What Is a Garment Steamer?
If you wish to produce an impression on others, a rule of thumb is to wear neat and clean clothes. For that particular purpose, manufacturers present you a dozen appliances that can lend you a helping hand, with a garment steamer being one of them. As the name of the device suggests, it's designed to remove wrinkles on fabric and freshen it up with hot steam. Unlike conventional irons operating from the mains, fabric steamers cannot cause any damage to clothes and are best suited for delicate fabrics. One of the better things about garment steamers is that the hot pressurised steam they produce allows killing germs and bed bugs that live on fabric. This makes them perfect for allergic customers that often need to sterilise stuff - clothes, drapes, curtains, beddings, etc. Garment steamers come in a variety of designs and functions, which, whilst being good, may easily confuse first-time users. To make it easier for you to choose the right appliance, in this review we've selected the five top-rated garment steamers that are vastly popular among customers worldwide.
What Features to Compare
Type and Use
There are several major types of clothes steamers produced today. The first and the most widespread one is an upright garment steamer which is used for de-wrinkling and smoothing clothes that hang on a hanger on top of a telescopic pole or on any other hanger. Of course, you can use upright garment steamers to apply steam to curtains, towels, and so on, but these fabric steamers are also used for freshening upholstery. Compact hand-held steamers take little place in your home and are extremely manoeuvrable; they are used to cope with clothes, upholstery, bedsheets. Finally, you can choose an iron with a steam base that will be able to cope with all clothes and fabric used in your family; these appliances are used mainly for ironing clothes on an ironing board with the maximal efficiency thanks to an immense amount of hot steam.
Power and Steam Output
The next step to make is to consider the power and steam output which are the crucial features for a fabric steamer. They determine how fast you'll be able to smooth and de-wrinkle your clothes. If a steam flow is weak, the small dabs of water will stay on the fabric which is, of course, a very inconvenient mishap if you're going to steam a piece of clothing and then put it on. A garment steamer for home use should have the power of 1300-1800 Watts and ensure the minimal steam output of 25 g/min. Of course, the more powerful a fabric steamer is, the faster it generates the steam: some models are ready for use within less than a minute while others may require up to 3 minutes to heat up. So, make sure to check out the heat-up time.
Capacity and Steaming Time
Also, you need to take the water tank capacity into account, because it's an important feature that determines the continuous steaming time of the appliance you choose. It varies from just 7-15 minutes for hand-held garment steamers with the water tank of just around 200 ml (this compact appliance is useful either if you go on a trip or have just a couple of clothes to steam at home), to more than an hour of steaming for upright garment steamers that have large water tanks of up to 2 litres.
Nozzle and Accessories
Finally, pay attention to the nozzle of the steamer for clothes and particularly to the material it's made of. It's usually made of plastic or metal (stainless steel or aluminum). Aluminum nozzles are considered to be more durable and heat up faster. Also, some garment steamers have an additional heating element inside a nozzle - it pre-heats the steam and makes it more efficient in removing wrinkles and creases on fabric. The nozzle is connected to a steaming station itself by a special hose in which the steam flows. And the longer it is, the easier it's gonna be for you to use the appliance. And check out what accessories every fabric steamer includes - some of them are really important and helpful. For example, some steamers for clothes go with brushes that help you steam and clean your coat.
Hate Ironing - Get Tefal GV8461
Tefal GV8461 garment steamer is one of the most efficient and reliable appliances of this kind. It literally changes people's attitude to a rather nasty process of ironing! The device boasts an excellent technical specification and you should certainly check it out! First of all, this clothes steamer has a large water tank (1.8 litres) that can be re-filled even when the appliance is being used. If the tank is full, the garment steamer can be used for up to 3 hours in a row. Moreover, some garment steamers require the distilled water but Tefal GV8461 works well on the usual tap water. And if you are worried about scale, there's nothing to be nervous about thanks to the Anti-Calc System. The steam station of Tefal GV8461 has the Anti-calc collector: it collects all scale and when it's time to get rid of it, an indicator will start blinking and you will just need to remove the collector and wash it. The steam output of this clothes steamer is 120 g/min which is enough to cope with any fabric. A high pressure allows the steam to penetrate deep into a fabric, de-wrinkling it perfectly. Therefore, if you have troubles ironing some thick fabric with a conventional iron, the Tefal garment steamer can do the job in no time! However, if the output of 120 g/min isn't enough, you can always press the Turbo button and the clothes steamer will make an ultra-powerful steam shot (260 g/min). Thanks to this unique feature, you can simply hang a piece of clothing on a hanger and smooth it immediately. We would also like to draw your attention to the unique Autoclean soleplate. Made of metal ceramics with a palladium coating, the soleplate uses the catalytic oxidation to get rid of tiny fibers that burn to it and cause poorer glideability. In all, this fantastic garment steamer station can cope with any kind of fabric and that's why it's so popular worldwide among homemakers and professionals.
