As seen in:
Steamfast
SF-680 Digital
SINGER
ESP-2 Magic
Pyle
Pure Clean Digital Control
Speedy Press
w/Integrated Sleeve Board
Sienna
Empressa Digital
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Good

Incredibly simple operation and speedy results. Excellent build quality and performance.

Lightweight and powerful. Easy-to-use temperature control. Cuts ironing time in half.

Plenty of steam. Short re-heat time. Anti-stick surface and anti-shine feature.

Digital control panel. Easy-attach sleeve arm makes tasks easier.

Tabletop steam press. Can handle larger items.

Bad

Settings panel is digital but not LED.

May leave damp spots.

Occasional complaints of inconsistent heat across the bed and warping.

Occasional digital readout flaws.

Average wattage (1,350) has drawn some complaints. Some issues with achieving and maintaining sufficient steam.

Bottom Line

A lightweight, tabletop steam press that is fast, efficient, and easy to use. The best on the market.

An entry-level machine with many useful functions. The best deal for the lowest price.

Similar to the Singer in many ways, but with a few more quality concerns.

A more expensive and complex model that shares some desirable features with its lower-priced counterparts.

A slow-to-heat appliance that will accommodate larger loads.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
107
Models Considered
47
Hours Spent
1
Experts Interviewed
198
Consumers Consulted

Best Steam Presses

Size is not necessarily an indication of quality when it comes to steam presses. Similarly, a higher cost does not always guarantee better results. After much deliberation, we've narrowed the field to five top steam presses that offer a variety of benefits. We believe that one of these models will be the right choice for almost every household. The top contenders are:

Products we Considered

Steamfast
SF-680 Digital
SINGER
ESP-2 Magic
Pyle
Pure Clean Digital Control
Speedy Press
w/Integrated Sleeve Board
Sienna
Empressa Digital

Considerations

Size & Specification

Although all steam presses look fairly similar, the size of the actual pressing area varies considerably. So does weight, which could be important if you'll be moving it from cupboard to table often. Where possible, we compare technical details like power and steam pressure in these ratings.

Features

Depending on the model, consumers can find all kinds of useful features on today's steam presses. These features include digital controls that maintain fabric-specific temperatures, non-stick coatings, special pads, and safety cut-outs. In this part of the ratings, we look at exactly what each manufacturer provides.

Performance

Bells and whistles can be nice, but what is each steam press actually like to use? We look at specific aspects of performance in this section of our ratings and share owner feedback about what each model is like in the real world.

Price

Our top steam presses are competitively priced, so every detail can be vital in making the right decision. In this part of the review, we look at all pros and cons and provide an educated value judgement about what each product represents.

Considerations

Size & Specification

SINGER ESP-2 Magic Steam Press

Depending on which statistic you see, the Singer ESP-2 Magic steam press has either 10 or 14 times the ironing area of a standard, hand-held clothes iron. The actual size is 24-by-9 inches. While not exceptional, that measurement is certainly competitive. Thanks to an aluminum base, weight is kept down to around 22 pounds, so it's not too heavy to move around. Power is rated at 1,540 watts, allowing the Singer ESP-2 to generate up to 100 pounds of steam pressure. While those figures don't really tell you what it's like in use, they are nevertheless valuable for comparison purposes.

Pyle PSTMP95 Pure Clean Digital Control Table Top Steam Press

The ironing surface on the Pyle PSTMP95 Pure Clean steam press, at 22 inches, is a little shorter (but an inch wider) than that of the Singer. In short, the Pyle's usable area is very similar to the Singer's usable area. At 26 pounds, it's a little heavier, but hardly enough to make a difference. Power rating is 1,350 watts, and though there are numerous claims about steaming efficiency, we were unable to find a specific figure regarding the pressure produced.

Ironing Press WITH INTEGRATED SLEEVE BOARD

At 25.6-by-9.5 inches, the Speedy Press ironing press has similar dimensions to the other steam presses in our review. Given that appliance manufacturers usually undertake considerable research of customer demands, it must be assumed that this is more or less an optimum size. (However, potential buyers should note that an "X-Large" version of the Speedy Press is available.) Thanks to a 1,400-watt power source, the Speedy Press generates 100 pounds of steam pressure. Speedy calls this a "lightweight" model, but at 27.5 pounds, it's heavier than both the Pyle and the Singer.

