The Hilife steamer is the #1 best selling travel garment steamer on Amazon, with over 63,000 reviews. It is inexpensive, but also not very powerful, can’t be tilted past 45 degrees, can spit water and the steam output is mediocre at best. In short, this is not a design of handheld or travel steamer that I would purchase. Here’s why:
You Can’t Tilt the Hilife Steamer Past a 45 Degree Angle
One of the biggest drawbacks about the Hilife steamer is you cannot tilt it past a 45 degree angle. If you do, water will leak out and your steamer may spit or splutter water.
There are far more handheld steamers on the market today that offer full 360 degree rotation, with secure water chamber, no leaking, spitting or spluttering.
The Power is Only 700 Watts
700 watts of steam output is pretty poor. In 2022, there are handheld steamers on the market that output steam at 1875 watts and offer up to 5 different steam settings.
This makes for more steam output rather than just a light drizzle of steam.
If you want decent steam output you’ll need to choose a higher powered machine.
Hilife Steamer Takes 2 Minutes Plus to Heat Up
The Hilife steamer has a 2 minute heat up time, which is fairly long. Most handheld steamers heat up in 30-45 seconds.
Many users have compared this steamer to a kettle boiling water. This is such a true representation of this style of handheld steamer, which has heating element in the bottom, boils all the water and the steam floats out the top.
This design is why people experience spitting of water as the water chamber is not self contained. As you tilt the steamer, this can cause water leakage and the boiling water the spluttering.
The 7 in 1 Steaming Benefits Are Not Unique to Hilife
Hilife claim their clothing steamer is a 7 in 1 multipurpose steamer.
The hilife steamer runs for around 15 minutes, so I agree you could use this as a room humidifier for a short period of time, or steam lightweight curtains, or vertical sections of a fabric lounge or bedhead.
But 7 in 1 functions? Hilife don’t explain what these 7 functions are and nor can I think of how I could use a low watt steamer that you can’t tilt past 45 degrees for anything else.
I did find other clothing steamer manufacturers referring to 7 in 1 multi function as steam iron, clean, sterilize, treat, refresh, humidify and defrost.
If that’s the case, then all garment steamers will do this. It is not a unique function to the hilife steamer, and certainly not a feature I could consider choosing the hilife steamer for over another steamer.
The 5 Star Reviews May Be Incentivized
I originally wrote this Hilife steamer review back in 2020, when there were 9958 feedback.
Fast forward to 2022, this steamer now has over 63,000 reviews, which when I did a little digging, could be incentivized reviews.
Here is some of the feedback I found:
Other Steamers to Consider Other Than The Hilife Steamer
Keeping the budget under $30 (at the time of writing) here are a couple of choices that I would chose over the Hilife steamer:
The Beautural handheld steamer is a better option than the Hilife steamer. It has a higher wattage for stronger steam output, can be used both horizontally and vertically and includes attachments to make steaming pants and thicker clothing easier. It is comparable in price to the Hilife garment steamer, but offers much more value. Take a look below:
This Polardo steamer is also a small unit, suitable for use as a travel steamer and comparatively priced to the Hilife fabric steamer. It has a nano filter making it tap water friendly, can be used both horizontally and vertically and an electronic steam pump to avoid spitting of water – although it is worthwhile noting some users have still had a problem with this. It heats up quickly, holds 4 ounces of water and operates at 900 watts. At 7.48 inches x 3.9 inches x 2.36 inches in size, this is a true mini steamer for travel that is far more impressive than the Hilife steamer.
I’ve made no secret I’m not a fan of the Hilife steamer. There are plenty of other steamers on the market in 2022 which are superior to this style of steamer. At 700 watts of power, the steam output is gentle, making it suitable only for lightweight fabrics. The 9ft power cord is handy, but not the longest on the market (Black + Decker have a handheld steamer with a 15ft power cord). You can only use this steamer in an upright position.
The incentivized reviews are misleading for consumers, particularly if you don’t take the time to sift through them and find the honest reviews. I’d stay away from this clothing steamer to avoid disappointment.