10 Best Travel Steamers in 2020 Reviewed
If you travel for work, you know the struggle – by the time you unpack your suitcase, all of your formal wear is wrinkled and creased. So what can you do? Ironing your clothes would be great, but you’re not always going to find a hotel room with an ironing board. You can’t always pack a heavy iron with you, especially when you are flying. A portable steamer offers a good solution.
A lot of people don’t realize there is a big difference between a home steamer and one you can take on the go. The best travel steamers are compact, easy to pack in a suitcase or backpack and still powerful enough to smooth out your work clothes in seconds.
If you are looking for a great travel steamer, look no further. We have put together a list of ten of the top travel steamers on the market – all of them are affordable, powerful and above all, portable.
10 Best Travel Steamers in 2020
You can also cruise through our handy buying guide at the bottom of this post, to get an idea of what you need to look out for while you’re shopping for your next travel steamer.
1. iSteam 2019 Handheld Steamer for Clothes
iSteam is one of the best-known producers of garment steamers on the market right now. This travel steamer is a little bit larger than some of the other options on our list, but it is very reliable and super effective for quick wrinkle removal. As the most recent, 2019 model, it has been updated with all of the newest steaming technology.
A tiny micro heating panel heats up and sanitizes the water in the steamer fast – usually in just under a minute. The wide nozzle releases a concentrated flow of steam that can smooth out your clothes without direct pressure.
Users really enjoy this steamer for its speed and effectiveness. The micro heat plate heats water quickly and the wide nozzle allows you to de-wrinkle clothes and garments fast, within a matter of minutes. It is also safe on all fabrics, including natural fiber blends. You can safely use this steamer on clothes that are not machine washable.
One issue that some buyers have had with this iSteam is that it must be used upright. You will have to hang your garment to use it effectively – tilting it could result in spilling hot water on yourself or your clothes. As long as you use it properly, though, this is a great travel steamer that will always get the job done fast.
- Quick and effective
- Safe on all kinds of fabrics
- Modernized and built for durability
- 70-sec heat up time when refilled
- Small enough to pack in a suitcase
- A little larger than other portable steamers
- May spill or leak if not held upright
2. PurSteam Garment Steamer For Clothes
This handheld garment steamer from PurSteam is powerful and effective, with a handy ergonomic design that prevents spills and leaks.
The steamer has a long handle, high nozzle, and heavy base. It is super easy to hold and set down without any risk of it tipping over. You will want to use it while it is upright for the most effective steaming.
A 900-watt heating plate heats up the water quickly, so that you are ready to start steaming within seconds after filling it up. It has a filter for tap water, so you do not need to add anything to the water to ensure soft, safe steam.
The nozzle is wide but still produces a concentrated steam flow. It is powerful enough to perfectly smooth out wrinkles without needing to iron the garment afterwards – perfect for when you are in a hurry.
People love this steamer for its power and speed. The compromise to all that power, unfortunately, is that it is a little heavier and bulkier than some other handheld garment steamers. But if you have the room to pack it, you will never have to worry about bringing an iron on your trip again.
- Heats up quickly and produces steam for a long time
- Ergonomically designed so it is easy to hold without spilling
- Effective, powerful steaming
- Reliable for long term use
- A little bulkier than other portable steamers
- Cheaper material in the handle – may crack with time
3. Lemontec Portable Travel Steamer
The Lemontec is probably the most stylish & one of the most popular models in the market. It's also the one you are most likely to mistake for a kettle when left on the kitchen counter!
Capacity: 180 ml
The main characteristic we like about the Lemontec is its compact design and its ability to provide 7-10 mins worth of steam ironing time. Constantly refilling could be a pain and having that buffer is great. Having said that its not the largest one on our list. It's just that for its size the effectiveness and efficiency is unparalleled
It's safety features are another positive. The automatic shut-off function when the water is too low or the unit is too hot is ideal. Weighing a mere 1.25 pounds coupled with its low profile this mini travel steamer fits into just about any luggage easily.
