‘Don’t let the bed bugs bite!’ is a saying that didn’t come into existence randomly. Sleeping in a bug-infested bed is certainly on a par with some sort of cruel medieval torture, as having hordes of potentially disease-carrying insects walk all over your respectable body while you’re asleep is certainly no fun at all.
It’d be fair to say that no matter how clean and sanitary you keep your bed sheets and pillowcases, there’s always that possibility that some little flea or a tiny bug will creep up from the floor and make your life miserable during the night.
Now, the best way to prevent this is to, obviously, keep your bed sheets clean and fresh on a regular basis. To get this done, you can choose from a wide variety of different cleaning means, but none of these chemical-based cleaning solutions are as effective and as sanitary as using a steam cleaner.
Since they only use pressurized and heated water to make this happen, steam cleaners are the best way to get rid of all sorts of bugs and parasites, all the while sanitizing your bed sheets and making them as soft as a summer breeze.
In this article, we’ll talk about steam cleaners – a special breed of steam-based cleaning contraptions that can tackle all sorts of microscopic representatives of flora and fauna that can be found in domestic surroundings. For this purpose, we’ve prepared a short buying guide, as well as a list of ten best products in this particular category.
Oh, and yes – we’ve also answered some of the most frequently asked questions, so you can have an easier time figuring out what sort of features to look for in your device of choice!
Right then folks, without further ado, here’s the deal.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top Steamer for Bed Bug
Best Steamer to Kill Bed Bug – A Brief Buying Guide
Pressure & Temperature of Operation
When it comes to the operation of steamers in general, temperature and pressure are the two important parameters to pay attention to.
Virtually all steamers, whether they’re used for cleaning floors or your bed sheets, work on roughly the same principle. A heater heats up steam to a certain temperature and then it releases it through the nozzle at a certain pressure.
Now, the rule for determining the quality and the efficiency of a steamer is the following:
A more powerful heater will produce drier steam and release it higher pressure. The higher the pressure, the more capable the steam is to penetrate the fibers of the bed sheets and other clothes. More penetration = deeper, more thorough cleaning!
Another rather important parameter in this department would be the ability of the steamer to consistently deliver the same amount of steam at the same pressure.
A steamer that can have high levels of temperature and pressure, but delivers it only for a couple of seconds isn’t going to be of much use now, will it?
So, what you’re looking for is a powerful heater, well-shaped nozzle, and a sizeable water tank to allow you to work for prolonged periods of time without interruptions.
Although steamers aren’t exactly the noisiest cleaning appliances out there (Looking at you, vacuum cleaners!), they can still produce some noise during operation.
While this may not be so annoying as to cause you to abandon using these steam-spewing contraptions altogether, if you’re easily irritated by any machine noise in your house – you might want to look for a model with lower noise levels.
(Typically, steam cleaner manufacturers will display this property of their machines proudly in the description of their products, so you won’t miss it if it’s there.)
The Size of the Water Tank
This is where it gets a bit tricky.
Generally speaking, steam-based cleaners, and especially hand-held steamers should be as light as possible, so that you can easily maneuver with them around furniture and other objects.
On the other hand, a steamer with a small water tank won’t be able to run for long before you’d need to refill the water tank. So, manufacturers of these cleaning utensils are always in the process of finding the optimal balance between the size of the water tank and the overall weight of the apparatus.
Basically, here’s the deal. If you’re too lazy to refill the water tank every couple of minutes, get a model with a larger tank (but then it will be somewhat heavier to carry). If you don’t feel comfortable with carrying a weighty steamer around the house, on the other hand, consider getting a model with a smaller tank, but be prepared to refill it often.
The most important aspect of a steamer is its type and the power rating of the heater.
As you may already know, steamers come in several different forms. These are:
- Hand-held steamers
- Steam Mops
- Vapor steam cleaners, and
- Cylinder steamers
Out of these four, hand-held steamers are the lightest and easiest to maneuver around your house. This also makes them the least expensive, generally speaking, but you should also know that they may not really offer the most powerful stream of steam.
Steam mops are used for cleaning floors and are basically an upgraded version of regular mops you’d use with water and detergent. Vapor steam cleaners are bigger than the first two types, mostly due to their large water tanks, and can be used for a wide variety of cleaning tasks – floors, curtains, beds, you name it! (These also typically come with various attachments for cleaning different areas.)
