A Guide to Buying the Best Garment Steamers
Looking for the best garment steamers? You’re at the right place! On my website you’ll find a great collection of unbiased garment steamer reviews and ratings as well as articles on using garment steamers.
I love garment steamers. They’re a quick and really easy way to ensure that your clothes are always clean, crisp and crinkle-free. Unlike irons, a garment steamer is incredibly convenient to use and it works faster when it comes to straightening out clothes.
All garment steamers work in the same way. They have a water tank which you can fill up with water and a steam nozzle which sprays out hot steam that removes creases for an ironed-out look. You just need to plug it in, turn it on, wait for the steam to heat up and you can start steaming away on your favorite pieces of clothing.
On this page you’ll find a buyer’s guide on choosing garment steamers. If you want to skip that and jump right to my personal recommendations for the best garment steamers to buy, please click on this link.
Professional tailors and fashion boutiques all use high quality garment steamers instead of hot irons because they are a much better choice for preserving the quality of the fabric. Unlike irons, garment steamers are also faster and easier to use, which is very important when you have a lot of garments to freshen-up.
Why You Should Use Garment Steamers
So why should you consider using garment steamers instead of the traditional electric iron? Here are the main benefits of garment steamers:
- They save you time and space. There’s no need to set up an ironing board and hence, no need to keep it after use. All you need to do is to turn it on and move the steam nozzle over your clothes.
- They are gentler on clothes. Hot electric irons are harsh and they can ruin clothing fibers in the long run. They can also cause accidental burn marks. Garment steamers are very gentle and are much better for retaining the quality of your garments over time. There is also absolutely zero chance of leaving burn marks on your garments!
- They work with all types of clothing. Hot irons cannot be used with sensitive clothing like satin, velvet and silk. On the other hand, garment steamers can be used with all types of garments and materials. You can even use garment steamers on curtains and upholstery.
- They kill germs and dust mites. The hot steam from a garment steamer is proven to kill germs and dust mites much better than electric irons. Garment steamers can help prevent allergies from acting up.
Types of Garment Steamers You Can Buy
There are only two main types of garment steamers: the full-size professional garment steamer and the portable garment steamer.
Professional garment steamers are full-sized garment steamers with a water tank that rests on the floor and a long 5-foot hose which connects to a steam nozzle. These garment steamers usually come with a built-in clothes stand so you can hang whatever clothing you’re steaming. They produce more powerful steam than portable garment steamers.
Due to their larger water tank, they can also provide a longer period of uninterrupted steaming than portable garment steamers. They also offer adjustable steam settings for different fabrics, an option that may be missing in various portable garment steamers.
Portable garment steamers are hand-held steamers that you can easily hold and use. They are usually light-weight and small enough to be packed into suitcases and brought along on vacations or business trips. Portable garment steamers are generally used to freshen up one or two pieces of clothing at once.
Compared to professional garment steamers, these travel steamers can only provide around 10 to 15 minutes of uninterrupted steaming. This means you’ll have to consistently refill and heat up the water again before you can use it for other pieces of clothing.
So which is better? That really depends on your needs. Let’s look at some of the factors to consider when choosing garment steamers.
How to Choose the Best Garment Steamer
There are many excellent garment steamers available in the market and all of them can measured by the following buying criteria. Keep these 3 factors in mind when choosing the best garment steamers:
- Where will you be using the garment steamer? If you’re using the garment steamer while traveling, you should get a handheld portable garment steamer because the floor-based garment steamers cannot be carried in your suitcase. If you’re only using the garment steamer at home, you should consider getting a larger full-size garment steamer. Ideally, you should have a full-size garment steamer for the home and a hand held travel steamer for on-the-go use.
- How often will you be using the garment steamer? If you only plan to use the garment steamer once in a while to freshen up your clothing, you could consider buying budget garment steamers that are more affordable. If you’re planning on replacing your iron and using the garment steamer everyday on all your laundry and clothing, consider buying a professional residential garment steamer because they tend to have larger water tanks (less need to refill often) and more powerful steam settings (allows you to steam faster). As a general rule of thumb, if you are going to steam more than 2-3 pieces of clothing at once, you should get a full-sized garment steamer instead of a portable garment steamer.
- How much space do you have? If you live in a tiny apartment or am renting a room, you may not have a lot of space. In this case, getting a handheld portable steamer may be a better option. However, it is always better to get a full-size garment steamer whenever possible because they are more effective and efficient at straightening up clothing. Personally, I regard the amount of daily usage as a more important factor than space. If you’re planning to steam lots of clothing regularly, a full-sized professional garment steamer is a much better option than a portable garment, even if you don’t have much space.
Generally, full-sized residential garment steamers have more advantages over portable steamers because they offer a longer steaming time, more powerful hot steam, adjustable steam settings for various types of fabrics and other features like automatic turn-off alerts.
On the other hand, portable handheld garment steamers are light-weight and easier to store or carry along while traveling. They are also cheaper. However, their smaller water tank and less powerful steaming capabilities means that they are best used for freshening up single pieces of clothing while traveling instead of extended use on multiple garments.
