Best Hand Held & Travel Garment Steamers Reviews (Updated 2019)

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by Tim Martinelli

A garment steamer is one of the best travel companions you can have. Ever have to travel for a business trip and realize your nice clothes are all wrinkled in the suitcase? It sucks, and it’s hard to fix in a timely manner.

A good handheld garment steamer can fix that, but how do you pick the right one for your needs?

What makes one good, and when are you getting ripped off?

Best Handheld Steamer reviews can be found on this page. See our take on Conair Turbo Extreme Steam, Rowenta DR8120 X-cel, Steamfast SF-680 Digital Press, Sunbeam, Salav HS-04/T 1000W, and Jiffy 1901 handheld steamer.


TOP CHOICE OVERALL


Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Advanced

Reasons to buy:

  • easy to use; just fill the tank, plug it and and start ironing
  • heats up in about 60 seconds
  • quick removal of wrinkles- around 2 to 4 minutes
  • perfect for delicate fabrics, fancy dresses and kids clothes
  • easily recommendable
  • a great day-to-day steam iron

Reasons to avoid:

  • takes more time on suits
  • needs to be cleaned regularly especially if you have hard water

Best Handheld Garment Steamer Reviews (If you are in a Rush):

Good tank capacity for its size. Quilted aluminum steamer plate. Lightweight.

A powerful steamer that with heats up in a matter of seconds. Can be used at an angle without condensation.

Big tank. Has 5 separate settings. Great shirts, jeans, linens, pants. 

Best travel steamer. With wait and ready lights. Available attachments. 

High heat output. Excellent dry steamer. 

Big enough tank. Professional look. No leaks. 

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Top Products Based on Brands

Here is our list of the top models offered by each brand. You will see that Conair topped the products as the overall unit recommended for use. 

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Product

Turbo ExtremeSteam Advanced

Turbo ExtremeSteam Advanced

TOP OVERALL CHOICE

Benefits

  • New on/off feature
  • Quilted aluminum steamer plate
  • Lightweight
  • Good for upholstery, drapes, clothing

Specs

  • Tank Capacity: 7.3 oz
  • Heat-up time: 40 sec
  • Steam Time: 15 min
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
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Rowenta DR8120 X-Cel

Rowenta DR8120 X-Cel

Benefits

  • Kills 99.9% of germs, dust mites
  • 9.84 foot cord
  • Useful accessories
  • Good for upholstery, drapes, clothing

Specs

  • Tank Capacity: 6.4 oz
  • Heating Time: 40 sec
  • Steam Time: 15 min
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
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Steamfast SF-680 Digital Press

Steamfast SF-680 Digital Press

Benefits

  • Multiple Fabric Settings
  • Large heating surface
  • Useful accessories
  • Certified, safety-tested
  • Good for shirts, blouses, pants, jeans, table linens

Specs

  • Tank Capacity: 10 oz
  • Heating Time: 180 seconds
  • Press Surface: 25 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 21.4 lbs
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Sunbeam Press

Sunbeam Press

Benefits

  • Fast heat time
  • Remove odors
  • Wide press bar
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Steam Trigger With Lock-Down
  • Good for fabric, linens and drapery

Specs

  • Heating Time: 45 sec
  • Steam Time: 15 min
  • Weight: 3 lbs
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Salav HS-04/T 1000W

Salav HS-04/T 1000W

Benefits

  • Dual steam setting
  • Auto shut-off
  • Quick to heat up
  • 8.2 foot cord

Specs

  • Tank Capacity: 2.7 oz
  • Heating Time: 35 sec
  • Steam Time: 5 min
  • Weight: 1.63 lbs
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Jiffy 1901 Pink ESTEAM

Jiffy 1901 Pink ESTEAM

Benefits

  • Free from internal water lines
  • Free from pumps
  • Uses tap water
  • Defined to fit suitcases

Specs

  • Tank Capacity: 8 oz
  • Heating Time: 60 seconds
  • Power: 600 watts
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Here's How We Did the Test:

Making this evaluation possible would require us a team of people who will check the pros and cons of each product, a wide variety of models to test, and a specific number of hours to be utilized to assess all the units. 

9 USERS

22 MODELS

25 HOURS

Best Handheld Garment Steamer Reviews

TOP OVERALL

USER RATING: 

93%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Power: 1550 watts
  • Tank: 7.3 oz
  • Steam Time: 15 min
  • Heat-up time: 40 sec
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
  • Features: New on/off feature, 3-in-1 Attachment

PROS

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Quick to heat up
  • Easy to use
  • Good for upholstery, drapes, clothing

CONS

  • Can be too heavy for some
  • Can take longer in removing wrinkles

The Conair Turbo Extreme handheld steamer is by far the sleekest, most compact and fashionably designed fabric steamer in this list. With extra attachments and turbo setting.The unit is designed to offer you a dependable service for a number of years.

