To help you decide on the best one for you, the Yeaig has tested every type of steam cleaner, from mops to handheld models. They can be an investment, but given their cleaning capabilities, it’s undoubtedly worth it.Steam cleaners are an often-underrated appliance that can clean and sanitize both solid and soft surfaces in your home without the use of chemicals. When choosing the best model for your cleaning project, you should consider the surface compatibility, attachments, and the type of steam cleaner you need. There are canister-style appliances, mops, or handheld gadgets.
The best steam cleaners help keep our homes sparkling by blitzing bacteria off all manner of floors and surfaces. Heat treatment only requires tap water, meaning you can also steer clear of harsh chemical cleaning products.We timed each cleaner’s setup process, evaluated its ability to clean fresh stains on a tile floor and caked-on, sticky stains on an upholstered cushion (if it was designed to do so), and noted the versatility of its features. After all our testing, we concluded that no steam cleaner is perfect, and that you should pair yours with other cleaning tools to tackle messes.
The 8 Best Steam Cleaners of 2023：Tested & Reviewed
1.Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaner
- Cost: Around $350
- Tank capacity: 54.0 ounces (oz.)
- Weight: 18.9 pounds (lbs.)
- Warranty: Lifetime
The Vapamore MR-100 is a high-capacity steam cleaner that includes a wide variety of useful attachments. While the steam mop is not something necessary for car detailing, it’s a nice inclusion that improves the overall utility of this appliance. Featuring excellent cleaning power, this steam cleaner is a good pick for deep cleaning or small messes.It should be noted that this steam cleaner for cars can deliver continuous steam for up to an hour at a temperature of 220.0 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.Polti Vaporetto SV440_DOUBLE Steam Mop
For an outstanding mop steam cleaner, look no further than this Polti model. Its flexible joint helps you clean under furniture and kitchen appliances, and its long 7.5-metre flex means you won’t need to keep switching plug sockets. The water tank heats up in just 15 seconds, but note that it takes several seconds longer to emit steam, even when the ready light is on.
There’s a variable steam dial and we found the trigger switch on both the stick and handheld unit handy. It’s fitted with an anti-calc filter too, and there’s the option of adding freshener to perfume the steam when cleaning and refreshing surfaces.
Performance-wise, it fared impressively on hard and sealed floors but not as well on carpet. The built-in bristles at the rear of the floorhead efficiently scrubbed stubborn grime off vinyl, but the bristles on the included round brush started to bend after tackling particularly stubborn food remnants.
3.BLACK+DECKER 7in1 Steam Mop
- Can be used as a handheld or upright steamer
- Steam glove accessory
- Heats water nearly instantly
- No agitation tool
- Some attachments resulted in dripping water
Price at time of publish: $199|Dimensions: 25.6 x 7 x 12.8 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | Tank Capacity: 19.6 ounces | Cord Length: 20 feet | Heat Time: 20 seconds | Run Time: Not listed | Surface Type: Flooring, appliances, tile, grout, glass, metal, and fabric
Of all the steam cleaners we tested, the BLACK+DECKER 7-in-1 Multipurpose Steam Cleaner stands out as the best choice for anyone who is looking for this type of appliance. It can clean just about anything, thanks to its long list of attachments and flexible design. In our lab, it accumulated a perfect score in key performance areas like usability, versatility, and portability. It can be used as a mop and handheld appliance. Either way, we had no complaints about the setup process and were surprised that the steam cleaner-steam mop combo heated the water nearly instantly.
To prove its merit as a multipurpose steam cleaner, we tested this machine on hard surface stains and soft surface spills. The overall effectiveness of this steam cleaner proved to be good and worthy of a solid rating. On tile, the cleaner lifted a soy sauce stain in about three minutes—requiring multiple passes, a little agitation, and some excess water to be wiped up. However, the maneuverability of the mop head made up for the extra time we spent treating this stain.
On a soft surface, the handheld iteration loosened a caked-on ketchup stain in about a minute. We found the glove attachment to be the best route for cleaning this mess, but we believe a scrubbing tool would’ve tackled this task in no time. The performance on a soil stain was pretty unremarkable. We think it’s probably a better option for freshening up your furniture rather than cleaning serious messes from a couch or upholstered chair. Still, the sheer variety in attachments makes this multipurpose steam cleaner a great addition to your cleaning arsenal.
4.Bissell SteamShot Hard Surface Steam Cleaner
- Cost: Around $45
- Tank capacity: 6.6 oz.
- Weight: 4.0 lbs.
- Warranty: 1 year
This handheld steam cleaner can spout powerful gusts of steam. The Bissell SteamShot includes a number of useful attachments for cleaning nooks and crevices (like your cup holders), as well as a brush for window cleaning. However, we don’t recommend steam cleaning your auto’s windshield.
5.Steamfast SF-375 Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner
Price at time of publish: $190| Type: Canister | Weight: 10.7 pounds | Tank Capacity: 48 ounces | Cord Length: 17 feet | Compatible Surfaces: Flooring, grout, and appliances
- Who it’s for: People who have a lot of floor space (particularly hard surfaces) to clean.
