Best Handheld Steam Cleaners of 2020

Updated
Categories Steam Cleaning
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to steam cleaners.

Steam cleaners can be useful for an assortment of household chores. Are you eager to harness the diverse abilities of steam, but aren’t sure where to begin? That’s understandable: there’s an abundance of products for sale in this category.

Besides, simply purchasing the first one you come across may lead to disappointment later. So it’s important to know what features to consider so that you can select the ideal model for you.

But there’s no need to browse through hundreds of models anymore. We’ve reviewed seven of the best handheld steam cleaners for you.


The Lowdown on Handheld Steam Cleaners

You already know that handheld steam cleaners are among the smallest out there. They’re a great alternative to their larger counterparts for a few reasons.

  • Storage: Our cleaning tools aren’t decorative items — we don’t want to look at them every day. These cleaners win because storing them discreetly isn’t as challenging as with a bulky awkwardly-shaped gadget.
  • Lightweight: Keeping our homes pristine is enough effort as it is. There’s no need to burden yourself by needlessly lifting a hefty weight to and fro. Thankfully, you don’t need herculean strength to manipulate a handheld steam cleaner.
  • Inexpensive: Another thing you won’t need is significant financial resources. Handheld steam cleaners are smaller and simpler. Hence, they’re usually more affordable.

How Do They Work?

Some of you may be concerned that the compact design impacts how these appliances work. You can put your worries to rest: they’re still steam cleaners, just miniature.

Handheld steam cleaners run off electricity and have tanks for water, albeit smaller ones. But the operating principles are the same. The water in the tank heats up, vaporizes, and produces steam for cleaning.

What Are They Used For?

In general, you can harness steam power for anything you deem necessary. That is, so long as whatever you’re treating can stand the heat.

We’ll give you a couple of common examples. Steam can be used to sterilize kitchen countertops and other surfaces potentially swarming with invisible foodborne bacteria.

It takes temperatures of over 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill these dangerous organisms (1). Fortunately, water vaporizes at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (2).

The sanitization initiative can be applied throughout your home. You can steam clean baby accessories, grubby pet toys, filthy microwaves — the works.

Super-heated mist can also break down tough stains that detergents and elbow grease won’t touch. Think crusty barbecue grills or ovens coated in solidified gunk.

A frequently asked question is: will handheld steam cleaners kill bed bugs? Absolutely — steam is nearly 100 percent successful at killing these pests at all stages (3).

Take note, however, that the functionality of these machines can vary depending on the product. Certain handheld steam cleaners are better suited to particular chores than others.

Related Reading
25 Genius Ways to Use Steam Cleaners25 Genius Uses for Steam Cleaners

Choosing the Best Handheld Steam Cleaner

Choosing the right handheld steam cleaner is serious business. You need to be aware of what you want to get out of your device. For each household need, certain features are vital and should be assessed carefully before you buy:

Maneuverability

Handheld steam cleaners generally aren’t cumbersome to handle, but weight can differ markedly between brands. Power cord length can vary too.

Are you aiming to target high or hard-to-reach areas where a short cord might cut you off? Is manipulating more than several pounds inconvenient due to an injury or handicap?

Take the time to consider where and how you’ll be using it. Additionally, factor in where the power outlets are located in your home.

Water Tank Capacity

Bigger water tanks translate into more time spent steaming to your heart’s desire. At the same time, though, they also add weight to your handheld steam cleaner.

So you have to look at your own capacities and cleaning goals, then find a compromise.

Preparation Time

How long are you comfortable waiting for your machine to be ready to go? Some models take minutes to heat up whereas others will vaporize water in less than a minute.

Don’t Rush It

Never attempt to use your handheld steam cleaner before the indicator tells you it’s ready. The water won’t be vaporized and you could damage your device or get injured.

Accessories

Now that you’re familiar with everything to do with size, let’s discuss accessories. The extras your handheld steam cleaner comes with can be game-changing.

More accessories mean greater flexibility in how you use the gadget. Nozzles, hoses and even mops will allow you to apply it to a broader range of domestic duties.

So if you have an expansive to-steam list, be sure to check out the accessories. Ensure you’ll be getting everything you need to accomplish it.

Effectiveness

Not all handheld steam cleaners specify temperature or pressure levels. Despite that, it’s clear when one or both of these features are below par.

