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Best steam irons to buy for crease-free clothing

Ironing needn’t be a chore when you have a decent steam iron to power through your piles of laundry. Here's our list of the UK's best steam irons to buy in 2023, as tried and tested by Mumsnetters and their families.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Nov 30, 2023

A grey and burgundy coloured Tefal steam iron sits diagonally opposite a black Russell Hobbs steam iron on a background of pale blue folded fabric

From getting work clothes crease-free to ploughing through piles of school uniforms on a Sunday night, our Mumsnetters know a thing or two about the value of choosing the right steam iron to speed through laundry.

That's why, when we asked them for their honest recommendations, they told us that a good steam iron should be lightweight, have a large tank capacity and get rid of stubborn creases without you breaking a sweat. A self-cleaning function to reduce limescale build-up would be an added bonus. In short, the best steam irons should be effective, efficient and reasonably priced.

Our Mumsnetters have tried and tested hundreds of steam irons and, with eight million users visiting our forums every month, we know the true value of an authentic recommendation from ordinary families. Which is why we spend hours scouring the forums for the products our Mumsnet community have used and loved.

Once we have our shortlist, we cross-reference this with the opinion of industry experts as well as the ratings from verified customer reviews and up-to-date bestseller lists to leave us with a list of the very best products for all needs and budgets. Not only have our recommended steam irons survived in the real world, but they've also been effective against family-sized laundry piles. So here are the best steam irons you can buy this yea.

Want to make laundry tasks a breeze? See our guides to the best washing machines, best tumble dryers and the best heated clothes airers.

Best steam irons at a glance

  • Best overall steam iron: Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator GC9630/20 | Buy now

  • Best value steam iron: Russell Hobbs 20630 Powersteam Ultra Steam Iron | Buy now

  • Best high performance steam iron: Tefal Ultimate Pure Steam Iron FV9830 | Buy now

  • Best digital steam iron: Morphy Richards 303210 Turbosteam Pro Intellitemp Digital Iron | Buy now


Best Overall

Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator GC9630/20

What we like
  • Very effective, professional ironing at home

  • Lightweight, easy to use with self-cleaning features

  • Powerful steam, with OptimalTEMP technology

  • Energy-efficient modes and features

What we don't like
  • Cord length is less than two metres

  • Expensive in comparison to other listed steam irons

Key specs

Price: RRP £370 | Type: Steam Iron Generator | Weight of iron: 0.8kg | Tank capacity: 1.8L | Continuous steam: 135g/min | Steam shot: 470g | Soleplate: Coated stainless steel | Wattage: 2400W | Cord length: 1.8m

What Mumsnet users say
Robinonaspade · Tried & Tested
"PerfectCare Elite Steam generator iron GC9630/20 We have the above iron. 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

Our verdict

The Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator Iron GC9630/20 is quite the investment, but its exceptional performance justifies the price.

It works its magic on creases, even thick, heavy fabric like jeans, and the coated stainless steel soleplate has a lovely, smooth, gliding movement. By far the most recommended steam iron by Mumsnetters, it's also loved by experts and is generally accepted as the best steam generator iron currently available in the UK.

With a no-burn guarantee, the Phillips PerfectCare Elite steam generator iron does everything from vertically steaming curtains, just like the best clothes steamer, to gently de-wrinkling delicate items using its intuitive OptimalTemp technology to adjust the temperature for maximum efficiency.

It's powerful but also energy-efficient with an ECO mode and automatic switch-off, so it won’t double your energy bills. Don't be deceived by its design, either. Although it might look unwieldy, the steam generator unit can fit perfectly on your ironing board, and the iron is lightweight and comfortable to hold (so no sore wrists).

The only gripe is that the cord is less than two metres long, so you’ll need to find a suitable position close to a plug. Easy to use, clean and care for, Mumsnet users agree that if you have the budget, investing in the Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator is worth every single penny.


Best Value

Russell Hobbs 20630 Powersteam Ultra Steam Iron

What we like
  • Powerful

  • Easy to operate with user-friendly controls

  • Affordable price

  • Large water tank

What we don't like
  • Heavy

  • No colour choice

Key specs

Price: RRP £38 | Type: Steam Iron | Weight of iron: 2.04kg | Tank capacity: 350ml | Continuous steam: 70g/min | Steam shot: 210g | Soleplate: Ceramic | Wattage: 3100W | Cord length: 3m

What Mumsnet users say
Justmuddlingalong · Recommended
"Russell Hobbs 20630. Honestly, the best iron I've ever used. And I've been through many"
See Post

Our verdict

With this iron’s steam and water spray functions, ironing your clothes has never been easier. Even with the most stubborn creases, the Russell Hobbs 20630 Powersteam Ultra can take your best jeans or favourite linen trousers from your heated clothes airer to a freshly ironed washing pile in minutes. It'll vertically steam soft furnishings too!

