The best steam cleaner for clothes to leave garments crease-free

Give your clothes a refresh at home and on the go with these garment steamers.

best steam cleaner for clothes

by Rosie Floyd |
Updated on

Nobody wants to spend hours at the ironing board, which is why many people favour steam cleaners for clothes. Let's be honest, ironing is always one of those dreaded household jobs. So, a steam cleaner feels like a great solution as it's a simpler and less time-consuming way to get out those annoying creases.

A steam cleaner offers a great alternative to cleaning, ironing and beyond. For example, you can get a tile steam cleaner, which will leave your kitchen walls and flooring fresh. As for clothes, it does the job of smoothing without needing to get out the ironing board. The home gadget is also handy for refreshing clothes while you're travelling, so you'll be able to get a second wear out of your favourite dress or shirt if you're unable to wash them in between.

Best steam cleaner for clothes at a glance:

Best compact steam cleaner for clothes: Philips Handheld Steamer 3000 Series - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best steam cleaner for multiple settings: BREVILLE Elite Diamond Ceramic Clothes Steamer - Buy now on Currys
Best handheld steamer for ergonomic design: Propress MINI Clothes Steamer - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best upright steam cleaner for clothes: Tefal IT8460 Pro Style Care Upright Garment Steamer - Buy now on Argos
Best budget steam cleaner for clothes: Tower Vertical Handheld Clothes Garment Steamer - Buy now on Amazon UK

But how does a steam cleaner work? Well, steam cleaners work by heating water until it becomes steam. You can get window steam cleaners, too, which saves us getting a bucket and mopping out ourselves. Often, you will need to pour water into the tank of your chosen steam cleaner and let it heat to the optimum temperature. Once heated, dry steam will be produced, which will then relax the fibres of the fabric as you move up and down the garment to help remove wrinkles. Simply hang your garment and then gently run the head of the steamer against the fabric.

If you are looking to ditch the iron, there is an option to suit every need and budget - even handheld steam cleaners. To help, we have put together some of our favourites so you can have the best steam cleaner for clothes to leave garments crease-free.

Best steam cleaner for clothes

Best compact steam cleaner for clothes

Philips Handheld Steamer 3000 SeriesPhilips/Amazon

The Philips Handheld Steamer 3000 series is a good option for steaming at home and on the go as it's made in a more compact size and it folds for easy storage so you can pop it in your bag and get out when needed.

As it's made in a smaller size, it also means the water tank is smaller at 120ml so while you may not be able to steam a whole load of items with one refill, you should be able to get one outfit wrinkle-free and ready for its next occasion. The smaller tank also works in favour of the start-up time as it's ready to steam in just 30 seconds.

Just as we are, customers are impressed by how compact and lightweight this steamer is. There are some negative comments about how much water the tank can hold, but if you're buying this steamer with a view of being able to refresh your clothes on holiday or for a wedding, for example, you're on to a winner.

Pros

  • Ready to steam in 30 seconds due to the smaller tank size
  • Light, compact and foldable so you can take it with you wherever it's needed

Cons

  • May run out of water quickly due to having a smaller tank size

Best steam cleaner for multiple settings

BREVILLE Elite Diamond Ceramic Clothes SteamerBreville/Currys
Price: £49.99 (was £99.99)

www.currys.co.uk

Suitable for delicates, cotton, denim, linen and more, with three different modes to choose from in terms of how much continuous steam comes out while using it to de-wrinkle your clothes, the BREVILLE Elite Diamond Ceramic Clothes Steamer makes refreshing clothes easy.

It has a detachable 240ml water tank, which is designed to provide you with 16 minutes of non-stop steaming until you need to refill again so you'll certainly be able to get a couple of shirts or tops smoothed out in that time. If you're steaming items with buttons and zips, you won't have to worry about them catching on the steamer and causing damage as it has a diamond ceramic plate that is designed to be scratch-resistant.

Our reviewer and customers online liked that it has a good-sized water container and that it's capable of getting the creases out of many types of fabric. Some customers felt the tank was hard to remove but our reviewer found it easy.

