Best Portable Garment Steamers for 2020

Nothing says sloppy more than wearing wrinkled clothes. Besides, when you look good, you feel good. The solution? Ironing your clothes is the obvious way to dewrinkle them.

However, pulling out an ironing board and flat iron is a cumbersome, time-consuming task. When you’re in a hurry to make it to that important meeting at work, go to a career-changing interview or get your children off to school, every second counts.

Best Portable Steam Cleaners 2018

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In situations where time is of the essence, the standard flat iron just isn’t going to cut it. There are some faster alternatives, such as tossing them in a dryer or hanging them in a steamy bathroom.

However, your clothes dryer won’t remove deep wrinkles, and the steam in the bathroom just won’t be hot or direct enough to completely dewrinkle your clothes.

Find a local dry cleaner? Sure, you could; however, dry cleaning is expensive, especially when you have a lot of clothes that need to be ironed on a regular basis.

Traveling presents a different set of problems. Clothes that are stuck in a suitcase for hours on end are most likely going to come out wrinkled no matter how carefully you pack. You certainly can’t take your iron and board with you, so what do you do?

Some hotel rooms have an iron in them to cater to guests who are there on business, but an in-room iron is not a guarantee.

You could also hang them in the shower. Upscale hotels offer a concierge service that takes care of garment pressing for you, but you can bet that convenience will cost you.

None of these approaches are effective. This is why many people turn to portable garment steamers.

Our Recommended Portable Steam Cleaners

WETEKIT Travel Clothes Steamer, TEKITSFUN Handheld Garment Steamer

This white, mini-size travel steamer from TEKITSFUN can fit easily in any suitcase or carry-on bag since it’s 8.27 inches tall and only 3.35 inches wide.

At exactly 1 pound, it won’t weigh you down as you carry your luggage through the airport. Since it has a voltage rating of 110 volts, you can use it anywhere in North America and some countries outside this area without a converter.

WETEKIT Travel Clothes Steamer, TEKITSFUN Handheld Garment Steamer

Operating on 700 watts of power, the solid white clothes steamer can heat up in 60 seconds, and its 150-milliliter reservoir gives you 10 minutes’ worth of steam, which is enough time to dewrinkle a single outfit.

On the side of the kettle-design steamer, there is a vertical window, so you never have to guess how much water is left in the tank. Thanks to its automatic shut-off mechanism, there is no risk of the steamer overheating when it runs out of water.

Since it’s equipped with an on-off rocker switch on the finger-grip handle, you can enjoy the convenience of continuous steam. Its power cord is over 5 feet long; therefore, you get an adequate working range.

It even comes with a glove to protect your hand and a travel bag to keep it dust free. As a consumer, you’ll appreciate the 30-day guarantee and 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

The only thing it doesn’t have is a brush nozzle, but that just means you don’t have to worry about damaging delicate fabrics.

Beautural Handheld Garment Steamer Portable Home and Travel Fabric Steamer

Weighing 2 pounds and measuring 6 inches wide by 10.3 inches tall, this handheld steamer from Beautural is slightly heavier and larger than the TEKITSFUN at our number 15 spot.

However, it’s still compact enough to put inside a suitcase with plenty of room to spare. The 1,200-watt garment is ready for use in 35 seconds, and you can operate it without a converter any place that runs off 120 volts of alternating current.

No matter where you take it, you’re covered by a 12-month warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Beautural Handheld Garment Steamer Portable Home and Travel Fabric Steamer Review

The water tank holds 260 milliliters of water, which produces steady steam for about 14 minutes. This tank is designed to be removed for easy refilling, and it has a tightly sealed rubber plug.

Therefore, you can use it horizontally and vertically without the steamer leaking, so feel free to sanitize your sofas, tablecloths and mattresses.

A rotating power cord of 7.8 feet provides plenty of leverage, and the garment steamer turns off after 8 minutes of no activity to protect you from injury.

