Steam cleaners are devices that give off steam to quickly and effectively clean and sanitize various surfaces, from wooden tables, upholstered chairs, window treatments, to carpets. They are also useful in the fight against bed bugs as those blood-sucking creatures cannot survive high temperatures.

For bed bug elimination, you can choose from an assortment of steam cleaners available in the current market. Models vary when it comes to the types and essential features.

Using the best steam cleaner for bed bugs, needless to say, is important.

Otherwise, your DIY attempt at ending the infestation may fail, causing you to have no other choice but to go for different solutions, some of which are incapable of producing instant results as a steam cleaner.

Or you may end up hiring professional bed bug exterminators.

If you are determined to neutralize those bed bugs with your own two hands, read on. Below you will come across some of the most important things about a steam cleaner, as well as which brand or model to get.

However, if you don’t have to read all reviews and need a quick recommendation then here are my suggestions:

Various Methods of Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Just because you have confirmed that there are bed bugs in your bedroom doesn’t necessarily mean that you should immediately get in touch with professional bed bug exterminators.

Well, you can, especially if you want to put an end to the problem as quickly as possible, and if you do not mind spending between $300 and $5,000.

While it’s true that you have higher chances of ending a bout with bed bugs with the help of the pros, it is also possible to get rid of the infestation via some home remedies.

Most homeowners prefer to deal with a bed bug infestation through some DIY solutions for a couple of reasons.

First, it is cheaper than allowing professional bed bug exterminators to spring into action.

Second, it helps make sure that no one will be exposed to potentially toxic substances, unlike chemical treatment that the experts offer.

It’s true that chemical treatment is not the only available solution. For instance, there is heat treatment, which usually requires only a single session compared to two to three sessions necessitated by chemical treatment.

However, heat treatment is the most expensive professional bed bug solution out there.

Because of the steep cost that comes with effective bed bug treatment that the pros can provide, it’s no wonder why a lot of homeowners would much rather prefer to control the bed bug infestation via some home remedies.

Some of the most popular all-natural solutions for bed bugs include:

  • Washing infested items in hot water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Placing items in the dryer (even without washing in hot water beforehand) for at least 30 minutes.
  • Spraying bed bugs in their hiding places with rubbing alcohol or essential oils.
  • Dehydrating bed bugs with diatomaceous earth and silica gel.
  • Starving bed bugs to death using garbage bags and pillow and mattress encasements.
  • Trapping crawling bed bugs with the help of double-sided tape and bed bug interceptors.
  • Vacuum cleaning to suck adult bed bugs and their eggs out of their hiding places.
  • Steam cleaning to kill bed bugs as well as destroy their eggs on contact.

And speaking of steam cleaning, many homeowners swear by the effectiveness of using a steam cleaner when it comes to dealing with bed bugs through the DIY approach.

That’s because high temperatures can kill bed bugs, and usually on contact. A steam cleaner is ideal for anything that you cannot wash in hot water or toss in the dryer.

However, refrain from just buying any steam cleaner that you can come across online. To ensure successful DIY bed bug elimination, you should buy and use nothing but the best steam cleaner for bed bugs.

Steamer Buying Guide

When buying a steam cleaner for zapping bed bugs, one of the most important steps to take is deciding which type of steam cleaner is best for the job.

Not all steam cleaners can give the answer to the problem. While all of them can produce steam alright, only some of them can create the kind of steam capable of killing bed bugs on contact.

Needless to say, if you want your DIY bed bug extermination to go with very little to no hitch, it is a definite must that you order and use the right kind of steamer.

You will need to put a couple of essential things in mind when shopping for a steam cleaner: the type and features.

Especially if your goal is to own a steam cleaner that you can use for other things after putting your bed bug infestation at home to an end, keep on reading to have a better idea of which steam cleaner to get.

Types of Steam Cleaners

Steam cleaners come in all shapes and sizes, which can make shopping for one a daunting task. However, the units that you can find out there can be categorized into four different types.

Each type of steam cleaner comes with its own set of pros and cons. Similarly, one is different from the other in terms of certain factors, like the size and for which it is designed.

Knowing which steam cleaner is suited for your bed bug-eliminating needs will let you get your hands on the right unit as well as enjoy the expected results.

Here are the four different types of steam cleaners.

Handheld Steam Cleaner

Just like what the name says, a handheld steam cleaner is a compact unit. This makes it trouble-free to use, especially when dealing with bed bugs in hiding places here and there.

Because it is small and lightweight, it’s suited for dealing with bed bugs in hard-to-reach places, like the undersides of furniture pieces.

Other than being easy to operate, a handheld steam cleaner is also extremely cooperative when it’s not in use — it can be stashed in practically any available storage space.

And here’s the best thing about a handheld steam cleaner: it’s the most affordable steam cleaner that you can put in your shopping cart.

The majority of handheld steam cleaners cost about $100, although there are brands or models whose price tags start under $50. Needless to say, a handheld steamer is suited for any budget-conscious homeowner.

