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Steam Cleaner Vs Carpet Cleaner

Steam Cleaner Vs Carpet Cleaner

Cleaning your carpets and floors shouldn’t be a difficult chore. You can make it easier by purchasing the most user-friendly cleaning device. This is especially the case if you need to clean your carpets. 

Should you use a steam cleaner or carpet cleaner on your carpets? Both have their pros and cons. A steam cleaner uses hot water to clean, whereas a steam cleaner uses a mix of water and detergent.

Which one is best to use in your home? Here’s what you need to know about steam cleaners and carpet cleaners.  


What Is A Steam Cleaner?

What Is A Steam Cleaner?

A steam cleaner is a device that uses steam to clean your home. It makes use of small vapor molecules that penetrate surfaces to blow out grease and other dirt effectively.

Since the steam reaches very high temperatures, it also kills germs, bacteria, mold, and dust mites. Best of all, it doesn’t require the additional use of any chemicals in order to clean, which makes a steam cleaner safer and more convenient for use in the home. 

How a steam cleaner actually works is that it heats up water past the boiling point. This produces vapor.

Pressurized steam gets forced out of the steam cleaner’s nozzle, or other attachment if you’re using one, and this gets directed to the dirt or stain you want to eliminate.

What’s great is that you don’t need to make use of suction power because the hot moisture dries quickly. 


A steam cleaner can be used to clean a variety of surfaces, such as your sealed floors, hardwood floors, grout, tubs, carpets, upholstery, showers, and more.

How much your steam cleaner will be able to do will vary from one type of steam cleaner to the next. Steam cleaners also come with different tools and attachments so that you can complete a variety of cleaning tasks around the home. 


  • Steam cleaning your floors makes it easier than using a mop because you won’t have to put in as much effort. 
  • Using steam to clean your floors will make them dry faster, which makes them safer around kids. 
  • You don’t have to scrub the floor to remove stains as the high-pressured hot steam will work to do this effectively.
  • A steam cleaner is a multi-purpose cleaning device that you can use on a variety of surfaces. 


  • The steam becomes very hot, which can potentially be dangerous. However, there are steam cleaners that come with safety features onboard. 
  • A steam cleaner costs more than a traditional mop.
  • You have to wait for the steam cleaner to warm up and reach the correct temperature before use. 

Best Steam Cleaners On The Market 

Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam Pocket Mop

Shark Floor & Handheld Steam Cleaner S6005UK

This Shark handheld steam cleaner is ideal for getting into hard-to-reach places. It’s designed to be easy to move around furniture so you can clean more surfaces in a shorter amount of time.

It comes with different steam settings, such as the steam-blast setting that works well to remove stubborn stains on the floor.

It also comes with a variety of tools and accessories to make it more versatile, such as a copper brush, a concentration nozzle, a steam-crevice tool, an above-floor pocket tool, a steam-blast scrubbing tool, dirt grip pads, and a filling flask that makes it easy to refill the water reservoir.

Polti Vaporetto Pro_95 Turbo Steam Cleaner

Polti Vaporetto Pro_95 Turbo Steam Cleaner

This is a turbo steam cleaner that’s designed for tackling stubborn messes and stains. It comes with a ton of features to make using it around the home easy and user-friendly.

It has a display unit so you can know when the water tank needs to be refilled, it has a spot on the machine for you to store all your cleaning attachments, and it really works well to clean both carpets and sealed floors.

It comes with attachments, such as a carpet tool, small nylon brushes, a detail nozzle, a carpet glider, a small brass bristle brush, microfiber protection covers for brushes, and anti-limescale sachets.

Vytronix 10-in-1 Multifunction Steam Mop STM01

Vytronix 10-in-1 Multifunction Steam Mop STM01

This is a steam mop that’s easy to carry, compact, and heats up quickly. It works well on a variety of floors, such as tiles and vinyl flooring. It also comes with a carpet glider tool that makes cleaning carpets easy and effective.

Since it comes with a rotating triangular floorhead, this makes it easy to use the steam mop in hard-to-reach areas and corners around the home.

This device comes with a variety of tools included, such as a grout cleaner, which makes it versatile for use around the home. It also comes with an ironing attachment, medium brush, and scraper tool. 

What To Look For In A Steam Cleaner 

When purchasing a steam cleaner, you should look for essential features that will provide you with a thorough, high-quality cleaning session. These include the following:

  • Check its weight and dimensions. Do you mind pushing a bulky, heavy steam cleaner around the home? Do you have the storage space for a larger unit, or would a lightweight and compact steam cleaner make more sense in your small living space? 
  • Check the attachments that are available. The attachments that you can get with, or buy separately from, your steam cleaner are important to consider before you purchase a specific model. While they might seem fantastic, are you going to get enough use out of them to make them worthwhile or are they just going to take up space in a cleaning cupboard? Make sure that the attachments which come with your steam cleaner are ones you’ll use.
  • Check the water tank size. The steam cleaner’s water tank is important as its capacity determines how quickly you’ll have to refill it. If you have a small living space, you might not need a large water tank. But, if you have a lot of floors to clean, you’ll want a larger tank otherwise you’ll have to interrupt your cleaning session to refill the steam cleaner. That said, larger water tanks will take longer to heat up, so that’s something to bear in mind. Note that handheld steam cleaners and steam mops usually have smaller tanks on board, while vapor and cylinder steam cleaners have bigger ones. 

