5 Best Portable Steam Cleaners (Handheld): Reviews + Helpful Guide

Ever wondered how hotels get their floors and bathroom walls so sparkling clean? The answer is simple – using a steam cleaner. But which one is the best portable steam cleaner for the money today?

We’ve tried and tested quite a few and we’re proud to bring you our reviews. We are rounding up the best portable steam cleaners that deliver the best in terms of cleaning power, portability, warranty, and pricein a small handheld package. Let steam at over 200° Fahrenheit do the job for you.

5 Best Handheld Steam Cleaners

RankSteamer's NameRatingReview
#1Bissell Steam Shot Hard-Surface CleanerRead Review
#2Bissell PowerFresh Slim Hard Wood Floor Steam Cleaner SystemRead Review
#3PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam CleanerRead Review
#4Dirt Devil Easy Steam Handheld Steam CleanerRead Review
#5Steamfast SF-210 Everyday Handheld Steam CleanerRead Review

Guaranteed, buying a steamer can be a little confusing. Should you buy a Bissell unit or go for a Shark steam cleaning machine? These are two major household names and to say the truth, they both perform excellently in cleaning. At the end of the day, you want to know what the best portable steam cleaning machine is.

Here are reviews of each of the products on our top 5 list.

Our Product Reviews

Here are top 8 handheld steam cleaners from our experience and analysis of thousands of customer reviews.

#1. Bissell Steam Shot Hard-Surface Cleaner

Best handheld steam cleaners reviews: The Bissell Steam Shot Hard Surface Cleaner
THIS LITTLE CLEANER COMES WITH LOTS OF ATTACHMENTS FOR DIFFERENT CLEANING JOBS.
  • Water tank capacity: 6.06 oz
  • Weight without water: 3 lbs
  • Heating time: 30 seconds
  • 20-inch power cord
  • Very effective, many attachments, and highly portable
  • You might not like it for it’s small capacity, needing regular water refills.

The steam shot is by far one one the best handheld steam cleaners on the market today. But don’t take my word for it.

It is small, but it packs a miracle in value and function. There are a ton of attachments that you can use for different cleaning needs. So, what I liked most is the natural chemical-free cleaning at a low price. If you are looking for a good portable steam cleaner for the money, you found one.

Price and performance

There are higher-priced products on this list. But few can compete with the SteamShot’s ability to cut through grime, scrub stuff in your kitchen, and sanitize surfaces.

It builds plenty of pressure and releases steam powerfully. Your cleaning will be much easier with the scrub-assist. So, you won’t have to worry about even the toughest buildup and gross grime sticking on your surfaces.

This budget-friendly steam cleaner cuts through them all with much more ease than most other devices we compared it with.

Attachments and accessories

The Steamshot comes with plenty of accessories and attachments. They include accessory nozzle, extension hose, flat scraping tool, grout brush, fabric steamer, window squeegee, angle concentrator, and detail brush.

User reviews

For those having problems cleaning grout, this is one of the best steam cleaners for grout out there. The high pressure from the nozzle makes cleaning grout an easier task.

Even for grout that has build-up over the years, reviewers and owners noted that it took little effort to get it back to looking new with just a few scrubs and swipes using the Bissell Steamshot.

I found this to be one of the best tools for cleaning grout in the bathroom. I have seen many steam mops and cleaners but this one quite surprised me when I tried it on my grime-laden stove. After working on it with the the Steamshot cleaner, I ended up with stoves, microwaves, and grills as good as new.

Pros

Like most reviews and reviewers, we liked the user manual. It is easy and very helpful. The setup process is easy even for anyone who’s never used a steam cleaner before.

The price is a huge plus to the buyer. It puts this unit right on top of any list of the best portable steam cleaners for the money. For close to half the price of some of the best steamers on this list, the Bissell Steam Shot Hard Surface Cleaner is equally good or even better at disinfecting, sanitizing, and cleaning.

