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Best Upholstery Steam Cleaners in 2022

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Updated June 27, 2022

What are the features that make the best upholstery steam cleaner? Apart from the best vacuum cleaners, these are some of the most important appliances to add to your cleaning toolkit, thanks to their powerful ability to clean fabric with ease. With sanitizing power and multiple attachments, these versatile appliances can clean stubborn stains from fabric and kill bed bugs, bacteria, and viruses.

If you’re looking for a way to clean your upholstery or your area rugs without using harsh chemicals, then an upholstery steam cleaner is an excellent option. Depending on the type of steamer you purchase, you’ll get a portable and effective cleaning device to use throughout your home.

However, for cleaning short spaces like rugs, you’ll want to look into the leading vacuum for area rugs.

Keep reading to learn more about the best upholstery steam cleaners, how they work, and how you can choose the best one for your upholstery cleaning needs.

Top Upholstery Steam Cleaners

 #1  Kiato 450ml Steam Cleaner

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This steaming machine comes with a wide variety of attachments, so it supports sterilizing couches, vehicle seats, doors, and sinks. It provides steam for up to 8 minutes.

Pros
  • Outstanding collection of attachments
  • Provides a continuous supply of steam
  • Lightweight design
Cons
  • Produces relatively low-pressure steam

The Kiato 450ml steam cleaner is a portable handheld device for cleaning sofas, car seats, and office furniture. Just like the Bissell Symphony vac and steam 2-in-1 vacuum, the Kaito also cleans up hard floors. It has a 450 ml water tank that provides portability and convenience. The steam cleaner comes with a long 16.4-foot power cord, offering flexibility. It functions continuously for up to 8 minutes at a time. However, this model operates at low pressure, so it struggles with very thick stemesses.

This Kiato 450ml steam cleaner has a 1150W heater that produces steam at up to 221°F, clearing debris and killing germs fast. The device cuts through grime and stains, eliminating odors from the home. It comes with a 10-piece accessory set for cleaning a wide variety of items. The device comes with a rubber wiper for glass windows and doors. We like its easy-grip handle and fingertip on/off toggle, which is conveniently located near the handle.

 #2  Vminno 450ml Steam Cleaner

Award: BEST USER-FRIENDLY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This cleaning system has a wide variety of attachments that are ideal for floors, sofas, vehicles, and kitchen appliances. We love the safety features on this device that prevent accidental operation

Pros
  • Incredible safety features
  • Thumb-operated switch
  • Comes with a wide variety of attachments
Cons
  • Relatively short power cord
  • Intermittent steam operation

The Vminno 450ml steam cleaner features a large tank to provide a good supply of steam for cleaning kitchens, floors, and upholstery. This device is lightweight and can be carried with one hand. It has a 9.8-foot power cord that allows moving around the room when cleaning. The device has a sturdy handle with a thumb-operated on/off switch for convenience. However, the steamer shuts down periodically to reheat the steam.

This Vminno 450ml steam cleaner comes with 9 useful accessories for cleaning in a wide variety of situations. It has a child safety lock to prevent accidental operation by children and pets. Built-in overheating protection prevents the steam from getting too hot to damage this cleaning machine. This steamer is great for clearing away the grime from grills, ranges, and other kitchen appliances. It has a flexible nozzle for cleaning hard-to-reach spots in the home.

 #3  Commercial Care CCSC30 350ml Steam Cleaner

Award: BEST FOR FABRIC

WHY WE LIKE IT: This steaming system has a wide selection of accessories for cleaning sofas, car seats, and floors. It features a cloth steaming attachment that presses and sterilizes apparel easily.

Pros
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Handy cloth steaming attachment
  • Thumb-operated toggle
Cons
  • Short 6.6-f;oot power cord
  • Reheating takes times

The Commercial Care CCSC30 steam cleaner uses a powerful 1200W heater to clean and sterilize upholstery and other items in the home. This device has a 350 ml tank that provides an ample supply of steam for a few minutes’ worth of cleaning. It weighs just 3.5 lbs, so it can be held with one hand easily. However, the 6.6-foot power cord may be too short to reach some items in some homes.

This Commercial Care CCSC30 steam cleaner has an easy-grip handle that’s comfortable to hold. It comes with an assortment of attachments to simplify working with various household items. A thump-operated on/off toggle supports intuitive operation. The device produces pressurized steam that will remove thick grime easily. It comes with a flexible nozzle and fabric brushes for handling upholstery easily. This device also comes with a tile cleaner and garment steamer for wide-ranging use.

