No sentence can make your skin crawl quite as easily as, “You have bed bugs.” Except maybe, “You still have bed bugs.”
As a former rental property inspector, I have seen my fair share of bed bug infestations. I’ve also had the opportunity to test out a number of steamers in the fight against these creepy crawlers. I know what a machine needs to effectively and easily eradicate these pests.
Using that experience, I have created this list of the best bed bug steamers. Here, you’ll find six powerful machines that will quickly and easily kill bed bugs and their eggs in your home. I’ve even found one budget-friendly handheld steamer that is powerful enough to get the job done.
Bed Bug Steamers Quick Comparison
|Product||Details||Where to Buy|
Operating temperature: 210-220°F degrees
Operating temperature: 275°F
|Check Price on Amazon|
Operating temperature: 200°F
|Check Price on Amazon|
Operating temperature: 338°F
Operating temperature: 226°F
|Check Price on Amazon|
Operating temperature: 210°F
The Best Bed Bug Steamer
- Heats up to between 210 and 220 degrees for instant contact killing
- Comes with a variety of hose attachments to get in every crevice
- Large 1.6-liter tank for uninterrupted cleaning
- Auto-retractable cord and swivel head for superior ease of use
The Vapamore MR-100 is a lightweight, highly portable machine. It was designed for deep cleaning and sanitizing, but it has all the right features for killing bed bugs, too.
Once fully warmed up, which takes only about 11 minutes, this machine pumps out steam at over 210 degrees. That is more than enough to put out any bugs it comes into contact with. This combined with a ton of different nozzle attachments makes it easy to find and eradicate every bug to reduce how many passes you have to make.
What We Look For
There is actually no such thing as a “bed bug steamer.” When we use this term, we are referring to a standard steam cleaner that has the right features to make it effective against bed bugs.
Each of our choices has these features and then some. They operate at high enough temperatures to kill bed bugs, put out consistent low to medium pressure to reduce retreatments, and many have a large enough tank to get the job done in one pass. We also looked for products with a plethora of other features and perks so they remain useful after the bugs are dealt with.
Max Temperature and Steam Output
In order to kill bed bugs on contact, a steam cleaner needs to hit the surface with steam that is at least 180 degrees. This means the steamer must be able to put out steam that is 200 degrees or hotter when it leaves the hose. We searched for hot cleaners that exceeded this mark.
Cleaners come in a variety of pressure output ratings. For killing bed bugs, you want a system rated on the low to medium end, about 50 to 65. High-pressure cleaners risk pushing bed bugs out of the way of the steam before the heat kills them.
Ease Of Use
No one wants to take on the task of steam cleaning bed bugs, but if you have to, you may as well make sure it is as easy on you as possible. We looked for cleaners that were made to be easy to set up, get started, and maneuver.
Steam cleaners are not cheap items. Once you are done dominating your bed bug infestation, you’re going to want to use it for other tasks. We paid special attention to what additional features and benefits each of the steam cleaners we looked at offered and chose only those capable of cleaning a variety of surfaces.
Tank size is an important feature that adds to the ease of use of a steam cleaner. This is especially true when you are using that cleaner to kill bed bugs on every surface in your home. We looked for bigger tanks that didn’t encumber the usability of the overall machine.
Heat Up Time
Fifteen minutes may not seem like a lot of time to wait before you start cleaning, but it can add up. Even under the best circumstances, you will likely have to treat your living space more than once to completely get rid of bed bugs. Having a steam cleaner that heats up quickly means you get that much more time to enjoy your new pest-free home.
Everyone is working with a different budget, so we paid special attention to the price of each cleaner we reviewed. We balanced the price with the performance to find a capable bed bug steamer to fit every budget.
Best Bed Bug Steamer Reviews
Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaning System
- Easy to use and highly versatile
- Large capacity and high heat output
- Multiple attachments
The Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaner checks all the boxes for a steam cleaner that can double as an effective bed bug eradicator.
After just an 11 minute warm-up, it produces steady steam between 210 and 220 degrees. This is more than enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact. The steam is put out at a constant 51 psi, penetrating into cracks and crevices without dislodging any hidden bugs.
To help assure the steam reaches every hidden critter, this kit comes with a variety of attachments. These include multiple extension tubes, a carpet slider, a floor pad, a jet nozzle, and four different kinds of brushes.
With a high-capacity tank and an easy carry, wheeled body, this cleaner gives you a long run time without the hassle of dragging around an industrial-sized machine. All the attachments store nicely inside the body and the cord auto-retracts for quick, easy storage.
