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What to Look for When Buying a Steam Iron in the UK

Power through the ironing pile quickly with the best steam iron

best steam iron uk

Love it or hate it, ironing is quicker & easier with the best steam iron.

Whether you’re an ironing pro or simply want to get the job done, plenty of steam and an easy glide soleplate make a big difference.

However, lots of detail separates the best steam iron from the mediocre & average. Too many models are underpowered, heavy, tethered with a short cord or simply aren’t designed for real life.

What to Look for… Choosing the Best Steam Iron UK

The best steam iron is comfortable to use, durable and most importantly, flattens creases quickly & without fuss.

To help you choose the right model, we check & compare 12 key factors…

  1. Steam output – More steam delivers better results in less time
  2. Steam shot – An extra blast to flatten stubborn creases
  3. Soleplate – A quality ceramic soleplate must glide across all fabrics & never burn
  4. Controls – Settings must be clear & easy to use (for all fabrics)
  5. Weight – The steam does the work, lightweight is better for your back & wrist
  6. Cord length – Iron where you want. Look for a 2.5m cord (min)
  7. Limescale control – Keep the iron working as new (no brown spots!)
  8. Tank size – A large tank means fewer refills
  9. Vertical Steam – Can you use the iron for curtains and hanging garments?
  10. Safety – Does the iron turn itself off if left unattended?
  11. Reliability – Linked to limescale control. How long will your new iron last?
  12. Ease of use – Comfortable to hold, easy to refill and straightforward to store.

With so many irons available, the choice can feel overwhelming. And it’s concerning how many models fall short.

Starting with 128 models we’ve crunched specifications, compared details and checked with owner real-world tests to shortlist & detail the UK’s Top 7 steam irons.

Ranked by average price, here are the best steam irons you can buy today…


Best Cheap Steam Iron UK - recommended - Verum
This Russell Hobbs Steam Iron is light, effective & great value

Budget Choice
Russell Hobbs Easy Store

£37 £34 at Amazon

If you want a reliable and affordable iron, look no further than the Russell Hobbs Easy Store Pro.


PROS
  • Affordable
  • Effective steam volume
  • Cord tidy
CONS
  • Spend more for more steam

OVERALL RATING: 88%

There are plenty of options at the budget end of the market, but many fall short. This model from Russell Hobbs stands out for all the right reasons.

This steam iron is 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 200g 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 lightest 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 shorter cable.

Plus, a neat feature is keeping the cord tidy when stored.

SPECIFICATION: RUSSELL HOBBS EASY STORE PRO | WEIGHT: 1.4kg | POWER: 2400w | CORD LENGTH: 2.5m | TANK: 320ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 45g/min | STEAM SHOT: 200g | AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 2 years

This iron does all the basics well & keeps the cord tidy too


Breville VIN406 PressXpress Steam Iron 2600W Ceramic Soleplate, 400 ml Water Tank, 3m cable, White & Satin Gold
Breville VIN406 PressXpress Steam Iron

Best for Hard Water
Breville DiamondXpress

£44 at Amazon

Good steam output, decent features and a great price make this Breville steam iron stand out, compared to other models in the same price range.


PROS
  • Good for hard water areas
  • Effective steam volume
CONS
  • A little heavy

OVERALL RATING: 89%

The specification coupled with user experience makes this model worth buying. The features you’d expect on a premium model are all included with this affordable Breville. This iron is a little heavier than some, but what’s important is that every detail is well-balanced and delivers above expectations.

The non-drip system works, the ceramic baseplate glides effortlessly over all fabrics and the 50g/min steam output flattens the toughest creases. Plus the large water tank and long 3m cord make ironing a little less hassle.

Best Iron for Hard Water Areas of the UK

Testing how well an iron handles limescale over time, is tricky. Different areas of the UK have different water hardness. Plus, much depends on how well the iron is looked after. Rather than attempt a snapshot test, we analysed real-world insight over time. And what’s clear is the self-cleaning on this model works. It will keep your iron working like new.

SPECIFICATION: WEIGHT: 1.65kg | POWER: 3100w | CORD LENGTH: 3m | TANK: 400ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 50g/min | STEAM SHOT: 200g |AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 1 year

Slightly heavier than we’d like, but great for hard water areas


Best Steam Iron under £30 UK - recommended - Verum
A good volume of steam, large water tank & long cord

Best Seller
Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra

£69 £42 at Amazon

Powerful & robust, the Powersteam Ultra is the affordable top choice.


PROS
  • Robust
  • Effective steam volume
  • Long Cord
CONS
  • Expensive when not discounted

OVERALL RATING: 90%

Owners rate this model. And for good reason. The specification is impressive, but perhaps of greater value it’s designed & built to last. The Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra is not just good out of the box, it’ll keep going, year after year.

45g/min of continuous steam and an impressive 210g power shot make ironing quicker & easier – it removes creases without fuss. Plus, the 3m power cord means you can iron where you want rather than feeling tethered to the plug socket. Adding to the convenience is a comparatively large 350ml tank, meaning fewer refills.

SPECIFICATION: RUSSELL HOBBS 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

The £70 RRP feels overpriced, but when discounted it’s a great choice…


morphy richards 302000 lightweight steam iron with long 3m cord uk
Morphy Richards 302000 – Lightweight Steam Iron

Best Lightweight Iron
Morphy Richards Turbo Glide

£49 £38 at Amazon

The Morphy Richards Turbo Glide is light, effective and easy to use.


