If you have a favorite hat, you understand the pain that comes when it loses its shape and gets dirty. Washing it can cause it to lose even more of its original shape, and that's the last thing you want. Hat steamers are one easy way to return your favorite hat or hats to their former glory.
But how do you choose the best one and what, exactly, are you looking for in your new hat steamer? We've taken the guesswork out of this question, and we've rounded up the top three best hat steamers currently available on the market. We'll review and compare the top three, and since they're all made by the same company, give a little company background.
The second half of this article will deal with how to reshape your hat. Anyone who has ever washed or really cleaned their hats will understand the struggle that comes with reshaping their hat once it has dried. We'll cover that in a video so you can follow along with our step-by-step guide.
Jiffy Steamer is a company that was originally founded in 1940, and it is located in Union City, Tennessee. The company came from small beginnings, and it has evolved over the years to be one of the biggest and oldest steam technology manufacturers in the world. This company is credited with inventing the steaming process along with the modern steamer.
Jiffy Steamer is backed by more than 1,000 designers in 53 countries. They have steamers for the commercial market, residential market, and several specialist industries. There are four generations of the same family involved in Jiffy Steamer, and the company embraces family values. Finally, Jiffy Steamer is set apart from its competition by its dedication to its customers and its customer service.
You won't find many people in the fashion or clothes industry who have bad things to say about Jiffy.
Jiffy Hat Steamers Compared
The Top 3 Hat Steamer Reviews
#3: J-1 Jiffy Hat Steamer
For anyone who wants a standard hat steamer that is perfect for light commercial use, the original J-1 Jiffy Hat Steamer may be the perfect option. This steamer is smaller, lighter, and designed to be used as a tabletop unit. You'll be able to store it easily and move it around quickly. Ideally, you'd use it to remove nesting rings, reshape your hat to your liking, and freshening felt.
This tabletop unit comes with two house of steaming power with one fill, and it heats up in just two minutes. It has an easily attachable plastic water reservoir that holds one gallon, and it's very easy to see at a glance if you need to refill it or how close you are to running out.
The body of this steamer is made from die-cast aluminum for a durable finish. The nozzle features no-drop technology, and it is made out of brass for a long-lasting component. This unit weighs just 15 pounds, and this makes it very easy to move around. It also has an on/off switch that allows you to preheat the steamer in just 1 minute.
This hat steamer delivered on how user-friendly it is. It's also a very quick to heat up, and this convenience is a big bonus for people who are in a hurry. You also get two hours of steam time per fill, and it is easy to tell when you're running low on water. However, the plastic water reservoir isn't as durable as some of the other steamers, and this could be a problem.
This model gets an 8 out of 10. Although the quick heating function and the power of this particular hat steamer are very convenient, it does have some shortcomings. The biggest drawback to this steamer is the plastic water reservoir. It has serious durability issues, and it could affect how well the steamer performs.
#2: J-4000H Jiffy Hat Steamer
The second hat steamer on our list is the J-4000H Jiffy Hat Steamer. This particular model is more heavy-duty, and it is designed to be a commercial hat steamer. It comes with a brass hat nozzle that allows you to quickly and easily steam and shape your hat.
This tabletop hat steamer comes with a die-cast aluminum exterior that is durable and stylish. This outer casing has a built-in and easy-to-read water level sight gauge that allows you to find out your exact water level at a glance. There is also convenient preheat settings along with several steam settings.
The interior of this hat steamer is made of stainless steel for a durable and lasting water chamber. This model takes fifteen minutes to reach the preheat temperature, and another 5 minutes to reach its steaming temperature. Once you fill the tank, you'll get 2 hours of steaming time. You'll also get 1500-watts of steaming power with this hat steamer, and it holds one gallon of water.
This model delivered in power and portability. The fact that it is a tabletop unit means that it's lightweight and easy to move around as you need it. It is also multi-use, and you can use it for a variety of things other than just hat steaming. However, this unit does have a downside. The voltage can be confusing depending on where you're going to use it, and this can cause functionality issues.
We rated this hat steamer as a 9 out of 10. Its tabletop design allows for you to move it around, and it's stainless steel internal casing ensure that this steamer will last. We took a point away for the voltage issues.
#1: Jiffy J-2000H Gray Hat Steamer
The final hat steamer on our review list is the Jiffy J-2000H model. This compact hat steamer is designed to be very long-lasting and durable, but it's wrapped into a smaller package. The water tank is internal, and it can hold up to one gallon of water per fill. It also comes with heat and preheat settings, so you can set it and let it go.
You'll have an easy-to-use sight gauge on the side of this model. It not only tells you your current water level, but it also tells you if you have a sediment build-up, so you know when you have to clean your steamer. The spout is brass, and this lends to the overall durability of the unit.
This steamer heats up to preheat temperatures within fifteen minutes, and it's ready to steam within 2 minutes after it's reached its preheat temperatures. It delivers 1300-watts, and its brass nozzle comes with a no-drip cap. It also has an automatic shut off option built-in as an added safety feature.
This steamer came with a variety of useful options like the built-in automatic shut off button, a no-drip cap on the nozzle, and the sight gauge for water and sediment buildup. It does tend to work better or straw or felt hats, and this can be a drawback.
This hat steamer gets a 10 out of 10. Its durable build and variety of safety options allowed us to give it a higher rating. Additionally, the one slight drawback won't really affect its overall use, so we didn't take any points off.
How to Reshape Your Hat
If you have a favorite hat, you've most likely noticed that it loses its shape over time. This can be due to simple wear and tear or because it has been washed and re-washed over and over again. However, it is possible to reshape your hat, and we're going to walk you through the process with the help of this excellent video:
Many hats are made out of felt, and this material is relatively easy to restore to its former glory. If you find your hat dented like at 0:15, you can start repairing it by carefully popping the dent out, so the hat returns to the way it was as she demonstrates at 0:20, and then apply steam.
Steam is an excellent medium to help you reshape your hat once it loses its shape or gets dented. Additionally, if you store your hats in boxes, you may start to see your hat bands becoming misshapen as well. You can see this at 0:50, and steam is an excellent way to restore these as well.
Start the process by turning on your steamer, and letting it preheat. When you start to steam your hat, especially if it's made of felt, you may see it start to open. If this happens, don't panic. You can see the explanation for this at 1:09. When you start to steam your hat, you want to count to 5 as she demonstrates at 1:30.
Counting to 5 will allow the felt to warm enough so you can mold it back into its original shape. You can hold your steamer close to your hat and steam the outside as well as the inside of your hat as you can see at 1:39. Once your felt is warm, you can start to work it back into its original form.
At 1:50, you can see how she starts to smooth the hat back into its original form gently. You want to run your fingers along the top of the hat as well as the bottom. You want to smooth out any odd bumps or spots and fix any creases you see.
To fix your hat's band, you want to start by flipping your hat upside down to steam it. In the video, you can see the process starting at the 2:00 mark. Hold your hat by the brim upside down, and set your steamer right up to the band. Start steaming the band at the brim, and pull the steamer into a downward motion. You can see an example of this at 2:10. Once it's warm, smooth your band with your fingers to get it back to its original shape as she does at 2:20.
This is a slower process, and you do want to take your time with it to ensure you get the end product you want. With a straw hat, you may have a slightly harder time reshaping it. If your straw hat is crushed, it's not possible to reshape it, and you need a new hat. She explains this at 2:31.