Ironing is a chore. It’s time-consuming and can seem impossible to finish. What’s important is that the best steam iron will help you speed through that ironing pile in record time.
The Best Steam Iron
The best steam iron is comfortable to use, durable and most importantly, great at flattening out creases – quickly and easily. However, with so many irons on the UK market, the choice can seem overwhelming.
There are 12 key factors that separate the top models from the rest – steam output, steam shot, soleplate (material & design), weight, cord length, limescale control, tank size, vertical steam, safety, reliability and ease of use (more on this later).
We compare 100s of models, scrutinizing specifications, vetting real-world opinions and experiences, to help you choose the best steam iron for you…
Best Cheap Steam Iron:
Russell Hobbs Easy Store Pro
If you want a reliable and affordable iron, then look no further than the Russell Hobbs Easy Store Pro. There are plenty of options at the budget end of the market, but the majority are somewhat less than perfect. This model stands out for all the right reasons.
This model from Russell Hobbs is incredibly good value and ticks all the right boxes. Rated at 2400 Watts, it delivers 45g of continuous steam and should that not be enough to budge the creases, a 145g shot can be fired to flatten anything proving more stubborn.
The Russell Hobbs Easy Store Pro weighs only 1.4kg – making it one of the lighter irons available. Also of note, is the 2.5m power cord. This cable length gives more reach than most models in this price category – many of which are tethered with a short cable.
This model gets a credible recommendation with impressive specifications & good performance, confirmed and backed up by its owners. Plus, a neat feature is that the cord is kept tidy when stored.
In summary, if you want a very affordable iron that does the basics well, choose the Russell Hobbs Easy Store Pro.
SPECIFICATION: RUSSELL HOBBS EASY STORE PRO | WEIGHT: 1.4kg | POWER: 2400w | CORD LENGTH: 2.5m | TANK: 330ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 45g/min | STEAM SHOT: 145g | AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 2 years
OVERALL RATING: 88%
Russell Hobbs Easy Store Pro | Verdict price £28 | See Best Price on Amazon
Best Steam Iron for Hard Water:
Breville VIN406 PressXpress Steam Iron
Good steam output, decent features and a great price make this Breville steam iron stand out when compared to other models in the same price range.
The specification tells a good story, but it’s the user experience that makes this model worth buying. All the features you’d expect on a premium model are included with this affordable Breville. This iron may be a little heavier than some, but what’s important is that every detail is well balanced and delivers above expectation.
The non-drip system works, the ceramic baseplate glides effortlessly over all fabrics and the 50g/min steam output flattens the toughest creases with ease. Plus the large water tank and long 3m cord, add to features that make it easy to use.
Best Iron for Hard Water Areas
It’s hard to test how well an iron handles limescale build-up. Different areas of the country have different water hardness. Plus, much depends on how the iron is looked after. Using real-world insight, owners rate this model for its self-cleaning. It is, however, essential to follow the instructions and use the simple and quick cleaning cycle once a fortnight. (more often in hard water areas). This will keep your new iron working like new.
If you’re looking for an affordable steam iron that performs like a premium model, choose the Breville VIN406.
SPECIFICATION: WEIGHT: 1.65kg | POWER: 2600w | CORD LENGTH: 3m | TANK: 400ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 50g/min | STEAM SHOT: 170g |AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 1 year
OVERALL RATING: 89%
Breville VIN406 | Verdict price £39 | Check Best Price on Amazon
Best Selling Steam Iron:
Russell Hobbs Vertical Steam Ultra
The Russell Hobbs Powersteam has been a best seller for over 5 years. And for good reason. Backed up with an impressive specification, it’s highly rated by its owners and has stood the test of time. Clearly, this iron works well beyond its 2-year warranty.
With 45g/min of continuous steam and an impressive 210g shot made possible with a 3100W power rating, it will remove creases with ease. Also, worth noting is that with a 3m power cord, you’re able to iron where you want rather than in the immediate vicinity of the plug socket. Adding to the convenience is a comparatively large 350ml tank, meaning fewer refills.
This Russel Hobbs iron has an RRP of £60 but is currently available for under £40, making it a good deal too.
