Best Steam Cleaner For Bed Bugs 2020; Reviews & Buying Guide

Steam is a very effective method for killing bed bugs in all the stages of development.

best steam cleaner for bed bugs

Here in this article we’ve rounded up 5 of the best steam cleaners for bed bugs of various types, specifications, and budget. Below, you’ll find in-depth reviews of each, as well as an elaborate buying guide to help you pick out the best one for you.

Bed bugs spread rapidly and are notoriously very hard to get rid of, so when you discover these parasites in your home or business that is when it’s time to bring home one of the best steam cleaner for bed bugs from our list.

Although, your first reaction might be to call an exterminator, but this solution often turns out to be very expensive and inefficient. 

Exterminators use toxic chemicals that are harmful to you and the environment. Even then, those harsh products cannot kill the bed bugs eggs, which means your pest problem will be back a few weeks later.

Fortunately, bed bugs have one true weakness: heat. As resilient as they seem, all it takes to kill them is exposure to a steam temperature of at least 120°F / 48°C (the higher the better). This is why steam cleaners are your best option to kill bed bugs, as they produce lethal high temperature steam.

Our top pick for the best steam cleaner for bed bugs is the McCulloch MC1275. If you want a very powerful steam cleaner that can kill bed bugs and also clean items like grills and even your entire garage, then you should definitely take a look at the McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner.

When done correctly, one single steam treatment can get rid of those parasites – for good. This natural cleaning and disinfecting solution is also less costly and can be used for a wide variety of other applications at home or for your business.

Table of Contents

Bed bugs - What are they?

best dry steam cleaner for bed bugs

Bed Bugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans.

Bed bugs are among the toughest pests to deal with. Although they don’t spread any diseases to humans or pets, these insects are hard to live with as they bite at night while we sleep.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bed bugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Habits of Bed Bugs

In order to completely eliminate the enemy, it’s necessary to know your enemy.

Bed bugs like to travel and are good hitchhikers. They will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply. 

They are elusive, nocturnal creatures. They can hide behind baseboards and in cracks, crevices, and folded areas of beds, bedding and adjacent furniture, especially mattresses and box springs.

Threats From Bed Bugs

Although bed bugs can dine on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily dine on humans. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but their bites can become red, itchy welts.

Can You Kill Bed Bugs With A Steam Cleaner?

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 for killing bed bugs the quality of the steamer is very important. 

The type of steamer you use to steam clothing will not be effective for bed bug treatment. 

A carpet cleaning machine will not work either as they do not reach high enough temperatures to kill bed bugs.

A steam cleaner is the most effective and cheapest way to rid your home of bed bugs.

Steamers work by delivering lethal temperatures to where bed bugs may be hiding. 

Steam is very effective when bed bugs are on the surface of items and can be effective up to 3/4″ into fabric surfaces

In cracks and crevices, steam will kill bed bugs up to 2-3/8” into a gap

To effectively kill bed bugs the surface temperature should be at least 120-150°F immediately after the steam brush has passed.

Best Steam Cleaner for Bed Bugs

Best For Bed Bugs - Overall

McCulloch MC1275 - The Bed Bugs Specialist

Heat Output:
5/5
Ease Of Use:
4.7/5
Accessories:
5/5
Versatility:
5/5
Overall:
4.8/5

Amazon.com

The McCulloch MC1275 is known to offer a good job as a home steamer especially for those who are concerned with an ongoing bed bugs crisis. 

Many owners of this heavy duty steamer have reported amazing results fighting bed bugs. The McCulloch MC1275 is one of the best upholstery steam cleaners for bed bugs as it produces steam close to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than enough temperature to get rid of those uninvited house guests.

As an affordable option under this category, you can expect a good return for your investment.

The product is easy to use on mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards (places where bed bugs hide) without all those complicated digital settings and multiple buttons.

