How to choose a steam cleaner for home

A steam cleaner is a device for efficient house cleaning, disinfection of various surfaces and removal of complex pollution.

How to choose a steam cleaner for home

How to choose a steam cleaner for the home: features that need to consider

When choosing a steam cleaner for home use is worth pay attention to the following technical specifications devices:

  1. Type of device;

  2. Steam boiler volume;

  3. Type of heating;

  4. Steam pressure;

  5. Power;

  6. Water heating time;

  7. Steam temperature;

  8. Protection system.

  9. The device manufacturer is also important.

Types of steam cleaners for home

Household steam cleaners, can be divided into three groups:

  1. Hand held;

  2. Floor standing;

  3. Steam cleaners and other multifunctional devices.

Manual steam cleaners

Manual steam cleaners

Handheld steam cleaners are compact devices that intended for short use. They fit for easy clothing care and short-term house cleaning (for example, processing any one surface).

Structurally, such devices are similar to an electric kettle – in a special container boils water, and the finished steam is fed through flexible hose. The vast majority of models are equipped with gravity steam supply system, as a result of which the quality of cleaning may to suffer – to “knock out” pollution from a tissue, for example, will be complicated.

However, these steam cleaners are suitable for easy cleaning, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.


  • Low price;

  • Mobility – you can freely move them around the house;

  • The possibility of using untreated water;

  • Simplicity of design, reducing the risk of breakage;


  • Low power (up to 1.5 kW), which leads to a long time start up;

  • High mass of the device, resulting in hand fatigue during prolonged use;

  • Small capacity of the water tank (up to 1 l, in most cases – 0.5 l);

Floor steam cleaners

Floor steam cleaners

Floor steam cleaners are universal devices that suitable for a full cleaning throughout the apartment. Due to its high power and large volume of the water tank they can be used to process numerous surfaces, items of furniture and clothing.


  • High power (usually 1.5-2.3 kW), providing minimum start time and maximum flow rate couple;

  • Usually a large number of nozzles in the kit;

  • The presence of a boiler that delivers steam under high pressure;

  • Large volume of water tank that allows for cleaning of various surfaces without “refueling”;


  • High price;

  • High power consumption;

  • Large dimensions;

However, floor-mounted steam cleaners are an ideal solution for cleaning the entire apartment.

Steam cleaners and other multifunctional devices

Steam cleaners-vacuum cleaners

Multifunctional cleaners can replace several household appliances. For example, they can be equipped a nozzle iron for smoothing clothes or a vacuum cleaner for “home dry cleaning” of carpets and similar floor coverings.


  • Possibility of complex cleaning using one devices

  • Usually a big complete set with nozzles for the most different surfaces;

  • High-quality cleaning of a variety of surfaces;

  • Possibility of application in a variety of cases;


  • High price;

  • High requirements for the quality of the filled water.

Which steam cleaner for home is better to choose

Choose a steam cleaner for the home should be based on the planned usage scenarios. So:

  1. If you plan to process small surfaces or a small amount of clothing, it’s worth buying manual steam cleaner – it will be enough in most cases;

  2. If you plan to process a large number of surfaces, clothes, disinfect and clean a wide variety of products in the room, then a good solution is a floor steam cleaner;

  3. If the budget allows and it is planned to carry out a comprehensive cleaning indoors – it’s worth buying a multifunctional steam cleaner.

When choosing a steam cleaner for the home should not be guided only by type and use cases, but also by technical device characteristics.

Steam cleaner selection options

The main selection criteria

The technical characteristics of the steam cleaner directly affect its operational parameters. Therefore, it is important to consider the following device specifications:

  1. The capacity of the liquid tank;

  2. Type of steam supply;

  3. Steam pressure;

  4. Power;

  5. Water heating time;

  6. Steam temperature;

  7. Protection system;

  8. Equipment.

Liquid Tank Capacity

The volume of the liquid tank directly determines the duration cleaning (and the number of surfaces that can be treated with using a steam cleaner).

