Best Bed Bug Steamer! [And Do They Actually Work]

The Best Bed Bug Steamer 2022! (Updated 2/12/22)

You came here looking for information on what the best bed bug steamer is. We can help! If you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-use simple bed bug steamer, you can’t go wrong with one of our picks.

Check out some of the best on the market with our reviews and buying guides. To illustrate, let’s turn to science to answer the question: Can I kill bed bugs instantly with a bed bug steamer?

In a study done in 2012 by Robert T Puckett,∗ Danny L McDonald and Roger E Gold, titled “Comparison of multiple steam treatment durations for control of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.)” they determined that steaming was a relatively inexpensive way for a non-chemical means of killing all life stages of bed bugs.

In some scientific studies, steam treatments for bed bugs have been thought to disrupt their neuromuscular functioning. After a bed bug is subjected to steam it moves slower, feeds less, and does not travel as far.

You can read all about it in this study: Effect of Steam Treatment on Feeding, Mating, and Fecundity of the Common Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) Desen Wang,1,2 Changlu Wang,2,3 and Chen Zha2.

Where Can I Pick Up Bed bugs?

Unfortunately, you can pick a bed bug (the scientific name for bed bugs Cimex lectularius Linnaeus) up just about anywhere. Without a doubt, for the past 10 years, during my bed bug inspections, I have found bed bugs in all types of places, including but not limited to hospitals, schools, offices, restaurants, gyms, and homes.

Subsequently, earning the title of a “Bed Bug Specialist” through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been awarded by learning everything I can about these parasites and ultimately passing a written exam.

Oftentimes people do not have money to spend on expensive pest control companies. As a rule, if you are able to afford a pest control company then I highly recommend letting a professional bed bug specialist handle this issue for you.

In NYC it is the landlord’s responsibility to pay for any bed bug extermination procedures. Accordingly, each state will have its own laws regarding this. Residents are also free to hire their own pest control company and not use the one the landlord recommends. Keep in mind that if you choose not to use the one that the landlord works with then the landlord might not pay for the treatment.

Does a Bed Bug Steamer Work?

Bed bug steamers come in all shapes and sizes. It is true that the best bed bug steamer uses dry heat. If you want to try to get rid of bed bugs on your own without hiring a pest control company using a steamer for bed bugs can be part of your integrated plan. 

A steamer can also help you sleep if you find bed bugs, the act of steaming can give you some peace of mind. Since sleeping with bed bugs can cause severe anxiety. It will at least help diminish the population and allow you to sleep in the bed.

A steamer is not going to eradicate all of the bed bugs but using it along with the below methods will help solve the bed bug problem. Just like washing clothes kills bed bugs (as long as you put them through a high heat dryer), so does steam.

With bed bugs becoming resistant to many pesticides, the development to find non-chemical control methods has been on the rise since 2010. Using an integrated plan that involves all of the following: inspection, monitoring, bed bug steamers, heat, pesticides, Aprehend, vacuuming, traps, and dust (Cimexa) is important.

Whether you have bed bugs, carpet beetles, mites, or one of the many other mistaken bugs that look like bed bugs, a steamer is your first line of defense! Steam cleaning the bed frame and floor around the bed can help, get rid of any potential bugs.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. The pennies it earns will go into the K9’s treat fund.

The Best Bed Bug Steamers!

1. Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner – A Great Steamer for Bed Bugs

Sale
Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Powerful Multipurpose Portable Heavy Duty Steamer for Floors, Cars, Tiles, Grout Cleaning. Chemical Free, Disinfection, Wallpaper Removal for Home Use and More. Kills 99.99%* of Bacteria and Viruses.
  • STEAM CLEAN. DEGREASE. DEODORIZE. ANY SURFACE. BETTER.
  • POWERFUL STEAM CLEANER: up to 275°F/135°C. Best multi purpose steamer for home, cars and more.
  • HEAVY-DUTY & LARGE CAPACITY: Up to 50 minutes of cleaning time per fill up.
  • PERFECT FOR FLOOR CLEANING: use any regular towel or cloth, no need for expensive special pads!
  • 2-year Limited Warranty / Lifetime Warranty on steam cleaner boiler.

