The 10 best steam cleaners to refresh and sanitise your home

Ready to discover the power of steam? Here are our top picks, from steam mops, cylinders and everything in between, to help you decide the best one for your cleaning needs.

Going above and beyond your typical bucket and mop, steam cleaners are an excellent solution for eliminating bacteria on a range of surfaces including sealed floors, tiles, ovens, windows, and even carpets. Steam cleaning is a powerful way to blitz surfaces naturally, requiring nothing more than water from your tap to tackle germs and bacteria without the need for detergents or harsh chemical products. A natural way to deep clean your home quickly and efficiently, steam cleaners come in a range of designs with a variety of functions, so you can find the one most suitable for your cleaning needs.

Steam mops tend to be more compact and lightweight, easy to set up and ready to use in a matter of seconds. Best at cleaning hard sealed floors, many steam mops can also freshen up carpets and rugs with the necessary attachment.

Not limited strictly to floors, many steam mops are also a 2-in-1, with additional tools for different jobs that can be used for more versatile cleaning of bathroom tiles, kitchen tops, and other washable surfaces.

Cylinder steam cleaners are usually heavier but wheeled, for easier manoeuvrability around the home. Cylinders tend to have the same functions as 2-in-1 steam mops, but with a more powerful steam output along with higher capacity water tanks that require refilling much less often.

We put 36 steam mops, 2-in-1s, and cylinders through our rigorous test procedures, covering a wide range of uses and for any budget, to compile this top ten list of best performing steam cleaners on the market today. Full steam ahead!

As our overall winner, this Kärcher steam cleaner scored almost top marks across the board in all our rigorous tests! Armed with an assortment of accessories, including a small and large round brush, carpet glider, power nozzle, detail nozzle, hand nozzle and window wiper, as well as decalcifying powder sachets for descaling the machine, you can be sure no cleaning job will be left behind.

It scored top marks cleaning ceramic tiles without causing any further mess, cleaned our vinyl flooring effortlessly without needing to scrub and leaving it shining. It made the windows spotless and dried quickly, and scored almost top marks on our oven and hob cleaning tests.

We found the cleaner produced a lot of steam very quickly, producing a lot of excess water which required mopping up between cleaning, most notably on our oven cleaning test. But we found this a small price to pay when weighing up its cleaning performance. This cleaner doesn’t come cheap, but you get what you pay for with this top-performing Kärcher, and we’re sure it won’t disappoint!

We love a multifunction machine that makes cleaning feel effortless, and this Bush steam mop certainly does just that! It did a fantastic job at making our ceramic tiles sparkling clean in little over a minute, including time to heat up, and made a great job at cleaning our oven with less than a full tank of water. We liked how easy it was to clean our hobs, with the conveniently-shaped round bristle brush ideal for cleaning around the burners and the corners of the stove top. We did find the cleaner made a bit of extra mess splattering some food deposits to the surrounding areas though.

We also found the squeegee attachment not entirely flawless, leaving obvious redeposits of dirt and smearing them along the glass. It did, however, make our vinyl flooring spotless, requiring very little time and effort to clean up staining and drying almost immediately. Thanks to the swivel floorhead it was also very easy to manoeuvre the floorhead in and around corners and it glided over the floor without difficulty. Overall, this steam mop will make a great addition to your home and will make your chores a breeze!

This steam cleaner model from Shark impressed us with its cleaning performance on hard floors, scoring just shy of top marks at cleaning up our vinyl flooring. In little over a minute, including the time it took to heat up a full tank of water, the floor was completely clean and required minimum effort.

Our floor was left shiny and dried very fast, and due to the shape of the floorhead and swivel steering, it was able to reach awkward areas and underneath furniture and appliances with ease. The Steam Blast feature activates a direct blast of concentrated steam for those stubborn stains that otherwise refuse to budge, and it feels light and well-balanced in use.

The downside of this cleaner is that it’s designed solely for use on hard and sealed floors, so if you require cleaning of more compact spaces you may prefer a model with a wider range of accessories or detachable handheld unit. While it’s a bit on the pricey side, this attractive and well-designed cleaner is a worthwhile investment.

We were very impressed with the cleaning prowess of this cylinder steam cleaner. It scored particularly well at cleaning carpets, ceramic tiles and sealed floors. After waiting 5 minutes for a full tank of water to heat up, the tasks at hand took little time or effort to achieve an optimum cleaning state. Muddy stains were removed with ease from both carpet and vinyl flooring, and the cleaning head glided smoothly on both surfaces.

The bristles from the brush located at the back of the floorhead worked well at scrubbing more embedded dirt from the carpet, helping to soften and lift dirt away without affecting the carpet fibres. We found on smaller cleaning surfaces, most notably ovens and hobs, the steam emitted was very powerful and caused a lot of splattering of dirt onto the surrounding surfaces, resulting in more time spent cleaning.

We also found the cleaner to be bulky and heavy, weighing just shy of 6.5kg with a full tank of water, which made it difficult to carry up or down stairs, and there’s no on-board storage for the 3.75-metre cord which adds to the inconvenience. Although it’s expensive, there’s not much this Polti steam cleaner can’t do. If you’re looking for a durable and efficient all-in-one, this is an excellent investment.

