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Steaming Vs Ironing: The Battle Against Wrinkles | Laundress

Wrinkles are cute on bulldogs, but not your wardrobe. Lucky for you, those pesky creases are no match for ironing or steaming. But, when it comes to the steam press vs the iron, which is the best wrinkle removing weapon for the job? Is a clothing steamer better than a handheld iron? What about handheld steamers? Can a steamer replace an iron? When deciding between garment steamer vs iron, turn to our guide before making your choice.

Steaming Vs Ironing

Deciding between steaming vs ironing comes down to the fabric material you are caring for, and finish you are looking for. Use an iron on cotton, linen and tough fabrics for a crisp finish. Use a steamer to remove wrinkles from silk, lace, wool, and cashmere.

Steamer on blazer

The Steamer

The garment steamer provides the safest option for removing stubborn wrinkles with a natural look. It is gentle enough for use on delicate fabrics like wool, and fabrics like silk and won't burn or cause unintended creasing if steamed properly. Read it’s benefits below to see where it stands in the steaming vs ironing debate.


  • Helps kill germs (According to the CDC, heat of at least 167 degrees is sufficient to kill flu viruses)
  • Removes wrinkles
  • Freshens items between washes
  • Freshens items not suitable for dry cleaning or laundry 

Works Especially Well for:

  • Heat sensitive materials like silk and some synthetics
  • Items made of material that can be crushed by ironing like wool, velvet or corduroy
  • Suits and jackets
  • Curtains
  • Bed skirts
  • Pillows
  • Mattresses
  • Upholstery
  • Silks
  • Wool, Cashmere & Wool Blends

Man steaming shirt
Steaming shirt
Three blue and white button-down collared shirts hanging up to be steamed.

The Iron


  • A traditional iron, and modern iron will offer a crisp, clean finish
  • More efficient than steaming on durable cotton or easily wrinkled linen items

The Best Irons For Clothes Work On:

  • Dress shirts
  • Dress pants
  • Table linens
  • Linen items
  • Sheets
  • Pillow covers

Person steaming blazer
Hanging button down shirt
Steaming bed