Save time on laundry with the best clothes steamers

clothes steamer

by Arabella Horspool |
Updated on

Every home with kids seems to have that never-ending pile of washing that needs ironing, but before you grab that ironing board, you need to take a look at these clothes steamers. Perfect for busy mornings or when you're running behind on the school run, a steamer can help you to get rid of unwanted creases in no time.

They use a lot less electricity than your average iron, plus the steam gets rid of unwanted odours and kills plenty of bacteria, so we highly recommend using a steamer for clothes on your little one's nursery outfit or school uniform to get rid of those germs that the washing machine may have missed.

Editor's Choice:
•Best for travel: Philips STH3000/26 3000 Series Handheld Steamer - Buy now from ArgosBest for a budget: Swan Handheld Garment Steamer - Buy now from Amazon
Best for attachments: RUSSELL HOBBS Steam Genie Clothes Steamer - Buy now from Currys 
•Best multipurpose option: Tefal IXEO Power All-in-One Clothes Steamer - Buy now from John Lewis

Many clothes steamers are handheld and easy to use, plus they're great for travelling as you can fit them into your handbag or family suitcase. You simply fill up the water tank, plug the cable into the wall and watch as it heats up (usually in a matter of seconds). There are plenty of options on the market from a variety of trusted brands. Here are some of our favourites.

The best steam cleaners 2023

Best for travel

If you're looking for a way to spruce up your clothes on holiday, you need to try the Phillips handheld steamer. It's lightweight and can be folded down to fit into your bag or suitcase, plus it won't leave any burn marks on the material so you can wear your favourite outfits with confidence.

Our commercial content writer Arabella tried out Philips Handheld Steamer and said: "This product has saved me plenty of time in the mornings; if I decide to change my outfit last minute before I leave the house, I simply use the steamer to get rid of any creases and I'm ready to go. It heats up quickly and is easy to manoeuvre... My iron has now been made redundant."


  • Heats up quickly (30 seconds)
  • Can use both vertically and horizontally


  • Have to hold onto the button for it to release steam
Water tank capacity:100ml
Steam output:20g/min
Cord length:2m
  • Temperature ready indicator
  • One Temp technology

Best for a budget

This budget friendly option from Swan release continuous steam. It comes equipped with a generously sized water tank that's easy to detach and refill. We love the addition of the removable fabric brush as it allows you to get closer to certain fabrics when needed.

One reviewer said: "I bought this as a replacement to my iron as I’d thrown that out together with my ironing board. I'd definitely recommend it as it's really easy to use and gets creases out quickly and easily. You need somewhere to hang the clothes which is near a socket. Don’t know why it’s taken me so long to buy one!"


  • Large water reservoir
  • Slim neck so easy to hold


  • Takes a couple of minutes to heat up
Water tank capacity:250ml
Steam output:1100W
Cord length:1.9m
  • Detachable fabric brush
  • Continuous steam

Best for steaming clothes and soft furnishings

Price: £110

The Propress MINI clothes steamer is a natural and efficient way to care for your fashion and fabrics around the home. Packed with over 40 years of steaming experience, cutting-edge steaming technology, the Propress MINI offers a unique heated, coated aluminium iron plate for simultaneous steaming and pressing. Plus, unlike a travel iron it can be used vertically or horizontally, making it ideal for soft furnishings and other uses around the home.

This clothes steamer was put to the test by Mother&Baby Deputy Digital Editor, Stephanie Spencer. Here's how she got on: "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 on


  • Easy to use
  • Takes up very little storage space
  • Travel-friendly


  • Does feel heavy after using for a little while
ApplicationsTravel, Clothes, Curtains, Soft furnishings, Bedding
Continuous steam time7 minutes or 13 with Big Belly tank
Tank capacity130ml or 230ml with Big Belly
Heat up time45 seconds
Cord length3m
  • Available in 3 colours: Arctic Grey, Idol Blue, and Vintage Pink.
  • Comes with heated aluminium iron steam plate, slimline water tank, travel bag and steaming mitt
  • Further accessories such as big belly water tank and pressing pad can be purchased separately, or as part of different bundles.

Best for attachments

The Steam Genie comes with not one but three attachments, helping you to soften even the tiniest of creases from the most stubborn of fabrics (we're looking at you, annoying school shirts!). There's even an auto-shut-off feature which will give you peace of mind around young children.

One reviewer said: "This steamer from Russell Hobbs gets all of the creases out really quickly and easily. It is good to travel with and the attachments are handy too."


  • Anti-bacterial
  • Effective safety features


  • Water may run out quickly
Water tank capacity:200ml
Steam output:28g/min
Cord length:3m
  • Safety trigger lock

Best small option

A small steamer like this one from homeasy is brilliant for baby clothes and items that don't need too much attention. It's quite thin so it can be gripped firmly in your hands, giving you more control over what you are doing, but there's also a protective heat glove just in case.

One reviewer said: "A very small and simple steamer built for very light steaming, i.e. a quick steam over uniforms before you leave the house or steaming shirts for suits. I got this to steams of my babies clothes and some of mine that have sequins or can only be dry cleaned."


