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The 10 best steam irons to save time and banish creases

Ironing needn’t be a chore when you have a decent steam iron to power through your piles of laundry. Find out which of the best steam irons landed a place in our top 10 right here.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Nov 29, 2022

Pile of ironing next to iron

From getting work clothes in tip-top shape to ploughing through rows of school uniform on a Sunday night, it’s safe to say Mumsnetters know a thing or two about the value of a decent steam iron. Nobody really likes getting out the ironing board, but it's one of those tasks that just can't be avoided, so finding the best steam iron for you is important. 

When we asked our Mumsnetters for their honest recommendations and must-haves, they told us that a good steam iron should be lightweight, have a large tank capacity and help you get rid of stubborn creases without breaking a sweat. Many will also come with self-cleaning functions to reduce limescale build up (though if this an issue, don't miss our guide to the best water softeners).

We've spent hours combing through tried and tested recommendations on the Mumsnet forums as well as researching expert opinions and consumer reviews to find the best steam irons currently available.

Be sure to check out our dedicated pages on the best heated clothes airers, best tumble dryers and best dehumidifiers to up your laundry game without sending energy prices through the roof this winter.

Here are the best steam irons UK 2022.

1. Best overall steam iron: Russell Hobbs 20630 Powersteam Ultra Steam Iron

Russell Hobbs steam iron

Price on writing: £40* | Buy now from Argos

*Black Friday deal, down from £45

Key Specs

Weight: 1.6kg | Capacity: 0.35L | Continuous steam: 45g per minute | Steam shot: 210g | Watts: 3100 | Soleplate: Ceramic

Reasons to buy

  • Self-cleaning feature
  • Glides well over a variety of fabrics

Reasons to avoid

  • May feel a bit heavy when full

What Mumsnet users say

"Russell Hobbs 20630. Honestly the best iron I've ever used. And I've been through many." (Recommended by Mumsnet user Justmuddlingalong)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? It’s really quick to heat up and features useful notches for ironing around buttons, which is very handy.  

With this iron’s steam and water spray functions, the task of ironing your clothes has never been easier – even when presented with the most stubborn of creases. The Russell Hobbs 20630 Powersteam Ultra has an improved glide from the previous model, which makes easy work of the ironing pile, as well as lots of great features such as an automatic shut-off if it’s left idle or falls over.

Equipped with a 350ml water tank, this iron can also shoot out a 210g burst of steam to make quick work of creases in your best jeans or favourite linen trousers. A vertical steam feature allows you to get the creases out of garments fresh out of the tumble dryer or off the heated clothes airer, and also works well on soft furnishings. It even has a triple-action self-cleaning feature, which helps to reduce limescale and extend the life of your iron. 

2. Best budget steam iron: John Lewis Speed Steam Iron

John Lewis Steam Iron

Price on writing: £25 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Weight: 1.5kg | Capacity: 290ml | Continuous steam: 25g per minute | Steam shot: 25g | Watts: 2000 | Soleplate: CeraGlide Ceramic | Cord length: 2.3m 

Reasons to buy

  • Ceramic sole plate 
  • Self-clean function 
  • Easy to use 
  • No nonsense 
  • Competitively priced

Reasons to avoid

  • Dark water tank makes it hard to judge the water level 
  • No cord clip for easy storage 

What Mumsnet users say

"I'd recommend one with a ceramic soleplate." (Type of iron recommended by Mumsnet user sueelleker)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? Our budget-friendly option from John Lewis is basic, easy to use and great value for money. At only £25, this is an excellent option for those who like no-fuss, no-frills and need a reasonably priced iron. 

It has a ceramic plate which makes working through your ironing pile quick and easy, regardless of whether you're dry or steam ironing. Previous customers rate it because it is lightweight, quick to heat up and does the job.  It also has a self-cleaning function, which helps it last even longer. 

At a time when budgets are tight, this iron stands out as one that is practical, reliable and affordable. 

3. Best heavy-duty steam iron: Philips Azur Steam Iron

Price on writing: £44.99* | Buy now from Amazon

*Black Friday deal, down from £59.99

Key specs

Weight: 1.57kg | Capacity: 0.3L | Continuous steam: 45g per minute | Steam shot: 250g | Watts: 2600 | Soleplate: Polycarbonate

Reasons to buy

  • Easy to fill and empty
  • Well-designed

Reasons to avoid

  • Quite bulky

Our verdict

Our favourite features? The powerful 250g steam burst and SteamGlide soleplate will make light work of mountains of creased clothes.

This 2600-watt iron comes with a 300ml water tank for greater steam capacity and capability. There’s a vertical steam feature so you can steam clothes that are hanging on a dryer, and a two-metre power cord gives you plenty of space to work.  

The limescale catcher comes in handy, especially if you live in a hard water area and don't currently own a good water softener, and the drip-stop feature prevents clothes from getting dripped on during ironing, which is often a problem at low temperatures.