All you have to do is fill the 48 oz. water tank and have to wait for just 8 mins till the water reaches 200 degree Fahrenheit and starts producing steam.

The McCulloch Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner is a nice-looking product. Weighing only 10 pounds, and equipped with dynamic wheels and a 15.7-foot power cord and 10-foot hose, it’s also incredibly portable whether you’re lifting or dragging it. 

The steamer also works really well on various other surfaces, not just inside your home. Its longer steam hose can provide you with great leeway in order to reach spots that are more difficult to reach, as well as hard-to-work-around areas.

The MC1275 is an all-round steamer which is not just super-efficient at killing bed bugs but it can also be used for cleaning carpets, upholstery, boats, cars, floor mats, and much more.

McCulloch MC1275 comes with 18 different versatile accessories that don’t just help you eliminate bed bugs but also help you to tackle every possible cleaning situation that you might encounter. 

The packages consist of a mop head, a steam jet nozzle,  a carrying handle, 2 extension wands, 2 microfiber pad, a triangle brush, 5 nylon utility brushes, a scrub pad, a brass utility brush, a water funnel, a measuring cup, and a squeegee.

Pros:

  • Easy Assembly
  • High Pressure
  • Many accessories suitable for killing bed bugs
  • Long cord and hose offer great mobility
  • Provides a powerful steam blast
  • 2 hours of steam

Cons:

  • A little noisy
  • Connective pieces and buttons get stuck

Amazon.com

Best Carpet Steam Cleaner For Bed Bugs

Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner

Heat Output:
4.7/5
Ease Of Use:
4.7/5
Accessories:
5/5
Versatility:
5/5
Overall:
4.7/5

Amazon.com

The Dupray Neat is a very popular multi-purpose steam cleaner with a simple, modern design. 

This unique steamer packs serious cleaning power and a passion to kill bed bugs.

The design is compact and lightweight to allow ease of carrying and better portability. 

With a minimalist design and very few buttons on the surface makes it very user-friendly and easily operable.

The Dupray Neat steam cleaner can easily remove stains, grease, and dirt while getting rid of 99.9 percent of bed bugs, mold, pathogens, viruses, bacteria from any type of bathrooms, grout and tiles, car interiors, kitchen appliances, furniture, floors and more.

It’s a powerful 1500W, one of the best dry steam cleaners for bed bugs, reaching steam temperatures of up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit with a steam output of 120g/min, although there is only one steam setting.

The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner has a substantial tank capacity of 54 oz. or 1.6 liters. This allows continuous steaming up to 50 minutes at a minimum.

The extra-long cord attachment of 5 feet makes it easy to operate the Steam cleaner without needing to plug and unplug several times as you move from one room to the other.

Filling up the Dupray Neat is simple – you just unscrew the cap and fill until the water pools around the top. It features a built in funnel.

Additionally, there is a Spill Lock button on the handle, which allows continuous steaming without needing to press the button repeatedly.

The steam produced in the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner can reach up to 275 degrees F, and since the dry steam is low in moisture content and high pressured, it is a handy tool to kill bed bugs and at the same time remove stains and grease.

The steam alone being superheated and low moisture, does not need any additional chemical agents to clean or sanitize. 

This makes it a very cost-effective product designed for giving a professional-quality cleansing of bed bugs from your home.

Pros:

  • The superheated steam temperature of 295 degrees F makes it perfect for killing bed bugs, molds.
  • User friendly, minimalist design
  • Excellent quality attachments
  • 2 year warranty, lifetime on the boiler

Cons:

  • 20 minutes cooling period before refilling
  • No water level indicator

Amazon.com

Also Read

Best Upholstery Steam Cleaner For Bed Bugs

Steamfast SF-370 Steam Cleaner

Heat Output:
4.5/5
Ease Of Use:
4.7/5
Accessories:
4.8/5
Versatility:
5/5
Overall:
4.6/5

Amazon.com

If you are looking for a powerful and heavy-duty steam cleaner which is cheaper, practical and can wreak havoc on the bed bugs, the SteamFast SF-370 Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner is the one to look at.

