sort of high
Samsonite Dual Voltage Garment Steamer, $30
The sweet little Samsonite falls into the electric-teakettle category. These machines are as uncomplicated as it gets: You pour water into an opening in the steamer's top, and once that water boils, it emerges as steam through a grill dotted with holes. This Samsonite is commendably compact, but you pay a price for portability. While I loved the design—not just the suitcase-friendly dimensions but the dual-strip fabric brush and folding handle—this 200-watt steamer just didn't do the job. The tepid steam barely straightened out the kimono and made almost no impact on the dress shirts I tested. Recommended for emergencies only, or for those who prize traveling light above all else
The best-reviewed full-size garment steamer is the Jiffy J-2000 (*Est. $170) . The Jiffy J-2000 scores highly in the Good Housekeeping test and on Amazon.com, where about 75 owners give it an average of 4.5 stars (out of five), making it the best-reviewed garment steamer on the site. For some reviewers, it eliminates ironing.
In a rave review on LASplash.com, Amanda Cortez extols the Jiffy J-2000 as the best garment steamer, noting it is "kind of fun steaming the wrinkles out because it happens so fast." The Jiffy J-2000 is recommended by writers at four fashion websites, where stylists recommend it for its steaming ability and ease of use.
This full-size 1,300-wattJiffy J-2000 clothes steamer heats up in about two minutes and holds 1.5 gallons of water for more than 90 minutes of steaming. It weighs 18 pounds and has casters. A 5-foot hose connects to the 6-inch steam head. A plastic steam head is standard for this unit, but a model with a metal head is an optional accessory. As with all of the full-sized units, garments can be hung on the attached metal bar. The Jiffy J-2000 has a limited one-year warranty.
For a little less money, the SteamFast QuickSteam SF-465 Professional Garment Steamer (*Est. $120) receives top marks in the Good Housekeeping test of five full-size clothing steamers. The 1,500-watt SF-456 looks pretty much like the Jiffy model, with the same-size water tank, hose and wand. In the GH on TV video, Carolyn Forte of the Good Housekeeping Institute states that the SteamFast model "had the best steam rate in terms of producing the greatest amount of steam, and it also had the coolest handle and hose temperatures for safety." The tank rolls on casters, but it also has a carrying strap, which the testers at Good Housekeeping found very convenient. It comes with a lint remover, a fabric brush and a replaceable water filter.
This model was also the best overall in a test of five steamers at The Wall Street Journal, where Lauren Lipton praises "the good head of steam and large water tank that can provide steam for two hours." This model comes with a small foam press-pad that can be used as a vertical ironing board, which "helped remove more wrinkles," according to Lipton. However, the positive results of the expert testers contrast with the experiences of some owners. At Amazon.com, many reviewers complain of dripping water and defective parts, which is the reason we ultimately did not include the SteamFast SF-465 in ConsumerSearch Fast Answers. While the Jiffy steamer is more expensive, owners indicate that build quality is better.
The Rowenta IS-8100 (*Est. $150) also receives good reviews from stylists. It works pretty much like other full-size garment steamers. The standout feature is a foot pedal that controls the steam flow -- a convenience other models lack. A lint brush and attachments for fabric and upholstery are included. However, we found some mixed reviews at Amazon.com, where about three dozen reviewers give the Rowenta IS-8100 a lower average score than the competing Jiffy or SteamFast models. Although some reviewers couldn�t be happier, several have problems with various components, such as a tank cap that slips off or easily broken pole and/or steam head. A smaller Rowenta model, the IS-7800 (discontinued), receives the second-best score in the Good Housekeeping test. This garment steamer has been superseded by the IS-7850 (*Est. $130) , but we haven't yet seem many reviews of this model.
If you need a heavier duty garment steamer, the Jiffy Steamer J-4000 Pro-Line Series Garment Steamer (*Est. $270) is highly rated. Compared to the J-2000 model, the J-4000 is a bit more powerful (1,500 watts), and it weighs 26 pounds, so it's more stable. The steamer head is plastic, though a metal head is an optional accessory. The J-4000 can steam continuously for about 90 minutes, but it needs about 15 minutes to warm up. The big difference between this model and the cheaper J-2000 is that is includes adjustable steam settings for different fabrics. At Amazon.com, about three dozen reviewers, including several clothing store owners, give the Jiffy J-4000 good ratings. Those who didn't like it mainly complain that it can't replace an iron completely and that it was bulky for home use. The J-4000 has a limited one-year warranty.