Are you somebody who hates both wrinkly clothes and the hassle of ironing clothes at the same time? Trust us; you aren’t the only one. Those who have tried their luck with conventional irons would agree that it is no less an ordeal. Ironing requires plenty of time, effort, and space. Frankly, our lifestyles do not allow that anymore. Thus, using a steamer for clothes seems like a better alternative.
Steamers are the ultimate means of keeping your clothes in perfectly pressed condition. Unlike conventional irons, you do not have to drag out heavy ironing boards or lay your clothes on a flat surface to get that crisp look. Steamers are lightweight and portable. Thus they can be carried around with ease. The clothing steamers have several benefits over conventional irons.
Buyer’s Guide: Find the Best Steamer for De-Wrinkling Your Attire
The popularity of steamers is increasing every passing day. A wrinkle-free and crisp outfit is a no-brainer in a world where you need to be on top of your wardrobe game. Unlike ironing, steaming is extraordinarily convenient and not too time intensive.
This section will discuss all you need to know about steamers, including why it is crucial to have one, its types, selection criteria, how to use and so much more!
Why Is It Essential to Have a Steamer for Garments?
A garment steamer might seem a pointless purchase if you are happy with your existing steam or conventional iron. However, the steamer offers so much more than merely an apparatus used to remove wrinkles from clothes.
A steamer can also be used to clean and disinfect surfaces and materials other than garments. It can be used on curtains, drapes, and several other waterproof household items. The steamer removes wrinkles and can also be used to remove dirt and lint, sharpen the creases, and disinfect the surfaces. Steamers, through their action, kill germs and remove stubborn odors.
Other than that, steamers are also relatively faster and easier to use as compared to irons.
Types of Garment Steamers
The garment steamers are primarily of two types; handheld garment steamers and vertical garment steamers.
Handheld garment steamers
The handheld garment steamers are small in size. As the name suggests, these portable devices are held by hand to put to use. While some handheld garment steamers resemble showerheads, others look like kettles. This genre of garment steamers can be used on the go and is used extensively as a travel steamer.
The upright clothes steamer
The vertical garment steamers are more extensive and also happen to be bulkier. They also happen to have a higher price as compared to the handheld ones. Most vertical steamers come with a large capacity water tank at the base, which allows a better duration and quality of steam time. Thus, the upright models are more powerful in terms of performance.
Most vertical clothes steamers come with a hanger and several steaming accessories. The launderers and professional wardrobe managers prefer this type of steamer.
What Practical Clothes Steamer Features Should I Look Out for?
Choosing clothes and garment steamers as a first-time buyer is no less than an ordeal. There are plenty of different models and variants available in the market. Thus, the choice tends to get more complicated. Here is a list of features that you ought to consider when deciding among the various garment steamers.
The budget can be a significant concern when deciding upon clothes steamers.
The upright steamers are more suited for professional usage, and the cost may go as high as several hundred to several thousand dollars. Thus, it might not fit the budgetary requirement of most households.
The handheld steamers are affordable because they have a price tag as low as $40, and most good-quality handheld steamers do not cost more than $100. Thus, even while choosing a budget option, one does not have to worry about the quality and performance of the product.
Wattage has a direct correlation to the steam output. Thus, a steamer with a higher wattage will have a better steam output. However, a larger wattage is not always suitable for your requirements.
The handheld clothes steamers weigh between one to two kilograms, while the upright ones are bulky and weigh up to seven kilograms. The weight increases further, especially in the case of the larger steamers due to the water-filled in the tank.
Thus, it is instrumental in choosing a steamer that offers excellent performance but is not quite bulky to hinder the ease of operation. This is primarily a notable factor when choosing handheld steamers.
Weight and portability are closely related. However, we shall be considering them separately.
The heavy steam is not portable. Thus, if portability is something you are looking for, a handheld steamer is ideal for that purpose. Most handheld steamers are designed to be lightweight and portable, and, thus, travel friendly.
Water tank size
The water tank size of the steamer is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a steamer. The water tank size of the steamer is a determinant of the steam time and the subsequent weight of the steamer. Thus, it ought to be selected carefully.
The handheld water steamers have a smaller tank as compared to the vertical ones. However, one ought to ensure that the water tank size is larger enough to prevent the user from running to the tap for a refill every other minute yet not heavy enough to hinder ease of operation.
A water tank capacity of 200ml is sufficient for a steamer meant for single-person usage.
Steam time per tank
The steam time per tank is the amount of steam produced by a full tank. It is a crucial determinant of the performance of the steamer. It is dependent on both the size of the water tank and the efficiency of the machine. An efficient machine prevents leaks and spills. Thus, it ensures a better and extended steam time as compared to a low-efficiency device.
The larger water tank at the base of vertical steamers allows a steam time of up to an hour or even longer. However, most portable steamers allow a steam time of an average of 15-17 minutes which isn't too bad.
Heat up time
The heat-up time is the time required by the steamer to produce enough heat to perform its de-wrinkling action. It is again a vital determinant of the performance of the steamer. It is highly dependent upon the machine power and the tank size.