Although compact, this multi-function steam cleaner has a large water tank capacity. It holds up to 45 oz. of water, which lasts for 45 minutes of continuous steam

It has a long power cord that allows you to steam clean and disinfect 15 feet of area around you. 

It is one of the best rated steam cleaners for bed bugs as a number of users have reported a considerable reduction in the number of bed bugs after using this steamer once a week for 3 – 4 weeks on the infected areas. 

The SF-370 is a 1500-Watts cleaner and comes with a set of 15 accessories giving it the versatility to clean and sanitize the stovetop, countertops, and a wide variety of hard floor surfaces, such as sealed hardwood & laminate, stained concrete, linoleum, ceramic, granite, marble, slate, and much more. 

The easy-stick microfiber pads are effective at grabbing and trapping dirt, dust and debris without scratching surfaces.

It comes equipped with a jet nozzle, 2 nylon utility brushes, a brass utility brush, scrub tool, a squeegee, a corner tool, a scrub pad and a sponge pad for corner tool, 2 extension wands, a mop head, a measuring cup and 2 microfiber pads.

Pros:

  • Big water tank
  • Long power cord
  • 17 attachments and 2 additional microfiber mop pads
  • Wheels and casters for mobility

Cons:

  • Lacks a funnel

Amazon.com

Best Handheld Steam Cleaner For Bed Bugs

PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

Heat Output:
4.2/5
Ease Of Use:
4.7/5
Accessories:
4.6/5
Versatility:
4.6/5
Overall:
4.4/5

Amazon.com

With a moderately sized water tank capacity of about eight ounces, this lightweight steamer will produce enough steam to effectively clean for about 10-15 minutes

While it might not be set up for the toughest, deepest cleaning conditions, the PurSteam can hold its own when it comes to general household cleanups.

The PurSteam hand held steamer is very useful in deep cleaning the hard-to-reach areas of your home where those bed bugs are usually hiding.

This lightweight and portable unit comes with a long 9.8-foot cord for convenient indoor and outdoor use.

There are 9 accessories and attachments that come with the PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner. 

You can use the steamer’s heavy-duty attachments for more targeted sanitizing of your mattresses, sofas, recliners, carpets to kill the bed bugs.

The variety provides plenty of tool choices to tap into when firing up the steamer for greasy, ground-in dirt  or bed bugs removal.

The PurSteam Handheld steamer has a safety lock that can be used if the steamer needs to be set down briefly.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, handheld steamer
  • Long convenient cord
  • 9 accessories

Cons:

  • Water tank could be bigger

Amazon.com

Best Compact Steam Cleaner For Bed Bugs

Pure Enrichment PureClean Steam Cleaner

Heat Output:
4.6/5
Ease Of Use:
4.7/5
Accessories:
4.6/5
Versatility:
4.6/5
Overall:
4.3/5

Amazon.com

The PureClean Steam Cleaner is a heavy-duty, 18-piece steam cleaner that uses all-natural steam cleaning to remove those annoying stains and substances that seem to be irremovable. 

You can be sure that grease, grime, mold and bed bugs cannot stand the continuous hot pressurized power of this steam cleaner.

With this compact and portable steam cleaner, you can always expect a professional-quality extermination of bed bugs from your upholstery, carpet, sofa or mattress. 

This low-profile, home steam cleaner for bed bugs, canister model produces pressurized jets of vapor that exit the nozzle with temperatures beyond 200°F

The hot jet of steam can easily kill bed bugs or dislodge and liquefy the majority of stains that grow on the grout between tiles in wet areas.

You use the nozzle to direct the hot streams to wherever they are required. There is a switch next to the flow trigger that when pressed will engage continuous streaming. 

The buttons are easy to press and are smooth in operation. 