  • Reaches temperatures of up to 120 degrees Celcius
  • Water tank has clear measurements


  • Some users say it lacks durability
Water tank capacity:110ml
Steam output:18g/min
Cord length:7.8 feet
  • 5-hole nozzle
  • 8 minutes of steam time
  • Storage bag included

Best multipurpose option

Up next is this professional level 5.8 steamer which has three settings and can be used around the house, as well as on your clothes. It is on a detachable base meaning it's always out and ready to go. Whether it's the curtains, bedding or sofas, you can give them a revamp anytime you need too.

One reviewer said: "This is ready to go all the time. You can either sit or stand to use this. It has different height levels and the board has 3 different angles to choose. Did all my linen holiday clothes and had a great result. The 2 wheels make it easier to move around."


  • Adjustable pole
  • Kills 99.9% of viruses


  • Heavier than other options
Water tank capacity1.1L
Cable length:1.7m
  • Anti-scale rinsing system
  • Adjustable Smart Board

Best for delicate fabrics

For wrinkle-free clothes you must try this handheld steamer from Steamery which reaches the level one temperature an iron does. It's super sleek and is controlled by just two buttons. Available in two stylish colours, it's most effective on delicate fabrics such as wool, fine cotton and silk.

One reviewer said: "I was excited to try this product having realised the benefits of using a steamer some years ago. It can be used to freshen clothes in between washes, to cut down on dry cleaning and on delicate fabrics. It feels like a good quality product, looks good, it was packaged well and comes with an instruction booklet."


  • Energy efficient
  • Lightweight build


  • Not suitable for suede or leather
Water tank capacity:90ml
  • Wearable ironing tool included

Best vertical steamer

Fast-heating and ant-drip are just some of the features that make this steamer from Lakeland a joy to use. It has a steam-lock function and after 15 minutes it will turn itself off, which is ideal for those busy days when you may accidentally forget to do so.

One reviewer said: "I'm so glad that I've discovered this steamer! I previously had an expensive, branded steamer (not handheld), which broke after a handful of uses and wasn't covered by a warranty. This Lakeland handheld steamer (which is a fraction of this price) is far superior. It's so easy to use and works like a dream, and with a built-in filter, it doesn't come with any of the impractical provisos more expensive ones do, like not using tap water, or having to buy replacement filters or softeners etc. I also love that it comes with a 3-year warranty for peace of mind."


  • Doesn't release limescale flakes
  • Clever light indicator


  • For vertical use only
Water tank capacity:200ml
  • Anti-calc function
  • 25 second heat up time

Best upright steamer

Quest have created the perfect addition to your utility room. Fitted with a hanger and trouser press, you can get all of your laundry done to a professional standard from the comfort of your own home. It can run for up to 50 minutes as it has a huge water tank.

One reviewer said: "Having worked in the fashion industry with countless steamers, I have to say this steamer is the best I’ve ever used. It’s so neat despite holding so much water, is super pretty in design, it heats up mega fast and it knocks all creases out of the most creased garments in no time. Value for money and speed of delivery also lend to its 5 star rating."


  • Hose and wheels for manoeuvring round the house
  • ready in 45 seconds


  • Rather bulky
Water tank capacity:800ml 
  • Telescopic pole

Best for large water tank

Thanks to the Rolipo clothes steamer, there'll be no need to drag out your rusty old iron. It's efficient to fill and you're guaranteed no spills due to the anti-leakage construction. We love that you can remove creases at angle!

One reviewer said: "This is a great little steamer. It's lightweight and easy to hold as it isn't bulky like some steamers I've seen advertised. It heats up quickly and gives out a very decent amount of steam. So far I've used it on jeans, t-shirts, blouses and jumpers and have been very impressed with the results."


  • Strong steam penetration
  • Works well on cushions, toys, pillows, curtains etc. too


  • Short lead (may need to use it with an extension lead)
Water tank capacity:100ml
  • One-key switch

What's the difference between a clothes steamer and an iron?

Firstly, you don't need an ironing board to use a steamer and they are often lighter and portable. They work much faster than an iron, plus they don't compress and damage the clothes fibres as they don't touch the fabric.

What are the different types of clothes steamer?

Handheld and upright are the two types of clothes steamer. Upright steamers are more industrial sized and are brilliant at getting through larger loads, whilst handheld steamers are a lot smaller and have tanks that aren't as big, but they are generally lightweight, compact and highly portable.

Do steamers kill bacteria?

A garment steam cleaner reaches high temperatures which can effectively kill bacteria and viruses that may be lingering on your family's clothes, even after you've washed them with the best washing powder. They also help to freshen up fabrics by breaking down odours, so you can give your clothes a new lease of life between washes.

Things to consider when buying a clothes steamer

Water tank capacity: If you live in a big or busy household you may want to opt for a steamer that has a large water tank, as this usually means that you will be able to use the product for longer periods of time before it needs to be refilled (so you can get through a big pile of clothes).

Size: Planning on taking your steamer for clothes on holiday? There are plenty of options that are small and compact. Some can even be folded down to fit into a suitcase or bag.

Style: Yes, steamers are practical tools, but there's no reason why they can't be stylish too. They come in all sorts of clothes, meaning you could get one to match your home interior.

Arabella Horspool is a Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby at Bauer Media. She's a bookworm who enjoys cooking and spending time with her many pets.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.