The heat-up time is a crucial determinant. Individuals use steamers for convenient and time-saving operations. Thus, a garment steamer with a long heat-up time will sabotage the time-saving purpose.
While most efficient steamers have a heat-up time of one to two minutes, several new variants take no longer than a few seconds to heat up.
How Much Do Garment Steamers Cost?
The clothes and garment steamers have a variable price range depending on the features and the manufacturers. The price range varies greatly; it starts from $40 and can potentially go up to $2000. The handheld garment steamers usually have a lower price tag, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Clothes and garment steamers have a higher price range when compared to conventional and steam irons.
How to Use a Clothes Steamer?
A clothes steamer is not necessarily used like an iron. It is gently held against the wrinkled cloth. The steamer runs in downwards strokes along the length of the fabric seamlessly. There is no involvement of force or tugging actions. The steam is gently applied to each area of the material, and this is how the movement of the steam eliminates the wrinkles and creases.
It is a handheld garment steamer that one can safely use to de-wrinkle all sorts of fabrics and several other items. It is highly efficient due to a powerful steam output. The Beautural steamer removes all wrinkles in no time.
It comes with three additional attachments, including a lint brush, soft brush, and creaser to remove lint and dust while perfectly removing all creases. The best part is that it allows 15 minutes of seamless steaming operation and can be used long before a refill is required.
This powerful and efficient product is ranked as the number one bestseller in garment steamers, and rightly so.
It comes with an automatic shut-off feature that prevents the steamer from overheating
It is easy to assemble and use
It is super quick and efficient as the heat up time is as low as 30 seconds
The iSteam 7-in-1 Steamer is the perfect travel steamer. It is lightweight, portable, and highly efficient. Thus, it allows having perfectly crisp and wrinkle-free clothing in a matter of minutes. The sleek ergonomic design makes it easier to use this steamer. Furthermore, it also comes with an automatic shutoff system which enhances the safety factor of the device.
It has a multipurpose action, which means it is used as a steamer for de-wrinkling clothes and eliminates dirt and bacteria from all surfaces.
The iSteam 7-in-1 Steamer is safe to use with all garments and fabrics. However, it is not only used for ironing garments but can also be used on a plethora of waterproof household items.
HiLife Garment Steamer is a highly cost-effective option when it comes to steamers. Despite being a cost-effective option, there is no compromise on the quality of performance of the steamer. While most individuals argue about the efficacy of the HiLife Clothes Steamer due to its comparatively low power output, its performance is at par with all high-end steamers.
HiLife Garment Steamer has a heat-up time of fewer than 130 seconds which is pretty quick by most standards. It can also produce steam consistently for about 16 minutes, making it highly reliable and efficient.
The water level window provides an opening for viewing when a refill is required
Portable and lightweight yet sturdy to use
One can safely use it on all types of fabrics
There may be a potential safety concern as boiling water spills over in case of tilting
The OGHom Handheld Garment Steamer is a large-capacity steamer that heats up in less than two minutes and produces 15 minutes of continuous steaming at the desired temperature. The cord of the steamer is 9ft long, along with an easy-to-use design allowing great ease of operation.
It is a highly durable product that can truly stand the test of time due to the use of high-quality stainless steel panels that are anti-rust and anti-oxidation. It is built to last.
It is exceptionally durable for use
The heating element is robust and highly efficient
The design is multifunctional
Several safety factors have been incorporated
It is comparatively larger when compared to most travel steamers
The Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer is the next generation of steamers. It is a sturdy plastic steamer with a dual slotted ceramic soleplate. This powerful device gives enough steam to get rid of the most stubborn wrinkles and creases. It seamlessly glides over the fabric resulting in a smooth and crease-free surface.
Unlike most steamers, it has a nominal heat-up time of as little as 40 seconds. The steamer does not have to be held for continuous steam production. This product also comes with an option to regulate the temperature of the steam, which is rarely seen in other similar products. All in all, it is an excellent product to de-wrinkle garments in a short span of time.
The heat-up time is as nominal as 40 seconds
The most powerful and efficient among the handheld steamers available in the market
None of the accessories have to be purchased separately
It is heavier than most of its counterparts, and continuous use can be considerably difficult for the user due to the weight.
People Also Asked
Q: Are steamers bad for clothes?
A: Contrary to popular belief, steamers are suitable for clothes. The steamers kill germs as well as odor-causing bacteria, thus promoting health and hygiene.
Q: Can all clothes and fabrics be de-wrinkled with a steamer?
A: Although a steamer is a multi-purpose item and can be used extensively for all clothes and fabrics, utmost care must be exercised with certain materials such as suede, waxed jackets, leather, and plastic items. It is advisable to avoid using a steamer on these items as they might melt due to the heat produced by the steamer.
Q: Why is an auto shut-off steamer better?
A: An auto shut-off steamer is better than other variants due to the enhanced safety factor.Overheating accidents with steamers and heaters are pretty standard. Auto shut off feature ensures that the steamer or heater goes off after minutes of inactivity.
Q: How to clean a steamer?
A: Due to extensive usage, rust and hard water deposits such as limescale often build up in the steamer. It not only reduces efficiency but can also prove to be detrimental to the longevity of the product.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.