We Tested 14 Facial Steamers — These 5 Wowed Us the Most

The Panasonic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer is the undisputed winner.

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We Tested 14 Facial Steamers — These 5 Wowed Us the Most

Self care and skincare often overlap — luxury spa facials and everyday budgets, however, often don't. That doesn't mean those steamy skin treatments are off the table, though. Instead, it's just another reason to add a top-notch facial steamer to your at-home skincare regimen.

Don't put yourself through the stress of trying to sort through the hundreds of devices on the market, though. We put 14 of the most popular facial steamers to the test — multiple tests, actually. Honing in on qualities like the ease of use — because who wants a hard-to-handle beauty device? — and stunning post-mist results, we were able to trim down our initial list to only those that reigned supreme. At the end of the day, the Panasonic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer was the undisputed winner because it's easy to fill, heats up quickly, and delivers steady, warm steam.

Without further ado, here are the best facial steamers, according to our testing.

Best Overall: Panasonic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer

Panasonic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer


What We Love: The Panasonic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer was ready to use in under two minutes.

What We Don't Love: You have to move your face around a little bit to get the full effect of the steam.

If you're looking for a facial steamer that heats up fast, produces a warm, steady mist, and leaves skin looking and feeling radiant, dewy, and plump in the very best way, the Panasonic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer is the best bet for you — and, according to our testers, it's the best facial steamer, overall.

Among its top features, one tester called out just how easy it is to incorporate it into a regular skincare routine. "The steamer was ready to use in under two minutes," they say. "You just fill up the water tank, plug it in, turn it on, and it was steaming within seconds."

It's not just how easy it is to operate that makes it such a fantastic facial steamer, though. The results it delivers are beyond all the others that we tested. "My skin feels softer and I could feel my pores opening as the hot steam came toward me," one of our testers reveals, noting that the steam this device puts off is a bit hotter than the other devices tested, too.

Of course, there are sacrifices to be made. Namely, this top-rated facial steamer doesn't come with an auto-shut-off button, nor does it capture the entire face when sitting in place. "I did have to move my face around a little bit to get the full effect from the steam," one of our testers reveals. Still, for the price and the many benefits it does offer, it remains the clear winner.

Price at time of publish: $103

Operation: One-touch | Number of Settings: 2 | Steam Cycle: 6 minutes | Steam Type: Fine | Dimensions: 4.2 x 4.2 x 8.7 inches | Auto Shut-Off: No

Best Value: Plum Beauty Spa Facial Steamer

Plum Beauty Spa Facial Steamer


What We Love: The steam mist reaches the entire face.
What We Don't Love: It may leak water.

Our top five picks for the best facial steamers span a variety of price points. That said, when it comes to value, you can't beat the Plum Beauty Spa Facial Steamer. Logistically speaking, the steamer is one of the smaller devices on our list, yet it works particularly well at targeting every area of the face — something not every device can do — so you don't have to move it (or your face) around to get full-faced results.

Beyond its applaudable coverage, this facial steamer touts a quick set-up, equally-as-rapid mist, and a convenient auto-shutoff mechanism that turns the machine off after the 6-minute steam cycle. Another convenient element? It's compact and comes with a handle, so it's easy to move from room to room or even to bring on vacation. (And since it's designed to be plugged in, you won't have to worry about bringing extra batteries — though, a converter may be necessary.)

Our testers found it to be a great value for the quality (and steady stream) of steam it put off. Surprisingly, they found that it doesn't even require much water to work, and it's easy to empty in residual water after use.

As for the results it delivers, our testers were pleased with how it transformed their skin in such a short amount of time. "My skin feels very soft," one tester marveled post-use.

Price at time of publish: $35

Number of Settings: 1 | Steam Cycle: 6 minutes | Steam Type: Fine | Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.1 x 10.1 inches | Auto Shut-Off: Yes

Best Drugstore: Conair True Glow Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System

Conair True Glow Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System

Ulta Beauty

What We Love: This steamer is very easy to set up and targets the entire face.

What We Don't Love: It takes longer to warm the water — approximately four minutes.