You also get the benefit of continuous steam by locking the fingertip button on the nozzle. However, you can start and stop the 18-milliliter-per-minute flow of steam by keeping the button unlocked.

To remove pills and fuzz from sweaters, the steamer comes with an attachable lint brush and fabric brush.

SimplyLife Home Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer

Take an entire suit from wrinkled to smooth in minutes with the Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer by SimplyLife Home.

At a mere 1.5 pounds, this clothes steamer is lightweight and easy to handle. It measures less than 1 foot tall and about one-half-foot wide, so you can stash it anywhere.

If you ever encounter a problem with this steamer, you get a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and 1-year warranty that will take care of any malfunction.

SimplyLife Home Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer Review

In approximately 2 minutes, the appliance produces dewrinkling steam. The reservoir holds 6 ounces of water, giving you 12 minutes of powerful, no-drip steam with just a touch of the power button.

With the recessed water window and max fill line, you don’t have to open the steamer to check the water level. Since it’s 220-volt compatible, you can use it without a converter, saving you a few bucks when you travel.

Whether you need to freshen up a satin scarf or poly-blend shirt, the steam won’t damage your clothes. It boasts a flat heated plate, which is highly efficient at smoothing curtains, sheets and more.

There is also a soft brush and lint remover to make your garments look as if they were professionally cleaned. With the ability to stand upright when placed on a flat surface and a built-in handle for secure gripping, using this handheld steamer is super easy.

Secura Instant-Steam Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer

For a small handheld clothing steamer, the Secura Instant-Steam is extremely powerful – the 1,000 watts it produces is outstanding. The warranty also goes above what’s typical, lasting 2 years.

It weighs slightly under 1.9 pounds. Since its only 11.9 inches by 6.3 inches, it’s definitely easy to transport on vacation or toss in a drawer.

It meets North American Electrical Standards; therefore, you’ll need a power converter when using it in some countries.

Secura Instant-Steam Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer Review

The smooth handle sits on top of an 8-ounce water tank. By holding down the activation trigger, you can control the steam flow. In total, the reservoir gives you 15 minutes’ worth of dewrinkling, sanitizing steam.

Refilling it is a breeze with the release button that detaches the tank from the nozzle, and the clearly drawn max fill line helps you determine how much water remains.

If you have short fingers, you’ll appreciate the small circumference of the handle that helps you maintain your grip. With a power cord that rotates in a full circle, you don’t have to worry about it getting twisted and damaged while in route to your destination.

The steamer is equipped with extra-large steam outlets to release more steam with each trigger push, and the faceplate is stainless steel, which is non-porous and hygienic.

For your convenience, this fabric steamer comes with a removable brush to eliminate lint and loose thread.

BIZOND Mini Clothing Steamer for Garments, Fabric, and Draperies

BIZOND’s extra-small clothing steamer is packed with a lot of advanced features.

It’s only 7.5 inches tall, 3.5 inches in diameter and 1.3 pounds, making it a steamer you can keep at home or put in your purse to use on the go.

Thanks to its dual-voltage capability, you won’t need to buy a separate converter, and you get 24 months of warranty coverage.

BIZOND Mini Clothing Steamer for Garments, Fabric, and Draperies Review

The 900-watt fabric steamer warms the water in its 100-millimeter reservoir in a mere 25 seconds, which is an amazingly short period of time. The entire back of the steamer is translucent, letting you check the water level at a glance.

Once you turn it on by the horizontal switch, you’ll get 10 minutes of non-stop steam that doesn’t drip or make water trails. To extend the lifespan of the steamer’s heating element, the water tank contains an efficient nano-polymer filter to purifier the water.

With a 6.5-foot power cord, you get a decent length of reach that’s enough to let you hold it horizontal and upside down.

Thanks to the surface that stays cool to the touch, you won’t scald your hand while you’re de-wrinkling your clothes. Plus, the brush attachment lets you sweep away lint from pilling fabric.

