Steam cleaners are probably one of the most popular cleaning tools available on the market today. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that it allows people to clean almost every part of their house using only steam, meaning that there’s no need for any harsh chemicals, which can often be toxic to both humans and to the environment.

However, with the amount of steam cleaners currently available, choosing the right one can be quite a challenge. Here, we offer a few tips which should help.

Type of steam cleaners

There are three main types of steam cleaning devices; steam mops, handheld steam cleaners and cylinder steam cleaners. Steam mops are upright mops which are attached by their handle to a water tank and are used only for cleaning floors.

Handheld steamers are small and therefore easy to store and are usually a good option for those living in small houses and flats, where there aren’t large areas that need to be cleaned. Handheld steam cleaners can also be used for cleaning in hard to reach places, like kitchen corners and carpet edges.

Cylinder steam cleaners are made up of a nozzle, a plastic tube, a hose and the main body and resemble cylinder hoovers. Because they’re quite large and bulky, they’re not the best idea if your house is on the small side. However, they are very effective if you need to steam clean a large area, as they have big tanks and so won’t run out of steam quickly like a handheld cleaner tends to.

In terms of which one is right for you, it’s important to consider not only where you will be able to store the steam cleaner, but also whether or not it will be comfortable to use. For instance, you might live in a large house, but there’s no point buying a big cylinder steam cleaner, if you have back problems and therefore won’t be able to lift it.


You should also check to see which accessories and extra tools come with the steam cleaner you are considering. Ideally, you want your steam cleaner to be able to clean multiple areas of your home and for this, extra attachments will probably be needed; things like scrubbing brushes and pads, upholstery attachments and squeegees can all come in handy. However, do bear in mind that a steam cleaner which comes with all of these accessories will probably be considerably more expensive.

Heat up times and capacity

You may also want to consider how quickly the device heats up (some expensive steam cleaners can heat up in a matter of seconds, whilst others take several minutes), as well as the water tank capacity and how long the device allows you to steam for, before the tank needs to be refilled. This varies quite a bit from one model to another, but most devices of this kind can clean for between ten and sixty minutes. Again, the greater the capacity and the steaming time, the more expensive it is likely to be.