Choosing a technique is always difficult. Even if it is not very expensive. You should start choosing an iron with a steamer from the technical parameters. To begin with, you need to decide what the sole will be, then – what power you need the unit, after that we pay attention to the set of functions that you consider necessary to have.

Choose a sole

What is it made of?

Before choosing an iron with a steamer, you should decide on the material from which the sole of the unit should be made. Currently you can find the following:

  • Made of stainless steel. A reliable option for those who prefer heavier models. Irons well, slides on the fabric not so easily, but not too bad either. The material is strong, it is damaged only with considerable effort – to leave a scratch on the surface, you have to try hard. Of the features, more time is needed for heating and cooling.
  • From aluminum and alloys. These irons are light in weight, heat up and cool down very quickly. These are the cheapest models. But aluminum is a soft material on which it is easy to leave a scratch. The more scratches, the more difficult it is to iron, the higher the risk of damaging delicate fabrics. It is also worth remembering about the fluidity of the material. If the iron is overheated for a long time, the aluminum sole of the iron may warp.
  • Ceramics and metal ceramics. Irons with ceramic soles slide very easily over any fabric, smooth it well, and are quickly and easily cleaned of any dirt. The main disadvantage is the fragility of the ceramic coating, so they must be handled very carefully. Chips form even from minor loads, and if you drop the iron on the floor, you will definitely have one or more cracks and, most likely, you will have to buy a new one – since this one will cling to the fabric and may even damage it.
  • Titanium, Teflon and glass ceramics. These are modern alloys that glide perfectly even on delicate fabrics. The disadvantage is that they are damaged when they come into contact with metal parts on clothes. The second disadvantage is the high cost.

choosing an iron with a steamer

How to choose an iron with a steamer based on this feature? It’s really easy. If you can guarantee careful handling, try a ceramic sole. Is there a risk of dropping the iron? It is better to choose stainless steel. Can you allocate a significant amount for the purchase of a second iron to iron delicate clothes without metal “components”? Test titanium or glass ceramic.

There are also irons with different coating — non-stick, Teflon, etc. They are designed to improve the sliding of fabrics of various types, to facilitate surface cleaning, etc. All this is not bad, but the cost of such models is much higher than “ordinary” ones, and the difference is not so great. But the choice is yours. If you want to try it, you are always welcome.

Shape and dimensions of the sole

In general, iron platforms look more or less similar – they all resemble a triangle. The difference is how sharp the nose is, a wider or narrower base, rounded or straight edges.

A sharper nozzle is convenient when ironing clothes with a large number of small details. It is convenient for them to iron the fabric between the buttons, children’s clothes. Some manufacturers have models of irons with a nose of a special shape – elongated and rounded.

Which sole is better – narrower or wider? It is easier to iron sleeves, ribbons, etc. with a narrow iron. Instead, it is faster to process bed linen, a wide skirt, etc. with a wide one. So everyone has their advantages. It is even more difficult to choose an iron with a steamer if you think about such small things as flat or curved edges of the sole. There are no particular advantages in either option, although the rounded ones look nicer. But they are more difficult to manufacture, which is why they cost more.

Holes and grooves

We still need to figure out the number of vents on the sole and their location. There are two approaches – many small holes or a smaller number of them, but larger in size. Small holes located over the entire surface distribute steam more evenly over the entire area of ​​the sole of the iron. And this is a plus. The downside is that when using hard water, they will quickly “overgrow” with salts and stop emitting steam altogether. Larger holes grow more slowly, but due to the large size, not steam can be supplied, but droplets, which can cause spots. To eliminate such troubles, the “anti-drop” technology has been developed, but such models are more expensive.

Actually, there are several solutions. The first is to take an iron with small holes, use desalted water (ideally distilled, or at least passed through filters or boiled). In this case, the self-cleaning function will also be useful. The second is to not worry about water, choose an iron with a steamer with large holes on the sole and a function against the formation of drops.

With grooves on the platform, the iron is even more mysterious. Each manufacturer develops its own system. Shape, depth, location – everything is different and it is impossible to understand what is better and what is worse “by eye”. It did not occur to anyone to conduct tests, and there are no objective criteria. Everything is based on feelings, and this is very subjective.

how to choose an iron with a steamer

We determine the technical parameters

Electric irons do not have many technical parameters. The power of the heating elements and parameters of the steam supply system. That’s all there is to decide.

Power

Let’s start with the power selection. There are three groups of irons:

  • Low-power – up to 1500 W. Not the most popular category, because it is not possible to cope with all fabrics. Linen, for example, cannot be ironed with such an iron, and it will take a long time to iron bed linen – due to the low temperature, you will have to iron the same place several times. Usually, such irons are taken on trips due to their small size and light weight.
  • Average power. The power of these irons is in the range of 1800-2400 W. They cope well with any tasks. It is important not to forget to change the heat mode in the process. These are good household models.
  • Powerful irons – power consumption over 2500 W. These are needed for professional use – in a studio, some shops, etc.

So, if you need to choose an iron for travel/business, the power can be around 1200-1500 watts. For the home, the best choice is 2000-2200 W, and for professionals, the higher the better.

Parameters of the steam supply system

We have long been accustomed to using steam irons. Modern models have two modes – constant supply and steam blow. With a constant supply of steam, it is released with a certain periodicity, which is determined by the selected position of the regulator. A steam shot is a one-time supply of a large portion of steam when the corresponding button is pressed. Both modes are useful for good results.

