David Johnson is a professor of biochemistry with a focus on proteases and protease inhibitors in humans. He has worked extensively on research projects related to pulmonary read more
Last updated: September 18, 2022
Pest Products is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Do bed bugs disturb you? These disgusting creatures can reproduce at an alarming rate. If you have them, you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible. One way to kill them is with steam, which is why getting the best steamer for bed bugs is a wise idea. These devices apply pressurized steam to those bugs, but each model is different from the next. With so many options available, it can be hard to know which steamers for bed bugs you should pick. That’s where we can help! We’ve found the top-rated models for our article to make your decision easier.
What makes the best steamer for killing bed bugs? Here, we will look at the important features such as the overall power level, tank capacity, cleaning time, and the steam pressure at the max setting. On top of that, we will check the size, portability, and warranty. Do you want to learn more? All you need to do is to read on and pick the best steam cleaner for bed bugs!
More features: 15.7-foot power cord, 9-foot steam hose, comes with 18 accessories
Perhaps the best model on the market is this McCulloch heavy-duty steam cleaner MC1275 for bed bugs. The 1500W of power is top of the range and allows it to heat up in just 8 minutes despite it having a large tank capacity of 48oz.
The build quality here is high, and it’s backed by a 2-year warranty to give you the reassurance that you’re getting a durable model. It has a powerful runtime of 45 minutes and is able to provide continuous steam at 43psi, which will be more than enough to get rid of your bed bug problem. This brilliant steamer will get the job done with ease. Once you’ve killed those bed bugs, you’ll be able to use this tool for a variety of different cleaning jobs.
What makes it stand out? The results that you get here are fantastic, which is aided by the steamer being easy to move around. It has a long run time, which allows you to have a thorough clean of your bed to ensure that your problem will be solved.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Just like other powerful steamers, this one can be quite loud. That can be annoying when using it at night, but it isn’t usually an issue for most.
More features: handheld model, 9.8-foot cord, comes with 9 accessories
This is probably the best steam cleaner for bed bugs in terms of value for money. It’s highly affordable, but there is a reason for that due to it being quite smaller. It has a tank capacity of just 5oz, but it should still be able to run for up to 20 minutes.
On top of that, it has a power output of 1100W and can produce very hot steam to kill those bed bugs. It has a wide range of accessories that will see you using this steamer time and time again in a wide variety of situations. With a PSI of 43.5, it will have more than enough force to get the job done.
What makes it special? While its size may be seen as a disadvantage, it does make it extremely portable and simple to use. A benefit of a smaller tank also means it heats up very quickly, and you can get that steam into all areas for complete eradication of those bed bugs.
What cons did we find? If you have big jobs, that smaller tank size may be a bit annoying. Also, the cord isn’t the longest, which can be frustrating if you don’t have an outlet right by your bed.
More features: 8-foot power cord and 10-foot steam hose, comes with 23 accessories
While the previous model we looked at had a lower tank capacity, this is one of the largest models on the market with an impressive 64oz tank. That gives it an incredible runtime of up to two hours, which will be more than enough to get rid of your bed bug problem.
Despite that large tank, it still only takes 12 minutes to heat up. Once at full power, it will be able to spray that heated steam at the very high pressure of 58psi. It comes with a two-year warranty and has all the features you’ll need to make steam cleaning as simple as possible.
What makes it stand out? It’s impossible not to be great with the huge capacity of this steamer. It’s perfect for those big jobs and can do a lot more than just clean your bed. Additionally, it’s got some great features such as variable speed control that allow you to use it easily and get the exact results you’re looking for.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Some of the parts used don’t feel like the strongest, and that’s especially true of the handle. Thankfully, there is a two-year warranty on the steamer, so you don’t have to worry about that.
More features: retractable handle, 6.5′ hose, smooth rolling wheels, built-in funnel, comes with 18 accessories
Many great features help to make this a contender for the best dry steamer for bed bugs. It has a power of 1500W that is able to deliver that superheated steam at up to 50 psi, which will be more than enough for even the most resilient bed bugs.
The tank capacity on this model is also in the higher range and allows it to clean non-stop for up to 50 minutes. Perhaps the most impressive feature of this dry steam cleaner for bed bugs is that it can heat up in just 7 minutes, which is extremely good given its capacity.
Why is it special? The first thing we noticed was just how easy this was to put together, so you’ll be using it in no time at all. The overall construction is also high quality, and this was a machine built to last. Despite its immense power, it’s a lot quieter than many of its rivals.
