They are comfortable, stylish and help you stay cool on hot summer days, but clothes made with light, natural fibres, such as cotton and linen, have a tendency to crease easily. We’ve tested some of the most popular steam irons to find out which remove wrinkles from these fabrics with minimum effort, and which ones will leave you hot under the collar.
Natural fibres are great at absorbing moisture, but they aren’t as elastic as man-made materials such as nylon or polyester, which means they don’t spring back into shape as readily when they have been crushed or wrinkled. That’s why linen trousers and dresses look so dishevelled when you take them in off the washing line or out of a suitcase. To smarten them up, you’ll need an iron that creates plenty of steam, as the extra moisture relaxes the fibres and makes garments easier to smooth out.
We’ve just published new reviews of 15 of the most popular irons, including three new Best Buys. The best ones should quickly smooth away stubborn creases in linen and cotton with minimum effort. Read on to find out more, and check out our new steam iron reviews.
Summer ironing can be particularly time-consuming, as you switch between high temperatures for linens and cottons and the low settings required for delicate fabrics such as silk. If you’re looking for a quicker way to keep your summer wardrobe looking good, an all-in-one steam iron could be the ideal solution.
All-in-one irons don’t usually have a temperature-control dial; instead they use one low temperature for everything, from hard-to-iron linen to delicate silk. They pump out so much steam that the soleplate doesn’t need to be as hot to remove creases, so your delicates stay safe from scorching, while stubborn wrinkles in tough fabrics come out without too much effort. Plus, you won’t waste time sorting your laundry before you start, leaving more time to enjoy the summer sunshine.
Four of the irons we’ve just tested have an all-in-one temperature setting, including the £70 Beko SPA7131. Other useful features on this model include an auto switch-off if it hasn’t been moved for a while and an anti-drip function that stops water droplets staining delicate garments. Read our Beko SPA7131 review to find out more.
Steam generator irons with extra features
Steam generators should pump out a lot more steam than normal irons, making them perfect for tough summer fabrics. The latest model from Philips is a steam generator iron with OptimalTemp, Philips’ all-in-one temperature technology. At £199.97, it’s the most expensive model we tested, but its 1.8-litre water tank is bigger than most, and an energy-saving eco setting can reduce the amount of steam it gives out, if required. Read our full Philips GC8735/80 iron review to find out how long it lasts before it needs to be topped up.
At £69, the SGA7126P from Beko isn’t too expensive for a steam generator, particularly one with so many extra features, including a smart temperature setting and a digital display that tells you when it’s time to top up the water tank or descale the boiler. Read the Beko SGA7126P iron review to learn how it fared in our tests.
If you’re not convinced by all-in-one settings, the Bosch TDS6080GB steam generator iron, £190, is the best of both worlds. Its all-in-one iTemp feature joins the usual one-, two- or three-dot temperature settings. Read the full Bosch TDS6080GB iron review for the results of our test.
Other irons on test
Hot off the Which? ironing board, find out more about the latest irons we’ve tested:
Asda GPI103B-15 – £28
Bosch TDA2329GB – £21
Bosch TDA2080GB – £39
Bosch TDA3022GB – £59
Philips GC4526/87 – £50
Russell Hobbs 23590 – £18
Russell Hobbs 23770 – £26
Tefal FV9740 – £75
Tefal FV9966 – £100
Prices correct as of July 2017.