Easier Than You Think It Is
Among lots of advantages of this Tefal garment steamer, we would like to mention the indicators telling about the modes of operation. Why? Because these indicators make using the iron with a steam station really comfortable. For example, you fill the water tank and turn the appliance on; one of the indicators will keep blinking while the water is heated and then it will just glow green, which means the garment steamer is ready for use. If there is no water in the tank, a red indicator will light up. There's an indicator for the Anti-Calc system too - it tells you when the collector must be removed and emptied. Tefal GV8461 also has a red auto shut-off indicator that starts blinking if you don't use the garment steamer for over 8 minutes. As for the temperature of the soleplate itself, it's adjusted right on the iron. Like most cutting-edge electrical appliances, this Tefal garment steamer has the ECO mode that allows cutting the electricity consumption by 20%. Also, the device has the Ultracord system that prevents the steam hose from rucking up on clothes while a power cord is automatically retracted for storage. If you need to move the whole Tefal garment steamer from one room to another, don't worry - the iron will never fall down as it's fixed to the station. As you can see, using the appliance is effortless and Tefal GV8461 will serve you for ages if you use it properly.
More Products to Consider
For the most efficient ironing, we recommend using a good ironing board that won't absorb moisture.
Rowenta DG8520 Perfect Steam
Garment Steamer for Delicate Clothes
Rowenta IS6200 is a great upright garment steamer that will help take care of clothes even those made of delicate fabrics. This amazing appliance allows de-wrinkling even embroidered clothes, so you can quickly smooth your favourite clothing without any troubles. This Rowenta garment steamer shows a steam output of 30 g/min and can be used for smoothing clothes hung on a hanger. The power of the device is 1500 Watts so heating the water up takes just a minute. Thanks to the huge water tank (2400 ml), this Rowenta clothes steamer can work up to 60-80 minutes till it needs to be re-filled. For the most effective ironing, we suggest using the accessories included in a package. For example, a fabric brush helps refresh and smooth clothes made of thick fabrics. Moreover, the brush also removes dust and lint. The brush attachment is recommended for steaming jackets, coats, thick shirts, etc. If you need to wear your favourite suit and want to look perfectly well, use the crease attachment to make the suit look flawless. The lint pad will be helpful for refreshing sweaters. As you can see, this is a truly useful clothes steamer for every person willing to look great!
As many other upright garment steamers, this Rowenta model has a hanging pole with an integrated hanger. The pole is telescopic so you can adjust the height to different clothes. If you need to move the appliance from one room to another, it's very simple thanks to the 'Tilt and Go' system - tilt the unit slightly and drag it where you need. The clothes steamer has large wheels, so it moves easily even on a carpet. Bending your back for turning the device on and off isn't necessary since this garment steamer has a large button you can press with your foot. The water tank is removable; the manual says the tap water can be used but if the quality of water in your neighbourhood isn't high enough, you can use the filtered water. Remember that the formation of scale is always dangerous for electric appliances like this one. The nozzle is rather wide which allows making fewer movements while steaming. The handle behind the nozzle remains cool and you feel no discomfort. All the above-mentioned advantages of the Rowenta garment steamer prove that it's an extremely worthy appliance necessary in any home.
More Products to Consider
It's always convenient to have multiple hangers to hang clothes on.
If you are willing to use an upright garment steamer, you should decide what kind of clothes you are going to smooth. As for the SALAV clothes steamer, it's a great and affordable choice for de-wrinkling and refreshing delicate fabrics, such as silk and chiffon. Also, this appliance can be used for steaming embroidered clothes, those with laces, bows, etc. Just like any other clothes steamer, this model can smooth thick fabrics, refresh sweaters and knitted clothing, de-wrinkle jackets and suits. There are 4 steam settings for different kinds of application. Before starting steaming your clothes, set the right one in order to get the best result. For example, choose the 'Thin clothes' mode for smoothing delicate fabrics that might be damaged by a conventional iron. The 'Thick clothes' mode speaks for itself. Choose it for towels, coats, jackets, jeans, and so on. Do you know that lots of germs live in furniture and stuffed toys? However, this reasonably priced appliance is performing enough to help since it has the special 'Degerm' mode. The hot steam penetrates deep into a fabric and kills most germs and bed bugs that cause allergies or asthma. Therefore, this simple yet effective garment steamer is great not only for your look but also for your health!
Just like most other upright garment steamers, this model has a base with a water reservoir, a telescopic pole, and a hanger. The water tank has the capacity of 1.8 litres which is enough for about an hour of continuous use of the appliance. When you need to dispose of hot water, use a patented Drain Plug in the lower part of the clothes steamer. This money-saving appliance comes with lots of attachments that facilitate the usage immensely. Apart from an upper hanger, this garment steamer includes a lower hanger with clicks for clipping trousers and other clothes. A pant press and a mini ironing paddle will be extremely helpful to steam and smooth a suit so that you look impeccable at any dinner or party. What if you need to steam thick fabrics? No problem! This upright garment steamer comes with a helpful fabric brush that quickly removes dust and pet hair. The nozzle is large enough and covers a rather large area at a single pass. Of course, steaming might be dangerous and that's why the manufacturer includes a protective glove. Hold the nozzle in one hand while wearing the glove on another and you will never get scorched. Unlike some other upright clothes steamers, this one has 4 wheels so moving it from one room to another is effortless. That's why this appliance comes in handy in any wear shop. Storage is simple too since its telescopic pole is removable. As you can see, this upright garment steamer is one of the best in terms of price to quality ratio.