Many buyers on Amazon remarked that the Lemontec is extremely easy to use. With this steamer, you can pretty much ensure that the days where you hang your clothes by a hot shower to remove wrinkles are over. It's also not too expensive as well.
- Compact, light, and portable
- Heats up super quickly
- 360-degree spill-free design
- Won’t spit out hot water while steaming
- Occasional quality control issues
4. Beautural 1200-Watt Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer
This is an efficient and highly versatile garment steamer that would be great for use at home and on the go. It is compact enough to take traveling but comes with so many special features that it might be the only steamer you need.
Capacity: 260 ml
A lint brush and fabric brush are included with the steamer. They can attach to the nozzle to effectively freshen up your clothes or upholstery while you are steaming. The water tank holds up to 260 ml, giving you over 15 minutes of steaming time, and it heats up in less than 30 seconds. It has a leak-free design, so you can hold it horizontally without risking spilling hot water.
One thing customers love about this Beautural steamer is the versatility. Even though it is so small, it is powerful enough to use on all surfaces of your house, and the extra nozzle brushes make it great for all surfaces. The downside, though, is the price – you definitely pay for the quality you get in this little steamer.
- Compact enough to travel with
- Unique spill-free design
- Super powerful and versatile
- Works on all kinds of fabrics
- A little more expensive
- Too big if you travel light
5. UrPower Portable Garment Steamer
Next up on our list is a super powerful little steamer from UrPower. This model is a redesigned, more compact take on their original home garment steamer. It is built for travel and even comes with a handy travel case to take it on the road.
Capacity: 130 ml
This steamer is safe for use on all kinds of materials. It will de-wrinkle your garments, and also freshen up kids toys or upholstery. It could be awesome for freshening up a travel pillow or coat before your flight.
It does not heat up quite as quickly as some of the other steamers on our list, but it shouldn’t take more than two minutes from filling the tank until it is ready to use. The nozzle is wide and concentrated, producing a thin jet of steam that will effectively smooth down wrinkles as you go.
One issue some users have had with this UrPower steamer is how quickly it uses up the steam. Even with a fairly large, 130 ml tank, it goes through all of its water in around 5-10 minutes of use, which means you will have to stop to refill the tank and wait for it to heat up again.
With that drawback aside, people love this steamer for its effectiveness and portability. It is also super affordable for the quality.
- Safe for use on any fabrics
- Designed for travel
- Narrow, concentrated steam
- Protected against overheating and leaks – always safe to use
- Takes a little longer to heat up
- Goes through water fairly quickly
6. iSteam Luxury Edition Travel Steamer
The second iSteam product on this list takes travel steaming to a whole new level. This Luxury Edition steamer is a little pricier, but one of the best options out there for effective steaming away from home.
Capacity: 120 ml
The steamer is tiny, weighing just over 1 pound, and holds over 4 ounces of water. It produces steam for about 10 minutes and can heat up in less than 30 seconds. As a handheld steamer, you can use it vertically or horizontally without spilling – a great feature if you don’t have a hanger handy.
It comes with an attachable nozzle brush, to help you smooth, clean and remove lint or debris from fabrics all in one go. A high-tech Nano filter inside the steamer purifies water as it heats so that you have a clean, sediment-free steam.
If there is any major drawback to this luxury steamer, it is the price. You will have to pay a little more for the compact size and quick effectiveness. Some users have also reported overheating after a lot of use.
With those faults aside, this is an awesome handheld steamer for quick use on the go.
- Compact and super portable
- 10 minute steam time
- Heats up super quickly
- Produces gentle, purified steam
- A little pricier than other options
- May have some issues with overheating
7. Bizond Portable Garment Steamer
Next up is this handy little portable garment steamer from Bizond. This is a tiny little steamer – only about 7.5 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide at the nozzle. You can easily toss it in your suitcase before you hit the road or head to the airport. As a handheld device, it is designed to work at all angles, even if you are holding it upside down.
