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.
- 20 feet power cord
- Good range of attachments
- Safe for most surfaces
- Sanitize numerous items & surfaces
- Easy to maneuver and use
- Reassuring safety features
- User-friendly smart switch
- Multiple settings and attachments
- Heats up fast
- Convenient for steaming
- Plenty of accessories
- For simple daily tasks
- Soothingly high heat
- Great for stubborn outdoor dirt
- 9 accessories
- Attack stains before they set
- Varied attachments for multiple surfaces
- Long runtime
- Freedom of movement
- Prepare surfaces for cleaning
- Top to bottom abilities
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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 2021
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. Bissell Steam Shot Deluxe Hard-Surface Cleaner
The Bissell Steam Shot Deluxe is a perfect option if you’re looking for something that can tackle every day steaming. It is a powerful steam cleaner with an easy-to-press trigger, making this a breeze to use around the home on all hard surfaces.
Of course, being a steam cleaner, it uses no chemicals, just steam. This means that not only are you emitting toxic fumes from your home, but you also achieve a streak- and residue-free finish on all your surfaces.
With a 6.6 ounce tank capacity and a 30 second heating time, it’s great for quick cleaning. Simply turn it on, and have it ready to use in less than a minute. The 6.6 ounce tank means you get a good length of steam cleaning before needing to do any refills.
Why We Love It
20 Feet Power Cord
This needs to be plugged into a power source to use, meaning it’s not cordless. But the power cord is 20 feet long, giving you plenty of room to play with.
A Good Range of Attachments
This comes with lots of attachments, to help make every task more achievable. This includes an extension hose for getting into hard-to-reach places, a flat scraping tool, a grout brush, a fabric steamer for clothes, a window squeegee, an angle concentrator, and a detail brush.
Safe for Most Surfaces
Steam cleaners are as close as you can get to a one product fits all solution. It’s suitable for virtually all sealed surfaces. This includes ceramic, vinyl, laminate, granite, marble and sealed harwood. You can also use it on showers, windows, countertops and other bathroom fixtures. It also only takes a couple of seconds to dry so you don’t need to wait forever to use your surfaces again.
Keep In Mind
Brush Tools Wear Down
Many customers found that after one use, their brush tools — such as the grout cleaner — wears down. This is super inconvenient as you can only get one use out of it before it’s a dud.
Main Unit Tips Over
If you put the main unit on the countertop while you steam clean, then it will tip over as the attachments tend to be heavier than the tank portion. This makes it very annoying and cumbersome, as you always need to hold the tank in your hand.
|Power||1000 watts, temperature N/A.|
|Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time||6.6 ounces, ready in 30 seconds.|
|Power Cord Length||20 feet.|
|Included Accessories||Accessory nozzle, extension hose, flat scraping tool, grout brush, fabric steamer, window squeegee, angle concentrator, and detail brush.|
2. Handheld Steam Cleaner With 9-Piece Accessory Set
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).
|Power||1,050 watts, temperature N/A.|
|Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time||12 ounces, ready in 30 seconds for 20 minutes of steaming.|
|Power Cord Length||9 feet.|
|Included Accessories||Measuring 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
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.
|Power||1550 watts, 230 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Cord Length||20 feet.|
|Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time||11.5 ounces, ready in 30 seconds. Runtime N/A.|
|Accessories||Mop with pad, handheld garment steamer with pad and flexible hose, handheld nozzle attachment, measuring cup.|
4. PurSteam Chemical-Free Cleaner With Accessory Set
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.
|Power||1000 watts, temperature N/A.|
|Cord Length||9.8 feet.|
|Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time||8 ounces, ready in 3 to 4 minutes. Runtime N/A.|
|Accessories||Measuring 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
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 (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.
|Power||1,050 watts, 250 to 270 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Cord Length||4 to 5 feet.|
|Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time||11.8 ounces (can only be filled to 8.4 ounces), ready in 3 to 4 minutes for 15 to 20 minutes of steaming.|
|Accessories||Measuring 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
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.
|Power||1550 watts, temperature N/A.|
|Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time||11.5 ounces, ready in 30 seconds, 20 to 25 minutes of runtime on the lowest setting, half that on the highest setting.|
|Accessories||Mop attachment, mop cleaning pads, 3 nylon brushes of varying size, bent nozzle, window squeegee, straight nozzle.|
7. Bissell PowerFresh Handheld Steam Cleaner
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.
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.
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.
|Power||Information not available.|
|Cord Length||25 feet.|
|Tank Capacity and Warm Up Time||11.8 ounces, ready in 30 seconds, runtime N/A.|
|Accessories||Measuring 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.|
|Product||Best||Power||Weight||Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time||Power Cord Length|
|Bissell Steam Shot Deluxe||For Everyday Steaming||1000 watts, temperature N/A.||4.59 lbs.||6.6 ounces, ready in 30 seconds.||20 feet.|
|Cleaner With Accessory Set||For Multipurpose Applications||1,050 W, temperature N/A.||4 lbs.||12 oz, ready in 30 seconds for 20 minutes of steaming.||9 feet.|
|Light N’ Easy With Mop||For Roomy Homes||1550 W, 230 degrees F.||6.4 lbs.||11.5 oz, ready in 30 seconds. Runtime N/A.||20 feet.|
|PurSteam Chemical-Free Cleaner||For Portability||1000 W, temperature N/A.||2.2 lbs.||8 oz, ready in 3 – 4 minutes. Runtime N/A.||9.8 feet.|
|Comforday High Pressure||For Sanitization||1,050 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-1||For Homes With Pets & Kids||1550 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 PowerFresh||For Extreme Filth||Information not available.||6.4 lbs.||11.8 oz, ready in 30 seconds, runtime N/A.||25 feet.|
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.