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Garment steamer reviews

These steamers are a gentler way of removing wrinkles from your clothing.
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We review nine garment steamers priced from $49 to $429, to reveal which ones:

  • are best at removing creases in a range of fabrics
  • are the easiest to use.

On this page:

Garment steamers are designed to be a gentler, safer way of removing wrinkles from clothing and are less likely to damage delicate fabric. This is because there is no pressure applied to the fabric fibres as there is with steam irons and steam stations.

But garment steamers aren’t just useful on clothes – you can use them to steam upholstery and rugs and for refreshing curtains and drapes. They’re more commonly used in clothes shops, for refreshing garments to give them a soft, clean look, than for home use. Tip: these steamers aren’t a complete substitute for an iron or steam station, as some fabrics need these irons to remove creases effectively. 

Compact steaming

The Conair Compact Garment Steamer CGS4A and Kambrook Swift Steam Garment Steamer KSS20 are compact models and worth a look if you don’t have a lot of space for storage. You could even pack the Kambrook in your suitcase for travelling. Bear in mind, however, that these two models have smaller water tanks and may need to be refilled more frequently. The Conair takes 700mL while the Kambrook only takes 200mL. 

For more on Ironing, including our latest steam iron review, see Laundry and Cleaning.

Models tested

  • Airflo Garment Steamer AFS500 (A)
  • Conair Easy Care 5000 CGS28BA
  • Conair Compact Garment Steamer CGS4A #
  • Excelsior Professional Garment Steamer LS-648B (A)
  • Homemaker 1500W Garment Steamer GS28-DJ
  • Jiffy Steamer J-2000
  • Kambrook Swift Steam Garment Steamer KSS20 #
  • Philips Quick Touch GC526
  • Tefal Minute Steam IS6200 #

(A) Discontinued.
# Newly tested models.

How we test


Our tester, Peter Horvath, tests garment steamers on the same materials as he does for irons and steam stations. He uses these fabrics:

  • synthetic organza
  • silk
  • wool
  • cotton shirt
  • denim jeans
  • linen
Extra tests include ironing a poly-cotton shirt, two dresses (one 100% silk, the other 100% polyester) and a curtain. 

He assesses how effective the iron is at removing creases. Garment steamers that take several passes to remove creases score lower, while garment steamers that leave creases or leak water score lowest.

Note: The performance scores are based on the individual scores for silk, wool, cotton, shirts, the two dresses and two curtains.

Ease of use

Peter assesses the garment steamers for:

  • ease of filling the water tank
  • how comfortable they are to hold
  • convenience of the hose
  • the functionality of the hanger
  • how easy the controls are to use.

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