Higher wattage means more power to produce and heat steam (4). The greater the temperature, the more powerful your appliance will be against dirt.

Models that have trouble heating the water up to vaporize won’t do half as well. If the pressure is weak, the steam will be about as forceful as a hot cup of coffee.

Ease of Use

Handheld steam cleaners aren’t complex feats of engineering and shouldn’t be hard to use. It’s frustrating when one of the components is tedious or difficult to handle.

Are accessories easy to attach and remove? Do you have to struggle to detach the water tank?

Quality of Design and Warranty

Don’t let the fact that we mentioned this towards the end fool you. A shoddy build can be hazardous to you as a user. A poor design might lead to nasty scalds (e.g., an unstable base).

Preferably, your handheld steam cleaner should come with a warranty. It’s nice to know that a company is there for support if needed.


The Best Handheld Steam Cleaners of 2020

By this point, you should know precisely what you want in a handheld steam cleaner.

To save you the hassle of shopping, we conducted extensive research investigating these products.

After much comparing and contrasting, we’ve narrowed it down to seven prime models. We think you’ll find one among them to meet your expectations. Browse through our reviews to learn technical specifications, pros, cons, and more.

1. KoolaMo Handheld Pressurized Cleaner

Best for Everyday Steaming

KoolaMo Handheld Presurized Cleaner 9-Piece Accessory Set Purpose Multi-Surface All Natural, Cleaning Home, Auto, Patio, 1, Orange
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The Lambow might interest users who are looking for an everyday handheld steamer. We all have those areas of our homes that we have to work on at least once a day. You can save yourself time on necessary, but tedious chores.

For instance, cleaning off the stovetops after cooking or washing out the sink. Users who like to BBQ frequently and dread cleaning the grill off may also like this model.

It comes with multiple staple accessories to steam various surfaces. There’s a squeegee for that window the dog keeps pressing his nose against. You can use either a long nozzle, short nozzle, or extension hose around the kitchen and bathroom.

Why We Love It

Convenient for Day-to-Day Maintenance

The swift heat-up time (30 seconds) will have you finished before you know it. We want to move on to more interesting activities, not wait around for our steam cleaners.

Accessories to Meet Most Common Demands

The accessories should meet the average household’s daily demands. Aside from the ones we touched on earlier, other attachments worth mentioning are a bristle scrub brush and a fabric steamer.

Works Indoors and Outdoors

Thanks to the attachments, you’re not limited to steaming indoors. If you like to grill outside or you’re always on the patio, there’s lots to steam-clean.

Decent Runtime

Considering the model is less than 4 pounds, it has some power to it. The 20-minute runtime should serve for the majority of run-of-the-mill domestic duties.

Keep In Mind

Not Suited for Bigger Surfaces or Jobs

The Lambow does have its limits. If you want a handheld steamer for your floors or other large surfaces, this model might let you down.

Additional Specs

Power1050 watts, temperature N/A.
Weight3.64 pounds.
Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time11.8 ounces, ready in 30 seconds for 20 minutes of steaming.
Power Cord Length9.8 feet.
Included AccessoriesMeasuring cup, funnel, squeegee, round nylon brush, fabric iron, towel cloth, long nozzle, short nozzle, bent nozzle, extended hose with nozzle.

2. Handheld Steam Cleaner With 9-Piece Accessory Set

Best for Multipurpose Applications

Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner with 9-Piece Accessory Set - Multi-Purpose and Multi-Surface All Natural, Chemical-Free Steam Cleaning for Home, Auto, Patio, More
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This model is targeted at users who can’t wait to start steam cleaning anything and everything. It comes with eight attachments to meet almost any demand.

A long, flexible hose is optimal for surfaces you want to distance yourself from (like toilets). Shorter nozzles are available for crannies and crevices. There’s a window-cleaning attachment, and one for upholstery too.

Both the cord length and water tank capacity are generous for uninterrupted steaming. You get 20 minutes of runtime per tank of water, and a 9-foot long cord.

If you’re working on multiple items in one room, an extension cord will likely be unnecessary. The same goes for working on your car (if you have well-placed power outlets).

Why We Love It

Sanitize Numerous Items and Surfaces

If you’re like us, there’s plenty of places and belongings you can think of that could use a steaming. Your car carpets, wrinkly dress shirts that never made it to the dry cleaners — the list goes on.

You may not immediately use every accessory this model comes with. Still, you never know when a lesser-used attachment might be of service.