Its 1.5-liter boiler capacity ensures that you have enough water supply to completely eliminate bed bugs from your home 

Getting the water to the required temperature takes 8 minutes while the steam output is 1.2 ounces per minute

It’s a strong and sturdy machine that weighs under 10 pounds and is highly. As with similar compact designs, the canister model can be easily wheeled around the house for cleaning.

Its 16-foot power cord has sufficient reach for most and the decent lengths of the hose and its extensions really help.

Pros:

  • Large capacity water tank
  • 18 accessories, perfect for bed bugs
  • Extended cord

Cons:

  • No water-level gauge or ready-for-use alert.
  • No steam control trigger

Amazon.com

Things To Look For In A Steam Cleaner For Bed Bugs

There are no steam cleaners specifically designed to exterminate bed bugs. Although, the criterions listed here will help you choose a steam cleaner which will help you eliminate bed bugs from your home. The 5 steamers that we have tested and listed in this article do meet all these criterions.

Heat Output

Temperature of the dry steam is the most important consideration for a steamer for treating bed bugs. You need a steamer with an output of at least 160° F to hit the minimum surface temperature required to eliminate the bed bugs.

Some of the heat will be lost while steaming so your steamer must have a higher heat output than the target temperature needed to kill bed bugs.

Pressure

Look for a steamer with high pressure as you would want the steam to reach inside crevices and fabrics where the bed bugs are hiding and laying eggs.

Steam cleaners that have a higher temperature produce dryer steam and higher pressure, which is more sanitary, provides a deeper clean, kills more germs and, ultimately, is more efficient.

To make it even more complex, the temperature and pressure level the device can reach is important, but so is the consistency at which it can keep the pressure at.

The steam pressure also affects how hot and dry the steam gets. Opt for a steam cleaner with at least 40 PSI, preferably 60 PSI.

If a unit is unable to consistently maintain the temperature and pressure level, then it will be less likely to cleanse your home as efficiently as you’d like.

Capacity

Killing bed bugs is hard work and you don’t want to have to refill your steamer any more than you need to. 

A steam cleaner will only continue to produce steam for as long as there’s water to heat it from. For smaller steam cleaners, that often means having to refill your water tank more often, probably in the middle of your cleaning task. 

On the other hand, larger tanks will last longer, but they often take longer to heat up.

Decide which you prefer and keep an eye on the comparison between the size of the water tanks in different models you may be considering. 

Steam mops and handheld steam cleaners usually have smaller tanks and shorter heat-up times; whereas, cylinder and vapor steam cleaners have larger ones and longer times between refills.

Steam control

Make sure that the steam cleaner that you choose has an option to control the flow of steam.

This will come in handy when you specifically want to target the bed bugs infested areas in your home.

An important fact is some steam cleaner applications require a lighter steam setting, killing bed bugs would require a medium setting, while others like grout cleaning need the greater force provided by a much higher setting.

Adjusting the steam pressure will also allow you to get deeper into fabrics and crevices, or any other hard-to-reach place inhabited by the bed bugs.

best dry steam cleaner for bed bugs
Heat-up time

Disinfecting your home from bed bugs can be a tedious thing to do. Most of the steam cleaner models available nowadays heat up water in 10-15 minutes. 

Only when the water starts boiling these steam cleaners start producing dry steam at a temperature high enough to kill bed bugs.

Choose a steam cleaner that has a quick heat-up time so that you can get through the task of bed bug removal quickly.

Attachments and accessories

More attachments and accessories mean you can disinfect more areas effectively. A nozzle, carpet cleaning attachment or upholstery attachment are all very effective in bed bug removal.

If you want a steam cleaner that’s versatile and can be used for a large number of items, surfaces, and spaces, then consider what attachments come with each model, as well as what is available for you to purchase alongside it. 

Make sure, in advance, that whatever you buy will have the functionality or attachments for all the types of cleaning jobs you plan on using it for.