- Who it isn’t for: People who want a steam cleaner that’s easy to carry up and down stairs.
Compared to the other steam cleaners we tested, the Steamfast Deluxe features a large mop head and an impressive 90-minute runtime for tackling lots of floor space at once. It can clean a variety of hard surfaces, including hard floors, shower doors, and grill grates—although it’s not meant for use on upholstery or carpet. In our testing, this steam cleaner was very quick to heat up, but it took a few passes to clean the soy sauce stain, which makes us believe it would be best suited for general upkeep rather than deep cleaning or detail work. “This could be a great cleaner for simple floor maintenance, [but] not for picking up very specific spills,” says one tester.
We found it a bit hard to carry, so it might not be the best option for homes with a lot of stairs or people with limited grip strength. However, its 18 different attachments and accessories—including a mop head, squeegee, jet nozzle, scraper, and detail brush—make it well-suited for cleaning a wide variety of surfaces. In short, the Steamfast Deluxe steam cleaner is ideal for households or businesses that need to clean a lot of surface area in a short amount of time.
6.COSTWAY 2000W Multipurpose Steam Cleaner
- Comes with 19 accessories
- Large water tank for extended cleaning
- Quiet operation
- Doesn’t pivot or swivel well
- Cloth attachment wasn’t as absorbent as expected
Price at time of publish: $120|Dimensions: 20.4 x 12.4 x 11.9 inches | Weight: 12.9 pounds | Tank Capacity: 51 ounces | Cord Length: 10 feet | Heat Time: 5 to 6 minutes | Run Time: 30 to 45 minutes | Surface Type: Flooring, appliances, countertops, tile, grout, glass, and upholstery
If you want to deep clean just about anything in your home but don’t want to spend a ton on a steam cleaner, the versatile COSTWAY Multipurpose Steam Cleaner is the way to go. It comes with 19 accessories, so you can use it on everything from floors to furniture. We were most impressed by how quickly the cleaner heats up, compared to other picks. Setting up the cleaner also met our expectations.
Our first challenge for this cleaner was the soy sauce test on a tile surface. It took a little less than three minutes to dissolve the spill. We found that it takes a pass or two to remove a wet stain, and you may need to use a sponge as well. The machine performed just as well on soft surfaces, lifting ketchup from an upholstered cushion in just one and a half minutes and soil in a mere 45 seconds.
While some steam cleaners can become hot to the touch or drip water, this COSTWAY appliance has neither of those shortcomings. The buttons are easy to navigate and in an ideal location. For these reasons, we gave this machine top marks for usability. This steam cleaner is also powerful but quiet (another perfect rating). You can use the cleaner while having a conversation or listening to music without struggling to hear over the pressure of the steam.With 19 accessories, it’s obvious that this steam cleaner is designed to help you clean every nook and cranny in your home, garage, outdoor space, and car. While we wished the cleaner head with extension tubes pivoted better, it wasn’t a dealbreaker for us. It’s just something to be aware of if you have large areas of flooring you plan to clean at once.
7.McCulloch MC1375 Canister Steam Cleaner
- Cost: Around $165
- Tank capacity: 48.0 oz.
- Weight: 10.8 lbs.
- Warranty: 1 year
The McCulloch MC1375 is a heavy-duty steam cleaner/mop. It heats quickly and to a considerably high temperature. While the steam mop feature is not useful for auto detailing, it includes several useful nozzles that are. The high-quality utility brushes are likely to last for many years. However, this steam cleaner for cars does not feature an extractor to remove dampness from fabric.
8.Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
- Easy to swap attachments
- Portable and glides easily
- Can be used with any cloth towels
- Lacks hose storage
- No indicator for water level
Price at time of publish: $190|Dimensions: 9.5 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 9 pounds | Tank Capacity: 54 ounces | Cord Length: 16 feet | Heat Time: 7 minutes | Run Time: 50 minutes | Surface Type: Flooring, appliances, tile, grout, glass, metal, and fabric
Not all steam cleaners are recommended for use on the carpet, due to the available settings or attachments for the appliance. If you struggle with stains on your carpet or rugs, a steam cleaner offers a way to remove them with just the power of water. The Dupray NEAT Steam Cleaner has what it takes to clean carpets, rugs, upholstery, and more.
When we tested the Dupray NEAT Steam Cleaner at home, we found it easy to operate and use right away. After filling the 40-ounce tank, a glowing icon on the front of the cube turned orange, providing a visual notification that the boiler inside is hard at work. In all actuality, it takes about eight minutes to heat the water, which is one minute longer than advertised but isn’t a dealbreaker.
Once the icon turns green, you can use this cleaner on carpet stains, grout lines, or other messes. In our testing experience, the triangular attachment with a microfiber bonnet proved to be an excellent tool for cleaning carpet stains. The stains disappeared with just a few passes, translating to just seconds in real-time. One thing to keep in mind is that the steam cleaner sometimes spits out water rather than steam, so you should expect it to take a couple of hours for the carpet to dry completely. But seeing your carpet look practically new when it dries is certainly worth the wait.
