A portable steamer can be an easy alternative to ironing for anyone who wants their clothes to look clean, crisp, and wrinkle-free at all times.
In fact, handheld steamers always beat irons in terms of convenience because they are lightweight, easy to use, and require little storage space.
A quality mini steamer for garments can also double up as a household cleaning appliance. With its hot jet of steam, you can sanitize mattresses, eliminate dust mites and refresh blankets, pillows, and comforters, and even straighten out drapes.
Table of Contents
- What to Look for in a Portable Steamer
- Best Portable Steamers
- End Note
If you are in the market for the best small steamer, use our buying guide and list of the top-rated steamers to find the one that is right for you.
What to Look for in a Portable Steamer
Portable steamers come in all shapes and sizes. Since they tend to be relatively more expensive than regular irons, it’s essential to know what you are paying for. Following are the design aspects and other features that you must carefully look into before buying any small steamer.
Portable steamers can be broadly classified into three main types: standing, handheld, and travel steamers. Here is a brief overview of the pros and cons of each:
- Standing garment steamer – This is a somewhat old-school type of small steamer that is, nonetheless, still very popular today. A standing steamer has limited portability and takes up more space than the other two versions. However, it is usually more high-powered and gives a starched, crisp look that is closer to what is typically achieved by professional ironing only.
- Handheld garment steamer – Unlike traditional steamers that house the water basin in a floor standing unit, handheld steamers have all the components assembled into one small appliance. They are easier to use than their standing alternatives. However, they have a smaller tank so they need to be refilled more frequently.
- Travel garment steamer – This type of portable steamer is the smallest steamer of all. Travel steamers function in almost the same way as handheld steamers. However, they have a much more compact body and are particularly designed with weight considerations in mind.
A truly mini steamer will deliver a faster performance than the comparatively bigger sized models. This is because the larger the water reservoir, the longer it will take to get the temperature up. But then again, a larger water tank means more clothes can be steamed without requiring in-between refills.
A steamer with a short cord won’t be of much use to you. Similarly, a small steamer with a cord that is too long can get in the way and cause accidents. What you need is a medium-length cord that’s long enough to reach the power socket yet short enough to keep your hand from being entangled in it while steaming.
Maintenance and Ease of Use
A portable steamer should be easy to clean and even easier to use. It’s better to look for models that have a detachable tank because it makes cleaning and refilling simple and straightforward.
When it comes to water tank capacity, smart buyers consider the steam delivery alongside. Ideally, the reservoir should hold enough water to provide an average of 8 to 10 minutes of quality steaming. This duration is sufficient to get you through a complete outfit.
Size and Weight
If you want a travel-friendly iron alternative, stick with the smallest steamer. If you won’t be traveling with it all that much, you can look into other models without giving small size and lightweight the top priority. In either case, you must ensure that the steamer or the handheld piece (for standing units) is not too heavy. Generally, it should be no more than 2 lbs.
Volts and Wattage
Unless you are sure you won’t be using it anywhere but at your home, it’s best to look for dual-voltage steamers. These can operate on both 110-120 volts (in the US) and 220-240 volts (in Europe and Asia). As for wattage or the power output, look for products rated at about 800 watts or above. A steamer with less than 750 watts of power might not remove hard creases.
Accessories/ Extra Features
Simple but unique features, such as automatic shut-off, steam boards, or built-in hangers, can make a small steamer so much more functional. If you are interested in a standing steamer, make sure to look for wheels. The smallest steamer that has a water purification system is still worth considering as it can prevent damage to delicate fabrics and reduce water stains.
Best Portable Steamers
Now that you know what features define a useful portable steamer, let’s look at some of the best options available in the market.
1) J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer
The J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer is a standing mini steamer that’s built for heavy-duty use. It’s robust and durable and lets you iron steam almost your entire wardrobe at once.
With a large reservoir holding almost a gallon of water, this wrinkle-killing machine can operate for 90 minutes straight!
Its 5.5 ft hose allows you to move around and even reach high-hanging curtains without difficulty. The no-drip check valve system means you can steam at any angle without the risk of hot water spilling out.
Our rating: 4.7 / 5
2) Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Handheld Fabric Steamer
The Conair Turbo Extreme Steam is perhaps the hottest selling small steamer on the internet right now. And for all the right reasons too.
This powerful handheld steamer is geared to handle the toughest wrinkles even on the most delicate fabrics like a pro. It’s built with advanced technology that heats up the plates in just 40 seconds and creates 50% more concentrated steam. You get up to 20 minutes to steam your whole outfit with five different settings. What’s more, it evens kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
It has two steam slots for smooth and efficient delivery and a three-in-one attachment to hold fabrics taut, lift fibers, and protect delicates.
Dimensions: 5.6 x 8 x 13.6 inches
Our rating: 4.5 / 5
3) iSteam 7-in-1 Portable Steamer
The iSteam 7-in-1 Portable Steamer offers the most bang for your buck.
Featuring a high-tech heating panel, this mini steamer is perfect for cleaning, sanitizing, sterilizing, refreshing, treating, and defrosting clothes on the go. It’s even approved by the TSA to store in a carry-on.
It is suitable for use on a wide variety of fabrics, including shirts, jackets, pants, trousers, coats, gowns, and even wedding dresses.
Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 3.3 inches
Our rating: 4.4 / 5
4) Black + Decker Advanced Handheld Steamer
The Black + Decker Advanced Steamer is a more than an average garment steamer. It is equipped with special features for putting it to good use around the house. That is, this portable steamer comes with a whole set of extra attachments for cleaning upholstery, removing lint, and deodorizing bedding, drapes, blankets, and whatnot.
It has dual settings to produce continuous or a burst of steam, depending on your needs. With its extra long cord, you will have no trouble navigating around suitcases, desks or anything else to steam your clothes while on vacation.
Dimensions: 5.75 x 4.75 x 11 inches
Our rating: 4.3 / 5
5) PurSteam Heavy Duty Garment Steamer
The PurSteam Heavy Duty Garment Steamer is a sleek and stylish mini steamer that makes crease removal a breeze.
Made with cast aluminum, it is extremely durable. It is also ready to use in under a minute and given its large tank capacity, 61 oz. to be precise, provides up to an hour of continuous operation before requiring a refill.
This is an incredibly high-powered steamer as it reaches up to 248-degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, it can release wrinkles from the heaviest fabrics even faster than ironing.
Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.5 x 12 inches
Our rating: 4.3 / 5
6) BIZOND Handheld Steamer
The BIZOND Handheld Steamer is the smallest steamer that you can get your hands on. However, despite being incredibly compact, it’s packed with all the essential features you might need.
Its ergonomic design allows you to use it from any angle without the risk of spilling hot water. In addition to steaming out wrinkles of your outfits, it is suitable for sterilizing, deodorizing and killing bed bugs and dust mites from household garments as well.
Its nano polymer filter prevents water stains and eliminates the risk of calcification, which can affect device operation.
Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.1 x 4 inches
Our rating: 4.2 / 5
Be it your home, hotel, or even a long car ride for that matter, portable steamers give you the ability to step out of the door looking pristine with completely crease-free clothes. To buy a portable steamer that is best suited to your needs, remember to weigh out its features before purchase. The smallest steamer will be easiest to pack and carry. But it may lack the power to take on heavy wrinkles. Likewise, a high-power steamer may take on difficult creases but might fall behind on portability. The top-rated steamers that we reviewed above include something for every buyer. We hope you found what you had been looking for!
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