You could spend hours neatly folding your clothes into packing cubes, but no level of preparation will perfectly stop your evening pants and dress shirts from developing a few creases along the way. While many hotels come with some sort of iron or steamer, it may be easier to bring your own — especially if you are traveling for a wedding or special event — as you never know how hot an iron or steamer may get, or how it will work on your clothing.
Steamers usually heat up to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, with the higher temperatures can help ease out dense creases, according to our experts. Travel steamers specifically offer up the same benefits as a regular steamer, and are often found in compact sizes, which make them easy to pack.
To help you find the best ones on the market, we consulted travel experts and Select staffers about their favorite options.
Our top picks
- Best overall/editor’s pick: Hilife Steamer
- Best budget pick: Urpower Steamer
- Best splurge: Steamery Cirrus 3 Iron Steamer
How we picked the best travel steamers
All of our picks are expert-recommended or highly rated with an average of four stars or higher and in line with our expert guidance. We also included Select staff recommendations and kept the following in mind:
- Weight: Every travel steamer on our list weighs less than 2 pounds.
- Attachments: Some steamers come with attachments like a brush or a lint remover. For ease while traveling, we chose steamers without any additional attachments to save you space in your carry-on or checked bag.
- Capacity: This indicates how much water the steamer can hold. The more it holds, the longer it can continuously run. We recommended steamers that can hold up to 240 milliliters (which is about 15 minutes of steaming).
The best travel steamers in 2023
To help you find the best travel steamers for your next trip, we took into consideration expert recommendations, staff picks and highly rated options that will fit in your luggage while traveling.
Steamery’s Cirrus 3 is a personal favorite, as it removes wrinkles and creases on my dresses within minutes. It's a hybrid iron and steamer that can eliminate any odors and bacteria from your clothing and can hold up to 90 milliliters of water in its tank, according to the brand. Its auto shut-off feature, which turns the steamer off after 30 minutes of inactivity, especially gives me peace of mind while traveling. I primarily use this steamer for cotton, linen and silk clothing. That said, you can also use it on fabrics like viscose and cashmere, but should avoid leather and suede as it may damage your clothing, according to the brand. This one also comes with a wearable glove, to keep you from burning your hands.
Capacity: 90 milliliters | Weight: 1.89 pounds
This travel steamer, which has a 4.3-average star rating from over 10,000 reviews, is a favorite of travel journalist and writer, Rana Good, for how quickly it works. “It gets my clothes steamed in minutes and is especially good to use with flowy materials like silk,” she says. It heats up within two minutes and has a water tank that allows for continuous steaming for up to 10 minutes, according to the brand. You can use it on your clothing, but also on drapery and table cloths — just make sure not to tilt it more than 45 degrees to avoid any spillage, according to Urpower. Plus, it has an automatic shut-off feature that kicks in if the steamer overheats or if the water level is too low, as detailed on the product page.
Capacity: 130 milliliters | Weight: 1.2 pounds
If you're looking for a mini iron steamer, consider this Brynnl option, which comes highly recommended by travel blogger and advisor, Sally Nguyen for its compact size, which she described as similar to the iPhone 14 Pro. It has a simple one-button start feature and you can use it to ease wrinkles on cotton, silk and linen fabrics, according to the brand. The pointed curved design should help you iron out corners and hard-to-reach areas around buttons and collars, according to the brand. It also heats up in about three minutes and has a ceramic, scratch-resistant bottom plate that slides smoothly over your clothes when using it as an iron, according to the brand.
Capacity: around 44 milliliters | Weight: 0.66 pounds
This top-rated handheld steamer, which has a 4.3-star rating from more than 90,000 shoppers, can emit steam within 140 seconds and works on a variety of fabrics including chiffon, silk, wool, cotton and nylon, according to the brand. Its 240-milliliter water capacity provides up to 15 minutes of continuous steaming (the longest on our list) and its 9-foot cord provides easy access and maneuverability.
Capacity: 240 milliliters | Weight: 1.7 pounds
This mini travel steamer is another favorite of Nguyen’s for its safety features including its automatic shut-off functionality that kicks in when it is overheating or short on water. It can store about 100 milliliters of water and can run continuously for about 10 minutes, according to the brand. The nozzle head, which has eight steam holes for rapid venting, is removable too, making it easy to pack. The 1-pound steamer also comes with a fabric brush to get any dust, dirt or debris off your clothes. And, while it’s great for removing wrinkles from your clothes, Nguyen also uses it for facials, as the steam moves in one uniform direction, which allows it to coat her face evenly. “It helps me take care of my skin when I travel as it clarifies my skin and unclog my pores,” she says.
Capacity: 100 milliliters | Weight: 1 pound
The Nori Press is a favorite of Select editor Lindsay Schneider as it doubles as an iron and steamer and functions like a flat iron for your clothes. It comes with six fabric settings, a clamping mechanism to press your clothes and a pointed tip that can iron hard-to-reach areas like collar corners. You’ll press its two aluminum plates against the front and back of each garment to minimize creases and wrinkles. At 1.4 pounds, it has a 29-milliliter water tank and an auto shut-off feature, which turns the device off after 10 minutes of no movement, according to the brand.
Capacity: 29 milliliters | Weight: 1.4 pounds
How to shop for travel steamers
Aside from looking for steamers with portable and lightweight designs to make travel easy, here’s what our experts recommended searching for while shopping:
Heat-up time: The faster the steamer heats up, the better, when living life on the go, according to Nguyen. We chose steamers that do so in under three minutes.
Size: Since every steamer weighs less than 2 pounds, it won’t add too much weight to your bags.
Works on different materials: A quality steamer should work on a range of different materials including linen, nylon, cotton and silk, according to Good.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Rana Good is a travel writer and founder of Naïra, a digital magazine for women of color.
- Sally Isabella Nguyen is an influencer and luxury travel advisor who has traveled to over 37 countries.
Why trust Select?
Nishka Dhawan is an associate commerce editor at NBC Select who’s written about the best travel backpacks and the best luggage sets. For this article, she interviewed travel bloggers and journalists about their favorite travel steamers and considered staff favorites as well.