Garment Steamers Compared Side by Side
There are lots of garment steamers on the market, and even on an easy-to-navigate site like this one, the choice can be overwhelming. So we've tried to create some charts that compare some of the best and best-selling steamers at a glance.
These charts show our ratings (out of 10) lifted from our reviews - we are interested in
- the features of a steamer - accessories, different types of head, different modes, etc
- the performance of a steamer - how fast does it heat up, how powerful is it, and so on
- the overall rating - a combination of the other two with room for that je nais se quoi factor - some steamers are just a joy to hold and to use, while others have good specs and features but are somehow annoying or aggravating in an undefinable way
These are the best-of-the-best, crème de la crème, the knees of the bees of the garment steamer world. We pay more and expect more - some of these steamers are used by hotels, dry cleaners, fashion houses etc.
In a competitive field we penalised the 3000IS for its lengthy warmup and cooldown time. The other units were packed with useful functions and accessories.
Two steamers were given full marks - the J-2000 and 3000IS. The J-4000 actually packs more of a punch, but it just takes a while to get going. Assuming most of our readers want to buy a steamer for use in the home, the J-2000 might be more apt.
As you can see, it's a pretty tight field. While each steamer has its own strengths and weaknesses, none of these will give you buyer's remorse and all are more than capable of blasting those darn wrinkles out of your clothing. The DG8520 and IS6300 are our favourites - they do all the basics, have all the advanced features, but also have that air of craftsmanship that is the difference between an average smartphone and an iPhone.
Budget and Travel Steamers
These have retail prices under 100 dollars, though many are MUCH less than that. Bear in mind that 9/10 in features and performance on a one-foot high travel steamer is NOT the same as a 9/10 rating on a 400-dollar premium steamer!
The fabric steamers in this table represent some of 2016's best-selling steamers, and they will probably continue to sell well for many years to come. There's a clear first rank of steamers that offer most of what you'd want from a low-end device - the Puresteam, Sunbeam and Taotronics lead the pack, with the Extremesteam not too far behind.
The Joy-900, Gideon, and SF-435 fare badly in this category, but it's not the end of the world. Many people are perfectly happy with those devices.
In terms of power and performance, we rated the E-best Mini top, with the TaoTronics also impressing. Bottom came the Extremesteam.
The E-best Mini was our favourite in this category since we started the site - until we got our hands on the TaoTronics. That led the pack for a while, though the differences were small enough that if there was a good deal going on any of the top 5, we'd recommend that model. Now we have a clear favorite - the Sunbeam.
The remaining ones are not worthless, but I'd only be interested in an SF-435 or Joy-900 if there was an amazing deal to be had. The Gideon is one of many garment steamers plagued by fake reviews and massively underperformed.