IdentikitGift Steamers For Clothes. Handheld Clothes Steamer

Meet your new travel companion – the Handheld Clothes Steamer from IdentikitGift. This petite garment steamer stands at 8.27 inches with a width of 5.12 inches, so it is the ideal size for an overnight bag or other luggage, and it’s 120-voltage compatible. Weighing just 1.2 pounds, it will be feather-light in your hands.

IdentikitGift Steamers For Clothes Review

On the side of the canister, there is an oval water window marked by a min and max fill line, so you’ll never go above or dip below its 4.06-ounce capacity.

However, if you forget to refill it, the steamer protects itself by shutting off when empty. In just 1 minute, the 850-watt appliance heats up the water inside of it and pumps out up to 8 minutes of efficient steam.

After sliding the vertical power switch to the on position, you’ll get a consistent flow of stream from the five-outlet nozzle to knock out even the most stubborn of wrinkles.

With the length of operation per full reservoir, you have plenty of time to dewrinkle a few shirts or an entire outfit.

Thanks to the finger grips on the underside of the looped handle, the surrounding moisture won’t make you lose your hold on the clothes steamer.

Pure Enrichment PureSteam Portable Fabric Steamer (White)

This white portable fabric steamer with just a touch of chrome to accent its slender shape is perfect for all your clothes and linens. The Pure Enrichment PureSteam Portable Fabric Steamer is safe to use with a 110-volt electrical system, there are many places you can safely plug it in without a converter.

At only 16.5 ounces, the 8-inch by 5.5-inch portable steamer feels practically weightless. It’s covered by Pure Enrichment’s 2-year warranty just in case you need to repair or replace it.

Pure Enrichment PureSteam Portable Fabric Steamer Review

While not essential, the vertical wave water-level window is a nice touch that helps you keep track of how much water remains in the one-half-cup tank.

The heating element generates 700 watts of power; therefore, the steamer warms up in 2 minutes, which is a decent heating time. If the water gets too low, the internal shut-off switch activates to protect the steamer.

You can dewrinkle and freshen a surprising number of clothing in the 10 minutes of steam emitted through the nozzle, which is designed to evenly distribute the steam for maximum efficiency.

With 8 feet worth of power cord at your disposal, you don’t have to stand directly next to an electrical outlet. To get the steam flow started, simply push the rocker switch on the open, curved finger-grip handle.

TaoTronics 1000W Garment Steamer Handheld Portable Fabric Clothes Steamer

The TaoTronics 1000W Handheld Garment Steamer is different from the other models on our list in terms of design.

Instead of a standing kettle design, this is a stick-style steamer, which offers more in terms of ergonomics. However, it’s still compact, measuring just 11.8 inches tall. You also get TaoTronic’s 12-month warranty that the company attaches to all of its products.

TaoTronics 1000W Garment Steamer Handheld Portable Fabric Clothes Steamer Review

Another unique aspect of this handheld steamer is its 5.8-ounce water tank that snaps into the handle. Since it’s translucent, you can easily monitor the water level.

Inside of this steamer, there is a 1,000-watt heating element, which rapidly heats the appliance in a lightening-fast 20 seconds.

In order to help you maintain your grip, the handle loops around the backside of the steamer, and you get plenty of reach thanks to its 7.8-foot power cord.

Thanks to the high wattage of this appliance, the steamer can go for 15 minutes on a single tank, which is impressive for its size.

To enhance your steaming experience, the handheld steamer comes with a lint brush for fuzz removal and a fabric brush for dust elimination. Also, you get a protective hand mitten that is made to resist high temperatures.

MOFIR Mini Clothes Steamer 140ml Handheld Garment Steamer for Clothes

If you’re looking for a lightweight, reliable fabric steamer, you’ve found it. The Mini Clothes Steamer from MOFIR weighs only 1.2 pounds. The 110-volt appliance can safely dewrinkle and deodorize any type of fabric, and it easily fits inside a suitcase because it’s just 8.9 inches tall and 6.1 inches wide.