Unfortunately, despite being small and lightweight, a handheld steam cleaner is not the perfect type of steam cleaner. The blame can be put on the limitations associated with its compactness.

For instance, it has a small tank that allows for a limited operating time, which means that a handheld steam cleaner is not recommended for floors as well as large or multiple surfaces at a time.

This type of steam cleaner is best for a mild bed bug infestation or a small room with not a lot of hiding places available for bed bugs.

Steam Mops

Bed bugs can hide practically anywhere in your room. For as long as it’s dark and undisturbed, bed bugs will find it a delightful place for camping out while they are not busy drinking your blood.

If your bedroom is carpeted, there’s a huge possibility that some bed bugs are hiding in the seams and edges of the carpet.

This is especially true if it’s not properly installed, and the sides and corners are not flush with the walls. Tears, rips, holes, and worn away areas can permit bed bugs to get under the carpet and hide there.

This is when the importance of using a steam mop comes in. It’s just like an ordinary floor mop, except that there is a water tank attached to it and it cleans and sanitizes the floor with steam.

Refrain from assuming that your flooring is bed bug-free just because it’s not carpeted. If your bedroom floor is out of hardwood planks, then it is likely for some bed bugs to be hiding in the seams and cracks, too.

Bed bugs may also hide in aging vinyl tiles, particularly in the rips and curling edges between the tiles and next to the walls.

Sadly, you cannot steam bed bugs to death using a steam mop if they are hiding in tight corners and crevices in furniture, although you may try using the product for disinfesting the mattress and others with large surface areas.

Canister Steam Cleaner

When it comes to size, you can consider a canister steam cleaner as the queen bee of steam cleaners.

Sometimes referred to as a cylinder steam cleaner, it owes its bulk to its large water tank, making the product extremely beneficial for homeowners who wish to clean and sanitize large areas of the home.

Because it allows you to steam clean for a long time without frequent breaks, which come in the form of refilling the water tank, you can zap bed bugs with as little interruption as possible.

This means that you can kill bed bugs sleeping and mating in one hiding place after the other. It also allows you to target bed bugs in the mattress, sofa, carpet, drapes, curtains, and others without giving them the opportunity to escape and hide elsewhere.

The more surface area is covered at a time, the better the DIY bed bug extermination will be.

Sadly, the size of a canister steam cleaner can make it clunky to use. Similarly, if you live in a small apartment or condominium, it’s very much likely for storage to be a serious issue.

There is one more downside to getting your hands on this product for killing bed bugs. It’s none other than the fact that it usually carries a steeper price tag than both a handheld steam cleaner and steam mop.

The good news is that a canister steam cleaner is so versatile that you can use it for many other things than just dealing with bed bugs.

Vapor Steam Cleaner

Some of the most expensive types of steam cleaners in the market are vapor steam cleaners. For instance, a model coming from a reputable manufacturer can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to nearly $2,000!

Well, there is a reason why a vapor steam cleaner doesn’t come with a pocket-friendly price tag: the product can heat water in its tank to extremely high temperatures, causing the production of scalding-hot steam.

This allows for cleaning and sanitizing various surfaces superbly without leaving behind water or moisture.

Because of this, a vapor steam cleaner is great for eliminating bed bugs hiding in items or objects that can be damaged by laundering in hot water or absorbing moisture unnecessarily.

A vapor steam cleaner allows you to dry clean your clothes that could be harboring bed bugs without worrying about them shrinking.

The product also usually comes with an assortment of attachments, thereby allowing you to use it on just about anything that could be serving as hiding places for bed bugs, from shoes to stuffed toys.

Since a vapor steamer provides a dry cleaning effect, you can use it for eliminating bed bugs in your mattress and pillows without the need to sleep in a different room while waiting for them to dry.

How About a Steam Iron?

You may be wondering if killing bed bugs with a steam iron is possible. It is likely for you to already have a steam iron, especially if looking sharp all the time is one of your major life goals.

Well, since a steam iron produces steam, you can use it to deal with bed bugs residing in your bedroom. However, it may keep you from getting the results that you want.

That’s because the shape of a steam iron can keep you from directing steam toward hard-to-reach hiding places, which makes it pretty much useless.

A steam iron may be used to kill bed bugs crawling on your mattress, sofa, or carpet. But because bed bugs tend to spend most of their time hiding, a steam iron may not be the most practical weapon that you may use against them.

It’s true that all the different types of steam cleaners can be used for eliminating bed bugs without the help of professional bed bug exterminators.

However, some of them are better for the job. The best steam cleaner for bed bugs is the kind that you can buy, use, and store without any trouble.

Factors to Consider

Some steam cleaners out there are a combination of two different types of steam cleaners.

While this allows them to be more versatile, unfortunately, it can make the shopping or selection process more complicated.

This is most especially true for consumers who are thinking about buying a steam cleaner for the first time for bed bugs or otherwise.

