One of the things I miss most about living with my parents is using their garment steamer. They have one of those big, standing steamers with a huge water tank that can de-wrinkle an entire load of clean laundry in 15 minutes flat. But when I moved out, my tiny NYC apartment had no space for one of those. I turned to Amazon to see if I could find a small steamer, and of course, I had plenty of options. I settled for a model that was highly rated and, at just $25, quite affordable. Although I didn’t expect it to perform as well as my parents’ standing steamer, I figured it would be suitable enough for my needs, or a couple of quick steams here and there throughout the week. Sure enough, my new steamer worked pretty well for a couple of months. It was compact, just like I wanted, and my only gripe was that it would spit big droplets of water onto my clothes in between the steady stream of steam. But water dries, right?
Then, about four months into using the steamer, it spontaneously stopped working. Now, when I filled it with water and turned it on, it only produced the big droplets — sans steam — and a dreadful sputtering noise. I hadn’t done anything to break it, except for maybe using tap water instead of distilled water. But then again, my parents only use tap water with their steamer and have never had a problem. After a few more tries, I finally deduced that my budget-friendly steamer had to go in the trash.
Refusing to go through life wearing wrinkly clothes, I set out again to find a handheld steamer, but this time, I was willing to splurge on something that would last. I ended up going with the Electrolux handheld steamer from Williams Sonoma, and I’m happy to say that ever since I got it, I’ve never looked back.
What is the Electrolux handheld steamer?
The first thing that caught my attention about this device was its sleek, stylish design and ergonomic neck. But obviously, there’s much more to this steamer than its good looks. For one, it had a wattage of 1500, which, according to Google, is pretty good for a steamer. It’s also a considerably higher number than many of the other models I viewed online. Naturally, the machine also has a built-in water tank with a capacity of 10 ounces, resulting in up to 18 minutes of continuous steaming. What’s more, you’ll find the 8-foot-long power cord to be plenty long, and although the product description claims that the steamer heats up in 30 seconds, I find it to be closer to two minutes. Still, it’s a quick heat-up time, and once the device gets going, it produces a nice, steady stream of steam. At 1 foot tall, the steamer is also compact enough to travel with and super easy to store.
Why I Love the Electrolux Handheld Steamer
Aside from its small size and easy-to-store design, my favorite thing about this steamer is the fact that it hardly ever spits! Occasionally, it’ll sputter some heavier drops while it’s heating up, but once it’s ready, the device only emits stable, continuous steam that quickly gets rid of the wrinkles in my clothes. This is true regardless of whether I’m holding the steamer upright or parallel to a garment I’ve laid out on my bed. I’ve used it on all kinds of materials — even ones that claim to respond poorly to steam — and have never had a problem. Whether you apply this machine to silk, cotton, synthetic fibers, or even wool, you’ll find that it works quickly and effectively.
Another feature of note is the steamer’s ceramic plate. Although I try to avoid touching its head to my clothes, I will sometimes press down if there’s a particularly stubborn wrinkle, and the quick-heating ceramic acts as an iron and smooths it out. In short, I have zero complaints about this low-maintenance device, though I do only fill it with distilled water just to be safe. With shipping, my order ended up totaling close to $100, but I’ve come to realize that it’s sometimes better to splurge on a high-quality product instead of repurchasing the same cheap junk over and over. And as far as handheld steamers go, this Electrolux model is about as high-quality as it gets.