The best steam cleaners

From cleaning the upholstery to polishing hardwood floors; we’ve picked out the hottest steam cleaners on the market to help you complete your chores with ease

TODO alt text

Whether it’s a stain on the carpet or sofa, or simply mopping the kitchen floor; a steam cleaner is a versatile tool that is perfect for carrying out any household jobs quickly and effectively. Spring cleaning can be a nightmare, especially when you don’t have the right tools for the job. Nobody likes getting on their hands and knees to scrub the floor, or going to the trouble of removing their curtains to have them dry cleaned, but with a steam cleaner, all of these jobs just became incredibly easy. 

There are a few types of steam cleaner available on the market, the main ones being handheld, mop and cylinder steam cleaners. Each offers a different type of cleaning, and you can also get a combination of them all if you want to clean different types of surface on a regular basis. 

Mops are best for hardwood or laminate flooring, whereas cylinders are good for carpets and upholstery and handheld machines are the best at reaching any small and hard-to-reach areas. You can also get a range of attachments for your steam cleaner which open up many more cleaning options such as upholstery tools, scrubbing pads and squeegees for cleaning things such as windows and appliances. 

You’ll find that handheld steamers are more lightweight and easy to use but don’t steam for as long as mops. Mops heat up a lot quicker and last a lot longer but the exact time will depend on the size of the water tank. 

1. Shark Klik N’ Flip Steam Pocket Mop S6001UK

An easy to use mop for hassle-free cleaning

Best for: Mop steam cleaner
Water cap: 350ml
Power: 1050w
Heat up time: 30 seconds
Weight: 2.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Fast heat-up time+Hands-free pad replacement
Reasons to avoid
-Small water cap 

This mop steam cleaner is a great way to clean your hard floors quickly and easily, without ever having to get your hands dirty. You can change the pads on this mop at the touch of a button, and the water heats up in just 30 seconds. The pads are also machine washable so you can reuse them time and time again and your floor will be gleaming and completely dry once you are finished with it.  

2. Karcher SC2 Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner

Remove stubborn stains and dirt from a range of surfaces

Best for: Stains and dirt
Water cap: 1L
Power: 1500w
Heat up time: 6.5 mins
Weight: 3.2kg
Reasons to buy
+Kills 99.9% of bacteria+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Take a while to heat up 

If you’re after a multi-purpose steam cleaner to get out stubborn dirt from the carpet or upholstery, then the Karcher SC2 is a great option. It has a large water cap which allows you to clean without the need for chemicals or scrubbing. It can remove the toughest grease from ovens and even get rid of mould or limescale in your bathroom. You’ll get a range of nozzles included such as a floor nozzle, hand tool and detail nozzle.  

3. BISSELL 2635s Steam Shot Handheld Steam Cleaner

A handheld steam cleaner for those hard-to-reach areas

Best for: Handheld machine
Water cap: 360ml
Power: 1000w
Heat up time: n/a
Weight: 2.3kg
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Not as powerful as others 

This handheld steam cleaner is ideal for those who want to cleaner smaller surface areas as it is lightweight and comes with a range of accessories for intricate cleaning. Some users have said they feel this steam cleaner isn’t very powerful, but it is designed for more delicate areas which makes it ideal for cleaning fabric such as curtains.  

4. Polti Vaporetto Pro 85 Flexi Steam Cleaner

An easy to use steam cleaner that is extremely powerful

Best for: Ease of use
Water cap: 1L
Power: 1100w
Heat up time: 6 mins
Weight: 5.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for deep cleaning+Continuous refill system
Reasons to avoid
-For floors only 

The Polti Vapotetto Pro 85 Flexi Steam Cleaner is as easy to manoeuvre as a hoover, and works extremely well when deep cleaning floor and carpets. It has a continuous refill system which allows you to add more water at any time so you can carry out uninterrupted cleaning whenever you need to. This steam cleaner doesn’t come with many accessories for cleaning lots of areas, but if you only want it for cleaning floor, this machine does an excellent job. 

5. Morphy Richards 720027 Total Clean Fresh Steam Cleaner

A great all-rounder for when you want to carry out a spring clean

Best for: All-rounder
Water cap: 300ml
Power: 1200w
Heat up time: 30 seconds
Weight: 3.16kg
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+2-in-1 cleaner
Reasons to avoid
-Small water cap 

If you like the sound of the Polti Vaporetto Pro 75 Flexi Steam Cleaner but want something that can also clean your upholstery and surfaces, then this Morphy Richards 2-in-1 model is the one to invest in. It has a smaller water cap than most, but heats up quickly and is available at a very reasonable price. This is a great all-rounder for carrying out those chores you hate quickly and easily.