The best steam generator iron produces a steady flow of powerful, uninterrupted steam, without needing to be refilled. The increased steam output gets the ironing job done in half the time.
Building up the resolve to tackle your weekly ironing can be challenging enough without having to continuously pause… and top up a tiny water tank. Steam is the magic ingredient that vaporizes creases and wrinkles, and for those of you with big steam ironing needs, we get your frustration.
Steam Generator irons are a game-changer, holding 40, 50 and even 60 ounces of water. That translates into over an hour of uninterrupted steam ironing. They’re a new generation of steam iron and these are the reasons we love them, and undoubtedly, you will too.
1. Rowenta DG8520 Pro Steam Iron Station
The Rowenta DG8520 generates 5 bars of pressure that creates a steam output of 80 grams per minute and the 47 ounce water tank offers up to 90 minutes of uninterrupted ironing. Additionally, it has an eco-mode which reduces power usage and steam output for when you need less steam force. It’s ideal for professional use as it has no auto shut-off feature so you can iron for as long as you need without unscheduled pauses. Full Review.
- Large 47 ounce water capacity
- Energy-saving settings
- Removable water tank
- A little noisy when the pump builds steam pressure
- No auto-off safety feature
2. Rowenta DG7530 Compact Steam Station
The Rowenta DG7530 is the best budget option. Compared to the above Rowenta DG8520, it is slightly smaller but has the added benefit of an auto-off feature for improved safety in the home. The water tank is 7 ounces smaller but still delivers the same steam output and around 90 minutes of ironing before needing to be topped-up. Full Review
- Excellent value for money
- Compact 40-ounce water tank
- Eco power-saving mode
- Slightly noisy when building steam pressure
3. Dupray Steam Generator Iron
The 1750 watt Dupray Steam Iron has a unique aluminum soleplate compared to the usual stainless steel and it produces 60 minutes of uninterrupted steam ironing per tank. Made in Europe, it is one of the most attractive designs with a heat-safe, natural cork handle. It produces a constant and powerful steam output from its 3.5 bar pressure system.
- 120 grams per minute steam output
- 40.6 ounce water capacity
- Built-in anti-scale system
- Not the best build quality
4. Hamilton Beach 19573
The Hamilton Beach has the largest water capacity of any of the steam generator irons we’ve review. Originally designed for laundry services, this machine is now available for home use where you get to benefit from its 5 bars of high powered steam pressure that speeds up the ironing process significantly. Like the Rowentas, it also has an energy-saving mode. Full Review
- XL 60 Ounce water capacity
- Economy mode saves water and power
- Durathon non-stick soleplate that’s ultra-durable and scratch-resistant.
- Frustratingly short auto-off feature
- Steam cord could be longer
5. Braun CareStyle Steam Generator (Not for Use in the US)
The Braun CareStyle is ideal for beginners who don’t want to risk burning clothes or hassle with changing heat settings. The iCare technology does all the thinking for you. Additionally, anti-drip technology controls steam output to ensure you never have spitting or dripping. It also has a cleverly designed base plate that allows you to slide both backward and forwards without snagging or creating creases.
- 120 grams per minute regular steam
- 330 grams per minute steam burst
- Heats up in two minutes
- 67 Ounce water capacity
- 5.5 Bars of steam pressure
- No temperature control
- Not ideal for cotton and heavier fabrics
- A bit noisy
Steam Generator Iron Buying Guide
What is an Ironing Station / Steam Generator
It’s an iron with a separate water tank on the side. The machine also uses a pump to generate steam pressure so the steam power is much stronger and more effective at removing creases. The larger tank means the iron itself is lighter and you only have to refill the water tank after ah hour or more of ironing.
If you are upgrading from a conventional steam iron to a steam generating iron station, here are the top features you should consider when choosing the right product. And if you’re still not convinced after reading this article, check out our home page for more steam iron reviews to see how the two compare.
