When you want a deep, deep clean without resorting to toxic chemicals, a steam cleaner is a handy tool to have in your cleaning arsenal. They let you trade in the cleaning chemicals for the germ-killing power of heat, allowing you to kill 99.99% of bacteria on any surface where you use it.
But if you’ve never used a steam cleaner before, it can be a bit overwhelming. Where is it safe to use a steam cleaner? Is it feasible to use as a regular part of your housekeeping routine, or are they something you should reserve for those dedicated deep cleaning days before the holidays? What should you definitely not, ever, like ever, use a steam cleaner on?
First of all, the best steam cleaners should be quick and easy to use. They’re the perfect substitute for your mop. They heat up fast and they make cleaning easier and more efficient.
But they can also do a lot more. You can rely on them for bigger, tougher jobs where a mop or a spray bottle and rag wouldn’t get it done. Blast away germs, bacteria, mold, and pests. They’re safe to use on floors, furniture, appliances, grout and tiles, kitchens and bathrooms, car interiors, and some are designed for even heavier-duty jobs.
Steam cleaners are also ideal if you’re searching for a healthier, eco-friendlier way to clean your home. Steam creates vapor molecules that penetrate pores in the surface of whatever you’re cleaning to force out stains, dirt, and grease. The extreme heat of the steam kills bacteria, dust mites, mold, and pests.
And it does all this just with water, meaning no chemicals that can affect your health or impact the environment. Studies have linked cleaning supplies that use VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to headaches, allergic reactions, and even chronic respiratory problems . These products include aerosol sprays, certain detergents and dishwashing liquids, chlorine bleach, and more. If you want to get these products out of your house and out of your life, steam cleaners can help without sacrificing the effectiveness of your clean.
We’re looking at the best steam cleaner reviews of 2021 to answer your questions and find the right steam cleaner for you.
The Top 9 Best Steam Cleaners
|Product Image||Product Name||Where to Use It||Special Features||5-Star Rating||Latest Price|
|Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop, 1806||Kitchens, Bathrooms, Hard Wood Floors||Spring breeze scent as you clean||4.5||View Price|
|McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner||Garage, Patio, Outdoors, Cars, Trucks, Boats||Heavy Duty Stain and Grease Remover||4.5||View Price|
|Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner||Floors, Cars, Kitchen Appliances||Low-Moisture Superheated Steam||4.5||View Price|
|Wagner Spraytech 0282014 915e On-Demand Steam Cleaner & Wallpaper Removal||Kitchen Countertops, Grout, Floors, Walls||Great for Wallpaper Removal||4.5||View Price|
|COSTWAY Multipurpose Steam Cleaner||Indoor & Outdoor||Ergonomic Design, Alternative Extension Cords||4.5||View Price|
|McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner||Kitchens, Floors, Vehicles||On-Demand Variable Steam Control, Floor Mop Attachment||4.5||View Price|
|Sargent Steam Cleaner Cleaning System||Commercial, Industrial, Car||Lifetime Support||4.5||View Price|
|SIMBR Steam Cleaner, 18-in-1 Multipurpose Steam Mop||Ceramic Tile, Grout, Sealed Wood Flooring||28 ft. Cleaning Radius||4.5||View Price|
|Ivation 1800W Canister Steam Cleaner||Curtains, Carpets, Kitchen Appliances||Works Great on Fabric||4||View Price|
The Top 9 Steam Cleaners of 2021
Review: If you’ve never used a steam cleaner before, the Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop should be your introduction to a new way to clean. The first time you use this, you’ll be shocked at how clean your home is. The power of steam strips dirt you didn’t even think was there.
Best of all, it’s easy to use. The water tank is easy to fill and it heats up in just 30 seconds, where some of the other cleaners we tried out took considerably longer. You’re not making a huge commitment every time you bust it out of the closet.
Our top pick for the best steam cleaner comes from Bissell, one of the biggest names in vacuum cleaners and floor care. Bissell says that they make their cleaning products with pets in mind, and if you’re a proud pet parent, you know all about the messes and mishaps that come with your furry family members. Funded through proceeds from every sale, the Bissell Pet Foundation assists animal welfare organizations like shelters, rescues, and neuter programs.
