Last updated on May 27th, 2021
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Best Handheld Steam Cleaner
Handheld steam cleaners are a very effective way of cleaning and sanitising the home without the need for chemicals. They are perfect for cleaning everything from kitchen worktops and tiled walls to the inside of the oven and around the hobs. Most models come with a selection of accessories to make cleaning much easier. Some even come with window and fabric cleaning attachments.
The problem is that there are lots of cheap, imported, inferior models available in both DIY stores as well as from online retailers. The question we set out to answer is “How do you know which models are the best handheld steam cleaners?”
Below we go into more detail about which models we recommend and why. For anyone looking for a quick answer, the winner of our ‘Top Pick’ for a best handheld steam cleaner is the ‘Bissell 2635s handheld steam cleaner’ which we believe is the best choice for most homeowners.
We have spent over 20 intensive hours researching and testing lots of different handheld steam cleaners from big brands such a Vax, Hoover and Bissell as well as lower-priced and lesser-known brands such as Comforday to see how they compare in terms of quality and cleaning performance.
After originally researching around twelve different steam cleaners, we have managed to narrow it down to just five, superb handheld steam cleaners so that you can make an informed decision about which steam cleaner is right for you as not all models are suitable for everybody.
Why buy a handheld steam cleaner?
When we previously tested some of the best steam mops a few months back, most of these models came with detachable steam cleaners for cleaning around the home, some of these models proved to be very handy and did a brilliant job.
However, what if you don’t have the need for a full-blown steam mop? Not to mention that storing these larger models can sometimes be an issue.
This is where handheld steam cleaners come into their own. They’re very lightweight, with some weighing a little as 1.5kg. They are compact and very easy to store, even in the smallest of cupboards. With a handheld steam cleaner, you can be steam cleaning within a couple of minutes of getting it out of a cupboard.
Below are a few advantages of using a handheld steam cleaner.
- They break down dirt and grime effortlessly and kill 99% of germs and bacteria without the use of chemicals.
- Great for hygienically sanitising a wide variety of surfaces around your home including tiles, grout, worktops, windows, mirrors, upholstery, sinks, taps, bins and more.
- They come with a range of accessories and attachments for different cleaning jobs.
- All you need is water out of the tap to produce steam which means there are no harmful chemical residues left behind.
- Clean those hard to reach places such as, inside the oven, around hobs, and in nooks and crannies.
- Precise cleaning as you can target small areas and avoid sensitive areas.
- They have a very lightweight design that ensures they can be used with just one hand and without tiring.
- They are an affordable alternative to large bulky steam cleaners and offer great value for money.
Top 5 Recommended Handheld Steam Mops
1. Bissell 2635s Steam Shot Handheld Steam Cleaner
The Bissell Steam Shot Handheld Steam Cleaner is a great addition to help keep any home squeaky and can be used to remove stains and grime.
- Very simple and easy to use with light indicator and steam on demand trigger.
- Includes 10 multi-surface attachments to tackle a range of cleaning tasks.
- Lightweight at only 2.3kg which ensures it is easy to carry and work with for longer periods of time.
- Long 4.8-meter cord length for cleaning even the largest rooms.
- Power: 1000 Watt.
- Water tank capacity: 360ml.
- Dimensions: 22 x 24 x 13cm.
- 1-year warranty.
The Bissell Hot Shot comes with a range of attachments including an 80cm hose to help clean those harder to reach places such as inside the oven and behind taps. Some of the accessories that have been included with this model are detail brush tools for removing dirt and stains, a flat scraping tool which is perfect for scraping hard to remove grime, an angled concentrator tool for directing steam to difficult to reach places, a grout brush for cleaning between tiles. Finally, it also comes with a fabric steamer tools for refreshing everything from curtains to cushions or even car seats, it is also great for removing wrinkles from fabrics which leaves them looking neat and tidy.
It also comes with a neat little window squeegee tool which is perfect for leaving windows and glass clean, this tool is just the job for cleaning shower screens and mirrors.
