12 Best Steam Cleaners in 2018

When you love cleaning, there is nothing more satisfying than zapping away germs, bacteria and dirt from every surface in your home.

Steam cleaners are an excellent way to sterilize surfaces naturally, but for those of you who set out in search of the best steam cleaner, you know that the choices are endless.

As steam cleaner experts and germ-obsessed cleaning machines ourselves, we can gladly simplify the search for you.

Feeling a little overwhelmed with all the choices? Find the right unit quickly by reading this guide.

Top 12 Steam Cleaners Comparison Chart

DesignNameTypeWeightRating (1-5)
  1. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop Mop 5 pounds 4.4
  2. Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop Hard Floor Steam Cleaner Mop 6 pounds 4.3
  3. Gideon Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner and Sanitizer Handheld 4.4 pounds 4.2
  4. Shark Steam Pocket Mop Mop 4.85 pounds 4.2
  5. Steamfast SF-275 Canister Steam Cleaner Canister 10.06 pounds 4.2
6. Wagner 915 (0282014) 1,500-Watt On-Demand Power Steamer and Cleaner Canister 16 pounds 4.2
7. McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner Canister 10 pounds 4.1
8. ProduTrend Miracle Steam Electric Handheld Steam Cleaner Handheld 4.3 pounds 3.9
  9. Handheld Multi Purpose Steam Cleaner Compact Design Ideal For Carpet Handheld 3.3 pounds 3.8
  10. DBTech Handheld Multi-Purpose Pressurized Electric Steam Cleaner Handheld 3.2 pounds 3.7
  11. Hoover TwinTank Handheld Steam Cleaner Handheld 3.4 pounds 3.6
  12. Dirt Devil Steam Cleaner Easy Steam Corded Handheld Steam Cleaner PD20005 Handheld 2.6 pounds 3.3

Choosing a Steam Cleaner – Where to Begin

Steam cleaners come in many shapes and forms, so to help you narrow down the choices, compare and contrast each style to see which one will suit your cleaning needs best.

  • Handheld – Handheld steam cleaners are small, portable and come with a variety of attachment heads that allow them clean multiple surfaces. You’ll also find units that are specifically designed for removing wrinkles from garments, but since those are not designed for cleaning, we didn’t include any on our list.

In spite of their popularity, very few manufacturers have been able to design a high-quality unit that lasts.

Most are affordable and come with a wide range of attachment nozzles, but the cheapness becomes evident when they start to break down after little use. It’s safe to say that when you’re dealing with this type of gadget, “You get what you pay for.” The cheaper the unit, the cheaper the performance will be.

Keep in mind that these are more appropriate for smaller cleaning jobs, so if you need to clean larger areas, an upright unit is best.

  • Upright – In this category, you’ll find steam mops for use on hard flooring and canister steam cleaners that can sterilize a variety of surfaces.

Canisters are a bit bulkier and heavier than mops, but they are more reliable than handheld units, and they are the most versatile of all the options.

Steam mops are awesome, and we highly recommend that you invest in one; especially if it has a detachable handheld unit like the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet.

For cleaning hard floors, this is the best steam cleaner choice.

What about Attachments and Accessories?

Once you’ve chosen what type of unit you need, find out how many accessories come with the model and how you can use them.

  • Microfiber Pads – If you are purchasing a steam mop, check to see how many cleaning pads are included with the purchase because extras are a bit pricey.

While they are reusable, the chances are that you’ll need to buy a few extras since one pad can only clean so much. Continue cleaning with a dirty pad, and you’ll leave streaks all over your flooring.

  • Attachments – Since different models each come with different attachments, check to see which ones will be most useful to you based on where you need to clean.

Your options include:

    • Squeegees
    • Brushes
    • Nozzles

Most units come with a measuring cup and funnel to help you fill the tank, as well, which eliminate the guesswork and help prevent spills.

Other Things to Consider

Still not sure which one to choose? That’s not a problem because we still have a few more tips before you head down to see the reviews of the top five units.

  1. Water Tank Capacity – It’s a good idea to see how much water the tank can hold because this will give you an idea of how frequently you’ll need to stop and refill it.

How long will one tank last?

That is the question you should ask when you’re reading the fine print.

  1. Noise – While they may not be as loud as vacuum cleaners, some steam cleaners produce more noise than others do.

If this is a concern to you (absolute silence is needed when baby is sleeping), then look for products that are described as “quite” by the manufacturer.

