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Best Steam Cleaners for Bed Bugs of 2022

Updated
Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

The very mention of bed bugs sends most people running for the hills screaming, “Where did they come from? And most importantly, how do you get rid of them?”

The simple answer to that question is: a steam cleaner. Bed bugs cannot live when blasted with steam at between 117 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit (1). Steam cleaners, thankfully, reach at least 212 degrees.

So how do you choose a steam cleaner that kills the bugs and refreshes the mattress? Our comprehensive list will give you the information you need to make the best choice for you and your home.

To make this list, we examined customer feedback and explored the industry professionals’ advice. We looked at the machine’s temperature, usability, accessories, and power of various steam cleaners.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Powerful Multipurpose Portable Heavy Duty Steamer for Floors, Cars, Tiles, Grout Cleaning. Chemical Free, Disinfection, Wallpaper Removal for Home Use and More. Kills 99.99%* of Bacteria and Viruses.
Best Pressurized Steam Cleaner
Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
  • Chemical-free cleaning
  • Large tank capacity
  • Useful unit properties
Product Image of the Pure Enrichment PureClean Steam Cleaner - 1500-Watt Multi-Purpose Household System for Deep Cleaning Floors, Windows, BBQ Grills, Grout, Cars and More, Includes 18 Accessories
Best Heavy-Duty Cleaner
PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner
  • Affordable yet heavy-duty
  • Five year warranty
  • Easy roll wheels
Product Image of the McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner with 18 Accessories, Extra-Long Power Cord, Chemical-Free Pressurized Cleaning for Most Floors, Counters, Appliances, Windows, Autos, and More, Yellow/Grey
Best Accessories
McCulloch MC1275 Steam Cleaner
  • Continuous steam time
  • Great attachments, electric cord & hose length
  • Lockdown trigger
Product Image of the Steamfast SF-370 Canister Cleaner with 15 Accessories-All-Natural, Chemical-Free Pressurized Steam Cleaning for Most Floors, Counters, Appliances, Windows, Autos, and More, 64 inches, White
Most Lightweight Steam Cleaner
Steamfast SF-370WH Steam Cleaner
  • Lightweight
  • High quality & affordable
  • Steam status indicator
Product Image of the Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaner with Retractable Cord, Chemical Free Professional-Grade Steamer for Cleaning Floors, Mattresses, Cars, Upholstery, and More
Award-Winning Steam Cleaner
Vapamore MR-100 Primo Cleaner
  • Large capacity tank
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Versatile accessories


Product Reviews

Blast bed bugs away with one of these five machines. We’ve taken into consideration the machine’s usability, accessories, temperature and power to ensure that these steamers will easily deal with your bed bugs, once and for all.

1. Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner

Best Pressurized Steam Cleaner

This machine is efficient and exceedingly reliable. It’s second to none when it comes to cleaning and sanitation without any harsh chemicals.

The Dupray has been designed with simplicity, robustness, and excellent performance. It exudes the cleaning capacity of a much larger unit.

The cleaner can effortlessly obliterate grime and eradicate 99.9 percent of unwanted germs while protecting your health.

This model comes with an array of useful accessories, meaning you can use it in every room in your home. Not only will you kill any bed bugs, but you’ll also have shiny surfaces.

What We Like

Chemical-Free Cleaning

This machine uses no fancy products to clean, only tap water. It has amazingly powerful steam temperatures of up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Unsurprisingly it sanitizes, disinfects, and kills up to 99.99 percent of all germs and pathogens.

It will blast those bed bugs, so you don’t have to worry about them anymore.

54 Ounce Tank Capacity

The tank on the Dupray Neat Cleaner holds a generous 54 ounces of water. It takes an excellent seven minutes to heat up to full temperature and produces up to 50 minutes of cleaning time.

If this fails to cover all the tasks at hand, it fills up easily with a time-saving integrated funnel.

