The Best Steamer for Travel
Is there anything worse than buying some new clothes – maybe a great new top or a flowing dress – for a vacation only to land on the other side and realize that your luggage has wrinkled all your clothing?
Yes, garment bags exist, but everyone who’s used one knows their limitations, especially when they’re being lugged over a long trip.
Hotel irons are another solution, but working with a hotel iron and ironing board inevitably leads to frustration, then loneliness, and then, finally, crippling despair.
Thankfully there are travel steamers, and, over the recent years, technology has done wonders for travel steamers’ efficacy and portability.
If you're looking for the best travel steamers for clothes, we've got you covered!
Best Garment Steamer Brands
Keep reading below for our reviews of each!
Best Travel Steamers 2020
1. Best Overall Travel Steamer
Hilife Handheld Garment Steamer
I'm always a fan of charting your own path, but, sometimes, you just gotta trust the masses.
For example, you and nearly 10,000 people might have wide-ranging opinons on what defines fine art, but you and nearly 10,000 people are not gonna have wide-ranging opinons on whether a travel steamer does a good job.
With nearly 10,000 5-star reviews from Amazon, the Hilife Handheld Garment Steamer is a crowd favorite (and also barely bigger than the latest iPhone), featuring 15 consecutive minutes of steaming time, 700 watts of power, and a retractable cord over 9 feet long!
2. Most Stylish Travel Steamer
Rowenta Travel Steamer
This handheld Rowenta garment steamer is sleek, small and beautiful. If you travel for business, this is hands down my pick for best steamer iron as it comes with dual functionality.
It can serve as a travel iron and as a garment steamer!
The Rowenta handheld steamer has 900 watts of power and fast heating ceramic plates so you can press as you would with a traditional iron. Steam output is automatic, which is the feature I love best so you can still use it as a traditional vertical steamer for delicate fabrics or even curtains.
Some clothing steamers have a high-low steam setting, but the Rowenta travel iron has a variable knob which you can dial to your taste. Other excellent design features include up to 15 minutes of steam time, a cooling stand and hanging hook.
Made for the business woman on the go!
3. Best Lightweight Travel Steamer
BIZOND Mini Clothing Steamer
Two of the most frustrating things about all steamers are the tendency to drip water and damage certain resting surfaces due to extreme heat.
Well, like children with a rock and good aim, the BIZOND Mini Clothing Steamer kills two birds with one stone.
Except in this metaphor, the stone is BIZOND’s electronic pump system, which produces completely dry steam. Do note that the electronic pump system takes longer to heat up and produces steam at a steady-but-lower intensity than other travel garment steamers.
To avoid a wait, just start your steaming routine about 2-3 minutes earlier than you normally would and you should be fine.
With an incredibly compact design that can steam clothes for over 10 consecutive minutes with one water reservoir, the BIZOND is one of the best and cleanest handheld travel steamers on the market!
4. Most Advanced Travel Steamer
PurSteam Fabric Steamer with Travel Pouch
The PurSteam Fabric Steamer may have a plain white design, but don’t be fooled – on the inside this mini travel steamer is a modern technology marvel.
The secret is an aluminum heating ball paired with a patented steam channeling design that can fight even the toughest wrinkles caused by your suitcase or carry-on.
Don’t be worried by the PurSteam’s power, though – it has multiple settings that can effectively steam even the most delicate fabrics, from your sundress to that nice silk blouse.
With a handy travel pouch in tow, the PurSteam is an incredibly effective portable travel steamer.
5. Most Powerful Travel Steamer
URPOWER Portable Handheld Steamer
The URPOWER fabric steamer is perfect for people, like me, who are terrible packers and never have enough space.
Its smart design and obtuse reservoir-to-nozzle angle mean that the URPOWER travel clothing steamer takes up minimal space in your luggage.
The benefit of this handy size comes at the expense of the URPOWER’s operating time – at 2 minutes to reach full heat and 7-10 minutes worth of steaming power, the URPOWER has performance metrics that are solidly average if not overly impressive.
6. Best Value Clothes Steamer
Travel Smart Conair Steamer
The very first time I switched from an iron to a garment steamer was with this hand held Conair turbo extreme steam and I never looked back! Conair recently came out with this smaller, travel-friendly steamer which folds easily for storage and packing.