The Bissell steam mop is fitted with a long 4.8-meter power cable that ensures you can reach around larger rooms without the needs to keep moving the plug from one place to another.
Using the handheld steam cleaner is simple. Fill the water tank with 360ml of water by unscrewing the black cap. Plug the power cord in, once it’s ready to use a light will come on and then simply press the trigger and begin cleaning.
The Bissell Steam Shot Steam Cleaner is one of the best handheld steam cleaners we have reviewed, if not the best. It is comfortable on the hand, even when used over longer periods of time and it’s not too heavy either. There is a fine line between quality and weight, at 2.3kg this model is not the lightest model we have seen but it is manufactured to a high quality. Sometimes lighter models are made from thinner plastic materials, although they may be slightly lighter they can be inferior in quality as they are manufactured from cheaper plastics, especially the attachments.
The attachments on this model are of good quality, especially when compared to cheaper models and it comes with a really good selection to choose from, the window cleaner tool is also and does a really good job.
Strangely, there no negatives comments to report as long as you are realistic about what handheld steam cleaners are capable of cleaning (this includes all models) I think this would be a great choice for most homeowners.
2. Hoover Steam Express Handheld Steam Cleaner
The Hoover SSNH1000 Express Handheld Steam Cleaner is an incredibly lightweight steam cleaner at a very impressive 1,6kg and it is perfect for sanitising work surfaces, as well as removing grime and grease from around the home using just steam.
Thanks to its small portable design it is perfect for cleaning more intricate areas in the home. By using quick blasts of steam on demand, it is perfect for cleaning ovens, grills, hobs, tiles, taps, fridges, tables, bins as well as other hard sealed surfaces.
- Well-balanced design, easy to use with 12 minutes of continuous steaming cleaning.
- Ready to use in only 2 minutes.
- Includes 7 accessories, perfect for a range of cleaning jobs.
- Ultra-lightweight at only 1.6kg.
- Long 4 meter cord length for cleaning even the largest rooms.
- Power: 1000 Watt.
- Steam pressure: 4 bar.
- Large water tank capacity at 400ml for a longer run time.
- Product dimensions: 22 x 12 x 26cm.
- 1-year warranty for peace of mind.
To make cleaning easier and more enjoyable it comes with a range of useful attachments including a shovel plate, this attachment is designed for scraping hard surfaces and removing grime. This is perfect for inside the oven and on the hob etc for removing baked-on food. An angled nozzle is also included as well as a metal round brush for removing stubborn grime and stains, and a comb brush. Also included is a long hose for extra reach.
It also comes with an attachment for cleaning windows and glass such as mirrors or the front of the oven door.
The Hoover Express is fitted with a long 4-meter power cable, this ensures you can reach around larger rooms without the need to keep moving the plug to another plug socket nearer your working area.
Using the steam cleaner
Operating the steam cleaner has also be designed to be a simple and easy process. Simply fill the large 400ml tank with water then switch the steam cleaner on. It only takes around 2 minutes to start producing steam. On a full rank of water, it has a very impressive running time of approximately 12 minutes.
It was a hard decision for us to choose between this Hoover steam cleaner and our best pick. Both models were impressive and outperform most other models.
We really like this Hoover model and were very impressed. It is a close match between this Hoover Steam Cleaner and the Bissell steam cleaner and it’s hard to decide which we prefer and would recommend.
The Hoover model is slightly cheaper but the Bissell has more attachments which are why in the end we awarded it our ‘Best Pick’. We did notice while doing our research that this Hoover model has more reviews than any other handheld steam cleaner which also confirms its a popular product with over 400 reviews so has been well tested by many people.
In the end, we decided it would be better to pay a little more (a few UK pounds) and invest in the Bissell steam cleaner, we just feel its slightly better. However, if you are a big fan of Hoover products and would prefer a slightly longer running time, you will not be disappointed with their Hoover Express Handheld Steam Cleaner as its also beautifully designed and exceeds all expectations.
