Are you the type of person that irons your clothes as soon as possible after they are dry? Or are you like the majority who don’t like to admit it, but have a pile that starts off small and by the end of the week, has grown into this mound of ironing that you just keep putting off.
We’ve all been there – even for someone who quite likes ironing, sometimes you just haven’t got the time or you think you’ll leave it until a particular day but then find something better to do!
When clothes have been left to pile up, it does unfortunately mean a lot more creases. So, what better way to help you out a little than to use a steam iron.
What is a steam iron?
The flat surface of the iron which makes your fabric smooth, has little holes in it that releases steam. The heat from the steam relaxes the fibres in the clothes to make for easier and more effective ironing. You will notice a steam iron has a water tank, aiding in the heat production and you can also give regular steam boosts or sprays of water using the buttons that you find on top of the iron’s handle.
While steam irons are particularly good at getting wrinkles out and being able to tackle thicker fabrics and more stubborn creases, it is worth noting that particular materials may not be able to handle so much heat and steam so it’s worth checking this out before you so much as put your favourite silk blouse onto the ironing board. Although most people would think about taking those kinds of fabrics to a specialist dry cleaner who would offer extra services as needed. Everyday clothing such as t-shirts, trousers, jeans and shirts would all be safe when using a steam iron.
So, let’s take a look now at the steam irons that have made it onto our list as 6 of the best currently on the UK market and hopefully we can make this mundane, but otherwise essential task a bit more bearable.
Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra Iron
Colour: Black and grey
Dimensions: 12.2cm(L) x 17cm(W) x 30.5cm(H)
Water tank capacity: 350ml
First up we have a smart looking iron from Russell Hobbs. It comes in black and grey and is designed for comfort with a handle that is easy to grip.
We’ll discuss the soleplate first because this is where the magic happens – you will notice (as on all steam irons) the tiny holes on the flat surface which is where the steam comes from, aiding in tackling those tougher creases. You get 45g of continuous steam as you iron, along with being able to operate a 210g steam boost at the touch of a button. The well-designed ceramic plate with handy button grooves either side means you can glide the iron over your garments without snagging or risk of burning.
You’ll find the steam boost button on top of the handle, and next to it you’ll find the water spray button which is released at the top of the iron. Underneath the handle, on the body of the iron, is the temperature dial – letting you change the heat that is emitted depending on what fabric you are ironing.
Other features include a 350ml water tank which is easy to fill when you open the cap at the top of the iron, a self-cleaning function giving you peace of mind that the iron will last a long time, and automatic switch off if the iron is left unused for a length of time or gets knocked over.
Best Overall Pick
This is a great start to our list and a trusted brand will guarantee a top quality product. With some useful features and everyday functions, you’re sure to get a lot of use out of this steam iron.
The price is an absolute bargain so we’d recommend putting this towards the top of your shortlist.
Philips Azur 8000 Steam Iron
Colour: Dark blue
Dimensions: 33.3cm(L) x 13.5cm(W) x 17.5cm(H)
Water tank capacity: 350ml
Onto Philips now, and this price tag packs a punch – let’s find out if it’s justified.
The SteamGlide Elite soleplate is the first thing we’ll mention. This enhances the quality of your ironing because it will easily glide over your garments without pulling or scratching the material, all while saving you time and effort (and who doesn’t love the sound of getting the pile of ironing done more quickly!).
A feature that is a little bit different now, but definitely a useful one – the OptimalTEMP setting. This allows you to use the iron on any ironable fabric without needing to adjust the temperature. You haven’t got to fiddle with dials or hang around while the iron reaches the right heat setting. With this feature you can just press the button on the top of the handle and it will turn on, meaning you’ll whizz through in no time at all. You can use it on silk, then denim, then wool if you wish and you won’t have to change a thing.
The handle is easy to hold and the steam boost button is located underneath so it is easy to operate as you go. This will give you extra steam and heat to further loosen creases.
The water tank is big enough so you don’t have to keep refilling in between items and you also get a motion sensor so the steam will release onto your clothes as soon as you start moving the iron. We also like the fact that you have the option to vertical steam, which means if you’ve got fabrics hanging up there will be no need to unfold the ironing board before you begin. It will also work well for curtains that need a bit of sprucing up.