The Conair fabric steamer comes with worldwide dual voltage so you can take it anywhere, whether it be business travel or leisure. There's a detachable bristle and lint brush as well as an 8 foot cord so you can move around freely.
This small steamer is perfect for travel but only lasts ~10 minutes before needing a water refill.
I've found that this is fine for my vacation style, but if you are headed to a business conference and say, need to steam all your suits and outfits to crisp perfection, you might prefer one of the larger travel steamers below.
7. Fastest Travel Steamer
Magictec Portable Travel Garment Steamer
Even though most travel steamers are impressively small, luggage space is always valuable and precious.
That's why the best travel steamers should earn their place in your suitcase by demonstrating efficiency and functionality.
Take the Magictec Portable Travel Garment Steamer, which has no obvious drawbacks and offers an impressively quick less-than-70 second warm-up time along with steaming, sterilizing, and refreshing treatment options!
Oh, by the way: the Magictec is cheaper than whatever you got for lunch today, so you can pocket those savings and use them on a nice souvenir!
8. Most Durable Travel Steamer
Lemontec Portable Travel Garment Steamer
While the Lemontec Portable Travel Garment Steamer may be, somewhat surprisingly, black rather than yellow, I do think of this as the Goldilocks of travel steamers.
It's not the quickest travel steamer to heat up, but less than 70 seconds is just fine!
It's not the longest travel steamer, but 10 consecutive minutes of steaming works just fine!
And it may not be the cheapest travel steamer, but paying less than 20 bucks for something that will ensure you look great – especially on an expensive vacation – is just fine with me!
9. Most Versatile Clothes Steamer
Black+Decker Handheld Steamer
You should expect durability and high performance from a brand as synonymous with hardware stores as Black+Decker.
Boy, does their Advanced Handheld Garment Steamer exceed even those lofty standards!
The Black+Decker steamer comes with an extra-long (as in 15 feet!) cord, meaning you'll have no problem navigating around suitcases, desks, or anything else to steam your clothes on vacation!
Plus, with extra attachments for treating upholstery and removing lint, the Black + Decker travel steamer can be put to good use at home, too!
Are Steamers Better Than Irons?
While both travel steamers and irons essentially work the same way to remove wrinkles from clothes, I much prefer a garment steamer because, for me, steamers are both easier to use and work faster.
Why do I prefer steamers over irons?
Firstly, you don't need an ironing board, just a clothes hanger (or even a shower rod can work!) to hang your clothing. If you're always traveling on the go, a clothes steamer is way more convenient.
Secondly, you don't have to apply any kind of pressure.
Steam from a clothing steamer is emitted in a cloud or jet that easily forces wrinkles out of the fabric. If you're pressing multiple pieces of an outfit, it's much easier to do so with a steamer than an iron.
Finally, I wear lots of fabrics like silk or polyester – especially for work.
If you wear delicate, lightweight fabrics, a steamer will, importantly, be far less likely to damage your clothing. On the flip side, if you need a sharp crease or wear heavier, thicker clothing, an iron might be right for you!
What to Look for in a Travel Steamer
For me, having something lightweight is the most important factor.
I usually only bring a travel steamer if I have a fancy event or business meeting requiring dresses or a nice blouse. Since it's usually no more than a couple pieces I have to address, I definitely want the lightest travel steamer possible.
Most travel steamers are luckily handheld – the smaller, the better!
Best Garment Steamers for Travel 2020
To summarize, here's a chart summarizing the best garment steamers for travel. These travel steam irons come with impressive steam times, can handle dual voltages and are lightweight & portable.
Which clothes steamer would you pack for traveling?
Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite garment steam iron to add!
Read More in my travel packing checklist series:
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The Best Carry on Luggage for 2021
The Best Packing Cubes for a Perfectly Organized Bag
The Best Lightweight Luggage for Overpackers
The Best Hard Luggage Sets for Stylish Travelers
The Best Underseat Luggage for Minimalists
The Best Carry On Bags for Men - Rugged + Durable!
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The Best Laptop Bags for Men
The Best Travel Wallets for All Your Vacation Essentials
The Best Jewelry Cases Never Untangle a Necklace Again!
The Best Toiletry Bags to Clean Up Quick
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The Best Duffel Bags for Your Next Weekend Trip
The Best Travel Backpacks to Hold Everything You Need
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