This steam cleaner may cost more than others on this list, but it is well worth it if you want to minimize how long it takes to get rid of your bed bug infestation. And when you have that project handled, you’ll still be left with a primo cleaning machine built to deep clean and sanitize a range of surfaces from carpet and grout to car upholstery.
- Powerful cleaner
- Multiple attachments
- Easy to use
- Lightweight, compact, and portable
- Super-high operating temperature
- Multiple attachments
Short on space but desperate to find a steam cleaner that can handle your bed bug problem? The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is a highly compact system that operates at a super-high temperature to assure maximum eradication of any bug it comes close to.
This sleek, modern cleaner has the aesthetic appeal of an iPhone with the high-tech cleaning ability to match. The large 1.6-liter tank is housed inside the portable square body. It doesn’t roll like your typical steam cleaners, but at only 9 pounds, it is easy enough to carry around.
Adding to the usability is an extra-long 6.5-foot hose and a number of nozzle attachments. The kit includes multiple handle extensions, hard surface and floor cleaners, a jet nozzle, and multiple brush heads.
One of my favorite things about this unique steam cleaner is that it doesn’t require you to order specialty pads to fit the flatheads. You can fold up any hand towel and clip it into place for use on hard surfaces.
With a large tank and quick warm-up time, this steamer allows you to get to work fast. But don’t get too excited if you are cleaning a large room. The high operating temperature means you will have to wait at least 20 minutes before you can refill the water tank.
Still, this is a small price to pay for a steam cleaner that is just as effective on stains as it is on bed bugs.
- Quick warm up time
- Easy to store
- No storage for attachments
- No holder for mop head
- Perfect heat range for bed bugs and delicate fabrics
- Four-wheel design
- Comes with 18 accessories
Looking for something that can handle your bed bugs but won’t be too much for cleaning delicate clothing and fabrics? The McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner is worth considering.
This little steamer heats up to 200 degrees, just enough to be lethal to bed bugs, but not too hot to restrict its uses elsewhere.
Eighteen accessories help target that heat into bed seams, under baseboards, and into fabrics of all textures and thicknesses. And with a warm-up time of only 8 minutes and a large capacity tank, you’ll be able to take care of those nasty bugs quickly.
The four-wheeled design of the body also makes it quite easy to maneuver around the bedroom and home. It isn’t as portable or lightweight as some others listed here, but it is easy enough to use.
For use on other projects, this steamer is more limited. The lower temperature won’t be as effective for removing grease and oil buildup and may not be enough to lift heavy stains from the carpet. But it works very well for deep cleaning delicate fabrics and upholstery.
- Multiple accessories included
- Extra-long hose
- Some plastic parts prone to breaking
- Difficult to engage trigger
Ivation Steam Cleaner
- Intense sanitizing and degreasing
- Extra-large capacity tank
- Rotating brush for deep cleaning
The Ivation Steam Cleaner was designed for superior deep cleaning and sanitization. For this powerful steam cleaner, killing bed bugs is just a hobby.
This steamer gets up to an impressive 338 degrees in just 7 minutes. That extra hot heat means that even bed bugs that don’t take a direct hit from the steam will still get too hot to survive.
This unit has a higher pressure output than any other on this list. This isn’t so important for killing bed bugs, though it will assure steam gets into those hard-to-reach places to get the job done. Where that pressure really comes in handy is for cleaning.
High temps and a high psi make this cleaner more effective at detaching dirt, stains, and oil from surfaces than your bargain brand steam cleaner. You’ll have to be a bit more careful which surfaces you use it on, but for flooring, grout, appliances, and other durable material, this cleaner is only going to impress.
There are a few downsides to the Ivation, however. Most notably, the body handle tends to heat up along with the water. After a few minutes of use, it is almost too hot to pick up. That’s a shame since the extra-large capacity tank has such an impressive run time.
But, considering the surprisingly affordable price and what this cleaner is capable of, it is still a great choice–you just may need to wrap hot pads around the handle.
- Quick warm up time
- High maximum temperature
- High pressure output
- No accessory storage
- No cord storage
- Super-fast warm-up time
- Versatile and easy to use
Another reliable machine for bed bug removal and cleaning is the COSTWAY 2000W Multipurpose Steam.
This sleek-looking steam cleaner, which comes in red or blue, gets more than hot enough to kill bed bugs on contact. The steam comes out at 228 degrees, right in that sweet spot for disinfecting and being able to clean a variety of different fabrics and materials.
The tank is on the smaller side at 1.5 liters, which means the body isn’t as bulky as some others listed here. However, it still has a decent amount of weight to it at about 13 pounds when empty.
It comes with a number of brush attachments but not the all-important jet nozzle attachment. This nozzle is especially helpful for targeting bed bugs and cleaning in tight spaces. But some of the brush attachments will work well enough.
