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Best Steam Generator Irons of 2022

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 incredible 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 compiled a list of the best steam generator irons that will change laundry day forever. We researched and analyzed expert advice, dozens of products, and real customer reviews to create this list. Each of these irons is powerful, easy to use, and give you a great ironing experience.

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 Steam Generator Iron
Rowenta DG8624U1
  • Manual temperature control
  • Built-in calc collector
  • Has vertical steaming option
Product Image of the Rowenta VR83421U1 400-Holes, Compact Steam Station 1500-Watt, Advanced 1.7 L Water Capacity
Best With Removable Water Tank
Rowenta VR83421U1 Compact
  • 400 hole stainless steel soleplate
  • Removable water tank of 1.7 liters
  • Compact frame
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, Portable Handheld Design, 240ml Big Capacity, 700W, Strong Penetrating Steam, Removes Wrinkle, for Home, Office and Travel
Best for Travelling
HiLife Fabric Steamer
  • Lightweight
  • 9-feet cord
  • Sanitizes & de-wrinkles
Product Image of the Reliable 125IS Maven Steam Iron - 1500W Ironing Station with Ceramic Soleplate, Iron Lock for Easy Carry, 1 Ltr Removable Water Tank and Auto Shut-Off, Digital Display, Continuous Home Steam Iron
Most Compact
Reliable Maven 125IS
  • Good for all fabrics
  • Removable water tank
  • Quick heat up time
Product Image of the Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650
Best for Fast Ironing
Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650
  • Easy to use and refill
  • Optimal temp technology
  • High pressure steam
Product Image of the Reliable Velocity 240IR 1800W Steam Iron - Compact Vapor Generator Home Steam Iron for Clothes, Sewing, Quilting and Crafting Ironing, Anodized Aluminum Soleplate, Continuous Steam Ironing
Most Reliable Iron
Reliable Generator Steam Iron
  • Auto setting for all fabrics
  • 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 Pick
Reliable Velocity 160IR Steam Iron
  • Auto temperature
  • Continuous steam with no leaks
  • 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 for Commercial Use
Reliable Pro Iron Station
  • Lightweight handheld part
  • 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


Product Reviews

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. We spend hours researching the most functional and best-reviewed products on the market. Specifically, we investigated each product’s effectiveness, tank capacity, ironing time, steam pressure, and whether it had manual control.

These are our recommendations for the best steam generator irons!

1. Rowenta 400-Holes Fast Heat Up Steam Station

Best Professional Steam Generator Iron

If you use an iron in your profession, this Rowenta model is one to consider. Professionals love it because it works both horizontally and vertically. This allows you to steam and iron curtains, blankets, mattresses, pet beds, and more.

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

It has up to three times more steam than a regular steam iron. The 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.

Pros

  • 400 microsteam holes.
  • Durable stainless steel soleplate.
  • Has built-in calc collector.
  • You can use regular tap water.
  • 430 grams of steam per minute.
  • Great for ironing professionally and crafting.

Cons

  • Might spit and leak water after a few months.
  • Not the most durable product.
  • Very expensive.

Product 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 VR83421U1 Compact Steam Station

Best With Removable Water Tank

How delightful does interrupted ironing sound? No trips to the sink after only a few garments; no running out of steam in the middle of ironing a suit. Thanks to this Rowenta model, you don’t have to run to the sink every few minutes to refill the water tank.

This iron holds a whopping 1.7 liters of water, which can significantly cut down your trips to the sink. Enjoy more seamless iron with far fewer creases and interruptions!

Plus, the water tank is removable, so when you do need to refill it, it’s easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! Another reason we love this is the astounding 6.5 bar pump pressure and 350 grams per minute of steam.

Pros

  • 400-hole stainless steel soleplate for even and efficient steam.
  • Removable water tank of 1.7 liters.
  • Compact frame makes it easy to transport.
  • Powerful at 6.5 bars pump pressure and 350 grams per minute.

Cons

  • Expensive price point.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity 1.7 liters
Ironing Time Not specified
Steam Pressure 350 grams per minute
Temperature Control Manual
Weight 8.82 pounds

3. Laurastar Lift Plus Steam Iron

Best 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 will effectively zap away those creases and wrinkles. 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.

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.
  • You can iron horizontally or vertically.
  • 10-minute auto shut-off mode included.

Cons

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

Product 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 for Travelling

If you move around a lot for work or leisure, you need a steam generator iron for traveling. 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 generous, with a 240 mL capacity, allowing for 14 to 16 minutes of ironing before it needs to be refilled.

