The best steam cleaners to sanitize your home

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 and sanitize the surfaces in your home. 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 and affordable device that serves your needs. Based on our research and testing, these are the best steam cleaners you can buy right now.

Note: Steam Cleaner Pro reports, “Steam cleaners disinfect and kill 99.9% of germs at a temperature between 175 degrees and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. To kill the most germs, keep them in contact with steam for at least 3 minutes. That’s long enough to get rid of germs, dust mites, mold, and viruses without using chemical sanitizers.” However, if you’re sanitizing to prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19, follow guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your physician, as it overrides any information in this guide.

McColloch MC 1275 Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner

Best overall steamer cleaner

This is a powerful steam cleaner with a boiler temperature that goes up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you want to get your house spotless, this unit by McColloch is an 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 a long time for a unit in this price range.

$135 from JCPenny

Dr. Purifier Handheld Pressurized Steamer with 9-Piece Accessory Set

Best budget steam cleaner

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

This steamer reaches high heat settings, and emits steam as hot as 250 to 270 degrees Fahrenheit. It has 1050 watts of power, and it lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes per fill.

$135 from JCPenny

Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop

Best steam cleaner for hard floors

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.

$135 from JCPenny

Dupray Neat Steam

Best steam cleaner for sanitizing

With up to 50 minutes of cleaning time per fill, you’ll have plenty of time to disinfect your home with this steam cleaner by Dupray. This steam cleaner gets hot! With a maximum temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit, it has more than enough heat to kill germs with plain tap water.

It comes with an 18-piece attachment kit for cleaning everything from couches to mattresses to floors to windows. You can even clean vehicle interiors and appliances. Plus, the cord, hose, and tubing are long enough to take with you around the home. The cord provides an impressive 16 feet of give. This unit does take a little while to heat up — seven minutes — and it is on the pricier side, but it’s a worthwhile investment for anyone looking for a powerful steam machine.

$135 from JCPenny