Last but certainly not least, you’ve got vapor steam cleaners. Mostly similar to the cylinder steamers, the biggest point of differentiation would be the fact that these utensils offer highly-pressured steam called the dry steam.
As we already mentioned above, this type of steam penetrates deeper than just regular steam heated at lower temperatures, so it is more efficient in sanitizing various dirty surfaces – including beds and bed sheets. (These are also considerably more expensive, for the record.)
Dimensions & Ease of Use
Here, the rule is simple – the larger the steamer is, the more difficult will it be to store it and handle it during cleaning.
That being said, even the bulkiest of steamers actually come with hoses, so you won’t really have to move the whole thing all the time. So, if you want more power and a bigger tank, get a cylinder steamer or a vapor steamer. For smaller cleaning tasks, get a hand-held steamer. (A mop steamer won’t really be useful for bed sheets.)
Top 10 Best Bed Bug Steam Cleaner Reviews
#1 Rowenta – Compact Valet Full Size Garment and Fabric Steamer
- Build-in hanger with garment clips and hanger hook to hold garment in place for more convenient steaming
- Extra-large removable transparent water tank holds 81-ounce of regular tap water for 1 hour of continuous steam
The heater installed in this unit packs a powerful punch of 1,500 Watts, which makes this steamer a top-tier cleaning utensil in its category of clothes and cloth cleaning. To enable you to easily reach all areas of your home, the folks at Rowenta equipped their Compact Valet fabric steamer with a telescopic pole.
It can be extended or collapsed, according to your needs.
As far as the water tank capacity is in question, this contraption can hold some 81-ounces of liquid. This means you can use this steamer continuously for an hour without having to refill the tank in the meantime!
For your convenience, the on and off switch is foot-operated, meaning that you won’t have to reach down to get it going. (This is great for older people or users with back problems.)
- A powerful, 1,500-Watt heater
- Adjustable telescopic pole
- 1 hour of continuous steaming
- 81-ounce transparent water tank
- Flexible fabric hose
- Too large for small apartments
- The hose can start spitting water if lowered too much
#2 McCulloch – Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner with 18 Accessories
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEED — Backed by a 2-year hassle-free warranty and supported by a customer service team based in Andover, KS
- CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING — Naturally deep clean and sanitize without the use of harsh chemicals using hot, pressured steam to eliminate grease, grime, stains, and mold from a wide range of surfaces...
If you’re on a lookout for a steam-based cleaning contraption that sort of looks like Volkswagen Beetle and has a mighty arsenal of cleaning attachments for all sorts of sanitizing purposes, this product form McCulloch can be just the product for you.
The biggest strength of this particular steamer is the fact that it does require you to use any sort of chemicals in order to take care of dirty bed sheets and other germ-infested surfaces. This here contraption uses only hot, pressurized steam to get you rid of germs, grease, mold, as well as a wide variety of other nasty parasites and dirt.
Another great thing about this model from McCulloch is the fact that it comes with 18 different attachments. This means you can use this steamer to clean your floor, household objects, your car, dirty barbecue grills, AND your bed sheets, as well! Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
- 48-ounce water tank
- Once full, it provides 45 minutes of continuous steaming
- Features 18 different accessories
- 15.7-foot power cord
- 2-year warranty
- Fairly expensive
- Not really a great buy if you only want a product for sanitizing your bed
#3 Steamfast – SF-407 Fabric Steamer
- SUPERIOR SUPPORT — When you choose a Steamfast product, you’re investing in superior performance and design that will deliver total satisfaction. If not, we’ll replace it, for 2 years. Supported...
- QUICK HEAT UP TIME — 40-ounce capacity removable water tank heats up in 45 seconds and provides up to 45 minutes of continuous steam.
With the appearance of a mechanical steam-spewing giraffe on four wheels, this model from Steamfast is both cheeky-looking and has the necessary reach to enable you to clean a variety of surfaces quickly and efficiently.
