What are the 3 most important things to consider when buying a steam generator iron?

Philips GC846002 Pressurised Steam Generator

As steam generator irons have become more popular, it’s quite easy to feel daunted by the vast number of different features that you’re likely to come across. But, when you’re faced with an excellent choice of models from each manufacturer, how do you decide which steam generator iron is best for you and your family?

There are many extra, additional features which can make a steam generator iron more suited to your needs, such as the material of the soleplate, a groove along the soleplate to help when ironing buttons, a soft-grip handle, digital display, etc. However, these are more to do with personal preference as a user, rather than something which will affect the way your iron actually performs.

Let’s take a look at the 3 most important things you might want to consider that could actually affect the performance of your iron.

  1. You would be correct in assuming that it’s the steam which is so important and sets steam generator irons apart from traditional steam irons. The amount of steam your steam generator iron is capable of producing is perhaps the single most important factor you should consider.
    This steam production is measured in grams per minute (g/min) and will usually vary between 70 and 140 grams per minute (70-140 g/min).
    Because it’s the steam which will allow you to get your ironing done quicker, you should pay close attention to this measurement – the higher the steam output, the quicker you will get your ironing done!
    As a general rule, 120 grams per minute will be more than enough to get through your family’s ironing and reduce the time it normally takes.
  2. Once you’ve established how many grams of steam your iron is able to produce per minute, the next feature to look at is the pressure at which the steam is delivered. This measurement is measured and shown in bar. Again, the higher the number, the more powerful the pressure will be. Ideally, a bar rating of 3.5 or more is suitable, although a rating of 4.5 or 5 will be even better and will help to reduce your ironing time by up to half.
    The way this pressure works is that it forces the steam deep into your garment, which then relaxes the fibres and allows you to quickly remove unwanted wrinkles from your clothes. As this steam is more powerful than the steam from a traditional iron, it will penetrate both the front and back of your garments at the same time, so you should no longer have to iron both sides – even on heavy fabrics such as denim.
  3. The final point for you to consider is that all the steam output we just talked about has to come from somewhere, but where?
    Well, the water tank of a steam generator iron is contained within the base unit, unlike traditional irons, which store water in the iron itself.
    Considering the fact that we are using more steam than we would with a normal steam iron, you would be right in assuming that you are going to get through more water, in order to produce the steam needed to get your ironing done.
    So, the third thing you should look at when choosing your new iron is the size of the water tank. Afterall, you don’t want to be filling it every 30-40 minutes, do you?
    With this in mind, you should look for a steam generator iron which, ideally, has a water tank capacity of at least 1 litre. Water tanks of some models, like the Tefal Pro Express GV8330 can hold 1.8 litres, which is enough for up to 3 hours of continuous ironing.

If you remember that these 3 features are the things which will speed up your ironing and reduce the time it takes, comparing steam generator irons and deciding which one to buy should now be a much easier task.

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