Best Handheld Steamer Review of 2020 – Garment & Travel

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Best Handheld Steamers

by Tim Martinelli

A handheld 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 hand held garment steamer can fix that, but how do you pick the right one that meets your needs that really works?

Our Handheld Steamer Reviews reveal who makes the the best portable clothes steamer,  as well as which steamer is the most effective in providing continuous steam so you look your best.  


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
  • 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

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 Steamer by Brand

Here is our list of the top handheld and travel models offered by each brand.  Read each list of  features to find the model that is best suited for you needs.  

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Product

Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Advanced

Conair 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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BEAUTURAL Dual Voltage Travel Steamer

BEAUTURAL Dual Voltage Travel Steamer

Benefits

  • Automatically configures to correct voltage
  • Two Tank Sizes
  • Auto Shutoff
  • Certified, safety-tested
  • Perfect for world travel

Specs

  • Tank Capacity: 100ml and 200ml tanks
  • Heating Time: 40 seconds
  • Steam Time: 8 minutes and 15 minutes
  • Weight: 1.55 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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Best Handheld Garment Steamer Reviews

When traveling you need a steamer that is small, heats up quickly and durable. There are several smaller steamers that use the power of steam to remove wrinkles when your on the road or just away from home.  Read our reviews for the best handheld steamer especially for travel.

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. Its heats up quickly, comes with extra attachments and turbo setting. The unit is designed to offer you a dependable continuous steam for a number of years.

This clothes steamer offers superior all around features that put it at the top of our list. 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  at a lower price than Rowenta's model.

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. While this may not be the best hand steamer, this is a very solid outing.

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: 

89%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Power: 1000 watts
  • Tank: 100ml and 200ml 
  • Heating Time: 40 seconds
  • Steam Time: 8 to 15 min depending reservoir
  • Weight: 1.55 lbs
  • Features: Auto shutoff, 2 brush attachments
  • Dual Voltage design

PROS

  • Automatically adjusts to correct voltage
  • Accessories available: 2 tanks, 2 brushes, bag
  • Quick to heat up
  • Easy to use
  • Folding design great for travel

CONS

  • doesn't come with plug adapters

Beautural has introduced a Dual Voltage handheld steamer.  We’ve recently added this model to our list because there are so many things to like about this model. 

The fold-able design of this garment steamer make it an ideal steamer for travel, it is compact and perfect for packing in a suitcase.  Weighing in at only 1.55 lbs you don’t need to be concerned about the steamer pushing you over the weight restrictions so many airlines impose on commercial flights. 

There are the things we really like about this travel steamer:  

  1. Two different tanks so you can use the smaller tank to save space while on the road so that you can quickly remove wrinkles for small jobs.   Or if you have more space, use the larger tank and effectively double the duration continuous steam
  2. The voltage adjusts automatically so you don’t need to concern yourself with bulky or inconvenient voltage adapters.  Simply plug it in and it figures out the proper voltage.
  3. Auto shutoff so that if after 8 mins of inactivity the steamer goes in to standby mode with a flashing light.
  4. Comes with both a lint brush and a soft brush for smoothing out wrinkles.
  5. Heats up in 40 seconds.

It should be noted that you do need to make sure you have the correct plug for the country you will be visiting.  The Beautural travel steamer comes with a normal 2 prong plug but you will need a plug adapter if you are in a country that uses a different plug configuration.

This may not be our top choice, if you are not traveling and your primary use is for home use.

However if you are have a need for steam while on the go, the compact design and versatility of this model make it a top choice as a travel steamer.

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 this mini steam iron. 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: Best Handheld and Travel Steamer

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

How Do You Pick The Right Handheld Steamer?

Size

When choosing the best travel steamer for clothes, 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 travel bag, but large enough it can produce at least 10 minutes of steam (preferably).

Basically, you want a water tank 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, which is not a good then when your traveling.

In general I like “dry steam” handheld garment steamers that slightly super-heat 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.

Heat Time

For us anything over 40 seconds to heat is too long.  Handheld steamers are intended for when you're away and probably don't have a lot of time, or maybe you just need to do a quick touch up.  Faster is better but anything 40 seconds or less should be acceptable for most travel needs.

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 range from the simple thinks like an on/off switches and auto off features, or extra accessories (like a fabric brush, ironing paddle, or pants press), or more unique features like multiple or adjustable steam settings and full blown upgrades making it more 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.

As you read this you may find you need something with more features, longer steam time if this is the case full sized steamers are great for home use and big jobs 

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

HandHeld Steamer Comparison Chart

RankProductRating
1Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam9.5Buy on Amazon
2Rowenta DR8120 X-Cel9.4Buy on Amazon
3BEAUTURAL Dual Voltage Travel Steamer9.0Buy on Amazon
4Steamfast SF-680 Digital Press8.7Buy on Amazon
5Sunbeam Garment Press8.6Buy on Amazon
6Salav HS-04/T 1000W8.5Buy on Amazon
7Jiffy 1901 Pink ESTEAM7.2Buy on Amazon

Other articles to read:

Prefer Steam Iron to hand held steamer?  Check out our reviews.