Worry not, for I got you covered. Aside from the types of steam cleaners, I have also listed some of the most important things that you should bear in mind when deciding which steam cleaner brand or model to get.

Here are some of those that you need to think about beforehand.

Size and Weight

Before you place a steam cleaner in your cart, make sure that you check out the list of features first. Taking a quick look at the product’s size and weight will allow you to decide whether or not it’s the perfect one for you.

A compact and lightweight steam cleaner allows you to take the unit from one area of your room to the other trouble-free.

If there are a lot of potential bed bug hiding places around, it is generally a good idea to use a steam cleaner that lets you steam clean them without leaving you panting.

Going for a small steam cleaner that doesn’t seem to weigh a ton also allows for easy storage. Sadly, most powerful steam cleaners, which are more ideal for a serious bed bug infestation, are large and bulky.


Since bed bugs can hide in any place that permits them to squeeze their small and flattened bodies into, you should look for a steam cleaner with a number of attachments or nozzles.

It’s no secret that some of the most versatile vacuum cleaners out there are capable of accommodating all kinds of nozzles, thereby allowing you to vacuum clean all sorts of surfaces and corners.

Well, the same goes for a steam cleaner — the more attachments that it can use, the more types of bed bug hiding places that you can steam clean.

However, be careful! A manufacturer may include lots and lots of accessories, many of which are pretty much useless. It can leave you paying more money for things that will not help you kill bed bugs.


Just because steam is hot doesn’t necessarily mean that it will surely kill bed bugs. According to professional bed bug exterminators, steam needs to be 160°F to 180°F (71°C to 82°C) for bed bugs to die on contact with it.

Because of this, it is a must for the steam cleaner that you are eyeing to be able to heat water to high temperatures to produce steam hot enough for effective bed bug extermination.

Fortunately, the majority of commercially available steam cleaners can produce steam as hot as 212°F to 230°F (100°C to 110°C).

While steam cleaners that can heat water to really high temperatures are exceptionally good at killing bed bugs, however, they can increase your risk for severe burns — use one carefully and keep it out of reach of children!


Steam cleaners are engineered not only to produce steam. They are also designed to release steam under pressure. While great for cleaning and sanitizing purposes, unfortunately, too much pressure can be bad for dealing with bed bugs.

That’s because lots of pressure can blow bed bugs away, thereby keeping them from coming into contact with steam. This allows them to flee the scene and hide elsewhere.

It’s because of this why you should refrain from attaching nozzles with very small openings as it can make your DIY bed bug extermination more of a failure than a success.

So, in other words, for eliminating bed bugs with your own two hands, it’s not important to shell out lots of money on a device made expensive by the ability to release steam at a higher pressure than the rest.

Water Tank

The water tank size is one of the most important considerations when shopping for a steam cleaner. That’s because it has a direct effect on the entire steam cleaning experience.

Although a smaller tank allows for the unit to be compact and lightweight, it calls for regular refilling — often, right in the middle of your DIY bed bug extermination.

The good news is that it tends to have shorter heat-up times, which means that it will be ready to slay some bed bugs in no time.

On the other hand, a larger tank allows you to steam clean away bed bugs without interruption, as the unit does not need to be refilled regularly.

However, it has longer heat-up times. This means that you will have to wait for several minutes to get started. A big tank can also keep a steam cleaner from being small, easy to store, and cheap. 

Noise Levels

Some manufacturers of steam cleaners may advertise their products as quieter than the rest. However, their being silent comes with a catch. Usually, it is in the form of a steeper price tag.

If you think that going for a steam cleaner that produces little noise is better for dealing with bed bugs, think again. Bed bugs are not affected by sounds.

Proof of this is the fact that ultrasonic devices producing sound waves with frequencies the human ear cannot perceive do not work against bed bugs, according to some studies.

The only time a steam cleaner with lower operational noise levels will come in handy is if you are sharing the room with another person or the walls that separate your bedroom from the other is too thin.

The Takeaway

Whether you are on the hunt for the best handheld steamer for bed bugs or any other type of steam cleaner, make sure that you put into consideration the different factors above if you want to end up buying the right product.

Buy vs. Rent

You can choose from an assortment of methods if you plan to deal with a bed bug infestation via the DIY way.

Using a steam cleaner is certainly one of the best because it can help you target bed bugs in hiding, including those that are taking cover in hard-to-reach corners and crevices.

If steam cleaning is your preferred home remedy for bed bugs, you can decide between buying a steam cleaner or renting one. Each approach comes with its own set of pros and cons worth looking into.

Here are the key differences between buying and renting a steam cleaner.

Buying a Steam Cleaner

What’s really nice about owning a steam cleaner is that you can exterminate bed bugs in your own time.

What’s more, you can steam clean those bed bugs away as much as you want. If you have a tight everyday schedule and cannot tell when you can attempt to exterminate bed bugs exactly, buying a steam cleaner is a good idea.

Especially if you want nothing but a top-notch steam cleaner that’s perfect for the job, you can expect to shell out more money to own than rent a unit.

