Best Portable Steamers for Your Luggage

Steamers let you look sharp, no matter where you are.

No one likes to unpack and immediately iron important shirts and dresses. A steamer at least makes that simpler.Shutterstock

A portable steamer keeps your lines crisp and your confidence up on vacation. Consider your needs when deciding which steamer is best for your travel plans. Here are several we recommend.

Conquers any hotel room

With a 9-foot power cord, this model can reach across any space, offering 15 minutes of working power.Amazon

Begin by looking at the reservoir. Any steamer has a trade-off when it comes to how much water it can hold; the bigger the reservoir, the more clothes you can de-wrinkle without refilling it, but the more space it’ll take up. If you only need it for the occasional dress or pair of khakis, get a smaller one. If you’ve got a family to smooth out on the fly, pack the bigger one.

Ready for anything

It can be used on most fabrics, such as cotton, silk, linen, polyester, wool, velvet, and other common blends and weaves.Amazon

Get a sense of the heating element. Depending on the design, steamers can take 30 to 90 seconds to get up to full blast, and the longer it takes, the more consistent the heat will be as you go through a tank. It really comes down to your needs, though; are you going to be zapping the occasional wrinkle, or do you have a whole wardrobe you’ll be neatening up? Don’t forget to check the materials as well; some steamers get hot enough that more fragile fabrics should be kept away.

A little bit of everything

It heats up in 90 seconds and works quickly and easily on upholstery, bedding, tablecloths and more.Amazon

Don’t forget, steam isn’t just for your clothes. Campers use steamers to help sterilize their food prep gear and water bottles, for example, and if you catch a cold on vacation, you can help keep it off the doorknobs and countertops so nobody else gets sick. Look for a high temperature, preferably a device rated for sterilization, if that’s something you need on your trip.