Steam Generator Iron vs. Steam Iron [Explained!]

You may not manage time to iron clothes regularly. Sometimes, steam iron may not satisfy you. So, what should you do? Obviously, you can buy a steam generator iron.  

Is steam generator iron better than steam iron? Steam generator iron is better than steam iron as it-

  • Lasts longer.
  • Works better with heavier and delicate fabrics.
  • Easily removes bad smells and wrinkles.
  • Saves you from burden.
  • Produces higher amount of heat and steam.
  • Offers professional results.

Hence, read this article to understand the differences, pros, and cons of a steam generator and regular iron.

Steam Generator Iron vs Steam Iron

Steam generator iron is nothing but an improvisation of a traditional steam iron. This iron has a separate water tank, a boiler, and a pump. The water reservoir can easily hold around 2 liter of water. Because of that, you can quickly steam a lot of clothes over a short time.

In contrast, steam iron has a smaller water tank and generate a limited amount of steam. So, it takes more time to polish garments. Moreover, steam irons can’t work better on  synthetic fabrics like polyester, acetate, and acrylic. 

Therefore, steam generator iron is better than steam iron. 

So, do you want to know more? Then, read the whole article.

Steam Generator Iron 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • A little bit expensive.
  • Storage may be a problem.
  • Requires more time to heat up.
  • Unusual size.
  • May create noise during use.
  • Using may be tough without ironing board.
  • Hose connecting base with iron may bother you.

When Steam Generator Iron is Better?

First of all, this generator iron is suitable for professional use. If you’re looking for an iron to use at hotels or motels, pick it. You can use it hours after hours without worrying about the performance. It can restlessly smooth any dress.

If you iron a lot of clothes more frequently, generator iron may suit you perfectly. However, it isn’t portable because of the bulky base. That’s why travelers might hate it.

Moreover, its vertical steaming feature is very robust. Resultantly, polishing thicker garments will be much easier. So, if you’re a big fan of cotton and wool, buy it.

Lastly, if you don’t have a storage and budget problem, go with it. Otherwise, pick a tiny steam iron

Steam Iron

Steam iron in action.
Steam iron polishes garments effectively.

Steam iron is somewhat different from its sister- dry iron. Unlike dry iron, it uses water to produce steam. Generally, steam iron has outstanding soleplate, steam output, steam burst, and vertical steaming. It also has auto off, anti-calcium, and anti-scale features. 

If you compare steam irons with dry irons, steam iron is the best. Its robust features can impress you easily. Removing wrinkles with it may be fun. You won’t feel any pressure. 

Because of its versatility, you can use it as dry iron too. That’s why it is the perfect tool to finish any garment. 

When Steam Iron is Better?

Sometimes you may search for an iron for personal and home use, steam iron is the optimal choice. Its steam output works smoothly on stubborn creases. It never damages the smoothness of garments. 

If you travel a lot, stick with it . This iron can be placed easily in your hand luggage. So, you don’t need to worry about poor state of garments during trips. 

If you want more portability, never worry. This iron can impress you easily. Nowadays, this iron may have different cord options. Like-

  • Cordless
  • Retractable cord
  • Swivel cord

Comparison Between Steam Generator And Steam Iron

Water Tank

Usually, tank capacities of steam generator irons vary from 1.3L to 2.2L. In contrast, traditional steam irons can hold around 320 to 500 ml of water. Giant tank sizes of generator iron allow users to iron for approximately 90 minutes without a break.

Now, observe the following tables to understand how the water reservoir varies among these two irons.

Steam generator iron Tank size(L)
Philips 1.8
Morphy Richards  2.2
BrevillePressXpress 1.7
Russell Hobbs 1.3

Steam iron Tank size(L)
Philips .320
Moosoo .470
Dcenta .320
Electrolux .414

Remember, if you hate water refilling constantly after every 10 or 15 minutes, steam generator iron is probably the best choice for you.

Steam Pressure and Output

Steaming is one of the most efficient ways to treat fabrics. Steam pressure and output of steam generator irons may impress you. With such a handy feature, vertical steaming of drapes, curtains, and hanging garments becomes easier.

