Best 11 Steamers for Bed Bugs & Pros and Cons of Using a Steamer

Letting off steam with the best steamers for bed bugs

If you have a problem with bed bugs in your home, and you’re looking for all sorts of ways to get rid of them, steaming is a pretty good idea. Firstly, and very importantly, you won’t be using nasty chemicals which are bad for the environment and your health, but also steaming is very effective.

So why should it be steam?

It’s a good idea to use steam to kill bed bugs, simply because you are not using chemicals. Second, it has proven to be effective. All you have to do is make sure that the steam is at very high temperatures to kill them off. If you have a normal steamer in your home for other cleaning purposes, this is probably not going to cut it.  The heat is probably not going to be high enough. Bed bugs won’t be able to withstand heat that is above 120 degrees. A special bed bug steam will kill the bugs on contact. What is better about steam is that it has the ability to penetrate into the areas that would be impossible for you to get to; it can penetrate through the cloth covering of mattresses to reach the bugs residing inside furniture and mattresses as well.

What are the advantages of using a steamer to get rid of bed bugs?

  • Steaming is cheaper to use than professional bed bug exterminators.
  • It’s a “green” way to go about killing bugs meaning it’s environmentally friendly.
  • Steam is able to penetrate and kill the bugs that you can’t see. It is able to seep into the cracks and crevices, through the materials of mattresses and furniture to reach the bugs.
  • Steam gets to work through eliminating bugs unlike some of the pesticides that you need to spray on surfaces. Some of these can cause damage to furniture, but not steam. It might just remove some varnishes from furniture, but that can be as a result of you not being careful.
  • A steamer for bed bugs targets and kills not only the bed bugs but their eggs as well, without chemicals.
  • Using steam is very effective and even more so when you use it alongside of other treating methods such as natural bed bug sprays or diatomaceous earth.

Steamers for Bed Bugs

And disadvantages?

  • Unfortunately not all steamers work 100%. Below you will find some guides on choosing good steamer types that work.
  • Steam can get extremely hot, which means you have to proceed with extreme caution. Boiling steam can cause major burns.
  • When using steam, you need to use it before you decide to also try chemicals.   Steam is able to vaporize and become airborne, posing health risks. That is why you need to use chemicals or sprays after the steam treatment.
  • A steamer needs to be used absolutely correctly. It means making sure that all the areas get steams. If you miss areas, another infestations could just start, and spread.
  • Never use steam on any electrical outlets. This is dangerous and you can get shocked. You could cause a short in the outlet as well and this could start a fire.

It’s important to use a steamer correctly, period.

There are plenty reviews and forums where people on the internet complain about steamers, how they don’t work. But in a lot of cases, it would be true to say that people don’t use them properly and then complain that they didn’t do the proper job. You need to use it properly to get rid of the bed bugs.

You don’t have to buy a steamer; you can also rent one. It works by delivering lethal extremely hot temperatures to the places where the bed bugs are hiding.

A buyer’s guide

You will discover in your search that there are many bed bug steamers available out there on the market. Some will be more effective at doing the job than others. Some will even claim that they treat bed bugs, but won’t. Others won’t even make claims that they would be able to clear bed bugs, but they do! All very confusing. But here are a couple of points that you need to pay attention to when you are choosing a steamer to deal with bed bugs effectively.


When looking for a steamer, consider the capacity of it, which is the amount of water it can hold before it needs to be refilled.

Handheld steamers are smaller, more mobile and less expensive. Therefore, they only hold around a cup of water or less. This equates to between 15 and 20 minutes of steaming, which may not be enough time to effectively tackle the infected area.

How to Use a Steamer with Bed Bugs

When using a steamer to deal with a bedbug infestation, a regular steamer may not be enough to do the job. You need to make sure you have a steamer with a high temperature output as well as attachments that can get into the crevices of your furniture.

Even then, you need to make sure you know how to use it correctly and effectively in order to eliminate the bed bug problem.


Before you begin steam cleaning, make sure to thoroughly clean the infested area. Make sure you vacuum the areas that you are going to steam clean.

It would be best to use a vacuum that uses bags so that you can seal the bag and dispose of it. This minimizes the risk of the bed bugs spreading when you use the vacuum in the future. If all you have is a canister vacuum, clean the canister before use.

Then, when you are finished vacuuming the infested area, take the whole vacuum outside, empty the canister into a trash bag and seal and dispose of it in an outdoor dumpster. Afterwards, make sure to thoroughly clean the vacuum before bringing it back into the house.