Pros

  • Designed to be used on many different types of fabrics
  • Good size water tank allowing you to steam for longer before refilling

Cons

  • Refill tank sometimes hard to open

Best handheld steamer for ergonomic design

Propress MINI Clothes SteamerYours/Stephanie Spencer

The ProPress Mini Clothes Steamer offers convenient wrinkle removal in a compact design. Its design, combined with a quick heat-up time, makes it suitable for on-the-go use, ideal for travellers or those with limited storage space.

The steamer's ergonomic handle ensures it fits nicely in your hand and feels quite natural to use, while its safety features, such as automatic shut-off and overheat protection, provide peace of mind during operation.

Our reviewer, Steph, had a positive experience overall while reviewing the ProPress Mini Clothes Steamer. She found it was a lot less hassle than using a regular iron, commenting “I will certainly be getting rid of my iron now that I have this steamer.” The only con she found was the weight of it, as it did make her arm sore after a bit, but she felt that it gave her a good arm workout as a bonus.

Our review by Yours Hub Editor, Stephanie Spencer: "The Propress MINI clothes steamer is a compact, travel-friendly steamer that is easy to store and very user-friendly. It is ideal for families and those pesky school uniforms, as well as for those who don’t have the space to store an iron and ironing board. I’d certainly recommend it to anyone like me who has an ironing phobia as well, using the Propress MINI is much less of a hassle."

Read our full Propress MINI clothes steamer review to find out more.

Pros

  • Ergonomically designed to fit nicely in your hand
  • Safety features such as automatic shut off and overheat protection to provide peace of mind during use

Cons

  • We found that it made our arm feel sore after using for a while

Best upright steam cleaner for clothes

Tefal IT8460 Pro Style Care Upright Garment SteamerTefal/Argos

The best and only upright clothes steam on our list, the Tefal Pro Style Care IT8460 Upright Garment Steamer gives you somewhere to hang your clothes upright while steaming so you can get those wrinkles out with precision without worrying about where you’re going to put them or holding it steady with your other hand.

Compared with the handheld steamers on our list, this Tefal model has an extra large steam head so it covers a large surface area, which ultimately will reduce the amount of time you spend steaming each garment. The brand also claims this steamer sanitises your clothes while steaming, stating that it kills up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria and removes odours with every stroke.

As it’s designed to be upright, we’re not surprised to see customer reviews saying they found it to be heavy and hard to move. One reviewer thought it would be better if it was designed with wheels so you could move it from room to room. However, if you’re planning on using this steamer in the same place each time, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Pros

  • Made with a hanging device so you don't have to think about where you're going to put your clothes while steaming
  • Extra large steam head to cover a larger area while steaming, ultimately reducing the overall steam time

Cons

  • Not very portable and can be quite heavy to move

Best budget steam cleaner for clothes

Tower Vertical Handheld Clothes Garment SteamerTower/Amazon

At under £30, the Tower Vertical Handheld Clothes Garment Steamer is a good option if you’re new to at-home garment steaming and want to try it before committing to a more expensive model.

The 200ml water tank allows for over five minutes of continuous steam so you can concentrate on stubborn lines on one item of clothing or give a quick whizz over a couple of items before it runs out. When it comes to refilling the tank, you just pop it off the main device with a simple push of a button and you can then take it over to the nearest sink to top up the supply.

Reviewers rave about how easy it is to use but reviewers are mixed on the results. Some felt the heat-up time was speed and worked well, whereas others were disappointed with the results. They’ve found this steamer to be a stylish option with its black and rose gold design, something we’re fans of also, making it a practical yet aesthetically pleasing option.

