Considering buying a clothes steamer but not sure which one is the best for you? We tested a Philips STH3020/16 3000 series handheld garment steamer, one of the best-reviewed models on the market, to see how it performed. Read on for our review…
The steamer is extremely easy to use, operated using an on-off switch and a steam button, with a detachable reservoir to fill with water. With a capacity of 120ml, this tank is quite small – the price you pay for the compact size and relatively light weight of this model – and will get you through roughly one outfit, or a few tops.
We went through a fair few top-ups during our testing, although refilling is quick and easy – we would just advise you keep a bottle or container of water close to hand if you have several items to steam.
Being a compact model, the handle can be also be folded down against the body, making it less awkward to stow away in luggage when travelling. And that’s not the only way to Philips STH3020/16 is designed with travel in mind – it also comes with a handy storage pouch.
On the top of the device, you’ll find a light which glows while the device heats up and then switches off automatically when the steamer is ready to use. The heating process took around 30 seconds once switched on.
We then tested the steamer out on a variety of garments made of different materials and ranging from lightly creased to heavily wrinkled to see how it performed.
We started out with a formal, floor-length dress made of a semi-synthetic lyocell/viscose blend. Although it took some time to work through the dress due to the sheer amount of fabric, the end result was silky-smooth.
A lightly rumpled cotton-blend summer dress was looking fresh and ready to wear in a few minutes, while a new button-up men’s shirt with sharp creases from the packaging was slightly harder work, and required several passes before the lines started to relax.
When it came to cotton T-shirts, however, the Philips steamer really comes into its own. Wonderfully effective even on wrinkled tees, within a couple of minutes they were totally crease-free and ready to wear.
With no ironing board to set up and results in minutes, we reckon this steamer is hard to beat for quickly freshening up crumpled everyday items so they’re looking their best – although we might still consider an iron for ‘stiffer’ fabrics with sharp creases.
Using a steamer also eliminates the risk of iron burn, so if you have lots of formal clothing or garments made of delicate fabrics that you’re reluctant to try ironing, a garment steamer is a vital accessory for your wardrobe. In our testing, we found that the Philips steamer left no marks or residue of any kind on material.
Once switched off, allow for about 30 minutes for the steamer to fully cool – bear this in mind if you’re in a hurry!
After more info? Check out our round-up of the best clothes steamers on the market.