3. Comforday Handheld Steam Cleaner
BEST BUDGET PICK
The Comforday Handheld Steam Cleaner is a chemical-free way to remove stains, dirt and sanitize your home using nothing but hot steam which kills 99% of germs as well as bedbugs and mites.
- Excellent value for money as nearly half the price of some models.
- A very impressive 15-20 minutes of steam cleaning.
- Includes 9 different accessories for all your cleaning tasks.
- Lightweight at only 1.8kg.
- 2.9 meter cord length.
- Power: 1050 Watts.
- Water tank capacity: 360ml.
- Dimensions: 25.8 x 23.8 x 14.6cm.
Like most steam cleaners, it comes complete with a range of accessories including an extendable hose which is handy for reaching those hard to reach places you cannot fit the whole unit up to.
Other accessories include a small right-angled nozzle for directing hot stream directly at stains and dirt, it also includes a small brush tool for scrubbing and removing stains.
It also comes with a window and glass cleaning tool, this is perfect for cleaning windows, shower screens and other glass surfaces such as mirrors and the front of ovens and stoves. It also comes with a selection of different nozzles to tackle a range of cleaning surfaces.
The Comforday steam cleaner has a 2.9-meter power and will give you around 15-20 minutes of continuous steam cleaning around the home.
It also features a safety lock on the handle and a safety cap on the top of the unit which ensures it is safer to use near children or pets, as (of course) the utmost care must be taken when children are around the working area.
It is safe to use on hard, sealed surfaces such as tiles, vinyl floors, laminate floor, granite worktops, marble, and sealed hardwoods. It is also great for cleaning worktops, ovens, fridges, sinks, taps and you can even refresh curtains, remove crinkles from fabric and clothing using the specially designed fabric steam cleaning attachment.
The Comforday Handheld Steam Cleaner is a great steam cleaner for doing a few cleaning jobs around the house now and again. If you are looking for a low-cost budget model and maybe you only have a few jobs in mind, then yes it will remove most stains and comes with some good attachments for general cleaning around the home.
It does have some negative points that need to be considered before purchasing one. Firstly it does not have a scraping tool that most other models do and a scraper tool is great for removing grime and baked-on food off hard surfaces.
One other disadvantage, when compared to the best models, is that the power cord length is only 2.9 meters, which is around 9.5ft. It’s not as long as on some other models and this could make it more difficult to use in larger rooms.
Despite my negative comments, it does had over 200 reviews on Amazon and is actually very well rated by people who have purchased and used it. The quality is not as good as some of the more expensive models such as Bissell and Hoover but it does offer excellent value for money as it’s half the price of many of the other models.
Don’t expect the quality of Hoover, Bissell or Vax, but if you are after a budget handheld Steam Cleaner that has a proven good track record with lots of positive reviews to back it up, this is probably your best option.
Something that did worry us was we also could not find any information on how long the warranty is so you may want to check before buying if this is something that would be important to you.
4. Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner
The Vax S4 Grime Master Handheld Steam Cleaner is a lightweight and compact steam cleaner that is easy to store and perfect for breaking down and cleaning grime and dirt from a range of surfaces around the home. These include ovens and hobs, sinks and taps, wall and floor tiles, as well as glass and it even comes with a handy fabric cleaner for refreshing curtains and other fabrics and clothing, great for removing crinkles.
- 10 minutes of continuous steaming cleaning with adjustable steam control.
- Includes 7 accessories and attachments which are perfect for a range of cleaning jobs.
- Ultra-lightweight at only 1.5kg (Lightest steam cleaner have ever seen).
- Long 3 meter cord length.
- Power: 1200 Watt.
- Water tank capacity of 260ml.
- Dimensions: 11 x 31 x 22cm.
- 1-year warranty for peace of mind.
It has a 260ml water tank which will give you around 10 minutes of continuous cleaning time and it has variable steam control so you can adjust the amount of steam for the job at hand. It also comes with a 7 piece accessory set.
Vax are well known for their quality cleaning machines and we have actually reviewed their steam mops recently and the Vax S7 steam mop was actually awarded our ‘Best Pick’ for steam mops. This also has a detachable handheld steam cleaner, however, you have the expense of the complete steam mop when purchasing but it does come with more accessories.
