The best steamers for bed bugs

The best bed bug steamers
The best bed bug steamers.

Living with bed bugs is an unpleasant situation, to say the least. Getting rid of them from most of their hiding spots is fairly easy, but things get a little tricky after they have burrowed their way into mattresses or couches. The only way to kill them then is by exposing them to high temperatures, and the best way to do so is with a steamer. Here we will show you how high-temperature steam gets the job done and review some of the best bed bug steamers you can buy.

Topics Covered

  • Why kill bed bugs with steam?
  • Key features to look for in a bed bug steamer
  • The best bed bug steamers
  • Safety precautions
  • Conclusion

Product About Price
Conair Turbo Extreme Handheld Steamer The best handheld bed bug steamer: Conair Turbo Extreme Handheld Steamer
Cimex Eradicator The best canister bed bug steamer: Cimex Eradicator

Why kill bed bugs with steam?

Steam is a great and highly effective way of sanitizing and killing bacteria, viruses, mites, bed bugs, and even mold without the need for using toxic and harmful chemical agents. Here is a complete list of benefits to using the steam method.

Chemical-Free treatment

Steam treatment is a non-toxic and chemical-free approach to eliminating bed bugs. It uses only water, which makes it a safer option, especially in bedrooms and areas where chemical exposure may be a concern. Also, bed bugs have built up a very strong tolerance to harmful chemicals, whereas they are completely vulnerable when it comes to high-temperature steam.

Kills bed bugs on contact

High-temperature steam can quickly kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact, because the heat penetrates their exoskeletons and disrupts their cellular structure.

It’s important to keep in mind that the higher the temperature, the better the results.

For example, a minimum temperature of 113°F (45°C) is enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs. However, it’s not enough to kill them upon contact and you would have to do a number of treatments over multiple days before reaching a 100% kill rate. On the plus side, a one time treatment at 113°F (45°C) will greatly reduce their ability to reproduce.

Temperatures of 160°F (71°C) is ideal for killing bed bugs upon contact, but it might not be sufficient to kill their eggs – especially if they are embedded deep into the material. 212°F (100°C) will easily kill just about everything, including deeply embedded bed bug eggs, but I personally would not exceed 248°F (120°C) because then you run the risk of damaging items.

Penetrates cracks and crevices

Bed bugs are skilled at hiding in small cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas. Steam can penetrate deep into these hiding spots, reaching bed bugs where they are sheltered – unlike chemical treatments.

Immediate results

Steam treatment provides immediate results, as bed bugs are killed on contact (depending on the steam temperature). This can be beneficial when dealing with large infestations or heavily infested areas.

Key features to look for in a bed bug steamer

When choosing a bed bug steamer, several key features can make a significant difference in its effectiveness and ease of use. Here are the key features to look for:

High Temperature and Pressure: Bed bugs are resilient pests, and to effectively kill them, the steamer should reach temperatures of at least 160°F (71°C) and produce high-pressure steam. High temperatures ensure that the steam penetrates deep into cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide.

Adjustable Steam Settings: A good bed bug steamer should have adjustable steam settings to cater to different surfaces and materials. Being able to control the steam output allows for more precise application and prevents damage to delicate items.

Large Water Tank Capacity: Steamers with larger water tanks require less frequent refilling, allowing for extended treatment sessions without pesky interruptions.

Quick Heating Time: Look for steamers that have a short heating time to minimize waiting before you can start treating the infested areas.

Long Cord or Cordless Operation: A long power cord or cordless operation ensures better maneuverability and convenience during treatment.

Attachments and Accessories: Check for a variety of attachments and accessories, such as different nozzle types, extension wands, brushes, and fabric steam covers. These accessories help to target different surfaces and make the steamer more versatile.

Durability and Quality: Invest in a bed bug steamer from a reputable brand known for quality and durability. Bed bug treatment can be intensive, so a sturdy and reliable steamer is essential for long-term use.

Easy to Use and Maintain: Look for a steamer that is user-friendly and easy to maintain. Features like a comfortable grip, easy-to-reach controls, and a simple cleaning process will make a big difference.

Safety Features: Steamers can be dangerous and should therefore have safety features, such as a cool-touch handle and automatic shut-off when the water tank is empty. These features protect you from accidental burns and prevent damage to the steamer.

Lightweight and Portable: If you plan to use the steamer on various surfaces or in different locations, consider a lightweight and portable model for easy transportation.

The best bed bug steamers

Whether you want a steamer for general cleaning and sanitizing, or for bed bugs and mold – here are the best handheld and canister versions for what you need.

Sunbeam Handheld Garment Travel Steam Press

Not only does this steamer excel at sanitizing and removing wrinkles from fabrics, but thanks to its high-temperature steam, it also effectively kills bed bugs.

Its 230ml tank heats water to a maximum of 212°F (100°C) in a mere 30 seconds and will give off 15 minutes of continuous deep-penetrating steam. The water tank twists off easily, which makes refilling easy and quick and its base allows it to stand on flat surfaces between uses.

It also has two convenient safety features – auto shut-off and anti-drip.

