3 Different Types of Garment Steamers for Home Use

Last Updated on November 9, 2023

by Tim Martinelli

When you're trying to look your best, there is really nothing worse than wrinkly clothing. Wrinkles can make the nicest outfit in the world look terrible!

Are you interested in buying a garment steamer? If so, you likely are trying to choose which option is best for you.

Many companies produce steamers that consumers love, and before you start reading reviews, it's helpful to know what your basic options are.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of using garment steamers and what the three main types of steamers are, keep reading below.

What Are the Benefits of Using Garment Steamers?

Garment steamers are a versatile tool you can use to de-wrinkle clothing before wearing them. In many situations, a steamer can be a better choice for this job than an iron.

If you have a garment that has sequins, beads, or other embellishments, an iron can ruin those features. Tailored clothing and specific types of fabrics also don't do well with an iron since you have to apply pressure to the garment.

Steamers work by pumping out surges of steam that then pass through the garment. As it goes through the fibers, the wrinkles will relax and fall out while you gently manipulate the fabric.  Steam  kills up to 99% of bacteria and more if exposed for at least 3 minutes.

types of garment steamer

Garment steamers are wonderful if you want to de-wrinkle your clothing without having it looked very "pressed" or creased. Because they don't crease your clothing, they can also be used on fabrics around your home, like drapes, shams, blankets, and more.

Any type of garment steamer you choose is going to be easy to set up and use when you need it. They are very lightweight, so you won't have a hard time handling the device. You can de-wrinkle your clothing while it is still on a hanger as well, so you don't have to worry about laying it around or getting it dirty.

Lastly, there are specific types of garment steamers that will help you sanitize surfaces, clean up grease, or remove certain stains. Others will deodorize your garments. Essentially, some garment steamers are capable of doing a lot more than just getting rid of wrinkles.

1. Upright Clothes Steamer

The upright or standing clothes steamer is one of the most popular types that you can buy.

It is tall and stands on the ground. You'll find a long stem with a nozzle on the end that ejects the steam. Attached to that from the ground is a base which also has a well for the water to sit.

Some of the upright clothes steamer models will also have a rod so that you can hang up your garment. This is useful if you don't have a hanger available or you want to ensure that the hanger doesn't crease the garment while you're working on it.

To use this type of steamer, you'll fill up the water well within the base with water and turn it on. Aim the nozzle at the areas on the garment that need attention.

 This is the model that a lot of professionals will use, but it also is one of the more expensive options. Upright clothes steamers come with a lot of attachment options and different settings, so you have more options to make sure your clothes are not harmed when the steam is applied.

2. Portable Clothes Steamer

One of the worst things for many travelers is getting to your destination only to find all of your clothing has wrinkled and shifted during transit. For people with a portable clothes steamer, however, this is less of a concern!

A portable steamer is perfect for travel because it is small enough to fit into your suitcase or weekend bag, but it still has enough power to make sure you look nice while you're away from home. If you're not able to afford a dry cleaning service from a hotel or you can't use the iron on the clothes you've packed, having this in your bag can be extremely helpful.

This type of steamer comes in different models with different features depending on what you need to use it for most.

Because of their size, some portable steamers will have the nozzle attached right to the water well, while others will have steam come out of the base.

Keep in mind that although portable or travel-sized steamers are still very lightweight, they usually require you to hold the whole thing (or most of it) up to your clothing instead of just the nozzle itself.

 You'll also want to consider that the water well is smaller, so you will have to refill more often. This is a great choice if you travel often, but it may not be perfect for everyone that plans to use it at home.

3. Handheld Garment Steamer

A handheld steamer is like the perfect cross between a portable steamer and an upright steamer. You'll find that this type of steamer is bigger than the travel version and smaller than the standing version.

If you're someone that doesn't have a lot of space at home, doesn't want to pay for the upright steamer, or has never used a steamer before, this is likely going to be the perfect type of steamer for you.

 There are many similarities between this type of steamer and a travel steamer. Mainly, however, the handheld version will have a bigger water well and will be slightly more powerful. This means that you will have a more efficient appliance than the travel version, but you'll also have one that is easy to stow away in the average home or apartment.

4. Steam Irons

Professional steam irons offer a more traditional approach to steaming your garments.  They are also particularly good at removing tough wrinkles.  

Whether you are using a traditional steam iron that supports vertical steaming or the more advanced ironing stations like those made by the Swiss manufacturer Laurastar, you will find that you can have the best of both worlds by injecting steam from the iron on a garment that is hanging or pressing out the wrinkles on an ironing table.

Find the Right Steam Cleaner for Clothes Today

Owning your own clothes steamer is a smart decision because it makes it easy to look your best in your favorite outfits.

Choosing between all of the garment steamers on the market, however, is a little more difficult. You have to consider which options are best for you and your lifestyle.

We offer reviews on many of the best brands out there to help you make an informed decision. Check out our review of the Rowenta line today to get started.

Last Updated on November 9, 2023