Steam generator irons enable you to do your ironing work in a much shorter time and with less effort. Basic types are steam generator irons with pressure boilers and steam generator irons without pressure boilers. Both types are on the market in many different versions with power, steam power and different amounts of additional equipment.
The decisive advantage of a steam generator irons over steam irons is the much higher steam output and the much stronger steam pressure.
In This Article
- Best steam generator irons
- Buyers Guide for steam generator irons
- Difference between steam generator irons and conventional steam iron
- How much do steam stations cost?
- Which steam generator iron is best for me?
- How do I descale my steam generator iron correctly?
- How do I properly clean my steam generator iron?
Best steam generator irons
Best Steam Generator Irons
Optimal steam distribution right to the top
Rowenta top-of-the-range steam ironing stations are known for their soleplate, as they are equipped with hundreds of steam outlet nozzles, right down to the tip.
The new addition DG 8520 also comes with this feature, which is why its suffix “Perfect Steam” is also chosen perfectly.
400 jets and lots of steam
The soleplate is made of particularly scratch-resistant stainless steel, in which there are around 400 steam nozzles. They are evenly distributed on the soleplate, almost to the edge- this is not the case with many other steam irons.
The generous distribution of the nozzles results in wetting of the laundry with steam all over the surface, which is why ironing with a Rowenta model is faster than with numerous competitors. This is confirmed not only by the manufacturer but also by customers.
The mandatory problem areas, such as on the collar, cuffs or button strips, are easy to iron thanks to the exceptionally tapered tip.
This point also regularly appears among the “Pro” arguments that the specialist magazines list for the manufacturer’s top models.
With 120 grams, the amount of steam itself reaches the level of the manufacturer’s absolute top models, such as that of the new flagship DG 8960. However, DG 8960 also has a super powerful extra steam boost of 260 grams per minute and 6 bar Pump the steam a little harder through the hose to the soleplate.
The amount of steam is of course more than sufficient for the usual ironing, heavy fabrics or stubborn creases.
Other equipment features
Among the other features, the 1.4-liter water tank, which is quite generously dimensioned and, above all, removable, is particularly eye-catching.
It can be filled at any time without having to switch off the steam generator. The manufacturer’s anti-limescale system is very effective and is also a child’s play to operate, that is, to clean.
Attractive steam ironing station for turbo ironers
There are now some powerful steam irons on the market that can deliver up to 50 grams per minute of permanent steam and bursts of steam up to 170 grams/minute. Steam generator irons like the new DG 5030 is still popular because of its performance and price.
The Rowenta station costs not much more than a high-end steam iron.
Due to the high pressure that the steam ironing station exerts, the steam emerges from the soleplate in a very fine form and thus penetrates easily and deeply into the fabric.
On the one hand, this makes every single ironing process easier, but it also guarantees that even particularly stubborn wrinkles can be ironed out without any problems.
The steam pressure of the DG 5030 is very high at 4 bar, and the amount of steam continuously dispensed exceeds that of a high-end iron: 100 grams/minute.
Another advantage of the DG 5030 is the large tank for 1 liter of water so that you don’t need to go to the tap every ten minutes.
A detail that is not insignificant in practice is also the large filling opening, which allows the filling to be carried out spill-free.
With the vertical steam function, it makes it easier to iron certain type of laundry.
Buyers Guide for steam generator irons
We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best steam generator iron for you. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide.
If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a steam generator iron.
In this section, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate steam generator irons. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain type is suitable for you or not.
We have summarized the most important criteria for your selection here:
- Type of steam generation
- Vapor pressure/burst of steam
- Amount of continuous steam
- Power/heating time
- Water tank capacity
- Cable length
- Hose length
- Weight / dimensions
- Additional equipment
In the following paragraphs, you can read details about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.
Type of steam generation
We will go into detail about the type of steam generation, i.e. with or without a pressure boiler below. Nevertheless, we would like to point out that the type of steam generation is probably the most important factor.
The type of steam generation in a steam generator irons significantly influences the result.
