You can tell a lot about a person through their clothes. No matter how expensive or good quality your designer wear may be, they look drab if they have wrinkles and creases. Ironing is obviously the first option to remove these creases; however this takes time and some skill.
Using a clothes steamer is a much better and easier ironing option. Besides, the right garment steamer when heated to the right temperature of at least 200 degrees, can help get rid of dust mites, bed bugs and allergens.
Comparing to choose the Best Clothes/Fabric Steamer
|Picture||Name||Item Weight||Steam Time||Our Rating|
|Elite Garment Steamer By PurSteam
||14.2 pounds||60 minutes||4.7|
|ESTEAM Personal Hand Held Steamer
||2.1 pounds||15 minutes||4.5|
|PureSteam XL – High-Powered Standing Fabric Steamer||10.2 pounds||60 minutes||4.4|
|Steamfast SF-407 Fabric Steamer||8.2 pounds||45 minutes||4.6|
|Rowenta IS6200 Compact Valet Full Size Garment and Fabric Steamer
||28.5 pounds||60 minutes||4.1|
|J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer
||13.4 pounds||90 minutes||4.7|
|Shark Press and Refresh (GS500)||7.3 pounds||—||4.4|
With the Elite Garment Steamer from PurSteam in hand, you no longer need to iron your clothes. Its steam penetrates deep into the clothes’ fibers to release wrinkles much faster than ordinary ironing and freshen clothes 99.9%.
It’s collapsible and adjustable hangar helps eliminate wrinkles on anything ranging from suits to sequined leotards. Its crease attachment gives a more finished look to your clothes by giving them structure and creases.
- 60 minutes of stable steam assured by its 61 oz. tank.
- 5 year warranty with its 30% heavier duty cast aluminum heating element.
- Various attachments provide for detailed wrinkle removal and pressing.
- Easy emptying, cleaning and flushing through its bottom drain outlet.
- Added protection and safety with its dual insulated steam hose.
- Helps remove wrinkles in various fabrics ranging from cotton, wool, and linen, silk and even rivets, embroidery, beading and sequins.
- Very hot steam kills up to 99.9% of germs.
- Can be used to steam drapery, furniture and vehicle fabric upholstery.
- Large wheels provide for easy rolling from one place to another.
- The plastic material used for attachments may not last long with frequent use.
- It would have been better if the hose was longer.
- Hose should have been made from a different, suppler material which doesn’t bind at the base.
The Esteam Fabric Steamer is the perfect for pressing clothes on the go. Its 8 ounce tank lets you steam and remove wrinkles from dress within seconds. It’s 10.5 x 5 inch size makes it conveniently fit into any suitcase to look smart while travelling.
Its various voltage plugs ensure your clothes remain wrinkle free wherever you travel as it can be used wherever space is a constraint. The portable clothes steamer produces steam within 1 minute to steam continuously for 15 minutes with each filling.
- Compact in size; perfect for use while travelling and in small spaces.
- Needs only one minute to heat up and provides 15 minutes of steam per filling.
- It’s high-impact plastic outer hosing offers for additional durability.
- Comes with various voltage points to use wherever you go.
- Easy to use.
- Can get tiring raising arms to keep it level while steaming clothes.
- Takes up lots of space in carry-on luggage for those avoiding baggage fees while travelling
- The steamer is not dual-wattage which can lead to intermittent steam spurts.
- No on/off switch so you need to unplug to stop the steam.
The PureSteam XL is a reliable steamer for any laundry room as its steam penetrates deeply into fabrics to relax fibers and release wrinkles. It works not only on your clothes, but also on upholstery, drapes and other heavy materials.
The PureSteam XL has a large ½ gallon water tank for easy refilling of water. The tank heats water in 45 seconds and provides an hour of continuous steaming per fill.
- Much faster than ironing clothes
- Is gentle on delicate fabrics and works well on heavy materials.
- Comes with a garment hanger and fabric brush attachments for an effective steaming experience.
- Perfect for both residential and light commercial use.
- Compact enough to store in laundry room.
- Its telescopic pole can be easily adjusted while using, and is detachable for convenient storage.
- While it works best on soft cottons, it reduces but does not eliminate wrinkles in stiffer cottons because of its weak steam.
- The absence of a handle makes moving the steamer around rather difficult.
- Too short steam hose.
- No steam boost button, which would have been useful on really wrinkled areas.
- Lots of water sits at the tank holder’s base after removing the water tank.
If ironing is something you dislike doing, then you need to get yourself a Steamfast SF-407 Fabric Steamer. This garment steamer helps remove wrinkles and odors from delicate clothes like silk and linen and even heavy upholstery like drapes.