This Vytronix steam mop scored very highly across the board in all of our tough cleaning tests; most notably at tile cleaning, which it scored top marks on, as well as on vinyl flooring, ovens and gas hobs, which it narrowly missed top marks on for each.

It cleaned tiles quickly, efficiently and effectively, making them shine and sparkle in little more than a minute. And it cleaned up dried-on stains on vinyl flooring with ease, although it doesn’t glide along the floor as effortlessly as we’d expect. It cleaned our gas hob quickly, lifting away dirt without difficulty, and the results on the oven were similar although it took a bit of extra scrubbing on tougher dirt.

This cleaner also did a good job on windows but we noticed it left quite a lot of streaks behind. We loved how comfortable it is to hold and how it’s not bulky, and were very impressed by its overall performance. We would highly recommend this Vytronix steam mop as a great value all-in-one cleaner.

The Dupray Neat Multi-Use Steam Cleaner boasts impressive cleaning prowess, scoring nearly full marks across the board on all of our tough cleaning tests. We were especially satisfied with its window cleaning ability, blasting away embedded dirt effortlessly, drying fast and leaving the glass shiny and smear-free.

The trigger switch is easy to use for long periods of time and proved itself on all tests. We found it cleaned vinyl flooring speedily and the swivel floorhead made it easy to get into awkward areas, although it is too bulky to be able to clean underneath appliances. When it came to clean the oven, while it softened and lifted dirt away with ease, we found it to cause a lot of splattering of food deposits in the surrounding areas of the oven.

Having a lower steam output setting would have been ideal for this type of cleaning task as it was almost too powerful for the oven! Overall, we rate this cleaner for the majority of cleaning tasks, and its futuristic-looking design will certainly be a talking point for visitors!

We were impressed with this Polti steam cleaner, scoring high marks for performance on most of our tests. We found the rubbery grip handle and trigger button very comfortable in use, and the range of steam made light work of cleaning an array of surfaces. It cleaned up hard flooring rapidly and effortlessly, leaving it shiny and streak-free.

The cleaning head manoeuvred easily, and the flexible joint feature meant we were able to reach under areas otherwise tricky to get to. It also cleaned up our windows, oven and gas hob effectively, although when using the small round brushes for cleaning the oven and hobs, the bristles became dented and damaged making them barely useable for further cleaning jobs after just one use.

We also found the hose quite heavy which occasionally interfered with our cleaning. Although Polti states this steam cleaner is suitable for carpets, we found it didn’t clean as well as we’d expected even after more than ten sweeps of the floorhead. That said, if it’s just freshening up you’re looking for this would work just fine, and on all other surfaces it proved itself as a hardy and efficient machine.

This Beldray Flexi Steam Cleaner doesn’t disappoint, adhering to its name as a 12-in-1 device. We found it to work exceptionally well at cleaning ceramic tiles and gas hobs in particular, just missing top marks in terms of performance for each.

It also scored highly at oven cleaning, however it took some scrubbing to remove more engrained dirt on the base of the oven and produced a lot of water was produced from the steam which meant we had a lot of mopping up to do afterwards. It did also leave behind some streaking, although this wasn’t a huge issue as the oven was certainly clean.

On hard flooring, the steam mop worked well, collecting all residues of dirt without spreading them around the floor, and manoeuvring effortlessly around the room aided by the rotating floorhead. With clear instructions for use, great cleaning performance, and ease of use, this Beldray steam cleaner is excellent value for money.

We were very pleased with how easy this Shark steam mop was to use, needing minimal effort to set up and begin using. The cleaning performance on our vinyl flooring was impressive, requiring no scrubbing to remove the dirt thanks to the Steam Blaster feature, leaving our floor shiny and drying quickly. It did leave some minor streaks behind which we found needed just another couple of sweeps to remove fully, and the cleaning head glided smoothly over the vinyl floor.

We found the steam output quite difficult to control, as while you can pump the handle for an increased output of steam, you’re unable to reduce it. In addition, as there are no other controls, including no on/off switch, the cleaner will continue to steam unless switched off at the mains.

We liked how lightweight it is, weighing just 2.3kg with a full water tank which makes it easy to carry around different rooms and up or down stairs, and it is also compact for storing. Overall, we highly rate this steam mop and the perfect addition to a home with hard floors.

This Vax cleaner delivered good cleaning results on the hob and hard floors but it is not so effective on stubborn grease in the oven. It is very fast to heat up, enabling quick results that will get you around the home in a flash. It also left floors dry rather than over-wetting, so it’s handy if you have a busy and bustling household.

We found it very easy to use and the sheer number of accessories made it extremely versatile. The variable steam on both the mop and handheld enabled us to tailor the steam rate depending on the task at hand. The detergent tank allows the use of detergent in addition to steam, and it refreshes and lifts carpet pile but it did not deep clean, which was to be expected. The water tank was a little tricky to fill due to its small hole, but it helped that the tank was removable and could be filled at the sink.

Post time: Sep-09-2019