Capacity: 100 ml
The compact size is one reason people love this steamer. The other reason is that, despite being so small, it is super effective. It has a Nano filter, so you can fill it with tap water in your hotel and still get a clean, soft steam. It can be pressed directly into the fabric of your clothes like an iron to effectively smooth wrinkles.
It is also quick – it only takes 25 seconds to heat up and begin steaming, and hot steam will flow for up to 10 minutes. One issue that some people have had with this steamer is that it does get a little hot in your hand if you use it too long. Other than that, this is a great affordable steamer for a busy professional.
- Handheld and compact for traveling
- Works at all angles
- Heats up steam quickly
- Filters tap water for soft, clean steam
- May overheat if you use it for a long time
- Potential to leak after a lot of use
8. OGHom Handheld Clothes Steamer
This OGHom steamer is one of the best value options on our list. It is super affordable, easy to travel with and really effective, giving you the quality of a larger home steamer on the go.
One feature that makes this such a great travel steamer is that it holds a lot of water without taking up too much space in your suitcase. The design is tall and narrow, with a high, slim nozzle and long handle. The water tank holds up to 240 ml – that means you can get as much as 15 minutes of use out of this little steamer before you need to refill it.
Even with all that water, it still heats up fairly quickly, usually in just over a minute. A 9-foot power cord gives you plenty of room to work with. The nozzle produces a long, concentrated steam flow, effectively smoothing out a large area of fabric in one motion.
People enjoy this steamer for its affordability and effectiveness. One drawback, though, is that it is a little cheaper – you may see some cracks in the handle or nozzle after using it for a while, but that will not affect the performance of the steamer.
- Holds a lot of water for longer steaming
- Compact and easy to travel with
- Heats up fairly quickly
- Produces a concentrated, effective steam flow
- Slightly cheaper build
- Has to be used vertically to prevent spills and leaks
9. Conair Extreme Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer
They call it ‘Extreme’ for a reason. This handheld steamer from Conair puts out an extra hot, super concentrated steam flow to effectively smooth out your clothes quickly. It is efficiently shaped to hold and use at any angle and comes with 3 nozzle attachments for different fabrics.
Capacity: 7.3 oz
The fabric brush is used to open up fabrics and get a smoother look as you steam. The creaser can create neat pleats in pants or coats, and the soft cushion helps to soften the steam when you are using it on more delicate materials. You can also lower the steam temperature for lighter fabrics.
One major drawback to the Extreme Steam is how heavy it is. Even though it is compact and handheld, it has a large, heavy nozzle that makes it heavier to hold up for a long time. That can also make it inconvenient for traveling.
What users really like about it is the tough concentrated steam flow, which works more efficiently than on smaller steamers. It also heats fairly quickly (just over a minute) and gives you 15 minutes of steaming time before you need to refill the water tank.
- Powerful, concentrated steam
- Versatile with extra attachments
- Heats quickly and steams for a long time
- Comes with 2 heat settings for different fabric types
- A little too heavy if you happen to pack light
- May have some issues with spilling
10. Hilife Mini Travel Steamer
Last but not least is this steamer from Hilife. Offering a good combination of high power and portability. It has a narrow, compact design, with a big 240 ml water tank that gives you up to 15 minutes of steaming time.
The nozzle of this steamer is long and narrow, for a concentrated powerful steam flow. Its size allows you to quickly steam one or two garments at a time before you have to stop to refill the tank. Heating time is pretty quick – around 1 minute.
People like this steamer for how easy it is to use. It takes plain tap water, and even comes with a measuring cup so that you don’t need to take it to the sink to fill it up. Then all you need to do is plug it in and turn it on.
The biggest drawback is that it needs to be perfectly upright when you use it – if it tips over or is used horizontally it will spill water. Some customers have also reported a little water jumping out from the nozzle, but not enough to be too noticeable.
- Portable but still powerful
- Heats quickly and steams for a long time
- Reliable for long term use
- Efficient concentrated steaming
- Needs to be used vertically
- May eject hot water through the nozzle while steaming
How to Choose the Best Travel Steamer
Now that you have had a chance to look through some of the best portable garment and fabric steamers of 2020, let’s talk about what makes a great travel steamer.
