The use of electrical appliances has become an integral part of our lives. There are more and more of them, the functionality is expanding, old models and devices are being replaced by new, more advanced ones. This is exactly what happens with irons. At first there were ordinary irons heated on the stove. They were replaced by models that work on electricity. Then they changed and learned to release steam. Now, it seems, they are being replaced by steam irons. They significantly reduce ironing time, while the quality of the process becomes better, fabrics are less damaged. Let’s consider how to choose an iron with a steam generator, what criteria to pay attention to when choosing a device.

An iron with a steam generator (ironing steam station, ironing system) consists of two parts – a water tank (boiler) into which a heating element is built-in and, in fact, irons with holes in the sole for the release of steam. The iron and the water container are connected by a hose that supplies steam and an electric cord.

Advantages and disadvantages

To choose an iron with a steam generator, you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of the equipment.

Let’s start with the advantages:

  • The ironing steam station produces steam with a minimum amount of moisture in the form of droplets. Therefore, when ironing, things remain dry.
  • You can steam both horizontally and vertically.
  • The power of steam supply is many times greater than that of an iron with a built-in steamer, so you can iron even laundry folded several times.
  • A large water capacity ensures long-term operation without “refueling”.
  • The iron platform does not overheat, does not damage even thin fabrics.

How to choose an iron with a steam generator

All these properties contribute to the fact that ironing takes less time and effort, and at the same time things are ironed better. But it was not without its drawbacks:

  • It takes a long time to bring the device up to operating temperature. The fastest stations heat up in 2 minutes, but they are expensive. On average, it takes 3-5 minutes. Therefore, turning on the ironing system to iron one thing does not always make sense.
  • High cost. The cheapest iron with a steam generator costs at least $220.

As you can see, there are not many disadvantages. Perhaps for this reason, a decision is made to choose a steam station, rather than an ordinary iron. Even despite the high price.

Parameters of the steam generator

When choosing an ironing steam station, you will have to pay attention separately to the iron and the steam generator.

First, let’s talk about the steam generator. Here’s what to pay attention to:

  • Boiler dimensions are a parameter that determines the time of continuous operation of the equipment. Take into account that less water is poured into it – free volume is needed for the formation of steam. For a household steam generator, the normal volume is 1.2-1.8 liters. This is enough for about 2 hours of ironing with continuous steam. Industrial models can have a tank with a capacity of up to 4 liters, the minimum size of the tank is about 700 ml.
  • Working steam pressure. The higher the pressure, the faster the laundry will be ironed. Scattering of parameters – from 2 Bar to 8 Bar. A good indicator is 3-3.5 Bar, but with overdried laundry or when ironing linen, it may take more time. If possible, choose a steam generator with a pressure of 4-4.5 Bar.
  • Regulation of steam supply. A useful function allows you to select the desired operating mode. It can be manual and automatic (more expensive microprocessor-controlled models).
  • Parameters of constant supply of steam. This is an indicator of the efficiency of the station. The higher it is, the less time it takes to iron. The power of steam supply can be 70-160 g/min.
  • Steam blow. When the appropriate button is pressed, a large part of the steam is supplied. Power of steam blow 100-400 g/min.
  • Possibility of vertical steaming.

It is preferable to use distilled or salt-free water in ironing steam stations. But there are models with protection against the formation of scale. In this case, water is supplied through a replaceable filter, which must be changed if necessary. There is another water purification system – a special rod that binds calcium. It is reusable, but periodically it has to be cleaned – immersed in water with soda or vinegar for half an hour or an hour. After all the sediment has dissolved, rinse it and set it in place.

It is also convenient if the iron with a steam generator has a removable water tank. To fill it, it is not necessary to turn off the equipment, but you can simply pour a new portion of water.

How to choose an iron with a steam generator

Characteristics of the iron

To choose a steam station, you should also pay attention to the parameters of the iron. The device is ordinary – a sole with a built-in heater and holes for steam. Here, only steam is supplied from a separate tank. Iron parameters of the ironing steam station:

  • Power. It should correlate with the power of the steam generator. For home use, 2.0-2.5 kW is optimal. Such ironing stations heat up quickly and can work with any fabrics.
  • The length of the cord connecting the steam generator and the iron. Optimal – about 2 meters.
  • The method of attaching the cord to the body. It is convenient if the cord is hinged – then there are no problems when changing the position.
  • The shape of the handle and its material. It should be comfortable to hold the iron. Before finally choosing a steam station, it is advisable to hold the pen in your hands for at least a few minutes, to feel how comfortable your hand is. If it is inconvenient, better look for another model. The material of the handle in most models is heat-resistant plastic, but there are cork overlays.

Prasky platform:

  • Stainless Steel. It is durable, resistant to scratches and damage, has a fairly large weight, and slides well. To improve sliding, manufacturers apply various coatings (ceramic, titanium, Teflon). But in this case, you will have to be careful, because these coatings can crack, which can lead to the appearance of puffs on thin fabrics.
  • Aluminum and its alloys. Aluminum heats up quickly, has a light weight and a low price. But scratches are formed very easily, which impairs sliding and can damage the fabric.
  • Ceramics and metal ceramics. It has excellent gliding performance, but it must be handled very carefully, as chips and cracks are easily formed.

Another point that does not relate to technical parameters, but is no less important. The iron should easily stand on the designated place on the steam generator. This movement should not cause you any inconvenience. This is another practical test that will help decide on the choice of a specific model.

How to choose an iron with a steam generator

Additional functions

The presence of additional functions is a sign of a higher class of any equipment. Steam stations are no exception. But each function is more complicated to control and design, so the price is also higher. So, here you should think carefully about what you really need and what you can do without.

  • Protection against scale. A useful function, but it is unnecessary if you use distilled (ideal) or purified water.
  • Self-cleaning of the sole of the iron. Allows you to clean the holes for steam release from lime deposits. Similar cleaning can be done without this function.
  • Anti-drip system. Prevents the supply of steam with small drops. With a station that is working normally, the presence of drops is a rare phenomenon, but if this happens, specks may remain. Whether you need this feature or not is up to you.
  • Sprinkling. Steam is not enough to iron dry laundry. Then you need a spray function. In this case, water is sprayed from the holes in the iron platform. In principle, you can do without a sprayer.
  • Possibility of dry ironing. Not all models have it, but you can find it.
  • Groove for buttons. The iron platform has a special depression that makes it easier to iron near the buttons.

These are all functions that increase comfort. Unless you can add automatic winding of the network cord (when pressing the button). All of them are mandatory, available in all models. In any case, the choice is yours. But there are other features that increase security:

  • Automatic shut-off or indication when the amount of water is low.
  • Automatic shutdown if the iron does not move in a horizontal position for 30 seconds, in a vertical position for 8 minutes.
  • The signal that is given during auto-shutdown. The signal can be visual (the light turns on) or sound.

It is also worth talking about the methods of setting work modes. Temperature regulators can be located on the handle or steam generator (DeLonghi Stirella VVX 2370 DualVap). In some models, with automatic selection of the operating mode, it is not possible to set the temperature (Philips GC9231 PerfectCare Expert). The type of fabric is selected, and the program sets the operating mode of the equipment. There are models in which adjustments can be made to automatically set parameters (Tefal Pro Express Total GV8961).

How to choose an iron with a steam generator – choosing an ironing steam station for the home