1. Different steam features
Whether you opt for a traditional iron or a steam station, there are several different steam features specifically designed for certain clothes types.
Best used for suits, dresses and delicate materials. This feature can also remove wrinkles from curtains without taking them down.
Stubborn creases can be removed with an additional burst of steam.
Some irons also come with a water spray feature to further help with deep creases.
2. Different types of soleplates
The soleplate is the ‘face’ of the iron that glides across the fabric when ironing.
There are several different types to choose from:
- Aluminium: Good conductor of heat, but scratches easily and can be hard to clean
- Non-stick: Glides better, although still prone to scratches
- Stainless steel: Good movement and hard-wearing
- Palladium: Moves across fabric better than aluminium, but scratches easily
- Ceramic: Smooth action, easy to clean and durable
3. Water Capacity
How much water the iron can hold may be important if you regularly deal with big piles of clothes.
The larger the capacity, the longer you can continue ironing before a refill is required.
Steam stations have a detachable water tank that many people find more convenient than topping up the iron itself under the tap.
4. Heat Settings
Traditional irons will have a number of heat settings for different fabrics, whether it’s cotton, nylon, silk or many others.
However, those looking to buy clothes steamers may benefit from the increased pressure and wattage offered by steam stations.
A typical non-pressurised steam station can produce as much as double the steam of a normal iron, while a pressurised model adds up to five bars of pressure for quicker and easier ironing.
5. Size vs Portability
While steam stations make ironing tasks much faster, the whole unit can be quite heavy to transport.
If you are looking for a device to travel with, you might find a traditional steam iron is the better option.
6. Additional Features
Here are some of the common features you find on modern irons:
- Anti-scale soleplates
- Anti-drip systems for delicate clothes
- Automatic shut-off for safety
- Narrow tip for reaching awkward places
- Steam brush – steam stations may come with additional brush for curtains and already worn clothes