Updated November 2018

Best Clothes Steamers

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Best Clothes Steamers Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Rowenta

Master Valet
Check Price at: 1 store
Best performing pick of the bunch. Steams for long periods of time and comes with attachments galore.
The pull-down screen and hanger makes this clothes steamer stand out from the rest. It has a large tank for more steam time (1 hour) and fewer refills.
A more expensive choice, but it’s money well-spent if you’re a frequent steamer.

Epica

800-Watt
Check Price at: 1 store
This portable steamer is cost-effective and very lightweight, but it does require frequent refills.
Lightweight, compact, and cost-effective, this is a quick solution for squeezing in a steam sesh even on those rushed Monday mornings.
Runs out of water quickly, and can spew if filled beyond the max water line. Can take a while to get wrinkles out.

PurSteam

180ml. Fabric Steamer
Check Price at: 1 store
Another cost-effective and portable option. We’ve heard great things about PurSteam’s customer service should you ever need to troubleshoot a problem or replace a part.
It’s compact (1 pound) and convenient for travel (carry case included).
You’ll only get 5-7 minutes of steam time due to its small reservoir. Some customers report some leakage.

Steamfast

SF-407
Check Price at: 1 store
A heavy-duty clothes steamer—similar to the Rowenta’s performance—at a lower price point.
High quality, large clothes steamer for a lower price. Heats quickly with long steam time (45 minutes).
Maintain this machine well to prevent clogging. Some customers also report the steam tube gets too hot. The unit can unintentionally swivel since the wheels don’t lock.

Jiffy Steamer

J-2000
Check Price at: 1 store
A professional-grade fabric steamer, but it has fewer features than some of the other options.
A large steamer that will last for at least 1.5 hours, and can even be used for some light commercial jobs.
A great choice if one steam setting is all you need for extended periods of time, but not your best choice if you’re looking for customizable features.

Our process

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If ironing isn’t your style—because of the time and effort it requires—but neither is wrinkled clothing, a clothes steamer is a fuss-free option to get the job done. Though you’re going for a fast, effortless solution, you still want your outfit to look pressed and polished. The House Method Reviews team tested and researched steamers that will achieve both the simplicity you need and the look you want. We tested products in our lab and sorted through clothes steamer reviews and comments—some products have thousands—to highlight the best clothes steamers that will deliver performance and convenience.

Clothes steamer reviews guide 

How does it work? Clothes steamers have water reservoirs where water heats to become steam. That steam is then applied to wrinkled clothing through a nozzle that relaxes the fabric’s fibers. Garment steamers can be used across a number of fabrics, but they’re especially useful when working with delicate material, like silk.

Why try it? Fabric steamers save time, energy, and space to make your clothing—or tea towels, drapes or any other textile—look presentable. There are a lot of options out there though. Steamers are available in a range of prices and with a variety of features. That’s why we created this buyer’s guide, so you can find the best garment steamer and learn how to make the most of it.

Types of steamers

Standing

Standing steamers are great for in-home use. They’re long with a large tank, a flexible hose that’s attached to a steamer head, and usually an extendable pole for hanging clothing as you steam. Customers love this option for long garments like dresses and pants. They’re usually looking for quick-to-heat, slow-to-deplete products. Just keep in mind your storage options when purchasing. Of course, you can always dedicate an empty corner in the laundry room or closet to a steaming station.

Handheld

Handheld steamers are much smaller than standing units. Handheld devices don’t have a hanger or extension pole, so they’re easy to store. These portable steamers will need to be refilled more often, but many heat fairly quickly and do the trick to unwrinkle fabric when you’re short on time.

Travel

Travel steamers are essentially handheld clothes steamers. They’re light, compact, and portable. Again, these will need to be refilled often and may not heat as quickly, but they’re a great buy if you want a way to unwrinkle the clothes you packed away in your suitcase. We recommend these for those who travel often, especially for work events and conferences.

Don’t overlook clothes steamer accessories. Fabric brushes remove lint and dust. Hand mats prevent burns when handling garments. Some also come with clasp attachments, which can help create creases—a capability sometimes lost in the move from an iron to a clothes steamer.”

Best clothes steamer for home use ROWENTA MASTER VALET

The Rowenta is the best choice for busy homes that need a product that’s quick, customizable, and lasts the duration of your steam session. With a large reservoir and many features, like a screen, hanger, and brushes for different fabric needs, this product is all you need to de-wrinkle a full wardrobe or even furniture. It heats very fast, for last-minute steaming of today’s shirt or slacks.

