Steam Generated Irons: Are they right for everyone?

Philips steam generated irons

To say steam generated irons are right for everyone would be like saying everyone’s favourite colour is green… or blue… Or that everyone’s favourite vegetable is sprouts!

Of course steam generated irons aren’t for everyone but let’s take a look at the reasons why you might choose one, as well as why you might decide they really aren’t for you.

Why would steam generated irons suit you?

Steam generated irons are ideal when it comes to ironing for families. You know how quickly the ironing piles up and becomes the dreaded task, with the mountain you don’t feel like wading through?
It really is true that these ironing systems knock a huge chunk off your ironing time – as much as 50%!
If you think that it could take the average person up to 4 hours to get through a week’s worth of washing, saving half of that each week would really begin to add up – that time could be spent out walking with your family, or spending quality time together, doing something you enjoy.

Steam generated irons for craftsTefal steam generator iron

Many people who enjoy dressmaking and crafts find steam generating irons a huge benefit and say they can help with many tasks.
As well as regular ironing/pressing as you go, the vertical steam feature is perfect for quickly but gently removing creases, because it works without even touching the fabric. This is brilliant when it comes to removing creases from garments which are hanging, on a tailor’s dummy, or mannequin.
Of course, pressing isn’t just about removing wrinkles, but about putting creases in as well. The extra steam from these ironing systems should help you add neat, crisp folds and creases, just where you want them.


It’s surprising how heavy traditional irons can be when they are filled with water. Each time you pick up the iron, or move it across your clothes, you also have to lift the weight of the water as well.
Because steam generated irons consist of a separate base unit, where the water is stored, you only have to move the lightweight handheld unit across garments to remove the wrinkles.

Large water tank can mean less refilling

Particularly when you have a lot of ironing to do, it can be a hassle to keep stopping to refill water tank. The water tank on a regular iron is much smaller and, although they don’t use as much water as a steam generator iron, they still need refilling regularly.
Steam generated irons give you the option of having larger water tanks, like the Philips GC8560, which has a 1.6litre tank and some of the Tefal models, which have a whopping 1.8 litres which will keep you going for up to 3 hours.

Philips steam generating iron

Why might steam generated irons not be the best choice for you?

If you live alone and you’re an ‘iron-as-you-go’ type of person, you might decide that steam generated irons just aren’t for you, simply because they take longer to heat up than regular irons. Some of the faster heat up times are under 2 minutes, but you might prefer to simply plug a traditional iron in and be ready to go in less time than that.
To get the most from a steam generator iron in this situation, you would be better choosing one with a very fast heat up time. And, remember that you probably only need a small water tank, like the Bosch TDSs2511gb

More expensive than regular irons

Expense although this can be outweighed by the benefits of using one. If you consider paying someone to do the ironing either because you want to save time, or don’t have the time to do it, the cost of a steam generator iron which can cut your ironing time in half, would be a cheaper alternative/option.


There’s no getting away from the fact that these irons are somewhat bigger than regular steam irons. This can make them rather bulky to store, particularly if you’re short on cupboard/storage space.
However, some models are stylish and wouldn’t look out of place on display in a modern kitchen, especially some of the Bosch models, which look like trendy gadgets and gizmos.

Morphy Richards steam generated ironSize and weight

The size and weight of steam generators can make them difficult to lift, which could be something to think about for those who have problems carrying things. The average steam generator iron, as a complete unit, can weigh up to 4 kilos. Although the handheld unit is much lighter, the overall weight could mean they’re not an option if you have problems lifting and carrying and need to move the unit around in order set up your ironing station.


As you can see, there are many reasons why you might choose to use one of these for your family’s laundry and it comes down to personal choice.
However, they do drastically reduce the time it takes to iron and can make lighter work of a dreaded chore. If you haven’t already tried one out, it might just be worth having a look at the latest steam generated irons.

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