My sister and I are at polar opposites of the ironing world. I still use a traditional flat iron, bought when I was a student, and my sister, the technophile, has the latest steam iron, complete with a steam generator and all mod cons. But which one provides the best results is a matter, not only of opinion, but of our different needs.
I rarely use mine, being a single person and tending to wear the more iron friendly fabrics, whereas my sister has a large family to look after, including a husband who works in an office, and several children who require freshly ironed school gear. Therefore, we have the exact irons for our requirements. But if you are in the market for a new iron, here are some tips on different types and the best ones for your requirements.
Irons come in two categories, the dry iron and the steam iron. Not many people opt for the dry types now, so favoured by myself, and tend to go for the more modern steam appliances. Within the steam category are two types; the basic steam iron and the steam generator.
Must have steam type Irons features
Features to look out for in both steam types of irons are
– Wattage (the higher the better),
– A water reservoir that is easy to refill,
– A non stick or stainless steel soleplate (which helps the iron to glide across the fabric without sticking),
– A swivel cord and
– Variable heat/fabric settings.
With standard steam irons you should look out for ease of cleaning with your new iron, as the build up of limescale can seriously affect the performance of your iron. Check to see if the iron comes with anti-calcium cartridges or self-cleaning systems, such as the Russell Hobbs 14992 Express Steam Iron – £25.02, which includes a 250ml water tank and a steam shot to help you get the creases out of your clothes.
There is also a steam glide ceramic soleplate for smooth ironing, and the anti-calc system with self cleaning feature keeps your iron working if you live in an area with hard water.
Extra features can improve the performance of your ironing, such as steam nozzles, directional water sprays, vertical steam to steam curtains and easy-glide soleplates.
The Bosch Sensixx B7 Premier Power TDA7640GB Steam Iron – £63.98, boasts 2750W of power, and is ultra-quick to heat up, featuring an ultra-smooth Palladium Glissée ceramic soleplate with vertical steam capability, making it ideal for smoothing and refreshing hanging items.
It also provides a drip-stop leak protection system, and anti-calc system, a water spray function, and an active steam system for protection of fabrics.
The length of the cable is a feature that most people do not consider, but can make a huge difference to the ease of ironing. Most cables are a standard three-metres cord, but a shorter cable can affect your ability to manoeuvre your iron effectively.
Steam generating irons work by generating pressurized steam and have a water station that the iron rests on, complete with a connecting water tube from iron to water tank.
By utilising pressurized steam your ironing time is cut considerably, and this is a bonus if you have a lot of ironing to do on a regular basis. These ironing systems tend to be more expensive and much bulkier, but it does mean that you can speed through your ironing at a much faster rate.
Try the Tefal GV8461 Steam Generator Iron – £189.99, which features an Auto Clean soleplate, super powered 6 bar pressure for a powerful steam performance, the unique Tefal anti scale collector and an ultra fast 2 minute heat-up time. There is also an Eco setting which saves 20% more energy.