You can rest assured you’ll get years of use thanks to the 2-year warranty offered by MOFIR.

MOFIR Mini Clothes Steamer 140ml Handheld Garment Steamer for Clothes Review

To help you keep track of the water level in the 140-milliliter reservoir, the steamer is equipped with a slim, C-shaped visual indicator, which has a max and a min fill line. Powered by 850 watts, this steamer can produces 10 minutes of steam in 1 to 2 minutes.

It also has a secure-lock to ensure the water tank is securely attached to the handle. For your protection, the steamer shuts off automatically if it overheats, and the casing stays cool to the touch.

With this compact clothes steamer, you get continuous steam. The on-off rocker switch is located at a fingertip’s reach on the textured, rubber-coated handle.

To remove pesky lint and pills, clip the brush tool to the nozzle. When not in use, just throw the steamer and attachment in the drawstring carrying bag.

Isteams Steamers For Clothes, Handheld Clothes Steamer

Designed to quickly meet your clothing needs while you travel, Isteams Steamers‘ powerful garment steamer weighs a mere 1.1 pounds and measures 8 inches by 5.5 inches.

Since it’s 120-voltage compatible, you’ll need to use a converter in some instances. With a 2-year warranty, you can feel secure that you’re covered no matter how much you use or where you take it.

Isteams Steamers For Clothes, Handheld Clothes Steamer Review

As long as you hold the steamer at a 45 degree angle, you’ll never experience annoying drips and dribbles. The open-close markings between the nozzle and the tank let you know if the appliance is open or closed, so you don’t have any accidental spills.

The large, blue-tinted elongated oval window on the handheld steamer makes it easy to check the water level of the 4-ounce tank with a quick glance.

Thanks to its 700-watt heating element, you can enjoy 10 minutes of steam. Even better, this steam is continuous instead of intermittent, so you don’t have to keep a trigger pressed throughout an entire steaming session.

The rocker power switch on top of the D-shaped handle makes it easy to turn the power on or off in just a second.

Steamer For Clothes by LAPUTA, Clothes Steamer, Perfect For Travel / Home

Whether you’re getting that new dress ready to wear for a big evening out or smoothing your sheets for a quiet evening in, you can count on the LAPUTA Handheld Clothes Steamer.

The 110-volt steamer is a lightweight model at just 1.1 pounds. With a height of 8 inches and diameter of 3 inches, it’s compact for easy storage. Another plus is its warranty coverage. You get a 12-month warranty and a 90-day money back guarantee.

Steamer For Clothes by LAPUTA, Clothes Steamer, Perfect For Travel / Home

This appliance is equipped with a 700-watt heating element, which warms up the water inside of it in no time at all. In fact, it only takes 60 seconds for the water to go from cool to piping hot.

Filling the reservoir is a simple task thanks to the twist-and-lock lid, and you can easily determine the water level from the wave-shaped window.

If the handheld steamer gets too hot or the water gets too low, the steamer instantly shuts off to prevent damage to the internal components.

To operate the steamer, all you need to do is press the toggle switch, which is located at the base of the handle. As you move up and down your clothes or linens, the finger grips on the curved handle will keep your hand from sliding.

With each tank refill, you get 10 minutes of non-stop steam, which is enough to dewrinkle two pieces of clothes or a set of curtains.

Conair ExtremeSteam Hand Held Fabric Steamer

Like number 8 on our list, the Conair ExtremeSteam is a stick-style handheld steamer. It’s slightly heavier than most of the models we’ve reviewed; however, its weight of 2.2 pounds and height of 13.8 inches still makes it compact for easy portability.

This 110-volt steamer comes in four fun colors, and it’s covered by a 1-year limited warranty.

Conair ExtremeSteam Hand Held Fabric Steamer Review

It’s also mega-powerful with 1,100 watts driving its 75-second heating time and even flow of steam. The translucent tank holds 7.3 ounces of water, and you can quickly open it with the slide lock for fast fill-ups.

