Best Clothes Steamer Buying Guide
Perhaps you are thinking of getting the best clothes steamer you can find. If you don’t choose carefully, you may end up picking what doesn’t serve your purposes well. Proper selection is key when it comes to purchasing just about anything. Take a look first at some of the best-selling clothes steamers and our in-depth steamer reviews to give you an idea of what is available today.
Best Clothes Steamer – General Buying Tips
The first step in finding the best clothes steamer is to know how you’ll be using the product. There are two main types of clothes steamers: compact/travel steamers and full-size/professional steamers. Each type has their own pros and cons with their own price points. Each type will give different results depending on the type of material being steamed too.
If you need a steamer for occasional use you may not need one of the larger full-size units. The smaller units have become significantly better over the last few years and even the small handheld steamers can give 15 minutes per fill which may be sufficient for your needs.
After doing dozens of reviews of clothing steamers there are two main features to consider that will provide the biggest impact to your satisfaction. the first is the time it takes the steamer to heat up and be ready for use. Some take up to 15 minutes while others may take longer, so you need to consider time factor, especially if you are impatient like we are and don’t like taking any more time than necessary to get your garments done. We are an impatient bunch so waiting for a steamer is like waiting for a pot to boil. The other feature you want to consider is the overall temperature of steam. This can be tricky to discover as some units are inferred as being high temperature because they are high wattage and that is not always the case. High temperature is great as it gets stubborn creases out and has the ability to kill germs and many high wattage units are also high temperature but not always. High wattage will however consume a lot of electricity which increases your utility bills.
You might already have a few clothes steamers in mind, and even after reading reviews on some websites and consumer reviews on Amazon, be careful in your choice as not all of them are honest. We have done the research and actually used the steamers in our reviews to help you find the best ones. In addition to sites like ours that actually evaluate steamers, also check out the reviews on Amazon. While several reviews are honest, many are made by competitors and people who can’t read the instruction manual and then gripe because they think their steamer doesn’t work.
Best Clothes Steamer – Basic Features
For those who don’t know, a clothing steamer operates by heating water to create steam which when applied to fabrics, releases the creases and wrinkles. A good one should be able to get rid of all the wrinkles in your clothes, in ways that ironing can’t. The reason why these machines are preferred over ironing is because steam is gentle on fabrics, silk, cotton and wool, as well as cashmere. So a good cloth steamer should preserve your clothes well in between dry cleaning sessions hence saving you money. A good steamer will also be able to handle a variety of tasks, such as steaming drapes and all upholstery.
Compact or Full-Size Steamer?
Normally, the full-size, professional units will have a few more features than the others such as automatic shut off, steam control to give the ability to regulate steam to optimize results for individual fabrics, as well as thoughtful areas to hold attachments. Because of the added features that come with a full-size unit, it’s typically a little bit more expensive than the other units in addition to typically better performance. The full size steamer will also have somewhere to hang your clothes and a handle for the steam nozzle.
Contrary to the full-size unit, the hand-held units typically have a smaller nozzle, which may be advantageous depending on the type of garment you are steaming. It’s easy to store and you can use it in any room of the house. In other words, it’s portable enough to help you do your work efficiently. The only setback with these hand held units is that they require a refill more frequently and may not have the steam temperature to work effectively on thicker garments. Hand held units will be lighter in weight than the professional but still be able to produce great amounts of steam to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Features of a Full-Size Steamer
The full-size steamer has a base and a boiler. A plastic tank which is filled with water sits on the boiler in an inverted manner. The more the capacity of the tank, the longer the steamer will operate without a refill. Practically speaking, a one gallon steamer will produce steam for 90 minutes, before refilling is needed.
Some models of full size fabric steamers come with a steam setting control, just like your iron does. These settings can be adjusted according to the fabric being steamed. Obviously some materials require more heat than others, which forces you to adjust accordingly. Generally, you can get them at a price anywhere between $120-$400. In terms of wattage, they range between 1200-2000 watts (something you need to consider before investing your money on any clothes steamer). But they also come with a press pad which keeps your garments in place and preventing your hands from getting scalded. Majority of these steamers also come with numerous accessories such as lint removers, crease tool and an upholstery brush.
The Best Clothes Steamer for People Who Travel
Of course the best clothing steamer for people who travel frequently is the hand-held model. They are easy to pack, and very light in weight-we talk of weights less or equal to 1.5 pounds. Often, this type of unit comes with a one piece design. Most of them produce non-stop steaming while others are equipped with a push button steamer. This button ensures that steam is only produced when it’s pushed. Again, the steam time is much shorter than that produced by a full size unit, which produces steam for no more that 15 minutes.
If you are going to steam a few more garments, then you definitely need a refill. The hand held unit comes with a travel pouch and sometimes a lint pad and a fabric brush. The more wattage the machine has, the hotter the steam it will usually produce. But this is not always the case because some hand held models have been tested and found to produce greater and hotter steam despite their low wattage. You can purchase these steamers at a price range of between $30-$80 for 200-1000 watts.
The Best Clothes Steamer for You
The best clothing steamer will be one that works for the purpose you want it to whether it be the travel steamers for quick touchups or the bigger units for dry cleaner like results. Remember too that the two most beneficial features for a great steamer is quick startup and high heat.
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