The 7 Best Clothes Steamers for a Wrinkle-Free Wardrobe, According to Testing

The MagicPro Portable Garment Steamer is the clear winner in a heated competition.

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MagicPro Portable Garment Steamer for Clothes
Courtesy of Amazon

Fashion trends come and go, but wrinkles aren't a good look on anyone. An iron has long been the tool of choice to keep garments looking smooth and fresh, but many would rather deal with wrinkles than lug out the ironing board for a single pair of pants. Clothing steamers, on the other hand, are a more user-friendly way to straighten out your wardrobe.

"By using a steamer, it is harder to damage your clothes compared to using an iron," says Rechelle Balanzat, CEO and Founder of Juliette Laundry. The reason for this is that you don't have to master a technique with a steamer as you do with an iron—at least if you don't want to damage your clothing. Another advantage of a steamer is that it is easy to store and maintain—just unplug and drain the excess water out when you're done.

To find the best clothes steamers, we purchased 30 steamers for our at-home tester. Over the course of two months, they used each steamer and evaluated them based on a pre-determined methodology for five categories: design, heat time, effectiveness, portability, and overall value. The final score was determined by averaging the scores from each category.

Overall, the best clothes steamer is the MagicPro Portable Garment Steamer. If you're new to steamers or are just having a hard time breaking away from your iron, you'll find the MagicPro is super easy to use—our tester especially liked the trigger button that allows you to control when the steam gets released.

Here are the best clothes steamers to keep your wardrobe wrinkle-free.

What We Recommend

Best Overall: MagicPro Portable Garment Steamer

Tested Steamers
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It has a trigger to release steam, unlike other models that steam continuously.

Keep in Mind: It's heavier and larger than most travel steamers.

This unassuming MagicPro handheld steamer packs quite the punch to eliminate wrinkles in clothes and other fabrics, making it the best clothes steamer during testing. Fill up the water reservoir and in just 25 seconds you'll be ready to smooth out creases as well as sanitize clothing.

The MagicPro is a powerful tool for cleaning and refreshing drapery, upholstery, bedding, tablecloths, stuffed toys, and other heftier fabrics as well. In addition to a trigger release system, it's also got a handy two-in-one fabric and lint brush that will put the finishing touches on your outfit so you're ready for the day or evening.

For everyday use, you'll appreciate how quickly and effectively the MagicPro can remove wrinkles—our testers found just one or two passes did the trick. Our testers did find it was bulkier than other travel steamers on the market, so you might not be willing to give up so much space in your suitcase.

The steam is activated by a trigger, which helps to conserve the water, as well as prevent it from leaking, so that you can steam longer. It's also easy for those just getting used to steaming, whether the garments are on a hanger or on a flat surface.

An automatic shut-off feature prevents the steamer from getting overheated or from working on an empty tank. The overall best steamer is also certified by the Electric Testing Laboratories (ETL) which means it meets specific standards of safety.

Product Details:

  • Style: Handheld steamer
  • Weight: 2.87 pounds
  • Tank Capacity: 300 milliliters
  • Wattage: 120 watts
  • Heat Time: 25 seconds

Best Budget: Black + Decker Easy Garment Steamer

Tested Steamers
Courtesy of Target

Why You Should Get It: The broad steamer head takes care of wrinkles quickly.

Keep in Mind: Though it's lightweight, it has a bulkier style compared to other models.

Our testers did a double-take when they saw the price of this handy little steamer and were impressed by how effective it was, making it the best clothes steamer if you're looking for a less expensive pick.

This mini steamer has a wide head that allows a broad stream of steam to flow through so you can get rid of wrinkles and refresh clothing more quickly.

All it takes is 80 seconds to get the steam going, though our testers found it was ready to go in about a minute. This steamer has a comfortable handle for an easy grip and the lightweight design makes it easy to use, so you may find yourself reaching for this much more often than your iron and ironing board.

You can skip the harsh chemicals when you use this mini steamer for de-wrinkling and deodorizing fabrics. A twist lid locks in place so you can easily fill up the water tank and not have to worry about it leaking during use. You'll see when it's time to refill thanks to a clear window.

