Best Steamer for Bed Bugs

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If you have discovered bed bugs in your home, you’ll be looking for the best way to get rid of them quickly.

Well, steam is a highly effective method of killing bed bugs, including their eggs.

In this Buyers’ Guide, we’ll take a look at five of the best steamers for bed bugs that are on the market today. You’ll also find plenty of invaluable advice on how to choose a bed bug steamer and on how to use one to best effect.

What is a bed bug steamer?

Although you can catch bed bugs in bed bug traps to prevent them from accessing your bed, heat is the one thing that’s guaranteed to kill these biting pests once they’ve found their way into your mattress and box-spring.

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You can use a bed bug heater to eliminate bed bugs that are living inside your mattress and box-spring, but a bed bug steamer is what you need to tackle bed bugs elsewhere in your home, for example between your floorboards or in crevices around your bed.

A bed bug steamer is a cleaning device that emits hot steam. A steamer can be used to disinfect surfaces, loosen stubborn stains, and kill small insects, including bed bugs.

Five of the Best Steamers for Bed Bugs

So, now you know what a bed bug steamer is and how it works, let’s take a closer look at five of the best bed bug steamers you can buy today. Click on the links to see full product specs, read buyer reviews, and place your order.

Sunbeam Handheld Garment Travel Steam Press

The Sunbeam handheld steamer heats up quickly and provides you with 15 minutes of continuous steam. This steamer is designed to be a portable steam press that’s perfect for treating your belongings before you pack to return from vacation, so you don’t bring bed bugs home with you.

Sale
Sunbeam Handheld Garment Travel Steam Press for Clothes, Bedding, Fabric , Odor removing, Dust mites, Bed bugs
  • Fast heat in less than 45 seconds with 15 minutes of continuous steam
  • Sanitizes and refreshes all types of fabric, linens and drapery with deep steam penetration to remove odors, plus it can be used on bedding to kill dust mites and bedbugs
  • Heated wide-press bar presses out tough wrinkles and dries fibers to prevent re-wrinkling with wide steam coverage

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What we like:

  • The product is portable so can be used while traveling
  • Can be used to kill bed bugs without using toxic chemicals around your home

What we don’t like:

  • The steamer doesn’t hold much water, so you have to refill it regularly.

Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaning System

The Vapamore is a heavy-duty dry-vapor steam cleaner that can be used all around the home to disinfect surfaces and eliminate pests such as bed bugs. This steamer gives you a full 60 minutes’ cleaning time without the need to refill the water tank.

Sale
Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaning System
  • All New Stronger Tools & Accessories
  • Improved Larger Floor Head Design
  • Cleans & Sanitizes The Entire Home Without Chemicals

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What we like:

  • The product uses dry vapor, perfect for bed bug removal and won’t leave your surfaces damp
  • The product has adjustable nozzles to allow easy targeting of problem areas

What we don’t like:

  • The price – this steamer is more expensive than other options

Conair Extreme Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer 

The Conair fabric steamer heats up pretty quickly and gives you 15 minutes of steam. Three attachments are included, enabling you target pests on clothes, curtains, and carpets.

Sale
Conair Extreme Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer with Dual Heat; White / Blue
  • Extreme Steam Dual Heat Technology creates concentrated steam, up to 30% hotter, to penetrate heavier fabrics and release wrinkles 5x faster than other steamers
  • Dual heat system with 1110 watts of power, 75 second heat up feature, and up to 15 minute steam time
  • Slide switch for dual heat settings - low and high temperatures; features steam trigger with built in switch for constant steam and energy-saving steam pause feature

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What we like:

  • This product is inexpensive.
  • The steamer doesn’t use harsh chemicals.
  • The product is portable.

What we don’t like:

  • You have to plug the steamer into the mains.
  • The design can make the steamer tricky to hold.

isteam Steamer [2018] 7-in-1 Powerful Multi-Use

The isteam Steamer is very powerful for its size. It heats up very quickly and gives you enough steaming power to last for about 10 minutes.

Sale
Steamer For Clothes [Update 2019] 7-in-1 Powerful Multi-Use: Clothes Wrinkle Remover-Clean-Sterilize-Sanitize-Refresh-Treat-Defrost- for Garment/Home/Kitchen/Bathroom/Car/Face/Travel
  • High end speed steaming technology steamer- enjoy instantly and perfectly ironed clothes with the power of isteam- a modern nozzle designed all fabric steamer. Within just 60 seconds of heat up get a...
  • The perfect ironing, easy and safe steamer- manufactured under strict safety guidelines as a top priority, the isteam works through easily personalized settings and advanced functions to automatically...
  • No wrinkles on any fabric at any moment for all fabrics - this powerful clothes steamer is highly effective for all kinds of garment, gently treating all fabrics. Erase wrinkles from suits, pants,...

