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Best clothes steamer 2024: Banish creases with our expert picks

A trio of clothes steamers on a blue backdrop

De-crease without an iron, using our pick of the best clothes steamers to smooth your shirts and freshen your furnishings

Wish you could wave a magic de-creasing wand over the entire contents of your wardrobe? The best clothes steamers grant that wish by smoothing out fabric using jets of steam. There’s no risk of burning, no grappling with an ironing board, and no “Did I leave the iron on?” after you’ve left the house.

Handheld clothes steamers are convenient and portable, so you can even use them when you’re travelling. You can also buy upright garment steamers that you hang your clothes on to steam them all at once, like giant contactless versions of the best steam irons. Some of the best upright steamers even have irons and ironing boards built in.

With so many sizes and types of clothes steamers available, it can be tricky to know which one is right for you. So we’re here to help. We’ve analysed the specifications, prices, pros and cons of more than 50 handheld and upright clothes steamers currently available, and then narrowed the field down to the best seven you can buy.

Read on for our bite-size reviews of the best garment steamers, plus a buying guide that’ll help you choose the ideal steamer for your clothes.

Best clothes steamer: At a glance

Best all-round clothes steamerPhilips Steam & Go Plus (~£75)Check price at John Lewis
Best-value clothes steamerSwan Handheld Garment Steamer (~£21)Check price at Amazon
Best handheld steamer for travelTefal Pure Pop (~£50)Check price at Amazon
Best-value upright clothes steamerFridja f1000 Professional Vertical Steamer (~£90)Check price at Amazon

The best clothes steamers you can buy in 2024

1. Philips Steam & Go Plus: Best all-round clothes steamer

Price when reviewed: £75 | Check price at John Lewis

Great for… straightening out clothes that are awkward to iron
Not so great for… freshening up curtains and bedsheets

Philips’ handheld steamer is at the more pricey end of the clothes steamers we looked at for this roundup, but we think it’s worth the price. When it comes to sheer performance and efficiency, this corded steamer is the best we found.

The Steam & Go Plus has powerful steam jets that get the job done quickly and efficiently, without dripping or leaving your clothes damp. Unlike many handheld clothes steamers, this nifty device works when held in a horizontal position as well as vertically, so you can use it to de-crease awkward spots or delicate fabrics when ironing – and smooth out your bed sheets after you’ve put them on.

This steamer also excels at removing odour and bacteria from clothes, so it’s brilliant for freshening up a suit or dress you’ve worn once and don’t want to dry-clean. There’s also a brush attachment that’s great for getting steam into thick fabrics, and can even help to remove some pet hair. The main downside is its small 70ml water tank, which can only steam one garment at a time.

Key specs – Type: Handheld; Weight: 950g; Tank capacity: 70ml; Heat-up time: 45secs; Continuous steam: Yes

2. Swan Handheld Garment Steamer: Best-value clothes steamer

Price when reviewed: £24 | Check price at Amazon

Great for… cleaning your house as well as your clothes
Not so great for… travelling, thanks to its power cable and heavy weight

Swan’s device is the cheapest handheld steamer in our test. At £30 when not discounted, it has an average price of £23 thanks to Amazon’s almost constant sales.

Value for money isn’t the only factor that impresses us, though. Swan’s steamer is a delight to use. The swivelling cable and curvy ergonomic design make it easy to reach every crease in your wardrobe without having to get all the clothes out. It works vertically or horizontally, so you can use its flat plate like an iron or hold it upright to de-crease and freshen clothes with the steam. There’s also a fabric brush attachment, which pet owners will find useful for de-furring coats and curtains.

The device works very well as a steam cleaner for windows, splashbacks and tiles, too. The water tank is on the small side (250ml, enough for a couple of shirts), but you can detach it for easy refilling. A great price for a versatile steamer.

Key specs – Type: Handheld; Dimensions: 13.5 x 9.5 x 27cm (WDH); Tank capacity: 250ml; Heat-up time: 3mins; Continuous steam: Yes

3. Breville Elite Temp Clothes Steamer: Best handheld clothes steamer for linen and tough creases

Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at Amazon

Image of the Breville Elite Temp Clothes Steamer

Great for… smoothing your summer linen outfits
Not so great for… a wardrobe consisting entirely of delicate T-shirts

This powerful 1500W handheld steamer from Breville struck us as the most elegant device in our rundown, but there’s more to it than good looks. It heats up in just 35 seconds and can deliver steam hot enough to tackle even those fabrics that laugh in the face of an ironing board, such as crinkly linen. And just so you don’t obliterate your more delicate threads, the steamer has two other less powerful steam settings to choose from.

Another factor that impressed us about this steamer is its durable ceramic soleplate, which you can use as an iron. It’s built to withstand repeated use on buttons, zips and other features that may scratch less robust surfaces.

Key specs – Type: Handheld; Dimensions: 167 x 250 x 334mm (WDH); Tank capacity: 240ml; Heat-up time: 35secs; Continuous steam: Yes

4. Tefal Pure Pop: Best handheld clothes steamer for travel

Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Amazon

Image of the Tefal Pure Pop clothes steamer

Great for… taking up very little space in your suitcase
Not so great for… tackling a big pile of clothes

The dinky Tefal Pure Pop is built to fit in your suitcase and quickly de-crease your clothes while you’re on holiday – it even has its own travel pouch. The device packs a punch for its size, heating up in just 15 seconds and pumping out 20g of steam a minute. We love the clever reversible pad with two sides: a velvet side to avoid burns when you’re steaming delicate fabrics and a lint removal side that efficiently sweeps off any pet hair that made the journey with you.

