Both irons and steams
No power switch
Long cool down period
Too round to fit in corners
We purchased the PurSteam Travel Steamer Mini so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
It has become increasingly common for travelers to opt to stay in an apartment or home rental rather than a hotel, meaning you won’t necessarily have access to hotel amenities like an iron. The PurSteam Travel Steamer Mini solves that issue. We spent a weekend trip testing it to see if it was worth a spot in our suitcase. Read on to see if it is a packing necessity or if you should just risk the wrinkles.
Design: Oval but modern
The PurSteam Travel Steamer is an iron and steamer all-in-one. Its general design is similar to most irons, with a heated metal plate on the bottom and a parallel horizontal non-slip handle. There is a small opening on the top to pour the water in for the steam function and multiple holes on the bottom to release the steam onto the fabric.
It has a window allowing you to see the water tank and track the water level. At a glance, it is helpful to know if you need to refill it. This window glows green when the steam is ready and red when it’s heating up.
The lights alternate back and forth while ironing to maintain a consistent temperature and to prevent overheating. You can continue to iron and steam even while the light is turned red. There is no on and off switch, like most irons, so it will automatically start heating up as soon as you plug it in, and it stays on. In terms of safety, it is worrisome that it does not have an off button or automatic shutoff, in case you forget to turn it off.
The iron has an 8-foot power cord, which is great for reaching from a low outlet to the top of an ironing table. The iron also comes with a heat mat since the only way to rest the iron is face down. If you need to pause or adjust the garment while ironing or need a place to put the iron while heating up, this mat is perfect.
The shape of the soleplate is more oval than most irons making the device look quite modern in design. This may be better for ironing large surfaces, but the lack of a pointy tip and triangular shape makes it’s hard to get into corners. The soleplate also has extra non-stick coating making it easy to glide over your clothes. We had no trouble sliding the iron over the shirts that we ironed regardless of texture or thickness.
Portability: Clunky shape
Most irons will have some weight because of the internal components and ease of pressing the clothing. The PurSteam is less than 2 pounds, which is simple to add to your suitcase without adding too much weight to your suitcase. It is more travel-friendly than a full-size iron, but its awkward shape and bulkiness make it difficult to justify for all trips.
Another great travel feature for this iron is its dual-voltage adjustability. There is a recessed switch on the back of the iron, easily toggled with a pen tip, that allows you to change the voltage from 120 volts to 240 volts. You can take this iron abroad to many countries with just a plug adaptor and not worry about frying the appliance.
Performance: Solid for ironing
The ironing function is the highlight of this appliance. Having a small iron is beneficial for traveling and several home projects. This could be perfect for someone looking for something that won’t take up a lot of space in a craft area or for someone who doesn't want to spend much on an iron that is only used occasionally. Though you can’t adjust the iron's temperature, it will work well for many types of fabrics.
We had no trouble sliding the iron over the shirts that we ironed regardless of texture or thickness.
The steam function took a little bit of finessing to work for us. When we first plugged it in, we thought it might be broken or perhaps that we had filled the water too high. Even after following the directions and waiting until the light turned green before pressing the steam button, nothing happened. We unplugged the iron and measured the water again using the included 50mL measuring cup. When we turned it back on, it still wasn’t working right away. A lot of priming and repeated presses of the button was needed. It took a little while and resulted in the iron spitting out a good amount of water onto the shirt along with some dust or minerals that might have been leftover from the manufacturing process. While the directions recommend that you use distilled water, that isn’t normally necessary, so it was a little discouraging that the iron had these issues right out of the box.
Once the steamer function was working, it performed well. The burst of steam that comes out when the button is pressed is powerful. While the iron and steam function could be used on a vertically hung shirt and even perhaps slowly with just the steam, it really performed best when laying a shirt down as a combo iron and steamer.
Price: Very affordable
The PurSteam Travel Steamer Mini is priced at just under $20, which is easily affordable. Larger, at-home irons can run you anywhere from $25 to $100 but they won’t have the dual-voltage versatility that you’ll find in the PurSteam. Compared with other smaller travel irons on the market, this product is priced right.
Competition: Middle of the road
Steamfast Mini Steam Iron: The Steamfast Mini Steam Iron is a tough competitor for the PurSteam. Priced only a few dollars more than the PurSteam, the Steamfast has a major feature that the PurSteam is missing: temperature control. In addition to the standard steam button, you can choose between three temperature settings for different fabric types. While the handle seems less comfortable on the Steamfast, the soleplate's pointed shape gets into small corners and pleats. Though both irons are great travel options sporting a small size and dual-voltage, the Steamfast is even lighter, weighing just under 1 pound.
Conair Travel Smart Garment Steamer: This device is slightly easier to pack, though it is not an iron, it's only a steamer. It gives 10 minutes of consistent steam and can be used while a garment is hanging rather than on a flat surface. It is priced about the same, but the Conair has a folding handle that makes it a bit more compact when it comes to time to pack.
- Product Name Travel Steamer Mini
- Product Brand PurSteam
- MPN NV-302
- Price $22.76
- Weight 1.65 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 8.4 x 4.7 x 3.6 in.
- What's Included Iron, measuring cup, and resting mat