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The Best Portable Steam Cleaner Reviews & Buying Guide

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Think you need to break out the bleach and other noxious cleaning agents to sanitize your home? Put down the gloves and take off the hazmat suit. You don’t need harsh chemicals to disinfect hard surfaces or fabrics around the house. All you need is a portable steam cleaner, and you’ll be ready to clean and deodorize with nothing more than the power of pressurized steam.

With the right accessory, you can direct this steam into hard-to-reach areas of your home and remove stubborn stains and odors. That’s because steam reaches piping-hot temperatures that kill bacteria and allergens on the spot. It can penetrate grime, grease, and other challenging messes, making it one of the most efficient, chemical-free ways to keep your house fresh.

The best portable steam cleaner is compact enough to reach every nook and cranny of your home or vehicle, yet powerful enough to target life’s toughest messes. But how can you know which appliance offers the best cleaning abilities for your needs?

That’s where we come in. After scouring the web, we’ve gone through thousands of portable steam cleaner reviews to create a shortlist of the seven best handheld steam cleaners. Below, we’ve compiled our research into an easy-to-read chart for people who want answers fast, followed by a rating breakdown for those who want to understand our ranking.

The Top 7 Best Portable Steam Cleaners

Product ImageProduct NameWeightCapacityTemperatureWattage5-Star RatingLatest Price
Product image for BISSELL 39N7A 39N7A/39N71 Steam Shot
BISSELL 39N7A 39N7A/39N71 Steam Shot6 oz6.6 oz212°F1000W4.3View Price
Product image of PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner2.2 lbs8.8 oz289.4°F1000W4.1View Price
Product image of PentaBeauty Steam Cleaner
PentaBeauty Steam Cleaner4 lbs12 ozNot Listed1050W4.1View Price
Product image of Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner3.76 lbs12.3 oz250–270°F1050W4.1View Price
Product image of Eave Portable Steam Cleaner 10 in 1 Set
Eave Portable Steam Cleaner 10 in 1 Set4.6 lbs15.8 oz221°F1050–1150W4.1View Price
Product image for Kiato 10 in 1 Handheld Steamer for Cleaning
Kiato 10 in 1 Handheld Steamer for Cleaning4.71lbs15.8 oz221°F1050–1150W4.3View Price
Product image of Moongiantgo 2600W High Temperature Pressurized Steam Cleaner
Moongiantgo 2600W High Temperature Pressurized Steam Cleaner7.58 lbsNo Water Tank266°F2600W3.5View Price

7 Best Portable Steam Cleaner Reviews of 2021

Key Features:

  • Reaches 212°F
  • 20-foot Power Cord
  • Easy-to-Fill Water Tank
  • Eliminates 99.9% of Germs and Bacteria
  • Lightweight Machine Makes It Simple to Use
  • On-Demand Steam Trigger Allows You to Control Amount of Steam
  • Comes with 10 Versatile Accessories to Clean a Variety of Hard Surfaces and Fabrics

Review: The BISSEL Steam Shot has earned its placement at the top of our list because it has the best all-round portable steam product cleaner reviews. It’s tough on grime, and with ten interchangeable accessories, you can clean almost any surface in your car or home. It even proves to be a powerful spot treatment on stubborn carpet stains, scoring high in portable steam carpet cleaner reviews.

Pro tip: if you’re planning on deep cleaning your entire carpet, consider carpet steam cleaners for large-scale stains and refresh projects. They’re designed for bigger messes and regular spring-cleaning chores.

Ease of Use: The BISSEL Steam Shot makes cleaning a breeze. One of its best features is its 20-foot power cord, meaning you don’t have to be near an outlet to get down to business. It’s also the lightest appliance on the list, so you’ll be able to clean for long periods without feeling weighed down. 

We also like its color-coded bristles in red, green, and black. This thoughtful touch makes it easy to assign a brush to the bathroom, kitchen, and living room without confusing one for the other.

Standout Feature: We’ve given the top spot to BISSEL because of its sanitizing powers, proven to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria. Plenty of steamers make these claims, but BISSEL is the only one to substantiate them.

BISSEL has guaranteed their appliance’s ability to sanitize under laboratory settings. Of course, if you’ve read other portable BISSELL steam cleaner reviews before, it should come as no surprise BISSEL is willing to put its products to the test.

Pros

  • Kills 99.9% of Germs & Bacteria
  • Water Heats in 30 Seconds
  • 20-Foot Power Cord

Cons

  • Needs Frequent Refills
  • You Have to Hold Button Down to Use

Key Features:

  • 9.8-Foot Power Cord
  • 3–4 Minute Warm-Up Time
  • Lightweight Design Makes it Easy to Handle
  • Steam Reaches Super Sanitizing Temperatures of 289.4°F
  • Comes with 9 Different Attachments for House-wide Cleaning
  • Safe to Use on a Variety of Fabrics and Hard Surfaces, Including Wallpaper

Review: The runner-up to our top spot is the PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner because it competently handles caked-on dirt and embedded grime thanks to its high temperatures.

