laundry is suitable for ironing.
low-temprature-ironing

Iron at a low temperature

  • Maximum 110 ° Celsius
  • Suitable for synthetic fibers such as acrylic, nylon, polyester, polyamide or viscose
  • Warning: iron without steam!
  •  
     
medium-temprature-ironing

Iron at medium temperature

  • Maximum 150 ° Celsius
  • Suitable for wool or silk
  • Also suitable for viscose without steam
high-temprature-ironing

Iron at high temperature

  • Maximum of 220 ° Celsius
  • Suitable for cotton or linen
  • Attention: Do not iron synthetic fibers at this temperature!
do-not-iron

Do not iron

  • Textiles must not be ironed.
  • One material to which this property applies is, for example, ribbed velor.

The dots in the iron symbols represent the temperature level on the iron. This temperature control is subject to a standard and is therefore the same for all irons.

Which ironing temperature do I choose for mixed fabrics?

Clothing often consists of several textile fibers, for example a mixture of cotton and polyester. In this case, be guided by the most delicate fiber. In the case of a cotton-polyester blend, this would be the polyester. Level 1 would then be the maximum temperature.

Sort laundry

Ironing fans also have one goal: to get through the mountain of laundry as quickly as possible. Since temperature also plays a role, it is advisable to approach the matter with a plan and a system.

  • Sort the laundry according to the temperature before ironing.
  • Then start with the textiles that can only withstand little heat (level 1).
  • Continue with laundry that requires a medium temperature (level 2).
  • Finally, the clothes come on, which are ironed with high heat (level 3).

This will avoid waiting times that arise when the iron has to cool down from a high to a lower setting.

Iron the different fabrics correctly

Ironing is a hot business that needs some experience. Only with practice do you know which fabric needs which temperature and how to optimally “swing” the iron with the different items of clothing. We have put together a few ironing tips for you so that ironing is quick and easy.

  • Satin retains its shine when ironing if you moisten the back of the fabric with vinegar water before ironing. To do this, dip a sponge in vinegar water and moisten the fabric with it.
  • You iron velvet inside out, that is, you turn it inside out.
  • Acrylic is sensitive to water. Use a low temperature (level 1) and do not use steam or a damp cloth.
  • It is best to iron nylon and polyester when the fabrics are almost dry. And it’s best to iron inside out here too.
  • Viscose ( rayon , rayon ) and acetates need a low temperature and are best ironed when they are damp. Turn the garments inside out before ironing.
  • You can get cotton smooth at the highest temperature level. The fabric should still be slightly damp and – be careful – this time turned right side out.
  • Wool should not come into contact with the soleplate to avoid traces of sheen. Select a low heat setting and place a damp ironing cloth between the garment and the iron.
  • Knitting wool wants to be ironed inside out and at a medium temperature (lukewarm). The textile fibers should be almost dry.
  • Linen tolerates the high heat level. Iron the firm fabric while it is still slightly damp.
  • You shouldn’t iron ribbed velor at all.

Cleaning and descaling the steam iron

After ironing, you should empty the water tank. This reduces the calcification of the device. Limescale deposits do not only occur in the water tank. Steam ironing at a high temperature leaves traces of lime in the steam nozzles and on the soleplate. You should therefore clean your steam iron at regular intervals. This is the only way you can enjoy your household appliance for a long time.

Descale the steam iron - this is how it works

Preparation: You need a descaler, either as a powder or in liquid form. Powder descaler can be dissolved in water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The iron should be disconnected from the mains.

  1. Completely empty the water tank of the steam iron.
  2. Fill the descaler into the tank.
  3. Now plug the power plug into the socket, select the highest level and let the iron heat up.
  4. The iron either automatically emits bursts of steam or you have to activate the steam function separately. If the appliance offers several steam programs, press them all one after the other so that the descaler reaches all the nozzles.
  5. Now switch the steam iron off again. Let the descaler work for about ten minutes.
  6. Then repeat the process with heating up and steam output. The limescale and dirt should come out of the openings in the soleplate. Repeat the heating and steam procedure until no more limescale is washed out.

Rinsing: After descaling the steam nozzles and water tank, you must rinse the device thoroughly again. This will remove the residue of the solution. So empty the water tank again and rinse it out about two or three times with water. The steam iron is then ready for the next use.

The exact descaling process differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, but also within a brand. Therefore, be sure to refer to the operating instructions for your iron.

Winner Steam Generator Iron Station

Sale
Philips Azur Steam Iron with 250 g Steam Boost, 2600 W and SteamGlide Soleplate, Black - GC4567/86
  • Fast ironing and powerful performance thanks to 2600W, 250 g steam boost and 50 g/min continuous steam
  • SteamGlide soleplate for easy gliding on all fabrics
  • Large water tank and drip stop system for more convenience
  • Quick calc release in 15 seconds for easy cleaning and long-lasting steam performance
  • Drip-stop system keeps garments spotless while ironing