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Best Steam Generator Irons of 2021

Updated
These picks know how to let off steam.

If you ever hear someone say they love ironing, they’re probably lying. Or maybe, they just have a steam generator iron.

These handy irons are our top choice when it comes to laundry day. The amazing power makes it easier to remove creases and wrinkles. It will speed up your ironing, making it easier to tackle that pile of laundry quickly.

We’ve put together a list of the best steam generator irons that will change laundry day forever.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Rowenta DG8624U1 Perfect Pro Station 1800 Watts Fast Heat Up, and 430g / min steam Burst, Advanced Technology, Blue
Best Professional Iron
Rowenta DG8624U1
  • Manual temperature control
  • Has an eco-mode
  • Has vertical steaming option
Product Image of the Rowenta Perfect 1800-Watt Eco Energy Station Steam Iron, Purple
Best for Hard Water
Rowenta DG8520 Perfect Steam
  • Limescale protection
  • 400 steam holes
  • Amazing control panel
Product Image of the Laurastar Lift Plus Steam Iron in Blue Sky: Swiss Engineered 3-in-1 Steam Generator That Irons, Steams, and Purifies Your Clothes
Best for Sewing and Quilting
Laurastar Lift Plus
  • Even steam distribution
  • Designed for left- and right-handed users
  • Removes wrinkles in seconds
Product Image of the Hilife Steamer for Clothes Steamer, Handheld Garment Steamer Clothing Iron 240ml Big Capacity Upgraded Version
Best for Travelling
HiLife Fabric Steamer
  • Lightweight
  • 9-feet cord
  • Sanitizes & de-wrinkles
Product Image of the NAHANCO DG5030 Rowenta's Professional Steam Iron Station, High Power Vertical Steam Output, Compact (Pack of 1 Iron)
Best Compact Iron
Nahanco DG5030 Pro Steam Iron
  • Compact design
  • High pressure steam generator
  • Good for thick fabrics
Product Image of the Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650
Best for Fast Ironing
Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650
  • Easy to use
  • Optimal temp technology
  • High pressure steam
Most Reliable Iron
Reliable Generator Steam Iron
  • Auto shut-off
  • Sensor technology
  • Scratch-resistant soleplate
Product Image of the Reliable Velocity 160IR Steam Iron - 120V One-Temperature Compact Vapor Generator Steam Iron for Clothes, Anti Shine Coated Ceramic Soleplate, Continuous Steam with Auto Shut Off Iron for Clothes
Best Budget Iron
Reliable Velocity 160IR Steam Iron
  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact
  • Auto shut-off
Product Image of the Reliable 5000IS Professional Ironing Station - 120V Stainless Steel Tank and Copper Heating Element, 1800W (Boiler & Iron) Pressure Gauge, Aluminum Soleplate Iron with 7 ft Hose, Made in Italy
Best Professional-Grade Iron
Reliable Pro Iron Station
  • Lightweight handheld iron
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • Pressurized dry steam
Product Image of the Rowenta QR1020 IXEO All in One Iron and Steamer Solution with Three Position Smart Board, Black
Best All in One Iron
Rowenta Iron and Steamer
  • Vertical, horizontal or angled ironing
  • Safe for all fabrics
  • Sanitizes 99.9% of bacteria

What is a Steam Generator Iron?

If you’ve never heard of a steam generator iron, prepare for your life to be changed. You’re probably familiar with steam irons, which have the ability to produce steam and spray water. These typically make it much easier to get wrinkles out, but steam generator irons go a few steps further.

Steam Iron vs Steam Generator

A steam iron is known for its internal water reservoir which usually has a capacity of about ¼ of a liter.

The water is boiled to produce a good amount of steam. This is wonderful for dampening the fabric, helping you to tackle creases and wrinkles. But if you’ve used a steam iron, you’ll be familiar with the low steam pressure and the need to constantly refill the reservoir.

A steam generator iron, on the other hand, is connected to a rubber hose. This means the water tank and heating element are stored separately. The water tank averages about 1.5 liters. This means you can do six times as much ironing before needing to refill the reservoir!

There are also big differences when it comes to the volume of steam. A good steam iron usually produces around 40 grams of steam per minute.

