How To Choose An Iron?
First important criterion: central steam or iron?
We tend to confuse the two! And yet, everyone has different technical characteristics and do not have the same use.
The steam plant
Rather dedicated to mass ironing or professional use , the steam generator is known to be a powerful tool and offers many more features than an iron. You will prefer a steam generator if you have to reapply large quantities of laundry.
Rather dedicated to occasional or occasional ironing in small spaces. Prefer the iron for a small amount of laundry, although more and more irons offer capabilities similar to those of steam plants, entry level. There are 3 types:
- The steam iron: the most common, connected to a tank and steaming your clothes by the production of steam.
- The cordless iron: traditionally associated with its base, this iron offers a great freedom of movement.
- The dry iron: the particularity of this iron is that it works without generating any steam. It is thus mainly recommended for extra ironing or traveling.
Second important criterion: the flow of steam and the pressure
- This is logical, the higher the flow of steam, the more you will be nice and easy to iron. It is traditionally located between 12g / min for the lowest flow and 80g / min for irons with pressing option, very useful for ironing heavy and thick fabrics such as duvets, sheets, curtains …
- In the same vein, you will need to rely on an iron with a pressure of at least 3.5 bars to effectively iron heavy fabrics, which folds or a single pass on both sides of your laundry. However, the pressure is usually between 20g / min and 50g / min and it is generally possible to adjust the steam flow that you want depending on the fabric to iron.
- You must be careful to adjust the pressure according to the fabric so as not to under-iron with too low flow or soak with too high a flow, so favor an iron with automatic steam control option.
Third important criterion: the power
The power of ironing is a very important element in your process of buying your iron. Indeed, the power will determine the quality of your ironing and the necessary heating time.
Although the power is between 1200 and 2500 watts, the best quality ironing is obtained with a power between 1400 and 2000 watts. Thus, the higher the power of your iron, the less you have to wait to reach the heating temperature.
The heating time
Before you can use your iron, it is necessary first that the water heats to send steam on your clothes. The heating time depends on the power of your iron or steam plant and will have an impact on your electricity consumption. The longer the heating time, the more you consume.
Fourth important criterion: the capacity
The filling of the tank and its capacity of filling are two important criteria to offer you more maneuverability and autonomy when ironing.
Because some irons and power plants support only demineralized water or a mixture of demineralized water and tap water, you must be very vigilant about the liquid that your device tolerates. Similarly, while some tanks can be filled while they are still hot, others can be refilled only when they are cold, forcing you to wait between filling the tank.
The capacity of the tank
The more your iron or steam plant has a large capacity, the less you have to fill the tank. It will therefore be more convenient to opt for a minimum capacity of 300mL for an iron and 1L for a steam plant.
The more you are in your family, the more you will have to think about going to a steam power station with an autonomy of 1.5L-2L with unlimited autonomy (that is to say without you having to warm up the plant) with a cold water tank that allows you to fill the tank without having to wait for it to cool down.
Fifth important criterion: the sole
The sole is one of the central elements of your iron or steam iron, so you should not neglect it. Weight, material, slides, shape, holes, everything counts.
For a better comfort during the use and if you plan to take it on a trip, the weight is important. Of course, the weight depends on the capacity of the tank and you should ideally turn to a light iron for ease of movement during ironing. Ceramic soles are heavier and less easy to handle than stainless steel or teflon soles.
In order to make your job easier and to make the chore less tiring and tiring, remember to check the capacity and quality of the glide of the sole.
You’ll have the choice of a heavy-duty, hard-wearing ceramic sole that is scratch-resistant and longer-lasting, a lighter, scratch-resistant stainless-steel outsole, and a Teflon sole for comfortable gliding.
The shape of the sole plays a role in the quality of ironing your laundry. Make sure that the tip is sharp enough to sneak into the most difficult to access areas (collars, interiors folds, sleeves, pockets …) and that the back is well rounded to iron without leaving any trace right behind the passage of the iron and thus create unsightly folds.
The gap between the holes, their number, their size also has an impact on the quality and efficiency of your ironing. The more there is, the better because you have a more homogeneous distribution and diffuse steam, but too much could flood your laundry, so beware!
The Autoclean system
The sole “désencrasse” of itself by eliminating as and as the fibers and impurities that stick under the sole and interfere with the good glide iron.
Sixth important criterion: the anti-limescale system
The number one enemy of your iron or steam plant is limestone. To extend the life of your small appliance, make sure that it is equipped with either an anti-scale rod, an integrated anti-scale system, or a self-cleaning system.
The limescale rod
Some models have a stem that collects tartar and just go out regularly and soak in white vinegar before putting it back in place.
The anti-scale system
Located inside the tank, a special resin disintegrates the limestone that would settle there, preventing deposits.
The self-cleaning system
To do about once a month, this system based on a thermal shock in the device gets rid of residue clogging your device.
Seventh important criterion: the price
The price of irons ranges from € 10 for small travel models to € 150 for the most advanced models. The steam plants, they are more expensive … Count between € 50 and € 300 for the limited-use power plant, € 100 and € 500 for those with unlimited autonomy and € 300 and € 600 with the ironing board.
Eighth important criterion: the little ones
Some options and little extras can make the chore a little more pleasant:
This option allows you to straighten your clothes hanging on a hanger, especially convenient for shirts, jackets and curtains or fragile textiles.
The easy cord
This system removes the wire from the iron so that it does not crease your already ironed clothes during your passage.
The hitchhiking functions
After 8 minutes without movement on the heel or 30 seconds flat or on the side, the iron stops itself so as not to burn your clothes in case of emergency or to consume more than necessary if you are head in the air.