Handheld steam cleaners are a great invention. They’re easy to use, easy to store, lightweight, and very effective at cleaning. They save lugging those heavy steam mops around and use less power which is ideal if you only have a small area to clean.
They don’t last as long as larger steam mops so really are intended for targeted cleaning rather than scrubbing the whole house.
As with most cleaning equipment, the options for handheld steamers seem to be endless. I’ve been doing some digging and have come up with a shortlist of some really good options for you to consider. Alongside this handheld steam cleaner review article I’ve also developed a handy buyer’s guide and I’ve added some F.A.Qs along the way.
The article kicks off with my top 5 options and then you get a break to review the buying guide. There are a load more products after that so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Read on to discover my top choice for handheld steamers in the UK.
Top 5 Best Handheld Steam Cleaners
- Top Choice – BISSELL SteamShot Multi-Purpose Handheld Steam Cleaner
- Runner Up – Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
- Best Budget – Tower THS10 Handheld Steam Cleaner
- Best Multifunctional – Kärcher SC1 EasyFix Steam Cleaner
- Best Wet and Dry Steamer – Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi Classic Multifunction Steam Mop
1. Top Choice – BISSELL SteamShot Multi-Purpose Handheld Steam Cleaner
Power: 1050 Watts
Water Tank Size: 360ml
- 8 steam attachments
- 2-year warranty
- Extra long power cable
- Activate button is quite stiff
To start off this review I have Bissell in the top spot with this powerful little steam cleaner. It’s extremely lightweight so anyone can use it and the long power cord means you’ll get a large are covered no bother.
360ml is very generous for such a compact steamer and Steam Shot technology it heats up very quickly so you won’t be waiting around to get cleaning.
It has 7 useful head attachments which include three cleaning brushes, a grout brush, an angled and a scraper tool, a window squeegee, and an extension hose for hard to reach areas. It also comes with a water jug to allow easy refilling.
The steam is operated by a handy trigger mechanism so it’s easy to use and won’t discharge hot steam when you don’t want it to.
This powerful steam mop is perfect for hard floors, upholstery, and any other steam cleaning jobs you require. Like all handheld steamers, it doesn’t last for ages but it is compact and efficient and a really great tool for the price.
2. Runner Up – Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
Power: 1050 Watts
Water Tank Size: 350ml
- 9 attachments
- 3-4 minute heating time
- 15-20 minute of cleaning time
- Works better on hard surfaces than upholstery
Next up I have Comforday with their design. The handheld unit is a bit heavier than the Bissell but still lightweight in comparison to a lot of other options.
The water tank capacity is 350ml which will give you up to 20 minutes of steam action after a 3-4 minute heat up time.
It comes with all the usual accessories but this model also has a fabric steam tool that is perfect to get your clothes clean or can be used to kill off bed bugs.
if you have young children or pets then the safety feature of this device is really useful. It has a safety lock and cap on the handle to help prevent steam burns.
It is also designed to switch off when the tank is empty to prevent heating the empty boiler.
This is a really well designed and easily portable steam cleaner. A perfect option for household cleaning tasks.
3. Best Budget Option – Tower THS10 Handheld Steam Cleaner
Power: 1050 Watts
Water Tank Size: 250 ml
Weight: 1.28 kg
- Great price
- 9 accessories
- Smaller capacity
- Not as powerful
This little handheld steamer from Tower is an easy to use and cost-effective cleaning solution. The handheld unit comes with 9 useful accessories and the nozzle is a flexible hose so it reaches really well around taps and between cupboards.
It’s not as powerful as the Bissell nor does it clean as well but it’s cheaper so that’s the trade off.
It’s designed for use on all surfaces and steam safe fabrics and will give you a good 10 minutes of steam time before you need to refill the water tank.
The downsides are that it comes with a 3-meter power cable so you won’t get a huge area done without an extension cord. It takes 3 minutes to heat up which isn’t the slowest but it also isn’t quick to get going.
The safety cap prevents you from refilling it when it’s hot so steaming a large area can take a while as you wait for it to cool down.
Overall this product is easy to use and comes with a small price tag it’s just not the most effective for larger cleaning jobs.
4. Best Multifunctional – Kärcher SC1 EasyFix Steam Cleaner
Power: 1200 Watts
Water Tank Size: 200 ml
Weight: 1.58 kg
- Hands free cloth removal
- 2 year guarantee
- Ultra hygenic clean
- Extension attachment
- Small water chamber
If you’re looking for a handheld steam cleaner that does a little more then consider this model by Karcher. The powerful high pressure steamer comes with 2 extension tubes that allows it to double as a steam mop.
It has a flat, floor mop attachment with microfibre cloth. The clever design of this allows you to remove the dirty pad and attach a clean on without touching it! This makes a much more pleasant and hygienic cleaning routine.
