How to Buy an Iron: All You Need to Know

An iron is the sort of home appliance everyone has tucked away somewhere in their home. You’ve probably had it for a couple of decades, the iron’s bottom has probably tanned a little bit, the cord’s forcefully – although unintentionally – bent and well-worn. And yet, you might still be using it. That’s fine: if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. But it isn’t a fine wine either. Everything needs replacing after a while, and today we’re focusing on your iron.

Before going online or to your local store, you must first consider some features. Although irons aren’t particularly expensive appliances, seeing which features they have is a must as these will significantly impact your ironing routine.

Continuous Steam Pressure:

Continuous steam pressure or output is measured in grams per minute. When it comes to irons with continuous steam pressure, the higher the steam output, the more effectively the iron will do its job. The continuous steam output relaxes your fabric for easy pressing and removal of creases. When it comes to this feature a steam generator iron is better than a traditional steam iron. For a steam iron, a measure of 50g/minute or over is considered a high output, and for steam generator irons it’s between 120g to 160g/minute.

Steam Shot:

Just like the continuous steam pressure feature mentioned above, a steam shot is measured in grams per minute. It’s a simple but incredibly powerful feature, which produces a quick, powerful shot of steam, penetrating deep into the fabric. This’ll remove the most stubborn of creases in the toughest of fabrics. A higher burst rate will give you better performance and also better results.

Tank Capacity:

It’s a simple feature, but incredibly detrimental to the efficiency of your laundry process. The higher the tank capacity, the more freshly washed creased shirts, trousers, and forgotten-about summer dresses you can iron. You should aim to find steam irons with 0.28 to 0.5 litres. This is different with a steam generator iron, which has a larger capacity – between 1 to 2.5 litres.


The Philips Azur Steam Iron GC4567/86

When it comes to high quality, the Philips Azur steam iron is your go-to iron. It has a capacity of 0.3l, so it’ll be perfect for those days when your laundry is a few days away from leaning over you. It also has a 250g steam boost, so not only will your stack of laundry be done swiftly, but they’ll also be done well and without creases.
One of the iron’s main and most powerful features is its built-in calc container, which collects your calc (scale) while you plough through your laundry. It’ll also have consistent performance all due to its Self-Clean descaling function. Not only that, but the Philips Azur also has a triple-precision tip and auto steam control makes for a hassle-free ironing adventure.
It has a few additional handy features, too. A side opening door, making refilling water easier than on most models. It doesn’t, however, come with a water jug so you’ll have to use a tap or simply find a different jug to use. Additionally, the cable isn’t the longest so that might be a dealbreaker for you if you’re concerned, you’ll be moving around a lot with it. It’s the ideal iron, otherwise.
Weight: 1.5kg
Soleplate: SteamGlide
Water Capacity: 300ml
Steam output: 50g continuous/210g shot
Power: 2,600W
It retails for £49.99 on Amazon.

Tefal Ultimate Anti-Scale FV9788 Steam Iron

Although it looks like just a regular-sized iron, it actually heats up extremely quick and contains a lot of power. The Tefal Ultimate Anti-Scale has a soleplate that glides over your fabrics like room-temperature butter on perfectly heated toast. No resistance.

It also has an ergonomic steam trigger, an automatic steam function ensuring sprinkling of water on your fibres produces the best outcomes. It also has an anti-drip system, and auto-clean features are welcome additions.

It also has a vertical steam function, which passes through tough and thick fibres and easily eradicates creases. The scale collector is an underrated but extremely useful feature, too, as it makes sure your fibres come out perfect once you’re done.

These features make the Tefal Ultimate Anti-Scale FV97888 steam iron an absolute must for those who aren’t hesitant on spending a bit more on a high-quality iron.


Weight: 1.8kg

Soleplate: Tefal Durilium

Water Capacity: 350ml

Steam output: 55g continuous/230g shot

Power: 3,000w

It retails for £84.32 on Amazon.

Do I Need an Iron?

If you’ve come to this stage of the article and realised you may not actually need an iron, but you still want creaseless clothes, then a garment steamer is for you. A garment steamer isn’t exactly a complete replacement for an iron, but it’ll give a quick refresh to your clothes, making a handy little tool to add to your cleaning toolbox. It also requires no ironing board, so you’ll somewhat be saving on space.

It also does delicate and expensive fabrics, too, making it ideal for cleaning that expensive summer dress you bought during that lavish trip abroad. But also, to get wrinkles out of sheets.

Much like with irons, there are two variations of garment steamers. The first one is a handheld model which is suited for trips abroad and making small, quick corrections. The other is an upright model, ideally made for bigger and tougher work, due to its bigger tank capacity.

Hopefully, after reading this article you’ve now solidified your decision and are well-equipped and ready to purchase that next iron.

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