Chances are, you want to look well put-together when you step into the world. Wearing clothing that is crisp, fresh, and neat makes a positive statement. But who wants to spend a ton of time ironing? Using a handheld steamer can achieve wrinkle-free results more quickly than an iron.
Handheld steamers are similar to irons, in that they are small, portable, and help you get wrinkles out of your clothes. However, portable steamers have several distinct advantages. As you consider the best handheld steamer for your needs, we’ve put together a comprehensive review to highlight all of the differences, and provide our favorites.
- Our Portable Handheld Steamer Reviews
- Why You Need a Handheld Steamer
- What to Look For in a Portable Handheld Steamer
Our Portable Handheld Steamer Reviews
Laputa Handheld Steamer for Clothes
This inexpensive appliance, condensed so that it can be used not just at home but on the go, too, is the best travel clothes steamer that’s available for under $20. Although small, the LAPUTA Handheld Steamer for Clothes can produce continuous steam for up to ten minutes, enough time to steam a few pieces (or one very wrinkly one) before refilling.
The window lets you monitor the reservoir’s water level.
The nozzle directs steam where you want it to go, delivering results you want. It does so quickly, too. This steamer may be small, but it is powerful. It heats in about one minute; therefore, when you need to fill the tank, you won’t have to wait for it to reheat.
For less than $20, you’ll own a handheld travel steamer that steams away minor wrinkles easily and quickly. Rapid heating allows you to get the job done swiftly and then get on with what you want to do.
While many steamers power on and off through the outlet, the LAPUTA Handheld Steamer has a power switch. This isn’t a significant feature, but being able to leave the steamer plugged in and control it with a switch could be convenient.
- Single temperature setting makes operation simple yet effective
- Remove wrinkles without the fuss of setting up an ironing board or larger steamer
- Take it anywhere, even backstage at your child’s performance to freshen costumes
- Works best with distilled water as tap can cause sputtering
- May not be powerful enough to remove tough wrinkles or wrinkles from all fabric types
All in One Comforday Handheld Steam Cleaner
This steamer eradicates wrinkles from all of your clothing, and it doesn’t stop performing there. The ALL IN ONE Comforday Handheld Steam Cleaner cleans indoor and outdoor surfaces. It’s easily portable so that you can clean anywhere you wish—and you’ll do it in wrinkle-free clothes to boot.
Powered by 1050 watts, the Comforday has the oomph to tackle any job. The force is pressurized, and the steam reaches temperatures up to 270 degrees. It smooths, sanitizes, and sparkles with little time and effort on your part.
With all of this hot steam production and powerful emission force, you might expect the Comforday Handheld Steam Cleaner to run out of water quickly, requiring constant refilling. That is not the case with this steamer. The steam will flow for about twenty minutes before you’ll need to replenish the water reservoir.
Some multi-purpose steamers aren’t suitable for garments. The Comforday Handheld Steam Cleaner , however, is safe and effective for all types of fabric. The high steam temperature removes even deep-set wrinkles, but do use this steamer with care to avoid scorching and burning.
The All in One Comforday Handheld Steam Cleaner is one of a relatively small number of steamers that steams all types of clothing as well as steam cleans nearly all hard surfaces. With one appliance, you have the versatility to accomplish a lot.
Because of this steamer’s power and ease of use, you’ll get a lot done in a short amount of time and then enjoy some “you” time.
- Heat and pressure mean effective, efficient performance
- Comfortable to hold, and effortless to move around
- Works safely on all fabric types
- Lack of settings, including temperature selection, means simple operation
- Some users report that this steamer’s water container needs frequent refilling, every 10 minutes or less
- ★Nine free accessories to adapt cleaner to every situation: Stairs, carpet, clothing, car interior...
- ★Multi-surface use: Works on every surface including laminate, hardwood, fabric, upholstery,...
- ★Chemical free and safe: The Comforday steamer is safe. It is completely chemical free and it is...
URPOWER Garment Steamer 130ml
The URPOWER Garment Steamer (the 130ml portable model) is a solid entry in the low-priced steamer category.
For starters, it’s incredibly portable. It weighs a slight 1.2 lbs and takes up 3.7 x 8.8 x 6.2 inches of space. That’s shorter than a typical tablet, and the base is about the size of a large coffee mug. This could be carried by hand or shoved in a backpack and it’d travel fine.
For that reason, the water tank is only about 4 oz. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s got 7-10 minutes of continuous steam, but given the heat of the product, 2 minutes is probably all you’re going to need to get the wrinkles out of a typical shirt. And since it’s so lightweight, lifting it up to the hanging garments should be fairly easy.