Ease of Use: Unlike some of the heavier steam cleaners on our list, PurSteam’s appliance is a slight 2.2 pounds. It’s a convenient size for anyone who wants to save their strength for other cleaning jobs.

These proportions make it a direct competitor of popular Shark brand steam cleaners. You might recognize the name from late night infomercials. However, like many products featured in infomercials, it rarely performs as well as it does in a controlled studio setting. As a result, PurSteam earns a higher rating than those given in Shark portable steam cleaner reviews.

Standout Feature: The PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner has a lot of terrific features, but what makes it stand out for us here at Fresh Home Guide is how hot it gets. This appliance can reach a sizzling 289.4°F with 3 bar, a metric unit of pressure.

This kind of pressure generates steam-sterilizing temperatures that go above and beyond those set by the CDC [1]. Boasting the highest temperature achieved by any steamer on our list, the PurSteam helps you sanitize your home faster.

Pros

  • Heats Water in 3–4 Minutes
  • The Hottest Steamer on the List

Cons

  • Must Be Cool Before You Refill, So You’ll Have to Wait 5 Minutes Between Fillings

Key Features:

  • Comes with a 9.8-Foot Power Cord
  • A Larger-Than-Average 12-oz Water Tank
  • 1050W Kick up the Pressure for Stubborn Stains
  • Small and Compact Design is Aesthetically Pleasing
  • 9-Piece Accessory Kit Gives You the Tools to Handle Messes All over the Home

Review: At its highest setting, the PentaBeauty Steam Cleaner puts 1050W behind its steam cleaning powers, which is strong enough to cut through stubborn grease and grime. It also generates 3 bars of pressure, so we’re confident it can meet your sanitizing needs even though the manufacturer doesn’t share its temperature settings.

Ease of Use: Between its 39.37-inch flexible hose and bent nozzle accessory, the PentaBeauty Steam Cleaner can get into tight corners and crevices. It also comes with a locking lid and child lock to give you peace of mind. However, it loses some marks for its heavy cord weighing down its 4-pound frame.

Standout Feature: Color us impressed by the size of its water tank. At 12 oz, it can deliver a continuous stream of dirt-fighting steam for up to 20 minutes. It may take a while to heat up, but you’ll have fewer interruptions once you get going.

Pros

  • Runs for 15-20 minutes at a Time
  • Safety Lock Feature for Added Protection
  • Modest Price

Cons

  • Takes a Long Time to Heat
  • Large Handle and Buttons Can Make it Hard to Grip

Key Features:

  • Roughly 12-oz Water Tank Capacity
  • Reaches Temperatures of 250–270°F
  • Patented QUICKSTEAM Technology Generates 1050W of Power
  • Comes with 9 Accessories to Handle Different Jobs Around the House

Review: There’s no mistaking the Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner, as it’s definitely the cutest appliance in our list. But don’t let its looks fool you — Comforday has engineered a veritable cleaning machine, scoring high in portable steam carpet cleaner reviews.

Ease of Use: Comforday manages to fit a lot of grime-fighting power in a relatively small package. It has the smallest dimensions out of the bunch, and it’s the third lightest on our list.

Like PurSteam, Comforday’s model shares similar dimensions to Shark handheld appliances. But once again, Comforday consistently scores higher than the low averages seen in Shark portable steam cleaner reviews.

Standout Feature: The standout feature for this appliance is a toss-up between its temperature and locking trigger.

Its QUICKSTEAM technology means it reaches temperatures that fall within the CDC’s sanitation standards. It also generates steam for up to 20 minutes without interruption, which means you’ll satisfy all four of the CDC’s parameters for sterilization: steam, pressure, temperature, and time.

We also appreciate the lockable trigger, which will save your thumb a lot of pain if you choose to use it for its full 20-minute capacity.

Pros

  • QUICKSTEAM technology creates continuous steam for 15–20 minutes
  • Lockable Trigger So You Don’t Have to Hold Down the Button

Cons

  • Awkward to Refill

Key Features:

  • Generates 1050–1150W
  • Reaches Temperatures of 221°F
  • Nearly 15-oz Water Tank Capacity
  • 16.4-Foot Power Cord Lets You Work Distantly
  • 10 Versatile Accessories Converts Appliance into 10 Different Cleaners

Review: The Portable Steam Cleaner 10 in Set is unique in its ability to protect you while you work. Not only does it come with a child lock, but it also has a safety measure that ensures the steam dissipates before you dismantle it. 