What Is A Carpet Cleaner? 

What Is A Carpet Cleaner? 

Also known as a shampooer, a carpet cleaner is a device that looks like a vacuum cleaner. It makes use of a cleaning solution, vacuum suction, and powerful scrubbing brushes.

The cleaning solution is injected into the carpet fibers and then the brushes work to scrub and loosen the dirt. Finally, the vacuum suction lifts and eliminates it.


Although you might assume a carpet cleaner is reserved for use on carpets, you can actually use it on a variety of items around the home, such as your rugs, mattress, couch, and floor surfaces such as linoleum and tile, but this will depend on the type of carpet cleaner you purchase. 


  • As a result of its powerful scrubbing action, a carpet cleaner works well to give carpets a thorough clean.
  • Your carpet will look professionally cleaned and smell good.
  • A carpet cleaner is versatile enough to be used on a variety of surfaces, such as appliances, glass, mirrors, upholstery, curtains, and more.
  • A carpet cleaner is ideal for areas in the home that get dirty quickly or if you have kids and pets who regularly make things dirty. 


  • A carpet cleaner makes use of cleaning products, which could be toxic to your home unless you use organic products. 

Best Carpet Cleaners 

Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner 

Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner 

This Bissell carpet cleaner is up for the challenge to treat tough stains – it even comes with an attachment to tackle these specifically.

When you use this carpet cleaner in “express mode,” it will dry your carpets in an hour, which makes it highly convenient. 

It’s great for pet owners as it’s equipped with a two-in-one pet upholstery tool that eliminates stubborn pet hair from furniture, fabrics, and mattresses. It’s not bulky like some other carpet cleaners on the market and only weighs 17.5 pounds.

Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner

Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner

If you’re worried that a carpet cleaner machine will be difficult to use, this one will change your mind. It comes with a pre-mixed cleaning solution that makes cleaning a breeze.

It also comes with a 2-in-1 pet tool and a stair tool for more comprehensive cleaning. As a bonus, its one-gallon tank means that you’ll be able to use it in a large living area, making it ideal for use in big homes.

For no-fuss maintenance, this carpet cleaner is designed with a one-step removable nozzle to make it easy to clean its brushes.  

Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

If you’re looking for a highly portable carpet cleaner that’s also tiny enough to store in small apartments, this Bissell machine is worth it. It comes with two cleaning modes – quick clean and deep clean – and once you’ve chosen the mode, it will get to work and even inform you when it’s done cleaning.

You can, however, choose to clean manually with it by using its hose and stain tool. This is great if you want to tackle hard-to-reach areas, such as your stairs. It only weighs 13 pounds, so it’s easy to carry around the house to where you want to clean. 

What To Look For In A Carpet Cleaner 

If you’re choosing to purchase a carpet cleaner instead of a steam cleaner, you should look for some important features in its design. These will ensure a reliable and effective machine:

  • Consider the weight of the carpet cleaner. A carpet cleaner that’s heavy when it’s empty will become heavier after you’ve filled its tank. Cleaning solutions can easily add around six to 15 pounds of weight to a carpet cleaner! So, it’s probably wise to choose a carpet cleaner that’s lightweight to begin with. 
  • Check the water tank settings. Does the carpet cleaner have one or two tanks? It’s more convenient to buy one that has two separate water reservoirs as water will fill one and the other one will house the cleaning solution. This makes it easier to use. 
  • Choose one with a hose. This is useful for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as stairs. Aim for a hose that’s around eight feet long, but there are steam cleaners on the market that have hoses even longer than that. 

Related Questions 

Can you use any cleaning solution in a carpet cleaner?

Can you use any cleaning solution in a carpet cleaner?

While some manufacturers state you have to stick to their cleaning solutions otherwise void their warranty, so that’s something to bear in mind, generally for regular carpet cleaning you can use a standard cleaning solution as you won’t require a special formula. 

On what surfaces should you never use a steam cleaner?

While it’s versatile, a steam cleaner shouldn’t be used on surfaces such as porous floors (think bamboo, concrete, limestone, and hardwood) and floors that have gaps in them as this can cause them to warp. 


If you need to give your floors and carpets a deep clean, you might wonder if you should choose a steam cleaner or carpet cleaner to complete the job.

In this guide, we’ve featured the pros and cons of each so you can see which one is best to purchase to keep your home clean and hygienic.