Best Handheld Garment Steamers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 2, 2020
Keeping clothes wrinkle-free can be a neverending battle for those who value maintaining a tidy personal appearance. However, you can bring this battle back to your own terms by getting a handheld garment steamer. Read on to find out about five of the best handheld clothes steamers on the market. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Power
Water Tank Capacity
Heat-up Time
Continuous Steaming Time
Weight
Accessories
Warranty
 
PROS

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.

CONS

The continuous steaming time is lower than advertised.

OUR VERDICT

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.

detailed parameters
Power

1300 W

Water Tank Capacity

70 ml

Heat-up Time

45 sec

Continuous Steaming Time

8 min

Weight

~ 1000 g

Accessories

1 x heat-resistant storage bag, 1 x fabric brush, 1 x safety glove

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The 110-degree steam output will be penetrating deep into the fabrics, deep enough to refresh them, sure, but also to kill bacteria and remove odours. The unit can produce steam for 20 minutes uninterrupted. 

CONS

The water compartment is tricky to remove. 

OUR VERDICT

The Homeasy Handheld Fabric Steamer will be ironing, disinfecting, humidifying, removing wrinkles, and extracting dust particles from different garments, bedding items, curtains, carpets, sofas, even toys. Meanwhile, the ABS construction will be keeping the housing cool to the touch.

detailed parameters
Power

1000 W

Water Tank Capacity

260 ml

Heat-up Time

45 sec

Continuous Steaming Time

20 min

Weight

900 g

Accessories

1 x storage bag, 2 x brush attachment 

Warranty

1 year

PROS

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.

CONS

For a handheld steamer, the model is a bit large.

OUR VERDICT

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.

detailed parameters
Power

1600 W

Water Tank Capacity

200 ml

Heat-up Time

40 sec

Continuous Steaming Time

~9 min

Weight

~ 1000 g

Accessories

1 x door hook, 1 x fabric brush, 1 x pleat attachment, 1 x steam bonnet, 1 x travel bag

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The water tank is transparent and detachable, so you'll have no problems refilling the tank and will always know when to do so. The supplied attachments will let you effectively remove lint and pet hair. The steamer automatically turns off after 8 minutes of inactivity. 

CONS

The steamer will occasionally make weird noises. 

OUR VERDICT

The Beautural Portable Garment Steamer does pretty much everything right. The model's compact, handy, and about as effective as its more expensive competition. It is equally suitable for quick last-minute fixes and everyday ironing needs.

detailed parameters
Power

1200 W

Water Tank Capacity

260 ml

Heat-up Time

30 sec

Continuous Steaming Time

15 min

Weight

~ 1000 g

Accessories

1 x fabric brush, 1 x lint brush, 1 x pleat attachment, 1 х measuring cup

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The unit can be used both vertically and horizontally. The six steam exits are spread wide to enable even and thorough steaming. The 1.9-metre cable does not restrict movements and lets you use the device without standing next to the mains. 

CONS

The package is pretty limited. 

OUR VERDICT

The Swan SI12020N will let you steam on the road with about as much comfort as you'd have at home. Its ergonomic handle will allow you to target hard-to-reach spots and the large tank will enable prolonged steaming without refilling.

detailed parameters
Power

1100 W

Water Tank Capacity

250 ml

Heat-up Time

~ 60 sec

Continuous Steaming Time

~ 15 min

Weight

~ 900 g

Accessories

1 x fabric brush

Warranty

2 years

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Philips GC362/86

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.

Review of Philips GC362/86 Steam&Go Plus Handheld Garment Steamer

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.

Philips GC362/86 Steam&Go Plus Handheld Garment Steamer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

homeasy Clothes Garment

Quite Sleek Too

The Homeasy Handheld Fabric Steamer's biggest selling point is its wide application range. We'll start elsewhere though. More often than not, these handheld steamers/wrinkle removers look cheap and shoddy because, first, they are usually cheap and, second, people do not care that much how these portable appliances look.

That being said, as long as the product is not compromising performance, we can appreciate the effort that's put towards the model's appearance. Its clean finish and elegant outline will not inspire sonnets will separate the product from most garment steamers, enough to sit comfortably within most interiors and blending into even the most expensive settings.

Plus, the entire is not only visually pleasing but also well-thought-out and quite durable, using high-strength plastics and keeping the unit leakproof so that you can press clothes on tables and iron hanging clothes, meaning that ironing boards will not be necessary anymore.