How It Cleans: One of the most important features of a steam cleaner is the cleaning path. With A 12-inch cleaning path, using the Bissell PowerFresh is a lot like your regular vacuum. You get a quick clean, but it’s also nimble enough to fit around furniture and corners.
The stand-out feature when it comes to cleaning with this is the onboard spot brush. It gives you that extra oomph when you need to take on a particularly sticky mess on your floor.
You’ll power through your next clean with this in your arsenal.
- Safe on sealed floors including hardwood, linoleum, ceramic, marble and granite
- Spring Breeze Fragrance Disc leaves a fresh smell as you clean
- SpotBoost brush helps handle stubborn messes
- Wear and tear can affect performance
Review: There’s the kind of cleaning you do after a day at work or on a casual Saturday, and then there’s the kind of cleaning you do when you’re determined to get the gunk, grime, and grease out of every nook, cranny, tool, and vehicle in the garage.
On those days, the McCulloch MC1275 is the steam cleaner you need in hand. The McCulloch MC1275 is great when you need to turn it onto cars, trucks, or boats. Use it for getting grease and grime off chrome accessories, wheels, engines, and floor mats.
You can also use it on upholstery and carpets. While we didn’t test its pest control abilities, other steam cleaner reviews about the McCulloch mention turning it against a nasty bedbug infestation with sterling results. If you came here looking for the best carpet steam cleaner reviews, the McCulloch is a great bet.
How It Cleans: With a 15-foot power cord and a 48-ounce water tank, the McCulloch is great for heavy-duty cleaning jobs outdoors and in the garage. You get 45 minutes of use out of it, and a steam light tells you when you’re ready to go. Accessories like jet nozzles, extension wands, scrub pads, and brushes help you tackle a variety of jobs.
- Heavy-duty performance for patios, BBQ grills, vehicles, boats, and more
- Cuts grease and grime with ease
- Scrubber attachments tend to wear out
Review: The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner really stands out for being light and portable while still coming in with a big tank and the longest clean time yet on our list. The simple cube shape with a hose makes it much easier to store than some of these other models, so if your storage space comes at a premium, this could be the best steam cleaner for you.
How It Cleans: A lot of steam cleaners rely on expensive scrub pads to get the job done, but with the Dupray Neat, you can use any towel or cloth and get the job done.
The Dupray Neat is super-hot, hitting 275 °F/135 °C, and you only need ordinary tap water. It takes 7 minutes to heat up, which isn’t bad for a steam cleaner, but not nearly as fast as our top pick. The 6’6” steam hose is super-flexible and helps you reach anywhere.
- 50-minute clean time
- Super-hot water temperatures at 275 °F in a 54-ounce tank
- Easy storage
- Does not clean carpets
Review: This is a good-all around steam cleaner that gets the job done whether you’re in the kitchen, bathroom, cleaning the floor, or trying to freshen up outdoor patio furniture. If you have kids or pets in your home, this is exactly what you need to keep things clean in their wake.
But what really makes this stand out is the wallpaper steam plate, which you can use to strip away dirty or outdated wallpaper entirely chemical-free. It’s a great cleaner to have if you’re moving into a new home, renovating, or sprucing things up for a change.
How It Cleans: Is 8 ft. steam hose is what gives you the reach to get up the walls and strip wallpaper, while the full set of accessories makes this steam cleaner adaptable to all your ordinary cleaning jobs too.
- 8 ft. long hose and a steam plate that lets you strip old wallpaper
- 40 minutes of cleaning time
- Best used for light household cleaning
- You need to make sure you use distilled water
Review: Heating water beyond boiling and cleaning with high-pressure steam is inevitably going to lead to safety concerns. That’s why the COSTWAY Multipurpose Steam Cleaner’s cut-out system is ideal for anyone concerned about accidents that could damage your home or injure you. It automatically turns off if the boiler temperature gets higher than it should or if there’s no water in the tank. It’s one of those features that provide peace of mind.
The ergonomic design also makes it really easy to use. With an extra-long power cord, it’s easier to get into every corner of the room, and the maneuverability of the pipe just makes your life simpler.
How It Cleans: The COSTWAY Steam Cleaner is a comfortable, easy-moving device for sterilizing, sanitizing, eliminating odors, removing mites, and more. It’s great for using on machines like air conditioners and scouring mold off of any surface. A big plus is that it does carpet, too.