The other attachments included with this steam cleaner make it versatile enough to tackle other trouble zones in your home. We especially liked using the steam lance with the nylon brush for cleaning the shower. There are no wheels to maneuver it from room to room, but it only weighs about 9 pounds and has a retractable handle that stows away inside the cube when not in use. The 7-foot hose gives you plenty of reach but unfortunately doesn’t wrap or stow anywhere on the steam cleaner, so hose management is a bit of a challenge. Otherwise, we gave it very good ratings across the board.
How do I choose a steam cleaner?
There are three main types of steam cleaner. To help you choose the right one for your home, here’s all you need to know.
Compact and lightweight, steam mops are easy to set up and use. They work like regular mops but are much more powerful cleaners. Their handles have built-in water tanks that heat up in about 20 seconds. They’ll need refilling more often than cylinder cleaners (below) as they’re smaller, but this makes them far easier to manoeuvre around your home. Many come with a swivel head for reaching under furniture and kitchen appliances.Though best at cleaning sealed hard floors, many steam mops can also refresh carpets and rugs when used with an attachable carpet glider. That said, generally, they can only tackle the lightest of soiling. If your home is heavily carpeted, we’d suggest opting for a dedicated carpet cleaning machine.
Most of the mops in our list are two-in-one models that also double up as handheld units for cleaning hobs and tiles.
Cylinder steam cleaners
Cylinder steam cleaners tend to be heavy, but they have wheels to minimise the need for lugging. They tend to offer the same functions as two-in-one steam mops, only with a more powerful steam output and a higher capacity water tank that needs less frequent refilling. They often come with multiple attachments that connect to the hose and tackle a range of household tasks. Some models can be used on upholstery but others won’t be suitable.
Handheld steam cleaners
Like a handheld vacuum, these mini steam cleaners are more portable and lightweight, making them the perfect cleaning companion for harder to reach areas including tiles, taps, showers and windows. They can even be used to kill bacteria living on your toilet seat. Note they aren’t as suitable for larger areas of flooring, and they don’t mop up residual water as they go, so you’ll need to dry manually.
Not all steam cleaners are intended for use on both hard and soft surfaces, because some machines may have a steam output that is too strong for carpet fibers. Most steam cleaners can be used on various types of hard flooring (such as tile, grout, laminate, and hardwood) as well as appliances and bathroom fixtures. Others can also be used on carpet, curtains, and upholstery, but they usually require a specific attachment for these surfaces.
FYI: Most manufacturers warn against using steam cleaners on unsealed floors (like unsealed wood or ceramic), as the heat and moisture can warp or damage these surfaces.
The more attachments a steam cleaner has, the more surfaces it can clean and sanitize. Most steam cleaners come with several basic accessories, such as a scrub brush, mop head, and crevice tool. Some models may include more specialized attachments, like a garment steamer, grate cleaner, and even a squeegee. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for using different attachments to make sure you’re using the proper steam output for different surfaces.
Key features to look out for
In addition to accessories, there are some extra features you may wish to consider:
Water tank capacity
The smaller the water tank, the more often you’ll have to top it up. The larger the tank, the longer it’ll take to heat up before it’s ready to use, but it will last longer. Cylinder models tend to have large capacities, with some holding up to two litres, while steam mops tend to hold up to 450ml. Note whether the tank is detachable and easy to fill at the tap, or if you need to fill it with a jug (these are sometimes included).
Time to heat up full tank
How long a steam cleaner takes to heat up before it starts pumping out steam is largely determined by the size of the tank. This may be as little as 20 seconds for a steam mop and two minutes for a cylinder, but exact timings can vary greatly between models.
Many models on our list offer variable steam settings, be it an adjustable control dial or buttons. However, if you’re only going to be using your machine for quick and simple tasks, one steam mode should get the job done just as well.
What type of water should you use in a steam cleaner?
Unless the manufacturer says otherwise, it’s generally fine to use tap water in your steam cleaner. Just note that tap water contains minerals that can build up over time, particularly if you have hard water—but you can help curb this buildup by regularly cleaning your machine or using distilled water instead.
Can you add a cleaning solution to a steam cleaner?
Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, it’s not recommended that you add anything other than water to your steam cleaner. Using anything other than water in a steam cleaner can damage your device and void the warranty. If you want to pretreat a stain, you can add a cleaning solution directly to the surface and then go over it with your steam cleaner.
Is steam cleaning really effective?
With such high temperatures, the steam provides a much more effective clean than traditional cleaning methods. In fact, steam cleaning does the following: Kills 99.99% of bacteria. Removes even the toughest of mold growth.
What Cannot be steam cleaned?
Here are a few things you shouldn’t clean with steam vapor: Anything that can be damaged due to heat exposure, such as water-based paint and cardboard. Porous surfaces, such as stucco, brick, and marble. Large industrial spaces and food plants.
Is steam cleaning more hygienic?
Steam cleaners offer more hygiene and higher cleaning performance than conventional manual cleaning methods with detergents. The secret of cleaning steam lies in the combination of steam and temperature.