PROS
  • Lightweight & easy to use
  • Effective steam volume
CONS
  • Spend more for more steam

OVERALL RATING: 90%

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, this Morphy Richards model is easy on the wrist & back. Plus, for convenience, there’s a 400ml water tank, which means fewer refills. However, this does add to the weight of the iron when full.

If lightweight is important to you, this model is a great choice.

Long Cord

Iron cords range from 2m to 3m, in length. 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 close to the plug socket.

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

The top lightweight steam iron you can buy (without breaking the bank)


Cordless Morphy Richards Steam Iron with a 360-degree charging base
Tired of getting tangled up while ironing?

Best Cordless Iron
Morphy Richards

£54 £49 at Amazon

A cordless steam iron sounds good, but how does it compare to a corded model?


PROS
  • Cordless & easy to use
  • Good for occasional ironing
  • Lightweight
CONS
  • Corded irons are more powerful

Starting with the positives, this iron is lightweight and easy to use. There’s no getting tangled with the cord, it heats up quickly and removes creases effectively.

A cordless iron is about ease & convenience. This Morphy Richards model is perfect if you iron at a sensible pace, perhaps while watching TV? What you will find is that ironing without a cord is truly liberating!

However, choose a more powerful corded model or a steam generator iron if you plan to speed through the ironing pile in record time.

Similar to a cordless kettle, it sits on a base to heat up. Each time you rearrange the garment, pop it back on the base and it’ll recharge – easy! It takes a little getting used to, but you’ll soon wonder how you managed with a cord!

SPECIFICATION: MORPHY RICHARDS 303250 | WEIGHT: 1.4kg | POWER: 2400w | CORD LENGTH: 2.5m | TANK: 350ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 30g/min | STEAM SHOT: 130g | AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 3 years

Hate getting tangled in the cord? This is the model for you…


philips azur 7000 series steam iron in blue and white
Everything to make ironing quicker & easier

Best Buy Steam Iron
Philips Azur 7000

£74 £54 at Amazon

With lots of steam & a superb soleplate, this iron delivers better results in less time.


PROS
  • High steam volume
  • Easy glide soleplate
  • Robust build quality
CONS
  • Often sold out

OVERALL RATING: 92%

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 long-term tests, we can confirm that this iron not only works well out of the box but continues to perform, year after year.

SPECIFICATION: PHILIPS 7000 | WEIGHT: 1.6kg | POWER: 2800w | CORD LENGTH: 2.5m | TANK: 300ml | CONTINUOUS STEAM: 50g/min | STEAM SHOT: 250g | AUTO SHUT OFF: Yes | WARRANTY: 2 years

Plenty of steam, robust build quality and an easy glide base make the Philips Azur the Verum Best Buy


high power and steam output premium recommended steam iron with micro filter and easy glide soleplate uk
Tefal Pure FV9845 – Ultimate Power

Best for Power
Tefal Ultimate Pure FV9845

£159 £94 at Amazon

The Tefal Ultimate Pure has an excellent specification & performs brilliantly


PROS
  • Powerful
  • Durillium soleplate
  • Good anti-limescale system
CONS
  • Expensive

OVERALL RATING: 95%

Power coupled with premium features makes this steam iron a great choice for anyone 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. 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 all the boxes, this model also has a large water tank and a long cord.

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

The Ultimate Pure is one of the most powerful steam irons available.

TOP TIP: Spending over £100? How about a steam generator iron?


FAQs

Why choose a lightweight iron?

It’s not a workout. Let the soleplate glide across the fabric & use the steam to remove the creases (not muscle!). There’s no benefit to pressing down hard or a heavy handset. A lightweight iron is the right choice for your wrist & back.

Are cordless irons any good?

Cordless steam irons offer real freedom. There’s something liberating about ironing without getting tangled in the cord. They’re great for pressing the occasional garment but don’t match our recommended models for power and continuous steam output.

In short, if you only iron the occasional garment (lucky you!), then do take a look at the cordless Morphy Richards model detailed above.

How To Avoid Brown Spots & 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. (research source Ohio State University).

What’s a Steam Generator Iron?

Fancy getting the ironing done in less time? A steam generator iron delivers a constant high steam volume via a lightweight handset. A small tank sits on the end of your board which pumps steam to the handset, transforming the task of ironing.
Choose the right model & you will cut your ironing time by around 30%.

A steam generator iron makes ironing considerably quicker, the handset is super light and the results are excellent. If this appeals & you’d like to know more, here’s our complete guide to steam generator irons.


Verum Deal Checker…

BUY TODAY & SAVE £38
Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra
+ Powerful, effective & affordable
+ Verum™ Best Seller & Reader Favourite

BUY TODAY & SAVE £20
Philips Azur
+ Perfect for speedy ironing with lots of steam & an easy glide soleplate (plus robust desgn & good limescale control)
+ Verum™ Best Buy Award Winner

BOTTOM LINE UK

For under £50, the Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra is a best seller and for good reason – it’s effective, durable & affordable.

For a few quid more, the Philips Azur is our top choice and Best Buy for most households. The high steam output, robust design and limescale control make ironing quicker & easier.

If you’re looking for the ultimate iron, then the Tefal Ultimate Pure is for you. Compared to premium models, this Tefal stands out for all the right reasons – you will power through the ironing pile in record time!

The alternative is a steam generator iron. They’re not cheap, but choose one of our recommended models and you’ll cut your ironing time by around a third.
Want to know more? Take a look at the complete guide to choosing the best steam generator iron…


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