|Best Budget||Essentials by Tracy Lyn Budget Steamer||SEE IT||
This inexpensive steamer delivers without the frills.
|Best for Travel||Kexi Portable Travel Steamer||SEE IT||
With a foldable handle and compact design, this stylish steamer saves you time and hassle.
|Best High End||Jiffy Classic Personal Clothing Steamer||SEE IT||
Super durable 6″ metal head and 5.5′ hose for extra-extra-long use.
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Whether you’re on a Zoom call or hitting the town, wrinkle-free clothing is essential for an elevated, put-together look. The best clothes steamers are the perfect alternative to traditional ironing, since they’re super easy to use, convenient, and don’t require an ironing board. Some are even compact enough for travel, so you can steam those crumpled-up shirts from your suitcase before seeing the sights.
But steamers aren’t only for clothing. They can spruce up your best pillow shams, drapes, bed skirts, wall hangings, or tapestries. To ensure you’re purchasing a steamer of top quality and durability, we did our research to find you the best six clothes steamers to keep your fabrics smooth and looking fresh.
- Best overall: OGHom Handheld Garment Steamer
- Best budget: Essentials by Tracy Lyn Budget Steamer
- Best for professional use: Pur Steam Professional Heavy Duty Steamer
- Best for travel: Kexi Portable Travel Steamer
- Best 2-in-1 steamer & iron: SALAV 2-in-1 Handheld Clothes Steamer
- Best high-end: Jiffy Classic Personal Clothing Steamer
How we selected the best clothes steamers
There are several crucial points to consider when selecting a steamer. We looked at efficiency. How fast does said steamer heat up and get out those creases? Nobody wants to stand there for twenty minutes going over the same wrinkle.
Safety was also of utmost concern since we’re dealing with hot steam. We want to ensure the product has built-in safety measures so you won’t get burned. And finally, we looked at the cost. Whether you’re using this steamer for professional use, travel, or quick, routine maintenance, we want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Types of clothes steamers
Steamers work by using electrical energy to warm up the water you’ve filled into the product’s reservoir. Once heated, it turns the water into water vapor, which shoots out of a nozzle you’ll point toward your garment. The steam loosens the fabric and acts like an eraser for wrinkles.
Before you begin shopping for a garment steamer, though, you should figure out the type of steamer you require. There are three main types of steamers:
- Portable. These are steamers specifically for on the go or travel use, as they are the smallest in size (small enough to fit into a suitcase or weekend bag). The features will depend on the model, but these models often forego some bells and whistles in the name of saving space.
- Upright. Upright steamers are often used by professionals, as they take up much more space than a handheld or portable. The base sits on the ground with a long hose and nozzle for the steam. The main perk is they have longer continuous steam time, since they’re more powerful.
- Handheld. Handhelds are a blend of portable and upright. They’re usually medium-sized, so you can transport them in a pinch. . Usually, the main difference is size. Some will come with attachments, like a brush head.
What to Look For
There are so many garment steamers on the market, so it’s important to narrow down your options of the best clothes steamers by identifying a few key elements:
- Size. If you’re primarily looking for a travel steamer, for example, you’ll want something compact that can easily fit in a suitcase or travel bag. If you only plan to use it at home and have room in a closet, an upright offers more power and extra features.
- Heating time. You don’t want to be standing around forever waiting for your steamer to heat up. Generally, your steamer should be able to heat up around the 60 second mark. If you’re waiting for more than two minutes, find a different option.
- Safety features. Make sure your steamer comes with burn-proof features like auto shut-off and a leak-proof nozzle.
- Water tank capacity. This matters most if you often have multiple items to steam. Steamers with a more generous water tank capacity save you time and hassle if you’re steaming in bulk. Smaller steamers are around 140 mL, while larger, professional-grade steamers can be around 2.5 Liters.
- Steam settings. Some clothes steamers come with customizable steam settings (gentler or more powerful depending on the fabric you’re steaming). However, note that many budget-friendly options don’t usually come with multiple steam settings. This is usually reserved for higher end products.
Best overall: OGHom Handheld Garment Steamer
Why it made the cut: The OGHom Handheld Garment Steamer hits all the crucial points you’d want in a steamer, at a very low price.
- 8.1 ounce reservoir
- 15-minute steam time
With a 240 ml water tank, it’s compact enough for travel while large enough for fifteen minutes of continuous steaming. That’s plenty if you’re just getting your outfit ready for the day. It’s also super easy to use, with a nine-foot cord to easily move around your space.
While it takes an extra minute to heat up, we think the price point, efficiency, size, built-in safety features, and durability are worth that extra wait time. This is one of the best clothes steamers for anyone who’s looking for a quick and simple solution to their wrinkled clothing, that’s not going to crap out on them.
Best budget: Essentials by Tracy Lyn Budget Steamer
Essentials by Tracy Lyn
Why it made the cut: This super-simple steamer offers everything you need on the road without extra bulk or cost.
- 4 ounce reservoir
- 6-minute steam time
Made by a family-owned business specializing in home and office products, this is the best clothes steamer if you just want something cheap and simple, without the frills. It only includes the steamer itself–no measuring cups or add-on brushes, which can be a pain to replace if you lose them. The clear side of the container shows how much water it has inside, while clearly marked minimum and maximum lines prevent overfilling.
It only weighs 12 ounces and easily fits into a travel bag or small suitcase in transit.
It’s leakproof and comes with an auto shut-off feature for added safety and peace of mind. It’s incredibly easy to use: unscrew the nozzle cap, fill the water tank to the “MAX” line, screw the top back on, and press on. Wait 60 seconds, a voilá! Plus, it can work with both distilled and tap water, which is handy when you’re in a hotel room.
