Hand Held Garment Steamer
December 3, 2014 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Is it a bad sign when your question has only been asked twice, four years ago? Hand held steamers seem to get mixed reviews. Do you know of something affordable that meets my needs?

What I need:

-Range of fabrics: knits, cottons, poly-blends (yeah, I know). It's mostly dress pants, light blazers and dress shirts. If it can handle heavier or more delicate items, that's a plus, but not absolutely necessary.

-Hand-held, light weight. I have some minor hand pain from a lifetime of improper posture while typing, so a design that's well-balanced is a plus.

-Small would be nice, as I'd like to use it while traveling (within the U.S.). I don't mind finding room for something larger if the increased capacity equals increased usability time before refilling.

-Absolutely no water spillage or sputtering. It doesn't need to be completely water tight, as I won't be using it horizontally. Burning me at the slightest tilt or spitting water on my clothes is completely unacceptable.

-Budget is about $100. I'm willing to pay more for good quality that will last, but a $200 product is over-stretching.

Does this steamer exist? I understand that it's definitely not ironing, and I don't expect to make heavily wrinkled items perfectly smooth on the first go.
posted by MuChao to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I do not have any personal experience, but there are a number of critiques and recommendations in the comments on this recent blog post. It has a wide readership, so I think it might be helpful.
posted by purple_bird at 3:33 PM on December 3, 2014

Ugh, just looked further and the comments aren't that helpful except for one recommendation, sorry.
posted by purple_bird at 3:35 PM on December 3, 2014

Not in your price range, but I noticed this unit yesterday when I was in Bloomingdale's Home Store.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:16 PM on December 3, 2014

We have yet to find one that will never sputter water on clothes or will last more than about a year. It just seems to come with the territory. Avoiding overfilling does reduce the water on clothes problem to an occasional annoyance, though. Sorry I can't be more specific, as we are between steamers at the moment and I don't recall the brands we have used.
posted by wierdo at 5:18 PM on December 3, 2014

A blogger I trust recommends the Conair Compact Fabric Steamer. I don't have that kind of space lying around, but if you have room for a full upright, there's one to try.
posted by serelliya at 5:30 PM on December 3, 2014

Best answer: I have the Jiffy Esteam travel steamer that won this Slate roundup several years ago. I think it meets all of your criteria, but to be fair I haven't used it much. I think I bought it to freshen sweaters but I really don't find myself using it much. I go after deep wrinkles with an iron and
posted by ndg at 7:46 AM on December 4, 2014

Response by poster: I just got the Jiffy E steam in the mail. As well as being Slate's #1, it also had the best reviews on the shopping sites where I found it.

While it doesn't have an on/off switch, it meets most of my other requirements. After a couple of extremely wrinkled t-shirts and one somewhat wrinkled light blazer, the water is still half-full and the garments look a whole lot better. This is of course only my first time using a steamer, but I'm pretty happy with it so far.
posted by MuChao at 10:08 AM on December 9, 2014

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