7 Best Handheld Steam Cleaners (2022 Reviews)

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best handheld steam cleanerLet’s face it, no one likes to spend most of their time cleaning. Sometimes you need a tool that makes your work easier and faster. While you may have heard about a steam mop, handheld steam cleaners are a new entrant in the market. Unlike steam mops that can handle large surfaces,  handheld steam cleaners work best for smaller cleaning tasks.  They are small in size and easy to store.

Using a steam cleaner has several benefits with one being the ability to enjoy a green way of cleaning. You no longer have to deal with harsh chemicals or detergents when cleaning.  Furthermore,  steam cleaners help to remove dirt and dust mites,  something that individuals who suffer from allergies benefit from.

Here is a detailed guide on what you need to look for when buying a steam cleaner and some of the top-rated handheld steamers to consider when making a purchase.

4 Essential Specs for Selecting a Handheld Steamer

selecting a handheld steamerWith several brands of handheld steamers in the market, it’s difficult to settle on one if you’re not sure of what specs to look for.  Here are some essential features to look out for when choosing a handheld steamer. 

The Purpose of the Machine

 Steam cleaners are not meant for extensive area cleaning, but they work well for spot cleaning.   Multi-purpose steam cleaners can clean both your carpet and floors, while floor steam cleaners can only work on the floor. A portable steam cleaner  works best for emergency spills and quick cleanups. 

Time Required to Steam

The time a steamer takes to release steam is dependent on the reservoir size and wattage. A steam cleaner that takes less time to heat has a higher wattage than one that takes several minutes. Also, a cleaner with a large reservoir will take longer to heat the steam.

It’s essential to note that  steam duration also depends on the wattage and reservoir size.  A large reservoir gives you a longer steam duration. The quicker the steam flow, the higher the wattage.

Steam Control and Refill Time

You need to choose a steam cleaner that has excellent steam control.  A machine with steam control enable you to clean multiple surfaces easily.  You can steam delicate surface without damaging them with heat. Moreover, you can clean tough surfaces easily when you turn up the steam.

Choosing a handheld steamer that enables you to refill it without cooling will save you time and enable you to clean for a longer time.

Accessories

Handheld steam cleaners can be used on various surfaces. You need to select a cleaner that gives you versatility when cleaning.  The right kit should have specialized nozzles for grout, multiple brushes, and an extensive area tool for flat surfaces.  With more accessories, you can clean better and use less time looking for other tools to help you do the work.

Top 7 Best Handheld Steamers

If you’re considering buying a handheld steam cleaner,  here are seven options to choose from. 

DBTech Handheld Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaner

The DBTech handheld multi-purpose pressurized electric steam cleaner is one of the long-lasting options in the market. The unit gives you  up to 20 minutes of cleaning time.  You’ll love the fabric attachment which you can use to clean.

Although DBTech is advertised as a pressurized cleaner, the pressure is short lived as it only lasts for about 20 seconds. Also, it has various attachments, but not as many as other handheld steam cleaners. This could limit your cleaning if you’re looking for a versatile steam cleaner.

The DBTech steam cleaner is effective and gets the job done. However, if you’re looking for something that is versatile and gets you the pressure to get rid of tough stains, you might need to look for another model.

Features

  • High-pressurized cleaning
  • Versatile cleaning ability
  • Natural cleaning
  • Fast Warm-up time

Bissell Steam Shot Hard Surface Cleaner

Bissell Steam Short cleaner is an ideal choice for someone looking for a machine with excellent cleaning power and a steaming tool that helps to remove dirt. It comes with an  easy to press trigger  which activates powerful steam, allowing you to be in control.

The powerful steam cleaner  comes with multiple accessories  that included brushes, a window squeegee, and a tank big enough to store your water for cleaning. However, it’s not the best to use for extended periods due to the weirdly placed trigger.

The Bissell Steam Shot surface cleaner is a reasonably priced cleaner that works well for any cleaning needs around your home. It comes with a long power cord which makes it easier to access different rooms.

Features

  • Steam on demand trigger
  • Powerful 1000W steam cleaner
  • 6 ounces water reservoir capacity
  • 20-foot power cord

Light N Easy Steam Cleaner

Light N Easy multipurpose steam cleaner is a combination of portability and performance.  The steam cleaner has a lightweight handle that has an ergonomic design, which makes cleaning around the house a breeze.

You don’t have to worry about steam damaging your floors as this unit allows you to treat any room with steam. Moreover, this steam cleaner can work as five different tools.  It can function as a garment steamer, a counter cleaner, a steam mop, a carpet cleaner, and as a glass cleaner.  You can clean your kitchen counters, floors, curtains, and more with this tool. Enjoy the chemical-free system that makes it easy to target troubled areas and moisture-resistant surfaces.

However, unlike other models, the Light N Easy steam cleaner  can only hold ten minutes of steaming action.  Also, you’ll need to wait for the device to cool before refilling the reservoir.

The Light N Easy is a handy tool for any homeowner looking for a tool that is easy to use and one that can handle troubled areas.  You’ll have to sacrifice the operating span and steam volume. However, in return, you get portable convenience and powerful performance. It’s inexpensive and essential for short tasks around the home.