Although you can rest assured that a steam cleaner can kill bed bugs on contact, it’s a must to ensure that you steam clean all bed bugs in your bedroom.

Otherwise, the surviving ones will mate and cause a boom in their population once again. By buying a steam cleaner, you can use the device to hunt down those bed bugs as often as you possibly can.

When getting rid of bed bugs via some home remedies, including steam cleaning, you should perform the steps several times to get the expected results. And this is why owning a steam cleaner is better than renting one.

The only time when it is not recommended to buy your own steam cleaner is if the bed bug infestation is only mild and can be put under control in just a day of steam cleaning.

It may also not be a practical step to take if you are not planning on using a steam cleaner to clean and sanitize your sofa, car interiors, etc. after the infestation.

Renting a Steam Cleaner

Some homeowners who refuse to invest in a steam cleaner to finish off a bed bug infestation choose to rent a unit.

This allows them to save not only money but also storage space — after they are done with the steam cleaning task, they simply have to load the steam cleaner in the car and return it to the rental company.

Here’s the problem with renting a steam cleaner: most models available are bulky ones. This means that you may have difficulty using it for DIY bed bug elimination, especially if you have never used a steam cleaner before.

Steam cleaner rental companies rarely offer handheld models because it is easier on the pocket to buy one, especially if a homeowner plans on renting the unit for several days.

For instance, a bed bug steamer rental Walmart offers costs $30 and up per day. On the other hand, a handheld steam cleaner online can cost as low as $18.

Different homeowners rent steam cleaners for different reasons. One of them is to deal with bed bugs via the DIY way. This is something that can make renting a steam cleaner a risky move.

A steam cleaner comes with ports and holes. Because it generates heat, bed bugs may be attracted to hide in the openings in the body of the device.

Some of those bed bugs may end up falling off while you are taking the rented steam cleaner to the infested bedroom, causing them to hide and start an infestation there!

Before you decide whether to buy a steam cleaner or simply rent one, carefully weigh the pros and cons. Making the right choice allows for a more smooth-sailing extermination with the help of the best steam cleaner for bed bugs.

Here are the 10 Best Steam Cleaners in the Market

To help make the decision-making task easier for you, I have reviewed ten of the best steam cleaners that you can get your hands on, each one offering something helpful for your DIY bed bug-elimination needs.

McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner

Type: Canister
Weight: 10 pounds
Water Tank Size: 48 ounces

When you look for a McCulloch steamer for bed bugs on the internet, you will come across a wide variety of steam cleaner models. They range anywhere from handhelds to floor mops.

But based on the number of sales and ratings, there is no denying that the MC1275 model, which is a canister type, is the one that is selling like hotcakes.

It doesn’t really come as a surprise as it makes steam cleaning efficient and interruption-free, thanks to its efficient motor that heats water quickly and ejects steam at a pressure level of 43 PSI.

Unfortunately, when it comes to dealing with bed bugs with your own two hands, that much pressure can do more harm than good — it can blow away bed bugs, causing them to flee instead of drop dead.

Fret not because there is something that you can do to make sure that the McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner will kill bed bugs rather than give them the chance to escape.

When I gave the product a test run, I placed the nozzle’s tip no closer than half a foot from bed bug hiding places.

And while there are a total of nine attachments included in the box, I found that attaching none of them gets the job better when it comes to DIY bed bug extermination.

Since it’s a canister type of steam cleaner, the McCulloch MC1275 has an enormous water tank. As a matter of fact, it can accommodate up to 48 ounces of water at a time, which equates to interruption-free bed bug killing action. It’s because of this why I was able to use the steam cleaner non-stop for 45 long minutes.

What’s more, waiting for a long time to get started with your bed bug elimination project should be the least of your worries. That’s because it takes less than eight minutes for the product to heat the water in its tank.

If you are looking for a steam cleaner that you can use for many other things aside from zapping bed bugs, then opting for this product is a great idea, unless its $140 price tag doesn’t fit your shopping budget and you don’t mind lugging around a ten-pound device when steam cleaning one room after the other.

Key Features:

  • Its eight-minute heat up time lets you spring into action quickly.
  • With a large water tank, you can eliminate as many bed bugs as possible without a break.
  • Perfect for carrying out various household chores aside from zapping bed bugs.

Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Handheld Fabric Steamer

Type: Handheld
Weight: 3.16 pounds
Water Tank Size: 7.3 ounces

It’s true that the Conair Turbo Extreme Steam is geared toward consumers who refuse to be spotted wearing wrinkly and stained clothes.

However, the product is also ideal for those who wish to deal with a bed bug infestation without having to get in touch with professional bed bug exterminators.

What makes the Conair Turbo Extreme Steam particularly great for zapping bed bugs is that it’s handheld. Tipping the scale at only 3.16 pounds, you’re not going to have difficulty using it as a weapon against those creepy crawlers.

