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Garment steamers compared

By Christina Woodger

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Get the Which? verdict on garment steamers with our first look reviews below.

We tried out some popular garment steamers on a variety of clothes to see how easy they were to use and whether they were effective at banishing creases. 

Garment steamers are marketed as a quick fix for creases when you haven’t got time for regular ironing. 

What’s more, manufacturers claim they are a good alternative to expensive dry-cleaning for delicate clothes. But, with prices matching or exceeding those of an ordinary steam iron, are they worth buying? And are they actually any good at getting clothes crease free?

We wanted to find out, so we rounded up widely available and bestselling UK models, and tried them out on a variety of clothes and fabrics to see how easy they were to use, and whether they were effective at banishing creases.

Garment steamer first look reviews

We tried seven garment steamers in total. Five were handheld garment steamers, designed to be light and portable for either quick touch-ups or taking on your travels. We also tried out two upright steamers, which have a large base with a water tank inside and a telescopic pole for hanging clothes up while steaming.

The models we tried were from the major iron brands who have launched garment steamers in the UK: Philips, Rowenta and Tefal. We also tried out the Pro Breeze fabric steamer, an Amazon bestseller.

We challenged each garment steamer to smooth out creases from a light viscose blouse and a heavier cotton shirt. We looked at how effective each steamer was at removing creases, how damp the clothing was afterwards and how easy it was to use the product. This included how simple it was to set up, whether it felt light in the hand and how easy it was to fill and empty. We also looked out for any niggles, such as an extra small water tank, excessive noise or spitting water.

Get our full first look verdict for each garment steamer, and find out which were our favourites, in the table below. Not yet a Which? member? Take a £1 trial subscription to access this and all of the reviews on our website. 

Handheld garment steamers compared
 Product Price Tech specs Overview

  Philips Steam and Go 2 in 1 table2

Philips GC330/47 Steam and Go handheld

£79

Weight: 1.4kg

Tank capacity: 300ml

Continuous steam: No

Heat up time: 45 seconds

This Philips promises quick and easy crease-removal for the ironing-averse. And it can be used horizontally for a crisper finish as well as vertically. But it’s more expensive than many a Best Buy steam iron. Is it worth the extra cost?

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 Philips Style Touch Pure GC442 table2

Philips GC442/67 StyleTouch Pure

£120

Weight: 1.4kg

Tank capacity: 200ml

Continuous steam: No

Heat up time: 60 seconds

You can steam both horizontally and vertically with this Philips – a feature not all garment steamers offer. But you could buy at least three Best Buy steam irons for the same price, or even a steam generator – the most powerful irons around. Is the price tag justified?

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 Pro Breeze fabric steamer 850 table2

Pro Breeze Fabric Steamer

£27

Weight: 780g

Tank capacity: 200ml

Continuous steam: Yes (g/minute not specified)

Heat up time: 50 seconds

The Pro Breeze is the cheapest garment steamer we first looked – but cheap doesn’t necessarily mean nasty. It has a large water tank that’s easy to see into (so you always know how much you have left) and an auto shut-off safety feature. Will this cheap little steamer beat more expensive models to the top spot?

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 Rowenta Ultra steam DC6055 table2

Rowenta DC6055 Ultrasteam handheld

£35

Weight: 898g

Tank capacity:55ml

Continuous steam: No

Heat up time: 50 seconds 

This Rowenta is lightweight and comes with a travel pouch for easy storage, suggesting it would be ideal for taking on holiday. But how much impact does it really make on creases? Is it a bargain, or are you dropping £35 down the drain?

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 Tefal Access Steam DR8085 table2

Tefal Access Steam DR8085

£59

Weight: 1kg

Tank capacity: 200ml

Continuous steam: Yes (22g/minute)

Heat up time: 60 seconds

You can hang this Tefal over the back of a chair rather than storing it away in a cupboard if you want to, thanks to its unusual shape. And you don’t need to keep pressing the steam button as it steams continuously. But how well does it do its basic job of getting rid of creases?

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Upright garment steamers compared
 Product Price Tech specs Overview

 Tefal Instant Compact IS3361 table2

Tefal IS13361 Instant Compact

£79

Weight:7kg 

Tank capacity: 1 litre

Continuous steam output: Yes (30g/minute)

Heat up time: 60 seconds

Tefal claims you'll get ‘catwalk results in minutes’ with this upright steamer. It’s intended to save you the effort of setting up an ironing board when you’re in a hurry. 

It comes with an adjustable pole and a foldable hanger to help keep clothes in place during steaming. But is it really that much more convenient than ironing the traditional way?

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 Tefal Instant Control IS8360 table2

Tefal IS8360 Instant Control

£99

Weight: 8kg

Tank capacity: 1.7litres

Continuous steam output: Yes (35g/minute)

Heat up time: 45 seconds

This Tefal has four steam settings, so you can adjust steam flow according to the thickness of the fabric you’re ironing. You can adjust the steam from the steam head, too, meaning you don't need to keep stooping to fiddle with settings on the base. 

But it’s more expensive than Tefal’s IS13361 Instant Compact steamer, and much more expensive than many of our Best Buy steam irons. Will it be worth the extra cost?

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