Best Steam Generator Irons 2023 (UK’s top 6 reviewed)

Let’s talk about nobody’s favourite task – ironing. Ironing is one of those thankless jobs that takes ages to do and even if you’re using a steam iron to cut down on the amount of time and effort, chances are you have to keep stopping to refill the water reservoir. Plus once the steam iron is full of water, it then becomes so much heavier, and unless you have muscles like Mr. Universe it’s much harder to use.

If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to think about getting an upgrade. No, not bodybuilding, it’s time to get into the wonderful world of steam generator irons. They are lightweight, hold much more water, make ironing easy, and can cut the ironing time down by at least a third. So if you’re tired of being a domestic slave wasting time and energy, struggling to get the creases out of the family’s clothes, it’s definitely time to get a steam generator iron.

If steam generator irons are a new idea to you, maybe you’ve never heard of them before now. Or if you have heard of steam generator irons but don’t know which is the best to buy, read on. In this guide you’ll find all the information you’ll need to make the right choice to purchase the best steam generator iron that suits your needs.

Top Recommended Steam Generator Irons

Here are our picks for the top Steam Generator Irons you can buy:

1. Philips PerfectCare Compact Steam Generator Iron, 1.5L Water Tank, Energy Saving, ECO Mode, No Burns with OptimalTEMP Technology, SteamGlide Soleplate (GC7840/26)

Philips PerfectCare Compact Steam Generator Iron, 1.5L Water Tank, Energy Saving, ECO Mode, No Burns with OptimalTEMP Technology, SteamGlide Soleplate (GC7840/26)

In our number 1 position, we have the Philips PerfectCare Compact Steam Generator Iron, 1.5L Water Tank, Energy Saving, ECO Mode, No Burns with OptimalTEMP Technology, SteamGlide Soleplate (GC7840/26).

Ultra-fast ironing with 120 g/min continuous steam and 400g steam boost: Helps tackle thick fabrics, quickly removing tough creases

No burns guaranteed: Iron everything from silk to jeans without adjusting the temperature thanks to OptimalTEMP technology

Check Price

2. Philips PerfectCare Compact Steam Generator - 2400W, 400g Steam Boost, 6.5 Bar Pressure, OptimalTEMP Technology, 1.5L Tank, Burgundy/White (GC7842/46)

Philips PerfectCare Compact Steam Generator - 2400W, 400g Steam Boost, 6.5 Bar Pressure, OptimalTEMP Technology, 1.5L Tank, Burgundy/White (GC7842/46)

Coming in at a close number 2 we have the Philips PerfectCare Compact Steam Generator - 2400W, 400g Steam Boost, 6.5 Bar Pressure, OptimalTEMP Technology, 1.5L Tank, Burgundy/White (GC7842/46).

Ultra-fast ironing with 120 g/min continuous steam and 400g steam boost: Helps tackle thick fabrics, quickly removing tough creases

No burns guaranteed: Iron everything from silk to jeans without adjusting the temperature thanks to OptimalTEMP technology

Check Price

3. Russell Hobbs 24420 Steam Generator Iron, Series 1, 2400 W, Black/White, 90 g

Russell Hobbs 24420 Steam Generator Iron, Series 1, 2400 W, Black/White, 90 g

The number 3 spot is held by the Russell Hobbs 24420 Steam Generator Iron, Series 1, 2400 W, Black/White, 90 g.

Ultimate steam power delivers crease busting steam that can penetrate multiple layers cutting your ironing time in half – ideal if you like to do all your ironing and a regular basis or large families

Handy auto-clean with calc-clean protection to maintain the powerful steam performance

Check Price

4. Tefal High Pressure Steam Generator Iron, Pro Express Protect, white & Burgundy, GV9220

Tefal High Pressure Steam Generator Iron, Pro Express Protect, white & Burgundy, GV9220

The number 4 position belongs to the Tefal High Pressure Steam Generator Iron, Pro Express Protect, white & Burgundy, GV9220.

Be efficient: To cut your ironing time by 30 minutes, Pro Express Protect combines a 7.5-bar high-pressure boiler with 135gmin steam output and a 540gmin boost for professional-grade efficiency. Versus a traditional steam iron

Save time: This high pressure steam generator is preset to one perfect combination of steam and temperature that’s 100 percent safe for all fabrics. Go from denim to delicates changing a thing For all ironable fabrics

Check Price

5. Tefal Steam Generator Iron, Express Essential, 2200 W, White and Blue, SV6116

Tefal Steam Generator Iron, Express Essential, 2200 W, White and Blue, SV6116

Securing our number 5 position is the Tefal Steam Generator Iron, Express Essential, 2200 W, White and Blue, SV6116.

