In today’s hectic world it can prove difficult to keep garments looking pristine. Taking the time to crease and iron clothes use moments that could be devoted to other chores.

Unfortunately, the costs of professional services also continue to rise. That's why handheld garment steamers may provide answers. Included below is a look at this equipment as well as a review of the following six handheld steamers:

Best Handheld Garment Steamer

Handheld Garment Steamers


More Information

Pursteam Steamer

Shark press and refresh

OXA Ultra

Steamfast SF-445

Rowenta DR8080 X-Cel

Beautural 1200W Handheld Garment Steamer

What Is A Handheld Garment Steamer?

A handheld clothing steamer is a device that uses high-temperature steam to remove wrinkles from fabrics or garments. Instead of pressing and pushing fibers flat with an iron, steamers will relax the fibers.

The process of steaming is thought of as a more gentle way to remove wrinkles than traditional ironing. Originally, garment steamers were large models that were used in commercial settings. Today, steamers are available for home and travel.

What Are Some Of The Differences Between Irons And Steamers?

Both irons and steamers are used to remove wrinkles from fabric and garments and make use of steam in that process. The major difference between these devices is in the way that they go about doing it.

An iron uses a heated plate and applied pressure from weight to remove wrinkles, while a steamer applies hot steam while making little or no contact with the item itself. An iron requires a board to work upon while a steamer works on the material as it hangs.

What Are The Materials That Work And Do Not Work With A Steamer?

A handheld garment steamer does not apply scorching heat to remove wrinkles so it can be ideal to use with fabrics that delicate and softer such as jersey, polyester, satin, or even silk. There is little chance that you will be able to burn garments made from these materials compared to when you iron.

A steamer can be a great choice to use on jackets or shirts with screen printing on them. Wrinkles on pleats, ruffles, and sleeves are easier to remove. In the case of pleats, a steamer is beneficial as the item will maintain its original shape after use.

Heavy and thick fabrics such as Pima cotton or twill will not respond as well to a clothing steamer as they would to the direct heat and weight of an iron. It should be also be noted that items that require creases, such as dress pants or shirts, require ironing.

Are There General Guidelines To Follow When Using A Garment Steamer?

You will need to follow the handheld steamer’s directions for operation in order to use it properly. There are a few general guidelines that you can follow through, including testing a small area on the items before steaming the entire thing.

This is even more important when working with colors that tend to run. Consulting the garment tag to make sure it is sealed and can handle the high temperatures is also sound advice. Like ironing, do not stay in one section too long to avoid damage.

How Do You Use A Handheld Garment Steamer?

Using a handheld steamer should be fairly easy. Make sure to consult the operating manual that came with the steamer for any specific steps you need to take. Outside of the steps that are specific, the guidelines that follow should help.

Start by filling the water reservoir of the steamer. You will then turn on the unit and allow it build up steam. Make sure to hang the item you will work on with a hanger or clips. When ready, run the nozzle of the unit in downward strokes before allowing to dry.

When working on more dense of heavily wrinkled items, use a handheld pad or surface behind the fabric as you steam it. You can also steam from inside the garment or from below, using the items weight to help stretch the fibers.

With most materials, you will hold the nozzle an inch or two away from the surface, especially with very delicate items or items with embellishments, pleats, or ruffles.

What Features Should You Look For On A Handheld Steamer?

The most important factor with handheld garment steamers will be weight. A heavier steamer will cause fatigue in your arms, hands, and shoulders sooner than a lighter model will. Conversely, lighter weight often means the steamer is made with cheaper materials.

The size of the water reservoir is also important, as a larger tank will equate to fewer refills and recharges. Steamers with longer cords can make your job easier as they are less restrictive on movements.

The size and shape of the nozzle can be important, as can the inclusion of accessories that will make the task of steaming easier. Unique operating and safety features are worth considering when comparing models.

Finally, the cost and warranties can influence your purchasing decision.

Best Handheld Garment Steamer Reviews

Pursteam Steamer

A lightweight steamer designed for travel and for light workloads.

The Pursteam weighs in at 1.3 pounds when empty, and features an automatic shutoff safety feature. The plug is two-pronged instead of three, which comes with both advantages and disadvantages.

The steamer is durable in the way it is constructed.

Material components include an aluminum heating ball that should offer a quality heating component. The steamer heats up in 90-seconds which is great if you are short on time.

Caution must be used to prevent tilting the steamer at too severe of an angle of risk water spilling out.

The steamer comes with carrying bag, money-back guarantee, and a three-year warranty.


  • This handheld steamer comes with a three-year warranty on the unit
  • The manufacturer offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied
  • The steamer is made from quality components that give it a durable feel


  • The automatic shutoff on this unit can be sensitive which could result in occasional shutoffs
  • The narrow nozzle on this unit may require you to make more passes over items

Shark Press and Refresh Portable Garment Steamer (GS500)

A solid handheld unit that produces steam continuously and quickly.

