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Reduce Fabric Wrinkles with These Clothes Steamers

Not everyone has the time, desire, or space to iron their clothes on a regular basis. Nonetheless, clothes that wrinkle may still be a problem in your life that needs to be addressed. This is where clothes steamers (also known as garment steamers or simply steamers) come in. They use hot steam to relax clothing fibers, smoothing out the wrinkles. All you have to do is fill up the tank with water, plug in the steamer, allow it to heat up, and then press the trigger as you run it down the hanging wrinkled clothing. They’re just as effective as irons on most items of clothing, even more so on some hard-to-iron garments such as suit jackets. They’re also more space-efficient, especially handheld models, and they require less time and effort on your part, don’t pollute the air, can kill odor-causing bacteria, and remove allergens that attract dust mites. They aren’t limited to just clothing, either. Drapes, pillowcases, sheets, carpets, and even mattresses are all fair game for a clothes steamer. Here are a few we recommend.

What Should You Consider in a Clothes Steamer?

Here are a few things to think about before buying a clothing steamer:

  • Handheld vs. Full-Sized: Clothes steamers come in both portable, handheld models and in full-sized, almost vacuum-like styles. People who travel a lot may find a lightweight, handheld clothing steamer a worthwhile investment since you can’t exactly pack an iron and board in your luggage, but clothes still often wind up wrinkled during transit. Anyone who plans to use their streamer only at home may prefer a full-sized version since they have bigger tanks, and many come with a convenient built-in clothing hanger. Note that both types will require to be plugged into an outlet to function.
  • Features: There are several different features that you can look for in a clothes steamer to make it more convenient or useful to you. As mentioned, a built-in hanger on a full-sized model can be quite handy since you never have to worry about finding a spot to hang your garments while using the device. Some have collapsible handles or bigger water tanks and longer cords than others. Some come with extra brushes and attachments that allow you to steam creases or remove lint. Others will have more heat or steam settings, heat up more quickly, or offer more stability or safety features to reduce the risk of hot water spills. Compactness and portability will likely be important factors in anyone who plans to use their steamer during traveling. And you may want a lower or higher wattage depending on how energy-efficient you’re trying to be.
  • Price: You may find it handy to have a budget in mind before you go shopping for a clothes steamer. They can come in quite a wide range of prices. Full-sized models will generally be more expensive than handheld ones, but even those more portable models can be costly. Generally, the more features and accessories a steamer has, the pricier it will run. Models with larger tanks will often cost more, too. Try to find a balance between price and functionality when looking for a steamer.

As a safety note, know that when using a steamer, the clothing should be hung on a hanger, and you should never attempt to steam something while wearing it. Here are our picks for great clothes steamers!

Top Choice: Hilife Steamer for Clothes

A handheld clothes steamer that is equally perfect for both travel and home use. The water tank has a capacity of 240 milliliters (just over 8 fluid ounces), enough for 15 straight minutes of steaming. The 700-watt device produces a strong jet of steam for powerful wrinkle-busting capabilities. It’s also lightweight for easy packing and portability on trips. The easy-grip handle makes it easy to operate, and the 9-foot power cord makes it easy for you to plug in and operate, even when outlets are scarce. For safety purposes, do not fill the steamer above the max water line, and do not tilt it upside down or past a 45-degree angle during steaming. Besides the clothes steamer itself, you’ll receive a cup, brush, power cable, and instruction user manual with your purchase.

Top Choice

Hilife Steamer for Clothes Steamer, Handheld Garment Steamer Clothing Iron 240ml Big Capacity Upgraded Version

A portable, handheld steamer with a long extension cord, deep tank, and powerful wattage.

Most Versatile: BEAUTURAL Steamer for Clothes with Pump Steam Technology

This handy, handheld garment steamer with three extra, interchangeable attachments allow you to use the device for additional, bonus functions. It runs on 1,200 watts of power, operates on constant pump steam technology, and takes a mere 30 seconds to heat up for a powerful steam output that smoothes out your clothes faster. The water tank holds just under 9 fluid ounces for 15 straight minutes of uninterrupted steaming. The tank is also detachable for easier filling. This steamer is safe on all fabrics, from cotton to wool to nylon to silk, and on clothes, curtains, and furniture alike. The device is designed to be leak-proof and steams equally effectively whether held vertically or horizontally. The three extra attachments include a brush to remove lint from garments, a soft brush to get rid of dust, and a creaser to steam out areas not normally accessible with a steamer, such as pleats and folds. It’s available with aqua or purple accents.

Most Versatile

Most Lightweight: Polardo Clothes Steamer for Any Fabrics

If you’re someone who often travels and needs to iron out your clothes on the go, this super lightweight, compact, and handheld model is the perfect choice for your lifestyle. It weighs slightly over a pound, and despite its small size, it’s every bit as effective as a full-sized steamer. You can pack it in your backpack, suitcase, or its complimentary travel bag. The steel head is tough and reliable, and the entire device remains cool to the touch so that you won’t burn your hand or any surface you need to rest it on. It also automatically shuts off to avoid overheating. It heats up in under 30 seconds and runs for 10 minutes straight without interruption. You can also pause it and then start it working immediately upon un-pausing. The water tank is easy to fill, and you can fill it with tap water without worrying about calcification. This steamer is designed to operate at a full 360 degrees and continually and evenly steam regardless of the angle, even upside down, without spitting water or leaking for your safety. It works well on any fabric, such as wool, cotton, satin, linen, and more. The included bonus brush is gentle on delicates like silk, lace, sequins, and embroidery.

Most Lightweight

Best Full-Sized: PurSteam Full-Sized Steamer for Clothes

If you prefer a full-sized clothes steamer to a handheld one, consider this model. It’s fast, powerful, and effective all in one, designed to emit more steam than ever before. There are four levels of steaming to offer you better control and a more customizable, effective steaming experience. Just turn the dial on the body to your desired setting. It has a built-in collapsible and adjustable hanger with clips so that you don’t have to find a separate hanger or spot to hang your clothes while steaming them. The burn-prevention safety cap stops the water tank from popping open while you’re using it to prevent hot steam or water from burning your hands or skin. The removable water tank means easy filling. The reinforced ABS wheels let you move the steamer from room to room without issue. The crease attachment lets you hit the creases on clothing like dress shirts, while the brush on the back of the steam nozzle helps to comb away pesky lint.

Best Full-Sized

PurSteam -2020 Official Partner of Fashion-Full Size Steamer for Clothes, Garments, Fabric-Professional Heavy Duty - 4 Steam Levels, Perfect Continuous Steam

A full-sized clothes steamer for your home with a detachable water tank and built-in clothing hanger with clips.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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