10 Best Clothes Steamers | December 2016
- easy cord storage
- good unit for beginners
- spits some water out
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
- can steam for 95 minutes per tank
- uses very little water
- there is no handle on the base
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- helps remove dust mites
- retractable power cord
- heavy when full
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- can be moved like a rolling suitcase
- removable water tank
- flows better when extended
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- automatic shutoff
- can be used to open facial pores
- perfect for thin materials
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- designed to prevent spills
- made from bpa-free abs plastic
- uses a lot of water per item
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- easy and quick to assemble
- 1500 watts of power
- no place to wrap the cord
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- starts to boil within 45 seconds
- comes with a carrying pouch
- has a brush head for lint
|Model||clothes portable steame|
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- die cast aluminum housing
- comes with four metal heads
- long hose for hard-to-reach places
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
Steamers...What's New and Different?
Hollywood stylists have known for years that steamers are often faster and more effective on fabric than the more widely used pressing iron. As it happens, steamers can also help remove odors, and - if the water's hot enough, even bacteria and dust mites - a definite boon if you're trying to refresh long-stored garb. Below are a few key features:
The Garment Hanger is a pretty standard add-on, especially for full-size steamers. Some accommodate more than one garment at a time. There are even models that boast hangers that make it easy to steam the padded shoulder of a jacket. Other units feature a rotating system of hangers.
Lint Brush attachments are likewise standard. They help remove lint as you steam. Which seems a remarkable feat.
A Cool-Touch Handle can be really helpful if you use the steamer a lot. There's nothing like burning yourself while trying to prep your clothing, which may just tick you off enough to quit the chore entirely.
Telescoping Poles are a huge help if you're getting the kinks out of curtains or drapes. They're also a boon if you're shorter or taller than 'average'.
The Crease Attachment is specially designed to, well, put creases in garments. While you may not use it every day, it can come in handy.
Foot Pedals make steamer operation hands free. Which just makes life a whole lot easier.
A Fill Indicator makes it easy to see whether it's time to add more water.
A Telescoping Cord makes use and storage simpler, especially for those of us lacking dexterity.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. But these are key options to keep in mind as you shop for a steamer.
Steaming vs. Ironing: The Battle Royal
OK, maybe we oversold it, but here's the deal:
An iron is durable and easy to use. But it puts pressure on the fibers, in effect stressing them out. Repeatec ironing over time can wear out fabric. While this may not seem like a big deal when it comes to starchy cotton or linens, it can really be a killjoy on lightweight or delicate fabrics.
Enter the steamer - which relies mostly on the steam itself to deflate the wrinkles. No pressure. This hands-off attitude allows fibers to be free and easy. In practical terms, it helps your delicate clothing last longer.
Today's steamers offer some features that practically mimic an iron. It's up to you to discern when or whether to adopt these options.
Always consider how your clothes feel. We're not talking fabric type here, but actual feelings. Would you rather be pressed down upon with hot metal? Or would you rather luxuriate in the steamy flow which just gets the kinks out? Take care of your things, we say, and they'll take care of you.
Steamer Issues: Trouble in Paradise
The steamer is a trusted tool. Unfortunately, issues with operation can arise. Here are some tactics to help keep your steamer running smoothly:
Don't overfill the reservoir. As with most steam irons, using too much water can lead to leaking, spitting or worse. Just respect the limitations of the product. Which means staying within the lines. If you're highly creative, it might be tough. But stick it out in this instance.
Don't let the water level get too low. Running on empty is not a good idea...as with most machines.
Wait until the water heats before you get started. This could be a matter of seconds. (But that might seem like forever when you're rushing out in the morning.) Steamers tend to drip and spit if the water is not yet hot.
Don't allow the tube to get twisted. It doesn't seem like it would matter, but with many models, a crease in the cord can lead to spitting.
Keep the unit clean. (See video above.) Limescale is not your friend...with shower tile or with your steamer. Regular maintenance helps forestall poor performance.
Follow directions for storage. If the manufacturer suggests emptying the reservoir or detaching all attachments before putting the steamer away, go along with it. After all, a penny saved...I mean an ounce of prevention. (Sorry!)
Every model has its particular quirks. But using common sense when operating any steamer is a good idea.