While some people love a Sunday night ironing session in front of the telly, for most of doing the ironing is a chore we try to put it off. We don’t wake up in the morning dreaming of buying a new iron that day, or regularly look through catalogues and websites to keep up with the latest ironing trends, or go queuing outside our local store when the latest iron becomes available.
In fact, the majority of us won’t even consider buying a new iron unless the one we have is starting to fail or has totally stopped working or you discover that you don’t actually have an iron in the first place.
When this happens, it’s good to know what you’re looking for – even if that’s just to avoid having to buy another iron in the near future. You don’t need to become an expert on irons, but it helps to be armed with a bit of knowledge of what to look for when searching for your new one.
But trying to understand why one iron is better than another can be a bit complicated, especially if it’s only brought out of the cupboard every now and again. Looking for a bargain may seem tempting for your bank balance at the time, but if you’re not careful you might be back out on a Sunday afternoon hunting for a new iron sooner than you’d like to be.
To make it easier and to avoid hours of dull searching and comparing, we’ve got this handy guide to help you find your ideal iron and get back to far more interesting things.
What kind of steam?
To start with, you need to know what kind of iron you want when it comes to steam, seeing as this is one of the most important functions and helps you to get the job done.
Standard steam irons use both heat and steam to get the job done and come just as they are. They tend to be better suited to smaller loads, although some have fancy features that can make them more suitable to laundry mountains if you’re prone to tackling all your clothes at once.
Steam generator irons offer more steam, which can make ironing piles of clothes much easier. They come with a separate water tank so the iron itself is much lighter and easier to handle. The tank means they also steam longer without you needing to refill them, making life much simpler.
High-pressure steam generator irons provide a lot more steam for your buck and are ideal for ironing large piles of clothing as the high pressure will help remove creases effortlessly. This means you’ll soon be putting a dent in laundry mountain at the weekend!
Whether your iron has a built-in or separate tank, you definitely want one that is easy to fill. There’s nothing worse that spilling water all over your ironing board while trying to get the iron ready, especially if you’re in a hurry. You’ll thank us for this tip later!
You may think that only kettles need limescale filters – or you may not know that scale filters are a thing – but any appliance that heats up water can suffer from limescale build-up. In fact, your iron will start producing less steam over time because of that build-up, which can mean you end up needing to buy a new one much sooner than you’d like, as getting rid of creases will become impossible.
Ensuring your iron definitely has a scale solution can save you a lot of hassle and make sure you avoid a trip to the store with iron written on your shopping list for a while.
Have you ever had that panicked moment when you’ve gone out and are worried that you’ve left your iron on? Not turning your iron off is a fire hazard and yet a lot of people don’t flip the switch when they’re done, especially if they’re just ironing a shirt and running out to work.
Even if you are the best person for remembering things, it pays to have an iron with auto shut-off just so you’re covered. This means that if it hasn’t been used for a while, it will turn itself off, which helps provide peace of mind and stops your house burning down, which – needless to say – isn’t the result you want when ironing!
There’s no point in having an iron that is super heavy and uncomfortable to use, especially if you always seem to be facing the threat of imminent ironing.
Whether you do ironing in bulk or just every now and then, you definitely want one that is comfortable to use, so consider the look and feel of the handle.
How an iron feels in your hand is one of the most important things. It might have all the bells and whistles you could want, but if you can’t use it, you might as well have not gone through all the hassle of buying it in the first place.