Garment Steamer Vs Clothes Iron: Which Is Best?

July 8, 2022 - 4 min read

Getting your clothes spick and span (and crease-free!) has never been easier thanks to the latest wrinkle-busting irons and garment steamers. With their heat-wielding powers, these are the appliances no dedicated fashion follower – or neat and tidy type – can live without. But how do irons and garment steamers differ? And do you need both in your clothing-care regimen? Read on to discover which of these laundry legends is right for your needs.

A woman holds a handheld garment steamer up to her striped shirt on a hanger, to remove the creases.

What Is A Garment Steamer?

As its name suggests, a garment steamer uses steam to remove wrinkles from fabrics. A simple pass of steam from a garment steamer will quickly rejuvenate your suit jacket, blouse or dress without using excessive heat or pressure. Even delicate items – that might not handle the heated plane of an iron – respond well to a clothes wrinkle steamer.
“Steamers are all about convenience, and they range from portable, efficient handheld models right through to full steaming stations,” says Tania Grillinzoni, The Good Guys Buyer – Portable Appliances. “The best part of using a steamer instead of an iron? There’s no need to wrangle an ironing board. You can just hold the garment steamer to a school shirt or skirt on the hanger.”

How Does A Garment Steamer Work?

If the iron were a firm handshake, a garment steamer would be a high five. No pressing or excessive heat here, as the steam loosens fabrics to remove wrinkles.

“Simply fill the garment steamer’s water capsule, then pass the steam nozzle over the wrinkled areas of your shirt or jacket, while it’s still on the hanger,” says Tania Grillinzoni. “Barely any pressure is applied as the steam works to relax fibres rather than flattening them.”

Here, the wrinkle-busting magic comes from a combination of moisture and a garment’s hanging position (aka gravity).

What Are The Best Garment Steamers?

Fancy your pillowcases and sheets pressed to five-star hotel perfection? Then a steam station is your go-to. These stations are like a compact version of your usual ironing board set-up, with a multifunction board and steam iron.

Compact models can be moved around the house to steam curtains, couches and any upholstery that needs a freshen up.

But if you’re wanting to quickly steam a crumpled jacket or school blazer, a handheld or portable garment steamer could be your best bet. These often cordless models boast quick heat-up times and can automatically power off – perfect for a quick dewrinkle before dashing out the door!  And a great way to revive a barely worn dress that just needs a little pick-me-up.

Not only for wrinkles, steam naturally kills germs and bacteria so you can sanitise clothes at the same time. Some models even offer a scent-infusing function!

Pro tip: A handheld garment steamer makes for a great travel buddy!

Shop The Latest Garment Steamers

Tefal IXEO Plus All In One Solution

Russell Hobbs Handheld Supreme Steamer

Philips Perfect Care 8000 Series Steam Generator

Close-up shot of a man using an iron and ironing board to press the creases from a yellow shirt.

All About Clothes Irons: Features To Look For

So you think you know irons? Think again. The latest models have a few tricks up their sleeves to save you precious minutes when pressing trousers, shirts and pillowcases.
“Clothes irons have never been more effective at both eliminating wrinkles and caring for fabrics,” says Tania Grillinzoni. “Features like anti-burn technology, steam shot and steam pressure functions mean irons can do all the tough, wrinkle-busting work for you.”

How Does An Iron Work?

It’s no secret that the iron gets very hot – and that it should, for this heat loosens and straightens the fibres in your clothes. The iron’s weight presses out wrinkles so that once your item of clothing is hung up all crisp and smooth, it stays that way.

The latest electric irons heat up in under a minute, and use steam to complement the heat-and-press process. That means that even the most stubborn creases stand no chance under the weight of an iron!

What Are The Best Irons?

So, what’s the best irons in Australia for removing creases? Steam irons give you the best of both words as they offer a steam function as well as a heat-only function. Also, look for an iron with sensor technology. This feature takes the hassle out of choosing a fabric setting by automatically detecting the fabric type and adjusting the temperature accordingly. Other must-have features are a speedy heat-up time to get you out the door faster, and a high-quality soleplate that’s gentle on fabrics. Finally, automatic shut-off means peace of mind for those busy mornings when you cannot remember if you turned the iron off. We’ve all been there.

“Irons have never been more effective at both eliminating wrinkles and caring for fabrics.” Tania Grillinzoni, The Good Guys Buyer – Portable Appliances.

Shop The Latest Irons

Philips PerfectCare PowerLife Black Steam Iron

Tefal UltraGlide Anti-Calc Plus

Sunbeam Verve 680 Resilium Iron

Garment Steamer Or Iron: Which Is Best For You?

Unless you enjoy ironing (if so, are you ok?), you’ll be keen to simplify the process. Equipping yourself with the right appliance will not only make ironing a less arduous affair, but will have your clothes emerging as their best, unwrinkled selves.

Sometimes an express outfit steam will get you out the door faster. However, the humble iron has a handle on the entire process. The iron lets you press, manoeuvre and physically work out wrinkles, while a garment steamer relies on steam to do all the work. Both have a solid part to play in your wardrobe-care toolkit, so it’s all about picking the right one for the job at hand.

Ready to upgrade your garment-care regimen? Visit us in store or online to shop all the best garment steamers and irons.

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