Steam cleaners come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for a wide range of cleaning and maintenance chores. Listed below are the five top steam cleaners. Qualifying factors include: size and weight of machine, intended use, convenience, reliability and price.
Carpet Express C4 Low Moisture Machine - List price: $599.99 (Rebuilt rental)
The most expensive of our five top choices, this is the best machine when you have to clean large spaces, often. Made by the same company that owns Rug Doctor (the most popular outlet for renting carpet cleaning equipment), this machine has a handy folding handle and is easy to maneuver. The powerful vacuum motor is in the bottom, close to where the cleaning action is happening, leading to a quicker water recovery and low moisture cleaning. While all other top pick machines include heating elements to achieve high water temperatures, this machine is able to clean exceptionally well using only hot tap water.
Bissel 9500 Upright Steam Cleaner - List price: $349.99
Considerably less expensive than the Carpet Doctor, this machine looks like stand-up vacuum cleaner, even though it's actually a practical carpet steamer. The Bissell 9500, makes the top five list thanks to features like a light, a capable water heater, a 2-in-1 tank that keeps hot water or cleaning solution separate from recovered, dirty water, variable clean/rinse settings (from heavy to light), dual brushes, and the ability to self adjust to different carpet heights. The push-button 'clean shot' efficiently eliminates stains. Extra points for quiet operation.
Hoover SteamVac All Terrain - List price: $329.99
The Hoover SteamVac optimizes the cleaning experience with automated features like auto rinse and an automatic detergent mix system, which help eliminate excess detergent/shampoo issues and fingertip controls. The 12 amp motor provides quick heating and drying. And if that's not enough, the 13" detachable, transparent nozzle provides wide path cleaning. The only warning: assembly can be challenging, but since it's a Hoover, once assembled it will last a long time.
Dirt Devil MCE7900 List price: $199.99
Dirt Devil's steam cleaners come in every shape, size and price range. This mid-range machine is a great buy. It has separate reservoir and recovery tanks, dual motorized brush rolls and other features found on the bigger, more expensive models. The 25 foot cord lets you get around standard rooms easily. Special kudos for this well-priced machine's 2-year warranty and its ability to double as a vacuum cleaner (eliminating the need to purchase and store redundant carpet care equipment).
Dirt Devil Portable Spot Scrubber - List price: $89.00
The Spot Scrubber uses to steam to eliminate spots and stains. While this is not a great choice for cleaning carpets - it is too small and does not have a wide path nozzle; it is a wonderful solution for frequent spotting. If you've got pets, rugs that need cleaning, and want to spot clean other surfaces, use the Spot Scrubber at will and call in professional carpet cleaners for bigger jobs.