Sienna Empressa Digital Steam Press

Several companies make steam presses larger than standard, and the Sienna Empressa is one of them. Pressing area on this model is a comparatively enormous 34-by-12 inches. According to Sienna, that measurement makes it the largest household steam press available. At 33 pounds, it's heavier than the others on our shortlist, but buyers won't pay a particularly large penalty for the extra size. (However, if you've got the space, you might want to think about getting a stand and keeping it out permanently.) We would have expected more power than the 1,350 watts provided and, as we'll see later in the review, this lower wattage has prompted complaints from a few owners.

Steam Fast SF-680 Digital Fabric Steam Press

While the black and stainless steel of the Steam Fast SF-680 might give the impression of a professional machine, it's still rated as a tabletop steam press. At 25-by-10.5 inches, it is roughly the same size as all but the Sienna. At 22 pounds, it's among the lightest on our shortlist. Power output is fairly average at 1,350 watts. Steam Fast does not quote a figure for steam pressure, but given the other specifications, something in the region of 100 pounds would be expected.

The Steam Fast employs a "dual vaporizing" system that reduces the moisture content in its steam. This efficient, effective system saves owners a tremendous amount of time.
Considerations

Features

Even entry-level machines have quite a few useful functions, and the Singer ESP-2 steam press is no exception. Temperature is controlled from an easy-to-read panel that offers settings for everything from delicate nylons to durable linens. To ensure you don't get distracted and burn your items, an audible alarm is poised to sound if the lid is left closed for more than 10 seconds. Additionally, the Singer will turn itself off if left unattended with the lid up for 15 minutes. The locking handle is intended to help you carry the machine, but it doubles as a valuable safety device. (When closed securely, the handle prevents small fingers from touching hot, dangerous surfaces.) A pressing cushion, spray bottle, and cup for filling the water tank are also provided.

Pyle PSTMP95 Pure Clean Digital Control Table Top Steam Press

The panel on the front of the Pyle Pure Clean Steam Press offers the same range of settings as the Singer and is digitally controlled to keep the temperature stable. The manufacturer's claim that the table surface is non-stick really ought to go without saying, but the anti-shine surface is an interesting feature. Pyle say there's an auto shut-off feature, but we were unable to find any details about this during our research. As with the Singer, a spray bottle, ironing pad, and fill cup come with the Pyle steam press.

Ironing Press WITH INTEGRATED SLEEVE BOARD

Rather than a series of lights, descriptions, and pictograms, the Speedy Press Ironing Press has a fully digital control panel for setting temperature. It has all the flexibility you would expect, but it has received mixed reviews from owners. Some people love it; others think it's a bit more complex than necessary. Unfortunately, a few owners did experience product flaws. One definite bonus feature is the sleeve arm, which is easy to attach and makes ironing many items much easier. Also included with this package: a lock for the handle, ironing cushions, a filling cup, and a spray bottle.

Sienna Empressa Digital Steam Press

Apart from its physical size, there's little to differentiate the Sienna Empressa steam press from the other models here. Owners enjoy a fully digital control panel with plenty of variety. (Unlike the Speedy Press, the Sienna digital panel does not attract much customer criticism!) Sienna claims that there are safety cut-outs for when the press is closed or open, but no precise details are supplied by the manufacturer. We assume they're short enough to prevent harm to fabric or people! The usual selection of pad, spray bottle, and filling cup is also included.

Steam Fast SF-680 Digital Fabric Steam Press

Although digitally controlled, the settings panel on the Steam Fast steam press is not an LED unit. It still has the variety of temperatures you need, but quite a few owners say it's much simpler to operate than its competitors. There are locking handle and shut-off safety features for when the press is opened and closed. We struggled to find information about these features -- even on the Steam Fast website -- but eventually found a manual which states that there are audible alarms and automatic cut-outs if the Steam Fast is left closed for 10 seconds or open for 15 minutes. As with the other steam presses on our shortlist, owners also receive a filling cup, spray bottle, and cushion.

The Singer ESP-2's easy-to-read temperature control panel offers settings for everything from delicate nylons to durable linens.
Nina
Expert Consultant
Nina
Gourmet Chef, Health Care Executive

Nina is a longtime gourmet chef, interior designer/decorator, and events planner. She has accomplished all of this in addition to maintaining a stellar career as a healthcare executive, where she helps alter the course of people’s lives via preventive care and healthy living. Nina’s hobbies include learning new recipes, planning and executing amazing dinners to impress local chefs, and hiking around the world.

