Simply hang up the item of clothing, and hold the steamer up to eliminate creases and neaten fabric. They aren’t really a replacement for steam irons, but if you have clothing which is relatively iron-free and just needs a tidy up now and then, delicate items such as pleated skirts or hanging suits, a steamer can unwrinkle them in seconds.
The two main categories are upright and handheld; the best for you will depend on your needs and the garments in question. Take a look at our buying guide to see which is best for you, and then our reviews of the best garment steamers.
The Best Garment Steamers – Our Top Picks
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Best Handheld Garment Steamers
Morphy Richards Express Steam 361000
Very powerful and one of the most comfortable on our list to hold, the Morphy Richards Express is one of the most advanced around. It is their latest release, and you can really see the years of knowledge and updates which have gone into making it.
It is ready to use after just 35 seconds of preheating, which also makes it one of the quickest to get going. A consistent and generous 35g/m steam rate provides plenty of welly to abolish even the toughest of crinkles, and there are even two Dual Steam settings to help you out.
The Turbo option gives you even more power than normal, which will smooth difficult folds without you having to go over them two or three times. Then there is the Eco mode, which saves water consumption and helps with more delicate choices.
An added lint brush will help to get deep into the fibres by separating them, and will also help to remove any dirt or dust from items such as curtains as they are steamed. The stainless steel soleplate should stay nice and clean too, with no risk of catching on the fabric.
- Power: 1750W
- Steam Flow Rate: Continuous 35g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 0.27L
- Soleplate: Stainless Steel
- Dimensions: 32.6 x 16.8 x 13.2cm
- Two different modes
- Effective lint brush
- Quick heat time
- Turbo function uses a lot of steam so needs to be refilled a lot
You can really tell the difference in quality between this Morphy Richards and some of the cheaper options we left off the list. If you are still happy to pay close to £50, the extra functions are well worth it
Able to heat up in just three minutes, and with powerful continuous steam which can eliminate the most stubborn of creases, this Swan upright handheld garment steamer really took us by surprise.
To say it is around half the average price of other models out there, we were not expecting it to be quite so good, or cover so many bases. It is nice and easy to hold and move around, and you can see the creases disappear before your eyes.
The water capacity, while not the largest, is still generous and gives you enough time to get through a good few items of clothing before having to refill. A 1.9m cord is perfect for offering some flexibility, and refilling the water is simple thanks to the large opening.
We loved the little fabric brush attachment which came with it. Garment steamers are also great for freshening up curtains, cushions and carpets, and the brush helps you get close to the fabric and under the fibres without it getting too hot.
You have to hold the steamer quite close to the clothing, and maybe go over it a few times with tougher wrinkles, but once you get the hang of it, it is a breeze.
- Power: 1100W
- Reservoir Capacity: 0.25L
- Dimensions: 27.0 x 9.5 x 13.5cm
- Compact so easy to store
- No indication to say when it is ready to use
So simple yet so brilliant. We don’t often think the budget pick is in our top three, but you could want little more than what Swan offers
STEAMONE H2S Travel Steamer
Much easier than travel irons to take away with you, especially if you are on business and will have suits and other delicates to iron, travel steamers are very popular.
This Steamone is a really nice size to fit in your case. It only takes just over two minutes to heat up, which is good as you don’t want to waste a single second of your time when you’re away. The continuous steam flow also helps here, as you don’t have to struggle pressing buttons or giving it a boost when you need it to work.
The 250ml water tank is on the smaller side, but as it is a travel model, we will let it off. What is good about the water tank is that it can use ordinary tap water, as opposed to filtered or special iron water. This is pretty essential for a travel device, as you’re going to likely be limited to the bathroom tap for your supply.
It gives you steam at 98 degrees, and there is no adjustable thermostat, but this is pretty regular. You get dust and fabric brush attachments too, so you can also use it in the home with curtains, sofas and carpets.