SPECIFICATION: RUSSELL HOBBS VERTICAL STEAM ULTRA 20630 | WEIGHT: 1.6kg | POWER: 3100w | CORD LENGTH: 3m | TANK: 350ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 45g/min | STEAM SHOT: 210g | AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 2 years
OVERALL RATING: 90%
Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra | Verdict price £35 | See Best Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight Steam Iron:
Morphy Richards Turbo Glide
The Morphy Richards Turbo Glide is light, effective and easy to use. Plus, it’s reasonably powerful and has all the right features to make ironing easier and quicker.
Importantly, it delivers more continuous steam than most irons in its class, meaning that it has enough oomph to get the job done. However, it’s the detail that makes this iron stand out.
Lighter than Most Steam Irons
Super lightweight, it’s easier on the wrist than heavier irons. Plus, for convenience, there’s a 400ml water tank, which means fewer refills. Although this does add to the weight of the iron when full. If lightweight is important to you, we’d recommend filling it half full and topping up when required.
Most iron cord lengths range from 2m to 3m. A short cord can be very frustrating. What’s important here, is that this Morphy Richards model comes with a 3m cable, allowing you the freedom to iron where you want, rather than needing to stay in close proximity to the plug socket.
Powerful and with a long cord, this model is a good lightweight option.
SPECIFICATION: Morphy Richards 302000 | WEIGHT: 1.1kg | POWER: 2800w | CORD LENGTH: 3m | TANK: 400ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 40g/min | STEAM SHOT: 150g |AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 3 years
OVERALL RATING: 90%
Morphy Richards | Verdict price £33 | See Best Price on Amazon
Best Iron for Sewing:
Bosch Steam Iron – TDA3022GB
The Bosch TDA3022GB is perfect for anyone who wants an iron that doesn’t turn itself off. Most consumer models shut down if left unattended. This can be frustrating for some users, especially tailors, dressmakers and crafters. If you’re looking for a recommended iron without auto shut off, this is it.
This lightweight model has a good specification and is highly rated by owners. The weight of a steam iron is a personal preference, but for most of us, light is good.
A heavy iron is tough on the wrist, as you’re constantly lifting and turning. Additional weight can give the feeling of more pressure, but this Bosch model does the work and will remove creases without additional downforce.
With a continuous steam rating of 40g/minute and shots of 210g, this models vital statistics back-up user consensus. Bosch has a good brand reputation and owners of the TDA3022GB, echo this. Feedback includes, that it doesn’t drip, the cleaning functions work and that it glides well. Plus, the 3m cord gives extra flexibility.
Iron Without Auto Shut Off
If you need a top-rated iron that doesn’t turn itself off when pressing a patch, hem or specific area, this model from Bosch is an excellent choice.
SPECIFICATION: BOSCH TDA3022GB | WEIGHT: 1.4kg | POWER: 2850w | CORD LENGTH: 3m | TANK: 320ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 40g/min | STEAM SHOT: 210g |AUTO SHUT OFF: No | WARRANTY: 2 years
OVERALL RATING: 85%
Bosch TDA3022GB | Verdict price £40 | See Best Price on Amazon
Best Steam Iron:
Philips Azur SteamGlide [BEST BUY]
This model from Philips delivers better results in less time. With a continuous steam output of 50g/minute and a huge 250g shot, this model delivers more steam to make ironing easier and quicker.
Owners rate this steam iron. The soleplate glides across all fabrics and it’s comfortable to use. However, it’s the steam output that makes it worth the extra cash.
As you’d expect at this price, the cleaning and non-drip functions work well. And based on a Verum long-term test, we can confirm that this iron not only works well out of the box but continues to perform, year after year.
The high volume of steam, functional detail and easy glide base make this steam iron truly stand out. If you want great results in less time, choose the overall best buy – the Philips Azur.
SPECIFICATION: PHILIPS AZUR GC4567/86 | WEIGHT: 1.6kg | POWER: 2600w | CORD LENGTH: 2.5m | TANK: 300ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 50g/min | STEAM SHOT: 250g | AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 2 years
OVERALL RATING: 93%
Philips Azur |
RRP £90 | Verdict Price £55
See Best Price on Amazon
Most Powerful Steam Iron:
Tefal Ultimate Pure FV9845
The Tefal Ultimate Pure has an excellent specification & performs brilliantly. Power coupled with premium features makes this steam iron a great choice for anyone who’s keen to power through the ironing pile in record time.