This pink and white facial steamer might look a bit dated but our testers found it to work extremely well — especially given the price point. In addition to delivering fine, steady mist, this facial steamer touts a whopping seven settings — ranging from three to 15 minutes — allowing users to tailor the duration of treatment based on their skincare goals and the time they have to devote to the process. Additionally, while the machine can easily be flipped on or off, it is also designed to automatically shut off when the timer pings.

Another well-liked feature of this steamer is the size of the facial cone. "I sealed my face in the cradle of the steamer and received good results," one of our testers says. "My skin was evenly covered. I love this product."

While this facial steamer has a variety of great design features, one of our testers did point out that it requires a bit more patience to use, as it takes longer to heat up. Still, users can expect to refreshingly steam their face within four minutes of activating the device, so it's not like you'll have to hang around waiting forever.

Plus, something that makes up for the slow heat-up time is the fact that this facial steamer comes with a battery-operated facial brush to further tend to the user's skin. The facial brush comes with two different attachments to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin, which is recommended prior to steaming.

Price at time of publish: $45

Number of Settings: 7 | Steam Cycle: 3-15 minutes | Steam Type: Fine | Dimensions: 7.38 x 7.75 x 9.25 inches | Auto Shut-Off: Yes

Best Multipurpose: Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer 3-in-1 Nano Ionic Facial Steamer

facial steamer


What We Love: This steamer leaves skin feeling super soft — and it doubles as a humidifier.

What We Don't Love: It takes a while for the water to heat up — around four minutes.

As one of Amazon's top-selling facial steamers, our testers were excited to see how the Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer held up to its accolades and claims. Sure enough, it touts a design worthy of the stellar reviews it's received.

Part of what makes this facial steamer so beloved is its multipurpose nature. Instead of solely being a facial steamer, it's designed to be used as a humidifier and towel warmer, as well. As such, rather than emitting between three and 15 minutes worth of steam, this sleek facial steamer pumps out up to 30 minutes of fine, steady mist. And, once it's finished misting, it conveniently shuts off, so the user doesn't have to worry about doubling back home to check if everything is unplugged.

One thing to note, however, is that like the Conair facial steamer, the Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer takes a touch longer to heat up, again falling around the 4-minute mark. That said, once it's steaming, it's steady and warm, and works well to open pores and soften skin. But, as one of our testers points out, thanks to the slightly smaller cone, it doesn't fully envelop the face in mist. "The mist reached my forehead and cheeks but not my chin area," they say. So, if you opt for this device, just know that you might have to move your face around a bit to achieve full results.

(Psst: This device also comes with five extraction tools for even more spa-like effects. That said, make sure they're sterile and you know how and when to use them before applying pressure and putting them to work on your face.)

Price at time of publish: $50

Number of Settings: 4 | Steam Cycle: Up to 30 minutes | Steam Type: Nano | Dimensions: 9.84 x 5.91 x 1.97 inches | Auto Shut-Off: Yes

Best Splurge: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Pro Facial Steamer

Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer


What We Love: This luxe steamer heats up with a solid stream of mist in under 30 seconds.
What We Don't Love: Undeniably, it's pricey.

While splurge beauty products aren't always worth the hype, the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Pro Facial Steamer deserves every bit of praise it's received. It was a no-brainer for our initial list of products to test — and once we put it to work, our testers quickly unveiled just how luxurious it really is.

Although it only comes with a single setting, the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Pro Facial Steamer pumps out a cloud of ultra-fine mist for a steady nine minutes which makes it well worth the splurge. "This was incredibly easy to use," one of our testers says. "The tiny water tank was easy to fill up and it was steaming in a solid stream of mist within 30 seconds."

Solid as the mist was, our reviews say that it's gentle as can be. "My skin isn't irritated — it was a strong, consistent mist without coming on too strong," they say.

While the set time sequence is nine minutes, you can shut off the device whenever you please. When one of our testers did so in half the time, she still found the results to be remarkable. "My skin definitely feels softer," she reveals. "I only used it for four minutes and I'm confident that with more steam, my skin would look even better. This is a popular facial steamer for a reason. I could sit in front of this thing for a while — it was very relaxing."