Last update on 2018-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What we like:

  • Nozzle design allows for even, powerful distribution of steam.
  • The product is portable.
  • The steamer features an automatic shut-off in case of overheating or low water level.
  • The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty.

What we don’t like:

  • The steamer is prone to leaking if tilted at an angle.

PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

PurSteam’s handheld steam cleaner is USA-made. It’s super-powerful, lightweight and portable.

PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner with 9-Piece Accessory Set - Multi-Purpose and Multi-Surface All Natural, Chemical-Free Steam Cleaning for Home, Auto, Patio, More
  • WHY IS THIS THE ULTIMATE HANDHELD STEAM CLEANER IN THE USA: We designed it to be the absolutely most powerful superheated pressurized steam cleaner available producing up to 30% more steam flow as...
  • EASY HANDHELD USE: Lightweight and portable unit comes with a long 9.8-foot cord for convenient indoor and outdoor use.
  • SAFE, MULTI-PURPOSE CLEANING: Safe to use on a wide range of surfaces including ceramic tile, granite, waterproof wood flooring, laminate tiles, most cotton and wool carpets, and washable wallpaper.

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What we like:

  • The steamer heats up very quickly.
  • A nine-piece accessory set is included with the steamer, so you can access all areas of your home easily.
  • Very reasonably priced for such a high-quality, effective product.

What we don’t like:

  • The steamer needs a mains power source to operate.

What to look for when choosing a steamer for bed bugs

On the face of it, most steamers initially appear to be very similar. So, what should you be looking out for when choosing a bed bug steamer?

Dry vapor steamers

If possible, buy a dry vapor steamer. Dry vapor reduces the risk of mold forming on fabric and other surfaces while still being hot enough to kill bed bugs.

Attachments

Attachments, including nozzles of various sizes, are often included with bed bug steamers. These attachments are handy because bed bugs are masters at hiding in the most inaccessible places. If you want to kill bed bugs that are tucked away inside a narrow crevice in your bed frame, the ability to direct a powerful jet of scalding steam straight into their hiding place is invaluable.

Also, vacuuming drapes can be much easier with an attachment, enabling you to reach all of the fabric without having to take the drapes down to do so.

Look for attachment sets that include one large brush head. That will allow you to apply the steam over a large area such as a mattress, box spring or sofa.

Quality of build

Steam cleaners vary significantly in quality and therefore in durability and longevity. Generally, steamers that are made to be handheld or are intended for travel are small and not as robust as bigger models.

Although a larger model of steamer might be more expensive initially, the chances are that it will last for longer than a small, cheaper one.

Water tank capacity

Large steamers hold more water, making their operation time longer than smaller models.

Bear in mind that a large water container is essential when you’re using the steamer to kill bed bugs. You don’t want to interrupt the heat treatment to refill the water tank and risk leaving some of the pests alive.

Steam Temperature

To kill bed bugs, you’ll need to expose them to temperatures of at least 1600F to 1800F. Many steamers that are designed for ironing and steaming clothes will not reach this temperature.

It’s also a good idea to buy an infrared thermometer so that you can monitor the surface temperature of the area you’ve treated. That way, you can be sure you’ve created enough heat to kill any bed bugs and their eggs that might be lurking there.

How to use a bed bug steamer

Once you’ve purchased a bed bug steamer, you’ll need to know how to use it to best effect.

Always read the manufacturer’s directions before you use the steamer and use our additional tips given below:

  • Once you’ve got your new steamer set up and you’ve filled the water tank, you’ll need to choose a nozzle.
    • Ideally, you should use the triangular nozzle. A floor nozzle is okay too, but you’ll need to move the steamer slowly across the surface you’re treating to be sure of reaching the right temperature to kill the bed bugs.
  • The treated surface must reach a temperature range of 1600F to 1800 .
    • If the temperature falls below this, bed bugs may survive. However, temperatures above this range can damage fabric and other materials. Use an infrared thermometer to monitor surface temperatures as you work.
    • If the temperature of the steam is too low, simply move the steamer wand more slowly. If the steam temperature is too high, you’ll need to move the steamer faster.
  • Fabric surfaces should not be left wet.
    • If the fabric is more than slightly damp after steaming, check the steamer for a dial or switch that allows you to decrease the volume of steam.
  • Treat all surfaces where you’ve seen bed bugs, and then treat areas where you think bed bugs may be hiding.
  • Once you’ve finished treatment, open the windows and external doors or use a fan to circulate air around the area to dry out the items you’ve treated.
  • When you’re done, allow the steamer to cool, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Empty the water tank before storing the steamer.

