9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets

Ironing is one of those chores that most of us want to run for the hills. Invest in a decent iron and at least you’ll make quicker work of what can otherwise seem like the dullest household task going.

For the ultimate in speedy ironing, get a steam generator iron. Not only do they produce more steam than standard irons, but they don’t need refilling with water anywhere near as often.

But don’t just pick any old model. Your tick list should include a good lime scale filter, comfy handle, easy-to-fill tank, auto shut-off, a hassle-free power cord and thin soleplate that tapers at the nose.

Still not sure which brand or model to opt for? We’ve blitzed through mountains of clothes and fabrics of all types to bring you the very best steam generator irons on the market.

1. Philips PerfectCare Aqua, £160, John Lewis


If you can’t be bothered faffing about with different temperature settings, you’ll love this eye-catching and super-quiet iron, which has a single setting for all fabrics, even cashmere. Other plus points include the comfy handle and super-sliding soleplate, which means you’ll get through mountains of ironing in no time.

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2. Rowenta Silence Steam, £200, John Lewis


This is so quiet that you’ll have no trouble watching the telly or holding a conversation while you iron and there is no need to work up a sweat while you iron either, thanks to the variable steam output, precision tip with steam shot for stubborn creases and impressive lime scale protection system. If you use the eco-mode, you save 25% energy.

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3. Hoover Ironspeed SRD4110, £175, amazon


Most people associate Hoover with vacuum cleaners, but their multisteam technology means their machines can make light work of your ironing too. In fact, the only downside is the brush attachment, which can lack pressure. That aside, this glides well across every kind of fabric and has an effective anti-scale cartridge.

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4. Breville Extreme Steam, £111, amazon


Features such as the continuous and variable steam, detachable water tank and easy glide soleplates all combine to make this a stand-out iron, despite the relatively low price tag. It heats up quickly and is easy to clean, as well as having simple-to-use controls. It can iron vertically too – great if you want to quickly remove creases from clothing on a hanger.

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5. Tefal Pro Express Total Xpert GV8975, £200, amazon


No need for an aching arm and creases in your clothes with this incredibly high performing iron that promises easy, speedy ironing and flawlessly smooth fabrics. It’s the priciest of the models we selected, but it is tough on even the deepest creases and is a breeze to use and clean, as well as to store away.

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6. Polti Vaporella Forever 1600 Eco, £251, amazon


This isn’t as steamy as many irons and it’s not the speediest either. But don’t let either put you off as creases are effortlessly smoothed away with this exceptionally comfy-grip iron. It will last you years and it also has one of the toughest soleplates we’ve used. It’s good at preventing and treating lime scale too.

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7. Hotpoint SG E12 AA0 UK Power Perfection, £152, amazon


Hotpoint is a relatively new player in the ironing field, but this retro steam generator is impressive without costing you a fortune. It’s particularly good at preventing lime scale formation and avoiding scratching on things like buttons. It produces a lot of steam and you don’t have to push down hard to get good results.

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8. Bosch TDS4571GB Steam Generator, £200, amazon


This retro-looking generator creates a lot of steam at high pressure, penetrating deep into wrinkles and creases, giving you a smooth result with minimum effort, whether you’re ironing heavy jeans or a delicate scarf. There’s a light to tell you if you need to refill the water and it gets hot nice and quickly.

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9. Russell Hobbs SmartGlide Pro Steam, £75, amazon


Need to iron in a hurry? This heats up within just a minute and a half and you can double your actual ironing speed too, thanks to the five bar pressurised steam, which also penetrates deep, even when it comes to stubborn fabrics. You can refill the water tank at any time and it’s ergonomic to hold.

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This is tricky as they are all so good. If pushed, we’d go with the Tefal Pro Express Total Xpert GV8975 for its astonishingly high quality performance and durability, with the Philips PerfectCare Aqua coming in at a close second for its sheer ease of use.

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