Accommodating to Maneuver and Use

A long cord and lightweight build should make this handheld steamer easy to carry and handle. You’ll only have to stop for water refills every 20 minutes.

Reassuring Safety Features

Wary of curious children in your home inadvertently getting hurt? This device has a child-lock and safety cap. Plus, it’ll switch off automatically when it’s low on water.

Keep In Mind

No Accessories for Bigger Surfaces

Readers wanting a handheld steam cleaner that can literally do it all may be disappointed. None of the accessories are suitable for big cleaning jobs (e.g., floors in spacious rooms).

Additional Specs

Power1,050 watts, temperature N/A.
Weight4 pounds.
Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time12 ounces, ready in 30 seconds for 20 minutes of steaming.
Power Cord Length9 feet.
Included AccessoriesMeasuring cup, funnel, extended hose nozzle, short nozzle, long nozzle, round brush head, bent nozzle, door/window squeegee, steam iron.

3. Light N’ Easy Handheld Steam Cleaner With Mop

Best for Roomy Homes

LIGHT 'N' EASY Multi-Functional steam mop Steamer for Cleaning Hardwood Floor Cleaner for Tile Grout Laminate Ceramic, 7688ANW, White
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You don’t have to buy two different sized steam cleaners if you live in a palatial home. The Light N’ Easy Handheld Steam Cleaner is compatible with big and small jobs alike.

This gadget comes with a mop attachment to get your floors back in shape. There are no buttons to mess with. Standing the mop upright will cause it to cease steaming immediately.

If your counters and other surfaces are also super-sized, there’s a smart-switch in handheld mode too. You’ll also get a one year warranty.

Why We Love It

User-Friendly Smart Switch in Both Modes

We’ve all suffered the pain of tired-out button fingers. In either mode, smart switches make controlling the steam gentle on your hands.

Multiple Settings and Attachments to Work for Lots of Surfaces

This model has three settings: high, medium and low. You can adjust as needed for everything from hardy ceramic to aging vinyl flooring.

Aside from the mop, you also receive a garment steamer with a flexible hose. Refresh your furniture or straighten out furrowed fabrics.

Heats Up Fast

Impatient cleaners with a lot to do will find this handheld steam cleaner’s rapid heating time appealing. It only takes half a minute to be ready for action.

Keep In Mind

Unstable Mop Pads

A few users have reported that the velcro mop pads don’t hold up to energetic movement. So if you go rough while doing your floors, this may not be the product for you.

May Be Too Heavy

Some users have reported that the device has too much weight to it, even without the mop. Keep that in mind if you wish to use it as a handheld steamer often.

Additional Specs

Power1550 watts, 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
Weight6.4 pounds.
Cord Length20 feet.
Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time11.5 ounces, ready in 30 seconds. Runtime N/A.
AccessoriesMop with pad, handheld garment steamer with pad and flexible hose, handheld nozzle attachment, measuring cup.

4. PurSteam Chemical-Free Cleaner With Accessory Set

Best for Portability

PurSteam World's Best Steamers Chemical-Free Cleaning PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner with 9-Piece Accessory Set Purpose and Multi-Surface All Natural, Anthracite
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The PurSteam handheld steam cleaner is built for maneuverability. At 2.2 pounds, it falls into the featherweight class.

This model is best for swift or light-duty housework. If you already have other tools and products in your cleaning kit for serious jobs, this cleaner should be a good fit. With nine accessories, you can apply it to various menial tasks around your house.

It may also work great for you if you’re prone to straining your wrists and arms. Users who plan to spread out while steaming might also like that it’s easily carried.

Why We Love It

Convenient for On-The-Go Steaming

The PurSteam cleaner has an ample cord length of 9.8 feet to give you considerable reach. Combined with the compact weight, you’ll have a liberal range of motion to profit from.

Plenty of Accessories

The many accessories turn an otherwise simple gadget into a multitasker. Attachments of note include an iron brush and a bent nozzle for neglected crannies.

Useful for Simple Daily Tasks

With the 8-ounce tank, this machine is best suited to smaller, shorter daily tasks. For instance, you can tick off chores like steaming wrinkled office clothes or de-greasing the sink after dinner.

Keep In Mind

Takes a While to Warm Up

Users who get into a rhythm while working and hate interruptions may not enjoy the PurSteam. It takes up to four minutes to fully heat up.

