Steam Cleaners Buying Guide

If you've got a dingy carpet , you may be doing more than damaging your reputation.  Dirty rugs , carpets, upholstery  and floors can spread bacteria and allergens in your home, easily causing sickness.  The dangers of dirt are especially high for babies  and small children , who spend most of their time crawling and playing on the ground.  But don't panic; there is a solution to this icky, sometimes sticky problem!  If you have a ton of carpeting your home and/or you don't want to spend the money on professional cleaning, it may be wise to invest in a household steam cleaner.   Sometimes called heavyweight steam vacuums , these machines use a combination of water, detergent and suction power to remove stains, dirt, oil and bacteria from nearly any surface--many models come with special attachments for stairs, car interiors, bare floors, etc.  So read the details on some of the different designs out there, take some of our simple suggestions and then let the cleaning begin!

Questions to Ask Before Purchase

  • Do you need to use the steam cleaner on upholstery, bare floors, carpets or all of the above?  Some models are designed for one specific surface, while others come with attachments to accommodate various surfaces.
  • Is your carpet prone to set-in stains?  Some steam cleaners won't be much help unless you pre-treat the tough stains first.
  • Does your home have wall-to-wall carpet?  Is it light in colour?  If you have a ton of beige carpet in your hands, chances are that it will need a good cleaning every few months.  Instead of spending money on frequently hiring professional cleaners, a personal steam cleaner may be a more convenient, economic option.
  • How long is the warranty?  Aim for two years or more so the pricey investment is worth it.

Some Choices

Check out some of the different models to figure out which may best suit your household's needs.

Carpet Cleaners 

  • Carpet cleaners are sometimes also called steam cleaners, extractors  or deep cleaners .
  • They spray a mixture of hot tap water and detergent  onto the carpet and suck it back up again along with stains, dust, smells and allergens.
  • These are the most heavy-duty, not to mention genuinely heavy and bulky in size.
  • Most are for carpets only, although some may work mildly well on bare floors.
  • Come in canister  as well as upright  designs.

Handheld Steam Cleaners 

  • These models use very hot steam to clean away mould, dust mites, allergens and bacteria.
  • Can be used on carpets as well as hard wood floors and kitchen  and bathroom tile .
  • Can also be used to steam away clothing  wrinkles and remove wallpaper .
  • Lightweight, portable and easy to store.
  • Easy to maintain with no harsh cleaning chemicals  needed.
  • Easy to use, lightweight and portable.
  • Inexpensive.


Steam Mops 

  • More effective and easier to use than a regular mop , these can remove stuck-on stains in kitchens, bathrooms and hardwood floors.
  • Most models are very lightweight and thus, easy to manoeuvre.
  • Gets up tough stains without scrubbing, scratching or any other hard labour.
  • Don't use these on carpets!

Major Manufacturers

Related Guides

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Deep Carpet Cleaners

Handheld Vacuums