If you iron a lot, don’t want to spend a lot of time on it, but are willing to spend some money for an optimal result, then you should concentrate on the ironing stations with pressure boilers.
If you don’t have to iron a lot or don’t want to pay such a high purchase price, you should look at the devices on offer without a pressure boiler.
Vapor pressure/burst of steam
The vapor pressure in steam generator irons is a very important criterion. Basically, the higher the steam pressure, the finer the steam.
The steam is generated in the boiler and is pressed under pressure into the iron via a hose. There it reaches the ironing material through the openings. We recommend the steam pressure above 4 bars.
High pressure creates fine steam that lies optimally over the laundry.
With a dedicated button on the iron handle, you can trigger a targeted burst of steam.
A much larger amount of steam is emitted in a targeted manner, up to three times the normal amount of steam, which is helpful in the case of severe creases.
Some steam generator irons do not have this function at all. Good devices start with a steam boost of around 170 g / min.
Amount of continuous steam
This function is usually controlled by a rotary knob and can, therefore, be varied – depending on the nature of the textiles. Here you can choose between zero and a maximum setting.
The specification of, for example, 120 g / min means that the ironing station is set to deliver 120 grams of steam per minute permanently. We recommend continuous steam from approx. 90 g / min.
The most common is the power range between 2,000 and 3,000 watts. The advantage with a higher output is the faster heating and the constant maintenance of the high temperature. The rapid heating only affects the steam, not the soleplate. However, hot steam is available more quickly for short ironing jobs.
The heating-up time depends on the performance of the steam generator iron. Some devices are ready for use in 90 seconds. It is only about steam production.
Nevertheless, you can quickly iron out a few folds with a few bursts of steam.
Water tank capacity
The larger the water tank, the longer you can steam iron without need to refill. It makes sense to have a station that has a separate water tank and boiler.
You can add water immediately while ironing without cooling the device beforehand. The water tank of some devices is removable. The filling volume depends on the amount of ironing. The most common steam generators have tanks with about one to 1.8 liters.
The material of the water tank should be transparent and unbreakable. In the best case, there is a level indicator on the water tank. Also, the water tank should be easy to remove so that you can easily clean and fill it with new water.
For comfortable ironing, the sole should be as smooth and scratch resistant as possible. There are sole plates made of different materials. Aluminum is inexpensive and scratch-resistant, but it doesn’t slide that well.
The most common and preferable is stainless steel. It has excellent sliding property. For high-quality devices, the soleplate is made of ceramic. Ceramic soles are durable and slide well.
Besides, there are special coatings that ensure longer life, improve lubricity or better scratch resistance.
Non-stick coatings, enamel coatings, Teflon coatings, which are available under names such as Durilium, Glissium, Steam glide, and much more.
The power cord should not be too short. Think about where you want to put the steam generator iron and where the nearest socket is.
There are hardly any longer cables than two meters. A roll able cable is an advantage if you often have to put the device away.
The steam hose should be 1.6 to two meters long and be anchored to the steam generator iron as flexible as possible. It is advantageous if it can rotate through 360 degrees so that the iron on the fabric can be easily moved in any direction.
The hose should not be too long, otherwise, it will constantly in the way of ironing.
Good insulation is also important. Touching the hose is unavoidable and the hose lines can get very hot after some time of use.
Weight / dimensions
Of course, the iron should be as light as possible to ensure comfortable ironing. A good value is 0.8 to 1.2 kilos. The weight of the entire station should only be considered if you want to move it more often.
The heavier stations with pressure boilers have about five to seven kilos, the lighter ones without pressure boilers about three kilos.
The more compact and handier the steam generator iron, the easier it is to dismantle and store it.
Since most ironing stations work entirely or partially with heated tap water, there is the chance of limescale deposits. Especially in areas where there is hard water.
These limescale deposits shorten the life of the iron and lead to unsightly stains on the laundry if they come out of the heating plate when ironing.
Some of the steam generator irons have so-called “anti-limescale equipment” or an “anti-limescale system”. In principle, these two terms mean the same thing.
The minerals are extracted from the water with the help of a water filter to get the desired pH value. The resulting lime collects in a lime cartridge which you need to clean regularly.
