Best steam irons 2024 – our top expert-tested models including cordless, steam generators and more

The best steam irons reviewed by our experts so that you can power through that laundry pile, fast

Graphic of one of the best steam irons Morphy Richards Easycharge cordless iron
(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you find ironing a chore, you might need one of the best steam irons to lighten the load. Powerful steam, smooth-gliding soleplates, intelligent settings and more combine to make these, our favourite models, far more effective than their predecessors.

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 from the biggest names, such as Tefal, Breville, Morphy Richards and Tower.

We've tested a wide range of mid-priced and premium steam irons to see which performed best, pressing a range of everyday clothes so that you can establish which will be the best for you, even if prefer to use a clothes steamer.

Plus, we know that one person's laundry basket can massively differ from another, which is why there's an iron here for every need, from those with powerful steam generation and ceramic plates to affordable price tags and ergonomic features.

Of course, what's one of the best irons without one of the best ironing boards? Together, it's the combination you need to uncrease and elevate your wardrobe.

Best steam irons - The quick list

Prefer to keep it short and sweet? This quick list is an overview of the very best irons. If you're wondering what's best: a corded vs a cordless iron or you just need a decent budget option, you'll find all the information you'll need on each iron and a full iron review detailing why our experts recommend it.

Best steam irons tried and tested by the IH team

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best steam iron overall

Image of Morphy Richards ironproduct badge

(Image credit: Morphy Richards)

1. Morphy Richards easyCHARGE Power+ Cordless Iron

Best steam iron overall

Specifications

Type: Cordless
Weight : 1.39kg
Tank capacity : 350ml

Reasons to buy

+
User-friendly features 
+
Powers through creases 
+
Large water tank
+
All-round great performance

Reasons to avoid

-
The water shot button can sometimes dampen clothes 

We really liked the design of this Morphy Richards iron, as well as its outstanding performance. This is a cordless model, which makes it super convenient, but crucially there's no faff in returning the iron to its base when you do need more charge.

That's in part thanks to the onboard lights that let you know the exact charge level you're working with, which we think are genius. The recharging process itself is lightning fast, taking just 25 seconds to power up again so that you can go back over any creases. 

We were impressed by its ability to generate steam at 35g/min, even if it's lower than steam-generating alternatives (which are pricier). The cordlessness made ironing so much easier during testing, and you can pump the trigger button for a 130g/min steam shot, including vertical steam. 

The steam is powerful, pumped out consistently and quietly, and we enjoyed using it. It glides well and delivers impressive results, but there are a few little annoyances, such as the overpowerful water shot button, which can leave wet patches. It’s still a superb steam iron, though, and so worth it if you want a cordless iron. 

Best steam generator iron

Image of Phillips steam generating ironproduct badge

(Image credit: Phillips)

2. Philips PerfectCare Steam Generator 7000

Best steam generator iron

Specifications

Type : Steam generator iron
Weight : ‎3.85 kg
Tank capacity : 1.8L water tank

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible for big ironing jobs 
+
Ideal for those with lots of bedrooms or sheets 
+
A breeze to use 
+
You can fill up the tank separately at the sink

Reasons to avoid

-
Too big for small homes
-
Pricey

The Philips PerfectCare Steam Generator 7000 was the surprise standout favourite of our ironing test run. It was easy for us to hastily judge this iron on looks alone; it's very big, a bit strange-looking compared to a conventional iron and quite heavy too.

But looks can be deceiving, and it turns out that this steam generator system was an absolute dream to use. How does it work? You fill up the 1.8-litre water tank (which can last you for up to an incredible two hours of use), and then simply lift off the ultra-light iron from the base itself. 

The iron itself uses OptimalTEMP technology, which means that it can automatically adjust to whichever fabric you're ironing which we think is pretty clever. You can also use it vertically if you want to tease the creases out of your work shirt or use the continuous steam function for your sheets. 

During testing, we envisioned that the Philips PerfectCare Steam Generator 7000 would be ideal for families with plenty of washing to get through, or for houses bursting with bedrooms, and therefore plenty of sheets to change. It would be especially ideal for anyone renting out rooms in their house who needs to do industrial levels of laundry.

