The 12 Best Portable Travel Steamers for Wrinkle-Free Clothes [2020]

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Need to look your best while you are away? Crinkled and creased clothing will not impress if you are headed to a business meeting, conference, wedding, or other occasions. A travel steamer will help you to breathe new life into rumpled clothing, while still being compact and lightweight enough to take everywhere with you.

Travel Steamer vs. Regular Steamer

Steaming your clothes is an excellent alternative to ironing, both on vacation and at home. Conventional ironing flattens the fibers of the fabric, while steaming allows the same fibers to gently relax so that the creases drop away more naturally.

Regular size steamers offer plenty of power to let you de-crease with ease at home. They can, however, be bulky and cumbersome, making them less than practical to pack in your carry-on, and they may even need additional attachments to ensure your clothes are perfectly presented at all times.

Regular steamers have the power and capacity to steam whole outfits, but to do this, they need large water tanks that can produce a lot of steam. In contrast, travel steamers are incredibly compact and feature smaller tanks, meaning that they can be held in just 1 hand for easy de-creasing when you travel.

Of course, smaller tanks call for regular refills and a limited amount of steam power, but this is a small price to pay for easy to use, portable steam power that can be used on a variety of fabrics, for a wide range of occasions.

The other main difference between travel-size steamers and regular ones is the amount of power they can produce. A large steamer can kick out as much as 1800 watts of power, whereas travel-sized appliances might only offer between 750-850 watts of power.

Bottom Line: The lower the wattage, the slower the steamer, meaning that while travel appliances are super useful, they may not have the physical power to get rid of every single crease.

Things to Look for in Travel Steamers

Reach

A steamer with a short cord is of little use to anybody. Likewise, cords that are too long can get in the way and hinder your steaming capabilities. Before you invest, read up on your preferred model to ensure that the cord is long enough to be useful without you risking getting caught up in it along the way.

Remember, a steamer is supposed to help you not hinder your ability to get out the door looking pristine. Somewhere around 5-10 feet in length should see you right.

Water Capacity

Travel steamers will likely have a smaller capacity than larger, regular units. That said, they will still need to hold enough water to create enough steam to finish the job. Look for a model that has a reservoir that can hold enough for about 10 minutes of quality steaming, which should be enough to get you through a full outfit.

Size and Weight

Your portable steamer will need to be just that — portable. With this in mind, look for models that are compact enough to fit easily into your suitcase or carry-on, without taking up too much of your valuable clothes storage space.

Hot Tip: A travel steamer should also be as light as possible, without being flimsy, so aim for models that weigh in at 2 pounds or lighter.

Fabric Types

Some fabrics respond better to steaming than others, and some steamers are not suitable for all types of fabric. Before you buy, check that the models you are looking at can steam the creases out of your outfits and that they are also able to cope with delicate fabrics without damaging them.

Heating

Assuming that you don’t want to spend all day hiding out in your hotel room waiting for your steamer to work, heat up time is an important factor. Generally speaking, the faster the water heats up, the more efficient the device is. Do your research and opt for a model that heats in 2 minutes or less.

Ease of Use

The easier your steamer is to use, the less time you will need to spend steaming. With this in mind, look for models that have clear instructions that are also easy to clean and fill. You should also consider paying extra for a portable steamer that comes complete with a filter to purify the water. This will help prevent damage to your delicates and reduce water spots or sediment.

Attachments

A fabric brush is also a useful addition to a travel steamer, as it will open up the fabric to make the steaming process more even and efficient. Other attachments to consider could be a lint brush, a creaser, or even a softening attachment, but be aware that extra attachments take up space to carry with you, and could cost extra.

Watts and Voltage

A dual-voltage steamer will be suitable for use all over the world and will offer the option to switch between 110-120 volts for the U.S. and 220-240 volts for use in Europe. If you are unable to find 1 that offers this feature, you will need to take a converter with you.

The wattage of the appliance relates to the amount of power it can produce. Most travel steamers have a power output of around 750-850 watts, which, while still useful, may not be enough to remove some of the most stubborn of creases.

How to Use a Travel Steamer

Travel steamers should be super easy to use. They are more convenient that traditional steam irons, and you won’t need a flat surface to use them. How you steam your garment will depend on the exact design of your travel steamer, the type of garment you are steaming, and the amount of space available.

