I tried the ultra-luxe Miele B 4826 FashionMaster iron and I have a few issues, let’s say

The new Miele B 4826 FashionMaster promises pro-level ironing but only for those with deep – and very flat – pockets

Miele B 4826 FashionMaster
(Image credit: Miele)

As a reviewer of irons and steam generators among other things, I was recently loaned Miele’s latest ironing system, the FashionMaster B 4826 (opens in new tab). According to what I could glean from Miele’s press release, the FashionMaster brings professional efficiency to home ironing by dint of its clever ironing board which has a fan built in to it. Unlike a standard iron or steam generator and a separate ironing board, the Miele FashionMaster is an all-in-one ironing solution that folds up in a thrice to store away in the laundry room.

Well, a huge box duly arrived and I managed to manhandle it down the hallway and proceeded to unpack it. It wasn’t easy because the FashionMaster is really heavy, but I got there in the end and managed to unfold it without so much as a glance at the manual. I then stood and stared at it for a while wondering why anyone would need, let alone want such a thing. And then it dawned on me – this is for really rich people with a separate laundry room and probably a maid to do all the house work. People with loadsa money who would snap up anything as long as it came with a reputable high-end badge and cost a fortune.

Miele B 4826 FashionMaster

(Image credit: Miele)

Now I should add before continuing that I’m a huge Miele fan and would have the entire house equipped with Miele products if I could afford them all. However, I’m struggling to understand the concept of this contraption before me and for quite a few reasons. Firstly, my seamstress wife and I have tried a lot of steam generators in the past – which you can read about in T3’s guide to the Best Irons & Steam Generators – so we’re both quite experienced in this regard. Steam generators have much bigger water tanks than standard irons and this makes it possible to iron for a really long time without having to run back to the tap for a refill.

Miele B 4826 FashionMaster

If you look very carefully you might just see the titchy water tank on the side of the main housing

(Image credit: Miele)

Hence I was first drawn to the FashionMaster because of the huge size of its main side compartment which I figured must house the biggest water tank in the history of ironing – wahey, no more regular refills. Well I was wrong because the removable water tank is tiny – just 1.25 litres built into an area that looks like it could easily accommodate four times the amount. By comparison, the stupendous top-of-the-range Philips PerfectCare 8000 Series (opens in new tab) steam generator I recently reviewed in T3’s aforementioned best irons guide has a 1.8-litre tank and the whole package is a fraction of the size of this menhir-shaped behemoth.

Miele B 4826 FashionMaster

(Image credit: Miele)

I then dug out the iron itself which attaches to the main body via a typical steam generator-type hose, albeit with a tall steel shaft that the hose attaches to, to prevent it from getting in the way. Well it turns out that the iron is equally small. In fact its fantastically smooth honeycombed soleplate is a bit smaller than most standard irons while feeling almost as heavy in the hand. At this juncture I wore a hole in my head with all the scratching. There MUST be something I’m missing here. I know, ‘pressure’ – I bet this beauty packs some serious punch when compared to, say, the Philips PerfectCare 8000 Series steam generator. So I looked at the stats and it said 4 bar, with a continuous steam pressure of just 100 grams per minute. The Philips PerfectCare 8000 is 8.5 bar with a continuous steam pressure of 170g/min and a steam boost of up to 700g!

Moreover, unlike the unique Philips which has a brilliant single-temperature setting that allows the user to rest the iron face down on any item of clothing without burning it, the Miele has a standard temperature dial just like any bog-standard iron. It also refuses to stand on its heel like most irons do. Granted, it’s easy to use but I was expecting a bit more tech in this department.

Miele B 4826 FashionMaster

(Image credit: Miele)

In the Miele FashionMaster’s favour, pressure isn’t everything in this instance because this ironing system’s pièce de résistance is actually the ironing board. In fact the ironing board is why the FashionMaster is such a big contraption in the first place. 

What’s so special about this ironing board? Well, rather like the popular LauraStar (opens in new tab) system which a lot of people rate very highly, the FashionMaster’s large 120 x 40 cm ironing board has a two-speed fan built into it that can be set to either suck the material you’re ironing to the board while absorbing all the steam at the same time, or set to blow upwards so the material covering the board balloons outwards which in turn stretches out the material you’re ironing. Apparently, this ballooning effect is perfect for ironing delicate silks and other lightweight fabrics.

Miele B 4826 FashionMaster

(Image credit: Miele)

Having done some online research, I see a lot of users are really happy with the Miele FashionMaster so maybe it’s just me. Yes, many owners have said that the water tank is very small and that it’s expensive to buy, but in the main they seem to love it, so what do I know?

I’ll tell you what I do know – £1,699 is an awful lot of dosh to spend on an iron that doesn’t necessarily make your life any easier than a decent steam generator so I’ll leave it here with a comment from one owner who described it as an ’indulgent purchase’ – a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree.

Looking for a cheaper iron or steam generator? Head over to our guide to the Best Irons and Steam Generators)

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic).