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Updated: 16 Jun 2022

Best clothes steamers

We tested handheld clothes steamers (aka garment steamers) from Argos, Amazon, John Lewis and more.
Joey Willoughby-Rainsford
Person using a handheld clothes steamer

Clothes steamers (also known as garment steamers) are meant to be a quick fix for removing stubborn creases when you haven't got time to look out your iron and ironing board. We put this to the test and found the best clothes steamers to leave your garments crease-free.

In May 2022, we tested eight handheld clothes steamers costing less than £100 from brands including Tefal, Morphy Richards and Philips, sold at retailers including John Lewis, Argos, Amazon and Lakeland.

Garment steamers vary in price from as little as £20 for a handheld steamer to more than £300 for an upright steamer. We focused our tests on handheld garment steamers because they're both portable and cheaper, although our testing did reveal that with garment steamers you tend to get what you pay for.

Pricing and availability last checked: 16 June 2022.


Got a larger load of laundry to deal with? Check out our steam iron reviews.


The best clothes steamers

Only logged-in Which? members can view the clothes steamers test results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the garment steamers we tested.

Our member-exclusive full reviews show before and after images of our testing so you can see how effective each clothes steamer was on silk, linen, cotton and polycotton. We also reveal to our members how heat-up times and steam rates of garment steamers compare to the times and rates manufacturers advertise.

We've also found out which handheld garment steamer was the easiest to use if you have restricted hand movement.

Join Which? now to get instant access to our test scores and Best Buy recommendations.

Beldray Multisteam Pro BEL0815 Clothes Steamer

Beldray Multisteam Pro BEL0815 Clothes Steamer

Cheapest price: £27.99 available at Beldray, also available at Currys, Robert Dyas, Wilko.

Tank capacity: 260ml

Advertised heat-up time: 45 seconds

Advertised steam rate: 25g/min

Cable length: 1.9m

Extra features: 2-in-1 brush and lint attachment

Beldray says this clothes steamer has an ergonomic handle that's easy on your hands. We put this to the test using a special glove which simulates restricted hand movement. 

We also found out how this clothes steamer did at removing pesky creases in different fabrics. Log in or join Which? now for instant access to our full reviews and recommendations.

Drew & Cole Verti Steam Pro Hand Steamer

Cheapest price: £39.99 available at Amazon, Currys.

Tank capacity: 300ml

Advertised heat-up time: 45 seconds

Advertised steam rate: 26g/min

Cable length: 2.5m

Extra features: Protective steam pad, lint remover and refresh brush attachment

Drew & Cole says this handheld garment steamer is designed to quickly iron, steam and refresh your clothes. 

We tested its crease removing ability on silk, linen, cotton and polycotton fabric.

To find out which clothes steamer we rated best, log in or join Which? now for instant access to all our reviews and recommendations.

Fridja F10 Raf Handheld Travel Clothes Steamer

Cheapest price: £79.99 available at Amazon, Fridja, Lakeland.

Tank capacity: 260ml

Advertised heat-up time: 45 seconds

Advertised steam rate: 25g/min

Cable length: 2m

Extra features: Collar press, folding hanger, fabric guard attachment, water bottle adaptor

The Fridja handheld garment steamer is the only clothes steamer we tested to come with a water bottle adaptor which you can use instead of the water tank if you are travelling and want to pack light.

How effective was it as a crease remover? Log in or join Which? to read our full review and find out.

Homeasy Clothes Steamer

Only available at Amazon: £37.99.

Tank capacity: 110ml

Advertised heat-up time: 45 seconds 

Advertised steam rate: 18g/min

Cable length: 2.4m

Extra features: Storage bag, brush attachment, anti-scalding glove

Homeasy says this compact handled garment steamer is ultra-portable and offers your clothes wrinkle-free elegance.

We tested how effective clothes steamers are at removing creases on a variety of fabrics, including linen, silk and cotton. 

To find if this handheld garment steamer left clothes wrinkle-free, log in or join Which? now for instant access to all our reviews and recommendations.