A steam generator iron, on the other hand, can produce a higher constant steam volume. The ones we recommend average about 120 grams per minute. The steam generator iron is more than doubly as effective as a normal steam iron!

When it comes to steam boosting, the figures are even more interesting. A good steam iron from Amazon will give you about 150 grams per minute (1). Meanwhile, the steam generator irons we recommend can do up to 500 grams per minute.

Steam generators also pump out steam at higher pressures. On average, our top steam generator recommendations have 4.5 bars of pressure. So if you need extra help tackling wrinkles, choose one of these top steam generator irons.

Pros and Cons of a Steam Generator Iron

There are some pros and cons of a steam generator iron to consider before buying.

Pros

  • The hand unit is lighter because it doesn’t have a water reservoir.
  • Quicker ironing time.
  • Large volumes of high-pressure steam.
  • Effective on stubborn creases.
  • Water reservoir needs to be refilled less.
  • With some fabrics, you only need to iron one side.

Cons

  • It can take up to three minutes to heat up.
  • More expensive.
  • The base unit is bulky.
  • You might need a specialized ironing board.
  • The hose can be annoying for some.
  • The noise from the water tank and heating can be loud.

How to Choose a Steam Generator Iron

When choosing your steam generator iron, there are some things to look out for.

Pressurized or Non-Pressurized

There are two types of steam generator irons: pressurized and non-pressurized.

Pressurized ones have boilers that push the steam out at a higher pressure. This penetrates deep into the fabric, perfect for stubborn creases. The pressure level is measured in bars, so have a look at the specifications to see the bar measure. It generally ranges from five to eight.

Non-pressurized steam generator irons are similar to steam irons in their function. The main difference is that you get a much higher steam output.

So if you want the most effective steam generator iron, we recommend going for a pressurized model.

Tank Capacity

Even though steam generator irons have a typically larger water tank than steam irons, the size still varies. If you do huge amounts of laundry at once, consider choosing one with a larger water tank. This will save you trips to and from the sink.

Weight

We’ve mentioned that these irons are lighter than steam irons, but the added pieces can still be quite bulky. Do you plan to travel often with your steam generator iron? Then check the weight to make sure it’s suitable for your needs.

Temperature Control

Some people don’t mind if they can’t choose the temperature. And some models we recommend have automatic temperature control, so you don’t have to decide. But if you like to change the temperature depending on the fabrics, look for one with manual temperature control.

Ironing Time

If you’re doing huge batches of ironing, we recommend choosing a model with a high ironing time. We know how annoying it can be to run back and forth from the tap with a regular steam iron.

Thankfully, most steam generator irons have a higher ironing time but definitely look at the specs before deciding.


The Best Steam Generator Irons of 2021

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. We spend hours researching the most functional and best-reviewed products on the market — just for you. These are our recommendations for the best steam generator irons!

1. Rowenta 400-Holes Fast Heat Up Steam Station

Best Professional Steam Generator Iron

The entire weight of a steam generator iron will never be super light. Because of their external water tank, these are bulky items. But the Rowenta 400-holes Fast Heat Up is a good solution.

This iron is compact but powerful. It has 400 microsteam holes. This ensures an even distribution of steam and precision on smaller areas, like hems and collars.

It has up to three times more steam than a regular old iron. The steam output is 430 grams per minute. So if you want to save time on ironing, this steam generator iron will do the trick.

The refilling tank is also removable, so you don’t need to shut down the whole ironing system to refill it.

This is also great for professionals because you can use the handheld iron to do vertical steaming. It’s great for curtains, blankets, mattresses, pet beds, and much more.

Pros

  • 400 microsteam holes.
  • Durable stainless steel soleplate.
  • Has calc collector.
  • It has an eco-mode.
  • You can use regular tap water.

Cons

  • A question of durability to some other user.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 1.09 liters
Ironing Time 430 gram/minute
Steam Pressure 7.4 bars
Temperature Control Manual
Weight 14.02 pounds

2. Rowenta DG8520 Perfect Steam

Best Steam Generator Iron for Hard Water

If you live in a hard water area, the Rowenta DG8520 Perfect Steam is a great choice. That’s because it has a unique anti-scale function. The “calc away-system” automatically collects calc. It tells you when the unit needs emptying so you don’t risk ruining your iron.

