What are the Different Types of Hand Held Steamers?

Clothes can be pressed more quickly and more gently with fabric steamers than with irons.
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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2015
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Hand held steamers are a good way to keep your clothes looking good when you don’t have ready access to an iron. The principle behind a hand held steamer is simple. Water is placed in the steamer where it heats to boiling. Once it is boiling, steam is forced out through small holes in the steamer.

There are different types of hand held steamers, and when shopping for one, there are several things that you should consider. If you plan to travel with your hand held steamer, look at the size and weight of several styles. If you travel outside of the country, a hand held steamer with dual voltage is an added convenience.

Although size and weight are important, they should not be your only consideration. Some hand held steamers have an on/off button, while others are on when you plug them in and remain on until they are unplugged. Some heat the water to boiling and send steam out automatically, while others have temperature controls.

Some hand held steamers have attachments, such as a link brush or a comb to freshen fabric. If you are looking at a hand held steamer with these attachments, check to see how easy they are to attach and disconnect from the steamer. Also, does the steamer allow you to store these attachments on the steamer when not in use or are they stored separately?


Some hand held steamers heat the water up quickly and are ready for use in just a few minutes, while others take longer. Also, the steam generated from some hand held steamers is not as great as from others. Finally, if the holes on the hand held steamer are too large, water may drop out, along with the steam, leaving your fabric overly wet.

A final consideration before purchasing a hand held steamer is how much strength you have in your upper body. Some people find hand held steamers lightweight and easy to use, while others find that even a few minutes use is too tiring. If possible try one out before purchasing one of your own.

Hand held steamers are a great way to touch up clothes at home or while away. If you are expecting the same look as a crisply ironed shirt however, you will be disappointed. You steam clothes by hanging them up and then passing the steamer over them. Without using an ironing board to press the fabric flat, you cannot expect to get the same crisp look.


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