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The best irons for your summer wardrobe

Spruce up those crumpled garments lurking at the back of your cupboards

Our latest lab tests have revealed scores for 10 new steam irons, including models from Philips, Tefal, Bosch and more, to help you choose which iron is best to buy this summer.

If, like us, this week’s warm weather has inspired you to dig your summer clothes out from the back of your wardrobe, you may be in search of the right iron to get them looking their best.

We’ve tested and reviewed over 170 steam irons, so you can choose a model that suits you. Our most recent batch of testing included 10 new models to add to the collection – one of which did so poorly that it came perilously close to a Don’t Buy label.

Check our full list of steam iron reviews before you buy.

Effortless ironing?

It’s no surprise that ironing is one of the nation’s least favourite chores – there are plenty of unwieldy irons out there that are a struggle to use and barely make any impact on creases. If that sounds familiar, it could be time to buy a new one.

We can’t promise to make ironing completely effortless, but irons that deliver plenty of steam should make the job much easier. Steam relaxes the fibres in your fabrics, making creases easier to remove. Some fabrics need more steam than others – if you’re dusting off a linen suit for the wedding season, you’ll need plenty of steam to get it looking fresh.

Steam generators tend to give off more steam than irons, using a pump to pressurise steam and force it through the fibres. However, they’re often more expensive than irons, and take up more storage space. Read the full review of the Tefal Liberty SV7040, £130, (right) to see whether our experts think it’s worth the extra spend.

If you’re after a little more steam with a smaller pricetag, the Saturn Steam, £58, from Morphy Richards (right) could offer the best of both worlds. It has an internal pump like a generator, but on a much smaller scale. Read our Morphy Richards Saturn Steam review to find out how it performed in our lab.

Features to look out for

A common bugbear when it comes to ironing is the cord. If it’s not rubbing on your wrists, it could be catching on the clothes you’re ironing or getting tangled around your feet.

Thankfully, more and more brands are releasing cordless irons to get rid of this problem. However, you do need to keep putting them back on the base unit to reheat, which can slow you down. Our new review of the JML Phoenix Gold FreeFlight steam iron, £50, reveals what our testers thought of this cordless model.

Another feature we’re seeing more of these days is a one-size-fits-all steam and temperature setting, which saves you having to adjust the controls according to the type of fabric you’re ironing. This is particularly helpful when you’re switching between delicate summer fabrics that can be sensitive to heat.

Philips has created its own version of this feature – OptimalTemp. You don’t need to sort your clothes into hot and cool piles before you start, or wait for the iron to heat up or cool down as you switch from one fabric to another, so it can save you time. It’s also guaranteed not to scorch any ironable fabric, which could be good news if you’re prone to ruining clothes with a tell-tale iron-shaped imprint. Head to our Philips Azur Elite GC5039/30, £160, review to see how this feature worked in practice.

Latest steam generator and steam iron reviews

Follow the links to the reviews of all of the steam iron and generator models we’ve tested this month:

 Steam irons

Steam generators

Prices correct as of 17 April 2018.

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