We know that the hefty size definitely won't be for everyone, but if you do need a bigger, more heavy-duty iron, you really can't do better than the Philips PerfectCare Steam Generator 7000.

Best with or without cord

Tower CeraGlide ironproduct badge

(Image credit: Tower)

3. Tower T22008 CeraGlide Cordless Steam Iron

Best option to use with or without cord

Specifications

Type : Can be corded or cordless
Weight : 1.2 kg
Tank capacity : 360ml

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic value for money 
+
Operate corded or cordless
+
Base is easy to attach onto
+
Strong results in testing 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the largest water tank
-
Not the most aesthetically pleasing 

During testing, we found that we could stick with all of the power of a corded iron or switch to a cordless version whenever we liked with the Tower CeraGlide iron.

With a fantastically affordable RRP, it's an excellent value iron and impressed us during testing, with its really quick heating time, a 40g/min steam output and a 180g/min steam boost.

If you're wondering how the ability to be both cordless and corded works, this iron uses a base that can be used for a quick burst of charge, or just be fixed to the bulk of the iron as you go, meaning there's no need to stop for a charge. 

This iron doesn't have the biggest water tank of them all, but it's perfectly adequate for small to medium homes with similarly sized laundry piles.

Best corded iron

Image of Tower ironproduct badge

(Image credit: Tower)

4. Tower 3100 Rose Gold Ultreaspeed Steam Iron

Best corded iron

Specifications

Type: Corded
Weight : 1.67kg
Tank capacity : 350ml

Reasons to buy

+
Consistent power to see you through a large laundry pile 
+
Rose gold accents are a winner 
+
You can get going easily and keep ironing without pauses 

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes longer to adequately cool down

We get it, sometimes you don't want to lose the cord and plug on your iron because you just don't want to sacrifice any power or steaming ability. That's where the Tower 3100 Rose Gold Ultreaspeed Steam Iron really impressed us during testing. 

It's so speedy to get to the right temperature and has the kind of continuous steam ability to make a huge pile of washing more manageable. Technically it has a 150g steam burst and vertical steam,  which basically just means it has precise ironing ability when you need it. 

Like the other irons we tested, this particular model has a dial that you can adjust for tackling different fabrics, and a very handy 360ml water tank so that you won't have to run and fill up halfway through your ironing session. 

The CeraGlide Technology speaks to the ceramic plate on this iron that makes it actually glide across your clothes or sheets, and the rose gold accents alongside the dark shade make this a stylish choice too, even if it's not quite as convenient as our favourite cordless iron. 

Best cordless for small washloads

Green and white Tefal Freemove Air Cordless FV6520 ironproduct badge

(Image credit: Tefal)

5. Tefal Freemove Air Cordless FV6520

Best cordless steam iron for small washloads

Specifications

Type : Cordless
Weight : 1.7kg
Tank capacity : 250ml

Reasons to buy

+
Super lightweight option 
+
Great for smaller homes 
+
Agile with no cord

Reasons to avoid

-
You must recharge quite regularly 

The Freemove is very lightweight, not least because it’s cordless. After around 30 seconds of ironing, the base beeps to remind you to recharge. Then it takes 11 seconds to recharge – just enough time for you to adjust the garment to a new position. The timings work. As do the ergonomics: it slides comfortably onto the base and ironing cordlessly feels very natural.

But it’s not perfect. The glide isn’t great and we weren’t that impressed with the steam and controls. Steam is on (25g/min) or off, there’s no adjustment. And as well as switching it on, you must constantly squeeze a trigger for steam. Surely one control should be enough. 

Under your thumb are buttons for water spray and steam boost (115g/min) which can be used vertically, but these are quite hard to squeeze, and nowhere near as ergonomic as the rest of the Tefal. The only other button is for the anti-calc mode.

Our only major criticism of the Tefal is that the steam is mediocre and takes a while to get going and then it keeps going. Steam sometimes continues when it first sits on its base and condenses into water. Then this can get carried back to your garment as drips. It’s not a constant problem, more an occasional annoyance.

