Packable folding handle
No-leak for upright and facedown steaming
No control over steam intensity
Lack of on/off button
We purchased the Conair Travel Smart Garment Steamer so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you’re packing a suitcase, especially if it’s for business or a wedding, something is bound to end up wrinkled. Fortunately, the Conair Travel Smart Garment Steamer and others like it are on the market to help keep your clothes looking crisp and wrinkle-free without taking up valuable space. This steamer is light, has dual voltage for international travel, and packs plenty of steam intensity, so we were confident when we took it on a trip to test it out.
Design: Great pop-out handle
The Conair Travel Smart Steamer is a green and white cylinder that twists apart to fill with water. Additionally, there is a handle that folds in and out keeping the steamer compact while in transit. Inside, there is a max fill line with a large mouth, making it easy to fill with water and to determine when it has reached capacity. Once you twist the lid back on and plug it in, it starts to heat up. Setup was quite easy aside from the first few twists being quite stiff. We read the directions thoroughly especially since we are dealing with a very hot device and didn’t want to miss any precautions.
The top of the steamer includes a clip-on attachment that when brushed along fabric is meant to remove hair and lint. The bristles from the brush also help to separate the fabric fibers allowing the steam to penetrate more easily. As pet owners, having a lint brush is very important. We found the included attachment to be extremely effective. Though it’s small, it caught all the little black cat hairs. The brush seemed to help speed the steaming process.
Portability: Slipped right into our suitcase
Standing just under 10 inches tall and weighing only 1.2 pounds, its size is small enough for a large suitcase or even a weekend bag. Whether you roll your clothes or stack them, the steamer squeezes right in. Its cylindrical shape helps it slide into crevices. The 8-foot cord is perfect for steaming while standing or sitting and is long enough to make it convenient for rooms where the plug options are limited.
A great benefit of this steamer is that it is a 120 to 240 volts dual-voltage appliance, meaning that it can be used within the US as well as many countries abroad without needing an additional power converter. You will still need a plug adapter but (depending on where you are traveling) you won’t need to worry about damaging the steamer due to a higher-powered electrical current. This is crucial since you are dealing with a device that has several potential hazards converging—electricity, boiling water, and heat—so be careful.
Performance: Strong while it lasted
Travel-sized devices usually have basic functions with few adjustable features. Due to the Conair size, there really isn’t an option to adjust the steam intensity. Thankfully, we found that nothing was lacking in the power or quality of the steamer. The steamer heated up within a minute or two and immediately started steaming. There is no on/off switch. The whole device is controlled by whether or not it’s plugged in. The major safety feature this device has is automatic shut-off if the water runs dry. The auto shut-off is good for saving energy and ensuring that the internal steamer components don’t melt. While it will shut off, keep an eye on the water, and unplug it before the water runs completely out.
The steamer's runtime is about 10 minutes—the perfect amount of time needed for one shirt. For more set-in wrinkles or larger garments, you might need to refill the tank midway. We tried steaming at all angles, and the only time we had leaks was when we flipped the steamer upside down (something that you wouldn’t typically be doing) and if we shook it quite fast. The overall process was easy. I was not afraid that the steamed clothes would have water drops because the steamer is capable of working at most angles.
A great benefit of this steamer is that it is a 120 to 240 volts dual-voltage appliance, meaning that it can be used within the U.S. as well as many countries abroad without needing an additional power converter.
The refilling process took some time. The entire device aside from the handle gets hot during the steaming. When the water is about to run out, unplug the device, and wait for about 3 to 4 minutes for it to cool down enough to twist the top off and refill it with water. Some areas on the green water tank are grippable, but the white top gets scorching hot. The small tank size and time needed for each refill render this product less than ideal for at-home use. If you are getting ready for an event, a whole outfit might take a couple of refills to complete, but it’s really not a big hassle as long as you budget your time appropriately.
Price: Absolutely affordable
At just about $20, this steamer is reasonably priced for its size and its effectiveness. This steamer allows you to have a quality product that you can throw in your bag for every special event or business trip without breaking the bank.
In addition to steaming wrinkled clothing, one of the advertised bonuses of this steamer is its ability to kill bed bugs or dust mites. This is actually true of any steamer. While we couldn’t test this feature specifically, the instruction manual includes thorough directions on what is needed to be effective. While we wouldn’t recommend using a small steamer like this for a full-on infestation, it could be a good option to protect your clothes when traveling to many places.
Competition: The Conair holds up
Urpower Portable Handheld Steamer: We found that the Conair Travel Smart Steamer has many similar features and the same price point as the Urpower Portable Handheld Steamer. The Urpower does have a power button, though, making it more convenient when steaming multiple items or taking a break in steaming since you don’t have to go through unplugging it each time to turn it off. The Conair outperforms the Urpower when it comes to shape and leaking. While the tilted head seems like it would help in overall steaming angle and performance, it is far less convenient when packing, ultimately decreasing portability. It also means that hot water will spill out of the Urpower when it’s tilted, something you don’t have to worry about with the Conair.
Bizond Mini Clothes Steamer: At nearly double the price, the Bizond Mini Clothes Steamer has a no-leak build and heats up in just 30 seconds, which is a bit faster than the Conair. The Bizond also includes a brush head similar to the Conair to help the steam go deeper. This feature, while not totally necessary in either appliance, is a nice bonus. The biggest downside to the Bizond outside of the price is that it’s not dual-voltage, giving you no versatility in international travel. This device also can't handle an electrical adaptor, which limits travel usage greatly.
- Product Name Travel Smart Garment Steamer
- Product Brand Conair
- MPN TS184X
- Price $34.99
- Weight 1.2 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 4.5 x 9.5 x 4.5 in.
- Color Green
- Material Plastic