The Bosch Ultimate Steam Generator is a stunning-looking, top-performing steam generator iron. If you want tonnes of steam and a stylish machine then this won't disappoint. But it is expensive and there are more affordable models that, while not as powerful as the Bosch, deliver enough steam to power through everyday ironing.
The Bosch is pretty much unique: a steam generator with the wow factor. It's a beautifully designed appliance. If your kitchen or utility room was designed by an architect, this is the steam generator you're looking for. That said, it is pricey. If you can afford to spend this much on an iron, you probably don't do your own ironing anyway…
The design is contemporary and monochrome. And it's practical. Rather than clips on the outside for stowing the power cable and steam hose, there's a gap in the middle, accessible from both sides, where you can stash them. Better still, the hose and cord are both attached at central points, for a symmetrical design that's equally good if you're right- or left-handed.
Controls are easy to master. On the iron itself you just have a finger trigger for continuous steam and a thumb button for a triple burst of extra powerful steam shot (400 g/min).
On the steam generator base are controls for steam (three levels) and iron temperature – you can set the temperature at one, two or three dots or use the intelligent i-Temp setting, which works with all fabrics. There's also a button for the eco mode. And "antiShine" which reduces damage to dark and delicate fabrics.
The iron pad can be popped off the steam generator base if you want to stand the iron directly on the board. Which is handy, because it doesn't balance at all well on its heel. The iron turns off automatically if not used for 8 minutes.
On the side is a calc collector for easy cleaning – when the indicator tells you to, simply unscrew this (while the steam generator is cold) to remove limescale deposits, then rinse out the boiler. You can also use steam to clean through the iron's steam chamber.
The Bosch is easy to fill with water. The tank is detachable but it's also unusually easy to fill in situ because the entire silver lid comes off. So where most steam generators with continuous refill need the water pouring in carefully from a jug, you can just tip a mug of water into the Bosch if you so desire.
In our test it took 3:10 minutes to heat up, but it was a cold day and we were aiming for the cottons setting and full steam; in summer it should be faster.
The result was worth the wait. Plentiful steam that outperformed every other steam generator we've tested to date. The Bosch really does produce stunning constant steam, great for ironing clothes in record time, and impressive vertical steam.
We tested it using the i-Temp any-fabric setting and found that it did a fine job, with no need to change to a manual heat setting. But having the option was reassuring and is helpful for iron-on labels and other jobs that demand specific temperature settings.
The continuous steam was so dependable that the Bosch's more powerful steam shot was rarely needed. In fact, its eco mode was sufficient for most ironing jobs. For example, big hankies took 6 seconds with full steam and 8 seconds on eco mode.
Yes, if it's within your budget the Bosch is simply the best, most powerful and indeed best-looking steam generator iron we've tested to date. If your ironing pile is mountainous, this will help you tackle it at high speed.
If you're on a tight budget though, consider the Polti Vaporella Forever 670 Eco, which performs well for the money. And if you're short of cupboard space, consider the compact Tefal Effectis GV6760.
Stunning steam and stunning design make this high-end Bosch steam generator the one to beat.