We know that the ironing can pile up, get quite overwhelming and let's be honest, not many people enjoy doing it. However, some clothing just gets so creased that you need to do something about it.


As a parent your time is precious, and using a clothes steamer is a quicker and easier way to get creases out of your family's clothes. The handheld options are much smaller than a regular iron and ironing board so are a brilliant alternative if you lack storage space.

There are lots of clothes steamers to choose from and some are brilliant for big items such as curtains, bedding and other upholstery. To help you choose the best clothes steamer to suit your family, we asked our Top Testers Club to tell us about the ones they love and recommend. We considered, capacity, ease of use, compactness, effectiveness, versatility and value.

Best Clothes Steamers at a glance

  • Best compact clothes steamer: Philips 3000 Series Handheld Steamer, £49.99
  • Best budget clothes steamer: Swan ConSteam Sl12020N Hand Steamer, £29.99
  • Best fragranced clothes steamer: Tefal Pure Tex DT9530Go Garment Steamer, £109
  • Best vertical steamer: Philips GC487/86 Easy Touch Stand Clothes Steamer, £99.99
  • Best clothes steamer for attachments: Russell Hobbs Steam Genie 27220 Clothes Steamer, £39.99
  • Best for removing odours: Tefal Pro Style Care IT8460, £139.99
  • Best travel clothes steamer: Philips Steam & Go Plus GC362 Compact Garment Steamer, £65
  • Best clothes steamer for ironing board: Tefal IEXO Power QT2020Go All-in-One Iron & Clothes Steamer Solution, £369

What to consider when buying a clothes steamer

Vertical or handheld – A handheld steamer is small and portable, great for travel and on the go. With the compactness does come small capacity and less power. If you want something closer to the power of an iron then you may want to opt for a vertical steamer which tends to be more powerful and have much larger capacities, meaning you can steam more clothes without needing to refill. However, it does require more storage room than a handheld steamer.

Capacity – A large water capacity means longer steaming time. However, this does make the steamer bulkier. If you want a large capacity steamer then your best option is a vertical steamer.

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Size – As previously mentioned, handheld steamers are much smaller than vertical steamers. You need to consider how much storage space you have and whether you want to be able to take the steamer with you when you are on the go before choosing the type of steamer you think is best for your family.

Attachments – Some of the steamers come with different heads to use for steaming different fabrics. The more heads the steamer comes with, the more versatile it is. There are some that have lint and hair removal heads too which can be a great added feature.

Can you use a clothes steamer to kill bed bugs?

With the recent uptick in bed bug infestations, you might have heard that clothes steamers can be used to kill the unwanted guests.

Getting rid of bed bugs can be difficult but the best way to kill them is to expose them to heat or cold. They are most effectively killed at high temperatures between 71°C–82°C, though the minimum temperature should be around 54.4°C.

Due to these temperature requirements, a specific steamer type is required. As sleep brand Puffy notes, "handheld steamers can be effective but are generally less reliable due to their lower temperature range and limited water tank capacity."

For this reason, we'd suggest looking at a commercial steamer as opposed to the lower temperature handheld steamers to ensure that it can reach the right temperature to kill the bed bugs.

Our pick of the best clothes steamers

1. Philips 3000 Series Handheld Steamer, £49.99

– Best compact steamer

Philips 3000 Series Handheld Steamer

Type: Handheld | Capacity: 100ml | Power: 1000w

This Philips steamer is specially designed to be lightweight and super compact. It can be folded making it convenient to store and brilliant for on the go.

The steamer heats up and is ready to use in just 30 seconds. It's safe to use on all ironable fabrics and has a 120ml detachable water tank which should be enough to steam your whole outfit.

While steaming your clothes you'll also be killing 99.9% of bacteria. Included with the steamer is a storage pouch to keep it protected wherever you store it.

