Steam generator iron

Best Steam Generator Irons (2024 UK)

Ironing is a household chore that can be made ten times easier by investing in the right appliance. Enter the steam generator iron: the most powerful, efficient, and versatile iron on the market.

Here, we rate and review the best steam generator irons in the UK, helping you discover top-rated products, make informed decisions, and elevate your ironing experience.

Our article covers reviews of the leading steam generator irons, a detailed buying guide to navigate your choices, and comparisons between steam generator irons, steam irons, and traditional dry irons. Join us as we explore your options and simplify this dreaded daily task.

 

The Best Steam Generator Irons in the UK

1. Morphy Richards 332013 Steam Generator Iron

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

Weight: 4.95 kg
Tank capacity:
2.2 L
Continuous steam output:
200 g/min
Steam shot:
310 g/min

The Morphy Richards Power Steam 332013 is our favourite steam generator iron. Boasting an impressive 6.5 bar pressure, it delivers outstanding steam performance.

The 200g constant steam flow and 310g steam boost ensure efficient crease removal for various fabrics, and the ceramide soleplate ensures smooth glides with every pass.

One standout feature is the Auto Clean function. When the de-scale light signals the need for cleaning, the steam iron cleans itself in 150 seconds, keeping your Morphy Richard Iron working effectively.

This easy-to-maintain flushable boiler system also eliminates the need for costly anti-scale filters, simplifying maintenance and contributing to long-term cost savings.

The 2.2-litre water tank is another asset, especially for those with lots of ironing. This extra-large capacity allows for extended ironing sessions without frequent refills.

When a refill is necessary, the illuminated control panel alerts you. Detach the tank, fill it back up, and resume ironing, without waiting for the iron to cool down.

 

2. Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9630/20 Steam Generator Iron

Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator Iron, Optimal Temperature Technology, 470 g Boost, 1.8 Litre, 2400 W, 6.7 Bar, Detachable Water Tank, Auto-Off, Carry Lock, Safe rest, Navy (GC9630/20)

Weight: 5.10 kg
Tank capacity:
1.8 L
Continuous steam output:
135 g/min
Steam shot:
470 g/min

The Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9630/20 Steam Generator Iron offers a superior ironing experience.

It boasts a continuous steam output of up to 135 g/min, making quick work of even the most stubborn wrinkles.

For extra-demanding fabrics, a powerful steam boost of up to 470 g can help creases melt away effortlessly.

What sets the PerfectCare Elite apart is that there aren’t any temperature controls—the OptimalTEMP technology adjusts the steam level itself. This makes switching between ironing denim and silk more convenient than ever and ensures that the steam generator iron will never burn any ironable fabric. This is true even when left resting on your clothes or ironing board.

Vertical steaming adds another dimension to this steam iron’s versatility. Simply use the iron as a handheld steamer to decrease clothes right on the hanger or remove wrinkles from hanging fabrics.

Other benefits include easy descaling for simple maintenance, an auto switch-off function for safety, and a large 1.8-litre tank capacity that can last up to two hours before needing a refill.

 

3. Russell Hobbs 24420 Steam Generator Iron

Russell Hobbs Steam Power Generator Iron, 1.3L Removable Water Tank, Stainless Steel Non Stick Soleplate, 110g Shot of Steam, 90g Steam Output, Cord Storage, Temp ready light, Anti Calc, 2400W 24420

Weight: 4.42 kg
Tank Capacity:
1.3 L
Continuous Steam Output:
90 g/min
Steam Shot:
110 g/min

The Russell Hobbs 24420 Steam Generator Iron is an excellent option for anyone seeking a reliable yet budget-friendly iron.

Despite having a lower steam output and steam shot compared to our top two recommendations, this iron delivers a dependable performance—and all for a fraction of the price. It even has a unique cleaning system that filters and purifies the water, reducing limescale build-up.

One notable feature of the Russell Hobbs 24420 is its impressive 60-second heat-up time, providing a quick start to your ironing session.