Plenty of attachments are included. You can almost clean any hard surface in your house. I’d particularly recommend this little cleaner to anyone who has plenty of tiled space in their house.

You’ll love the pressure this thing produces. It is powerful, and very effective at sanitizing almost anything in your house except ceilings and walls.

Cons

Some reviewers have reported that the grout brush attachment is a little weak even though it does a great job. You might want to get extra brushes if you use extra strength on grout stains.

The steamer does not have a water level indicator. You only get to know you are running out of water when it stops shooting steam.

On that same note, the tank is a little small. You will have to do plenty of refills especially if you are cleaning large areas.

The warranty is another negative point most owners and reviewers of the Bissell Steamshot Hard Surface Cleaner noted. 1 year warranty is good, but it would improve buyers’ confidence if this period had been a little bit longer.

The price, though, happens to ease a little on the warranty shortcoming. By the end of one year, you’ll have gotten plenty of value out of the steamer than what’s on the price tag. More so, it will still function just fine if you use it with good care.

#2. Bissell PowerFresh Slim Hard Wood Floor Steam Cleaner System

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Hard Wood Floor Steam Cleaner System Review
  • 3-in-one steamer that converts to a steam mop.
  • Capacity: 12 oz water tank, the largest of any portable steam cleaners.
  • Power cord length: 25 feet
  • Weight: 6lbs
  • Warranty:
  • Converts to a steam mop.
  • A little pricey but good for features.

This takes the number 1 position on our rankings. And we have plenty of reasons why we love it.

You’ll hardly find a steam cleaner with as many attachments as this PowerFresh Steamer.

If you plan to clean for lengthy periods, this steam cleaner is the perfect choice. The 12 oz water tank is close to double some of the best handheld steam cleaners on this list. It’s large enough to take you through cleaning large surfaces.

Price vs. performance

The price tag is lofty. There’s no denying that. But you’ll get value for your money. The versatility of this steam cleaner kind of justifies the pricing.

I mean, where do you get a handheld steamer that also has a steam mop attachment. Besides, it also works as an above-the-ground steam cleaner.

What that means is that you can clean your ceilings, bathroom walls, and pretty much anything else. There’s an attachment for any cleaning job you’ll want to do.

Removable tank

Although the large water tank makes it a little heavy, being able to remove it makes the steamer portable. You can detatch the water tank and still use the device as a handheld steamer.

Versatility

The Bissell Powerfresh 3-in-1 steam cleaner is highly versatile. The swivel mop handle design makes it easy to navigate and clean different areas in the house.

It’s easier to navigate and clean around obstacles and corners to mop off dirt. In short, those hard-to-reach areas will no longer be a problem to clean.

Attachments and accessories

Accessories and attachments include:

  • A bristle scrub brush
  • Fat surface tool with mop pad
  • Grout tool, angle tool
  • Flat scrapper tool
  • Clothing steamer tool
  • Bristle scrub brush for above floor multi-surface cleaning.

Microfiber mop pads are included. I get it – these wear out with time. Bissell recommend buying extra ones for this specific steam cleaner. To be precise, the PowerFresh Mop Pad Kit model 5938 will come in handy for this.

User reviews

When I used it, I noticed that it is so much quieter than some of Shark’s best steam cleaners and mops. But what do other users and reviewers say about it?

On the low setting, this is the best handheld steam cleaner for hardwood floors.

Most users find the conversion from a hand-held steamer to a steam mop a huge plus. There aren’t so many similar products on the market that do the same.

The cleaning power is decent, much so for different surfaces. Some users, however, found it a little strenous to use when mopping floors. The extension wand is a little short for that.

Most reviewers also liked the on-board control panel. It makes switching between low and high heat settings easier. With these, you can extend the usage of water in the already decent-sized tank.