The 400 holes allow for incredible steam power which gets out even the most stubborn of creases and wrinkles. This iron will leave you with smooth and crisp clothes. The steam is a continuous 80 grams per minute, making ironing fast and easy.

The Rowenta DG8520 has an amazing control panel. Here, you can find the eco button, the Calc Away indicator, the water tank refill indicator, and the restart button. This steam generator iron is user-friendly and easy to use.

Pros

  • Limescale protection.
  • 400 steam holes.
  • Amazing control panel.

Cons

  • Prone to leaking.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 1.4 liters
Ironing Time 90 minutes
Steam Pressure 5 bars
Temperature Control Manual
Weight 12.2 pounds

3. Laurastar Lift Plus Steam Iron

Best Steam Generator Iron for Sewing and Quilting

If you love sewing and quilting, you’ll know the struggles of finding a good iron. For this fun hobby, you need an iron that can get very hot and produces a lot of steam.

In addition, you need something that is going to zap away those creases and wrinkles effectively. Therefore, there’s no better choice than a steam generator iron — they’re the kings of steam!

We recommend the Laurastar Lift Plus Steam Iron for your quilting and sewing needs. This gets so hot that it actually produces hygienic steam that can kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria. So not only are you cleaning your fabrics, but you’re ensuring super-hot air to eliminate even the most stubborn of creases.

Another big reason we chose this one is that it comes with a sturdy and ergonomic handle. Being 11 pounds heavy, it’s necessary to have a quality handle so you can move it around easily. So whether you’re taking it with you around the house or going to a sewing convention, this is easy to transport.

Pros

  • 3D active soleplate provides even steam distribution.
  • Designed for left- and right-handed users.
  • Steams, irons, and purifies fabrics — very versatile.
  • High power removes wrinkles in seconds.

Cons

  • Very pricey, up to six times more than other options.
  • Machine is a bit noisy as it heats up.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 1 liter
Ironing Time Not specified
Steam Pressure 3.5 bars
Temperature Control Manual
Weight 11 pounds

4. HiLife Handheld Fabric Steamer

Best Steam Generator Iron for Travelling

If you move around a lot for work or leisure, you need a steam generator iron for traveling. Well the HiLife handheld garment steamer is one to consider.

The powerful steam output works on stubborn creases while it sanitizes clothes, too.

Unlike some of the other steam generator irons, the HiLife heats up in only two minutes! Moreover, the water tank is quite large with 240 mL capacity and allows for 14 to 16 minutes of ironing before it needs to be refilled. Weighing only 1.7 pounds, the weight of this iron does make it perfect for traveling — pop it in your suitcase and off you go!

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Suitable for any fabric.
  • 9-feet cord.
  • Sanitizes and de-wrinkles.

Cons

  • For upright usage only.
  • Use with extra caution to prevent burns.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 250 ml
Ironing Time 14 minutes
Steam Pressure N/A
Temperature Control N/A
Weight 1.7 pounds

5. Nahanco DG5030 Rowenta's Professional Steam Iron

Best Compact Steam Generator Iron

The Nahanco steam generator iron is about as compact as they come. If you’re tight on cupboard space, this one will do its best to fit in a small area without taking up too much room. It does have a large water tank of 1.2 liters but it celebrates a more compact design.

In terms of ironing, you’re going to get awesome results with the Nahanco DG5030. It has a high-pressure steam generator at a whopping four bars. If you struggle with stubborn wrinkles, this iron is one to consider.

We also love this one because of how it handles thick fabrics. The 120 grams per minute of steam helps with thicker fabrics like jackets and jeans. Say goodbye to huge creases and never fading wrinkles!

We love that this product has built-in storage for the cord and a locking system for easy portability. This makes it compact and easy to store. Plus, you’ll get 90 minutes of ironing time with one refill.

Pros

  • Compact design.
  • High-pressure steam generator.
  • Good for thick fabrics.
  • 90 minutes of ironing time.

