Three Things to Consider Before Getting a Clothes Steamer

Hard-pressed to be best-dressed? Steam on!

Fashion has never been more casual and comfortable, thanks to the athleisure trend. But sloppy, wrinkled clothing is never going to be in style. Fortunately, a clothes steamer can keep your threads crisp and clean with minimal effort. Here are three things to consider before buying one of your own.

Compact, multi-use model offering up to 15 minutes of continuous steaming. Hilife

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A clothes steamer isn’t just a more compact alternative to the traditional iron. It’s an improvement on it, because it steams out wrinkles and odor-causing germs and bacteria. Steaming clothing allows you to go longer between washes, which ultimately preserves the life of your wardrobe.

Ergonomic shape that preheats in under a minute. BEAUTURAL

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Ironing can be tricky with all the heat settings for different materials. Steaming works on all clothing, even dry-clean only duds. For best results, put your garment on a hanger and then place it on a doorknob or shower rod with the curtain pulled back. Use one hand to pull the fabric taut and the other to move the steamer lightly up and down. You can place the steamer directly on clothing to remove wrinkles or hold it a few inches away—just make sure not to touch the hot steamer head.

Various settings and accessories for customized clothing care. PurSteam

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With a little practice, you can get quite adept with your steamer and use it to set creases, soften stiff fabrics like denim, and spiff up regularly worn, rarely washed seasonal items like scarves and hats. House cleaners also swear by steamers for giving bedding and upholstery a quick and easy refresh.

Sorry, iron. It’s not you, it’s steam.