If you’re in the market for a replacement for your iron then you need to look into buying the best clothes steamer on the market as it can really add value to your ironing needs. If you're planning on wearing a suit and tie, it's unlikely to replace your iron, however it does add some real benefits for those that want to look smart quickly.
Does It Replace My Iron?
If you think that a clothes steamer, even the best clothes steamer on the market is going to completely replace your iron and ironing board, then it's more that likely that you will be wrong. If you're the type of person that wears shirts and ties everyday to work then you will need an iron and I would point you in the direction of our Steam Iron Review here as a steam iron is unlikely to get the creases down your arms as required.
However there is a place for the clothes steamer to use in your home either to keep your suits crease free or to quickly easily take creases out of your casual clothes without the need to set up your iron and ironing board.
Benefits of A Clothes Steamer
The idea of using a Clothes Steamer is that you can quickly and easily run it over your clothes and the crinkles will instantly vanish leaving you with a perfect shirt to wear to work. Given that you’re just blowing hot air on your clothes and there is no metal parts touching your clothes, there is less damage and you don’t just the risk that you’re going to burn or badly stain your clothes.
The reality is slightly different and we will come to this in second, however a clothes steamer is much easier to use, much more portable given that it’s substantially lightly, very flexible and uses less electricity and therefore better for the environment.
Will It Replace My Iron?
It depends on your lifestyle, but it my case it has not. Ironing shirts I find is much easier using a traditional iron especially if you want to do it correctly. That said, if you don’t iron shirts, I could easily do without my iron and just use my clothes steamer.
The key problem with a clothes steamer is that they are not great at pressing given there is very little pressure, terrible at adding creases in to shirts and don’t work so well with thick materials, however they will work better with delicate materials such as wool or synthetic materials where a hot iron can easily cause damage.
Three Types of Clothes Steamers
When you start to think about buying a clothes steamer, you first need to think about the type of clothes steamer that you want to buy and the added advantages and disadvantages that go with it. Typically there are three key types;
Standing Steamers – These have been designed to stand on the floor and have your clothes hung on them during the steaming process. Basic steamers will come with minimal add-on’s, however the better steamers will come with a range of add-on and steamer heads to help you press your clothes.
Hand-Held Steamers – These will work in the same way as a standing steamer but have been designed to contain everything that is needed in a small unit. The idea here is that some users do not have room in there flats for a full standing steam and therefore use the hand-held steamer given that it packs away nicely into their cupboards.
Travel Steamers – These are as the name suggest, steamers that are used when you need to go travelling and therefore have been designed to be small, light steamers that will fit into your luggage, whilst at the same time easily reducing the creases on your suit after it has come out of your bag.
Things To Think About
Obviously the first thing to think about is whether you can fit a standing steam into your house or whether it would be better to go with a hand-held steamer. Generally speaking the standing clothes steamer’s perform better than a hand-held steamer, but it should not put you off as there are some very good hand-held steamers on the market that perform just as well, but might be slightly more expensive.
Other things you should take into account include it’s weight, however if you’re buying a standing steamer then don’t worry about it as they are all very light, but the hand-held steamers can be quite heavy given that everything they need to run is included within. I would try to avoid buying anything that is more than a couple of KG.
The price is important, however like everything steam related, you pay for what you get. If you buy cheap, it’s likely it will not work as you expected, whereas if you buy quality, you’re buying a tried and tested steamer than will perform as expected.
One point we would ask you to look as it the extra’s that it comes with. Given that steam is unlikely to damage your clothing and kills germs and dust mites, it’s very common for steamers to come with only one setting, however you should be looking to try and buy steamers with more than one settings and extra heads that will have been designed to specialise in different types of material.
Top Clothes Steamer Brands
As we have mentioned above, buying brands does mean that you’re going to be paying slightly more for your appliances, however they will have been tried and tested and therefore likely to last longer and work better over time. Below are the top four clothes steamer brands that you need to be aware of.
ProBreeze – This company was set up in 1999 and was the pioneer in Steam Clothing. They are known for their quality and performance.
Tefal – This company was set up in the 1900’s and specialise in Ironing and Ironing accessories to which Clothes Steamers are part of. They are best known for their Irons, however their clothes steamers are also fantastic.
Conair – This company was set up in 1959 and is a leading manufacturer of small appliances including their clothing steamers.
