Test results for 12 new models of irons, priced from $14 to $140.
In this test our testers, Peter Horvath and Narelle Cornelius, look at:
- ease of use (handle comfort, ease of filling the water tank and moving it, adjusting the temperature, and the effectiveness of the steam and spray functions)
- performance on a variety of fabrics (organza, silk, wool, cotton shirts, denim jeans and linen)
To iron or not to iron
Here’s a statement you’ll never hear: “I love ironing!” OK, maybe some people enjoy it – perhaps as a meditative exercise – but for most it’s a chore. However, it’s often necessary, unless you’re prepared to pay a laundry service to do the job for you, and even the most ardent ironing hater will admit there’s a certain pleasure in putting on crisply pressed clothes.
Traditional irons still dominate the market and if you’re not keen on ironing and don’t want to spend a lot, this type is for you. Your iron should be able to:
- Reliably control the soleplate temperature to handle different fabrics
- Produce a useful amount of steam without dribbling or sputtering water and
- Glide effortlessly over your garments.
You’ll need a low temperature for synthetics and silk and high temperature for cotton and linen. Automatic shut-off is a useful safety feature that will turn off the iron after a certain amount of time should you forget to turn it off yourself.
One of these newly tested irons is an Aldi special, the Lumina Signature 4248. It will go on sale on the 12th of July, 2012 and retails for $50.
- Most irons are very good at ironing cotton shirts and excellent for denim jeans, but there was a range of good and bad performers across the other fabrics.
- You don't have to over $100 on an iron - one of the top scorers in our test, retails for $70.
For more information on Laundry and cleaning, see Household.
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Newly tested models
- Aldi Lumina Signature 4248
- Chief CFI270
- Kambrook Speedsteam KI480
- Morphy Richards Comfigrip 40857
- Panasonic 360° Quick NI-W410TS
- Panasonic 360° Quick NI-W810CS
- Philips PowerLife GC2960
- Russell Hobbs Turbo Steam Iron RHC925
- Sunbeam Pro Steam SR4100
- Sunbeam Verve 65 Platinum SR6550
- Tefal Aquaspeed Autoclean FV5355
- Tefal Primaglide FV2530
Previously tested models
- Abode ETA-17A2 (A)
- Homemaker KB-166A2
- Kambrook SpeedSteam KI460KM (A)
- Kambrook Steamline KI730
- Philips GC2860 (A)
- Philips GC4420 (A)
- Russell Hobbs RHC903 (A)
- Sunbeam Verve 62 Platinum SR6200 (A)
- Sunbeam Verve 68 Resilium SR6800
- Tefal Aquaspeed Autoclean 275 FV5275 (A)
- Tefal Primaglide 31 FV2231 (A)
How we test
Performance Our testers, Peter Horvath and Narelle Cornelius, test every iron on all its temperature settings, from coolest to hottest, using a range of fabrics (synthetic organza, silk, wool, cotton shirt, denim jeans and linen). They assess how effective the iron is at removing creases; models that remove creases quickly without needing the water spray score best. Models that take several passes to remove creases or that need the water spray score lower, while models that leave creases or leak water score lowest.
Ease of use They assess the irons for ease of filling the water tank (including how easy it is to see the water level); how comfortable the iron is to hold; ease of moving the iron over various fabrics; using the steam and spray functions; adjusting the temperature; and convenience of the cord.
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