What are the flaws? A frustrating feature on many steamers is that they don’t have a water level indicator, and you see the same problem here. It’s not a big issue, but it does mean you have no idea when you’ll run out of steam.
More features: 8-foot steam hose, locking trigger, comes with 11 accessories
If you want to have a lightweight and portable model, then you’d do a lot worse than choose this steamer. Despite having those qualities, it still has plenty of power with 1500W and a psi that can reach up to 41.
It also has a more than reasonable tank capacity at 48oz. The heating time of 10 minutes is on the quicker side when compared to its rivals, and you’ll be able to clean continuously for up to 45 minutes. All of these specifications are fantastic, especially when you consider how easy it is to use.
What stands out? This is perfect for those people who are worried about a steam cleaner being hard to handle. It’s extremely easy to use, and that’s also shown by the attachments that are very simple to replace. The versatility of this model is also fantastic.
What cons did we manage to find? The hose on this steamer is long, which is usually a good feature, but it does twist up very easily. You’ll end up untangling it fairly often, which can be a little annoying.
More features: 6-foot steam hose, 16-foot cord length, comes with 17 accessories
Here, we see another steamer that has a high level of portability and is very easy to move around your home. It’s very well designed, which will lead to no frustrations. This is despite it having both long cord and hose that make it easy to reach all around your bed.
The specs are great, too, with a high power level, good running time, and short heat-up time. Perhaps the most remarkable feature is the max pressure that can come out at up to 55 PSI. There is also a wide range of accessories, and it comes with a solid 2-year warranty.
Why are we impressed? Usually, with high mobility, you have to sacrifice other parameters. What we loved about this model is that portability was great while it still excelled elsewhere. The long cord and hose also mean it can reach anywhere in your home, and you’ll have no problem cleaning your bed.
What negatives must you be aware of? The handle has a highly textured rubber design. While it’s great for a high grip, it is not that comfortable if you use it long enough.
More features: handheld design, 10-foot cord, comes with 3 accessories
This is quite simply the best handheld steamer for bed bugs. It’s an outstanding device for those looking for the ultimate in portability. It doesn’t have a high tank capacity, but it’s still able to run for 15 minutes at a time.
Once empty, you can simply refill the steamer and go again. With a heating time of just 45 seconds, you’ll never be waiting long for it. It comes with a 10ft cord to keep it powered up and is very well made, which is shown by it having a long 3-year warranty.
What makes it stand out? The obvious selling point here is the portability, as it’s very easy to use with it being a handheld model. That rapid heating time is also very good, and the steamer is very easy to use. That cord is not only long, but it also swivels, and therefore, doesn’t get tangled.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? One thing to note here is that the unit is fairly heavy to use with one hand. It’s not really an issue when you’re steaming your bed, but it can tire you out quickly if you’re reaching above you.
More features: 16-foot power cord, 79” soft pipe for maneuverability, comes with 18 accessories
Most of these steamers can do a lot more than simply kill bed bugs. This is an example of a steamer that can be used for a wide variety of things. Part of the reason for that is the 18 accessories that give it impressive versatility.
The specifications here are also very good as it has a tank capacity of 51oz and can heat up in just 9 minutes. It also has one of the highest pressures available for a home steamer as it can spurt out at up to 58 PSI. Next, the build quality is brilliant, and it comes with a one-year warranty.
What stands out? With its temperature and pressure, this steamer is going to be highly effective at killing those bed bugs. It can give that level of performance while still being easy to use due to its simple operation and light construction.
What cons did we manage to find? While there is a great range of accessories, there isn’t anywhere for you to put them. You’ll have to find your own place to put them so that they don’t get lost.
More features: locking switch, 12-foot power cord, lighted on/off switch, large wheels, comes with 17 accessories
Steamfast is another company that has made a high-quality steamer that is going to get rid of your bed bug problem. It has an excellent amount of power at 1500W, and it will deliver that power for a continuous steam time of 45 minutes.
The large wheels make it very easy to roll into position, and the overall usability is very high. The pressure here isn’t the highest, but it’s still able to deliver 40 psi. It comes with a one-year warranty, but you’re highly unlikely to need that due to the high level of build quality it has.
Why did it make our list? We loved the level of power you get from this machine despite it being quite compact. The attachments are brilliant, and they also fit very well. It’s easy to use, and you’ll get rid of that bed bug problem with ease.
What is not ideal about it? The cord here has a good length of 12ft, but there’s nowhere to store it. It can make putting it away a little more difficult than it could be.