Weighing only 1.7 pounds, this iron’s weight makes it perfect for traveling — pop it in your suitcase, and off you go!

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Suitable for any fabric.
  • 9-feet cord gives you flexibility.
  • Sanitizes and de-wrinkles.
  • Provides 15 minutes of continuous steam.
  • Suitable for most fabric, including delicates.

Cons

  • For upright usage only.
  • Use with extra caution to prevent burns.
  • It’s not as effective or quick as a proper iron.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity 250 ml
Ironing Time 15 minutes
Steam Pressure N/A
Temperature Control N/A
Weight 1.7 pounds

5. Reliable Maven 125IS Steam Iron

Most Compact

The Reliable Maven 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. It does have a large water tank of one liter, but it celebrates a more compact design.

In terms of ironing, you will get excellent results with the Maven 125IS. It has a high-pressure steam generator at a whopping six bars. If you struggle with stubborn wrinkles, this iron is one to consider.

We also love this one because of how it handles all fabrics with its eco mode. Say goodbye to huge creases and never-fading wrinkles!

This product also has a locking system for easy portability to help with storage. Plus, it has a generous 60-inch steam hose and a 10-minute auto-shut-off safety feature.

Pros

  • Compact design at 13 by eight by 9.5 inches.
  • Removable water tank for easy refilling.
  • Good for all fabrics with its eco mode.
  • Quick heat-up time of 30 seconds.
  • Ceramic soleplate ensures easy gliding and even heat distribution.
  • Four temperature settings to choose from.

Cons

  • You can’t sit it on its heel; it can only be placed on the platform.
  • It’s easy to accidentally change the temperature settings.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity 1 liter
Ironing Time Not specified
Steam Pressure 6 bars
Temperature Control Digital
Weight 8.84 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 of 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 allow two hours of ironing without refilling. Amazing!

The OptimalTEMP technology means you don’t have to play around with temperature settings. No more waiting for the temperature to change between fabrics. And 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. and refill.
  • OptimalTEMP technology sets the temperature for you.
  • High-pressure steam at 7.5 bars.
  • Two-hour ironing time between refills.
  • Heats up in two minutes.
  • Doesn’t burn or leave a shine on clothes.

Cons

  • Can be noisy.
  • Larger ironing board required.
  • Expensive price point.
  • Not suitable for crafting since you can’t manually choose temperature.

Product 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 240IR Generator Steam Iron

Most Reliable Iron

It’s a huge bonus when the steam generator can tackle both delicate and heavy fabrics without damaging your clothes. The Velocity 240IR from Reliable holds true to its brand; it’s indeed reliable for combatting wrinkles with little effort from you.

Save time in your ironing routine by pressing clothes once and obtaining the desired results quickly. It works by flushing more than enough steam to effectively remove wrinkles without starch spray, 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 activates steam when you touch the sensor.
  • Scratch-resistant soleplate protects clothes.
  • Auto setting works for all fabrics.
  • Turbo setting for heavier fabrics.
  • Leak and spit-proof.
  • Eight-minute auto shut-off.

Cons

  • It automatically turns on; to turn off, you have to unplug it.
  • No temperature dial.
  • User manual advises no more than 15 hours per week of usage.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity 0.3 liters
Ironing Time N/A
Steam Pressure N/A
Temperature Control Auto/Turbo
Weight 5.32 pounds

8. Reliable Velocity 160IR Generator Steam Iron

Best Budget Pick

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, a non-stick soleplate, and excellent 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 choice.
  • Auto temperature takes out guesswork for you.
  • Compatible with almost all fabric.
  • Auto shut-off after eight minutes.
  • Continuous steam output on demand with no leaks.
  • Non-stick ceramic soleplate glides easily.

Cons

  • One temperature setting can be limiting.
  • Doesn’t get hot enough for stubborn wrinkles.

Product 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 for Commercial Use

Looking for a commercial-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, making 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 fantastic 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.
  • Great for commercial use.
  • Comfortable cork handle.
  • Pressurized dry steam for fast results.
  • Up to four hours of continuous use.
  • Durable and easy-to-clean aluminum soleplate.

Cons

  • Heavy tank at 18.5 pounds.
  • No visible water tank.
  • Extremely expensive.
  • Can take 15 minutes to heat up.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity 2.5 liters
Ironing Time Up to 4 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 Iron

It can be frustrating to possibly have to get a larger ironing board 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.

