I was given this iron second hand from a family member as I needed one for use in a caravan without carrying my own backwards and forwards every weekend, this iron is perfect for the jobs I use it for which is light use on everything from jeans to underwear and it seems to work well with anything. This is a basic iron, I won't lie, but it does everything that it's more expensive counterparts do. It irons. That's all you really need. In terms of the ease of use it is very simple to fill with water, you simply stand it upright and pour it in, a lot easier than some other irons which hide the holes in impossible to reach places. It heats up quickly and releases a decent amount of steam, ironing clothes isn't as fast as it could be but it doesn't take too long either. It is also comfortable to hold and use and is well designed. I advise you get this iron if you are either strapped for cash or looking for a secondary iron for use as a back up or for holidaying etc. This is a good high value simple to use iron.
I was lucky enough to win a £25 John Lewis voucher in an online competition, and what good timing it was, since my old faithful iron had a developed a dodgy looking fray to the wire and had generally seen better days. I never thought that I'd be able to get a decent iron for £25 or under, especially at John Lewis, so I was surprised to see a perfectly decent looking one for a mere £7! The John Lewis Value U-H3801 Steam Iron is white in colour, and has a stainless steel soleplate. It is a corded iron which puts out a hefty 2200 watts of power with a steam rate of 35g per minute. It's basic, sure, but it actually looks really good. It comes boxed with instructions and a refill bottle. It is so easy to use - stand upright to fill, set to the desired temperature using the dial under the handle and switch on. Once the orange temperature light comes on you are good to go! It is so easy to fill, too, since the water section is see through you can see when you're topping up and when it needs a refill. It irons like a dream - cotton, wool, bedding, jeans, shirts - you name it, it's a doddle. I've had this iron two years now and I can say with confidence it is like new. It is still spotlessly clean, not one mark on it, the cable is fine, it's as new. I cannot recommend this iron enough - for £7, it's a steal, it's well made, and I won't hesitate to buy other products from the John Lewis Value range. I believe the iron has now been superceded by the John Lewis Value TS6688 Steam Iron, which is advertised on their site at £7.50 and looks very similar. If it is like the U-H3801 then I wouldn't have any problem going for it. Five out of five!
Last Christmas my old Bosch iron died, and unlike all the other household items in my house which pose a DIY challenge for my husband to fix this was different. Normally he rises admirably to the task when they fail, rushing into action to put them back into service with his much loved accomplice, the excellent website Espares, this time he looked blankly at me, and I knew it was time to splash out on a new one. Now ironing and I don't get on, if an iron was a person we would be enemies, I think it is a horrid job, and most of my clothes are folded and worn as I live in jeans and casual clothes. It's a different matter for my husband and son who wear shirts which have to be ironed. I do buy those non iron shirts, and on the whole these are brilliant, as long as you remove them quickly from the dryer or hang them to dry, but there are times when an iron is needed. So I didn't want anything too costly as I very rarely take long doing this job! Now John Lewis is my favourite store for electricals, as they deliver quickly and I find their customer service to be outstanding, so I went straight to their website where they offer everything from the sublime Laurastar Magic S4 Evolution Steam Generator Ironing Board at almost £800, to the John Lewis Value Steam Iron at a mere £7, and of course everything in between! I decided that as my ironing days are numbered, as my family are now mostly living away from home, that a mere £7 would provide me with an iron which I hoped would do the job as and when required (hopefully not that often!) I have waited a year to write this, as I feel I had to see how it performed for a reasonable length of time before committing thoughts to paper, for any thoughts and opinions to be credible. U-H3801 is the model number if you are interested. It weights 1.7kgs which makes it rather heavier than most of its pricier competitors, but this does give a feel that it is a substantial iron. I would say however than anyone with arthritis or weakness in the wrist or hand joints may wish to opt for a lighter model. There isn't much different in the weights, however, the lighter ones coming in at 1.2kgs-1.4kgs on average. It has a variable stem rate of 30g/minute and a steam jet of 70g/ minute if you want to use the spray facility. I have found this to be useful when ironing linen in the summertime, especially if I have line dried it for too long. The soleplate is made from stainless steel, and the iron has an anti scale filter. This really matters to me as we live in a hard water area, and so I tend to use distilled water sometimes, but if you wanted to use tap water from time to time, as I also do, this feature would be of even more benefit. Before the first use make sure you remove the protective cover from the sole plate, fill the tank with water, which is easy to do as a measuring jug is provided, and access to the chamber is on the top of the iron. Just for the first use you must set the stem level to maximum by setting the dial to 3 dots, and then use the self cleaning control on the top which will flush through steam to ensure the iron is clean and ready to use. When the tank is empty the iron is prepared and can be filled and used, though it does recommend using an old towel first. Opinion ----------- Advantages. --------------- 1. I think this iron is very good value for money, in fact hard to believe it can be made so cheaply. 2. The iron is easy to use and it irons well, with minimum pressure required to obtain a good finish even on linen. 3. In 12 months of use it has performed well and is in excellent condition. 4. I have noticed less scale build up than my previous Bosch iron, which was at least 6 times the cost and was probably the cause of its eventual demise. Disadvantages. ---------------------- 1 The cable is too short. It measures 6ft 2" or 193cms and this is restrictive in that you have to iron near to a plug socket or use an extension cable. This is irritating and if I had piles of laundry would be a serious negative. 2 Access to the control dial during ironing is quite difficult as there is limited space so it is rather fiddly. Other points to note. -------------------------- It is possible to use this as a dry iron and the burst of steam control facilitates ironing of curtains in their hanging position. It is also necessary to repeat the initial self cleaning process performed at start up on a monthly basis, to make sure the iron is descaled regularly, and to stop the discharge of those horrid brown stains on the clothes appearing during ironing. Conclusion. --------------- For a mere £7 I have owned an iron which has served me well. If I am totally honest I think if I had piles of laundry, as I once did, I would opt for a lighter model, but other than that I think the performance has been well above what I would ever have imagined from such a cheap product. If anything I think the problems we encounter here in Essex due to lime scale build up have been less noticeable with this model than with my previous Bosch. It's a good budget buy and one I am personally pleased I made. I think it is perfect for singles living alone, and anyone who does minimal to moderate ironing tasks, but wants to own a product which can do a good reliable job. www.johnlewis.com Also published on Ciao under my user name there Violet1278.
Short name: John Lewis U-H3801