This is where the construction starts transitioning into performance, starting with the ergonomic seven-hole nozzle with wide steam exits, producing steam that will be penetrating the fabric area steam with thoroughness, whilst the 18 g/min steam output coming out powerfully and evenly will be removing the most stubborn wrinkles. The 110-degree Celcius steam can penetrate deep into the fabrics, not only refreshing the garments but also killing the bacteria.

Review of homeasy Clothes Garment 5 in 1 Handheld Fabric Steamer Wrinkle Remover

From Fabrics to Furniture

Considering what we've addressed above and what we're yet to address, you can start seeing the model's advertised 5-in-1 outline. Able to iron, disinfect, humidify, remove wrinkles, and extract the finest dust particles, this unit can do much more than most budget steamers. What's more, the unit is even versatile regarding compatible fabrics. You can steam silk, down, cotton, linen, plush, most fibres, and more. Setting aside fabrics, the device can be used to clean carpets, bedding items, curtains, cushions, couches, toys, the list goes on.

The storage bag and the model's modest 29.2 x 19.4 x 14.2 cm overall dimensions make this compact machine quite portable. Meanwhile, the lint remover and the refresh brush will allow you to keep the clothes pristine even on the road.

Long story short, the Homeasy Handheld Fabric Steamer features more advantages than you'd expect from its reasonable price tag, from its portable build to the wide application range and the quick 45-second heat-up time.

homeasy Clothes Garment 5 in 1 Handheld Fabric Steamer Wrinkle Remover in the use

 

Tefal DT8150

A Steamer With no Chill

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.

Review of Tefal DT8150 Access Steam+ Handheld Garment

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 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, Tefal DT8150 is a portable appliance that's equally great for travelling and home use. 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. 

Tefal DT8150 Access Steam+ Handheld Garment in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Beautural Clothes Steamer Handheld

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.

Review of Beautural Clothes Steamer Handheld Portable Garment Steamer

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.

Beautural Clothes Steamer Handheld Portable Garment Steamer in the use

 

Swan SI12020N

The Most Portable One

The Swan SI12020N belongs to the budget bunch, where the builds are not green and the outputs are not pretty. Despite that, the product is not bad, even without taking its price into account. Sure, the unit takes 60 seconds to pre-heat, ~20 seconds more than more expensive models. But, considering its 1100-watt output, we're not mad about that.

We're certainly not mad about its 15-minute continuous steaming time, matching even some premium handheld garment steamers and, truth be told, anything above that is excessive more often than not. This continuous steam action will be easily working through suits and dresses, removing creases and ironing wrinkles. Besides that, not unlike most steamers these days, this portable appliance will also be killing bacteria and eliminating odours.

Now, from where we're standing, this is an excellent opportunity to transition towards the portable part. Measuring 32.8 x 17 x 14 centimetres, the unit is even more space-saving than most handheld models, whereas its weight does not even reach 900 grammes, allowing you to steam without experiencing any hand fatigue. Needless to say, you should be able to always find enough space inside the suitcase to fit this compact unit. Plus, its long, 1.9-metre cable will allow you to avoid restrictive movement while steaming and will not keep you as tied to the mains as most cables, which is something that people who spend a decent amount of time in hotels will find pretty convenient.

Review of Swan SI12020N Handheld Garment Steamer

Even and Thorough Output

Where construction and performance intersect is the nozzle. Here, it is reasonably ergonomic, fitted with six exit holes that are wide and spread enough to keep the steam output even and thorough. You'll be able to use that output to refresh anything covered in fabric, from clothes, curtains, and bedding items to carpets, sofas, and cushions. The consistent flow will also allow you to straighten most garments without facing substantial challenges.

The odd man out here is the package. Whereas most handheld garment steamers are shipped with multiple attachments, including lint removers, steam bonnets, door hooks, and pleat attachments, this product is shipped with but one fabric brush, so no great shakes here.

An opposite sentiment can be extended towards the model's tank though. With its 250-millilitre capacity, the tank will enable convenient steaming without frequent refilling.

Taking everything account, the Swan SI12020N will guarantee respectable results and will prove comfortable and practical at home and on the road, so its ~25-quid price is quite easy to justify.

Swan SI12020N Handheld Garment Steamer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Handheld Garment Steamer?

