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Best Protable Steam Cleaners with Compact Size for Flexibility

best portable and handheld steam cleaners

Today, when we do the home cleaning job, the common cleaning and vacuum cannot satisfy us anymore. As a new method of cleaning, the best portable steam cleaners offer users great performance. They can save your energy and time, kill literally all germs and bacteria in common household, keep your family a “green” environment. A really powerful home helper, isn’t it?

The portable steam cleaners mainly include 2 types: handheld steam cleaner and upright steam cleaner. These 2 kinds of cleaners are specific for different home use. The former, normally, is more suitable for small areas, and the latter is perfect for the larger areas.

Finding an outstanding portable cleaner, however, is not an easy task. After many hours of research, we select the following 7 units. If you are looking for a suitable steam cleaner for your family, read this article before you buy!

Table of Contents

7 Best-Rated Portable Steam Cleaners on the Market

Why Are People Choosing To Use Portable Steam Cleaners On Floors?

If you have a pet, imagine what he or she thinks being low to the ground if you never really get your floors clean. Carpets are one thing because they get really dirty, but the dirt can often bury itself as far as the naked eye is concerned anyway. But with tile flooring, hardwood flooring and other choices, that dirt is really visible, especially if you get down there and take a look.

>>Related Reading: Best Carpet Steam Cleaners for Pet Urine and Odors

Well, that portable steam cleaner cleans to the point that the surface isn’t just spotless but prevents mold growth and provides many other benefits. You also get rid of all the germs, allergens and bacteria. That’s the type of cleaning a floor needs, right?

That is why people like portable steam cleaners. They use steam to lift those stains and all the dirt and debris. Those surfaces come out looking nice without all the excess water and cleaning chemicals, too.

For best portable steam floor cleaner, you can’t go wrong with the Shark S3501 lightweight and easy-to-use:

Best Portable for Floor Use – Shark Steam Pocket Mop S3501


easy home steam mop for multi floors

Reviews of the 7 Top-Rated Portable Steam Cleaners

Below we are going to show you more details about each machine, click to see more on Amazon!

1. Best overall – McCulloch Portable & Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner

McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty All Floor Steam Cleaner

  • Accessories: 18-piece
  • Tank Capacity: 48 oz.
  • Heat-up Time: 8 minutes.
  • Steam Hose Length: 10 ft
  • Max Steaming Time: 45 minutes.

Chemical-free: One of the most outstanding features of steam cleaners is chemical. There is no chemical added in the cleaning machine, what you need to do is fill it with tap water, then you can clean! The high pressure and temperature can kill almost 99.99% germs and bacteria hidden in the common household.

Versatile & Superior Reach: This cleaning machine comes with 18-piece attachments, allowing you to clean a lot of surfaces. You need to connect the different attachments to rinse different surfaces. Besides, it has a 15.7 ft. power cord, permitting you to clean areas hard to reach.

Long-term Steaming: The size of the water tank is 48 oz., so this unit can steaming continuously over 48 minutes


2. Best Price – Comforday Multi-Purpose & Portable Steamer

handheld steam cleaner

  • Weight: 3.28 lbs.
  • Accessories: 9-piece
  • Steam Power: 1050 W
  • Temperature: 250°F-270°F
  • Heat-up Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Item Dimensions: 9.6*4.7*9.6 inches
  • Surface Type: sinks, stoves, BBQ, sofa, refrigerators, hardwood floor, laminate, and more

Cost-effective: This portable steamer is the most affordable one among our recommendations. You may worry about that if the cheap machine is as powerful as the normal steam cleaner, yes, it is. So, it is a really cost-effective steam cleaner.

Multi-purpose: Powered by 9-piece attachments, this Comforday steam cleaner owns powerful functions. It allows users to clean all kinds of surfaces, including hardwood floor, sinks, stoves, BBQ, kids toy, and more.

