These Multipurpose Steam Cleaners Tackle Just About Everything — & All You Need Is Water

Janitor removing dirt from sofa cushion with steam cleaner, closeup

Since steam cleaners use plain hot water to clean your home instead of cleaning fluids, they're a great way to eliminate grime, germs, and allergens around your house without any potentially harsh ingredients. The best multipurpose steam cleaners will clean a variety of surfaces, be easy to maneuver, and provide enough cleaning time to get the job done without having to refill the tank too often.

First things first: Steam cleaners can be used on lots of surfaces. Unless otherwise noted, the options on this list can clean carpet, sealed hardwood, tile, ceramic, stainless steel, sinks, countertops, kitchen appliances, tubs, grout, upholstery, windows, walls, and mirrors, and they come with a variety of attachments to tackle each of these different cleaning jobs.

Best of all, these cleaners require nothing more than plain tap water — although using distilled water in steamers is never a bad idea, since it's free of minerals that may build up and wear down the appliance over time.

As far as shopping, you can tailor your choice based on your priorities and budget. I've included a versatile multipurpose steamer at a reasonable price, but for small jobs and the budget-minded, there's also a lightweight handheld steamer that's super easy to maneuver to boot. And if you're looking to take on big cleaning jobs and don't want to refill the tank often, a heavy-duty steamer that offers almost an hour of cleaning time will be your best bet. If floors are your priority, I've also included a steam mop with a high-capacity tank, so you can get to multiple rooms in your home without refilling.

With one of the best steam cleaners, it’s easy to get floors and surfaces around the house clean without resorting to harsh chemicals.

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A Versatile 2-In-1 Steam Cleaner

This 10-in-one multipurpose steam cleaner transforms from a full-length floor steamer to a handheld steamer and comes with eight cleaning attachments. It heats up in 30 seconds, features three adjustable steam levels, and an 11.5-ounce tank that provides up to 25 minutes of cleaning time on the lowest setting. The microfiber mopping pads are machine-washable, but you can also purchase replacement pads as needed.

Reviewers report that the mop head pivots easily. However, while the exact cord length isn’t listed, some reviewers mention that they wish it was longer for better maneuverability. There’s an adjustable temperature dial, but no mention of the maximum temperature, nor is there an auto-shutoff, so you'll have to keep an eye on the tank while you clean.

According to fans: “I have used this steamer on tile, concrete and laminate floors, cupboards, and countertops. It's lightweight, easy to use and with its rotating head gets into tight spaces. I used the nozzle on grout lines and on a particularly stubborn dried spill on a concrete garage floor. The pads provide rapid feedback on how much grime is getting cleaned up.”


The Best Handheld Steam Cleaner For Small Jobs

My pick for best handheld steam cleaner is this affordable model that comes with six attachments to tackle multiple surfaces. And while it’s probably too small to clean entire floors, it's still a handy tool to have around for spot cleaning small messes or around your bathroom and kitchen. It heats up within four minutes, and although there's only one heat and power setting, the cleaner provides up to 20 minutes of intermittent steam and 10 minutes of constant steam.

The lightweight steamer has a 9.8-foot power cord, making it easy to maneuver as you clean, and the 360-degree rotating nozzle lets you direct the steam at hard-to-reach areas. Plus, the steamer turns off automatically when the tank is empty, or if the steam heat goes above the maximum temperature of 230 degrees.

According to fans: “I love my steam cleaner. It removed hard, sticky and gooey spots that regular cleaning could not dissolve. My counter tops are white ceramic tiles with white grouting. After a few minutes of steaming my counter tops are gleaming and look brand new.”


A Heavy-Duty Steamer That’s Great For Big Cleaning Jobs

With a 54-ounce tank, this heavy-duty steam cleaner offers up to 50 minutes of cleaning time, which is about two and a half times as much as the previous two options. So while it's the most expensive option on this list, you'll be spending a lot less time refilling the tank which makes it the best option for big jobs. However, instead of a built-in tank, this cleaner uses a 6-foot hose attached to a separate tank with wheels. (Note: The power cord is 16 feet long, so you do get good reach.)

This option comes with 18 attachments so you can clean surfaces in a targeted and effective way. The steamer only has one heat setting — 275 degrees — but does feature intermittent and continuous steam options.

The steamer comes with three machine-washable microfiber cleaning pads, and you can buy additional microfiber pads, too. One thing to note: Reviewers report there’s no auto-shutoff feature if the steamer runs out of water.

According to fans: “I needed something heavy duty that could handle a big cleaning job and this steam cleaner was excellent! I especially appreciate the long hose and the large tank capacity. I was able to clean for extended periods of time before refilling. I also appreciate how hot this machine got the steam!”


A Steam Mop That Cleans Hard Floors

Boasting more than 4,000 five-star reviews, my choice for the best steam mop has a high-capacity 15-ounce water tank that reviewers say can clean multiple rooms before needing to be refilled. (Please not the exact time of operation isn't stated.) Of course, this is the least versatile option on this list since it can only clean hard surface floors — no carpet, upholstery, or appliances. The mop comes with two washable microfiber pads, and you can purchase replacement cleaning pads if needed.

It features swivel steering and an extra-long 20-foot cord for easy maneuverability. However, there’s no mention of an auto-shutoff feature or maximum steam heat temperature.

According to fans: “It's super easy to use and quickly cleans even my filthy front entry, which is often covered with messes from wet, dirty winter boots. The mop is lightweight and easy to maneuver.”