The 7 Best Travel Steamers of 2022

The Hilife Travel Steamer for Clothes is a lifesaver on the road.

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The 7 Best Travel Steamers of 2022


Try as we might, packing for any trip often means arriving at a destination with a suitcase full of wrinkled and creased clothing. And, although most hotel rooms come equipped with an old-school ironing board, it can be a huge pain to unfold the clunky equipment and physically iron everything. Worse still, if your room doesn’t have an ironing board, paying to have the hotel press and steam individual garments quickly adds up.

Thankfully, portable handheld steamers make it super easy and affordable to ensure we’re always looking our best while traveling. The compact steamers tend to weigh about a pound or two and can easily fit into a carry-on bag or suitcase. Our favorite is the Hilife Travel Steamer for Clothes thanks to its price and efficiency, but our list includes plenty of standout options for travelers of all types.

Here is our breakdown of the best travel steamers.

Best Overall: Hilife Portable Garment Steamer

Hilife Steamer for Clothes


Why We Love It: This budget-friendly steamer is portable, yet it comes with an especially large water tank for efficiency.

What to Consider: This option is not cordless.

Travel steamers are significantly smaller than traditional stationary steamers which can sometimes mean that the water tank is inconveniently small — but that’s not the case with the Hilife Travel Steamer for Clothes. This portable steamer offers a large, 240-milliliter tank that offers a total run time of 15 minutes before needing to be refilled (which is likely more than enough time to steam your garments for the day ahead). And, although this option isn’t cordless, it does have a 9-foot cord that will allow you to press your items without being right next to a power outlet.

Price at time of publish: $39

Dimensions: 6.8 x 5.5 x 7 inches | Weight: 1.8 pounds | Heat-up time: Not listed | Tank capacity: 240 milliliters

Best Budget: Bear Travel Steamer

Bear Travel Steamer


Why We Love It: This affordable steamer comes with a handful of attachments and features a chic, gold-rimmed design.

What to Consider: The cord is only 6 feet long.

We love the look of this steamer — the modern design and gold-rimmed finish give it a look that is much more sophisticated than any garment steamer has the right to be. But the Bear Travel Steamer’s looks aren’t the only reason we love it. The budget-friendly price point and small size make this option great for travelers who rely on a carry-on bag only.

This option heats up in just 10 seconds’ time and has a run time of about 10 minutes. The only issue is that it only has a tank capacity of 120 milliliters, which is a bit inconvenient if you’re hoping to steam multiple garments at once.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 8.31 x 5.91 x 2.99 inches | Weight: 1.45 pounds | Heat-up time: 10 seconds | Tank capacity: 120 milliliters

Best Splurge: Kexi Portable Travel Garment Steamer

Kexi Portable Travel Garment Steamer


Why We Love It: This stunning steamer is lightweight and can be folded in half for easy storage while on the go.

What to Consider: It may not work well on heavily wrinkled garments.n

This elegant steamer is on the higher end of the price spectrum, but it’s well worth it considering the quality. The Kexi Portable Travel Garment Steamer is super lightweight, plus can be folded in half for even easier storage in your carry-on. However, we especially love that the dry steam function means you won’t have to wait even a minute for your clothes to dry off before putting them on.

Price at time of publish: $109

Dimensions: 6.26 x 2.99 x 9.13 inches | Weight: 1.67 pounds | Heat-up time: 40 seconds | Tank capacity: 140 milliliters

Best Iron/Steamer Combo: Nori The Nori Press

Nori Press


Why We Love It: This high-end option allows for casual steaming and more crisp, pressed lines thanks to steaming and ironing capabilities.

What to Consider: It’s the most expensive option on our list.

Nope, this gadget isn’t a hair straightener. Nori’s unique iron/steamer combo makes it super simple to look put-together on the go — even after multiple days of travel. The clamp-enabled press can create sharp collars and sleeves but, instead of simply ironing, it also has a built-in steaming system that allows for quick and easy pressing on the go. It’s also extremely compact and easy to pack and, although the tank is only 29 milliliters in size, the Nori Press still offers continuous steam for up to 10 minutes at a time.

Price at time of publish: $120

Dimensions: 14 x 5.79 x 3.11 inches | Weight: 1.4 pounds | Heat-up time: 3 minutes | Tank capacity: 29 milliliters

Most Compact: Polardo Hand Held Portable Travel Garment Steamer

Polardo Hand Held Portable Travel Garment Steamer


Why We Love It: This lightweight steamer is only about a pound which makes it great for toting in your carry-on.