Price at time of publish: $149

Number of Settings: 1 | Steam Cycle: Up to 9 minutes | Steam Type: Micro | Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.7 x 5.6 inches | Auto Shut-Off: Yes

Our Testing Process

In an effort to make spa-like results achievable at home, many, many manufacturers have launched their version of a facial steamer. As such, we did our due diligence — by talking with dermatologists and aestheticians, as well as researching products on our own — to hand-select the 14 most compelling facial steamers on the market.

Considering the main purpose of a facial steamer is to address dryness and leave skin looking dewy and hydrated, we curated a group of testers with skin concerns that fit the bill. Once assigned, they got to work to weed through the 14 initial picks in an effort to narrow it down to the top facial steamers.

To do so, our testers rated each steamer on a scale of 1 through 5 in three key categories: ease of use, skin look and feel, and mist quality. After all, while steam is undoubtedly the most important factor of a facial steamer, the results it delivers and the way the machine itself operates play a pivotal role in the overall satisfaction of the device.

Once all the reviews were in, we determined the categories for the top facial steamers.

What to Keep in Mind

Ease of Use

At-home facial steamers are popular beauty buys because they make otherwise luxurious spa treatments more accessible. However, if they're not easy to use, the results may feel null and void. With that in mind, we tested each of the 14 facial steamers for ease of use. In doing so, we took set-up, straightforward settings, and auto-shut-off buttons into consideration. Out of all of our winners, the Plum Beauty Spa Facial Steamer had the most convenient features, especially for beginners.

Skin Look and Feel

Facial steamers are designed to deliver spa-like facial results in the comfort of your own home. Of course, they have to work steadily (and all-encompassingly) in order to deliver said results. With that in mind, our testers paid close attention to how each of the facial steamers made their skin look and feel after use, with a goal of smoother, softer, glowing, more supple skin post-use (our tester's skin felt the most supple after use with our Best Overall pick, the Panasonic Nano Iconic Facial Steamer).

Mist Quality

Considering the mist is the whole point of a facial steamer — particularly what makes a device effective and convenient or not — we paid close attention to the type of mist that each machine produced. Generally speaking, the smaller the mist, the better able it is to penetrate the skin and deliver deep hydration, and the less likely it is to make a mess. As such, our top picks all feature fine (or micro or nano) mist, as it delivers the best complexion results without splattering the surrounding area.

Your Questions, Answered

What are the benefits of using a facial steamer?

According to NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, facial steaming helps to clear your pores for a deeper cleanse. "The main benefit is that the steam softens your skin which makes it easier to remove dirt, sebum, and blackheads," she says, noting why steam is a popular component of facials. Remember: pores don't open or close—they aren't a muscle—but rather stretch when they are clogged.

In addition to promoting a deep clean, Dr. Green says that steam helps promote circulation and keep skin hydrated. "The steam will cause your blood vessels to dilate and allow for more blood and oxygen to reach your skin," she explains. "This will also help promote collagen and elastin production which will keep your skin looking soft and youthful.

Lastly, Dr. Green points out that by declogging pores and adding hydration, steams helps skin better absorb skincare products. "When your pores are clear, your skin is more permeable and can more effectively absorb the active ingredients you use on your face," she explains.

How often should you use a facial steamer?

As soothing as facial steaming can feel, like any skincare product or treatment, you don't want to overdo it. "A facial steamer should be used once or twice a week for ten minutes," Dr. Green says. "This will ensure your skin is not irritated and that you reap maximum benefits. That said, if while adhering to those guidelines you notice your skin is feeling hot or irritated, Dr. Green says that you should reduce your steaming time to find what works best for you. "It is essential that the steam is a safe distance from your face, usually six to ten inches away," she adds, noting that proper placement of your facial steamer will help reduce the risk of irritation.

Are facial steamers beneficial for all skin types?

According to Dr. Green, no. "Facial steaming is not recommended if you have sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea," she warns. "If you have any concerns about facial steaming or the best skincare practices, you can always consult a board-certified dermatologist."

While facial steaming can help rehydrate skin, making it great for folks with dry complexions, Dr. Green says that those with acne-prone skin are the best candidates for facial steaming. "The steaming will help stretch your pores, which will make it easier to extract sebum, dirt, whiteheads, blackheads, and other debris," she says.

What Is InStyle Picks?

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it's really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we've put them to the test to be sure you will too.

Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content.

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