woman in white wedding dress

What is the best steamer for a wedding dress?

If you are getting married, you have plenty of things to take care of. Getting rid of wrinkles in your dress is not likely to be a high priority. But if you order a wedding dress online or will travel for your ceremony, it is going to be a problem you will need to solve. Ordering an inexpensive fabric steamer for a wedding dress, or any of the wedding party dresses is a great alternative to spending more to have it done for you.

You will have a few options. One of them is hiring someone to professionally press your wedding gown, which will normally cost around $100. If you want to save some money, you can do it yourself and still get a professionally pressed look by buying a garment steaming.

Depending on the model you choose, you can do this for $25- $50 and have it for your bridesmaid’s dresses and even other garments after the big day. The great thing about a fabric steamer for a wedding dress is they are very gentle on fabric, even silk. They work around the beading, something an iron could not do.​

Crisp, unwrinkled clothes simply improve your look, whether you’re trying to attract someone or score a job, but getting perfectly pressed clothes takes time and effort. By most standards of thinking, your options for fresh-pressed clothes are to A) send your clothes out and have a laundromat or dry cleaner make them wrinkle-free, which can weigh down on your wallet quickly, or to B) bring out the ironing board and iron your clothes each day, which requires time as well as some level of skill. Luckily there’s a third, often-overlooked option: steaming.

Steaming clothes is a less complicated process than ironing that achieves equally wrinkle-free results. It’s the go-to choice in various professional industries such as fashion and broadcast where items may need to be packed up and moved often.

There are various types of garment steamers, but they all generally function the same way. Water is placed in a base or reservoir, heated to produce steam, and that steam is released through a wide nozzle which you hover over whatever it is you’re looking to de-wrinkle. Usually, pressure or direct contact with the wrinkled fabrics is not required as the high heat of the steam is what removes the wrinkles.

Steaming saves time, reduces wear and tear, is safe for nearly any fabric, sanitizes your clothes, helps you avoid chemicals, and best of all, steaming your clothes saves you money. That’s why we’ve picked out the best clothes steamers you can buy.

We evaluated each of the following models by looking at the steam production, heat-up time, wrinkle removal efficacy, and durability. We referenced online recommendations from industry leaders, and sites that specialize in the cleaning of household industries, as well as personal experience. Read on to find out which clothes steamer is best for your needs and budget.

BEAUTURAL Portable Handheld 1200-Watt Steamer for Clothes

According to over 2,000 five-star reviewers, this handheld steamer might be small, but it’s certainly mighty. One reviewer, who is a “TV wardrobe stylist,” considers herself an expert on steamers. “I do A LOT of steaming,” she explains. And for her, this one is “hands down, the best steamer” she’s ever used. “It doesn’t spit water out, warms up very quickly, and will steam multiple garments before it needs a refill.” She even appreciates that because it is a handheld steamer, she can easily carry and travel with it. Another customer “recommends this product to anyone who is looking for a decent handheld streamer” because she “can steam three pairs of jeans and two long skirts without running out of water.” And a third customer ponders, “How did I ever live without this thing? It is amazing.” For a handheld steamer, she says this one has a lot of power, specifically noting, “The 1,200 watts is more power than most of these other handhelds.” She “recently pressed a heavy denim shirt using this” and is so impressed that this did the job better than bigger models she’s owned in the past.

Conair Travel Smart Garment Steamer

If you’ve ever tried to use a hotel’s iron and been disgusted by the rust, calcium buildup, and other gunk that you’ll inevitably find, you’ll understand the importance of a good travel steamer.

While handheld steamers can often be used as travel steamers as well, the Conair Travel Smart Garment Steamer is designed specifically with travel in mind. It’s portable and lightweight, weighing just over a pound. And at 4.5 by 4.5 by 9.5 inches, it’s one of the smallest we could find on the market.

If you’re having trouble visualizing how big that actually is, it’s a bit bigger than your average thermos, so you won’t have much trouble packing it in your suitcase or backpack. The handle folds out for use, keeping it nice and compact when you need to store it away.

The reservoir holds enough water for about 10 minutes of continuous steam, so if you’re planning on doing an entire trip’s worth of clothes in one sitting, you may find yourself refilling the steamer a time or two. But it’s great for quick touch-ups to ensure your shirt sleeves are looking crisp before your meeting.

Another great travel-specific feature of the Conair Travel Steamer is its dual-voltage power, making it safe to take on international trips. You won’t need a power converter — just a plug head adaptor — and you won’t have to worry about European outlets frying the device.

If something does malfunction, however, Conair offers a limited one-year warranty, so even though this steamer is reasonably affordable, you’ll have a bit of extra peace of mind that you’re not throwing your money away if something goes wrong. 

The Spruce also recommends the Conair Travel Steamer and particularly appreciate the detachable bristles and lint brush that enhance the versatility of the tool.

J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer

If you plan on steaming more than an item or two at once, you’ll want a more heavy-duty steamer, and that’s where this J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer comes into play. The standing steamer features a plastic removable 3/4 gallon water reservoir with a no-drip check valve system that fits securely into the base of the steamer and gives you 1.5 hours of steaming per fill. 