Logik LGSB20 Hand Steamer

Only available at Currys: £14.99.

Tank capacity: 250ml

Advertised heat-up time: 20 seconds

Advertised steam rate: 22g/min

Cable length: 2m

Extra features: Fabric brush attachment

The Logik handheld clothes steamer is the cheapest garment steamer we tested.

How does it compare to pricier models? Log in or join Which? to get full instant access to all our reviews and recommendations.

Morphy Richards Express Steam 361000 Clothes Steamer

Cheapest price: £52.75 available from Amazon, also available from AO, Currys.

Tank capacity: 260ml

Advertised heat-up time: 35 seconds 

Advertised steam rate: 25g/min

Cable length: 3m

Extra features: Lint brush attachment, creaser, jug

This handheld garment steamer has one of the faster advertised heat-up times of those we tested, but we found most clothes steamers heat up at a similar speed.

The true mark of the best clothes steamers was how effective they were at removing creases. 

To find out how well this clothes steamer smooths out clothes and fabrics log in or join Which? now.

Philips Steam & Go Plus Handheld Garment Steamer

Cheapest price: £64.99 available from John Lewis (out of stock), also available from Amazon, Argos.

Tank capacity: 70ml

Advertised heat-up time: 45 seconds

Advertised steam rate: 24g/min

Cable length: 2.5m

Extra features: Brush attachment, protective glove

Philips says this handheld garment steamer works with all types of fabrics.

We tested each steamer on polycotton, linen, cotton and silk.

To find out how well Philips Steam & Go did, log in or join Which? now to unlock all our reviews and recommendations.

Tefal Access Steam+ DT8150 Hand Steamer

Cheapest price: £67.20 available from Amazon, Argos, also available from Currys.

Tank capacity: 200ml

Advertised heat-up time: 40 seconds

Advertised steam rate: 26g/min

Cable length: 3m

Extra features: Fabric brush attachment, steam bonnet attachment, crease attachment, door hook, travel bag

Tefal claims this handheld garment steamer has one of the highest steam rates in the selection we tested. 

Steam rate is a measurement of how much steam the clothes steamer is generating per minute and, in theory, the higher the steam rate the more powerful the crease removal should be. 

Was the steam rate as high as the manufacturer claimed? And did this mean it was more effective at removing creases? Log in or join Which? now to find out.

How we tested clothes steamers

To find the best clothes steamers, we put popular models through the following series of tests.

Crease removal

We used each garment steamer to remove creases from silk, linen and cotton pillowcases, as well as from polycotton T-shirts.

We prepped all the creases by washing each item, drying them thoroughly and then scrunching up each item a few times.

Each steamer was used at full power on the fabrics, completing an up and down motion across the creases. This was repeated five times.

Our members can see the results of these tests by logging in to our full reviews above.

The best clothes steamers effectively removed creases from all of the materials, while the worst left them damp and still creased.

Ease of use

We used each clothes steamer on cotton shirts to test how easy they were to use with and without Cambridge simulation gloves

These gloves allowed us to empathise with those who have restricted hand movement and experience any difficulties they might find while using a clothes steamer.

The best garment steamers were easy to use, had intuitive controls and felt comfortable to hold with and without the Cambridge gloves. 

The worst clothes steamer gave us a bit of hand fatigue after a while, were uncomfortable to grip and put our hands too close to the hot steam.

Heat-up time

To test the actual heat-up time of each clothes steamer against the advertised heat-up time, we turned on each garment steamer and recorded how long they took to get hot enough to use. 

We repeated this test three times and allowed the clothes steamers to cool down fully between each test.

The best garment steamers met or, in one case beat, the advertised time.

Steam rate

Steam rate is the amount of steam created by the clothes steamers per minute. In theory, the higher the steam rate the more powerful and effective the product should be. 

To test the advertised steam rates of each garment steamer, we filled each steamer's tank with its maximum capacity of water and then ran it for eight minutes (or as long as the tank lasted) before weighing the tank again. We repeated this process three times.

