Best Irons 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Finding the perfect iron for you is no easy feat. There are thousands on the market, and they all have their own unique features and benefits.

Most irons are now steam irons, which ticks off one of the possible attributes. But depending on how much ironing you have to do regularly, where you tackle your it all and your budget, there is still an overwhelming choice.

We have reviewed some of the best irons available to give you an easy guide to finding the best one for you.

The Best Irons – Our Top Picks

Best Overall: PHILIPS PerfectCare Elite
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PHILIPS PerfectCare Elite GC9630/20
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  • Cable length: 1.8m
  • Water Tank: 1.8L
  • Sole Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Power: 2400W
  • Top 3 Features: ECO setting, automatic shut-off, power cord storage
Best Cordless: Philips GC2086/30
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Philips GC2086/30 EasySpeed Plus
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  • Cable length: 1.9m
  • Water Tank: 270ml
  • Sole Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Power: 2400W
  • Top 3 Features: Super-fast charging time, auto-steam settings, cold spray function
Best Budget Iron: Morphy Richards Breeze
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Morphy Richards 300277 Breeze
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  • Cable length: 2m
  • Water Tank: 350ml
  • Sole Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Power: 2400W
  • Top 3 Features: Variable steam, vertical steam, anti-drip

Best Steam Generator Irons

BOSCH Easy Comfort TDS6040GB

With the option of three intensive Ultimate380 steam boost options, you can tackle any stubborn wrinkles with just the right amount of power necessary. You can also tackle thick materials such as jumpers or furnishings.

A comfort indicator lets you know when the water tank is empty, which is perfect for those who are often too in the zone to keep checking off their own accord. It also tells you when the steam is ready so that you can get to work quickly and with the correct power.

The CeraniumGlissee Pro plate makes gliding over any fabric a breeze, as well as a three-phase layout to enjoy ideal steam distribution over any textiles.

You can also maintain the iron for longevity, using the Calc ‘n’ Clean Perfect cleaning programme at the click of a button; all the work is done for you.

All of the buttons on the back of the iron are really easy to operate, including the Eco mode and power button. You also have the benefit of the secure lock system, which locks the iron in place when it is stored on the base or being transported to keep your environment safe.

We like

  • Comfort indicator
  • Easy-glide plate material
  • Automated settings

We disike

  • Water tank is really cumbersome to fill
  • Cord storage is difficult

Final Verdict

A great iron which does all the hard work of changing temperatures and settings for you

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 1.8m
  • Water Tank: 1.5L
  • Sole Plate Material: CeraniumGlissee Pro
  • Power: 2400W
  • Top 3 Features: secure lock, auto shut-off, vertical steaming

+ Downloads

BOSCH Easy Comfort TDS6040GB user manual

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TEFAL Pro Express Care

If you’ve ever had an iron which has quickly become defunct or lost power, there is a good chance that it is because of the limescale which has built up inside. This happens when water is left in the iron for too long, especially if you live in a hard water area.

TEFAL have developed a unique system to deal with this. A twist-in spoon collects 10x more limescale particles than ordinary iron collection systems, directly from the irons sizeable water tank. Simply pull the spoon out and empty the scale into the bin.

There is added steam power too, with holes not only at the base of the plate but also at the side and tip. This distributes the steam to places which traditional irons simply can’t reach.

Durilium Airglide Autoclean technology allows the plate to glide over any surface effortlessly, and you don’t have to worry about it becoming scratched should you go over a zip or fastening.

Smart Technology will also provide the perfect heat and steam production for every fabric, adjusting all of the settings for you with a press of a button. The 7 bars of pressure will also mean you get through any material quickly, even the thickest of curtains and jackets.

We like

  • Easy de-scaling process
  • Three settings (‘Delicate’, ‘Standard’, ‘Jeans’)

We disike

  • No automatic retracting system for the cable

Final Verdict

A straightforward yet effective appliance which is just as easy to maintain as it is to use

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 1.8m
  • Water Tank: 1.6L
  • Sole Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Power: 2200W
  • Top 3 Features: Vertical steaming, unique scale collection system, 7 bar steam pressure

+ Downloads

TEFAL Pro Express Care user manual

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PHILIPS PerfectCare Elite GC9630/20

If you feel like a bog-standard steam iron frankly doesn’t do the job for your busy household, then a steam generator iron could be the answer.

