Best Steam Cleaner Reviews [TOP 10 in 2022]

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best steam cleanerAre you looking for a way to deep clean your home without using chemicals?  Steam, yes steam, can do the trick. 

Steam cleaners let you harness the power of super-heated water to eliminate bacteria, mold, grime and other nasties from various surfaces.

We put together  a guide on what to look for in a cleaner, and we also review the 10 Best Steam Cleaners of 2022. 

Short on time? Here are our favorites:

Top 5 Steam Cleaners of 2022

Scroll down to see all our reviews, our buying guide and our FAQ.

McCulloch MC1375 Canister Steam Cleaner
Best Overall Choice 2022:

  • Cleans floors, counters, windows, autos, furniture, BBQ grills, engines, RV’s, boats, lawn equipment and more
  • 20 accessories

4 Most Important Things to Look for in a Steam Cleaner 2022

  • Surfaces It Cleans. Some steam cleaners are designed to clean floors only, others are designed for cleaning small areas. Some will work on a variety of surfaces, large and small.
  • Canister Type. One feature to pay attention to is a “continuous fill” tank or boiler. That means there are two tanks, so that when one is empty, you don’t have to refill it immediately and wait for it to heat up again. Another thing to pay attention to is the size of the canister or water tank.
  • Accessories and Attachments. The more accessories and attachments a cleaner has, the more versatile it is. Some models have just a mop pad, while others have a range of hoses, brushes, pads and so on.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure. The hotter the temperature of the steam cleaner, the hotter the steam. That means the drier the cleaning and the more likely the steam cleaner will be to sanitize and disinfect surfaces. High pressure also translates to a deeper clean.

Reviews of the 10 Best Steam Cleaners 2022

Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop

The Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop  claims to sanitize and clean a variety of hard, sealed floors using steam alone.  The mop claims that it’s able to kill more than 99 percent of bacteria with the steam.

The steam mop  heats up in just 30 seconds,  making it a good pick for a person who’s on-the-go and who wants to tidy up in a hurry. Since it’s only designed for use on hard floors and surfaces, it’s not a good pick if you’re looking for a carpet cleaner.

Once the steam mop is turned on and heated up, it produces a continuous supply of steam, rather than steam on demand.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Sealed hard surfaces (linoleum, sealed marble, sealed hardwood, tile, ceramic).
  • Canister Type: Single, removable water tank.
  • Accessories/Attachments: Comes with a soft microfiber pad, a scrubby pad, and spring breeze-scented fragrance discs.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Not specified.
The Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop works on hard surfaces and is ideal for people with lots of hard flooring in their homes. It heats quickly, comes with multiple accessories and has a 23-foot-long power cord.

Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner

Like the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop, the Shark Steam Pocket Mop  claims to eliminate more than 99 percent of bacteria and other germs.  It’s designed for use on hard surfaces, including hardwood floors.

The Shark Steam Pocket uses steam on demand, meaning it won’t be producing a steady supply of steam. You need to push on the trigger button to get steam. That can be a positive or negative, depending on how quickly you work and whether or not your fingers will get tired quickly from continually having to push a button.

The makers of the Steam Pocket don’t specify the exact temperature it heats to but do claim that the steam dries nearly instantly, reducing the risk for water damage.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Sealed hard surfaces (linoleum, sealed marble, sealed hardwood, tile, ceramic).
  • Canister Type: Single, removable water tank (holds 450 mL).
  • Accessories/Attachments: Comes with a two-sided microfiber pad.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Not specified.
The Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner is a good pick for people with lots of hard flooring surfaces in their home. It has an extra-long cord that lets you work over a wide area with ease.

McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner

A  canister type of steam cleaner , the McCulloch Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner works on a range of surfaces, from floors to grills and from appliances to automobiles. It’s ideal for a person looking for a heavy duty steam cleaner and for someone who doesn’t want to be limited to only cleaning floors.

The McCulloch steam cleaner works on surfaces such as ceramic tile, grout, sealed wood, laminate, and granite. It comes with a  total of 18 accessories,  making it a truly versatile cleaning tool.

The accessories include a floor mop attachment, a scrub pad, nylon brushes, and a squeegee. The attachments connect to the  48-ounce water tank  by way of a  9-foot steam hose. 