…And the perfect one on the market as well. This is a great handheld steamer, and a leg up over the Rowenta. It uses 1550 watts of power (great for a handheld) and has about the same tank size as the above Rowenta (7.3 ounces, released over about 15 minutes of operating time).

In terms of extras it has a few attachments (a fabric spacer and bristle brush, as well as a silicone band), an on/off switch, and a “turbo” setting as well as a stainless steel “iron” head.

Basically, it has almost the exact same performance as the Rowenta we’ll talk about in a moment.

Same performance but a lower price?

No brainer.

USER RATING: 

90%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Power: 1600 watts
  • Tank: 6.4 oz
  • Heating Time: 40 seconds
  • Steam Output: 26 g/min
  • Steam Time: 15 min
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
  • Features: New on/off feature, 3-in-1 Attachment

PROS

  • 9.84 foot cord
  • Accessories available: fabric brush, on/off button
  • Quick to heat up
  • Easy to use
  • Good for upholstery, drapes, clothing

CONS

  • No lock on feature
  • small tank

The DR8120 X-Cel Steam powerful clothes steamer is a good option from Rowenta.

When I think of Rowenta I usually think of their upright models, not handheld. But this is a very solid outing despite that.

It clocks in at an impressive 1600 watts of power, with a 190 mL (a bit over ¾ of a cup) tank that heats in 40 seconds. It has one of the longer cords I’ve see in a portable travel steamer (over 9 feet or 3 meters) and does have a few different steam settings, though more in the steam OUTPUT department rather than the steam heat.

The heated plate is quite nice and boasts being able to be used at any angle without having to worry about condensation. Its suite of included attachments (including a crease attachment and fabric brush) make the price much easier to swallow.

While not THE optimal portable fabric steamer I’ve seen, it is absolutely one of them, and deserves consideration. The only rub is that the Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam performs better for the same price, so it’s hard to give this one a wholehearted recommendation unless you can’t get the Conair (or find this one on a deep discount somewhere).

USER RATING: 

87%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Power: 1350 watts
  • Tank: 10 oz
  • Heating Time: 180 seconds
  • Press Surface: 25 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 21.4 lbs
  • Features: 5 fabric settings -silk, nylon, cotton, wool, linen)

PROS

  • Press lock feature
  • 2 steam burst buttons
  • 6.6 ft cord
  • Good for shirts, blouses, pants, jeans, table linens

CONS

  • Not flexible enough
  • Longer to heat up

Comparing this to the others is a little unfair.

I’ll say this right now: this is the best portable clothes steamer around.

It outperforms every other travel steamer on this list by a wide margin in that regard. The only thing it suffers for is being incapable of use for, say, sanitizing sheets in your hotel room.

Other than that, though, it has a very large tank for a travel steamer (1.25 cups), with a fairly slow heat up of 3 minutes. It has 5 separate settings for different fabrics, and can be used as either a simple iron press or release a short burst of steam as many times as needed.

The main sticking points here are price and size and it weighs 24 lbs. It’s definitely still a travel steamer (if not the perfect travel clothes steamer), but more in the sense of “packed in your big luggage” than “overnight stay in a hotel”.

The price is well worth it for the performance, but it is, admittedly, a whole different beast than the others on this list. For that, I’ve set it aside the normal consideration for “best overall”, and it will receive an honorable mention of “best with an asterisk”.

USER RATING: 

81%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Power: watts
  • Dimension: 6 x 13 x 8 inches
  • Heating Time: 45 seconds
  • Steam Time: 15 min
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Features: Wide steam exit, wait and ready light, diffuser brush

PROS

  • Compact stand-up design
  • Steam trigger with lock
  • Sanitizes and refreshes clothes and bedding
  • Protects against dustmites and bedbugs
  • 3 year warranty

CONS

  • Takes longer to remove wrinkles
  • Can be heavy and bulky for some

The most excellent small travel steamer you’re likely to find.

This one I feel hits that “sweet spot” between use and bulk. It’s tiny, but works pretty well, having a 45 second heat up time with 15 minutes of continuous use (about a half cup of water).

A lot of its features are pretty standard: heated nozzle and optional fabric brush and other attachments (though those have a bit of an issue).

However, there are two simple quality of life extras that push it up in my opinion: “wait and ready” lights (so many steamers lack such a simple tell, instead relying entirely on you knowing when time is up) and a trigger lock so you don’t have to continuously hold down the trigger while you’re using it.

The issue I mentioned with the attachments?

They’re expensive. It’s a great value on its own, but the attachments are way overpriced, and many (I’d say even MOST) handheld garment steamers come with a few by default.

