The Best Handheld Steam Cleaners of 2023

The best handheld steam cleaner removes stains, ground-in dirt, and grime. Here are some of the top choices for shoppers looking to give their homes a deep clean.

By Shannon Lee and Bob Beacham | Updated Apr 18, 2023 2:48 PM

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The Best Handheld Steam Cleaner


A vacuum, mop, or broom works just fine for daily cleaning and upkeep. A handheld steam cleaner comes in handy on tougher tasks, like getting rid of unsightly stains and stubborn dirt and grime. It relies on the vapor formed by boiling water to loosen and lift tough, ground-in messes and also kills germs and sanitizes surfaces via the high heat. While a handheld steamer isn’t ideal for large jobs, it can work wonders on everything from upholstery to carpets, bathroom tiles to laminate floors, and even clothing and curtains.

In this guide, we look at several factors shoppers will want to consider before buying a new handheld steam cleaner, including individual household needs, budget, and convenience. We also describe some of the best handheld steam cleaners available, sure to enhance any deep-cleaning routine.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop, 2075A
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
  3. BEST FOR CLOTHES: Perfectly Garment Steamer
  4. BEST FOR CARPET: PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 With Handheld Unit
  5. BEST FOR FURNITURE: Light ‘n’ Easy Multifunctional Steam Mop
  6. BEST MOP: Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
  7. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Poulan Pro Portable Power Steamer
  8. BEST ATTACHMENTS: Puetz Golf Pressurized Handheld Steam Cleaner
  9. BEST PORTABLE: Bissell SteamShot Deluxe Hard Surface Cleaner
The Best Handheld Steam Cleaners


How We Chose the Best Handheld Steam Cleaners

Using a handheld steam cleaner shouldn’t put undue strain on the user’s back and arms, so we made sure that all of our recommendations are lightweight and easy to maneuver. The models that made the cut here are all under 7 pounds—some even as light as a single pound—and the relatively compact water reservoirs, once filled, shouldn’t add too much burden during use.

Many of the models we chose can also be converted into upright units, which makes them great for cleaning floors. That’s an added bonus that allows using any of these models as cleaning solutions for the entire household, from upholstery to windows to clothing.

Our Top Picks

The best handheld steam cleaners are lightweight, provide adequate steam, and offer a variety of attachments among other attributes. They also do a great job deep cleaning floors and removing stains from fabrics. Our top choices do all that.

Best Overall

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Option: Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop, 2075A

This cleaner from Bissell offers the versatility of a handheld steamer while attaching to a long steam mop. The mop allows for easy cleaning of hardwood, laminate, tile, and other hard floor surfaces, while simply detaching the top unit turns it into a handheld steamer that works well on furniture, curtains, clothes, and other fabrics.

A 25-foot cord helps ensure easy use around the house. The onboard cleaning kit includes a flat scraper, a bristle scrub brush, a grout tool, and an angle tool, and turns the extension tube into a variety of cleaning mechanisms, helping users reach up to ceiling fans, molding, and windows. Bonus tools, including a garment steamer, help make this unit a complete in-home cleaning system.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 6.125 pounds
  • Surfaces: Hard floors, upholstery, clothing, tile grout, curtains
  • Attachments: 7 pieces


  • Converts from handheld to stick allowing use as a steam mop, too
  • Multiple cleaning-head attachments enable use as grout, angle, and flat scraper tool or brush
  • Can clean most materials and surfaces, including upholstery, kitchens, baths, ovens, and countertops


  • Pricier than other models; some users say quality doesn’t match cost
  • Heavier than other models; maybe awkward to use with attachments

Get the Bissell PowerFresh handheld steam cleaner at Amazon, Target, or Bissell.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Option: Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

With a nine-piece accessory kit and an affordable price, this handheld steam cleaner from Comforday works for everything from washing windows to removing clothing stains. A funnel and a measuring cup help ensure easy delivery of the proper amount of water into the unit. Using 1,050 watts of power and pressurized steam of 0.32 megapascals, this heavy-duty cleaner can tackle any job, with a total tank capacity of 350 millimeters.

A safety lock and cap helps prevent scalds, burns, and other accidents. High-powered cleaning with a variety of accessories, including a jet nozzle, a clothing steamer, and a 9.8-inch extension hose, makes this a good all-around cleaner for tough jobs. For longer jobs, use the locking function on the trigger to reduce hand fatigue.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 3.28 pounds
  • Surfaces: Hard floors, upholstery, carpet, windows, clothing
  • Attachments: 9 pieces


  • Affordable, chemical-free, and safe; secured with a safety lock and cap
  • Lightweight and compact, enabling users to clean all types of surfaces
  • Easy to use; cleans in 1 step without need for a bucket or chemical cleaners


  • Button must be held down to operate this steam cleaner properly
  • Stream of steam not continuous; may delay cleaning jobs and tasks

Get the Comforday handheld steam cleaner at Amazon or Aspectek.

