A hand held steamer for clothes is a great choice as a travel companion or for removing wrinkles from clothing, drapes, and much more. If you’re a frequent traveler, you know the pain of hotel irons. I was a 100% business traveler for many years and I learned quickly that a portable hand held steamer for clothes was the only reliable choice for removing wrinkles from my business attire.
If you travel a lot, you know what I’m talking about. Do any of these situations sound familiar?
- No iron in the hotel room and a lot of trouble getting one brought to the room
- No ironing board with even more trouble getting one brought to the room
- An iron that never heated up with obvious corrosion coming out of the holes because everyone before you used tap water
- White mineral build-up coming out of the holes getting all over your dark clothing
- An iron that had obviously ironed some material that melted to it and now was ready to transfer itself to your clothing
Road warriors can leave that all that behind by getting a simple travel hand held steamer for clothes.
What should you look for in a travel handheld garment steamer?
It seems simple, but when you look at some of the hand held steamer for clothes designs, it makes you wonder. Your travel steamer needs to fit into your suitcase, backpack, or carry-on with room for all your other essentials. Fortunately, most of the popular travel steamers are well-designed to take up as little space as possible in your travel bags.
Interested in learning about other capable garment steamers? Be sure and see our other articles about some of the best!
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- Garment Steamers: Best New Full Size Home Garment Steamer
- Travel Clothes Steamer: One Ultra-Portable Garment Steamer
- Hand Steamer: Top Rated Handheld Garment Steamer
- Shark Garment Steamers: Shark GS500 Press and Refresh
- Commercial Garment Steamers: Top 5 Clothes Steamers
- Clothing Steamers: Best New Home Garment Steamer
- Back To College Clothes Steamer: Best Student Steamers
- Steamfast SF-407 Fabric Steamer: Best Value Home Garment Steamer
- Steamers For Clothes: Hottest New Heavy-Duty Garment Steamer
- Fabric Steamer: Top 7 Most Popular Garment Steamers
- Clothing Steamer: Top 5 Heavy-Duty Home Clothing Steamers
One of the problems with a travel handheld clothes steamer when compared to full-sized steamer is a lack of power. An ineffective clothing steamer with a weak steam flow is just frustrating and you might as well leave it at home. More power means a more powerful steam flow and a faster time to steam.
A handheld steamer for clothes is compact and lightweight to carry with you, but that leaves little room in the design for heating elements that produce the power you need. If you go too small, you may be disappointed in the performance of your travel steamer.
The water reservoir on a travel steamer holds the fuel that produces the steam you need to remove wrinkles. A larger reservoir will give you steam longer so you can remove more wrinkles. A larger reservoir adds weight, bulk, and because you have to hold it in your hand, possibly more awkwardness. The portable steamer for clothes will also take up more space in your suitcase.
You will find that some manufacturers will make claims that you can use regular tap water in their steamers, but the reality is if you use distilled water your garment steamer last longer. The problem is that all tap water everywhere has some level of mineral content and when the water is converted to steam, the minerals are left behind to coat the heating elements. Over time it reduces the effectiveness of your hand held steamer for clothes and eventually will render it useless.
So what do you do? Ideally you would always use distilled water. Given your busy schedule and the pain of buying distilled water on the road, the best you can do is probably to use hard water cleaner crystals to prolong the life of your steamer. Some models include a sample of the crystals.
You would think that all appliances would have on/off switches. Most travel steamers are plug-and-steam. While they’re plugged in, they’re on. If you forget to unplug the steamer, you may damage it. Some travel garment steamers come with an on/off switch for safety and convenience. Some models handle this problem by providing an automatic shut-off feature if the unit gets too hot or water in the reservoir gets too low.
Power Cord Length
Road warriors now that outlets in hotel rooms are few and far between and never where you would expect them. It’s gotten better over the years, but the situation is far from perfect. Usually, I had to use the bathroom outlet and hang my clothing on a closet door or on the shower rod. Where you plug in and where you hang your clothing will depend on the length of your hand held steamer for clothes power cord. A long power cord can mean the difference between comfortable winkle removal and utter frustration.