My Garment Steamer Reviews and Recommendations
In this section, I’ll list my top recommendations for both professional/home garment steamers and travel/portable garment steamers. These recommendations are based on actual experience with the specific garment steamer so hopefully they’ll give you a good idea of what garment steamer to buy! I’ll update this section in the future if I do buy and try other garment steamers.
Recommended Professional/Home Garment Steamers
These professional or residential garment steamers come with a large water tank and are generally more powerful than portable handheld garment steamers. They can produce steam for over an hour without refill and have a lot of features not found in portable garment steamers.
They are recommended for daily steaming of garments and other materials because of their many steam output options and longer steaming time.
Jiffy Steamer J-2000 Residential Series Garment Steamer. In my opinion, the Jiffy Steamer J-2000 is by far the best home garment steamer on the market right now. This is a sturdy 1300-watt steamer that heats up in a minute and has a removable 1 gallon water tank with a generous 62-inch tall rod for hanging clothes. It really works extremely well to get the wrinkles out of garments and drapes/upholstery. It has an automatic safety shutoff and offers over 1.5 hours of steaming per filling. I use the J-2000 more than any other garment steamer I’ve owned because it shoots out a powerful amount of steam and is really easy to use. I particularly like the wooden handle and cute caster wheels that allow me to roll it everywhere in my house. The Jiffy J-2000 isn’t very pretty but it works like a charm. Highly recommended.
If you want to buy the Jiffy J-2000, Amazon.com is offering free shipping and a 12% discount right now. You can click here to buy it now from Amazon or you may want to read my review of the Jiffy J-2000.
Rowenta IS9200 Commercial Garment Steamer. As you may already know, Rowenta is a famous German brand that makes amazing steam irons. Their foray into garment steamers resulted in the Rowenta IS9200, a commercial class garment steamer with a interesting design that allows you to roll it around like a suitcase. It has a 1 gallon water tank and heats up fast in a few minutes. I also like the foot operated on/off and power cord switch. The steam produced is quite decent and there’s are variable steaming options available. The only thing I didn’t quite like about the Rowenta IS9200 is that it seems a little flimsy compared to the Jiffy J-2000, which is more sturdy and also easier to move around. I’ll spring for the J-2000 if I had to choose only one steamer but if you’re a Rowenta fan, this is a pretty good steamer to use too.
Amazon.com is now offering a 38% discount (you’ll save $85) for the Rowenta IS9100 and you can click here to buy it. Alternatively, you may want to read my full review of the Rowenta IS9200 Garment Steamer.
Recommended Travel or Portable Garment Steamers
These portable garment steamers are generally compact hand held steamers with a small water tank. They need to be refilled for use after steaming a few garments and cannot be used continuously for long. As such, they are most suited for small garment steaming jobs and particularly useful for use while traveling. These steamers all have very basic features but they can get the job done when you need it.
Jiffy Steamer ESTEAM Travel Steamer. This is my favorite portable garment steamer. The Jiffy ESTEAM uses 600 watts of power and has an 8-ounce water tank that gives you around 15 minutes of steam per filling. It also has a rather long 9-foot power cord and the whole steamer can be stuffed into a suitcase easily. I always carry the Jiffy ESTEAM while traveling and my husband keeps one at the office as well. It’s also rather durable: I’ve been using my Jiffy ESTEAM for over 4 years and it still works! It’s not the smallest portable steamer around but it’s definitely the most powerful in the compact/travel garment steamer range. All in all, its a great portable steamer to have.
Click here to read my review of the Jiffy Steamer ESTEAM or you can simply buy it now from Amazon.com to receive free shipping and an 8% discount.
Steam Fast SF-435 Compact Fabric Steamer. This is a cute little 800 watt garment steamer that comes with a 7-ounce water tank and provides 12 minutes of continuous steaming. I particularly like the comfortable handle which keeps cool during use. While it is made of plastic, the steamer itself works well and doesn’t spit out water excessively. The Steam Fast SF-435 is a very basic garment steamer that you can pack for travel use but in comparison, I prefer the Jiffy ESTEAM because it steams better, has a longer steaming time and power cord. In terms of price, the Steam Fast SF-435 is cheaper and it’s worth a try if you’re looking for a decent portable garment steamer.
If you want to get the Steam Fast SF-435, Amazon.com is offering a 32% discount and free shipping now. You can simply buy it from Amazon.com now or you may want to read my review of the Steam Fast SF-435.
Want to See More Garment Steamer Reviews?
While I feel that the above recommended garment steamers are the best for your needs, you may still want to browse around and look at more types of garment steamers. In that case, feel free to check out my unbiased garment steamer reviews to find the best clothes steamer for your needs.
I’ve been using garment steamers for a long time and have personally tried many of the garment steamers out there. I usually buy garment steamers as gifts for friends, especially when they are hardcore electric iron users who haven’t tried a clothing steamer before. :-)
Where do I buy my garment steamers? I usually get them from Amazon.com because they often provide free shipping and amazing discount prices that are cheaper than retail stores. They are also a reliable marketplace who guarantees delivery so I have peace of mind when I’m ordering online. I highly recommend that you buy your steamers from them.
I hope you’ll find the perfect garment steamer soon!