Whether you're looking to clean your kitchen or bathroom
sans harsh chemicals, remove grout grime, or press away curtain wrinkles, a steam cleaner will be up to the task. But unlike their bulkier counterparts, the best handheld steam cleaners are lightweight and compact enough to store in a drawer or cabinet, yet still offer germ-zapping and dirt-lifting power.
When shopping for a handheld steam cleaner, the main thing to keep in mind is your intended use. Multipurpose steam cleaners are fantastic for small tasks around the house since they can tackle different surfaces like tile, granite, laminate, upholstery, and carpeting — and they come with an array of attachments.
However, if you're mainly interested in a steam cleaner for fabric or curtains, you may want to consider a machine designed specifically for that purpose. Pressing upholstery on couches, for example, requires lots of maneuvering around, so look for a head that can be held at any angle (instead of just upright) without leaking.
For bigger jobs like cleaning carpeted living room floors, consider a larger model that comes with a more ample size tank (12 ounces or more) so you can cover more space with fewer refills. And for even more versatility, there are full-fledged steam mops which can convert into a handheld steamers and come with longer-length cords.
Keeping scrolling down for more details on
the best handheld steam cleaners you can buy— they start at only $30 and have thousands of glowing Amazon reviews. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
The Overall Best: PurSteam Handheld Steam Cleaner
PurSteam handheld steam cleaner can clean and sanitize nearly anything in your home, thanks to its nine accessories, including a concentrated straight nozzle for grout, an ironing brush for fabrics, and upholstery, and a window squeegee attachment. You can also use this steam cleaner for tile, granite, countertops, wool and cotton carpeting, sealed hardwood floors, washable wallpaper, and more. Although it does take up to four minutes to warm up— giving it the longest of pre-heat time of any pick on this list— you don't have to refill it nearly as often as other handheld steam cleaners, thanks to its large 12-ounce tank. It also boasts an almost 10-foot long cord and 1000 watts of power, all while weighing a mere 2.2 pounds. Helpful review: “I bought this to help clean the grime off the kitchen cabinets. It did an amazing job. The steamer is lightweight which makes it easy to use for extended periods of time without your hand/arm cramping. It also came with a lot of helpful tools and attachments. I steamed the wrinkles from my drapes using the upholstery attachment.”
Best Budget: Bissell Steam Shot Hard Surface Steam Cleaner
If you need to clean hard surfaces only, the value of this
Bissell steam shot can't be beaten. It has a 6.6-ounce tank and 1000 watts of power that's perfect for spot-cleaning and disinfecting surfaces around the house including countertops, tiled walls, and flooring made of ceramic, vinyl, laminate, granite, marble, and sealed hard wood, as well as grout and windows. It has a fast warm-up time — just 30 seconds.
This cleaner weighs 3.8 pounds and has a long 16-foot cord to make it easy to maneuver around a room. It also comes with a set of eight accessories, including a grout brush, a flat scraping tool, and angled concentrator attachment, three rounded brushes, and more.
Helpful review: “I have no regrets on buying it! The best thing it has done is clean my dirty kitchen grout. It comes with a very sturdy brush attachment for cleaning grout. It worked so well and cleaned the grout to like-new. I’ve also used it for dusting (on steam/water safe areas), window cleaning (spraying with steam and wiping with a cloth), and sanitizing. It has very good pressure that really cleans!”
Hybrid Steam Mop & Cleaner: Bissell PowerFresh Pet Lift-Off Steam Mop
Bissell steam mop is ideal for households with accident-prone pets, but you will still find plenty of uses for it even without a furry roommate. Thanks to its two-in-one design, it can clean up small messes on a number of hard surfaces. Use it as a full-size steam mop, or remove the pod and attach it to one of the 13 included tools, transforming it into a handheld steamer that will — depending on the attachment — clean grout, squeegee windows, steam fabric, scrub the nooks and crannies of appliances, and more. Weighing a little over 10 pounds, this steam cleaner has a large 13.5-ounce water tank and a 25-foot cord. Despite its larger size, it warms up in just 30 seconds. It also has two steam settings that allows you to customize your cleaning.
Note: This model is safe for sealed hardwood, ceramic, linoleum, granite, marble, and above-floor cleaning. For use specifically on carpets, the manufacturer recommends attaching the included "carpet glider" head.
Helpful review: "I can't believe how versatile this thing is. I have cleaned so many things with this machine, with NO chemicals. [...] I haven't found anything I couldn't clean with this in less time with little to no scrubbing. My floors have never been cleaner & it's cut my mopping time in half (so it gets done more often), no residue from chemicals, no streaks. It's my go to for Windows, as well."
Best for Upholstery & Fabric: Rowenta Handheld Steamer
For steam cleaning upholstered furniture and curtains at home, look no further than this 3-pound
Rowenta handheld steamer, which boasts 1600 watts of power and can safely steam any type of fabric. It has two settings, a delicate mode, and a turbo mode, as well as a metal faceplate that can also double as an iron. In addition, this steam cleaner warms up in just 40 seconds. And while other models require you to hold them upright at all times, this one can be used at any angle, which makes it perfect for tackling sofas and other furniture, as well as clothing. Other features of this steamer include a 6.4-ounce tank, a 9.5-foot cord, and four accessories, including a fabric brush and a crease attachment. Helpful review: “This steamer worked perfectly for exactly what I bought it for, my drapes. Took out creases from packaging in a few passes and erased wrinkles in one pass on heavier drapes. Other than having to fill the reservoir frequently for the drapes (you could probably do a shirt or two on one tank) it works great. Powerful stream, heats up super quick, did not sputter at all. Use it as intended and you will find it easy and convenient.”