With 6.7 bars of pressure, there is a continuous powerful steam flow rate of 135g/min which will tackle the majority of creases and crinkles in your clothing. Should you still want more, there is a steam shot button which offers a brief boost of 470g.

OptimalTEMP technology allows you to quickly switch between fabric types without having to change the temperature settings, protecting even the most delicate of clothing. You can go from jeans to wool to silk, without having to wait for the temperature to adjust or pre-sorting the piles of clothes separately. The constant powerful production of steam will also protect clothes from burns and the plate sticking.

This, combined with the Automatic shut-off, means you can leave the iron and soleplate on the fabric ironing board without risk of burning, as it will shut off after a certain amount of time when not in use – perfect if you find yourself forgetting to unplug or switch off your electricals after use.

The 1.8L tank should get you through your ironing pile without having to top it up, but when the time does come, the container can be detached from the rest of the stand and filled up under your mains tap. No need for one of those little jugs which refill your iron but always get lost within a week anyway.

A safety carry lock also means you can transport your iron and base together without worrying about dropping or damaging either part. ECO mode will also allow you to iron your clothes with less steam but no reduced power.

As a bonus, the life of your iron is prolonged with the De-Calc function. Simply remove the Easy De-Calc knob when the product is cold and discard the dirty water and scale. The iron will remind you of when to do this with both a light and sound, so half the job is already done.

We like

  • OptimalTEMP and De-Calc technology
  • Large water tank
  • Great streamlined design

We disike

  • Cable storage and water tank are a bit fiddly to operate at first

Final Verdict

It may be expensive, but if you love your quality appliances then you can’t get much better than this high-end iron – the best steam generator we reviewed

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 1.8m
  • Water Tank: 1.8L
  • Sole Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Power: 2400W
  • Top 3 Features: ECO setting, automatic shut-off, power cord storage

+ Downloads

PHILIPS PerfectCare Elite GC9630/20 user manual

Download

Best Travel Irons

Go Travel Mini Garment Iron

If you want a top-of-the-range travel iron, then this Go Travel is for you.

When you are on holiday, ironing is not going to be the top of your priority list. Therefore you’ll just want something which can quickly go over the creases in your clothes to smarten them up. Your clothes are probably pretty lightweight anyway, especially if you are in a hot climate.

Ergonomically designed, the soleplate glides effortlessly over all fabrics and tackles any creases efficiently without taking much time out of your day.

We like

  • Great modern design
  • Good temperature range

We disike

  • The bulky handle is slightly tricky to grip for a long period of time

Final Verdict

One of the best dedicated travel irons available, which takes everything a traveller needs into consideration.

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 1.8m
  • Size: W 79 x H 170 x D 88
  • Sole Plate Material: Non-stick
  • Power: 650-800W dual voltage

+ Downloads

Go Travel Mini Garment Iron user manual

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Russell Hobbs 22470 Travel Iron

Helping you look your best when you are away from home. This Russell Hobbs travel iron is perfect for taking away with you in your case.

The stainless-steel hotplate will make light work of any material. There are water spray and variable steam features to give you an extra boost if needed, too. You can also choose the best temperature for maximum control.

To give it a slight edge, there is a larger water tank than with other travel iron models. This means you can take care of several pieces of clothing in one sitting – handy if you are away with the full family.

We like

  • Generous water capacity
  • Really easy to handle and carry

We disike

  • Cable is quite short
  • Water tank spills if filled to the top

Final Verdict

This option would be the best travel iron for those who heavily rely on their appliance, with the generous water capacity and high power.

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 1.5m
  • Water Tank: 80ml
  • Sole Plate Material: Stainless steel
  • Power: 830W
  • Top 3 Features: Only 0.36kg, full temperature control, easy to hold the handle

+ Downloads

Russell Hobbs 22470 Travel Iron user manual

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Steamworks Travel Steam Iron

Super light and compact, this Steamworks travel iron is perfect for taking on the move. It could even work as a backup in the comfort of your own home. With dual voltage, you aren’t limited to where you use it.