Useful Unit Properties

This unit is lightweight and portable, weighing in at nine pounds. Most parts are guaranteed for two years, but the boiler is guaranteed for life. It puts out an impressive 50 pounds per square inch and gives you almost an hour of continuous steaming power.

Long Hose and Electric Cord

The beauty of this machine is the length of the cord. A generous 16-foot-long cable and a hose length of 6.5 inches are a great help. These are invaluable for reaching into corners or high places.

To complement the cord, this device has an integrated wrap. Smooth-rolling wheels and a compact-sized machine make this a favorite of many.

Lots of Accessories for Deep Cleaning

Included are 18 attachments, including a 3-foot extension. There is everything in the bundle to clean your home from top to bottom. You have all you need for eliminating grease, germs, pathogens, and, oh yes, those nasty little uninvited critters, bed bugs.

It is one of the most revered steam cleaners on the market and will be your best friend for years to come.

What We Don't Like

No Water Gauge Level

The biggest con that customers have commented on is that there is no water level gauge to say when the tank is running low. You may be just getting into some deep cleaning when the steam stops due to the water running out. Filling and re-heating also take time, so you’ll have to be patient.

Takes a While to Heat Sometimes

Although it can heat within seven minutes, many users found it took longer. When it’s heated, a green light will display. However, if you try using the machine before the green light flashes, you will squirt and spray water everywhere, which can be dangerous.

The Handle Gets Hot

Another dangerous feature of this steam mop is that the handle gets hot. You might want to wear protective gloves while using this, just in case.

Product Specs

Cord Length 16 feet
Tank Capacity 54 ounces
Heating Time 7 minutes
Accessories 18 piece kit
Weight 9 pounds

2. PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner

Best Heavy-Duty Cleaner

With the PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner, you get a heavy-duty machine for a fraction of the cost. This doesn’t mean you lose out on any features, either. It still manages floors, upholstery, and more without the hefty price tag.

It’s neat and has easy-roll wheels and a range of attachments that cover all tasks. Weighing in at just under 16 pounds, its wheels certainly come in handy.

Couple that with a 16-foot cord and extendable hose, and you have a durable yet compact machine that rivals the more expensive models.

What We Like

High Quality, Budget-Friendly

This machine comes under the affordable banner. And there is no need to buy anything additional, as this machine can do it all. Its performance is up there with the more expensive models.

It is ideal for both inside and outside the home. You can count on it to clean barbecues like a dream — windows and floors will also look new again.

Long 5-Year Warranty

The PureClean XL cleaner comes with a generous five-year warranty. This should give you peace of mind should anything break within that time.

Great for Tight Corners

This is the product for you when you’re after a deep clean of your entire home. It comes with a triangular mop head which is ideal for corners and tight spaces, as well as navigating around furniture. Where dirt and grime can hide, this mop can eliminate it.

45 Minutes Continuous Cleaning

No need to keep a trigger pressed as you clean. This comes with a steam lock switch so you can enjoy uninterrupted cleaning.

What We Don't Like

Puts Out a Lot of Water

It appears that this machine may put out more water than steam sometimes. Therefore, to kill bed bugs, treatment must be done in the morning. This ensures that your mattress is dry enough to sleep on that night.

Attachments Aren’t Durable

Unfortunately, the attachments aren’t the highest quality. While they work fine, they wear down quickly and are useless after a few weeks.

Guessing Game to Use

There’s no notification to tell you when the steam cleaner is hot and ready to use. Plus, there’s no way to see how much water is in the tank.

Product Specs

Cord Length 16 feet
Tank Capacity 50 ounces
Heating Time 10 minutes
Accessories 18 attachments
Weight 15.85 pounds

3. McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner

Best Accessories for a Steamer

This machine is a royal among steam cleaners. It deploys a massive 43 pounds per square inch of steam pressure, killing bugs without the use of harmful chemicals and eliminating stubborn pet odor.

Along with the 9-foot-long hose, it comes with 18 different attachments. These include a nozzle that delivers a jet stream that you can use to focus on the mattress’s stitching and other furniture items. This is a familiar place where the bed bugs are known to amass.