The Neat steamer for bed bugs is one of the medium expensive bed bug steamers on the market. Trust me when I say that if you can afford it, then this is the one you want to go with.  It has a large tank and the temperature gets up to 275° F.  Furthermore the temperature to kill bed bugs is 120° F,  while bed bug eggs require about 130° F. To kill bed bug eggs instantly you’ll need 130° F. Consequently this bed bug steamer will do the trick.

As you can see, the nozzle is conveniently designed to be used in hard-to-reach areas such as inside frames, box springs, and behind furniture.

Neat steam cleaner for bed bugs on a wood tile floor with a corner of a bed
The Neat steamer for bed bugs showing the underside cord wrap
Neat steamer for bed bugs showing the pointed nozzle.

What We Like about this steamer for bed bugs

  • Has a long steam hose for hard to reach areas
  • 50 PSI
  • User-friendly design. (I love the plain square design!)
  • Steam temperature is 275 F. Much higher than what you need to kill bed bugs.
  • 50 minutes of steam time per tank.
  • Large tank, Therefore it means more steam time without having to let it warm up in the middle of a job.
  • Has a nice storage area for the hose underneath the machine.
  • Has a rectangular floor tool, in case you have bed bugs hiding between your floorboards.
  • Simple lightweight design.
  • Lifetime warranty on the boiler.
  • You get a TON of attachments, so not only can you kill your bed bugs with it, but you can similarly also disinfect your entire house!
  • Very quiet compared to other bed bug steamers.
  • It has a lock button on the steamer nozzle. For this reason, you don’t have to hold your finger on the trigger button. If you set the lock then the steam will come out continuously.
  • Lastly, I know this might sound crazy, but it is actually fun to use.

What We Dislike About this Steamer for Bed Bugs

  • Can’t adjust the pressure.
  • It doesn’t have a gauge to let you know when the water tank is running low.
  • You can’t store the accessories on the machine. (I just use a plastic bin to keep all of the accessories in)

2.  Pur Steam Handheld Bed Bug Steamer

Sale
PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner with 9 Multi-Surface Cleaning Attachment Tools
  • Multi-Purpose Cleaning — The PurSteam handheld steam cleaner machine easily and effortlessly cleans unsightly stains and stubborn dirt and grime on a wide range of surfaces. Works effectively on ceramic or laminate tiles, granite, waterproof wood flooring, and cotton or wool carpets. It's also incredible at removing grease around the kitchen sink, countertop, stove, and many other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Lightweight for Portable Use — With a small and handheld design, you can easily take this steam cleaner anywhere to handle quick jobs around the house, office, garage and more. This unit includes a long 9.8 foot power cord for convenient indoor and outdoor use, making it great for cleaning your car too!
  • Fast-heating Time — Give your space a 360° cleaning without the use of harsh cleaning products. This compact yet powerful whole-house cleaner tool heats quickly, and is an essential helper for the home and kitchen!
  • Safe for Pets and More — Freshen up bedding and furniture with the power of this all-in-one steam cleaner. Features safety lock technology and overheating protection. This steam cleaner cleans naturally using only water, making it an ideal option for those with small children and pets.
  • 9-piece Accessory Set — The Pursteam handheld steam cleaner includes a window and door cleaning tool, an ironing brush, an ironing brush cloth, a round nylon brush, a bent nozzle, a straight nozzle, an extension hose, a measuring cup and a funnel. Adjust it anyway you like to suit your cleaning needs!

Many people have been reporting that they have used this exact steamer to help eradicate their bed bug issue. Although this might not be the best product for killing bed bugs on this list, it is the most affordable one.

What We Like

  • First and foremost the low price point.
  • Secondly, the 3-4 minutes to warm up.
  • Handheld.
  • PSI is 43.5.
  • The steam temperature is 212 F.

What We Don’t Like

  • Must hold the trigger button in order to use it.
  • Alas, the tank is small, so you do not get much steaming time out of each full tank.
  • If you use the attachments, then the temperature will decrease. In order to maximize the bed bug killing qualities, don’t use the attachments.
  • Can’t adjust the pressure.
  • Doesn’t have a gauge to let you know when the water tank is running low.

3. Tosca Dupray Steam Cleaner – A Commercial Steam Cleaner for Bed Bugs

Sale
Dupray Tosca Steam Cleaner Commercial Steamer Made in Italy for High End Professional or Home Cleaning and Disinfection
  • Up to 90 minutes of cleaning time per fill up.
  • COMMERCIAL-GRADE: suitable for home or work.
  • PREMIUM ACCESSORIES: 25-piece kit, MADE IN ITALY.
  • DIGITAL DISPLAY with active temperature, pressure and maintenance reminder.
  • Warranty: 3 years on parts, Lifetime on stainless steel boiler.

