Best steam iron 2020: our top 6 irons from Tefal to Russell Hobbs

Compare the best steam irons from big-named brands so you can glide through your ironing pile, in our expert guide

best steam iron - Philips GC4526/87 Azur Performer Plus Steam Iron with 210 g Steam Boost
(Image credit: Philips)

In need of a new iron? We hear you. You'll need the best steam iron (your) money can buy then because, let's face it, there aren’t many of us who actually enjoy this task so try to make it as easy as possible for yourself.

If your iron is more than 10 years old, it’s probably due for an upgrade as the technology, features and functions have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Feeling baffled? To help you determine which iron is best for you, we’ve reviewed some of the latest, most tech-worthy models available to buy right now. We look at features such as steam output, weight, water tank capacity and more, to help you navigate the choices.

Once you've picked your model, read our best kettles guide so you can let off some steam with a nice mug full of your favourite tea, coffee or hot chocolate. 

What is the best steam iron?

If you want the best steam iron (in our opinion) we wouldn't hesitate to buy the Braun TexStyle7 Pro SI7042. It offers 60 per cent more steam for stubborn wrinkles and a high-tech soleplate for easy gliding, even when ironing backwards.

We can also highly recommend buying the Tefal Ultimate Pure FV9845. It has an autoclean soleplate so you can use it on dedicates, and we love the black and rose gold finish too!

These are the rest of our top picks, below. Keep scrolling for the full reviews.

Our pick of the best steam irons for 2020

Best iron you can buy: Braun Texstyle 7 Pro SI7042 Iron

(Image credit: Braun)

1. Braun TexStyle7 Pro SI7042 Steam Iron

Best steam iron you can buy: we love this one for its Eloxal 3D soleplate that glides easily over fabrics

Specifications
Power: 2400W
Water tank capacity: 300ml
Steam Output: 50g/min
Weight: 1.86kg
Finish: Black
Dimensions: H16.6cm x W13.6cm x D32.2cm
Reasons to buy
+Vertical steam function+Advanced soleplate for easy gliding+Deals with wrinkles and creases easily+Allows you to refill the water tank easily
Reasons to avoid
-The 2.5m power cord may be too short for some

Our best-rated steam iron is this latest TexStyle 7 Pro model from Braun, which will leave clothes totally crease-free thanks to its superior soleplate that removes stubborn wrinkles in no time.

EloxalPlus soleplate

Said to be Braun’s best gliding soleplate, even when ironing backwards, which is usually a complete pain especially when it comes to pockets and buttons. The unique coating makes the whole process quicker and simpler and is twice as hard as stainless steel.

Advanced steam

The 50 grams per minute steam output boosts 60 per cent more steam than most models and works easily on really tough creases while the large water tank means no more constantly refilling. There’s a turbo steam option as well as a steam shot for stubborn wrinkles or vertical steaming.

Use the variable steam setting to control how much steam you want depending on the fabric at the time.

Digital anti-drip

This brilliant feature puts an end to frustrating water drips as you iron. It works by digital technology that controls the heat really effectively so less water comes out of the soleplate as you iron.

  • Buy the Braun TexStyle7 Pro SI7042 Steam Iron

Best iron for quick results: Tefal Ultimate Pure FV9845 Steam Iron

(Image credit: Tefal)

2. Tefal Ultimate Pure FV9845 Steam Iron

Best steam iron for quick results: designed to deliver a powerful performance and stain-free results, this one looks stunning too

Specifications
Power: 3100W
Water tank capacity: 350ml
Steam Output: 60g/min
Weight: 1.45kg
Finish: Black and rose gold
Dimensions: H17.2cm x W20.3cm x D32.8cm
Reasons to buy
+Patented filter means no stains+Easy gliding soleplate+It’s really powerful with a high steam output+Allows you to move around with ease thanks to a 3m cord
Reasons to avoid
-Some find it heavy to handle

Part of Tefal's Ultimate Pure range, this iron gets our vote for quick results because it comes with a patented Micro-Scale filter, which captures even the tiniest of particles, to deliver pure, filtered steam every time.