What We Like

Great Attachments, Electric Cord and Hose Length

The 15.7-foot long cord and long hose allow for a good reach. The reach is a great feature, as it eliminates the need to constantly move the machine while steaming.

Accessories are versatile and include floor mops, nylon brushes, a scrubbing pad, and a squeegee, to name but a few.

Continuous Steam Time

The large tank holds 48 ounces of water and heats up within eight minutes. This amount of water will deliver up to 45 minutes of sustained steam.

The process of killing bed bugs is very slow. Typically, the steam has to be held onto the mattress for some time to ensure they’re dead. Leaving one egg or live bug can cause a re-infestation within weeks.

So the continuous stream for 45 minutes is much needed for this job. The water in the machine heats over 200 degrees Fahrenheit — ideal for killing the bed bugs and their unborn offspring (eggs).

Steam Lockdown Trigger

An added bonus is the lockdown trigger that continuously delivers the stream of steam. This is a great feature if you don’t want finger cramps from holding the button down for long periods.

Tackles Grease and Grime

Besides bed bugs, this is great for grease and grime. It has detachable brushes which you can use for deep cleaning your oven, grills, BBQs, and more. It even has a quick scrubbing pad for stubborn and old stains.

What We Don't Like

Low Steam Power

Customers report that the steam is insufficient for some really embedded stains requiring extreme steam power.

Spare Parts Not Easily Accessible

Parts for repair are not readily available. So do your research before buying to be sure parts are freely available where you live. Multiple customers lamented that they couldn’t source them in their area, although they may be available by post.

Product Specs

Cord Length 15.7 feet
Tank Capacity 48 ounces
Heating Time 8 minutes
Accessories 18 attachments
Weight 10 pounds

4. Steamfast SF-370WH Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner

Most Lightweight Steam Cleaner

Lightweight and easy to use with a 1500-watt motor is the order of the day for this machine. Using ordinary tap water, this machine gives a deep clean, removing pests and odors without a problem.

The Steamfast cleaner comes with 15 attachments, each for a different task. It even includes a steam mop for sealed floors. This cleaner also has an integrated cord storage facility but nowhere to store any tools.

It quickly fills with a large tank, taking eight minutes to heat up and giving 45 minutes of continuous steam. This lightweight model may be compact but is still a strong contender in the steam cleaner table.

What We Like

Lightweight and Easy to Carry Around

This is a super light steam cleaner at just over eight pounds — suitable for multipurpose use. This is a unit you can carry around the house without much effort. Of course, we do not recommend carrying this when full of hot water.

Thankfully, carrying this device around doesn’t have to become a mainstay. The long cord minimizes the number of times you need to move the unit.

High Quality and Affordable

We think this is an effective and quality equipment for a fair price. Granted, the number of tools may not be as many as the previous models reviewed. However, it’s still as versatile in what it can do.

Suitable for All Surfaces

This is an excellent investment since you can use it on all surfaces. Your bed, of course, but also ceramic tile, sealed wood flooring, cars, laminate, grout, and more.

Handy Attachments

With 15 attachments and accessories, you have something for everything. Now you can steam clean every inch of your home with just one machine. Plus, there’s onboard storage, so you don’t need to lose a single element.

What We Don't Like

Low Pressure Isn’t Ideal for Tough Grime

Customers have reported that the pressure is low, and cannot manage some more demanding jobs. Although the tank holds 45 ounces, the pounds per square inch rating (between 20 and 40) is not as good as other machines on the market.

Despite the low pressure, however, the heat still remains. So this device can still kill off the bed bugs and any nasty germs and pathogens lurking in corners.

Slightly Noisy

One problem reported with this cleaner is the noise it makes. Although not as noisy as some, wearing earplugs or earmuffs in tight spaces is still recommended. The high-pitched reverberation has been reported as piercing in small areas.