Noise levels

Steam cleaners are typically quieter than vacuum cleaners, but they all produce some level of noise and some of them can get pretty loud. 

If you’re concerned about how loud your steam cleaner will be, then consider looking for models that advertise being quieter than usual and check what reviewers say about the noise levels.

How To Kill Bed Bugs With A Steam Cleaner - Step-by-Step Guide

Bed bugs may be resilient, but they cannot withstand the high heat of a steamer. Steamers are an excellent, chemical-free way to treat for bed bugs and other pests, such as dust mites. 

Steamers will kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact, and thoroughly clean the infested area. When treating an area, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure that all bed bugs are exterminated in a safe manner.

Step 1- Do a thorough bed bug inspection

Look all around your living space, especially in any rooms where you’ve had bites or seen signs of live bugs.

Try and establish where the bugs are hiding. Follow the trails of eggs or blood/excrement, and use a bright flashlight to look in nooks and crannies. 

The key places to look are your mattress, pillow, and bed frame. Be sure to check the headboard, the bases of the legs on your bed, and all the baseboards/walls/floorboards around the bed. Narrowing down your infestation area will help you focus the steamer only to those areas and will help reduce wastage.

Step 2 - Vacuum the infested areas thoroughly

Vacuum before you start using the steam cleaner, since that will help the steam cleaner work best. Cover all the areas where you intend to steam. 

You’ll probably get a few eggs in the vacuum, and maybe even a live bug or two. Use bags to contain any bugs and eggs. 

Wash filters and the bag compartment when you’re done vacuuming. Seal the bag in a ziplock bag and get it out of the house as soon as possible.

Step 3 - Heat up your steam cleaner

Once the machine has warmed up, start the bed bug extermination. Use a rag or old towel to clear accumulated water while the machine heats and when you’re moving between rooms/areas. This makes sure that only the high-temperature vapor is used, and no excess water is left on surfaces.

Step 4 - Steam the infected areas
best upholstery steam cleaner for bed bugs

Start from the top of the space and work down. You can steam practically anything, as long as you don’t get the nozzle too close or stay too long on any one spot. 

Get the walls, ceiling, and baseboards, then focus on the floor and any furniture pieces. Be thorough: you don’t want to miss any nooks and crannies. 

Be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies around wood molding, window sills, mattress frames, headboards and so forth. 

Be super thorough especially around your bed. Bed bugs usually stick to an area about 10 feet from the sleeping quarters, unless you have a large infestation.

Step 5 - Dry the disinfected areas

When you’ve finished thoroughly, and inspected to make sure you didn’t miss any spots, let everything dry out. 

Use fans and open windows to accelerate the process. Don’t replace bedding or pillowcases until you’re sure they’ve dried completely.

As you’re steaming, you may see actual bed bugs, or you might be steaming into potential hiding spaces hoping to catch them. If you come across bugs, steam them. 

After you steam one, use gloves and put it in a sealed ziplock bag to be extra sure. Examine the surrounding area very closely to make sure you’ve gotten all the eggs.

You may need to do several treatments with steam before you get all the bugs and eggs out of your home.

Conclusion

Our pick for the best steam cleaner for bed bugs is the McCulloch MC1275.  It is especially good at bed bugs removal as it produces pressurized hot dry vapor and has so many accessories that can be very effective on different surfaces for killing bed bugs. 

Our next best pick is the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner. The steam heats up to 266 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than sufficient to kill bugs and microbes or melt away grease oils and grimes. Since the steam is superheated yet low in moisture content, it works well on any given surfaces.

Our third pick for the best steam cleaner to kill bed bugs is the Steamfast SF-370. It operates on 1500-watts to deliver pressurized steam at over 200 degrees, perfect for killing bed bugs. The jet nozzle is perfect for tough spots and crevices, and the two included extension wands make reaching high or awkward places a breeze.

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