Steam Output – why is it important?

One of the hallmark features of a steam generator iron is the higher output of steam. The reason why steam generator irons are generally considered superior to regular steam irons is because they’re designed to give you a higher steam output, so it is no wonder why most steam generator iron product descriptions will give information on the steam output. There are three different components to steam output which are the continuous output, bar pressure, and boost.

Continuous output and bar pressure are both factors which affect the amount of steam coming out of your iron on a continuous basis. Basically, the higher the bar pressure and output, the more steam comes out of your iron and the easier your fabrics loosen for easier ironing.

To give you an idea of how much steam generator irons are superior to steam irons, the best selling steam iron on Amazon at the moment has a continuous steam output of 40g, with a ‘boost’ shot of 145g. Most of the steam generator irons reviewed on this site have a continuous steam output of at least 120g which is 3x more powerful than your regular steam iron. They also tend to have much more significant boost functions which often produce over 250g of steam.

With the above in mind, it is often the case that steam generator irons have a big advantage over steam irons directly because of their steam outputs, and is therefore probably the single most important reason for buying a steam generator iron.

You will generally find that for most steam generators on the market, steam output is highly correlated with price, which may lead you to the question of how much you should pay for you steam generator iron and when the disadvantages of higher cost outweigh the better performance? I would say this is purely down to personal circumstance.

One of the highest performing steam generator irons on the market at the moment is the Philips GC9642/60 which is retailing at over £350 in many stores. For many working class parents like myself, this price may seem completely ludicrous, I mean who in their right mind would pay that amount of money for a steam generator iron? The answer again depends on your personal circumstances.

Let me paint a picture for you. If we take a fictional character called Sally. Sally does the ironing for her street and gets paid £5 per load. She has a street of approximately 50 people who she irons for every week and earns £250 per week. The problem that Sally has is she has a full-time job with kids and is therefore not able to take on any more work because the 50 jobs she does a week take up all of her free time, but she is aware that the next street down have heard about her services and there is growing demand for her work.

If we assume that the average load of ironing takes approximately 30 minutes, and Sally can cut down on the amount of time spent per load by 10% if she buys a higher performing iron for £300, this means that Sally will have an extra 2 and a half hours per week, where she can take on another 5 jobs and make a further £25 per week. It would take her approximately 3 months to pay off the cost of the iron for working the exact same amount of hours, and then after that, she would be making an extra £25 per week, which is an absolutely fantastic investment considering the iron will probably last for years to come.

Is the above situation applicable to most working class families? Probably not, but you have to carefully consider how much time you would save over the long term with a higher performing iron and ask yourself if it is worth paying extra for. Even some valued family time can be worth a lot and be more important than money.

I’ve kind of went way off topic here, but hopefully, you can see where I’m coming from now and understand the importance of steam output for your steam generator iron.