I bought this iron around 6 months ago now from the highstreet and paid a penny under £40. I was looking for a pretty basic but good quality iron which was easy to use and didn't take too long to heat up. I was actually recommended this iron by a friend. I wasn't too fussed about what the iron looked like as it goes away in the cupboard most of the time. This one is white and has a small plastic viewer where you can see the water. The cord is a reasonable length which was also important to me as there's nothing more annoying than having to stop mid-shirt to move to iron cable or the ironing board. The dial on this iron is easy to use and has pictures to assist even the most useless of beginner ironers! It heats up really quickly and the steam button is easy to press if you need extra power mid iron. The ironing plate is of a reasonable size but maybe slightly smaller than older versions. This doesn't seem to matter too much though as I find ironing with this iron much easier than my last. Overall I think this is a good choice for a basic iron from a good manufacturer. It heats up quickly and the dial ensures it stays at the correct temperature for the garment. If I were to make one criticism it is that the iron doesn't turn off automatically if left on by mistake. I know most irons don't do this but I do think it would be a good safety mechanism.
After getting completely frustrated with the iron that was in our rented flat, I deceided to splash out on a new iron. I was curious to know if it was my ironing skills that were at fault, or whether its true in the realm of irons that you get what you pay for. So with a budget of Euro60, I scoured the Argos catalogue and reviews on Ciao. The Argos catalogue has a method of rating irons based on the amount of steam they produce, and the grade of the soleplate - with ceramic being the best. So eventually I picked out the Philips Azure as best value for my budget, and sent my husband to queue in Argos for said iron. Being the wonderful man that he is, he actually came back with the object of this review - the Philips GC4311 - as it was on sale from Euro90 to Euro45. So I actually got a more expensive iron for less than my budget - always a plus! The iron itself is nice enough to look at, as far as irons go. The cord is average length, and the dials are all pretty much standard, and easy to work out. The water tank was easier than previously owned irons to fill, and you can fill it while it is standing up, and water doesnt splash all over the place. The water tank itself is a decent size (350ml), and it needs to be as it produces a lot of steam. It is a good bit heavier than my previous iron (1.6kg to be exact), but that is no harm. Once I got used to it, I found it easier to control than a lighter iron. In my opinion, one of the best features is the steam tip. You know how you can never quite do a good job in the corners of shirts in particular? Well, the steam tip means that you can get good results even in the hard to reach areas. The results were excellent - all the creases ironed out relatively easily, despite the fact that the clothes had been piled in a heap in the cupboard for two weeks. If needed for stubborn creases, or creases that you have ironed in by mistake, there is a stem-shot button that will do the job nicely. The only thing to watch, is that occasionally it decides to cough and splutter, and shoots out some brown stuff on your nice clean clothes (yes, I have cleaned it out - often). So yes, I do think that you get what you pay for in the world of irons. And the Philips GC4311 was an excellent choice and comes highly recommended. (review also on Ciao)
Short name: Philips GC4311