Pros

  • Quick heating time of 30 to 40 seconds.
  • Many attachments and cleaning accessories.
  • You get the in-built tool storage.
  • A wall mount is included for easy storage of the unit.
  • Extra-long power cord (25 ft)

Cons

  • The price point is not very attractive for budget buyers.
  • The Bissel Powerfresh Slim steamer is a little heavy to carry around due to the large water tank.
  • The Bissel Powerfresh Slim Hardwood Floor Steam Cleaner System compares well with competitors. It combines features that most other top rated portable steam cleaners lack.

#3. PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

This one is definitely the best pressurized steamer in its own right. It is highly rated for it’s super-hot, high pressure cleaning ability.

The PurSteam steamer scores well on the price point. Other than being affordable, this high pressure steamer comes with 9 accessories.

These make it one of the best handheld steam cleaners for multipurpose cleaning. You’ll clean almost anything in the house with this steamer.

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Price and performance

The tank is not the biggest of them all, but it scores well being a 8-ounce capacity. Most of the competitors I compared to it were in the range of 6 ounce-ish.

So, how fast does it heat up? It takes 3 to 4 minutes to heat up. There are light indicators that turn red when plugged in and green when ready for use. That makes it pretty easy to use.

The Pursteam Handheld Steam Cleaner produces 30% more steam than other devices we reviewed. Using it is quite a easy and fast, thanks to the high pressured steam the unit produces.

The price compares well with the Bisell steam shot, costing under $50. For the accessories and performance, it is worth it.

Attachments and accessories

This one comes with 9 different accessories. You can clean even those hard-to-reach areas with ease.

The accessories and attachments include straight nozzle, ironing brush, a nylon and iron brush, bent nozzles an extension hose, cover, measuring cup, and funnel. 

What I noted about those accessories is that they are more durable compared to those of the Bissell units. They seem more heavy duty-ish, so you won’t have to replace them as soon as your second use.

There’s even an extension hose included as part of the accessories. It makes it easier to get to those far-to-reach areas in the house.

Pros

It is one of the best portable steamers for it’s lightweight nature. Weighing 2.2 lbs, I found it much easier to carry around the house. I was able to do a lot of cleaning as a result of that.

Produces a lot of steam. Quite a surprise there. If you’re cleaning your kitchen or bathroom, you’ll find the plenty of steam a plus. All you’ll need to do is wipe off the grease and grime afterward.

Cons

A few things could be better. For example, a continuous steam button would make this steamer a top-level cleaner on our list.

Since there’s no continuous steam button, you have to hold down the trigger to keep the steam flowing. That’s a bit hectic, don’t you think?

The user manual is difficult to follow and could also use a little improvements. The labeling mixes bullets with numbers. That makes it difficult to to set up using the diagrams.

The power cord is short – measuring 9.8 feet. Other competitors score much better in this regard.

Sometimes there’s too much steam. If you’re steaming your upholstery or spots on your carpet, you’ll end up with wet areas.

#4. Dirt Devil Easy Steam Handheld Steam Cleaner

Dirt Devil Easy Steam Handheld Steam Cleaner
  • Great price for the quality it has.
  • Lightweight, only 2.6 lbs
  • Fair tank capacity – 8.5 oz
  • Could use a longer power cord.

If you’re looking for a great portable steam cleaner for above-the-floor cleaning, you might want to consider the Dirt Devil Steamer.

The style of this corded portable steam cleaner is a little different. Theflexible extension hose leads to a pad. The pad makes it easy to clean different surfaces above the floor.

The carrying handle is well placed. Much of the weight from the water tank pulls downward. You can also place it on the floor while cleaning.

This helps with the portability of this steamer.

The tank holds up to 8.5 ounces of water. If you have a fair amount of experience cleaning with steam, this should last you approximately 15 minutes.

The number of accessories is limited to a few. That makes the Dirt Devil Corded Handheld steam cleaner get a low score.

Accessories and Attachments

For just under $50, you get a few extensions and accessories. They include:

  • Jet tip extension
  • Wire grill brush
  • Steam squeegee attachment
  • Fabric tool
  • Window squeegee
  • Flexible hose
  • Fill cup

If you’re comparing handheld steam cleaners, you’ll notice that this one is a little short on accessories.