An 8-foot cord gives you room to move and the space to stretch if you're steaming upholstery, bedding, curtains, and other household decor. Even if you don't steam clothes very often, the lower price makes it worth it to purchase and have on hand. Plus, it's backed by a two-year limited warranty.

Product Details:

  • Style: Handheld
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Tank Capacity: 160 milliliters
  • Wattage: 900 watts
  • Heat Time: 80 seconds

Best for Travel: Pure Enrichment Puresteam Portable Fabric Steamer

Tested Steamers
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: It comes assembled, so it's easy to use right out of the box.

Keep in Mind: It's not as effective at tackling tougher wrinkles in comparison to other picks.

If you don't feel like lugging out the hotel room iron and ironing board, this travel steamer will come in handy. You'll still want to pack your clothes carefully, though, as this lightweight steamer might not be up for some of your tougher creases.

The unit has just one steam setting, and our testers found that it did take several passes of the steamer to release the wrinkles, which means you'll have to work quickly because it's got a small water tank.

It takes about two minutes for the steam to activate, which is longer than most of the other steamers on this list despite the small water tank. Still, you're likely to prefer to wait two minutes than have to set up the ironing board.

The compact steamer which comes in white or black is easy to pack. If you're new to steaming, this has an easy learning curve, plus it's got an auto shut-off in case the steamer gets too hot or you run out of water.

This Pure Enrichment steamer also comes with a five-year warranty, so it'll be protected in case it gets damaged during your travels.

Product Details:

  • Style: Handheld
  • Weight: 1.13 pounds
  • Tank Capacity: 130 milliliters
  • Wattage: 800 watts
  • Heat Time: 2 minutes

Best Upright: Conair Ultimate Fabric Steamer

Tested Steamers
Courtesy of Bed Bath And Beyond

Why You Should Get It: It removed wrinkles in just one pass of the steamer head.

Keep in Mind: It's not the most portable and requires more storage space than other picks.

If you don't mind a tool that will take up a bit of space, this upright steamer by Conair is the best clothes steamer worth considering. With a large tank that provides up to an hour and a half of high-velocity steam, you'll be able to get your entire closet wrinkle-free with just one water tank fill-up.

The rotating hanger and hook make it easy to hang garments for steaming, while a telescopic pole makes it easy to adjust for pants, dresses, and more. Need a break? Flip the switch to pause the steam and flip it back when you're ready to resume.

Our testers were impressed to see that the steamer was ready in about a minute and took just one pass of the T-shaped steam head to release wrinkles.

The 5-foot cool-touch hose gives you've got plenty of room to move around, though our testers found it a bit stiff and hard to maneuver at first, so expect to have a few steam sessions before it loosens up.

The water tank is removable so you can fill it easily. Of course, you'll want to roll this steamer around your house to clean and deodorize other fabrics, like furniture upholstery and window treatments.

One of the best features of this upright steamer is the "burst of steam" option that freshens up fabrics, as well as kills off dust mites and other household allergens—up to 99% of them, according to Conair.

Product Details:

  • Style: Upright
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Tank Capacity: Not listed
  • Wattage: 1,500 watts
  • Heat Time: 1 minute

Best Steam Iron: Maytag Speed Heat Steam Iron & Vertical Steamer

Tested Steamers
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It only takes one minute to heat up.

Keep in Mind: It has fewer steaming capabilities than other options.

If you prefer a traditional iron to remove wrinkles from clothes and freshen up fabric but also want the ease of a vertical steamer, then this Maytag model could be the best of both worlds for you.

You can use it for regular ironing but you can also use it vertically for hanging garments. Plus, the handle is ergonomically designed so that both methods feel good in your hands.

Our testers found that while the iron does give off steam, it does so in short bursts or sprays, not a continuous stream as a regular steamer would. Still, it's ready to go out of the box and with an easy-to-fill reservoir, this iron/steamer is ready to get to work.

All it takes is about a minute to heat up and only a few seconds to regenerate steam. The sole plate is made from stainless steel to ensure ideal an ideal distribution of steam and a smoother than silk glide—according to the manufacturer, you can use this steam iron on silk, too.

It's got a thermostat with various settings so you can get precisely the right amount of heat for various tasks and fabrics. Just be sure to have it on the right setting so you don't damage your delicates.

