Effie is the world’s first automated ironing machine you can use at home – drying and ironing your clothes so you don’t have to. So what’s the catch?
It’s no secret that an increasing number of us are turning to technology as a solution to life’s less interesting tasks, and household chores are no exception.
A YouGov poll* revealed that ironing is the nation’s most hated chore, with 50% of Brits saying they disliked it. In fact, 10% of people surveyed said they don’t iron at all – but is there a way to change this?
The team behind Effie certainly think so. As the world’s first (and only) domestic ironing machine, it has the potential to do very well. With an estimated price of £699 to £999, however, it won’t be for everyone. Plus, you can’t yet buy Effie – only register your interest.
A poor iron that struggles to remove creases will make this already dreaded chore seem even worse. We’ll help you make the job a great deal easier – see our best easy-to-use steam irons.
What is the Effie?
The Effie ironing machine looks like a stylish, space-age wardrobe on wheels. It doesn’t require any plumbing, so you can store it wherever you like – just don’t forget to fill up the water tank.
With the capacity to iron 12 items at once, Effie could be a real time-saver. It can iron any item of clothing that fits into the window of the device, such as shirts, trousers, T-shirts, and short dresses, as well as bedding and towels.
This large capacity does mean that Effie is a bulky machine, though, so not the easiest thing to stash away in a cupboard when you’re finished with it.
You can add your wet clothes to Effie straight out of the washing machine, and each garment will be dried and ironed in just six minutes. If your clothes are already dry, ironing takes just three minutes per item.
There’s a separate drying bag for delicate items, too, plus a handy touch-up tool for adding that signature collar press. If fragrance is your thing, there will also be an option to add scented pods to a cycle.
You can register your interest on helloeffie.com to be the first to find out when it’s available. It’s currently due to be released mid-2020 – but take this with a pinch of salt, as it was originally supposed to be on the market back in 2018.
We asked Effie if it could provide us with a more exact date or price. It told us that as it’s currently reviewing its timeline, the best option is to enter your email address on the website for the most up-to-date information.
Looking for a device that will help you steam through your ironing pile now? Our expert lab tests have uncovered the best steam generators.
Is the Effie ironing machine worth the price?
With an estimated price of £699 to £999, it’s no secret that Effie is a real investment. But is it a long-term investment worth making?
Effie’s inventors claim it doesn’t use any more power than a conventional hairdryer (£49 per year). If you consider how much it costs to regularly run a tumble dryer (£67 per year) and then an iron (£15 per year), the initial expense (nearly) starts to make sense.
We based the figures in our chart above on using a hairdryer (or Effie) for three hours per week. The figure for irons is also based on three hours of use per week, and for tumble dryers our energy calculations are based on each tumble dryer being used three times a week to wash a 70% full load of cottons.
This means that, even at the lower price of £699, it wouldd still take Effie just over 21 years to pay for itself. Which is a pretty long-term commitment.
Effie: would you buy it?
Is £699 still too much to spend on an iron? Let us know what you think in our poll below.
So what’s the downside of Effie?
Without a doubt, the price. Some of our top-rated, best steam irons come in at less than £50. Which is unlikely to break the bank.
Effie also can’t iron items that are too long for its window, so anything that goes below the knee (not including trousers) is out of the question.
Beware of the Effie scam
You should watch out for copycat brands claiming to offer the Effie product.
There’s currently a warning on the official website to ignore claims about an ‘Effie equivalent’ called Smart WardRobe. Effie says this is a scam.
If you see any of these adverts, you should report them as spam – and do not enter any of your personal details.
Top-notch Effie alternatives
Sure, we haven’t reviewed any irons that do the job for you (yet). But our Best Buy irons offer a very good alternative at a fraction of the eye-watering price.
We spend almost 2,000 hours testing irons every year, ensuring we only recommend the ones that will get your clothes crease-free without spending hours at the ironing board.
Investing in the right iron is crucial, no matter how often you use it, but spending more than £699 on Effie certainly won’t be the best choice for everyone.
We only make a steam iron a Best Buy if it makes light work of creases on a variety of fabrics and doesn’t lose power over time. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune, though – we have several Best Buy irons for less than £50.
- YouGov Poll conducted 14-17 October 2016