Devices that do not have such anti-limescale equipment, must be descaled manually after a certain time.
See the section “How do I descale my steam generator iron correctly?” Below.
Automatic safety shutdown (automatic shutdown)
If you forget to switch-off steam generator iron, it can even cause a fire. An automatic shutdown prevents this.
The device switches itself off after a certain time, e.g. after ten minutes, regardless of whether you leave it switched on.
This energy-saving function can save about 20 to 30% of electricity and up to 40% water. This is usually the same as the average steam setting, there are no technical peculiarities behind it.
This setting is usually sufficient for normal ironing. For heavy or crumpled fabrics, it is better to switch to the normal setting.
With this function, you can use the steam output while holding the iron vertically. Wrinkles are better removed from hanging textiles.
This is useful for suits, jackets, etc. that are not easy to smooth on the ironing board.
Automatic temperature adjustment / automatic steam control
Automatic steam generator irons can use sensors to adapt the steam quantity and temperature to the textiles under the soleplate. All possible different fabrics can be ironed with one setting.
You don’t have to manually adjust the temperature to the respective textile. This function is currently only available in high-end devices.
Difference between steam generator irons and conventional steam iron
In conventional steam irons, steam is generated directly in the iron and it exits without pressure. So the steam is only created at high temperatures and there is usually no support steam available for ironing delicate laundry at low temperature.
In steam generator irons, the steam is available evenly and permanently under pressure. Steam ironing stations usually reach a higher steam pressure than normal steam irons.
Advantages of a steam ironing station over an iron
Since the water tank is in a separate station, the iron is lighter and therefore easier to use. In addition, you can refill the water tank at any time.
A steam ironing station also has a clear advantage over iron in that it has a high steam pressure and a higher amount of steam per minute.
Ironing with a steam ironing station is easier than with other irons. Ironing is also faster thanks to higher steam pressure.
Disadvantages of a steam ironing station
Steam ironing stations are more expensive than normal irons or steam irons. They also use more electricity and take up more space.
If you regularly have to iron larger mountains of laundry, then buying a steam ironing station makes sense.
How much do steam stations cost?
Steam generator irons with a pressure boiler are higher in price than those without a pressure boiler.
Price also depends on the power in watts, the steam pressure (bar), the amount of steam, the size of the water tank and other equipment. Furthermore, there is a difference whether it is a branded device or a so-called “no-name product”, which is usually much cheaper.
Which steam generator iron is best for me?
You can select depending on how much laundry you need to iron and how high your budget is for the purchase. You should also consider the pressure boiler factor and other important criteria such as steam pressure, power, the volume of the water tank and other additional features.
Therefore, we cannot recommend a specific product, but we hope that we can make the decision easier for you with the following sections.
How do I descale my steam generator iron correctly?
If you use tap water for ironing, the lime in it will settle over time in all components that come into contact with the water. This means longer ironing times and higher power consumption to achieve the same result.
Descaling your steam ironing station from time to time is very important. You must follow the operating instructions so that you do not damage your device. We recommend descaling the ironing station after about 15 uses.
The procedure for descaling a certain type can be harmful to another type of device. In any case, you have to switch off the iron, pull the power plug and let it cool down. Modern ironing machines often have an anti-scale function. The lime is collected in cartridges and you just have to change them.
How do I properly clean my steam generator iron?
Regular cleaning of steam generator irons is important to extend the life of your device.
Over time, the soleplate of the iron will become duller. If you iron your clothes too hot, even melted remnants of synthetic textiles can stick to them. Of course, dust accumulates on the device all around, especially with a steam ironing station.
Switch off the device, pull out the plug and let it cool!
Light dirt can be wiped away with lukewarm water, detergent and / or a dash of vinegar.
There are also special cleaning pens available commercially. Sticky textile remnants can also be removed with an eraser. You can clean clogged steam nozzles with cotton swabs dipped in vinegar water until they are free again.
Sanding papers and any metal scrapers are not recommended for cleaning work on the ironing device, as these can roughen or damage the outsole.