Refresh and sanitise: This steam generator iron has a handy vertical steam mode that’s great for last-minute touch-ups or sanitising fabrics, killing up to 99.9 percent of bacteria and germs. Reduce energy: Switch to Eco mode and you can enjoy the same speedy steaming results, all while using less energy

Steam non-stop: Have you let your laundry pile stack up over the week? Worry not. The generous fixed 1.4L water tank avoids the need for constant refills, so you can just dive right in and get the job done

Check Price

6. Morphy Richards 332013 Steam Generator Iron Power Steam Elite With Auto Clean And Safety Lock, Steam Generator Red Black

Morphy Richards 332013 Steam Generator Iron Power Steam Elite With Auto Clean And Safety Lock, Steam Generator Red Black

The Morphy Richards 332013 Steam Generator Iron Power Steam Elite With Auto Clean And Safety Lock, Steam Generator Red Black secures our 6th position on this list.

Ultimate steam power delivers crease busting steam that can penetrate multiple layers cutting your ironing time In half

Unique Auto-clean, hassle free lime scale protection to maintain the powerful steam performance

Check Price

How Do Steam Generator Irons Work

To explain how steam generator irons work properly, we need to look at how conventional steam irons work. Stay with me though, as I know you’re thinking “I know how a steam iron works”. But without showing the comparisons, I can’t show the details correctly.

Steam Irons

A standard steam iron usually has a water reservoir with a capacity of around 300ml, this makes the iron heavier at the start of the ironing process. Then as you use the steam, the water level drops, the iron becomes lighter, easier to wield, and then it runs out of steam. By the time you refill the water reservoir, the iron has cooled and you have to wait for it to regain the correct temperature before you can iron clothes again.

Added to this is the small amount of steam volume from a conventional iron, at most a steam iron can produce around 55 grams per minute of steam. With a steam boost of around 230 grams per minute to get rid of stubborn creases.

Steam Generator Irons 

Steam generator irons work on a similar principle only upgraded. Firstly the water reservoir holds 1.8 litres(1800mls) that’s 6 times more water to turn to steam, which means you can use the steam generator iron for up to 6 times as long between water refills. Plus the average steam boost from a steam generator iron is around 120 grams per minute, that’s more than twice the amount from a standard steam iron.

The water reservoir on a steam generator iron is not a part of the iron, it sits on the ironing board and is connected to the iron by a hose. So not only does it carry 6 times the amount of water, over double the steam volume, but the steam generator iron is also lighter to use than a standard iron.

The steam boost on steam generator irons is around 500 grams per minute that’s twice as much as a standard steam iron. 

What Are The Benefits Of Steam Generator Irons

Let’s look at the benefits of steam generator irons, some of which are obvious and some not so obvious.

Lighter Iron

The hand held unit, the bit that actually does the ironing is so much lighter on a steam generator iron (up to 50% lighter). Not only is it lighter, but it’s weight is constant, with an iron that has an onboard water reservoir, as the water is used up, the weight decreases. This means that the amount of pressure you need to iron clothes is constantly changing.

Now you do this without noticing, it’s a subconscious thing, but it adds to overall fatigue levels. With a steam generator iron, the water reservoir is separate from the iron so the weight is consistent from start to finish.

Increase Steam Levels

The whole idea of a steam iron is that the steam produced makes ironing out wrinkles and stubborn creases easier. The more steam, the easier the ironing process is. With steam generator irons you are getting at least twice as much steam as a standard iron, making the job even easier.

High Pressure Steam Boosts

The steam boost function is to deal with the heaviest of creases, steam generators produce twice as much steam boost and as they hold much more water the steam boost can be used for longer.

Half The Job Twice The Speed

Due to the extra power of a steam generator iron, you’ll soon find that many clothes only need to be ironed on one side to remove creases on both sides. Thereby taking half as long to do and saving you a considerable amount of time.

Less Water Fills

The average steam generator iron has a water reservoir tank with a capacity of 1.8 litres, which is around 6 times as much as a standard steam iron. This means you can get so much more ironing done between refills.Some models have reservoirs of up to 2.5 litres that’s more than 8 times as much as standard steam irons.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Steam Generator Irons

The disadvantages of a steam generator iron are few and far between but here are a few points to consider. Steam generator irons are more costly than standard steam irons, they take longer to heat up ( up to 3 minutes in some cases). The base unit is much larger, and weightier so you will probably have to upgrade your ironing board.

The hose can cause annoyance if you’re not used to it, and the noise of the water getting heated and circulated can be quite a bit louder than a standard steam iron.

Steam Generator Irons Buyers Guide

If you’ve reached this point you’re probably sold on the idea of a steam generator iron. Here are the main things to consider before making your final choice.

Power

As a general rule, the more power an appliance has, the faster it will work, and the quicker you’ll get the ironing finished. While a 2000 Watt iron will obviously be more efficient than a 1000 Watt iron, be aware that it will cost more to run too. It’s finding the balance between performance and costs the faster it works, the less time you spend using the appliance the less power consumed.

