Friday, January 14, 2011

Looking for a Steamer?

We have a couple steamers here in our office. Gwen has had her Jiffy steamer since 1994, and we’ve had the Rowenta steamer in our office for a couple years now. Gwen loves her Jiffy and Lindsey prefers the Rowenta. Neither of us are super thrilled with the Tobi. Let me explain why...
The Tobi was an “As seen on tv…” purchase. We thought we would try it out and see how good Tobi was. On the box it looked neat because it appeared portable with a strap to put on your back – almost like a back pack. When we opened the box up and assembled, the strap was very cheap and there was no way to make it even remotely look like a back pack. The steam action was great - powerful even, but the water tank was incredibly small. The attachments were ridiculous; there was nowhere to store them and impossible to get them to stay on. The electric cord was too short, so the fact that there were wheels on the bottom of the Tobi seemed pointless since it wasn’t very mobile. The steam cord was also short, and a serious flaw was the dock that holds the steamer when not in use. It caused the steamer to sit positioned toward your face, which could be dangerous if you’re not paying attention. Overall, the steam action was not enough to outweigh the cons of this device.
The Rowenta has a few quirks of its own, but Lindsey stands by the Rowenta and thinks it’s just because it is an older model that was donated by Rowenta. Its steam action is great as long as the steam cord doesn’t get kinked up. Lindsey, to avert the cord kinking up, tries to keep the cord taut so that there is a constant flow of steam. It has a really neat rounded stand that moves up and down depending on the height you desire. Only problem is, one of the legs on the stand broke and doesn’t work so it is now a little lopsided. However, it is very easy to steam sweaters since there is a place to drape shoulders of sweaters and jackets at the top of the steamer. The electric cord is very long and it has wheels so it is easy to move around. It also has a place to store the accessories that come with the steamer. The water tank is ample size, but does leak from time to time. Lindsey is certain that the newer model would not have these issues, but we haven’t tried it out just yet. We all love the Rowenta functions, however, we have yet to have one that lasts intact for 2 years, which is not good as an “investment.”
The Jiffy for being from the early-90s is pretty impressive, and we can only imagine how great the newer models are. This is the ONLY steamer used in the fashion industry. This steamer is straight up - without any commercial bells and whistles. The steam action is phenomenal and there are no silly attachments (attachments we don’t use anyway). The electric cord is a little shorter than the Rowenta, but still a good length. The hose is the longest out of the three, doesn’t get twisted to interrupt the steam and with the extra reach it is not only good for garments but also to use on drapery and bedding. The water tank is just like the Rowenta and does leak every now and again, but that’s probably because it is from 1994! On the Jiffy there is a hook to hang the hangers vs. the “bust form” shoulder to place tops on. After Gwen and Lindsey had a “steam off,” Lindsey can appreciate her allegiance to the Jiffy. At the end of the day, no one can argue that Jiffy has proven to be the best investment piece. Gwen’s mom’s finally “retired” after 15 years, and her brother’s is still going strong like her’s. (They are a jiffy family!)
As far as handhelds are concerned, we’re trying to experiment with some more. Lindsey liked her handheld travel Rowenta until it broke, but it was perfect for steaming one item at a time. The tank is a bit on the small side which is why it is really great for travel. Lindsey says it has a lot of steaming power overall given that it is a travel steamer. She did say that if you are trying to steam multiple items, you might find it laborious and frustrating.

We also just tried out the Esteam Hand Held Steamer by Jiffy and was not impressed. The tank was incredibly tiny and once it heated up water went spewing everywhere.

We always advise to check out consumer reports before making an investment purchase. Let us know what kind of steamer you have or have tried, too!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I purchased a Jiffy Steamer and really like it! However, I'm not that adept at using it. Should I just hang the garment on a hanger against a wall?

I would love to see some suggestions about the best methods to use for steaming different items of clothing.

The Laundress said...

Wherever is comfortable for you and allows you to easily reach the garment with the steamer. Anything that is put on a hook or hanger can be positioned in the hook attached to the steamer, blankets, scarves, shawls etc are more tricky and I have found draping over a drying rack is easiest.

Kim said...

Thanks for this post!! I loved to hear all your honest opinions. I inquired about steamers several months ago on the site and eventually ended up buying a Jiffy. It's amazing...simple to use, large water tank, steams up quickly, and gets all my silks and shirts done quickly (after a little spritz with Stiffen Up of course!). I haven't used an iron since. The only thing I dislike about it is the hook on which you place the steam head. It doesn't hold it very securely and I'm always nervous it will fall off (or get knocked off by my cat) while it's hot. I haven't had any accidents yet though. I am next going to be looking into purchasing a steamboard!

Sybilla said...

Hi!Greetings from Spain!I´m now looking for a good steamer.
Which model of Jiffy would you recommend me to buy??
Congrats for your blog and your company!

www.todieforchic.com

Selina Dorsey said...

This garment Steamer from Bizarkdeal is an awesome device to keep around and use to clean anything you can think of in your house! It truly is professional quality steaming too and is very simple to use. Just fill it up and make sure it's plugged in and you're ready to go...couldn't be any easier. I've used it on a ton of different clothes so far and all the curtains in my house...they have come out better than I could have expected. Very happy with this! Make sure you get one as soon as you can. A+

Miller said...

Thanks for this post! I found important information here. I want to buy a new garment steamer next week. I want to read many real reviews.

David said...

Such a shame you had bad experiences with the Jiffy handheld steamer. I used mine a lot since I travel frequently and never had any problems with it. Perhaps it was a faulty device - did you try to exchange it?

Jane said...

Wow, I've been looking for reviews of steamers and this post from 2011 is still one of the most relevant! I guess the answer is always 'spend more and buy a Jiffy'.

Unless you have new info about the latest Rowenta models? The new ones seem better than the ones you mentioned here.

John Ziegler said...

A debt of gratitude is in order for this post!! I wanted to hear all your legitimate feelings.

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