The Pop’s slim design does mean sacrifices have had to be made with the size of the water tank, which at 70ml is by far the smallest in our roundup and has to be refilled frequently. That aside, we loved this little steamer, especially the sunshine yellow version that makes it easy to find in even the most packed suitcase.

Key specs – Type Handheld; Weight 1kg; Dimensions ‎141 x 570 x 318 mm; Tank capacity 70ml; Heat-up time 15 secs; Continuous steam Yes

5. Fridja f1000 Professional Vertical Steamer: Best-value upright clothes steamer

Price when reviewed: £90 | Check price at Amazon

Great for… freshening and de-creasing clothes you want to wear again tomorrow
Not so great for… smoothing heavy fabrics such as jeans

If you have a wardrobe full of shirts, dresses and jackets but hate getting the ironing board out, then this vertical steamer could make your life much easier. It heats cold water to steam level in just 35 seconds but will allow you to continuously steam clothes on the hanger for over an hour. It also comes with various extras including a heat-protecting glove, trouser attachment and upholstery brush.

We’re less impressed by the maximum 1500W power of this steamer, though, which is no more than some of the handheld steamers we’ve featured here. If you hate ironing but always want your work shirts to look like they’ve just come back from the dry cleaner, this steamer won’t do that for you. However, it’s ideal for keeping light clothes such as casual shirts and dresses smooth and fresh, and at under £100 it’s a very good buy.

Key specs – Type: Upright; Dimensions: 32 x 25 x 80cm (WDH); Tank capacity: 2.2l; Heat-up time: 35secs; Continuous steam: Yes

6. Tefal IXEO Power QT2020: Best all-in-one clothes steamer, iron and board

Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at Amazon

best clothes steamer Tefal IXEO on a white background

Great for… tackling a large weekly pile of shirts, jackets and school uniforms
Not so great for… quickly de-creasing clothes in the wardrobe

At well over £300 when it’s not discounted, this is not a purchase to be taken lightly. But an endless pile of family laundry isn’t to be taken lightly either, and this amazing all-in-one device from Tefal makes much easier and quicker work of straightening out clothes than a standard iron and board. [remove final sentence]

The whole unit takes up only a little more space than a standard board and iron, but the iron itself is much lighter, so it’s really easy to manoeuvre. Its steam function is more powerful than on a standard steam iron, so you hardly feel you’re ironing at all, even when tackling stubborn creases. It sanitises your clothes, bedsheets and furnishings as well as smoothing your clothes, with the maker claiming the 200g/min maximum steam boost kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. It’s relatively simple to assemble and very easy to use, despite its plethora of functions, including an anti-scale system, continuous steam options and vertical pressing.

Key specs – Type: Iron and upright steamer; Weight: 4kg; Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 168cm (WDH); Tank capacity: 1.1l; Heat-up time: 70secs; Continuous steam: Yes

7. Pro Breeze Garment Steamer: Best handheld garment steamer for home furnishings

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Amazon

Great for… spring cleaning curtains and delicate fabrics
Not so great for… getting stubborn creases out of shirts and linens

The Pro Breeze Garment Steamer only works in a vertical position, which immediately puts it at a disadvantage compared with the other handheld steamers we looked at. However, its nozzle design makes it ideal for steaming all kinds of fabric around your house, including curtains, bedding and furnishings.

Its steam jets aren’t quite as powerful as the Philips or Breville handheld steamers, and we think the device looks a bit like a budget kettle (it does double as a travel kettle, to be fair). But the steam is emitted very evenly, making it a great choice for steaming beaded, pleated and sequined clothes, which flat iron-style steamers are less adept at tackling.

Key specs – Type: Handheld; Weight: 780g; Dimensions: 8.5 x 15 x 21cm (WDH); Tank capacity: 200ml; Heat-up time: 50secs; Continuous steam: Yes

Jump to our favourite clothes steamers

How to choose the best clothes steamer for you

What type of clothes steamer is right for me?

Each of the main types of garment steamer has clear pros and cons.

Handheld garment steamers are inevitably smaller, lighter and more portable than upright models. They also tend to be cheaper, although powerful feature-packed hand steamers can cost more than £100. Most hand steamers weigh in at around 1kg before you fill them with water, but remember that a large water tank (1 litre or more) will weigh them down and can make them drip. On the other hand, a large water tank may have multiple benefits – one of our recommendations even doubles as a travel kettle.

Upright garment steamers often have posts on which to hang your clothes, or built-in “ironing” boards for steaming against a flat surface – without the risk of the burning and scorching that you get with an iron. Many upright steamers also have a built-in hanger for skirts and jackets while they de-crease and freshen up. Standalone steamers have bigger water tanks and generally come with advanced functions such as multiple steam levels and auto switch-off. But they do cost more and you can’t stick them in your luggage for weddings, work trips and other journeys where a handheld steamer could come in very handy indeed.

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What other features should I look for in a garment steamer?

A light weight and portability are vital in a handheld steamer, especially if you’re hoping to stick it in your luggage. Most handheld clothes steamers are lighter than irons.

Continuous steam means the unit emits steam for several seconds at once, often up to 15 seconds in a handheld steamer, so you don’t have to keep pressing the button.

Variable steam settings let you take a gentler approach with delicate fabrics and pack more power with hard-to-iron fabrics such as linen and denim, or when steaming upholstery, bedding and curtains.

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