Prepare the Steam Cleaner

Before you break out the steam cleaner, read the instructions to make sure you know how to operate it correctly.

You do not want to begin the steaming process and then have to stop to figure something out. This is because doing so increases the risk of the bed bugs migrating back to the clean area as it cools off.

Knowing how to properly use the steam cleaner will also ensure that you don’t wreck your furniture or burn yourself.

Know Where and How to Steam

Since bed bugs are great travelers and can hide almost anywhere, you want to make sure you have a plan and know which areas you want to use the steam cleaner on. This will help you move quickly and efficiently, giving the bed bugs less time to move back into the cleaned areas.

You also need to make sure that you use the steamer properly. Part of this requires moving the steamer at a slow pace. Keep it around 1-inch per second and hold it 1-2 inches away from the area you are steam cleaning.

Make sure you allow the damp area to dry completely before covering it with anything. If you cover an area that is still damp, mold or mildew will likely grow. This is not something you want to happen. Also, repeat the process if you see any signs that bed bugs are still alive.

When to Use a Steamer

Using a steam cleaner to get rid of bed bugs is a great first option for several reasons. First of all, steam cleaners are safe and environmentally-friendly. No harsh chemicals are involved, so you won’t have to worry about using chemicals around pets or children.

You also won’t have to worry about chemical residue that is left behind. Of course, you can use a steam cleaner along with chemicals if you are not opposed to using them. However, make sure you use the steam cleaner prior to using any type of chemical.

This is because the steam can cause the chemicals to vaporize and diffuse into the air, creating a potentially hazardous problem of inhaling them. You may not necessarily want to use a steam cleaner right away, since they are expensive and the process is tedious and time consuming.

However, it is an effective way to take care of your bed bug problem. If you do not use a steam cleaner right away, then you will definitely want to use one when you’ve noticed bed bugs in your fabric furniture, such as the mattress, couch, or drapes.

At this point, when the infestation has really set in, a steam cleaner is one of the best options to ensure you can kill the bed bugs that have crawled into all the cracks and crevices of your furniture.


Many precautions should be taken into consideration when using a steam cleaner, especially if you are not familiar with how to use one.


As usual, safety is key. With temperatures reaching 120 degrees, you need to make sure that you keep the steamer away from children, pets and your own body. Don’t use it around children and don’t let children help you with it.

At temperatures that high, burns can occur in a matter of seconds. You need to read the instruction manual closely so that you have a full understanding of how to use the steam cleaner.

While you are operating the steam cleaner, make sure you pay close attention to what you are doing so that you don’t mistakenly burn yourself or someone else. You also don’t want to damage the furniture you are steam cleaning, so make sure you don’t get distracted.

Defend Against Recurrences

Determining if your home is completely rid of bed bugs is difficult, but you can take some measures to minimize the possibility of bed bugs returning. First of all, if you’ve chosen to use a steam cleaner, make sure you have used it on every place imaginable.

This includes all the cracks and crevices of all your furniture, even if you aren’t sure if an area has an infestation. As an additional precaution, you can purchase bug-proof encasements for your furniture such as your mattress.

As you clean, you can use the encasements to seal that mattress so that the bed bugs cannot make their home there again. Just make sure that you wait until the furniture is dry before you put an encasement on it.

11 Best Bed Bug Steamer Models of 2019

Our Top Pick – PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam CleanerOne of the best-rated handheld bed bug steamers on the market. Lightweight and easily portable, this steamer has an extra-long cord, can be used indoors or outdoors, and it can work on a variety of surfaces.

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Maximum temperature of 200 degrees
  • Indoor/outdoor use
  • Includes multiple attachments


PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
  • FEATURESReaches temperatures of over 200°
    9 attachments for versatile use
    Lightweight and easy to carry around
Midas Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
  • FEATURESHeats up very quickly
    Childproof steamer button
    Can be used on many surfaces
PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner
  • FEATURES16-foot cord
    Moves on wheels
    Has 18 total pieces

Best 11 examples of steamers for bed bug removal

1. PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

This handheld steam cleaner is lightweight and portable, with an almost 10-foot cord. On top of that, it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

It can be used on many types of surfaces, such as tile, granite, laminate, waterproof wood flooring, most cotton and wool carpets/fabrics, washable wallpaper and grout. It heats up in under 4 minutes and includes 9 accessories.