The steamer is designed to withstand a good amount of use so that it can be used at home or for light commercial use. It has a high-impact polymer outer housing that provides an extra layer of durability along with wheels that swivel for mobility.

The steamer has a quick two-minute heat up time, which is rather quick considering the amount of water it holds. It has a 5.5-foot hose with a 6-inch steam head so that it can cover a good amount of fabric at once. It comes complete with colour-coded high-temperature wiring and a fusible link with an automatic shut-off feature for safety. It can be used on clothing, bedding, and table linens. It can even remove wallpaper.

The J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer is listed as a top pick by Consumer Search, and Parents Need.

Rowenta X-Cel Handheld Steamer

Rowenta’s X-Cel Handheld Steamer is a small, handheld steamer that’s just the right size for anyone who needs to quickly steam some wrinkles out of tomorrow’s suit, dress shirt, and ties. It’s not a huge steamer, but it gets small jobs done quickly with little fuss.

The steamer emits 1500 Watts worth of steam for 10 minutes straight and heats up in about 40 to 45 seconds. The stainless steel head has several holes for even steam distribution, and it comes with a fabric brush, lint pad, and steam bonnet attachments so you can steam any fabric without destroying it.

Because it’s not overly large, Rowenta’s steamer is easy to hold and fairly lightweight. I use it to steam my clothes on a regular basis and find it very easy to use. The water tank may be small, but I’ve never had trouble refilling it, and I rarely use it for 10 minutes straight, so I’ve never exhausted the water supply mid-steam.

If you don’t steam too many clothes or fabrics all at once and you want a small steamer that you can pack away at a moment’s notice, this is it. — Malarie Gokey

The PurSteam Elite Garment Steamer 

Produces perfect steam for 60 minutes to remove wrinkles from all your clothes.

The PurSteam Elite Garment Steamer accomplishes two vital tasks with perfection: It removes wrinkles and makes steaming easier. Plus it comes with a money-back guarantee and five-year warranty, so you know it’s made to last. While it’s not a professional unit, it can handle a family’s worth of clothes with the 61-ounce tank that heats up in just under a minute and provides 60 minutes of stable steam.

The design is part of what makes this steamer so appealing. It has a handy, adjustable hanger that is expandable from 15 to 19 inches. That means no more holding up your clothes or searching for a hook just to steam. It also has clips to help hold other fabrics, such as small children’s clothing, pillowcases, and more in place. The hanger is collapsible, and the top hanger part can be replaced with a brush hook which makes for easy storage.

It comes with a convenient handheld steam board to de-wrinkle collars, pockets, and sleeves, that also doubles as a crease attachment to provide a more polished, or what one might call dry-cleaned look that gives structure to collars, sleeves, plackets, hems, and other clothing areas where a completely steamed, the flat finish would just appear odd. 

It can handle delicate to heavy materials, as it provides steam up to 248 degrees Fahrenheit that penetrates deep and relaxes fibres. The high temperature means it works faster than ironing and allows it to freshen clothes, killing up to 99.9% of germs. Finally, the cost is actually reasonable, especially compared to other standing steam steamers.

The PurSteam Steamer is featured in Parents Need, where the author notes it can even disinfect your carpet. It’s listed in Smart Home Guide and Best Advisor, too.

The critical reviews mostly centre around the product not having a consistent flow stream, which may be caused by calcium or mineral buildup due to using tap water instead of distilled water in the unit.

URPOWER Garment Steamer

The URPOWER Garment Steamer makes steaming anywhere a quick and easy process. The 1.2-pound device heats up and provides steam in only two minutes, yet with a 130-millilitre tank, it provides constant steam for 7 to 10 minutes. This upgraded model has a new nozzle design that distributes steam more powerfully and consistently, making it easier to remove stubborn wrinkles.

Even if you’re new to steaming, you won’t have much trouble learning how to use this steamer. It conveniently features an automatic shut-off function if the unit gets too hot or the water level is too low, which protects your clothing as well as the longevity of the unit, which already comes with a two-year warranty.

Because it measures 3.7-by-8.8-by-6.2 inches, it’s smaller than an iPad, so you could carry it around without much of a hassle in case your steaming needs take you out of your house. It comes with a handy travel pouch, too.

The steamer has a 4 out of 5-star rating in the Parents Need, is listed in BestSeekers, and is ranked number one in an AOL article.

Things You Never Knew About Steamers

Give it 30 Seconds Before Starting

Propress steamers have a unique aluminium nozzle that’s designed not to spit or dribble. When you first turn your steamer on, you may see droplets of water forming because the nozzle is cold. Give it 30 seconds, and the nozzle will have reached the optimum steaming temperature. Lift the nozzle by the handle and flick it towards the ground – pointing it away from you or anyone else – and this will dispel any droplets or condensation before you start steaming fabrics.