Updated with an improved glide, it possesses a 350ml water tank, button grooves and a 210g burst of steam that experienced ironers will appreciate. You won't have to worry about accidentally leaving it idle or if it falls over as it will automatically shut off to protect furniture, carpets and curious hands.

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full review of the Russell Hobbs Powersteam Ultra


Best high-performance steam iron

Tefal Ultimate Pure Steam Iron FV9830

What we like
  • Powerful, effective and efficient

  • Protected against limescale

  • Extra-long cord

What we don't like
  • Heavy and a non-standard size, so difficult to store

Key specs

Price: RRP £160 | Type: Steam Iron | Weight of iron: 1.45kg | Tank Capacity: 350ml | Continuous steam: 55g/min | Steam shot: 240g | Soleplate: Durilium | Wattage: 3000W | Cord length: 3m

What Mumsnet users say
Woeisme99 · Tried & Tested
"I've got a Tefal one. It has a little filter thing of its own for the hard water. I had a good deal by opening a Very catalogue and getting 20% off as a new customer, which came in at about £100. Absolutely wouldn't be without it."
See Post

Our verdict

Tefal is a Mumsnetter trusted brand for its high-quality products, and the Tefal Ultimate Pure Steam Iron is no exception. It is an investment purchase that promises no scale stains, the fastest glide and plenty of power.

Using a Durillium Airglide soleplate, it runs smoothly across even highly textured and heavy-duty fabrics by evenly distributing the steam across the whole plate. Efficient and effective, the 55mg steam output and 240g steam shot will leave your clothes wrinkle-free and collars with crisp lines. You needn’t worry about limescale either, with its 2-in-1 micro calc filter that catches even the tiniest particles, you're promised ‘pure’ steam every time. Other features to love are its three-metre cord, an auto shut-off and a 350ml water tank.

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full review of the Tefal Ultimate Pure Steam Iron

Read next: If dirty appliances and built-up limescale has got you down, remember to check out our Swears By guides to the best washing machine cleaners and the best mould removers.


Best digital steam iron

Morphy Richards 303210 Turbosteam Pro Intellitemp Digital Iron

What we like
  • Excellent digital, Intellitemp feature

  • Suitable for all fabrics, perfect for crafters

  • Easy glide, easy to use and long cord length

What we don't like
  • It isn't as light as other listed steam irons

  • Recommends using distilled water, which is an additional cost

Key specs

Price: RRP: £49 | Type: Steam Iron | Weight of iron: 1.59kg | Tank capacity: 380ml | Continuous steam: 40g/min | Steam shot: 200g | Soleplate: Ceramic | Wattage: 3100W | Cord length: 3m

What Mumsnet users say
HoneyWheeler · Recommended
"I have a Morphy Richards one - absolutely love it and used it a lot when I was sewing and ironing craft type things professional. Does my husband's shirts perfectly too"
See Post

Our verdict

Whether you sew or love fashion, finding an iron that is safe for all fabrics is like gold dust. That's why we're recommending the Turbosteam Intellitemp Digital Iron for its Intellitemp technology. With a standard and max setting, it's safe to use on everything from silk to curtains - switching between the two is easy with its digital controls.

Rated by previous customers for its decent-sized water tank, easy-to-read water level, extra-long cord length, and self-cleaning function, you get plenty of bang for your buck. The only downsides are that the manufacturer recommends using distilled water, an additional cost few of us can afford, and that some felt it didn’t get hot enough.

Read next: For other laundry products that are safe for all fabric types, check out our guides to the best laundry detergent, the best fabric softener, and the best laundry detergent for babies.


Best cordless steam iron

Morphy Richards 303251 Easy Charge Power+ Steam Iron

What we like
  • Easy to recharge and use the docking station

  • Cordless and convenient

  • Good capacity tank means fewer refills

  • Vertical steaming and intuitive temperature, great for all fabric types

What we don't like
  • Not as powerful, best for smaller laundry loads and lighter fabrics (typical of all cordless irons)

  • Difficult to see water level

Key specs

Price: RRP £55 | Type: Cordless Steam Iron | Weight of iron: 1.39kg | Tank capacity: 350ml | Continuous steam: 35g/min | Steam shot: 130g | Soleplate: Ceramic | Wattage: 2400W | Cord length: 2m | Charging time: 24 seconds | Heat-up time: 40 seconds

Our verdict

Cordless steam irons are indeed less powerful than their corded counterparts, better suited to light fabrics and smaller laundry loads than anything heavy-duty. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t convenient, practical and preferred by some Mumsnet users.