- Power: 800W
- Steam Flow Rate: Continuous 28g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 0.2L
- Dimensions: 22 x 10.5 x 17.5cm
- Easy to hold handle
- Extra attachments
- Easy to fill at top
- Very small soleplate - more for targeted creases
Great to pop in the case when you are away from home, and performs well for something under £30
TEFAL Access Steam DR8085 Hand Steamer
One of the most popular garment steamers on the market at the moment, as you would expect from a name such as Tefal. Their ordinary steam irons also take most top 10 lists across the board, so can this hand device live up to expectations?
Firstly, it is one of the most comfortable to hold. The slimline handle and ergonomic trigger don’t get in the way, making it suitable for anyone. The trigger can be locked in place so you don’t have to keep pressing it in, which is great for those longer sessions.
It will warm up in under 45 seconds, which means it is perfect for last minute touch-ups. Say you’re always going to an event or rushing out to work in the morning, only to spot your clothes look very crumpled just before you take them off the hanger. Well, now you can leave them there to steam, and in around two minutes, they will be ready to wear.
While the steam rate may not be the largest, it still has an impact on both crease elimination and sanitisation, removing odours. You get two attachments; a fabric brush gives a professional, smooth finish and the steam bonnet to protect fabrics against water drips. The latter is not something which is commonplace with items such as this, surprisingly, so it is a nice touch.
To finish it off, the flat base makes it stable enough to set down in between uses and store safely.
- Power: 1500W
- Steam Flow Rate: 24g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 0.2L
- Dimensions: 28.5 x 12 x 18cm
- Auto switch off if left on
- Nice slimline handle is good for a safe hold
- Quick heat up
- On the heavier side
Handy for both refreshes and smoothing out folds, as it gives out a perfect amount of steam
Philips Steam&Go Plus
The ‘Steam and Go+’ is another increasingly popular handheld garment steamer. It gives you the choice of both vertical & horizontal steaming on any surface, so is suitable for pretty much any occasion or user preferences.
Ready to use in just 45 seconds, it is best for anyone who wants a steamer which can tidy up clothes before they are worn in a rush. It only holds 70ml of water at any one time, so is designed to do quick touch-ups as opposed to big crease-busting sessions.
It does kill up to 99.99% of bacteria however, so if you have any soft furnishings and are bothered by allergies, a blast of steam from Philips should tackle any issues. In terms of size, it is one of the more compact options, which makes it perfect for travelling or popping into your suitcase for a business trip.
You get a fabric brush so you can separate fibres as you steam, and a safety glove too which boosts safety and decreases the risk of burns. Because the soleplate is nice and large, it is easy to run along fabric for more targeted ironing.
- Power: 1300W
- Steam Flow Rate: 24g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 0.07L
- Dimensions: 38.2 x 15.2 x 13.6 cm
- Heat resistant bag for easy storage
- Slim handle is comfortable to hold
- A little pricey for what you get - ones half the cost were better
- Small water reservoir
Despite the small reservoir and relatively high cost, we were still moderately happy with the results. It is one of the easiest to hold, which is good for anyone with wrist issues
HIGH STREET TV Verti Steam Pro Hand Steamer
Described as a 3-in-1, this Verti Steam is easy to use and should cover all bases when it comes to your clothing.
You have the standard press head, which can be used flat with steam or else in contact with clothes for more of an iron effect. Then there is a Plump and Refresh brush attachment which can breathe life into your jumpers and deep materials while giving them a deep steam clean. You also get a lint remover, which can capture any dust or hairs.
Crease Release Technology releases the steam over a wider area when used vertically, to get the job done quicker. This also helps if your tops have sequins or beads, or trousers have buttons and studs, as it keeps them safe.
It is ready just 45 seconds after turning on, so you can get going straight away. If you’re one to rush around in the morning before work, this could help you iron your shirt while you drink your coffee.
Now for the downsides. It is the heaviest on our list, so definitely not one for anyone who struggles to hold items like this for a long time. When in use, it also gets hot quite quickly, and you need to wait a while before you can reuse it. For these reasons, we would say it is definitely a steamer for anyone who just needs quick touch-ups every so often.