Since the McCulloch steam cleaner has a tank large enough to provide  steam for a full 45 minutes , it’s the ideal pick for someone looking for a cleaner that can handle heavy-duty jobs.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Hard, sealed floors, granite, concrete, appliances, wheels, cars, grills.
  • Canister Type: Water tank that holds 48 ounces.
  • Accessories/Attachments: 18 accessories: Carrying Handle, Steam Jet Nozzle, 2 Extension Wands, Mop Head, Microfiber Pads, Water Funnel, Measuring Cup, Squeegee, Triangle Brush, 5 Nylon Utility Brushes, Brass Utility Brush, and Scrub Pad.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: 200+ degrees Fahrenheit. Steam pressure is 43 psi. Steam Rate is 33-37 g/min. The steam cleaner heats up in 8 minutes.
The mix of accessories means that the McCulloch steam cleaner can tackle a range of jobs, from cleaning up messes on floors to removing grime and grease from the surfaces of grills. If you’re looking for a steam cleaner that’s flexible and versatile, this is the one for you.

PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner with 9-Piece Accessory Set

If you dream of fluttering around your home, steam cleaning your day away, the PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner might not be for you.

Sure, it’s  a hand-held cleaner , which makes it slightly more portable than canister models. But it’s a plug-in model, limiting its use area to within 9 feet or so of an outlet.

That said, the PurSteam Steam Cleaner works on a variety of surfaces. It can be used on materials indoors and out, from cotton and wool carpets to the inside of toilet bowls and from the hubcaps on your car’s wheels to the frame around your doors.

The PurSteam steam cleaner  claims to provide up to 30 percent more steam  compared to other handheld cleaners. The  water heats up within 3 to 4 minutes. 

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Sealed hard floors, carpets, ceramic tile, granite, washable wallpaper.
  • Canister Type: Single water canister, holds 350 mL.
  • Accessories/Attachments: Comes with nine accessories including: extension hose, measuring cup, funnel, ironing brush, nylon brush, bent nozzle, ironing brush cloth.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Pressure: 3 bar (43.5 psi). Temperature not specified.
Portable, but still dependent on an outlet for power, the PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner is ideal for smaller jobs that can be completed near a source of power.

Oreck Steam-It Steam Mop

What sets the Oreck Steam-It Steam Mop apart from other mops on the market is that it comes with several attachments, allowing you to use the mop on more than just floors.

Another thing that sets it apart is that  it’s a dry vapor steam cleaner , meaning the tool can heat up hot enough to produce dry steam. That lets you clean a wider range of hard surfaces. The steam mop also works upside down, so you can use it on countertops or walls without the water spilling out of the tank.

One particularly useful feature of the Steam-It mop is that it  has universal clips  on it. The mop comes with four microfiber mop pads, but you also have the option of using the clips to attach your own towels.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Hard surfaces, such as sealed hardwood, marble, linoleum. Not recommended for fine silks, velour, thin plastics, unsealed hardwood, engineered hard floor surfaces, laminates, ceilings, drywall, and exterior paint of automobiles. Also not recommended for heat-sensitive materials or electronics or items using electricity.
  • Canister Type: Continuous steam.
  • Accessories/Attachments: Comes with a four-piece attachment kit and four microfiber cloths/mop pads.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Exact temperature not specified, but it is a vapor steam mop.
With its vapor steam, the Oreck Steam-It Steam Mop is ideal for people who want to deep clean their floors and other surfaces without the risk of water damage.

Bissell Symphony Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum

The Bissell Symphony Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum is perfect for the person who’s looking to kill two cleaning birds with one stone. It  combines a vacuum cleaner with a steam mop,  meaning it will suck away dust and dirt while sanitizing the surfaces of your floors.

The Bissell Symphony is  designed for hard surfaces,  so it’s not the solution to everyone’s problems (this one work for people with wall-to-wall carpet).

When using the Bissell Symphony, you have the choice of steam-only, suction-only or a combination of the two. It uses steam on demand, so the mop won’t be putting out a steady stream of steam when it’s turned on.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Hard floors, such as linoleum, granite, marble, sealed wood, and tile.
  • Canister Type: Water tank holds 12.8 ounces. Steam on demand.
  • Accessories/Attachments: Comes with a mop pad and scrubby mop pad.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Not specified.
If you’re looking to save a step when cleaning your hard floors, the Bissell Symphony can be the choice for you. Otherwise, it’s a no-frills steam mop, as it only comes with two accessories and doesn’t have a particularly large water tank.

McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System

Designed for the tough jobs, the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam System  heats water up to more than 200 degrees and uses high pressure (58 psi) to clear away grime and dirt from a range of surfaces. 

If you’re looking for a canister steam cleaner that works indoors and out, this is the one for you. It comes with  a lot of accessories (23) and has a half-gallon water tank.  The tank does need some time to heat up but will provide nearly two hours of continuous steam once it’s ready.

If you don’t need quite so much steam or pressure, the McCulloch does give you the option of dialing it back a bit.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Most types of flooring, outdoor furniture, cars and boats, grills, tile, lawn equipment.
  • Canister Type: 64-ounce water tank, provides 120 minutes of continuous steam.
  • Accessories/Attachments: Includes 23 accessories, including a large mop head, squeegee, triangle brush, large brush, extension wand, scrub pads, utility brushes, and round brushes.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Temperature: 200+ degrees Fahrenheit, Pressure 4 bar (58 psi).
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty steam cleaner for the toughest of jobs, the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam System is bound to meet your needs. The only drawback is that you do need to stay near a power source since it’s got an 18-foot cord.

PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner

The PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner has a lot in common with the models from McCulloch, including a relatively  large (1.5 liter) water tank and lots of accessories. 

It claims to work on surfaces inside and outside and works on more than just hard surfaces. You can also use the PureClean Steam Cleaner on upholstery and carpets.  It’s an excellent choice for someone looking for a flexible steam cleaner and for someone who’s looking for something a little more heavy duty than a hand-held model or steam mop.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Sealed hard floors, washable wallpaper, ceramic tile, cotton and wool carpets.
  • Canister Type: 1.5-liter boiler, offers 45 minutes of continuous steam.
  • Accessories/Attachments: Comes with mop head, two mop pads, steam jet nozzle, extension wands, squeegee, utility brushes, and scrub pads.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Temperature not specified, the steam output is 1.2 oz/min.
Although it claims to be very versatile, one drawback of the PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner is that it only has a 16-foot cord, which can limit where you roll it to. On the plus side, the cleaner does come with a 5-year warranty.

LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Steam Mop

One benefit of the Light N Easy Steam Mop is that it can clean more than your floors. It features a  built-in hand-held steamer  and comes with a  flexible extension steam hose. 

The steam cleaner’s flexibility makes it an ideal pick for someone looking for a versatile cleaner for light jobs. You won’t be taking the Light N Easy out into the shop or garage, but you can use it in the bathroom, living room or kitchen with ease.

The steam mop  has an 11.5-ounce water tank that heats up in just 30 seconds,  producing steam that’s 284 degrees Fahrenheit. It has three steam levels, which determine how long it lasts while cleaning. On the lowest level, you can get  up to 25 minutes of steam.  The highest setting cuts the time in half.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Glass, sealed hard floors, stainless steel, sealed grout and tile, carpeting.
  • Canister Type: 340 ml water tank.
  • Accessories/Attachments: Scrubbing pad, jet steam nozzle, extension steam hose, mop pad, and hand-held attachment microfiber pad.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Steam is 284 degrees Fahrenheit. Pressure not specified.
If you’re looking for a steam mop that’s a bit more flexible and versatile than other options available, the Light N Easy might be the one for you. It’s easy to use and can move from one room to the next with ease.

O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop with Extra Refill

Sometimes, simple is best. The O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop doesn’t have much in the way of bells and whistles. It  promises to eliminate more than 99 percent of bacteria, such as e. Coli.  It  heats up in 20 seconds.  It  weighs only five pounds. 

And that’s about it for the O-Cedar. But if you’re looking for a simple tool that you can use to clean your floors quickly, this might be just what you need.

  • Surfaces it Cleans: Hard surfaces, carpets with the included glider.
  • Canister Type: 400 ml water tank.
  • Accessories/Attachments: Comes with two microfiber pads and a carpet glider.
  • Temperature and Water Pressure: Not specified. Steam production is up to 23g/min on the highest setting.
It’s not going to win any prizes for the most innovative steam cleaner, but if you’re looking for something that it’ll clean your floors and refresh your carpets, the O-Cedar Steam Mop is worth a look.