Pros: Lightweight, compact, can be folded, heats up in 30 seconds, safe to use on all ironable fabrics, kills bacteria, comes with pouch
Cons: Quite small capacity

Available from: Argos and John Lewis

2. Swan ConSteam Sl12020N Hand Steamer, £29.99

– Best budget steamer

Swan ConSteam Sl12020N Hand Steamer

Type: Handheld | Capacity: 250ml | Power: 1100w

This clothes steamer is excellent value. Parent tester Corinne recommends this Swan steamer, "It's not too heavy or bulky and it has an attachment with it so you can use it on various types of garments, curtains and bedding. It has a fair size water compartment, we can usually do an outfit each with it before needing to refill. The cord is fairly long too which is always helpful," she says.

However, Corinne does advise using filtered water when you can as she lives in a hard water area and finds the steamer can get clogged with limescale.

The steamer comes with a removable fabric brush to ensure you can steam a variety of fabrics.

The 250ml detachable water tank is quite large for a handheld so as Corinne suggests it should allow you steam for a good amount of time.

Pros: Affordable, fabric brush attachment for different fabrics, long cord, good size water tank
Cons: Can get clogged with limescale

Available from: Very and Currys

3. Tefal Pure Tex DT9530G0 Garment Steamer, £109

– Best fragranced steamer

Tefal Pure Tex DT9530G0 Garment Steamer

Type: Handheld | Capacity: 200ml | Power: 1700w

The best thing about this steamer is it not only kills bacteria and removes creases, but it also makes your clothes or upholstery smell divine. You can spray your favourite perfume or scent onto the MonParfum insert that is located in the steam bonnet and your garment will be infused with the delightful smell. This is great for in-between washes for a quick freshen up.

The steam bonnet allows you to steam everything, including delicate materials and clothing.

Another great thing about this steamer is its Mirco-Fibre pad which removes hair, lint and dust. And there's a little storage box to store all the heads to keep everything altogether.

The water capacity tank is only 200ml which is slightly smaller than the Swan steamer so if you need to steam quite a few items you will need to keep refilling.

Pros: Has fragrance, can be used on delicate clothing, has attachment to remove hair and lint, storage box for different heds
Cons: Quite a small water capacity

Available from: Amazon and Argos

4. Philips GC487/86 Easy Touch Stand Clothes Steamer, £99.99

– Best vertical steamer

Philips GC48786 Easy Touch Stand Clothes Steamer

Type: Vertical | Capacity: 1.4l | Power: 1800w

Vertical steamers are much more powerful than handheld steamers. If you're planning on steaming all your family's clothes then this vertical steamer may be a great option.

It has 3 steam settings so you can adjust depending on the thickness of the item. The board makes it easy to vertically steam and acts a little bit like an ironing board to help ensure you get all the creases out.

Unlike the handheld steamers with the smaller water capacity that need refilling with continuous use, this has a 1.4l water tank so should last you quite a while.

The double poles are adjustable so you can hang your garments while steaming.

Pros: Powerful, 3 steam settings, board and pole to hang garments, large water capacity
Cons: Big, may be difficult to store

Available from: John Lewis and Amazon

5. Russell Hobbs Steam Genie 27220 Clothes Steamer, £39.99

– Best for attachments

Russell Hobbs Steam Genie 27220 Clothes Steamer

Type: Vertical | Capacity: 1.4l | Power: 1800w

This steamer comes with lots of different attachments, such as a delicates head, an upholstery head and a lint brush. This makes the steamer incredibly versatile and means it can be used on pretty much anything.

It takes just 45 seconds to heat up and the 200ml tank allows you to steam for up to 7 minutes, just the right time for approximately 1 outfit.

The steam trigger lock releases continuous steam so you don't need to hold down any buttons while using.

Parent tester Yasmin recently replaced her old steamer with this one and said, "It has a much larger steam head and it's very quick and easy to use when you're in a rush."

