Want the best steam generator iron? Here’s our quick, simple guide!

​I have assembled a list of the most popular iron choices on the market today based on the thousands of reviews I have read online about every steam iron available.

With so many reviews and so much information these days, it can be really hard to get the best and most accurate information before making a purchase. No one wants to spend hours reading hundreds of reviews on something as boring as a steam iron, which is why I've done the work for you, and produced a simple guide below based on my vast knowledge to help you find the best iron!

Introduction

Doing the ironing is a task that is unavoidable, especially if you live in a house with a couple of kids who love to roll around in the mud and a lazy husband!

With this buyer's guide, I hope to teach you exactly what to look for and show you some of the top steam iron models available in 2016. Hopefully, you’re not totally board (board…get it…) by the end of this guide and I hope that I address all the pressing (ok, no more puns now) issues you have in making your choice.

Steam Generator Iron Reviews - Top 5 Picks

Firstly, a quick reference table for the top five steam generator products which I’ve identified through meticulous research. I would recommend that you take a look at all of the steam generator models below, as they are unanimously voted as the best on the market at the moment.

Image

Model

Rating

Amazon Prices

Morphy Richards Jet Steam 42244

4.5

.

Philips GC7619/20 PerfectCare Pure

4.3

.

Tefal Gv8461 Pro Express Autoclean

4.7

.

Tefal Gv9461 Protect Autoclean

4.7

.

Philips GC8638/20 PerfectCare Aqua

4.6

.

Benefits

The key to making ironing easy and sometimes even (dare I say it?) enjoyable is to have a steam generator iron. If you’re not familiar with the benefits, let me remind you:

Feature

Benefit

Quicker to produce steam and do the ironing than traditional irons

High steam output can cut your ironing time in half

Steam generator holds up to four times as much water as regular irons

Less trips to the sink to refill the steam generator

Water is held in a separate tank on steam generator unit

Easier to hold and use due to lighter, less bulkier iron

High pressure steam

steam penetrates the garments and makes ironing out stubborn wrinkles effortless

​Russell Hobbs also have a really great section of their website where they describe the benefits of the steam generator iron in comparison to regular irons, and there is some great information in this yahoo answer on the topic.

Ok, so you understand WHY you want a steam generator iron, but now you’re looking at all of the options wondering what is the best? There are lots of different steam generator iron products ranging in cost from as low as £30 to as high as £300 (yikes) with an average price of around £150. With pricing, it really all comes down to features, and the more you pay, the more you get. One of your first questions in all of this is probably how much you should pay for your iron? In my view, the pricing can be split into three groups:

Pricing

Low Range (up to £75)

There are a few low budget steam iron options starting from as little as £29.99 which are available but I would exercise caution when going this low with cost. Having scoured online for a decent low budget steam iron, my advice would just be to avoid the super cheap steam generator models. The reviews tend to suggest that, while some may be able to get by with a cheaper steam iron, the quality and performance of the steam generator just doesn’t come close to matching their more expensive counterparts.

​Mid-Range (£75-120)

This price range, in my opinion, is going to give you the best bang for your buck. If the thought of spending a ton of money on a steam iron makes your stomach turn, but you’d still like the features and functionality of a top quality steam iron then this is an excellent price point to aim for. In all honesty, unless you spend a ton of time ironing for a big family you don’t need a more expensive steam iron, but it is important to note that you will DEFINITELY miss out on some of the extra functionality and features of a steam generator discussed in the features section below.

Top-Range (£120+)

Your top range is the creme de la creme, the best out there. I saw a great review of one of the Philips steam irons on amazon calling it the “Porche of steam Irons” and this is a pretty decent description of what you’re going to get with any steam iron in this price range. At the end of the day, some things you will just benefit from paying more for, and a top quality steam iron is a product where you will definitely notice the difference due to how often you will use it. A higher quality steam iron will work better, last longer, and could even save you money if you buy a budget steam iron which breaks down quicker.

Verdict

Worth paying extra money for the best performing steam iron, but something available for everyone’s budget. I’m old fashioned, and when I saw that steam irons could cost as much as £300, I could not for the life of me understand why UNTIL I bought my first steam generator iron.

Features

You have a number of different options to consider when it comes to features which your  steam iron will have.

Automatic Shut Off

It can it cost you a lot of money, but it could also be very dangerous to leave something like an iron turned on accidentally. We’ve all done it, so you’re not alone. I saw a cute little doormat the other day which simply said “turn your straighteners off” and thought it was a funny sentiment, but on a serious note, the automatic shut off features which some steam irons have are completely invaluable and will save you in this sort of situation.

Water Tank Features

The capacity of your steam generator is super important. As mentioned earlier in this buyers guide, one of the main benefits of steam generator irons is that they hold more water in the steam generator and need to be refilled less than a regular iron. If you go through about a million t-shirts a week ironing for your whole family like I do, the last thing you want to be doing is running back and forth to the sink to fill up your steam generator. It’s also great if you can get a steam iron which has a detachable steam generator so that you don’t need to carry the full (sometimes heavy) steam generator to the kitchen to refill.​

Bar Pressure and Steam Output

A greater bar pressure and steam output would indicate a higher pressure of steam and more steam which basically equates to less time spent ironing and the best handling of tougher creases. Steam essentially relaxes the fabrics of the clothes you’re ironing and makes your job a whole lot easier. Do not underestimate this feature.

Soleplate

A high-quality soleplate on a steam iron is durable and glides over your clothes really easily, whereas a low-quality soleplate may get damaged easily and become scratched and uneven on the bottom which can make your job more difficult.

