Best steam cleaners to keep your floors and surfaces sparkling

Steam cleaners can make quick work of cleaning floors and other surfaces.

By heating up water to produce steam at high pressure, they aim to get rid of dirt, grease stain and germs in record time, and without the need for harsh detergents – better for both your surfaces and the environment.

But because steam cleaners come in all shapes and sizes and a worrying number of them fail to deliver on their promises, it’s essential to do your homework before splashing out.

First, work out if you need a steam mop (for floors) or handheld steam cleaner (for other tasks, such as windows, clothing, grouting, mirrors, curtains, ovens and showers) or a combination of the two (with a removable hand-held unit, usually built into the handle).

Next, check your machine has all the attachments you need – a squeegee to clean glass, for instance, or a scrubbing brush for grout. How long does it take to heat up and, even more importantly, how long does the tank last (and do you need to wait for it to cool down before refilling it)?

Last but not least, be sure exactly what you need it for as some machines do certain jobs much better than others. These are precisely the areas we assessed in our tests.

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