  • Reaches temperatures of over 200 degrees
  • Has 9 attachments for versatile use
  • Is lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Inexpensive
  • Pressure is not always as consistent and as high as it should be
  • Water capacity seems to be low


2. Midas Big Capacity Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

MidasTM Midas Pressurized Steam Cleaner

This handheld steamer is powerful, with pressure that can cut through grease, mold and many other types of grime. The steam heats up to 250-270 degrees and can operate at that temperature for up to 20 minutes.

It can be used on many different household surfaces and on clothes too. This steamer comes with a money-back guarantee in order to ensure your satisfaction.

  • Can be used on many surfaces
  • Heats up very quickly
  • Childproof steamer button
  • High heat
  • You have to press and hold the steam button
  • The hose and cord are short


3. PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner

PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner

This rolling steam cleaner has a large water tank for up to 45 minutes of continuous use. It is easy to move since it is on wheels. It has a 16-foot cord, so it can be moved throughout your home with minimal power-outlet shifting.

It can be used on multiple surfaces and is safe to use for both indoors and outdoors.

  • 16-foot cord
  • Moves on wheels
  • Has 18 total pieces
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Expensive
  • Does not have a “ready to use” signal or light


4. Micho Handheld Steam Cleaner

Micho Newest Handheld Steam Cleaner

This steam cleaner is handheld and compact. Since it has no cumbersome cord, it is perfect for cleaning not just your indoor surfaces, but car surfaces as well. It heats up within 3 minutes and delivers 15-20 minutes of pressurized steam.

It includes 9 accessories for cleaning various surfaces, including an extended connector nozzle and a bent spray nozzle for cleaning tight places.

  • Inexpensive
  • Heats up within 3 minutes
  • Nozzle rotates 360 degrees
  • Has a safety-lock design so that children don’t get hurt
  • The tank may not be very large


5. Homegear Portable Steam Cleaner

Homegear X100 Portable Steam Cleaner

This professional steam cleaner is portable and easy to move around on its wheels. It can clean a variety of surfaces and has an average of 35-minute continuous use time. It includes a 14-piece accessory kit so that it can be used for a wide range of purposes.

It includes both a water tank and a solution tank, so it can be used with or without a cleaning solution.

  • Good price considering the versatility of the product
  • Max temperature of 284 degrees
  • Easy to roll around
  • Includes 14 attachments
  • Only has a ¼ gallon water tank


6. Haitral Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaner

Haitral Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam CleanerThis compact, portable, handheld steam cleaner can be used for many different purposes. Its portable design makes it great for cleaning high places such as curtains. Its lightweight, transportable design makes it great for use all over the house and even in your car.

What’s more, 9 accessories come with it. This is an effective tool that requires no chemicals to clean.

  • Inexpensive
  • Nozzle swivels for convenient cleaning
  • Safety features to prevent children from using it
  • Cord is only 9 feet
  • Seems to have a short use time before needing to be refilled


7. Steamfast Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner

Steamfast Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner

The Steamfast steam cleaner is powerful and the tank is large enough to provide 45 minutes of continuous steam. It includes 15 accessories to increase versatility, allowing it to clean a variety of surfaces.

The water heats to over 200 degrees, providing a sanitary, chemical-free cleaning experience.

  • 15 accessories
  • Works well to kill bed bugs
  • The trigger contains a locking switch so that you don’t have to hold it down the entire time
  • Expensive in comparison to similar products offering similar capabilities


8. AutoRight Steam Machine

 AutoRight Steam MachineThe AutoRight Steam Machine was originally designed for auto use, but it its portability and high performance make it a great option for home use. This model uses pressurized steam to clean surfaces, and can reach temperatures of up to 290 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What’s great about this steamer is that it comes with additional attachments – 11 in total – that allow you to steam those hard-to-reach areas in corners and near the mattress. The 8-foot steam hose also makes this machine easy to use. 

A 40-ounce boiler tank and 1500 watt heating element give you plenty of steam and time to clean. In fact, AutoRight says that you can get up to 45 minutes of continuous steam cleaning on a single tank of water.

  • 11 accessories
  • Temperatures high enough to kill bed bugs
  • Extra-long hose
  • Up to 45 minutes of steam cleaning on one tank
  • Attachment storage compartment is small and does not all of the attachments


9. Dibea Bed Vacuum with UV Light

Diabed Bed Vacuum with UV LightThe Diabed bed vacuum is a bit different from the other models on our list. Rather than steam, this vacuum uses UV light to kill bed bugs, bacteria and dust mites. It’s designed specifically for use on your mattress – the source of your bug problem.

