* Prices may differ from that shown
Despite the profile pic I do iron occasionally and it's this 'little' beauty that I do it all with. With seven of us in the household the ironing basket (top of dryer and any other available surface!) is often overflowing with creased shirts, school uniforms and numerous tiny bits of teenage fabric which barely meet the criteria for clothes, however, I switch this baby on, fill the kettle ready for my mid-iron break and plough through the heaps in no time. It takes practice to get up to speed and to learn the shirt technique but if you've got a big enough family to warrant one of these you'll get that practice in no time. Don't get cocky too quickly though or you'll burn your nuckles when moving the fabric. I've had mine for about two years, maybe longer, it's used for about 2-3 hours per week (teenagers and their amazing ability to hurl everything out of the wardrobe onto the floor) and I've had to replace the bottom sleeve once. A replacement was easily obtained via an internet search, didn't cost alot and the short wait for delivery gave me another excuse not to do the ironing! Now for the technical bit: This machine has a temperature to suit all fabrics. I tend to keep mine on the highest setting and press delicate fabrics for the first few minutes whilst the machine is warming up or at the end of a long session during cool down after switching the machine off (ever mindful of leccy bill). It has a variable steam control setting and a lever to press down for an added boost of steam. This is particularly useful for shirts and those tough creases you get in jeans left to dry for too long. The machine comes with a water jug and uses ordinary tap water. I generally fill the water container thing twice during a 2-3 hour pressing session. It has a power on/off and temperature ready indicator which is great for letting you know when it's ready for those stubborn creases. It also has auto shut off which operates in both open and shut positions, fantastic for those 'have I switched the press off?' moments - it doesn't matter whether you did or not, it switches itself off!!! Although this is a great feature it does mean that you need to open and shut the lid regularly to remind the machine that you want it to stay on, so if you answer the phone or just stop pressing whilst you turn the chops over, you need to go back at regular intervals and move the lid so that the machine retains the temperature. Not a difficult task, particularly when you consider the benefits of auto shut off. The machine exerts 100lb of pressure (much more than I can manage with a standard iron!) and has a press area 56cm long and 26cm wide. It folds up easily and stands on its end taking up less overall space than an ironing board (by the way does anyone want one of these, I've got two gathering dust!) and without the inherent toppling over capacity of the average board. Give its casing a light dust every now and then and a wipe with a damp cloth on hi-days and birthdays, it works hard for its keep and deserves to be looked after :) RRP currently £199 but do a web search and you'll find it £50 cheaper.
Corded Iron / With Adjustable Steam