Steaming vs. Ironing

Today’s garment steamer has been marketed as an alternative to the traditional clothing iron we’ve all grown accustomed to. While we know that both of these pieces of technology are built to produce the same end result, what makes one better than the other? In this article, we’ll take a look at just what it is that separates either cleaning appliance from the other, letting you decide which is best.

What Will You Be Using Your Steamer For?

Clothing irons are good for one thing - ironing clothes. You’ll rarely hear of anybody having used a clothing iron for any other purpose. Steamers, on the other hand, can tackle a wider variety of jobs, even if they might not be advertised accordingly. For example, a garment steamer can actually replace a heavy-duty steam cleaner (assuming you get the right model) through being able to clean all sorts of fabrics, such as your couch or the inside of your car.

Do You Need to Make Sharp Creases?

If you need to touch up a dress shirt’s creases near the collar, you’ll find that an iron might be in your best interest. This is because irons allow you to put pressure on the fabrics beneath them, whereas steamers do not.

How Many Different Fabrics Will You Be Working With?

Garment steamers have the potential to come with a much wider range of different heat settings. Assuming you select the right model for your steaming needs, this will allow you to remove wrinkles from any piece of fabric, no matter how tough or fragile it may be. After purchasing a steamer, you’ll find that you can now treat fabrics which were otherwise untreatable when you relied on a clothing iron to get the job done.

How Much Are You Willing To Spend?

A quality iron will generally cost much less than a quality steamer. While you may certainly find exceptions to this rule if you spend time shopping around for the right model of garment steamer, those who find themselves picking up the first quality product they see will likely save some money in the end through opting for an iron.

How Often Do You Treat Your Clothes?

Large steamers can be had which can tackle a large amount of clothing at once in a very short amount of time. If you’re the type to leave all of your clothes for a week or two at a time and prefer to get them all ironed/steamed over the course of a single day, you’ll find steamers to be much more worth your while. On the other hand, nothing can tackle a single small piece of fabric over a short period of time like an iron can. Which unit is best in this sense all comes down to how often you find yourself ironing or steaming your clothes.

The Verdict

While steamers preform well in many regards, there are still a small amount of situations where an iron may prove to be somewhat more useful. A great solution would be to have one of each. If this is not possible, keep all of the above considerations in mind to ensure you get just the right model for you.