Its 250ml tank is easy to fill through a large opening. But, because of the charging base, the iron isn’t designed to sit on its heel so you must fill it sitting on its base. This works but takes a bit of getting used to. For storage, the 1.9m cord fits nicely and safely around the base and clips to itself to stay in place. It's surprisingly affordable and the best choice out there if a lightweight design is a necessity. 

Best iron for removing creases

Image of Braun ironproduct badge

(Image credit: Braun)

6. Braun TexStyle 9 Pro SI9188BK

Best steam iron for removing creases

Specifications

Type: Corded
Weight : 1.59kg
Tank capacity : 300ml

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent performance
+
Unisex design 
+
iCare technology to adapt to different fabrics 

Reasons to avoid

-
No temperature controls 

This delivered powerful steam and ploughed through the ironing pile at high speed. It’s black, modern-looking and certainly has unisex appeal. You control the steam level (up to 50g/min) with a small dial under your thumb, but you can’t control the temperature. Instead, it has a single iCare setting that can’t be overridden and promises to be good for all iron-safe fabrics.

There’s a trigger button under your finger which is good for 230 g/min steam shot and vertical steam which is again powerful. It glides very smoothly and we found it possible to plough through the ironing at double speed because the steam is strong enough to do both sides of a shirt at once. Its 330ml tank is easy to fill through a large opening, and it comes with a jug, but the 2.5m cord is a bit short.

It stows looped around the heel adequately but not brilliantly. And we couldn’t see the benefits of the soleplate’s 3D design, where it curves up at the heel end. Still, the performance is excellent.

Best steam iron for sewing

oliso smart iron in yellowproduct badge

(Image credit: Oliso)

7. Oliso Smart Iron TG1600 Pro Plus

Best steam iron for sewing

Specifications

Type : Corded
Weight: 2.1kg
Tank capacity : 375ml

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek, stylish and available in bright colourful shades
+
Sizable water capacity 
+
The only iron that lifts and lowers with touch for easy crafting

Reasons to avoid

-
Corded (but the cord is extra long at 3.7m)
-
Smaller than others on the list

Our Senior Digital Editor found Oliso's Pro Plus smart iron brilliant for getting through her laundry quickly and as an avid crafter, she was thrilled to see that it is also packed with features designed for quilting and sewing. 

It features powerful 'Triple play' vertical and horizontal steam functions that make tackling tough creases and wrinkles a sinch, while its huge 375ml water tank means you don't have to pause to refill which feels like a real treat when you're time-pressured. The 'Diamond Ceramic Flow' soleplate effortlessly glided over cotton and even a linen duvet cover without the need to go over and over.

And the best part for our reviewer? It's also super safe with its enhanced iTouch never-lift technology, which lifts and lowers the iron with the touch of your hand, preventing burns, saving your wrists, and saving you time. It's also a great advantage as the iron is a substantial weight in comparison to its competitors on the list. 

There's also an extended 30-minute auto shut-off, but if the iron accidentally tips over, it has a 30-second auto shut-off so you'll not get into any danger. The two-inch detailer tip is also perfect for seams and tight corners so you can press pleats, pockets, collars and cuffs way more easily.

Best value steam iron

Image of Breville ironproduct badge

(Image credit: Breville)

8. Breville DiamondXpress

Best value steam iron

Specifications

Type : Corded
Weight : 1.63 kg
Tank capacity : 400ml

Reasons to buy

+
Sizable water tank 
+
200g steam shot 
+
Quick to heat up 

Reasons to avoid

-
The diamonds are not to everyone's taste 

The selling point of this relatively affordable steam iron is that its ceramic soleplate incorporates crushed diamonds for added durability and improved glide. It’s attractive with its rose gold-coloured soleplate and the use of little crystals on the temperature dial (one, two or three dots in diamante). But the print decals of diamonds are overkill, verging on naff.

Its 400ml tank is easy to fill through a large opening and it’s quick to heat up. There’s a slider to adjust steam (up to 70g/min). And there are two buttons under your thumb, for water spray and steam shot (200g/min). The only other button is for self-cleaning. It didn’t glide especially well but the diamonds should make the soleplate durable. Constant steam levels are good, but not great. However, the steam shot is better and you can pump the button for vertical steam too.