Ease of Use: The Portable Steam Cleaner 10 in 1 Set comes with an ergonomic handle, molded with finger grooves to help you keep a comfortable grip.

Standout Feature: The standout feature of this steamer is its traffic light system that tells you when it’s safe to use.

When it displays yellow, the machine is heating up. You’ll know it’s ready to go once the light turns green, and red lets you know it needs to cool down before you dismantle it for storage. The safety cap remains locked until the red light disappears, which prevents you from accidentally hurting yourself.

Pros

  • Child Lock
  • 8-Minute Continuous Spray

Cons

  • Temperature Dips When Using Accessories

Key Features:

  • Steam Reaches 221°F
  • Works Between 1050–1150W
  • Takes Fewer Than 3 Minutes to Heat Up
  • Comes with 10 Different Accessories
  • Water Tank Has Roughly 15-oz Capacity
  • Longer-Than-Average Power Cord of 16.4 Feet

Review: At the time we crunched the numbers, the 10 in 1 Handheld Steamer for Cleaning boasts an impressive 4.3 stars for its versatility and long-lasting stream.

But if you remember from above, that’s the same rating as the number one cleaner on our list. So why did we place it number six out of seven?

Here at Fresh Home Guide, we compare our results against other reviews. When we do, we consider quality against quantity. BISSEL has collected more than 14,000 individual reviews, while the 10 in 1 only has 155. 

Ease of Use: The 10 in 1 Handheld Steamer for Cleaning wows us with its eight minutes of continuous pressure without intervals, so you won’t have to delay your cleaning plans waiting for steam to build up.

Standout Feature: The standout feature of this appliance is its efficiency. While some appliances take time to build up pressure between sprays, the 10 in 1 Handheld Steamer for Cleaning works for eight uninterrupted minutes before you have to reheat or refill.

Pros

  • Convenient Child Lock
  • Works for 8 Minutes Continuously without Having to Build up Pressure

Cons

  • Manufacturer Recommends Using Distilled Water for Best Results
  • May Overflow if You Tip More Than 45 Degrees During Use
  • Accessory Instructions Are Not Clear

Key Features:

  • 3–5 Bar Water Pressure
  • Heats Water in 10 Seconds
  • Reaches Temperatures of 266°F
  • 2600W Give Serious Oomph to Your Steaming
  • Tankless Appliance Means You Can Clean for Longer
  •  Combined Outlet Cord and Steam Pipe Measures Just Over 14 Feet
  •  Safety Features: Electricity Leakage Protector, Overcurrent Protection, Safety Thermal Cut-Off and Dry Heating Protector

Review: Although it may not look the prettiest, the Moongiantgo 2600W High Temperature Pressurized Steam Cleaner contains a lot of power under the hood. It generates 3 to 5 bars of pressure and heats water in just 10 seconds, making it the most powerful, fastest machine on our list. 

Ease of Use: Between its tankless design and lightning-fast heating, the High Temperature Pressurized Steam Cleaner streamlines the cleaning process, making this setup ideal for impatient homeowners. However, at nearly 8 pounds, it’s twice the weight of the next heaviest appliance.

Standout Feature: We’re a little obsessed with the way Moongiantgo said goodbye to the water tank for their design. While all the other appliances in this guide rely on rather limited water tanks, the High Temperature Pressurized Steam Cleaner uses an inlet pipe to suck water from an external source. That means you can fill up your sink, slip in the pipe, and clean for longer.

Unfortunately, this feat of engineering comes at a price roughly four times that of the other machines, so we recommend this option for serious cleaners only.

Pros

  • High Wattage Delivers High Pressure Stream
  • Reaches Extra-Hot Temperatures
  • Silicone Inlet Pipe Replaces Need for Water Tank

Cons

  • The Most Expensive Option
  • The Heaviest Cleaner on Our List

Portable Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

What to Consider When Choosing a Portable Steam Cleaner

Ease of Use: Cleaning is hard enough without also including lengthy setups, clunky pieces, and confusing instructions. For no-nonsense cleaning, stick with simple appliances that have straightforward attachments and clear directions.

Weight: With portability in the name, your portable steam cleaner must be easy to hold. While all the machines in this list weigh less than 10 pounds, some measure in mere ounces. Keep this in mind if you have arthritis or mobility issues [2].

Size: Like weight, size is another key factor when choosing a handheld steam cleaner. If both weight and size are a non-issue for you, check out our MLMLANT Steam Cleaner System Review. As a full-size steamer, the MLMLANT cleaner packs more of a deep-cleaning punch. Its size means you’ll have to refill its larger water tank less often than these portable options.

Energy Usage: Consider the wattage of each machine, as it tells you how much power it consumes. It also lets you know how much power it generates when in use. Generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the more oomph your cleaner has.