Considerations

Performance

SINGER ESP-2 Magic Steam Press

Claims vary between manufacturer, but most say their steam press shortens ironing time by 50-70 percent over "ordinary" ironing. However, in order to make a real-world appraisal, we think it's vital to take owner feedback into consideration. The Singer ESP-2 provides steam via a 300ml-water tank (about 10 ounces) that's conveniently sited at the front of the machine. You can operate it without steam -- or use variable steam "bursts" for more stubborn wrinkles -- via a button on the handle. Warm-up time is around 5 minutes, and most owners think the Singer an easy-to-use, efficient model. As with all steam presses, however, it takes a while to get used to. There are few criticisms: some complained it caused damp spots (often caused by leaving it on the item too long), and others warned that it does get very hot.

Pyle PSTMP95 Pure Clean Digital Control Table Top Steam Press

The Pyle Pure Clean steam press sports a front-mounted water tank with a 10-ounce capacity. It can run with or without steam, warms up in about five minutes, and features a "burst" mode similar to that of the Singer. In fact, there appear to be few differences between the Pyle and the Singer in terms of performance. However, Pyle owners does report a number of issues -- not in any great numbers, but enough to warrant a mention. Some found the heat was not consistent across the whole machine. A few thought it ran excessively hot. One or two said that after a year, the machine warped. To be fair, there are plenty of people who are entirely happy with their Pyle Pure Clean Steam Press purchase.

Ironing Press WITH INTEGRATED SLEEVE BOARD

One small but useful feature of the Speedy Press steam press is the fact that the water reservoir is filled from the top. (Many owners find this to be both faster and easier!) In just about every other way, it works like the Singer and Pyle -- you can use it dry or with short steam bursts for more difficult items. As previously mentioned, not all owners appreciate the digital control panel, but others are fine with -- and with the machine as a whole. One owner with arthritis was particularly impressed with how easy the Speedy Press is to operate. On the down side, several owners have complained that the recovery time after steaming is too long. Others have said that the steam doesn't reach a sufficient temperature for heavier clothing.

Sienna Empressa Digital Steam Press

If you have large items to iron, you may be considering the tabletop Sienna Empressa steam press. The Sienna certainly has the size to handle larger jobs, but as we've already seen, it has no more power than the others. It does have a 15-ounce water tank, but a number of owners unfortunately tell us that it takes quite a long time to reach the required temperature. This may have been a problem with a particular batch, but it's impossible to know. The Sienna certainly has its fans, and as a dry ironing press, it seems to work well. However, the issue with achieving and maintaining sufficient steam is a concern.

Steam Fast SF-680 Digital Fabric Steam Press

Like several other items on our list, the Steam Fast Steam Press comes with a 10-ounce tank. Given the fact that its size and power are similar to that of most other machines here, you might expect a similar performance. However, the Steam Fast employs an interesting "dual vaporizing" system that's claimed to reduce the actual moisture content in the steam so ironing is quicker and drier. There are also steam burst buttons on both sides of the handle and a wide opening so it's easier (and safer) to get items in and out. The Steam Fast is a very popular ironing press with a large number of positive comments from owners, most of whom think it saves time and money. Some say the Steam Fast takes too long to heat up and/or reheat, but complaints about this product are definitely in the minority.

The Steam Fast SF-680 features "steam burst" buttons on both sides of the handle and a wide opening that makes it easier (and safer) to get items in and out.
Considerations

Price

SINGER ESP-2 Magic Steam Press

The Singer ESP-2 Magic Steam Press is made by a well-known company that many consumers have trusted for decades. Indeed, it's fair to say that this product sets the standard for our other finalists -- yet it only costs $209. Competitively sized, this flexible steam press has earned the approval of many loyal fans. No product is perfect, of course, and with such a high sales volume, the Singer is bound to receive some complaints. A few owners received defective units (which should be replaced under warranty), and a few found the Singer's performance to be lacking. However, most agree that it cuts ironing time in half.

Pyle PSTMP95 Pure Clean Digital Control Table Top Steam Press

Plenty of similarities exist between the Singer and the Pyle PSTMP95 Pure Clean Steam press, including price. The Pyle costs $219. So what are the differences between these two competitors? There aren't many, but when you take into account owner comments, it seems that the Pyle doesn't have quite the same level of quality as the Singer. While the Pyle has plenty of satisfied customers, there are a few occasional product glitches that lower our confidence a bit. These glitches include inconsistent heat across the bed and warping of the machine.

