The Steamfast Mini is a compact, travel, and budget-friendly steam iron for those who want something minimal to take on the road. If you are looking for a small option to whip out in the hotel room and give your shirt a once-over before a big meeting, this is the right choice. But if you are looking for something powerful enough for household chores and agile enough for a detailed job, you should check out some of the other options in our test suite. This steam iron may be a great secondary option for those on the move, but it's not meant to be your one-and-only.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Steamfast SF-717 Mini on April 21, 2022, with a closer look at value and offer suggestions for directly comparable products that may better fit your needs or budget.
Steamfast SF-717 Mini Review
Pros: Small, budget-friendly
Cons: Lacks power, no steam burst, no water spray
Compare to Similar Products
Steamfast SF-717 Mini
$19.99 at Amazon
$40.00 at Amazon
$94.00 at Amazon
|$40 List||$25 List|
$24.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Small, budget-friendly||Powerful steam burst, pointed nose for precision, budget-friendly||Efficiently reduces wrinkles, misty water spray, 400+ steam holes, retractable cord||High heat, inexpensive||Inexpensive, portable|
|Cons||Lacks power, no steam burst, no water spray||Minimal steam output, lack of steam holes on soleplate||Filling the water tank could be easier||Poor steam output, not very maneuverable, generally cheap performance||Lacking in power, underwhelming ironing performance|
|Bottom Line||This compact steam iron acts as a budget-friendly travel companion but lacks the power for daily use||A high-performing iron equipped with a powerful steam burst and the ability to tackle most fabrics and most wrinkles||An above-average steam iron with a conveniently retractable chord and an ergonomic soleplate that can tackle most wrinkles||Low price and a convenient retractable cord help to make up for mediocre steam output||A steam iron that is perfect for travel but is too weak for regular chores at home|
|Rating Categories||Steamfast SF-717 Mini||Black+Decker D3030...||CHI Steam Titanium||Sunbeam Steam Master||Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot|
|Ironing Performance (35%)|
|Steam Output (25%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||Steamfast SF-717 Mini||Black+Decker D3030...||CHI Steam Titanium||Sunbeam Steam Master||Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot|
|Weight||0.96 lbs||1.9 lbs||2.9 lbs||3 lbs||1.3 lbs|
|Soleplate Material||Non-Stick||Stainless Steel||Titanium Infused Ceramic||Stainless Steel||Non-Stick|
|Measured Steam Output||10 g/min||22 g/min||55 g/min||20 g/min||6 g/min|
|Temperature After 5 Minutes of Heating||287.8 °F||337.6 °F||304 °F||359 °F||332 °F|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Steamfast Mini does not win any awards for its power. Its only claim to fame is the fact that it is both travel and budget-friendly. Read on to find out if this tiny iron is the right option for you.
The Steamfast Mini is not only small in stature, but its power output is minimal as well. It simply cannot compete with the larger, more powerful full-size options in our test suite. It removed most shallow wrinkles in linen and cotton but struggled with polyester and silk. The glide across cotton and linen was not very smooth, requiring additional effort when working with these fabrics. It stuck a little when working with silk, too, struggling to get all the wrinkles out. Polyester required a significant amount of pressure and additional heat to remove wrinkles, and some remained. We also noticed water dribbles when ironing synthetics.
The Mini does not come with water spray or steam blast. It is also challenging to maneuver around buttons, pleats, and other hard-to-reach places, making detail work difficult.
We were not expecting much when we tested this tiny steam iron, and we were not surprised by the results. The Mini offers four small steam holes at the top of the soleplate, which is far less than what most of the options in our test suite come equipped with. We also calculated a measly 10 grams of steam released per minute. While this is more than some other compact options, it is still a very low amount of steam output.
Ease of Use
The Mini may be minimal, but that does not make it user-friendly. The 7.5-foot long cord wraps around the handle, which is convenient, but the cord feels rather bulky when compared to other small appliances. That being said, anything shorter would hinder your ability to work with larger items. It is also worth noting that you need to wrap the cord around your wrist while ironing to keep it from dragging and wrinkling up your fabric.
The rounded rubber edge on the handle offers some grip, and the decent-sized groove between the handle and the base allows you to hold it in whatever way feels most comfortable. As for filling it up, the soft rubber plug is easy to open, but the small hole makes spilling inevitable.
We already mentioned that the Mini doesn't pack much of a punch in the power department, and this was confirmed in our heating test. The average temperature of the soleplate hit just 287.8 degrees Fahrenheit. This is rather low compared to the larger options in our test suite. The heat is also not dispersed evenly, resulting in a 60-degree difference in temperature from the top of the soleplate to the bottom.
Should You Buy the Steamfast SF-717 Mini?
The Steamfast Mini gets a majority of easy jobs done, as long as you're willing to put some elbow grease into the process. It is compact and travel-friendly with a nice handle, and those are genuinely its only redeeming factors. While this mini steam iron has a mini price tag to match, it is only a good value if you plan to travel with it. Even then, we tested other higher-performing compact models.
What Other Steam Irons Should You Consider?
The Steamfast Mini is the lowest scoring steam iron we tested, so you can only go upwards from here. If you need a compact travel iron, our top choice is the Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot, which performs much better and costs half as much. If you're looking at the Steamfast Mini as a budget option, consider spending just a bit more on a full-size, fully-functioning steam iron like the Black+Decker D3030 Allure, our pick for overall value.
— Michelle Powell and Hayley Thomas
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