The higher the steam pressure and output, the quicker the ironing. Generally, steam output is measured in grams. Any measure over 50 gm. per minutes is considered as a high output for steam iron. 

In contrast, steam pressure and output are measured in bars and gm per minute for generator iron. Any output with more than 6 bars of pressure and 120g-160g per minute of production is considered highly efficient.

Size and Weight

Generally, the size and weight of steam generator irons are greater than traditional irons. Therefore, if you want to buy a generator iron, never forget this issue.

To better understand, look carefully at the following tables.

Steam generator iron Weight(without packaging)(kg)
Philips 5.9
Morphy Richards  4.9
BrevillePressXpress 4.07
Russell Hobbs 4.7

Steam iron Weight(without packaging)(kg)
Philips 1.25
Moosoo 1.32
Dcenta 1.20
Electrolux 2.11

Price

Price of a generator steam iron is comparatively higher. For example, Philips Perfect Care steam generator iron costs over $400. However, price of a Philips steam iron varies from $40 to $100.

Therefore, if you are an occasional user, never hesitate to buy a steam iron. Steam generator is okay only for frequent and professional users. 

Performance

With a steam generator iron, you can iron for more than an hour continuously. However, it’s totally impossible for regular steam irons. Moreover, you need to refill the water tank after every 30 or 40 minutes.

Most importantly, steam output of generator iron is more powerful than steam irons. So, if you observe too much creases on dresses, use a generator iron.

Noise Level

Steam generator iron may create noise during ironing. But, this noise is never going to irritate you. However, if it bothers you, choose a steam iron. 

By the way, my wife bought a steam generator iron. She loves to sew a lot. Sometimes she polishes garments with it. Surprisingly, it doesn’t even disturb my sleeping baby!

Therefore, don’t worry about the noise at all. If you’re curious, just check the noise level before buying it.

Storage

Storage of generator iron may be a problem. Its 6 feet long cord can be a headache too. Without a wider ironing board, you can’t operate it. Whereas, storing steam iron is super easy. You can easily keep it in your closet.

Hence, if you live in a tiny apartment, steam iron is the best buy.

Vertical Steaming

garment steamer on a fabric
If you use a steam generator iron, don’t buy a garment steamer.

Vertical steaming allows users to iron drapes and hanging garments comfortably. Both of these irons can produce greater amount of steam. However, generator iron stays ahead of steam iron because of its powerful steam boost.

So, look at your apartment. If you’re a big fan of fancy drapes like my wife, pick steam generator iron.

When you have a powerful steam generator iron, you don’t need to buy a garment steamer. Bingo! 

Heating Time

Steam generator iron over an ironing board.
Steam generator irons heat up quickly than steam irons.

Steam iron requires only 40 to 50 seconds to heat up. So, you can start ironing just after turning it on.

On the other hand, steam generator iron has a larger water tank. It may contain more than two litters of water. As a result, you have to wait around two to three minutes before ironing.

Descaling

Both steam generators and regular steam iron use water to function. When water is hard, you may notice a white residue to build up. Over time, it may diminish the efficiency of iron and put stains on your clothes.

Therefore, descale your iron regularly according to the instruction manual. Anti-scale feature is almost similar in these two types of irons. In some models, you may observe limescale collector at the back of your iron. Clean this collector properly. 

As both irons are pretty advanced in this area, it’s a win-win situation for both!

Feature Comparison Table

Features Steam Generator Iron Steam Iron
Water Tank Larger Built-in and small
Steam Pressure Pretty high Comparatively lower
Size and Weight Heavy Light-weight
Price Expensive Cheap
Performance Impressive Comparatively better
Noise level Noisy Quiet
Storage Problematic Simple
Heating time Requires more time Requires less time

What To Look For When Buying a Steam Generator Iron?

Higher Wattage

The power of iron is measured in watt. Irons with higher wattage can iron clothes quickly and efficiently. So, always check the wattage.

Search for models that use around 3000 watts of power. However, these irons consume more electricity. So, if your utility bill is high next month, don’t blame me!

Larger Water Tank

It is better to buy irons with larger water tank. So, pick one with around 2 liter of water capacity.

