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Best steam generator irons for crease-free laundry in a flash

Are you pressed for time? Here’s our pick of the best steam generator irons as recommended by Mumsnet users, providing a fast and efficient cure for creased clothes.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Apr 12, 2024

If you find ironing a chore, you’re definitely not alone - the Mumsnet forums are filled with posts and pleas for help tackling the dreaded laundry pile - whether that’s removing creases from your work wardrobe or preparing school uniforms ready for Monday morning. 

Even with the best washer dryer and laundry detergent, creases don't iron themselves and in an attempt to make ironing less stressful, many Mumsnetters have shifted from a standard iron to a steam generator iron, with most saying they’ll never look back. Using a separate water tank that generates powerful steam, efficient steam generator irons can blast through stubborn creases and wrinkles in no time, shaving valuable minutes off the time spent at your ironing board - even the best steam irons can't compete with that. They can be quite an investment however, so are best suited to those who iron regularly or have a large pile of clothes to get through each week. 

We know the true value of an authentic recommendation from ordinary families, so spent hours scouring the forums for the products our Mumsnet community have used and loved. With eight million users visiting our forums every month, we discovered a wealth of tried and tested recommendations on the best steam generator irons, highlighting features such as tank size, weight and ease of use as well as the maintenance required to keep it performing at its best. 

Once we’ve gathered our shortlist, we cross-reference this with the opinion of industry experts as well as the ratings from verified customer reviews and consumer champions Which? to bring you our list of the very best steam generator irons for all needs and budgets. 

These are the best steam irons to buy.

Best overall steam generator iron

Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator Iron GC9650/80

What we like
  • No burn guarantee 

  • Automatic shut-off for safety 

  • High steam pressure for speed and efficiency

  • Easy to descale and maintain 

  • Large water tank allowing up to two hours of ironing without refills

  • Can also be used as an upright steamer 

What we don't like
  • Costly 

  • The water tank is heavy to lift when full 

Key specs

Price on writing: £366 | Weight: 5.1kg | Tank capacity: 1.8 litres | Continuous steam output: 150 g/min | Steam shot: 500g / min | Steam pressure: 7.5 bar | Wattage: 2400W

What Mumsnet users say
obinonaspade · Tried & Tested
We have the PerfectCare Elite Steam generator iron GC9630/20. It was expensive but I bought it as a replacement for an earlier model that lasted 14 years. Really cuts down on the ironing time. Very pleased with it.
See Post
Hadjab · Recommended
Steam generators are the way to go - they won’t make you love ironing, but they will definitely make it more tolerable. Philips PerfectCare steam generators are fantastic. It has one temperature setting meaning nothing gets burned, but oodles of steam - linen and denim are like ironing silk.
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Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full Philips PerfectCare Elite Plus Steam Generator Iron review

A recent upgrade to the highly rated GC9630/20 model, the Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650/80 Steam Generator Iron doesn’t come cheap, but the consensus amongst both Mumsnet users and experts is that you certainly get what you pay for. Improvements in this GC9650/80 model include easier descaling, enhanced steam pressure and an ultra-powerful steam boost, ensuring efficient, professional quality results, every single time. 

With a large and generously sized 1.8 litre tank, the Philips PerfectCare Elite provides up to two hours of continuous use without needing to refill, allowing you to easily power through the entire family’s laundry while catching up on your favourite soaps. Despite its size, the iron itself is relatively lightweight and easy to hold, with a scratch-resistant soleplate that glides across even the thickest fabrics with ease. It makes light work of even stubborn creases and hard-to-reach areas such as collars, hems and pleats. 

Thanks to the OptimalTEMP technology, the PerfectCare Elite boasts a ‘no burn guarantee’, automatically adapting to your fabrics without the need to manually adjust the temperature. As a bonus, it can even be used as a vertical steamer to quickly remove creases from your outfit or coat before you head out the door. 