Are you wondering why there’s the word “extreme” in the product’s name? Well, wonder no more! The minute I started using the steam cleaner, I realized right away the reason for such.

It’s none other than the fact that it tends to manufacture more steam than most other handheld steam cleaners that I have tried before.

According to the manufacturer, Conair Turbo Extreme Steam’s patented technology allows it to produce not only 50% more steam but also 50% hotter steam. This helps ensure that those bed bugs won’t be able to survive.

Three different attachments are included with the purchase. But, personally, only one of them is best for putting an end to a bed bug infestation — the bristle brush that can simplify killing bed bugs hiding in shaggy carpets. The said attachment can also come in handy when disinfesting shoes and the underside of furnishings.

Because it’s a handheld type of steam cleaner, it doesn’t come as a surprise why it has a small water tank. This limits the operation time to 15 minutes.

So, in other words, using the Conair Turbo Extreme Steam for bed bugs will require you to take frequent breaks just to refill the water tank and also wait for the water to heat up. Patience is the key!

The Conair Turbo Extreme is best for dealing with a mild bed bug infestation. Since it’s small and lightweight, it can be used for targeting bed bugs in hard-to-reach hiding places.

Key Features:

  • Trouble-free to use and store as it doesn’t take up lots of muscle power and space.
  • Various attachments included with the purchase make the product a versatile handheld steam cleaner.
  • The included power cord is nine feet long.

Steamfast SF 370WH Canister Steam Cleaner

Type: Canister
Weight: 8.4 pounds
Water Tank Size: 45 ounces

Canister steam cleaners are generally more expensive than handheld steam cleaners. However, in exchange for the steeper price tag is a more powerful performance, which means using one of them lets you enjoy better bed bug elimination.

This does not mean, however, that you can just opt for any canister steam cleaner that you can find on the internet. If you want your DIY bed bug extermination to go with very little to no hitch, make sure that you go for a product that can heat water quickly and at high temperatures. It also needs to have a water tank with a large capacity.

It’s exactly because of the said important features why the Steamfast SF 370WH Canister Steam Cleaner is one of the best-selling steam cleaners these days, despite being more expensive than its handheld counterparts.

Thanks to its 45-ounce water tank, you can steam clean as many bed bug hiding places in your bedroom as you possibly can in one go. A water tank this big allows for about 45 minutes of non-stop operation, thereby letting you get rid of those nocturnal blood-sucking creatures without having to refill the tank often.

The Steamfast SF 370WH’s 1,500-watt motor not only helps heat water to very high temperatures but also heat water in the tank quickly — after eight minutes only, you’re all set to exterminate some bed bugs with piping-hot steam.

When you unbox the product, you will come across numerous attachments, each of them allowing you to use the steam cleaner to clean and sanitize a variety of surfaces, from wall hangings to laminate flooring. For DIY bed bug elimination, however, I find that the jet nozzle and corner tool are the most useful of the bunch.

You should find the 6.5-foot hose long enough to help you steam clean corners and crevices without the canister part getting in your way. The 15-foot power cord is great if you have a large bedroom that’s infested with bed bugs, but it may get in your way if you have to disinfest a small room only.

The product may shine when it’s in operation, but it’s a completely different story when it’s time to switch it off. That’s because it is not the most compact steam cleaner option in the current market.

Key Features:

  • Its large water tank allows for uninterrupted steam cleaning for 45 minutes.
  • The product comes with a total of 15 different accessories for versatility.
  • Effective for bed bug extermination as well as all kinds of home cleaning and sanitizing needs.

PurSteam PS 581X Handheld Steam Cleaner

Type: Handheld
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Water Tank Size: 17 ounces

First things first: If you check out the accessories included in the package, you will realize right away that the PurSteam PS 581X is engineered to clean and sanitize than remove wrinkles and stains on clothes.

That’s because the majority of them are designed to help direct the steam produced to a specific point.

It’s because of this why it is a delight to use the product for killing bed bugs that are in hiding — the bent nozzle, straight nozzle, and extension hose (without attaching anything to it) make it trouble-free to zoom in on places that are difficult for humans to reach but are perfect hiding spots for bed bugs when it’s time for them to catch some shut-eye.

Compared to most other handheld steam cleaners, the PurSteam PS 581X has a more generous 17-ounce water tank that allows for 20 to 30 minutes of uninterrupted use.

During my experience with the product, I never had to wait for more than five minutes before it was ready to slaughter some of the most stubborn bed bugs in the infested area. And because it only tips the scale at 2.2 pounds, it’s not exhausting to use, especially if the included flexible extension hose is attached to it.

One of the nicest things about the PurSteam PS 581X is that it has an impressive 9.8-foot power cord, which makes it perfect for both indoor and outdoor applications.

What I didn’t like that much about the product is that filling the water tank is kind of tricky, even if a spouted measuring cup and funnel are included. Fortunately, its large water tank helps keep refilling to a minimum.