3 Major factors to consider

Reservoir capacity

Consider how many items you want to steam in one use. Standing steamers will have the highest water capacity, some being able to continuously steam for an hour and a half. Naturally, more compact machines have smaller reservoirs that will run out quickly. If you just need to steam one article of clothing at a time, a handheld or travel steamer might be the right choice for you.

Heating time

Similar to reservoir capacity, heating time may depend on the size of your steamer. Often, the larger and more powerful, the faster the heating time. Top-performing clothes steamers, like the Rowenta, can heat in just minutes. While smaller, cheaper steamers may take a few minutes or longer. If you like to steam your clothing right before you walk out the door, you may want to invest in a larger, faster steamer.

Steam temperature

Steam temperature is key to reduce wrinkles—or even kill bacteria and germs—quickly and effectively. To kill germs and bacteria, steam should be at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Clothes steamers often don’t come with a temperature control, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used across multiple fabrics. Adjust the way you treat different fabrics by adjusting the distance between the steamer head and the fabric. The further you are from the fabric, the cooler the steam will be by the time it makes contact with the clothing. We discuss tips on treatment by clothing or fabric below.

Best clothes steamer for your money STEAMFAST SF-407

The Steamfast SF-407 is a great middle-of-the-road option for someone who wants a standing steamer that’s customizable without a big price tag. The Steamfast has a 40-ounce water capacity and offers more extensions and features than the Jiffy Steamer. The wheels make this standing steamer more mobile, but beware of unwanted swiveling from time to time since the wheels don’t lock.

Best handheld steamer EPICA 800-WATT

Small but effective, the Epica 800-Watt is light and portable, while still getting the job done. It takes a minute longer to heat than larger options and you will need to refill it more often, but that’s a fair trade for the added portability you gain with this product. Just keep in mind, if you fill the reservoir beyond the max capacity line, it may spew and leave water marks.

The max capacity line matters. It’s usually marked with a line on the outside of the reservoir. Overfilling a garment steamer can result in spewed water and even water stains.”

How to use a clothes steamer

Adjust heat by fabric

Most clothes steamers don’t have temperature settings. However, you can still control the “heat” of your steam by adjusting the distance between the steamer wand and the fabric. The further away, the more the steam is able to cool before interacting with the fabric. Here are some general heat guidelines for different types of fabric:

  • Cotton: High heat
  • Silk: Medium heat
  • Wool (cashmere, flannel): Medium heat
  • Blends: Low heat
  • Unknown fabric: Low heat (to be safe)

The type of water you use matters

Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions, but some steamers work better with treated or distilled water. Clogging can occur if you have hard water. Tap water contains minerals that may create deposits that interact with the interior parts of the product. Treated or distilled water, on the other hand, generally increases the lifespan of your steamer.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best clothes steamer for home use?

The Rowenta Master Valet is a great product for home use, with the capacity and heat time to work for you both in extended laundry sessions and for one-off steaming. It offers multiple features like brush extensions to work with a range of fabrics and needs.

What is the best travel clothes steamer?

A great choice for travel is the Epica 800-Watt steamer. It’s light, portable, and reliable. Though you may have to fill it often, it’s worth the convenient size and effectiveness for your travel needs. Just keep in mind it has a max reservoir capacity and may spew if you overfill it.

Is it better to iron or steam clothes?

The steamer vs iron debate is a hot one. Clothes steamers save more time, energy, and space than irons. Some steamers, like travel steamers, are portable. If you’re looking to de-wrinkle clothing or furniture with minimal fuss, garment steamers are a great option. However, you won’t get that crisp, pressed look that you do from ironing.

Do steamers clean clothes?

When heated to 175 degrees, fabric steamers can kill germs, bacteria, and dust mites. Although, we still recommend giving clothes a good wash with detergent before you tackle wrinkles. Steaming is an option if you’re clothes have a funky smell that the washer can’t seem to get rid of.

Can you steam all clothes?

Steamers are equipped to unwrinkle a number of fabrics from silk to cotton to wool. Just watch out for a few fabrics that can’t sustain high heat or moisture. We advise against steaming suede, plastic, or waxed jackets.

The team that worked on this review

Sabrina Karr
Writer
Kelsey Roadruck
Editor
Elizabeth Hennigan
Product Tester
Alesandra Woolley
Product Tester
John Morgan
Producer

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