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Best Handheld Steam Cleaners of 2021

Need to take care of clothes on the go? A handheld steam cleaner is convenient and portable. In this review, you’ll find the best handheld steam cleaners.

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Best Handheld Steam Cleaner Reviews of 2021

Polardo Steamer

Polardo Hand Held Portable Travel Garment Steamer

Best multi-purpose steam cleaner

Compactly sized, this handheld tool is very practical to use at home or on your travels.

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1 Polardo Steamer Review

Are you tired of scrubbing upholstery and other hard-to-wash fabrics? Do you want a steam cleaner that also turns itself into an iron? The Polardo Steamer can fit the bill.

Designed to suit a number of purposes, you can use this tool for ironing or de-wrinkling garments, steam clean clothes and fabrics, and even soften those clothes that got all stiff during washing.

This compact, handheld steamer boasts an innovative anti-spill design that allows you to hold it safely at any angle. It also fits easily in a suitcase, should you plan to take it with you on your travels. Furthermore, you can use it safely with tap water – all in all, the best handheld steam cleaner on the market.

Also great
Housmile Steamer

Housmile 7-in-1 Portable Garment Steamer

Best fabric steam cleaner

A handheld steam cleaner designed to help you steam your clothes and all other fabrics in your home.

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2 Housmile Steamer Review

Be it your clothes, curtains, or carpets; the Housmile Clothes Steamer can certainly steam much more than your garments.

It’s compact and portable, yet highly versatile. Two different attachments, a brush, and a glove, transform it from a heavy-duty furniture or carpet cleaner to a gentle steamer for linen items, wool, or clothes.

Suitable to use in both upright and lying flat positions, the unit is equipped with a thick water tank inner designed to prevent leaking.

A useful household cleaning ally and great trip companion, this handheld steam cleaner is a great alternative to our best-in-class if you look after a cheaper clothes steamer.

Best budget

MASTEAM Mini Handheld Clothing Steamer

An inexpensive steam cleaner

This compact travel steam cleaner is great for business trips, city breaks, and even for students.

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3 MASTEAM Steamer Review

Don’t let a low budget make you walk around in soiled, wrinkled clothes. The MASTEAM Portable Garment Steamer can help you remove fresh stains and de-wrinkle your clothes in a breeze. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles our other picks have, but it comes at a price that won’t break the bank.

Small enough to fit in carry-on luggage, it only works when held vertically. It also doesn’t come with fancy attachments, but luckily, it can clean and steam all sorts of fabrics. Whether it’s a tuxedo, shirt, or even a wedding dress, this small device can make it look perfect.

We like that it has a safety shut-off that reduces hazards if you accidentally lean it during the operation. A convenient travel pouch and heat-resistant glove bring further value, making it one of the best budget handheld steamers on the market.

Types of handheld steam cleaners

Handheld steam cleaners are convenient to use for small cleaning chores or taking care of your clothes on the go. Because manufacturers produce portable steam cleaners for various purposes, it is important to decide which type you need before buying.

  • Multipurpose steam cleaners: Are designed to help you with your household chores. These units are compact yet fairly powerful, replacing a steam mop with success on many occasions. They come with a variety of attachments, allowing you to clean hard floors, tiles, countertops, furniture, carpets, upholstery, and even outdoor surfaces. Homeowners often use them to clean their backyard grill or smoker or use it instead of an electric pressure washer to remove small messes from pavements or decks.
  • Fabric steam cleaners: These are the best handheld steam cleaners for those who don’t mind using a vacuum cleaner for most household messes but need a one for delicate fabric surfaces and clothes. Most models come with brush attachments for cleaning the upholstery, carpets, or curtains, and smooth attachments for cleaning and de-wrinkling your clothes.
  • Garment steam cleaners: Designed specifically for clothes, these handheld steam cleaners are best for those who want to de-wrinkle or clean their clothes while traveling. They are usually small enough to fit in carry-on bags, and some units even have dual voltage capabilities.

