If you don't already own one, you may benefit with one of the units here that we've selected in our list of the best handheld steam cleaners here.
There are a few important considerations that we look at when we're buying a portable steam cleaner. We need to decide on what we need to clean, our budget, and how it would fit into our cleaning regime.
Without any further delay, we're going to run your through some of the pros and cons of handheld steam cleaners to see if such a unit will fit your needs before you read on any further.
The Pros of A Handheld Steam Cleaner
This is one of the key advantages that it has over the canister steam cleaner. With a typical weight of between two to four pounds and a relatively small build, they are easy to carry around the house. Portability scores high on our criteria when we're selecting the best handheld steam cleaners.
If you were to compare the best handheld steamers against the best canister steam cleaners, it is not hard to notice that the prices are rather different. In most cases, the portable steam cleaners will win hands down. It does not matter if you are looking for one unit to complement the canister steam cleaners, or if you just need a unit to do some light cleaning around the house. The relatively inexpensive handheld steam cleaners will make it easy to own one.
Spot Cleaning and Inaccessible Areas
The best handheld steam cleaner will not be able to replace the best canister steam cleaner if you wish to use it for heavy duty cleaning in you house. However, if you are looking for a unit that will make it easy to spot clean, then buying a portable steam cleaner will fit the bill.
These units also make it easy for us to reach other inaccessible areas where the regular units cannot handle. Using a portable steamer in a tight space is much easier than trying to fit an entire extension hose in.
The Cons of A Handheld Steam Cleaner
Not a Heavy Duty Workhorse
As mentioned earlier, even the best handheld steam cleaners are suitable only for the smaller jobs of tackling the tile grout, killing bed bugs or dust mites. If you need to clean an entire carpet with this, you are looking at the wrong section as that would take forever.
Limited Amount of Steam
For longer cleaning jobs, the handheld steamers may take you a little longer in between refills and it may not be feasible to stop every 15 to 20 minutes to refill. Having said that, if you like the convenience of waiting only 2 to 3 minutes to heat up for some quick cleaning, you will definitely like owning portable steamer.
Limited Variety of Accessories
If you have read about our reviews on canister steam cleaners, some of them do come with a wide array of accessories for different kinds of cleaning tasks that you may encounter. While the best handheld steamers do come with some of the basic nozzles and brushes, do not expect them to be able to tackle what ever tasks you throw to them.
Best Handheld Steam Cleaners Reviews
Kicking off our list of the best handheld steam cleaners is the Comforday Handheld Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaner. This compact unit weighs in at around 4 pounds, and comes fitted with a 9.5 foot power cord. This makes moving around the house really easy and effortless.
Next, it was nice that it comes with several helpful attachments like a round brush nozzle, a bent spray nozzle, window cleaning tool, fabric steaming tool and a flexible extension hose.
We have to bear in mind that while most handheld steam cleaners are meant for light cleaning, this unit is capable of producing up to 270 degrees steam which is hot enough to remove even some of the most stubborn stains. With steam this hot, this remains one of my favorite handheld units for killing the bed bugs and dust mites in the bedrooms.
Comforday made a good unit and I felt that it lived up to its hype. It not only does well for touching up stains and cleaning small areas, it can be used to sterilize the beds and your children's soft toys to rid them of harmful bacteria and mites. Just be mindful of the high heat when you're using on certain wooden surfaces. It is simply one of the best handheld steam cleaners at a very affordable price.
The blue-coloured Xtech unit caught my attention when I opened the box. It is really nice that even the handheld steam cleaner came with several accessories like a couple of nozzles and brushes that would have come in handy during the cleaning.
The cap was designed in a way whereby pressure has to be exerted on it before you can turn it open. It didn't take me too long to open it, but I would have to say it is not the friendliest design around.
Using the funnel, I poured in just under 10 ounces of water which is about the full capacity of this unit’s water tank. It didn't take too long to heat up and I got into action shortly.
I started with the mirrors and glass panels in the bathrooms where there were lots of soap scums and some water stains. I ran the steam over it and used the squeegee to wipe it over and it was sparkling clean in no time. Even though it was a small handheld unit, I can feel that the steam was really hot as the bathroom started to feel like a sauna.
Next, I tested it on some light dirt stains on the fabric sofa that was left behind my pet dog when it ran straight up to it after coming back from the outside. Using the bristle brush and a few jets of steam, the stains were significantly reduced and it didn't take long before it was gone completely.