It’s got standard auto-off safety features, preventing the appliance from getting too hot and shutting it down when the water runs out, which is good if you are slightly distractible.
There are only two downsides. One is, the URPOWER Garment Steamer only has two temperature presets. So, it works well on cotton, khakis and some blends, but it might be too high-heat for more delicate fabrics.
The other potential issue is that of durability. The material isn’t quite as high-quality as some of the pricier models, and the cheapness makes it more likely to break down and begin to drip and dribble sooner than other models. It just doesn’t have as long a lifespan.
That said, URPOWER offers an inexpensive two-year warranty, so the product is guaranteed to last at least for two years, or you get your money back. All in all, as far as inexpensive steamers go, this one should work well enough for run-of-the-mill laundry day chores.
The URPOWER is a well appointed small handheld steamer that will serve you well. It is lightweight and extremley easy to use – perfect for the first timer trying out a steamer.
- Inexpensive and lightweight
- Two temperature presets
- Two year warranty
- 7-10 minutes of steam
- Auto-shut-off feature for safety
- Perfect Design: New nozzle design that distributes steam powerfully and consistently to remove...
- Safety Protection: Please turn off the clothes steamer when it not in use and when water running...
- Fast-Heat: Heats quickly to emit wrinkle-busting steam in 2 minutes.
Steamfast SF-450 Handheld Fabric Steamer
Selecting the Steamfast SF-450 Handheld Fabric Steamer as one of the best portable garment steamers, especially when you consider that it is in a nice price range. This appliance is ideal for small fabric-steaming jobs.
It’s designed for quick touch-ups, and it performs. Thanks to its 1000 watts of power, the water heats in just 30 seconds. You get a steady flow of steam in practically no time.
Choose from two steam settings to tailor the amount of steam to the type of fabric. The higher setting works to remove deep wrinkles, while the lower setting is gentle on delicate fabrics.
This handheld steamer is little, but don’t let its size deceive you. It works quickly, and both of its steam settings are effective against wrinkles. We love this for small jobs whether you’re at home or away.
The Steamfast SF-450 boasts several convenient features. The 8-foot cord gives you freedom of movement. Its low water consumption is essential given the small (3-oz) water tank.
This steamer is designed for quick touch-ups. The water lasts for approximately five minutes, and then the tank must be refilled. The Steamfast is very powerful for its size, and it does a great job removing wrinkles in just a few minutes.
Because of its compact size and quick start, we highly recommend this as the best travel clothes steamer. If you travel frequently, you’ll have easily this small steamer fits in your suitcase.
- Powerful and fast
- Steams away wrinkles in multiple fabrics
- Seven outlets evenly distribute steam
- Comfortable to hold
- Best for small jobs such as touch-ups or a few garments
- Perfect for traveling in the US only, as it isn’t rated for international use
Shark Press and Refresh Portable Garment Steamer (GS500)
The Shark Press and Refresh Portable Garment Steamer (GS500) is one of the top handheld garment steamers in the over $50 price range. Sturdy and reliable, it goes beyond steaming to care for your clothing with its Garment Care System.
This steamer billows steam deep into fabric, relaxing wrinkles, freshening, renewing, and destroying any bacteria present in the fibers. The included Vertical Press Pad, which slips over a door and provides a backdrop for the steam iron, aids the steamer’s performance.
The Heated Wrinkle Eraser technology and professional steam power work together, allowing you to steam both horizontally and vertically. This dual direction capacity lets you press into fabrics to create a finish that’s not just smooth but sharp as well.
The Shark Press and Refresh Portable Garment Steamer (GS500) lets you effortlessly care for any garment at home or while traveling. Technological advances drive the heat, the force, and the continual billowing that penetrate the fibers of your fabric and deliver exceptional results.
You can care for your garments efficiently, without spending too much time on the task. It does take more time to heat than other models, but once it is ready, steam production is strong and continuous. With The Shark Press and Refresh, you’ll have amazing-looking clothing almost effortlessly.
- Fast to use
- Powerful wrinkle removal
- Works both horizontally and vertically for better results
- One of the few steamers that can make clothing crisp
- Long cord for convenience
- At 7.25 lbs, some users find it too heavy
- The Shark Press & Refresh Garment Care System is a revolutionary new way to bring your fabrics back...
- Shark Professional Steam deeply penetrates fibers to relax wrinkles, remove odors, and renew fibers;...
- The Exclusive Heated Wrinkle Eraser replicates the soleplate of an iron to dry fibers to prevent re...
Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Advanced Handheld Fabric Garment Steamer (GS76RGD)
Looks are indeed deceiving. The simple look of this steamer belies its abilities. The Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Advanced Handheld Fabric Garment Steamer will steam, freshen, and even press your clothing. It does its job so well that we consider it the best handheld fabric steamer among steamers over $50.
