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Give your wardrobe a new look with our tried and tested handheld and upright garment steamers
If you are still using a traditional iron to remove creases on your clothes, then it is time to try a faster and more effective garment steamer.
The best clothes will refresh any item in your wardrobe in a matter of minutes. There are many options on the market, including handheld options for travel professionals, and models for all budgets.
The GHI team tried and tested 18 garment steamers, suitable for all kinds of fabrics, from delicate silks to cold-resistant linens.
Steam is a modern way to enjoy fresh, wrinkle-free clothes. Garment irons can heat up in a few seconds and are easy to use, including for soft furniture such as bed sheets and curtains. Most of them provide a series of settings, so you can adjust the power according to the fabric and avoid any damage. Most importantly, there is no need to fiddle with the ironing board!
Hand-held models can be used to keep clothes fresh during the journey, quickly retouch and store in smaller bedrooms. They are very popular and you will find nine in our roundup.
There are two types of garment steamers: upright and hand-held. Both designs do the same job, but there are some key differences.
The vertical steamer is powerful and is most suitable for heavy work. They have a large water tank built into their base to keep you steam for a long time, and they are usually equipped with built-in clothes hangers. However, they tend to be bulky, poorly portable, and expensive.
The hand-held steamer is lighter, more compact, and easier to carry around. They have smaller water tanks, but they are often more affordable.
There are several features that distinguish the top-of-the-line garment steamer from the substandard models.
The best steamers preheat in one minute and provide a series of steam settings, allowing you to change the power according to the delicateness of the fabric.
If you have a lot of clothes to turn over, it is best to find a large water tank, preferably a transparent shell, so that you know when to fill it with water. The trigger lock is another useful tool because it means you don't need to hold your finger to enjoy continuous steam.
Included accessories such as travel bags and folding clothes hangers are also popular, especially if you are looking for a hand-held steamer to travel.
GHI tested 18 market-leading garment steamers. Our expert testers time the heating time of each model, and then judge the speed and efficiency of steaming linen suits, silk evening dresses, cotton and polyester cotton shirts and viscose tops.
They considered how easy and comfortable each garment steamer feels to use, and paid attention to whether it drips or spits water. Before awarding the final score, its mobility, control and overall design were also considered.
No matter what fabric is thrown on it, this steamer can handle it calmly. Because of its large water tank and wide head, it quickly steamed a lot of clothes and let everything dry out. It turns out to be very strong, but not too strong for delicate fabrics. Our polyester-cotton shirts look as refreshing as ironed. It is also equipped with a large number of accessories, including a folding hanger with wheels for easy transportation.
However, there are no lights to indicate that it can be used, and there is no way to control the steam. It spit occasionally, but we are very picky.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 2.2L Transparent water tank: Suspension equipment: It comes with accessories: trousers button, hand ironing pad, folding clothes hanger, decorative brush Size (height, width, depth): 162cm x 25cm x 31cm
If you want to buy a hand-held steamer in the market for a vacation, this is a great choice. It heats up in a respectable 40 seconds, providing normal, refined and turbo settings suitable for all fabrics. It eliminates all the creases of silk and viscose fibers, as well as most of the creases of cotton and linen. There is very little spitting, and nothing is wet.
Its big head is difficult to smooth out embarrassing areas such as armpits, and the trigger lock is easy to loosen, forcing us to constantly reapply to get continuous steam. However, fabric brushes and travel bags are very popular.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.2L Transparent water tank: Suspension equipment: It comes with accessories: door hook, cloth brush, crease attachment, steam cap, travel bag Size (height, width, depth): 27.5cm x 14.5cm x 11.5 cm
The compact F10 performed well, eliminating all the creases on each fabric strip, although it also performed well on this material. It warms up quickly, and its smaller head provides better maneuverability than some competitors, enabling it to cover every corner and gap.
It offers two power modes and is equipped with many useful accessories, including a collar press. Its short power cord limits our contact area, and steaming linen and silk takes a little longer than expected, but these are our only minor problems.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.26L Transparent water tank: Suspension equipment: It comes with accessories: travel bag, collar press, fabric shield, water bottle adapter, portable hanger Dimensions (height, width, depth): 22cm x 12cm x 15cm
If you travel frequently and you are short on time, take a look at this handheld model. It heats up in an impressive 29 seconds, and its wide head can quickly deal with all creases of almost all fabrics. However, it turns out that it is too cumbersome to deal with complex areas, and the trigger switch cannot be locked, which means you have to hold it down while steaming.