Product Specs

Cord Length 15.4 feet
Tank Capacity 45 ounces
Heating Time 8 minutes
Accessories 15 attachments
Weight 8.4 pounds

5. Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaning System

Award-Winning Steam Cleaner

The last in our lineup is the Vapamore MR-100 steam cleaner. Highly rated as the “Best Steam Cleaner in Class” by a noteworthy digest, it is one of the more expensive machines out there.

After seven years of reviewing customer feedback and hours of testing, the factory team developed a newly designed Vapamore MR-100. It has been designed with new attachments meant to help the ease of use and perform better than ever.

What they achieved was a product of a standard unlike any other — fittingly called it the MR-100 Primo. In the Italian language, Primo means “first,” and Vapamore translates as “the love of steam.”

What We Like

Large Capacity Tank

Its 54-ounce stainless steel tank gives up to 60 minutes of continuous steam. This is one of the longest steam times you will find on a cleaner of this type. It has a 1500-watt heater and has been noted to be easy to use.

The steam cleaner is also supplied with a water level dipstick so you can make a mental note of how long you have left.

Lifetime Guarantee

Its lifetime warranty on the boiler and all electrical parts makes it quite the machine for bed bug elimination. Any owner of a Vapamore is guaranteed a quality machine and friendly customer service for life.

Versatile Accessories

Along with the large tank and the high temperatures, it comes with some convenient tools.

These include a triangular brush, gun, and hose for directed steam cleaning. There are also microfiber floor pads, jet nozzle, scraper, nylon brush for grout, and many more.

Also included are a measuring cup and a funnel to fill the water tank quickly. It also comes with a replacement O ring set. Finally, a storage bag is supplied to keep all of these safe and in one place.

What We Don't Like

Pricey

This is an expensive piece of kit if you’re just going to kill some bed bugs. However, with all the attachments and long-term warranty, it can become an important piece of your home cleaning kit. Then it’s well worth the investment.

Long Heating Time

While it may not be much more than the standard, a few minutes does make a difference. After filling the tank, you’ll have to wait 11 minutes before this machine is ready to go to full power.

Product Specs

Cord Length 18 feet
Tank Capacity 54 ounces
Heating Time 11 minutes
Accessories 21 attachments
Weight 10.5 pounds

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Cord Length Tank Capacity Heating Time Accessories Weight
Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Pressurized 16 ft 54 oz 7 min 18-pc 9 lbs
PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner Heavy-Duty Cleaner 16 ft 50 oz 10 min 18-pc 15.85 lbs
McCulloch MC1275 Steam Cleaner Accessories 15.7 ft 48 oz 8 min 18-pc 10 lbs
Steamfast SF-370WH Steam Cleaner Lightweight 15.4 ft 45 oz 8 min 15-pc 8.4 lbs
Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaner Award-Winning 18 ft 54 oz 11 min 21-pc 10.5 lbs

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are creatures that can live on the blood of humans or other animals. They are flat and brown until they gorge, and then they become rounded and red (2).

Bed bugs feed every three to 15 days, then find a safe place to rest and digest their food (your blood). They hide in the deep crevices in the mattress and only come out to feed when you’re in bed.

One pregnant female can produce 3000 adults in three months, so it can quickly become a problem.

Although they are called bed bugs, their potential locations are far from limited. In severe infestations, they can live in carpets, furniture, clothes, and many more places in the home (3).

Is a Steam Cleaner the Best Option?

There are countless alternative treatments available. But they’re usually complex, costly, and utilize severe chemicals. So it’s best to hire a professional in this case. But how can you tackle the issue yourself?

Experts recommend employing a steam cleaner to exterminate these unwanted pests without harmful chemicals. Those who specialize in dispatching bed bugs recognize this as part of a constructive treatment plan (4).

So the most sensible thing is a steam cleaner. Even better? One especially manufactured to deal with the eradication of these horrible creatures.

Will a Steam Cleaner Kill Bed Bugs?

Steam can eradicate these intelligent creatures successfully (5).

