To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best steam iron 2024: Tried and tested models for crease-free clothing

A selection of three steam irons set against a blue background

We’ve tested and reviewed the best steam irons across a range of budgets to help make the dreaded chore a little bit easier

Let’s face it, most people don’t enjoy ironing and even if you do, finding the best steam iron will make life a whole lot easier. There are a lot of different irons out there, but many of them don’t work the way they should or are overpriced for what they offer. That’s where we can help. We’ve tried, tested and reviewed bundles of steam irons over the past five years, with the goal of finding the ideal one for every household.

A good steam iron will help you flatten out that crease without having to spend precious minutes going over the same areas again and again. However, that’s not the only important thing to consider. During our at-home tests, we look at everything from capacity and steam shots to budget and weight. We also consider whether you might be better off with a cordless iron, corded or even a steam generator iron, depending on your needs.

Our buying guide at the bottom of the page goes over everything you need to consider when choosing a steam iron from features to size. Alternatively, you can skip to our tested mini reviews for our verdict on the best irons.

If you already know what you’re looking for, our at-a-glance list below has quick links to our favourites from testing.

Best steam iron: At a glance

Best budget steam ironJML Phoenix Gold (~£55)Check price at Amazon
Best for hard water areasTefal Ultimate Pure FV9845 (~£95)Check price at Amazon
Best for big ironing jobsPhillips DST7020 Azur Steam Iron (~£55)Check price at Amazon

How we test steam irons

We put all our steam irons through real-world tests, using them on a variety of different fabrics from delicates to denim. We assess how well they deal with creases by using every setting several times, as well as noting how creased an item is after using low, continuous steam and after the most aggressive steam shot. We also look out for how quickly and efficiently each steam iron can work through a pile of clothing, both with and without the steam setting.

Testing a Tower steam iron

Other elements we test for and consider in our reviews include:

  • How heavy the irons are and if this affects use over a long time.
  • The smoothness and material of the soleplate – ceramic offers a smoother glide but other materials are more scratch-resistant.
  • How simple the controls are to use. Are they all useful and do they work as intended?

The best steam irons you can buy in 2024

1. JML Phoenix Gold 2,200W: Best steam iron for most people

Price when reviewed: £55 | Check price at Robert Dyas

JML Phoenix Gold steam iron against a white background


  • Affordable
  • Good performance
  • Cordless version available


  • Heavier than average
  • Weak steam shot
  • No de-calc

While this iron might not quite fall into the “budget” category, you do get an incredible amount for your money. In testing, I found it outperformed some pricier models and was great across the board. I was particularly impressed with the level of continuous steam this offered, which was consistent and easy to turn on and off at the click of a button. In fact, JML’s Phoenix Gold cordless model was awarded a best-buy pick on our best cordless irons page.

There are three different settings for continuous steam on this model for light to heavy creasing and it has a fairly weak 10g/min steam shot. While the latter isn’t as intense as most, I found it suitable for the majority of simple, everyday jobs. The ceramic soleplate glided over fabric easily and made for a pleasant ironing experience during testing. There’s also a brush attachment to get rid of dust and debris before ironing.

My main concern is that the Phoenix Gold doesn’t come with its own descaling facility, which means you might find yourself reaching for the descalers more often in hard water areas. I also found it quite heavy, which might not be suitable for everyone.

Key details – Weight: 1.9kg; Continuous steam: 48g/min; Steam shot: 10g/min; Soleplate: Ceramic; Tank capacity: 380ml; Wattage: 2,200W

2. Tefal Ultimate Pure FV9845: Best for hard water areas

Price when reviewed: £95 | Check price at John Lewis

Tefal Ultimate Pure steam iron against a white background


  • Smooth soleplate
  • Powerful steam shot
  • Auto shut-off


  • Big footprint
  • Expensive

Of all the irons I tested, the Ultimate Pure offered the smoothest ironing experience across a variety of fabrics. Its extra-durable soleplate got hot very quickly in testing and produced huge bursts of steam instantly, which made ironing out my clothes’ tricky creases an absolute breeze. I also liked its generous 3m cord, which gives you more flexibility on where you use your iron.