Largest Water Capacity
The Hamilton Beach is the iron to beat in this category with an impressively large 60-ounce water capacity. Like the Rowenta’s, it also has an Eco mode which will save both energy and water consumption.
The larger the water capacity of your steam generator iron, the longer your ironing session will last and the sooner you’ll be done with your ironing.
A detachable water canister makes refilling a lot easier as you can simply carry it over to the kitchen or bathroom sink to fill.
Best Cheap Steam Iron Choice
Our number 2 choice, the Rowenta DG7530 is the most affordable but followed very closely by the Hamilton Beach which also offers a 20 ounces larger water capacity and an extra bar of pressure. This makes the Hamilton beach our winner here as for a tiny bit more spend, you get a lot more machine.
Bar Pressure and Continuous High Power Steam Generation
Bar pressure is another key feature when comparing one product to the next. The higher the bar rating, the higher the steam pressure the machine will generate.
It’s the constant flow of high-pressure steam that makes ironing faster and more effective as it easily penetrates thick layers and deep creases.
At the press of a button, you should have uninterrupted, high powered steam vaporizing your ironing pile in record time. This superior steam output brings a high standard of steam ironing to your home or business.
All steam iron generators have the option to use the iron for dry ironing too.
Even Steam Distribution
Select a steam iron generator with a soleplate that evenly distributes steam over the fabric as you are ironing. An even steam application means all areas under the surface of the iron are steam treated. This results in the efficient removal of wrinkles and lines in your garments.
The even and powerful steam production makes it very effective for vertical steaming of drapes, curtains, and hanging garments.
Stainless Steel Soleplate & Precision Tip
Stainless Steel soleplates have unparalleled glide over fabrics and should anything stick or burn on its surface, it is easy to clean. A narrowing our pointed precision tip allows you better maneuverability around clothing details.
Stainless Steel soleplates are preferable when compared to coated ironing plates as these can become damaged if burnt or scorched and cleaning often results in the coating being damaged. This can ultimately cause snagging on fabrics and also creates an uneven heat on the iron and the risk of further scorching.
Anti-Calc Cleaning Feature
An anti-calcium or anti-scale system will help prolong the life of your iron. With a steam generator iron, especially one that’s used frequently, this buildup is inevitable so this added feature is an excellent benefit.
Mineral buildup in a steam iron is generally the cause of iron aging and their eventual breakdown. There are ways to avoid this by cleaning your iron as the user manual recommends or by using distilled water.
Safety Auto-Off System
Only the compact Rowenta DG7530 has an 8-minute auto shut-off and powers down in 30 seconds if the iron falls or is left face down on any surface.
If you’re concerned that you may forget your iron on or it’s at risk of falling, invest in a machine that will offer you peace of mind. Should the iron accidentally fall or be left on, it will automatically switch off to avoid any risk of overheating or even fire. This is a key feature in homes with children where curious fingers tug and pull at almost anything.
A carry lock is also helpful to avoid the iron falling from its base when moving it around or storing it away.
Quilters and sewers prefer a steam iron that does not power down and can be left on for extended periods. In this case, the safety shutoff is not missed.
Consider the weight of the actual iron. If you plan to iron for longer periods, wielding a heavy iron will tire you faster. The length of the power cord, as well as the steam hose, should be long enough to allow you to move freely without snagging.
The angled resting position on the base unit also makes it so easy to place the iron down comfortably. You’ll find this a lot gentler on your wrist.
The ironing board you use should be large and stable enough to accommodate the machine. If can even be placed out the way on a linen rack.
Quick Heating Time
Most machines reach full heat and are steam ready in about 2 and 3 minutes.
Customer Support and Warranty
The Hamilton Beach comes with a 3 year limited warranty where all the other products we reviewed have a single year of cover.
A manufacturer’s warranty ensures you have support should you face any issues with your product. Replacement parts should be readily available so you can maintain your machine and keep it in perfect working order.
