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Handheld steamer or vertical steamer: What is the difference?

Having a hard time deciding what kind of garment steamer to buy? In this article, we list the major differences between a handheld steamer and a vertical steamer.

Steamers come in many shapes and forms that vary both in terms of size and functionality. We often get asked what the difference is between various kinds of steamers. Here are some simple guidelines to consider when choosing between a handheld and a vertical steamer.

When to buy a handheld steamer


A handheld garment steamer, or travel steamer, is a small and lightweight steamer that you hold in your hand when you steam. Handheld steamers remove wrinkles just as efficiently as vertical steamers, but they are designed with portability in mind and are easy to bring in your travel bag.

Due to their compact design, they have smaller water tanks and can only steam a few garments at a time before you need to refill the steamer with more water. Handheld steamers are usually equipped with steam buttons so you can control the amount of steam that comes out.

Steamery offers three handheld steamers: Cirrus No.1 Handheld Steamer, Cirrus No.2 Handheld Steamer, and Cirrus No.3 Iron Steamer. These are all great options if you tend to only steam a few items at a time or if you like to travel with your steamer.

Choose a handheld steamer if:

  • You want to steam your outfits when traveling
  • You only need to steam a few garments at once
  • You do not have room for a vertical steamer in your home
  • You want to spruce up home textiles like pillows or curtains


When to buy a vertical steamer


A vertical steamer, also called a standing steamer or an upright steamer, is a great investment if you have a closet full of steam-friendly garments like dresses, blouses, and shirts. Vertical steamers are equipped with larger water tanks and release continuous steam. One of the main benefits is that you can steam many more garments without having to pause to refill the steamer with more water.

Steamery’s Cumulus No.3 Home Steamer is a perfect addition to your walk-in closet and Stratus No.2 Professional Steamer is the top choice for retailers and professionals in the fashion industry. Both of these vertical steamers have two adjustable steam settings: reduced and normal, for delicate and thicker fabrics.

Choose a vertical steamer if:

  • You have a bigger closet
  • You want to steam a lot or often
  • You have a lot of floor space
  • You do not need to bring your steamer while traveling

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