More Products to Consider
To prolong the service life of steam irons and garment steamers, we recommend you to use only de-ionised water.
Compact Addition to an Iron
Philips GC330/47 is a handheld garment steamer that will be a great addition to a conventional steam iron. Of course, this compact appliance can't fully replace an iron but it will help you deal with delicate fabrics. Philips is known for manufacturing high-quality and reliable steamers and this model is one of the best. This handheld clothes steamer helps you quickly de-wrinkle your outfit when you are in a hurry and don't have time for conventional ironing. Moreover, some clothes have certain embroidery or laces that the iron might damage. Therefore, a handheld garment steamer is just what you need! The appliance is very convenient to use: add water, switch the device on, wait 45 seconds till the steam is ready, press the steam trigger and softly glide the steamer over your clothes. Steaming is effective due to the SmartFlow function - the nozzle heats to the optimum temperature and ensures the most efficient steam release. Therefore, no wet spots at all! The water tank is rather small - just 60 ml but it's quite usual for a small and portable appliance. No need to mention, the water tank can be removed during the storage.
Vertical and Horizonal Steaming
This handheld garment steamer can be used for vertical and horizontal steaming or, in other words, you can use it to steam hanging or lying clothes. For instance, use vertical steaming for de-wrinkling delicate fabrics, such as silk or nylon. It's very convenient to steam hanging jackets, shirts, pants, and so on. For more effective use of the unit, fix a brush attachment included in the shipping box. The power cord length is 2 metres - enough for using the appliance in a typical bedroom. Despite a small size, the handheld garment steamer produces a sufficient amount of pressurised vapour for horizontal steaming. Therefore, you can lay a piece of clothing on a sofa or bed and steam it! It's particularly comfortable for people staying in hotels where there is no ironing board. This small Philips garment steamer is an effective way to refresh clothes, bedding, and drapery, as well as kill germs and dust mites. Thus, you can use this handheld appliance for degerming fluffy toys and furniture in your house or flat. That's truly crucial if you have children.
More Products to Consider
Whilst being effective at de-wrinkling clothes, garment steamers, alas, aren't the best option for removing lint. If that's the type of issue you often encounter, it's best to use a lint remover, which you can choose from this selection.
Pro Breeze Garment Steamer Compact and Portable with Ultra-fast Heating Element
Not to Be Confused with a Kettle
Imagine a situation: you get up in the morning realising that your suit doesn't look neat enough for an important meeting with the board of directors of the company you work for. What to do? Too late to iron the suit! However, this situation will not be a problem if you use the Pro Breeze handheld garment steamer. This portable appliance will help you smooth and refresh your clothes really fast! The clothes steamer has a small 100 ml water tank that provides around 10 minutes of operation. Pro Breeze looks like a small electrical kettle many people have in their kitchens. This appliance is designed for vertical steaming only, so you just need to hang a piece of clothing on a hanger and push the steam trigger. Of course, you can wash drapes, hang them on a curtain track, and de-wrinkle them with the help of the Pro Breeze garment steamer. The unit is effective for killing germs and removing stale odours from furniture and clothes. People suffering from allergies should use this small garment steamer to minimise the breathing problems. Pro Breeze is also capable of degerming children's fluffy toys. All you need is just water and electricity! The appliance has the power of 850 Watts which is enough to heat the water within less than a minute. The power cord is 2 metres long, which is usually enough for home use, but if there is no socket nearby, you can always use an extension cable.
Great for Travellers
The manufacturer presents this steamer for clothes as a great appliance for travellers. Those who frequently go on business trips need to look neat and that's why they should carry this compact appliance. Of course, most hotels provide the service of ironing for a certain price but lots of people prefer saving up. And that's when this garment steamer comes in handy! First of all, the nozzle is removable so the steamer for clothes will fit into any suitcase. Next, the manufacturer includes a travel pouch in the shipping package. The unit comes with no attachments and you are unlikely to need them on a trip. Just hang your clothes, apply pressurised steam, and your perfect look will make a favourable impression on the others. Needless to mention, this appliance will be very helpful if you plan to spend a holiday in your country house and don't wish to take a heavy iron and an ironing board.
More Products to Consider
To look perfect, you should take care of your footwear, too. Boot dryers can prolong the service life of your favourite shoes if you live in a rainy area.
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. Garment Steamer Buying Guide, eBay. February 18, 2014.
4. 3 Tips for Choosing a Portable Garment Steamer, DoItYourself.
5. Rebecca Ciaramidaro Garment steamer buying guide, Choice. March 21, 2014.
6. Mariette Mifflin Common Uses for a Garment Steamer, About.
7. How to Use a Clothes Steamer, wikiHow.
8. Irons vs. Steamers, eBay. June 9, 2014.