Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Ironing Queen Part 2 - and some home truths, thanks to Tefal

One of the things about getting older is learning and, perhaps more importantly, accepting, truths about yourself.  

Truths like I am never, ever going to be asked to present Blue Peter (why not?? I'd have been great). Truths like if you eat too much cake you will put on weight, whatever anyone tries to tell you (or you try to convince yourself of) otherwise.

Truths like, actually, the ironing does matter to me.

There. It's out there now.

But honestly, I NEVER KNEW.

Believe me when I say I'm just as surprised as you are about this. 

As I said in my first, heady post about the Tefal steam generator iron that I wrote, never did I expect to be so thrilled by an iron. Never did I think an iron would inspire me to re-write an Abba song in its honour. And, let's be honest, I would probably never have considered a steam generator iron purely on basis of cost. Having used one for 3 months ( when I can fight the husband off it ) I really think I'd have trouble going back. It really makes ironing so much easier. And while I'm never going to skip joyfully to the pile of ironing the fact that it will be over so much more quickly due to the power of the steam is a big incentive.

So here's what I like about my Tefal steam generator iron:

It has a big tank for water so you don't have to keep refilling

There's a good number of safety features including an automatic shut off - ideal if you get distracted and wander of - as I frequently do.

You get real steam - no mucking about with little puffs or splutters - this is full on crease-killing steam.

As a result, it laughs in the face of the Husband's 100% cotton double cuff shirts, yet with a couple of bursts from the steam jet - where (get this) the iron doesn't even have to touch the fabric -  it can make the creases drop out of some of my more delicate tops .

Short of actually doing the ironing for me, there's not much more I could imagine you'd need in an iron.

This is all very well, but that doesn't necessarily turn me into someone for whom the ironing matters, only that I am someone who can see the benefits certain innovations can bring to an iron, and by definition, the whole tedious task of ironing.

So, here's the thing. In July, along with the Tefal Optigrill and the ingenio pans, we were also shown a new range of  'intelligent' steam generator irons. A slightly scary, apocalyptic kind of concept of irons that can think for themselves. There's the easy use iron - one setting, no buttons or dials to fiddle with, irons everything, an 'in between' kind of iron, and a full on bells and whistles type of iron, with every setting and possible combination of settings under the sun. 

For the purposes of this post, I was sent one of the intelligent 'easy use' steam generator irons. "How can it possibly be so different?" I thought.

On the left 'my' iron; on the right, the easy use intelligent iron

Well, it can be different. The 'intelligent' iron irons perfectly satisfactorily, but just not quite as brilliantly as the one I already have. The Tefal demonstrators explained that this was the case with the easy use iron. It's really for someone who knows they need to iron a shirt occasionally, but really doesn't care that much about the extent of the ironing. It's for people who don't sort their laundry, only ever use one setting on the washing machine, and only iron when the need arises. The level of ironing is traded off against the ease of use. In that respect, Tefal have got it bang on. It is incredibly easy to use. Simply turn it on and go. No need to stress about what setting to have it on - no risk of ruining your other half's silk shirt.  There is no temperature control - it just miraculously doesn't shrivel your delicate stuff, while at the same time pretty much gets the creases out of cotton, and has the same automatic shut off features that I like about 'my' iron. If ironing really didn't matter to me, I would be singing the praises of the easy use steam generator iron. 

But it turns out that I like my ironing to be of a slightly higher level. You see - ironing apparently does matter to me. The easy use iron was OK, but for me the finish wasn't quite as good as the one I've been using for the last 3 months. The shirts weren't quite as crisp, the pillow cases just not quite as flat. But then, if I'm honest, I have been known to use different settings on the washing maching, and to take washing off the line in order (iron then non-iron - but only for the purposes of putting stuff in the airing cupboard you understand).

The ironing pile - on a good day

So would I swap? Well, you guessed it - no way. I still don't LIKE ironing, but it turns out that when I do, it matters.

You can by the Tefal Steam Generator Irons from John Lewis and Argos. The Easy Control model retails at £199, and my favourite, the Pro Express, retails at £279.99.


  1. I hate ironing too and rarely do a full pile of it but I would never go back to a normal iron. Mine's a Phillips steam generator and it's so quick and easy. Interesting and detailed review!

  2. Great post. I originally planned on swapping mine for the easy iron...but now its here I'm not too sure


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