- Power: 1600W
- Steam Flow Rate: 26 g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 0.2L
- Soleplate: Stainless Steel
- Dimensions: 32 x 24 x 26cm
- Effective for large areas
- Quick warm-up
- Plump and Refresh attachment is brilliant for carpets and soft furnishings
- Heavy and bulky
The price may put some people off as seeing it is a little cumbersome to hold, but there is no denying it does the job well and has plenty of features to keep you going
Best Upright Freestanding Garment Steamers
TEFAL Pro Style IT3440
If you’re going to be using the steamer frequently, and you have the space, you may wish to purchase an upright model which comes complete with vertical support to hold your garments in place.
This Tefal is one of the best professional level garment steamers around. Ready in just 45 seconds, it can hold up to 1.5L of water, which gives you around 50 minutes of steaming in one go. So whether you’re a professional dry cleaner, sewing machinist or repairer, or maybe just own a lot of suits or dresses which need constant attention, it will certainly give you enough support to be getting on with the job if you’re on a budget.
The water tank is still nice and easy to top up though, and it doesn’t struggle to cope with huge loads of laundry so even if you have a few hours of steaming on your hands you are good to go. It will occasionally need to stop to reheat all of the water, but this is not a drastic wait.
The large steam head is great for tackling larger areas in a short time, but there is also a pointed tip for more precise action. There are three steam levels so you can cope with several types of fabric. Jeans will need the most powerful, but fine silks or shirts will probably only need the lowest – it is still powerful.
- Power: 1800 W
- Steam Flow Rate: Continuous: 35 g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 1.5L
- Dimensions: Extended 160 x 30 x 45 cm
- Large tank
- Head makes steaming simple
- Fabric brush attachment for smoother finishes
- Pole is a little wobbly when fitted
Not quite on the level of professional models, but it is under £100, and it is nice and easy to use. The best upright for home use in our opinion
If you’re worried about letting your iron go because you love adding dedicated iron water which leaves your clothes smelling fragrant, then this steamer will be a revelation.
MyEssence refreshes clothes with your favourite scents; just add some of your oil-based fragrances to the cap, and this will come out in the steam. You get 2x My Essence fragrance caps with the purchase.
The water tank detaches so you can fill it up at the sink then replace when done, which is much easier than going backwards and forwards with a dedicated refill bottle. The steam put out is huge, and completely controllable thanks to the dial at the front of the tank. As a guide, there are five settings to choose from. A crease can be removed in around 30 seconds, which is much easier than going over it several times with the iron.
It is a big unit and can take a bit of time to build up. For this reason, it is best to keep built at all times. But to say it is a professional standard, and cheaper than some of the newer models on the market which don’t match up to it at all, we rate it very highly.
- Power: 2000W
- Steam Flow Rate: 40g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 1.8L
- Dimensions: H174 x W37 x D33cm
- Safety shut off
- Easy Rinse descaling
- Extra-long StyleBoard
- Struggles with denim and tough material
Incredibly powerful, and a nice stylish design too. One of the best if you want to find that sweet spot between ironing on a board and steaming
Tefal IXEO All-in-One QT1020
Incredibly stylish and packed with features which makes it easier than ever to get those wrinkles out.
It heats up in 45 seconds and gives you almost an hour of steaming in one go thanks to the large capacity. Turbo steam technology gets deep into the fabric, so you can hold the soleplate to the garment like an ordinary iron or use it upright, and both are effective.
The ceramic soleplate is great for running along clothing and not risking snags or burns. It offers Continuous Steam Action, and the pole is fully telescopic so you can adjust depending on what you’re steaming, and then drop again to make it a bit smaller for storage.
There is more good news too; thanks to the anti-calc collector, there will be a reduced risk of the build-up of limescale. You should always use filtered water anyway, but it is an extra peace of mind.
