The Best Garment Steamer

PurSteam Elite Garment Steamer

Our Top Pick for 2016: PurSteam Elite Garment Steamer
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $79.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

What’s the big difference between steaming and ironing? Steaming takes much less time than ironing. A good steamer takes less time to warm up and performs faster than any iron available on the market. If you worry about the steam making contact with your garments that fall on the more delicate side, don’t fret. Steam is much more gentle than ironing. It does not run the risk of scorching and damaging that ironing may cause to clothes. Steam also relieves the clothes of trapped germs while clearing wrinkles. Many steamers work on upholstery and other household items like curtains and linens, making them a more versatile choice than an iron. A steamer also uses less wattage than an iron, making it a more energy efficient choice. For those who hate to iron but love to look sharp, steaming is a great alternative.

Table of contents

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1500-watt Steamer
61 Oz Tank
Foot-operated On/off Switch
Heats In 45 Seconds
Heats Up In 45 To 60 Seconds
Telescoping Rod
Large ½ Gallon Water Tank
60 Minutes Of Stable Steam
Removable Tank
Includes Garment Hanger
248 °f Steam
Continuous Steam At 208°f
2 Year Warranty
5 Year Warranty
4 Selectable Steam Levels

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): PurSteam Elite Garment Steamer

PurSteam Elite Garment Steamer Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $79.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerReaching a temperature of 248 degrees Fahrenheit, the PurSteam Elite is one of the hottest garment steamers on the market. By maintaining such a high temperature, this steamer sets wrinkles free from the most delicate fabrics, including silk and linen, and even works on heavier-duty fabrics with deep-set wrinkles and folds. This model steams continuously for 60 seconds with an even flow. It’s the best choice available on the market, especially for those considering making the switch from daily laborious ironing to quick and easy steaming.

The Elite has an enormous 61 ounce water reserve that takes just 45 to 60 seconds to heat. It has a long, sturdy aluminum pole attachment that holds the steamer nozzle while it’s heating up or not in use. The pole is fit with an upward-facing arm that holds onto the garment being steamed for convenience. This steamer has an extra wide steam nozzle, allowing it to steam a large surface area at once. The Elite also comes with a convenient garment hanger for easy access to the garment at hand plus a pant press to easily make creases in pants.

The nozzle on this steamer is top-notch. In addition to its wide surface area, it has stoppers that prevent water from pouring and spitting out of the nozzle when tipped over. If you’ve ever used a leaky steamer before, you know what an asset this is. The hose on this model is extra long, making it a great choice for tall users.

Instead of having to lug the entire body of the steamer to the sink to empty and refill, the water reserve of the Elite comes detached from the rest of the steamer. It’s easy to empty and refill the steamer with water between uses. PurSteam recommends using filtered or distilled water in the Elite in order to make the steamer last longer. This can be a turn-off to some users because of the added expense of filtered water. It’s a wise choice to use filtered or distilled water in any steamer whenever possible.

The Elite is a big hit for those looking to use a steamer on upholstery, pillows, curtains and other household items. The purifying power of the Elite removes 99.9% of germs from upholstery, keeping nasty germs out of your family’s home.

This model arrives on plastic wheels for easy transport from room to room. Though the design is substantial, it is still quite compact, making it a good choice for travel and full-time home use. The body of the steamer is made of thick plastic. It’s substantial but not heavy.

As an added bonus, the PurSteam Elite comes with a full five year warranty plus a 100% money back guarantee for customers who aren’t completely satisfied with the product. The first time you place this thorough steamer to your favorite garments, you won’t even think about using that money back guarantee.

The PurSteam Elite is the most thorough, professional-grade steamer available on the market for household users.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): PureSteam XL High-Powered Standing Fabric Steamer

PureSteam XL High-Powered Standing Fabric Steamer

View it on Amazon for $69.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThis steamer heats to its highest temperature in just 45 seconds. It stays hot when in use but cools down quickly when stowed away. The PureSteam XL has a hefty half gallon water tank that provides a full 60 minutes of continuous steam on just one fill. It’s a great fit for those who wish to release wrinkles from multiple garments in one session.

A major perk of the PureSteam XL is the amount of attachments included with the steamer. Pure Enrichment includes a top-of-the-line fabric brush that clips into the steamer’s nozzle, keeping it close to the steam spray to allow the brush to really work into the fabrics. Steamer brushes are great to use on more delicate fabrics or anything that only requires a quick touch-up. Brushes also give the steam more ease when sliding over the fabric at hand, preventing unwanted creases. The PureSteam XL comes with a large garment hanger with two clips to make shirts and pants quick and easy to steam.