The steam power is enough to combat tough stains and stubborn dirt and can reach places that a normal handheld unit would struggle to. Accessories like round brush and detail nozzle allows you to get into all those crevices and the hand trigger steam control makes this steamer highly controllable.
It heats up in 3 minutes but the 4-meter power cord length is a little short for this model of upright cleaner. The 0.2 litre water tank doesn’t last very long so if you have a wide area to clean you may need to consider an extension cord or a larger steam mop.
5. Best Wet and Dry Steamer – Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi Classic Multifunction Steam Mop
Power: 1600 Watts
Water Tank Size: 260 ml
Weight: 3.7 kg
Accessories: 10 Head Attachments
This Vax steam cleaner does a lot more than just cleaning counter-tops. It’s a combined steam mop and handheld unit and comes with a bottle of unique steam detergent to leave your home fresher than ever.
Although the water tank is only 260ml the cleaning solution tank is 200ml so the combined volume allows more steam time. It’s ready to go in as little as 40 seconds and the angled head of the mop easily reaches into tight corners.
This mop comes with 10 different head attachments from brushes to nozzles and window squeegees and the handle of the mop is designed so that these can all clip-on. You’ll never be stuck somewhere without the correct attachment!
The 7 meter power cord is long enough to reach pretty much anywhere and makes this mop a really user-friendly option. It is a bit heavy to lift out of the cleaning cupboard so this needs to be taken into consideration if you’re thinking about getting this mop.
Things To Consider When Buying A Handheld Steam Cleaner
Steam cleaners vary in their power usage and most models typically fall between 1000 watts and 1800 watts. The handheld ones usually fall into the lower end of this as they consume less power than a full-sized steam mop. A higher wattage basically means more power consumed per second of use so will cost you more to run but the increase in power may make the cleaning job more efficient.
A handheld steamer needs to be comfortable to lift and carry. As you’ll be holding the unit for extended periods of time, the heavier the item the more difficult the job will become. The models here range from 1.36kg (the lightest model) to 3.7kg (which is the full steam mop setting, not the handheld unit!).
Water Tank Size
The size of the water tank will give you a good indication as to how long the steamer will last when producing steam continuously. 200ml and below will give you around 10 minutes whereas 350ml will push that up to about 20 minutes.
What Needs Cleaned
The reason you’re buying the steamer in the first place is that you have a particular something in mind that needs cleaning. If it’s general floor use then a model with an extension hose and floor attachment is needed. If it’s to get into tight areas then one with a crevice tool is handy. If it’s for fabric then an upholstery cleaner will be necessary. Make sure you get a steamer that has the relevant attachments to suit your need and this will make the cleaning job a lot easier.
It’s best to set a budget before you look into all the fancy add ons that some machines come with. if the steamer falls outside your price range then it isn’t a good option for you no matter what. All these options range from around £25 up to £85 with the more expensive options usually giving you a bit more cleaning power and accessories.
Power Cord Length
The length of the power cord can really hinder you if you plan to tackle a large area. Make sure you consider the area needing to be cleaned and where plugs are in relation to this. If you plan on using the steamer for the car then make sure there’s an outlet nearby or you’ll need an extension cord.
If you live in an area with hard water then you’ll need to regularly de-scale the steam cleaner. They’re normally pretty easy to de-scale with you simply adding the product to the steamer and allowing it to heat up.
Another good option is if you use de-ionized water rather than tap water as this prevents limescale and prolongs the life of your steamer.
Are handheld steam cleaners any good?
The top question most of you probably have is “are these steamers any good?”. Well, the answer is absolutely.
These devices are lightweight but extremely powerful and cut through grease and grime with ease. They don’t take up much storage space and are easy to grab for any areas needing a quick clean.
What can you not steam clean?
Anything that can be damaged by exposure to heat and moisture. Untreated wood and water-based paints are a no. Porous materials like brick and marble are not suitable for steaming and delicate items and upholstery not suitable for steaming.
Does steam really sanitize?
Steam kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, mites, bugs and mould. It is a really effective way to santize without using harsh chemicals.
Does steam cleaning kill black Mould?
Steam cleaning is a very effective way to kill mould. The heat penetrates deep into the mould spores and kills them off thoroughly removing it.
What can I clean with my handheld steam cleaner?
Most surfaces in the home can be steam cleaned. Waterproof flooring like linoleum, vinyl and tiles are fine as well as sealed laminate. Counter-tops, wall tiles and bathroom suits. Cooker hobs, microwaves, fridges (unplugged) and freezers.
Carpets and upholstery can be steam cleaned as long as it fits in with the manufacturers recommendations and the same goes for clothing.
Can I put vinegar or disinfectant in my steam cleaner?
Vinegar is fine to add if you’re cleaning most floor types or kitchen equipment. Do not use vinegar on hardwood as it will ruin the finish.
