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 is inevitably going to lead 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.
Below are our product reviews to help you find the best travel steamers for clothes!
The Best Travel Steamers 2018
1. 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.
2. 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 volume 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. 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. 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. 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. AROVA Mini Travel Garment Steamer
Not unlike the URPOWER, the AROVA Mini Garment Steamer offers an impressively compact frame with solid performance. The AROVA steamer reaches maximum steam temperature in less than 2 minutes and can steam for 8 continuous minutes on its most powerful setting.
Where the AROVA really impresses is its emphasis on convenience: unlike most travel clothing steamers, the steam head is detachable, which offers that much more consolidation while you pack. To top it off, the AROVA also has a nano-filter that prevents your clothes from getting those weird, quasi-burning smells!
7. Joy Mangano My Little Steamer
This Joy Mangano steamer is the tiniest steamer I’ve ever tried – making it perfect for over packers! With 900 watts of power, it’s less powerful than some of its larger competitors but you really can’t beat the size. (Joy Mangano makes this in both a regular and travel size)
The Little Steamer does a great job at removing even deep set wrinkles and can heat up quickly in under 3 minutes. To use it, you twist off the top and fill with water, which is slightly less convenient than the larger steamers that have separate water containers. It comes in 5 fun colors and is definitely the “prettiest” steamer on our list.
I would choose this travel steamer if you don’t really need a steamer, but just want one on hand for emergencies. It’s so tiny and lightweight that you can throw it in your overnight bag and not worry about it! For everyday use, I usually use the larger Joy Mangano steamer as it can iron out 2-3 blouses before running out of water.
8. TaoTronics Clothes Steamer
Very much the Goldilocks of travel clothes steamers, the TaoTronics checks all the boxes necessary for a quality travel steamer. Heating up in less than 90 seconds and providing continuous full-power steaming for over 6 minutes, this handheld travel steamer also carries an ETL certification recognizing its efficient power and overheat protection.
TaoTronics also knows it sometimes takes a little extra to perfect your look, which is why they throw in a heat-resistant glove and fabric brush so you can add that extra touch safely. At just under $18, you’re getting one of the best travel garment steamers at an absolute steal!
Steamer vs Iron
Why do I prefer steamers over irons? While both essentially work the same way to remove wrinkles from clothes, I much prefer a garment steamer because to me, it’s much easier to use and works way faster. You don’t need an ironing board, just a clothes hanger to hang up the fabric so if you’re traveling on the go, a clothes steamer is 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 the wrinkles out of the fabric. I find that if you need to steam your whole wardrobe, it’s much less tiring to do so with a steamer than an iron.
Finally, I wear lots of fabrics like silk or polyester, especially for work. I don’t tend to wear cotton button downs. If you wear delicate, lightweight fabrics, a steamer works better than iron and won’t damage the fabric. On the flip side, if you need a sharp crease or wear heavier, thicker clothing you might prefer an iron.
What to look for in a travel steamer?
For me, I want something lightweight. I usually will only bring a travel steamer iron if I have a fancy event or business meeting that I need to bring dresses or blouses for. Since it’s usually no more than a couple pieces to remove wrinkles from, I want the lightest travel steamer possible. Most travel steamers are handheld and the smaller the better!
Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite garment steam iron to add!
The Best Travel Steamer – Summary Comparison Chart
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?
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