First off, what exactly will it do and how can a steam wardrobe, or steam closet, improve your day-to-day life?
The appliance has a number of functions and uses. In essence, it’s an add-on to your laundry set-up, in that it won’t replace anything you already have but will give you another option for dealing with clothes and fabrics. The standard size models have space for three hanging garments, which can be steamed and gently agitated to freshen them up and to help remove wrinkles.
(The LG Styler is pictured on the left, the Samsung AirDresser on the right.)
While the steam function won’t give you the wrinkle removal of an iron, in all but the deepest creases it’ll be enough to save you dragging out the ironing board. There’s also a trouser press in the door.
So, when you come in, you can hang up the clothes you’re wearing and they’ll be good to go the next morning. This is especially handy for people who wear a suit or uniform to work and whose clothes have been lightly soiled by dust, smoke or pollutants, or creased during the day.
A steam closet can also save you money if you have a lot of dry clean-only clothes. While it won’t mean you never have to take clothes to the dry cleaners again, you’ll make significantly fewer trips. It can freshen delicate items and materials including silk, leather and fur. There are different programmes for different fabrics and requirements.
It can also be used to sanitise clothes, duvets, pillows, babies’ bedding, pets’ and children’s toys, with 99.99% effectiveness. A lot of newer washing machines and dryers have steam settings, which can also be used to sanitise items, but a steam closet will be gentler and will offer more space for bulky items.
And if you get caught in the rain, you can put your damp clothes in your steam closet on your return home and they’ll be warm and fresh when you next go out. This means an end to mildewed coats or stinky running or biking gear that never has time to dry.
You can also warm your gym clothes, to make winter morning workout sessions a bit more inviting. As well as deodorising clothes, both appliances also offer an option to fragrance items.
However, a steam closet has limitations. It won’t dry clean clothes and it won’t remove stains.
So, that’s the functionality you can expect. Now, let’s go head-to-head on specs.
Samsung AirDresser: £1,999
LG Styler: £1,899
Samsung AirDresser: three hangers, shelf, trouser press
LG Styler: three hangers, shelf, trouser press
Samsung AirDresser: H185 x W44.5 x D61.5cm
LG Styler: H185 x W44.9 x D58.5cm
Both are connected appliances.
Samsung’s SmartThings app will suggest the best option for your needs and store clothing details for easy programming.
LG’s ThinQ app also allows you to download programmes for specific fabrics and gives you remote functionality.
Samsung AirDresser: 89kg
LG Styler: 83kg
If you leave the AirDresser open, it can be used as a dehumidifier. It also has a soft closing door with a mirrored surface, so you can do away with a separate mirror for dressing.
LG Styler can also be used as a humidifier in the same way. It has a black or white high-shine finish, however, so it can’t be used as a mirror.
The specs on these appliances are remarkably similar. However, there’s a £100 price difference in favour of the LG Styler (plus, at the moment, John Lewis has a deal on that will save you an extra £200). While we like the AirDresser’s mirrored finish, we wonder if it’s worth the extra cash outlay.
Both brands tend make high-quality, long-lasting appliances, so in the end, it may come down to your ecosystem. Like so many connected products now, it’s easier to have as many products as possible on one app, to keep your home life as simple as possible.
More apps mean more passwords to keep organised – and I’ve found that even when I’m permanently logged into an app on my phone, it’ll occasionally boot me out and I’ll have to scramble about to find my login info.
Both products are available from John Lewis, with a two year guarantee and free standard delivery. Right now, the LG Styler is available for £1,699, while the Samsung AirDresser is priced at £1,999.
We’ll be testing and reviewing LG’s Styler soon, so check back to read our review.