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Don't Buy steam irons

by Christina Woodger

The worst irons we’ve tested are slow, hard to use and don’t produce enough steam to smooth out creases easily. Find out which irons you should avoid.

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 A bad iron or steam generator takes too long to steam up, is ineffective on creases and gets so clogged up with limescale that steam levels quickly drop off.

Each iron we test is put through its paces to check how fast it gets to work, how easy it is to use and how steamy it is – even after regular use. Steam irons and steam generator irons that pick up poor scores in our tests get a Don't Buy warning. 

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Steam irons to avoid

While a good iron will mean less time spent at the ironing board, some will make ironing even more of a chore.

Don't Buy irons are slow or ineffective at budging creases, get clogged up with limescale, or have soleplates that scratch easily. They may also be uncomfortable to hold or need refilling constantly, which will quickly get frustrating if you spend a lot of time ironing. 

With iron prices ranging from just £10 to more than £100, or more than £350 for a steam generator iron, you might expect that you'll get better results with a more expensive model.

But our tests have found expensive irons that require a lot of maintenance, fail to pump out much steam and aren’t easy to use, as well as Best Buys that cost around £20 and glide through piles of laundry effortlessly. 

Steam iron reviews you can trust

We've tested scores of steam irons and steam generator irons from the biggest brands, such as Bosch, Breville, Morphy Richards, Philips, Rowenta, Russell Hobbs and Tefal. 

Our comprehensive steam iron reviews tell you which steam irons are tough on creases and which Don't Buy models make ironing harder than it needs to be.

  • Our experts put every iron through the same rigorous tests, including steam power, limescale resistance and soleplate durability, so you can see how they measure up to their manufacturer's claims.
  • Our tests cover steam irons and steam generator irons across a broad spectrum of prices, from budget buys to top-of-the-range models. You don't mean to spend more to get a great iron - we found Best Buys that cost around £20.
  • Every iron gets a Which? test score and a detailed review. So you can see the best and worst straight away, and read how each model compares in terms of features.

Irons and steam generator irons that pick up poor scores in our tests get our Don't Buy warning.

Our independent verdicts will help you get flawless results whatever you're ironing – and will save you time and money in the long run. 

Log in or join Which? to unlock our full list of Don’t Buy products on this page.