All-natural: Powered by high pressure and temperature, this steamer can kill 99% germs and bacteria hidden in your home. It is worth to mention that it need not any chemical added, so that to keep your family a friendly environment.


3. Shark Steam Mop – Professional for Floor Cleaning with Large Tank

portable steam mop


  • Weight: 4.87 lbs.
  • Tank Capacity: 450 ml
  • Steam Control: Manual
  • Ready to Use: 30 seconds.
  • Power Cord Length: 25 ft.
  • Pad Type: 2 microfiber pads
  • Item Dimensions: 52.1*12.5*9 inches

Shark Guaranteed: This steam mop was created by a well-known brand: Shark. Put emphasis on making household chores more efficient, Shark has made itself one of the most popular cleaning brands all over the world. So, their good-value and price cleaning machines are a worthwhile investment.

Portable Steam Mop: As you can see from the picture, this steam cleaner is not a handheld cleaning machine. It is a steam mop, so you can use it on home floor cleaning. It can be used on all types of floors. With the quick heat-up time of 30 seconds, it has already to start. the 25 ft power cord length permits you to clean the areas hard to reach. Besides, the powerful steaming can kill literally 99% hidden germs and bacteria in the common household, keeping your family a “green” environment.


4. Best for Upholstery – Pursteam All-Natural & Pressurized Portable Steamer

PurSteam hardwood floor steamer and handheld unit


  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 9.8 ft.
  • Accessories: 9-piece
  • Heat-up Time: 3 to 4 minutes
  • Surface Type: Barbecue, floor, carpet, washable wallpaper, furniture, and more

Perfect for upholstery: This PurSteam upholstery cleaner carries with 9-piece attachments, allowing users to clean a variety of surfaces including granite, wood floor, laminate tiles, cotton, and especially perfect for upholstery. The high temperature and pressure can kill almost 99% of the hidden germs and bacteria in your home. Need not any harsh chemical added, it is a perfect choice for the family with kids, pets or pregnant woman.

Lightweight & Compact: The net weight of this small body is 2.2 lbs., so it is pretty easy to hold just with one hand. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor cleaning job. The great performance it offers will not fail you. The high power can lift all kinds of stubborn stains and sticky grease.

5. Best for Handheld & Portable Use – Bissell Steam Shot Cleaning Machine

Bissell handheld wall steamer for hard surface


  • Weight: 4.6 lbs.
  • Accessories: 8-piece
  • Tank Capacity: 6.6 oz.
  • Power Rating: 1000-watt
  • Power Cord Length: 20 ft.
  • Heat-up Time: 30 seconds
  • Item Dimensions: 8.5*13.2*10 inches

Handheld & Natural: The net weight of this steam cleaner is 4.6 lbs., so it is very easy to hold and use. This handheld steam machine owns powerful and all-natural steaming function. Without any chemical added, this cleaning machine can kill any germ and bacteria in the common house.

Fast Cleaning and Drying: Just takes 30 seconds, it is ready to start. It leaves almost no moisture on surfaces, and the high temperature enables cleaning surfaces drys just in seconds. It carries with 8-piece attachments, so it is a steam cleaning machine for multi-purpose use. It can be used on a lot of surfaces such as ceramic, vinyl, sealed hardwood, sofa, auto interior, window, and more. In short, it can work nearly on any surface you want to.


6. Best for Spot Cleaning – DBTech Handheld & Pressurized Steam Cleaner

portable steam cleaner


  • Weight: 3.2 lbs.
  • Accessories: 9-piece
  • Tank Capacity: 8 oz.
  • Power Cord Length: 9.5 ft.
  •  Heat-up Time: 2-3 minutes
  • Item Dimensions: 8.8*5.3*11.2 inch
  • Max Steaming Time: 15-20 minutes

Perfect for Spot Cleaning: When accidents happened, such as red wine, inks, ice cream left on your carpet, sofa, what would you do? Obviously, a full-size or upright cleaning machine is not suitable to cope with them. This spot steam cleaner I recommend to you is a perfect choice to handle troubles. The small body is super easy to hold and use. It can eliminate any tough stains and grease on any surface.