Related: The best tumble dryers, according to Mumsnetters

Best budget steam generator iron

Asda Black and Rose Gold 2400w Steam Generator Iron

What we like
  • Affordable price point 

  • Self-cleaning design 

  • Variable temperature setting to suit all fabrics 

  • Lighter than many steam generator irons 

  • Auto shut off for safety 

What we don't like
  • Not as powerful as some models 

  • Steam generator triggers on higher temperature settings only 

Key specs

Price on writing: £39 | Weight: 2.6kg | Tank capacity: 1.5 litres | Continuous steam output: 42g/min | Steam shot: Not specified | Steam pressure: Not specified | Wattage: 2400W

Our verdict

If you think all steam generator irons are outside your budget, think again. Despite having many of the features commonly found on more costly models, this black and rose gold steam generator iron from Asda comes with a surprisingly affordable price tag.

Featuring a 1.5-litre water tank and a ceramic-coated soleplate that effortlessly glides across your fabrics, the Asda steam generator iron heats up in less than a minute, with variable temperature settings and an auto shut-off feature for additional peace of mind. 

While steam is only generated at higher temperatures and it’s less powerful than some of our other top picks, this steam generator iron is a budget-friendly choice for those seeking a more efficient iron that can keep up with a rapidly growing laundry pile. 

Read next: The best dehumidifiers for keeping your home damp-free

Best powerful steam generator iron

ROWENTA Silence Steam Pro DG9249 Steam Generator Iron

What we like
  • Fast heat-up times 

  • Quiet operation

  • Eco mode option that uses 30% less energy

  • Powerful 160g/ min steam generation 

  • Auto shut-off feature 

What we don't like
  • The green and black design won’t be to everyone’s taste

  • The water tank is smaller than some other steam generator irons

Key specs

Price on writing: £349 | Weight: 5.4kg | Tank capacity: 1.3 litres | Continuous steam output: 160 g/min | Steam shot:  600 g/min | Steam pressure: 8 bar | Wattage: 2800 W

What Mumsnet users say
mishmased · Recommended
I have a Rowenta brand since 2006. I have dropped it three times and it is still working.
See Post
Our verdict

Fast and efficient, the Rowenta Silence Steam Generator Iron offers up to 8 bars of pressure and impressive steam generation which can get your clothes wrinkle-free to a professional standard in next to no time. With silent pump technology, it also runs incredibly quietly, with an optional eco mode that uses less energy and water for quick garment refreshes before wear. 

It’s worth noting that despite its performance, the water tank on this steam generator iron isn’t as large as some, so for larger loads of ironing, you may need to refill more regularly. The space-age green and black colour scheme could also be a little off-putting for some - especially if you’re looking for a discreet and subtle design for your modern kitchen. 

Read next: The best washing machines, tried and tested

Most efficient steam generator iron

Tefal GV9820G0 Pro Express Vision Steam Generator Iron

What we like
  • Quick two-minute heat-up time 

  • Anti-drip system protects your clothes from spills 

  • Smart LED Vision helps ensure good visibility for best results 

  • Powerful steam shot and steam tip help smooth difficult-to-reach areas like collars and pleats 

  • Anti-scale allows easy maintenance  

  • Vertical steam function for steaming curtains or hanging clothes 

What we don't like
  • High cost makes this an investment piece best suited to regular use

  • Requires a large and robust ironing board due to size 

  • Tank capacity is small compared to other models 

Key specs

Price on writing: £337 | Weight: 5.2kg | Tank capacity: 1.2 litres | Continuous steam output: 180g/min | Steam shot: 750g/min | Steam pressure | Wattage: 2700 W

What Mumsnet users say
GetUsedToTheHeatAgain · Brand recommended by
I hate ironing with a passion it’s the devil's work! Someone I worked with suggested a steam generator and said it was one of the best things they had ever bought. I ummed and ahhed, but did buy a Tefal one. Why oh why did I not buy one earlier, they are fantastic, yes the base is big but the iron is light and I use an extra large ironing board. Had mine now over six years.
See Post
bouncydog · Brand tried and tested by
Can’t beat Tefal. No idea which model I have, but they’re all amazing. Super quick for super king duvets and sheets!
See Post
Our verdict

If you’re short on time, you’ll love the high-pressure steam shot on the Tefal GV9820G0 Pro Express Vision Steam Generator Iron which makes smoothing out thick fabrics and difficult areas simple and stress-free. Thanks to the smart LED vision light (which comes on automatically when you hold down the steam button for 2 seconds) you get excellent visibility even when ironing in low light, ensuring no unsightly creases or wrinkles are missed. 