Other types of steam cleaners

Handheld steam cleaners are ideal for small jobs. For heavier-duty applications, a full-size steam cleaner is usually a better alternative. A few other types of steam cleaners you can choose from include:

  • Steam mops: Ideal for hard floors, these units are a great alternative to traditional mops. They wash and sanitize your surface in one go, and are ideal for homes with few carpeted areas. These units are less suitable for hardwood floors.
  • Steam vacuum cleaners: A hybrid between a steam mop and an upright vacuum cleaner, these units are often used as vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors. They output less steam than the steam mops and also come with brushes that allow you to use them on carpets.
  • Garment steam cleaners: The full-size version of the handheld garment steam cleaner, they can often replace the clothes iron and are a bit more versatile than the standard clothes steamers that can’t remove grime from your garments.
  • Multipurpose steam cleaners: Just like the handheld multipurpose units, these full-size steam cleaners are designed to clean various surfaces including floors, tiles, furniture, and more.
  • Commercial steam cleaners: If you run a cleaning business, a commercial steam cleaner is the heavy-duty version of the multipurpose one. These machines output impressive pressure and temperature, removing grime and sanitizing most surfaces. However, these models are very expensive.

Handheld steam cleaner power

Just like the full-size steamers, handheld steam cleaners have their power expressed in watts. These units usually output around 900-1,000 watts regardless of their type. It is easy to understand that the higher the power, the faster and more effectively it will clean.

A lower power of 900 watts or less is usually ideal for portable garment steam cleaners you intend to use on thin fabrics.

If you want to deal with all types of fabrics or need a multipurpose handheld steam cleaner, opt for a unit with wattage above 900 watts.


Most handheld steam cleaners designed for the northern American market work on standard 110-120V circuits. If you need a travel steam cleaner, however, you must also consider the standard voltage in other countries.

For instance, most households in Europe use 220V or 240V circuits. In Japan, households have 100V circuits.

Therefore, if you plan to use your portable steam cleaner in other countries, investing in a unit with dual voltage capabilities could be a wise choice.

Temperature and heating time

Two important things to consider are the temperature range and heating time. Regarding the temperature, a higher temperature is desired to a lower one, as it will let you both clean and sanitize your surfaces.

If you invested in a portable garment steam cleaner, a higher temperature would help you remove wrinkles and creases quickly.

Some of the best handheld steam cleaners can reach up to 275°F (135°C), almost as hot as the best hot water pressure washers.

How fast should my steam cleaner heat?

It depends on the appliance, but you should aim to invest in one capable of heating up in less than five minutes. Some higher-end handheld multipurpose steam cleaners can heat in 4-5 minutes, whereas the best handheld steam cleaners for clothes usually heat in less than a minute.

Handheld steam cleaner operation

Before buying, you should also check the operation ease, and more specifically, what you can and can’t do with your unit. Make sure the unit comes with a comprehensive user manual that tells you how to use a steam cleaner and that specifies in which positions the unit works.

While multipurpose steam cleaners can be usually held in any position – vertically or horizontally – some portable clothes steamers only work when held vertically.

Other features to consider

Apart from everything above, you must also consider a few other features if you want to make sure you invest in the best handheld steam cleaner:

  • Accessories: If you need a fabric or garment steam cleaner, make sure it comes with a stiffer brush for tough fabrics, a softer brush for delicate fabrics, as well as a smooth steaming accessory for de-wrinkling. Multipurpose steam cleaners should have accessories for cleaning the floors, tiles, and brushes for carpets and upholstery.
  • Auto shut-off: An important safety feature that shuts off the unit if left unused for a certain amount of time or if you recline a unit that is supposed to be used in the upright position only.
  • Transport: While all handheld steam cleaners are portable, some are also foldable and designed specifically for traveling.
  • Indicator light: This feature lets you know when the steam cleaner has reached the temperature, so you can start using it.
  • Easy-fill water tank: Also check if the water tank is easy to fill and empty. Handheld steam cleaners have small water tanks you will have to fill quite often, so make sure the operation is straightforward.

Best Handheld Steam Cleaner for the Money

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