As well as a variety of steam settings, this model also has a turbo steam shot button, which delivers an incredibly powerful 260g/min steam shot. There’s also a MicroScale filter, which helps filter out limescale that might have built up in the water tank – particularly useful if you live in a hard water area. We were also impressed with the iron’s safety features, which shuts the iron off automatically after 30 seconds if the iron is left on its side and after eight minutes if left upright.

I found this iron to be surprisingly lightweight considering its size, but because everything about it is so big, it can be a bit cumbersome to move around. Nonetheless, this is a quality, powerful iron that will help you absolutely fly through your piles of clothes.

Key details – Weight: 1.45kg; Continuous steam: 60g/min; Steam shot: 260g/min; Soleplate: Ceramic; Tank capacity: 350ml; Wattage: 3,100W

3. Philips DST7020 Azur Steam Iron: Best for big ironing jobs

Price when reviewed: £55 | Check price at Amazon

best steam iron philips dst7020 azur steam iron


  • Easy to use
  • Smooth soleplate
  • Big water tank


  • Short cord
  • Fiddly temperature dial

In testing, I found the Philips Azur one of the easiest irons to use. It’s lightweight and comfortable in the hand, making it ideal for days when there’s lots of ironing to do. As well as looking sleek and professional, the Azur’s ceramic soleplate was super-smooth and didn’t snag on any fabric I tested.

Its variable steam function allowed me to change not only the intensity of the steam based on what I was ironing, but also the direction of steam and the humidity. This is ideal if you’re constantly switching between heavily and more lightly creased clothes and want to adjust the levels of steam accordingly to save water. The Azur also allows you to steam upright if you just want to give hanging clothes a quick refresh.

During use, I found the 2m power cord to be on the shorter side. Another tester also found that the temperature dial, located underneath the handle, was easy to knock accidentally. Overall, though, this is an affordable, easy-to-use iron that should last.

Key details – Weight: 1.67kg; Continuous steam: 50g/min; Steam shot: 250g/min; Soleplate: Ceramic; Tank capacity: 300ml; Wattage: 2,800W

4. Tefal Easygliss Eco FV5782 Steam Iron: Best eco-friendly steam iron

Price when reviewed: £65 | Check price at Amazon

Tefal Easygliss steam iron against a white background


  • Eco-friendly credentials
  • Generous steam boost
  • Built-in stand


  • Short cable
  • Small water tank
  • Not suitable for big jobs

If eco-friendly credentials are at the top of your shopping list, this tried and tested model from Tefal is one to consider. The Easygliss is made from up to 35% recycled materials and 88% of the parts are recyclable, though I wasn’t able to test how easy these would be to separate. As well as featuring plenty of recycled elements, this iron also has an excellent eco mode, which claims to be 30% more energy-efficient than its standard mode. I found this mode worked particularly well for lightly creased items, but it wasn’t as well suited to more crumpled clothing.

During testing, this iron felt nice in my hand and I found it easy to use on a variety of fabrics. What’s more, it has both really generous continuous steam and a single steam shot, meaning it’s suitable for use on heavily creased clothes. The cable is a little on the short side, though, and the water tank is smaller than I’d like, meaning you might have to refill for larger piles of laundry. However, this is a fairly decent all-rounder with easy-to-use controls. It’s not too pricey, either.

Key details – Weight: 1.57kg; Continuous steam: 50g/min; Steam shot: 260g/min; Soleplate: Ceramic; Tank capacity: 270ml; Wattage: 2,800W

5. Breville DiamondXpress VIN401 Steam Iron: Best for light ironers

Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at Currys


Breville DiamondXpress steam iron against a white background


  • Easy to use
  • Long cord
  • Large water tank


  • Not suitable for big jobs
  • Small soleplate

If you’re more of an occasional ironer or don’t need to iron clothes for a large family, this feature-packed model from Breville is a firm choice. In testing, I found it very easy to manoeuvre around my ironing board due to its small yet wide ceramic soleplate. It’s worth noting, though, that it wasn’t quite as smooth as the pricier Tefal Ultimate Pure, which I tested at the same time and also features on this list. But it produced plenty of continuous steam, at 70g/min, and while it doesn’t have the most powerful steam shot, it’s good enough for most ironing tasks. As this is a compact, lightweight iron, it really is best for smaller jobs. I didn’t find it was heavy enough to deal with more heavy-duty ironing, but what it can do, it does well.

