Updated November 2018

Best Steam Cleaners

WHY BELIEVE HOUSE METHOD?

We analyze consumer reviews to find the best products on the web. We buy products with our own money and test them in our lab. We also interview experts and conduct independent research to pick the winners. We have affiliate partnerships so we may get a share of revenue from purchases. It’s how we fund our Research Lab and bring you better reviews and comparisons. Read more.

Best Steam Cleaners Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

McCulloch

Heavy-Duty
Check Price at: 1 store
This all-in-one steamer works on hard floors, carpets, upholstery, and cars, making it one of the best steam cleaners on the market.
We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves—a 48-ounce tank, 45 minutes of steam time, 18 accessories, a 15.7-foot cord, and a 9-foot hose are all covered under a 2-year warranty.
You’ll have to wait 10–20 minutes for this 15-pound steamer to heat up. You can’t adjust the steam level either.

Bissell

Powerfresh
Check Price at: 1 store
You’ll have 3 colors and several bundles to choose from at checkout. The pet package includes deodorant discs that neutralize odors.
It has a customizable SmartSet steam control, but you’ll likely need only the low steam setting. This 1500-watt steam cleaner is powerful and heats up in 30 seconds.
The Bissell steam cleaner is limited to hard floors. It also doesn’t come with a hose.

Light ‘N’ Easy

All in One Multifunctional Steamer
Check Price at: 1 store
Get 20–25 minutes of solid steam time from Amazon’s #1 best seller in the steam cleaner category.
This 2-in-1 steamer transforms from a steam mop to a handheld. It works on hard floors, carpet, garments, and glass. It has 3 steam levels—all of which are quiet—and a 30-second heat-up time.
Many customers found the instructions to be confusing. The steam is sometimes inconsistent.

Shark

Pro Steam Pocket Mop
Check Price at: 1 store
Amazon’s Choice in the steam mops category has a 30-second heat-up time and can work on all hard floors.
Assembly is a simple, 2-step process. A swivel head and 25-foot power cord make this Shark steamer maneuverable and mobile.
It’s designed for hard floors only. The lack of steam settings requires more manpower from its user.

Dirt Devil

Easy Steam
Check Price at: 1 store
This portable steam cleaner can clean your countertops, sinks, stoves, windows, showers, upholstery, and garments.
It’s the lightest to use and doesn’t leave a dent in your wallet—it weighs less than 3 pounds and costs less than $50. It also includes several accessories.
Handheld-only means you’ll have to bend, crouch, and squat during the steam cleaning process. It’s not intended for floors and only holds a cup of water.

OUR PROCESS

19,033
Customer Reviews
53
Products
12.5
Hours

Steam cleaners make quick work of housekeeping. They’re faster than traditional mops and more efficient than Swiffers and a few vacuums. They’re also a greener, cleaner alternative to harsh cleaning solutions. We sense your excitement, which is why we took initiative and read thousands of steam cleaner reviews for you and narrowed it down to five of the best steam cleaners available.

Steam Cleaner Reviews Guide

Some customers call steam cleaners the “miracle mop” and most of them live up to the hype. The visible difference you’ll see as a steam cleaner erases dirt stroke by stroke is extremely satisfying—some customers even go so far to call it addicting.

Pressure and heat combine to create steam, which can deep clean floors, surfaces, and even upholstery. The steam from these cleaners is hot enough to sanitize surfaces, killing bacteria, germs, and pests. It also lifts some of the stickiest, grimiest goop off carpet, grout, and vehicle interiors.

Steam cleaners are 100% all-natural, chemical-free solutions. This means that they’re safe to use around kids and pets. Just add tap water to your steam cleaner and you’re good to go.

If you’re ready to join the steam cleaner bandwagon, scroll up for the best steam cleaners on the market today. If you’re not quite convinced, read on to learn how steam cleaners work, which products we recommend, and answers to the most frequently asked questions we came across during our steam cleaner review.

How to use a steam cleaner

Perhaps the best part about steam cleaners is that they’re an all-natural replacement to harsh chemical cleaners. Just add water to get a steam cleaner started. With a small steamer, one cup of water will work just fine for a 15-minute spot cleaning session. If you want to go a bit deeper, look for steam cleaners with larger reservoirs.

After you fill the steam cleaner, the water will boil inside the machine. This can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes depending on the size of the reservoir and the power behind your steam cleaner.

Water then vaporizes into steam, which is extremely hot. Some cleaners produce steam up to 360℉. With a lot of heat and little pressure (no more than 150 PSI), the steam is released through a handheld device, canister, or mop.

