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Best steam iron 2022: Save time and keep creases at bay with these excellent steam irons

Danielle Amato Rachel Erdos
21 Feb 2022
The best steam iron
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Our pick of the best steam irons for a pain-free ironing experience

Nobody really likes ironing. Still, there are some tasks that just can't be avoided, so it's worth ensuring you have the best iron for the job. Investing wisely now in the best steam iron could help you speed through that pile of shirts, bedsheets and trousers – giving you back precious minutes of your life.

Here we'll help you wade through the overwhelming number of steam irons on the market. At first glance, there's not a lot to set them apart from one another, but once you start delving, the difference between a budget £10 iron and a top-line model quickly materialises.

To help you decide, we’ve put together a short buying guide to answer some of the key questions you may have. You’ll find our bite-size guide below, but if you just want to know which irons to buy, scroll down the page and skip straight to our pick of the best steam irons.

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How to choose the best steam iron

Should I spend the extra on a steam generator iron instead?

The answer depends on what you're looking for. Compared to a steam generator, a steam iron is cheaper and less bulky, so if you're planning to iron small amounts of clothing or lack the necessary storage space, it's by far the best option. Despite appearances, steam irons put out a huge amount of steam so that it won't impact how effective it is. If you have more than £100 to spare and need the largest steam output, however, you should think about paying for a steam generator that has a much bigger water tank and requires refilling far less frequently.

How much should I spend on a steam iron?

You don't need to spend a fortune on a good iron, but it's worth spending a little bit more if you tend to iron in bigger batches or only use it once a week. For example, vertical steam (allowing you to iron clothes as they hang) is a fantastic bonus option that would only set you back a further £20 to £25, and an auto-clean function could save you a lot of hassle down the line.

Is a bigger soleplate better?

A bigger soleplate (and a bigger iron in general) will nearly always mean a heavier iron. That little bit of extra weight could make your job easier as it will do some of the work for you, but it may also be more tiring on the arms. But a larger plate will cover a greater surface area, meaning you can get the job done quicker and bigger won’t always feel dramatically heavier when you’re actually ironing. The best soleplates have super-slick coatings that slide effortlessly across garments, making their weight less noticeable.

The best steam irons to buy

1. Russell Hobbs Powersteam 20630 Ultra Iron: Best budget steam iron

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

The Russell Hobbs Powersteam is nearly as good as many of the steam irons available for twice the price, making it a great option if you’re on a budget but don’t want to compromise on performance. It has the quickest heat-up time of all the irons on this list and comes with a generous 3m cord. More impressively still, it has a vertical steam function, allowing you to steam clothes while they hang – something that's usually the reserve of much pricier models. It also has an anti-scale catridge, which helps prevent scale build up by breaking it down into microscopically small pieces.

Even though it looks pretty impressive with its all-black design, the Powersteam’s plastic casing doesn’t feel particularly robust and is no better than you’d expect for the low price. The iron also seems to need refilling more regularly than other similarly sized steam irons, which will prove tiresome if you tend to iron in large batches. That said, it still offers great value for money and has plenty of features to make ironing a little less tiresome.

Key specs – Weight: 1.6kg; Soleplate: Ceramic; Water capacity: 350ml; Steam output: 45g continuous/210g shot; Power: 3,100W

2. Philips Azur Steam Iron GC4567/86: Best value steam iron

Price: £55 | Buy now from Amazon

The Philips Azur is one of the most powerful steam irons you can get for the price, but that’s not the only reason why we included it in this list. Its built-in scale container is one of its winning features, collecting calc while you work and keeping performance consistent. This, combined with its refined tip and automatic steam adjustments makes for a pain-free ironing experience.

There are a few extra useful design features, too. These include a side opening door, which makes refilling water easier than on most models. Surprisingly though, it doesn’t come with its own water jug, so you’ll need to take the iron to the tap or find an alternative jug to use. The cable is on the short side, too, which may be a dealbreaker if you like to move your ironing board around. But otherwise, it’s hard to beat.

Key specs – Weight: 1.5kg; Soleplate: SteamGlide; Water capacity: 300ml; Steam output: 50g continuous/210g shot; Power: 2,600W

3. Tefal Ultimate Anti-Scale FV9788 Steam Iron: Best for tricky fabrics

Price: £70 | Buy now from Amazon

The Tefal FV9788 heats up quickly and packs a lot of power into a regular-sized iron due to its beefy 3000W , but it also has plenty of other features that make for an effortless ironing experience. Tefal’s Durilium soleplate easily glides over clothes with barely any resistance, making it ideal for tricky fabrics that can sometimes bunch up. The ergonomic steam trigger makes it easy to release a blast of steam without any awakward fumbling, while the automatic steam function, adjusts the amount of steam released based on the temperature of your iron.

Other welcome features include the vertical steam setting, which allows you to treat hanging clothes with ease and a scale collector, which prevents chalky build up – ideal if you live in a hard-water area. It’ll keep your iron working to its full potential and for much longer.

Key specs – Weight: 1.8kg; Soleplate: Tefal Durilium; Water capacity: 350ml; Steam output: 55g continuous/230g shot; Power: 3,000W

4. Swan SI3070N Travel Iron: Best travel steam iron

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

The Swan SI3070N isn’t the best for heavyweight ironing sessions, but it’s ideal for holidays, business trips or to have on hand at home for quick touch-ups, especially if you already own a steam generator iron. It’s simple in design and equally simple to use, with a warm-up indicator light and a single steam button.

Despite its compact size and affordable price tag, the Swan travel iron comes with adjustable heat settings, so you can adjust the temperature to suit the clothing and use it on most fabrics. You’ll probably need to go over most areas a couple of times if you’re ironing a full garment (rather than just a sleeve or collar) and the lack of a proper handle makes it a little tricky to hold at first, but it does a much better job than most travel irons.

Key specs – Weight: 599g; Soleplate: Stainless steel; Water capacity: 100ml; Steam output: Single shot button; Power: 2,750W

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