I looked around for an inexpensive steamer that fit my budget and the Conair had great reviews. I tried to buy it at my local store but no one was carrying it, so I recommend buying it online. The store I bought it from (Linked above) has free shipping!
I like this little steamer and I have gotten my money's worth out of it despite some issues. Having a garment steamer is great.....trying to iron kimono on a regular ironing board is just a hassle once you have tried the steamer!
Here are the pros and cons of this Conair Compact Steamer GS33W.
- Heats up fast
- Works for about 30 minutes- enough time to steam for 1 kimono, a juban, obi age, and an obi
- About $30 with tax and shipping- one of the least expensive ones on the market
- No wrestling with kimono on the ironing board, just leave it hanging
- Conair has excellent customer service if you have issues (See below)
- Kills dust mites, moth eggs (They will eat holes in your kimono!), and freshens the fabric
- Hook for hanging up the nozzle is badly designed, but it must be hung up while heating and between steaming items
- No wheels on the tank ( I didn't have a huge problem with this but it would be nice to have them)
- Only steams for about 30 minutes before you have to let it cool, refill, and heat up again
- Nozzle on the end of the hose can break off if you are not careful
I also did something really dumb after using it for a few weeks without a problem: I dropped the hose onto a hard surface and the nozzle broke off. I don't know if this is one was defective or if it happens all the time, but I didn't see any similar issues when I read the reviews, so I assume it had a defect.
The nozzle really ought to be a separate piece that you can take on and off, but it's not. That's where Conair comes in. When it broke, I called them. (I had registered the product by the way.) When I called their toll-free number, a real person answered right away and they were friendly. And the man I spoke to (Fabian!) gave me his extension in case I had questions later. They sent a whole brand-new steamer at no charge & free shipping to my house because they didn't have a replacement nozzle-hose unit.
So, what do I really think of this steamer? If you have only a few kimono in your collection and/or do not wear them that often and are on a budget, it's a great little steamer. If this one dies, I will probably upgrade to Conair's Deluxe model, the GS60. It has a few more features like wheels and it's 1500 watts. Plus it's only $40, so not that much more.
I'll let you know if I have any problems with the new one!