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The best steam cleaners for each type of cleaning job

Erika Rawes

Steam cleaning is one of the most effective ways to clean your home. Instead of using harsh chemicals, you only need water and a good steam cleaner to kill bacteria, sanitize the surfaces in your home, and get them looking sparkling clean. From couches to clothing to bathrooms to floors, a steam cleaner can clean almost anything. Some people even use steam cleaners to kill bed bugs.

There are so many different steam cleaning devices on the market though, and it can be tough to find a solid device that serves your needs. Based on our research and testing, these are the best steam cleaners you can buy right now.

McColloch MC 1275 Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner

The best overall

best steam cleaners mcculloch mc1275 heavy duty cleaner

If you want to get your house spotless, this unit by McColloch is the ideal choice. It has an extra-long power cord (about 15 and a half feet), and a 9-foot, long-reach steam hose so you can reach touch spots. The 48-ounce water tank lets you steam for about 45 minutes with 43 psi steam pressure, and you get 18 different accessories to clean everything from floors to windows to upholstery.

While this device is primarily for home use, some people use this steam cleaner to detail their car, boat, or motorcycle. What’s not to like? Well, it is a bit on the expensive side. Also, due to the larger water tank, the unit takes about eight minutes to heat up, which is longer than the other steam cleaners on this list.

$140 from Amazon

CHI Easy Steam

Best steam cleaner for clothing

best steam cleaners chi easy

If you’re constantly dealing with wrinkled button-up shirts and regular trips to the dry cleaner, you’ll probably appreciate this steam cleaner by CHI. It looks a lot a garment bag you’d use to store a suit jacket, yet it steams your clothing right inside the bag.

It’s super-easy to use, and it can hang right in your closet or over your bathroom door. You just fill up the water reservoir, hang your shirt in the bag, and press start. After about a minute or two, your button-up shirt comes out refreshed and free of wrinkles.

The only downsides are the price and the size of the unit. This steamer is a bit pricier than your average handheld garment steamer and it’ll also take up a bit of your closet space. But, because it requires so little effort, it’s absolutely still worth the investment.

$140 from Amazon

Conair GS38R Handheld Garment Steamer

Best portable steam cleaner

best steam cleaners conair gs38r handheld garment steamer

If you’re looking for a portable, handheld steamer that can get the wrinkles out of your shirt and then turn around and clean your couch, this unit by Conair is an excellent pick.

With 1550 watts of power, a normal and turbo setting, and a 3-in-1 attachment that includes a silicone band, a spacer, and a bristle brush, this little steamer can refresh clothing and even clean mattresses. It gets hot enough to kill dust mites and bed bugs.

Another thing we liked about this unit is that it didn’t sputter too much at all, so you won’t have to deal with those annoying water droplets on your clothing.

$140 from Amazon

PurSteam Pressurized Cleaner with 9-Piece Accessory Set

Best budget steam cleaner

best steam cleaners pursteam pressurized cleaner with 9 piece accessory set

If you don’t want to spend a lot of cash, you can pick up this multipurpose steam cleaner by PurSteam for around $40. You can clean just about anything with this inexpensive unit because it comes with multiple attachments and accessories, including an ironing brush and ironing cloth, an extension hose, a straight nozzle, a bent nozzle, a nylon brush, and a window squeegee. You also get a measuring cup and funnel for filling up the steamer.

This steamer does sputter a bit when it first gets going. However, once the steam starts flowing, it runs very smoothly.

$140 from Amazon

Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop

Best steam cleaner for hard floors

best steam cleaners bissell powerfresh deluxe mop

The Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop kills 99.9% of common bacteria on floors, so you can have some peace of mind if you have a little one crawling around.

This unit gets kitchen floors cleaner than any mop we’ve ever tried, and the unit swivels to make it easier to maneuver around your home. You can use the PowerFresh on multiple surfaces, including sealed hardwood, ceramic, linoleum, tile, granite, and marble. But, what we really love about this mop is the scent boost feature. If you add a scent boost fragrance disc while mopping, your floors smell just as clean as they look.

$140 from Amazon