Producing high-quality results and reducing your ironing time, you can choose from a variety of temperature settings to suit your fabric type, including delicates. Alternatively, you can use the built-in Smart Steam Setting, which is safe to use on all fabrics without the risk of burning or use as a virtual steamer, de-creasing hanging items with ease. 

We love the anti-scale feature of this design which makes it very easy to look after, however, it’s a costly model and the removable tank is frustratingly small compared to many steam generator irons. As such, we feel this steam generator iron is best suited to those who iron little and often and are looking for fast and efficient results. 

Related: The best budget dehumidifiers under £100

Best steam generator iron under £200

Morphy Richards Speed Steam 333201 Steam Generator Iron

What we like
  • Large-capacity water tank 

  • Powerful steam pressure for thicker fabrics and stubborn creases

  • Easy limescale removal 

  • Durable ceramic sole plate that glides across fabrics 

  • Practical and safe cord storage

What we don't like
  • Temperature/steam settings need to be manually selected to suit your fabric type 

  • When the cleaning light triggers, there is no option to override to a later date

Key specs

Price on writing: £200 | Weight: 3.6kg | Tank capacity: 1.7 litres | Continuous steam output: 120g / min | Steam shot: 220g / min | Steam pressure: 6 bar | Wattage: 3000 W

What Mumsnet users say
IloveJudgeJudy · Recommended
I've got a Morphy Richards steam generator. I bought it half price (can't remember where but I think it was just not the latest model). It's absolutely great. I wish I'd bought one years ago.
See Post
Franticbutterfly · Tried & Tested
I have had a few of these over the years. The best is my current Morphy Richards self-cleaning one (no filter to change). Worth every penny!
See Post
Our verdict

With a light-up display and intuitive, simple-to-navigate buttons, the Morphy Richards Speed Steam is one of the easier models to learn and use for those transitioning from a standard iron. It performs well across most fabrics, with variable temperature settings and a non-stick ceramic soleplate, however, can take slightly longer than some to smooth out stubborn creases on thicker fabrics such as denim or thick cotton.  

We love the large capacity removable water tank, reducing the amount of refills required when tackling larger ironing piles. The built-in cord storage is also a big plus point, safely tucking the cord out of the way for simple storage and manoeuvrability. 

This model is very resistant to limescale (especially when used with a 50/50 split of tap and distilled water) and has an efficient cleaning cycle that makes it well-suited to those living in hard water areas. It’s worth noting however that when the descale reminder light comes on, there is no option to override, which could be annoying if you’re in a hurry.

Related: The best budget washing machines under £500

Best steam generator iron with large tank
What we like
  • Lightweight design 

  • Extra large water tank 

  • No temperature settings - suitable for all fabrics 

  • Powerful steam pressure 

  • Easy cleaning and maintenance 

What we don't like
  • Some reviewers were frustrated that the iron doesn’t stand upright 

  • The water tank can be a bit tricky to remove 

Key specs

Price on writing: £201 | Weight: 3.34kg | Tank capacity: 1.8 litres | Continuous steam output: 125 g/min | Steam shot: 460g/min | Steam pressure: Unspecified | Wattage: 2800W

What Mumsnet users say
SpeckledyHen · Brand recommended
I have a Tefal one. Shoots out steam for dealing with delicate items too.
See Post
sasparilla1 · Brand recommended
I hate ironing, but it's also one of those things that I have to do! I've had a Tefal steam generator for the past few years and they're just brilliant. I couldn't go back to a normal iron.
See Post
Our verdict

If you’re making the switch from a traditional steam iron, you’ll love the Tefal Express Airglide, with an impressive 7.2 bar pressure and 125g/min of continuous steam - up to three times more than a traditional steam iron. While a little tricky to remove, the generously sized 1.8-litre water tank is unlikely to need refilling during use, even with larger loads of ironing. In fact, Tefal claims it can knock up to 30 minutes off your overall ironing time.

We love the automatic temperature adjustment that can smooth out all fabric types, including delicates, without burning, whilst the useful ECO mode uses 20% less energy for clothing that simply needs a slight refresh. 

Unlike the Morphy Richards Speed Steam above, the descaling cycle on the Tefal Express Airglide won’t slow down your efforts, taking just 3 seconds to flush limescale and maintain peak performance.