For more detail on steam mops see our list of the best steam mops of 2022 here.

Steam Cleaner Buying Guide 2022

Benefits of a Steam Cleaner

Why buy the best steam cleaner?  Compared to other cleaning options, steam cleaning has numerous benefits.  Those benefits include:

  • Chemical-free cleaning. Steam cleaners use heated water to remove tough stains or sticky spills from floors. They can eliminate or significantly reduce the need for you to use harsh chemical cleaners at home.
  • Less mess. If you’ve ever struggled with a wet, dirty mop and a bucket full of soapy, dirty mop water, you’ll appreciate the relative simplicity of a steam cleaner. If you’re using a mop-style cleaner, you can toss the head in the wash at the end of a cleaning session.
  • Kills bacteria/germs. Steam is hot enough to kill most bacteria, molds, and other germs that might be hanging out on your floors or upholstered furniture.
  • Combats allergens. If you’ve got allergies, steam cleaning your home is a great way to remove those allergies, helping you breathe easier.
  • Less expensive in the long run. Although you do have to pay the initial cost of a steam cleaner, it can be less costly over time, since all you need to operate it is tap water. There’s no need to purchase new bottles of cleaners continually.
  • Gets the job done quickly. The steam produced by steam cleaners is effective enough at removing stains that you’ll be able to power through your cleaning chores in less time.

Types of Steam Cleaners

types of steam cleaner Not all steam cleaners are created equally.  In fact, some are specifically designed for certain chores and others for different tasks. The type of steam cleaner you end up buying depends on where and how you’ll use it.

  • Steam Mops. A steam mop  looks like a stick vacuum cleaner and functions in much the same way.  Usually, you’ll find a water tank attached to the handle of a steam mop or incorporated into the body of the mop. At the base of the mop is usually a removable pad. If you’re primarily interested in using your steam cleaner on the floors of your home, this might be the steam cleaner for you.
  • Hand-held Steam Cleaners. A hand-held steam cleaner is typically  the smallest type of steam cleaner available.  They are usually very portable and might be battery-powered. Although you can use a hand-held cleaner for spot cleaning on the floors, they are typically best suited for cleaning upholstery and flat surfaces rather than large areas.
  • Canister Steam Cleaners. Sometimes called a cylinder steam cleaner, a canister steam cleaner is  one of the largest types of cleaner available . A key feature of a canister cleaner is a separate water tank. Usually, the water tank on a canister or cylinder steam cleaner is much larger than the tank you’d find on a steam mop or hand-held cleaner.

Another critical feature of a canister steam cleaner is the fact that often has a variety of attachments. The attachment selection means you can use the cleaner on different surfaces, such as carpet, upholstery, or hard flooring.

  • Vapor Steam Cleaners. Vapor steam cleaners  often look like canister or cylinder steam cleaners.  The thing that sets them apart from other options is the type of steam they produce.  Vapor steam cleaners create “dry” steam.  The steam cleaners can heat up the water hot enough so that only steam comes into contact with the surfaces you’re cleaning. That means you don’t have to wait for your floors to dry after using a vapor steam cleaner.

Tips on Using a Steam Cleaner

tips on using a steam cleanerSafety Tips When Using a Steam Cleaner

If you’ve ever been burned by boiling water or by water vapor, then you know that steam is hot. Even steam cleaners that don’t heat up hot enough to create dry steam still often heat the water to temperatures over 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s worth paying some attention to your safety and comfort when using a steam cleaner. For starters, it’s a good idea to  limit the amount of bare skin that’s exposed while you clean with a steam cleaner.   Wear long sleeves and long pants and consider wearing work gloves  if you’re going to be cleaning a large area. Depending on where you’re working and how close the steam will be to your face, it can also be a good idea to  wear safety goggles. 

If you have kids or pets at home, make sure they are out of the way when you’re steam cleaning. You don’t want a small child or a curious animal to knock over the canister of a steam cleaner,  nor do you want them to get in the way of the hot steam.

When you’re finished using the steam cleaner, make sure to switch it off or unplug it. It might sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how frequently people forget to do so. It’s also a good idea to  unplug the steamer before you refill the water tank or when you swap out attachments. 

