The SmartFlow technology ensures that the steam plate is heated up to an optimal temperature. This way, the plate remains safe for all types of fabrics and prevents the occasional wet spots. It can be used vertically and horizontally.
The continuous steaming time is lower than advertised.
What the Philips GC362/86 handheld garment steamer lacks in steaming time, the model more than makes for up with its well-thought-out design, excellent functionality, and solid versatility. Aside from making your clothes look good, the appliance just as well removes odours and kills bacteria.
Heat-resistant storage bag, fabric brush, safety glove
The water tank is removable, so it is easy to clean and refill under the tap. The locking trigger keeps you and your clothes safe. The 3-metre cord and a flat stable base make the steamer practical and convenient. The pleat attachment is perfect for trouser creases.
For a handheld steamer, the model is a bit large.
The Tefal DT8150 is an equally great travel model and household appliance. For a handheld garment steamer, it is fast and powerful, perfect for last-minute touch-ups as well as for everyday use. The ceramic coating of the soleplate gives you great results on all fabrics.
~ 9 min
Door hook, fabric brush, pleat attachment, steam bonnet, travel bag
The water tank is transparent and detachable, so you'll have no problems refilling the tank and will always know when to do so. In addition to the unit, you receive a fabric brush, lint brush, this nice little pleat attachment, and the most practical measuring cup.
The power cord tangles easily.
The Beautural Portable Garment Steamer does pretty much everything right. The model's compact, handy, and overall practical. At the same time, the steamer is as effective as its more expensive competition. It is equally suitable for quick last-minute difficulties and everyday ironing needs.
~ 25 g/min
Fabric brush, lint brush, measuring cup
The vertical board net, the adjustable rod, and multiple clips will let you suspend different garments basically anywhere, steaming and ironing them without using an ironing board. The heat-resistant gloves will eliminate potential accidents.
The instructions are lacking.
Unlike its more portable but less capable handheld relatives, Sabi Powerful can handle the biggest garment piles. With the two wheels, the model enables easy relocation, so you can move it between different rooms without lugging the 7.6-kilogramme unit with your hands.
~ 60 sec
~ 60 minutes
~ 1500 ml
~ 30 g/min
Vertical board net, adjustable stainless steel rod, clips, heat-resistant gloves
2 years free replacement
With its 32 g/min steam output, the model sanitises garments, kills bacteria, disinfects and sterilises them, removes odours, and refreshes fabrics. You can work not just with clothes but also with curtains, bedding items, different furniture pieces, and so forth.
The travel hanger doesn't have a rotating hook.
PIRATECH Portable Clothes Steamer is equally good at home and on the road. You can replace its already considerable 260-millilitre tank with a 500-millilitre bottle, increasing the usage time twofold. The leakproof and splash-resistant housing supports vertical as well as horizontal steaming.
Gift box, travel bag pouch, portable folding hanger, dust removal & creaser clip
Philips GC362/86 1300W
Go With the Flow
On paper, the Philips GC362/86 is your run-of-the-mill handheld steamer. Most of its specs do not necessarily disappoint nor impress. But that's just how it is on paper. Take a closer look and you'll find that the model actually has quite a lot going for it. At the end of the day, it isn't about the number of characteristics nor about the specs. More often than not, it is about execution. And that's where the steamer edges out a solid chunk of its competition.
That execution starts with the SmartFlow technology. In layman's terms, the technology ensures that the steam plate is heated up to an optimal temperature. This way, the plate remains safe for all types of fabrics and prevents the occasional wet spots. The heated steam plate makes it easier to press the fabric while steaming horizontally, giving you improved steaming results. All in all, the steamer is an equally fitting everyday solution for your standard garments and for delicate fabrics like silk.
By the way, the aforementioned horizontal steaming isn't your only option. Though it is the optimal choice if you need the right results in those difficult-to-iron areas such as collars and cuffs. But if you simply want to quickly de-wrinkle and refresh your clothes without using an ironing board, vertical steaming is the way to go.
Where Ergonomics Meet Functionality
Admittedly, some things about this handheld garment steamer aren't that impressive. The continuous steaming time of 8 minutes isn't too shabby for a handheld steamer but it isn't remarkable either. Plus, despite the advertised number, it doesn't always give you those full 8 times. The person to blame for the limited steaming time is mostly the 70-millilitre water tank.