Because it all comes as separate parts, there is a bit of wobbling from the pole. This makes it a struggle to deal with denim and other heavy items, but it is easy enough to build. Instructions are clear, and there are videos online too.
If using for domestic use only, you also get a free 2-year manufacturer warranty. Not bad at all…
- Power: 1600W
- Steam Flow Rate: 35 g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 1.6L
- Soleplate: Ceramic
- Dimensions: H16 x W40 x D40cm
- Compact to store
- Automatically detects the ideal temperature for safely ironing garments
- Lint and brush provided
- Will need to buy replacement filters on top of price
Pricey, but one of the best for tackling creases and it also looks a lot nicer than the others
Tefal IS8360G0 Instant Control Garment Steamer
Just under £100, making it a budget freestanding vertical steamer in comparison to others on the market, this Tefal gives you all you’d need from one of these products.
There is 1700W of power and a 35g/min steam rate, making it tough enough to tackle most of those everyday creases and kinks. You also get four steam settings, a fabric brush and a lint pad so you can customise the settings for whatever you are steaming at that precise moment.
The 1.67m press is tall enough for most of the everyday products too, such as shirts and jackets, or even long dresses.
We said ‘most of’ the creases above, as it wasn’t the most effective. You had to go over them a few times to really see the difference, but this could still be an easier way of doing things compared to ironing.
- Power: 1700W
- Steam Flow Rate: 35g/min
- Reservoir Capacity: 1.7L
- Soleplate: Ceramic
- Dimensions: H167cm x W46cm x D22.5cm
- Comfortable to use
- Nice price
- Not the absolute best - can struggle with deeper creases
Overall, it is effortless and seamless to use. Not the most perfect, but still great for the cost
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Garment Steamer Buying Guide
Handheld or Upright?
There are pros and cons to each option, and it all depends on your needs:
- Can be transported
- Easier to store
- Smaller water tanks than upright
- You need to find somewhere suitable to hang the garments to steam
Upright Floor Model:
- Larger water capacity than handheld
- An all-in-one with hanging support
- May have more power
- Bulky – can’t really be stored away
- Pricier than portable alternatives
Most average tanks in handheld models will hold around 200/250ml of water at any one time. This keeps the device lightweight but is enough to get through a couple of garments without having to refill.
Upright usually holds around 1 litre of water. Those at the higher end of the scale, nearer 2 litres, could give you about an hour-worth of steam without having to refill, although be aware you’ll need to pause every so often until the water reheats.
An additional brush attachment will help to separate the fibres on fabrics, for even smoother results which reach deep down, and should therefore last longer. This is great for thicker items such as jumpers.
It could also help if you are steaming a cushion or sofa and will need to remove ground-in hairs or dust.
As you can imagine, with the use of hot steam also comes the risk of burns and scalds. Always take precautions and wear protective gloves if it is close to your hands, and try to stay away from the heat as much as possible.
Turn the steamer off and allow to cool before storing away, and if you’re concerned about the risk of it being left on, buy a model which has auto-turn off ability. Also, store in a cool, dry place away from dust.
How Do Garment Steamers Work?
Think of it like vertically ironing your clothes. Using the steam, the creases can be removed from the clothing without direct contact with the fabrics. Just hang the material up, and gently go over the creases.
Are They Good For Removing Bacteria?
Yes. Steamers can remove up to 99% of germs and bacteria from soft furnishings, which makes them great for freshening up cushion covers, duvets, curtains and even carpets which otherwise can’t really be washed or ironed.
Could I Steam Any Material?
Steam is best for delicate products such as shirts or suits, which can’t really come into direct contact with hot iron soleplates. Most modern fabrics can be steamed, such as cotton, silk, polyester and wool, but don’t try with synthetic leather, suede or items made from plastic.
It may struggle on tougher materials, so don’t expect to be able to remove creases from denim jeans or jackets. Just be aware that you should always read care labels; never steam if it says you can’t steam. Also, adjust the temperatures and force output if possible, with the more delicate items. You can test on a small hard to spot area of the garment before you go full pelt.