Garment steamer: key things to look for

We list the things to think about when choosing and buying a garment steamer, including tips on how to use.

Handheld or Vertical garment steamer?

The first thing to consider is whether you want a handheld/portable garment steamer or a vertical/free-standing steamer. Quite a significant different in looks and price, but also quite a difference in how to handle and use.

garment steamera) The handheld garment steamer

It’s big advantage is its portability. The Propress MINI Handheld Clothes Steamer weighs in at just 750 grams, making it one of the lightest handheld garment steamers on the market. Others can be over 1kg which is a noticeable difference if you have several garments to get through. Size is also important when thinking about portability and handhelds are usually under 30 cm long.

So the perfect choice to quickly refresh your clothes in the morning, for traveling and when you are away on business.

It also makes the perfect entry point in to garment steaming because they are easy to use, low cost and can work as well as a vertical in terms of results.

b) The vertical garment steamer

The vertical garment steamer typically come with a built in hanger. They come with more powerful steam output than the handheld garment steamer and with a larger water tank, allow for more autonomy when steaming.

The Propress PRO290 gives one hour continuous steaming and can be used across a wide range of fabrics including clothing, sofas, cushions, curtains, bed linen and even carpets where furniture has left dents.

Heat up time

Heat up time is important – if you plan to use your garment steamer in the morning before work, you can’t afford to be late waiting for the steamer to heat up!

The Propress MINI heats up in just 45 seconds.

Water tank autonomy

The longer you have autonomy the more you can steam in one go.

The Propress MINI garment steamer has a standard tank capacity of 130ml whereas the PRO290 holds 2 litres. The MINI however can be fitted with a Big Belly tank to take it up to a capacity of 230ml (or 13 minutes).

Horizontal steaming

Sometimes you need to be able to steam garments lying flat, particularly bed linen.

The Propress MINI handheld clothes steamer has a unique water tank incorporating a dual water feed allowing it to be used in the horizontal position.

Continuous steam option

Some garment steamers require you to hold a button to release the steam. If you’re planning to steam for an extended period this can be an issue. Best to choose a garment steamer that gives a continuous steaming option.

Auto shut off

Sometimes you may lose your way and run the garment steamer dry. With an automatic shut off the machine turns itself off before it runs dry for protection.

Power cord length

For the portable garment steamer the length of cord can be important. You need to ensure you have ample length from the electricity supply and the area for steaming. The Propress MINI portable garment steamer comes with a lengthy 3 metres of cord.

Brand experience

All of the above factors are important, but probably the most important criteria for selecting your garment steamer is the brand and how experienced the company is in steaming.

Do they specialise in steamers or make a range of products? How long have they been making steamers? Are they used in industry, by reputable companies?

Propress make nothing else but garment steamers and have been doing so for over 40 years. They are recognised the world over by top fashion professionals as the best steamers on the market. Read more about Propress here.

Shop the MINI