Ideal Choice For Convenience
Yes the price is quite steep, but you are really getting what you pay for. Philips are a trustworthy brand who know exactly what the market needs.
If you can afford to pay a little more, then give the Azur 8000 some serious consideration.
Beautural Steam Iron
Colour: White and grey
Dimensions: 28.7cm(L) x 12.4cm(W) x 14.6cm(H)
Water tank capacity: 340ml
Beautural are a brand that up until recently I wasn’t actually aware of. But it seems they are on the rise and have made some really good products – their steam iron being one of them.
The iron has a double coated ceramic soleplate that will allow you to glide over your fabrics, getting rid of creases while protecting your clothes. It has a dual plate which gives an even distribution of heat and makes ironing a lot easier and quicker. You also get the continuous steam from the vent holes on the plate – all adding to making this chore a bit more bearable!
The handle is a nice size with a rubber grip to help you control your movements when in use. You’ll find the steam boost and water spray buttons on there too. Just above these you have an LED screen, this is a nice touch and one that you don’t see too much on irons, so if you’re looking for something different, we’d suggest going with Beautural. The screen will show you the temperature and fabric setting. Underneath the handle is the list of materials you can use the iron on, and which number corresponds to that fabric. So for instance, if you wanted to iron a pair of jeans you would select number 8 – this is all done using the button on the side of the iron, next to the LED screen.
Other features include automatic safety shut off, an 8ft cord, and an anti-calcium and self-cleaning system so you can keep your iron in optimal condition at the touch of a button. You also get a 340ml water tank that allows you to power through.
Top Tech Option
Put this iron on your wish list if you like the thought of a sleek model with a modern touch.
Beautural have made something really nice here and the price is surprisingly affordable.
Breville DiamondXpress Steam Iron
Colour: White and rose gold
Dimensions: 31cm(L) x 13.7cm(W) x 15cm(H)
Water tank capacity: 400ml
Breville have been in our homes since 1932 and are a popular choice for their vast array of appliances, so it was only right we should include the DiamondXpress iron on our list.
The iron does come in other colours, but we chose the white and rose gold for something a little different. It’s a nice-looking model with an extra wide soleplate that let’s you cover more fabric in one smooth action. The vent holes for the steam are all around the outer edge of the plate so you get even coverage to help get creases and wrinkles out easier.
The handle is well positioned, making it easy to hold and manoeuvre. You’ll find the steam and water spray button at the top of the handle and then just above those is the water tank with a 400ml capacity – the largest tank of all the irons featured on here. There should be no need to keep refilling so you can speed through the ironing pile – this is particularly useful for larger families who produce a lot of washing and ironing.
It can be all too easy to get distracted from the chores you don’t really like, so with less time stopping in between you should have no excuse for an overflowing pile of clothes waiting to be ironed. Underneath the handle is the temperature dial, which displays the type of material that you want to iron – turning the dial is simple and everything is marked up so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the appropriate temperature.
Being able to use the iron vertically is another big plus – if you’re anything like me and have to iron your curtains after just purchasing new ones then this iron will help you do that. Simply hang them up and let the iron do the hard work using the continuous steam to loosen the wrinkles.
There are a lot of other features too which are really useful including self-clean and anti-scale to prolong the life of your iron, anti-drip so you don’t get any unwanted water marks on your clothes, auto shut off, and a Safe-Store indicator which is a heat sensitive gauge allowing you to know when the iron is cool enough to be touched and stored away.
Great For Larger Families
Breville give you an iron that has a lot of useful features. With multiple safety functions, a busy household could benefit from this type of iron.
If you want an appliance that has everything to give you peace of mind as well as a more efficient ironing experience, then look no further than the DiamondExpress.
Tefal Ultimate Pure Steam Iron
Colour: Black and rose gold
Dimensions: 32.79cm(L) x 19.7cm(W) x 17.4cm(W)
Water tank capacity: 350ml
An offering from Tefal now, with a price that sits around the middle mark. Aesthetics wise, the black and rose gold give it a modern look, while still having all the practicalities and functions you’d expect an iron from a well-known brand to have.
Let’s start with the design of the soleplate – like most on this list it, has a tapered edge which makes it a lot easier to navigate around buttons and fiddly parts of your clothing without getting caught and risking burning your fabrics. We really like the rounded bottom of the soleplate because again, it means that you won’t snag your clothes as you iron them. I’ve done it many times, where you feel that tug and realise if you don’t quickly move it, there’s a chance you’ll have an iron shaped burn mark on your husband’s work shirt!
