If you have ever tried ironing corduroy, velvet, or silk clothing before, your garments probably did not end up looking as fresh as you wanted them. This is because heat-sensitive materials like silk and synthetics require a delicate touch to first relax the fabric before ironing out the creases. This is where a steam press comes into play.
Steamers use heated water vapor to help delicate fabrics relax and retain its shape while also effortlessly removing creases. Today, you’ll learn about what the best steam press for clothes is, as well as how to choose the most appropriate steam press for your home.
How to Choose A Steam Press?
First, let’s quickly go over how to choose the best steam press for your clothes. With numerous options available, finding the most suitable steam press is no mean task, but this guide will provide you with all of the information you need to know about choosing the best steam press for clothes.
Steam Press Types
The two steam press varieties are handheld and table-top.
Handheld steam irons work great at removing creases from hanging clothes. These are the more portable type, but even steam distribution is nearly impossible to achieve since it relies on a keen eye and evenly-paced hand movements.
Tabletop steam presses come with wide tables that accommodate larger pieces of clothing. Their iron press covers a wider area and distributes steam evenly across the entire surface. These devices are less portable but still lightweight, and they do easy work out of steam-ironing large items, such as suit pants and tablecloths.
Some of the more high-end steam presses come with a manually-controlled temperature dial or buttons. This will allow you to set the iron’s temperature to your exact specifications to prevent damage to your steamed clothing.
Since some fabrics require a more delicate touch while others can withstand straight-on blasts of full-force steam, manual temperature settings will make your steam press more versatile and even more energy-efficient.
If you don’t like tinkering with a temperature dial, then you can rely on different fabric presets to do the thinking for you. Fabric preset options are preprogrammed into the steam press to automatically adjust the steam temperature based on what piece of clothing you’re ironing. This can help cut your ironing time by a lot since you don’t have to turn a temperature dial up and down when switching between different fabrics.
Pay close attention to the dimensions of the surface press. Larger surface presses can accommodate larger pieces of clothing and remove more creases with less repositioning. Also, since the press surface distributes an even stream of steam, you won’t need to worry about accidentally burning one spot while leaving others untouched.
Auto and Manual Steaming
Some steam presses come with auto and manual steaming options. Auto steaming will release a jet of high-pressure steam as soon as the arm is pulled down—usually for up to 10 seconds—and will stop when returned to its original position.
Manual steaming will allow you to deliver as much steam as you think is necessary and when to remove creases for good.
The wattage rating refers to how much energy the device consumes. A high-watt table-top steam press can boil water more quickly to help complete ironing jobs in less time. Even though you will have to pay a higher electricity bill for the convenience of both quicker speed and better ironing performance, you can always set the steam press at a lower temperature to reduce energy consumption.
Water Reservoir Capacity
Obviously, a larger tank will allow you to steam-press more garments with each tankful of water. Other benefits include longer heat retention and fewer tank refills before completing your steam-pressing jobs. The main drawback of a high-capacity reservoir is longer boiling times, which can mean more energy consumption overall.
Auto-Kill Safety Switch
An auto-kill safety switch is a must-have safety feature for any table-top steam press. The safety switch will typically activate after 10 seconds of continuous steaming to prevent steam damage to your clothing.
The steam press might also shut off automatically while left plugged in to stop the heating element from burning itself out. Handheld steam irons may not come with these safety features, so you will have to pay more attention while using one.
Take a close look at what sort of warranty options are available for the steam press. If you plan on using your steam press commercially, the warranty will usually last for half the time of a consumer-level warranty. Also, these devices are usually protected by a 1-year warranty, but many can be as short as six months residential and three months commercial.
The Steamfast SG680 is the overall best steam press for clothes you can find today. It features a 25 x 10.5-inch press surface that accommodates large articles of clothing, as well as bed sheets and tablecloths while delivering over 100 pounds of pressure across the entire surface.
This device does not have a manual temperature dial, but instead, it has six different steam options—minimum, nylon, silk, wool, cotton, and linen—with preconfigured temperature settings ideal for all kinds of fabrics.
When it comes to safety, the Steamfast SG680 is full of helpful features. It has an 8-second alarm that tells you when to lift the iron press, as well as an auto-shutoff switch that kills the boiler after idling for prolonged periods (10 minutes by customer reports).
The Singer Magic ESP-2 isn’t much different from the previous model. Although the press surface is slightly smaller (24 x 9 inches), you can still steam-press all sorts of large garments and fabric pieces in less time as opposed to traditional ironing.