 #4  Fandiishop 350ml Steam Cleaner

Award: BEST FOR WINDOWS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This device produces high-pressure hot air to clean up a variety of household items. It has a child lock which enhances safety in homes with children and pets.

Pros
  • Excellent accessory kit
  • Great for windows
  • Stylish design
Cons
  • Relatively short power cord
  • Takes time to heat up

The Fandiishop 350ml steam cleaner has a 10-foot power cord that allows moving around the home during cleaning. Equipped with a 180-degree rotating nozzle, this device offers incredible performance. It has a 1050W heating system, producing super-hot steam fast. The device comes with a nine-piece accessory kit for cleaning items ranging from carpets to hard floors and glass windows. However, this steaming device takes some time to build up enough heat for handling kitchen grime.

This Fandiishop 350ml steam cleaner has a safety cup to prevent steam from escaping accidentally. Changing the attachments on this model is quite easy. An LED indicator alerts the user then the steam level is low. This machine also has a child lock to prevent children and pets from accidentally turning it on. It comes with a spray cup for windows and brush accessories for upholstery. This device also includes a steam iron for clothes.

 #5  MLMLANT MLA-SC1111 450ml Steam Cleaner

Award: BEST SAFETY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This device has a stylish design that will add visual interest to any home. It comes with a wide variety of accessories for dealing with fabric, glass, and cooking appliances.

Pros
  • Exquisite design
  • Moderate water tank
  • Various accessories
Cons
  • Intermittent steam supply
  • Waiting time before refilling

The MLMLANT MLA-SC1111 450ml steam cleaner features a pleasant blue and black color scheme that will add a touch of refinement to any home. This cleaning device uses pressurized steam to sterilize and clean up various items. This device has a 1050W heater that’s ideal for tiled floors and grouts. It functions for up to 20 minutes, eliminating the need for frequent refilling. However, this device doesn’t provide a consistent supply of steam, so it requires patience.

This MLMLANT MLA-SC1111 450ml steam cleaner comes with nine accessories for cleaning floors and upholstery. The hot steam reaches 250 to 250°F, providing effective sanitization and cutting through thick grease and grime. A measuring cup and funnel simplify adding water to this machine. This device also comes with a spray cup for windows, towel sleeve, and extended nozzles. It comes with brushes for carpets and fabric. A 10-foot power cord offers mobility during cleaning. The device has a child lock for safety.

 #6  BiiBeSeamu 350ml Steam Cleaner

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This steaming device comes with a wide selection of accessories for handling fabric and hard surfaces. We love that it can be used while plugged in to maintain high performance.

Pros
  • Super-hot steaming
  • Comes with 9 accessories
  • Operates while plugged in
Cons
  • Lacks on/off switch
  • Difficult to operate with one hand

The BiibeSeamu 350ml steam cleaner is recommended for upholstery, carpets, and hard floors. This steaming device produces steam at a pressure of 3 Bar, providing adequate force to cut through thick grime and tough stains. Producing super-hot steam at up to 230°F, this appliance melts oil and kitchen residues easily. It has built-in overheating protection and anti-dry burning protection for safety. However, this device is difficult to operate with one hand.

This BiibeSeamu 350ml steam cleaner has a moderately sized tank that provides continuous steam for up to 5 to 7 minutes. It comes with 9 different accessories, including an extended nozzle for reaching tight spaces. The kit includes a towel sleeve, measuring cup, and a variety of brushes for working with upholstery and hard surfaces. This device can be used while plugged in after heating to keep the steam temperature high.

Beginner’s Guide to Upholstery Steam Cleaners

What Are Upholstery Steam Cleaners?

Upholstery steam cleaners are powerful cleaning appliances that use hot water vapor to clean the fabric on furniture. You can use these tools to clear your furniture of dust, dirt, grime, and pet stains. Plus, the heat from the steam is enough to kill mold spores, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that might make you sick.

Upholstery Steam Cleaners vs Traditional Vacuums

Apart from their simple nature of being cleaning tools, steam cleaners are fundamentally different from traditional vacuum cleaners in nearly every way. For starters, both devices are meant to clean up different types of messes. Vacuum cleaners are best for cleaning up dry messes like dirt and dust on the floor. Upholstery steam cleaners are best for cleaning up the fabric covering your furniture, as well as curtains, bedding, and clothes. They’re well-equipped to handle the toughest stains, like pet messes.

