The best steam cleaners

From cleaning the upholstery to polishing hardwood floors, our pick of the best steam cleaners on the market will help you complete your chores with ease

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Whether you need to remove a stain from the carpet or sofa, or simply make the kitchen floor sparkle, a steam cleaner is a versatile cleaning tool that saves you getting on your hands and knees with a scrubbing brush. 

That's not all they can tackle though; you can use steam cleaners to quickly make worktops and appliances gleam and even to steam clean curtains. We've picked the best steam cleaners to cut your cleaning jobs down to size. 

Want more cleaning device recommendations? Find more cleaning buys and tips on our dedicated page. Or, visit our cleaning sourcebook for the 50 best cleaning essentials.

What to consider when buying a steam cleaner


There are a few types of steam cleaner available on the market, the main ones being handheld, mop and cylinder. 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. 

Mop, cylinder or handheld?

Mops are best for hard flooring; cylinders are good for carpets and upholstery; and handheld machines are best for reaching any small or inaccessible areas.


You can also get a range of attachments for your steam cleaner that open up many more cleaning options, such as upholstery tools, scrubbing pads and squeegees for cleaning windows and appliances, for example. 


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


Shark Klik N’ Flip Steam Pocket Mop S6001UK

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 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. Use this steam cleaner and your floor will be not only gleaming, but also completely dry once you are finished with it, which is why its our pick of the best steam cleaner you can buy.

2. Karcher SC2 Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner

Remove stubborn stains and dirt from a range of surfaces

Best for: Stains and dirt
Water cap: 1ltr
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 stubborn dirt out of 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. You’ll get a range of attachments included, such as a floor nozzle, hand tool and detail nozzle.  

BISSELL 2635e Steam Shot

(Image: © BISSELL)

3. BISSELL 2635e Steam Shot

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

Best for: Handheld machine
Water cap: 360ml
Power: 1050w
Heat up time: n/a
Weight: 1.36kg
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's 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 fabrics, including curtains. We think this is the best steam cleaner if you're after a handheld model.

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: 1ltr
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 vacuum cleaner, 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 floors, it does an excellent job. 

Morphy Richards 720026 Complete 8-in-1 Steam Cleaner

(Image: © Morphy Richards)

5. Morphy Richards 720026 Complete 8-in-1 Steam Cleaner

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

Best for: All-rounder
Water cap: 400ml
Power: 1600w
Heat up time: 30 seconds
Weight: 3kg
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+8-in-1 cleaner+Triangular floor head
Reasons to avoid
-Isn't that good with very tough stains

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 8-in-1 model is the best steam cleaner for you. It has an average size water tank, 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. The best part? It has a triangular floor head to make your life that little bit easier when trying to clean corners. It also comes with a detachable handheld steamer for when you're cleaning those hard-to-reach areas.