Earlier, I mentioned that this handheld steam cleaner is apparently intended for taking out bed bugs. However, thanks to other inclusions such as the ironing brush cloth, ironing brush, and window squeegee, you can use the steamer for an assortment of purposes other than ridding your bedroom of bed bugs.

Just a quick tip before using the product: avoid placing the nozzle very close to the bed bug hiding spot. That’s because it gives off pressurized steam, which can cause bed bugs to be blown away before they come into contact with the blistering-hot steam, thereby giving them the opportunity to survive.

Key Features:

  • Has a more pocket-friendly price tag than most other handheld steam cleaners.
  • Fast heat up times let you get started with bed bug extermination without much delay.
  • Includes a total of nine different accessories.

PurSteam Steam Mop 10-in-1 Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Type: Steam Mop
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Water Tank Size: 11.5 ounces

Don’t let the name and product image intimidate you. Even though it looks like a steam mop, the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner has a handle that’s detachable, instantly turning it into a handheld steam cleaner.

As a matter of fact, the manufacturer claims that it is ten different steam cleaning devices rolled into one.

To be honest, it’s more like a couple of products in one: a steam mop and a handheld steam cleaner. However, as a handheld unit, the various accessories included with the purchase allow it to be used in a number of ways.

When it comes to bed bug elimination minus the involvement of professional bed bug exterminators, the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner can come in handy, whether in a mop or handheld form. Either way, it still relies on the same motor and water tank, allowing you to get pretty much the same results.

Being a mop, it’s great for eradicating bed bugs hiding in the gaps between the floorboards. Changing the attachment converts the product into a carpet cleaner, which is great if you suspect that some of the bed bugs in your bedroom are camping out on or under the carpet.

It is when the long mop handle is removed when the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner becomes a truly versatile steam cleaner — I find the included jet nozzle as the best one for dealing with a bed bug infestation.

One of the things that I really liked about this steam cleaner is that it has a clear window that lets you check out the water tank’s content. It allows you to anticipate when it’s time to take a break to have the water tank refilled. Steaming on the lowest setting allows non-stop bed bug execution for about 25 minutes.

There is an attachment that easily makes the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner the best handheld steamer for mattress infested with bed bugs.

That’s because it allows you to cover a large surface area at a time, thereby allowing for breezy DIY bed bug elimination. The small brush attachments are great for steam cleaning mattress piping.

Compared to other handheld steam cleaners, its $90 price tag seems steep. However, keep in mind that it’s a 10-in-1 steam cleaner, although it’s more of a mop that turns into a handheld steamer with multiple nozzle types.

Key Features:

  • It can be used as a steam mop and handheld steam cleaner.
  • Uninterrupted use for 25 minutes, although the operation time is slashed in half when on the maximum setting.
  • Lets you have an ocular inspection of the water tank’s content.

Bissell 3-in-1 Heavy-Duty Power Steamer

Type: Steam mop
Weight: 6.13 pounds
Water Tank Size: 11.9 ounces

Just like the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner, the Bissell 3-in-1 Heavy-Duty Power Steamer can be used as a steam mop as well as a handheld cleaner, thereby allowing you to own a couple of types of steam cleaners in one. However, it costs almost double the price tag of the other product that I’ve just talked about.

The good news is that you will have to pay more to own this steam cleaner because you will get more. For instance, it is made of more premium materials, which means that it can be of service to you longer.

Because bed bugs can hide practically anywhere in the bedroom, including the floors and various surfaces, having this Bissell offering around can come in handy, especially if you are prone to having a bed bug infestation.

Attach the extended reach accessory and the mop head, and you can start slaying bed bugs hiding in floor cracks and gaps between hardwood or vinyl planks.

Remove the extended reach accessory and append one of the 29 inclusions — yes, that’s how many accessories you can use — and you have a handy-dandy handheld steam cleaner.

One of the features of the Bissell 3-in-1 Heavy-Duty Power Steamer that really grabbed my attention is the presence of a compartment at the bottom of the main part of the unit. It can house a few of the most used attachments. Because of this, you can easily switch attachments, depending on your steam cleaning needs.

Let’s now talk about some of the things that I like less about the product. One of them is the weight — this steam mop slash handheld steam cleaner is more than three times heavier than the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner. But, just like what I said before, the product is out of premium materials, which is why it is a hefty steam cleaner.

Its water tank has a capacity of almost 12 ounces only, limiting operation to less than 30 minutes at a time. You can expect a shorter operation time if you go for the highest available setting.

All in all, the Bissell 3-in-1 Heavy-Duty Power Steamer is a great product that can help you deal with bed bugs through the DIY way. However, just make sure that you have the budget as well as arm muscles for it.

Key Features:

  • Heavy-duty because of the premium materials.
  • Can be used as a steam mop and handheld steam cleaner.
  • Ships with almost 30 accessories and tools.

