Ironing - nobody likes doing it, but also nobody likes having crinkled clothing when they’re trying to look smart. So it’s a necessary evil - but a decent steam iron can really make the difference. While it may seem like all irons are generally the same, there is more nuance than you might think - a few good extras can make all the difference between a frustrating chore and cruising your way to Neat Shirt Town! So today we’re going to be doing a rundown of the best steam irons you buy in 2020.
Let’s start with the Powersteam Ultra from Russell Hobbs - a very dramatic name for a perfectly good steam iron. The Powersteam Ultra is a very powerful steam iron - the 3,100W power allows it to heat up extremely quickly. This makes it more efficient, meaning you can get through your stack of ironing faster than before!
The Powersteam Ultra also had a good steaming capability - at 45g/min it’s not the best in our lists, but it provides a strong enough flow of steam to handle tough creases. Finally, the water tank tops out at 350ml - again, not the largest capacity in an iron, but good enough for the majority of daily ironing tasks.
The price raises the Powersteam Ultra to an excellent purchase - it’s a rock-solid iron with some good specs for a very reasonable price. It also comes with an automatic self-cleaning feature to stop the build up of limescale with repeated uses - a feature that will significantly extend the life of the iron.
If you need more power and steam capability, Beko have you covered with the Smart SteamXtra. This is a ‘steam generator’ iron - that means that it is a separate base to hold the water and turn it into steam, which is then siphoned off into the iron itself. This means that the iron is capable of holding far more water and steam than other models.
The iron itself is also significantly lighter than other irons, since the water and heating apparatus are held in the base rather than in the iron proper. This allows the Smart SteamXtra to have a very strong steam capacity of 100g/min and a 1l water capacity. However this means that the base unit itself is both large and weighty, since it has to hold lots of water and the heating tech. So lugging it from storage to the ironing board is a pain.
As you would expect, steam generators do tend to be more expensive than standard steam irons - it may be worth the extra expense though, especially if you do a lot of ironing in a day. It also isn’t particularly powerful - only 2,600 watts. This means it doesn’t heat up as fast as the Powersteam Ultra. Still, this is a good iron for families that do lots of ironing, and will justify the extra cost very quickly.
If you find yourself doing a lot of ironing every day, you’re gonna want an iron that is comfortable to hold for long periods. To that end, Morphy Richards have created the ComfiGrip, which has an ergonomic handle and a smooth soleplate to make the iron glide smoothly across your clothes.
The power is 2,800 watts, which isn’t spectacular, but good enough for fast heating. However the 55g/min steam power beats the PowerSteam Ultra, and is excellent for a non-generator steam iron. Additionally it has a 400ml water reservoir, which is a good capacity for an iron this size - it’ll last through a large number of shirts before you need to re-fill it.
Nothing in the ComfiGrip is dramatically high-end, but it all works extremely well, and the competitive price definitely makes it a winner. Also beware that the water inlet isn’t the largest - so you’ll have to be careful not to spill water when you fill it up. Finally, while the design is ergonomic and easy to hold, not everyone will love it - I can’t shake the feeling that the bulbous front makes it look like a duck!
Our penultimate iron is the Tefal Ultimate Anti-Scale steam iron, which as the name suggests is designed to efficiently stop any build up of limescale in the appliance. This allows it to stay in top condition for as long as possible, dramatically extending the lifespan of your iron. In part this is due to Tefal’s special ‘Scale Collector’, which stops the limescale from accumulating anywhere on the iron. The Ultimate Anti-Scale also has 3,000 watts of power - one of the most powerful irons in our list today - meaning it heats up super-quickly.
Tefal also equipped the iron with ‘Durilium Technology’, which I’m 96% sure was stolen from Star Trek. However rather than powering warp drives, the ‘Durilium Airglide Autoclean Soleplate’ helps the iron glide across clothing extremely smoothly, making this an efficient and easy-to-use iron.
Unfortunately all this technology isn’t cheap - the Ultimate Anti-Scale is the most expensive iron on our list by far, and may be hard to justify unless you do an awful lot of ironing, or live in an area with extremely hard water. It also only has a capacity of 350ml, which isn’t the largest capacity, but will do. Still, for the price it would be nice to have a bit larger reservoir.
Finally, the Breville PressXpress continues the theme of dramatic names with ‘X’ in the middle, and is an excellent steam iron for a decent price. It has a 400ml capacity and a 60g/min steam power, meaning it will provide powerful steam blasts to even the most stubborn creases. It also has a special wide inlet to make it super-easy to refill with water - no more spillages!
It also contains a special system to let you know when the unit is cool enough to handle and put away - an extremely helpful extra! The main downside of the PressXpress is that the power is only so-so, but for the price this is a good buy for any household - it will take care of a large amount of clothing at a bargain price! Recommended as our bargain choice.