Then again, we can't really hold it that much against the steamer. The numbers may seem unimpressive out of context but keep in mind that we're dealing with a particularly compact appliance. It adds up to 38.2 x 15.2 x 13.6 centimetres in overall dimensions and weighs less than 1.3 kilograms. Add to that the ergonomic handle and you have yourself a practical and convenient device that you could use for hours on end.
The steam output here is fairly respectable. The electric pump that the model comes equipped with automatically provides you with a continuous steam output of up to 24 g/min, just the thing you need for quick and easy de-wrinkling.
In conclusion, what the Philips GC362/86 handheld garment steamer lacks in steaming time, the model more than makes for up with its well-thought-out design, excellent functionality, and solid versatility. Aside from making your clothes look good, the appliance removes odours and kills 99.9% of bacteria.
|Last updated price||£59.17|
A Steamer With no Chill
The Tefal DT8150 is a solid all-around product with its highs and lows. For our taste, we would say that the highs definitely outweigh the lows, which is why we've included this product in our review. That said, we would still like to address one or two of its flaws. More than anything else, we aren't the biggest fans of the model's bulkier profile. The whole thing adds up to 11.5 x 14.5 x 27.5 centimetres, so it isn't particularly tall but a tad too wide and inconveniently shaped to be comfortable.
On the other hand, it is surprisingly light. With a weight of 1.07 kilograms, it is arguably one of the most lightweight handheld garment steamers on the market and definitely one of the most lightweight steamers in its price range.
Now, as for the model's highs, we would like to start with its fast 40-second heat-up time. Sure, it may not be that much of a change compared to the usual deal, but even some of the most expensive standing garment steamers seldom feature this kind of heat-up time, so we definitely couldn't overlook this parameter. The continuous steaming time here ranges somewhere around 9 minutes. It's nothing we haven't seen in the aforementioned standing steamers but, for a handheld model, it is actually rather impressive.
We've been criticising the model's appearance earlier but it was probably largely influenced by the 200-millilitre water tank. And if it wasn't for the tank, the appliance wouldn't have been able to deliver 9 minutes of continuous steaming time. So, as it is always the case, you have to sacrifice one thing in favour of the other.
Bring It With You
Again, we've been critical of the steamer's appearance, but it's not like we don't like a single thing about its design. On the contrary, there is a lot to like here. The aforementioned water tank is removable, so it is easy to fill and clean. The locking trigger keeps you and your clothes safe. Finally, the 3-metre cord and a flat stable base make the whole thing practical and convenient.
With garment steamers, the steam output is always a priority. And, for a mini handheld model, 26 g/min is nothing short of excellent. Add to that the appliance's fast heat-up time and you'll be able to refresh and sanitise your clothes in no time at all. The soleplate that heats up to 140°C reduces the chance of drips, so your clothes will be ready to wear straight after steaming.
Aside from the steamer, you get a nice little door hook that will let you hang your clothes just about anywhere. You also get a fabric brush that helps with thicker fabrics, a steam bonnet that helps with delicate fabrics, a pleat attachment for trouser creases, and a nice little travel bag for convenient storage and transportation.
All in all, the Tefal DT8150 is a portable appliance that's equally great for travelling and home use. For a mini handheld garment steamer, it is fast and powerful, perfect for last-minute touch-ups as well as for everyday use. The ceramic coating of the soleplate gives you great results on all fabrics.
|Last updated price||£44.00|
Steam for 15 Minutes Straight
The Beautural Portable Garment Steamer looks sleek, streamlined, and elegant. Incidentally, that's exactly the way your garments will look after dealing with this steamer. As far as we're concerned, the only real issue with this product is that the steamer will occasionally make these weird sounds during use. That being said, we're really stretching the 'real issue' definition here.
First things first, the steamer measures 29.8 x 18.8 x 15 centimetres and weighs less than 770 grams (without any attachments), so you'll have no issues using the unit with one hand. You'll have no issues bringing the steamer with you. You'll certainly have no issues finding enough space for the steamer inside your suitcase.
Pivoting towards the model's performance, there's not much to complain about here. The steamer's 1200-watt output will prove more than enough to remove the toughest, most stubborn wrinkles. The relatively large 260-millilitre water tank means that you can continuously use the steamer for 15 minutes. The model's 30-second heat-up time will let you waste less time waiting and spend more time steaming.
On the safety features front, there are the usual suspects, including but not limited to electric leakage and overheating protection systems, low-water auto-off, and the auto-off trigger that turns the steamer off after 8 minutes of inactivity.
