Steamers are a wonderful alternative to ironing, ideal for artists working with large-scale textile artworks that are prone to wrinkling. Within minutes, wrinkles disappear from almost every fabric. Steam allows textile fibers to temporarily relax, which means wrinkles are released and fabrics flattened quickly for beautiful results. Steamers also are excellent for theater curtains, banners, wall hangings, silkscreen prints on fabric, and of course clothing and costumes. The hot air freshens fabrics and may dissipate musty odors. Find the steamer that’s right for your needs by perusing our picks of the best, below.
1. Jiffy J-2000 Garment Steamer
Textiles will be crisp and wrinkle-free in the twinkle of an eye with Jiffy’s steamer. Its 1,300-watt solid brass heating element warms up within two minutes for fast-acting, powerful steam. You can steam wide areas with its lightweight, six-inch plastic head, attached to the rolling base with a five-foot flexible hose. The steamer holds ¾ gallon of water for 1.5 hours of steaming power per fill and features an automatic safety shut-off function. Its high-impact plastic outer casing resists breakage, and when not in use, it stores easily thanks to its compact size.
2. Rowenta Master Valet Garment Steamer
Need to freshen clothing or fabric? This steamer is perfect for smaller textiles. With 1,550 watts of power, it’s ready when you are: It heats up within 60 seconds. Its tank holds 2.4 liters of water for an hour of high-volume steam. An adjustable-height pole includes a sturdy garment hanger at the top, with clips and a hook. Suspended from the pole is a roll-and-press screen that adjusts to any length and rolls up when not in use, and the flexible insulated fabric hose lets you steam at any angle. Also included: a lint pad for removing pet hair and dust, a steam bonnet for protecting delicate fabrics, and a fabric brush attachment.
3. Conair Complete Steam
This workhorse of a steamer is perfect for busy theaters and arts centers, quickly removing wrinkles and odors from costumes, props, backdrops, and silkscreen prints. The steamer’s 1,500-watt central unit heats up in less than a minute and provides up to 90 minutes of high-velocity steam from its 80-ounce water reservoir. Its large steam head covers oversize objects quickly, and the heat not only smooths fabric but kills bacteria, dust mites, and bedbugs. It’s ideal for light and medium-weight fabrics; heavier fabrics will need additional passes. It is compact and easy to lift, and its telescoping pole is hidden when not in use but easily extends when needed. The only minus: This steamer does not have wheels.
4. PurSteam Full Size Steamer
PurSteam is all steam: This efficient appliance produces a plethora of high-pressure steam. You can choose the amount of steam you get by adjusting its four-level steam control—no more worries about damage or water stains. Its telescoping pole extends when you need it, collapsing into the body of the steamer when you don’t. A burn-prevention safety cap keeps you from opening the tank when steam is present or when water is too hot. The tank holds half a gallon of water and detaches for easy filling. Its hose is 50 inches long and lightweight, and it rolls to where you need it for hours of comfortable steaming of large prints and fabrics.
5. Rowenta All in One Iron and Steamer
Rowenta’s all-in-one steamer offers the best of both ironing and steaming. Steam is released via its intelligent head, which acts as both an iron and a steamer. The head has an iron soleplate for precision ironing, and if you need steam, just press a button. Mounted on two sturdy legs is what the maker calls a smart board—an ironing board with three positions. Vertical, the board is great for steaming. Horizontal, it is great for ironing. At 45 degrees, it can handle both. The tank holds 1 liter of water for hours of high-quality steaming.