4. Best value steam iron: Breville DiamondXPress Steam Iron

Breville steam iron

Price on writing: £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Weight: 1.63kg | Capacity: 400ml | Continuous steam: 70g per minute | Steam shot: 200g | Watts: 3100 | Soleplate: Ceramic

Reasons to buy

  • Extra-long cable
  • Safety temperature strip
  • Fast to heat up
  • Strong steam output

Reasons to avoid

  • The design may not appeal to all

Our verdict

Our favourite features? The iron heats up to temperature in under 30 seconds so it’s always ready to go when you are. We also like the unusual rose gold and silver colourway.

With its quick heating, spacious water tank and strong steam bursts, the Breville DiamondXPress covers all the basics and has some good extras too, such as automatic shut-off, anti-scale, anti-drip and a self-clean feature, all of which make this iron easy to use and take care of. The 400ml water tank on this iron means that you can use it for long periods without needing to refill it, and it delivers a generous amount of steam as well as steam shots. The multi-directional soleplate allows for an easy glide while ironing and a three-metre cord gives you plenty of room to work.

The soleplate itself (which apparently contains crushed diamonds!) is lovely and wide, which helps to make fast work of bigger items such as bed sheets. And the tank opening is nice and generous too, which makes filling it really easy. 

5. Best luxury steam iron: Morphy Richards 303210 Turbosteam Pro Intellitemp Digital Iron, Blue

Morphy Iron

Price on writing: £59.59 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Weight: 1.59kg | Capacity: 380ml | Continuous steam: 40g per minute | Steam shot: 40g | Watts: 3100 | Soleplate: Ceramic | Cable length: 3m 

Reasons to buy

  • Intellitemp feature 
  • Effective steam boost
  • Anti-calcium and self-clean functions 
  • Lightweight
  • A good size water tank

Reasons to avoid

  • Recommends using distilled water - additional cost 

What Mumsnet users say

"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 husbands shirts perfectly too." (Brand tried and tested by Mumsnetter HoneyWheeler)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? We recommend the Turbosteam Intellitemp Digital Iron made by Morphy Richards because it is efficient, effective on all fabrics and makes light work of large ironing piles. 

Its stand-out feature is its Intellitemp setting, which allows this iron to be used on all fabrics, from baby grows to jeans to delicates. Alternatively, it has a Max setting that will iron out stubborn creases on heavier fabric like curtains.  The digital controls make it easy to switch between the two with the touch of a button. Customers and Mumsnetters rate it highly. 

Additional functions that make this an excellent choice include a long cord, anti-calcium and self-cleaning function, and a good-sized water tank with an easy-to-see water level. We recommend it as a perfect mid-budget option that'll help you make light work of a heavy load. 

6. Best digital steam iron: Beautural Steam Iron

Beautural steam iron

Price on writing: £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Weight: 1.25kg | Capacity: 0.34L | Continuous steam: Not listed | Steam shot: Not listed | Watts: 2400 | Soleplate: Ceramic

Reasons to buy

  • Intuitive features
  • Anti-calcium and self-cleaning system maintain the iron’s high performance

Reasons to avoid

  • Small entrance to top up the water tank

Our verdict

Our favourite features? Automatic shut-off with motion sensors makes the Beautural Steam Iron a particularly safe option when it comes to child-and-babyproofing your home.

This iron offers a whopping nine preset options so you can always find the ideal temperature for the type of fabric you’re ironing. The digital display and preset options make it easy to see what you’re doing too.

The dual plate feature means you can get rid of creases fast while the ceramic plate helps the iron glide effortlessly across different types of fabric, while anti-calcium and self-cleaning features will help the iron last that little bit longer.

7. Best cordless steam iron: Russell Hobbs Freedom 23300 Cordless Iron

Russell Hobbs Freedom iron

Price on writing: £46.80 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs:

Weight: 153kg | Capacity: 300ml | Continuous steam: 40g per minute | Steam shot: 135g | Watts: 2400 | Soleplate: Ceramic

Reasons to buy:

  • Clear light indicators
  • Cordless use

Reasons to avoid:

  • Has to be returned to the charging base often

Our verdict:

Our favourite features? Effortlessly removes even the most stubborn of creases with its 40g of continuous steam and additional 135g steam shot.

The Russell Hobbs Freedom Cordless Iron is super convenient, with a 30-second heat-up and a five-second recharge that means you never have to put the iron down for long.

Variable temperature controls allow you to choose just the right setting for whatever you’re working on and the large water tank is clear so you can always see when you’re starting to run low. The base light indicators change colour to show when the iron is heating, ready for use and recharging.

8. Best eco steam iron: Rowenta Eco Intelligence DW6030 Steam Iron

Rowenta Eco Intelligence iron

Price on writing: £79.99 | Buy now from Currys

Key specs

Weight: 1.84kg | Capacity: 300ml | Continuous steam: 40g per minute | Steam shot: 180g | Watts: 2500 | Soleplate: Microsteam400 3De

Reasons to buy

  • Good eco credentials
  • Three-metre cord

Reasons to avoid

  • Some reviews say this iron is less powerful than others
  • No auto shut-off

What Mumsnet users say

"I have a Rowenta brand since 2006. I have dropped it three times and it is still working." (Tried and thoroughly tested by Mumsnet user mishmased)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? The pointy tip on the soleplate is great for seams, tricky collars and awkward corners and the anti-drip design won’t leave water splashes on your clothes.