Versatile & Easy to Use: This portable spot cleaner carries with 9-piece attachments, so it is suitable for a wide range of surfaces. Users can use it on sealed floors, upholstery, sofa, carpet, auto interiors, and more. What you need to do is fill it with water and wait for 2 to 3 minutes, and it is ready to use. Just turn the nozzle at the area you intend to clean, and steaming! It is worth to mention that this cleaner is effective to kill bed bugs. Do not wait any more, just try it!


7. Best for Cars – Wagner Spraytech On-Demand Portable Steam Cleaner

Wagner steam cleaner for walls

  • Weight: 13.8 lbs.
  • Temperature: 212°F
  • Tank Capacity: 48 oz.
  • Max Steaming Time: 45 minutes
  • Item dimension: 19.7*15*13 inches
  • Surfaces Type: auto interior, kitchen countertops, sinks, toilets, showers, floors, appliances and more

Effective for Car Cleaning: This Wagner cleaner is a perfect product for the auto cleaning job. No matter seat, upholstery or other interiors, it offers you great performance. Besides, it also can be used on other kinds of surfaces such as sinks, showers, ovens, sofa, and more. In a nutshell, it can clean literally anything in your home. It is worth to mention that it is great for wallpaper removal.

Easy to Use and All-natural: This small cleaner is continent to use and store. Users just fill this unit with distilled water, wait for heating-up in minutes and can clean. What’s more, it is all-natural. It can reach a temperature of 212°F, so kill any hidden harm without any harsh chemical added. The size of the tank is 48 oz., allowing users to clean over 45 minutes continuously.

Buyer’s Guide When Buying the Best Portable Steam Cleaner

1. The Surface you Intend to Clean

Be clear what you want to do before doing it, it is also suitable for selecting a satisfying cleaning machine. Before choosing the right unit, you need to know what do you want to clean with it. Window, oven, and sinks in the kitchen, or sofa and upholstery in your home? Or, you need a really mighty steam cleaner that can clean multiple surfaces?

2. Brand

A popular brand guarantees the quality and service of their products, so, it is essential to choose a well-known brand. The popular brands of steam cleaners mainly include Bissell, Shark, Rug Doctor, Light N Easy, McCulloch and Haan and more. They have their merits and demerits respectively, selecting the right one according to your own situation.

3. Continuous Filling vs. Reservoir Steam Cleaner

Portable steam cleaners will keep on producing steam as long as there is water present to heat it from.

Generally, portable steam cleaners are compact and small in size for easy portability, and it means refilling the water tank more often.

Therefore steam cleaners with large water tanks tend to last longer, but on the other hand, it takes time to heat up.

You have to make a decision on which feature you will consider more necessary, and you have to make a comparison among products basing on the size of the water tank.

Some of the models offer continuous refilling features, meaning that they contain two water tanks that it can relay from. Therefore there is a room of refilling one of the tanks when you are in the midst of your cleaning job, which makes it more convenient.

4. Weight

Before you consider buying a portable steam cleaner, you have to know its dimensions and weight, and here because you will be moving with it to different places, then you have to consider its overall weight.

Your pick should be light in weight and convenient for you to move around with it as not to encounter problems when listing it up during steam cleaning. You should as well prefer a machine that you will keep out of sight, perhaps in the closet when not in use.

5. Budget

Price is a necessary factor to consider before selecting a steam cleaner. Normally, the portable steam machines are more affordable for they need not ant chemical added, reducing the cost of them. On the basis of you can afford, choosing a more expensive one. They are more durable and powerful than the common units. (Have a Look at Hot Pick Steam Cleaner Under $100)

6. Features

There are many features you should consider when selecting a suitable steam cleaner.

  • Easy to Use

Why do you need to buy a portable steamer instead of a traditional cleaner? We suppose one of the most important reasons is it is easier to use. So, if a steam cleaner is hard to use, it would really disappointing.

