Best travel steamer

Travel Essentials

When it’s time to pack your bags, make sure the travel steamer is completely empty and dry before placing it inside luggage to prevent unnecessary damp messes.

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Which travel steamer is best?

Put your best foot forward in a crisp, wrinkle-free outfit with your own travel steamer. Compact and convenient, travel steamers are essential accessories that smooth, refresh, and sanitize garments. They’re a popular alternative to full-size steamers, which tend to be expensive, bulky, and sometimes less reliable. Travel steamers have quicker heat times, which also makes them a time-saving option for busy individuals.

Look your best at your next meeting or event on the road by reading our buying guide on travel steamers. Our favorite model is the Beautural Portable Home and Travel Fabric Steamer. Its leak-proof design and 30-second preheat time win big points with business travelers.

What to know before you buy a travel steamer

Portability

Travel steamers offer better portability than regular or travel irons. Their compact design makes them easy to fit inside most carry-ons and suitcases, particularly ones that break down into smaller pieces.

Burn-free treatment

Even at low temperatures, irons have direct contact with garments and can burn them. Travel steamers don’t require direct contact for effective use, making them a popular choice to unwrinkle even delicate materials.

Space saver

Travel steamers are a space-saving alternative to irons since they don’t require ironing boards. As they’re designed for travel, they’re compact and easy to store and tend to have a smaller footprint than many irons. It comes as no surprise that professionals keep travel steamers in their offices.

What to look for in a quality travel steamer

Size and weight

Above all, travel steamers should be the appropriate size and weight to fit comfortably inside your luggage. Most models weigh between one and three pounds. If you’re concerned about being charged for additional baggage weight, opt for a lightweight travel steamer.

Heating time

Travel steamers take between 20 seconds and several minutes to heat. Quick-heating models are especially popular for those with tight schedules. If you’re not so worried about time constraints, choosing a travel steamer with a longer heating time may be a less expensive option.

Water reservoir size

Water reservoirs range from three to 10 ounces. Smaller reservoirs are generally compact and lightweight, but you have to refill them to steam more than a couple of garments. Models with larger reservoirs handle several garments effortlessly, though they’re much heavier when filled to capacity.

Ease of use

Travel steamers are straightforward to use, though filling and removing the reservoir or tank can be challenging. Handles should have ergonomic grips for easy handling with ample space for fingers and knuckles. The travel steamer should also have clear button markings and a user-friendly instruction manual.

Safety

Some travel steamers are equipped with safety features, including automatic shut-off. This feature turns the steamer off once the reservoir is empty. Other safety features include leak-proof seams to prevent burns and heat-proof silicone grips for safe handling.

Dual voltage

If you’re traveling overseas, your best choice is a travel steamer with dual voltage. Unfortunately, it’s a relatively rare feature. Even if you come across a dual voltage steamer, you may still need an outlet adapter.

How much you can expect to spend on a travel steamer

If you’re on a budget, some travel steamers cost less than $25, though they take longer to heat. Mid-range steamers are cost-effective options with larger tanks and more reliable operation. Premium steamers are more powerful with the fastest heat times, so they cost $50 and up.

Travel steamer FAQ

How soon can I wear clothing after steaming pieces?

A. Give your garments ample time to cool (at least a couple of minutes) before wearing them. If you put them on while they’re still warm or moist, you can cause wrinkles to dry on your outfit as you wear them.

Why do almost all travel steamers have the same shape/design?

A. For the most part, the design is reliable and convenient, so it continues to be embraced by manufacturers. There are a few styles that deviate from the traditional upright design, though they’re not always reliable and come with a bit of a learning curve.

What are the best travel steamers to buy?

Top travel steamer

Beautural’s Portable Home and Travel Fabric Steamer

Beautural Portable Home and Travel Fabric Steamer

Our take: Ergonomic steamer with plenty of safety features and constant pump steam technology.

What we like: Popular choice for travelers because it heats quickly and has an automatic shutoff.

What we dislike: On the larger side.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top travel steamer for the money

Vivreal’s Home Portable Clothes Steamer

Vivreal Home Portable Clothes Steamer

Our take: Features eight-minute consistent steam powerful enough to sterilize fabric.

What we like: Tank can handle three to six garments at a time. The compact design makes it carry-on friendly.

What we dislike: Be mindful of the high heat of this steamer as well as potential drips.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

PurSteam’s Garment Steamer with Travel Pouch

PurSteam Garment Steamer with Travel Pouch

Our take: Steamer heats in one minute, works with tap water, and has an extra-long power cord.

What we like: Design prevents tipping and spillage. Strong enough to handle curtains and upholstery wrinkles.

What we dislike: Has to almost touch fabric for best results.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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