Read next: The best rotary washing lines for fresh, clean laundry

Best quiet steam generator iron
What we like
  • Quiet operation 

  • Impressive steam output 

  • Detachable water tank with a large capacity 

  • Anti-drip 

  • Auto shut-off feature for peace of mind 

  • Vertical steam option 

  • Anti-calc notification when the filter needs replacing 

What we don't like
  • The tip isn’t narrow enough to tackle hard-to-reach areas

  • Not the most ergonomic handle 

Key specs

Price on writing: £150 | Weight: 5.06 kg | Tank capacity: 1.8L | Continuous steam output: 200g/min | Steam shot: 360g/min | Steam pressure: 7 bar | Wattage: 2400W

Our verdict

Due to their power and efficiency, steam generator irons tend to be noisier than a standard iron, which can be frustrating if you usually settle down to iron in front of the TV. The Russell Hobbs Quiet Super Steam Generator iron is the exception Featuring Quiet Technology, it claims to be up to 20% quieter than previous models, so you can still get some welcome entertainment while you speed through your shirts and school uniform. 

Despite lower noise levels, this iron has powerful steam pressure that can tackle a whole host of ironing challenges, from crumpled collars to creased denim, although the tip of the iron is a little thick for hard-to-reach areas. With a high-capacity water tank, you can easily get over an hour of ironing time without the need to refill, however, the handle could get a little uncomfortable after prolonged use

A which ECO Buy, the anti-calc filter on the Quiet Super Steam works well at removing limescale - a huge plus point if you live in a hard water area. A visual indicator will even let you know when it's time to replace it, making this a fairly low-maintenance choice.

Read next: The best laundry detergents for babies

Best compact steam generator iron

Philips PerfectCare Compact Steam Generator Iron GC7840

What we like
  • Compact and lightweight design

  • Optimal temp suitable for all fabrics without burning 

  • Strong and powerful steam generation

  • Non-stick and scratch-resistant soleplate 

  • Smart Calc Clean notifies you when it's time to clean your iron 

What we don't like
  • Power lead could do with being longer 

  • No vertical steam option

  • The water tank is not detachable 

Key specs

Price on writing: £147 | Weight: 3.3kg | Tank capacity: 1.5 litre | Continuous steam output: 120 g/min | Steam shot: 400g/min | Steam pressure: 6.5 bars | Wattage: 2400W

What Mumsnet users say
Wiennetta · Tried & Tested
It's much better than a regular iron if you want to use it like a traditional iron (i.e with a board) so it’s great for anything with deep creases, but usually I just wave it over clothes on a hanger quickly without having to get the board out.
See Post
Our verdict

If you’re looking for all the benefits of a steam generator iron but are a little more limited on space, this compact model from trusted brand Philips makes an excellent choice. With a small footprint and lightweight design, it’s easy to carry and store when not in use, making it a more practical choice for smaller kitchens.

Despite its size, the Philips Compact Steam Generator does not lack in performance, with powerful steam generation that can tackle even stubborn creases caused by vacuum storage bags. Thanks to Optimal Temp technology, there are no temperature settings to worry about either, with one temperature suitable for all fabrics without the risk of burns. 

The 1.5-litre tank offers over an hour of ironing time, however, it’s worth noting it's not removable, so you do need to carry the entire unit to the sink when it's time to refill. Whilst the power cable does stash away for storage, some reviewers felt it was a little on the short side, with some needing an extension lead to find a comfortable ironing position.

Read next: The best fabric softeners for great-smelling washing

What is a steam generator iron?

Unlike traditional irons, steam generator irons have a separate, often large, water tank and use a steam generator unit to provide powerful, fast and efficient crease removal. 

What to consider when buying a steam generator iron

  • Heating time - How long does it take to heat up the water in the tank? A good steam generator iron can heat up in less than 2 minutes, whilst some may take a little longer, particularly if the tank has a high capacity.

  • Tank size - Most steam generator irons have a tank size capable of holding at least 1 litre of water, with the vast majority holding between 1.2 and 1.8 litres. The larger the tank, the longer you can iron continuously without the need to refill. If you have a large family and large wash loads to get through, you may want to opt for the largest size possible, whereas infrequent users or smaller households may be perfectly comfortable with a smaller volume. 