  • Water Tank Capacity

Because of the small body of portable steam cleaners, the sizes of them are often less than 40 oz. Also, most of them are super lightweight because of the small water tank. When you lose some, you get some also.

  • Heat-Up Time

Most of the portable steam cleaners can heat-up in 30 seconds, then it is ready to use. But some may need a few minutes to warm-up.

  • Attachments and Tools

Though owning a small body, the portable steam machine often offers powerful function. The attachments enable it to work on all kinds of surfaces.

Most of the portable steam cleaners come with a few attachments that are basic, which one can use on different kinds of surfaces. This is very important to have you can work with it in different areas in your home.

Most of the hand held steam cleaners come with more attachments plus accessories for the steam cleaners, or even some can be bought separately.

  • Temperature and Pressure

Portable steam cleaners that produce high temperature of steam provides more sanitary, and does a good job when running a deep cleaning service, kills more germs; hence it is effective to work with.

Portable steam cleaners that are more complex have high steam temperature levels, so its consistency when doing cleaning. You have to know that most portable steam cleaners with high steam temperatures tend to cost more because of their deeper and dryer, which is very important and worth it.

After finishing heat-up, a portable steam cleaner could reach a temperature of over 200°F. The pressure of it can up to over 45 psi. In this way, a high pressure steam cleaner can eliminate all kinds of stains and bacteria.

  • Adjustable Steam

If the steam is adjustable should also be considered when selecting. Some cleaning machine can adjust the amount of steaming from low to high, and some even can offer a precise amount of steam. Some, however, can not be adjusted. They begin to steaming after finishing heat-up.

  • Noise Capacity

The portable steamer quiets a lot than the normal vacuum, but not all of the steam cleaning machines are so quiet. If you are a person who abhors noise, you’d better choose a noiseless one.

Always check the review of a given portable steam cleaner about the level of noise. Some of the products may list decibel levels in the specs, and if it is so, it then gives you a good idea to know how loud you will be expecting the machine to be.

It is only a few portable steam cleaners that list the level of decibel in the specs. Therefore there is a need that you should rely on the customer reviews before making a purchase to get the exact idea of the model that you need.

Buy the McCulloch Noiseless Machine with Portable Wheels to Move Around

portable steam cleaning machine

7. Safety

Safety is an important factor to consider. Some steam cleaners come with safety caps, and equipped with the automatic shutoff, on/off trigger handle. These design can make your cleaner more safety.

Generally, the auto-shut feature, if the steam cleaner is not in use continuously, is very important as it avoids other risks that can occur when the machine is on but not working.

8. Warranty

Normally, the steam cleaners offer users 1-year or 2-year warranty. In this period, you can return and exchange the products if you are not satisfied. Some manufacturers may also provide a life long warranty, so you need not worry about the after-sale service. But they often cost more.

Tips about Using a Portable Steam Cleaner

tips of cleaning methods1. Read the Instruction

First and foremost, it is necessary to read the instructions thoroughly. Different cleaning machines have their own cleaning methods. So you must read the instruction of your unit before doing any cleaning work.

2. Do a Test before Using your Cleaner on the New Type of Surfaces

To know what kind of surface of your cleaning machine can be used, you have to read the instruction. If it is a surface that the instruction did not mention, you’d better do a simple test in a small area before cleaning.

3. Be Sure the Attachments are Connected

Many of the steam cleaners come with a variety of attachments, enabling you to rinse kinds of stains on a lot of surfaces. Before doing the cleaning job, you’d better check that if the attachments are connected soundly.

4. Do not Use it on Wrong Surfaces

Some surfaces are not suitable for steam cleaning, because the high temperature and pressure will damage their surfaces. Such as the unsealed floors, silks, freshly painted surfaces, and marble.

5. Be Sure to be Safe

First, you should make sure it is a certified product. Second, when you clean the household electric appliance, you’d better wear the footwear. Besides, you should be careful the hot steaming, do not be hurt.

Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Using Portable Steam Cleaners

1. Steaming Glasses or Mirrors on a Humid or Cold Day

common mistakes about portable steam cleanersIn a cold or humid day, glasses and mirrors are not suitable with steam clean. When the cold surfaces of them meet the hot steaming, they will be damaged badly. A sunny and warm day will be perfect to do the cleaning job.

2. Do not have a Preparation

Many people do not do anything before steaming. Actually, it is necessary to do some preparations before doing the cleaning job. For example, you can do a simple vacuum before steam cleaning. The vacuum can lift the debris and loose the stains, so that to make the later steaming more effective.

3. Too much Moister Leaves in the Electric Appliance

When you use a steam cleaner to clean the electric appliance, be sure not to leave much moister on them. Or the moister will damage the appliance. You can wipe them with a mop after finishing the steam cleaning.

FAQs about Portable Steam Cleaners

1. How does Steam Cleaning Work?

Unlike the traditional cleaners, which need to drug a bucket and to refill the water, a portable steamer is much easier to use. What you need to do is to fill it with water, wait for a few minutes, then turn the nozzle at the area you intend to clean. That is all you need to do. They can warm-up to over 200°F, allowing users to eliminate all kinds of stains, grease, and germs.

2. What can you Use a Steam Cleaner on?

Common steam cleaners always come with kinds of attachments, permitting users to clean a lot of surfaces such as windows, mirrors, sinks, showers, ovens, auto interiors and more. A portable steam cleaner is perfect to rinse small areas. If you intend to clean a large place like the whole room, an upright steam cleaner will be a better choice for you.

3. Can Steam Cleaners Remove Stains and Odor?

Of course! A steam cleaner is perfect for eliminating stains and odors. No matter the tough stains, stubborn grease, or pet urine and odor, a steam cleaner provides you great performance. It can cope with almost all small areas messes in common household.

4. I am Allergic to Mites and Fleas, is it Safe for me to Use Steam Cleaner?

having steamers, no mitesIf you are allergic to mites, germs, bacteria, or if you are sensitive to chemicals, then a steam cleaning machine would be your best choice. Without any chemicals added, steam cleaning machine could kill almost 99% germs and bacteria in common household, protecting your family from any hidden harm.

5. It is all right to Use Regular Tap Water in a Handheld Steam Cleaner?

It is all right to use regular tap water in a portable steam cleaner. However, it should be noticed after finishing the cleaning job, the tap water that left in your cleaning machine will accumulate into minerals, which will damage the cleaning machine. in order to protect the cleaner, using the distilled water will be a better choice.

6. How can I Descale a Portable Steam Cleaner?

Here is a simple way to descale your cleaning machine. First, filling the unit with vinegar, running for 30 minutes and empty it. Second, filling it again with distilled water, run for 15 minutes and drain it.

7. How to Clean and Maintain a Portable Steam Cleaner?

After finishing cleaning job for your family, remember to rinse the cleaning unit as well. In this way, keeping your cleaning machine in a good performance. On the one hand, you need to clean the tank capacity with distilled water. On the other hand, the attachments also need to be rinsed soundly.

8. What are the Disadvantages of Portable Steam Cleaners?

Every coin has 2 sides, so does a portable steam cleaner. As we mentioned above, the merits of steam cleaner are obvious, but there are also some demerits. First, portable steamers are not suitable for large area cleaning. It will be a huge work if you clean your whole house with a portable steamer. Second, because of the small body, portable steamers need continuously refilling.


Choosing a portable steam machine is a prudent investment, it offers you great performance for home cleaning. After reading this article, we hope you can select the right one for your family. But, in case you are still hesitant now, below is our Top Pick, click to see more details on Amazon!

Click here to see more details: Best Overall – McCulloch Heavy-Duty Portable Steam Cleaner

McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty All Floor Steam Cleaner

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