Auto-off mode

A great feature for families or those who tend to wander off and forget they’ve left the iron on, the built-in safety auto-off feature works from 30 seconds after the iron is left on its side or soleplate – or eight minutes when left on its heels.

Autoclean coating

A nifty idea, this iron has a special coating that prevents stains without any maintenance on your part - ideal when you’ve not ironed for a while and are worried about staining.

The autoclean soleplate is also perfect for use on delicates and will glide across linen, which is a notoriously tricky fabric to iron. 

Easy to use

Some irons can be awkward to use, which is annoying when you know you have an hour or more of ironing ahead of you. This one’s different as it has a soft handle, large water tank to avoid constant refilling and a long 3m cord.

  • Buy the Tefal Ultimate Pure FV9845

Best smart iron: Philips GC5039/30 Azur Elite Steam Iron

(Image credit: Philips)

3. Philips GC5039/30 Azur Elite Steam Iron

Best smart steam iron: an intelligent option with motion speed sensors when you need extra steam

Specifications
Power: 3000W
Water tank capacity: 350ml
Steam Output: 75g/min
Weight: 2.34kg
Finish: Black and purple
Dimensions: H17.5cm x W13.5cm x D33.3cm
Reasons to buy
+Guaranteed no burns on clothes+Intelligent steam release+Turbo steam pump+Irons difficult fabrics such as jeans and silk+Delivers steam automatically on slower movements+Stops steaming when you stop ironing
Reasons to avoid
-Some complain of not enough heat-Can be awkward to handle-A pricey option

This Philips iron is packed with smart tech to ensure you have the correct dosage of steam to iron out any creases, and whizz through the ironing pile.

OptimalTEMP technology

Approved by experts, this iron will never burn any ironable fabric, including linen, cashmere and silk. No need to adjust the temperature or sort clothes into different piles. 

Steam modes

Take your pick from DynamiQ, MAX, IONIC and OFF to suit your needs. DynamiQ delivers the right amount steam automatically by the speed of your movements, MAX blasts stubborn creases while IONIC breaks steam into smaller particles for thicker fabrics.

There’s even a Turbo Steam pump for continuous steam on tough creases. It heats up quickly and also includes a Smart Calc reminder and Quick Calc release for long-lasting performance.

Advanced soleplate

Making your job even easier, the SteamGlide Advanced soleplate has maximum scratch resistance and an easy glide.

  • Buy the Philips GC5039/30 Azur Elite Steam Iron

Best iron for families: Morphy Richards 305003 Steam Iron with Intellitemp

(Image credit: Morphy Richards)

4. Morphy Richards 305003 Steam Iron with IntelliTemp

Best steam iron for families: an iron packed with features including aero glide soleplate technology for even steam

Specifications
Power: 2400W
Water tank capacity: 350ml
Steam Output: 40g/min
Weight: 1.78kg
Finish: Blue
Dimensions: H14.2cm x W11.9cm x D30cm
Reasons to buy
+Digital control+Pressurised auto steam+Delivers instant continuous steam
Reasons to avoid
-Difficult to see the water level-Some say it’s slow to heat up

What we like about this steam iron from Morphy Richards is that it offers that little bit more than a typical steam iron, which is why it gets our vote for the best steam iron for families.

IntelliTemp technology

There’s one single optimum temperature, which is ideal for different types of fabric so no more fussing about with different settings or waiting for it to heat up or cool down.

Built-in pump

With this, it means that it works just like a steam generator – which is a bulkier version of an iron that sits on a large water tank – but is lighter and easier to handle. The pump will give a constant steam injection, just when you need it.

Aeroglide soleplate

Designed for quick and easy ironing, the soleplate has 485 holes, which delivers steam all over rather than just in a small area. This means it covers a wider surface making your job easier.

Vertical steam

When you don’t have time or room to get the ironing board out, use the vertical steam function to blast suits, skirts or even the curtains without having to get them down. The 2.5m power lead should give you plenty of room to move about.

