Best steam generator irons to buy in 2020
The best steam generator irons pump out lots more steam than a standard iron, making ironing quicker and easier.
But a steam generator iron can be expensive and bulky, and not all live up to the manufacturer's claims.
Our expert guide looks at the key things to consider when choosing a steam generator. From how much to spend, to which features to look out for, we’ll help you choose the best model - and avoid the worst.
Top five steam generators
We’ve picked out the top five steam generators that will steam through your ironing and leave laundry wrinkle-free. Each model scores highly when it comes to how well it smooths creases from clothing, as well as how easy and quick it is to use.
If you’re not already a member, to unlock the steam generator recommendations below and get instant access to all of our reviews - including our steam generator and steam iron reviews. Which? members can simply
And here's three to avoid
Steam generators should make ironing quicker and easier, but some don’t produce enough steam or take ages to heat up, making them worse than a regular iron.
Video: how to buy the best steam generator
Watch our video for expert advice on what you need to look out for when buying a steam generator.
Will I have to wait long before I can start ironing?
The best steam generators are ready to go in two minutes, but with some you have to wait for pressure to build before you can start ironing, which can take more than 10 minutes.
These models usually have to cool and depressurise before you can refill the water tank. If you need more than one tank of water to get through your laundry pile, this will really add to the time it will take to finish the job.
Is limescale a problem for steam generators?
The amount of steam your generator produces can seriously tail off if limescale builds up inside. However, steam generators tend not to clog up as quickly as steam irons.
Nearly all steam generators come with in-built cleaning systems to try to flush out limescale, as with steam irons. The cleaning process can range from a few quick and simple steps, to more complicated procedures involving shaking the boiler over the sink or soaking parts in lemon juice for four hours.
Steam generators and antiscale cartridges
Some steam generators come with anti-scale cartridges that claim to prevent limescale forming and should keep steam powerful. These cartridges need replacing every few months and cost around £5 each.
If you don’t have a replacement to hand, you should be able to iron with distilled water in place of tap water. But you might find this a hassle that gets in the way of your ironing routine – and some models won’t function if the cartridge needs replacing.
Why Which? steam generator reviews are better
Which? is completely independent – so you can trust our reviews to give you the full, honest and impartial truth about which steam generators are best.
Every steam generator iron we review has been through exhaustive testing in our lab. We go further than anyone else to make sure our reviews are comprehensive and easily comparable, taking the guesswork away when it comes to you making a decision.
We'll tell you how well each iron smoothes out creases, if it resists lime-scale build-up, how easy it is to fill, empty and clean, and how robust the soleplate is – so you can buy the best steam generator for you.