Not the Most Ergonomic

Some users state that holding the release button down is taxing after a couple of minutes. This is another reason why this product is preferable for undemanding, quicker clean-ups.

Additional Specs

Power1000 watts, temperature N/A.
Weight2.2 pounds.
Cord Length9.8 feet.
Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time8 ounces, ready in 3 to 4 minutes. Runtime N/A.
AccessoriesMeasuring cup, funnel, ironing brush, ironing brush cloth, nylon brush, bent nozzle, window squeegee, straight nozzle, extension hose with nozzle.

5. Comforday High Pressure Handheld Steamer

Best for Sanitization

Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner- Multi Purpose Eco-Friendly Steamer with 9-Piece Accessories Steam Cleaning Machine for Stain Removal, Curtains, Car Seats,Floor,Window
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This high-powered machine will entice fastidious cleaners. If you’re aiming for more than just a superficial clean, we’d like to introduce you to the Comforday. Users with outdoor items like BBQs to steam may also like this model.

By definition, steamer cleaners must reach operating temperatures of at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit to steam. Still, the hotter the steam, the more effective it will be at breaking down dirt and killing germs.

This handheld steamer boasts an operating temperature of up to 270 degrees Fahrenheit. Combined with the strong pressure output, it should destroy almost anything harmful or nasty in your home.

Why We Love It

Soothingly High Heat

Do you have young children or family members with weak immune systems? When you sanitize bacteria-laden areas like the bathroom, you’re working with close to 300 degrees Fahrenheit of steam.

Great for Stubborn Outdoor Dirt

The high pressure and high heat have other applications. You can address long-neglected outdoor items desperate for a clean, like crusty BBQs.

Nine Accessories

Nine accessories (six for steaming) should be enough for you to tackle most areas and items. There’s an extension hose to treat areas that are hard to reach. Other helpful tools include a brush head, fabric iron, and squeegee.

Keep In Mind

Can’t Be Tilted

People who tend to drift off while cleaning may not want the Comforday. Tilting it beyond 45 degrees risks spilling boiling water out through the nozzle. Forgetting can lead to injury or damage.

Tank Can’t Be Filled

You lose nearly 3 ounces of tank capacity due to the construction. The extra space is for steam generation.

Additional Specs

Power1,050 watts, 250 to 270 degrees Fahrenheit.
Weight3.9 pounds.
Cord Length4 to 5 feet.
Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time11.8 ounces (can only be filled to 8.4 ounces), ready in 3 to 4 minutes for 15 to 20 minutes of steaming.
AccessoriesMeasuring cup, funnel, extended hose, brush head, bent nozzle, squeegee for windows/doors, brush plate, long nozzle, towel sleeve.

6. PurSteam 10-in-1 Handheld Steam Cleaner

Best for Homes With Pets and Kids

Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteam
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It goes without saying that you love your kids and your pets. What you might not be quite as fond of love is the sudden, disastrous messes animals and little ones can cause.

The PurSteam 10-in-1 is a good choice for family homes. First, it heats up rapidly: 30 seconds and you can begin steaming. You’ll be able to get that spilled juice or puppy urine out of the carpet before it sets in.

Everyone knows that in a full house, no surface is exempt from sticky fingers or muddy paws. It’s a good thing then that this device also has multiple attachments you can switch between to reach every cranny.

Why We Love It

Attack Stains Before They Set

If you’re quick, you can be steaming in less than a few minutes. This way, the spill surface has a better chance to be salvaged.

Varied Attachments for Multiple Surfaces

There are three separate nylon brush heads for loosening up all sorts of crud. Smaller accessories like the bent nozzle will help for getting into corners. You also have a mop attachment for bigger jobs.

Long Runtime on Lowest Setting

Keeping this handheld steam cleaner on low will get you 25 minutes of runtime. Although you get half that on the highest setting, it reheats promptly.

Keep In Mind

Mop Pads May Shrink After Washing

If you use this model as a steam mop, you’ll need to wash the pads frequently. Unfortunately, some users report that the pads shrink after being washed.

Brushes Are All Small

The nylon brushes are all on the smaller side. So if you want to scrub down a big item or area thoroughly, they may slow you down.

