“ Brand: Breville „
I bought this iron about 3 years ago from Argos. At around £45 It was quite a bit more than I would normally spend on an iron, but I was tempted by a special offer which made it substantially cheaper - and I thought I would test it to see if a more expensive iron offered more for my money.
The exterior of the IR137 is very impressive - it is bigger than most cheaper irons that I have owned, and it has rows of flashing lights rather than mundane dials. In the hand, it has a satisfying weight, which I prefer as psychologically I feel that it gives a more efficient iron without pressing down on the handle. (I know that this has no scientific basis!)
The large 400ml water tank is clearly visible through the blue transparent sides of the iron, so you can easily see when it needs to be refilled. Water is put into the iron via an unusually large hole in the top, which prevents spillages whilst filling. The water access is closed by a sliding lid which has a picture of a cup pouring water on it - in case anybody should mistake it for something else (?).
All of the controls are located on the handle of the iron. The handle is very ergonomic and fits nicely into the palm of my hand. There is large knob to turn the steam from min to max. This is easy to grip and would be fine for an elderly person with stiff joints. Behind this are two large silver push buttons for steam shot and water spray. These have handy pictures of steam and spray on them which are large enough for my myopic eyes to see without straining. The steam shot is fairly vigorous and effective and the water spray is plentiful. Behind these two buttons is one grey push button which operates the temperature. A single push of this button takes the temperature one notch higher or lower and this is indicated on the control panel on the top of the iron itself.
Switching on the iron, all the temperature indicators flash at once until the lowest temperature has been reached. The low temperature is indicated by one dot on the panel with a blue light as background. One push will take the temperature up to 2 dots and a green light, another push to three dots and an orange light, and the last push to the word MAX and a red light. The panel will flash until the required temperature is reached, and then the light will become solid behind the selected temperature and the iron will beep gently three times.
In use, the iron glides exceptionally smoothly over my clothes, almost seeming to hover. However it has never seemed to gain the heat that previous irons have achieved, and I have often been very dissatisfied with the results. This is particularly the case when ironing linen items - creases seem to remain despite shots of steam and spray.
If the iron is left unattended for longer than 5 minutes, an alarm will sound, giving off a gentle but insistent beeping.
The iron is self-cleaning, and in this respect it has been a success. It has not become as clogged with limescale as previous irons.
This feels and looks like a luxury item, with its flashy temperature display and toned design. I have not been entirely happy with its performance, although this is acceptable.
I do not like the dot system for temperature control - training up two boys in ironing skills, it would have been much easier to have the traditional 'cotton/linen/wool' indicators on the temperature dial rather than dots. I have spent years being bombarded with, "how many dots do I need to iron this", which is just plain annoying and unnecessary!
I do like the alarm system when the iron is unattended. Although this can be annoying, it has frequently beeped at me, which has saved me money on electricity and has prevented me from the eternal worry about leaving the house with the iron still on.
The major disadvantage, and the reason that I have already had to replace this expensive iron, is the flex. The quality of the flex does not live up to the build on the rest of the iron. It is thick and inflexible and twists very easily. I always take great care with my flex and wrap it loosely around the iron for storage, but despite this it has frayed and broken. After 1 year it already had electrical tape wrapped around the frayed bit, and after 3 years I feel that it has become too dangerous and I have to replace it.
I have now bought a new iron for half the price but twice the heat output. Strange, as the 2400watts of the IR37 is greater than my new iron...
Short name: Breville IR37