Best and worst steam generator irons revealed by Which?Spend less time ironing with a Best Buy generator

29 December 2011

If a new iron is on your January sales shopping list, our latest test lab reviews can steer you towards those models that make ironing less of a chore.

Our latest iron reviews focus on steam generators, which can make ironing quicker and easier. They produce much more steam than standard irons because they come with a separate water tank. 

The Which? lab has been ploughing through piles of ironing to find out which of the 14 steam generators we've just tested made light work of removing creases from crumpled clothes. We reveal the latest Best Buys - and those models to avoid - in our steam iron reviews.

New Best Buy steam generator irons

We've tested the latest models from top iron brands such as Philips, Bosch, Tefal and Hoover - but it's not all big names; we also have full test results for one of the cheapest steam generators currently available, costing just £55. 

Read our steam iron reviews for the Argos Value 924/8179 steam generator to see if it's any good. 

Steam generators

The benefits of a steam generator include being more powerful than a standard iron, being able to hold much more water and a lighter iron, as the water is stored in the tank, not in the iron. 

Downsides include being larger and bulkier, making them harder to store and they're usually more expensive. 

Irons reviews

Which? irons expert Lisa Galliers says: 'A steam generator won't be one of the most exciting purchases you'll make in 2012, but the time you'll save by using a decent model makes the investment and shopping around worth it.

'We've tested a range of steam generators including one of the cheapest  models available. We've also tested the Philips compact steam generator, and a range of models which claim to be easy to keep limescale-free.'

Which? puts all steam irons and steam generators we review through extensive scaling tests, simulating three months worth of ironing to see how much they scale up We then see how effective descaling is at making the iron work like new.

Philips Perfect Care

Results just published include full test reviews for the Philips Perfect Care - the first iron without a temperature dial. This innovative iron claims to automatically adjust the iron to the perfect temperature setting according to what's being ironed.

Our professional ironer reveals whether this steam generator can really iron delicate and tough fabrics in any order without damaging them. 

More on this...