Cons

  • Auto shut-down mode is too fast.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 1.2 liters
Ironing Time 90 minutes
Steam Pressure 4 bars
Temperature Control Manual
Weight 11.4 pounds

6. Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650

Best For Fast Ironing

The Philips PerfectCare Elite is the most powerful for the fastest ironing. It has 7.5 bars pressure and up to 500 grams of steam boost, which allows for the most effective ironing.

The large water tank (1.8 liters) is detachable, too. You can refill any time without stopping the iron. 1.8 liters generally allows two hours of ironing without refilling. Amazing!

The OptimalTEMP technology means that you don’t have to play around with temperature settings. No more waiting for the temperature to change between fabrics. No more pre-sorting clothes by fabric.

Now, you can iron all fabrics, going from jeans to silk, with the guarantee of no burning. This is because of the perfect combination of temperature and continuous steam.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • OptimalTEMP technology.
  • High-pressure steam.
  • Two hour ironing time between refills.

Cons

  • Noisy.
  • Larger ironing board required.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 1.8 liters
Ironing Time 2 hours
Steam Pressure 7.5 bar
Temperature Control Automatic
Weight 11.2 pounds

7. Reliable Velocity 230IR Generator Steam Iron

Most Reliable Steam Generator Iron

If you are in a hurry or do a lot of ironing, it’s a huge bonus when the steam generator can tackle both delicate and heavy fabrics without having to worry about damaging your clothes. The Velocity 230IR from Reliable holds true to its brand, it’s indeed reliable combatting wrinkles with a little effort from you.

Save time in your ironing routine with this machine by pressing clothes once and obtaining the results you needed fast. It works by flushing more than enough steam to effectively remove wrinkles without needing any starch spray therefore saving you bucks.

What else does this iron offer? Well, it has an anodized aluminum finish soleplate which effectively smooths out creases. It is gentle on clothes since it won’t stick, so take it to your delicates and be amazed at its smooth power. Moreover, these are scratch-resistant making them last for years of usage.

Lastly, this iron offers an extra-long 8.2-feet cord.

Pros

  • Sensor touch technology.
  • 8.2-feet cord.
  • 360-degree swivel cord.
  • Scratch-resistant soleplate.

Cons

  • Heavier compared to other brand.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 0.3 liters
Ironing Time N/A
Steam Pressure N/A
Temperature Control Auto/Turbo
Weight 5.38 pounds

8. Reliable Velocity 160IR Generator Steam Iron

Best Budget Steam Generator Iron

Steam generator irons aren’t easy on the bank account, we know. They’re great investments for people who do a lot of ironing on all types of clothes. But we have found a great product that is budget-friendly: the Reliable Velocity 160IR steam iron.

This iron has a 300 ml water tank, 360-degree swivel cord, and great steaming capability.

The Reliable 160IR also has one set temperature that is safe for all fabrics. This helps you iron everything in your closet in a single setting.

This steam generator iron also values safety features. It has an auto shut-off function that registers after eight minutes of no use. Plus, the iron lock makes it easy to move from place to place without dropping the parts.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Single temperature setting.
  • Compatible for almost all fabric.
  • Auto shut-off.

Cons

  • Others do not like the idea of having a single temperature setting for steam iron.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 0.3 liter
Ironing Time 1 hour
Steam Pressure N/A
Temperature Control Auto
Weight 4.63 pounds

9. Reliable Professional Iron Station

Best Professional-Grade Steam Generator Iron

Looking for a professional-grade steam generator iron? The Reliable Professional Iron Station is the one!

This is the #1 choice for professionals. The Reliable Professional Ironing Station excels at providing quality, dry, pressurized steam. If you’re after a crisp and clean finish for your clothes, this iron does the job. It softens the fabric fibers quicker from the heat of the iron.

This iron comes with a comfortable cork handle to make the ironing easy and durable. The hose is also seven feet long, so you can keep the tank on the floor while you do the ironing. It doesn’t need to weigh down your ironing board.

We love that this amazing iron has four safety systems. These include a pressure switch probe, a safety thermostat, a safety cap with a valve, and a low water indicator.

Pros

  • Lightweight handheld part.
  • Professional.
  • Comfortable cork handle.
  • Pressurized dry steam.