Its hot steam reaches deep into fabrics and fibers to quickly release wrinkles and odors to freshen clothes in seconds. The steam also reduces dust mite and allergens and kills germs and bed bugs.
- Better, gentler and effective alternative to ironing clothes
- Heats water in 45 seconds to give 45 minutes of continuous steam.
- Comes with a telescopic pole, clothes hook and attachable fabric brush to brush away particles.
- A safer and less expensive option than dry cleaning as it does not use chemicals.
- Removable water tank for easy refilling.
- Takes less space than traditional folding ironing boards.
- Works only with distilled water.
- Doesn’t remove wrinkles effectively from men’s dress shirts.
- Some complain that the steam does not come out completely even after a few minutes of heating, after a few months’ of use.
It’s foot-operated on/off switch and tilt-and-roll maneuverability makes the steamer easy and convenient to use and carry around. One filled water tank provides for an hour’s of continuous steaming. Its large steam head, flexible fabric hose and handle remains cool to give fast and efficient steaming results.
- Quick results with its flexible fabric hose, large steam head and slow heating handle.
- Extra-large full tank carries 81 ounces of water to provide an hour of continuous steaming.
- Removable tank for easy feeling.
- Clothes are easily held in position while steaming with its built-in hangar and garment clips.
- Its telescopic pole can be adjusted as needed and pushed down while storing.
- Comes with fabric brush, lint pad and crease attachment.
- The Rowenta consumes lots of electricity.
- As its steam head is attached in the middle of the hanger, its difficult moving clothes on and off the hangar.
- As its built-in hangar doesn’t rotate, its easier to turn clothes around with your own hangars.
- While the attachments are great, it can’t be stored with the steamer.
- It’s short power cord makes it difficult to steam curtains and move it around to steam.
- The hose material is rather stiff and makes steaming difficult.
The Jiffy J-20001 Multi-Purpose Steamer is presently one of the best garment steamers for domestic and light commercial use. It’s lightweight, easy to use and assemble and one of the most efficient and convenient steamers available.
This Jiffy garment steamer needs just 2 minutes to heat up but provides 1.5 hours of steaming time per filling. It not only removes wrinkles in clothes, but also steams bedding and table linens and removes wallpaper.
- Presently one of the most efficient and convenient steamers on the market.
- Lightweight and easy to use and assemble.
- Needs only 2 minutes to heat up and give you 1.5 hours of steam time.
- Extra durability with its high-impact polymer outer housing.
- Easy-to-handle reservoir with a ‘no spill’ check valve cap.
- Color-coded high temperature wiring and fusible link with automatic shut-off for extra safety.
- Easy to carry around with its 360 degree swivel casters.
- Some find that it doesn’t help much at removing wrinkles.
- While it does give ‘wrinkle-free’ clothes, they are not usually iron crisp.
Not only is its steam continuous, it is instant. You needn’t worry about it taking forever to start working as it starts working instantly. The Shark garment steamer is also lightweight to easily carry around with you while you work.
- The device comes with a patent pending wrinkle eraser bar which combines steam and pressure to make wrinkles disappear and give life to clothes.
- Not only deodorizes clothing and household fabrics but also kills 99.9% of dust mites, germs and allergens without any chemicals.
- Its vertical press pad fits any door to give you a vertical ironing board anywhere at home.
- Lightweight for easy carrying around while working.
- Comes with clips, hanging press pad, wand and five interchangeable heads.
- Takes too long to heat up, about 4-5 minutes.
- Does not produce much more steam than travelling steamers.
- No instructions about troubleshooting common issues.
- Some complain that it removes wrinkles only while using the ‘Wrinkle Eraser’ and is useless on smaller areas like cuffs and collars.
How garment steamers work
Like a clothes iron, garment and fabric steamers help remove wrinkles from clothes and other fabrics. While ironing takes time and needs some skill, even a novice can use a clothing steamer. They are not only used for clothes, but also for other items like beddings, upholstery on couches and car seats and even mattresses blankets and pillows in between washes.
They can also kill dust mites and remove strong odors. Though there are various types of clothes steamers, they all work on the same principles. You have to fill its base or water well with water and heat it till it steams. A long tube transfers the steam from the base to a wide nozzle where it’s released.
Hold the nozzle to the wrinkled areas and the steam removes all wrinkles. While various factors determine how long it takes to iron out a piece of clothing like the type of fabric and steamer, it’s much easier than ironing.
Types of clothes steamers
There are clothes steamers in various brands, designs and shapes classified into three types; standing, travel and handheld steamers, based on use and size.
