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Whether you’re working with clothes or curtains, having a reliable fabric steamer on hand is a great way to make quick work of wrinkles. Fabric steamers, also called garment steamers, clothes steamers or simply steamers, have a handheld nozzle that emits steam. The heat and steam from the fabric steamer help loosen wrinkles and revive clothes. That means your favorite dress pants will stay looking crisp and your casual button-downs won’t look too casual.
A fabric steamer has a few key advantages over an iron. A steamer applies heat in a less direct way than an iron, so there’s less of a risk of damaging your clothing, especially if it’s made from a delicate fabric. Plus, steamers can help remove odors and kill germs. Arguably the best thing about a fabric steamer is how convenient it is. Whereas ironing requires an ironing board and frequent flipping and adjusting, a clothing steamer allows you to de-wrinkle your clothes as it hangs on the hanger.
Steamers also come in designs that are handy for at-home or on-the-go use. The right choice of steamer for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. In general, clothes steamers come in two popular designs: affordable handheld steamers and standing steamers, which are more common in commercial settings.
The Best Standing Steamers
These two-part steamers tend to sport a more traditional appearance. The water tank is usually found in a floor-mounted housing, allowing them to hold a much greater quantity of water. This means your steaming sessions can last much longer than sessions using smaller capacity steamers. From the base, you’ll find a long hose and nozzle head which is used for precision steaming. These larger devices are ideal for users looking to steam at home or for some types of commercial use.
The Best Handheld Clothes Steamers
While their smaller size does limit their water capacity, the benefits of having a handheld device include greater freedom of movement during use and, most importantly, portability. Smaller, handheld steamers are ideal for business people and travelers who need to steam away from home. Their small size means, on the whole, they heat up quickly, making them handy for quick fixes or last-minute emergencies.
In general, a handheld clothing steamer makes the most sense for the average user — standing steamers are large, bulky and are probably overkill for your weekly load of laundry. Unless you have a lot of clothes to get through and you have plenty of interior space like a dedicated laundry room in your home, then you’ll probably want to save space and stick with one of our favorite handheld options.
Below, we’ve selected the best clothes steamers that meet all your needs, from de-wrinkling a work shirt on your way out the door to steaming crinkled curtains. So say goodbye to ironing and trips to the dry cleaner, and enjoy crease and wrinkle-free clothing every time you leave your home.
1. ROWENTA X-cel DR6130 Handheld Steamer
The Rowenta handheld steamer is designed to heat up in 15 seconds, so you can quickly pull out that day’s shirt and steam out any wrinkles. It has a small water chamber, reducing the bulk of this steamer and making it easier to take on the go. The included fabric brush can be helpful for tougher fabrics.
2. PurSteam Handheld Garment Steamer
The PurSteam Handheld Garment Steamer’s compact size makes it the perfect travel buddy. It can easily fit into a suitcase and be taken from one place to another without any hassle. This tiny but mighty powerful handheld steamer heats up in 90 seconds. Its ultra-fast heat aluminum technology means it’s able to de-wrinkle any fabric easily and quickly. It’s also lightweight, weighing less than two pounds, which allows you to steam bigger pieces of fabric without your arm getting tired.
3. HoMedics PerfectSteam Garment Steamer
This option from HoMedics has two power modes, including a Turbo mode for handling tougher wrinkles. The steamer is designed to heat up in 40 seconds, so you can make quick work of wrinkles and get on with your day. A bristle brush is also included. One of the unique features is a creasing tool on top of the steamer to keep suit pants looking crisp.
4. J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer
With its impressive 2.84-liter water tank, the J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer delivers up to 1.5 hours of continuous steaming per fill. Like all of the best clothes steamers, this product is ideal for both households and commercial enterprises who want to steam clothing, remove wallpaper, steam bedding and de-wrinkle table linens. The USA-made device is constructed from high-impact plastic for durability. Furthermore, it boasts a quick heat-up time, an automatic shut-off and built-in wheels for added convenience.
5. SALAV Quicksteam Handheld Garment Steamer
This steamer from Salav is one of the smallest and most sleek options available, making it a great option for travel or even keeping at your office desk. A fabric brush attachment and travel bag are also included. There are multiple steam settings to suit different fabrics and needs. The water tank is small, so it’s best suited for steaming a couple of items at a time. That said, this can be a great option if you like to steam just that day’s outfit.
6. Conair Full-Size Complete Steam
BEST UPRIGHT STEAMER
While you undoubtedly sacrifice convenience, a full-size steamer is always going to outperform its handheld counterparts. This option from Conair is an economical pick. It holds 2.5 liters of water, so you can use it continuously without worrying about stopping for refills. Despite its size, it takes only 45 seconds to heat up. The steamer also has a built-in hanger and clips, so you can easily get your shirts and pants ready to be steamed.
7. Electrolux Handheld Travel Steamer
Admittedly, the way a steamer looks is not the most important factor. But if it was, Electrolux’s steamers would take the cake. The sleek and minimal design makes it unobtrusive to look at, and its small size means it’s easy to pack in your bag and take on the go. It’s designed to heat up in 30 seconds, and it can deliver up to 10 minutes of continuous steaming.
8. PurSteam Garment Steamer
This multi-functional steamer makes steaming several clothes in a row a quick and simple task. Its large water tank and collapsible/adjustable hanger makes steaming everything from a suit jacket to a ballet costume easier. Half of the dilemma of steaming is trying to find a place to hang your clothes while you steam them, but this steamer eliminates that issue. It also comes with clothing clips, a steam board and a crease attachment which helps to remove the wrinkles from tricky spots, like the collar of a dress shirt.
9. Black & Decker HGS011S Easy Garment Steamer
While they’re probably best known for power tools, Black & Decker is a great brand to turn to for common household appliances, such as this affordable garment steamer. The 7.4 oz water tank allows for fewer refills. The ergonomic handle makes it easier to use for extended periods.