- Advanced safety system prevents damage and injury
- Ergonomic design for easy use
- Not as easily stored as other options
Review: Another entry from McCulloch, this is one of the higher-end steam cleaners on our list and comes in at a higher-than-average price point. That said, with the bigger price tag comes more cleaning time, more accessories, and plenty of power.
You certainly get more bang for your buck with 120 minutes of cleaning time, more than any other on this list so far. Whether or not you need it depends on your cleaning routine. But with a boatload of accessories and attachments, you squeegee your showers and windows, scrape the gunk off your barbeque with ease, and power clean grubby floors in no time flat.
How It Cleans: With the extra-long cleaning time, the McCulloch MC1385 is a dream for big jobs. You don’t have to worry about the steam cutting out halfway through and having to refill and reheat the tank. Get into your cleaning groove and wash away the dirt inside and out.
Then there’s the variable steam control. You can dial in exactly how much power you need from your steam, so you don’t need to worry about underdoing it overdoing it.
- More cleaning time, bigger tank space
- Tons of accessories for a versatile clean
- May be difficult to order replacement parts outside of the US
Review: This heavy-duty steam cleaner would fit right into any commercial or industrial setting, but you can also use it at home. It’s a bit more of an investment than the other steam cleaners reviewed here if you’re looking to use it at home, but this is the kind of power you’ll be glad you have if you’re buying it for a commercial or industrial setting. At home, it gives you a super-clean environment without relying on a toxic clean.
The Sargent Steam Cleaner System is probably the best carpet steam cleaner reviewed on this list, so you get what you pay for in terms of versatility, and you’ll save money in the long term if you can clean your own carpets instead of having to hire out a company for the task.
How It Cleans: This mega-system can do just about everything. With the handheld diamond brush, you can tackle your appliance fronts, blinds, cabinets, and fans. Floors, walls, and ceilings are a breeze with the large-area rectangle brush. The steam nozzle has all your detailing covered for grout and tile, while the squeegee makes cleaning windows and mirrors a cinch.
Add carpet cleaning and car interiors into the mix, and you have a tool that helps you get into some of the grimiest places in your life. Get rid of those lingering odors and rest easy.
- Great steam power with a small amount of water
- Powerful enough for industrial and commercial uses, plus lifetime support
- Make sure you’re ready to make a significant investment in a cleaning system
Review: Simple and well-designed, small enough to easily store, and powerful enough that you won’t recognize your floor after using it, the SIMBR steam cleaner is an all-around gift to your cleaning closet. Consider this the hidden gem of our list of the best steam cleaner reviews. SIMBR isn’t the best-known brand in household cleaning products, but you won’t have any complaints with this one. It’s still one of the best steamer cleaners for floor tiles, hardwood floors, and carpets, plus it’s adjustable for jobs like the microwave, grills, cars, appliances, or even steaming garments.
How It Cleans: If you’re looking for effortless household cleaning in the form of a simply designed, perfectly sized steam cleaner, this is a great steam cleaner for you. The SIMBR steam cleaner can help save your floors when you have carpets and kids, and it has a great over-heating protection safety system.
- Flexible and effective steam cleaning power for any household situation
- Convenient user experience that’s great for everyday use
- Fitting issues with some of the attachments
Review: The Ivation 1800W Steam Cleaner keeps things simple, paring down the number of accessories you get so you’re not constantly trying to remember which one works best for the task at hand. It certainly simplifies things, although some may prefer the flexibility and precision that come with more accessories.
That said, the Ivation 1800W can handle all the same jobs that other steam cleaners can do and helps leave your home spotless.
How It Cleans: Easy to use, easy to fill up and move around, and designed for safety, the Ivation 1800W has everything you need for a basic, thorough clean. It comes with built-in pressure monitoring so that you always know when it’s ready for some deep-cleaning action.
- The most affordable option on our list
- All-purpose performance simplifies your cleaning process
- Not as many accessories as other cleaners on the list
- Handle can heat up after consistent use
What Is the Best Steam Cleaner to Buy?
Steam cleaners offer powerful, chemical-free cleaning with minimal effort required. We’ve turned to chemicals in our households, garages, and car interiors because they help break down odor-causing bacteria, stains, allergens, and other substances without us having to scrub away for hours. But those same chemicals may include toxins that cause headaches, nausea, or worsen asthma . They can also cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation, which is a big concern for anyone who spends a lot of time cleaning .