It is a tough choice to call any of these handheld steam cleaners on this list the best, but the Xtech Electric Easy Hand held Steam Cleaner will probably make it to the Top Three with ease. It is another good unit that combines great performance with affordability.
Next on the list of the best handheld steam cleaners is the Dirt Devil Easy Steam Handheld Steamer PD20005. We've reviewed a couple of their vacuum cleaners under our best vacuum for allergies guide, so let's see how their steam cleaner performs.
The good-looking unit felt really light and easy to carry around when it weighs in at under 3 pounds. As with other handheld steam cleaners, accessories were included and the jet-tip extension deserves a special mention and we'll come to that in a bit.
The 12 ounce tank was good enough to take care of some light cleaning around the house, and I didn't have to wait too long for it to heat up either. 3-4 minutes was all it took before I can spring into action.
The usual problematic areas in the house were the bathrooms and the kitchen. I've tried it on the greasy stove tops and it worked well enough to remove those stains. I also hooked up the squeegee tool to clean the mirrors and the glass panels in the bathrooms and it was enough for my regular cleaning. While in the bathroom, I did notice that the steam was not as hot as the two units listed above.
Now as for the jet-tip extension, it was pretty good when it is used for certain areas which were hard to reach. With the tip, small jets of steam can be directed at these areas to clean them with ease.
In short, we loved the fact that is really portable and easy to carry around the house for general maintenance cleaning. This well-built unit shines when it is used for cleaning those tight spots with the jet-tip extension. Being handheld, it is also important that it didn't heat up excessively thus enhancing safety. The temperature of the steam is a little off for us but if you need anything hotter, you should be considering a canister steam cleaner instead for much better power for heavy duty cleaning.
The next portable steam cleaner on our list is the BISSELL Steam Shot Hard-Surface Cleaner. To be very honest, the looks didn't really appeal to us but after using it, it showed us its other side.
The solid build of the BISSELL unit did make it feel a little heavier than the other units in this list, but not too much that it causes an issue given that it is relatively smaller as well.
The 6.6 ounce tank took only about 3 minutes to heat up and it was ready to use. It is certainly perfect to use for a quick clean up weekly after creating a mess in the kitchen.
One point we loved was the 16-foot cord that was really useful when I used it to my upper floor bathroom where the power outlet is a little further away. I started to clean up the water stains and it didn't take much effort before it was all done. I refilled the tank to have another go at the tile grout. The surprising thing was it managed to get a significant amount of the grout clean after running it several cycles over the tiles.
I refilled it another round and brought it to my garage to steam clean my car. The steam was perfect for the fabric seats and the car boot which was stained when we went outdoors a few weekends back. Some of the accessories that came in handy for the car were the angle concentrator and the detail brush where space was too tight to fit the steam cleaner in. The car was done in no time and it still smells fresh after a while.
The BISSELL Steam Shot Hard-Surface Cleaner is one portable unit that we would recommend for its cleaning prowess. The only let down for us was it weight and ergonomics as I did feel my hands were tired after three rounds of cleaning in the bathroom and the car. Other than that, it is an attractive price-value proposition that you can seriously consider.
To round up our list of the best handheld steam cleaners is the Steamfast SF-210 Everyday Handheld Steam Cleaner.
The unit reminded me of the bottle spray which I used to have in my garden for watering the plants, but of a superior build quality of course. I'm a fan of simple designs.
The tank will take up to only 6 ounces of water, which makes it the smallest capacity in our list here. We plugged it in and waited for about 3 minutes and we were ready to go hands on. This time round, I decided to go on my fabric sofas and chairs.The steam wasn't exactly as hot as I expected, but it was nice enough for the fabric upholstery. After about 10 minutes, the fabric seems refreshed and it was also about time that we lost the steam.
After a short break, we refilled the tank and embarked on the windows in the rooms. In the absence of a squeegee attachment, I sprayed on the steam on the window panes and use my regular squeegee as a substitute. The steam was hot enough to get rid of some water stains and the windows looked much cleaner than it was for the past couple of weeks.
Being a budget steam cleaner, I will be happy to use it for simple cleaning and sanitizing tasks. The temperature of the steam simply did not make it for me, but this is a personal preference. I did use it on some grime on the stove top as well and it was eventually removed, at the expense of using up one full tank to clean the greasy surface. The Steamfast SF-210 Everyday Handheld Steam Cleaner will be good for what its name suggests - an everyday cleaner for light duties to maintain until the next routine heavy duty cleaning comes by.