The Best Clothing Steamers You Can Buy Right Now

updated Jan 19, 2022
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A fabric steamer is one essential that, once you have it, you’ll wonder how you lived without it. It helps your clothes look sleek (even via Zoom) and can give your wardrobe a complete refresh in mere minutes. Whether you’re traveling and need to de-wrinkle your outfit of the day or you want to invest in a heavy-duty steamer that you can use forever and ever, we’ve got you covered. We went ahead and tested a wide range of new releases and best sellers and found the best clothing and linen steamers out there. Without further ado: the best steamers on the market today.

The Best Clothing Steamers

What to Consider When Buying a Steamer

The first most beneficial thing to think about when shopping for a steamer is where and when you’ll use it. When does it usually occur to you that you should steam something? Is it as soon as the button-down comes out of the washer, ready to be air dried? Is it as you’re packing? Is it as you’re already out the door? You’ll get more bang for your buck if you tailor your chosen steamer to your lifestyle rather than tell yourself you’ll steam more if you just buy one. Tempting as that makes buying most gadgets, it’s how we acquire clutter, spend verses invest money, and contribute to global waste.

The good news is, theres a steamer for every buyer on the market, from the planner to the procrastinator. There are 2-in-1 steamer irons, which combine the best of both devices and hasten the steaming process, and there are full-sized, industrial-grade steamers that do the job quickly but tend to have a more involved set-up or process. While there are even some cordless models out there, we prefer the corded ones as of late for their ability to remain powerful throughout each use without slowly running out of steam, as it were. We’ve broken down the main things to consider when shopping for your perfect steamer.

Feature and Attachments

Some steamers have settings for the different materials you could be working with, from linen to denim, while some have attachment heads or adjustable temperatures and steam volume. While a device with all the bells and whistles is nice, it may not be what you need and could complicate the shopping and use process altogether. Take stock of what you need, like perhaps the ability to steam from all angles; what could be nice to have, such as multiple steam settings; and what’s probably unnecessary for you, like industrial strength or certain attachment heads.

Energy Use

We’ve kept wattage in mind when testing and choosing winning steamers. Depending on how often you use yours and how professional the model is, it can be quite costly to steam with a device that uses a lot of energy. That said, it’s usually worth it when compared to how much we can end up alternatively spending on dry cleaning.

Cleaning and Care

It may or may not be obvious, but you should be prepared to clean your steamer regularly. The good news is that cleaning it is really just a variation of using it. Filling the reservoir with a mixture of distilled vinegar and water, turning it on, and allowing the solution to steam through will knock out any mineral buildup in the tank or the steam outlets, keeping it from getting blocked, which can make your steamer sputter and spit.

Pro tip: Speaking of cleaning — did you know you can use your steamer to clean and sanitize your clothes, linens, and surfaces, among other things, in your home? Don’t forget to think of your fabric steamer as a home-cleaning and fabric-laundering tool as well as something to de-wrinkle your garments.

What We Look for in a Steamer

We tested a range of steamers, from full size to portable, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Efficiency: Is it portable? Does it work when held at different angles? Does it emit even steam? Does it sputter or spit? Does it use a lot of energy?
  • Ease of Use: Is it comfortable to hold? Is the cord long enough or is it perhaps cordless? Is it easy to refill?
  • Time of Use: How long does it take to heat up? Does it emit enough steam to do the job quickly?

The Best Clothing Steamers

As far as handheld steamers go, the Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam 2-in-1 Steamer and Iron is our overall winner for its reliability, dual-function wrinkle-releasing power, and ease of use. It’s small enough to be portable when necessary but large enough to be considered heavy duty. It’s powered by 1,875 watts, which is nearly triple the amount of your average small-sized handheld steamer, and exceeds that of some industrial-level stand-up models to boot. While this means it uses more power, it also cuts the time it takes to steam wrinkles out of practically any material in half. AT contributor Ella raves that this do-it-all steamer “comes with four attachments that help with everything from pressing pleats to protecting delicate fabric. To use it, you fill the detachable chamber with water, place it back into the front of the machine, and select your desired setting. The default setting is an effective steamer, which got the wrinkles out of a very-crushed dress in about five minutes. But if you adjust the settings, and turn the handheld gadget so that its metal face points downward, you have a handy iron. (There’s no ironing board that comes with it, but I used my bed in a pinch.)” She says it’s intuitive, quick, and allows her to “feel prepared for any event and any fabric.” Sounds like a winner to us.


  • Handheld
  • 1,875 watts
  • 8.48-ounce water reservoir
  • 10-second heat-up time
  • 10 minutes of continuous steam time per filling

Who It’s Best For: Those who want something handheld; those who steam often; those who want something somewhat portable; those who steam heavier fabrics; those who want something that works on delicates.