The Shark Press and Refresh come with an exclusive Heated Wrinkle Eraser feature that aids in removing wrinkles faster. It also comes with a vertical press pad that can act as a board while you steam.

This handheld steamer comes with a 15-foot long cord that allows you more maneuverability when dealing with limited plug-in options.

This unit feels solid in construction design. This hefty construction comes at the price of weight, which may cause you fatigue more quickly than other models would.

This steamer weighs a lot for a handheld unit at 7.25 pounds when empty.


  • The steamer warms up quickly and produces continuous steam for those in a hurry
  • The Exclusive Heated Wrinkle Eraser feature does aid in taking out wrinkles
  • This unit comes with a 15-foot long cord that can help with limited outlet options


  • This unit is heavy for a handheld model
  • This handheld steamer is offered at a high price point

OXA Smart 1000W Ultra-Compact

An ultra-compact design that caters to traveling and quick jobs.

The Shark will heat up within 20-seconds and can run for up to seven minutes before running out of steam. The unit is fairly light at 1.87 pounds when empty.

This steamer comes with a push-button operation that can be valuable in saving steam while powered on.

The Ultra-Compact also comes with an automatic shutoff safety feature that can help you prevent overheating of the unit.

The compact size of the steamer can promote occasional water spitting if care is not used during operation.

The steamer is very compact in size. This size means a smaller water tank though.


  • This steamer operates with a push-button that can allow you to conserve energy and steam
  • The unit is equipped with an automatic shutoff feature to prevent overheating
  • The product is very compact in size which can make it easier to travel with


  • The smaller size of this product can promote water spitting if you are not careful
  • The smaller size of this steamer requires that it be refilled more often

Steamfast SF-445

A more robust handheld unit that can handle larger workloads.

The Steamfast SF-445 weighs 1.6 pounds when empty. The design offers a wider base and the nozzle is removable. The steamer operates with a button to produce steam on demand.

The water reservoir of this unit holds 11.35 ounces of water which can mean fewer refills.

A transparent window allows you to see into the tank which can offer you a visual check-point for water levels.

The narrow nozzle design on this product restricts the flow of steam which will require more work on each item you work on.

This medium priced handheld steamer comes with an eight-foot power cord as well as a non-slip base ring that is made out of silicone.


  • This steamer comes with a decently sized water reservoir that requires fewer refills
  • This product has an eight-foot power cord that can offer more movement
  • The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty on this handheld clothing steamer


  • The larger water reservoir will require at least two minutes to heat up
  • The thin nozzle design may require more passes to remove wrinkles on garments

Rowenta DR8080 X-Cel

A handheld steamer that’s designed for a variety of tasks.

The Rowenta DR8080 X-Cel weighs three pounds when empty, and can hold 6.76 ounces of water that will produce up to 10-minutes of steam before needing a refill.

The product comes with three separate attachments that can offer you a variety of options for specific steaming jobs.

The X-Cel warms up quickly and is ready in 45-seconds. The water reservoir on this product is detachable, which should make refilling easier for you.

The extra large head design may provide less steam pressure than a more constrictive design would.

The power cord is adequate in length, and steam is produced by holding down the continuous steam button.


  • The steamer comes with a steam bonnet that helps to reduce water spitting problems
  • The furbish brush can help you remove stubborn wrinkles on pants and sweaters
  • The extra large head on this product produces a wider jet of steam


  • This unit comes at a higher price point when compared to similar models
  • times-circle
    The steamer weighs three pounds even before you put water into it

Beautural 1200W Handheld Garment Steamer

A handheld steamer that can work in the horizontal position.

The Beautural Handheld weighs two pounds when empty, and comes with a power cord that is 7.8 feet in length. The accessories include two types of brushes and a measuring cup.

This garment steamer can be used both vertically and horizontally which gives you more options as you steam items.

The steamer employs a stainless steel head for steam, and the water reservoir is removable. Safety features include a pivoting power cord that can help to prevent twists and tangles.

The design of the head and size of the tank may cause the product to require refills more frequently.


  • The anti-leakage design allows you to use this steamer in vertical and horizontal positions
  • The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty on this unit
  • This product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied


  • The hole on the water tank is restrictive which can make refilling more difficult
  • times-circle
    The head design can contribute to less steam jet pressure which may take longer


After reviewing the six steamers above, we feel that the Steamfast SF-445 was the best. With a larger water tank that will require fewer refills combined with the unit's lightweight, it produces a winning combination.

The eight-foot-long power cord and non-slip ring at the units base supply moveability as well as safety. The wider base is more stable and the warranty and mid-ranged price seal the deal for us. We hope that one of these steamers will be right for you!

Steamfast SF-445
  • Quality
  • Features
  • Ease of use
  • Price