After the initial steaming treatment, you may find that you have to repeat the process a few more times to get rid of all the bed bugs in your home. Bed bugs that have hidden deep inside cracks and crevices may escape the steam and survive.

Safety tips for bed bug steamer use

Although steam is a very effective weapon against bed bugs, it can also be dangerous to the person doing the steaming. Here are some safety tips to take note of when operating your new bed bug steamer.

  • Always read and understand the manufacturer’s manual before operating the steamer.
  • The steam produced by the device is under pressure. Be very careful when refilling the water tank and using the steam wand. The steam can reach temperatures as high as 2300F, which can cause serious burns.
  • Always direct the steamer away from yourself.
  • Never allow children to use the steamer, and keep pets out of harm’s way.
  • Test the steamer on an unseen area first, as some fabrics, floor and wood finishes may be damaged. Always steam in the direction of the fabric’s “nap.”
  • It’s not uncommon for steamers to spit out hot water when you first start using them. Point the steamer nozzle at a towel when you begin using the device to capture any hot water.
  • Don’t use a pin-point nozzle for steaming bed bugs. Pin-point nozzles tend to blow the bed bugs away from the treated area, and they may survive. Instead, use an upholstery or floor attachment to deliver the steam, even into narrow nooks and crannies.
  • Steamers can vaporize chemicals from surfaces or fabrics that you are treating. For this reason, it’s advisable to wear a facemask or respirator to prevent the accidental inhalation of fumes.
  • Although it may be tempting to use bleach or other household cleaning products with your steamer, DON’T! The heat of the steam will be sufficient to kill bed bugs without the need for chemicals. Also, you risk inhaling clouds of harmful toxins as the steam vaporizes whatever is on the surface you’re treating.

Questions and Answers

In this section of our Buyers’ Guide, we’ve answered many of the most commonly asked questions about using steam to kill bed bugs. If you don’t see the information you need, just shoot us an email, and we’ll do our best to answer your question!

Q:        Can I use my hairdryer to kill bed bugs?

A:         In theory, yes you can. You can force bed bugs out of cracks and crevices by blowing them out with a hairdryer on a low airflow setting. You’d then need to capture the bugs on sticky tape or squash them in paper towels.

The heat generated by a hairdryer will kill bed bugs after 30 seconds of continuous contact, but you also risk accidentally blowing the pests to freedom before the heat has the chance to kill them.

Q:        What temperature kills bed bugs and their eggs?

A:         Adult bed bugs that are exposed to temperatures of 1130F for 90 minutes or more will die. Death occurs within 20 minutes if the temperature is raised to 1180F. However, bed bug eggs must be exposed to temperatures of 1180F for 90 minutes for 100% mortality to be achieved.

Steamers kill bed bugs and their eggs very quickly and efficiently by attaining lethal temperatures of 1600F to 1800F.

Q:        Can bed bugs survive outside in winter?

A:         If you were planning on putting your furniture outside in your garage for a day or so during freezing winter weather in an attempt to kill bed bugs, think again!

Although they can’t tolerate heat, bed bugs are very good at surviving the cold. When a bed bug’s temperature drops, it can survive for up to a year, even without a food source!

Q:        I share a laundry room in my apartment block. Can I get bed bugs from a shared washing machine?

A:         Provided you wash and dry your clothes and bedding at the hottest temperature, you won’t catch bed bugs through using a shared washing machine. However, you should know that bed bugs can survive a cool water wash.

Wrapping it up

A good-quality steamer will kill bed bugs, provided you use it according to the manufacturer’s directions and follow the advice we’ve provided in this buyers’ guide.

Of the steamers we reviewed, our favorite is the Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaning System. The Vapamore provides you with 60 minutes’ uninterrupted cleaning time and uses a dry vapor system that won’t damage fabrics and surfaces. The steamer also comes with a range of adjustable nozzles so you can easily target all the nooks and crannies where bed bugs might be hiding.