Puppies, babies and rom-coms are all cute. But what’s not cute? Wrinkles in the wardrobe. Your clothes look lifeless and dull if they are riddled with wrinkles.
True, you can do everything in your power to get wrinkles out through DIY methods. Often, though, it just may be time to invest in a funky gadget that can do the job for you.
We’ll go through the pros and cons of a steamer vs an iron to help you find the best option for you.
- Garment steamers are handheld, easy to use, and don’t require an ironing board, but may not give a perfect finish.
- Clothes irons provide crisp, sharp results, but have a learning curve and require additional accessories like an ironing board.
- Steaming is good for delicate materials and fabrics like wool, cashmere, and rayon, while ironing is better for dress shirts, pants, and cotton.
- Some fabrics should not be steamed, such as leather, suede, and velvet, while others should be handled with care, like silk and chiffon.
The Garment Steamer
First up, we’ll take a look at the garment steamer. Garment steamers are vertical handheld steamers that can quickly tidy up your clothes and remove wrinkles. All you need to do is hold it in your hand and wave it over your clothes. The steam will help smooth out wrinkles without touching the clothes directly.
Advantages of a Garment Steamer
- No ironing board needed: A huge plus about the garment steamer is you don’t need to get out your ironing board. It’s a quick fix for wrinkled clothing. You’ll save time with a garment steamer.
- It makes the task easier: If you don’t like, or struggle with an iron and ironing board, a garment steamer is a top choice. You don’t need to worry about turning the clothes around, following a certain order or ruining delicate fabrics.
- It is faster: A garment steamer is typically quicker than an iron in terms of set up and use. Notice a shirt or dress pants on the hanger has wrinkles? You don’t even need to take it off the clothes hanger to tidy it up with a garment steamer.
- Other uses: A garment steamer can do more than just smooth out your clothes. It can also get rid of dust mites, bacteria and bedbugs. The steam kills the bad stuff in your home. You can run it over your mattress, duvet and other furniture.
Disadvantages of a Garment Steamer
- The results aren’t perfect: You won’t be able to get your garments as crisp and professional-looking as you would with an iron. If you’re a perfectionist, you might get quite frustrated with the steamer. Your wrinkles might still be on show, especially in light.
- Hard to get a deep-set crease: If you like to have deep set creases in your clothes, an iron will do a better job. A steam press will do the best job here. A garment steamer might come with a creaser attachment, but these creases don’t tend to last. The lack of weight and pressure means it’s not strong enough.
- Your arms will get tired: If you’re not a bodybuilder, this tool is kind of tiring. Although it’s lightweight and good for traveling, this gets heavy if you’re steaming a lot of clothes.
The Clothes Iron
The clothes iron is a classic laundry tool. Still, there are pros and cons to using one.
Advantages of a Clothes Iron
- Crisp and sharp results: If you dress to impress, a clothes iron can help you. It will smooth out stubborn wrinkles and it can set creases. Forget going to the dry cleaners, a clothes iron will get you the best results at home.
- Dry or steam: If you buy a steam iron, you can dry and steam your clothes. In fact, you can take damp clothes from the washing machine and dry them with your iron. This is especially good for delicate items.
- Ironing board is not a must: If you don’t have an ironing board, you can still work with a clothes iron. While we recommend a good padded ironing board, there are some handy alternatives to get you by. You could try an ironing blanket, a laundry sorter with an ironing board, or a thick white cotton towel.
Disadvantages of a Clothes Iron
- Learning curve: Learning how to iron clothes properly is not simple. It takes practice, and sometimes, ruining a few garments to get it right.
- Ironing accessories needed: You need a few extra items when buying an iron. This includes an ironing board (or the alternatives), and creasers and brushes if you want them. These items don’t typically come with a clothes iron, whereas garment steamers come with creasers and brushes.
- Storing and taking out the ironing board: It seems like a small job but it’s a hassle trying to find somewhere to store your ironing board. Not to mention the annoyance it is to take it out of that skinny spot you choose.
Steamer vs. Iron
This handy table will show you whether the steamer or the iron is best for different types of clothes.
Choosing a Steamer vs. Iron
There are definitely pros and cons to both a steamer and an iron. Think carefully about what type of clothes you have in your closet. If you mostly wear delicates and funky materials like corduroy and cashmere, go for a steamer. But if you like a more professional look for your suits, jackets and shirts, an iron is the best option for you.