Not only that, some chemical cleaning products can negatively impact the environment. Trace chemicals can make it through water filtration systems and wind up contaminating rivers and lakes, impacting wildlife and harming biodiversity .
So what should you look for when you’re reading steam cleaner reviews?
Tank size and heat up time: Steam cleaners are limited by the capacity they have in their tank. Bigger tanks give you more uninterrupted cleaning time. Household consumers often look for the fastest heat up time, but if you regularly do bigger jobs, you might want to focus on tank size.
Accessories and additions: Steam cleaners come with a variety of accessories that allow you to change the way it cleans and the type of surfaces it’s suitable for. Look into the types of accessories that come with it so you know what kind of jobs it can handle.
Weight and storage: Coming in a wide range of sizes and designs, you should make sure you’re getting something that won’t be a pain to store. Some, like the Bissell Steam Mop, are shaped and sized just like a vacuum, while others have big tanks that might be awkward in your storage space.
What Is the Best Steam Cleaner to Buy?
When you want to deep clean your home and keep it that way, a compact, powerful tool like a steam cleaner can do a lot of work. It takes care of hardwood floors, tiles, ovens, kitchen appliances, BBQ grills, bathroom tiles, showers, walls and even carpets. The main thing to avoid is unsealed floors. That said, there are plenty of questions people have, and some cleaners are better at certain tasks than others depending on their attachments, power, and usage times.
Do your research by reading through steam cleaner reviews so you know for sure what it can and can’t clean. Steam cleaners only use water, not carpet cleaners, which need to be applied and removed. Keep an eye on the best carpet steam cleaner reviews if you want to use your cleaner on more than just hard surfaces. Learn more about how to clean and deodorize carpets if you’re wondering what are the best home carpet steam cleaners.
Most of the equipment on this list works great at home. Our top choice, the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop, works best on interiors, but others, like the McCulloch MC1275, were also made to tackle tougher outdoor jobs.
Then there are commercial and industrial-grade systems like the Sargent Steam Cleaner. It’s perfectly useable at home, but you might find that the investment is more considerable, and the design isn’t exactly the prettiest. But if you run a business or you have some tough jobs at home, it can fit the bill.
Steam cleaners work equally well on any sealed floors, including hardwood and tiles. When it comes to hardwood in particular, a steam cleaner can be a much better option than your ordinary mop because it uses less water to deep clean the surface.
Steam cleaners also give you the pressure you need to scour mold out of the wood. Mold on hardwood tends to take the color of fuzzy or leathery discoloration. Even mild exposure to mold can lead to respiratory symptoms, allergy symptoms, and irritation .
In addition to carpets, some people want to use steam cleaners to freshen up garments. With the right attachments, you can use your steam cleaner to get musty odors and stains out of clothes. If you find your clothes wind up having a musty smell when they come out of your drawers, you might want to look into reviews of the best small room humidifiers for your bedroom that won’t cause odors and can help improve air quality.
Unfortunately, steam cleaners can’t vacuum and mop at the same time, but there are other cleaning products that can tackle this. A vacuum and mop combo will help you clean your floors with the same devices, which can be a real storage saver for apartment dwellers. What they’re missing is the versatility that allows you to tackle more than just the floor that a steam cleaner provides. Steam cleaners tend to come with mop adjustments that do allow you to tackle floors with ease. They just won’t hoover up grit and particles beforehand.
Before You Go: How to Use the Best Steam Cleaner Reviews of 2021
To conclude our guide to the best steam cleaner reviews of 2021, we hope the information here clears up some of your questions about this multi-purpose cleaning equipment. Steam cleaners aren’t something everybody grew up with, so unlike vacuums and mops, it’s hard to know what you even need if you’ve never bought one before. But using a steam cleaner can be life-changing. You don’t have to rely on chemical products to get a deep clean at home. A steam cleaner takes the elbow grease out of cleaning a wide range of surfaces.
 Cleaning Supplies and Household Chemicals (American Lung Association)
 What’s that smell? (American Headache Society)
 Identifying Greener Cleaning Products (Environmental Protection Agency)
 How Do Household Cleaning Products Affect the Environment? (Science Focus)
 What Are the Effects of Black Mold Exposure? (Medical News Today)