As far as steamers go, I have used a far few in my time. I have spent countless nights on work shoots in my stylist days steaming rails and rails and rails of clothes, from one suitcase to hotel room , to location vans to the beach. I have steamed ultra fine cashmere that has sat flatpacked for weeks (those arm creases are a special type of hell) for photo shoots – it is fair to say I know what you/I need from a steamer. And although we’re not talking industrial here, there are some decent and affordable handheld ones on the market.
My first disclaimer is that, for me, a handheld steamer will never replace an iron. If you’re looking for something to freshen up heavy curtains or do press your trousers perfectly, this isn’t the plce for you. If you were interestd in something a bit more heavy duty I can recommend Morplan’s steamers, this one is the type they have in professional photography studios (if they don’t have this, I would worry for my shoot), and this one is the type I had at home as a professional sylist (who occasionally needed to bring her own steamer to shoots). If you have a walk-in wardrobe or space to store this type (budget depending), I would highly recommend as you have somewhere to hang the garments and it holds way more water so you can steam for longer.
Anyway, today we are talking handheld steamers. On to go, easy to store and works well. Plus it’s nice if it looks nice, right? My last one was Steamery and I loved it, it was so chic and came in a travel bag and did the job. The downside? It’s expensive, the water compartment is small, I had to hold my thumb on the steamer button and it started to leak on me (after a good service of 6 years). I replaced it with this version from Amazon – I would love to offer a different stockist but sadly this is it.
It can hold more water (not gallons more but more) than the Steamery one I owned.
Once you press the button to start steaming, you don’t have to hold it down to keep steaming.
The handle can be detached for easy travelling.
It comes with a travel bag.
It looks chic.
It works well on shiny light fabrics like viscose and satin as well as hard to iron fabrics like silk.
Steamers in general are great for bringing life to garments and you can steam out creases that irons tend to make worse.
It is great value and does the job.
It is from Amazon.
It works better on lighter fabrics, a light cotton shirt (that I dread ironing!) came out great. However, tougher fabrics like cotton twill are harder to steam.
Using a handheld steamer sometimes feels easier and more enjoyable, but it’s not necessary quicker.
You still have to find somewhere to hang clothes to steam.
Steamer tips from a stylist:
Steam inside garments, especially coat sleeves and trouser legs – it gives more life to them.
Don’t forget to steam down the seams of arms, especially knitwear and shirts. Steamers can give shirts a 3 dimensional shape rather than a flat ironed garment.
Steam your coats, it’ll bring them to life (especially after storage) when you don’t wash them as much. Don’t forget to steam inside and the lining – it can make such a difference!
Be careful near skin: you can burn just as easily with a steamer as you can with an iron.
You watch my reel on this steamer here.