Pros

  • A great budget option at under £30
  • Offers five minutes of continuous steam to refresh stubborn creases on one item or lighter ones on a couple

Cons

  • Reviewers are mixed about the overall performance of the steam, some loved it whereas others were disappointed

Best lightweight steam cleaner for clothes

Beldray Portable Handheld Garment SteamerBeldray/Amazon

The Beldray Portable Handheld Garment Steamer offers a convenient solution for wrinkle-free clothing. Customers praise its lightweight and compact design, making it easy to use and store, plus it has a 1.9-metre power cord for extra manoeuvrability and a detachable water tank to enhance the overall usability.

Designed to heat up in just 45 seconds, the fast heat-up time allows for quick steaming so if you’re in a rush in the mornings and your outfit needs a refresh before heading out for the day, there’s no need to get the iron out as you can have this steamer ready to go in less than a minute.

Customers appreciate that this steamer can be used for steaming curtains and upholstery as well as clothes but found that steam output and performance could be better for thicker fabrics. Overall though, customers generally felt like it did a good job at removing the wrinkles and giving items a refresh without getting the ironing board out.

Pros

  • Customers rate the lightweight and compact design for making it easy to use and store
  • Designed to heat up in 45 seconds so great for those mornings when your outfit needs a refresh and you're in a rush

Cons

  • Some customers felt the performance could be better on thicker fabrics

Best 2-in-1 steam cleaner for clothes

Russell Hobbs Steam Genie 2-in-1 Garment SteamerRussell Hobbs/Amazon

Shaped like an iron but without the bulkiness and size of a typical one, the Russell Hobbs Steam Genie 2-in-1 Garment Steamer offers an elegant and smaller design and is great for smaller households or if you don’t really do that much ironing (and we really don’t blame you for that – it’s nobody’s favourite task). It combines the functionality of a steamer with the features of an iron, bringing you the best of both worlds.

With a 60-second heat-up time, it’s slower to get to temperature compared to others on our list, but it’s literally a few seconds more, so it shouldn’t make too much of a difference in the long run. It’s a common problem to worry about whether you’re ironing or steaming something at the right temperature but because of the one-temperature technology, the Steam Genie is designed to find the right temperature for your garment. It also has different plates you can add for delicates, thicker fabrics and upholstery to ensure you don’t damage those items that need a little more care.

As it has that two-in-one functionality of a steamer and iron combined, our reviewer found it is a little heavier than others but the space they save with the compact design is worth it. Reviewers on Amazon agree that it is slightly heavy, but it does a great job of getting the creases out, with one reviewer stating it is “so quick and easy to use”, and it promptly removes creases in no time.

Pros

  • Offers steamer functionality with iron features to give you convenience and power
  • Safe for use on delicate fabrics, thicker fabrics and upholstery thanks to the one-temperature technology and different plate attachments

Cons

  • Our reviewer and other customers found it to be quite heavier

FAQs

Does steam cleaning clean clothes?

While steaming isn't an alternative to washing clothes in a washing machine. It's a great way to get more wear out of your clothes in between washes. You will need to ensure the steamer is hot enough to kill bacteria to ensure ultimate freshness.

Does steam cleaning clothes remove odours?

Just like steam cleaning an oven, this method does eliminate odours. You might, however, find it difficult to remove smells from particularly sweaty areas, such as armpits. The high heat of the steam kills most germs and odour-causing bacteria, making a garment steamer ideal for freshening up garments in between washes.

What clothes can you steam clean?

A steam cleaner can be used on most fabrics, apart from materials such as leather and suede.

Silks and delicate synthetics that cannot take high or direct heat from an iron. Therefore, we would recommend using a steamer instead. Plus, it is good for linens and cotton too. You can also use a steam cleaner on woollen items, like jumpers; however, we would suggest using a fabric guard to stop heat from being applied directly.

If you are unsure whether you can use a steam cleaner on your clothes, be sure to check the care label on your chosen item for the laundry instructions.

Rosie Floyd is a Homes and Garden Product Writer for Yours, specialising in home appliances, décor and furnishings, as well as pets. After completing her Journalism & Media degree from Coventry University back in 2015, she started her career writing about must-visit holiday destinations, moving on to creating content around outdoor living and garden buildings, before joining the team at Bauer.

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