Good to Know: It comes with several attachment heads, so delicates are just as steamable with the Conair as heavier cotton and denims are.

This industry-grade steamer is a favorite among textile professionals and household launderers alike, including our team of home product testers and editors. AT contributor Chelsea found the J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer after years of frustration with lower-end handheld models, nearly writing off steamers entirely because of them. Since being gifted this bad boy, she says she “can’t live without this steamer. I use it every. single. day.” She goes on to say, “it heats up quickly and provides a steady stream of strong steam (try saying that 10 times fast) that quickly removes wrinkles from even the most stubborn fabrics. The built-in stand allows you to hang your item at the proper height so you can effectively steam it using both hands.” Chelsea even shares a pro tip fit for a pro machine: “Put the steamer head inside your garment so that you’re capturing and utilizing the residual steam and not just releasing it into the air like you would if the steamer were on the outside.” In terms of the J-2000’s value, Chelsea adds that it’s worth thinking about “cost per use — considering I’ve had this for more than a decade and use it nearly every day (ditto for my husband) — it’s a worthwhile investment. Especially if you’re an anti-wrinkle obsessive like me.” And if you’re reading this, you probably are. Meet your match.


  • Standing
  • 1,300 watts
  • 3/4-gallon water reservoir
  • 2-minute heat-up time
  • 1.5 hours of continuous steam time per filling
  • Available with metal or plastic steamer head

Who It’s Best For: Those who steam often; bigger items like bedding, or items in bulk; those who want something heavy-duty that will last.

Good to Know: It’s available in four variants — two with plastic heads and two with metal, which conducts more heat but can be dangerous if not used carefully.

This slim handheld model by CHI is our best portable pick, perfect for taking to work for touch-ups, getting ready for post-work events, or toting on trips. It’s usable from any angle, so steaming out wrinkles is quick and effortless — no need to adjust your garment or contort your posture to get the right angle. AT assistant shopping editor Britt says “a key advantage to the CHI Handheld Garment Steamer is its sleek, rod-like shape. To accommodate the water reservoir, many compact steamers take on a form similar to a hair dryer or kettle and are bulkier at the bottom. The CHI steamer is slim throughout, due to the water tank being built directly into its handle. As a result, it’s an ideal choice for a garment steamer you can take on the go. It even comes with a traveling pouch so you don’t have to strategically cram it in your suitcase. It’s only 10 inches long, so you can even toss it in a weekender or large purse and take it with you. About the size of its sister products — curling irons and hair straighteners — it takes up little space in your carry-on, backpack, or briefcase but does the job well when it’s time to de-wrinkle your packed items or traveled-in clothes.


  • Handheld
  • 800 watts
  • 35-second heat-up time
  • 5 minutes of continuous steam per filling
  • Includes travel case

Who It’s Best For: Those on-the-go; those looking for effortless ease-of-use; those looking for something compact but effective.

Good to Know: The CHI steamer includes a travel case, but we still recommend emptying the reservoir ahead of packing it away.

Best Steamer Iron: The Nori Press

The iron-and-steam power of The Nori Press combined with its ease of use, portability, and quality design make it a winner unique to this category. Whether you need something that can power up quickly and release wrinkles in a blink or something a little more heavy duty for making your bedding look its very best, The Nori Press is a savior gadget. Our commerce editor Sarah “loathes the traditional chore of ironing,” but has found that since adopting her Nori Press, she’s actually de-wrinkling her clothes and linens all the time now. “Upon first glance, The Nori Press looks like, well, a slightly larger-than-average hair straightener. But upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that it’s anything but. When you turn the device on, you’re immediately invited to choose between six fabric-specific heat settings (poly, silk, wool, cotton, denim, and linen), allowing you to customize the heat setting per garment to prevent any possible damage. And where a traditional iron features one hot plate, The Nori is made with two aluminum iron plates so you can simultaneously press both sides of your garment, all without the use of an ironing board. To top it off, it also has a steamer function. Simply fill the reservoir with water (or the brand’s Fabric Facial solution), select the steamer setting, and you’re ready to go.” It’s an all-in-one fabric-fixing device and one we all want, if we don’t already have it.


  • Handheld
  • 450 watts
  • 29-milliliter water reservoir
  • 3-minute heat-up time
  • 10 minutes of continuous steam per filling

Who It’s Best For: Those looking for something with low wattage; those who want something portable; those who prefer for their device to make contact with the garment.

Good to Know: The Nori Press has a sensor feature that allows it to shut off after 10 consecutive minutes without use.