Salav – This company was set up in the 1900’s and is synonymous with sewing and sewing machines, however in recent years
Clothes Steamer Reviews
We have already established that the best clothes steamer on the market today is the Tefal Instant Clothes Steamer however we have have also found a few other models that maybe better suited to your needs. This includes the Salav 1500 Watt Steamer which we really like, however the reviews across the internet are mixed and therefore you probably need to check your warranty before buying and the BestSteam Clothes Steamer which makes perfect sense if you're looking for a basic steam cleaner without all the settings and features of the Tefal or Salav that you have at home and use occasionally when needed.
On the same front, we also reviewed other portable handheld steamers that have been designed for travel. We particularly liked the Compact Portable Clothes Steamer which whilst smaller than other clothes steamers on the market, it makes for a perfect travel steamer given that it comes with a 600 watts heating source, a 110ML water tank and can provide over ten minutes of steam power to get your clothes crease free.
Our Rating -
What’s the best clothes steamer on the market? It has to be the Tefal Instant clothes steamer, which is the one we use at home, and has done us proud over years. You might think this is slightly biased, but of years we have tried and tested many different models across the market and whilst there is competition, nothing beats the Tefal for performance or reliability.
Firstly, you’re buying a Tefal which symbolises Home Appliances that have been tried and tested over the years. You're buying a quality value for money product that has been tried and tested and will not only perform how you would expect, but will also last for years to come. I cannot remember how old our Tefal Clothes steamer is, but I have a feeling it’s about four years old and during this time we have never had a problem with it.
The tefal comes with step-by-step instructions to put it together and use, however it’s very intuitive to put the machine together and does not take long at all. Most users that we have spoken to do not need to refer to the instructions. The steamer is very stable, and comes with a telescopic pole that is adjustable depending on the size of your clothes needed.
Once you’re ready to simply fill the plastic container with water, switch on and leave for 45 seconds to heat up. The unit is about 140CM tall and comes with a hanger with clips where you put your clothes, a plastic mesh which gives you a platform to push against and a steam handle with additional extras which allows you to direct steam to the areas needed.
Performance is fantastic especially given the plastic mesh gives you something to push against and really get those creases out. The steamer not only removed creases, but also sanitises and removes odours and therefore can be used as an alternative to dry cleaning.
It’s also possible to add smells to your clothes, we have added lemon to the water meaning that your clothes now smell of a light lemon flavor which is very useful for storage in your cupboards for a long period of time, however the key disadvantage is that it’s pretty difficult to fold up meaning that you will need to keep it built in the corner of your room.
The other key problem is that it almost produces too much steam which is fine for steaming your clothes, but does mean that you need to use it in a well ventilated space otherwise you can easily find yourself with a room full of steam. Extra’s include, a fabric bush and a lint pad to help really get the crease out of your clothes.
Overall the Tefal is a fantastic clothes steamer. Does it replace my iron, no, but there is a lot of clothes that my iron will not cope well with and therefore the Tefal Clothes steamer is a fantastic option to have at home.
Our Rating -
The Salav 1500W standing clothes steamer is our second favorite clothes steamer on the market and offers value for money and steaming performance. The Salav is a free standing steamer and comes with an extendable hanger that is great to hang clothes whilst they are being steamed, whilst a the same time being designed to be able to fold up and fit in a cupboard in your room.
The steamer comes with a 1.8 Liter detachable water tank meaning that you have all the steam you need to de-crease your clothes in one sitting without the need to re-fill whilst at the same time heating up quickly. From the time you switch it on, to the time it’s ready to clean is about 45 seconds.
We found performance is fantastic and as an added bonus, the steamer comes with four steam settings that have been designed to straighten different fabrics from Wool to Synthetic’s. The clothes steamer creates steam at a temperature of 98 degree centigrade which means that it’s capable of removing bacteria and bed mites whilst at the same time having a level of safety which includes an auto shut-off value for when the unit over heats or runs out of water.
As an added benefit, not only does the steamer come with four different settings, it also comes with four different accessories, a fabric brush that is great a removing dust or pet hair, a trouser press than helps to remove trouser creases, a mini ironing paddle that is great for collars and cuffs and a holding clip that is great for general fabric
Overall we really like the Salav 1500W Standing Clothes Steamer, however reviews on Amazon.co.uk are mixed with some loving it and some hating it. I think the point he is understand what a clothes steamer is for. If you think you can take your shirt out of the dryer creased and your clothes steam is going to make it perfect with crease in the right places down the arm then no wonder you don’t like it. It cannot do this, you need an iron, but it’s great for a quick press to clean up an major creases on a t-shirt before you wear it casually.
Our Rating -
The BestSteam Professional Clothes Steamer is a great free standing clothes steamer that comes with similar performance, although slightly less features than our favorite above, but a more value for money price tag. Again performance is good, but you need to realize the strengths and especially the weaknesses of a clothes steamer especially when you’re reading the reviews on Amazon.co.uk.