However, the most exciting part of this handheld steamer is Conair’s Dual Heat Technology. This feature allows you to switch between a low temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit and a high temperature of 395 degrees Fahrenheit to dewrinkle all fabrics, both of which are high enough to kill dust mites if you choose to use the steamer as a sanitizer.

Whether you prefer steamers with manual or constant steam, you can get both when you use this handheld steamer. The trigger has a built-in lock, so you can choose either type of steam flow for 15 non-stop minutes.

With this steamer, you get a 9-foot cord that offers a wide range of maneuverability.

The steamer also comes with three convenient snap-on attachments, including a creaser that is ideal for making crisp lines in pants.

Aickar 180ml Portable Garment Steamer

At 1.8 pounds and 10.4 inches by 5.9 inches, the Aickar 180ml Portable Garment Steamer is the perfect size for frequent travelers. It also has that desirable dual-voltage capability that eliminates the need for a converter.

When you get home from your trips, the flat bottom lets it stand upright for on-the-shelf storage. For peace of mind, Aickar offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a 12-month warranty on this white and blue-aqua-accented steamer.

Aickar 180ml Portable Garment Steamer Review

With 800 watts of power running through the aluminum heating plate, the steamer heats up the water in the 180-milliliter tank in just 2 minutes to dewrinkle fabrics, destroy odors and kill bacteria and dust mites.

To access the built-in reservoir, simply pull off the seamless cap on the handle. Since the portable steamer has a side window, you can easily see where the water level sits in relation to the max fill line.

Once you slide the vertical switch to the on position, you get 12 minutes of continuous steam that is gentle enough to safely freshen lace unlike standard irons that damage delicate fabrics.

This steamer is even equipped with an auto shut-off mechanism to stop it from overheating, and the looped handle is textured to help you keep a firm grip.

The power cord measures 9 feet long, which provides you with a wide movement radius of 250 square feet. It also comes with a clothes brush as well as a lint roller to keep your clothes free of dust, hair and lint.

URPOWER Garment Steamer 130ml Portable Handheld Fabric Steamer

This URPOWER Garment Steamer is sized just right for transport in a large suitcase or compact carry-on bag. In comparison, it’s no different than throwing an extra shoe in your luggage; the 110-volt travel steamer weighs 1.2 pounds and measures 8.07 inches tall by 2.28 inches wide.

It’s also safe to touch because even at its maximum temperature, the steamer’s casing always stays cool. For your protection as a consumer, you get URPOWER’s 2-year warranty.

URPOWER Garment Steamer 130ml Portable Handheld Fabric Steamer Review

Once you plug it in the 7.5-foot power cord and flip the power switch, the 700-watt heating element kicks on, heating the water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit in only 2 minutes. Getting access to the 130-milliliter water tank is just as easy by twisting it and lifting it open, so you can fill it to the max line shown on the oval water window.

The steamer is also equipped with an automatic shut-down safety mechanism if the appliance overheats or is used without water.

With its wide nozzle, you’ll get a consistent flow of steam for 10 minutes. Since the power switch is of the rocker variety, the steam is continuous and not dependent on you holding down the button.

Even the D-shaped handle is designed to be user-friendly thanks to its inner finger grips. When you’re finished smoothing out your clothes, you can store the steamer in the accompanying drawstring pouch.

PurSteam Fabric Steamer

Safe enough for embroidered items and small enough to take anywhere – That’s the PurSteam 180ml Fabric Steamer. It operates on 110-120 voltage systems, so you may need to a grab an inexpensive converter before your next vacation abroad.

However, it barely takes up any room in a suitcase because the steamer only 8.46 inches by 3.66 inches, and it weighs a mere 1.1 pounds.

When you buy this handheld fabric steamer, you get 3 years of warranty coverage in addition to a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. To make transport easy, it comes with a drawstring bag.

PurSteam Fabric Steamer, Fast-Heat Aluminum Heating Element With Travel Pouch Review

Within this clothes steamer, there is a 900-watt durable aluminum heating element, which warms the water to boiling temperatures in 90 seconds flat.