You can use disinfectant in a steam cleaner but make sure it’s one that’s intended for this use. Some disinfectants will give off toxic fumes when heated so if in doubt, opt for the cleaning power of water alone!
More Handheld Steamers Reviewed
Homeasy Clothes Steamer
Power: 1000 Watts
Water Tank Size: 260 ml
Accessories: 2 Brush Attachments
If you’re looking for a steamer with laundry in mind then here’s one that designed for this. This attractive little handheld steamer is lightweight and ergonomically designed so you can steam clothes at the push of a button.
It can be used upright to steam hanging clothes or horizontal to steam clothes on an ironing board without any leaks.
It heats up in 45 seconds and the heating element has an auto shut off that kicks in when the tank is empty to save burn out.
It designed with effective ABS plastic heads that filter heat so you won’t be at risk of scalding clothes. The power cord is 1.9 meters so it needs to be plugged in near the clothes.
It’s compact and lightweight so makes an ideal travel companion and there are different colour options as well!
Morphy Richards 361000 Handheld Garment Steamer
Brand: Morphy Richards
Power: 1750 Watts
Water Tank Size: 260 ml
Weight: 1.44 kg
Accessories: Lint Brush and Creaser
Next up I will stay with the laundry theme with this impressive steamer from Morphy Richards. It’s a bit more pricey than the Homeasy one but once we’ve explored all the features you’ll soon see why.
This is one of the most powerful steam cleaner on the list and for such a small device (it’s one of the lightest as well) that’s very impressive. It’s ready to go in only 35 seconds and it has dual steam settings to tackle any job. The eco steam conserves water and is perfect for a freshen up and the turbo steam gives a super powerful jet of steam to really tackle those tough creases.
The lint brush removes debris and aligns the clothes fabric to smooth out creases with ease. The creaser attachment works with a secondary steam hole to press and give the perfect finish to any shirt or suit set.
The 3 meter power cord makes it really user friendly and all the design features make this the best handheld steam cleaners for de-creasing and refreshing up clothes at home, at work, on a business trip, or on holiday.
Quest 4198 Steam Cleaner
Power: 1000 Watts
Water Tank Size: 230 ml
Weight: 1.68 kg
Accessories: 5 Head Attachments plus extension tube
Lastly, I have this compact, budget option by Quest. This small steamer comes with lots of useful attachments such as nozzles, fabric steamers, window squeegee and brushes to scrub away stubborn stains.
It’s simple and effective and cuts through grime and grease with ease. The downsides are that the water runs out quite quickly and the child-lock feature means you have to wait 5 minutes before you can refill it. This makes cleaning large areas very tedious.
If you’re only using it for small areas and you do have young children about then this feature is very handy.
This product is lightweight, easy to use, and does the job well. It comes with a low price tag so great if you don’t have a huge budget for your new steam cleaner.
Kleeneze® KL0573 10 in 1 Handheld Steam Cleaner
Power: 1100 Watts
Water Tank Size: 250ml
Accessories: 7 Attachments plus safety cap
If cost is a top consideration then this is the steam cleaner for you. It’s very powerful and easily cuts through grease and grime without the need for scrubbing. A 4-meter power cable means you can tackle most rooms with ease and the 250ml tank will last approximately 12 minutes of continuous steam output.
The accessory kit includes brushes, nozzles, an extension hose, a mini mop head, a window cleaner, and a safety cap. It also comes with a funnel and measuring jug for easy refills.
This little steamer has pretty good cleaning performance but is better for smaller areas. It’s pretty heavy to hold so not ideal for elderly people or if you suffer from arthritis. For a budget option, it is capable of multi-surface cleaning and gets the job done effectively so overall is a reasonable option.
Hoover STEAMJET HANDY SGE1000
Power: 1000 Watts
Water Tank Size: 370 ml
Weight: 1.74 kg
Accessories: 9 Head Attachments
Next up I have Hoover with this handy steam cleaner. It has variable steam power and can switch between wet and dry steam settings. The wet mode is a very tough cleaning power for areas like bathroom tiles or removing grime from surfaces without harsh chemicals. The dry steam mode is perfect to clean clothing or upholstery without leaving it damp afterward.
The deep cleaning conical pipe ups the pressure for really tough stains so will easily cut through grease and grime.
This steamer comes with all the usual accessories plus an upholstery tool and refresh nozzle perfect to use on clothes.
This Hoover steamer lasts a good 20 minutes of steam time before it needs refilling but it is a bit heavier than some of our other options.
Overall, however, it’s a good design and gets the job done.
Handheld steam cleaners are not as big and powerful as steam mops. What they lack in size they make up for in price. They’re lightweight and easy to use and make great travel options or simply for cleaning smaller areas where tough grime and grease has built up. I hope this review has helped give you some food for thought when it comes to choosing your next steamer cleaner and has helped clear up any burning questions you may have had. Happy Steaming!