This smart-looking iron in black and green uses up to 30% less energy than normal steam irons thanks to its patented Microsteam400 3De soleplate technology, which distributes steam perfectly to keep energy consumption low.

A powerful steam boost is great for smoothing away creases, even on thick, heavy and dry fabrics. The anti-scale function means it should last just that bit longer too.

9. Best steam generator iron: Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator Iron

Phillips elite iron

Price on writing: £219 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Weight: 5.1kg (whole unit) | Capacity: 1.8L | Continuous steam: 135g per minute | Steam shot: 500g | Watts: 2400 | Soleplate: Ceramic

Reasons to buy

  • Detachable water tank
  • The large tank lets you iron for over an hour without refilling
  • Great at getting into tight corners
  • Has an eco mode

Reasons to avoid

  • The cord is only two metres long

What Mumsnet users say

"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." (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter Hadjab)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? This steam generator works magic on creases, even on really thick, heavy fabric, such as jeans, and the coated stainless steel soleplate has a lovely, smooth gliding movement.

Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator Iron is quite an investment, but it really is the Queen of Everything when it comes to tackling an ironing pile. A steam generator iron can help you get through ironing more quickly than a regular steam iron.

The large steam generator unit separates from the iron to make it lighter to wield, but you can still get plenty of steam going to power through a huge pile of ironing. There's a sound-absorbing plate in the base so that the machine isn’t too noisy in use, and it heats up and is ready to use within two minutes. The steam boost is powerful and can also be used vertically for things like curtains.

10. Best steam iron for hard water areas: Tefal Ultimate Pure Steam Iron

Tefal Ultimate Pure Steam Iron

Price on writing: £79 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Weight: 1.45kg | Capacity: 350ml | Continuous steam: 60g per minute | Steam shot: 260g | Watts: 3100 | Soleplate: Durillium Airglide

Reasons to buy

  • Great at eliminating limescale
  • Long cord
  • Powerful steam boost and steam output
  • Nice glide on soleplate

Reasons to avoid

  • Needs refilling more regularly than some steam irons

What Mumsnet users say

"Can’t beat Tefal. No idea which model I have, but they’re all amazing. Super quick for superking duvets and sheets!" (Recommended by Mumsnet user bouncydog)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? Its MicroScale filter technology filters and captures even the smallest particles of limescale, so that the iron produces 'pure' steam and won't leave any traces of scale on your clothes.

This powerful steam iron is great at powering through huge piles of ironing with its strong continuous steam function and steam shot.

The Durillium Airglide auto-clean soleplate gives a really smooth run across even highly textured and heavy-duty fabrics by distributing the steam evenly across the whole of the plate. A clever auto-shut-off feature turns the iron off if it’s not in use for eight minutes, or after 30 seconds if it’s on its side.   

Are steam irons worth it?

Really, all irons are steam irons these days, though a new generation of steam generator irons are taking steam to a new level.

You'll likely still 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 make sure you have an iron that 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 people deciding to invest. And they are an 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 a separate water tank. This makes quick work of ironing as much more steam is produced, and it also makes the iron itself easier to hold.

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 more bulky than regular steam irons, however, 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, but a steam iron is less bulky and easier to drag around the house to wherever you want it. Steam irons are also considerably cheaper than steam generator irons.

How much should you spend on an iron?

You can buy a very basic steam iron for as little as £10, but you do 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 huge array of steam irons at various price points, so it’s wise to have an idea of your budget before you buy.

While you’re at it, decide whether you want a steam iron or a bulkier steam generator iron, which will be partly dictated by your budget as well as how much storage space you have.

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

What wattage of steam iron is best?

Aim for around 1,400 watts for maximum effectiveness.

How long do steam irons last?

How long your steam iron will last depends on how much you use it. A good steam iron should last around 10 years.

What is the best steam iron to buy?

The best iron to buy is the Russell Hobbs 20630 Powersteam Ultra Steam Iron. With a smooth glide, handy features such as automatic shut-off and vertical steam for hanging garments and soft furnishings, and a generously sized tank, this affordable iron will suit almost any lifestyle and family.

How we chose our recommendations

First, we consulted consumer watchdogs such as Which?, and took note of what they looked for in a steam iron and which brands they were recommending to their readers.

We then studied reviews of the best steam irons on the Mumsnet forums to find out which models parents had tried, tested and rated highly – and which irons they weren't impressed by.

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which were the bestsellers and which received rave reviews after purchase.

We then cross-referenced all that information to find the steam irons that had won the most accolades and recommendations across the board to bring you a selection of the best at various price points and in different styles, taking care to update the listings regularly to reflect what is currently available. We think there’s something here for everyone.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Russell Hobbs steam iron
Russell Hobbs 20630. Honestly the best iron I've ever used. And I've been through many. 

Justmuddlingalong

Best overall steam iron

Russell Hobbs
20630 Powersteam Ultra Steam Iron

Buy now
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