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Which Is Better: Iron, Steamer Or Steam Generator (comparative Characteristics By Parameters), Reviews
Which Is Better: Iron, Steamer Or Steam Generator (comparative Characteristics By Parameters), Reviews

Video: Which Is Better: Iron, Steamer Or Steam Generator (comparative Characteristics By Parameters), Reviews

Video: Best Steam Irons 2021 || Top 5 Steam Generator Irons Review 2022, December

Iron, steam generator and steamer - which is better to choose?


Many people have to spend long hours ironing their clothes and linen. The desire to make this process faster and easier has spurred engineers to create several effective devices that can get rid of wrinkles in fabric. Now the most common are three of them: iron, steam generator and steamer. Which of these works best for you? Let's consider the differences between these devices and compare them.


  • 1 Difference between iron, steam generator and steamer
  • 2 Comparison of the iron, steamer and steam generator in different parameters

    • 2.1 Table: comparison of technical characteristics
    • 2.2 Functionality
    • 2.3 Weight, size, portability
    • 2.4 Speed ​​and quality of ironing
    • 2.5 Complexity of use
    • 2.6 Estimated cost
    • 2.7 Table: Pros and Cons of Devices
  • 3 How to choose a device for ironing

Difference between iron, steam generator and steamer

Now in everyday life, three devices are used to smooth fabric:

  • iron. This is the most common ironing device. Its main advantage is its low price. The iron, in contrast to the steam generator and steamer, produces smoothing by thermal action on the fabric. Some models are equipped with a steam supply device, but it plays the role of an addition, and not the main method of ironing;


    The appearance of this device is familiar to everyone

  • steam generator. Outwardly, this device looks like an iron, but it is equipped with a massive station-tank, where water is poured. The steam generator produces a large amount of steam (up to 200 g / min) and thus effectively smoothes even tricky and hard-to-reach creases. This device does not heat up the platform when in use, but the steam temperature can reach 180 degrees;

    Steam iron
    Steam iron

    The main visual difference from the iron is a massive tank that can hold up to three liters of water

  • steamer. This device looks very different from an iron and a steam generator and looks more like a hanger and vacuum cleaner girbid. A steamer, like a steam generator, generates steam, but it can only do this in an upright position. It cannot be used as a full-fledged ironing device, but it helps out when you need to quickly put things in order, smooth curtains or bed linen. Like a steam generator, this appliance uses hot steam and must be used with care.

    Garment steamer
    Garment steamer

    The steamer can be optional, but not the only ironing device

Comparison of the iron, steamer and steam generator by different parameters

Let's compare these devices with each other in terms of different characteristics: efficiency, convenience, financial benefit.

Table: comparison of technical characteristics

Characteristic Description Iron Steam generator Steamer
Power Power determines how quickly the device prepares for work (heats up the platform or boils water), as well as how much electricity it consumes. about 2 300 W about 2 900 W about 1 500 W
Steam intensity Measured in grams per minute. The higher the intensity, the more efficiently the device removes creases with steam. up to 50 g / min up to 200 g / min up to 100 g / min
Equipment The necessary additional accessories supplied in the kit may take up space and make use not so convenient. However, they expand the functionality and make the device suitable for various jobs. Usually supplied without additional accessories Some models have a nozzle for delicate fabrics Usually supplied with several steaming attachments (narrow and wide attachments, brush attachments, etc.)


Let's take a look at what each of these devices is best for:

  • The steamer can be used to quickly iron clothes on a hanger, to bring a suit into perfect condition, as well as for steaming heavy and bulky items (curtains, bed linen). He is able to smooth things well with small decorative elements (ruffles, lace, buttons). The low intensity of steam does not allow it to cope with difficult creases. It is not suitable for independent use - only as an addition to the iron;

    Sweater steaming
    Sweater steaming

    Due to the peculiarities of their functionality, steamers are more often found in clothing stores or dry cleaners

  • The iron does most of the work well, but is not good for ironing large textiles. Moreover, careless use of a regular iron on delicate fabrics can harm them;

    Iron clothes
    Iron clothes

    The iron does its job well, but if you've ever ironed multiple sets of bedding at least once, you probably would like to find an easier and faster way to iron the fabric.

  • The steam generator does an excellent job with any job: smoothing huge duvet covers and sheets, processing small parts and delicate fabrics. If you have a steam generator in your home, you don't need a steamer. This device is capable of both horizontal and vertical steaming, therefore it is suitable for use on suits on hangers, hanging curtains and so on.

    Steam generator for clothes
    Steam generator for clothes

    The steam generator can process even the most delicate fabrics, because there is practically no thermal effect

Weight, size, mobility

The dimensions of the device are an important factor, especially if you live in an ordinary Russian apartment, where every meter counts:

  • the iron has the most compact body. Formally, it can also be called the easiest. It can be stored anywhere and simply taken out before next use;

    Small iron
    Small iron

    On the market you can find models of irons in a variety of shapes and sizes.

  • the steam generator is equipped with a massive water tank, which is why its weight and overall dimensions look impressive. On the other hand, the iron of this device is much lighter and more compact than a regular iron. For comfortable use of the steam generator, it is best to assign it a certain place in the house so that you do not have to move a heavy station with a tank;

    Steam generator with iron
    Steam generator with iron

    The steam generator does take up more space in the house, but its iron for ironing is light and compact

  • the steamer is the most bulky design of all. Often it has a telescopic hanger base to reduce its height. However, this has little effect on the amount of occupied space. The steamer is difficult to hide in the closet and certainly won't be able to put it on the shelf. It's best if you have a utility room or an inconspicuous nook that can be set aside for your home laundry. Otherwise, be sure to consider where you will store this device after purchase. Moving the steamer from place to place is easy - as a rule, it is equipped with wheels, like a vacuum cleaner.