Of course, not everyone has the same needs – we all travel differently, wear different materials and have different preferences when it comes to ironing and steaming. So not every travel steamer on our list will be perfect for you. There are a few important factors you will want to look out for, though, to make sure you choose the steamer that fits you best.
Here is everything you will need to consider before you purchase a travel steamer:
It is important to remember the difference between a standard clothes steamer and a travel steamer. When you are looking for a steamer you can take on the go, portability should be one of the first things you consider. The smaller, lighter and more compact your steamer is, the easier it will be to pack – but how will that affect its quality?
When it comes to steamers, bigger is not always better. There are a lot of tiny handheld steamers out there that still have plenty of power and can produce steam for 10 to 15 minutes before they need to be refilled. These little guys can be great when you are traveling light and want to be able to smooth out your clothes quickly. Just remember that a smaller nozzle size means more time spent on each garment.
Ease of Use
Alongside portability, you will want a steamer for traveling to be quick and easy to use. The fewer steps involved in steaming, the less time you will have to spend on it. Make sure your travel steamer has clear instructions, a quick heating time, and is easy to clean and refill.
A steamer with a filter that can purify the water is a huge help. Some home fabric steamers require fabric softeners or other chemical detergents to be mixed into the water so that you don’t end up damaging fabrics with water spots or sediment. A steamer with a filter removes that extra step.
A fabric brush on your steamer also helps to make things easier. The bristles of the brush will help to open up the fabric, allowing the steam to fully permeate it, so that you don’t have to go back over the same spot multiple times.
Not everyone can pack perfectly. Which makes steamers quite handy!
Water Spilling and Spitting
If you are looking through reviews of fabric steamers, both for travel and home, you will commonly see complaints that a steamer “spits out” hot water while it is being used.
This is a pretty common drawback of steamers. Because there is hot water boiling inside to create the steam, water can occasionally get caught in the nozzle and come jumping out onto clothes. It isn’t too much of a problem unless it gets to the point there is more water coming out than steam, or if the water is spraying and landing on your skin.
The other problem with hot water is spilling. A lot of steamers are not fully sealed around the water tank, meaning that if they are tipped over they can spill or leak hot water. This can be dangerous if you are holding it in your hand at the time.
To combat both of those problems, look for a handheld steamer that is fully sealed and protected against spilling and spitting out water. A “360 degree design” or similar label tells you that the steamer can be held at different angles or tipped over without any water coming out.
Many travel steamers come with additional brushes or attachments for the nozzle head. Attachments like a lint brush or creaser can be great to add some versatility to your steamer, especially if it is a tool you use both at home and on the go. The only problem is that those attachments can sometimes add to the price of your steamer.
The most useful attachment you should look for is a fabric brush. This will allow you to effectively steam your clothes faster, and can be left on the steamer all the time while you are traveling. A lint brush can also be really helpful, but it is not necessary.
Adjustable heat settings or a softening attachment are helpful if you are steaming more delicate fabrics. Steam is generally safe on clothes, but it can be harmful when it is concentrated and very hot. For silk and other fine fabrics, you should try to use a lower temperature setting (if you can) or attach a softener for a more gentle steam concentration.
Even though they are small, remember that travel steamers do use energy. With a lot of larger, home steamers, the energy consumption might actually be so high that you can compare the cost to taking your clothes to a dry cleaner. Fortunately, with travel steamers you generally don’t need to worry about that.
You should pay attention to the wattage of your steamer before you buy it. A higher wattage generally means that it will heat up the water faster, but it will be consuming more energy while you use it.
Steamers with a lower wattage consume less energy, but will take a little longer to heat up the water. The other consideration with a lower-wattage steamer is that there is more chance of overheating – with less energy, the device is working harder to keep pace and could end up damaged.
As a final consideration, remember that your steamer does not necessarily have to be expensive to be effective. A lot of good travel steamers come at a fairly low price and work just as well as more expensive options.