Above all, Dupray is a leader in the steam cleaning market. More importantly, they are known for high-quality commercial steamers. Yes, this is a high-end commercial bed bug steamer. It has a lifetime warranty on the boiler and a 3-year warranty on the machine.

What We Like

  • Above all, 90 minutes of steaming time per fill up.
  • Steam pressure reaches 72.5 PSI.
  • Steam temperature gets up to 316 F. So by the time the steam leaves the tank and travels down the hose it will still be hot enough to kill bed bugs.
  • This steamer has the driest vapor with only 5% water contents. This is unlike many of the  other bed bug steamers on the market. This means that you won’t ruin your furniture with hot water like many other steamers.
  • Can be used to disinfect surfaces against the Coronavirus.
  • Will automatically shut off when it is out of water.
  • You can disinfect your entire house or apartment with this machine.
  • Excellent green treatment for bed bugs as well as other tough cleaning jobs.
  • This steamer has enough pressure to actively kill bed bugs that are in harder to reach crevices.

What We Dislike

  • The high price point.
  • 8 minutes to heat up the tank.
  • Once again the high price point. 

4. McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner – A Great Steam Cleaner for Bed Bugs

Sale
McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner with 18 Accessories, Extra-Long Power Cord, Chemical-Free Pressurized Cleaning for Most Floors, Counters, Appliances, Windows, Autos, and More, Yellow/Grey
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - Backed by a 2-year hassle-free warranty and supported by a customer service team based in Andover, KS.Watts:1500. Volts:120V. Amps-12.5
  • CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING - Naturally deep clean without the use of harsh chemicals using hot, pressured steam to eliminate grease, grime, and stains from a wide range of surfaces including ceramic tile, grout, granite, sealed wood flooring, laminate, appliances, grills, autos, and more
  • LARGE CAPACITY TANK - The 48-ounce water tank heats up in under 8 minutes and provides up to 45 minutes of steam with optional lockable steam trigger for continuous steam cleaning
  • 18 VERSATILE ACCESSORIES - Equipped for steam cleaning jobs in and around your home including a floor mop, mop pads, nylon brushes, brass brush, scrub pad, squeegee, and more
  • SUPERIOR REACH - An extra-long 15. 7-foot power cord and over 9-foot steam hose provide added maneuverability and reach for those hard to get to places

Importantly this steam cleaning machine gets to over 212 F consequently the bugs die at 120 F. Just like I mentioned with the other machines it will be beneficial to first and foremost vacuum the visible bed bugs up and then after you vacuum use the bed bug steamer. After you use this machine for your bed bug issue, it will do wonders with any deep cleaning and sanitizing jobs.

What We Like

  • 8 minutes to heat up.
  • Has a steam pressure of 43 psi.
  • More importantly, it has 40 minutes of continuous steam with a lock on the trigger.
  • Has over 5,000 amazon reviews with a solid 4 stars.
  • Many Amazon reviewers mention that they used this machine for a bed bug issue.
  • Has 18 accessories and attachments.

What We Don’t Like

  • Complaints relating to the quality of the machine and how “cheaply” it is made.
  • No storage area for the cord and hose.
  • Very loud.
  • Sad to hear customers reporting 3rd-degree burns.
  • The accessories seem to break down fast. (keep your paperwork for a possible return)

5. Steamfast SF-370 Canister Steam Cleaner for Bed Bugs

Steamfast SF-370 Canister Cleaner with 15 Accessories-All-Natural, Chemical-Free Pressurized Steam Cleaning for Most Floors, Counters, Appliances, Windows, Autos, and More, 64 inches, White
  • MAXIMUM PORTABILITY — Designed for ease of use with a 15-foot power cord with integrated cord wrap, wheels, carrying handle, and a 6. 5-foot hose that provides added reach for those hard to get to places
  • 15 VERSATILE ACCESSORIES — Equipped for steam cleaning jobs in and around your home including mop pads, utility brushes, jet nozzle, squeegee, scrub tools, fill cup, and more
  • LARGE CAPACITY TANK — The 48-ounce water tank heats up in 8 minutes and provides up to 45 minutes of steam
  • CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING — Naturally deep clean without the use of harsh chemicals using hot, pressured steam to eliminate grease, grime, and stains from a wide range of surfaces including ceramic tile, grout, granite, sealed wood flooring, laminate, appliances, grills, autos, and more
  • SUPERIOR SUPPORT — When you choose a Steamfast product, you’re investing in superior performance and design that will deliver total satisfaction. If not, we’ll replace it, for 2 years. Supported by a customer service team based in Andover, KS