The Beststeam comes with dimensions of 26 x 32 x 114 CM, and weighs around 1.8 KG when empty although given the three liter tank which when full of water means the base weighs in at around 5 KG which is heavy, however does make a sturdy base ensuring your steamer will not fall over. The adjustable steam head is very light and means that it’s easy to move around your clothes. Switching on your steamer is quick and easy meaning that in around 45 seconds the steamer is ready to go.
Once you have fixed your t-shirt on the height adjustable steaming pole, you simply need to choose one of the six adjustable power settings to easily remove wrinkles on all types of fabrics from Cotton to Wool and Sythetics. Performance is great and the steam easily took wrinkles out of our t-shirts and left them ready to be worn.
As an added benefit the steamer comes with a switch-off switch that means if the steamer gets too hot it will automatically switch off. Overall we think the Best steamer is a great clothes steam that should be taken seriously if you want to buy a clothes steamer. We love the fact that this steamer comes with a copper core technology which means that unlike other steamers in the same category, the best steamer copper core should last a lot longer over time than a cheaper aluminium element that is found in many other steamers.
We also think that it represents value for money, however again we want to point out it’s limitations. It cannot take a creased, wrinkled shirt that has been folded up into a ball, into a pristine un-crinkled shirt in a short period of time, but again, this is not what they have been designed for. If you read bad reviews on Amazon.co.uk, it’s probably because the user was expecting it to work better than an iron and ironing board and this is simply not the case.
Our Rating -
The Pro Breese is a fantastic Hand-Held Portable Clothes Steamer that can easily be used at home as it can be used to take with you on your travels. The ProBreeze, comes with dimensions of 30.8 x 23.4 x 11.8 cm whilst weighing in at less than a KG empty although once you have filled the 1 liter tank with water it weights slightly more but still nothing major.
Switching on the steamer, it quickly powers up the 850 Watt steamer and produces steam in under 50 seconds and the two meter long cable allow you to freely walk around with your steamer. The probreeze has been designed as a portable steamer and therefore can either be used at home, or can be used as a travel steamer when you’re on your travels.
Once the steamer is up to temperature, simply press the button and the unit quickly and easily produces steam that is suitable for all types of clothing from cotton to wool and lien to polyester.
One key downside of the pro-breeze is that it only comes with one heat setting, however this is the price you pay to have a value for money clothes steamer. Saftey is important with the steamer having a built in safety cut-off switch meaning that if the steamer over heats or runs out of water, it automatically switches off.
Overall we like the Probreeze steamer and it seems others like it to. Checking out Amazon.co.uk reviews, there are over 300 comments with the majority rating this steamer at five stars. Again you need to be realistic with what your steam can achieve.
It’s not possible to completely press a shirt, but then it has not been designed for this, however if you simply want to de-crease a t-shirt to use it for the second time quickly and easily then it’s great or if you want to take it with you travelling to de-crease your suits after they have been stuck in a bag for twelve hours, then it’s perfect.
Our Rating -
We really like the pro-breeze above, but if you’re looking for a pure travel steamer that has been design to be used as a travel steamer first and secondly as a portable handheld steamer for your home, then you need to look at the compact textile portable clothes steamer as it has been designed specifically to be taken with you in your case and used during your travels.
It’s therefore much smaller, lighter, but more importantly has been designed as a crease remover that does not have the power or the flexibility to complety remove crinkles and creases from a shirt that has come out of the wash, but instead focuses on being portable, but at the same time having enough power to quickly and easily remove crinkles out of your suit if it has just come out of your bag.
The compact steamer comes with dimension of 18 X 26 X 14 CM and weighs in at around 0.75KG when empty and still under one kilo when full. Heating the steam and using the steam is very easy given it comes with a six foot cord that connects the steamer to a power source (No Batteries Here to Save Weight), a 600 Watt electric heating element and a 120 ML water container which means that the unit can provide 10 minutes of steam before you need to re-fill. This is easily enough to de-crease an entire suit and with the steamer heating up in 45 seconds, is perfect for your travels.
Performance is fantastic. As mentioned above, it’s not going to take a shirt from your washing machine to crinkle free in your cupboard, but then it’s not designed for this, but quickly taking wrinkles out of your suit before a meeting. Feed-back has been positive across Amazon however there have been reports of a few early models not working, but what’s great is the customer service and warranty meaning that if something does go wrong and you send it back, they will replace it quickly and easily
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