Are you a world traveler? If so pay attention to the voltage specifications on any travel steamer you’re considering. If you travel outside the U.S., you will need a dual-voltage capable steamer that can handle both 120 and 240 volts and 50/60 Hz.
Nobody is going to see your hand held steamer for clothes. With that said, nice styling makes an appliance more appealing. My recommendation is to leave the style behind and go for the better engineered travel steamer that is going to do the job.
Tools and Accessories
Most travel clothing steamer come with at least a fabric brush, lint brush, protective carrying bag or case. Anything more is a bonus.
When a manufacturer provides a long warranty, they are telling you that they have faith in their material and workmanship. Look for a hand held steamer for clothes with a warranty of one year or better.
We searched social media, travel forums, travel sites, retail sites, consumer sites, manufacturer sites, and customer review sites to find the most popular and highly rated travel steamer models.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these portable clothes steamers is the best handheld steamer for fabric for your needs!
Small, but powerful, the Pure Enrichment PureSteam Fabric Steamer features a fast time to steam and 10 minutes of continuous wrinkle-removing steam. Its new nozzle design distributes steam more powerfully and consistently to help remove stubborn wrinkles from clothing, bedding, or linens. Perfect for freshening clothing while traveling, reviving upholstery at home, or removing tough wrinkles in drapes and curtains while still on the rods, it’s safe for all types of fabrics. Here’s what you need to know.
Hand Held Steamer for Clothes Features
- Compact, powerful travel steamer
- Fast time to steam of only 2 minutes
- Produces a long 10 minutes of continuous steam
- Long 8-foot power cord gives you more flexibility in where you steam
- Unit shuts off automatically if it gets too hot or water in the reservoir gets too low
- 110-volt North American model
- Long 2-Year limited warranty
You’ve heard of the Shark brand, but you probably think of them as a vacuum cleaner and steam mop company. You may not be aware that they make a great portable garment steamer, the Shark GS500 Press and Refresh. It is unique among portable garment steamers because of its exclusive heated Wrinkle Eraser that acts like an iron to dry fibers to prevent re-wrinkling while also providing vertical pressing for better results on creases and tough wrinkles than a garment steamer alone. It also happens to be the most powerful garment steamer in our list. It’s like having an iron and garment steamer in one. It handles creases like an iron, but provides the convenience and performance of a powerful steamer for clothes. You will be able to freshen and press garments right on the hanger without having to dig out an ironing board and iron. It also comes with a vertical press pad that is virtually invisible when the door is closed and allows you to press and refresh without the hassle of setting up a traditional ironing board. You get plenty of handy accessories as well. Here’s what you need to know.
- Powerful 1580W portable clothes steamer
- Built-in heated Wrinkle Eraser pad that allows you to apply pressure to the garment for better results on creases and more difficult wrinkles
- Fast time to steam of only 60 seconds
- Large 200ml reservoir capacity provides a long continuous steam time of about 8 minutes
- Unique vertical press pad provides the perfect vertical ironing board for any door
- Long 15-foot power cord gives you plenty of flexibility to choose where you press and refresh without worrying about outlet location
- It weighs only 3.3 lbs. with a full water reservoir making it easy to maneuver
- 1-Year limited warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
- 1 – Vertical over-the-door press pad
- 4 – Detachable Velcro clips
- 1 – Fill cup
- 2 – Small steam bonnet frames for even steam distribution, filtering, and water spot protection
- 1 – Bristle brush frame improves steam penetration for heavy fabrics
- 1 – Lint brush frame removes lint and pet hair at the same time that you remove wrinkles and freshen garments and fabrics
- 1 – Upholstery/delicate fabric frame gives extra protection to upholstery and delicate fabrics
- 1 – Delicate steam bonnet protects delicate fabrics when the heated Wrinkle Eraser is not required and is very useful for silk, sequins, and embellishments
- 1 – Upholstery steam bonnet has a shaggy material that acts like multiple fingers to pick up dust and debris while killing germs and bacteria. It is very useful for refreshing and sanitizing bedding, upholstery, car seats, and curtains
- 1 – Accessory bag
Note: Shark does not recommend using the Press and Refresh on leather, suede or other leather-like fabrics
Perfect for removing wrinkles from clothing, upholstery, linens, drapes, and more, the highly portable URPOWER Portable Hand Held Fabric Steamer uses its innovative steam channeling design to remove wrinkles faster and easier than an iron. Here’s what you need to know.