If you’re looking to use a steamer during travel, this model is a great choice. In addition to its wealth of attachments, the PureSteam XL comes with special travel bag for easy portability on the road. Weighing less than ten pounds, the steamer’s body is light, making it easy to bring along anywhere.

The PureSteam XL’s water reserve is completely removable to make refilling and emptying convenient. It has an aluminum stand that stretches 5 feet 5 inches tall—plenty of height for steaming long pants using the included garment hanger’s clips—and the stand holds the nozzle sturdily when not in use. The seven foot steam hose is rubberized, allowing it added flexibility, and is fit with a metal coil to protect its base where it connects to the steamer. The nozzle does not leak or leave residue on the fabric at hand when tipped at an angle and is more lightweight than more expensive, professional-grade models. Many household users prefer the lightness of a nozzle like the one available with the PureSteam XL.

This model cleanses fabrics while it steams, making it a great choice for use on household items like bedding and upholstery. Its deodorizing powers work beyond garment care, keeping all the fabrics of the home fresh.

One mild hangup with the PureSteam XL is the length of the power cord. Though this steamer has great power, its power cord is very short. Any purchaser of this steamer will need to consider purchasing an extension cord to accompany it. If the desired. steaming location is convenient to an electrical outlet, this shouldn’t be a concern.

This model also includes a fully-inclusive two year warranty from the manufacturer Pure Enrichment. As a customer, if you’re not satisfied with any of this steamer’s parts, Pure Enrichment will replace them under the umbrella of their two year warranty.

The PureSteam XL is a great consideration for those hunting for a quick-functioning, compact steamer.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Ivation 1500-Watt Valet Fabric & Garment Steamer

Ivation 1500-Watt Valet Fabric & Garment Steamer

View it on Amazon for $149.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThis Ivation steamer comes with multiple settings for different steam levels, allowing you to steam at low, medium, medium high and high steam levels. The levels are marked on the steamer base with graphics of different types of fabric. These settings can be used across a wide range of garments and upholsteries. This steamer’s highest setting heats up to 208 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with a foot switch that turns the steam spray on and off at the steamer’s base. To switch the spray on or off, simply tap the switch with your foot. This eliminates the need to bend over to operate the steamer’s settings.

The steamer has a telescoping stand that grows taller to assist any user of any height and falls shorter for easy storage of the steamer when not in use. The stand rises up to a full height of 65 inches. At the top of this stand, two hooks project outward to hold the steamer nozzle when it’s not in use in addition to a handy garment hanger. This steamer does not come with a special garment hanger or any other additional attachments, though the hook at the top of the stand makes it easy to hang any garment with a separate hanger when steaming.

The nozzle is wide at the top and has a corresponding wide handle for easy, long-term use. It’s comfortable to use when steaming many garments in a single session. The nozzle does not leak or spit up onto clothes when tilted at an angle. The hose is five feet long and is made of rigid polymer that does not kink during use.

This model holds a massive amount of water—74 ounces, to be exact—and steams continuously for up to 70 minutes on its highest, hottest setting. On its lowest setting, the Ivation steams for a whopping 7 hours. When steaming delicate fabrics, this steamer can last and last. Another perk of this model is the ability to remove the water reservoir when hot, allowing for quick rinse and refill immediately following every steaming session.

Weighing in over 13 pounds, this steamer is a little heavier than most models on the market. With its weight comes some extra bulkiness, making it less ideal for a shopper intending to use their steamer to clear wrinkles from garments during travel. The steamer arrives on large plastic wheels for easy transport throughout the home.

Additionally, Ivation does not include detailed information about their warranties ahead of purchase.

With four different heat settings, the Ivation 1500-Watt Steamer is a highly customizable steamer. It’s the perfect choice for anyone intending to steam many different types of fabric at once.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Deneve Portable Garment Steamer

Deneve Portable Garment Steamer

View it on Amazon for $34.20*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickThis Deneve model is the best portable steamer available on the market today. It’s compact in design, but comes fit with a generously-sized 7 ounce tank and nearly 1000 watts of power. It weighs just over two pounds.

Aside from its intentionally compact size, another huge benefit of a portable steamer is a higher continuous steam time. A portable steamer’s steam does not have to build up from the water reservoir on the floor through a hose into the nozzle. Instead, the water reservoir sits in hand along with the rest of the device, allowing the steam to form continuously during the entire steaming time. Using its whole reservoir, this Deneve model offers 10 minutes of continuous steam time. The water heats up in less than two minutes. When the water runs out, simply refill, reheat, and begin steaming for 10 more minutes. The water reservoir refills in the top of the body.

This steamer has a wide, curved nozzle. It comes with a brush attachment that’s perfect for use on delicate fabrics and household linens.