Features

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Ideal for all types of floors
  • Adjustable steam level
  • Chemical-free cleaning that kills 99% microbes

Dirt Devil Handheld Steam Cleaner

 The Dirt Devil Company is known for its quality floor cleaning tools.  Their handheld steam cleaner boasts of excellent quality and durability. Moreover, it’s portable and lightweight making it easy to carry around. The high pressure on this machine makes it easier to clean the hard to reach corners.

You’ll love its sturdy construction and large water tank capacity. It also  comes with multiple accessories  like a measuring cup, funnel, concentrator nozzle, a gout brush, and an angle adapter. The concentrator nozzle allows you to spray steam on areas like the toilet bowl and sink features to achieve a clean area.

Unlike other handheld steamers, the Dirt Devil is heavier and requires you to reheat water after a minute of steam.

The Dirt Devil steam cleaner is a must-have if you’re looking for a device that has intense pressure and exceptional cleaning ability. It’s also inexpensive and comes with a large water tank which reduces the need for a refill.

Features

  • Sleek and compact design
  • Powerful cleaning
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Multiple accessories

PureClean Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

Ranked as one of the top multipurpose steam cleaners, PureClean  allows you to clean even the hard to reach areas of your home like the patio and garage.  It’s not only safe, but it’s powerful and works on your carpets, laminate and tile flooring, windows, countertops, and more. With a  five-year warranty,  you’re guaranteed satisfaction and excellent performance.

Although the PureClean steam cleaner has fantastic reviews, it  comes with an extension and hose that offset the long power cord.  You’ll notice that the cable is shorter compared to other models.

The PureClean pressurized steam cleaner comes with a fantastic assortment of attachments, it’s easy to use, and it’s inexpensive. You’ll enjoy using it to handle various type of cleaning tasks around the house.

Features

  • Multi-purpose cleaning
  • Natural steam cleaning
  • Easy handheld use
  • Fast heating

Comforday Handheld Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner

Comforday steam cleaner is a lightweight machine that  only takes three minutes to warm up.  It also  comes with nine accessories  that include a flexible extension hose and a spray nozzle; all meant to make your work easier. At its price range, the unit offers more convenience and efficiency.

A  1050W motor  makes this steam cleaner a powerful machine that can produce  pressurized steam for up to 20 minutes.   With this, you can get rid of tough stains on different surfaces like hardwood floors, carpets, laminate, and marble floors. If you have kids at home, you’ll find the safety lock on this device useful. The only downside is that it’s not durable when compared to other models.

The Comforday multi-purpose steam cleaner is an excellent option for any homeowner looking for a unit that is free of harmful chemicals and a machine that can handle various types of surfaces.

Features

  • Variety of attachments
  • Safety lock on the handle
  • Powerful steam cleaning
  • Versatile cleaning

Gideon Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

The Gideon handheld steam cleaner is  a perfect substitute for cheap mops.  It doubles up as a disinfectant and a deodorizer, allowing you to enjoy a germ-free environment. Coupled with high power and convenience, the unit enables you to clean out hard stains from floors and surfaces.

You’ll find various accessories like a fabric cloth steamer, an angle concentrator, and a window squeegee.   With the Gideon steam cleaner, you can sanitize and deodorize home surfaces in no time.  The only thing that is not to like in the machine is the tricky control knob. You need to take care when setting it. Otherwise, you may dismantle it.

With a 1050W of pressurized steam, the Gideon steam cleaner works well for any homeowner looking to sanitize and deodorize their surfaces in one time. It’s an efficient machine that works well for emergency cleaning tasks.

Features

  • Sanitizes and disinfects various surfaces
  • Convenient and portable
  • High-pressure 1050 Watts Steamer
  • A broad assortment of attachments

Handheld Steam Cleaner Buying Guide 2022

Buying a steam cleaner is not as complicated. All you need is to identify what your cleaning needs are and match that with the available models.  Here are some critical factors to consider when buying a handheld steam cleaner.

High Power Wattage

Quality steam cleaners have powerful wattages that enables you to clean an area in no time. The high power also determines the device’s heating time.   A steam cleaner with at least 1000W is an excellent choice as it will give you high water pressure and temperature, which results in efficient cleaning. 

Ease of Use

ease of useYou don’t want to end up with a machine that complicates your cleaning process.   A light unit works best if you plan to move around often.  However,  a heavier model provides a deep clean.   It all depends on the type of cleaning you’re looking to achieve.

Weight and Size

Handheld steam cleaners come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.  The bulkiness will depend on an individual model and the type you purchase.   Be sure to check out the weight and dimensions of a specific unit before buying.  Knowing the dimensions will help you select a unit that is portable and lightweight or one that is heavy and will require you to push around.  Do not forget about the storage space.  Find out if you have enough room for the type of cleaner you’re looking for.

The Cost of the Unit

 Most steam cleaners are reasonably priced, you won’t have to worry about splurging on a machine.  As an average homeowner who’s not looking for a lot, a steam cleaner in the mid-range will work just fine. Nonetheless, if you clean a lot and require extra features, you might need to invest in a pricier unit that saves you time and money on other cleaning products.