The water tank is built into the steamer for ease of use. Simply line up the arrows to open and close the fabric steamer. From the side of this appliance, you can see into the 4-ounce water tank through the vertical wave window.

As long as you don’t fill the tank past the max line, the steamer won’t spray water droplets.

To give you the 8 to 10 minutes of even steam you need to thoroughly dewrinkle your garments, PurSteam integrated steam channeling technology.

The triangular outlet provides broad coverage to let you quickly go over bedspreads and curtains, yet the nozzle is still small enough to keep the steam flow concentrated. Plus, the power cord is 9 feet long for an extended reach, and the handle has a light texture that makes it comfortable to hold.

Buying Guide

From the length of their cord to the amount of water they hold, every portable garment steamers is different. You want to get a steamer that meets your specific needs.

While some features are more important than others, there are still some basic components that you need to consider before you pull out your wallet.

Wattage and Voltage

When looking at portable garment steamers, the first fact you need to know is that manufacturers measure a steamer’s power in terms of wattage. In comparison to standing steamers for clothes, travel-size steamers aren’t as powerful; therefore, wattage is crucial.

Always go for a garment steamer with as much wattage as your money can buy because the higher the wattage, the stronger the steam output. In turn, this leads to a faster steam time.

Voltage is also important if you plan to take travel to different countries. If so, make sure the steamer is dual-voltage capable. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase a voltage adapter.

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Water Tank Capacity

The size of the reservoir is another essential consideration, especially if you plan to steam multiple pieces of clothing at once. The more water the reservoir can hold, the more clothes you can dewrinkle.

However, the tank is a major component of a steamer, which means it makes up a significant portion of the appliance’s weight. You don’t want the portable garment steamers to take up half the room in your luggage when you’re trying to cram a week’s worth of clothes in a single suitcase.

Length of the Power Cord

Portability is one matter, but reach is another. A lightweight portable clothing steamer with a short power cord is going to greatly restrict your maneuverability.

If you’re in a hotel room with a limited number of electrical outlets at your disposal, you absolutely need a long power cord. Basically, the longer the power cord, the less aggravation you’ll experience.

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Heating Time

There are some days when you just don’t get up to your alarm clock, leaving you pressed for time and late for work. Even though you just rolled out of bed, you don’t want to look like it, so you need your clothes dewrinkled, and you need it done fast.

The last thing you want is to wait several minutes or more for your steamer to heat up. Look for a garment steamer with a rapid heating time. Many portable garment steamers get hot enough to produce steam in under 1 minute.

Continuous Steam and Other Controls

Although not essential, a steamer that produces continuous steam is super convenient. However, if you suffer from joint problems, this feature is a must-have.

These models eliminate the need for keeping the steam button pressed, wearing out your hand in the process. There are plenty of steamers with an on-off button as opposed to a steam trigger.

On a related note, there are also some steam cleaners with a variable temperature control, so you can customize the temperature to the type of fabric. This capability reduces the risk of accidentally damaging your favorite silk blouse.


Business suits, party dresses, even casual wear – You spend a lot of money on your clothes. What’s the point of spending thousands of dollars on a wardrobe you find yourself wearing wrinkled clothes regularly?

Because of the tedious nature of ironing, it’s quickly falling out of favor, and people are opting to use steamers to keep their clothes looking sharp.

Why Are Portable Garment Steamers a Better Way to Dewrinkle Fabrics?

Traditional irons have their benefits. If you’ve never used an iron before, there is no learning curve involved. Simply plug it in and choose the correct heat setting.

However, the trick to properly ironing clothes with one of these appliances is how you lay out the article of clothing on the ironing board.

Pants are easy enough, but if you aren’t careful, you can put creases in unintended places when ironing, particularly when ironing button-down shirts and other intricate garments. For certain jobs, you’ll also need the help of spray starch, which is messy and sticky.