It’s the best bed bug vacuum out there. The price is a bit higher than other models on our list, but if you don’t want to worry about puddles of water from steamers, this may be your best option.

The Diabed has a 300-watt motor with high-frequency vibration of up to 33,000 cycle/min. Three rows of S-type brushes clean the mattress, while the 253.7 nm UV lamp sterilizes and kills bugs. The lamp has an intelligent electronic control induction to prevent UV leakage.

Plus, this vacuum uses a six-stage filtration system and a HEPA filter to remove 99.9% of allergens. 

If you suffer from allergies and you have a bed bug problem, Diabed will help you kill two birds with one stone.

  • Uses UV light to kill bed bugs
  • Also kills bacteria, germs and dust mites
  • HEPA filter removes allergens
  • More expensive than other steamer options


10. Conair GS61R Compact Steamer

Conair GS61R Compact SteamerThe GS61R from Conair is designed to steam clothing, but temperatures get hot enough to kill bed bugs. The great thing about using a garment steamer for bed bugs is that they’re highly portable and easy to use.

The GS61R has a 1200-watt motor, a quick heat-up time and offers 40 minutes of continuous steam. If you’re out traveling and worry about bringing bed bugs home, this steamer will make it easy to kill them before they have a chance to hitch a ride in your luggage.

The 5-1/2 foot hose can swivel 360 degrees for easy use. Plus, this steamer is backed by a one-year warranty.

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Steam gets hot enough to kill bed bugs
  • Long hose with swivel feature
  • Water tank is smaller than a regular-sized steamer


11. Rowenta Handheld Steamer

Rowenta Handheld SteamerThe Rowenta handheld garment steamer is easy to use, easily portable and lightweight. But it’s also powerful enough and hot enough to kill bed bugs. 

Whether you’re traveling or need to treat a small area of your home, this steamer has you covered. 

This steamer is surprisingly powerful, with a 1500-watt motor that delivers 22 grams/minute of steam. It’s ready to use in 45 seconds, and it can steam clean just about any fabric.

The 6.76-ounce tank can be filled with regular tap water, and it gives you ten minutes of continuous steaming. With a weight of just 2.2-pounds and an ergonomic design, this steamer is ideal for people on the go and those with arthritis or mobility issues.

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Powerful motor with steam hot enough to kill bed bugs
  • Great for traveling
  • Water tank is small
  • Offers just 10 minutes of continuous steam


Is it Better to Use a Handheld or Steam Cleaner for Bed Bugs?

When searching for a bed bug steamer, you’ll find handheld and canister models. Canister-style steamers look just like their regular canister vacuum counterparts, but the nozzle shoots out pressurized steam instead of the usual suction function.

Which style should you choose? Is one better than the other? The answer really depends on the extent and location of your bed bug problem. 

If the infestation is mild and limited to one room, a handheld steamer may be the better option. They’re lightweight, easily portable and powerful/hot enough to kill bed bugs. They allow you to get the job done without having to lug around a canister and hose.

If the bed bug problem is on the second floor and you have difficulty hauling a regular vacuum up the stairs, a handheld steamer is probably your best option.

Also, if you’re traveling and worried about bed bugs in your hotel room, you’ll want to go with a smaller handheld garment-style steamer. These steamers are small enough to fit in your luggage, and can be used to treat beds, curtains and other fabrics that may be housing bed bugs. 

What if you have a bigger infestation and need to treat a larger area of the home? A canister-style steamer may be your best option. These steamers have larger water tanks and usually have more powerful motors for higher temperatures and pressure. They’re heavier and less portable, but they’ll help you get the job done faster. Plus, they often come with attachments that can be used on a variety of surfaces and fabrics.

Generally, canister-style steamers are more powerful, so if you have a heavier infestation, you’ll want to go with one of these models. These steamers will allow you to treat your home for a longer period of time before needing to refill the water tank.

In closing …

Steaming is simply using hot water. There is nothing added to the water, no messing around with health and safety with pesticides and chemicals. Steamers have proven to be excellent ways of eliminating bed bugs which can be a pretty stubborn problem. Handling it the correct way, a steamer, with its high temperatures, can do wonders about bed bugs, literally, and we all know that they are becoming more and harder to eradicate. Bed bugs are a terrible menace, they do cause a person to want to just let off steam. But you can deal with the menace and let off that steam easily – get a steamer.

Leave a Comment