I love ironing. I’m not ashamed to admit it and as a fashion stylist it’s one of the chores that you’d better learn to love early on in the game. Having to work at different studios and locations on a regular basis I’ve developed the habit of travelling with my portable (handheld) steamer and my trusty iron just in case the location’s offerings aren’t up to scratch. On set an iron can really make or break your day and I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had a mini meltdown (internally of course) when I’ve had to cope with a location’s sub standard equipment. From irons with burn marks to steamers that literally just spit hot water I’ve experienced them all. I would go as far as to now call myself an iron connoisseur so when I was given the opportunity to trial Philips’ latest steam generator, the PerfectCare Elite – I literally jumped at the chance (seriously, I was embarrassingly, very excited).
I finally got around to trialling the iron on the set of a photoshoot last week. The iron’s features include:
- Ultra-light Weight
- 2 mins Start
- Safety Auto Off
The most intriguing feature of the iron, however, is the claim that due to something called OptimalTEMP technology – the user can “…iron everything from everyday jeans to your finest silk dress without setting the temperature – no burns guaranteed.” In layman’s terms “…OptimalTemp is basically the perfect combination of steam and temperature which allows you to iron all fabrics with one perfect setting.”
On the set of my photoshoot the majority of the clothing was denim – I didn’t have any delicate fabrics so I figured this would be a great opportunity to test how strong the handheld steaming capabilities were without ironing directly onto the fabric. Hands down this is definitely the most powerful commercial steam iron I’ve worked with. You don’t need a science qualification to operate a steam generator but the PerfectCare Elite is super easy to use. I’d lost the instruction manual but that didn’t matter – there is no temperature guage or setting so you simply fill up the water tank (it easily pulls out) and press the power button until the light comes on (making sure you’ve plugged the device into the power socket – there’s always someone, right?).
It took me approximately two minutes to hand steam a thick, denim, full skirt. The steam bursts are really quick, powerful and direct – also, thankfully the iron is very light because if it was the weight of an average iron you would definitely get a sore arm.
The PerfectCare Elite has a lock feature – which is great for when you are transporting the device from place to place. It can also be used whilst the iron is still on and hot – to stop it falling off the base, which is handy simply because the iron is so thin it can’t stand upright by itself – so it needs to be rested on the base when not in use. The water tank holds 1.8L which meant I didn’t have to keep making trips to the bathroom to re-fill it. It was enough to iron two whole rail of clothes and there was still some water left in it when I’d finished.
Another great feature is the ‘Safety Auto Off’ so I was able to leave the iron on the bank (I’d forgotten to turn it off) and not burn down the studio. The same can’t be said though if you leave the iron on your item of clothing and walk away…
The main feature I wanted to test was the claim that you could iron different fabrics without setting a temperature. I decided to try this with a denim shirt dress and then a chiffon top. I opted for chiffon because I don’t normally iron my silk or satin clothing. Either, I give it a few bursts of my portable steamer or I hang it in my bathroom whilst I’m having a hot shower. With a normal iron I’d iron the shirt dress on maximum setting with steam and for the chiffon top I’d iron it on a low setting (setting 2) with no steam. Ordinarily I would iron these things one after the other – I’d iron the shirt dress first – decrease the temperature, turn off the steam setting and wait a few minutes for the iron to cool down. For today’s test I ironed the chiffon stop straight after the shirt dress with no waiting time in between.
The PerfectCare Elite is as you would expect from a high-end steam generator. It heats up quickly and glides easily. It also has all the features you would expect from a premium steam generator: two-year warranty, easy to descale, scratch-resistant soleplate and more. The transiton from denim to chiffon was seamless. From the pictures you can see that the chiffon top is quite creased. I was able to use the steam function whilst ironing and noticed two things immediately. Firstly the fabric didn’t feel too hot after steaming. Sometimes when ironing man-made fabrics with steam you can smell the fabric because it’s so hot. Secondly, and more importantly, I’ve found that if I iron some man-made fabrics with steam on a maximum setting the fabric is sometimes too hot to touch straight away and you’re left with a faint shiny glaze where I guess the synthetic fabric has melted a bit. There was none of that with the PerfectCare Elite. It’s safe to say that I was very impressed and had I not had a backlog of things to do I would have set about trying to iron more things from my wardrobe.
So, that’s the positives. The only negative – for want of a better word – is that the PerfectCare Elite is not cheap. It will set you back a cool £319.95. Is it worth it you ask? It’s a luxury expense there’s not doubt about it. I guess it boils down to what you can afford and how much of a difference it could make to your life. It’s certainly the best steam generator I’ve used. It’s quick, easy to use and would certainly make light work of a basketload of ironing. It’s like the difference betwen a Dyson and a regular vacuum cleaner. Yes – both will get the job done but for one you’re paying for the innovation, aesthetics and the ‘cool’ factor. The PerfectCare Elite is definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing steam generators on the market. It’s equally one of the most innovative ones too. You’d no longer have to sort your ironing into fabric piles and wait for the temperature to re-adjust in between fabric types. If your budget can stretch to £320.00 for one of these I would highly recommend it – if not, you’ll live…
Want to treat yourself? The PerfectCare Elite is available to buy at John Lewis or on Amazon – click the links below…
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Although I was given the product to try for free all opinions are entirely my own. Enjoy 🙂
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