This outperforms a fair few travel steamers but not by enough I can justify that price hike, unfortunately. If you want the fabric brush or creaser attachments, steer clear.

USER RATING: 

78%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Power:  1000 watts
  • Tank: 2.7 oz
  • Heating Time:  35 seconds
  • Steam Time: 5 min
  • Weight:  1.63 lbs
  • Features: Dual steam setting; auto shut off

PROS

  • 8.2 foot cord
  • Accessories available: fabric brush, on/off button
  • Quick to heat up
  • Compact design
  • Good for clothing

CONS

  • Small tank
  • Best for upright use

Salav’s best portable hand steamer is good, but has some hefty drawbacks.

Let’s talk about the good first.

This hand steamer has an INCREDIBLE heat output, with a high setting putting out 302 degree steam, and a low setting going for a more standard temperature. This makes it a great dry steamer and perfect for sanitizing or for when you really need to steam something quick and get out the door with it on FAST.

It’s a compact design, and a compact price as well.

Unfortunately the tradeoff here is tank size and operating time. It only has an 80 mL tank (about 1/3 cup) and a 5 minute operating time.

Basically, it puts out a very high volume of very hot steam, but you have a similarly small window to actually use the thing in.

This makes it great for steaming clothes…but not much else. You simply won’t have time to steam a bed, or curtains, or anything else large without refilling it a bunch.

Still, for the price that deficiency can be somewhat overlooked, but the small tank size could be quite frustrating if you end up buying this. Maybe better as a backup “emergency” option for when you really need a fast, hot steamer and another one can take over your primary steamer role.

USER RATING: 

75%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Power: 600 watts
  • Tank: 8 oz
  • Heating Time: 60 seconds
  • Features: Professional look, less power consumption

PROS

  • Free from waterlines
  • Uses tap water
  • No need for pumps
  • Commercial grade components

CONS

  • No temperature adjustment
  • No auto shutoff

Suffers from being outdated and overpriced.

There’s nothing particular to write home about here. It has a fairly large 8 oz (1 cup) tank…and that’s about it- 600 watts of power, and as simplistic a design as possible.

It doesn’t double as an iron, it has no on/off switch or auto shutoff, no adjustable steam temperature (and not a particularly great temperature to start) or anything else to recommend it. it’s bulky, ugly…and quite overpriced.

There’s not really any circumstance under which I could recommend this over any of the other units on this list.

Conclusion

I think there are a couple of clear winners over the other here. For top small travel steamer  Conair’s Turbo ExtremeSteam edges out the Salav QuickSteam and Sunbeam for having a bigger tank than the former, and being cheaper than the latter.


All three are good, and any one could potentially be considered the best portable steamer on the market for various reasons, but the Conair takes it for me due to a combo of its pricing, size, and performance.


The  SteamFast steam press , of course, outperforms everything else…but it’s an entirely different beast and sets a standard all its own in that regard. If you just need one for clothes, consider getting that, but the other three mentioned here are better for more general purpose and day to day use.

Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam

For other product selections, click on this link.

How Do You Pick The Right One?

Size

There’s a sort of sweet spot when we’re talking size. The right travel steamer will be small enough to easily pack in your suitcase, but large enough it can produce at least 10 minutes of steam (preferably).

Basically, you want it to hold at least half a cup of water without taking up too much space.

Heat

More heat is usually better…to an extent. Lower heat means less effectiveness (and more damp spots on your garments), but too high a heat can ruin your clothing as well. In general I like “dry steam” handheld garment steamers that slightly superheat their steam over the norm of 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Still, it should be worth noting that the perfect travel steamer for suits is not necessarily going to be the optimal travel steamer for a wedding dress, so getting something adjustable is always better if possible.

Power

Heat and power go hand in hand (more of the latter means more of the former, faster) but it’s worth remembering one important things: different countries have different outlets.

Did you Know?

A good steamer to travel around the US with isn’t necessarily going to be the travel steamer for Europe; if it runs on 110v power instead of 220v it just won’t work.

Make sure you check before you buy, just in case.

Cost

Brand and performance are the largest factors in cost, and that cost can vary widely. You’re looking at roughly lower prices for lower end brands, but may pay more for high end models or brands that come with all sorts of extra features.

Extra Features

These can include anything from the simple and utilitarian (like an on/off switch and auto off features), extra accessories (like a fabric brush, ironing paddle, or pants press), or more unique features like multiple steam settings and full blown upgrades (like being a steam press rather than just a garment steamer).

More extras usually means more cost, but it also usually means you’re getting far more bang for that buck. If you buy a more expensive garment steamer though, try to make sure it has some kind of warranty just in case.

Especially since we’re looking at a travel tool; airports are NOT gentle with your luggage, even the top ones.

That aside, let’s get to the travel steamer reviews!

Comparison Chart