A handheld garment steamer is an appliance that is used for removing wrinkles from anything made out of fabric, especially clothes, curtains, sheets, and other things that often get wrinkled with use or in storage. They are similar to steam irons, but there is one big difference - they can be used without an ironing board. Handheld clothes steamers have become quite popular to use for removing wrinkles from clothes without even having to remove them from the hanger.

On a very basic level, their main purpose is for removing wrinkles from clothes, but many models do have some additional benefits. Clothes that have been lightly worn before can be refreshed with a steamer without needing to toss them in the washing machine. Minor dirt stains can be removed, and unpleasant odors can be removed. What's more, many steamers can often heat up to full power much quicker than a standard steam iron, making the refreshing of clothes and other things made of cloth very convenient. Curtains can be smoothed and refreshed without having to take them down, and furniture can be quickly cleaned to remove unpleasant smells. All in all, they are very convenient for those who don't have the time to put various things through washing and ironing cycles.

What you may also want to get to take care of your clothes are washers and dryers. With these devices in your arsenal, household chores no longer will be a challenge for you.

What Features to Compare

Type and Use

There are several types of clothes steamers available today. The most popular one is a handheld 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 handheld 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.

Did you know?

Tips for Using a Handheld Garment Steamer

Anyone who hasn't used a handheld garment steamer before may be a little confused about how to operate them. Most come with instructions, but many really don't provide much in the way of best practices for getting the best results. There tends to be some confusion about which types of fabrics to use them with as well. Here we will provide some tips on how to get the best results from your handheld garment steamer

  • Be aware of which fabrics that garment steamers are meant to work with. In general, garment steamers work well with any fabric made of cotton, wool, silk, or polyesters. Some types of fabrics, however, should not be used with steamers, such as suede, waxed leather, or anything made from plastics. Make sure you check the label of your clothes or other fabric items to see what it is made of before using your steamer on it.
  • Be careful with steaming delicate fabrics such as silk or velvet. Using too high of a temperature with the steamer can cause damage to these fabrics. Make sure that the steamer is held at least two inches away from the fabric, and don't keep it in one spot for too long. Any kind of fabrics that have prints on them may be better to steam inside-out.
  • There are many types of clothes that steamers can be used on instead of irons. Heavier types of fabrics may get best results from irons, but many that are more delicate are best de-wrinkled with a steamer. Clothes such as jeans, dress coats, ties, and heavy cotton shirts will have best results with an iron, especially if they have creases that should be pressed.
  • It's always best to use a steamer on clothes while they are on the hangers. Most handheld steamers work best when held in an upright position, and are specially made to work with vertically-oriented clothing. Turning a steamer at a low angle may result in problems with steam properly escaping or even water leakage.
  • Anyone who does a lot of travelling is best off investing in a steamer instead of an iron. Many handheld steamers are made with portability in mind, have a smaller footprint, and weight much less than most irons.
  • Handheld steamers can be used with much more than just clothing. They often work well with refreshing and de-wrinkling curtains, thin towels, and even some tapestries. Of course, before using on such items, be sure to check the material that they're made of before using your steamer on them.
  • Don't overfill your steamer with water. Most steamers have some kind of indicator in the water tank to show the maximum filling level. Filling the water tank beyond this level may cause some problems, such as the steamer not distributing steam correctly, or excess water coming out of the steam holes.
  • When using the steamer, it is best to move the steamer in slow, downward strokes along the fabric. Moving too quickly may not allow enough steam to be absorbed in the fabric, and moving too slowly can result in the fabric getting soaked and saturated. It may take a little practice with using the steamer before you are able to get the best results from it.

Sources:

1. Martha's Tips for Choosing a Clothes Steamer, Martha Stewart. September 26, 2014.

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.com.

5. Rebecca Ciaramidaro Garment steamer buying guide, Choice. March 21, 2014.

6. Mariette Mifflin Common Uses for a Garment Steamer, the Spruce. February 17, 2018. 

7. How to Use a Clothes Steamer, wikiHow.

8. Irons vs. Steamers, eBay. June 9, 2014.

9. Clothes steamer, Wikipedia. January 14, 2018.

10. Kimberly Janeway Steamers Can Save a Trip to the Cleaners, Consumer Reports. September 21, 2015.

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Publish Date: 2018-02-26 12:20:47