Ergonomically, we were impressed. It's comfortable to hold and balances nicely on its heel. To store, there’s space to wrap the 3m cord around the bottom without it touching the hot soleplate. And we love the Safe-Store strip. After you unplug, a strip on the side stays red until the iron is cool enough to store it safely. At this point the words SAFE STORE appear in red on black. It’s not the best iron we tested but it’s the best at this price.

Best iron for steaming curtains

Image of Lakeland ironproduct badge

(Image credit: Lakeland)

9. Lakeland Cordless Steam Iron

Best iron for steaming curtains

Specifications

Type: Cordless
Weight : 1.4kg
Tank capacity : 320ml

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and affordable 
+
Takes just 27 seconds to recharge 
+
A good option for ironing curtains or shirts on hangers

Reasons to avoid

-
Base is a bit fiddly to reattach to 

Another fab cordless iron, this time from Lakeland, is a great value option if you want cordlessness without the price tag. On the whole, it works just fine, saves energy and has a reassuringly strict safety cut-off timer for if you have to tend to another part of your home.

Its continuous steam feature is very effective and more than strong enough for most jobs. Therefore you rarely need the burst shot, but it comes into its own for vertical steam, powerful enough to tackle anything. The controls for these and the water spray are well positioned under the thumb for tackling your curtains or suit jacket if you need it.

The fill hole for its 320ml water tank is small but easy to fill, with or without the supplied jug. Even though its blue-and-white styling is a tad dull, this Lakeland iron's performance won't let you down, especially for a mid-priced option.

How we test steam irons

How we test and chose the best steam irons 

At Ideal Home we know how important it is to have hands-on experience with products before we recommend them to you, in line with our testing protocol. That's why we've tested every iron in this round-up extensively at our test facility before coming to the conclusion in this ranking. That included testing them on shirts, linen, and bedsheets to check their credentials. 

We've also rated the irons you can see here in terms of how user-friendly they are, as well as affordability and specialist features, making sure to include options for smaller homes as well as those who have a lot of washing to un-crease. Below you can read more about exactly who tested each of these irons.

Millie Fender
Millie Fender

Previously Small Appliances and Cookware Editor, Millie is now our go-to expert when it comes to product testing, from large appliances to more easily shoppable buys. She put these irons to the test alongside Molly to see how they performed, and was very impressed by both the Morphy Richards iron and the Phillips steam generator. 

Molly Cleary
Molly Cleary

Molly is the Ecommerce Editor for Ideal Home, covering all things appliance related - including irons! She tested the choices above at Future's test facility in Reading alongside Millie, and was a convert to the art of ironing. She loved the Tower options on offer - both corded and cordless.

Image of iron testing day at Future test facility featuring three irons

(Image credit: Future)

How to choose

How to choose the best steam iron

You don’t want just any old iron. Look for strong steam and a smooth-glide soleplate to power through the ironing pile. If the steam is strong enough, you save even more time because it penetrates through the garment, ironing both sides at once. Premium models also offer intelligent controls that save time and hassle, because you can iron all garments on a single setting.

Thea Whyte, a steam iron expert at AO shares her advice: 'Before spending your money, it’s always worth considering what additional features the appliance has.'

'Whether its unique technology that removes limescale from your iron or perhaps a special soleplate design that helps distribute steam evenly, there are many bonuses that the higher-tier irons have that make ironing easier.'

What else should I look for?

Constant steam:

Measured in g/min (grams per minute), the bigger the number the more powerful the steam, which relaxes the fabric weave to make it easier to smooth out creases.

Steam shot:

Again measured in g/min, press a button for an extra boost to tackle stubborn creases. The bigger the better.

Vertical steam:

Hold the iron up and press the steam shot button to refresh and un-crease hanging garments and curtains.

Water spray:

Most irons also offer a simple spray of water at the press of a button, another useful tool for creases but we prefer steam for most fabrics.

Intelligent temperature setting:

Some irons – usually pricier models – don’t need you to select the temperature, they just automatically get it right for all fabrics. This saves time because you don’t need to look at garment labels or divide them into one-dot, two-dot and three-dot piles. Iron in any old order.

