Best Steam Cleaners iMore 2020
You don't need to use harsh chemicals to get your home clean. Steam both cleans and sanitizes deep below the surface to kill germs, lift grime and remove residue. There are steam cleans made just for smaller projects, like removing grease from kitchen appliances. There are also steam mops for cleaning floors. But the Dupray Neat Steam cleaner is the best because it can do it all. It works both indoors and outdoors and comes with 18 accessories making it one of the most versatile steamers available.
- Best Overall: Dupray Neat Steam
- Best Multipurpose: McCulloch MC1275
- Best Handheld: PurSteam Handheld
- Best Steam Mop: Bissell PowerFresh Sapphire
- Best for Hardwood: Shark Genius Hardwood Floors
- Best Commercial Grade: Dupray Hill Injection
Best Overall: Dupray Neat Steam
The Dupray Neat Steam comes with several attachments to help you deep clean, disinfect and sanitize just about any surface. The floor attachment can be used with one of the three included reusable microfiber pads, or your own cloth or rag. Other attachments help you get corners, clean appliances, and grout, windows, and furniture. Water heats up quickly and hot enough to kill bed buds and mites while killing germs deep inside your bed, furniture, and carpets. You can use this steam cleaner to steam out wrinkles from clothing and curtains or clean off car seats. The reservoir holds 54 ounces of water, enough to clean for a continual 50 minutes before needing to refill the tank. The Dupray Neat Steam is ETL certified for safety and comes with a two-year warranty.
- 18-piece machine
- Heats up in 7 minutes
- Kills bed bugs and mites
- Doesn't deodorize
- No suction
Simply the best steam cleaner
This steamer comes with enough attachments to clean large and small areas. It heats up quickly and holds 54 ounces of water.
Best Multipurpose: McCulloch MC1275
This steam cleaner doesn't have as big of a reservoir as our top pick, and it's missing some accessories, but overall, the McCulloch MC1275 is an excellent multipurpose cleaner. It works with several different surfaces, including tile, sealed hardwood, carpeting, stainless steel, and brass. It takes about 8 minutes to heat up, and its steam is hot enough to kill germs and bugs, including bed bugs. The floor accessory works on tile, hardwood, laminate, and rugs and carpets. However, because there isn't any suction ability, using it on carpeting or upholstered furniture means you'll need to follow up with a vacuum to ensure any loose dirt is picked up. Also, for some grout stains, you may need to put in a little extra elbow grease to get them out.
- Kills bed bugs
- Works on carpets
- Heats quickly
- Extra scrubbing for stains
- No suction
Versatility without breaking the bank
The many accessories with the McCulloch steam mean you can deep clean multiple surfaces, including carpeted floors.
Best Handheld: PurSteam Handheld
The PurSteam is one of the best steam cleaners available, designed to be lightweight and easy to use for spot cleaning. Its attachments and bendable hose let you reach tough spots, including corners, faucets, toilet rims, and inside appliances. This steam cleaner comes with a window squeegee to clean both inside and outside, and brushes to help lift dirt, grease, and grime for a variety of surfaces including both ceramic and laminate tiles, granite, stainless steel, and even washable wallpaper. It is good for cleaning spots from your carpet but can't handle cleaning or sanitizing the whole thing. You can use the iron attachment to get wrinkled out of clothing, curtains, bedding, and upholstered furniture, all while deep cleaning them, too. The PurSteam reservoir is quite small, holding just under a cup of water. But this means it only takes about three minutes for the steamer to be ready.
- Perfect for spot cleaning
- Works on washable wallpaper
- Iron attachment
- Small reservoir
- Not for large cleaning projects
- Not a carpet cleaner
Easily remove built-up residue
This handheld steamer takes on small, tough jobs like grease, soap scum, and pet messes. It works on washable wallpaper.