Keep the Nozzle Horizontal

The inside of the nozzle is shaped a bit like a funnel. Whilst you’re using it, condensation will naturally form, but the shape means that it will run back down the hose into the machine if you are holding the nozzle horizontal when steaming. If you turn it onto its side, you run the risk of condensation building up in the hose and water droplets escaping from the bottom steam hole.

It’s Easy to Keep Your Steamer Looking Brand New

Propress steamer nozzles are made from aluminium, which is the secret to how they work so well. If you drop the nozzle, it won’t break, but as aluminium is quite soft, it might get scratched or end up with an unsightly rough patch. This is easily remedied though – you can use an emery board or nail file to buff the area and then just wipe over it with a cloth. Good as new!

Save Your Back and Avoid Crouching

Crouching while steaming is going to result in sore legs and an aching back. Avoid this by hanging a plastic chain from a hook on your ceiling. Hang the dress you’re steaming on the chain, with the hanger in line with your shoulders. Steam the top of the dress then simply shift the hanger up the chain as you go to reach the bottom without having to crouch down.

Add Tension

Use one hand to control the fabric and add a bit of tension when steaming – this can help to smooth out stubborn creases. Avoid running over the same area repeatedly as this will just make the fabric damp and more prone to creasing.

Hack Steaming a Full Ball Gown

When steaming a layered ball gown, steam the underskirt from the inside first to accentuate the fullness, then drop the top skirt in place and steam in the usual way. You’ll be amazed at the effect. Gathers and ruching should be steamed from the inside or underneath as it avoids putting in unwanted creases.

Don’t Over-Steam the Details

Avoid applying too much steam to beadwork and sequins. It’s best to steam embellished areas from underneath. In the unlikely event that you get a drop of moisture on a dress whilst steaming, reverse the nozzle and use the back to dry it.

It’s Unlikely You’ll Damage Fabrics

Propress steamers are safe to use on nearly every fabric, whether it’s a human-made or a natural fibre. Unlike a steam iron, a steamer operates at a much lower temperature so it won’t scorch or burn the fabric. If you are concerned with a particular dress, check with the manufacturer or supplier before steaming, or test a small, inconspicuous area of fabric first.

Steamers Have Many Uses

You can use your steamer to shape hats, make silk flowers blossom, remove bruises from satin shoes and eradicate wrinkles from chair covers and marquee linings, as well as for steaming dresses. Some people also use their steamer to kill weeds, refresh their laundry or even to strip wallpaper!

This feature was taken from Bridal Buyer magazine – read the full version by browsing our digital edition here.

How to pick a clothes steamer?

Standing garment steamers are the most traditional type and keep water in some type of base on the floor, while a long tube with a nozzle at the end shoots out steam. Handheld garment steamers typically look like an oversized tea brewer with a wide end rather than a spout and come with a cord. With handheld steamers, the water basin is generally smaller but attached to the nozzle portion of the product, and there is no long tube, so they’re easier to maneuver and move around. Travel garment steamers come in a variety of shapes and designs, but most function the same way as a handheld garment steamer, just with a more compact body.

When shopping for a garment steamer, you want to consider a few factors:

Performance: The best steamers heat up quickly, although a larger water reservoir can take longer to heat. Of course, the larger the water reservoir, the more steam time you’ll get in-between refills. Standing garment steamers almost always provide the largest water reservoirs, and thus longest continuous steam time, and travel ones provide the least. Beyond water capacity, the best steamers will not spit water at you or your clothes, but rather produce uniform steam.

Ease of Use: If you’re just steaming clothes that can easily hang on a clothes hanger, you may not need a long tube or power cord for your steamer. Other fabrics like drapes that may be harder to reach are easier to steam when you have a long tube and cord that can reach far. Some steamers have attachments to make it easier to steam hard-to-reach fabrics or awkwardly shaped clothing.

Easy to clean: Removable tanks are preferred as they are easier to fill and clean. If the garment cleaner base you go with that isn’t removable, make sure the product comes with clear cleaning instructions, as improper cleaning can all too easily damage the steamer.

Accessories: Some steamers have unique features or come with add-ons that make steaming easier, such as an automatic shut off feature, wheels, built-in hangers, steam boards, and more.

Price: Garment steamers vary in price from around $30 to upwards of $200 and are usually more expensive than irons. The price depends on features, brand, and more often than not, the amount of water the steamer can hold and the steam time it can provide. By this logic, travel steamers will be the lowest priced option, followed by handheld and then standing garment steamers.

If you are interested in buying a clothes steamer, you’ll need to learn how to use it correctly. All brands get good and bad reviews, but many of the poor reviews come from people who simply did not read the instructions. If you don’t learn to use one, your dress and other garments will get wet, you may get burned, and overall you’ll see poor results.​

If you are planning to travel to your wedding, you will need to purchase a handheld travel steamer. These are smaller and will need to be refilled more often, but maybe less of a risk than using an unknown sewist to get the job done right. If you travel Internationally, you need a Dual Voltage Clothes Steamer or a converter (This will be the case with all electrical products you use in a foreign country).​

If you are not travelling for your ceremony, we’d recommend purchasing something with more power, which will get the job done faster. Look for the highest-rated steamers to get the best results.​

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