These cleaning tools function differently than a vacuum cleaner, which uses components like a motor, fan, intake port, and exhaust port to create suction power and pick up debris. Instead, they use water tanks and heating elements to create steam from clean water. This hot water vapor then jets out of the steam cleaner through the steam hose or steam nozzle.

How Upholstery Steam Cleaners Work

When it comes to base cleaning functionality, upholstery steam cleaners utilize a heating element called a boiler to heat water and create steam. First, you’ll fill the water tank with clean water. Some models feature a removable tank that you can take to the sink, while others feature a fixed tank that needs to be filled while attached to the steam cleaner.

Once you’ve filled up your steam cleaner’s water tank, you’ll connect the appliance to a power source. Corded models plug into a wall outlet, while cordless models utilize battery power. After powering on your device, you’ll select the desired steam level, determining how much steam is expelled from the cleaner. Then, your steamer starts to heat the water using the boiler.

After your water is heated to a boil, steam will build up pressure in the water tank. The pressure will continue until it is released. If your upholstery steamer uses a detergent tank, the steam will pass through the chamber and mix with the detergent before it is expelled from the cleaner. This detergent gives you a more enhanced cleaning experience.

The steam itself is responsible for loosening dirt and stains from your upholstery. The heat is also high enough to kill pathogens like mold, viruses, and bacteria.

Do You Really Need an Upholstery Steam Cleaner?

If you’re looking for an easy way to clean your furniture without ruining it or using harsh chemicals, then an upholstery steam cleaner is the best choice for you. These powerful cleaning tools utilize hot water vapor to loosen dirt and stains from your furniture’s fabric. Then, you can simply wipe the mess away and let the fabric air dry naturally.

Is an Upholstery Steam Cleaner Worth Buying?

  • You Want a Chemical-Free Cleaning Solution: One of the best things about these appliances is that they don’t require any kind of detergent or chemicals to achieve a deep clean. Even though some models can use detergent, all of them can operate on steam alone, creating a healthier environment overall.
  • You Need to Clean Up Tough Stains: If your upholstery has stubborn stains, you can use a steam cleaner to remove them easily. Hot water vapor is excellent at loosening the material that caused the stain without damaging the fabric. If you’ve tried stain removers and other chemicals without luck, you should try one of these products.
  • You Need to Clean Hard-to-Reach Spaces: Hot steam isn’t held back by tight corners or hard-to-reach places. If you need to do some spot cleaning on a stubborn bit of dirt in a window track or a stain underneath a chair, your steam cleaner can help you more easily clean them up.

Why an Upholstery Steam Cleaner May Not Be For You

  • You Need to Clean Floors: Upholstery steam cleaners are explicitly meant to clean your furniture’s fabric. If you’re looking to clean your floors with steam, you should consider the best steam mop vacuum. Be aware, though, that particular floors types aren’t meant to be cleaned with steam, such as vinyl, unsealed hardwood, and non-porcelain tile.
  • You Need to Vacuum Up Dry Messes: If you need to clean dry messes, like dirt, dust, pet hair, and human hair, you should consider a vacuum cleaner instead of an upholstery steam cleaner. Also, you might want to consider the best vacuum accessories to help you vacuum more efficiently.
  • You Need to Clean Delicate Upholstery: Upholstery cleaners are excellent appliances for most fabric types. However, if your furniture has delicate upholstery, hot steam can ruin it. Avoid using these cleaning appliances to clean silk or velour upholstery.

How Long Will an Upholstery Steam Cleaner Last?

The overall lifespan of your upholstery steam cleaner depends on several different factors. For one, more expensive models will give you a longer lifespan because they offer higher-quality components. The amount you use your steam cleaner can also impact its overall lifespan.

In general, you should expect around five years of life out of your steam cleaner before it needs to be repaired or replaced, according to industry experts like those at AchooAllergy. However, many models can last upwards of 10 years, depending on how well you maintain them.

How to Choose an Upholstery Steam Cleaner

Before you finalize your purchasing decision with a new steam mop vacuum, you’ll need to do some homework. We always recommend evaluating your current situation to determine exactly what kind of product you need. In this case, consider the type of floors in your home to determine how they need to be cleaned. Then, consider features like suction power, dust cup capacity, water tank capacity, and maneuverability.