If you are on a budget, a standard upright steamer with one or two attachments will probably your best bet. These are a little more traditional, and a bit larger, than more modernized handheld steamers, but they are super durable and always come at a fair price. Just remember that there may be some risk of spilling water – always keep your upright steamer vertical, and try not to overfill the water tank.
You also may want to consider a steamer with a warranty if you are looking for value. Get ahold of the producer before you purchase to find out their warranty details, so you know you are getting the best deal.
How to Use a Travel Garment Steamer
For more details, you should check out the instructions that come with your steamer when you buy it. But we can give you a quick overview of how these little devices work, just so you know what to expect.
The first thing you will want to do is fill your water tank and then secure the nozzle on the steamer. Make sure that it is fully secured before you plug it in – you will not want to tighten the nozzle once there is hot water inside.
Plug in your steamer and allow it to heat completely. Don’t just rely on the heating time advertised – make sure you can see steam coming out of the nozzle before you begin to use it on fabrics. If there is no steam, or not enough steam, it will not be effective.
The best position to steam garments in is vertically. Even if your steamer can be held horizontally without spilling, it is best to hang your garment in an open area with nothing touching it. If you don’t have a hanger available and your steamer can be used horizontally, that will do in a pinch – but it won’t be as effective.
Press the nozzle of your steamer lightly onto the fabric and run it in a straight line, much like you would with an iron. If you have a fabric brush attachment, you may want to pull the garment taught with your other hand so that the bristles can fully permeate the fabric. This will allow the steam to really seep into the stitching, leaving it perfectly smooth and straight.
If you are steaming a more delicate fabric like velvet or silk, you should not press the nozzle directly to the material. You may also want to steam the garment inside-out, to avoid leaving creases or watermarks.
Once you are done steaming, allow the garment to cool off and fully dry before you put it on. It is important to always unplug your steamer after use, but don’t empty the water tank right away – the water will still be very hot.
What is the difference between a normal steamer and a travel steamer?
Whether or not your steamer can be considered a “travel” steamer depends mainly on the size. A travel steamer should be light enough to hold in one hand while you are using it, and compact enough to fit into a suitcase or backpack.
Travel steamers, because of their size, will generally hold less water and emit steam for less time than a larger home steamer. They also use less energy and tend to heat up the water very quickly.
Is a travel garment steamer safe to use?
Like any household product that uses heat and electricity, a steamer is safe as long as you use it correctly. Remember that there is boiling water inside your steamer, so it is not something you should take lightly or use without care.
Never put your hand directly in front of the steamer. If you see steam coming out, it is hot enough – you will never need to test the temperature by hand. If you are using an upright or vertical steamer, make sure you set it down on a flat, stable surface and be careful not to tip it over.
You should not use your steamer with small children around, especially if there is any risk of tipping it over.
How do you clean a them?
To get the most out of your steamer, you will want to take good care of it. One of the best ways to do that is by running distilled water through it every once in a while, just like you might with a coffee pot or a kettle.
The easiest distilling method is to use vinegar. A little white distilled vinegar mixed in with the water in your steamer will break down any hard water sediments left behind and help to sanitize the water tank. Just fill your tank with the vinegar mixture, turn on the steamer and allow it to steam all the way through the tank.
Doing this once or twice a month will keep your steamer running for years.
Can steaming my clothes replace ironing?
Depending on what kind of fabric you are working with, a steamer is capable of working just as well as an iron. However, we don’t recommend ditching the iron for a steamer – especially not a tiny travel steamer.
For bigger items, like coats and pants, you will probably still get the best effect out of ironing. You cannot create pleats on pants with a steamer in the same way you can with an iron.
For more delicate fabrics, though, a steamer is a little friendlier and comes with less risk of damaging the garment. A steamer also comes in a lot handier for traveling – no one likes to pack their iron in their suitcase, and hotels will not always have one available.
In short, you should probably own both a steamer and an iron – but if you really hate ironing (we get it) using a handheld steamer will do the trick in a pinch.