  • Ease of use - How simple are the instructions - are there lots of settings to master or are there no temperature settings like the Philips Optimal Temp technology which simplifies its use? If you're ironing delicate items, you may find the no-burn guarantee of a fixed temperature offers additional peace of mind. 

  • Size  - Do you have space to store a larger steam generator iron when not in use? Cord storage clips or containers can be helpful when the iron is not in use.

  • Anti-calc function - Does the iron have features to prevent the build-up of unwelcome limescale? Not only can this be unsightly, it can affect your iron’s performance, so may be particularly important if you live in a hard water area

  • Weight - how heavy is it? Remember you will need to be able to physically lift and carry the water tank and weight varies fairly significantly depending on the brand and tank size. You also need to ensure your ironing board is capable of holding the additional weight, as a lightweight board just won’t cut it. Designs with removable water tanks are often easier to fill. 

  • Water tank capacity - How much ironing do you do? For larger families with substantial ironing piles, a large 1.8-litre capacity can allow you to complete all the ironing in one session without the need to refill. 

  • Steam output and pressure - What pressure and steam levels does the iron offer? The more powerful the steam settings, the more efficiently they can remove stubborn creases and wrinkles from your clothes. 

  • Can it be used as a vertical steamer? - Some steam generator irons can also be used to steam hanging clothes such as curtains, suits, coats and dresses, which can be really useful for freshening up items before wear. 

  • Noisy - How noisy is it? If you intend to use the iron in an open-plan living space or want to watch TV or listen to the radio during use, you may want to opt for a quieter model. 

  • Cost - Last but by no means least in the current climate- how much are you willing to spend? Steam generator irons are generally quite an investment, however, the time-saving benefits can be worth their weight in gold! 

Related: The best retractable washing lines for your garden

Are steam generator irons better than standard irons?

Due to the larger water tank, steam generator irons require refilling less regularly than standard irons, allowing longer ironing sessions without needing to top up in between your sheets and shirts. 

The steam generator unit heats up to produce high-pressure steam which is often more efficient than that generated by standard irons, reducing ironing time while being more effective at removing creases from clothes - ideal if you have a large family or a never-ending laundry pile.

They aren’t for everyone though. Not only are they costly, steam generator irons are often heavier and larger than standard irons, requiring a robust ironing board that can handle the additional weight and somewhere to store them when not in use.

Read next: The best mould removers for tackling damp in your home

What is the best steam generator iron to buy?

The Philips PerfectCare Elite is our top pick for the best steam generator iron you can buy today. While it comes with a significant price tag, this versatile iron is simple to use, with a large capacity water tank and impressive steam generation that makes ironing almost enjoyable. With one temperature setting and a no-burn guarantee, it makes light work of all fabric types, and can even be used as a vertical steamer when needed. 

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users 

There is a lot of debate within the Mumsnet forums on how to tackle the never-ending ironing pile, with many users sharing their hints and tips on the best tools for the job. 

First, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users, to get their feedback on the steam generator irons that they rate, recommend and have used in their own homes.

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, overpriced, noisy or simply struggled to tackle those more stubborn wrinkles and creases.

Expert opinions

Next up, we considered reviews and feedback from trusted industry experts. We want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose, so we looked out for award-winning products or those that were well regarded in the marketplace, including those recommended by household experts and consumer champions such as Which?

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best steam generator irons on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, Argos and John Lewis to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist. 

About the author 

Lucy Cotterill is a Mum and Content Writer at Mumsnet, specialising in baby/child and lifestyle product reviews and round-ups. Having written product reviews on her own blog Real Mum Reviews since 2012, Lucy loves to research and explore the pros and cons of products, scrutinising reviews and consumer feedback to help people make confident purchases. 

Originally from a HR background with a degree in Business Studies, Lucy developed a real passion for blogging and writing when her children were young, going on to write for several online publications including US parenting site Pregistry and the Evening Standard. When she’s not manically tapping the keys of her laptop, Lucy loves nothing more than to cosy up with her Kindle and enjoy the latest thriller, hiding from her ironing pile or competing in Nintendo Switch rallies with her daughters aged six and 10.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.