Best Upholstery Steam Cleaner Key Factors to Consider

1. What type of upholstery steam cleaner should you purchase?

There are a large variety of different types of steamers from which to choose. If you’re new to purchasing this type of cleaning product, all of the different choices can be confusing. Let’s take a look at the different types:

  • Handheld: These are the most common types of upholstery steam cleaners available today. Thanks to their compact design, handheld steamers offer a lightweight design and are incredibly easy to operate. After powering it on, you hold the handheld steamer close to the fabric and slowly move it across the surface.
  • Garment: These steam cleaners are used almost exclusively for garments, but you can also use them to clean upholstery. Garment steamers typically feature a water tank on the floor and a handheld steam nozzle, which is easier to hold and lighter than handheld steamers.
  • Cylinder: These are also known as canister steam cleaners. They feature high-capacity water tanks on the floor that can roll around with you. Cylinder steamers are some of the most powerful and versatile options available on the market today.
  • Vacuum: Some steamers are part of a vacuum mop hybrid appliance. Many all-in-one vacuums feature a detachable steam cleaning attachment. You’ll use these in the same way as a handheld steam cleaner.

2. Should you purchase a corded steam cleaner or a cordless steam cleaner?

When it comes to a power source for these appliances, you’ll have a choice between corded options and cordless options. Most upholstery steam cleaners use corded electric power instead of battery power. However, cordless models are starting to become more popular. These options use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for their power source.

Corded models tend to give you more power and faster water boiling time. However, they offer limited movement based on the power cord’s total length. Fortunately, some models provide longer power cords if you need additional flexibility in range.

Cordless models give you a limited runtime, usually around 20 to 30 minutes, before the battery needs to be recharged. However, they tend to offer a compact design, which makes them more versatile than corded alternatives because they don’t rely on available wall outlets.

3. Should you purchase an upholstery steam cleaner with variable steam settings?

If you’re looking for greater control over how you use your steam cleaner to clean and sanitize your upholstery, then you’ll want to consider an option with variable steam settings. Basic options only give you a single setting, while more advanced models give you more choices.

The most common type of variable steam power comes in the form of a three-tiered system that includes low, medium, and high settings. Most upholstery jobs will only require a low or medium steam setting, but particularly tough jobs might warrant using the high setting.

You can purchase a steam cleaner with a variable steam setting dial if you need even greater control. These models allow you to fine-tune your settings to get just the right amount of steam for the specific job you’re tackling.

4. What is your steam cleaner’s water tank capacity and overall runtime?

Steam cleaners can’t run indefinitely. Since steam is simply hot water in an evaporated form, you’ll eventually run out of water in your appliance’s water tank. As such, you’ll need to consider how much water your upholstery cleaner can hold. If you’re working on larger jobs, you’ll want to purchase a cleaner with a larger water tank.

In general, handheld steamers can hold anywhere from 5 to 10 ounces of water, which is good for about 10 minutes of use. Larger canister steamers can hold upwards of 60 ounces of water, which is good for about 90 minutes of use. Consider the types of furniture you’re cleaning and purchase a model with an appropriately-sized water tank.

5. What kind of attachments are necessary to use with your steam cleaner?

Like vacuum cleaners, steam cleaning tools typically offer a wide variety of different attachments and accessories. These extra tools can help you perform a specific cleaning job or clean in tight spaces with greater ease.

Consider some of these common accessories and attachments:

  • Nylon brushes
  • Dual tanks
  • Brass utility brush
  • Scrub brush
  • Mop head
  • 10-foot steam hose

Best Upholstery Steam Cleaner FAQs

Do upholstery steam cleaners use chemicals?

No, most upholstery steam cleaners only use water to create steam, which provides plenty of cleaning and sanitizing abilities on its own. Various models offer a separate detergent chamber if you wish to add chemicals to your cleaning process. However, it is not required for a comprehensive clean.

Do steam cleaners also perform vacuum functionality?

Some steam cleaners are attached to vacuum cleaners and can be used in tandem with them. However, most of these are branded as steam mop vacuums. In general, these cleaning tools are best for cleaning floors, while upholstery models are best for cleaning furniture.

Should you put hot or cold water into an upholstery steam cleaner?

Most manufacturers recommend you only use cold water in your upholstery steam cleaner. The boiler will heat the water for you. If you live in an area with hard water, we recommend using distilled water instead of tap water.

Does steam cleaning also kill bugs?

Yes, steam cleaning can kill bugs, especially bed bugs. If you’re struggling with bed bugs on your furniture, a steam cleaner can be a huge benefit. These cleaning tools are also helpful for killing bacteria and viruses.
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