Vertically and Horizontally
The model's overall build and anti-leak design will let you use the steamer both vertically and horizontally. The aforementioned water tank is transparent and detachable, so you'll have no problems refilling the tank and will always know when to do so.
All that being said, the supplied attachments sell the product as much as the steamer itself. In addition to the unit, you receive a fabric brush, lint brush, this nice little pleat attachment, and the most practical measuring cup. Of course, the UK plug comes with the package too. You'll be able to work with all fabrics, remove wrinkles, lint, and pet hair as well as kill 99% of bacteria and dust mites to make the indoor environment considerably healthier.
Bottom line, the Beautural Portable Garment Steamer does pretty much everything right. The model's compact, handy, and overall practical. At the same time, the steamer is as effective as its more expensive competition. It is equally suitable for quick last-minute fixes and everyday ironing needs.
|Last updated price||£33.99|
Not the Shy Kind
The Sabi Powerful is nothing alike the garment steamers that we've gathered on this list. Ditching its handheld friends, the model hangs with its upright relatives instead. Needless to say, this appliance is a lot less compact than its handheld competition, there's no comparison here. Standing at 44.2 x 39 x 30.4 centimetres and weighing 7.6 kilogrammes, the model can be moved around the house, no doubt about that, but travelling with you is something this big fellow will not do. Of course, comparing the two types like that makes very little sense. Just like upright steamers are not quite as portable as handheld steamers, the latter can't hold a candle to the former in the performance department.
Earning its 'powerful' name, this model draws and outputs 2200 watts, with its high-pressure approach delivering strong penetration that releases the toughest crinkles within seconds. Sure, where handheld garment steamers can heat up within 20-40 seconds, this one takes an entire minute. At the same time, where handheld models can seldom handle more than 10 minutes of continuous steaming time, this steamer works for 60 minutes straight, so you can go through the largest piles without taking one break. Because its tank is massive as it is, the model can hold somewhere around 1500 millilitres of water. Can handheld steamers do that? Not even close. They usually cap somewhere at 200-300 millilitres.
Multiple Useful Accessories
But let's drop the comparisons, at least between two different types. Compared against upright steamers, this model has its advantages and its disadvantages too. Having said that, as far as we're concerned, the latter end with the poor instruction manual. The former, however, include a double-stage anti-dry burning system. With this system, the steamer does not spoil the frailest fabrics, leaves no stains, and makes sure the fabric structure is not deformed.
Reviewing the overall package, the steamer's shipped with a vertical board net, an adjustable stainless steel rod, multiple clips, and heat-resistant gloves. Between these accessories, you can steam and iron clothes pretty much anywhere you want. Whilst the board net, the rod, and the clips will be holding the garments, the gloves will be making sure no accidents take place.
In closing, the Sabi Powerful is compatible with most fabrics and can handle the most stubborn wrinkles and creases without breaking a proverbial sweat.
|Last updated price||£119.90|
PIRATECH Portable Clothes Steamer
Making Every Second Count
The PIRATECH Portable Clothes Steamer is everything that the name suggests and then some, for good measure. Measuring 26.6 x 24.8 x 13.7 centimetres and reaching 1.2 kilogrammes on the weight scales, the model is not necessarily as lean as the previous handheld steamers that we've reviewed above and not quite as lightweight. Nevertheless, this steamer can still make the portable claim. Whilst its footprint is not very modest, neither are the model's specs.
To get the proverbial ball rolling, this handheld appliance reduces the heat-up time to 15 seconds, which is not a huge difference from the usual 25-40 seconds but, day after day, month after month, year after year, these seconds add up and end up making a noticeable difference. Plus, when you're running late, every second counts, and this model understands that unlike most handheld garment steamers.
Where the continuous steaming time is concerned, this impressive specimen lasts 15 minutes, which is not shabby at all considering its value-oriented disposition. The 260-millilitre water tank is not shabby either. What's more, you can remove the tank and attach any ordinary 500-millilitre water bottle instead. This way, you can go from 15 minutes of continuous steaming time to 30 minutes, doubling the usage time without bothering with fiddly adapters.
32 Grams Per Minute
Despite boasting multiple impressive specs, the model's biggest selling point is not among the ones we've listed above. No, its biggest selling point is the 32-gram per minute steam output. With this output, the steamer is excellent at sanitising and killing bacteria, disinfecting and sterilising them, removing odours, and refreshing fabrics on clothes, curtains, home furniture, bedding items, and more. With its leakproof and splashproof design, the model enables both vertical and horizontal steaming.