The 90 g steam output adds moisture to fabrics, making it easier to tackle even the toughest creases. Meanwhile, the stainless steel non-stick soleplate also ensures a smooth glide over various fabrics.

The smaller water tank also makes storing this steam generator iron a little easier, but it does require more frequent refilling.

The iron has been designed with practicality in mind, allowing you to top up the water tank without turning off the iron. The cord storage feature further enables a neat and tidy appearance once you finish ironing.

 

4. Morphy Richards 332014 Steam Generator Iron

Morphy Richards Steam Generator Iron 332014 Power Steam Elite with Auto Clean and Safety Lock, Green/White

Weight: 4.93 kg
Tank capacity:
2.2 L
Continuous steam Output:
170 g/min
Steam shot:
310 g/min

This Morphy Richards Steam Generator is another fantastic steam iron. The five-bar pressure delivers 170g of constant steam, effortlessly handling tough fabrics, while the 310g steam shot provides extra power for stubborn wrinkles.

The intuitive electronic controls, illuminated for easy visibility, allow you to select from three variable steam settings.

Safety and convenience are at the forefront of the design. It features a safety lock that attaches the iron to the base for secure and easy carrying.

The auto-shutoff mechanism further adds peace of mind, turning off the unit if not used for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, the iron takes care of itself by automatically removing limescale, eliminating the need for manual iron cleaning.

Perfect for large families, the Power Steam Elite also comes with a detachable 2.2L water tank, removing the need for frequent refills.

The continuous fill function allows topping up water anytime without waiting for the iron to cool down.

We also love the option for vertical steaming, meaning you can refresh curtains, duvets and mattresses at home.

 

5. Tefal GV9220 High-Pressure Steam Generator Iron

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

Weight: 4.25 kg
Tank capacity:
1.8 L
Continuous steam output:
135 g/min
Steam shot:
540 g/min

The Tefal GV9220 High-Pressure Steam Generator Iron can redefine your ironing experience.

Designed to cut ironing time by 30 minutes, this steam generator combines a 7.5-bar high-pressure boiler, a 135g/min continuous steam output, and an astounding 540g/min steam boost. These specifications translate to professional-grade efficiency.

One of the standout features is the preset combination of steam and temperature, ensuring safe ironing for all fabrics.

From denim to delicates, you can seamlessly switch between materials without adjusting any settings.

Another advanced feature is the Protect System, which converts any drops or leaks into steam that could otherwise leave iron marks on your clothes.

However, the combination of heat and steam goes beyond crease removal—it also has antibacterial properties. In fact, external tests on cotton show it can kill 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and germs.

The large tank capacity, limescale catchers, and lightweight design further make this steam generator iron one of the best on the market. 

 

6. Polti Vaporella 505 Pro Steam Generator Iron

Polti Vaporella 505 Pro, Steam generator iron with boiler, 3.5 bar, safety cap

Weight: 4.1 kg
Tank capacity:
0.9 L
Continuous steam output:
90 g/min
Steam shot:
No steam shot setting

The Polti Vaporella 505 Pro is another of the best steam generator irons in the UK. It has a high-pressure boiler that provides a continuous steam output of 90 grams per minute.

The thick aluminium soleplate – a hallmark of all Polti Vaporella irons – ensures the heat and steam are distributed quickly and evenly for effective crease removal across various fabric types.

What sets this iron apart from others on our list is its comfort factor. Firstly, it features a unique cork handle. Designed for insulation and breathability, it ensures a comfortable grip throughout your ironing sessions.

The iron is also designed for continuous ironing with a practical button that activates the continuous steam mode. This feature eliminates the need for constant pressure on the trigger.

Polti Vaporella has considered safety when designing this steam generator iron, too. The safety technology ensures that the cap remains secure and won’t unscrew if there is any residual pressure inside the boiler.

Additionally, the steam iron comes with a non-slip mat insert to ensure the iron is stable when you’re not pressing clothes.