The Size of the Water Tank

A steam cleaner continues to produce steam as long as there’s enough water to heat. No one likes to refill their tank in the middle of a cleaning task.  A large tank lasts longer but takes time to heat.  You need to decide the size of the water tank in the models you’re considering buying. Vapor and cylinder steam cleaners have large tanks that eliminate the need for regular refills.

Temperature and Pressure

It’s imperative to find out how much steam pressure and how hot the cleaner gets before settling on any one model. Cleaners with high temperatures produce high pressure and dryer steam, which helps to kill more germs and provide a deeper clean.

The consistency at which the cleaner can keep the pressure at is also a vital aspect.   A unit that cannot maintain its pressure levels means it will be less efficient to use when cleaning your home. 

Noise Levels

noise levelAlthough steam cleaners are generally quieter than vacuum cleaners, they may produce some noise that may irritate you.  If you’re concerned about the noise levels,  check to see which models are advertised as being quieter and what user reviews indicate.   A few models list a decibel level in their specs, a feature that gives you an idea of how loud the machine can get.

Accessories and Attachments

Many steam cleaners have basic attachments that allow you to clean various surfaces around your home. Some have their accessories sold separately for homeowners who may need more cleaning tools.

You should consider the attachments a unit comes with if you’re looking for a versatile cleaner that can be used on different spaces and surfaces.

Tips on Using a Handheld Steam Cleaner

tips on using a handheld steam cleanerKnowing how to use a handheld steam cleaner can make your work easier. However, there are certain things you need to keep in mind to get the most from your steam cleaner.  Here are some few helpful tips on using a steam cleaner

Always Wear Protective Clothing

 Steam can cause severe burns if it comes to contact with skin.  Ensure that you have protective clothing when using a steamer.

Be Aware of Temperature Changes

Steam cleaners have different temperature changes which could affect your cleaning. It’s critical to be knowledgeable about this changes when cleaning different types of floors.  Follow the directions as indicated on the steam cleaner manual to prevent any damage. 

Use a Cloth

You’ll still need to use a cloth after you’ve steam cleaned a surface. The device helps to loosen the dirt, but it doesn’t remove it.

Do Not Use on Areas That Can’t Take High Heat

 A steam cleaner should only be used on surfaces that can take high heat and moisture.  Also, you’ll need to check if the surfaces are sealed to prevent any escape of moisture which could destroy your floors. Remember that steam continues to exhaust from a steamer after the trigger is released. Avoid directing the steam to plants and other items that can’t take heat or moisture.

Never Store Damp Cloths

Steam cleaners have cloth covers or tool pockets that are used in the cleaning process.  Make sure that you remove any cloth after use.   Have it washed and dried as per the manufacturer recommendations.

Use a Back and Forth Motion

 Some steam cleaners come with a connected utility brush.  You can use a slight back and forth motion to clean a specific area.  Although it’s recommended to use a clean cloth after using the steam cleaner, you need to check if the area is still hot to avoid burns.

Be Careful When Storing Your Steam Cleaner

After you’ve bought your steam cleaner, you still need to maintain it to make sure it works as good for years to come.   Handheld steam cleaners have instructions on how long you can use a unit before you run out of water to create steam.  Once done cleaning, unplug the unit and put it on a flat surface. Allow it cool for at least 30 minutes.

Check to see if all the built up steam has been released. All you’ll need is to press the steam button. Remove any accessories like brushes or washcloths from the unit.  Drain the water into a sink after you’ve unscrewed the boiler cap.  Emptying the water promotes durability and prevents mineral buildup. 

Replace the boiler cap loosely as screwing it back tightly can make your work difficult when you need to use the cleaner.  Store the steam cleaner in a cool, dry area. 

If you need to steam clean larger areas than a handheld portable cleaner can do, check out our list of the best steam cleaners 2022. They pack a bigger punch and have more features, at a higher price point.

FAQ For Handheld Steam Cleaner

faq for handheld steam cleanerMost consumers are concerned about steam cleaners and have questions about their functionality.  Here are a few frequently asked questions about steam cleaners. 

How does a handheld steam cleaner work?

A steam cleaner uses water in the tank. The water is then heated in the boiler, which in turn leads to the formation of a dry vapor or steam.  This steam is released through the head or the nozzle of the cleaner.  Dirt loosens when heat and pressure are combined. 

Can I use a steam cleaner to remove pet odors?

Yes, you can get rid of pet odors and stains using a steam cleaner.  Some models are specifically meant to get rid of pet stains. However,  you can use a regular steam cleaner with vinegar or detergent to remove any pet odors. 

Where does the dirt go?

There’s an assumption that dirt evaporates along with the steam. However,  the dirt is absorbed into the brush head or on the clean cloth  depending on what type of steam cleaner you use.

What applications can vapor steam be used for?

You can use vapor steam to kill dust mites, clean tiles, clean bathroom and kitchen sinks. And clean out pet stains.  Nevertheless,  avoid vapor steam cleaning on vinyl floors as this could cause damage. 

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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