When my cheap steamer became too much to handle, I upgraded to a better, more portable version.

By Brooke Schuldt
Updated February 08, 2018
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Secura Instant-Steam Handheld Steamer
Secura Instant-Steam Handheld Steamer
| Credit: Amazon

I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t really start understanding how important clothing care is until my late 20s. To be fair, I wasn’t really investing that much in my closet in my teens—just buying whatever fast-fashion was on sale at Forever 21. But now that I’m a bit older and spending more money on quality pieces, it seemed like a good time to invest in clothing care just as much as the clothes themselves.

As I started buying high-quality clothes, I noticed that my normal method of hanging my blouses, skirts, and dresses in the bathroom while I took a hot shower to get the wrinkles out wasn’t really cutting it. So I went on Amazon and bought a cheap mini steamer. Every time I tried to use it, it was a nightmare. The cord was short, the steamer didn’t hold that much water (meaning I had to refill it three times to get through one skirt and top combo) and it would sputter out boiling water onto my clothes.

After a year of trying to make this thing work, because I didn’t want to spend money on another steamer if this one technically worked, I heard my favorite morning radio show hosts talking about a handheld steamer they all fell in love with on a recent work trip, the Secura Instant-Steam Handheld Steamer ($30; amazon.com). Once they name-dropped it on the radio, people from across the country started calling in to say that they too owned this steamer and loved it. I went online later that day and saw that nearly 500 people had given it a 5-star review on Amazon.

Even though it seemed like the entire world was in love with this steamer, I was still feeling a bit cheap and didn’t want to drop $30 on it. That is, until my OG steamer splashed boiling water on my feet while trying to steam a dress I was going to wear to a wedding. I finally decided that spending the money on a high-quality product that will maintain and extend the life of my clothes is a quality investment. Plus, if I didn’t like it, I could always return it for a full refund.

But, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I didn’t return it. I loved this product! It was so easy to hold, it didn’t scald my body or my clothes with hot water, it held enough water to steam two items before refilling, and it even got the job done faster than my original steamer. My clothes looked better, I looked better, and I didn’t have to deal with daily burns on my hands and feet!

This steamer may seem like an investment, but I justified it like this: You probably spend way more than $30 on new clothes each year, so investing in products that can help maintain your clothes and make them last longer is a smart move.