Scaling

Limescale build up can be a big problem for your iron, but many of these irons have features built into the steam generator to prevent limescale build up like filters and collecting devices.

Verdict

The most important features on an iron tend to be the bar pressure and steam output. The higher these numbers are, the better the performance of the iron.

The table below includes a small summary of the main features which you will want to look for in your iron. Arranged by price from lowest at the top to highest at the bottom, we can see that generally the lower priced iron models tend to lack features such as automatic shut-off and anti-drip which some may find useful in their steam generator.

You'll also notice that the higher priced iron models tend to excel in areas such as steam boost, steam bar pressure and steam generator capacity, the benefits of which are listed below in the features section.

As for how much steam boost and steam bar pressure etc. you need in your iron; personally, that is not something I can answer for you. All I would say is that the higher the performance in each of these areas, the easier your experience of ironing with your steam generator will be. If you're a student or maybe just a single person living in a flat, it might not make sense to spend £300 on an iron when the features of a more budget iron or even a non steam generator may be adequate. Likewise, if you live in a house with lots of children, you may find a life changing difference in the more expensive iron models with steam generator units.

Model

Automatic shut off

Capacity

Bar Pressure

Output

Boost

Antidrip

Rating

Morphy Richards Jet Steam 42244

No

1l

n/a

100g/min

n/a

No

4.5

Philips GC7619/20 PerfectCare Pure

No

1.5l

5

120g/min

180g

No

4.3

Tefal Gv8461 Pro Express Autoclean

Yes

1.8l

6

120g/min

260g

Yes

4.7

Tefal Gv9461 Protect Autoclean

Yes

1.8l

6

120g/min

260g

Yes

4.7

Philips GC8638/20 PerfectCare Aqua

Yes

2.5l

5.3

120g/min

280g

No

4.6

Product Overviews

After all of the above, you may still be wondering which is the best steam generator iron to suit your needs, and I would not blame you. There is a lot of information to take in, and it may be difficult to make up your mind with so many different iron options, but let me help you.

I want to make this as quick and as easy for you as possible. Should you be so inclined, on the sidebar you can see some of the in-depth reviews that I've written on some of these iron models, although that info is incredibly comprehensive and not always necessary.

I really don't want to bore you with the minute details of each steam generator, therefore just below, I've written a couple of summaries on my top 5 iron picks, including the advantages and disadvantages to going the premium or budget route, and also my top three features for each iron.

Again, I've skipped all of the boring tech specs in this section, but the best place you can find more info on all of that is either in my in-depth review of each iron or on Amazon.

Premium

Budget

  • Hold enough power for a family of any size and will keep time spent ironing to a minimum
  • Have many features such as auto turn off and anti drip that budget steam generator options don't tend to have
  • Are much more powerful in steam output and pressure bar levels
  • Generally will be adequate or even surpassing the needs of singles and small families
  • If you find that steam generator irons don't benefit you as much as you'd thought you've not invested too much

Premium Options


Tefal GV8461 Pro Express Autoclean (Click here for full review)

  • High 6 bar steam pressure with 260g steam boost
  • Iron heats up and produces steam in just 2 mins and the steam generator can be refilled without turning off for quick and continuous ironing
  • Ultra safe with an auto off function and a lock system which allows you to carry the iron and steam generator safely with one hand
.

Tefal GV9461 Protect Autoclean (Click here for full review)

  • High 6 bar steam pressure with 260g steam boost
  • Steam generator has a corrosion free boiler ensuring your iron lasts longer
  • Protective hood which ensures that your iron gets the best safety money can buy and lasts longer
.

Philips GC8638/20 PerfectCare Aqua (Click here for full review)

  • OptimalTEMP technology - no settings required, the built in smart chip works out the optimal temperature for the fabric you are ironing and sets it for you
  • Extend your product life by five times by simply replacing the cartridge when the indicator light flashes. You can continue using your PerfectCare Pure for up to half an hour with the old cartridge inside, but the defence feature will switch off your steam function to protect your iron from scale.
  • T-ionicGlide is Philips' premium soleplate design delivering a standard in glide and scratch resistance.
.

Budget Options


Morphy Richards Jet Steam 42244 (Click here for full review)

  • Diamond soleplate build with incredible durability and ability to last
  • Quick heat up - iron is ready to use in less than 2 minutes
  • Easy to maintain as it uses a replaceable antiscale cartridge
.

Philips GC7619/20 PerfectCare Pure (Click here for full review)

  • Compact size – 40% smaller and lighter than other steam generator irons for easy storage
  • OptimalTEMP technology - no settings required, the built in smart chip works out the optimal temperature for the fabric you are ironing and sets it for you
  • T-ionicGlide is Philips' premium soleplate design delivering a standard in glide and scratch resistance. The coating gives this iron 25 per cent better glide for effortless ironing on all fabrics.
.

Conclusion

All in all, I strongly believe that all of the above steam generator irons are great models and would be an excellent choice for almost anyone. I think the question of which iron you should choose is an important one which you shouldn't overlook and is going to largely depend on your personal circumstances.

As a busy mum, I can't tell you how many times my steam generator iron has made my life so much easier. When you come home after a long and strenuous day at work, the last thing I feel like doing is the ironing, but I chose a powerful model to ease the stress and make the ironing as enjoyable as possible.​

If I was a single person who was living on my own, I may not need as much 'firepower' as I have at the moment, but I'm really happy with the choice I made in spending a lot of money, and I think if your circumstances warrant it, the more you spend the better the ironing experience you will have!

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