Three best steam presses
Freshly ironed clothes look crisp and neat, but getting them that way requires time at the ironing board. If you want to speed up this process, consider investing in a steam press. These are essentially large irons. You plug them in, they heat up, then you put your clothes in and press the top of the steam press down for a few minutes--and voila! But steam presses tend to be expensive, so if you're going to invest in one, you want to be sure that you're choosing a high-quality machine. Here's a guide to the most important steam press features to help you decide.
Considerations when choosing steam presses
Safety is the most important consideration when choosing a steam press, both for your clothing's sake and your own. Some steam presses have an auto shut-off feature that will turn the steam press off after a certain period of time to prevent overheating or a fire hazard. A few models also have a built-in alarm that alerts you when you've left the press closed for too long. This will prevent you from burning your clothes by accident.
The unit you choose should also have cool-touch handles that won't heat up along with the unit itself. The steam press should be sturdy and heavy enough that you don't need to worry about it tipping over while you're using it.
There are several other factors you should think about when choosing a steam press.
The larger the steam press, the easier it will be to get the wrinkles out of your clothing and the less time the whole process will take. But a larger steam press will also take up more storage space.
It's best to choose a steam press that has multiple settings for different types of fabrics. Some presses let you choose the precise degree of heat that you want, while others have preset settings for different types of fabrics.
A built-in timer saves you the trouble of having to remember how long your clothing has been sitting in the steam press. It will beep when the time is up to let you know the item is pressed.
A no-steam setting is best for delicate fabrics that could be damaged by the intense heat of the steam. If you plan to use the press with a variety of fabrics, a no-steam setting is a smart idea.
Steam presses range in price from about $170 to over $500. The cost is mostly dependent on the size of the unit. Smaller tabletop models usually cost less than $200, while large steam presses usually start at around $300.
Q. Can I use a steam press on all types of fabrics?
A. That depends on the model. Most steam presses can be used on cotton, linen, silk, nylon, and wool. You can use steam presses on sheer fabrics as well, though these usually shouldn't be pressed with steam. Choose a steam press that offers a no-steam option for delicate fabrics.
Q. Do I need to clean my steam press after I use it?
A. You may want to clean your steam press periodically. Wait until it is cool and wipe it down with water. If the unit is stained and you're worried about these stains transferring to your clothes, try using a baking soda paste to scrub the stains away.
Steam presses we recommend
Best of the best: Steamfast SF-680 Digital Steam Press
Our take: This is an efficient steam press that will save you a lot of time compared to ironing.
What we like: This lightweight steam press is simple to use and heats up in less than three minutes. It has a nonstick surface and five fabric settings.
What we dislike: A few users have complained about fabric getting bunched up at the back of the press.
Best bang for your buck: SINGER ESP-2 Magic Steam Press
Our take: This is a good choice if you're new to steam presses and want a quality unit that doesn't cost a ton of money.
What we like: This entry-level steam press is reasonably priced and includes an auto shut-off safety feature and an alarm if you leave the press closed too long. Choose from five temperature settings based on the type of fabric.
What we dislike: Some customers have reported that the steam press left damp spots on their clothes.
Our take: This is an expensive steam press, but it's worth the investment if you plan to use it often.
What we like: This large steam press is 10 times the size of a typical iron, and it's safe to use on virtually all fabrics. It has a digital LED display and a nonstick surface.
What we dislike: It takes a long time for this unit to heat up so that you can use it.
Kailey Fralick is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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