You want to purchase a steam cleaner, but you have no idea of its performance and other criteria to consider before buying one. In this post, we tell you everything you need to know about a steam cleaner to help you make a wise choice.

Focus on the Basic Details:

  • The steam flow rate (g/min): it is better to choose an adjustable flow rate;
  • Pressure (bar): from 4 bar;
  • Power (Watt): the more powerful the steam cleaner is, and the faster the water heats up, the more energy-intensive it is;
  • The construction material of the tank: privilege stainless steel; the capacity of the tank: from 0.50 liters to 2 liters;
  • The heating time: as short as possible; autonomy: from 10 to 50 minutes approximately;
  • Noise (dB): check with a seller or manufacturer;
  • Energy consumption: depends on the power of the resistors;
  • Safety: make sure that the cap cannot open if there is still pressure inside;
  • Ergonomics: sufficiently long cables and hoses, presence of straps, excellent quality castors, and a not too heavy assembly.

Steam Cleaner Flow Rate

The steam flow rate represents the speed at which steam passes through the cleaner to reach the substrate to be cleaned. The steam flow rate is measured in g/min. The higher the steam flow rate, the more efficient the unit is.

If you are projecting steam on fragile ground, the flow rate shouldn’t be too high, as this may damage the floor. It is preferable to choose a steam cleaner with an adjustable flow rate.

The steam flow rate varies from 0 to 115 g/min. If you want to clean carpets and hard floors, do not hesitate to consider a flow rate starting at 70 g/min.

Note: Manufacturers are not required to provide this information. It is, therefore, only found on certain models.

Cleaner Pressure

The pressure of a steam cleaner represents the force exerted by the steam projected to remove dirt. This pressure is measured in bar: The pressure can vary from 3 to 6 bar. For a steam cleaner to be effective, it must have a pressure of at least 4 bars.

If it is a small steam cleaner, a pressure of 3.5 bars does not affect the quality of the cleaning. The more pressure you apply, the faster you will see the dirt disappear without effort.

The lifespan of a Steam Cleaner

The lifetime of a steam cleaner depends on the volume of the tank, of the battery (if the device is wireless), auto-filling, which consists of continuously replenishing the steam cleaner with water, the heating time of the tank.

Water requirements differ according to the surface to be cleaned:

For a small apartment: 0.50 to 0.75 liters.

For a house: up to 2 liters or unlimited.

Battery Life

Some steam cleaner models operate wirelessly, powered by a battery. It is interesting to know how long the device can be used before it is discharged. On average, you can operate wireless steam cleaners for 20 minutes, the lowest for 10 minutes, and the most efficient for 40 minutes. Note: the battery life decreases as the device ages.

Unlimited Operating Time: Auto-Filling

The most sophisticated models incorporate an auto-fill system that consists of continuously replenishing the steam cleaner with water. This way, you no longer have to interrupt your cleaning.

Water Heating Time

The heating time refers to the time during which the resistors convert water into steam, i.e., at 120 °C. In general, heating time does not exceed ten minutes. A conventional steam cleaner with a resistance of 1,500 watts will take about ten minutes to convert water into steam. On the other hand, if the model is equipped with a 2,000-watt resistor, the water will heat twice as fast.

Good to Know: Be aware that the more powerful the resistances are, the more energy-consuming the steam cleaner is.

Tank Materials and Options

Here are the points to watch out for when choosing the tank:

– To extend the life of your device, choose a stainless steel tank.

– If the water in your area is hard, use a scale remover or an integrated descaling system.

– Another thing to watch out for is the sound insulation of the tank. The noise emitted by the device comes from its ability to muffle it in the tank. Some models are equipped with a noise reduction pump.

Number of Decibels Issued

Like any electrical appliance, a steam cleaner makes noise. The projection of steam on a surface can cause an unpleasant whistling sound. The noise emitted by the cleaner is expressed in decibels. The display of the number of decibels is not mandatory.

Good to Know: so don’t hesitate to ask a seller for information: a difference of three decibels can result in a sound volume twice as high.

Energy Consumption of a Steam Cleaner

Although a steam cleaner is considered environmentally friendly, in the sense that it requires very little water and no detergent, it still has resistors that heat the water in the tank. The energy consumption of these resistors may vary, and the display of the energy class is not mandatory. It is therefore highly recommended that you contact the manufacturer or dealer to find out more about this information.


It is essential to have a good grip on the device: the handle must be soft to the touch, the cables and hoses long enough, the castors of good quality and the equipment must not be too heavy. Indeed, a steam cleaner must be light enough to be lifted on stairs or to reach an object at a height. The small models are equipped with a strap so that they can be suspended on the shoulder. The weight of the device is an essential element in the choice, especially for the most massive steam cleaner tanks that can reach 10 kg.

Hope the above criteria help you out in choosing your steam cleaner. Discover more through our posts on! From helping you to improve your home, there is a plethora of articles to read and apply in your daily life. Remember to share your comments in the section below.