Other notable features that make the DiamondXpress worth considering are its long 3m cord, XL water tank and the option to steam vertically. This model also has an auto-shut-off feature that turns the iron off after 30 seconds if it’s tipped over/left on its side or after 15 minutes if it’s left standing upright.

Key details – Weight: 1.66kg; Continuous steam: 70g/min; Steam shot: 200g/min; Soleplate: Ceramic; Tank capacity: 400ml; Wattage: 3,100W

6. Russell Hobbs 28370 Steam Genie 2-in-1: Best multipurpose steam iron

Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at Amazon

best steam iron russell hobbs 28370 steam genie 2-in-1 garment steamer


  • Lightweight
  • Steamer and iron combo
  • Easy to use


  • Not as powerful as a steam iron
  • Struggles with tricky areas
  • Not suitable for big jobs

The Steam Genie is a two-in-one steamer and iron that offers surprisingly good results, despite its size. In testing, I was seriously impressed with its heat-up time of just 60 seconds. Unlike an iron, this model has just one temperature for all fabrics and instead uses additional attachments, which fit neatly over the soleplate, to ensure clothing doesn’t burn. There’s one for delicates such as silk and lace, one for thicker fabrics including coats, and another for use with upholstery materials.

You might not be surprised to hear that, in our tests, it was less powerful at getting out creases than a proper steam iron. But considering its size, it still performed well on my clothes. We also found this 2-in-1 struggled when tricky corners were involved, due to its more rounded shape. You also need to be careful when laying it down, as its shape means it’s less stable than your average iron. A heatproof bag is provided, however, which you can rest the steamer on.

This is ideal for light, occasional ironers who need both a steamer and iron in one. It’s also handy for those who want a less bulky iron to travel with.

Key details – Weight: 1.21kg; Continuous steam: 20g/min; Steam shot: N/A; Soleplate: Ceramic; Tank capacity: 150ml; Wattage: 1,700W

How to choose the best steam iron for you

Steam iron, steam generator iron or dry iron?

If you’re wondering whether a steam generator iron might be a better choice than a steam iron, it all depends on your needs.

Many steam irons offer a surprisingly large steam output for their size. They have the water tank built into the iron itself, which often means the water tank capacity is smaller than a generator. For the majority of people, though, it’s more than enough. These irons are great at getting out most creases and can also be used as dry irons. They are lightweight and cost far less than generator irons.

A steam generator iron might be better suited to you if you iron from home for a living, iron a lot of heavy-duty items or generally find yourself constantly running out of water when using a steam iron. They have separate water tanks, which allows them to create more steam at a greater pressure, moreso if you choose a pressurised model. However, this also means they’re more bulky and can cost significantly more, up to £500 in some cases.

A dry iron differs from the above in that it doesn’t have a water tank. It also means its soleplate – the metal pad at the bottom – is completely smooth and has no holes for steam to escape. These irons are ideal for ironing on patches, applying HTV vinyl and ironing out very light creases. As most steam irons also function as dry irons, you’ll find this style is a lot harder to come by nowadays. However, if you do opt for a dry iron, they’re usually quite inexpensive.

READ NEXT: Best clothes steamers

What features do I need to consider when buying a steam iron?

Steam shot – Got a tough crease that won’t budge? A decent steam shot will give you an extra steam boost. Our tested models have steam shots ranging from 10g/min to 260g/min.

Continuous steam – A good steam iron should offer good continuous steam for effective crease removal. If you’re looking for an iron with a particularly high level of steam, we recommend one over 50g/min, but even 30g/min works for everyday creases.

Water tank capacity – The models we recommend start at 70ml and go up to as much as 400ml. There’s no right or wrong tank capacity, that all depends on the size of your ironing pile and how many crease-heavy clothes you own.

Corded or cordless – Some models we recommend are cordless, while others have extra-long cords to make ironing easier. A cordless iron offers more freedom to iron where you please, though it does require you to recharge it, which might not be for everyone.

Anti-scale and calcium – Most steam irons should have these functions to protect your iron, especially in hard-water areas. In our reviews, we highlight which steam irons are best for hard water areas due to their top-notch features.

Safety – Many mid to high-end steam irons have an auto shut-off feature, which means you don’t need to worry if you accidentally leave it on after ironing. We highlight any safety features in our reviews, so you can pick the right iron for you.

Read more

Best Buys