IRONING can be a faff. Taking out the ironing board, heating up the iron, waiting for it to cool down after you've finished using it – every so often we don't have the time.
Which is where steamers come in. For quickly smoothing out creases without causing too much of a fuss, a handheld steamer is perfect, but if you have multiple items you need to get through, then opt for an upright steamer.
To give you an idea of how useful steamers are, you'll find an upright steamer on any fashion photoshoot to make sure everything looks spotless.
We've picked out our favourite clothes steamers to help you find your perfect match.
Best clothes steamers at a glance:
- Best handheld clothes steamer: Philips Series 3000 handheld garment steamer
- Best design clothes steamer: Philips GC362/86 Steam & Go
- Best small steamer: Fridja f10 Handheld Clothes Steamer
- Best portable clothes steamer: Tefal Access Minute handheld garment steamer
- Best clothes steamer-iron combo: Swan Pressurized 2400W Steam Iron
- Best travel steamer: Steamery Stockholm pink handheld steamer
- Best budget steamer: Steamworks Handheld Garment Steamer
- Fastest heat up time: Tefal DT3030 Access Steam Pocket Garment Steamer
- Best vertical steamer: Fridja F1500 Upright Clothes Steamer
1. Best handheld clothes steamer: Philips Series 3000 handheld garment steamer
- Philips Series 3000 handheld garment steamer, £59.99 from Amazon – buy here
If you're looking for a great handheld steamer, then this one may be for you.
In our full Philips handheld steamer 3000 series review our tester gave rated it five out of five saying it's "really easy to use" and they were "impressed by the results".
It's lightweight, compact and super efficient making steaming clothes quickly straightforward and effective.
This steamer is a perfect addition if you don't have time to get out the iron and is reasonably priced at just £60.
2. Best design clothes steamer: Philips GC362/86 Steam & Go
- Philips GC362/86 Steam & Go Handheld Garment Steamer, £75 from Amazon – buy here
Probably the best-looking hand-held clothes steamer we’ve found, this sleek black and copper design can steam horizontally and vertically for greater versatility and is safe to use on all fabrics, even delicate silk.
It’s powerful at 1,300W and 24g of steam per minute so it can blast out stubborn creases and has a 70ml detachable water tank.
The Philips comes with a heat-resistant pouch for safe and easy storage.
3. Best small steamer: Fridja f10 Handheld Clothes Steamer
- Fridja f10 Handheld Clothes Steamer, £79.99 from Amazon – buy here
One of the most powerful hand-held designs out there, this is a good option if you need to clean heavier, bulkier items, such as curtains and rugs frequently.
It gives out an impressive 1,500W of power and 25g of steam per minute yet is delicate enough to use on silk and velvet. It heats up in just 45 seconds and will steam continuously for 14 minutes so the 260ml tank doesn’t need to be refilled as often.
Comes in three colours and includes a portable hanger for on-the-go steaming.
4. Best portable clothes steamer: Tefal Access Minute handheld garment steamer
- Tefal Access Minute handheld garment steamer, £69 from AO.com – buy here
The Tefal Access Minute handheld garment steamer is ideal for decreasing clothes when you're not at home.
It boasts a good sized water tank so you won't need to keep refilling and it comes with accessories like a steam cover, fabric brush and door hook.
If you're travelling abroad, this steamer has dual voltage which means it will work internationally as well as at home.
Read our full Tefal handheld garment steamer review for a more in-depth look.
5. Best clothes steamer-iron combo: Swan Pressurized 2400W Steam Iron
- Swan Pressurized 2400W Steam Iron, £59.99 from Amazon – buy here
Okay, so this isn’t strictly a clothes steamer – it’s both an iron and a clothes steamer.
A great choice if you don’t want to do away with your iron but don’t want lots of gadgets cluttering up your cupboards, this powerful 2,400W pressurised steam iron works like a regular iron but can also be used for vertical steaming, so it can get creases out of clothes and upholstery just as well as a dedicated clothes steamer.
It kicks out 70g per minute of steam to make stubborn creases disappear in the blink of an eye.
It has a small 50ml water tank – ideal for vertically steaming a few items here and a thermostat means you have precise control over the pressure of the steam.
6. Best travel steamer: Steamery Stockholm pink handheld steamer
- Steamery Stockholm pink handheld steamer, £60 from Steamery – buy here
Steamery Stockholm is a rather brilliant brand that combines Scandi-chic design with easy-to-use technology in their garment care products, which include steamers and fabric shavers.
The Cirrus No. 1 steamer works on all fabrics (including silk) to not only leave clothes wrinkle-free, but also odourless.
It heats up in under 30 seconds, and can also be used to steam curtains and bedsheets.
7. Best budget steamer: Steamworks Handheld Garment Steamer
- Steamworks Handheld Garment Steamer, £26 from Argos – buy here
If you're on a budget, don't worry because this offering from Steamworks does the job.
You'll only get ten minutes of steaming time, so it's more for quick touch ups rather than doing all of your ironing, but it has an auto shut off function, is ready to use in 30 seconds and is safe to use on delicate fabrics.
8. Fastest heat up time: Tefal DT3030 Access Steam Pocket Garment Steamer
- Tefal DT3030 Access Steam Pocket Garment Steamer, £49 from Argos – buy here
If you're in a rush or just don't like waiting for your appliances to heat up, then this offering from Tefal needs to be on your radar.
It takes only 15 seconds to heat up and is suitable to use on all fabrics.
Releasing 16g of steam a minute, your clothes will be crease-free in no time.
9. Best vertical steamer: Fridja F1500 Upright Clothes Steamer
Fridja F1500 Upright Clothes Steamer, £204.81 from Amazon – buy here
If you’re going to take the plunge and buy a vertical clothes steamer, you might as well get one that looks as good as it steams.
This 2,200W design has a huge 3.8 litre water tank meaning you won't need to keep refilling whilst you steam your clothes. The extra-long cable means you can steam your clothes without having to stand too close to the socket.
Wedding dresses, suits, bedding, upholstery – you name it, this will steam it gently and quickly.
How to use a clothes steamer
Once you turn the steamer on, you'll want to wait a bit until you can physically see the steam.
Then, stretch the garment out with your free hand and run the steamer down the clothes with your other one, it's that simple!
Our top tip is that you want to make sure that your steamer is touching your clothes to get all of the creases properly out.
We recommend steaming horizontally to get the best results.
Which garment steamer is the best?
There are different garment steamers suited to different needs – the one that’s best for you will depend on your requirements.
Generally, handheld steamers are less powerful than upright designs, but if you need a garment steamer for travel, then you may choose a handheld version from a respected brand like Philips.
Do steamers really work on clothes?
If you need to get the creases out of delicate fabrics or spruce up your workwear shirts while travelling, then steamers can be a very good solution. They don’t touch the clothing like an iron does – but that doesn’t diminish their efficacy.
Steamers can be used for all types of garments, from suits to wedding dresses – without damaging them.
Is it better to iron or steam clothes?
If you’ve got time and a lot of laundry to get through, then ironing is probably a better option when it comes to getting clothes completely crisp and wrinkle-free.
Steamers typically take up less room and are easier to use too, so they’re good for giving a garment a quick refresh.
For travel purposes, a steamer can be indispensable.
How to clean clothes steamer tanks
Many people clean their clothes steamers by filling the reservoir with a white vinegar and water solution, then allowing it to steam until it's entirely gone.
They then proceed to do the same with plain water to allow it to be rinsed.
However, not all steamers are the same so you can also follow the instructions given in their manual – usually by rinsing out the water tank and ensuring it's filled with clean water.
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