Garment Steamer Buying Guide

It’s a whole other ball game when you have a steam cleaner. With a steam cleaner, you don’t have to take your clothes off their hangers to dewrinkle them.

This means no awkwardly placed creases and no garments sliding off an ironing board. Since they take less time to heat, there aren’t extra steps involved to prepping your clothes, and you won’t have to pay an enormous dry-cleaning bill, so you won’t waste valuable time or money.

Another bonus that you only get with portable garment steamers it the ability to freshen curtains without taking them off their rods.

Since many portable and handheld garment steam cleaners are small enough to fit inside a suitcase, you can take one on your next business trip or vacation, and you won’t need to use chemical sprays to freshen up your clothes.

What Are the Different Varieties of Steam Cleaners?

There are three main types of steam cleaners you can use on garments and draperies.

Standing, or floor, steam cleaners for clothes are a popular choice to use at home because they typically come with a huge array of attachments, and they have the ability to hold more water along with a garment hanger built into the unit.

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Unless you have a large laundry room, standing models take up a lot of space. In addition, you can’t pack them in a suitcase, so they aren’t suitable for dewrinkling on the go.

Check out our standing garment steamer guide >>>

For travelers, portable garment steamers are an excellent choice. This type of steamer is compact, so it doesn’t take up much room in a duffel bag or suitcase. Also, they usually don’t come with a lot of attachments to secure to the appliance, letting you simply fill the tank and get to work.

However, their small size means they don’t hold nearly as much water as standing versions. Therefore, they have to be refilled more often and aren’t as fast. Regardless, you can’t beat the convenience of a portable steamer when you are away from home.

A third option for clothes is a handheld steam cleaner. Although the terms are used interchangeably, handhelds are slightly different than portable models.

With a handheld model, you won’t need the space that a standing one requires. However, they are still larger than portable versions, so a handheld steamer may or may not fit in a suitcase. It depends on the interior room in the luggage and the size of the steamer itself.

In terms of well capacity, the handheld’s water tank is usually bigger. This makes handheld steamers ideal for use in small rooms or while on extended vacations.

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How Are Standing Steamers Different From Handheld Steamers?

For dewrinkling fabric at home or in a commercial setting, standing steamers are the way to go. These steamers have a large water capacity, making them able to produce steam for a long amount of time.

Since they are quite hefty, virtually all of them come equipped with caster wheels. They also come with features like a hanging rack, a flexible hose and plenty of nozzle attachments.

However, the large tank size means upright steamers take a long to heat and take up too much room in small houses or apartments. Plus, you can’t take them with you, and they are more expensive.

While handheld garment steamers can certainly be used at home, their portability is what makes them appealing. Often, they are at or under 1 foot tall, so you can put them in a bag and take them with you while you travel. Their smaller size means they have a small tank.

While this equates to a smaller water capacity, it also means that it takes much less time for a handheld steamer to heat the water. Additionally, the price difference between handhelds and standing steamers is drastic.

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What Are the Benefits of Portable Steamers for Clothes?

Although ironing and steaming take wrinkles out of fabric, that’s where their similarities end. While an iron has a hot, flat plate that presses fabric while a steamer releases steam to dewrinkle without coming into contact with the fabric.

Compared to a clothes iron, a portable garment steamers offers many advantages in terms of usability and cost.

Chemical Free

Starch and fabric refreshers are unnecessary because steamers only require water. Some manufacturers recommend using distilled water to prevent residue buildup on the nozzle. However, you can usually get away with adding water that comes straight out of the tap.


According to a dry-cleaning industry report, it’s common for people to spend up to $1,500 per year on dry cleaning. Imagine what you could do with an extra grand lying around.

With a clothes steamer, you can keep more money in your pocket. You also won’t have to spend money on clothing chemicals, and you won’t need to replace worn or faded clothing prematurely.