But, I found the jet-tip extension quite useful. It directs steam in the direction you want. That means you can focus on the tough spots and get them cleaned fast and more effectively.

Pros

More on the brighter side of things – it can steam counter tops and bathroom walls with the high-powered steam.

It is a lightweight steamer, so that’s a plus moving from point-to-point in the house.

It releases the right amount of steam at a high pressure. The Dirt Devil will kill mold, mildew, and sanitize your house well.

The extension hose is flexible. It is possible to bend it and clean the tough areas such as behind the fridge, around seats, and even in the microwave.

Cons

  • The 10-inch power cable is short. A longer one would’ve made this portable steam cleaner a better choice.
  • Few steamers compared to other top-rated portable steam cleaners.
  • One year warranty is also brief. It doesn’t build much confidence in the buyer. A longer warranty on the mortar can improve things here.

User reviews

Most users found the mop covers too small. They’re also lightweight and don’t last long. Even the manufacturer’s recommended replacements aren’t better quality.

Most reviews on the manufacturer’s website complain of the steam button malfunctioning. This could be an issue with some units, but it is worth noting.

Overall, it is a great pick for the price.

#5. Steamfast SF-210 Everyday Handheld Steam Cleaner

Steamfast SF-210 Everyday Handheld Steam Cleaner Review
  • Water tank capacity: 6 oz
  • Heating time: 3 minutes
  • On-demand steam? YES
  • Number of accessories: 6
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Power cord length: 12.5 ft

Note: This product is an upgrade of the  SF-226 Handheld Steam Cleaner. 

On this list, we already have minimalist designs that clean with great power.

Another addition in that regard is the Steamfast portable steam cleaner. The design is simple, it heats up in 3 minutes, and has enough accessories.

The price is also right for what we have seen, so you get quite a good product within the expected price range.

Price vs. Performance

The first amazing thing here is the 2-year warranty on a product that costs under $50. That boosts a buyer’s confidence.

Every time we see this on a steam mop or cleaner, it means that the durability is worth the money.

The design is practical and simple. It takes the basic shape of a jug. I found it easy to carry and use. There aren’t complexities with the SF-210 steamer.

In the previous product review, we noted that there wasn’t a button for on-demand steam. Luckily for this steamer, there’s a dedicated button for that.

A 12.5 ft long power cord means improved portability, while the extension hose makes it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas where dirt accumulates.

The reason why the SF-210 makes the list of the top rated handheld steam cleaners is its versatility.

It is quickly ready once you plug in the power cord. It takes only 3 minutes to reach steam temperatures and build pressure.

In 3 minutes, you’ll be ready to  harness the natural, effective power of steam to sanitize a wide variety of surfaces in your house. These include kitchen counter tops, grout, and bathroom tiles.

Attachments and accessories

A total of 6 accessories are included in the box. They include the following:

  • 5 nylon brushes
  • 5 brass brushes
  • One large brush
  • A jet nozzle
  • A measuring cup
  • Extension hose

What’s in the reviews?

Most reviewers liked the strong spray this steamer produces. It is powerful enough to break down grime and grease in the kitchen.

Some people found it durable, having lasted longer than 3 years and still in good condition.

However, some people who have used it for long noted that the scrub brushes wear out quickly. “…scrub attachments work fine, but they tend to not hold up well under heavy use.”

That seems to be quite a problem with just about every other brush accessory that comes with portable steam cleaners. Perhaps manufacturers want to make more sales in the form of accessories.

Pros

  • The lightweight portable steamer design makes it usable for long cleaning jobs.
  • Powerful steam, capable of blasting through dirt, mold, grout grime etc.
  • Ergonomic and versatile. You can use this steamer for almost any part of your house. You can also use it to steam upholstery and clothes.
  • The 2-year warranty is an added advantage on top of the low price.