This weird-looking contraption gets its power from a single 1500 Watt heater, which can heat up a full tank of water in less than 45 seconds. Once it’s fully heated and ready to go, it can run for 45 minutes non-stop. This is perfect if you have a lot of bed sheets and other fabric too go through but don’t really fancy refilling the tank all the time.
The tank itself has the capacity of 40 ounces, which is more than enough to enable you a lengthy steaming session. (Of some 45 minutes, as we said above.) When it comes to attachments, with this model you get a telescopic pole, a clothes hook, as well as an attachable fabric brush.
- A powerful 1500-Watt heater
- The heater heats the water in 45 seconds
- 40-ounce water tank
- Removable water reservoir
- 45 minutes of continuous steam
- Telescopic pole included in this offer
- When the telescopic pole is fully extended, the whole thing can tip over quite easily
- It can clog due to a poor quality of water (Don’t use tap water with this model.)
#4 Conair – Extreme Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer with Dual Heat
- MORE THAN A GARMENT STEAMER: Kills 99.9% of Germs and Bacteria ~ as well as Dust Mites and Bed Bugs
- EXTREME STEAM: technology creates concentrated steam, up to 30% hotter, to penetrate heavier fabrics and release wrinkles 5X faster than other steamers. Dual Heat system with 1110 Watt of power, 75...
Small but plucky enough to tackle some tough stains and to sanitize your bedding, this Conair hand-held fabric steamer can be the perfect ‘weapon of choice’ for a person looking for a quick and easy-to-handle steam-based cleaner.
Despite its small size, this steamer packs a powerful heating punch of 1110 Watts. This means that the water in the tank will turn into steam in less than 75 seconds. Once it’s fully heated up, this steamer can run for 15 minutes on a single tank. Quite impressive for such a small piece of steaming technology!
To enable you to pick your mode of steaming, the folks at Conair have devised a system of dual heat settings, so you can work with low and high temperatures, depending on what sort of fabric you’re dealing with.
- Dual heat technology – low and high-temperature settings
- Kills dust mites and bed bugs
- Heats up in under 75 seconds
- Comes with three attachments
- Removable water tank
- Limited 1-year warranty
- Can get clogged if used with regular tap water
- Some users have reported leakage problems
#5 DBTech – Handheld Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaner for Stain Removal
- All-natural 100 percent chemical free deep cleaning with this multi-purpose handheld steamer; removes grime, grease, mold, stains indoor and outdoor; works well in kitchen, bathroom, closet, patio,...
- Emits pressurized powerful hot steam continuously for up to 15-20 minutes; cleans and sanitizes a variety of surfaces, including, carpets, counters, floors, fabrics and vehicles. Steam Cleaner...
Weird-looking and coming with a plethora of attachments, this DBTech hand-held steamer is a cleaning utensil that can tackle a wide variety of cleaning tasks – from cleaning car seats to sanitizing your bed sheets.
The great thing about this device is that it is a 100 % chemical-free, meaning you won’t be using any potentially harmful solutions to clean the fabrics of your choice. Using only pressurized steam, this contraption can tackle grime, grease, various stains, and even mold!
Its ability to tackle a wide range of cleaning jobs stems from the fact that it comes with 9 different accessories. There’s a flexible extension hose, a door and window nozzle, a funnel, a round brush nozzle, a measuring cup, a bent spray nozzle, a towel sleeve, as well as a door and window nozzle plate, for good measure.
- 8-ounce water tank
- 15 – 20 minutes of continuous use
- 100 % chemical-free
- Lightweight design
- Somewhat long heat-up time of 2 to 3 minutes
- The cord could have been a bit longer
#6 PurSteam World’s Best Steamers – Chemical-Free Pressurized Steam Cleaner
- 100% ALL-NATURAL STEAM CLEANING: Hot pressurized steam eliminates grease, grime, mold, stains, and bed bugs without harsh chemicals.
- EASY HANDHELD USE: Lightweight and portable unit comes with a long 9.8-foot cord for convenient indoor and outdoor use.
Here we have a product similar to the one occupying the spot number 5. You’ve got a small, hand-held design, plenty of accessories to use it in a wide variety of ways, AND a completely chemical-free operation based only on hot steam!