The cord is also fairly short, which, along with the smaller tank size, limits how much cleaning you can get done at once.
But, considering how well-priced and compact this cleaner is, it still makes a great buy. If you have a small apartment to steam, the COSTWAY will get the job done without breaking the bank.
- Super-fast warm up time
- Easy to pull
- Cord and attachment storage
- No replacement brushes available
- Some parts prone to breakage
DBTech Handheld Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaner
- Lightweight and easy to store
- Highly portable
Looking for an effective bed bug steam cleaner on a budget? The DBTech Handheld Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaner has you covered.
This handheld steam cleaner provides plenty of cleaning potential in a small, 4-pound package. It reaches 210 degrees in just 3 minutes, so you can start eradicating your bed bug problem in less time. And it is highly portable, which makes getting to those hard-to-reach hiding places much easier.
All that portability comes with a few trade-offs. The tank only holds about 6 ounces, or 0.2 liters, of water. Unless your cleaning or disinfecting project is isolated to a small area, you will be stopping multiple times to refill the unit. But considering how quickly this heats up, it still shouldn’t take you too long to get the job done.
This kit comes with two floor heads, one small brush, and a jet head nozzle.
The key to getting the DBTech hot enough to effectively kill bed bugs and to clean is to not overfill the small tank. If you put too much water in, the steamer will spit out hot water, struggle to heat up, and the handle will quickly get too hot to hold.
As long as you are mindful about how much water you put in, this tiny unit is very convenient to have on hand. And, considering the price, it is the perfect option for those killing bed bugs on a budget.
- Super-fast warm up time
- Small water tank
- Handle gets hot
Steamer Comparison Table
|Model||Operating Temperature||Maximum Pressure||Water Tank Capacity||Warm-Up Time|
|Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaning System||210 to 220 degrees||51 psi||1.6 liters||11 minutes|
|Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner||275 degrees||50 psi||1.6 liters||7 minutes|
|McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner||200 degrees||unlisted||1.4 liters||8 minutes|
|Ivation Steam Cleaner||338 degrees||65 psi||2 liters||7 minutes|
|COSTWAY 2000W Multipurpose Steam||228 degrees||58 psi||1.5 liters||6 minutes|
|DBTech Handheld Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaner||210 degrees||unlisted||0.2 liters||3 minutes|
How To Use a Bed Bug Steamer
In order to get rid of your bedbug problem quickly and effectively, you need to follow a few simple steps with your new steamer.
- First, clean the area and remove all clutter from the flooring and shelves.
- Fill the unit to the maximum water level and no higher.
- Allow it to heat up to the set temperature.
- Use the jet tip nozzle attachment to target steam for maximum contact kill. The triangular-shaped floor cleaner can be used for carpets and comforters.
- Move slowly, at a pace of about two feet per minute.
- Make sure to target cracks, seams, and crevices where the bugs like to hide.
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions for depressurizing and emptying the unit.
- Vacuum thoroughly to remove any killed and incapacitated bugs.
- Repeat these steps frequently until you no longer see signs of bed bug activity.
The Wrap Up
When it comes to finding a steam cleaner to get rid of your bed bug problem, you don’t need to look any further than the Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaning System. This powerful cleaner delivers steam at the right temperature and pressure to eradicate bed bugs while delivering enough cleaning power and versatility to be useful long after those creepy crawlers are gone.
If you are looking for something a little more portable, the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is a great choice. This sleek little machine travels along with you to flush out those bugs wherever they are hiding. Or, if what you need is a more powerful cleaner with steam hot enough to kill bed bugs from a few feet away, you’ll love the Ivation Steam Cleaner.
Bed Bug FAQ
Can carpet cleaning kill bed bugs?
Yes, cleaning your carpet with a steam cleaner will kill bed bugs. But keep in mind, these bugs like to hide in dark spaces and on a variety of surfaces. To get rid of the problem completely you will need to steam more than just the carpets (curtains, mattress, clothes) .
Does steaming kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs?
Yes, steam cleaning at temperatures over 120 degrees will kill bed bugs and their eggs. However, at these temperatures, you will need sustained heat on the area for some time. In order to kill the bugs quickly, the steam that contacts them needs to be at least 180 degrees.
Does steam kill bed bugs instantly?
Yes, steam that is hot enough will kill bed bugs almost instantly. The steam reaching the surface will need to be 180 degrees to accomplish this. Using an infrared thermometer can help you determine if the steam you are using is hot enough to kill instantly.
Will handheld steamers kill bed bugs?
Yes, a handheld steamer will kill bed bugs so long as the steam heats up to at least 200 degrees.