Best for Clothes

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Option: PerfectDay Garment Steamer

At just 1 pound, this small travel steamer is perfect when packing for a trip as well as at-home use. The steam flow of 18 grams per minute easily pulls wrinkles out of fabric, while the eight steam vent holes provide ample heat for the 10 minutes of continuous runtime. Use up to 100 milliliters of water in the tank, and don’t worry about overheating, as this unit will shut off when it gets too hot or the water runs out. A two-layer leakproof design helps ensure only steam touches the clothes, not unsightly water spots. The brush is handy to help remove debris, pet hair, and other contaminants from clothes for a better steaming experience.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Surfaces: Clothing and household fabric
  • Attachments: None


  • Compact and portable; makes it a great item for travel
  • Dual safety-protection system shuts off device when its too hot or low on water
  • Budget-friendly and solidly constructed; easy to clean and maintain


  • Only suited for clothing, like suits, jerseys, blouses, or a wedding dress
  • No additional attachments means it cannot be used for varied purposes

Get the PerfectDay handheld steam cleaner at Amazon.

Best for Carpet

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Option: PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 With Handheld Unit

Gone are the days of lugging out or renting a cumbersome, heavy carpet cleaner. This lightweight 2.2-pound steam mop from PurSteam is capable of sanitizing deep into the fibers on carpets or area rugs.

The reservoir is 11.5 ounces, which provides up to 25 minutes of steaming on the lowest setting. It works simply with tap water, with no need for harsh chemicals. Multiple accessories, including nylon brushes, can clean spots on carpets without leaving residue behind. The steamer heats up in 30 seconds, so it’s ready very quickly.

Versatility is key here, as this steam mop goes beyond just cleaning carpets. In addition to easily converting into a handheld steam cleaner with three adjustable modes, it can also tackle such hard-surface floors as laminate and hardwood, clean windows, and steam clean clothing.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Surfaces: Carpets, clothing, floors, windows
  • Attachments: 10 pieces


  • Heats up quickly; can be used 30 seconds after it’s powered on
  • Highly versatile; cleans multiple surfaces without a need for harsh chemical cleaning solutions
  • Super lightweight and maneuverable; water tank can be refilled while steaming


  • Relatively small water tank compared to other handheld steam cleaners
  • Some users have reported that this model’s electrical cord is too short
  • Mop pads may shrink after they are washed, no longer fitting properly

Get the PurSteam handheld steam cleaner at Amazon or PurSteam.

Best for Furniture

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Option: Light ‘n’ Easy Multifunctional Steam Mop

A spill on upholstered furniture needn’t become a permanent stain thanks to this handy steamer. Whether spot cleaning a sofa, sanitizing a mattress, or freshening up dusty drapes, the Light ‘n’ Easy Multifunctional Steam Mop is up to the task. Converting easily to a handheld steamer with the touch of a button, this unit features a variety of attachments that create direct or diffused steam, which allows for a multitude of household uses. On-demand modes of low, medium, and high create suitable steam for everything from couches to curtains. Because the steam produced reaches up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s hot enough to remove most stains and spots from furniture.

Distilled or tap water both work just fine in this machine, without the need to add any chemicals or solvents. A handy Smart Switch feature means simply setting the handheld upright in the base will stop the flow of steam. Placing a finger over the sensor starts the steam, waiting 30 seconds for the water to heat.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 6.3 pounds
  • Surfaces: Tile grout, floors, upholstery, curtains
  • Attachments: 5 pieces


  • Multipurpose capabilities include garment wrinkle remover, upholstery refreshes, and deep cleaning of bathroom and kitchen
  • High, medium, and low settings suitable for several flooring types, including wood, tile, and laminate
  • Easy to maneuver; upright position stops steam while placing at a slant releases powerful steam


  • Fabric mop attachment may wear out quickly; no instructions provided on how to use it
  • Some users consider the power cord too short compared to other models

Get the Light ’n’ Easy handheld steam cleaner at Amazon.

Best Mop

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaners Option: Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner

Most handheld steam mops have a relatively small tank capacity that usually restricts the cleaning time to 10 or 20 minutes. The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner takes a different approach, separating the cleaning head from the tank. The result is a capacity of 54 ounces and a runtime of up to 50 minutes. It also has an integrated funnel so it’s easy to fill.

An extensive accessory set includes multipurpose nylon heads, a brass grout brush, floor and window tools, a steam lance, extensions, and microfiber cloths and cleaning pads. The head clamps allow for any cloth or towel to be used, saving money on supplies.