This product 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. Using its built-in wheels, you can easily transport this steam generator iron from room to room.

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.
  • You can adjust the height from 30 to 45.5 inches.
  • Easy to transport around the home.

Cons

  • No auto shut-off.
  • Hanger gets knocked off easily.
  • You can’t control the temperature.

Product Specs

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

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Tank Capacity Ironing Time Steam Pressure Temp Control Weight
Rowenta Fast Heat Up Professional Steam Generator Iron 1.09 L Not specified 7.4 bars Manual 14.02 lbs
Rowenta VR83421U1 Compact With Removable Water Tank 1.7 L N/A 350 grams per minute Manual 8.82 lbs
Laurastar Lift Plus For Sewing and Quilting 1 L Not specified 3.5 bars Manual 11 lbs
HiLife Garment Handheld Steamer For Traveling 250 ml 15 min N/A N/A 1.7 lbs
Reliable Maven 125IS Compact 1 L N/A 6 bars Digital 8.84 lbs
Philips PerfectCare Elite GC9650 For Fast Ironing 1.8 L 2 hr 7.5 bar Auto 11.2 lbs
Velocity 240IR Reliable Iron 0.3 L N/A N/A Auto/Turbo 5.32 lbs
Reliable Velocity 160IR Budget Pick 0.3 L 1 hr N/A Auto 4.63 lbs
Reliable Professional Iron Station For Commercial Use 2.5 L 4 hr 3.5 bars None 18.5 lbs
Rowenta Iron and Steamer All in One Iron 1 L 1 hr 5 bars None 32.5 lbs

What is a Steam Generator Iron?

If you’ve never heard of a steam generator iron, prepare for your life to be changed.

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 dampens the fabric, helping you to tackle creases and wrinkles. But you do get relatively low steam pressure, and the reservoir runs out quickly.

On the other hand, a steam generator iron 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, so you can do six times as much ironing before needing to refill the reservoir!

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

On the other hand, a steam generator iron can produce a higher constant steam volume. The ones we recommend average about 120 grams per minute!

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, steam generator irons 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 attached.
  • 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 get in your way.
  • It can be quite 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.

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.

However, pressurized ones have boilers that push the steam out at an even higher pressure. This penetrates deep into the fabric, removing stubborn creases. The pressure level is measured in bars which generally range from five to eight.

So if you want the most effective steam generator iron, we recommend going for a pressurized model with a high-pressure level.

Tank Capacity

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

Something around one liter is best, though we have models ranging up to three liters. If you don’t need all the extra capacity, we also have recommendations with as little as 250ml capacity.

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.

Steam generator irons range from 1.5 pounds up to 35 pounds. On average, you can expect yours to be around 10 pounds. However, it’s the handheld element you will use most, so the overall weight isn’t totally make or break.

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 running back and forth from the tap with a regular steam iron can be.

Most steam generators can last around one hour, but some only last around 10 to 15 minutes. Others can go up to three hours.


How to Descale a Steam Generator Iron

Although many 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 deal with this properly.

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 equal parts water and distilled white vinegar.
  3. Fill: Fill the reservoir to ⅓.
  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.

FAQs

Is It Worth Buying a Steam Generator Iron?

If you want to speed up the ironing process and take the strain out of doing the laundry, then yes. Steam generator irons produce more steam and get through the ironing pile with greater speed. However, they are also more expensive than standard irons.

How Much Is a Steam Generator Iron?

Steam generator irons can cost between $175 and $300, depending on the make, model, and capacity. However, some products can range up to $1000.

How Long Do Steam Generator Irons Last?

Most steam generator irons will last for 10 years. Your iron’s lifespan depends on the make, model, and amount of use it gets. It also depends on the water quality in your area: hard water areas can damage the internal components of the iron.

What Size Steam Generator Iron Do I Need?

The size steam generator iron that you need depends on the amount and frequency of your ironing. If you do a lot of ironing, we recommend something of at least 1.5 liters. If you do a regular amount of ironing, around one liter will suit you.

Why is My Steam Generator Iron Leaking Water?

Your steam generator iron is leaking water for several reasons. It could be condensation, a crack or broken components, or the reservoir is overfilled. Finally, you may live in a hard water area, and the mineral deposits have caused a malfunction.

How Do I Clean My Steam Generator Iron Plate?

There are several methods to clean your steam generator iron plate. You can use salt, white vinegar, baking soda, tin foil, and soapy water. For added cleaning power, try mixing baking soda with vinegar.


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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!