Soleplate:

You want a material that glides smoothly over all fabrics, with plenty of holes to deliver steam and a groove above it, so you can easily iron under shirt buttons. An all-round soleplate is best, so you can iron in any direction.

Auto off:

The power should switch off automatically if the iron is left flat for a couple of minutes, or left upright for longer.

Anti calc:

All the irons here feature a limescale filter that removes impurities from the water. You can push a button to clean the filter, forcing out deposits using the iron’s own steam.

Anti-drip:

Water is cut off if there’s not enough to create steam, to prevent drips.

Cord:

Some models have a power cord that’s too short. It depends where your socket is, but we prefer a 3m length.

Storage:

All these irons are designed so the cord wraps around the base when not in use. But some are designed better than others. We want our cord to stay put when the iron’s in the cupboard.

Image of Phillips steam generator iron during testing

(Image credit: Future)

FAQs

How much should I spend on an iron?

We tested a number of mid-priced and premium models, with prices ranging from £60 to £160. £60 buys you a perfectly good steam iron but spend more and you’ll get more powerful steam that piles through the ironing pile faster.

You may also get more intelligent features, so you can disregard settings completely and get on with the job in hand.

How often should you replace your steam iron?

Irons are notorious for burning out early. Some might last for a year, while others could still be working for years to come. 'Every appliance has a lifespan and irons are no different. Typically speaking, an iron should last around five years before you should be looking to replace this,' explains Thea. 

'But of course, this depends on usage. If you’re using the steaming function too frequently or have damaged the cord or handles, this may cause the iron to deteriorate faster.'

Leaking, residue build-up, vent clogging and more, there are several faults you could encounter and there's no way of predicting if or when they might happen. Thea adds, 'If your iron is leaking then this is a sign to replace your appliance. Unfortunately, once a leak has started repairing this becomes an expensive cost you can do without. Check your iron over for any rust or gunk that may have led to this.'

Like any other appliance, it depends on how much you use it and also how you maintain it. Before tossing it, we recommend learning how to clean an iron and see if that might fix the problem. 'A handy tip to prolong the life of your iron would be to wipe down the soleplate monthly with vinegar to remove any build-up clogging the steam vents,' explains Thea. 

However, if all else fails, most irons have a warranty of one year, so if it starts leaking within the year, reach out and get yourself a new one.

Is a ceramic soleplate better than stainless steel?

Stainless steel and aluminium are the most popular materials for iron soleplates due to how durable and affordable they are, as well as the fact that they are scratch-resistant and heat up quickly. 

Ceramic, on the other hand, is often preferred for its smooth glide and heat distribution. Although It doesn't scratch, it can be quite fragile and may break more easily than its stainless steel counterparts.

We asked Komal Sawley Marketing Manager for Groupe SEB who owns Tefal for her thoughts.

'Neither one can be labelled as better, both have their pros and cons.'

'Stainless steel soleplates are a great option for ease as they heat quickly, remove creases easily and have even heat distribution. They offer a smooth iron and are durable and easy to clean and maintain.'

'Ceramic coatings glide smoother than stainless steel soleplates, are less likely to scorch fabrics at high temperatures and eliminate static from fabrics. However, some may find the upkeep harder as they are prone to chipping and peeling and so require extra care to protect the sole plates from damage.'

Is it better to get an iron or a steamer?

'Both remove wrinkles from clothing and household linens however each appliance has its own benefits,' explains Komal.

'Irons offer more control and a better result, so you can get a crisp edge, control the precise area you apply heat to and control the temperature. Most irons will include a built-in steam feature, so arguably gives you the best of both options.'   

'Some prefer to use a steamer as they can often be faster to use and are generally lower in cost than irons. Steam power removes odours and kills up to 99.99% of viruses, bacteria and germs with no detergent or chemicals. Handheld steamers can easily be taken with you in luggage when travelling and can be used on delicate and thin materials with less chance of burning fabrics.'

'We’d recommend having both in the cupboard as they both serve different purposes.'

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on. 

With contributions from