Home Clothes Steamers: Everything You Need to Know

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Most of us iron and use an ironing board. Why would we ever consider buying a home steamer to possibly replace or complement our existing appliances? Home steamers have advantages over an iron and ironing board that are hard to overlook. Home steamers usually take up less space, stand on their own, are easier to use, handle a wider set of materials safely, and can outperform most irons. It wasn't that long ago that you would only find a fully capable clothes steamer in laundries and dry cleaners. That has changed significantly in recent years as the price point has lowered to where they are accessible by most households.

Home Clothes Steamer Specifications

Any discussion of home steamers must be preceded by a look at the key specifications and features of a reasonably equipped device. These are the specification and features on which you will depend to base your buying decision.

Power (Watts)

When discussing power, you are really discussing how many watts a home steamer produces. Watts equals heat to some degree and so home steamers with higher wattages will produce steam more quickly from the steamer's reservoir of water. Also more power will produce a more powerful stream of steam which translates to the ability to handle wider variety of fabrics and faster performance. Lower wattage devices may not be able to remove all the wrinkles from tougher fabrics like denim.

Water Capacity

Water reservoir capacity translates directly to how long you can steam and the number of garments you can steam. The more water, the longer you can steam and the more garments you can steam, everything else being equal. This is because the larger the reservoir, the longer the steam will last. If you want to steam several garments or large fabric areas like drapes and curtains, you will want to consider a larger reservoir.

Steam Production Time

A higher wattage device can typically produce steam quicker than a lower wattage device. This can be important if you are in a hurry or are just an impatient person. So if "impatient" describes your demeanor, you should choose a steamer with more wattage and a shorter published time to steam. Many popular home steamers are able to produce steam in less than a minute.

Steam Duration Time

Home steamer wattage and water reservoir size determine the steam duration time. A more powerful steamer with more watts produces a more powerful stream but, it will also use the water in the reservoir faster. If you want faster performance be sure to match the steam duration time with your expectations so that you can complete your tasks in one session. This may mean larger dimensions to accommodate a larger reservoir.


You don't expect to take a home steamer in your suitcase on your trip with you. Even so portability around the house is still important. Important portability considerations in include dimensions, weight, and portability features. The most common feature of a home steamer that contributes to portability is a set of wheels. If you need to move your home steamer some distance from your storage location (closet) to your steaming location (bedroom), you should make sure your choice has adequate portability features such a wheels.


How easy is it to store the home steamer? The good news is that most home steamers are now small enough to be relatively easy to store. If they have a built-in garment hanger you may find that they are taller than you expected but, they are usually squat and narrow for the most part. They usually can easily be stored in the corner of a bedroom or closet. Units with collapsible garment hangers are even easier to store. Do you have a place to store the steamer? Think of that when considering your choice.

Cord Length

Portability aside, you need to consider where you are going to plug in your home steamer. The length of the power cord is important, especially if the availability of outlets in your home is limited. If you need the flexibility, choose a unit with a longer power cord.

Important: You are highly discouraged from using any sort of extension cord with a high power device like a clothes steamer. The risk of fire and burns due to a hot cord or an electrical overload are a real possibility that you want to avoid at all costs.

Home Clothes Steamer Key Features
Besides the key specifications that you should look for, there are some features that can make your life easier when using your steamer for clothes. Take a look at some of the key features:

Garment Hanger

Most home garment steamers come equipped with either a fixed or collapsible garment hanger. They make a handy alternative to hanging your clothes on a closet door or other hanger somewhere in your house. If this alternative is important to you, make sure you choose a unit with that feature.

Fabric Brush and Accessories

The majority of home clothes steamers come with a set of accessories usually including a fabric brush. The fabric brush is useful in removing lint from your clothes and brushing the fabric of your clothes while steaming.


A longer warranty may be the determining factor in your decision when all other features and specifications are equal. You will find that warranty lengths vary by manufacturer and can be found from 90 days to as high as 5 years. Look for a warranty of a year or more on a home clothes steamer.

I hope this article has provided you with valuable information that will help you in making your choice of a home clothes steamer.

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Mark Ridgeway has 9 articles online

Mark is an avid writer who specializes in articles that help consumers make better buying decisions.  Check out his site at

You will find new articles everyday loaded with information on portable clothes steamers, home clothes steamers, and other home steamers. Articles all contain high quality information to help you make the right decisions.

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Home Clothes Steamers: Everything You Need to Know

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This article was published on 2013/05/24