Picking a steam cleaner to suit even the most demanding of chores

picture of a woman using a steam attachment to clean grease from a grill


Steam cleaners have become particularly popular within the modern home over the most recent years, with many consumers preferring the fast, efficient and chemical-free cleaning that they offer, as opposed to traditional cleaning methods.

However, with a market that is today packed full of options, with each steam cleaner model seemingly promising something new to the industry, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. So, in this guide, we talk you through your options.


Getting to grips with the most basic options

Handheld steam cleaners

Handheld steam cleaners are the most compact, and can be used easily with just one hand. Given their smaller size however they are only really suitable for small jobs, such as cleaning windows, hobs, upholstery and tiles.


Mop based steam cleaners

karcher cylinderMop based steam cleaners are those that are used in a similar way to a mop. They’re upright, and they have a long handle which usually contains the heated water.

These steam cleaners are primarily used for the cleaning of floors.


Cylinder steam cleaners

Cylinder steam cleaners are the most robust of the three steam cleaners listed here and as such are also the heaviest. They can carry far more water than handheld or mop based steam cleaners, although they do produce more steam and therefore can need filling up more often.


How can you choose between the range of steam cleaners today?

There are a few defining differences from steam cleaner to steam cleaner, which are as follows…


The range of nozzles and attachments

The range of nozzles and attachments will differ from model to model, and today it seems that there is a nozzle or attachment for every type of specialist job. This may include the treatment of stubborn stains, right through to the lifting of pet hair.

The size of the water tank

The size of the water tank will differ from model to model, and as well as this you should also look at the manufacturer’s guidance as to how long their tanks last as according to the setting upon which you’re operating.

The price

Whilst price will quite obviously play a part within your choice you need to ensure that you spend a reasonable amount to ensure a certain level of quality.

You can find more in-depth information in our Buying Guide here.


The models listed below are our choices of steam cleaners, and will provide you with a good idea as to how much you should be spending.

Handheld steam cleaner: The Polti Vaporettino Lux Steam Gun is seriously compact, weighing in at just 1.8kg. What’s more with a water capacity of 0.2 litres this handheld can cover significant areas between refills. The Polti lastly boasts a price point of just £34.95.

Mop steam cleaner: The Vax S7 2-in-1 provides for an effective tool across a range of surfaces and has an industry leading price point of around £40.

Cylinder steam cleaner: The Kärcher 1.512-002.0 SC2 Steam Cleaner leads the way in covering plenty of varying surfaces and materials. It comes with a complete cleaning kit and is priced around the £100 mark


A question of warranty

Differing models and retailers will offer varying years of warranties so be sure to ask specifically about this when researching potential steam cleaner buys.




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