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Best 3 Steamers for Bed Bugs

December 13, 2017

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.
best bed bug steamer

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.

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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.


Capacity in a steamer is important, because you don’t want to constantly need to refill with water. Find one that holds at least 1.5 liters of water because this will give you around an hour of ongoing steam. The steamers that hold less water are probably cheaper. Once you start steaming out bed bugs, if you need to refill, by the time you get back to steaming, the bed-bugs are already moving out and moving back to cooler areas. It for this reason it is recommended buying the bigger capacity steamer.

Water in the steam

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In order to minimize the amount of water used for de-bugging and to risk the possibility of mildew and mold, a good idea is to choose the dry steamers. The steamer will still effectively kill the bed bugs but the areas will be able to get dried quicker, decreasing mold and mildew risks. It’s about less water.


Good, effective bug steamers will have the availability of pressure adjustments. You will be able to adjust the pressure coming out of your steamer. This is an important point because surfaces are different and you will need to adjust the pressure for the particular surface. Couches and mattresses for example would need higher pressure, whilst the hard wood furniture for instance would require less pressure. Too much pressure might just blow the bed bugs away and into another area and not kill them. Too much pressure also won’t allow the heat to make contact with the bed bugs long enough before they get blown away. Pressure adjustment is important.


Look at the attachments that come with the unit you are interested in. Correct attachments will help you to aim to where the bed bugs area. Check out for attachments like the clothes steaming attachment or the jet-tip attachment. The clothes steaming attachment would work on the curtains and the mattresses for instance whilst the jet tip one would handle corners, trims and furniture. Different attachments for different purposes.


Probably the most important fact when buying your steamer is the temperatures. At the point of contact with the bug, the steam needs to be minimum of 120 degrees. Otherwise it’s not effective. Look out for steamers that exceed this temperature. There are a lot that will offer you bursts of hot steam but not be able to do this continuously. You might miss areas between these bursts and you stand the risk of not covering all the infestation then. It is actually recommended that you consider buying a steamer that goes over the 170 mark for the most effectiveness.

Best 3 examples of steamers for bed bug removal

This steamer was awarded the number one spot according to consumer reports. With this machine, you get steam that is high in temperature, enough for bugs to probably be killed on the spot. It will also be able to deal with the eggs as well. Fortunately, the water tank capacity on this machine is sufficient enough to complete multiple runs over your mattress for example before needing to be filled up again. That means you are likely to cover every bit of space on the surface. This model is even superb for steaming floors, upholstery and curtains as well. It just makes it one of the best steamers around, all round.

amazing bed bug steamer

This one is ranked excellent in the middle-range options. The McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner does the job superbly, just like its name suggests. You notice the difference instantly with anything you use it on. For bed bugs, this steamer comes with an outstanding steam temperature and a tank that is large enough. This means you can steam continuously for up to around 2 hours. This also means that you get to cover a few mattresses thoroughly without the need to refill.

amazing bed bug steamer

The best in the lower-cost options, but not as effective as the other two. The Wagner 915 1,500-Watt On-Demand Power Steamer and cleaner might not be as effective as the first two, but it’s not short on power. It is able to be used in every room of your home. It’s even useful for removing wallpaper off walls. The pressurized steam system comes out of an 8 ft. long hose, able to cover large areas. It comes with several attachments to get big and small jobs done. It does a great job using no chemicals. It lays claim also to dealing with bed bugs, with sufficient steam to kill them and their eggs sufficiently, including other germs, bacteria and other pests.

effective bed bug steamer

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.

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