- Powerful, portable hand held steamer for clothes
- New steam channeling design delivers steam more powerfully and evenly to remove the toughest wrinkles from a multitude of fabrics
- 130ml water reservoir provides up to 10 minutes of continuous seam
- Fast time to steam of only 2 minutes
- Automatic safety shutoff
- Auto reset safety feature resets the unit automatically when the water runs out while leaving the indicator light on
- Handy on/off switch
The Gideon Handheld Portable Fabric Steamer has 1500 watts of power and has an incredible time to steam of only 15 seconds that is easily the fastest in our list. It features powerful, consistent steam great for removing wrinkles from your garments, upholstery, drapery, bedding, table linens and more, without the hassle of using an iron and ironing board. Its unique steam release push button only releases steam when you need it prolonging steaming time while saving on water and energy. It’s safe for a variety of fabrics including wool, cotton, silk, satin, polyester, and more and comes with four convenient removable attachments. Perfect for home or travel, its compact size fits neatly into a suitcase for use while or can be stored away in its protective travel/storage case. Gideon guarantees this model to be 100% spit-free and drip-free, a common problem with travel steamers. Here’s what you need to know.
- Powerful 1500-watt portable fabric steamer
- Incredibly fast time to steam of less than 15 seconds
- Removable 5 oz. water reservoir provides up to 5 minutes of continuous steam, slides into the steamer easily, and includes a convenient measuring cup for easy filling
- Its steam push button releases steam only when you need it saving time, water, and energy
- A long 7-foot power cord gives you great flexibility in where you want to remove wrinkles
- Auto shutoff safety feature shuts the steamer off when the unit gets too hot or the water level falls too low
- Guaranteed to be 100% Spit-free and Drip-free
- 1 – Creaser
- 1 – Soft brush
- 1 – Lint brush
- 1 – Heating plate
- 1 – Protective travel/storage case
Our favorite hand held steamer for clothes and one of the most popular is the ESTEAM Personal Hand Held Travel Garment Steamer. It’s the compact, lightweight solution to removing wrinkles while traveling. This is the model I carried for years when I was a road warrior. One of the things I liked about it was its tall, rounded narrow design that allowed me to tuck it neatly alongside the wall of my suitcase. Also, I love that it’s made in the USA with quality materials. It has the largest water reservoir on the market that delivers a long steam duration and it has always done a great job for me. Despite what the manufacturer says, I will caution you that over the years I found that tap water was a problem, so I recommend getting some sort of water softener to put in the reservoir if you’re not able to use distilled water. Whether you’re a college student, a homeowner who needs to remove wrinkles from drapes without removing them from the rod, a newlywed, are an apartment-dweller with limited space, or a business traveler needing to refresh a business suit, it conveniently removes wrinkles anywhere you go. Although it doesn’t come international travel-friendly out of the box, there are a variety of adapter plugs available so that you can remove wrinkles around the world. Here’s what you need to know.
- Compact, lightweight 600W travel garment steamer
- Fast time to steam of approximately 60 seconds
- Large 8 oz. reservoir provides a long steam duration of up to 15 minutes
- Convenient, compact 10.5 x 5 inches stores easily along the inside wall of a suitcase
- Long 9-foot power cord has a molded storage clip for easier manageability
- Durable, high-impact plastic outer housing
- Innovative design features no internal water lines to become clogged by hard water insuring a long useful life
- Wide mouth, easy-to-fill water tank
- Handy water level windows on both sides of the unit
- Double-insulated outer housing for cool-to-the-touch operation
- Made in the USA
- 3-Year Limited Product Warranty
- 24-hour repair service available
Hand Held Steamer for Clothes Comparison
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