Lots of steam, quick to heat up & a superb soleplate define this top of the range Tefal model. It’s worth noting, however, that the extra oomph does translate to it being a little heavier when compared to lower power models.
The premium features include a highly rated Durilium soleplate that glides easily across all fabric and a top-notch anti-scale system. Ticking more of the boxes, this model also has a large water tank and a long cord.
The Ultimate Pure is one of the most powerful steam irons available. Yes, it’s a little bigger than the average iron, but there’s nothing average about this model.
SPECIFICATION: TEFAL FV9845 | WEIGHT: 1.65kg | POWER: 3100w | CORD LENGTH: 3m | TANK: 350ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 60g/min | STEAM SHOT: 260g | AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 2 years
OVERALL RATING: 95%
Tefal Ultimate Pure | Verdict price £100 | See Best Price on Amazon
Choosing the Best Steam Iron – 12 Key Factors
- Steam output – More steam delivers better results in less time
- Steam shot – An extra blast of steam for stubborn creases
- Soleplate material – Quality ceramic soleplates glide across all fabrics
- Soleplate design – Size and shape influence the path around buttons etc.
- Weight – The steam does the work, lightweight is better
- Cord length – iron where you want. Look for a 3m cord
- Limescale control – Very important to keep the iron working as new
- Tank size – A large tank means fewer refills
- Vertical Steam – Can you use the iron for curtains and hanging garments?
- Safety – Does the iron turn itself off if left unattended?
- Reliability – Linked to limescale control. How long will your new iron last?
- Ease of use – Comfortable to hold, easy to refill and straightforward to store.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Are cordless irons any good?
Cordless irons have certainly improved over recent years, but this may be one type of device where the benefit of going wireless is less clear. Firstly, you still need to plug the base in. This sits on your ironing board, with the cable trailing to the socket. Secondly, irons use a load of power to keep them hot and churning out the steam, meaning that either you’re constantly placing the iron back on the base or struggling with less steam. For most of us, a cordless model will mean that the job takes longer and is more hassle – not an option!
Avoid brown spots and limescale
Over time, limescale builds up. For your iron to work properly, it needs to be kept clean. Manufacturers recommend how best to do this. Specific instructions come with each model. It’s far easier to keep it clean than to wait until there’s a problem. Unfortunately, if the iron has stopped working due to limescale or internal corrosion then it’s usually too late.
What about the ironing board?
Ironing board height is important to avoid a bad back, sore wrist and shoulder pain. To find the right height for you, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding your iron flat to the ironing board with your elbow at 90 degrees – Then lower the ironing board by 10cm. (source Ohio State University).
What’s a Steam Generator Iron?
Fancy getting the ironing done in less time? A steam generator irons work by delivering a constant, high volume of steam via a lightweight handset. A small tank sits on the end of your board which pumps steam to the handset, giving better results in less time – transforming the task of ironing. However, they are bulky to store and cost a few quid more.
A steam generator iron makes ironing considerably quicker, the handset is lightweight and the results are excellent. If this appeals to you, click to see the best steam generator irons.
UK BEST BUYS – Quicker & Easier Ironing
Russell Hobbs | Verdict price £35
See price on Amazon
Philips Azur | Verdict Price £55
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Tefal | Verdict Price £100
See price on Amazon
More steam means less time ironing. However, there are numerous additional qualities and details that make our 7 recommendations stand out.
The best selling Russell Hobbs Vertical Steam Ultra is affordable and effective. For around £35, this iron is an excellent budget choice.
For a few quid more, the Philips Azur SteamGlide is the overall Best Buy. This model is comfortable to use, glides across all fabrics and the high steam output makes ironing quicker & easier.
If you’re looking for the ultimate iron, then the Tefal Ultimate Pure is for you. For around £100, this model pumps out huge volumes of steam – it will help you power through the ironing pile in record time.
Best Steam Generator Irons