Also, we don't mind the package. On the contrary, we fancy it quite a lot. We're not necessarily crazy about the gift box since garment steamers do not make the best gifts (unless they do?) but the travel bag pouch is nice and so are the portable folding hanger and the dust removal and creaser clip. The one problem we have with them is that the hanger does not have a rotating hook. Besides that, there's almost no chance that the PIRATECH Portable Clothes Steamer will disappoint you, both at home and on the road (assuming the proverbial roads will open sometime soon, fingers crossed).
|Last updated price||£29.99|
What Is a Garment Steamer?
If you want to make a good impression on everyone, a rule of thumb is to wear neat and clean clothes. With that in mind, the market provides many good household appliances, with a garment steamer being one of them. As the name suggests, a garment steamer is designed to fight wrinkles and refresh clothes by treating them with hot steam. Unlike conventional irons that work from the mains, fabric steamers are more convenient to operate, weigh less (on average), and offer better manoeuvrability. Plus, as they use steam, there's almost no risk of damaging clothes, even if your wardrobe contains mostly silk and fabric dresses.
Yet, the biggest advantage of garment steamers lies in the fact that they not only allow for removing wrinkles and making your clothes perfectly smooth but also killing germs and bed bugs which often inhabit bedclothes. This makes them especially useful for people with allergies as well as for those who may need to sterilise certain things from time to time. Garment steamers come in a variety of designs and shapes and can perform a variety of different functions. To make the choice less tricky for novice users who do not know a lot about garment steamers, we've selected the top-5 of models so you can choose one that will be right for you.
Another appliance which may come in handy for cleaning not only your bedding but also furniture and even a car is a steam cleaner. In case you don't own one yet, make sure to read our best steam cleaners reviews.
What Features to Compare
Type and Use
There are several types of clothes steamers available today. The most popular one is an upright garment steamer. It is used to de-wrinkle and smooth clothes that are hung on a hanger or attached to some pole. The beauty of upright garment steamers is that they allow for a quick freshening of clothes including upholstery that is impossible to iron in any other way. Upright models are compact in size and take very little space; they offer excellent manoeuvrability. The second type is a steamer with a base. This type of garment steamer, obviously, is bulkier but it is also more versatile allowing you to iron almost all types of clothes and fabrics that you have in your place. Generally, using these garment steamers requires an ironing board too.
Power and Steam Output
The next two features to consider are the power and steam output. These two parameters determine how fast you'll be able to smooth and de-wrinkle your clothes. It's crucial that the steam flow is not weak and allows you to finish ironing in less time. 1300-1800 watts are considered the ultimate performance with the minimal steam output of 25 g/min. It goes without saying that the more powerful the steamer is the faster the steam will be produced. Though the difference in time is not huge, it's still nice not to waste time waiting. So make sure to check out the heat up time as well.
Capacity and Steaming Time
Tank capacity is also important. The bigger it is the more time you will be able to iron without having to refill it. On average, tank capacity featured on garment steamers varies from 200 ml up to 2 litres. Whether you need a steamer for home use or you're looking for a portable thing suitable for travel as well, the market offers multiple options to choose from. Like we said before, the steaming time is linked to capacity.
Nozzles and Accessories
Finally, consider the package: what nozzles and how many accessories come supplied with the unit. What is also important to pay attention to is the quality of materials. To reduce the price of their products, many manufacturers produce nozzles from plastic, but if you want them to serve you longer, we highly recommend considering those made of durable aluminium or stainless steel. Some of the nozzles may also include an additional heating element which allows them to heat up faster and better removing stubborn creases. These nozzles are usually connected to a steaming station by a special hose, through which goes the steam; the longer they are, the easier it is to move the steamer over clothes. Last but not least, check out what brushes come included. Many of them can be really helpful, allowing you to clean not only your blouses, dresses, and pants but also heavy fur winter coats.
1. Mariette Mifflin Before You How to Buy a Clothes Iron, Steamer or Press, About.
2. Kelly Burgess How to Buy a Garment Steamer, ConsumerSearch. August 10, 2015.
3. Mariette Mifflin Common Uses for a Garment Steamer, About.
4. How to Use a Clothes Steamer, wikiHow.