Enter the Morphy Richards 303251 Power+ Steam Iron. With comparatively more positive reviews than other models, previous customers loved its lightweight, easy-to-use design and manoeuvrability, with many stating that they felt it was good value for money.

Morphy Richards has prioritised convenience in their design, giving their cordless steam iron a large water tank for fewer refills and an easy-to-place base that means you can put it down in any direction. Recharge it in under 25 seconds, and make quick work of different fabric types using its intuitive temperature and vertical steaming features for crease-free laundry in minutes.

The Morphy Richards 303251 Power+ is the best cordless steam iron for those who need more spare time or those who often trip over the iron's cord.

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full review of Morphy Richards Easy Charge Power+ Steam Iron


Best for stubborn creases

Tefal Ultraglide+ FV5872G0 Steam Iron

What we like
  • Durilium sole plate for easy gliding

  • Powerful, heats up fast

  • Intense steam shot for tough creases

  • Excellent features, built to last

What we don't like
  • Hard to read water reservoir and dial

Key specs

Price: RRP £45 | Type: Steam Iron | Weight of iron: 1.59kg | Tank capacity: 270ml | Continuous steam: 50g/min | Steam shot: 210g | Soleplate: Durilium | Wattage: 2800W | Cord length: 2m

What Mumsnet users say
rwalker · Recommended
"Tefal every time ultra glide bottom brilliant if you look after it."
See Post

Our verdict

The Tefal Ultraglide+ promises to provide excellent results every time with its well-thought-out design that maximises steam output, so even if the clothes spent a week on your child’s bedroom floor, they’d be smoothed out in seconds.

Pictured is the stylish purple and black model in the Tefal Ultraglide range, but you can also buy it in black, blue and gold, depending on your colour preference.

Mumsnetters love this brand for its long-lasting, high-quality products, and previous customers agree that it is an effective and efficient model. It glides in on a scratch-resistant durilium soleplate, with 30% more steam holes and a powerful 210g steam shot that’ll even de-crease heavy-duty fabric like denim.

Additional noteworthy mentions include its vertical steam feature to refresh clothing on hangers and its eco-mode that'll save you money on your energy bill. For crease-free results every time, the Tefal Ultraglide is our stand-out steam iron.

Tested by MNHQ: Read our review of the Tefal Ultraglide+


Best Eco-Friendly

Tefal Easygliss Eco

What we like
  • Heats up very quickly

  • Powerful - even on eco mode

  • Heat is pretty constant, with little fluctuation

  • Eco-friendly product and plastic-free packaging

What we don't like
  • Cord is a little on the short side

  • Smaller water tank than other irons we have tested

Key specs

Price: RRP £65 | Type: Steam Iron | Weight of iron: 1.29kg | Tank capacity: 270ml | Continuous steam: 50g/min | Steam shot: 260g/min | Soleplate: Durilium | Wattage: 2800W | Cord length: 2m

Our verdict

There is a misconception that when an appliance is eco-friendly, this comes at the expense of performance. But the Tefal Easygliss Eco blows that theory out the water. 

This is a fab little iron that heats up quickly and provides a powerful blast of steam to smooth out creases and wrinkles speedily and efficiently. It also has a built-in anti calc filter, so it requires minimal maintenance. 

The Easygliss Eco comes in minimalistic cardboard packaging, made up of 95% recycled fibres, with not a single piece of plastic in sight. Eco mode uses up to 30% less energy while the actual iron itself is made from 35% recycled materials and is 88% recyclable. So it really is the environmentally friendly choice.

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full review of the Tefal Easygliss Eco

Are steam irons worth it?

Really, all irons are steam irons these days, though a new generation of steam generator irons is taking steam to a new level and are incredibly popular with Mumsnet users.

Whether you love ironing or not, you’ll likely need a steam iron, even if you wear clothes that don’t generally need ironing. It’s a fact of life that all clothes look better when pressed, and at some point, you’ll have a wedding or a job interview to go to, even if you aren’t ironing work clothes as a matter of course, each week.

Of course, steam irons are also handy for school uniforms, particularly when your children get to secondary school. So, ensure you have an iron your kids can eventually learn to wield themselves when they're old enough.

