The Best Travel Steamer

The Best Travel Steamer
For mobile professionals and business people on the go, travel steamers are all but a necessity. These handy appliances allow owners to press a suit, iron a dress or de-wrinkle a shirt at a moment's notice, and truly shine in last-minute touch-up applications. While a number of travel steamers are easy to use and are well made, a few stand out as the best in their field.

Jiffy Steamer Esteam

At approximately 3 lbs., this miniature appliance is both portable and highly effective. The Esteam steamer holds only 8 oz. of water, but can provide the hottest steam in its class for nearly a quarter hour. The device can operate on plain tap water, freeing the owner of the need for distilled or bottled water called for by some travel steamers. Users of the Esteam who purchased the product through Amazon.com gave it a nearly perfect score, though the Jiffy Esteam steamer designed for home use received slightly higher marks. Still, according to Consumer Search, a consumer ratings organization, the Jiffy Esteam is the best in its class and is generally preferred by professional stylists. All of this prestige comes at a price, though, and the Esteam carries a $65 tag that is about twice the price of its closest competitors.

SteamFast Compact Fabric Steamer

While it falls a distant second to the Jiffy Esteam, the SteamFast Compact Fabric Steamer still pulled in respectable scores from users who rated the product on major retailers' websites. The device produces 800 watts of heating power, more than some of its competitors, and produces "just hot enough" steam that is ideal for clearing wrinkles from a shirt or blouse. At just under 2 1/2 lbs., the SteamFast steamer is ideal for travel, a quality that helped Laura Moser, who reviews products for slate.com, place the model second best in its class. Of course, price is a major consideration when buying a travel steamer, and the $25 price tag on the SteamFast Compact Fabric Steamer undoubtedly places it on many consumers' radars.

Rowenta Ultra Compact Steambrush

The Rowent "Ultra Compact" Steambrush's name belies its large stature, though its weight falls more squarely in line with its smaller competitors. This device operates on a somewhat more advanced level than other travel steamers, as it allows users to actively select how much steam the device will put out; this feature is a welcome departure, according to reviewers, from the "steady flow of steam" output by many of the Steambrush's competitors. Among the more convenient features of the Rowenta Ultra Compact Steambrush are a dial that controls steam output, a handy fabric brush attachment and a canvas travel bag that maximizes the steamer's portability. Despite its numerous advantages, the Rowenta lags behind less advanced models due to some quality control issues; Laura Moser of slate.com received a burn while using the product, and the complimentary replacement failed to operate consistently. Still, the advanced features, numerous well-conceived extras and mid-market $40 price tag make the Rowenta Ultra Compact Steambrush a solid pick for an efficient, effective travel steamer.

Article Written By Keith Evans

Keith Evans has been writing professionally since 1994 and now pursues the ideals of responsible liberal journalism from his office outside of Orlando. He has written for various print and online publications and authored the book, "Appearances: The Art of Class." Evans is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.

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