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8 Best Clothes Steamers | The Strategist

Photo: Marcus McDonald

Steamers are the secret weapon of garment care. Although their place in the home-appliance canon is less established than that of irons, they can do many of the same things: “I don’t think people understand how much you can get away with steaming things as opposed to ironing,” says Zach Pozniak, a third-generation dry cleaner and the vice-president of operations at Jeeves New York. “You can steam the vast majority of your clothing and be pretty happy with the results.” Plus steaming is, in many cases, better for keeping delicate, soft textiles in good shape: “Ironing is way more aggressive to your clothes than steaming is,” says Pozniak, “because you’re drilling it with pressure and heat,” while steamers work more gently to relax fibers.

As an amateur sewer and the owner of a lot of fussy clothing, I keep both an iron and a steamer around. I pull out the iron for sewing projects or a mega-wrinkled garment, but for the vast majority of clothing, I prefer doing a few passes with a steamer (right now, a sturdy Jiffy standing model — more on that below). As Posniak says, steaming is gentler on the fabric and less likely to damage it through accidental scorching. It’s also quicker than ironing, which makes a difference: 99 percent of the time I steam something, it’s a last-minute wardrobe change and I’m already running five minutes late. No matter your use case — whether you only use one when traveling or you steam your bed linens every week — there’s a model for you. To help find the best clothes steamer, I

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