Capacity: How often will you have to refill your tank in between uses? If you want longer, uninterrupted cleaning times, compare tank sizes with duration of steam pressure. 

Temperature Controls: Every cleaner reaches a minimum temperature of 212°F, the temperature at which point water converts to steam [3]. However, steam may exceed this temperature under increasing pressure, so some appliances may have hotter settings [4].

Safety: Pressurized steam can cause severe burns if applied directly to the skin, so you’ll want to consider any safety failsafes before choosing an appliance, especially if you have kids at home [5].

Warranty: Does your preferred option come with any guarantees or warranties? These could come in handy if the machine arrives broken or malfunctions a few months after you receive it [6].

Price: For many of us, price is a deal-breaker when it comes to any household purchase, so keep your eyes on the listed price as you compare. More often than not, a steep price is a sticking point in portable steam product cleaner reviews.

Accessories: Are you buying this cleaning appliance to refresh old upholstery or clean out the gunk in the tracks of your windows and doors? Look at the accessories that come with each option to ensure it gives you the tools you need to target the chores on your list.

Frequently Asked Questions about Handheld Steam Cleaners

What is the Best Portable Steam Cleaner?

Anyone reading this guide has one question on their mind: what is the best rated portable steam cleaner? And we’re happy to announce BISSEL comes out on top.

It may outperform the competition, but it’s in good company, so you can confidently choose any of the appliances in our guide. In fact, you may want to switch out BISSEL for another brand depending on your temperature and power needs.

What is the Best Portable Steam Cleaner for Hardwood Floors?

Again, we’re going to have to go with BISSELL on this one simply because it scores the highest reviews across the board.

That said, it’s a portable appliance. You can grab it when your toddler scribbles a flower on your hardwood with their waxy crayons, but you may want to look into an upright vacuum steamer if you have bigger projects in mind.

We suggest researching vacuum and mop combos if you plan on giving tired hardwood an all-over facelift. The typical vacuum and mop combo runs on water just like these steamers, so it’s still a perfect option for people with sensitive noses, allergies, pets, and kids.

Are Handheld Steam Cleaners Safe to Use on Upholstery?

Yes, you may use any of these appliances on upholstery and clothes. Their high temperatures loosen dirt and other messes without friction or harsh chemicals, and it poses none of the risks of ironing. It’s considered safe for most fabrics, including silks, delicate synthetics, and “dry clean only” items [7]. 

When used correctly, a steamer can deodorize, sanitize, and generally refresh fabrics without any elbow grease. However, it’s always a good idea to do a test patch to ensure your upholstery responds well to the heat.

What is the Best Portable Steam Cleaner for Upholstery?

We’ve crunched the numbers on thousands of reviews, and we’ve come to the conclusion that PurStream, the runner-up, is your best bet for upholstery and other soft furnishings like carpet. 

Its name features in plenty of portable steam carpet cleaner reviews because it has a longer run time than the BISSEL product, so you’ll be able to tackle large furniture without refilling.

What is the Best Portable Steam Cleaner for Clothes vs Household Products?

When it comes to steam cleaning clothes, you’re looking for a lightweight steamer like the BISSEL Steam Shot. At just six ounces, it won’t weigh heavy on your arm as you use it on dresses or pants that have to hang.

What about Shark steam cleaners? We’ve mentioned this brand a few times already because it’s so popular. But one look at Shark portable steam cleaner reviews reveals it doesn’t cut the mustard — sometimes literally if you’ve spilled the condiment on your favourite shirt at a backyard cookout. On the whole, Shark underperforms every appliance we’ve included in our guide.

As for household products, BISSEL is also another safe bet, what with its glowing portable steam product cleaner reviews. However, if you have the budget for it, Moongiantgo’s tankless design is appealing for large household projects, as you won’t have to stop to refill as often.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a way to sanitize your home, it’s time to throw in the towel — and mop and bucket, too. For unparalleled disinfecting powers, reach for a handheld steam cleaner instead.

This cleaning appliance only needs water from the tap to create bacteria-killing steam. When all other cleaning tools require elbow grease and harsh chemicals, a steam cleaner takes a lot less effort and time — not to mention all that money you’ll save when you stop buying sprays and powders.

So, keep this guide in mind before you tackle our deep clean house checklist, and let steam do all the hard work for you.

References:

[1] Steam Sterilization Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

[2] How to Do Household Chores When You Have RA WebMD

[3] At What Temperature Does Water Become Steam? Reference

[4] The Effects of Pressure on Boiling Point Temperatures Duratherm Fluids

[5] What You Need to Know About Steam Burns Healthline

[6] What You Need to Know About Warranty Laws Consumer Reports

[7] Read This Before You Ignore a “Dry Clean Only” Label Reader’s Digest

About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!