Hate ironing? Upgrade to the best steam iron generator and you’ll whizz through that ironing pile in record time. More steam and a lighter handset make this tedious task quicker and easier. Plus, you’ll instantly see better results – what’s not to like?
Steam generator irons work differently to the conventional iron. The water is heated in a separate water tank. This sits on the end of your ironing board. The steam is then pumped to the handset.
Top 10 best steam iron generator in the UK 2021
Similarly, if you’re not sure how to best choose the best steam iron generator, our buying guide below should shed some light on finding the right one for your needs and budget.
1. Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650/80
If you can’t quite stretch the budget to Philips’ flagship model (below), consider this equally efficient but marginally less costly model. It comes with an identical removable 1.8 water reservoir and the same small, lightweight hand unit (0.8kg) for effortless crease obliteration. Indeed, the only difference between the two models is their respective steam outputs.
Where the more expensive GC9682/86 model produces 165g/min of continuous steam and a 600g/min steam boost, this one boasts a marginally lower output of 150g/min and 500g/min boost. It’s a pretty negligible difference unless you regularly iron swathes of heavy linen.
As is the case with most steam generator models in the Philips range, this one also features the company’s unique “no burn” OptimalTEMP technology. This means you can safely iron any fabric (from silk to denim) using just one temperature setting and even leave the iron face-down on the ironing board, instead of putting it in its cradle. Although we wouldn’t advise it, you can also leave it face-down on a silk blouse and it won’t burn a dirty great hole in it. This is groundbreaking stuff for anyone who has no idea what heat setting to apply for a specific fabric.
2. Tefal GV9071 Pro Express
The Tefal GV9071 Pro Express is the best steam generator iron you can buy for under £200. This model from Tefal pumps out three times more steam than a conventional iron, making it easy to power your way through the laundry pile.
With 120g of steam every minute, this iron handles the toughest creases with ease. And should you ever require an extra blast, a steam shot of 500g flattens anything – in an instant. The Durilium soleplate simply glides over all fabrics. This is the same soleplate specification that Tefal use on their top of the range model (costing around £500).
Owners rave about the Tefal Pro Express. The specification is excellent, but it’s the real-world endorsements that make this model stand out. Yes, the power is important but owners also love the features, such as a retractable cord and the auto power-off.
3. Tefal GV8932
The Tefal GV8932 is up there with the best mid-range steam generator irons. First things first, the model comes fitted with three steam and temperature settings: normal, delicate, and jeans. The high-pressure steam is able to reach 7 bars. Add to that the consistent 120 g/min steam output and you’ll have no issues removing the most stubborn creases. At the same time, the 400 g/min steam boost will let you tackle especially difficult wrinkles.
The company’s Smart tech is what really sells the product though. One button will let you immediately find the optimal heat and steam output for every fabric, so you won’t have to do any tweaking manually. Meanwhile, the removable scale collector works wonders preventing staining and limescale build-up to make the iron last as long as possible.
Long story short, the Tefal GV8932 will allow you to iron faster and more efficiently. You’ll be able to easily handle any and all wrinkles and creases. The iron’s as versatile and functional as they come.
4. Morphy Richards 332017
The joint winner of this category, this Morphy Richards model is a one temperature steam generator iron that boasts a 2.2-litre detachable water tank and an “IntelliTemp” setting, which works to find an optimal balance of temperature on any fabric.
It’s easy to use and the large tank capacity means it lasts longer. It’s at its best when used to iron and steam out linen fabric. It’s a little large and bulky, but ideal for those with room to spare who are looking for a sturdy, well-designed buy. It is also one of the cheaper models in our roundup, making it great value for money.
5. Swan SI11010N Iron with Ceramic Soleplate
Are you looking for a fun but reliable steam generator iron? With the continuous steam production and 2200W ability, this iron is able to deliver efficient ironing, especially with the creases. Other features to like are: The water tank is able to accommodate 1.5 litres and it is removable. The big tank will prevent you from having to refill it again and again. The temperature is adjustable so you can tweak with it easily.
The soleplate is made from ceramic so it won’t stick. Moreover, it is able to produce a smoother ironing process that will create a smooth effect. The iron comes with carrying handle for portability and the hose storage for easy keep. The iron can also be used for vertical steaming, especially for bigger items
Moreover, the iron is lightweight. It is solid and sturdy and yet it doesn’t compromise the weight, the cord can be tucked in neatly to the base when you don’t use it. It won’t get in the way at all and the overall use is easy and it is so fun to operate.
6. Braun CareStyle 3 IS3042
Here is another product that automatically adjusts the temperature according to whether you’re ironing on delicate or thicker fabrics. Its vertical steaming function is particularly effective. It’s good for hard-water areas, with a powerful limescale filter, and the soleplate is durable, scratch-resistant, smooth and thin.