Pros: Lots of different attachments, 45 seconds heat-up time, steam trigger lock, portable
Cons: Fairly small water tank capacity

Available from: Amazon, Very and Currys and

6. Tefal Pro Style Care IT8460, £139.99

– Best for removing odours

tefal prostyle

Type: Vertical | Capacity: 1.3l | Power: 1800w

Now, one of the main reasons a vertical steamer would be favoured over a handheld steamer is because of their large water tank capacity. This model from Tefal includes a removable tank with a capacity of 1.3l and an anti-scale draining system to help it last for longer.

It takes up to 45 seconds to heat up and kills up to 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and germs to keep your clothes smelling fresh.

It also comes with five attachments including a fabric brush, steam bonnet, pleat attachment, lint pad and heat protecting glove ready to steam a wide range of clothes and materials.

Pros: Large water tank capacity, kills 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and germs, very powerful, solid range of attachments
Cons: Larger to store than handheld, quite an expensive option

Available from: Tefal

7. Philips Steam & Go Plus GC362 Compact Garment Steamer, £65

– Best for travel

Philips Steam & Go Plus GC362 Compact Garment Steamer being tested

Type: Handheld | Capacity: 170ml | Power: 1300w

This small and lightweight clothes steamer is an excellent travel companion to use on the go thanks to its little storage pouch to keep it protected in your luggage. It can be used vertically or horizontally on items that are slightly more difficult.

The steamer is safe to use on all fabrics, including delicates and ones you may have trouble ironing.

Parent tester Andria loves her Philips steamer for getting creases out of bedding and says it works really well on her suede dining chairs too.

It heats up and is ready to use in 60 seconds and its detachable water tank makes it easy to fill. However, although the water tank is bigger than the Philips 3000 Series, it is one of the smallest out of all the handhelds on this list so will need refilling for longer steaming.

Pros: Small and lightweight for travel, storage pouch, can be used on all fabrics
Cons: Small water tank capacity, takes longer to heat up than other handheld options

Available from: Amazon, Argos and John Lewis

8. Tefal IEXO Power QT2020G0 All-in-One Iron & Clothes Steamer Solution, £299

– Best for ironing board

Tefal IEXO Power QT2020G0 All-in-One Iron & Clothes Steamer Solution

Type: Vertical | Capacity: 1.1l | Power: 2170w

If you're a little reluctant to switch out your iron and ironing board for a steamer then this is a good compromise as it has a built-in ironing board.

This option is very powerful and has a water tank capacity of over 1 litre.

The board can be set in 3 different positions depending on whether you want to steam horizontally, vertical or tilted at a 30° angle.

It takes approximately 70 seconds to heats up and offers the same power as a regular steam generator iron.

Although the overall steamer is big, the steamer head itself is small and lightweight and much less heavy than using a regular iron.

Pros: Built-in ironing board, large water tank capacity, powerful
Cons: Big to store, takes longer to heat up than others, expensive option

Available from: Very, John Lewis and Amazon

How did we choose our 8 of the Best?

When testing and selecting the best clothes steamers, we considered, capacity, ease of use, compactness, effectivness, versatility and value.

Our Best of lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

Is steaming clothes better than ironing?

A steamer cannot directly replace an iron. There are some things, perhaps thicker materials, which you will need to iron to get the creases out of. However, there are many advantages of using a steamer over an iron for most clothing. One of the main advantages is how quick, easy and portable it is. Have a crumpled shirt in your suitcase on holiday? No problem, just pack your trusty steamer and get the creases out in seconds. Not so easy carrying an iron in your luggage allowance is it?

Another advantage of using a steamer is you can iron your bedding or curtains exactly where they are and don't need to take them down or off the bed. Also, unless you opt for a vertical steamer, a handheld steamer takes up virtually no room in comparison to a large steam generator iron and ironing board.


The final benefit of a steamer is they're great for a quick freshen up as the steam kills 99.9% bacteria and you can get some which diffuse a fragrance into your clothes.


Picture of Chloe Brightwell
Chloe BrightwellDigital Reviews Writer and Coordinator

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team, specialising in household and trying to help parents save money. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products, ranging from best cordless vacuums to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development. During her teenage years she worked as a play worker and Brownie volunteer to support children's play.