The Philips BC2860
Gone are the days when some irons were heated by charcoal contained in a cumbersome box. Irons have come a long way since those days and the latest steam irons really are a dream to use.Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Iron_Box_01.jpg?uselang=en-gb
If you are looking for a new iron, the Philips BC2860 steam iron is an excellent buy. It is middle of the range in price but performs really well. It is lightweight, has good steam functionality without spitting and leaking and performs well on all types of material.
Whether you do a little or a lot of ironing, you need reliability and an ability to do the task at hand. There are several things to look for when choosing an iron.
- The thermostat should be reliable and precise in its control of the soleplate temperature, there should be sufficient steam with no dribbling or fizzing
- There needs to be a variation in the amount of steam available
- The iron should have a base that glides easily over all fabrics.
There have been few new innovations in the process of ironing since the introduction of the steam iron. A good steam iron will perform well on a range of fabrics from synthetics, silks, organza, and cotton to linen and denim. Different fabrics require different temperatures and different amounts of steam (or even no steam). It is important that quite small adjustments can be made to the temperature of the iron.
At 1.1 kg in weight, the Philips BC2860 is quite a light iron though not as light as some brands. A very light iron requires more downward pressure when ironing whilst a heavy iron takes more effort to move and lift which can be tiring if you do a lot of ironing.
The Philips BC2860 has a self-cleaning soleplate. The soleplate is non-stick which is great until it gets scratched, perhaps by a zip, whereupon it will begin to drag over a period of time. However, stainless steel soleplates can also become scratched. The iron can be set to self-clean thus removing scale deposits which could potentially clog the steam holes.
This iron has several safely features. The automatic shut-off is activated after 30 seconds if the iron is in a horizontal position and after 9 minutes if it is left upright. This is a blessing if you're prone to getting distracted and leaving things switched on. Another safety feature is the power-on light which warns you that the iron is switched on and could be hot. A separate thermostat light glows until the preset temperature is reached.
The steam function is variable allowing good control of the amount of steam hitting the garment. There is also a vertical steam function which allows ironing of vertical surfaces such as a suit jacket on a hanger or a body! The iron has a drip protection device which prevents water from dripping onto fabric. With some irons, dripping can occur, particularly at low temperatures, and can result in staining. As with many brands of iron, there is a button groove between the body of the iron and the soleplate. This makes it much easier to iron around buttons.
At 3 metres, the cord is a handy length and the cord storage is easy to use and very functional. The Philips BC2860 is a great iron and is highly recommended whatever your situation.