Interestingly, we found the most effective crease removers didn't always have the highest steam rates, so it pays to read our reviews rather than buying on advertised steam rate. 

Any manufacturing flaws

At the start of our tests, we checked for any manufacturing faults or flaws.

Durability

Once all other tests had been completed, we dropped each clothes steamer from 90cm (35 inches) on to a linoleum covered floor five times.

The best were still useable although a bit scraped and scuffed. The worst shattered.

How we choose the clothes steamers we tested

We bought handheld clothes steamers priced at less than £100, sold at leading UK retailers.

The pillowcases, shirts and T-shirts we used were donated to charity after testing.

Types of clothes steamers

There are two main types of garment steamer to choose from - handheld and upright.

Handheld

These are smaller, lighter and more portable than upright models (between 1kg and 2kg, whereas uprights can weigh more than 7kg). Therefore, this is the kind you need if you want one to take on holiday. They have a small water tank you attach to the steamer. 

Upright

These are larger. bulkier and more powerful than handheld models. They have a large water tank in the base, which means they can steam for longer. They also often come with a built-in hanger.

Clothes steamer features and extras

Handheld garment steamers differ in their features and extras. These were what we came across in our testing. Every steamer differs, so check out our reviews for what will be included with the clothes steamer you choose.

  • Cable length: We found the cables varied in length from two to three metres. Make sure you get one with enough length to reach your plug.
  • Tank capacity: We found clothes steamers with as little as 70ml tank capacity and others with as much as 300ml. The higher the water capacity, the longer you can go without having to refill, in some cases as long as 14 minutes. However, the bigger the tank, the heavier the clothes steamers will be when it's full.
  • Collar press: A collar press can help you achieve perfect collars for your dress and casual shirts.
  • Folding hanger: A folding hanger makes it easy to travel with everything you need to steam your garments on the go.
  • Head attachments: You can get a variety of attachments for garment steamers, these can be brushes for lint removal or fabric guards and steam bonnets to protect delicates.
  • Creaser: While most of the time you will want to remove creases, for items such as suit trousers, a creaser tool can give you that perfect dry-clean finished look.
  • Door hook: Another useful extra for on the go steaming.
  • Protective pad: If you are worried about steam causing damage to your doors or wall, then you want to look out for a protective steam pad. These allow you to steam with confidence, adding a protective layer between your garment and the surface, sort of like an ironing board cover. We used one during our testing and it worked well.
  • Protective glove: These gloves protect your hands from any steam you might get too close to.
  • Jug: A few garment steamers come with a small jug which can make it easier to refill the water tanks. Some of the steamer tanks have small openings and the jugs provided did make refilling them a little easier.

How to use a clothes steamer for best results

In completing these tests we learned tips to get the best results from your garment steamer.

  • Most handheld garment steamers come with a trigger lock. Use it to stop finger fatigue while steaming.
  • Fill the tank with filtered water to avoid limescale if you live in an area with hard water.
  • Hang your garment somewhere it can hang freely (if you put it against a wall or a wardrobe door that surface will end up covered in condensation.
  • Pull your item of clothing downwards from the bottom as you’re steaming it to give yourself a taut, flat surface to work the steamer against. But take care not to steam your fingers.

Can a clothes steamer replace your iron?

Probably not. While the best clothes steamers we tested were effective at removing creases they are, on the whole, better for touch-up work on specific garments when you've not got the time for a full iron.

Though if you're someone who folds away or hangs freshly dried clothes well (so they're not horrendously crumpled), you might find a garment steamer is enough for you. They can also be handy if you find traditional irons and ironing boards too heavy to use. 

The most portable garment steamers make useful travel companions to spruce up any finery that has been creased in a suitcase and the best are a brilliant solution if you have lots of delicates and other hard-to-iron clothes.

If you'd prefer an iron then head to our steam iron reviews to find the best iron for your budget.