These are the most common fabric steamers consisting of a base or water well and a long tube connecting it to a wide nozzle. They usually come with a long rod which stretches out and reaches suspended clothes. While these fabric steamers are very popular for commercial and domestic use, professional garment steamers have more attachments and settings, and are more expensive.
You can save money having clothes professionally ironed at hotels by taking a travel garment steamer on your trips. These steamers are small enough to fit into a suitcase or overnight bag. They come in various styles and designs with its nozzle directly attached to the water well and a handle.
The absence of a tube leads to the steam getting quickly and directly released from the body to the nozzle. Thought compact, the disadvantage of a small steamer is that its water well needs frequent refilling which may lead to more time spent ironing out clothes.
This is a hybrid between the standing and travel clothes steamers. While they are similar in design to travel steamers, they have larger water wells and more powerful mechanisms and are thus as efficient as standing steamers. Moreover, they take up less space than standing steamers, making them ideal when space is a constraint.
Advantages of using fabric steamers
Steamer for clothes are so adept at reducing wrinkles on clothes that many prefer them over irons. Not only are they easy to use, these steamers offer these distinct advantages over irons and other alternatives.
- Minimal wear and tear
A garment’s life is reduced by constant washing which wreaks havoc on its fibers. Moreover, its difficult assessing the iron’s temperature and can ruin some fabrics if it’s too hot. Using a steamer in between washes instead of ironing prolongs the garments’ life.
- Simple to use
It’s not easy ironing clothes as it needs some practice and different techniques for different types of clothing. Garment cleaners are much easier to operate as it doesn’t need any special training or techniques. Moreover, they iron clothes quickly and efficiently without any special chemicals.
- Saves money
Specialty clothes have to be washed professionally to prevent possible damage while washing. While dry cleaning is expensive; steaming them with a clothing steamer is a more viable option. Of course, dry cleaning and steaming are two different processes as dry cleaning involves chemicals for deep cleaning your clothes.
However your fabric steamer at least refreshes your clothes, like remove cigarette smoke from your ‘smoky smelling’ coat or silk shirt after your gig at the bar!
- Fabric restoration
Some fabrics like chiffon and organza tend to wrinkle easily but unfortunately risk damage while ironing. Gowns and wedding attire of these fabrics are delicate, and can be easily flattened when packed in a suitcase or get crushed under the weight of other clothes in a closet.
It’s possible to restore the fabric and remove wrinkles with a fabric steamer without worrying about destroying fine fibers. Moreover, your fabric steamer can loosen fibers to help restore the shape of vests, sweaters and other knitwear.
So looking at all this, it’s indeed worth investing in a garment cleaner, especially if you love wearing wrinkle-free clothes but don’t have the time or patience to iron them! Though you may find some models to be expensive, their costs justify themselves in the long run, considering how much money you save on dry cleaning and pressing costs.
The only problem is that there are so many types and brands of clothes steamers in the market that you may find it difficult making a choice. So to help you out, here is a mini-guide compiled with everything you need to know about buying a clothes steamer.
Clothes steamer buying guide
Though clothes steamer have limited use around the home, they should be versatile in function. They should be long enough to easily steam any sized garment and also handle other items like drapes. While it’s better to choose models with at least a five foot hose, here are other considerations to keep in mind while choosing the best garment steamer.
- Water capacity and steaming
Check the steamer’s water capacity as it determines how long the streamer can be used at a time. Depending on the model, it may run continuously anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours. Choose based on your needs like how long you will be using the steamer and the types of garment you will be using it on.
If you need it only for one or two items, a lighter model with small capacity is enough. If you will be using it often to steam lots of clothes, look for a model which can steam continuously for at least two hours.
A common complaint with fabric steamers is the number of times the steamer head down has to be set down while steaming as there’s no shut off sensor or timer as it leads to electricity wastage and additional wear and tear.
As a solution, many brands now incorporate a timer which switches the machine off after a fixed amount of time. If you are strict about details and remember to switch things off, you don’t need this feature. However if you tend to hurry and forget things, a steamer with a timer saves you power, water and even prolongs the steamer’s life.
Portability in garment steamers depends on its size and the presence of wheels so that it can be easily moved around the house. This is important if you want to steam drapes or upholstery, or use the steamer in various rooms. The steamer’s portability also depends on its overall design; it should be easy to carry, and have handles to minimize strain on your back while pulling it into position.
- Garment rack/hanger
The better clothes steamer have a rack for hanging garments so that it’s easier steaming them. The rack may constitute a bar to hang things from or some optional hanging attachments to use while steaming as gravity helps easily remove wrinkles and creases. This avoids placing your garments near a door, window or wall as its high temperatures can lead to damage in the long run.