Best Garment Steamer


Unlike some appliances and electronics, you don’t have to study the owner’s manual in length before you use a portable steamer. Although some models have two or three heat settings and a hold-down trigger, most steamers turn on and off with a power switch or push button.

All you need to do is add water and plug it into an electrical outlet. In 1 or 2 minutes, the steamer is ready to go, and you don’t even have to touch the garment to remove wrinkles.


It’s tricky to iron satin and silk. If the heat setting is too high and the iron lingers in one spot for a millisecond too long, you can irrevocably damage the fabric.

Then, there are fabrics like tulle that can’t be ironed, making a steamer the only option. Plus, you can go longer between washing your clothes when you use a garment steamer, which extends your clothing’s lifespan.


Most people buy a portable steamer to dewrinkle their clothes, but you can do more with a steamer than just smooth fabric.

This nifty appliance lets you restore the shape of a garment by loosening the fabric’s fibers with the power of steam, which is great for making your winter sweaters and other knitted material look brand new.

However, you aren’t limited to use on clothing. A steamer is a great tool for freshening up curtains, linens and upholstery. Some people even use portable garment steamers to sanitize and deodorize fabric and mattresses to destroy dust mites and bed bugs.

What Maintenance Is Involved With Owning a Handheld Steamer?

Unless you solely stick to distilled water, you’ll need to descale the water tank every once in a while. However, this is easy to do. Simply fill up the tank with one-part vinegar to two-parts water.

Then, run the steamer until the tank is empty. If the handheld steamer has a removable reservoir with a large inlet, you can wipe down the inside. For a smaller inlet, a bottle brush will work just fine.

However, that’s not necessary if you use the vinegar method. If there are brush attachments, wipe them clean with a soft cloth.

Our Recommended Standing Garment Steamers

Best of the Best
Budget Option
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J-4000 Jiffy Garment Steamer with Plastic Steam...
PurSteam -2020 Official Partner of Fashion-Full...
Rowenta Master Valet IS6300 Professional Grade,...
Jiffy J-4000
PurSteam PS-937
Rowenta IS6300
• Die Cast Aluminum Housing
• Preheat and Steam Settings
• 2H of Steam Output
• Fast & Effective Wrinkle Remover
• 4 Level Steam Adjustment
• With Attached Hanger
• 2.4L Tank Capacity
• 60 second Heat-up Time
• 30min of Steam Output
Professionals prefer the Jiffy J-4000 to get clothes ready for the sales floor. Using the power of pure steam, it quickly remove clothing wrinkles, reducing the time it takes to prepare clothes for display.
The PurSteam PS-937 Standing Garment Steamer is a powerful, strong, sturdy, steamer without sacrificing ease of use or versatile functionality.
Save time and money by reducing trips to the dry cleaner. The Rowenta IS6300 Steamer powerfully removes wrinkles and refreshes clothing and furnishings of all fabric types.
Best of the Best
J-4000 Jiffy Garment Steamer with Plastic Steam...
Jiffy J-4000
• Die Cast Aluminum Housing
• Preheat and Steam Settings
• 2H of Steam Output
Professionals prefer the Jiffy J-4000 to get clothes ready for the sales floor. Using the power of pure steam, it quickly remove clothing wrinkles, reducing the time it takes to prepare clothes for display.
Budget Option
PurSteam -2020 Official Partner of Fashion-Full...
PurSteam PS-937
• Fast & Effective Wrinkle Remover
• 4 Level Steam Adjustment
• With Attached Hanger
The PurSteam PS-937 Standing Garment Steamer is a powerful, strong, sturdy, steamer without sacrificing ease of use or versatile functionality.
Also Great
Rowenta Master Valet IS6300 Professional Grade,...
Rowenta IS6300
• 2.4L Tank Capacity
• 60 second Heat-up Time
• 30min of Steam Output
Save time and money by reducing trips to the dry cleaner. The Rowenta IS6300 Steamer powerfully removes wrinkles and refreshes clothing and furnishings of all fabric types.

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Last update on 2020-10-21 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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