Best Portable Steam Cleaner

Portable Steam Cleaner Carpet and Upholstery

Handheld steam cleaners are intended only for small jobs, like removing stickers, cleaning around small areas like faucets, or cleaning toys — not for detailing an entire bathroom or getting a large grill spotlessly clean. If you need a big job done, see our discussion of the best steam cleaners elsewhere in this report, otherwise, keep your expectations realistic and you won’t be disappointed with a handheld steam cleaner.

We researched dozens of cleaners to find the best ones on the market today. We chose them for their power, versatility, reliability, and user satisfaction. These cleaners can help you clean all over your house, and will make cleaning far less of a chore.


Handheld steam cleaners are a simple, efficient cleaning tool for your home. A good handheld steamer will sanitize surfaces, dissolve sticky messes and blast away stuck-on dirt. They’re great for reaching into cracks and crevices that you can’t reach with a spray bottle and cleaning rag. They can replace many bottles and scrubbers, and tackle messes in the kitchen, bathroom, and more–all without using harmful chemicals!


One common misconception is that the fancier handheld steam cleaners can handle tougher messes. That’s true to an extent, but they’re still handheld units. Even the best handheld steamer isn’t meant to clean full floors, or the toughest messes. If you’re going to be relying fully on a steam cleaner, we strongly recommend considering the bigger ones. And remember, a steam cleaner takes a lot of the elbow grease out of cleaning, but you should still expect to do some scrubbing!

Steam cleaners are perhaps a little easier to set up, only requiring that you pour some tap water into the canister, hit the on button, and wait a few minutes as it heats up. The VAX Steamer requires hot tap water to be poured into the tank along with the proprietary cleaning formula.

How do you choose the right model for your upholstery? And once you do, how do you make sure that you are using it the right way to ensure that you adequately clean your sofa or couch? Both of these are important questions.