Water Reservoir Capacity

Having a large water reservoir means you’ll spend less time refilling the steam generator iron with water. Not only does this save you time it also means you expend less energy lugging water jugs around. The downside is the bigger the reservoir, the heavier the unit so you may have to consider a heavier duty ironing board.

Time Needed To Reach Desired Temperature

This can vary from model to model and different brands have different timings too. If time is important to you, this needs careful consideration.

Steam Level Output

The bottom line is, the more powerful the iron, the more steam it produces, 

the more steam, the less work you need to do. It’s worth checking the amount of holes in the soleplate, the more holes the soleplate has, the more steam will get to the creases.

Type Of Soleplate

There are 2 main soleplates used on steam generator irons, stainless steel and ceramic. They both have good and bad features, let’s have a closer look at both.

Stainless Steel Soleplates

Quite a few steam generator irons have stainless steel soleplates, they are easy to clean, robust (last for years), but they do get stained with burnt fabric and calcium build up and are relatively difficult to clean.

Ceramic Soleplates

Ceramic soleplates are often found on the higher end models, and tend to be more gentle on clothing, less likely to burn fabric, and they glide effortlessly over the surface. The problem with ceramic soleplates is they can be brittle, easier to break and require careful treatment.

Anti-Scale And Anti-Calcium Function

Most steam generator irons come with this feature, but it’s best to make sure. If you have hard water, scale or calcium builds up over time in the steam vents and clogs them up.

Automatic Switch Off Function

For reasons of safety it’s worth getting a model with this function, it could save you money and prevent accidental burning etc.

Cord And Hose Length

The length of the cord and hose will make a considerable difference to your ironing experience. Too short and it will be dragging, too long and it will be constantly in your way. Consider the length of both before you make your final decision.

Weight Of The Steam Generator Iron

Not just the hand held unit weight, which will probably be much lighter that your standard steam iron, but the whole unit. It’s not just about the integrity of your ironing board(although this does need to be considered), it’s also about you having to store the steam generator away after use.

Size Is Important

It’s not just the weight, but also the size. Storage is a factor that many of us forget about but it definitely matters. Go through the specifications of as many steam generator irons in your price range and find the size that suits you.

Handle Design

Let’s face it, you’re going to be holding the iron for a while, so choose one that has a comfortable grip. The handle should fit comfortably in your hand. Size and shape are both important here.

Control Panel

Are the controls easy to understand and set, does it have a clear display panel showing functions, then there’s the temperature control dial, is it easy to use and easy to access. This probably could go hand in hand with the handle choice, because the shape and style of the handle can affect the ease or not of using the dial.

Brand

As with all electrical products it’s best to purchase your steam generator iron from a reputable retailer and also a well known brand. Established companies with well known brands are less likely to break down on you and also have a more reliable customer service department.

Warranty

Any warranty is only as good as the company that supplies it, so this comes back to a well known brand being the best option. Not only will their appliances be of better quality, but they will also honour their warranty. The same might not be true of an unheard of company.

Price

Bear in mind that steam generator irons are considerably more expensive than standard steam irons. However, they are a more efficient way of ironing large quantities of clothes in a far shorter time.

How Much Is A Steam Generator Iron

Steam generator irons range in price from around £45-£650 depending on make, model, brand, power,and functionality. 

SEE ALSO: The Best Ironing Boards

Frequently Asked Questions

Is A Steam Generator Iron Worth It?

For heavy duty ironing, and for ironing curtains, bed sheets etc a steam generator iron is definitely worth it.

Is An Iron Better Than A Steamer?

Steam generator irons are much faster than irons and remove deeper creases.

Do You Need A Special Ironing Board For A Steam Generator Iron?

For best results you need a large, heavy duty ironing board specifically designed for a steam generator iron.

What Is The Advantage Of A Steam Generator Iron?

Steam generator irons produce more steam, making short work of ironing.

What Is The Best Steam Generator Iron For Hard Water Areas?

A model that includes a self cleaning mode to prevent limescale build up.

Why Does My Steam Generator Iron Make A Noise?

The noise is due to water moving from the reservoir to the iron. It is quite normal and there’s no need for alarm.

How Long Does Steam Take To Kill Bacteria?

Steam takes around 3 minutes to kill 99% of bacteria and viruses.

Can I Use Descaler In A Steam Generator Iron?

Only if your steam generator iron does not have an anti limescale system do you need to use a descaler.

What Water Should I Use In My Steam Generator Iron?

A 50-50 mix of distilled water and tap water, is recommended by most steam iron manufacturers.

Why Is Brown Water Coming Out Of My Steam Generator Iron?

The brown discolouration is caused by iron or organic deposits in the hard water from your tap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *