• May 24, 2024, 3:10 am

Best clothes steamers for 2022 SoftAIT

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Update : Monday, November 6, 2023

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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, which is why you need a steamer. 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.

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.

Why it made the cut: Sturdy construction and a large water reservoir for marathon steam sessions.

Specs

  • 128-ounce reservoir
  • 2 hour steam time
  • Corded

Pros

  • Super-durable and well-crafted
  • Huge water tank for long steaming sessions
  • Suitable for commercial use
  • Impeccable reputation with pros

Cons

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. 

Best for delicates: Steamery X Cirrus

Why it made the cut: This meticulously designed steamer has a stainless steel front plate and meticulous steam output to protect expensive textiles.

Specs

  • Corded
  • 2.8 ounce reservoir
  • 20-second heat-up time

Pros

  • Stainless steel face is very smooth and easy on delicate fabric
  • Very steady steam production
  • Quick heat up
  • Lime scale trap for helping with hard water

Cons

Steamers excel when it comes to de-wrinkling delicate items that you’d never hit with an iron. The Steamery model offers a super-smooth stainless steel face that glides very easily across any material. I’ve used it on everything from silk shirts to thick hoodies with no issue. Some steamers can sputter and spit big drops of water onto material, which can also be tricky with delicate fabrics. The Steamery emits a very steady stream of steam with little to no sputtering.

It’s not without its faults. The small reservoir will only get you 10-15 minutes of steaming before you need to refill so this is meant for volume jobs. But, most people aren’t steaming tons of clothes at once anyway. It’s also pricy, but that’s partly a result of its very high-end design. It also comes with a padded mitten that goes on the other side of the fabric as you steam to help pull out the wrinkles. That usually comes at an extra cost. If you have lots of expensive clothes or you just really want to avoid water blobs marking up your clothes as you steam them, then this upmarket model is worth considering.

PurSteam is our pick for the best clothes steamer.

PurSteam World’s Best Steamers

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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. 

Specs

  • 85-ounce reservoir
  • 60-minute steam time
  • Corded

Pros

  • 60 minutes of continuous steaming
  • Customizable controls
  • Multiple included attachments
  • Powerful output

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Big
  • No auto-shut-off

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

Kexi is our pick for the best clothes steamer.

Why it made the cut: This quick-heating steamer has a handy flat smoothing surface that takes the place of add-ons. 

Specs:

  • Foldable
  • 12-minute steam time
  • Corded

Pros

  • 40-second heat-up time
  • Robust safety features
  • Pulls double duty as an iron
  • Foldable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Takes a while to cool

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

SALAV 2 in 1 steamer is our pick for the best clothes steamer.

Why it made the cut: The wide ceramic face works just like an iron in addition to the typical steaming function.

Specs

  • 5-ounce reservoir
  • Corded
  • Variable steam time

Pros

  • Works as both a steamer and an iron
  • Attractive design
  • Very easy to pack due to its small size
  • Affordable
  • Heats up quickly

Cons

  • Small, but heavy
  • Dual-purpose devices always require compromise
  • Small reservoir

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.

Things to consider when shopping for the best 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.

Type

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.

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.

FAQs

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!

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.



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