Cons

  • Heavy tank.
  • No visible water gauge.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 3 liters
Ironing Time Up to 3 hours
Steam Pressure 3.5 bars
Temperature Control None
Weight 18.5 pounds

10. Rowenta All in One Iron and Steamer

Best All in One Steam Generator Iron

It can be frustrating to possibly have to get a larger ironing board just to suit your steam generator iron. But with the Rowenta All in One Iron and Steamer, you don’t have to. This classy product comes with an iron, steamer, and ironing board.

Want more? It comes in white, or a black and gold model, which we love!

With this product, you can steam vertically by hanging the clothes on the hanger. You can iron or steam horizontally when you swivel the board to a flat position. Or you can even iron or steam at an angle if you prefer. The choice is yours.

This Rowenta iron is perfect for all fabrics. We love it for curtains, furniture, and mattresses. You can easily transport this steam generator iron from room to room using its built-in wheels.

The height is adjustable. The steamer sanitizes 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria. And lastly, the Turbo Steam Technology removes wrinkles and creases quickly and easily.

Pros

  • Includes ironing board and hanger.
  • Vertical, horizontal, or angled ironing.
  • Safe for all fabrics.
  • Sanitizes 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria.

Cons

  • No auto shut-off.
  • Hanger gets knocked off easily.

Additional Specs

Tank Capacity 1 liter
Ironing Time 1 hour
Steam Pressure 5 bars
Temperature Control None
Weight 32.5 pounds

Steam Generator Iron Comparison Chart

Product Best Tank Capacity Ironing Time Steam Pressure Temp Control Weight
Rowenta Fast Heat Up Professional 1.09 L Not specified 7.4 bars Manual 14.02 lbs
Rowenta DG8520 Perfect Steam Hard Water 1.4 L 90 min 5 bars Manual 12.2 lbs
Laurastar Lift Plus Iron Sewing & Quilting 1 L Not specified 3.5 bars Manual 11 lbs
HiLife Garment Handheld Steamer Traveling 250 ml 14 min N/A N/A 1.7 lbs
Nahanco DG5030 Professional Steam Iron Compact 1.2 L 90 min 4 bars Manual 11.4 lbs
Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650 Fast Ironing 1.8 L 2 hr 7.5 bar Auto 11.2 lbs
Velocity 230IR Reliable 0.3 L N/A N/A Auto 5.38 lbs
Reliable Velocity 160IR Budget Pick 0.3 L 1 hr N/A Auto 4.63 lbs
Reliable Professional Iron Station Professional-Grade 3 L 3 hr 3.5 bars None 18.5 lbs
Rowenta Iron and Steamer All in One 1 L 1 hr 5 bars None 32.5 lbs

How to Descale a Steam Generator Iron

Although a lot of steam generator irons come with anti-scale technology, some don’t. It’s important to know how to descale yours in case you experience build up.

Top Tip

Do you have a steam generator iron with anti-scale technology or a calc build-up unit? Then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly deal with this.

However, if you need to do this yourself, follow these instructions:

  1. Clean the soleplate: First, clean the soleplate. Dampen a large clean cloth and wipe it over a slightly warm soleplate. Adding a tiny bit of toothpaste can help get rid of extra grime.
  2. For the insides: Mix together equal parts water and distilled white vinegar.
  3. Fill: Fill the reservoir to about ⅓ full.
  4. Turn on: Turn it to medium heat and let it steam for five to ten minutes until the solution has evaporated.
  5. Refill: Refill the reservoir with fresh water and repeat step four.
  6. Wipe: Wipe the base and steam vents with a paper towel.

To help prevent limescale build-up, empty the water tank every time you’ve finished ironing.


Choose a Steam Generator Iron

If you do a lot of ironing and always aim for the freshest and crispest finish, then choose a steam generator iron.

Steam generator irons are definitely an investment, but we believe they’re worth it. They’re the best irons on the market. The high pressure and continuous steam help to get out stubborn wrinkles easily.

There are lots of different kinds of steam generator irons. If you have hard water, choose one with a built-in scale remover. Always on the move? Choose a handheld steam generator iron.

Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!