When it comes to choosing the best clothes steamer there are several things to take into consideration. One is the size of the unit you want. Do you need to be able to travel with it? Also consider the amount of clothing you may frequently steam and the price you want to spend on a unit.
A clothes steamer operates with plain tap water. A good one can remove wrinkles from your clothing faster than ironing. They work especially well on silk, cashmere, wool or cotton jersey and steam is very gentle on fabrics. They also work well to refresh clothing between dry cleaning, saving you money. A portable or hand held clothing steamer can be used to steam many things, such as drapes and upholstery.
Hand Held or Professional Garment Steamer
There are two sizes available. The full size unit and the hand held unit. The full size unit usually will have a few more functions than a hand held. There may be an automatic shut-off, the ability to control the amount of steam, and a place to hold the steam nozzle. The hand held steamer will be cheaper in price. The nozzle will be smaller, which may be good depending on the garment you are steaming. It is easier to store and it can be used in any room of the house, as it can easily move with you. The one drawback about the smaller units is that they need to be refilled more frequently.
Features of a Professional Garment Steamer
The average full size unit has a base with a boiler in it. A plastic tank sits on the boiler. You fill this tank with water and invert it. The more water the tank holds the longer the steamer operates without refills. A typical one gallon tank model will produce steam for ninety minutes straight.
Some of the full size fabric steaming models come with steam setting controls, much like an iron. The settings can be adjusted according to the fabric being steamed as some require more heat than others. The typical cost range is $120-$200 with a wattage from 1,200-2,000 watts. A press pad can be used as well. This will keep the garment in place and lessen the chance that you will scald your hand. Many come with garment hanging rods and accessories like crease tools, lint removers and or an upholstery brush.
Best Travel Clothes Steamer
The best clothes steamer if you travel may be a hand held model. They are easy to pack and some weigh as little as 1.5 pounds. This type of unit will have a one piece design. Most produce nonstop steam but some have a push button steamer. This will only allow the steam out only when the button is pushed. The steam time is much shorter than that of a full size unit, producing steam for no more than 15 minutes.
If you need to steam more than a few garments you will need to refill the water tank. These do come with a travel pouch and sometimes a fabric brush and lint pad. Usually the more watts the machine has the hotter the steam. This is not always the case as some of the models with lessor wattage were tested and found to give greater and hotter amounts of steam. The wattage can range from 200-1,000 watts at a cost of $30-$60.
Best Clothes Steamer for You
The best clothes steamer will have the hottest steam to make removing wrinkles easy in one pass. The full size will have a place to hang your clothing while steaming and a holder for the steam nozzle. The hand held unit should be light, compact and still pump out great amounts of steam to get the job done.