The steam holes give you maximum coverage to get rid of even the most stubborn creases and because you get continuous steam you should be able to glide through the ironing pile with ease. If you do feel you need a steam boost there is a button located just underneath the handle. It is well designed so you can grip the iron and press the button as and when needed.
On the opposite side, at the top of the handle you’ll find the water mist button. A little more about the steam though, because Tefal claim it will be 100% filtered and pure. This is thanks to its MicroScale filter which catches the scale particles and gives you peace of mind that you won’t get any unwanted marks or stains on your clothes. There is a scale alert button at the top of the handle which will light up to let you know when the filter needs cleaning. This is easily done by twisting the cap at the bottom of the iron, pulling out the compartment and emptying any scale deposits that have been collected.
You get some other useful features including a cable length of 3 metres, a temperature dial to allow you to iron multiple materials, a 350ml water tank so you won’t have to fill up as much in between, and Autoclean coating avoiding any build up and keeping the soleplate clean.
Top Choice For Longevity
Tefal boast that this is their most powerful steam iron. Offering some great features and a product that will look after itself just as much as you will means you could have a solid iron for years to come.
Some useful features from a well-made iron that has a price tag which is about right for what you’re getting. If you can afford to go a little over budget, then give this one some serious thought.
Morphy Richards Light Glide Steam Iron
Colour: Blue and white
Dimensions: 22.7cm(L) x 11cm(W) x 12.5cm(W)
Water tank capacity: 350ml
Last up we bring you an iron from Morphy Richards which is the cheapest on our list, so as you’d expect it doesn’t have as many functions or the highest spec like the others have, but if you are after a cheap and cheerful iron then you’ve found the right one for your needs. Looks wise, it is just a pleasant appliance to look at – the blue and white give it a nice crisp finish.
Some qualities are similar to the more expensive ones we’ve given you – for instance, the soleplate is ceramic and has a precision tip to get right up to the corners, in between the buttons and the hard-to-reach areas, and you do get an impressive 100g steam boost. We’d recommend this as an ideal option to get through a smaller pile of ironing or those that do not produce a lot of laundry.
It is the lightest on the list too making it good for those who may have difficulty picking up a heavier iron due to mobility issues. It may also be a good option for somebody who is learning to iron – my teenage daughter asked me to teach her how to iron (yes, it came as a shock to me too!) so I think this would be a good starter iron for someone who didn’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles straight away. It’s a great budget option for those who have just moved into a new home and need to kit it out at an affordable price.
The steam boost and water spray buttons are found on the top of the handle, and just above these you will see a switch that you can turn to activate settings including self-clean and turbo. The dial underneath the handle means you can change to different fabric settings as and when needed.
The other features that you get from the Morphy Richards iron are a cable clip to keep the iron and 2m long wire tidy when not in use and an easy to fill opening for the water tank that is located at the top of the iron.
Ideal For Those On A Budget
Morphy Richards have developed their most lightweight iron here, and at the cheapest price on our list you’d be forgiven for thinking it may not be up to scratch. If you’re still in two minds, then just read some of the reviews – they really do speak for themselves.
New to ironing or just in need of a cheap replacement – we really have found a bargain for you.
The world of ironing can be a daunting prospect if it really is your least favourite chore. But we think we’ve made your life that little bit easier by giving you some of the best steam irons available on the market today.
If you don’t mind paying a little bit extra and want the highest spec possible then we’d recommend purchasing either the Tefal Ultimate Pure Steam or the Philips Azur. For a great budget option though, the Morphy Richards Light Glide is perfect. Philips, Breville, and Beautural only compliment the list with their irons placing in the middle of the price bracket.
No matter which one you choose, the ironing won’t seem so bad when you start seeing the bottom of the basket after whizzing through the pile thanks to the help of continuous steam, steam boosts, and lots more features.
Meet our reviewer – Michelle Vernon
Michelle is one of the lead writers at Washing Check and also holds an editor role. She is a busy parent who understands the needs of daily domestic life and the challenges it can bring.
She genuinely loves cleaning products and equipment, which although is quite strange to many, is a blessing to us here at Washing Check.