Back to our conclusion of the Vax S4 Grime Master Steam Cleaner, we have been impressed with the performance and really liked the adjustable steam control. This is useful for reducing the amount of steam when steaming fabrics such as curtains or cushions etc and increasing it for more stubborn stains such as baked on grime and dirt.
It does have a fairly small water tank at only 260ml, especially when it is compared to the hoover model which has a 400ml tank, which’s an impressive 140mm more. However, it still gives you around 10 minutes of steam cleaning time and is slightly smaller and slightly lighter.
Overall its a great little steamer but would probably recommend you get the Hoover or Bissell steam cleaners over this model.
5. Vax S5 Kitchen and Bathroom Master Canister Steamer
The Vax S5 Kitchen and Bath Master Canister is a small, all-in-one steam cleaning solution for cleaning around the home without the use of chemicals. Thanks to its water filter, it can also be filled directly from the tap using the included measuring jug.
- Compact design and very easy to use with 30 minutes of continuous steaming cleaning time.
- Includes 15 piece tool and accessory set that is great for all cleaning jobs including the floors.
- Ultra-lightweight at only 3.6kg.
- Long 6-meter power cord length (longest cord of any steamer cleaner we have reviewed).
- Power: 1500 Watt.
- Water tank capacity at 1.2-litre water tank (Largest water capacity).
- Dimentions: 22 x 24 x 30cm.
- 2-year warranty (The longest warranty of any steam cleaner on our review).
Thanks to its easy to use, lightweight and compact design, you can easily manoeuvre it around the home as well as up and downstairs.
It comes with an impressive 15 piece tool and accessory set which are conveniently stored on both sides of the canister so you always have everything to hand and don’t have to worry about storing the attachments. Attachments include a floor head connector and cloth which are perfect for cleaning hard floors such as sealed wood, laminate, tiles, marble and more.
Also included are the usual tools for cleaning above the floor areas such as a scraper attachment, (ideal for removing stubborn grime) a grout brush for removing stains and dirt from between tiles, a detailer for cleaning more delicate cleaning jobs as well as a glass cleaning attachment which is great for cleaning windows, mirrors, glass-fronted ovens and anything else that is glass.
Finally it also comes with a upholstery tool and cloth which is great for refreshing carpets, curtains and other fabrics to give them a little life again.
As a whole, it comes with enough tools to tackle practically any cleaning job in the home using just steam.
To make things easier when pulling it along the floor, it also has four small wheels so it glides effortlessly along the floor. Finally, it also features generous 1.2 litre water tank that gives around 30 minutes of steaming cleaning time and the generous 6 meter power cord ensures you have enough reach to cleaning even the largest rooms without having to worry about the length of the cord.
Watch the video below to see it in action.
The Vax S5 Kitchen and Bathroom Master Cleaner Canister is not strictly a handheld steam cleaner like the other models we have reviewed.
However we were so impressed with it we thought it deserved a mention as we feel it could be useful for anyone looking for a small, lightweight steam cleaner that was capable of dealing with larger cleaning jobs including the floor.
It is obviously not as small and compact as a true handheld steam cleaner (such as the smaller Vax S4) but it is still compact and much smaller and easy to store than some of the larger steam cleaners and mops available.
The selection and quality of the accessories and attachments are excellent and it comes with more accessories than any handheld model we have seen. Other advantages include a larger water tank and a much longer steam cleaning time of 30 minutes, most handheld models last around 10 to 15 minutes at the most.
This model might not be suitable for everybody but if you’re looking for something with a little more steaming power, then this canister steam cleaner can do everything a handheld steam cleaner can do and more. A little more expensive and slightly larger, but worth the extra expense.
Overall a great model that we would highly recommend.
Final steam cleaner recommendation
After we had finally finished our research and testing, there were two handheld steam cleaners that really did impress above all the others. These were the Bissell 2635s and Hoover Express models.
Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API