The upright, kettle-like design of this steamer prevents it from spilling hot water during use. It’s compact enough for use during travel or for storing on any shelf at home. Though compact in design, this steamer comes with a nine foot power cord, making it easy to use in any room.

Deneve had safety in mind when they designed this steamer. If the device’s water level is too low or if its temperature grows too high, the steamer’s power will shut off automatically.

The portability of this design prevents this steamer from having an attached arm, making garment steaming a little tricker. To make up for this, Deneve provides a garment holder with a suction cup to make steaming easier.

Since this is a portable steamer, this model reaches a lower peak temperature than the full-sized models on this list. However, this Deneve steamer maintains a higher peak temperatures available on the market. It’s the best consideration for those shopping for a compact steamer that is both effective and affordable.

The Deneve Portable Garment Steamer comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer. Highly compact in design, it’s the perfect purchase for the first-time steamer user.


Pre-purchase considerations

Continuous Steam Time

Every steamer available has a continuous steam time. This figure is simply the amount of time the steamer will release a continuous stream of steam before having to build up more steam. When a steamer has a lengthier continuous steam time, it takes less time to steam fabric.

When shopping for a steamer, look for a model that lists a 60 second continuous steam time among its features. This way, you’ll be able to steam the garment at hand for a full minute before the steam runs out, making the process fast. If the continuous steam time is shorter, you’ll have to hold the nozzle out straight to allow the steam to accumulate in the hose before returning to the fabric to steam. This can be tedious. Many shoppers prefer portable steamers for this reason. Without a hose, portable steamers can have up to ten minutes of continuous steam time.

High Peak Temperature

Different steamers reach different peak temperatures. The higher the temperature, the more wrinkles a steamer will release from a garment, linen or piece of upholstery. Higher temperatures also contribute to a steamer’s ability of deodorizing the fabric at hand. When the model emits steam at a higher temperature, it’s able to kill more germs during the steaming process. Some steamers available today claim to eliminate up to 99.9% of germs and allergens during the steaming process. If you have children in your household, this is a great attribute to consider in a steamer in order to promote a healthy lifestyle among your family.

During your search, try to find a steamer that can reach a peak temperature of 230 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you’ll be steaming multiple types of fabrics, it’s also wise to look for a steamer that has multiple temperature and fabric settings. With an option for a lower setting, the steam will be more gentle on your delicate fabrics. In most cases, a full-sized steamer will reach a higher peak temperature than a portable steamer.

Nozzle Width

The steam comes up from the water reservoir into the long hose and out through the steamer’s nozzle. It’s important to look for a steamer with a wide nozzle. The wider the nozzle, the less time it’ll take to steam the fabric. Wider nozzles provide more surface area for the steam to handle on the garment or fabric at hand.

Most steamers today come with wide nozzles. When shopping, look for one that’s roughly the size of your flattened palm or wider. Full-sized steamers have wider nozzles than portable steamers, though there are many portable steamers available with wide nozzles.

Weight and Overall Size

If you intend to bring your steamer along with you on trips to keep your clothes looking sharp on the road, you’ll want to consider its weight and size when shopping. It can be a pain to lug around a heavy, bulky steamer. Search for a steamer weighing less than 10 pounds that isn’t bulky in size. There are many steamers like this available on the market today. In fact, steamer manufacturers are considering lower weight and smaller size into the equations of more popular home steamer models. Most steamer bodies are made of durable plastic, cutting down on overall weight.

Beware of specialized steamers created for use during travel. Travel-sized steamers are notorious for spitting up a great deal of water through their nozzles, releasing water onto the garment instead of steam. They also have flimsy plastic hoses that puncture easily, ruining the entire system. In the long run, it’s a better choice to purchase a single steamer for both at-home and travel uses. For this reason, it’s wise to keep in mind a steamer’s portability while shopping.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

With so many garment steamers available on the market today, it can be hard to select the right one. When shopping, it’s best to look for a steamer with a lengthy continuous steam time, a high peak temperature, a wide nozzle plus a low overall weight for travel purposes. With these four factors checked off, you’re on your way to selecting the best steamer to suit your individual needs.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Jonathan Humes, Garment Steamer Review, Thoroughly Reviewed
  2. PureSteam XL — High-Powered Standing Fabric Steamer With Garment Hanger and Fabric Brush, Best10Reviews, March 6, 2016
  3. Mark Ridgeway, Garment Steamers: Best New Full Size Home Garment Steamer, Steamer Central, August 23, 2015
  4. Top 10 Best Fabric Steamers Reviewed in 2016, Buy the Best 10, 2016

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