Things to keep in mind:

1: It has a feature that allows the device to continuously release steam if you lift the trigger after pressing. This is convenient, but also dangerous because you can unknowingly engage it and you won’t know until you’ve put the steamer down and see that it’s still releasing steam.

2: The device is not cordless and has a relatively long swivel cord that measures 10 feet long. This is both good and bad – good because it gives you reach and bad because the cord is permanently attached thus prevents the steamer from being stored easily because you first have to wrap the cord around the device.

Overall, the Sunbeam GCSBHS-100-000 handheld steamer is a high-quality product that can easily kill bed bugs by penetrating steam into mattresses, upholstery, curtains, teddy bears, and a whole lot more.

  • Brand: Sunbeam GCSBHS-100-000
  • Type: Handheld
  • Max Temperature: 212°F (100°C)
  • Pressure: N/A
  • Water Tank Capacity: 230ml
  • Heating Time: 30 Seconds
  • Runtime: 15 Minutes
  • Cord/Cordless: Corded
  • Attachments/Accessories: 1 x Bristle Brush Attachment
  • Dimensions: 6.88″D x 5.03″W x 11.22″H
  • Weight: 2.46 Pounds
  • Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty

Conair Turbo Extreme Handheld Steamer

The freestanding Conair Turbo Extreme steamer is easy to use. Just fill the 230ml water tank and wait 40 seconds for it to convert the water into steam. There are also 5 steam settings to choose from ranging from delicate to supercharged turbo and LED lights to indicate when the steamer has heated the water and is ready for use.

It comes with a handy 3-in-1 attachment which includes a fabric spacer for protecting delicate fibers and trims, a silicone band for pulling taut, and more importantly, a bristle brush for extra steam penetration into fibers.

Even more impressive is its ability to reach temperatures 395°F (202°C) – which is more than enough to kill bed bug eggs upon contact, thus making it the best handheld bed bug steamer on this list.

Things to keep in mind:

1: The product has a steam on/off button located near the handle and it’s therefore easy to accidentally trigger it without knowing.

2: Its highest temperature setting (395°F (202°C)) might be too hot for certain items and could potentially cause damage.

3: It has a 10 feet long swivel cord that has to be wrapped around the device when storing.

  • Brand: Conair Handheld Steamer
  • Type: Handheld
  • Max Temperature: 395°F (202°C)
  • Pressure: N/A
  • Water Tank Capacity: 230ml
  • Heating Time: 40 Seconds
  • Runtime: 20 Minutes
  • Cord/Cordless: Corded
  • Attachments/Accessories: 3 x Attachments
  • Dimensions: 8″D x 5.6″W x 13.6″H
  • Weight: 3.6 Pounds
  • Warranty: 2-Year Limited Warranty

Comforday Multi-Purpose Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

The Comforday Steam Cleaner is a versatile and powerful cleaning tool that not only handles a wide range of cleaning tasks but also provides an effective solution against bed bugs. With its nine free accessories and adaptability to various situations, this steam cleaner allows you to reach and treat hard-to-reach areas where bed bugs may be hiding.

It has multi-surface capabilities – whether it’s laminate, hardwood, fabric, upholstery, ceramic, linoleum, glass, marble, or granite, this steam cleaner is designed to work effectively on every surface, ensuring comprehensive coverage in your battle against dirt and bed bugs.

What makes this product so powerful is its hot steam. It uses Quicksteam technology which provides 1050W of pressurized hot steam at a temperature of 221°F (105℃). The high heat and pressure are crucial in eliminating bed bugs and their eggs, ensuring a thorough and long-lasting eradication.

In addition to its effectiveness against bed bugs, the Comforday Steam Cleaner offers several other benefits. It deodorizes by killing odor-causing bacteria on various surfaces, including cushions, pillows, pet bedding, curtains, sneakers, stuffed animals, and backpacks. It provides a chemical-free clean, free from harmful fumes and residues that can affect your family and pets. Moreover, it is an economical choice, saving you money on expensive cleaning solutions.

Using the Comforday Steam Cleaner is easy. Simply open the cap, fill the water tank with 350ml of water, close the cap and connect it to a power source. Press the child lock button and the switch button together to start using. The lockable steam trigger allows for continuous steam flow, making it easier to treat larger areas without constantly holding the trigger down.

  • Brand: Comforday Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
  • Type: Handheld
  • Max Temperature: 221°F (105℃)
  • Pressure: N/A
  • Water Tank Capacity: 350ml
  • Heating Time: 50 Seconds
  • Runtime: 15-20 Minutes
  • Cord/Cordless: Corded
  • Attachments/Accessories: 9 x Attachments
  • Dimensions: 10.92″D x 5.46″W x 8.97″H
  • Weight: 3.3 Pounds
  • Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty

Wagner Spraytech 915e

The Wagner 915e Power Steamer is so much more than just a cleaning tool for your home – it’s also an effective solution against the persistent problem of bed bugs. With its chemical-free steam cleaning technology, this steam cleaner provides a safe and natural way to eliminate bed bugs and other pests without the need for harsh chemicals or toxins.