A 16-foot cord as well as 6 feet 6 inches of hose allow good freedom of movement. The unit is ready for use in 7 minutes and can reach an impressive 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Although described as lightweight, it’s 12 pounds when full.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Surfaces: Floors, upholstery, grout, tile, appliances
  • Attachments: 17 pieces


  • Up to 50 minutes cleaning time per tank fill-up
  • 17-piece accessory set includes floor and window tools, microfiber pads and cloth, and a brush
  • Special cloths not required; any regular towel or cloth can be used


  • At 9 pounds, this model is considered relatively heavy by many users
  • Expensive compared to other handheld steam cleaners on the market

Get the Dupray handheld steam cleaner at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Dupray.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaners Option: Poulan Pro Portable Power Steamer

The Poulan Pro Portable Power Steamer can tackle tough jobs like cleaning auto wheels and ingrained dirt on garage floors yet is gentle enough for shower screens and laminate floors.

Ready in just 5 minutes, this product provides up to 30 minutes of cleaning power. A jet nozzle can apply pressurized steam at 212 degrees Fahrenheit to tough spots. The water tank holds 25 ounces and there are various brushes as well as a large mophead for floor cleaning.

The 15-foot cord isn’t the longest, but the flexible hose and extensions offer good reach, and a shoulder strap makes it easy to carry. Some shoppers might find it a bit frustrating not to be able to see the water level clearly, making it difficult to judge how much cleaning time is left.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 6.28 pounds
  • Surfaces: Garden equipment, barbecues, flooring, appliances, countertops
  • Attachments: 16 pieces


  • Rapid warm-up, delivering heat at 212 degrees Fahrenheit in 5 minutes
  • 16-piece accessory set designed to tackle the toughest cleaning jobs
  • 25-ounce water tank provides 30 minutes of continuous steam cleaning


  • Product’s design makes seeing the current water level somewhat difficult
  • Some users report that the power cord is short compared with other models

Get the Poulan Pro handheld steam cleaner at The Home Depot or Poulan Pro.

Best Attachments

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaners Option: Puetz Golf Pressurized Handheld Steam Cleaner

Light and compact, the Puetz Golf Pressurized Handheld Steam Cleaner includes a jet nozzle, four brushes, dedicated window and upholstery tools, a flexible extension hose, and a bent nozzle for reaching awkward corners. The high-pressure steam can reach a temperature of up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, effectively killing germs and bacteria.

The Puetz Golf handheld steam cleaner is ready in 3 to 5 minutes, and with a tank capacity of a fraction under 12 ounces (350 millimeters), it gives 8 to 12 minutes of cleaning time. The safety cap locks down when the steamer is at working temperature, preventing accidental scalding.

At 9.8 feet, the power cord is relatively short for this kind of device, which can prove frustrating when trying to clean car interiors, for example. It should also be noted that the high performance means it is not suitable for laminate floors or similar multilayered surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 3.94 pounds
  • Surfaces: Hard floor, tile, grout, sofa, window, car, furniture, upholstery, fabric
  • Attachments: 12 pieces


  • High temperature and pressure emits pressurized hot steam for 8 to 12 minutes
  • 12-piece accessory kit includes 4 round brushes and other attachments designed to tackle various tasks
  • Safety cap can only be opened if power is off and steam inside has cooled


  • Some users say this model doesn’t heat up enough to steam clean properly
  • Heavy, with no visible window to check the water level

Get the Puetz Golf handheld steam cleaner at Amazon.

Best Portable

The Best Handheld Steam Cleaners Option: Bissell SteamShot Deluxe Hard Surface Cleaner

Some portable steam cleaners don’t meet expectations when it comes to performance. The Bissell SteamShot Deluxe certainly bucks that trend. At just 4 pounds, it’s highly maneuverable. The 360-millimeter tank takes a mere 30 seconds to heat up, providing steam for a wide variety of household cleaning tasks.

It includes three bristle brushes, a fabric steamer, window cleaner, flat scraper, angle concentrator, and flexible extension. And where most competitors expect one of the multipurpose heads to be used as a grout brush, Bissell provides a dedicated tool for the job.

The trigger is easy to use, and with 20 feet of cord, users have plenty of distance around the room. The small tank does limit runtime to just a few minutes, though. Also, the filler cap can get very hot. Bissell recommends a 5-minute rest before refilling and the use of an oven mitt when opening.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Surfaces: Worktables, appliances, window, upholstery, grout, tile
  • Attachments: 10 pieces


  • On-demand steam trigger controls amount of pressure and also temperature steam release
  • Includes 3 color-coded round bristle brushes and grout, flat scraper, and angle concentrator tools
  • No chemicals necessary; just water, making it safe to use around children and pets


  • Some users say the unit doesn’t heat up enough to sanitize properly
  • May not produce sufficient steam to deep clean some surfaces, like greasy stovetops

Get the Bissell SteamShot handheld steam cleaner at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Handheld Steam Cleaner

The best handheld steam cleaner doesn’t just remove stains, dirt, and grime. It also needs to suit a homeowner’s budget, household needs, arm strength, and even patience. Here are some of the most important factors any shopper looking to buy a handheld steam cleaner should keep in mind while browsing for one.

