The Difference Between A Steamer and An Iron


Steamer vs Iron: Both an iron and a steamer accomplish the same task. They help in removing wrinkles from fabrics and clothing. Both of these can emit steam based on the kind of model of iron box you are opting for. However, there exists a vast difference in the functioning of both iron and a steamer.

A steamer primarily releases a jet of steam at the intended fabric or clothing. There is no need to touch the fabric for accomplishing the intended task of removing creases and wrinkles. However, while using an iron box, the iron box needs to press the material for achieving desired results.

Steamer vs Iron


Though both iron box and steamer accomplish the same result, which is to remove creases and wrinkles from the clothes, their functioning is entirely different. A steamer can be used on fabrics that can be difficult to iron. It is especially beneficial when the material is quite delicate and can get damaged while ironing with an iron box. Steamers usually consist of a large reservoir which is linked to a hose and a steam wand at the rare end. Handheld versions of steamers resemble an iron box without a hotplate.

The clothes or the fabric is suspended with a hanger, and then a steamer is used for easing the wrinkles. You cannot press the wrinkles by using a steamer. If you detest ironing process that is quite time consuming, then you can opt for a steamer. A garment steamer is quite easy to use. All you need to do is to hang your clothes and run the steamer through the creases.

Steamers vs Iron Boxes: What’s the difference?

You need to first understand your requirements before opting for a steamer or an iron box. An iron requires you to use a board for ironing while steamer can be run freely on hanging clothes. An iron box consumes some time to get heated up which is not the case with a steamer. It starts functioning in lesser time when compared to an iron box. Ironing lets you define creases and pleats in skirts, trousers or shirts. It is not the case with a steamer as you cannot apply pressure in any form.

Ironing leaves behind a shine on the clothes because of the pressure application. A garment steamer may not work well with fabrics that require more pressure. For instance, you may have to apply more effort in ironing cotton fabric with a steamer. However, a steamer is ideal for delicate clothing such as satin and silk which can get burnt while using an iron box if not careful.

Garment steamers can be ideal for heavy clothes with a lot of embroidery or other work as these can be difficult to iron with an iron box. Garment steamers don’t cause any harm to the fabric as these don’t come in contact with them.

Iron boxes have to be used on different settings on different kinds of fabrics. If you intend to replace your iron box totally, then you will have to opt for a heavy-duty steamer design that can fulfill the purposes accomplished by an iron box effortlessly.

Good to know!

What you must remember is that a steamer fails when it comes to imparting crispness to clothes, which is usually offered by an iron box. You need to be extra careful while using heavy duty steamers as these eject a lot of steam. You need to be cautious with steam burns. You can also opt for a steamer that accompanies an iron box such as steam iron if you want to reap the benefits offered by both a steamer and an iron box.

A steamer accomplishes the task in almost an instant. If you travel a lot or have a busy schedule, then you can use a steamer just to touch up your already ironed clothes. You can also opt for a garment steamer designed especially for travelers. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what you are looking for.

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Clothing Iron

An iron box transfers heat through a hotplate onto a fabric or a piece of clothing. Irons can be used on smooth fabrics. However, the drawback is that you cannot use to iron fabrics with pleats and ruffles with much finesse. Irons are ideal when it comes to pressing trousers and shirts. You will require an ironing board or a flat surface when it comes to ironing clothes using an iron box.

Clothing iron works well when you maintain the accuracy of temperature depending on the fabric. If the wrinkles on the cloth or fabric are severe enough, then you will have to use a steam iron or sprinkle some water on them.

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Is it Worth Swapping an Iron Box For a Steamer?

The best thing about a steamer is that it eases wrinkles within fabrics without even making contact with it. A garment steamer employs hot steam which can be used to relax the fibers present in clothing.

The steam from the device is directed towards a cloth that is usually suspended through a hanger. The method consists of a wand connected to the end of a hose. It is aimed towards the fabric that needs ironing for imparting a smooth look without subjecting it to scorching heat.

Steamers are ideal for delicate and soft fabrics such as jersey, polyester, satin, and silk. As a garment steamer doesn’t touch the material, so there is little chance of the fabric getting burnt. A steamer can also be used on fabrics that are difficult to iron such as a suit jacket or a screen-printed shirt. These are also effective in removing wrinkles from ruffles and pleats. A steamer is ideal for use on delicate fabrics, jackets, t-shirts, sweaters, and suits.

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Moreover, steamers accomplish the task quite quickly when compared to irons. These as well offer convenience because they consume less space while ironing and are light in weight. An iron wouldn’t work well on a sweater or jackets depending on the fabric. It is the reason why steamers are ideal for use on materials where iron boxes fail.


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