Product Details:

  • Style: Iron with steamer
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Tank Capacity: Not listed
  • Wattage: Not listed
  • Heat Time: 1 minute; 3 seconds to regenerate steam

Related: We Put 30 of the Best Steam Irons to the Test—But These 9 Are Actually Worth Buying

Most Settings: Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Handheld Fabric Steamer

Tested Steamers
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Target, Kohl's, and Walmart

Why You Should Get It: The highest steam setting erases wrinkles.

Keep in Mind: It's top heavy, which might make it awkward to use for some.

This Conair steamer may be small enough to hold in your hands, but it's got enough settings to take on even the toughest of wrinkles, making it one of the best clothes steamers we tested.

It's got a small water tank (7.3 ounces) that provides up to 15 minutes of steam, but when you crank it up to the highest of the five steam settings—make sure it's appropriate for the type of fabric you are working with—wrinkles are a thing of the past.

It doesn't come as too much of a surprise that a higher heat setting will do the work of releasing wrinkles from fabric easily, but many of the other steamers on our list have fewer or even just one steam setting.

Although the ready light came on in 40 seconds, our testers found that it wasn't steaming until a full minute had passed—a small price to pay for the number of features this handy little steamer has. Our testers were impressed by the creaser at the top. There's also a fabric spacer to protect more delicate fabrics and trim.

Need to steam something heftier, like upholstery? The bristle brush makes easy work of it. Taking a break in between garments? This handheld steamer is free standing, so you can just put it down until you need it again, though our tester did mention it's got a top-heavy design, so make sure it's a secure, flat surface.

Product Details:

  • Style: Handheld
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Tank Capacity: 7.3 ounces
  • Wattage: 1,875 watts
  • Heat Time: 40 seconds

Largest Tank Capacity: Steamfast Full-Size Upright Canister Garment Steamer

Tested Steamers
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: The telescopic rod makes it easy to collapse this steamer for portability and storage.

Keep in Mind: The garment clips seemed flimsy to testers.

If you like to do marathon steam sessions, then you'll love that the 86-ounce tank on this Steamfast upright garment steamer can get you through all or most of your closet.

Despite its size, our testers found that it only took about two minutes to heat up. Plus, it's easy to fill, and there's a drainage hole on the bottom for excess water, making it one of the best clothes steamers.

The Steamfast provides continuous steam with two steam settings to get all the wrinkles out of various fabrics with none of the chemicals. Features include a fabric hose that's cool to the touch, a telescopic pole that collapses for easy storage, and a clothing hook so you can steam each garment easily—the tester was a bit wary, however, of how long those clips would last. It also comes with a fabric brush and a collar helper for an even easier time of steaming shirts.

The steam nozzle is easy to use and you won't burn fabric or yourself doing so. The testers were impressed at how compact this steamer was once you shorten the telescopic pole. It might not be as portable as the other compact, lightweight steamers on our list, but it's easy enough to move and store as needed.

Product Details:

  • Style: Upright
  • Weight: 12.1 pounds
  • Tank Capacity: 86 ounces
  • Wattage: 1,500 watts
  • Heat Time: 45 seconds

Related: The 8 Best Washing Machines to Make Laundry Less of a Chore

The Bottom Line

Overall, the best clothes steamer is the MagicPro Portable Garment Steamer. The steamer features a trigger to release steam, is ETL-certified, and is ready to use within 25 seconds of powering it on. For a less expensive option, the best clothes steamer is the Black + Decker Easy Garment Steamer. The steamer is lightweight and has a wide head that allows a broad stream of steam.

Our Testing Process

To find the best clothes steamers, we purchased 30 steamers for our at-home tester. Over the course of two months, they used each steamer and evaluated them based on a pre-determined methodology for five categories: design, heat time, effectiveness, portability, and overall value. The final score was determined by averaging the scores from each category.

To evaluate the design, the tester timed themself assembling the steamer from the moment they opened the box. Once assembled, they reviewed the features and look of the unit, as well as how clear the instructions were. When it came to heating time, the tester set a timer again and waited to see how long before it was ready to be used.

For effectiveness, the tester hung up a wrinkled linen napkin on a clothes hanger with clips. They used the steamer on the napkin, keeping in mind how many passes they had to make before the wrinkles were gone.