Best for professional use: Pur Steam Professional Heavy Duty Steamer
PurSteam World’s Best Steamers
Why it made the cut: Maybe you’re a fashion stylist, model, or blogger. Perhaps you’re a fashion influencer and have to ensure your clothes are top-notch and wrinkle-free. This heavy-duty steamer from Pur Steam hits all our pressure points for a high-quality, professional-grade steamer making it our pick for the best clothes steamer for professional use.
- 85-ounce reservoir
- 60-minute steam time
With a 2.5-liter water tank that heats up in under a minute, you’ll have sixty minutes of continuous steaming, ensuring you don’t have to keep running to the sink to refill between garments.
It also features a four-level steam adjustment for customizable control, lots of useful attachments, including a deluxe multifunctional hanger and a fabric brush. The pant press helps get perfect creases. It even comes with its own mini ironing board because sometimes you want to take a two-pronged approach to wrinkle elimination. For safety, a burn-prevention cap that prevents opening the water tank keeps you safe. This feature set makes it a total steal at this price point.
While any professional steam system is obviously going to be significantly larger than a portable, the adjustable height makes it considerably more versatile. You don’t have to hang your garments on the shower curtain rod to steam them. It easily folds down to fit in any closet.
Best for travel: Kexi Portable Travel Steamer
Why it made the cut: This quick-heating steamer has a handy flat smoothing surface that takes the place of add-ons.
- 12-minute steam time
|• Long-ish cool down time|
This leak-proof, travel-friendly clothes steamer with a foldable handle from Kexi is as efficient as it is stylish. With 25 g /min of steam output and a high temp flow, it’s able to quickly remove all the wrinkles out of your garments in under 3 minutes. Plus, it only takes 40 seconds to heat up.
One feature we love is the protruding corner at the top of the steamer, mirroring the top of a traditional iron. This can be used to smooth out buttons, seams, and collars and eliminates the need for added attachments, which saves space.
It’s also loaded with safety features. The garment steamer will automatically shut off after 12 minutes of continuous operation, and has a built-in temperature control so it won’t overheat. This keeps both you and your items safe from potential burns.
Best 2-in-1 steamer & iron: SALAV 2-in-1 Handheld Clothes Steamer
Why it made the cut: The wide ceramic face works just like an iron in addition to the typical steaming function.
- 5-ounce reservoir
- Variable steam time
Multi-tasking gadgets are great when they can actually deliver While most of the time a steamer can get the job done, sometimes you’ll find a fabric that prefers a dry ironing approach to eliminating wrinkles. It’s nice to have the option, especially for under $60.
This steamer side features an ultra-long heating chamber for extremely efficient output, making for incredibly powerful steam action that’s ready in under a minute. The dry ironing features ceramic-coated metal, which is safe for even temperature-sensitive delicates.
The steamer’s mouth is wide enough for super-quick steaming, and it’s a total space saver if you don’t have room to store a steamer, iron, and ironing board. It’s particularly handy if you regularly switch back and forth between fabrics and surfaces like in a home staging situation.
Best high-end: Jiffy Classic Personal Clothing Steamer
Why it made the cut: Sturdy construction and a large water reservoir for marathon steam sessions.
- 128-ounce reservoir
- 2 hour steam time
For those who appreciate the finer steams in life, this steamer is perfect for both personal and light commercial use. With 1300 watts of steaming power, it has a whopping two-hour steam time per filling, perfect for bulk session. The metal head has brass pins in the steam holes, creating extra hot steam for those tougher creases.
It features solid die cast aluminum outer housing for added durability, as well as a 5.5-foot flexible hose, which comes in handy for big lengths of fabric like curtains. While this is the heaviest model on our list (at almost 18 lbs), the 360° easy-roll casters on the base makes moving around your space a breeze.
The metal, brass, and wooden construction help justify the higher price point. However, having a metal steamer does mean it’s a heavier product than your plastic alternatives.
Q: Steamer vs Iron: Which is better?
This depends on what you are ironing and what is more comfortable for you to use. Many people find ironing to be difficult to master, whereas clothes steamers allow the hot steam to do all the work for you. Irons are also not as convenient or practical if you are traveling, unless your hotel comes with an iron and ironing board.
If your clothing or fabrics have beads, sequins, or other decorations that ironing could damage, you’ll want to opt for a steamer. Steamers are also much more compact to store if you don’t have extra space.
Irons, however, do offer more control if you have super tough creases to get out, especially on sturdier fabrics like wool. They’re also better if you want crisp edges or pleats on dress shirts or pants.
Q: What fabrics should not be steamed?
Anything that can melt should not be steamed. For example, if your garment has a plastic coating or decoration, these can melt when hit with super hot steam. Be careful when steaming silk, chiffon, and velvet. Try avoiding touching the nozzle to these more delicate fabrics to avoid damaging the items.
Q: What type of water should you feel your steamer with?
While many items say tap water is fine, you would probably benefit most from using distilled or purified water. This ensures you won’t get mineral buildup in your steamer, especially if you live in a place with hard water.
A final word about clothes steamers
The best clothes steamers create a more put-together, elevated look without having to store an iron and ironing board. Whether you’re going for a quick and simple approach or opting for more frills, purchasing a garment steamer is a worthwhile investment at any price point. While portable steamers can even be taken with you during travel, professional-grade clothes steamers are perfect for steaming in bulk. Enjoy your enhanced wardrobe!