Fill the water reservoir to its almost one-cup capacity, plug it in, turn it on, and within 40 seconds you’ll be steaming away. You can work with continuous steam for up to 15 minutes before refilling the unit.
Conair uses its advanced steam technology in the Turbo ExtremeSteam Advanced Handheld Fabric Garment Steamer. Thanks to this technology, the Turbo ExtremeSteam creates up to 50% more steam as well as steam that is 50% hotter than one of their other top handheld steamer models. More steam and higher heat produce results up to 67% faster than the other model.
Small, lightweight, and powerful, the Turbo ExtremeSteam Advanced Handheld Fabric Garment Steamer produces excellent, wrinkle-free results. Take great care of your garments with Conair’s Turbo ExtremeSteam Steamer.
Additional features contribute to this steamer’s performance. Choose between the normal setting and turbo depending on your fabric and how quickly you need to finish the job. The appliance also has a quilted aluminum steamer plate that acts as an iron to give you crisp, creased results.
- 1550 watts support high heat, continuous flow of steam, and turbo power
- Lightweight (only 3.15 pounds)
- Silicone Band attachment stretches fabric to make steaming easier
- Delicate Fabric Spacer prevents delicate materials from coming into contact with the hot plate
- Bristle brush attachment lets you brush garments to loosen the fabric, allowing for deeper cleaning
- Despite built-in creaser and quilted, iron-like hot plate, it doesn’t make garments quite as crisp and creased as an iron does
- New on/off feature included. Makes steaming even quicker and easier than before.
- Advanced steam technology reaches temperatures up to 50% hotter. Delivers 50% more steam for 67%...
- 40-Second Heat-Up. 7. 3 oz water tank for up to 15 minutes of continuous steam.
Why You Need a Handheld Steamer
Like irons, steamers remove wrinkles from clothing. Unlike irons, though, most steamers don’t make fabrics crisp or create creases. Steamers create smooth garments that are soft rather than stiff.
Many people have both an iron and a steamer and use one or the other depending on what they are treating at the moment. Whether or not one is better than the other is up for debate.
Ironing clothes involves placing an item on an ironing board and pressing it with a hot iron, often a steam iron. You need to reposition the garment repeatedly as you iron it so that you cover all of the material.
With a steamer, you hang the garment and use the appliance to soften and erase wrinkles. You typically don’t need to apply pressure, and you move your item minimally.
Even if you love your iron and what it does, owning a steamer can make your life easier without having to sacrifice your wrinkle-free clothing. A handheld steamer, in particular, is compact, usually lightweight, and can be surprisingly powerful.
Read through our our reviews of the top lightweight, portable steamers on the market. Or, if you’re in a hurry, just down to our recommendations.
Highlights of Portable Handheld Steamers
- Work well on all fabrics—and even screen printing (irons melt screen printing)
- Remove even deep-set wrinkles
- Work faster than irons
- Sanitize clothing
What to Look For in a Portable Handheld Steamer
Are you newly-moved-out and struggling with the traditional clothing iron? Or a frequent traveler who’s finally learned not to rely on hotel facilities for ironing needs? Perhaps you’re a stylist who needs a portable iron that’s easy to bring to location shoots.
If so, a portable steamer could actually be the perfect substitute to ironing for you. There are many handheld steamers are currently on the market, and it can be difficult to discern which one is the best for you. As your search, look for these qualities:
When considering which portable steamer best suits your suits (or sundresses), there are six important factors to consider:
- the range of preset temperatures for different kinds of fabrics
- the size of the water tank
- which safety features are available
- the heating power of the device
- the portability of the device
- the cost of the product
While each factor is important, which factors rank to the greatest degree is up to you.
Temperature Dial for Different Fabric Types
Each fabric is made different and need different temperature levels. Some could withstand and even require a high temperature from an iron to straighten it out and remove creases. The thinner ones will stiffen up like toast with the same degree of heat.
Types of Fabrics
If your closet contains clothes of varying fabrics, a wide range of temperature options is important in the steamer’s dial.
This enables you to control how much heat it generates depending on what clothes you’re going to work on.
Clear and Visible Dial
The temperature dial should be clearly visible and have an easy to understand label. It is even better if the labels on the dial explains which preset temperatures are ideal for which specific kinds of fabrics.
The more explicit the options it gives you, the less guesswork you have to do. And you don’t want to be guessing when it comes to the temperature to use for steaming.
Once the water boils to the setting you’ve selected, the water should remain at that temperature for the entirety of your chore, unless you change it.