Vapamore MR 100 Primo Steam Cleaning System

Type: Vapor
Weight: 20.5 pounds
Water Tank Size: 54 ounces

Earlier, we mentioned that professional bed bug exterminators say that, for a steam cleaner to be effective as a bed bug eliminator, it should be able to produce steam with temperatures ranging from 160°F to 180°F (71°C to 82°C).

The Vapamore MR 100 Primo Steam Cleaning System got your DIY bed bug-extermination needs covered.

That’s because it can give off steam with blistering-hot temperatures of 210°F to 220°F (99°C to 104°C). Upon contact with its steam, you can be 100% certain that those bed bugs have breathed their last.

What I particularly liked about this steam cleaner is that it has a massive water tank capable of accommodating up to 54 ounces of water, which means practically non-stop bed bug-zapping action.

With that behemoth of a water tank, you can exterminate bed bugs in your bedroom and elsewhere in the home for at least one hour straight.

Unfortunately, as with other steam cleaners in the market that come with large water tanks, the Vapamore MR 100 Primo Steam Cleaning System’s heating time is long — a little over ten minutes.

But that’s okay as the slow heating time is easily eclipsed by the fact that you can use the steam cleaner for dealing with bed bugs without having to take frequent breaks to refill the water tank.

If you want to target as many bed bugs as you possibly can in one go, then consider getting your hands on this product.

One look at the Vapamore MR 100 Primo Steam Cleaning System’s image and you will be able to tell right away that it is primarily designed for steam cleaning carpets and hardwood floors, what with its generous mop head.

Well, you will be more than happy to know that the steam cleaner is suited for killing bed bugs, too, thanks to the additional attachments and tools which, according to the manufacturer, are redesigned to be stronger than ever.

Because of its versatility and durability, the product can still be of service to you long after your home is bed bug-free.

Key Features:

  • Its large water tank helps save you from having to take frequent breaks.
  • Versatile, thanks to its plethora of attachments and tools.
  • Adjustable steam output helps prevent bed bugs from being blown away and able to escape.

Bissell Steam Shot 39N7V

Type: Handheld
Weight: 3.89 pounds
Water Tank Size: 6.6 ounces

There are many things that make the Bissell Steam Shot 39N7V an excellent steam cleaner, especially for dealing with a bed bug infestation without the use of commercially available or professional pesticides.

Spearheading the list of the top features of this handheld device is that it can heat water really fast.

Believe it or not, I was able to start steaming away those blood-sucking pests in just half a minute after switching the product on. Especially if you are a very busy individual, you will surely appreciate the steam cleaner’s incredibly short heating time.

It has a water tank capable of accommodating up to 6.6 ounces of water at a time. It may not be the biggest water tank that you can find in today’s handheld steam cleaner, but it’s good enough for a mild bed bug infestation. Just expect frequent refills, especially if you want to ensure thorough DIY bed bug elimination.

The Bissell Steam Shot 39N7V is also not the most lightweight option as it tips the scale at almost four pounds. The good news is that it’s just as compact as most of its rivals, thereby allowing for trouble-free storage.

The box includes accessories such as a measuring cup, flat scraping tool, jet nozzle, angled nozzle, grout brush, and three color-coded round brushes.

When it comes to eliminating bed bugs using a steam cleaner, I find the product extremely capable of getting the job done without attaching any of the included nozzles.

However, one thing sort of annoyed me as soon as I unboxed the product: an extension hose was nowhere to be found. Yes, a handheld steam cleaner staple accessory is not included with the purchase!

Needless to say, the Bissell Steam Shot 39N7V is not the best option for mastering how to steam a couch for bed bugs or any other piece of furniture with hard-to-reach places that bed bugs are fond of hiding in.

If you want to give the product a shot, you will have to buy an extension hose separately to increase its functionality.

This handheld steam cleaner has its strengths and weaknesses. If a short heating time is more important for you than an extension hose, then it may be the right tool for your DIY bed bug elimination needs.

Key Features:

  • The handheld steam cleaner looks and feels premium.
  • It’s ready for some anti-bed bug action in just half a minute.
  • Comes with a bunch of accessories, except for the very important extension hose.

Cop Rose HD-168 Handheld Steam Cleaner

Type: Handheld
Weight: 6.39 pounds
Water Tank Size: 8.5 ounces

So far, all of the steam cleaners that I have reviewed are not only suitable for killing bed bugs but also cleaning and sanitizing all sorts of surfaces in the home.

The product that I am about to review is different from the rest in that it is primarily geared toward car owners who wish to keep the interiors of their vehicles clean and fresh.

Making the Cop Rose Steam Cleaner very good at removing grime, oils, stains, and microbes in car seats, rugs, etc. are a bunch of accessories for zooming in on corners, edges, and other hard-to-reach areas.

It’s because of these included accessories why the handheld steam cleaner is also great for dealing with bed bugs inside the home.

Truth be told, I had a blast experimenting with the various included nozzles in trying to hunt down bed bugs in their many different potential hiding places.