The vast majority of portable steam cleaners are equipped a liquid container with a capacity of up to 0.5 l inclusive. Of this enough for short processing – for example, enough to wash one or two windows or clean one chair. Further have to add water and wait until it boils.

Floor steam cleaners are equipped with a 0.5-2 liter tank. This is already enough to clean several carpets, items soft furniture, etc. But, choosing a steam cleaner with a tank of more than 1.5 liters, you should make sure that it will be powerful enough to boil water quickly – that is, have a power of more than 2 kW.

Multifunctional steam cleaners in most cases equipped with a reservoir of 1-1.5 l, which is explained by the need fit additional components into the housing. But even this enough volume to handle almost all necessary surfaces in a small apartment.

Type of steam supply

There are two types of steam cleaners for the home – with direct-flow steam supply and with integrated steam generator. They differ intensity and temperature of hot air at the exit.

In-line steam cleaners

In-line steam cleaners are just a kind of electric kettle. After boiling water in the boiler, steam on its own fed through a flexible tube into the nozzle.

In-line steam cleaners are suitable for processing various surfaces, removal of simple pollution and refreshment of loose tissues. With serious tasks like “dry cleaning” the carpet, they simply don’t will cope.


  • Low price;

  • Minimum requirements for water quality;

  • Simple and reliable design;


  • The steam supply can be quite low and the flow just does not pierce dense tissue;

  • Intensity of steam supply is unstable – it gradually increases, as a result of which a part of the useful volume of water remains unused.

Steam cleaners with integrated steam generator

Steam cleaners with integrated steam generator provide significantly higher vapor pressure and its density (from 3 bar and 70 grams per minute, respectively), therefore suitable for dealing with serious contamination and processing of dense fabrics like carpets or upholstery of upholstered furniture.

Often manufacturers do not indicate the presence (or absence) steam generator in the specifications of the steam cleaner. Therefore determine it is possible by the characteristics of the vapor pressure. If it is more than 3-5 bar – most likely, a steam generator is installed in the device. If it less or simply missing in the specs – it’s about direct-flow model.


  • Quickly and efficiently deal with complex pollution (such as sticky dirt in the kitchen, dirt in the crevices of tiles or parquet, traces in the hood);

  • The vapor stream penetrates deeply into the structure of the material (therefore dust mites from upholstered furniture or dust due to radiator).


  • Usually short run time at maximum intensity (after which the device starts to work like direct-flow);

  • High price;

  • High requirements for water quality;

Steam pressure

Steam pressure

Vapor pressure directly determines the intensity of cleaning and depth of penetration of hot air. It is measured in bars and indicated in the specifications of the device:

  1. Not indicated – most likely, we are talking about direct-flow steam cleaner which is designed to disinfect smooth surfaces and processing of thin fabrics;

  2. Up to 3 bar – suitable for disinfection and cleaning of smooth surfaces, removal of simple pollution, processing of children’s toys, upholstered furniture, fabric upholstery, clothes made of breathable materials;

  3. 3 to 5 bar – suitable for removing most contaminants, processing upholstered furniture and bedding, has an effective antiseptic effect;

  4. Over 5 bar – suitable for removing complex contaminants (including grease marks on cookware and appliances), penetrates deep into structure of the material, qualitatively cleans and disinfects carpets, upholstered furniture, bedding. But it can hurt heat-sensitive materials – plastic, polyethylene, delicate fabrics – and also cause peeling of poor-quality dyes or varnishing.

For complex cleaning, you should buy a steam cleaner with the ability to adjust the steam pressure.

It is also worth remembering that some manufacturers in the specifications indicate not the actual steam pressure at the outlet, but its value in steam boiler (containers for boiling water). Bye hot air passes through the tube, its pressure may decrease by 1-2 bar. it must be considered when choosing a device.


The power of the steam cleaner directly affects the boiling time of water. It should correspond to the tank capacity:

  1. Up to 0.5 L – 500-1200 W will be enough for fast start;

  2. From 0.5 to 2 l – 1000-2500 W;

  3. More than 2 liters – from 2200 watts.

If the power is less, the boiling time may be several minutes – and there will be a big loss of effective amount water (up to 10-15% of the tank capacity).

