Ironing is the single most hated chore that I can think of, it’s boring, time-consuming and no matter how long you’ve been doing it – it doesn’t get much better. I recently discovered the joys of using a steam generator iron, and while it doesn’t change my feelings towards ironing it does one very important thing instead – it cuts down the amount of time I spend ironing.
A steam generator iron has many benefits and a few downsides when compared to its traditional counterpart. In this article I will explain the top 6 reasons why you should choose a steam generator iron instead of a traditional steam iron, I’ll also list a few downsides of choosing a steam generator iron so that you can weigh the pros and cons of what matters the most to you when you choose your iron.
6 Reasons to Buy a Steam Generator Iron
#1 Professional Results
Steam generator irons are designed to provide professional results with very minimum effort. Both traditional irons and steam generator irons depend on steam to get rid of those stubborn wrinkles and creases, normal steam irons are limited to the amount of steam they can produce while a steam generator iron on the other hand has the capacity and the ability to produce in excess of 6 bars of pressure. This additional steam power will result in professional results in very little time.
#2 Faster Ironing
Some steam generator irons take the guesswork out of ironing, models such as the Philips GC8715 come with an additional feature called optimalTEMP which automatically detects and adjusts the iron to the correct temperature needed for the type of material you’re ironing. With this one setting approach you will save quite a bit of time because you won’t need to be constantly adjusting settings and waiting for the iron to heat up or cool down.
Steam Generator Iron Pros
- Professional results every time
- Faster ironing
- Lightweight design
- Larger water capacity
- Vertical ironing option
- Additional safety features
Steam Generator Iron Cons
- Costs more
- May require larger ironing board
- Will require more storage space
#3 Lightweight Design
One of the most notable comparison between a steam generator iron and a traditional steam iron is the overall weight of the iron itself. Traditional steam irons normally have a built-in water reservoir, and depending on the model this can be fairly large and heavy when filled.
A steam generator iron uses a slightly different design, instead of a built-in reservoir it has a separate water tank that sits at the side of the ironing board. This design is great for those who iron a lot because its lightweight design means you can use it longer without any discomfort.
#4 More Water – Less Time
Because of its dedicated water tank, a steam generator iron can hold as much as 5 times the amount of water a traditional steam iron can hold. This equates to less time spent filling up the iron and more time ironing. There’s also a downside to this – see the additional considerations section below.
#5 Vertical Ironing Option
Most steam generator irons have a vertical ironing feature which allows you to apply steam to your clothes while it’s still on the hanger, this would be especially useful for items such as curtains and coats. Some traditional steam irons do offer this feature but they don’t produce nearly as much steam as a steam generator iron so the results would be below par.
#6 Safety Features
A steam generator iron builds on the safety features found in traditional steam irons. Most modern steam irons come with built-in auto shut off feature meaning the iron will automatically shut off at a specific time depending on the particular model. Some steam generator irons like the Philips GC9630 PerfectCare Elite have taken this concept even further by adding an additional safety feature which stops the iron from burning your clothes if you accidentally leave the iron on it – or on the ironing board.
Now that you’ve seen the pros of a steam generator it’s time for the cons:
Price – The first and most obvious is the price, because this is a relatively new way of ironing you can expect to pay a fair bit more for a top brand such as Philips or Tefal.
Ironing board – As I’ve mentioned above, steam generator irons come with a separate water reservoir and you will need to accommodate this extra bulk.
If you have a small ironing board you might need to invest in something a bit bigger. Luckily, you can find some really good ironing boards for steam generator irons well under £100.
Storage space – Regular steam irons are relatively compact so storage generally isn’t a problem, with a steam generator you’ll need a dedicated storage area to accommodate the iron and its water tank. The good thing is that most steam generator irons will have a locking feature to hold the iron in place so it will just sit on its base while in storage.
Hopefully the article above has shed some light on the differences between a steam generator iron and a traditional steam iron, if you have any questions feel free to check out our steam generator iron buying guide for further tips and considerations when choosing a steam generator iron or if you decide that this is the type of iron you want then check out our steam generator iron reviews to see some of the top models available in 2017.