 

7. Philips PerfectCare Compact GC7840/26 Steam Generator Iron

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

Weight: 2.95 kg
Tank capacity:
1.5 L
Continuous steam output:
120 g/min
Steam shot:
400 g/min

Finally, the Philips PerfectCare Compact GC7840/26 emerges as a brilliant steam generator iron.

Weighing in at 2.95kg (including iron and base), it’s the most lightweight and compact iron on our list, standing out for its manoeuvrability.

Along with the carry lock that ensures safe and easy transport, this iron is a practical choice for effortless ironing, transport, and storage.

As expected with more compact designs, the water tank is smaller than the average steam iron.

However, you can still use the iron continuously for up to 90 minutes. Plus, it’s just as powerful as its larger counterparts thanks to the high-pressure pump and an impressive 400 g/min steam boost. You can effortlessly remove wrinkles from even the thickest fabrics.

Another notable feature is the steam iron’s ECO mode. With this setting, you can enhance energy efficiency without compromising on results.

The automatic shut-off adds a layer of safety while also saving yet more energy and money.

The built-in cleaning system also helps with descaling, eliminating the need for cartridges and additional costs.

 

Are Steam Irons Better Than Standard Irons?

Steam irons are generally better then standard dry irons at removing fabric creases. They use steam to aid the removal of wrinkles, making the ironing process more efficient than dry irons.

In comparison, standard irons rely solely on the heat of the soleplate to remove wrinkles.

Ironing performance and efficiency aren’t the only benefits of steam irons, either—steam irons are also better then standard irons in terms of:

  • Versatility: The steam feature in steam irons is beneficial for various fabrics, from delicate materials to thick garments. Standard irons are suitable for basic ironing tasks but may not offer the same versatility when handling delicate fabrics.
  • Ease of use: Steam irons can make ironing easier by providing a smoother glide and faster wrinkle removal. The steam also helps prevent fabric damage by reducing friction between the iron and the clothing. Standard irons are simple to use but may require more effort.

Nevertheless, steam irons aren’t perfect and do require more maintenance, including regular descaling, to prevent mineral build-up in the steam vents.

The water tank needs to be refilled as well. Standard dry irons have fewer components, making them easier to maintain.

 

Steam Generator Iron vs Steam Iron: What’s the Difference?

There are two types of steam irons: traditional steam irons and steam generator irons. Unlike dry irons, both use steam to help remove wrinkles from clothes. However, there are differences between these appliances you should know about before purchasing either one:

  • Steam generation capability: A steam iron has an integrated water tank and generates steam directly within the iron itself, whereas a steam generator iron consists of a separate base unit with a larger water tank. Steam generators thus have a continuous and more powerful steam flow, ideal for removing tough wrinkles.
  • Steam pressure and performance: Steam generator irons typically boast higher steam pressure than sgteam irons. The increased pressure results in a more powerful steam output, making it easier to tackle stubborn wrinkles and achieve professional-quality results.
  • Size and portability: Steam irons are generally more compact since they have a built-in water tank. This makes them easy to store and manoeuvre, which is great if you’re short on space. On the other hand, steam generator irons have an external water tank. This makes them bulkier but also allows for longer ironing sessions without frequent refills.
  • Price: Steam generator irons are often more expensive. The advanced features, larger water capacity, and enhanced steam performance contribute to the increased cost. Steam irons, being more basic in design, are generally more budget-friendly.

With these differences in mind, always consider the nature of your ironing tasks when deciding between a steam generator iron and a steam iron.

If you regularly handle large volumes of laundry or need to iron heavy fabrics, a steam generator iron’s superior steam pressure and capacity may be more suitable.

For occasional ironing and a more compact design, a steam iron might fulfil your needs adequately.

Steam generator iron vs steam iron

 

What Should You Look for in a Steam Generator Iron?

Continuous steam output

When choosing a steam generator iron, always check the amount it can generate—known as the continuous steam output.