Cons

  • The water tank is small. You’ll need to refill and re-heat after every 4-8 minutes of cleaning.
  • The steam button is a little weak – breaks down easily.
  • The material is a little too plastic-y. Maybe this helps with the price point but compromises the overall quality of the steamer.

How to Choose a Good Portable Steam Cleaner

So, from all the experience I have gathered having been in the cleaning industry, not all steam machines are made the same. You don’t want to buy one today and find something better in the market today.

So, I decided to prepare a guideline to help you choose a good product for your very specific needs. Consider the following criteria before choosing and buying. It is based on this criteria that we have ranked the products on our list of the best in this category.

Attachments and accessories

Other than choosing an easy-to-use cleaning machine or system, you want to get one that will as multi-purpose as possible. That is why you can see the Bissell 10-in-1 steam cleaner is our top-rated portable steam cleaner.

But why?

Accessories and attachments are definitely the deal in this industry. If possible, you want to buy one device and use a ton of attachments to clean different surfaces, and even get rid of varying types of dirt.

So, the one thing I would advise you check is the number of attachments and accessories your steam cleaner of choice comes with. It goes without saying – the more, the better.

Are there accessories for different materials, purposes, and surfaces? Think:

  • Clothes
  • Tiles (grout)
  • Hardwood floors, ceramic, linoleum, granite, and marble
  • Grills, microwaves, kitchen burners etc

Look for nozzles and brushes of varying sizes and purposes, mop attachments, hose extensions etc. The innovations with the attachments is also something you would consider. For example, I was amazed by the Hoover Steam Handheld Steamer’s multidirectional nozzle that makes it so easy to clean underneath the inside of toilet seats.

Cleaning power and versatility

Impressive reviews? Not so fast! Maybe you want a steam cleaner that will finally simplify your bathroom sanitation process. It’s not the same thing as cleaning your kitchen counter-tops or tiled floors.

So, choose a portable steam cleaning machine based on how suitable it is for your cleaning job. How versatile is it? Can the attachments reach behind your upholstery? Do you want a cleaning machine for the toilet? Do you want a handheld steam cleaner for your walls or something for as many surfaces as possible?

A versatile cleaner may come with different brush sizes, mop heads as attachments and accessories, extension hoses, and many more to make them more versatile for different cleaning abilities.

Other than that consideration, ask yourself how powerful is the machine or system? Do you need to go over dirt, grease and grime over and over to get rid of it, or do you just need one or two swipes and the little magic melts and eats away the dirt?

Even though most good portable steam cleaners will reach at least 212 Fahrenheit to kill 99.99% of germs and cut through different types of dirt, take note that the pressure of releasing steam can make a big difference in the results and amount of time and effort you will spend before getting the job done.

Capacity of the water tank

Something else I always found important to check is the capacity of the water tank. Well, we are talking portable here, so do not expect the best handheld steam machine to hold gallons of water.

I always considered this but it’s not a complete game changer for me. At least I have a reason to consider it because I sometimes had to clean 2 to 3 homesteads in a single day. If I could make fewer rounds of water refills, that would be amazing for me.

Expect the top rated steam cleaners here to have a water tank capacity between 6.0 oz and 12 oz. You’re not going to get any bigger water tanks than that but again, that should not be a major scoring point unless you are running a commercial cleaning company. In addition to that fact, bigger wouldn’t be so portable now, would it?

  • Larger tanks = longer steam cleaning sessions
  • Larger tanks = heavier devices

How fast does it heat up?

Some steam machines heat up faster than others, but I found this criteria not to carry as much weight in my scoring. However, it is normal for top rated portable steam cleaners to take not more than 4 minutes to heat up and be ready for use.

Price, Durability and Warranty

Last but not least, price and warranty are definitely a factor of durability as well. In order to choose well, always look at the warranty and how long it lasts. From experience, shorter warranties usually come with products that are of less quality or those that simply don’t last long.

When you choose high end products, you will notice that the warranty period is longer. You also get to enjoy enhanced specs such as digital control, additional features, and improved durability.

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