This sleek iron from Russell Hobbs is a beast. It’s dark, masculine design is backed up by 3100W of power, a strong steam output and, while it may be a little heavier than some rivals, it is an excellent steam iron for gliding through your laundry. Available for a very reasonable price, it’s a fantastic choice for the average household.
Design might not be the most important factor when buying an iron but the Powersteam is certainly striking and the black and red trim makes a nice change from the pastel type colours that usually dominate the market. The handle includes controls for the amount of steam being delivered, as well as buttons for the forward water spray and steam shot. The temperature of the iron is controlled using a dial under the handle.
Powered with a hefty 3100W, it heats up incredibly quickly and even on the highest temperature setting it will be ready to use before you have got the first garment in place on the ironing board. While having to wait for an iron to heat up isn’t the end of the world, it is a pleasant surprise to have it ready to go so quickly.
One of our favourite things about this iron is its baseplate. Not only will it not rust thanks to it being ceramic, but its shape also helps make ironing easy by having a rounded bottom and notches near the tip. The rounded base of the plate helps prevent the bunching of fabric regardless of the direction you are ironing, while the notches mean you can iron around buttons getting closer to hard to reach spots.
Steam performance is excellent and with a continuous output of 45g of steam it is up there with the top steam irons. This is complemented with a steam shot of 210g for particularly stubborn areas and for use as a vertical steamer. The steam shot performs very well, although if you use it too often it will make short work of the 350ml water tank.
In use the steam is plentiful and effective, in fact we found it best to reduce the amount of steam from the maximum for all but the most stubborn creases. It does include an anti-drip system and apart from a few drops when we used the iron for the first time it did seem to do a very good job of not allowing drips to escape.
While the water tank isn’t tiny, if you are working on a large load of laundry it may need refilling part of the way through. Thankfully the door on the front of the iron opens sideways and it is easy to fill either straight from the tap or using the supplied jug.
The self cleaning feature is a good addition and has a triple action system including an anti-scale cartridge that self cleans. While this should help prolong the life of the iron if you live in a hard water area it may be worth looking at a model with a dedicated anti-calcification feature such as the Philips Azur Performer Plus, or make sure to only use distilled water in the iron.
Other features include an auto-off feature – to protect your home and peace of mind in case you are left wondering if you turned it off before leaving the house – and a very generous 3m long power cable so you don’t have to be right next to a plug socket to use it.
Originally around £55 it isn’t the cheapest iron on the market but considering the range of features and the quality of this iron that doesn’t seem a bad price at all. But throw in the fact that it can now be picked up for closer to £35 at Amazon and it really becomes an excellent choice if you want a high-performance steam iron without the accompanying price tag.
If you live in a hard water area it may be worth considering a more specialist iron, but if not this is a fantastic steam iron offering top performance for a mid-range price.
Read more: Best Steam Irons