    Folded steamer
    Folded steamer

    The steamer takes up a lot of space even when folded

Ironing speed and quality

The most burning question is how quickly and effectively these devices smooth laundry:

  • the clear leader in this competition is the steam generator. Thanks to the intensive supply of steam, the device is able to iron bed linen or curtains folded several times in just a couple of seconds. The steam generator does an excellent job with small details: collars, cuffs, pockets, ruffles and lace. The user does not have to spend a lot of time carefully processing decorative items of clothing. On the other hand, the device takes a long time to prepare for use. The user needs to pour fresh water into the tank, turn on the steam generator and wait until the water heats up to the desired temperature. This usually takes one to five minutes;
  • the iron smoothes the laundry well, but is not able to do it as quickly. The efficiency of ironing largely depends on the model: there are antediluvian devices that are not much better than ordinary cast iron irons in terms of the quality of the result, and there are ultra-modern devices with intense steam and steam shock, which are close in efficiency to steam generators. But this technique gets ready for work very quickly - usually it takes no more than 30 seconds to heat the plate to the maximum temperature;
  • the steamer has the lowest efficiency and highest ironing speed. As already indicated, it is not capable of completely replacing an iron or steam generator, but is great for ironing curtains, shirts or dresses on the way out. The steamer copes well with delicate fabrics and small details. It quickly prepares for work (most models are ready in half a minute after turning on).

Difficulty to use

Let's compare an iron, a steam generator and a steamer in terms of the complexity of correct operation:

  • iron is the easiest device to use. The risk of lime scale appearing in it is minimal because it consumes little water. Most modern devices are equipped with a steam supply function, so you still have to pour liquid into it when using it. The iron has a very small reservoir, and therefore you will have to add water often (up to five times per ironing);

    Iron water tank
    Iron water tank

    Water tanks for conventional irons are usually no more than 400 ml

  • The steam generator has a large reservoir, and therefore you will have to fill in water only once for the entire ironing. After finishing work, it is recommended to drain the remaining liquid. The steam generator must be regularly cleaned of scale, because when it appears, it completely loses its functionality. It is best to use filtered water during operation. Most devices have an anti-scale system, but this does not guarantee the complete absence of white deposits;

    Steam generator water tank
    Steam generator water tank

    Steam generators have water tanks up to 2 liters

  • a steamer is similar in use to a steam generator. Filtered water must be poured into a large tank, and after use, the remains must be drained. Most modern devices are also equipped with anti-scale systems. The steamer can only be used vertically, otherwise the device will dispense drops instead of steam. Therefore, in order to steam clothes, you must first hang them on a hanger.

    Steamer water tank
    Steamer water tank

    The water tank of the steam generator is similar to the body of a vacuum cleaner

Estimated cost

The financial issue is important for most users:

  • modern irons cost on average from 1,500 to 5,000 rubles;
  • the cost of the steam generator is from 7,000 to 20,000 rubles;
  • garment steamers cost from 6,000 to 16,000 rubles.

Table: Pros and Cons of Devices

Device Benefits disadvantages
  • ease of use;
  • low price;
  • compactness.
  • not suitable for frequent ironing of large linen sets;
  • physical fatigue from use;
  • risk of burning delicate fabrics.
Steam generator
  • the best quality of ironing;
  • the ability to quickly smooth out a large stack of bedding;
  • safe smoothing of delicate fabrics;
  • effective vertical steaming.
  • high price;
  • bulky body;
  • the need to monitor water quality;
  • the risk of lime scale appearing.
  • smoothes fine details well;
  • speed of use;
  • suitable for daily use.
  • low ironing efficiency;
  • bulky design that takes up a lot of space;
  • heavy body;
  • the need to monitor water quality;
  • lack of horizontal steaming function;
  • the risk of lime scale appearing.

How to choose a device for ironing

Choosing the perfect device depends a lot on your living conditions. An iron is best for you if:

  • you have a small apartment;
  • you don't need to iron too many things;
  • you have one or two beds in your house, and therefore you have to iron no more than two bedding sets per week;
  • you're not willing to spend a lot of money on an ironing device.
Jeans ironing
Jeans ironing

Irons are suitable for people with a small or medium volume of laundry for ironing

You should consider purchasing a steamer in addition to your iron if:

  • you have a strict dress code at work that requires impeccable appearance every day;
  • you have to iron a lot of curtains and bed linen;
  • you have a free corner in the apartment where the steamer can take its place;
  • you do not have a steam generator.
Woman using a garment steamer
Woman using a garment steamer

A garment steamer is an excellent purchase for busy people with a spacious apartment

The steam generator is the best choice for those who:

  • spends a lot of time ironing;
  • ironing more than two sets of bed linen per week;
  • ready to afford an expensive ironing device;
  • lives with a large family;
  • loves delicate clothing.
Steam generator Philips
Steam generator Philips

Steam generators are the best choice for those who have to iron a lot of laundry for a large family

The steamer, iron and steam generator are completely different devices that perform the same function. To find the best for yourself and your family, you need to know the key characteristics, differences and functionality of the devices.

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