While cleaning products can do a lot to kill bacteria and other critters, they also contain potentially harmful chemicals. Steam cleaning is an effective alternative because it only requires water and the right equipment, making it a healthier way to sanitize places and items in your home. The process of steam cleaning is versatile, which means you can clean your floors to your clothes with one device.
To take advantage of this cleaning process, you need the right steam cleaner. With so many options available, it can be hard to tell which is best. That’s why we’ve built this guide to the best steam cleaners around.
Note: Steam Cleaner Pro reports, “Steam cleaners disinfect and kill 99.9% of germs at a temperature between 175 degrees and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. To kill the most germs, keep them in contact with steam for at least 3 minutes. That’s long enough to get rid of germs, dust mites, mold, and viruses without using chemical sanitizers.” However, if you’re sanitizing to prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19, follow guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your physician, as it overrides any information in this guide.
McColloch MC 1275 Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner
Best overall steamer cleaner
This is a powerful steam cleaner with a boiler temperature that goes up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you want to get your house spotless, this unit by McColloch is an ideal choice. It has an extra-long power cord (about 15 and a half feet), and a 9-foot, long-reach steam hose, so you can reach touch spots. The 48-ounce water tank lets you steam for about 45 minutes with 43 psi steam pressure, and you get 18 different accessories to clean everything from floors to windows to upholstery.
While this device is primarily for home use, some people use this steam cleaner to detail their car, boat, or motorcycle. What’s not to like? Well, it is a bit on the expensive side. Also, due to the larger water tank, the unit takes about eight minutes to heat up, which is a long time for a unit in this price range.
Dr. Purifier Handheld Pressurized Steamer with 9-Piece Accessory Set
Best budget steam cleaner
If you don’t want to spend a lot of cash, you can pick up this multipurpose steam cleaner for around $40. You can clean just about anything with this inexpensive unit because it comes with multiple attachments and accessories, including an ironing cloth, an extension hose, a straight nozzle, a bent nozzle, a window-cleaning tool, a power nozzle jet, and a bristle brush. You also get a measuring cup and funnel for filling up the steamer.
This steamer reaches high heat settings, and emits steam as hot as 250 to 270 degrees Fahrenheit. It has 1050 watts of power, and it lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes per fill.
Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop
Best steam cleaner for hard floors
The Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop kills 99.9% of common bacteria on floors, so you can have some peace of mind if you have a little one crawling around.
This model achieved cleaner floors than any mop we’ve ever tried. It’s also convenient, with a swiveling design that makes it easier to maneuver around your home. The PowerFresh is handy for (and gentle on) multiple surfaces, including sealed hardwood, ceramic, linoleum, tile, granite, and marble. But, what we really love about this mop is the scent boost feature. If you add a scent boost fragrance disc while mopping, your floors smell just as clean as they look. Plenty of other steam mops skip the appeal of scented cleaning products — so if you miss the pleasant odor, Bissell has the answer.
Dupray Neat Steam
Best steam cleaner for sanitizing
Dupray’s steam cleaner offers robust sanitizing power, offering up to 50 minutes of cleaning time per fill. But beware: This steam cleaner gets hot. With a maximum temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit, it has more than enough heat to kill germs with plain tap water. Of course, that also means you’ll need to be careful while using it.
The Dupray Neat Steam comes with an 18-piece attachment kit for cleaning everything from couches to mattresses to floors to windows. You can even clean vehicle interiors and appliances. While it may not stretch out the front door and across the driveway, the cord is long enough to take with you around the home. It measures 16 feet long — which is plenty of stretch for most household operations. The tubing and hose are expansive enough to reach, too. This unit does take a little while to heat up — seven minutes — so forget about quick cleanup jobs. It is on the pricier side, too. Overall, though, it’s a worthwhile investment for anyone looking for a powerful steam machine to nix germs on the spot.