Warranty: 1-year on housing and accessories, lifetime on boiler
More features: 6′ hose, 18′ cord, comes with 20 accessories
This steamer represents brilliant value for money. Also, it has a high level of power, and it will be able to deliver that continuously for 60 minutes. That’s partly due to it having a large tank capacity of 54oz.
The heating time is 11 minutes, which is fairly good for its size. A one-year warranty is offered, and you’re going to be happy about the level of build quality here. The features are great too as it comes with a wide range of accessories and a long cord to make cleaning easy.
Why did it make our list? We loved the results that you get from this device as the hot steam is going to kill all of those bed bugs easily. It’s also simple to fill up, so you’re not going to get water spilled everywhere. Usability is very high here, which is shown by the accessories that can clip on and off easily.
What is not ideal about it? This steamer isn’t quite as free-moving as other options we’ve seen. It can be a little awkward at times. But apart from that, it’s a fantastic machine.
Things to Consider
If you have a bed bug problem, you want it to be solved as soon as you can. The last thing that you want is to get one of these machines only to find that it’s not the right fit for you. To avoid that issue, you want to go through all of the key features and see how they apply to you. That’s what we’ll do here as we’ll go through all of these features in detail and also answer some FAQs. Once you get to the end, you’ll know exactly which steamer for bed bugs you should be getting.
How to pick the best steamer for bed bugs?
Everyone is different, and it’s important to choose the steamer that is most suitable for your needs. You need to think about the amount of power you require, the water tank capacity, and how long you need the steamer to run for. Following that, usability comes into play, where you’ll want to look at portability, accessories, heating time, and dimensions. Other factors must be checked as well, such as your budget and the warranty offered. It’s crucial to look at all these features and use them to build an idea of the best steamer for you.
There are many options with various power levels here, which often correlates to the size of the unit. The most powerful steamers will have 1500W of power, and we see this with the McCulloch MC1275, which has an impressive level of performance.
Lower power shouldn’t be seen as a bigger negative, as the more portable and slightly smaller models don’t need it. The PurSteam World’s Best Steamers PS581X has a brilliant level of usability but isn’t quite as powerful at 1100W. It has a smaller tank capacity but can produce a lot of pressure.
Water tank capacity
Water tank capacity is going to be another essential factor. It will determine how long you’ll be able to clean for and affect other factors, such as weight and portability. Having a high water capacity isn’t always going to be the best idea.
If you do have a model with a smaller tank you’ll want to check how easy it is to refill and whether accessories such as a cup are included. Another important aspect to check if the steamer can be filled with tap water or if you’d need to use distilled water.
Each steamer will have its own heating time, which is measured between turning it on and being able to use it. For most of the bigger steamers, a figure of around 10 minutes is good enough, and we see this with most models.
An advantage of smaller models is that they don’t take too long to heat up. We see this with the Sunbeam Handheld Steamer GCSBHS-100, which can only hold around a cup of water but can get to work in just 45 seconds that may be better suited to some people.
The cleaning time relates to how long the steamer will be able to give you continuous steam. The length of time you’ll need to clean your bed will depend on its size and also the seriousness of the problem you face.
The McCulloch MC1385 is the leader in this category, which is no surprise considering the water capacity it has. It’s able to spray for an incredible two hours. Even with a shorter cleaning time, it’s not going to be a big issue as long as steamers are easy to refill and have a relatively quick heating time.
Steam pressure and temperature
Steam pressure isn’t going to be the most important figure when it comes to killing bed bugs as you’ll be able to get rid of the problem with even a relatively low pressure. High pressure is usually better for other types of cleaning where you’re getting rid of established dirt.
If the pressure is important to you then it’s also worth looking at the maximum power output compared to the continuous output which is often different.
Dimensions and weight
If portability is important to you, you’ll want to check the dimensions and weight. A large machine might have many qualities, but it is usually quite bulky and also weighs quite a lot once it’s full.
If you’re looking for something a little easier to handle, the PurSteam World’s Best Steamers PS581X would be a great option. This is more handheld and is quite light, even when it’s at the maximum water level.
Often with these steamers, we’ll see a wide range of different accessories available. The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is a good example as it comes with 14 different attachments for a wide range of cleaning solutions.
There is often a range of large brush heads that can be useful when cleaning wider areas. You can get a large floor brush along with the likes of an upholstery brush. Next, there should be smaller detail brushes for those crevices. Many steamers will also include angle adapters and attachments for cleaning windows.
As well as cleaning attachments, there may also be other accessories such as extension tubes, cleaning cloths, water funnels, and carpet plates. It’s good to check which of these accessories you plan on using.