Here are some general tips on how to use a steamer:

  1. Start by hanging your garment up, ideally against a solid surface that can add resistance. Hang it at a height that is comfortable for you and one that won’t mean you have to hurt your back or bend and twist while you are steaming.
  2. Before you start steaming, be sure to check the labels in the garment. Some fabrics do not respond well to steam, and trying to remove creases could result in your ruining them. Check before you begin as those that can’t be steamed may need to be taken to the dry cleaner instead.
  3. Pull and stretch the garment with your free hand, taking care not to let the steam burn you as you hold it.
  4. When it comes to steaming, start by moving the appliance in a downward motion, keeping the steamer upright and aligned at all times. Hold the plate close to the garment to maximize the power of the steam.
  5. For more delicate fabrics, you may want to keep the steamer at least an inch away from the fabric, while thicker, heavier items may need to be steamed from both sides.
  6. If you are having trouble with stubborn collars or cuffs, you may want to use your hand to give them extra shape and support.
  7. When you have finished steaming, be sure to tip out any remaining water in the tank and let your steamer cool down before packing it away again.

The Best Clothes Steamers for Travel

A Great Little Steamer for All of the Family

Lemontec Portable Travel Garment Steamer 

Carefully designed to evenly distribute steam effectively to remove wrinkles fast, this mini steamer is great for taking with you on a trip. Lightweight and compact, it also comes complete with a long built-in 2 point cable, removing the need for an extension cable.

With a 6-ounce tank capacity and a heat-up time of approximately 70 seconds, you can expect to achieve around 9 minutes of steaming time from this little beauty. For your safety, it also features an automatic shut-off function that kicks in when the water gets too hot or the water level drops too low.

Hi-Tech Heating and Steaming on the Go

iSteam Steamer Dry Steam 7-in-1

Featuring upgraded technology and a super high-tech heating panel, the iSteam is a superior wrinkle remover that is perfect for travel. With a heat-up time of just 60 seconds and a good size reservoir, you can steam an entire outfit quickly and easily, even when you are away from home. The 7-in-1 function means that this steamer can be used for cleaning, sterilizing and sanitizing, refreshing, treating, and defrosting clothes.

Suitable for use on a wide variety of materials, this model is light and compact enough to take away with you. It comes with a specially designed nozzle to speed up ironing time, and also features an automatic shut-down feature if the water level falls too low. One thing to be aware of, though, is if you are looking to use this model with 220v outlets, you must use a voltage converter and adapter plug.

Efficient Steaming Both at Home and Away

Magictec Portable Travel Garment Steamer

Exclusively designed with a unique type of nozzle, this handy little device is designed to distribute steam evenly to ensure wrinkle-free clothing, every time. Suitable for use on all kinds of fabrics, the Magitec Portable Steamer can be used for steaming, sanitizing, cleaning, and removing wrinkles.

Small enough to go everywhere with you, this model is also competent enough to be used at home. It offers safety features including an automatic shut-down system if the steamer becomes too hot or the water level too low. With a 6-ounce reservoir that heats up in less than a minute, this is a safe and affordable alternative to a steam iron.

Superfast Heat-Up for Easy Steaming

MagicPro Portable Garment Steamer

With a super-fast 25-second heat-up time, this is an impressive steamer that can be used on a variety of fabrics, including cotton, silk, linen, polyester, wool, and velvet, as well as other common fabric blends.

It also features unique leak-proof technology that uses an electronic pump to prevent water from spitting and spilling, meaning you can steam your clothes either horizontally or vertically. There is an automatic shut-down system that activates whenever the steamer is too hot, or the water level is too low, and the 2-in-1 fabric and lint brush included in the box gives you more versatility at home or on the go.

NANO Water Technology for Softer Steaming

Polardo Handheld Travel Steamer

Featuring 360° anti-spill technology, this high-grade travel steamer uses an electronic pump system to deliver steam from any angle. You can even use this steamer upside down — without the risk of spills or burns — to ensure that you never miss a single crease.

With a tank that heats up in less than 25 seconds and delivers 10 continuous minutes of steam power, this model is a little more costly than some others on the market, but its superior steaming capabilities make the extra few dollars well worth it.

Offering seriously useful features for those who like to stay wrinkle-free on the go, you can steam, sanitize, sterilize, soften, and clean any type of fabric including cotton, satin, linen, nylon blends, sequins, embroidery, beads, and much more. Gentle and safe to use, it also comes complete with an ultramodern NANO water filter. This softens tap water to prevent calcification and keeps your clothes feeling softer for longer.

Compact Steaming With a Carry Bag

PERFECTDAY Portable Garment Steamer

Powered by 800 watts of steam and with 8 steam nozzles, this is a good quality garment steamer that provides rapid venting for even steaming. It also comes with a fur brush to help remove dust, dirt, or debris from your clothes. With a compact design and a removable nozzle head, this model is small enough to tuck in your carry-on bag, while still being powerful enough to keep you looking fresh on the go.

The 3.4-ounce tank capacity will provide enough steam for around 10 minutes of steaming power, and the dual safety protection system will shut off the device when it gets too hot, or the water gets too low.