Since this model can easily be carried in hand and used to clean a wide array of different surfaces, you won’t really have to worry about maneuvering it around your home. Also, the folks at PurSteam World’s Best Steamers (quite a name, huh?) have installed a 9.8-foot cord, to extend your reach even further.
Many hand-held steamers come with plenty of attachments for cleaning different surfaces and this model is no exception. You can use this steamer to clean your kitchen, your car, toilet, bedding – you name it. If it’s cleanable with steam, this steamer can take care of it!
- 100% based on steam
- Hand-held design makes it easy to carry around
- Can be used to clean a wide variety of surfaces
- Comes with a bunch of accessories
- The heater can take up to 3 or 4 minutes to heat up the water
- The instruction manual could have been a bit clearer
#7 Steamfast – Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner
- MAXIMUM PORTABILITY — Designed for ease of use with a 15-foot power cord with integrated cord wrap, wheels, carrying handle, and a 6. 5-foot hose that provides added reach for those hard to get to...
- 15 VERSATILE ACCESSORIES — Equipped for steam cleaning jobs in and around your home including mop pads, utility brushes, jet nozzle, squeegee, scrub tools, fill cup, and more.
Built to be able to work with multiple attachments and deliver up to 45 minutes of continuous steaming action, this model from Steamfast is a contraption definitely worth checking out if you’ve got a large household in need of some proper steam-based sanitizing.
This model wields some 1500 Watts of heating power, enabling it to quickly heat up a full tank of water. The water tank itself holds 45 ounces of water, so you won’t have to refill it again all too often. If you’d like to use steam continually, simply flick the specially designated switch for this particular feature et voila! – you’ve got 45 minutes of ongoing scorching-hot steam!
To spice it all up, the folks at Steamfast have equipped this contraption with 15 different attachments you can use for a wide variety of heating tasks. Whether it’s cleaning your floor, curtains, or bedding, this steamer can help you do it all quickly and effortlessly.
- 1500-Watts of heating power
- Does not utilize chemicals for cleaning, only steam
- Comes with 15 accessories for all sorts of cleaning tasks
- Continuous steaming switch
- Comes with an integrated cord wrap
- Some users have reported problems with deformed attachments
- Some water can drip from the nozzle, which can be annoying
#8 Dupray – Neat Steam Cleaner
- STEAM CLEAN. DEGREASE. DEODORIZE. ANY SURFACE. BETTER.
- POWERFUL STEAM CLEANER: up to 275°F/135°C. Best multi purpose steamer for home, cars and more.
If you’re the sort of person to quickly embrace new technologies such as iPhones, self-driving cars, and autonomous vacuum cleaners, you’re going to love this Dupray steamer. Well, to be fair, it’s not because it can sanitize your house on its own, but rather because it looks rather modern. (It’s all white with a single on and off button in the middle. If that doesn’t spell ‘modern’, then nothing does!)
The fact that its modernity lies pretty much exclusively in its looks doesn’t mean that this contraption doesn’t have its strong points. On the contrary, it’s simple design hides quite a potent little contraption that can tackle grease, mite, dirt, as well as sanitize and deodorize the surface it goes over.
Its large-capacity water tank can hold enough water to support up to 50 minutes of non-stop cleaning. The steam itself reaches the temperature of 275° Fahrenheit, which is enough to kill off even the most stubborn microorganisms hiding inside your bedding.
- Cleans and disinfects various surfaces 100% chemical-free
- 50-minute running time on a full tank
- The steam reaches temperatures of up to 275° Fahrenheit
- 2-year warranty
- It can take up to 20 minutes to refill the tank
- With prolonged use, the handle can get quite hot
#9 Housmile – Upgraded 810 UV Anti-dust Mites Vacuum Cleaner
- Advanced HEPA Filtration: The whole machine HEPA filtration captures 99.98 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Note: you can buy more filters by searching ASIN: B081TPQVW1 and ASIN:...
- Upgraded UV Light: Compared to regular uv vaccum cleaner, we have increased by 20% on UV light, ensure high efficiency of removing pollution: the rate of removing pollution is almost up to 99.7%.
Made to be simple, easy to use, efficient, and to look good as well, this 810 UV anti-dust mites vacuum cleaner from Housmile is a great example of a piece of technology designed with one purpose and one purpose only – killing off mites and bed bugs.
