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Review: 3 steam irons - from Tefal, Philips, and Electrolux

PHILIPS AZUR STEAM IRON GC4890
$199, from major electrical stores
Cord length: 2.5m
Water tank capacity: 350ml

DESIGN & EASE OF USE This was the second heaviest iron, but it didn’t make my arm ache. Like the Electrolux, it has a handle that offers a good grip, with easy-to-press buttons, and glided across clothing just fine. What I wasn’t so pleased about: it took the longest (50 seconds) to heat up, and the maximum water level indicator was difficult to make out. 

PERFORMANCE I give props to this iron for having a strong steam boost that flattened out stubborn creases as effortlessly as it did light wrinkles. There were no drips and the steam mist was fine – my shirt and pants were not too wet, and needed just one swipe of the iron to dry out. It glided easily around buttons and across collars. It leaves shirts and pants with a nice, crisp finish.

VERDICT Powerful and efficient, despite being slower to heat up. 
SCORE 8.5/10

ELECTROLUX ERGOSTEAM ESI6123
$129, from major electrical stores
Cord length: 2m
Water tank capacity: 350ml

DESIGN & EASE OF USE Ironing was a breeze, thanks to the lightness of the iron. The handle is comfortable to grip and the buttons for the steam bursts were easy to press and well within reach. It also glided across clothing smoothly and took the shortest time to heat up (40 seconds). 

PERFORMANCE With the weakest steam boost of the lot, it took several tries to straighten out tougher creases although less stubborn creases required just one try. It smoothed wrinkles easily on shirts and pants, and moved around buttons and across collars well.

While it didn’t leak or drip, the steam mist was not as fine as the others, leaving my clothes slightly more moist and requiring more swishes of the iron to dry. Shirts and pants were pressed well, if not quite crisp. 

VERDICT What it lacked in power, it made up for in its efficient design that made ironing less of a chore.  
SCORE 7.5/10

TEFAL STEAM IRON FV9605
$169, at all major electrical stores
Cord length: 2m
Water tank capacity: 350ml

DESIGN & EASE OF USE The heaviest iron in the lineup, this made my arm ache after ironing three items in a row. It heated up relatively quickly (45 seconds) and glided across clothing well. My main gripe is the awkward positioning of the steam mist button, which sits just under the handle, making it tricky to hold the handle without accidentally pressing on the steam mist button. 

PERFORMANCE Boasting the strongest steam boost to boast of, it was a cinch removing creases and wrinkles on shirts and pants. While the steam mist was not as fine as the Philips, the spray dampened shirts and pants adequately and it took just a few swipes of the iron for them to dry.

It also slid around buttons and collars smoothly. The iron left bits of lint on my clothes, which, according to the Tefal trainer, are the micro fibres that the iron takes in during ironing being flushed out. 

VERDICT A powerful and competent iron, if only it was lighter and came with a more well-placed steam mist button.
SCORE 7/10

This article was originally published in Simply Her May 2015.

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