Commercial Grade Steaming in a Handheld

ESTEAM Personal Hand Held Steamer

This high-end steamer comes complete with a multitude of functions, including a selection of voltage plugs that will ensure your steamer works wherever in the world you are headed. Offering all the power of a full-size steamer in a smaller, portable package, the Jiffy ESTEAM uses many of the same components used in commercial-grade steamers for wrinkle-free clothing.

Measuring just 10.5 x 5 inches, this compact model can easily slip into your suitcase or carry-on. The built-in reservoir can hold up to 8 ounces of plain tap water, and the 600-watt heating element heats up in less than 60 seconds. Incredibly easy to use, this machine will transform your clothes from a wrinkled mess to laundered perfection in minutes.

Fast and Powerful Portable Steaming

Rowenta DR8080 Powerful Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer

This super-fast and super-powerful handheld steamer is perfect for looking good on the go. Offering 1500 watts of power and a removable 6.76-ounce tank, this model can create 10 minutes worth of steam in just 45 seconds. It is also super hygienic, killing 99.9% of germs, dust mites, and more, and can also be used on household items like curtains and furniture back at home.

Compact and lightweight, this steamer also comes with a selection of accessories, including a fabric brush to brush out wrinkles, a lint pad, and a steam bonnet to prevent water from dripping on your garments. Weighing in at just 2.2 pounds, this model is light enough to not make a dent in your luggage allowance, while still being powerful enough to handle a wide variety of fabrics and garment types.

Dual-Voltage Steaming for Use Worldwide

Conair Travel Smart 450 Watt Dual Voltage Garment Steamer

This impressive and affordable garment steamer from Conair is a 450 watt, dual-voltage garment steamer that will remove wrinkles in minutes. It comes complete with an 8-foot cord and detachable lint and bristle brush, folding handle, and a compact and lightweight design, making it perfect for travel.

This device works great on a wide variety of fabrics and can handle suitcase-creased clothing with ease. It is also useful for quick touch-ups on the go, and with a tank that heats up in less than a minute, you will never be waiting too long to be wrinkle-free and ready to go.

A Lightweight and Compact Travel Steamer

MASTEAM Steamer for Clothes

Using the latest technology wrapped up in a small and portable design, this is a great little travel steamer for those on the go. Weighing in at just 1.5 lbs, and offering spill-proof technology and an automatic safety system, this is a compact but powerful little steamer.

The spacious tank can hold up to 6-ounces of tap water and will heat up in 2 minutes to provide up to 10 minutes of steam power. Suitable for use across a wide range of fabrics, this is a handy little tool for travel.

Dual-Voltage, Super-Fast Steaming

NATURALIFE Foldable Travel Steamer

This dual-voltage steamer is perfect for use anywhere in the world. Foldable and portable, with its very own storage case, you can easily remain wrinkle-free on the go. The powerful 1000 watts of power heats the 3.4-ounce tank in around 40 seconds, producing around 10 minutes of steam power for your clothing.

Packed full of safety features, this steamer can be used both horizontally or vertically without dripping or leaking and can be used on a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, wool, polyester, plush, silk, fiber, nylon, velvet, and linen.

Leak-Proof Technology for Vertical and Horizontal Steaming

VUNAIRE Portable Garment Steamer for Clothes

This powerful little handheld garment steamer measures just 8.4 inches high, meaning it is compact enough to go anywhere with you. With 950 watts of power, wrinkles can be easily removed, and the tank takes just 20 seconds or so to produce 10 minutes’ worth of steam.

Leak-proof technology means you can use this little beauty both vertically and horizontally without leaking, and the 7.8-foot long cable makes it easy to steam clothes hanging up, wherever you are.

Final Thoughts

A travel steamer can be the difference between feeling crumpled and jet-lagged to fresh and well-presented. Compact, affordable, and easy to use, a travel steamer may not offer the power of a regular garment steamer, but it will have enough oomph to de-crease, refresh and de-wrinkle your clothes when looking presentable is really important.

Looking for more travel products? Explore all of our best travel products reviews – all in one place.


Frequently asked questions

Do handheld steamers really work?

In general, yes, they do work, but how well depends on the state of the garment, the material it is made from, and how good your steamer is. Travel steamers will usually be able to steam 1 outfit within 10 minutes.

Can you take a travel steamer in carry-on?

Provided you make sure that the steamer is free of any liquid, you can take a steamer in your carry-on.

Can I use tap water in my steamer?

Ideally, distilled water should be used in your steamer to reduce the need for constant cleaning and increase the lifespan of your product. Some steamers come with built-in water purifiers so you can use tap water.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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