Additional Specs

Power1550 watts, temperature N/A.
Weight2.2 pounds.
Cord LengthN/A.
Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time11.5 ounces, ready in 30 seconds, 20 to 25 minutes of runtime on the lowest setting, half that on the highest setting.
AccessoriesMop attachment, mop cleaning pads, 3 nylon brushes of varying size, bent nozzle, window squeegee, straight nozzle.

7. Bissell PowerFresh Handheld Steam Cleaner

Best for Extreme Filth

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Hard Wood Floor Steam Cleaner System, Steam Mop, Handheld Steamer and Scrubbing Tools, and Clothing Steamer Tool, 2075A,White
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Are you planning to wage a full-scale war on grime in your home? The Bissell PowerFresh could be a worthy ally.

This handheld steamer comes with accessories built to overcome formidable nuisance dirt. There’s a mop head with swivel steering to get into tight spaces. The long extension wand should reach rarely-cleaned areas like the top of your shower.

A flat scraper tool will help you steam and scrape at sticky gunk simultaneously. There’s also a special brush for targeting grime on grout. The built-in onboard toolkit means all the essentials are on the handheld steamer itself.

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Why We Love It

Freedom of Movement

The 25-foot long cord enables you to move around freely. You won’t have to keep unplugging and replugging the Bissell PowerFresh every few steps.

Prepare Surfaces for Cleaning

We’re all familiar with the type of messes that won’t come off without elbow grease. The attachments on this model (particularly the scraper) can save you some effort.

Top to Bottom Abilities

With the extension wand, mop and attachments, you have nearly full-house coverage. If you’re on a deep cleaning spree, there’s almost nowhere this model can’t steam.

Keep In Mind

Mop Might Be Less Effective

Some users report that the device doesn’t steam as effectively when used as a mop. So if the star feature for you was the mop attachment, you may want to reconsider. The Light N’ Easy model above might be a preferable substitute.

Heavy Handheld

The handheld steamer weighs a little over 6 pounds — relatively heavy. If you can’t lift it for long, the practicality of the onboard tool kit won’t be of much use.

Additional Specs

PowerInformation not available.
Weight6.4 pounds.
Cord Length25 feet.
Tank Capacity and Warm Up Time11.8 ounces, ready in 30 seconds, runtime N/A.
AccessoriesMeasuring cup, wall mount with screws, steam mop, soft mop pad, scrubby mop pad, extension wand, green bristle brush, red bristle brush, grout brush, scraper tool, fabric steamer with cloth.

Detailed Comparison Chart

ProductBestPowerWeightTank Capacity and Warm-Up TimePower Cord Length
KoolaMo PressurizedFor Everyday Steaming1050 W, temperature N/A.3.64 lbs.11.8 oz, ready in 30 seconds for 20 minutes of steaming.9.8 feet.
Cleaner With Accessory SetFor Multipurpose Applications1,050 W, temperature N/A.4 lbs.12 oz, ready in 30 seconds for 20 minutes of steaming.9 feet.
Light N’ Easy With MopFor Roomy Homes1550 W, 230 degrees F.6.4 lbs.11.5 oz, ready in 30 seconds. Runtime N/A.20 feet.
PurSteam Chemical-Free CleanerFor Portability1000 W, temperature N/A.2.2 lbs.8 oz, ready in 3 – 4 minutes. Runtime N/A.9.8 feet.
Comforday High PressureFor Sanitization1,050 W, 250 – 270 degrees F.3.9 lbs.11.8 oz (can only be filled – 8.4 oz), ready in 3 – 4 minutes for 15 – 20 minutes of steaming.4 – 5 feet.
PurSteam 10-in-1For Homes With Pets & Kids1550 W, temperature N/A.2.2 lbs.11.5 oz, ready in 30 seconds, 20 – 25 minutes of runtime on the lowest setting, half that on the highest setting.N/A.
Bissell PowerFreshFor Extreme FilthInformation not available.6.4 lbs.11.8 oz, ready in 30 seconds, runtime N/A.25 feet.
Jump to the Full Handhelp Steam Cleaner Reviews

Our Steamy Summary

The best handheld steam cleaners can assist us with various everyday chores. They’re also practical to have around for bouts of deep cleaning.

As models have varied capabilities, there is no universal product that’s right for everyone. You need to determine what features are crucial to you (e.g., long runtime) and which aren’t.

You should also look ahead to what you’re going to use it for. This will influence which accessories are vital for your work in the future. We hope that you’ve found a machine that’s compatible with you among our reviews.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!
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