This iron is perfect for quickly going over your clothes to neaten them up after they’ve been in your suitcase, with 800W power and 30g/min steam shot – good for such a compact design.

There is a steam tip as well as a button groove, meaning that even the hardest to reach places are easily taken care of. It comes with a water beaker too, so you can easily refill it from anywhere.

The folding handle makes it easy to pack and transport, saving space when you are restricted. The cord is also really long for a travel iron, so you aren’t as limited as with other models.

We like

  • Great compact design
  • Lightweight

We disike

  • Iron does leak slightly if stood up or left with water in for a long time

Final Verdict

For the price, it is a great little appliance which will do the job quickly, giving you more time to enjoy your holiday

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 1.9m
  • Water Tank: 50ml
  • Sole Plate Material: Teflon
  • Power: 800W

Best Cordless Irons

Philips GC2086/30 EasySpeed Plus

With its compact smart storage base, this Philips iron is perfect if you hate the restrictions of corded irons.

You may think that a cord isn’t a massive deal when it comes to your iron, especially if you can stand near a plug socket. However, we can guarantee that investing in a cordless model will make your ironing chore much more manageable. There will be no cords getting in the way or restrictions in the movement.

A yellow/orange light will let you know when the iron needs charging, and a blue light lets you know when you are good to go. Concerned about long charging times? Don’t be – it takes just six seconds. This means it is good to go as soon as you’ve arranged your garment on your ironing board.

The soleplate is scratch resistant so that it can encounter the harshest of fabrics and fastenings without any concerns. The water refill hole is also on the large size, so you won’t risk spilling water everywhere when refilling.

There is a steam rate of 35g/min, and the boost rate is 150g, so more stubborn crinkles are also defeated. The lock function means you can store and transport your iron with ease, as well as there being a heel on the base which you can wrap the cord around for easy storage.

We like

  • Quick charging
  • Vertical pressing capability
  • Cordless

We disike

  • Not a very powerful steam rate

Final Verdict

An impressive, affordable iron if you are looking into getting your first cordless appliance. Our pick of the best cordless models on the market.

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 1.9m
  • Water Tank: 270ml
  • Sole Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Power: 2400W
  • Top 3 Features: Super-fast charging time, auto-steam settings, cold spray function

+ Downloads

Philips GC2086/30 EasySpeed Plus user manual

Download

Best Budget Irons

RUSSELL HOBBS Easy Store Pro Plug & Wind 23780

If you hate having to store your iron away with the long cord getting tangled, bent and wrapped around everything else, then this easy store model is perfect.

Simply wrap the cord around the specially designed base, and then tuck the plug away in the designated holder. Perfect if you are short on storage space or are worried about the wire becoming damaged when stowed away.

Keeping the iron well maintained is also easy; with a burst of steam, all lime scale is forced out through the holes with the residual water.

The 45g/min steam shot rate is powerful enough to get rid of the creases and folds of any material, with little need to constantly change other settings such as ramping up the temperature or going over the same spot two or three times.

The power and water tank capacity aren’t quite as high as the Morphy Richards Breeze, but the dedicated storage method could give it an edge if that is one of your biggest concerns.

We like

  • Storage system
  • Really easy to use and glide

We disike

  • On the heavier side
  • Plug and Wrap base makes it bulky to use

Final Verdict

A great budget iron which will tackle your ironing pile in fast enough time

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 2.5m
  • Water Tank: 330ml
  • Sole Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Power: 2400W
  • Top 3 Features: Temperature ready alert, ergonomic design cord, easy storage

+ Downloads

RUSSELL HOBBS Easy Plug & Wind user manual

Download

Morphy Richards 300277 Breeze

With a smooth ceramic soleplate, this Morphy Richards Breeze will glide over any material effortlessly, making light work of your ironing pile.

The 350ml water tank is on the generous side for the price, meaning you won’t have to keep refilling it and interrupting your flow.

Any stubborn wrinkles can be addressed easily with the 45g/minute steam shot rate, and you can even tackle any garments which are hanging up thanks to the vertical steam option.

You don’t have to worry about the build-up of lime scale, as the anti-scale technology will take care of all the internal cleaning no matter what your water type.

