You’re looking for the best handheld steam cleaner, but you’re having a tough time deciding.  You’re not alone.  There are many manufacturers offering multiple models of handheld steam cleaners and that makes it tough to make sense of all the claims.

We went searching for the best handheld steam cleaner through forums, manufacturer sites, and product reviews to find the best handheld steam cleaner and were able to develop a good idea of what features and capabilities make a great steam cleaner.

Check our comparison chart at the bottom of the article for some of the best portable steam cleaners.

You probably already know the advantages of steam cleaning, but just in case we thought we would go over a few.


Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Hoover TwinTank Counter Steaming View


No Harmful Chemicals

Probably one of the most important advantages is the elimination of harmful chemicals when cleaning.  Harmful chemicals are not safe for pets and children.  Even if you’re careful about safeguarding your loved ones, chemical cleaners put off dangerous fumes that nobody in the house should have to breathe in.  It’s not uncommon for people to be allergic to chemical cleaners as they contain a host of chemical irritants that can cause asthma and allergies to flare up.




Many chemicals are corrosive by their nature and can actually damage countertops, cabinets, and trim work.

Superheated Steam

Steam cleaners only use the power of superheated water to remove dirt, grime, and grease.  Superheated water forms steam which is an effective, safe solvent for cleaning kitchens and baths or anywhere in your home you need the power of steam.  Steam actually heats kitchen and bath surfaces to remove more dirt without leaving a chemical residue.


In addition, when used properly, steam cleaners provide a natural sanitizing effect destroying many molds, germs, bacteria, viruses, and household dust mites.


Important Features and Characteristics

Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Hoover TwinTank Portability ViewPurpose

One of the most important considerations is what you’re planning to use your new handheld steam cleaner for.  You will find that handheld steam cleaners are designed more for spot cleaning and not for wide-area cleaning like countertops and floors.  Floor steam cleaners are designed for steam cleaning your floors and multi-purpose steam cleaners can do both.  If you are planning to clean larger areas like countertops or floors, then you will be better off purchasing a steam cleaner designed specifically for the task or a multi-purpose steam cleaner that is designed to handle any steam cleaning task.  For quick cleanups and emergency spills, a portable steam cleaner is the perfect solution.


Looking for a multi-purpose steam cleaner?  See our articles:


Time to Steam

Time to steam is directly related to wattage and reservoir size.  The higher the wattage, the faster the time to steam.  A larger reservoir will take longer to heat to steam temperature so the larger the reservoir, the longer the time to steam.

Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Hoover TwinTank Full ViewSteam Duration

Steam duration is directly related to reservoir size and wattage.  The higher the wattage, the faster the steam flow and the quicker the reservoir is exhausted.  If you have a larger reservoir, you will have longer steam duration.


Want to clean your floors with steam, too?  See these steam mop articles:


Continuous Refill

It’s common to have to unplug or turn off a portable steam cleaner before refilling the reservoir.  Some handheld steam cleaners allow you to add water to the reservoir without causing the steamer to cool down.  They typically use separate reservoir and boiler.  This can be a real timesaver when you are performing longer duration steam cleaning tasks.


Need a home garment steamer?  Take a look at these articles:


Steam Flow 

A consistent steam flow is important to effective cleaning.  The power of the steam flow is usually related to the wattage of the streamer.  The higher the wattage, the more powerful the steam flow.





Steam Control

Handheld steamers are usually used on a variety of surfaces.  To provide the most effective cleaning on multiple surfaces steamers sometimes are equipped with a steam control.  This allows you to steam more delicate surfaces without damaging.  You also have the ability to turn up the steam for better cleaning on tougher surfaces.


Travel for fun or business?  See our portable travel garment steamer articles:



Steam cleaners may be used on a variety of surfaces for a number of different cleaning tasks which means that you need a good selection of cleaning tools.  You can expect to good kit to include multiple brushes, tools for fabric and glass, specialized nozzles for bathrooms and grout, and a wide-area tool for countertops and other flat surfaces.


So, the best handheld steam cleaner should have a fast time to steam, continuous refill capability, powerful and consistent steam flow, a long steam duration, and a complete tool kit.


Best Handheld Steam Cleaner 


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We hope these tips were helpful?  Which handheld steamer are you planning to buy?  Please take a moment to leave a comment below.

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As always, thanks for reading our post!  We sincerely hope that it has provided you with valuable information that helps you find the best handheld steam cleaner for your needs!