Cheap steamers that aren’t made well will suffer from the water temperature changing, which negatively effects your steam production and consistency.
Water Tank Size
Your choice for the size of the water tank will vary depending on your priorities. The larger the appliance’s water tank is, the longer you can go without needing to refill it.
- If you need to do a lot of clothes in one go, having a larger water tank is ideal, because then you don’t need to take frequent refill breaks.
- On the other hand, a smaller water tank makes the steamer more portable and cheaper. If you don’t need to steam large batches at a time, this might be the better option.
So, smaller is better if you’re only steaming one or two outfits. In the end, it only comes down to two choices between the convenience of not refilling and ease of bringing the steamer around.
Steaming clothes, much like ironing, is not completely danger free. While the risks are pretty minimal, its still important to discuss the safety features to look for on a top rated portable steamer.
You probably know not to attempt steaming clothes while wearing them, but that’s not the only way steamers can cause physical harm or other accidents.
Auto Shut Off Feature
They can be particularly dangerous if you’re someone who often forgets to turn off or unplug your appliances. Safety features are there to protect you from getting burned, and to protect anything around your steamer from getting water damage.
Each steamer has slightly different safety features, but be on the lookout for auto-off shut off features that’ll prevent your device from overheating. Almost all steamers in the market have incorporated this feature.
The steaming device detects low water level in the tank, and conveniently shuts down by itself. This is key, because it will protect you and your home from the risk of fire.
Anti Drip Technology
Different kinds of anti-drip technology also prevent the water inside the tank from spilling out drop by drop. We see this as vital, especially when the water’s already at boiling point and you’re moving the device around.
In general, durable materials should be expected of your steamer to prevent it from sputtering or leaking as a result of taking on damage.
What good is a portable handheld steamer if it requires as much effort as with a regular clothing iron to bring to places? Every product listed here in our handheld steamer reviews are highly portable, because that is the entire point.
There are certain advantages to a portable steamer that makes it so useful for the busy and on-the-go youth of today. Portability is key if you’re looking to take your steamer as you travel. Highly portable steamers are small, lightweight, and compact.
Otherwise, they might be easily disassembled and stored, which is the next best option.
Another factor in portability is whether or not your steamer has wheels and can be towed, like luggage. Ideally, you’ll want a handheld steamer to fit into your suitcase, carry-on, or backpack.
A lot of appliances nowadays are getting smaller and smaller for portability. Don’t forget that to make them so, there’s some other feature being compromised – the size of the tank or the power of the machine inside, for example.
Make sure its small size doesn’t affect any other feature that’s a non-negotiable for you.
A handheld steamer comes at a disadvantage compared to the floor models or the traditional clothing iron. Its compact size means there’s little room for high-powered equipment inside unlike the other two, making it a deciding factor that not all steamers could live up to.
The higher power that the unit has, the faster and better that it will be able to get the wrinkles out of your clothes. Higher power steamers heat the water up quicker, meaning that you’ll be able to steam your clothes sooner. They also provide more steam, which is what removes wrinkles from your clothing.
Heating power is vital to the success of a steamer. How efficiently does it use the electricity when it’s plugged in? How often does it go through batteries if it’s battery operated? Asking these kinds of questions can help you determine which portable steamer is superior when it comes to bringing the heat.
To go along with the heating power, wattage is sometimes an advertised element in some handheld steamers. It lets you know how much electricity it can take, which then determines the time it takes to reach a certain degree of heat and how much it can produce a powerful and effective steam.
Usually, this would apply to the more powerful models because this feature immediately sets them apart from other average handheld steamers.
Still on the subject of electricity and power, the voltage capacity of portable handheld steamers should also be noted. Unlike other types of ironing devices, they play a huge purpose when it comes to traveling. The socket voltage in some countries differ from that in the US.
If your steamer isn’t compatible with a higher voltage, it’s practically useless in other countries and all those efforts of factoring in portability and other features would be for nothing.
There’s always a universal adapter to save the day, but if you travel frequently, getting a steamer that is capable of dual voltage, usually 120 and 240 volts or 50 or 60 Hz, is more convenient and less risky.
Power Cord Length
You can never expect outlets to be readily available when and where you need them, even in your own hotel room during trips. Sometimes you even have to fight over them with your roommates or be crowded in one corner where the socket is just because you don’t have a long enough cord for every device you need to plug in.
The length of a steamer’s power cord isn’t only for convenience. It’s also needed especially as you constantly move it around to cover all of your clothes, unlike a phone that you hold in one position the whole time you use it. That quick heating time and won’t be for naught when it allows you to use it wherever and however with ease.
