Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer review: Time-saving travel companion

The Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer was launched at Xiaomi’s Smarter Living Event earlier this year and costs  ₹2,499. (Xiaomi)
The Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer was launched at Xiaomi’s Smarter Living Event earlier this year and costs 2,499. (Xiaomi)


While the Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer cannot replace regular irons completely, its ease of use, portability and affordable price-tag will appeal to many users

I was disappointed when I couldn’t take a garment steamer on my recent trip. As I began packing for Los Angeles, California, I quickly realised that the voltage difference would be an issue. I packed up my garment steamer from Xiaomi and said my goodbyes – temporarily.

But having returned to India (at the time of writing this review) and being able to use Xiaomi’s Handheld Garment Steamer once again, I’m impressed by what I've seen. I’ve never really ironed my clothes, barring my days in college. Thanks to Xiaomi, I finally returned to using a garment steamer (even if it isn’t an everyday event).

Xiaomi has a diverse range of products under its portfolio. Gone are the days when it was just a company that made smartphones. From EVs (yes, really, Xiaomi has an electric vehicle under its portfolio) to sports shoes, Xiaomi has it all – a smart light, smart vacuum cleaner, security camera, air purifier, and more. 

Xiaomi’s India store isn’t as extensive as its Chinese counterpart, but it’s slowly building up. Xiaomi launched the Air Fryer 6L alongside its Xiaomi 14 Civi smartphone recently. But today I’m talking about a “new category product", the Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer, which was launched at Xiaomi’s Smarter Living Event in April. Let’s get on to the product.

What are handheld garment steamers?

It’s easy to understand how handheld garment steamers work. These handheld steamers feature a tank (for the water). At the basic level, the water is heated until it turns to steam, which is directed through a nozzle. Point the nozzle at the fabric, and iron away. There are multiple other brands in this category – be it Philips, Black+Decker, Wipro, Havells, and many more.

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The Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer is a compact (and foldable) product. It’s shaped like a pistol and can even be mistaken for a hair dryer. It’s only available in white (good luck keeping it clean and pristine) and weighs 775g. It is one of the lightest handheld garment steamers out there. It’s portable and can be folded to fit easily into any suitcase. A note of caution - be careful and read up on the voltage during all your travels.

The garment steamer can be broken down into two parts. The device features a translucent water tank at the back (which easily detaches). At the front is a ceramic soleplate with holes (that emit the steam). There’s a button to release steam. The power cable that needs to be plugged in for the steamer to work is 1.9m long, which is suitable for most rooms. The steamer uses a 5-amp plug.

Thanks to a power rating of 1300W, the garment steamer is ready to use in about 26 seconds.
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Thanks to a power rating of 1300W, the garment steamer is ready to use in about 26 seconds. (Xiaomi)

How does the Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer perform?

All you need is 30 seconds and you’re good to go. Thanks to a power rating of 1300W, the garment steamer is ready to use in about 26 seconds. The claimed steam rate is up to 24g/min. It is safe for all fabrics - cotton, linen, wool, silk, polyester, and nylon - and can be used vertically (while clothes are on a hanger) and horizontally (can be used in this mode without steam). It can kill 99.9 percent of germs and remove odour. Lastly, the 160-ml tank capacity, which is good for ironing four to six pieces of clothing.

What works:

There are a few things that I liked about the Xiaomi garment steamer.

- Easy to set up: It’s quick and easy to fill the tank, plug it in and have it ready to be used. It takes barely a minute or two. The ease of use is something that anyone can get used to.

- Horizontal and vertical: The steamer can be used in horizontal and vertical modes, making it versatile. The horizontal mode is best for removing wrinkles and can even be used for drying garments.

- Inexpensive: At 3,999 (currently discounted on Mi.com to 2,499), the Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer is inexpensive and can easily supplement your regular iron. It’s a handy gifting option, especially for students in hostels or a college dormitory.

- Portability: The compact design makes it easy to carry.

What doesn't work:

- Not suitable for polyester and nylon clothes: A traditional iron worked much better on polyester and nylon clothes. I didn’t get the same feeling as I would after it was ironed by a proper iron.

- It doesn’t work globally: Unless you’re carrying around a voltage converter, the garment steamer doesn’t work in places like the US and a select few other countries.


As many have said before, garment steamers cannot replace regular irons. But garment steamers aren’t trying to beat regular irons either. They work best when you’re short on time or in a place where you don’t have the space or capacity to house a regular iron.

The Xiaomi Handheld Garment Steamer checks all those boxes and is the perfect travel companion, ready to use in seconds. And at 2,499, the pricing from Xiaomi is spot on.

Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based writer. He posts @IMSahilBhalla.

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