A larger water tank means you can iron for hours continuously. Thus, it’ll save a lot of time and allow you to enjoy moments after ironing.

Soleplate

Most steam irons use ceramic soleplate as it glides smoothly over fabrics. However, some other brands may prefer stainless steel. It never leaves marks on clothes, provided that you iron carefully. 

Most importantly, choose soleplate with more steam vents. More vents around the border ensure the perfect steam distribution. In such cases, vertical steaming will be more powerful.

Steam Settings and Boost

Pick irons with powerful steam boost. Steam boost is measured in gm. per minute. Any output over 120 gm per minute can suit you perfectly. 

So, treating synthetic fabrics like polyester, acrylic, and acetate will be easy for you. So, be a fan of polyester like me and look gorgeous!

Performance

Lastly, never compromise with the performance of a generator iron. You may follow reviews of an  item on the internet before buying it. If most users admit that this iron can remove wrinkles from any garment, you may stick to it. Otherwise, search further to find the best product.

Anti Scale and Auto off features

Performance of an iron may be compromised if it isn’t cleaned properly. So, search for an iron with powerful anti scale system. If this system is robust, you won’t observe clogging in steam vents.

Another crucial feature is auto off. If generator iron doesn’t come up with auto off features, if may be dangerous for your children and dogs. 

Therefore, always check the effectiveness of auto off and anti scale features of your iron. 

Are cheap steam generator irons worth the money?

Most generator irons in the market are little bit costly. So, you might require to spend more money in this case. That’s why you may be tempted to buy cheap steam generator iron.

Do they work fine? Sadly not. I’ve tested some irons in the past and had a very bad experience. Especially the steam output bothered me a lot. So, stay away from those irons.

If you are on a tight budget, buy a powerful steam iron. There are many jaw dropping irons in the market. You can pick Rowenta irons as they are the most popular ironing brand in the US. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Steam Generator Iron Worth the Money?

Yeah, steam generator iron may save you from a lot of trouble. It can reduce the regular ironing time and quickly transform untidy clothes into tidy ones. It has other positive sides too. Take a look-

  • It can process larger garments easily.
  • Remove wrinkles from all fabrics.
  • Never damage fabrics. Just wet them a bit before ironing.
  • Ironing a larger amount of dresses is super easy.
  • Ironing will be fun with this powerful iron.
  • Removes bad odors and stains easily.

Working with steam generator iron may be critical. Some complains about its bulky size and disturbing cable. You might feel comfortable when you use wide ironing boards. However, you may adjust yourself after ironing for few days.

What watt iron is good?

Watt represents the power of an iron. Irons with high watt can polish garments more quickly. So, buy iron with high wattage.

If you buy irons with less power, you need to wait a while for irons to heat up properly. It may bore you if you’re in a hurry. Moreover, powerful irons can help you when you travel.

Therefore, always check watt before buying it. Checking watt is super easy. Just take a look at the box of your iron and you’ll find it.

Packaging box of an iron
Watt is mentioned in the bottom right corner of packaging box.

Can you steam instead of iron?

Obviously, you can steam clothes instead of ironing. Interestingly, steaming is perfect for almost all fabrics like-

  • Wool
  • Cotton
  • Synthetic
  • Cashmere
  • Muslin
  • Silk

However, don’t apply steam on plastic, leather, and suede fabrics. 

Moreover, 

    • Steaming is faster.
    • It is convenient for most situations.
    • Can remove wrinkles from all garments.
    • In most cases, steaming doesn’t hurt fabrics.

So,  steaming is a great alternative for ironing. While travelling, you can carry a travel steam iron or a handheld steamer for steaming clothes. However,

  • You shouldn’t apply steam on clothes while wearing them.
  • Steam garments from top to bottom.
  • Don’t steam on a specific spot for longer duration.

Decision Time

Now, you need to decide which iron you need to buy. First of all, determine if you are a professional user or not. If the answer is yes, stick with steam generator irons. It has impressive steam output, larger water tank, and higher efficiency. 

However, its high price may be a big problem for you. But, never forget that it lasts longer. Therefore, buy a steam generator.

Good luck!

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