  1. Weight and Size – Size matters when it comes to storage and ease of use and the overall weight makes a huge difference for some users, especially those who have difficulty lifting this type of appliance. To make your search easier, we listed the weight of each unit in our table.
  1. Steam Pressure and Temperature – Higher pressure and higher temperatures mean more sanitary cleaning power since you’ll be able to blast away more grime and kill more bacteria as you clean. We’ve tried many different units and found that the ones that produce dry steam at high temperatures are the most effective.

Top 5 Best Steam Cleaner Reviews

1. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop

O-Cedar makes one of the best steam cleaner mops on our list thanks to the overall quality and its effectiveness at sanitizing.

Whether you’re gliding it across your hardwood floors, laminate, linoleum, tile or ceramic surfaces, this steam mop can kill 99.9% of bacteria without a single drop of chemical cleaner.

We love that it is so lightweight and easy to push around the floor, and the triangular shaped head really helps you reach into the tight corners. The head swivels smoothly, and it operates very quietly.

The heat-up time is slower than other units we tried (20 seconds), but this isn’t a deal breaker. We also noticed that the steam levels are pre-adjusted, which allows you to customize the amount of steam it produces.

Based on the price, we would have liked it if they included a few more microfiber pads (it only comes with one), so add the cost of some extra pads to the price so that you have enough to rotate them out.

2. Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop

While we felt that O-Cedar had the best steam mop in terms of quality, Bissell wins the popularity contest and is a crowd favorite among steam mop users.

Rather than a triangular-shaped head, this is rectangular and therefore allows you to cover more surface area in less time.

You’ll notice on the back of this mop that there is a scrubber attached, and you will love how well it helps you lift up grime and slime from your flooring. You can also adjust the level of steam on this one just like the O-Cedar unit; however, this has three pre-set options rather than a nozzle that allows you to customize the amount of steam.

As a bonus, it can accommodate two scented discs that help you freshen as you clean, but using them is completely optional.

With the large 16-ounce tank and 1500 watts of power, you’ll be able to clean a large room with just a refill or two.

3. Gideon Handheld Steam Cleaner

Moving from mop to handheld unit, we have the little Gideon steam cleaner. If you want to target mold in the bathroom, grime buildup in your grout, sanitize your kid’s toys or de-grease the kitchen, this guy can handle all of the above.

We loved the 1050 watts of pressure that it produced and it will blast out steam at temperatures of 275°F, allowing you to disinfect thoroughly as you work.

It comes with a squeegee for cleaning windows and tile, a grout brush, a concentrator angled nozzle, extension hose and a fabric cloth steamer that you can slip over the squeegee when you want to remove wrinkles from your garments. It comes with the measuring cup and funnel, too.

You can’t expect the tank capacity to be large on a handheld unit (this can hold 12 ounces of water), but with that 12 ounces, you get 20 minutes of continuous steam.

Based on performance, accessories and overall cleaning power, this is was the best handheld steam cleaner on our list.

4. Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501)

Shark is well-known in the vacuum world, and their steam mop isn’t half bad, either.

What we love about this mop: large cleaning head, excellent swivel power, 15-ounce tank capacity, extendable handle (great for taller users), includes 2 microfiber pads and has a long 20-foot cord.

A few things we didn’t like about this mop: the heat up time was considerably longer than other units at 30 seconds, and there is no on or off switch: once you plug it in, it will start heating.

The steam control is unique on this unit since you pump the handle up and down when you want more steam; this was a handy feature since we didn’t have to stop and adjust anything.

If the other two mops were too expensive for you, consider this a more affordable alternative.

5. Steamfast Canister Steam Cleaner (SF-275)

The one canister steamer that we felt was worth the purchase is this one from Steamfast.

The fact that it has such a wide range of brush attachments makes it a versatile machine that you can use to clean just about anything: from baked on oven grease to hubcaps, there is a brush for appropriate for every surface.

The water tank on this steam cleaner is much larger (48 ounces), which allows you to have a continuous flow of steam for up to 45 minutes. You can even lock the trigger, so you don’t have to wear your thumb out holding it down the entire time.

A few things we didn’t like: you can’t control the steam levels, and it gets quite hot as you use it (almost too hot for comfort).

Overall, it is still one of the top steam cleaners on our list for those who need longer steam cleaning time and who prefer a versatile unit.