For in-line steam cleaners, it is worth choosing models of increased power – this will provide greater vapor pressure at the nozzle exit.

Water heating time

The time for heating water directly depends on the capacity of the steam cleaner and tanks for liquid. So, for most models standard the value of this indicator are:

  1. 15 seconds – for manual;

  2. 45 seconds – for floor with a capacity of about 2 liters;

  3. 30 seconds – for multifunctional tanks with a capacity of about 1.5 liters.

This parameter defines user experience rather than real practical qualities of the device.

Steam temperature

The standard steam temperature is 100 (or even slightly more). – about 101-102) degrees Celsius. With a decrease condensation is observed – drops of water appear. However in supersaturated air vapor can retain its gaseous form and at much lower temperatures, up to 60 degrees; and in direct-flow steam cleaners near the end of the cycle of his the temperature can rise up to 120-130 degrees.


The higher the steam temperature, the more effective the cleansing and he has a disinfecting effect. But at the same time, very hot air can be dangerous for delicate fabrics and materials like plastic or polyethylene.

In addition, it is worth considering that in the process of passing through the flexible the tube from the boiler decreases the steam temperature – up to 80-90 degrees in the beginning of the boiling cycle of water and up to 90-100 degrees at its end.

However, the vast majority of manufacturers do not indicate steam temperature in the specifications of the device, and steam cleaners with the ability to configure this parameter is very rare.

Protection system

The protection systems used in steam cleaners may be very diverse. Firstly, it is the boiler cover lock. It prevents the opening of the water tank at a time when boiling occurs or the tank is set high temperature.

Secondly, it is an automatic shutdown. It may be implemented to achieve the maximum pressure in the boiler (if the release steam is not produced) or by emptying the tank when it is running out of water.

And finally, the third protection system is child protection. In that In case of steam release only after pressing a special buttons on the handle of the device.

It is recommended to choose models equipped with all possible protection methods to prevent burns or provide maximum fire safety.


The practicality of a steam cleaner for the home is determined by the quantity included nozzles.

  1. Iron and non-stick pad for ironing clothes.

  2. Brushes of various types (e.g. round) are suitable for removal dirt from various surfaces, but are best suited for cleaning upholstered furniture and toys.

  3. Brushes with brass bristles (or other increased stiffness) designed to clean heavily soiled surfaces that are can be scratched without loss of product performance – for example, for pans without non-stick coating.

  4. Microfiber nozzles and wipes are designed for cleaning smooth surfaces – flooring, plumbing, cabinet furniture, windows, etc.

  5. Window scrapers are designed to clean smooth transparent or mirror surfaces.

  6. Steam turbo brushes efficiently remove stubborn dirt from textile surfaces – floor coverings, upholstery etc.

  7. Point nozzle and crevice nozzles suitable for removing dirt from joints of floor coverings and complex structures, as well as destruction heavily stubborn, dried up or sticky pollution.

  8. Textile care nozzle designed for steaming clothes.

Choosing a complete set is based on your needs.

Steam Cleaners Cost

The cost of steam cleaners depends on the type and power. Manual models cost from 1.5-2 thousand rubles, and most models It is in the price range of 4-6 thousand rubles. Floor standing from 5 thousand rubles, most models – in the range of 8-10 thousand rubles. Multifunctional ones cost from 12 thousand rubles, most models – in the range of 20-30 thousand rubles.

The best manufacturers of steam cleaners – which company to choose

Among the manufacturers of steam cleaners are:

  1. Karcher, MIE – premium steam cleaner manufacturers with wide functionality, high power and excellent durability. The disadvantage is a very high price, even for its segment;

  2. Kitfort – good mid-budget price steam cleaners segment.

  3. DeFort and Smile can also be distinguished, however it is very difficult to find steam cleaners for their production on sale.


In the following articles we tell how to choose the right iron for home and the secrets of choosing a steamer for clothes.

Video for choosing a steam cleaner for home

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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