In terms of portability, the tester noted the unit's weight and size, as well as whether or not it was easy to hold. For overall value, the tester kept in mind the steamer's price in comparison to its features and overall effectiveness.

What to Know About Clothes Steamers Before Shopping

Size

Some steamers are truly lightweight while other handhelds might give you a bit of an upper body workout as you steam your clothes. It comes down to preference and storage space, so keep size in mind when choosing a steamer.

Tank Capacity

You'll want a steamer that has a large enough water tank to get through steaming enough clothes before having to stop and refill. Keep in mind that the more water, the longer it takes to heat up; however, the steamers on our list were ready to work in no time flat.

Type

There are two general types of steamers: handheld and upright. A handheld is likely to be lightweight, compact, and easy to travel with. Upright steamers may be harder to store, yet may be able to get rid of wrinkles quicker. Overall, the best clothes steamer style depends on your needs.

"Multi-featured garment steamers are best," Balanzat says, noting that you should check for features that you might benefit from, like brushes, steam settings, and collapsible handles. She also recommends buying a steamer that shuts off automatically when not in use for safety.

Power

A steamer's strength is normally calculated in wattage, like light bulbs. And just like with lighting, you'll want to know how you'll be using your steamer. If you'll be using it for delicate fabrics or the one-off shirt or pair of pants, then you can likely go with a lower wattage. But if you're going to be steam cleaning heavy drapery, thick upholstery, or your entire closet in one fell swoop, then make sure your steamer has enough power to back you up.

"If you have few needs, buy a low-energy steamer," says Balanzat. "For large needs, you can buy a powerful residential steamer" like an upright model. She notes that large steamers can reduce your dry cleaning costs.

Other Clothes Steamers We Tested

Electrolux Garment Steamer

Overall, our tester found that the Electrolux Garment Steamer was stylish and easy to use. It has two steam settings and a light that lets you know when it's ready to be used. It removed wrinkles in about 2-3 passes. However, the tester felt the price point was a bit too high and was too bulky to travel with, even though it's a handheld model.

Salav Professional Series Dual-Bar Garment Steamer

When evaluating the Salav Professional Series Dual-Bar Garment Steamer, our tester appreciated that there was an on/off switch that could be operated with their foot, as well as a retractable cord. Wrinkles were removed with just two passes and there were a few ways to hang up garments, making it a versatile pick. However, our tester found that the wheels were hard to use and the clips were not effective, making the steamer a bit harder to use.

BEAUTURAL Steamer for Clothes

TheBEAUTURAL Steamer for Clothes comes with several accessories, including a brush, lint brush, crease clip, and water filler. It also has a stainless steel nozzle and only took about a minute to heat. However, our tester found that it wasn't as effective as other tested picks and it produced a chemical-like odor the first time they turned it on.

Your Questions, Answered

Is steaming better than ironing?

Many find that using a steamer is much easier than hauling out an iron and an ironing board. Depending on how many settings your steamer has, however, you might find that an iron has better results on really tough wrinkles, particularly on heftier fabrics. For every day freshening up and smoothing of clothes, however, you can't beat a steamer.

"Steamers are versatile," Balanzat says, and not just for getting wrinkles out of clothing. "Your steamer can sanitize fabrics and some surfaces without chemicals." Most steamers can be used on thicker fabrics like bedding, curtains, and upholstery, but Balanzat also says that you can clean mirrors and windows with a steamer without smudging.

Can a steamer ruin clothes?

You do have to be careful when using any heated instrument with fabric, particularly if it's a delicate one. Some of these steamers have one or few settings, so you should be fine with steaming most fabrics. For those steamers with multiple settings, make sure you use the appropriate level. Read fabric labels for any special instructions before you proceed.

How many watts should a clothes steamer be?

Balanzat recommends looking for steamers between 1,000 and 2,000 watts. Consider the types of fabrics you plan to use your steamer with—if you're only using it on delicate fabrics or one garment at a time, you might get away with a lower wattage. If you want to steam clean upholstery or your entire closet at once, then go for a higher wattage.

Who We Are

Barbara Bellesi Zito is a freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens. To make this list, she referred to insights from our tester, who evaluated 30 clothes steamers over the course of two months. She also consulted Rechelle Balanzat, CEO and founder of Juliette Laundry, for her expertise and insight.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

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