With almost 800 amazon reviews that are just shy of 5 stars this machine is a winner! The Steamfast steamer for bed bugs come with a pointy nozzle just like the Neat steamer. However the tank is not as big and you will have to wait for it to heat up in after each time you fill it with water.

What We Like

  • 30-45 minutes of continuous steam!
  • The accessories are not as cheaply made as some other machines.
  • Water heats to over 200 F.
  • Has a nice cord wrap under the machine.
  • Cleaning pads attach with velcro.
  • The bonus brass brush attachment is an excellent tool for cleaning.
  • Great for an apartment or a small home.

What We Don’t Like

  • Has a shorter hose than the Dupray
  • It does leave behind some water, so you will have to let your mattress dry out after using this steamer for bed bugs.
  • It does not come with a funnel to pour the water into the tank. This can subsequently get quite messy.
  • Not enough steam time for the tank size.
  • Unfortunately, the sponge pad melts after a few uses.

4 Reasons Why You Need a Bed Bug Steamer

  • A bed bug steamer can kill all stages of bed bug development, including nymphs, adults, and bed bug eggs. Unfortunately, bed bugs hide and protect their eggs by placing them in cracks and crevices. Therefore a good bed bug steamer can get a shot of steam that is over 120 F into a hard to reach spot killing any bugs or eggs. Furthermore, pesticides alone do not kill the eggs. The research study that we referenced a few times within this article determined that steam was a very effective killer of bed bug eggs!

  • If you have some suspicious bite-like marks and don’t want to pay for a bed bug inspection you can start by steaming your entire mattress, box spring, furniture, and frame. The steaming might solve the issue, whether it is dust mites, bird mites, rodent mites, bed bugs, or some other insect. Note: for bird or rodent mites you have to find the source of the nest first. You must remove the bird’s nest and then deal with the mites that found their way into your home.

  • Finally, it can speed up the process of eradicating an infestation if used alongside other methods.

4 Key Things You Want to Look For When Selecting a Bed Bug Steamer.

Whether you choose one of the best bed bug steamers from our list above or find another comparable one, keep these questions in mind when researching a good steamer for bed bugs.

What size is the tank on your steamer for bed bugs?

The size of the tank will help determine how much steaming time you will get out of the steamer before you have to refill it and wait for it to heat up. A good steamer for bed bugs will have a large tank. Hence for optimal bed bug killing, you will want to hold the steamer over an area for a minute, slowly moving along a surface.

Consequently, this can take hours, therefore having a large enough steamer can help you get the job done quicker. Another point to consider is that when the machine is ready to fill up again, you need to wait a few minutes before opening the pressure valve on the water tank. This is because so much steam pressure has built up inside therefore, you need to let it cool before opening the water re-fill valve.

How much pressure does the bed bug steamer emit?

The pressure is measured in PSI which stands for Pressure Per Square Inch. The Dupray Steam Cleaner mentioned above has a PSI of 50.8 whereas the McCulloch Bed Bug Steam Cleaner has a PSI of 43. A good bed bug steamer should have a PSI of over 40.   



4 Key Things To Look For Before Purchasing a Bed Bug Steamer!


How hot does the steam get when it reaches the end of the nozzle?

To truly determine this you might have to get a remote temperature sensor. This will help you determine the exact temperature of steam that your machine is emitting. To successfully kill bed bugs you will need the steamer to get to 200 F at the very least. Bed bugs will die when the temperature hits 120 F but to play it safe it should be 200 F. This is because you always lose some heat after the steam leaves the tank.

How long does the steamer for bed bugs take for the tank to heat up?

Treating a bed frame, mattress, and box spring with steam is going to take patience. You have to move across the surfaces slowly therefore if the machine takes a long time to heat up subsequently the bed bug treatment process will take days to complete. This is why you want to factor in the time it takes for the tank to heat up.