Despite its small capacity, we were pleasantly surprised at how long its water lasted before needing to be replenished. There are not many accessories, but protective gloves are a bonus.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.07L Transparent water tank: No suspension equipment: No accompanying accessories: cloth brush, protective gloves Size (height, width, depth): 38cm x 12.8cm x 15cm
The steam boost function of F1500 can withstand the longest lasting wrinkles. It made all the fabrics look flawless, without any spitting, and completed a cotton shirt in just over two minutes. Its tapered tip is ingeniously designed to solve gaps and wheels and improve its portability. Its outstanding accessories line includes cuff attachments and collar presses.
It takes a long time to heat up (more than two minutes), but it does have a huge water tank. Its steam jet is a bit too powerful for more delicate materials, blowing them away instead of steaming them, and its size makes storage a pain.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 3.8L Transparent water tank: Suspension equipment: It comes with accessories: flexible ironing board, heat-insulating gloves, interior decoration brush, collar and cuff accessories, exquisite fabric protective cover, folding hanger size with nails (Height, Width, D): 185cm x 32cm x 44cm
Next time we set off for a vacation, DT7050 will definitely have a place in our suitcase. This compact and effective garment steamer scored full marks in terms of ease of use, heating and quickly removing almost all creases on each fabric in one minute. It also has a dual voltage of 120V and 240V, ready for international travel.
Unfortunately, it spat a little, the steam did not change, our cotton shirt felt wet after the steam. In other words, if you are a frequent flyer and you are good value for money, then you will be hard to beat.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.15L Transparent water tank: With suspension equipment: With accessories: door hook, cloth brush, steam cap, travel bag Size (height, width, depth): 24.5cm x 12cm x 10cm
This hand-held steamer will remove wrinkles on clothes at a reasonable price. It quickly smoothed out all the creases of the tested materials, and made our polyester-cotton shirts look completely new. It provides a one-year warranty, which is a fraction of the cost of many similar products.
However, it sometimes spit, and its short head is at risk of burning your fingers. After about two minutes it began to get a little nervous. Although it was fast, our silk, linen and cotton clothes were a bit damp.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.23L Transparent water tank: Yes Suspension equipment: No Included accessories: Steam brush Dimensions (height, width, depth): 25.8cm x 14.6cm x 11cm
This super fast garment steamer heats up in 15 seconds. It can also quickly remove creases, performs particularly well on polyester cotton, and keeps all clothes dry. It strives to remove deep wrinkles in cotton and viscose fibers, but can reduce the latter.
Its foldable head can fold down, but it is a bit short, which means we occasionally pinch our fingers in the steam. There is also no lock, so the trigger must be held down continuously.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.12L Transparent water tank: no suspension equipment: no accompanying accessories: cloth brush, travel bag size (height, width, depth): 22cm x 10.5cm x 12.7cm
If you are not familiar with the world of garment steamers, use this affordable hand-held model to test the water. It heats up and removes most of the creases on all fabrics in one minute. The trigger can be locked in place, so your fingers don't have to press it, and the transparent water tank can easily check the remaining water volume.
However, strong steam means that the lighter silk and viscose fibers must be suppressed to prevent them from being blown away. I vomited a little, and my arm hurt after more than two minutes, and the cotton and linen were a little wet after steaming.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.26L Transparent water tank: Yes Suspension equipment: No Included accessories: Steam/lint brush Dimensions (height, width, depth): 28.4cm x 11.4cm x 15.1cm
DT9100 made our viscose garments look new and successfully removed all the wrinkles of the linen cloth. Three steam settings cater to different fabrics, but it is not enough to make silk and cotton cloths completely smooth. Our silk dress was wet, and there were some damp patches on the linen suit.
Its large head makes it more difficult for it to get into troublesome areas, and it has some spitting. In other words, heating only takes more than 30 seconds, which is very convenient for one-time modification.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.2L Transparent water tank: Without suspension equipment: With accessories: cloth brush, door hook, steam cover Dimensions (height, width, depth): 30.3cm x 12.7cm x 13.2cm
The wide head of this hand-held steamer means it can quickly cover a large area. This makes it ideal for handling larger garments (such as coats) or home fabrics (such as curtains). It effectively removes most of the creases on silk, polyester-cotton and viscose fibers, making each material completely dry. It also makes the linen basically wrinkle-free, but it takes a long time to steam and it feels a little damp afterwards.
It struggles with fine details such as seams, unable to reach more angular areas of each item. Occasionally spit water.
Main specifications Water tank capacity: 0.26L Transparent water tank: Yes Suspension equipment: No Included accessories: fluff brush, clothing creasing device Dimensions (height, width, depth): 31cm x 13cm x 16cm