There are a few caveats to that answer, though. Just sending a jet of steam to an area won’t kill them; the steam needs to penetrate at least 0.75 inches into the mattress. So it needs to be concentrated for a while (following manufacturer’s instructions) (6).

What to Look For (Buying Guide)

Of course, you want a steam cleaner that kills bed bugs safely and effectively. But you also want a machine that will make your job easier and be worth your time, money, and effort. So here’s what you need to consider when shopping.

Temperature

To rid your mattress of these pesky things, the temperature needs to be at least 117 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and can be over this. Bed bugs cannot live after being blasted by a steam shot at this temperature.

Good steam cleaners can reach these temperatures easily. What’s more, they can maintain them for the life of the water tank.

But not just any steam machine will do. Avoid carpet cleaning steam cleaners and clothes steam cleaners. These may not reach the temperature needed to kill the eggs, as they can be very resilient.

Size of Tank

You’ll have to stop if the tank runs out of water mid-clean. The one thing you don’t want is to keep running back and forth for more water and then waiting for the machine to heat up again. So, aim for a cleaner with a large tank. Our recommendations sit between 40-60 ounces. Anything less is inadequate.

Accessories

Be sure to choose a machine with as many accessories as possible — you want a sound investment. This means you can use your steam cleaner for various other tasks. For one, you could steam clean your whole house without added chemicals that can damage upholstery or create health hazards.

The one accessory that is vital for steaming beds is a triangular nozzle. Most good steam cleaners are packed with a broad, pointed nozzle for dealing with upholstery and many other surfaces. Use this nozzle, but be sure to fix it in place before turning the machine on.

Weight of Machine When Filled

The weight of the steam cleaner when full of water is necessary for portability. Being able to maneuver the machine, lifting it from one place to another, is a concern for many purchasers.

Steam cleaners for bed bugs tend to be between eight and 20 pounds, averaging around 10 pounds. Make sure it’s within your lifting limit!

Length of the Electricity Cord and Hose

This is, in our opinion, as important as the weight. A short cord means the machine has to be near an electrical point all the time. Couple that with a short hose, and the machine is not feasible.

In summary, a long cable and long hose are essential to make the bed bug-killing project easier.

Choose something with at least 15 feet of length. Make sure it will reach the closet outlet to your bed.

Time to Warm Up

The longer it takes to reach the correct temperature, the more electricity it uses. Steam cleaners for bed bugs take around 7-12 minutes to heat up. But anything more than 12 minutes is a bust, in our opinion.

Safety Features

There are no standard safety features, only the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions on how to use it. However, these must be followed to the letter. Remember, hot steam can damage you, your furniture, your carpets, etc., should the instructions not be adhered to.

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Warranty

When investing in a machine like a steam cleaner, knowing there’s a warranty to fall back on should you have any problems is essential. Ensure the company offers product support and guarantees when you first purchase it.


FAQs

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live?

Bed bugs can live for two to three months at 23 degrees Celcius without blood to feed on. However, if the conditions are right, a bed bug can live for longer if there is food.

How Often Should You Steam to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

You should steam clean at least once a week to get rid of bed bugs. This can seem a little excessive, especially in beds that rarely get used. For guest beds, you can steam clean every four weeks.

How Do You Steam Clean a Mattress With Bed Bugs?

The best way to steam clean a mattress with bed bugs is to ensure that the steam penetrates at least 0.75 inches. You also need to have the steam on the hottest setting and hold it in position for a couple of seconds before moving to the next section of mattress.

How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs Permanently?

Getting rid of bed bugs permanently involves isolating the infestation, vacuuming the affected area, and using a steam cleaner to kill the bugs. You should also wash your sheets and bedding on a hot wash.

The other alternative is to call the professionals and get the job done correctly.

What Spray Do Professionals Use for Bed Bugs?

The spray that professionals use is the Fireback Professional Bedbug Spray. It is an insecticide that treats bedbugs, ants, beetles, cockroaches, and just about every other type of critter you can think of.


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Headshot of Amy Anthony

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!