How to Use A Bed Bug Steamer

Before using a bed bug steamer on any surface that has visible bed bugs it would be wise to first vacuum the visible bed bugs up. More importantly, this is so the pressure from the bed bug steamer doesn’t blow the bed bugs across the room. First and foremost use a vacuum, secondly use the steamer for the cracks, crevices, and any other general areas where you suspect they are hiding.

If you are using an integrated plan to treat bed bugs the steps would be

  • Bed bug inspection. For example, this can be done with a human or a certified bed bug sniffing K9.
  • Vacuum. At the same time, you can carefully and methodically de-clutter. Do not move things around too much, unknowingly you might end up spreading the bugs even further.
  • Use a Zapp Bug bed bug oven to treat any belongings.
  • Steam treat. Specifically, use one of the best bed bug steamers listed above.
  • Inspect
  • Pesticide or dust can be applied after the steam treated area is completely dry.
  • Inspect
  • Monitor

This bed bug process should be repeated until you no longer see any bed bug or feel any bites. 

How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs With A Steamer?

It will take multiple sessions over a few weeks to get rid of bed bugs with a steamer. If you have a mild infestation, you can use a bed bug steamer before you opt for other more harsh methods like chemical treatments. A steamer will only kill bed bugs on contact. Set aside 90 minutes to focus on steaming a bed and the furniture next to the bed. Take a break, then steam everything a second time.

If you have a heavy infestation it’s best to first vacuum up the majority of visible bed bugs. Next, use a bed bug steamer to kill even more, and lastly hire a professional exterminator to apply a chemical treatment; like Crossfire, or fungal Apprehend.

Is Steam Cleaning The Best Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Steam cleaning is one of the most popular methods for getting rid of bed bugs, but it is not always successful.

The trick to successfully eradicating bed bugs is to use multiple methods together. If you have a mild infestation, steam cleaning coupled with vacuuming, and drying may be all you need to get rid of the bugs.

Be aware that with improper steam cleaning for bed bugs you could cause them to run from the steam and hide deeper within furniture or floorboards. However, if you have a more severe infestation, you may have to follow up with a more heavy-duty treatment. It’s recommended that you use a steamer together with a chemical agent like Delta Dust, Crossfire, or fungal Apprehend.

Can A Clothes Steamer Kill Bed Bugs?

A clothing steamer may kill a few bed bugs on the surface but beyond that, it won’t have a strong enough output of steam. Another downside to a clothing steamer is that the water chamber is very small, so you will not get much steaming time out of a garment steamer.

A third reason why a clothing steamer is not the ideal tool for a bed bug infestation is that the hose is often very long so by the time the steam reaches the surface it may not be hot enough. A clothing steamer is not an ideal steam cleaner for bed bugs, however it still may kill a few on contact.

Where Can I Rent A Steamer For Bed Bugs?

You can’t rent a steamer for bed bugs specifically, but most general-purpose steamers will work. If you’re not sure which steamer to choose, or if you’re not comfortable using a steamer yourself, you can always call in a professional exterminator. Many of them have their own steamers that they use for bed bug treatments.

In NYC you can rent a steamer from Rug Doctor, Bissell Rental, or some Home Depot locations rent the Karcher steam cleaner. These are all commercial steamers that will be great as a steam cleaner for bed bugs.

How Hot Does A Steamer Get?

A bed bug steamer should reach temperatures of at least 212° Fahrenheit to 230° Fahrenheit. Make sure to test the steam on an inconspicuous spot before beginning your treatment. The hotter the steam, the quicker and more effectively it will kill bed bugs.

Conclusion: Steamer for Bed Bugs

In conclusion, the research paper that was written by Robert T Puckett,∗ Danny L McDonald, and Roger E Gold, titled “Comparison of multiple steam treatment durations for control of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.)” determined that steaming is an effective treatment for killing bed bugs. Primarily, the results of the study found that all bed bug eggs treated with the bed bug steamer died after the steam treatment. For example, the nymphs and adults consequently had a mortality rate of 85%-95%. This study helps back up the fact that steam treatment is a very good option for getting rid of bed bugs. It also determined that it cannot be the only option. You must use steam along with a planned integrated pest management protocol.

Our #1 best steamer for bed bugs is the Neat Steamer by Dupray.

If you have a bed bug issue, just pick one of our best bed bug steamers and start killing em!

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