Our latest tests have revealed two Best Buy steam irons, which are sure to make your ironing easier. We sent 10 irons to the lab, with prices ranging from £19 up to £170. But which made the cut?
They say a bad workman blames his tools, but if you find ironing a chore, the problem could genuinely be your iron. Of our batch of 10, two easily saw off the most stubborn creases, earning our Best Buy recommendation. Four fell just short of being Best Buys and a further two did a passable job.
But two left much to be desired. One is far too lightweight to make much impact on creases; the other starts out promisingly but scales up far too quickly – and cleaning doesn’t do much to bring the steam back. Steam relaxes fibres in your clothes and makes it easier to smooth out creases. Without it, ironing will feel like a colossal chore.
Scroll down to find out more about the irons on test, or head to our Best Buy steam irons to find out which flatten the competition.
The latest iron reviews
Philips PowerLife GC2999/86, £70
This Philips model has all the features you would expect, including a steam-boost function for obstinate creases, vertical steam for sprucing up suits on the hanger and an anti-drip feature to stop water from staining your clothes when you’re ironing at low temperatures. Its 3.1-metre cord is longer than most, so you won’t need to stand right next to the plug socket.
The soleplate is a good shape for slipping under buttons, and creating sharp pleats and folds, but will it glide easily across cotton shirts or thick linen trousers?
Head to the Philips PowerLife GC2999/86 review to find out.
Bosch EasyComfort TDS4070GB, £158
Steam generators traditionally give out much more steam than irons, using a pump to pressurise steam and force it through the fibres. However, they can be expensive, going up to as much as £400.
The Bosch EasyComfort TDS4070GB is part of a growing trend for cheaper, unpressurised steam generator irons. These don’t have as much oomph as pressurised generators.
In addition to its steam-boost and vertical steam functions, this Bosch has a setting called iTemp, designed to supply the perfect combination of temperature and steam for any ironable fabric. This means you don’t have to fiddle with the controls or sort your laundry pile before you begin. Many Philips irons have a similar feature called OptimalTemp.
There’s also an energy-saving setting, which you can use to reduce steam when ironing delicate garments.
Get our expert opinion on whether the Bosch EasyComfort TDS4070GB is worth buying.
John Lewis Steam Station 7820, £70
If you’re after something fancier than a traditional iron, but with a smaller price tag than a generator, this own-brand Steam Station from John Lewis could offer the best of both worlds.
It comes with a large base, but works like an iron, with the base (which can hold 1.2 litres of water) simply working as an automatic filling station for the iron tank.
The soleplate is ceramic and it has a steam boost, vertical steam and an energy-saving setting.
Not sure whether you want an iron or a generator? Find out whether the John Lewis Steam Station 7820 makes a good halfway house by reading our full review.
We’ve tested 173 irons overall. Jump straight to our steam iron reviews for our independent verdict.
How to iron: ironing symbols explained
Even with a Best Buy iron, you’ll need to iron fabrics correctly to make sure they last. Different types of fabric need different approaches and different temperature settings. Always check the iron symbols on the care label before you begin.
Don’t let lovely clothes languish in the back of your wardrobe through fear of ironing them wrong. To find out how to iron different fabrics, including cotton, linen, nylon and polyester, head to our handy guide to how to iron different fabrics.
Top ironing tips
- Leave enough space in the washing machine for your clothes to tumble around freely. Overloading can cause clothes to wrinkle, forcing you to put more effort into ironing them.
- Often it’s best to iron clothes when damp from the washing machine as the extra moisture will loosen the fibres and smooth out creases.
- Separate your fabrics by type (unless you have an iron with a one-size-fits-all steam and temperature setting). Begin with thin fabrics and work up to thicker ones, rather than switching back and forth between them.
- Don’t be tempted to whack the heat up too high to get the job done quicker – your synthetic fabrics won’t thank you.
If you’re after more tips, visit our guide to how to iron.
Prices correct as of August 2018.