  • Buy the Morphy Richards 305003 Steam Iron with IntelliTemp

Best budget iron: Russell Hobbs One Temperature Iron

(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)

5. Russell Hobbs 25090 One Temperature Steam Iron

Best steam iron on a budget: there’s no fuss with this iron, which offers one optimum heat setting that’s safe to use on all ironable fabrics

Specifications
Power: 2600W
Water tank capacity: 350ml
Steam Output: 50g/min
Weight: 1.72kg
Finish: Red and black
Dimensions: H15cm x W12cm x D32cm
Reasons to buy
+Long 3m cord+Variable and vertical steam+Keeps clothes clean thanks to its anti-drip feature+Gives you everything you need for basic ironing at an affordable price
Reasons to avoid
-No fancy features or settings-Quite heavy

The Russell Hobbs 25090 is specially designed to take the fuss out of changing settings and temperature choice, and it gets our vote for the best value-for-money too!

One temperature

This iron simply has one heat setting, which can be used on everything from shirts and skirts to PE kits and school uniforms. This takes the guesswork out of having to decide which setting to use, so makes it ideal for those in a hurry.

There's a three-way safety auto shut off too, which is ideal for families and those who tend to forget they’ve left the iron on.

Smoother glide

The ceramic soleplate is said to deliver a 60% smoother glide, which will make ironing effortless and swiftly deals with creases in one fell swoop.

210g steam shot

Another bonus is the 210g steam shot, which again takes the effort out of ironing. Great when you’re faced with a large pile on a Sunday night.

  • Buy the Russell Hobbs 25090 One Temperature Steam Iron

Best iron for travelling: Swan SI3070N Iron

(Image credit: Swan)

6. Swan SI3070N Compact Fast Heat up Travel Steam Iron

Best steam iron for travelling: For crease free clothes anywhere in the world, this is your best option

Specifications
Power: 900W
Water tank capacity: 100ml
Steam Output: N/A
Weight: 685g
Finish: Purple and white
Dimensions: H15cm x W12cm x D32cm
Reasons to buy
+Comes with travel pouch+Small+Affordable+Stainless steel soleplate+Features temperature control+Includes measuring beaker
Reasons to avoid
-Smaller water tank than others – to be expected

Often find yourself working away? While we're aware that packing an iron in a suitcase can be a tricky task if you're an over packer *guilty*, this one is sufficiently small so should squeeze in fine. If not, it can be useful for staycations, too. 

Travel pouch

We love the fact that this compact steam iron comes with its own travel pouch to ensure it stays in tip-top condition while being transported. It also comes with its own little measuring beaker, too.

Stainless steel soleplate

Thanks to the iron's stainless steel soleplate, it makes an easy job of gliding over any fabric, around buttons and over kinks. 

Temperature control

Seeing as this iron is very compact, you can't expect it to have any game-changing features. However, we are impressed that it has temperature control for when you're de-creasing something delicate or are dealing with tough lines you can't seem to banish. 

  • Buy the Swan SI3070N Compact Fast Heat up Travel Steam Iron 

How to choose the best steam iron

If you starting out on your search for the best steam iron then there are a few factors you may want to consider to help narrow down the incredibly wide range of options available.

Steam irons or generators?

Steam irons are a great all-round option for everyday ironing. You can buy steam generators but these are big and bulky, as the iron sits on a water tank base, which makes them difficult to store after use. So we've stuck with steam irons as the technology is so advanced these days, they have everything you could need. You generally get what you pay for, so avoid ultra cheap designs, as they won’t offer the features you need to tackle stubborn creases and are probably too lightweight to give much oomph.

Steam functions

Look at the different steam options available, as this is what gets rid of wrinkles and creases. Check the steam output as well as added features such as steam boost or constant steam. 

Auto shut off

Families with young children will benefit from the peace of mind that a safety auto shut off feature can give. This means that the iron turns itself off when it hasn’t been used for a certain length of time. It’s also a great feature for those who tend to wander off to answer the phone or door and forget they’ve left the iron on.

Advanced soleplate

For a stain-free iron, check the soleplate and look for something that won’t mark your clothes. You want one that’s easy to glide across fabrics, as well as one that delivers steam through all the holes for an even distribution and better finish. Ceramic is best, followed by stainless steel.

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