What to Consider: It’s extremely small and might be tedious to steam lots of garments.

The idea of fitting a garment steamer into a tiny or already overstuffed bag might seem impossible, but the Polardo Hand Held Portable Travel Garment Steamer was truly designed to be as discreet as possible. The ultra-lightweight steamer weighs just about a pound and the compact size is about the same size as a bottle of shampoo. We also love that this product heats up in just 25 seconds, effectively eliminating the waiting time that is usually associated with high-end garment steamers.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dimensions: 7.7 x 3.4 x 3.4 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Heat-up time: 25 seconds | Tank capacity: 118 milliliters

Best Ergonomic: Electrolux LX-15002 Garment Steamer

Electrolux Steamer


Why We Love It: This option might be a little clunky but the ergonomic handle makes it by far the most comfortable to use.

What to Consider: The large size isn’t the best for fitting in a carry-on bag.

If you’re obsessed with optimizing and packing as lightly as possible, you’ll want to skip right past this option. But if you prefer convenience (and tend to bring a checked suitcase anyway) then this might be the best option for you. The Electrolux Portable Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer isn’t particularly compact or lightweight but it does offer the best steaming action and largest tank capacity on the list. We particularly love this option because of the ergonomic design that makes it easy to both grip and manipulate while steaming all kinds of garments. We also love that the Electrolux heats up in just 30 seconds for fast and efficient steaming.

Price at time of publish: $60

Dimensions: 12.4 x 7.1 x 7.1 inches | Weight: 4.02 pounds | Heat-up time: 30 seconds | Tank capacity: 300 milliliters

Best for Thick Fabrics: Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Hand-Held Fabric Steamer

Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Hand-Held Fabric Steamer


Why We Love It: This high-end steamer is ultra-efficient and powerful enough for thick fabrics like wool or denim.

What to Consider: The steam flow isn’t always consistent and can sometimes spit water.

The Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Hand Held Fabric Steamer is going to be your best option if you want a product that can handle thick fabrics like wool, but also provide gentle steaming for items made of silk or chiffon. The “ExtremeSteam” technology also kills up to 99.9 percent of germs through steaming alone which makes it very appealing for getting off all the nasties that cling to your garments after a full day of traveling or sightseeing. This option boasts a tank capacity of 215 milliliters which provides a decent run time of 15 minutes.

Price at time of publish: $85

Dimensions: 5.6 x 8 x 13.6 inches | Weight: 7.3 ounces | Heat-up time: 40 seconds | Tank capacity: 215 milliliters

Tips for Buying a Travel Steamer

Prioritize portability

Having a large steamer is great for efficiency, but it won’t do you much good if you aren’t able to comfortably fit it in your carry-on or checked suitcase. If you want something you can genuinely bring with you on each and every trip, you’ll want to opt for a small, hand-held one that can easily fit in baggage of all sizes. Most hand-held steamers should fit the bill but make sure to read the dimensions to ensure you’re getting something compact and portable.

Look for extra features and attachments

It’s wise to purchase something with bonus features that can be used on various trips. There are some steamers that come with attachments that allow them to function as an iron for times when you need a crisp press, while others allow you to steam thicker materials like wool or corduroy, too.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is a steamer better than an iron?

    According to Brian Jones, product and travel expert at Best in Edmonton, a steamer can be used instead of an iron to eliminate creases from garments, especially in delicate fabrics that cannot be ironed (such as silk, wool, and pleated goods). However, you’ll want to note that steaming your clothes may produce a smooth, casual finish rather than the crisp, pressured gloss of ironing.

  • Can a steamer clean clothes?

    Yes, it does work in a pinch. “Running the steamer removes odors and perspiration residue from garments, and helps to remove creases from goods that aren't best suited to laundering or dry cleanings, such as silks, vintage items, pieces with leather ornamentation, and other specific materials,” Jones explains.

  • What steamers are easiest to use?

    In the world of compact travel steamers, Jones points out that there are some real clunkers. The easiest steamers to use should have a large water tank, steady bursts of steam, and a comfortable grip that will allow you to get into nooks and crannies without having to strain an arm.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, T+L contributor Kaitlyn McInnis used her experience as a travel writer and lifestyle editor to curate a list of the very best portable steamers for those on the road.

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