It’s surprisingly lightweight, but on the downside, the square handle could be more ergonomic and the cord is a bit short at 1.8m.
7. BOSCHTDS6080GB ProHygienic
WITH this new top of the range steam generator, I think Bosch decided to go for a world record on steam output – this unit can emit a gargantuan 500g steam shot – that’s probably enough steam to be noticed from space!
Continuous steam output chugs along at 120g per minute and we’ve already mentioned the world-beating steam shot of 500g, though of course you can tone this down a bit – there are 3 steam boost options. An unusual feature, but one we have seen before on a Bosch steam generator, is the hygiene Programm (that’s Boschs’ spelling not ours).
This uses a special combination of heat and steam to remove 99.9% of bacteria as you iron, which will help you and your family’s wellbeing.
8. Russell Hobbs 24430 Power 95
It did a good job with our cleaning tests, and we were pleasantly surprised by how well it did, especially considering its budget price tag. It excels with light creases, and while it might not be able to remove the deeper ones in a single swipe, all you need is to use the steam boost for some extra strength.
Despite this, it remains really efficient in terms of water use so that you can keep ironing for longer, and while the tank cannot be removed the hole is massive to make things easier. The soleplate is a little thick, so you will need to be careful around buttons to avoid snagging, but it is otherwise very smooth when running over your clothes and you’ll find it does a superb job.
While easy to handle thanks to its lightweight build, the handle can be quite rough around the edges and this may feel uncomfortable over time. On the plus side, it has incredible limescale resistance to help your machine last longer. While you will need to buy anti-calcium cartridges for this iron, you won’t need to use them too often.
9. Philips GC9630/20 Perfect Care Elite Steam Generator Iron
Philips designs some of the finest home appliances on the market – including the highly rated GC9630/20 Perfect Care Elite Steam Generator Iron, Philips’ best, most effective steam generator.
Steam is emitted at 135g/minute – and can be increased to 475g/minute using a steam boost function. It’s perfect for thick fabrics and tough creases. And Philips – known for well-optimized products – has vented and shaped the PerfectCare Elite’s soleplate to drive steam deeper into clothes, removing wrinkles faster.
And the T-IonicGlide soleplate, with its specially designed, scratch-resistant, low-friction coating, slides easily over clothes. The result is faster, better ironing, with a minimum of physical effort.
10. Polti Vaporella Next VN18.10 Steam Generator Iron
The Polti Vaporella Next VN18.10 offers powerful ironing performance, helping you make quick work of daunting piles of laundry. This Polti steam iron utilises a powerful boiler with 5.5 bars of pressure, along with a max pump pressure of 15 bars.
The 1.3-litre tank capacity provides you with more than enough water for most ironing loads, while a turbo function can also be activated to help you eradicate the most stubborn of creases. Rapid heat-up is also a standard feature here, with the iron good to go in as little as two minutes.
This Polti steam generator iron is incredibly easy to handle. The iron lock ensures the iron can be firmly attached to the boiler base, allowing for easy transport from ironing board to storage cupboard. A breathable cork insert at the handle also makes this very comfortable to use during long ironing sessions. Calc boiler cleaning technology is also on offer here, ensuring your iron remains in tiptop condition for longer.
How to choose the best steam iron generator
What is a steam iron generator?
The standard steam iron has an internal water reservoir – usually around 300ml in capacity. However, a typical domestic iron may offer only low steam pressure and the reservoir will need regular refilling.
A steam generator is a type of iron that works on the same principle – except the water tank and heating element are stored in a separate base unit that’s connected to the iron by a length of rubber hose. The average water tank is around 1.8 litres in capacity, so you can do six times as much ironing before needing to visit the tap for a refill.
What’s more, a steam generator iron is also capable of punching out a much greater volume of steam than a traditional iron. Many generators can produce a constant steam volume of 120g/min, whereas even a decent traditional iron will struggle to produce more than 55g/min.
Steam boost figures are even more impressive: you might get 230g/min from an iron, while the best steam generators approach 500g/min. They’re also capable of pumping out steam at much higher pressures – on average, a whopping 6.5 bars. That’s enough to very quickly defeat even the deepest creases.
Pros and cons of a steam generator iron
- The hand unit is lighter and easier to use as it doesn’t need to contain a water reservoir.
- Ironing time can be cut by up to a third.
- Large volumes of high-pressure steam.
- The steam boost function makes light work of even the heaviest creases.
- No need for constant water refills.
- With some fabrics, you can get away with ironing on just one side.
- Takes longer to warm up – sometimes up to three minutes.
- More expensive than a traditional iron.
- The base unit is comparatively bulky.
- You may need a larger ironing board or one designed for a steam generator (Brabantia makes some excellent models).
- The hose from the base unit to iron can be annoying.
- The noise of water being heated and circulated is louder than from a traditional iron.