The efficiency of the vaporizer is determined by such a parameter as the intensity of steam supply. The larger this parameter, the easier it will be to deal with folds and creases. The minimum amount of steam for more or less comfortable work is 25 g/min. If you want to cope faster, look for an indicator of 40-50 g/min. They cost more, but ironing takes less time.

Also, pay attention to the fact that the supply of steam is adjustable. The switch usually has three positions – off, medium intensity (50%) and high intensity (100%). This is quite enough – you can adjust the mode depending on the condition of the fabric. Ironing connoisseurs can find switches with 4 or more positions. But this is in expensive models that belong to the premium class.

The effectiveness of the steam blow is also determined by the volume of heated humidified air supplied. The minimum is 80-90 g/min, for a good result – 150-200 g/min.

What else to pay attention to is the convenient location of the filling hole and the capacity of the water tank. The filling hole is usually located on the handle of the iron and has a funnel-shaped shape – so that a smaller amount of liquid spills past. And the container – the longer, the better – you will have to fill it less often.

Vertical steaming

This possibility is not available in all models of irons, so it is worth talking about it separately. In the vertical steaming mode, you can organize things hanging on a hanger or mannequin. Steam escapes from the holes on the platform, which smoothes the fabric. It is not necessary to touch the product with the platform itself.

This is convenient when working with delicate or fluffy fabrics, with clothes of a complex cut, where creases or spots may appear that sparkled from the touch of heated metal surfaces. It’s all right, but steam stations or steam generators are better suited for this. However, if you don’t have many of these things, it makes no sense to spend large sums on the purchase of a steam generator. That’s when the function of vertical steaming on the iron is needed.

Network cord

To choose an iron with a steamer that is convenient to work, pay attention to the electric cord. It should be long enough and elastic. Elastic will not bend, it does not need to be unraveled regularly.

The standard length of the cord is 1.8-2.0 meters. This is the optimal indicator if the outlet is nearby, for example, on the ironing board. Some models of irons have a power cord up to 3 meters long. This is convenient if the ironing board is not equipped with an outlet.

Pay attention to the method of connecting the power cord to the iron. In very cheap models, the cord is permanently fixed. It is inconvenient – it twists and interferes during work. The more expensive ones have a hinged mount with a different range of motion. A good option is the ability to move around 180 °.

choosing an iron with a steamer

Important and not so “little things”

Even such a simple technique as an iron with a steamer can be more or less convenient to use. Very small things sometimes affect usability. Example:

  • Sprinkler. It is not always possible to achieve the desired result by steam. It is necessary to moisten a difficult or too dry place with water. A sprinkler is needed for this. Its nozzle is located on the nose of the iron, and the button that activates it is usually located next to the steam button.
  • Automatic shutdown. This is a feature for the forgetful. The iron turns off if it remains in a horizontal position (sole down) motionless for 30 seconds, laid on its side or placed vertically upwards for 15 minutes. The thing is useful, but often fails. So don’t expect too much.
  • Anti-drip system. When supplying steam with a short interval of time, a situation may arise when not all the water evaporates. Then steam mixed with drops of water is supplied from the holes. The presence of this system prevents this phenomenon.
  • Anti-scale system. A useful option, but greatly increases the cost of the iron. And it is not a fact that it will work if the water really contains a lot of salts. You can do without this option if you use purified or distilled water.
  • Self-cleaning system. This is a special mode in which accumulated salts are removed from the insides of the iron. You can also do without it. There is a simple technology for cleaning the iron from scale – place the iron in a pan, pour a solution of water and vinegar (a glass per liter). The liquid level should cover the platform. Put the iron in the pan on the burner, bring the liquid to a boil, set aside for 20-30 minutes. Boil again. Repeat the procedure several times.

Now you can definitely choose an iron with a steamer that fully meets your requirements. But don’t forget about ease of use – the pen should “lie” well in the hand. If you have looked at several models, all of them suit you in terms of characteristics, but you cannot decide, choosing an iron with a steamer will help you choose an iron with a steamer. Take the models you like in your hand and hold them. Which is more convenient – take that one.

Manufacturers

There are two different approaches when choosing an iron manufacturer. Some believe that it is better to buy equipment of well-known brands. And this is not devoid of a certain meaning. Well-known companies carefully monitor the quality of their products. It is very disadvantageous for them to lose positions, as it is difficult to restore them.

But quality control means the use of expensive materials, expensive equipment, and qualified personnel. All this leads to an increase in the cost price. Therefore, irons of well-known brands – Bosch, AEG, Delonghi, Braun, Electrolux, Panasonic, Karcher, Siemens, Philips, Rowenta, Tefal – are more expensive than others. Also, during the warranty period, products of these brands can be repaired at service centers or replaced (if they cannot be repaired).

The second approach is that there is no reason to pay money only “for the name”, because there are good irons of not such “hyped” brands. There is a reason for this. You can find options with the same technical indicators and functions, but much cheaper. However, there is also a downside here — the risk of running into completely low-quality products and none of them gives guarantees. So in any case, the repair is at your expense. Even if you repair the iron with your own hands.

There is a third category – average in price and with good quality. These are companies Ariete, Gorenje, Binatone, Kenwood, Zanussi, Moulinex, Clatronic, Fagor, Zelmer. They have good quality and a long service life, support warranty obligations. Although, it must be said, they have unsuccessful models.

Choosing an iron with a steamer – which one is better?