Even though this particular cleaning utensil cannot be considered a steamer per se, it does have a small water tank for collecting dust and other pollutants. The way this machine works is that it emanates UV light at high heat, eliminating up to 99.7 % of all bacteria, microorganisms, mites, and bed bugs.
The way this machine identifies and gets rid of all of these nasty pollutants is with the help of a carbon filter. Everything that passes through it will be registered and caught by the activated carbon, so you don’t need to worry about any residual dirt or bugs after you’ve cleaned your bed sheets with the help of this contraption.
- UV light-based sterilization
- HEPA filter catches up to 99.7 % of all pollutants
- 200 ml dust chamber (filled with water)
- Double suction mouth
- Not really a steamer (but otherwise pretty efficient)
- The filter can be difficult to clean
#10 Wagner Spraytech – On-Demand Steam Cleaner
- CHEMICAL-FREE STEAM CLEANING: Just add distilled water to this steamer for chemical-free, natural cleaning that lifts away dirt and grime on nearly any surface around your home
- GREAT FOR WALLPAPER REMOVAL: The included wallpaper removing attachment can be used to easily lift away old wallpaper using nothing but steam
Offering a completely chemical-free cleaning process and a long running time, this Wagner Spraytech on-demand steam cleaner can be a perfect solution for a person in need of a powerful cleaning solution for a big house.
Thanks to a number of handy attachments this model comes complete with, you can use this steamer for a wide variety of cleaning purposes. For example, you can clean toilets, showers, floors, sinks, appliances, and even floors. The only thing you need to do is put some distilled water inside the tank, flick the switch to heat it up, and off you go.
There’s a simple system of indicators that will show you when the steamer is ready. The manufacturers have installed two lights for this purpose – green light and red light. The red light will glow for the duration of the heating process. As soon as it’s done, it will turn off, signaling that this device is ready to be used.
- Works 100% chemical-free with distilled water
- Can be used for wallpaper removal
- You can use attachments to clean a wide variety of surfaces
- 45 minutes of continuous use
- Red light indicator for the heating process
- Long heat-up time
- Some users have reported problems with cleaning up grease with this steamer
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if the bed bugs go untreated?
If left untreated for a prolonged period of time, a bed bug infestation in your bed can make sleeping in it a nightmare. Although they don’t really carry diseases, bed bugs’ bite can cause redness and itching in the affected area, which can be quite irritating.
What temperature kills bed bugs and their eggs?
Well, it depends. The question should be what temperature, and for how long do you need to expose them to that temperature. So, the answer would be 118° Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. To reach 100% mortality rate, however, you need to steam them for an hour and a half at 118° Fahrenheit!
How long does it take to kill bed bugs in the dryer?
If the dryer is running on high setting and producing roughly 120° F, then the whole process should be done within half an hour. To make the best of your drying session, make sure to preheat the dryer and you should be alright.
Are home dryers hot enough to kill bed bugs?
Technically – yes. But it depends, really. If your home dryer has a strong enough heater which you can set to 118 – 120° Fahrenheit, it will be able to kill off bed bugs from your clothes and sheets. Of course, having a steamer might be a better idea because you can use it on beds. (You can’t stick an entire bed in a dryer.)
How long do bed bugs live on clothes?
Unfortunately for everyone battling these small invasive creatures, bed bugs can survive for months on end without any food. Since they’re cold-blooded, they can survive even longer in cold temperatures because their metabolism slows down additionally.
How long after exposure do bed bugs appear?
It takes about seven weeks for a bed bug to grow from an egg to an adult. So, if you previously had problems with bed bugs and didn’t do a thorough enough job of killing them off, you might have another infestation waiting just around the corner.
Do bed bugs go away on their own?
Once they find a comfortable bed or clothes they like, bed bugs are there to stay. Even in harsh conditions, these creatures won’t really just go away on their own, so unless you treat the problem with heat, you can count on it that they’ll still be there the next time around.
All things considered, bed bugs can be tough to deal with, especially if you haven’t addressed the issue on time. That said, getting rid of these creatures as possible, and using steamers for this purpose is one of the best solutions out there. Hope you found this article helpful and wish you the best of luck in your fight against these little offenders!