You can—and should—take advantage of the many accessories and attachments that are included with your steam cleaner. Hoses, brushes, and cleaning pads make your machine more versatile and applicable to a variety of surface types including floors and fabrics.

When using a steam cleaner, use microfiber pads for floors, detail brushes for grout, and squeegees for glass.”

Best steam cleaner for deep cleaning MCCULLOCH HEAVY-DUTY

There’s so much to love about the McCulloch heavy-duty steam cleaner. A 48-ounce reservoir may take longer to heat, but it can produce 45 minutes of uninterrupted steam time. This carpet steam cleaner also comes with a variety of accessories—18 to be exact. Extension wands, mop heads, and several utility brushes allow you to steam clean every nook and cranny. Once you see the difference this steam cleaner makes, you’ll want to clean everything—and you can. This all-in-one cleaner works on hard floors, carpet, upholstery, and car interiors.

Take care when steam cleaning baseboards. Non-enamel, water-based paint may not withstand the heat of your steam cleaner.”

Types of steam cleaners

Cool vs. dry steam cleaners

We’ve only featured dry steam cleaners in our review because they’re much more efficient than cool steam machines. Dry steam cleaners boil the water inside the reservoir, which produces hot steam that contains only 5% water. Dry heat sanitizes surfaces while cool steam does not. Cool steam also creates more moisture, causing cleaned surfaces to take longer to dry.

Handheld steam cleaners

  • Pros—They’re affordable, portable, and easy to store. Use them to spot clean and unwrinkle clothing, upholstery, and vehicle interiors.
  • Cons—They’re not as powerful as mop or canister steamers and they require more water refills.

Mop steam cleaners

  • Pros—They’re quick to preheat and easy to maneuver. The reusable cleaning pads are great for deep cleaning floors.
  • Cons—You won’t have the versatility of a flexible hose or handheld attachments. Steam mops only work on sealed hard floors.

Canister steam cleaners

  • Pros—A larger reservoir means more steam time and fewer refills. This all-in-one solution has attachments for cleaning floors, surfaces, and fabrics.
  • Cons—Similar to canister vacuums, canister steam cleaners aren’t very portable. The heavy tank can feel like it’s anchoring you down and makes it difficult to maneuver. Canister steam cleaners are also more expensive than handheld steamers and steam mops.
Best steam cleaner for pet owners BISSELL POWERFRESH

Choose the Powerfresh Pet package at checkout and receive all the mop pads and odor neutralizers you need to freshen up after your pet. Switch between the two mop pads—soft or scrub—and three steam levels to clean new messes and stubborn stains. You can even tackle messes as they happen thanks to its quick, 30-second heat time. Like all steam cleaners, the Bissell Powerfresh is all-natural, chemical-free, and pet-friendly.

Do not apply steam to porous surfaces such as marble, concrete, and unsealed hardwood.”

Frequently asked questions

What is the best steam mop on the market?

The McCulloch Heavy-Duty is the best steam mop on the market. You can steam clean the whole house with the 18 accessories and 45 minutes of steam time. It’s not only House Method’s top pick, but it’s also Amazon’s Choice in the steam cleaner category. This four-star steam cleaner is backed by over 3,000 customer reviews.

What is the best steam cleaner for tile floors?

The Bissell Powerfresh is the best steam cleaner for tile floors (a third of customers mention tile floors in their reviews). We don’t blame you if you’re the type of person who needs evidence before making a purchase. If that’s you, you can find many impressive before and after pictures posted by Amazon verified customers. Cleaning tile can be tricky and we’re confident the Bissell Powerfresh can get the job done.

Does steam cleaning damage grout?

It can. Always read your owner’s manual to find out what your steam cleaner can and cannot clean safely. Many manufacturers will also include steam setting recommendations based on the surface you’re cleaning.

Are steam cleaners good for hardwood floors?

You can use a steam mop on hardwood floors as long as your floors are sealed. We don’t recommend steam cleaning sealed hardwood floors often because overexposure to steam may damage floors.

Do floor steamers really clean?

Yes, floor steamers really do clean. Hot steam dissolves dirt and sanitizes surfaces by killing bacteria and pests. The pressure also makes steam cleaners more efficient than a traditional mop.

How much are steam cleaners?

The steam cleaners we reviewed range from $40 to $140. Handheld steam cleaners are cheaper but less powerful than mop or canister steam cleaners. Steam mops have mid-tier tickets but are limited to cleaning only floors. Canister steam cleaners are the most expensive, but they’re the most versatile.

The team that worked on this review

Kelsey Roadruck
Writer
Kealia Reynolds
Editor
Rebekah Sedaca
Product Researcher
John Morgan
Producer

By continuing to browse or by clicking “OK” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy.

OK