It’s high-temperature steam reaches temperatures of up to 212°F (100°C) in under 9 minutes. Bed bugs are notoriously resilient, but the intense heat generated by this steamer can penetrate their hiding spots, such as mattresses, furniture, carpets, and cracks, effectively eradicating them from your home.

The steamer comes equipped with 18 useful attachments and nozzles, which allows you to target specific areas where bed bugs may be present. The large cleaning brush and mop pad are particularly useful for treating larger surfaces, while the jet nozzle and nylon utility brushes help you reach crevices and corners where bed bugs often hide.

Better yet, with a water tank capacity of up to 40 oz., the Wagner 915e provides an impressive 40 minutes of continuous steam cleaning. This ample run time allows you to thoroughly treat multiple areas in your home, ensuring comprehensive coverage and effective bed bug extermination.

The portability and convenience of the Wagner 915e further enhance its effectiveness. The fully portable wheel design allows you to move effortlessly throughout your home, reaching various places with ease. Also, the steamer’s compact size and built-in storage compartment for nozzles make it a practical and space-saving solution.

  • Brand: Wagner Spraytech 915e
  • Type: Canister
  • Max Temperature: 212°F (100°C)
  • Pressure: N/A
  • Water Tank Capacity: 1.2L
  • Heating Time: Under 9 Minutes
  • Runtime: 40 Minutes
  • Cord/Cordless: Corded
  • Attachments/Accessories: 18 x Attachments
  • Dimensions: 12.5″D x 19.6″W x 15″H
  • Weight: 13.3 Pounds
  • Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty

Cimex Eradicator

Cimex Eradicator

The Cimex Eradicator by Polti is a revolutionary steamer designed specifically for combating bed bugs. Its standout feature is its ability to produce steam at an incredibly high temperature of 356°F, a level unmatched by other steamers in the market.

Assembling the Cimex Eradicator is simple; all you need to do is attach a bottle of HPMed, a detergent solution that can be mixed with the steam for added effectiveness. HPMed helps to eliminate the bed bug smell, blood stains, and even melts the gluey substance that binds the eggs to surfaces. However, you don’t have to use the HPMed solution, because the high temperature steam delivers a heat shock that permanently disinfects the treated areas, killing an impressive 100% of bed bugs and their eggs at the first passage of steam.

One of the most remarkable features of the Cimex Eradicator is its ability to lower the fungal, bacterial, and viral count in seconds, making it an excellent choice for sanitizing treated surfaces. It works effectively on all types of materials, making it versatile for various cleaning tasks.

The package includes a steam generator, straight and angled steam concentration tubes, two bottles of HPMed solution, protective gloves, a brass cleaning brush, wicks, vials of Kalstop, a funnel, a measuring cup, and an instructional DVD for ease of use.

Overall, it’s an exceptional product. Although it may require a slightly higher investment, its exceptional performance and results are well worth it.

  • Brand: Cimex Eradicator
  • Type: Canister
  • Max Temperature: 356°F (180°C)
  • Pressure: 58 PSI
  • Water Tank Capacity: 2L
  • Heating Time: 10-15 Minutes
  • Runtime: 2 Hours
  • Cord/Cordless: Corded
  • Attachments/Accessories: Multiple Accessories
  • Dimensions: 12.6″D x 13.4″W x 12.6″H
  • Weight: 12 Pounds
  • Warranty: 2-Year Limited Warranty

Safety precautions

Using steamers to treat bed bugs is highly effective, but it’s essential to follow safety precautions to ensure safe and successful treatment. Here are some important safety guidelines to use steamers responsibly:

Read the Manual: Before using the steamer, thoroughly read the manufacturer’s manual and follow their instructions for proper setup, operation, and maintenance.

Wear Protective Gear: Wear appropriate protective gear, such as heat-resistant gloves and eye protection, to shield yourself from potential steam burns and splashes.

Test Surfaces: Before steaming a large area, test a small inconspicuous spot to check how the surface reacts to the steam. This helps prevent damage to sensitive materials.

Avoid Electrical Hazards: Keep the steamer away from water sources and electrical outlets. Ensure the power cord is not damaged and that the outlet is properly grounded.

Don’t Steam Electrical Outlets: Avoid steaming electrical outlets, switches, and other electrical components to prevent potential electrical hazards.

Beware of High Temperatures: Be cautious of the high temperatures of the steam. Do not touch the steamer’s hot surfaces, and avoid directing steam towards yourself or others.

Empty Water Safely: When refilling or emptying the steamer’s water tank, do so carefully and away from children and pets to avoid accidental burns.

Store Safely: Allow the steamer to cool down completely before storing it. Keep it out of reach of children and pets in a secure location.

Steam Away from People and Animals: Avoid steaming areas where people or pets are present, as direct exposure to the steam can cause burns.


In conclusion, bed bug steamers offer a safe, chemical-free, and effective method to eliminate these pests. Their high-temperature steam kills bed bugs and their eggs on contact, reaching deep into hiding spots.

When choosing a steamer, look for key features like temperature control and safety measures. The Sunbeam, Conair, Comforday, and Cimex Eradicator are excellent options. Also, remember to follow safety precautions to use steamers responsibly and achieve optimal results in your battle against bed bugs.

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