With a lot of power offered to boil water and spray it out at very high pressures, most steamers are quite noisy. This can make using them at night a little difficult. If you do plan to use a steamer at these times, it’s a good idea to look for a model that is on the quieter side.
While you probably couldn’t label any steamer as being quiet, the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is probably as close as it gets. It doesn’t have any large bursts of sound, and it’s not going to hurt your ears. For most people, the sound isn’t going to be much of an issue, and they’ll care more about performance.
Cord and hose length
The importance of cord and hose length is going to depend on a few factors. With cord length, it will be based on where your power outlets are located in your home. If you have many of them, it’s going to be less important.
With hose length, it will be crucial, depending on how high or far you need to reach. If you want to get a steamer that has both a long cord and hose, don’t forget to check those parameters in the description.
You’ll always feel reassured when you have a product that has a warranty. With these steamers, it’s a good idea to look for a model that has at least a one-year warranty that will cover you should anything go wrong. If you want to have an exceptional warrant, you may also find a 3-year coverage period with some models.
As with any warranty, it’s important to know what is going to be offered as they aren’t all the same.
If you’re looking at getting a top-end steamer, you can find those at around $300, with the McCulloch MC1385 available at around $200. This large machine has a lot of power and excellent capacity.
In the $100 – $150 region, there are plenty of brilliant options available such as the Wagner Spraytech, which has a great range of features while also having many accessories that will aid in your fight against those bed bugs.
Under $100, you still have some great options with the more portable steamers, such as handheld models. These cleaners can still do a wonderful job of getting rid of those bed bugs.
As you can see, it’s easy to get units for various needs at an affordable price. The model that has all the features you need isn’t always going to be the most expensive one on the market. With our selection, you can rest assured that you are getting a high-quality product.
Due to the temperatures involved, steamers are exceptionally good at dealing with bed bugs. They will be able to kill any bug on the surface with ease, and most high-quality models can penetrate into the fabric surfaces to ensure that any stubborn bed bugs are terminated.
For cracks and crevices, it’s good to use the attachments that can help to get into these more difficult areas. Getting into these difficult spots can also be helped by having a range of attachments and a good pressure level.
To eradicate your bed bug problem, you must go over your bed and bedding inch-by-inch and repeat the process a few times to ensure that it’s solved.
There are plenty of uses for these steamers beyond killing bed bugs. They are great for being able to clean any hard surface. This includes the likes of ceiling fans, patio furniture, and appliances. The steam is exceptionally good at cleaning off dried dirt and grime.
Due to the high temperatures, the steamers are also great at sterilizing any surface, such as mattresses and countertops. Other uses can include cleaning ceramic, grout, pet cages, sinks, drapes, windows, and garden tools along with many other uses. As you can see, you’ll always find a use for these brilliant steamers.
As we looked at there, you’ll be able to use these steamers on a wide range of different surfaces. The only areas that should be avoided are places that are heat sensitive. This can include the likes of soft plastic surfaces.
There are other materials, such as silk, that should be avoided. Before using your steamer, it’s good to have a quick think about whether or not the surface can cope. For the likes of bedding, you must put it in a hot wash rather than using the steamer on it.
We’ve carefully selected the best models available today. All of them have a good level of reliability, and each should be able to last for a number of years. Once you’ve killed those bed bugs, you’ll want to have a steamer that you can use for the wide variety of reasons we looked at.
With the pressure and temperature in these models, it’s important that they have a high level of build quality. If you want to have reassurance, it’s always wise to look for a steamer that has a good warranty. All the models we’ve looked at here should work perfectly for years.
While we were impressed with all of the steamers we looked at here, one model we liked the most was the McCulloch MC1275. It offered exceptional value for money while being highly effective at killing those bed bugs. Once its main task is done, you can then use it for anything else.
While these three are great, any of the units that we’ve looked at here would do a brilliant job of getting rid of those bed bugs. All you need to do now is narrow down your needs and then choose the best steamer for bed bugs. Your problems with those little critters will soon be over.
Using Steamers to Control Bed Bugs | Let's Beat the Bed Bug!
Steam is a very effective method for killing bed bugs in all the stages of development, if applied correctly. When using steam as a treatment the quality of the steamer is very important.
Efficacy of three different steamers for control of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) - PubMed
Proper use of steamers can kill all life stages of bed bugs. Affordable consumer-grade steamers are as effective as professional-grade steam machines for eliminating bed bugs resting on mattresses and hiding behind fabric materials or in cracks.