Portable steamers range in price from less than $15 to over $100. Typically, higher cost steamers are more energy efficient and last longer. They usually cover advanced features or satisfy all the factors we’ve listed here and more.
On the other hand, if you’re on a budget and you’re only traveling once, an inexpensive steamer might be the way to go. There are plenty of middle ground “compromise” options that also might be what you’re looking for.
Whether it’s an immediate need or a long-term purchase, don’t let the price dictate what you get. The most expensive doesn’t always mean it’s durable for a long time. Simultaneously, a cheap one might just die on the first couple tries.
Steam Production and Distribution
The more power a steamer has (usually indicated in watts), the more steam it produces and the hotter the steam is. It’s desirable to have a handheld steamer that generates a significant amount of hot steam.
However, having the ability to adjust steam output as needed for fabric styles is very useful. Some fabrics are more fragile than others. They can only take so much moisture and heat before they become slightly damaged.
At the same time, steam distribution is as important because it regulates the area the steam covers and the direction it goes to. If your steamer produces a lot of steam but doesn’t spread it around a large area, it might just make your clothes damp but do little to reduce the creases and wrinkles.
A good balance between the production of steam and its distribution on the clothing makes a steamer efficient and saves you so much time.
Commercials and advertisements make it seem like steamers are too perfect. It seems too good to be true that it straightens out your clothes in one go.
The truth is it takes a couple times, and you have to let the steamer go over your clothes slowly and consistently before they look completely wrinkle-free and ready to wear.
The more steam a unit can produce, the better it will be at removing wrinkles. It will relax the clothing more thoroughly than models with lower steam production.
In addition, more steam production means quicker steaming. For this, we go back to the amount of steam production and the variety of steam distribution that your steamer of choice can do.
Size and Weight
Given that portability is a top priority, its important to look at the overall size and weight of the handheld steamer you’re considering.
This is absolutely vital for those are purchasing a steamer for travel. Space is at a premium when you’re packing and traveling, and you need to pay attention to it.
Bigger and Heavier Options
Bigger handheld steamers can be cumbersome to use, but they do hold more water, produce more steam, and require less frequent water refills than their smaller counterparts. They can also be heavier and more tiring to operate.
This might not be a big deal to you. What separates a heavier portable steamer from a lightweight steamer option is typically a matter of only a few pounds, so electing for a heavier option isn’t a big deal. And you will typically get a higher powered and larger tank with it.
Smaller, Lightweight Options
Smaller units are easier to use but may be less powerful. They will also almost always hold less water, meaning that you’ll have to fill your tank more frequently.
If you’re taking your steamer unit on travel with you, then these tradeoffs might be worth it. In this case, you really only need your steamer for short, quick uses. You’ll prefer a lighterweight option that fits nicely in your suitcase.
Which is Best for You?
There are pros and cons to every size of handheld steamer, but that’s usually because manufacturers make it according to the level of features and quality of the product. The right way to know if the size and weight of a steamer is worth it is if it’s justified by the features or extra accessories it comes with.
How quickly does the water heat up after you select the temperature? Admittedly, this is a convenience factor to consider, but an important one none the less.
Some steamers heat very quickly and can even be ready to go in less than a minute. Others can take several minutes. This seemingly small difference becomes significant when you have to wait for the water to warm up every time you refill the canister.
Tools and Accessories
Some portable handheld steamers come with additional tools that have similar purposes for travel or for wardrobe upkeep in general. These might include a travel case for the steamer, a protective garment bag, or a fabric or lint brush to keep away hair, dust, threads, and the like that stuck to your clothes and make it spotless after steaming.
These are things you wouldn’t think of in the beginning when all you need is a steamer, but they become an added value when they make traveling with such a device easier and more convenient. The added appeal on clothes when they are much cleaner is priceless and is an effortless way to look put-together.
A steamer removes wrinkles almost effortlessly. Traveling for work or leisure doesn’t have to doom you to wrinkled clothes. If you consider your needs and shop smart, a portable steamer could become a great addition to your appliance collection and your vacation routine.
Because there is much to consider when buying a handheld steamer, we’ve carefully selected and reviewed a variety of models. We chose these carefully after scrutinizing many different handheld steamers currently available.
Many excellent fabric steamers exist. These six aren’t the only good ones. However, we found these to be out in front. Steamers are available in a range of prices, so we created three categories:
- Handheld Steamers that cost less than $20
- Handheld Steamers ranging from $20 to $50
- Handheld Steamers above $50
As long as you think about matters of cost, what kind of clothes or furniture you need to deal with, and plan a reasonable amount of time for your chore, purchasing a portable steamer could prove wise.