Best Steam Mop: Bissell PowerFresh Sapphire
This Bissell PowerFresh steam mop is an excellent solution for cleaning all types of flooring without using harsh chemicals. The hot steam and spot scrubber help lift sticky, grimy messes while also wiping them away. This steamer is safe to use on treated and sealed hardwood floors, tiles, laminate, and marble floors. The 25-foot cord lets you reach every part of your room while the swivel head easily slips under countertops, tables, and other furniture. The rectangle head doesn't reach corners very well, but the swivel feature helps it get pretty close. The tank holds 16 ounces of water, and the steamer comes with a measuring cup that attaches to the cleaner's handle when you're done. It only takes 30 seconds for the Bissell PowerFresh to be ready to clean, and you can add either Bissell's demineralized water or fragrance discs to give off a fresh scent while you clean. Unfortunately, this model is only for steam cleaning floors. It doesn't have any tool attachments for cleaning smaller jobs or other surfaces.
- Works on all floors
- Ready to use in 30 seconds
- Swivel head
- No extra tools
- Doesn't reach corners
Best Steam Mop
Move from tile to hardwood without a fuss
You can steam clean tile, hardwood, laminate, and marble floors without stopping, and use the spot tool to loosen sticky messes.
Best for Hardwood: Shark Genius Hardwood Floors
Shark is one of the top brands for home cleaning products, and this Genius steam cleaner is specially designed for hardwood floors. The head of this steam mop is bigger than others and holds a double-sided grip pad that both loosens and lifts dirt and grime from crevices, corners, and groves on your floor. Because it's two-sided, you can turn the mop head over and keep cleaning if one side becomes too dirty. And you don't have to touch the soiled pad. A lever on the Shark Genius handle detaches the pad so you can dump it straight into your washing machine or laundry hamper to wash and reuse. The Shark Genius has three settings and features a steam blaster for spot removal. It's small and compact, so it is ideal for apartments and smaller homes. You can use this steam mop on tile floors, too, but it is not recommended for laminate flooring.
- Three steam settings
- Double-sided dirt grip pads
- No touchpad removal
- Not for laminate
- No attachments or tools
Best for Hardwood
Mop up spills without ruining the wood
This steam cleaner features dirt grip pads and a steam blaster to loosen and pick up dirt in wood flooring crevices and grooves.
Best Commercial Grade: Dupray Hill Injection
The Dupray Hill Injection steam cleaner is expensive, but that's because it is a professional machine. This steamer is made to tackle big jobs, both inside and outside, without stopping until it is done. You fill the water tank while the machine is running, and the water heats up to create steam as you keep cleaning. It comes with 25 different accessories, including both a rectangular and triangle floor head to reach every corner. The hose is already long, but you can use the two extenders to reach high above you. The Hill Injection comes with several cleaning brushes in different sizes to use on small spaces and larger areas. It includes covers, or bonnets to slip over some of the attachments for steam cleaning fabrics and upholstery. This steamer heats high enough to kill mites and beg bugs and is gentle enough to steam iron curtains and clothing.
- Professional cleaner
- 25 accessories
- Refill during use
Best Commercial Grade
Do it like a pro
It's expensive, but it's tough enough for inside and outside jobs. Plus, it comes with 25 tools and attachments for easy cleaning.
The best steam cleaner for home use is the Dupray Neat Steam because it comes with everything you need to deep clean and sanitize your bathroom, kitchen, floors, appliances, windows and so much more. It comes with attachments to iron clothing, bedding, curtains, and upholstered furniture and heats high enough to kill bed bugs and mites. It's more expensive than handheld machines and steam mops, but the overall cost isn't much more, and the benefits of having a multipurpose machine, it worth the few extra dollars.
Dupray also makes a commercial steam cleaner that works just like the Neat Steam but has a few more tools and some extra oomph to tackle bigger jobs, particularly those outside. But the Dupray Neat Steam is good enough for a lot of these types of jobs, too, so it's still a better value to go with the Neat Steam.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Nicole Johnston writes for multiple Mobile Nations brands, including TechnoBuffalo, covering primarily internet security and privacy programs. She has over 12 years of research and writing experience in both the public and private sectors, including six years of testing and reviewing consumer products and four evaluating antivirus software, parental controls, and identity theft services.
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