Ironing Press WITH INTEGRATED SLEEVE BOARD

You'll pay $269 for the Speedy Press Ironing Press. This price is fairly similar to that of the Singer and Pyle. What do you get for your money? The Speedy Press offers competitive specifications, the versatility you need to handle all kinds of materials, and plenty of happy owners. Most rate their experience with it as good or excellent, with occasional digital readout faults and re-heat delays being the only notable criticisms.

Sienna Empressa Digital Steam Press

The Sienna Empressa Steam Press is aimed at people who have larger-than-average ironing requirements. Not surprisingly, the price is also larger than average. There's no doubt that, for your $298, you get a sizable machine. Unfortunately, quite a few owners say this product's real-world performance doesn't match the manufacturer's claims. Used dry, it's effective, but although it's got a larger water tank, it doesn't have the raw power to turn it into steam quickly enough. The Sienna is not a bad machine, and it will do the job asked of it eventually. However, some consumers are frustrated by the heating delay.

Steam Fast SF-680 Digital Fabric Steam Press

With a price tag of $249, some people want to know if the Steam Fast is really better than the technically similar -- yet cheaper -- Singer and Pyle. The answer is yes. Both build quality and performance are superb. The Steam Fast looks the part, and its stainless steel body is more than just good looking; it's also rust-proof. The Steam Fast has all the functionality of the other models on our shortlist, but it includes extras like dual vaporizing. When it comes to owner feedback, it's almost universally praised. In spite of the extra cost, it's every bit a popular as the Singer and has few critics. There are the common complaints about delays in steam heating, and a few people have received faulty ones, but most owners believe this item to be a great time saver.

Most owners agree that the Singer ESP-2 cuts ironing time in half.

Best of the Best

The steam press market is a competitive one, but when all the ratings are in, the Best of the Best award goes to the Steam Fast SF-680 without a doubt.

Appearances don't necessarily tell you that one machine is better than another, but the professional look of the aluminum Steam Fast has a practical purpose as well. Aluminum is more durable than plastic, and it will never rust - something that's important in the moist environment that ironing creates. This is a rigid machine with a sizable working area, yet it only weighs 22 pounds. A locking handle helps when moving it around and provides an added measure of safety.

Satisfied owners consistently tell us that this appliance is easy to use. Temperature control is digital; there are straightforward settings for each fabric type. Owners can use the Steam Fast dry or apply bursts of steam using the buttons on either side of the handle. The Steam Fast's unique "dual vaporizing" system helps remove stubborn wrinkles quickly with drier steam. If you accidentally leave the Steam Fast closed or open and unattended, alarms and cut-outs help protect you and your clothing from burns.

Given the quality of this appliance, it's not surprising that it's one of the most popular steam presses today -- in spite of its hefty $249 price tag! A few people have received faulty units, but that's something that should be covered under warranty. Others say that the Steam Fast takes time to get used to; that's actually true of any steam press! The majority of owners support Steam Fast's claim that it works twice as fast as traditional ironing. You may actually find that the money you save on dry cleaning pays for the machine in short order. Overall, this is a terrific product, and we heartily endorse it as the Best of the Best.
Best of the Best
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Many owners find that the money they save on dry cleaning pays for the cost of the Steam Fast SF-680 in short order.

Best Bang for your Buck

All of the steam presses on our elite shortlist are winners, but the Best Bang for Your Buck award goes to the Singer ESP-2.

If you need a large model, the Sienna makes a strong case. It has a few flaws, but it's tough to beat as a package. However, most people only need a tabletop steam press, and while all of our finalists compete well, it's the Singer that comes out on top.

In terms of usable size, the Singer is equal to anything here except the Sienna. At 1,540 watts, it's the most powerful of our finalists. Thanks to the power, it's among the quickest to warm up, and you can use it dry or press the button and get plenty of steam. Like the Steam Fast (our Best of the Best), it's lightweight and easy to move in and out of storage. Controls are consistently rated by owners as simple to use, and there are safety features built in so you won't damage your clothing if you get distracted. For example, if you leave it unattended for 15 minutes, it will turn itself off.

The Singer ESP-2 does get rather hot, and some users would like it to open further to make getting clothes on and off easier. Several have said it can leave damp spots, but others have commented that this is because there's a tendency to actually iron for too long. An overall review of customer comments shows that most people love it. It's praised for being compact, reliable, and a great time-saver. At just $209, it's also a terrific value.
Best Bang for your Buck
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Compact and reliable, the 1,540-watt Singer ESP-2 is the most powerful of our finalists.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jasmin
    Jasmin
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations