The 6 Best Steam Presses

Updated February 23, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

6 Best Steam Presses
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Yes, we all have better things to do than iron clothes for hours on end. Cut your time spent on this chore by up to 50% with one of these convenient steam presses. They are a great alternative to the traditional iron, as they have a larger surface area that is ideal for removing wrinkles in garments and household linens of all sizes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best steam press on Amazon.

6. Speedy Press Medium

The Speedy Press Medium features a user-friendly design that makes ironing garments, drapes, or linens a simpler chore. It can be used dry or with steam and allows for an easy one-handed operation, for those who like to multitask.
  • wide temperature range
  • safe for delicate fabrics
  • needs to reheat between each press
Brand Speedy Press
Model SSP-3208
Weight 31.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Sienna Expresso

The Sienna Expresso is a basic model with a manual temperature control that some may prefer, as you aren't required to use a certain temperature for each kind of material. The pressing surface is on the smaller side, though, at just 22 x 9 inches.
  • nonstick coating
  • comes with a pressing cushion
  • takes a while to heat up
Brand Sienna
Model SSP-1990
Weight 24.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Speedy Press Ultra XL

While it may be overkill for the average homeowner, the Speedy Press Ultra XL is ideal for commercial settings in which lots of linens are treated daily. Measuring 35" x 12.5", the plate covers a large fabric area with each press.
  • digital temperature display
  • auto and manual steam options
  • water reservoir is too small
Brand Speedy Press
Model ESP77T
Weight 36.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Steamfast Mid-Size

The Steamfast Mid-Size has custom settings for different fabric types, so you don't have to worry about accidentally ruining your favorite shirt. It heats up within minutes and its small footprint doesn't take up too much counter space in your laundry room.
  • smartly placed steam burst buttons
  • freshens and deodorizes clothing
  • can create a nice crease if needed
Brand Steamfast
Model SF-623BK
Weight 15.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Singer ESP-2

The Singer ESP-2 can give you professional results without you having to spend a fortune at the dry cleaners. It works in half the time of a conventional iron to remove even the most stubborn wrinkles, and has specific settings for nylon, silk, wool, cotton and linen.
  • produces 100 pounds of pressure
  • can also be used without steam
  • clearly marked water fill lines
Brand Singer
Model ESP2.CL
Weight 26.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Steamfast Digital

The Steamfast Digital is a true workhorse with 1,350 watts of power to get wrinkles out in the simplest and quickest way. It features a 10-oz. water reservoir and a large nonstick pressing plate, plus it automatically shuts off for safety if left idle for too long.
  • distributes heat evenly
  • quality stainless steel construction
  • locks closed for easy portability
Brand Steamfast
Model SF-680
Weight 25.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

The Press or the Iron?

A steam press, also known as a clothing or garment press, is of a higher commercial grade than the conventional irons the average home owner uses to press clothes and fabrics. They are an essential tool for tailors, dry cleaners, and sewers.

However, you don't have to be one of these persons to benefit from a steam press. Ironing in itself is a tedious chore most try to avoid at all costs. If you're one of those people, a steam press may change your viewpoint entirely: they're more efficient and require less energy than ironing.

Pressing consists of holding an iron down and applying pressure on the fabric, allowing the generated steam to create or reinforce creases, pleats, or hems. Ironing is the process of sliding an iron across the fabric to remove creases and wrinkles.

The modern process of pressing fabrics consists of using steam and electricity. The iron plate of the press heats up with the use of electricity. A thermostat installed in the press will ensure that the temperature remains consistent, and most allow for the user to adjust the temperature as needed based on the fabric being steamed. A reservoir of water in the press is then heated through the iron plate and converted to steam.

The steam expels out from the iron plate and presses the fabric, loosening the chains of molecules in the fibers of the material. At this point, the heat straightens the fibers and they cool into a new shape. This process can create creases or remove wrinkles.

Different fabrics press best at certain temperatures. Every iron or press will dictate optimal temperatures for each fabric being pressed. They contain a self-regulating thermostat which switches on and off to keep the temperature consistent with the fabric setting.

To Steam, or Not To Steam?

Purchasing a steam press is an important decision. Given the financial commitment it is best to determine if it is warranted. The benefits of the steam press are bountiful. They give clothes an even, wrinkle-free appearance with minimal time and energy. They tend to work faster and more efficiently than their handheld counterpart, the iron, and they require less physical exertion.

They also eliminate the need for an ironing board, as the steam press itself covers a larger area, which equates to less total presses on the fabric. The generous amount of steam means you only have to press clothes once, as opposed to two to three times with an iron. Lastly, the investment in the steam press over time will save money compared to a commercial dry cleaning service, not to mention time wasted in your day retrieving clothes from the cleaners.

Of course, some concerns about steam presses must be voiced, as well. The first concern is cost. It's definitely an investment, and many steam presses cost more than five to ten times the amount of handheld irons. They are also potential hazardous, given the combination of heat, electricity, and steam.

The steam press as a whole is quite large, making it difficult to transport. Given the fact that the primary purpose is to create folds and creases, they are ineffective at getting wrinkles out of small areas. A handheld iron would be more effective for that purpose. Lastly, most steam presses are bulky. Very few include a stand of their own and you must have a flat, large surface nearby to rest the steam press.

A Brief History of Ironing and Pressing

As with many inventions, the ancient Chinese are usually credited before myopic Americans rush in to steal the glory. The use of heating metal pans filled with coals and pressing them on fabric dates back to the first century B.C.E. in China.

Jumping forward to Europe in the 17th century, slabs of iron shaped into triangles were heated by fire and used to press fabrics. A tailor's stove was historically used in tailor shops to heat multiple irons from one single heat source, expediting the process.

The first portable ironing board dates back to 1858 by W. Vandenburg and J. Harvey. The purpose was to ease the pressing of sleeves and pant legs. Curious as it is, the modern ironing board has not seen much technological improvement over the past century.

The first electric iron dates back to 1882 and it was invented by Henry W. Seeley. This iron, while revolutionary at the time, had no thermostat to regulate the temperature. It wasn't until the 1920s that such a iron emerged which introduced steam. It was credited to Thomas Sears and it became a commercial success, setting the standard for ironing that we enjoy to this day.

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Last updated on February 23, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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