Intended Use

Handheld steam cleaners are typically portable, even when the water tank is full. They usually run for around 20 minutes or so (even the larger models), which means they work well on emergency spills, small stains, pet accidents, and other small, light-duty jobs.

Many manufacturers list the types of jobs their handheld steam cleaners can tackle, but one that’s specifically meant for garments shouldn’t be used on a carpet. Knowing what the intended use is helps shoppers narrow down the options that best meet their cleaning needs.

Corded vs. Cordless 

Corded steamers can be used as long as the water tank will hold out. That consistent power might allow for better performance as well as a better output of steam. But the cord does limit the machine’s reach, canceling out the advantages of a handheld steamer.

Cordless steamers work with a rechargeable battery. The battery must be recharged on a regular basis, but it will often last long enough to handle simple cleaning jobs. A battery makes the unit heavier, though, which might not work well for those with limited arm strength.

Size and Weight

When selecting the right handheld steam cleaner, size and weight are key. The user will be lifting and holding the steamer during operation. If the reservoir is large, the added water can make a handheld cleaner heavier, making it more difficult to use after a few minutes. Shoppers should look for models that have an ergonomic handle and easy-to-reach buttons or switches.

Accessories are equally important and should be big enough to reach the areas that need deep cleaning yet small enough to store compactly when the handheld steamer isn’t in use.


Just as some vacuums have greater suction, some handheld steamers have more forceful pressure than others. Higher pressure can lead to better cleaning, but it could also damage certain surfaces, especially if the user is careless. As a general rule, use only as much pressure as needed to do the job. To be sure of how much power is necessary, perform a small spot test prior to cleaning a specific item or area. On an upholstered sofa, for example, select a small area on the back, spot cleaning it using different power settings to determine the one that cleans best without causing damage.

Steam Settings

Some steamers merely have one setting. The only way to change the temperature is by holding the steamer closer or farther away from the object in need of cleaning. Other models have three modes: low, medium, and high. The steam doesn’t necessarily get any hotter, but the pressure varies by mode.

A lower pressure setting will be about 15 grams per minute, while a higher one is 30 grams per minute. The higher pressure is usually what’s available on a handheld steam cleaner with a single pressure option.

Tank Capacity

If the tank capacity is 6 to 8 ounces, the steamer is much lighter and easier to lift but runs out of steam rather quickly, often in just a few minutes. A larger tank capacity means longer cleaning power, but it makes the unit much heavier.

Ideal tank capacity varies by task. A smaller tank can handle simple spot cleaning, but a larger one is necessary to clean, say, a set of shower doors. Again, larger tank capacity makes a handheld steam cleaner heavier, so shoppers should determine how much weight they can comfortably hold throughout a chore.


Ergonomic handles with padding and easy-to-reach controls mean a handheld steam cleaner can be used without strain on the fingers.

A lighter handheld pressurized steam cleaner is much more comfortable than a heavier model, and as previously discussed, weight depends on tank size—the larger the tank water capacity, the heavier the handheld steam cleaner will be when it’s full.

If cleaning floors is a primary use, consumers should consider a handheld model with longer attachments or a detachable wand to help alleviate back strain. Those that double as steam mops offer similar benefits.

Additional Features

Steam cleaners often come with a wide variety of attachments as a standard part of the purchase. A good cleaner typically includes a few brushes, a window squeegee, angled and bendable nozzles for cleaning in deeper or hard-to-reach areas, carpet or mop steaming heads, and a longer attachment for reaching places like the top of ceiling fan blades. If those aren’t enough, look for optional attachments, like detailing nozzles for cleaning the upholstery in a vehicle or stiff brushes for cleaning grout or kitchen grills. Extensions can turn some into lightweight, full-size steam mops.


In this guide, we give shoppers ample information to make an informed handheld steam cleaner purchase. Those who still want more information may want to read on for succinct answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about handheld steam cleaners.

Q. Can a handheld steam cleaner be used on carpet?

Yes, a handheld steamer is an excellent tool for spot cleaning carpet. For whole-house carpet cleaning, a larger model designed specifically for that purpose works better.

Q. Will handheld steamers kill bed bugs?

Yes, they can kill bed bugs (and their eggs) at temperatures higher than 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q. What cannot be cleaned with a steam cleaner?

Avoid porous and unsealed surfaces, large carpeted areas, delicate materials such as silk or satin, and any object or fabric that doesn’t hold up to heat well.

Q. Should I add disinfectant to my steam cleaner solution?

No, never add anything other than water to a handheld steam cleaner’s reservoir unless the manufacturer’s instructions specifically say it’s fine to do so.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.