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Overview

Impeccable well washed and ironed clothes can accentuate your personality. A simple yet well-ironed outfit can make you look presentable and professional. This is one reason irons are a part of almost every household.

Considering all irons do the same job, there is a plenty of variety to choose from. From low-range no-frills options to pricier irons pre-loaded with advanced steam-pumping technology hi-tech soleplates, you could just keep wondering which bells and whistles are worth paying for.

Read on to find out what you should be looking for while purchasing a steam iron.

Types of Steam Irons

  1. Dry Iron – Dry iron is the most commonly available type and simple to use as well. For some crisp clothes, you only have to adjust the temperature of iron depending on the type of fabric. Dry iron is great for woollens and silks.
  2. Steam Iron – Steam iron directly pushes steam onto the garment while ironing. The steam feature is designed to moisten and relax the fabric, so you can easily remove creases from clothes. Its complete efficiency depends on the steam output. Steam irons can be used if you have a small load of clothes to work on.
  3. Steam Generator Iron – The steam generator iron, literally, generates higher steam, which is twice that of steam produced by a steam iron. Higher steam output helps remove tough creases from the garments and gives a crisp iron look. You can use steam generator irons if you usually have higher clothes load, as it will be easier and take less time to iron.
  4. Non-pressurised Steam Generator Iron – Non-pressurised steam generator irons produce the steam twice compared to steam irons. Just like steam generator irons do, but the only difference is for holding the water separate tank available. This added feature not only helps in energy efficiency but also makes it lighter than steam irons. Non-pressurised steam generator irons give you better ironing results in less time compared to steam irons.
  5. Garment Steamer – These are new in the market and available for commoners. A garment steamer is, unlike steam irons, stands vertical and has a flex-neck from which the steam is blown onto the clothes. It is a good alternative – to a traditional steam iron. Steamers are easy to use as they require less set up and garments can be de-creased in the hanger itself. They are best on soft fabrics like cotton and jersey, garments that are difficult to iron like a suit jacket and obviously for travel. This ease-maker struggles with crisp fabrics and sharp creases, like dress shirts. The best products are those with ample and continuous steam, light-weight and easy to maneuver.

Other Important Features to Look for

  1. Limescale Filter – The amount of steam your iron produces can be damaged by limescale build-up over the time. Nowadays, most irons come with an inbuilt limescale filter. Therefore, it is necessary to check whether an iron has a scale filter before you purchase it.
  2. Comfortable Handle – Some irons come with rubber grip, which can become uncomfortable after ironing for a while. The best handles are ones with soft and smooth grip, not too wide so that you can hold with ease. Check for hard plastic seams or ridges that might dig into your palm.
  3. Soleplate – Look for a soleplate that tapers and narrow downs at its nose, as they provide ease to slide into tight pleats or under buttons. Lumpy soleplates tend to get stuck on buttons and zips, in a way it damages the soleplates.
  4. Burst-of-steam – If you press fabrics with difficult-to-remove wrinkles, this feature is extremely useful as it delivers an extra blast of steam onto the clothes to subdue stubborn wrinkles. It is especially handy with fabrics such as cotton, linen and heavy fabric like denim.
  5. Light-coloured Water Reservoir – Always try to opt for light-colored water tank as it becomes easy to determine the water level, unlike in dark-coloured tanks. Also, look for wider aperture or opening and clearly marked maximum fill markings, else you will end up filling too much and water gurgling out. There are few steam irons that come with removable water tank; the whole can is separable from the main body and it provides ease to fill-in with no mess.
  6. Automatic Shut-off – This feature is the safety key for steam irons. With this, the iron shuts off automatically after not being used for a while. So if you’ve ever worried whether you switched off the iron, this function will give you peace of mind.
  7. Temperature settings – Every steam iron has temperature regulator that can be used while ironing different types of fabrics like silk, wool, cotton, and nylon. This temperature setting is important as every fabric has variable temperature threshold and regulating accordingly will not harm the garment fabric.
  8. Cord or Cordless – Generally, all types of steam irons come with cords but there are few which are cordless. They need to be charged before using them for ironing purpose and are really handy if you do not have an immediate or many power outlets.

After reading this, remember to look out for every possible factor and features discussed above.

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