Where You Can Use a Steam Cleaner

steam cleaning car upholstery While most surfaces can be cleaned with steam, not all surfaces can or should be.  Wood is a good example of a surface that might be steam cleaned, but not in all cases.

Usually, wood surfaces that are sealed can be safely steam cleaned without causing damage. A wood surface or floor that’s not sealed is likely to absorb the water produced by the steam and can become warped or damaged.

It’s also worth paying attention to the weather conditions when you steam clean, especially if you are going to clean sensitive materials. For example, you can use a steamer to clean glass, such as windows or mirrors.

But glass is fairly sensitive to changes in temperature.  If you try to steam clean a glass window on a cold day, you might be in for a shattering surprise. 

Otherwise, the majority of the materials in your home can usually be safely and effectively cleaned with steam.  Here’s a short list of where you can use a steam cleaner: 

  • On carpets
  • On tile floors
  • On sealed hardwood floors
  • On upholstery
  • On mattresses
  • On laminate countertops
  • On sealed granite countertops
  • On glass
  • On patio furniture
  • On your car’s upholstery

If you have a vapor or dry steam cleaner, your options for steam cleaning open up a bit. For example, you can typically use a dry steam cleaner on unsealed surfaces, including unsealed wood, marble, and concrete.

Here are  a few places and things you don’t want to steam clean: 

  • Musical instruments
  • Delicate fabrics (such as silk)
  • Painted walls
  • Cardboard or paper-based surfaces

How to Use a Steam Cleaner

Before you use a steam cleaner, whether it is a steam mop, hand-held device or canister cleaner, it’s a good idea to clean up any loose pieces of dirt or debris.

A steam cleaner won’t be able to wipe away dust and dirt on its own, so you’ll want to run a vacuum over your rugs, sweep up hard floors or brush the surfaces of your furniture or curtains.

When you’re using a steam cleaner on a floor, start in the corner furthest away from the entrance. If you are using a handheld cleaner to clean a vertical surface, start at the top and work your way down.

Starting far away from the entrance or at the top means that you don’t end up stepping over areas you’ve cleaned and that you don’t have to backtrack and reclean.

It’s a good idea to make sure you have all the accessories and attachments you need to use your steam cleaner at the ready before you get going. If you’re cleaning a large area of floor with a steam mop, you’ll most likely need more than one mop pad, for example.

Change the mop pad when it looks dirty or when you switch from one type of floor (such as hardwood) to another (such as tile).

McCulloch MC1375 Canister Steam Cleaner
Best Overall Choice 2022:

  • Cleans floors, counters, windows, autos, furniture, BBQ grills, engines, RV’s, boats, lawn equipment and more
  • 20 accessories

Read more here on how to use a steam cleaner.

FAQs About Best Steam Cleaners

FAQs about steam cleanersCan You Use Tap Water in a Steam Cleaner?

Most steam cleaners will work with regular old tap water. If you have hard water,  it’s usually recommended that you use filtered or distilled water instead,  to prevent the buildup of minerals inside the cleaner.

Can I Use Soaps or Detergents with a Steam Cleaner?

It’s usually not recommended.  Steam cleaners are designed to work with water alone.  Adding a soap or detergent might mess up the device.

Do Steam Cleaners Really Work?

Yes. Steam is known for its ability to kill nasties such as bacteria and mold.  Steam cleaning is also an effective way to kill bed bugs. 

Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Steam Clean?

Yes, there are plenty of surfaces that shouldn’t be steam cleaned.  Anything that might be damaged by water is usually not a good fit for steam cleaning.  That includes unsealed wood and unsealed stone surfaces.

Should I buy a hand-held steamer, a mop or a canister style steamer?

That’s really up to you and your cleaning needs. A canister steam cleaner usually offers the most versatility, but might be more than you need. A mop is great if you only want to steam your floors. Hand-held models are ideal for small spaces since they don’t take up much space in storage.

Why don’t steam cleaners always work on carpet?

People often confuse steam cleaners with carpet cleaners, although the two are pretty different.  You can sometimes use a steam cleaner on a carpet, especially if it has a carpet glider.  Otherwise, it can be difficult to maneuver the cleaner over a carpeted surface.

Our list of the 10 top steam cleaners, and our steam cleaner reviews are our choice through research and testing. If you have another cleaner you think should be on this list, or if you have a comment on one of the machines in the list feel free to let us know in the comments.

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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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