The higher the output, the better the iron is at effectively tackling stubborn wrinkles and ironing. In other words, they are far better at removing creases.

Continuous steam pressure is measured in grams per minute. Anything above 50g per minute is considered “high”, but higher ratings indicate an even more powerful steam output. For example, our top-rated Morphy Richards 332013 generates up to 200g of continuous steam per minute!

 

Steam shots

The steam shot feature in some steam generator irons provides an extra burst of steam for dealing with particularly tough wrinkles and creases that won’t seem to disappear. This can be especially useful for thick fabrics or intricate garments.

Like continuous steam pressure measurements, steam shot capacity is also measured in grams per minute. Look for a steam generator iron with a steam shot capability of around 200g per minute or higher to ensure efficient and precise ironing.

 

Tank capacity

The water tank size in a steam generator iron determines how long you can iron continuously before needing to refill.

A larger tank capacity is beneficial if you have a lot of ironing to do. They can handle extensive ironing sessions without interruption.

We recommend you look for a steam generator iron with a tank capacity of at least 1.5 litres. This size tank ensures you can tackle larger laundry loads without frequent refills, providing convenience and efficiency. However, XL tanks might be too big for small laundry piles.

 

Anti-scale functions

Over time, mineral deposits from water can accumulate inside your steam generator iron, blocking the output of steam.

You could consider using distilled water to prevent the issue. However, anti-scale functions, such as descaling systems or removable filters, also help prevent the build-up of limescale.

Therefore, we recommend everyone opt for a steam generator iron with effective anti-scale features. This helps to extend the iron’s lifespan and ensures a consistent steam output. However, if you live in a hard water area, these anti-scale filters need to be a priority.

 

Auto shutdown

Safety is paramount, and irons left switched on unattended are accidents waiting to happen. To reduce the risk, an auto shutdown feature adds an extra layer of protection. This function automatically turns off the steam generator iron when left unattended for a specific period.  

We suggest you look for a steam generator iron with an auto shutdown feature for peace of mind during your ironing sessions.

It helps prevent accidents – which is even more important if you have young children or pets – while also conserving energy and helping reduce the cost of laundry.

 

Iron size

The size of your steam generator iron is another essential factor, especially if storage space is limited. Compact appliances are advantageous for storage. However, remember that larger water tanks are a must-have for convenience, especially if you regularly have large piles of ironing.

For most people, buying a steam generator iron that strikes a good balance between being compact and still having a large water tank is the best option. However, make sure you consider your storage space and amount of ironing to choose the right size for your needs.

 

Lightweight design

The weight of your steam generator iron will impact your comfort and ease of use. A lightweight design is generally preferable for manoeuvrability—it’s easier to pick up and move along your clothes, more portable by default, and can be stored in higher places safely.

While prioritising a lightweight design, make sure you still choose a sturdy and stable iron. Other features aside from weight can also help improve comfort. For example, an ergonomic handle can mean a more comfortable grip, reducing fatigue during long ironing sessions.

 

Cord length

Although a less essential consideration, the cord length of your steam generator iron is also something to think about.

A longer cord provides flexibility with where you can iron from, allowing you to reach a variety of ironing surfaces without constantly repositioning the appliance.

Generally, we suggest looking for a steam generator iron with a cord length of at least two meters for added convenience and ease of use. However, a shorter cord might be good enough, depending on your ironing setup.

Using steam generator iron

 

The Final Verdict

If we had to choose one steam generator iron, it would be the Morphy Richards 332013, which you can purchase online at Amazon or John Lewis.

Its powerful steam performance, self-cleaning capabilities, and user-friendly design make it a top contender.

We also appreciate the large 2.2 L water tank, eliminating the need for frequent refills and helping you get through your laundry pile more quickly.

However, we suggest reading our buying guide first to ensure it’s the best steam generator iron for your needs and preferences.

For example, Russell Hobbs 24420 Steam Generator Iron is a more budget-friendly option, whereas the Polti Vaporella 505 Pro ranks highest in terms of comfort.