The ESP-2 also comes with a 10-second alarm, alerting users that the press has been activated for too long. This device comes with a die-cast aluminum press for more even steam distribution and less sticking/staining.
There are also the same six fabric presets as the Steamfast to eliminate any guesswork involved with ironing different pieces of clothing. If you’ve had trouble ironing stubborn wrinkles out of suits and dress pants, the Singer Magic ESP-2 will remove all creases with care and efficiency.
The Sienna Espresso SSP-1990 offers a bit more versatility in terms of what kind of clothing you can steam-press. Instead of having just six presets for different clothing, you can turn the temperature dial to deliver between 212 and 410°F of steam. However, there are five marked positions on the dial that let you quickly choose how much steam to deliver based on your clothing’s material.
This steam press’ surface area is 22 x 9 inches, which is slightly smaller still than the previous models, though customers have never had much issue steam-pressing jeans or suit pants in this device. Plus, it evenly distributes over 100 pounds of pressure to eradicate creases thoroughly in under 10 seconds of pressing.
The Speedy Press is an oversized steam press for those who work commercially or have wider articles of clothing at home. With a 35.5 x 12-inch press surface, it takes fewer repositioning and less time to remove the creases out of large tablecloths and suits with the aptly named Speedy Press.
This is also the only steam press on our list that has both auto and manual steam burst functions. However, there is no 10-second alarm, so make sure you pay close attention to your work while using this steam press.
The touchscreen interface lets you choose between the five standard fabric presets, as well as manually adjust the steam level to your exact specifications. You can even deactivate the boiler to dry-iron your clothes with this ultra-wide steam press.
Last up, we have the only handheld device on our list—the Sunbeam Handheld SteamPress. This steam press is perfect for travelers or killing dust mites and bed bugs on sheets at any time. It takes just about 45 seconds to heat a tankful of water, which can provide up to 45 minutes of continuous steam.
A ready light indictor will shine bright, alerting the user that steam is at full pressure and ready to remove wrinkles and creases. Plus, this device has a trigger lock to continuously deliver high-pressure steam to reduce strain on your finger and wrist.
The Sunbeam comes with several attachments to steam-press wrinkles more efficiently out of different articles of clothing. Though helpful, these attachments have a difficult time staying in place, so most users skip using them altogether.
Even though a steam press iron is pricier than a traditional iron, they are undoubtedly a worthy investment if you want to extend the life of costlier, more sensitive pieces of clothing. Over time, irons will lose its protective ceramic layer, which can lead to burns and hardened spots where the iron has rested for too long. Steam press irons only require a couple of seconds to completely remove wrinkles, so there’s virtually no risk of burning.
2. How do you steam press clothes?
After the initial setup (plugging in, filling the tank with water, allowing it to produce steam), lay your clothes flat on the surface of the steam press’ table, swing the arm down, press and hold the steamer button for up to 3 seconds, release the steamer button, and swing the arm back up. Readjust the positioning of your garment, so another wrinkled portion is resting on the table. Repeat until all wrinkles are ironed out.
3. Is it better to iron or steam clothes?
You will most likely need both devices at home. Irons provide a crisper and cleaner finish on heavier fibers like denim and linen. Some of the more premium table-top steam irons have a dry-ironing option, but it will not produce as crisp of a look as conventional ironing. That said, steam-pressing will remove most of the creases from delicate materials, such as silk and synthetics, while leaving no burn marks.
4. Does steaming clean clothes?
Indeed, it does. Steam is excellent for sanitizing all sorts of surfaces, including fabrics. It doesn’t require harsh chemicals to kill bacteria, viruses, and microscopic pests like dust mites and bed bugs.
Some have relied solely on steam presses to kill odor-causing bacteria and reduce their laundry load by quite a lot, thereby saving money on energy and water. However, it can take several minutes for the steam to thoroughly kill certain bacteria, and with a steam press, you run the risk of causing irreparable damage to your garments.
If you’re unsatisfied with the results of traditional ironing or you don’t want to spend hours on this cumbersome chore, then you should consider upgrading to a steam press. A steam press comes with a large ironing surface that removes wrinkles and creases almost instantly with the help of steam.
Today, we’ve shown you what the best steam press for clothes is (Steamfast SF680), as well as several alternatives with different press surface dimensions. We’ve also included a super-compact handheld steamer (Sunbeam Handheld SteamPress) for those on the go.
If you’re unsure which steam press is best for your clothes, we can lend a helping hand in the comment section.