The fabric steamer accessories is what sets it apart. So if you want versatility with your clothes steamer, look for steamers offering accessory kits or which are at least available at a fee. One such accessory is a lint remover which gets rid of the fluff on clothes and furs from cats and dogs.
Another is the crease tool which helps accentuate lines in your dresses, trousers or shirt and can be used with the steamer for pressing to ensure your garment looks as good as new.
Other accessories you can expect are clips, steaming press pads for detailed streaming, hanging features, hose extenders and various steamer heads for different fabrics like upholstery brushes.
- Water level indicator
There’s nothing more frustrating than stopping in the midst of steaming your thick drapes than realizing you have run out of water half way through! Water level indicators are a great feature to look out for in professional a commercial quality models. They may exist as a visible fill line or an indicator light in the water compartment.
- Removable water tanks
While most clothing steamers like Jiffy have a built-in water compartment, others like Rowenta have a canister-style system which you remove, fill and replace the tank. Removable water tanks are better as it remains clean and free of build-up if used only once a week or more infrequently.
- Different steam settings
Most clothes steamers have versatile steam settings where it may heat for the first five minutes after heat-up and then give a lighter steam. Some models let you adjust the steam intensity like a lighter setting for delicate materials and heavier one for cleaning upholstery and bedding.
- Time to heat up
Another important feature is how long it needs to heat up and be ready for use. Some are ready within 15 minutes, and others may take longer; you need to consider this time factor if you don’t have the patience to wait to get your garments done!
- Steam temperature
This is rather difficult to determine as some units claim to be high temperature just because they are high in wattage, but are not always hot. While high temperatures do help remove stubborn creases and kill germs, its high wattage consumes lots of electricity to give increased utility bills.
A clothes steamer should be able to steam various garments ranging from delicate chiffon dresses to heavy duty hoodies. Check if it does more than remove creases as some can extract unpleasant odors from clothes and upholstery.
While all steamers do come with a warranty, it’s usually limited to a year or two. So check impartial clothing steamer reviews to find out if your chosen garment steamer is built to last.
- Safety features
This is important as the steamer may overheat if used on high temperatures for long periods of time. Moreover, it may emit an unpleasant smell of burning plastic if it runs out of water.
If you plan to buy a compact, portable or handheld garment steamer, check its dimensions as it shouldn’t be bigger than a medium-sized hairdryer lest it ends up weighing down your luggage. Some steamers have its water tank integrated into the steamer; which can be inconvenient as you need to carry the entire unit to the tap for refilling.
In case you choose a larger steamer, look for one which doesn’t take up much space in your closet. It’s better if the hose can be compressed and placed on top or alongside the appliance to maximize space.
- Status light
A status light is important in a clothes steamer as it indicates when it is ready for use. It usually goes yellow when the steamer is heating to its working temperature and turns green when you start steaming clothes. You thus save time and also know if the machine is faulty.
- Cord length
Portable garment steamers usually have a cord 9ft long, enough for reaching your clothes. Cords of larger devices are usually 6.2ft. Long, which can be frustrating as you may require an additional cord to treat your clothes.
So it’s better buying a garment steamer with long hoses or at least adjustable hoses which reach hard-to-reach areas like drapes and curtains when fully extended. In case your chosen steamer doesn’t include this as a standard accessory, you can easily buy one as an add-on tool online or in stores. However make sure it fits on securely as it can become a health hazard if it doesn’t.
- Replacement parts
Check if your steamer offers replacement parts online as some accessories like the water tank may require replacement, especially if you use hard water which leads to a buildup of lime scale.
- Power switch
An auto on/off feature is another safety feature to look out for in clothes steamers which automatically sets the steamer off when its water levels reach dangerously low. This helps ensure the steamer stays cool. Some steamers also have foot pedals to use to easily turn off the steam when the phone rings.
While some fabric steamers start working as soon as it completes the heat-up period of 45 seconds to a few minutes, some machines start working as soon as they are plugged in. So never leave the machine unattended or switch it on when there’s no water in the reservoir as it only permanent damages the unit.
With this, one of the best-kept secrets in the garment industry, steaming clothes has been divulged to the common man. You no longer need to iron your clothes or have them professionally cleaned for neat and unwrinkled clothes; you just have to steam them.
While full steamers provide space to hang your clothes and have a handle for a steam nozzle, handheld nits are lightweight, compact in design and can produce lots of steam to quickly get the job done.
Despite all this information, it still may be difficult finding the best clothes steamer for yourself. So to help you out at making your choice, here are a few popular garment steamer reviews.