The nozzle head is great for holes, corners, and cracks. The extension hose is perfect for air vents and ducts. On the other hand, the angled nozzle head is excellent for the underside of the headboard, spring box, sofa, etc.

The Cop Rose HD-168 Handheld Steam Cleaner has an 8.5-ounce water tank that allows for uninterrupted steam cleaning for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the setting.

The product can also heat water to temperatures of 250°F to 270°F (121°C to 132°C) — that’s way hotter than the recommended 160°F to 180°F (71°C to 82°C)!

Allowing you to steam clean one bed bug hiding spot after the other across the room is its power cord measuring nine feet in length. And by the way, just a warning: the steam button needs to be pressed firmly.

Unfortunately, the Cop Rose Steam Cleaner is not the perfect product.

For instance, it’s definitely the heaviest handheld steam cleaner that I have given a try. As a matter of fact, it’s twice as heavy as some of the handhelds that I’ve talked about above, especially when the water tank is full.

Although it is being marketed primarily for steam cleaning a car, the product’s features as well as its assorted nozzles make it one of the best handheld steam cleaners I have tried against those pesky bed bugs.

Key Features:

  • Comes with different attachments, each one perfect for hard-to-reach places.
  • Allows for continued use for up to 20 minutes.
  • Produces extremely hot steam that can kill bed bugs on contact — be very careful when using it!

Belaco Multipurpose Handheld Steam Cleaner

Type: Handheld
Weight: 3.96 pounds
Water Tank Size: 10 ounces

How much do steamers cost?

This is the very first question that tends to pop in the minds of a lot of budget-conscious homeowners when deciding between buying and renting a steam cleaner for their DIY bed bug extermination needs.

Many of them are afraid to invest in their own steam cleaners, thinking that it would leave a dent in the savings.

Well, believe it or not, a steam cleaner can be cheaper than five Big Mac meals! Case in point: the Belaco Multipurpose Handheld Steam Cleaner that costs less than $30.

There are a few more reasons why this product is ideal for anyone who wishes to put an end to a bed bug-related problem using a steam cleaner.

For one, it doesn’t come with a plethora of attachments that, quite frankly, can make a simple task a complicated one, which can drive especially a first-timer in steam cleaning nuts.

While I was testing the product, the accessories I found the most useful were the angled nozzle head and the extension hose without attaching any of the included nozzles to it.

Compact and lightweight, maneuvering the handheld steam cleaner through an assortment of bed bug hiding places is a breeze. However, it has a small 10-ounce water tank capacity. This means that it can provide continuous operation for 20 to 25 minutes only, which is okay for dealing with a mild bed bug infestation.

Unfortunately, the lowest setting may not be able to produce steam hot enough, and that’s why using the product on the highest possible setting is recommended, although this will cut the operation in half and require frequent refills.

I was surprised upon coming across the power cord, which is almost ten feet long!

This can be a boon and a bane at the same time. While it allows you to steam clean various items and areas of your bedroom without having to plug the product into a different power outlet each time, a super lengthy power cord can be a trip and fall risk.

After all is said and done, the Belaco Multipurpose Handheld Steam Cleaner is a phenomenal bang for the buck. It may not win the best steamer for mattress or any other item award, but it can get the bed bug-elimination job done.

Key Features:

  • Compact and lightweight, which allows for trouble-free use and storage.
  • Comes with six attachments only, which helps eliminate confusion, especially among first-timers.
  • Extremely long cord for a small handheld steam cleaner.

It’s completely understandable why you would want to eliminate all bed bugs in your bedroom ASAP. However, you should refrain from rushing when shopping for a steam cleaner that you could use for your DIY bed bug extermination.

Getting your hands on the best steam cleaner for bed bugs is of utmost importance.

Otherwise, you will fail to get rid of bed bugs, leaving you with no other choice but to switch to a different home remedy or contact professional bed bug exterminators. I hope the product review above has given you an idea of which steam cleaner to get.


I listed some of the best steamers for bed bugs above, but if you are still undecided then I’d suggest two models to check out:

For severe infestation, go with McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner (affiliate). It’s a pest control industry standard.

For light infestation, go with Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Hand Held Steamer (affiliate).


Which type is the best steam cleaner for bed bugs?

The best type of steam cleaner for bed bugs is something that you will be able to use trouble-free for steam cleaning potential bed bug hiding places.

Will adding dish soap to the water tank kill bed bugs better?

Steam alone is enough to kill bed bugs on contact. This is why you should opt for a steam cleaner that can heat water to high temperatures.

Can I place insecticide in the water tank instead of water?

Chemicals in insecticide may damage the components of a steam cleaner, plus it can expose you, your family, and pets to potentially toxic substances.

Should I buy a steam cleaner for commercial purposes for best results?

Unless you plan on exterminating bed bugs as a source of income, you are better off buying a steam cleaner for home use.

Which is more important in a steam cleaner: high temperature or high pressure?

It’s a bad idea to use a high-pressure steam cleaner for bed bug extermination as it can blow away bed bugs, allowing them to escape.