We like

  • Really easy to use
  • Great price tag

We disike

  • Not the most aesthetically pleasing iron

Final Verdict

If you are after a simple, affordable and easy to use iron which does the job, this Morphy Richards is the perfect, powerful option

+ Specifications

  • Cable length: 2m
  • Water Tank: 350ml
  • Sole Plate Material: Ceramic
  • Power: 2400W
  • Top 3 Features: Variable steam, vertical steam, anti-drip

+ Downloads

Morphy Richards Breeze 300277 user manual

Download

Irons Buying Guide

Before buying an iron think about how much you want to spend, how often you use it, how likely you are to keep on top of the regular maintenance and how creased your clothes often are before being ironed.

Most of us spend about three hours every week ironing, but if you have a particularly busy household, it could be even more. Having the best iron for your needs can not only cut through the pile of clothes quicker but will mean less effort on your behalf.

Cost

You can generally get a standard steam iron for as little as £10, but these may not be the most ideal for use a few times a week or to tackle large piles of very creased materials.

The price of irons ranges wildly and can go up to over £200. As expected, those at the higher end of the price scale are often a lot more advanced and ‘better’ at their job, but depending on the factors mentioned above, you may not even need such a fancy appliance.

Steam Rate

The higher the steam shot rate, the better the crease removal. Many irons also have a boost function, to help you target and tackle the most stubborn of creases.

If your clothes generally don’t need much ironing, such as if you have a tumble dryer, you won’t necessarily need the iron with the highest steam rate.

Capacity

Water capacity means how much the water tank will hold. Higher capacity means you will have to refill the tank less often, causing less disruption to your chore. Most irons hold the water in the appliance and are refilled using a dedicated ironing jug.

Many steam generator irons have a separate water tank, making the iron lighter to use. They also have much larger capacities because of this.

Soleplate

The soleplate is the metallic base of the iron which glides over your materials. Having a good quality soleplate is vital to help you push the iron over your clothes.

Most which we featured are ceramic, which is the top option as it is easiest to maintain with a durable, non-stick surface. They also distribute heat and steam the best.

Aluminium and stainless-steel plates are lighter than ceramic options but are easily scratched on surfaces such as zips and poppers. They are also often not non-stick, so can cause wrinkles on your clothes as you iron or even mark or burn them.

The latter two materials are often found on travel irons and cheaper models, which makes them lightweight.

Self Cleaning Irons

There are a lot of self-cleaning irons on the market, which makes the iron easier to maintain from limescale build-up.

How exactly they clean differs though – some will expel old water and limescale through the vents in the form of steam when a certain setting is selected, and others have particular tools to target the limescale in particular, such as cartridges or spoons.

It could be worth using dedicated ironing water as opposed to regular tap water, especially if you live in a hard water area. These offer limescale protection (and often smell pretty great too).

Keeping on top of maintenance will prolong the life of your iron and cause fewer breakdowns, so it is best to look for one which suits your lifestyle.

FAQ’S

What are the best iron brands?

You will find that Bosch, Tefal, Morphy Richards, Philips and Russell Hobbs are the most popular steam iron brands, and they all make a wide range of models to suit every budget and need.

There are also ranges available from supermarket own brands, as well as catalogue companies such as JML.

Do I need a steam iron?

Most irons on the market are now steam irons. This does make life stress-free as the steam works with the soleplate heat and helps to tackle creases more effectively, by softening the fibres and making it easier for the heat to eliminate wrinkles.

There are also steam generator irons available, which are generally more powerful. They can produce twice as much steam as standard irons and are often lighter to use as the water is stored in a separate tank to the iron.

However, a standard steam iron is probably good enough if you are a ‘minimal’ ironer, or if you have smaller loads.

What is vertical steam?

This will allow you to use the iron like a steamer on hanging garments. They are designed to help you eliminate creases from curtains, coats, or delicate fabrics such as silks which cannot be placed over an ironing board.

Is the wattage important?

Higher wattage will reduce the heat up time and increase the performance of the iron. Most standard irons have a wattage of around 2400W, which is seen as the standard power and will mean your iron heats up in around two minutes.