Ironing Buying Guide

Ironing Buying Guide

Unless you're one of the small percentage of people who actually love ironing (mad or what??) then you'll want to find an iron that makes the process as quick and efficient as possible so you can get on with real fun stuff! So here's a guide to the best irons on the market, what they'll do to make your clothes look wonderful, and also which ones will suit your budget!

Just click onto one of the links below to find out more.

Types Of Iron

Steam Iron

Steam irons allow the temperature and the output of steam to be easily measured for different applications and fabrics.

  • Quick to heat up
  • Great for small ironing loads

Steam Generator

Provides a constant flow of high-pressured steam that can cut your ironing time by half.

  • Up to 50% more steam output at all temperatures
  • Great for large quantities of ironing
  • Ideal for the heavier materials such as denim
  • For best results a steam generator should be used with a mesh ironing board

Steam Press

Ideal for pressing large materials such as curtains and sheets. The press prevents the 'shiny' finish that is often produced by irons and it folds up neatly when your ironing's complete.

  • High steam pressure and fabric penetration
  • Large surface area pressed at one time (equivalent of 6 or more iron plates at one time)
  • Automatic pressure with minimum effort, can apply up to 100lbs pressure.
  • Professional finish without the shine
  • Can be used on more or less any material

Types Of Steam

Variable Steam

The majority of steam irons have a variable steam control system which you can regulate by moving the slider to the ideal level. Typically, variable steam power ranges between 15g/min - 50g/min.

Vertical Steam

Is best used on hanging garments such as suits and dresses or for ironing hanging curtains. Ensure the iron is held a few centimetres away from the garment to prevent scorching.

Burst Of Steam

This application provides instantaneous steam power on demand and helps smooth out those creases which are proving stubborn to remove. The Burst of steam is measured in grams per minute. Typically, a burst of steam will range between 50g/min - 170g/min for both steam irons and steam generators.

Steam Pressure

Pressurised systems are usually only found on steam generators. Steam pressure is measured in Bar pressure. Typically, generators have pressurised systems ranging between 3 and 6 Bar.

Sole Plates

Stainless Steel sole plate

Stainless helps distribute heat evenly and glides easily. The plate can be restored by polishing.

Ceramic sole plate

Ceramic is excellent for distributing heat evenly and glides easily. It has a non stick, scratch resistant surface which is extremely durable.

Other sole plates

Some of the larger brands within laundry offer other types of sole plates such as Palladium Glisse Ceramic, Ultragliss, Ultraglide and Anodilium.

Other Features

Anti - Calc and Self Clean

Built in anti-calc and 'self clean' protection systems help to reduce lime scale which clogs the steam vents and leaves white deposits on your clothes. We recommend that households in hard water areas use distilled water and replace filters (if fitted) in accordance with the user guide.

Non Drip

Prevents water stains on your clothes

Auto Shut Off

Automatically switches the iron off after a set period of inactivity.

Cord length

Longer cord lengths allow more freedom to site your ironing board.

Water capacity

Water tanks generally range from 55ml for travel irons up to 400ml for a heavy-duty irons. Steam generators can have tanks as large as 1800ml. The larger the tank, the less time will be spent refilling.

Electric power

Expressed in watts (or W). Irons and steam generators typically range from 1400W up to 2750W. 1600W - 2400W is acceptable for most domestic requirements.

Help Lines

Supplier Helpline
Bosch 0844 89 28 923
Breville 0800 52 50 89
Domena 01825 76 88 99
Morphy Richards 0844 87 10 960
Phillips 0800 33 16 015
Russell Hobbs 0845 65 88 700
Swan Irons 01733 40 47 09
Swan Steam Press 01825 76 88 99
Tefal 0845 60 21 454

Ironing Boards

Ironing Boards are available in a variety of sizes, styles and covers. Deciding which one is right for you can seem like a challenge, but by considering the following you should have a good idea of what is right for you.


An average full-size ironing board is 137cms long and 38cms wide. Professional ironing boards are usually 160 cms long and 48 cms wide. If you want to spend a little more and if you have the space then wider is better as you will need to reposition the garment less frequently when ironing.


A lightweight and compact board is easier to set up and take down and of course they save space, as opposed to the larger heavier boards which offer even greater stability.


Most boards are adjustable and flexibility allows others in your household to adjust the height to suit them and you can adjust it down for use while seated.

Vent Holes

Most boards have a mesh top, but check to be sure. Vent holes are a necessity for steam to escape, therefore if you are using a steam iron then mesh boards are a must to avoid soggy clothes.

Iron rest

Again, most boards come with an iron rest. Some boards even have the rest built it to the cover. They give you more board space, and your iron is less likely to fall over when placed in the rest. If it's a feature you like, you'll need to choose a board that comes with one.

Steam Generator

If you plan to use a steam generator then you must choose a strong, sturdy breathable board. Boards that have feet that form a 'T' are less likely to splay over time under the weight of a Steam Generator. There are some boards specifically designed for Steam Generator use.

Table Top Boards

Suitable when space is limited, these little tabletop boards are fairly inexpensive and have short legs that easily fold up and lock in place.