Are steam generator irons better than steam irons?

Steam generator irons have become much more mainstream over the last few years, with many deciding to invest. And they are a very expensive investment, with prices going into the hundreds of pounds.

The main difference between a steam iron and a steam generator iron is that steam generators have separate large water tanks, which are much more convenient and have a larger capacity to produce more steam. It also means the handheld iron is lightweight without any water in it.

Steam generator irons are great if you iron regularly, especially if you iron lots of big items like bath towels and bed sheets. They are also bulkier than regular steam irons, so you need to have good storage space or not mind having them on display in your kitchen or laundry room.

An ordinary steam iron has its tank attached to the iron, so it holds less water and needs refilling more often than a steam generator iron. Still, a steam iron is smaller, easier to drag around the house to wherever you want, and requires far less storage space. Steam irons are also considerably cheaper than steam generator irons.

How much should you spend on an iron?

You can buy a basic steam iron for as little as £10, but you get what you pay for at this end of the market. From the £30 mark or just under, you can get some pretty decent irons that will do everything you expect and more.

What should I look for when buying a steam iron?

There’s a vast array of steam irons at various price points, so it’s wise to have an idea of your budget before you buy and to consider how much storage space you have. Steam generator irons are raved about as the answer to all of your de-wrinkling needs. However, they are large and costly, so you need to think carefully before buying.

Different models will offer different features. Here are a few useful features you might want to look out for:

  • The number of steam holes in the soleplate – the more holes, the more even the steam dispersal to get rid of creases

  • Cordless capability

  • Automatic shut-off

  • Anti-scale and anti-calcium technology – useful in hard-water areas

  • Stainless steel soleplate - for a smooth glide over garments and fabrics

  • Lightweight materials - this will make the iron easier to use

  • Large-capacity water tank

  • Heat-up time – the higher the wattage, the faster the iron will heat up

  • Easy-grip handles that are soft and comfortable to hold

  • Fabric suitability – if you have lots of delicate fabrics in your wardrobe, check that the iron will be suitable for use on them

  • Multiple steam release modes e.g. burst or continuous

How many watts should a good steam iron be?

Aim for around 1,400 watts for maximum effectiveness, although many modern models can go upward of 3000 watts.

What is a steam iron's lifespan?

How long your steam iron will last depends on how much you use it and whether you take care of it. A good steam iron should last around ten years, but many last much longer. The average lifespan is anywhere between 10-20 years.

How can I make my steam iron last?

Top tips to make your steam iron last:

  • Always empty the water tank before storing

  • Regularly cleaning the sole plate and steam ports

  • Descale regularly (especially if you live in a hard water area)

How do I descale my iron?

According to Which?, descaling your iron should happen anywhere between one to three months. However, this can be required every two weeks if you live in a particularly hard water area. We recommend reading the manual for your particular iron, as your model might require specific steps. Generally, the best way is to:

  1. Empty the water tank and rinse it.

  2. Add some cleaning vinegar and fill it up with water.

  3. Leave your iron on the highest setting for four minutes and press the steam button regularly.

  4. Turn off the iron and let it soak for thirty minutes.

  5. Finally, rinse the tank and steam it on empty on an old kitchen towel to ensure no vinegar remains inside.

What is the best steam iron to buy?

The best steam iron you can buy is the Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator Iron. Loved by families and rated by experts, it's an investment purchase that's built to last, tackling creases easily and using OptimalTEMP technology to guarantee your clothing never burns. Lightweight, effective and powerful, Mumsnet users swear that, once you try this steam generator iron, you'll never go back!

How we chose our recommendations

Honest recommendations

We know that our Mumsnet users are the real experts when it comes to laundry so, as always, we began by consulting our forums to see which steam irons parents loved and which they, well, didn't.

Expert opinion

Once we had our long list, we consulted the consumer watchdog Which? to see which brands and products they recommended. We made sure to look out for industry awards too.

Verified customer reviews

Finally, we completed our triple-check verification process by cross-referencing our shortlist against verified customer reviews. We paid attention to those that were bestsellers and those with plenty of rave reviews.

Celebrated steam irons

That left us with our honest, up-to-date and balanced guide to the top ten best steam irons to meet every need and budget.

About the author

Laura Cooke is a Content Editor at Mumsnet, with a special focus on home care content. She writes buyer's guides, cleaning and laundry articles, and tests products out in her family home to help our readers make informed choices when it comes to parting with their pennies. She is a mum of two and lives in Sussex.

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