Due to the versatile nature of steamers, they have grown in popularity in the recent past. Most powerful garment steamers work by pumping hot steam into a fabric relaxing the fibres. As the fibres align, the garment straightens and creases are removed.
A steamer usually has 3 main components: a reservoir, a hose, and a steam wand. The reservoir is a tank that holds water that is required for the production of steam. When buying a steamer, it is important to consider the size of the reservoir. Steamers with a large water tank are preferable as smaller tanks deplete more quickly and can be inconveniencing.
The hose connects the tank to the steam wand which is hand held. To straighten a piece of cloth, it is put on a hanger and the steam wand which is held a short distance away is used to blow jets of steam on the clothing.
There are several professional garment steamers in the market but there are few that are noteworthy. The following are some steamers of 2016-2017 that deserve special mention:
Rowenta IS6300 Master Valet Full Size Garment and Fabric Steamer
This is a high quality versatile and portable steamer. The Rowenta is a tried and tested German brand that does not disappoint. It is one of the most reliable and high-performance steamers available in the market.
- A large water tank of 81 ounces. This guarantees an hour of continuous steaming on a full tank. The tank is removable and clear for easier refilling.
- 1550 watts of power which allows it to heat up in just 60 seconds.
- Excellent generation of powerful and a large amount of steam.
- Roll and press vertical support which offers a flat surface that helps in holding the garments in place without holding them during steaming.
- Built-in hanger and has provision for an additional hanger.
- Heat protection on the nozzle to prevent burns.
- Accessories such as fabric brush and a lint pad to increase its efficiency.
- It has a telescopic pole and an adjustable height for comfort and ease of use.
- Some tall people find the hook for the hanger too low.
J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer
Like the Rowenta IS6300, this is a durable product that comes with wheels for easy portability. It has a contemporary look and ergonomic design. It comes with a 3-year warranty with a large tank that is easy to fill.
- Large water tank of 96 ounces which can provide about one and a half hours of continuous steam generation.
- Valve cap for easy filling that reduces spilling.
- It has automatic shut-off for safety.
- Some buyers have complained of water droplets getting on clothes other than the steam.
- It does not offer much beyond basic functionality.
Ultra Mini Travel Steamer
- Heats up in just about 2 minutes
- It has a long cord measuring about 8 feet.
- Effective over a range of fabrics.
- It is lightweight and is suitable for travel.
- The water requires frequent refills as it depletes quickly.
- Some buyers have complained of occasional sputters.
Steamfast SF-407 Fabric Steamer
This is heavy duty garment steamer with a wide application of use. Other than straightening clothes, it can be used to exterminate household pests such as bedbugs.It stands tall and can be trusted with delicate garments. It also works well on drapes and other heavier materials. Read our full review on Steamfast SF-407.
- 1500 watts of power and heats up in just 45 seconds.
- It has an adjustable pole where a fabric brush and a hook for hanging clothes can be attached.
- Removable water tank for easy refilling and can last for up to 45 minutes.
- It has 1-year manufacturer warranty.
- Tall people might find the pole a little short and might find trouble reaching the bottom hems.
- There a few complaints about durability after a few years of service.
- The wheels have no brakes and sometimes it moves around while steaming if not held steady.
Epica 800 Watt Handheld Fabric Steamer
This is a handheld lightweight steamer that is quite effective over a variety of fabrics from sweaters to light materials. It is small in size and convenient to use and travel as it weighs less than an iron.
- 800 watts of power and heats up in just 2 minutes.
- Easy to fill water tank that provides continuous steam for 12 minutes.
- Brush and lint remover for sprucing up clothes.
- Power switch for easier control.
- It has a 10-foot cable that offers convenience while steaming.
- Some buyers have complained of occasional spilling.
- The water tank depletes fast.
- It not suitable where a large number of items require straightening.
Steamers are great at removing creases and freshening items of clothing and drapes such as curtains and upholstery. They are easier to use than irons and are faster at straightening clothes. However, steam irons deliver a more crisp and polished look especially on items such as trousers and shirts. A good steam iron like the Rowenta DW8280 can be used for vertical steaming and can offer a taste of both an iron and a steamer.
Latest Fabric Steamer: