Steam irons are meant to smooth out every crease and wrinkle. To see which one did the job best, HO PEI YING worked her way through a pile of laundry.
PHILIPS AZUR PERFORMER STEAM IRON GC3811/70
$139, from major electrical and department stores Weight: 1.4kg; Cord length: 2m; Water tank capacity: 300ml.
While the others had the Steam Boost button at the top of the handle, this one had it beneath, making it easier to reach. It also had an energysaving Eco setting for not-too-wrinkled clothes that don’t need much steam. I liked that the ironing plate had the sharpest tip of the lot, allowing me to easily iron around buttons. What I did not like: the compact handle didn’t offer a comfortable grip.
The soleplate was smooth and glided easily over fabrics. However, as steam production was automatic, I couldn’t control how much steam to use. And I found it bothersome to always have to use the Steam Boost function to work on the many stubborn creases in my clothes. Also, there were residual drips of water during ironing, which I had to take extra time to iron dry.
The smooth ironing plate and pointed tip got rid of wrinkles easily, but I wish it had more steam settings to choose from. 8
BRAUN TEXSTYLE 7 STEAM IRON TS 775 TP
$179, from major electrical and department stores Weight: 1.4kg; Cord length: 2.5m; Water tank capacity: 400ml.
It was heavy but had the most comfortable and ergnomical grip of the three irons. The handle had a slight arc that curved nicely into my palm, so I didn’t feel the weight at all. My only gripe: the opening of the water tank. It was so small, filling it was difficult.
This had the smoothest soleplate. The textile protector, an additional metal piece that clicked into place under the soleplate, created an even smoother glide. Actually for more delicate fabrics, I found the protector useful on denim, too. Working around buttons and zippers was also easy. The iron produced quite a bit of steam, even without the Steam Boost function, and the consistent output straightened out the deepest of wrinkles after a few glides.
This truly made ironing less of a chore. 9
BOSCH STEAM IRON SENSIXX'X DA20 TDA2060GB
$139, from major electrical and department stores Weight: 1kg; Cord length: 3m; Water tank capacity: 300ml.
This heated up the fastest – just 20 seconds – and was the lightest. But, because it was so light, I had to use more strength to smooth out resistant creases. The tip also wasn’t as pointed as the Braun or Philips models, making it harder to get around buttons and zippers. And it wasn’t clear what the steam settings – 0, 1 and 2 – meant.
The ironing plate was the stiffest of the three. Creases on my cotton dress disappeared after three to five glides, but the stubborn wrinkles on my linen shirt took a while to flatten out. And it did not help that the Steam Boost function didn’t emit a lot of steam.
Best for easy to press fabrics like cotton. 7.5