Why Buy a Steam Generator Iron Over a Traditional Iron?
Yes, you’ll be spending more when investing in a steam generator iron, but don’t make the mistake of comparing these machines to a traditional iron.
Here are the benefits of choosing a steam generator iron over a conventional steam iron for business and home use.
- They have the added benefit of increasing the time you are able to iron before having to top-up the water tank. An average iron holds about 10 ounces of water there a steam generator iron hold 40-60 ounces.
- Well suited for large ironing loads.
- Pressurized steam produces a much more powerful steam cloud which removes wrinkles faster.
- Steam generator irons are more effective at vertical steaming because of the higher steam output.
- The fact that the water is stored in the base and not the iron itself makes sliding the iron around light work.
(On average, the handle and soleplate weigh less than 2 pounds.)
- It is safe and sturdy resting on its base compared to standard irons that need to balance on their heel.
- Saves you money. It does a great job on drapes and can be used to refresh-up garments that you’d ordinarily have to dry clean.
For a more detailed look into the benefits, check out our in-depth comparison Steam Generator Iron vs Steam Iron where we compare two Rowenta products back to back.
Tips for Using Your Pressurised Steaming Iron
Use a Suitable Ironing Board
- Ensure you have a sturdy, large ironing board or surface that can handle the weight of your machine.
- Your ironing board cover should ideally be breathable or perforated to allow for the steam to pass through the fabric of your garment.
Enjoy Effective Vertical Steam Functionality
- This function can be used to steam hanging garments and drapes. Set the steam iron to its maximum heat setting.
- With one hand, gently pull on the garment to straighten the fabric while applying steam bursts with the other. The steam softens fabric fibers, thus removing wrinkles. Ensure the pressurized steam does not come in direct contact with your skin as it’s hot enough to cause a burn.
Use the Correct Water
- Most steam generator irons are designed to use ordinary tap water. If you know the water in your area to be hard or high in minerals, you can dilute it with distilled water.
- If you use water softeners, read the user manual of your specific machine to ensure it is suitable. Some softeners contain chemicals or salt which can cause your iron to rust. This can age your machine and even damage the clothing by causing brown spots and stains.
Avoid Scratching the Soleplate
- When you are done working with your iron, always place it back in its base or on its heel. Avoid scratching it by ironing over metal zippers of buttons.
- If you accidentally scorch or burn a material that sticks to the base of the iron, clean it as the manufacturer recommends.
- Never use an abrasive detergent or scrubbing brush as this could damage the plate and could cause the steam ducts to be clogged.
- Scratches may snag delicate fabrics and result in the soleplate having to be replaced.
- Most iron cleaners will require you to clean the soleplate while it is hot. After it has cooled, clean off any remaining cleaning products with a damp cloth. Check out this link for how to clean an iron.
Higher Steam Output Helps Prevent Fabric Shine
- You are less likely to create shine with a steam generator iron because the improved steam production handles wrinkle fast and reduces the amount of time you expose clothing to the hot soleplate.
- For delicate fabrics, use a clean dishcloth as a barrier between the garment and the iron. The ironing cloth will take the brunt of the heat but it will also allow the steam to penetrate through to the clothing.
- Start with a lower temperature setting if you’re concerned you may scorch or burn a fabric you haven’t worked with before.
- When ironing a mixed pile of laundry, irons delicate items first when your iron is not at its hottest.
- Iron darker garments inside-out. Darker fabrics tend to shine much easier.
Check out this link for a detailed look into why it occurs and how to stop ironing shine.
Keep Your Machine Clean
- Use the machines Anti-Scale feature as an indication of when it needs to be cleaned.
- Remove the limescale rod from the element as indicated in your user manual and rinse.
- Rinse the boiler every 10 uses or so to avoid hard water or mineral buildup. In areas with particularly hard water, you may need to do this more often.
- Wipe down the machine’s plastic parts using a damp cloth.