Steam cleaners are getting popular when it comes to home-cleaning tools. These products are eco-friendly, eliminating the need for chemicals to sanitize areas. Steam cleaners are also powerful machines that can easily strip-off tough dirt, grime, bugs even bacteria. These machines make deep-cleaning easy and safe.

There are different kinds of steam cleaners that you will find in the market. Some models specialize on a type of surface, others are mainly for heavy-duty, commercial work. For this section, we’ll talk about steam cleaners for upholstery and fabric. Home furniture and surface types like these can be difficult to clean using simple tools.

Steam cleaners are a great help in cleaning as well as sanitizing such types of furniture. The question is, how can you choose the right steam cleaner for your needs? We’ll talk about how to buy a steam cleaner here.

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What to Consider When Getting a Steam Cleaner for Upholstery or Fabric


It can be confusing to choose among the endless sea of choice for steam cleaners. From handheld, mop, cylinder, vapor steam cleaner, and so on – there are different types of this kind of product. If you’re not careful or if you don’t know much about it, it’s easy to end up getting the wrong steam cleaner.

First, know where you will use the tool. Although most models are versatile and can efficiently work on different surface types, knowing where you will use the steam cleaner can be your basis for the features to look for a product. For upholstery and fabric, the following factors are what you should consider before you purchase.

Appropriate Tool

When you buy a steam cleaner, usually it will come with a set of added accessories. These accessories are either attachment tools, extra materials, or a combination of both for better efficiency of the product. If you are specifically looking for a steam cleaner that can do well on upholstery or fabric, make sure the unit comes with an added tool that can perform well on such surfaces.

These added accessories can be pads, a crevice tool, or a multi-purpose tool that you can place on the surface of the upholstery or fabric. These tools combined with high-temperature can remove stains or deep-clean furniture. Many steam cleaners can kill bugs or parasites living underneath the surface of the upholstery.

With high temperatures, this tool can also kill the eggs of insects. If you’re after steam cleaners for deep-cleaning of upholsteries, better check the feature of the product or ask the store if the tool can support such cleaning needs.

Heat-Up Time

The time for the water to heat up and be ready for steaming is also another point to consider when getting a steam cleaner. Although, usually it doesn’t take that long for the steam to be ready, sometimes a minor difference in minutes will feel like a major factor especially if you want to finish tasks fast.

You can usually find steam cleaners wit a heat-up time of about 45 seconds to 10 minutes. The length of heat-up time depends on the model or the amount of water the steam cleaner can hold. Typically, the larger the water capacity a model has, the longer it will take time to heat the water.

It still depends, however, sometimes the power supply or the engine of the product you’re getting can also affect the heat-up time. You can always know about it when you read the specifications of the product you’re getting.

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Running Time


Running time is the length of how long the steam can continuously blow. Steam cleaners in the market offer different running times from 10 minutes to 3 hours. It depends on the models and your needs. If you don’t need a long-running time, you can settle with a product that offers average running time.

Of course, it’s better to get a product that has long-lasting steam. However, the products may vary on the price or the heat-up time if the running time would be longer. If you’re going to work on large furniture, upholstery or fabric, better choose a steam cleaner with a long-running time. On the other hand, if you’re mostly going to use the product for spot-cleaning, a short running time might suffice.

Steam Temperature

The steam temperature is a crucial factor when choosing a steam cleaner. The ability of the product to deep-clean or remove dirt also depends on the temperature and pressure it provides. However, it doesn’t mean that the higher the temperature, the better the product is. Sometimes, you will need consistency more than the intensity of the temperature or pressure.

Consistent temperature and pressure are more important for your cleaning, so you can handle the tool better. Although, steam cleaners with higher temperatures can easily remove dirt or kill bugs. Too much pressure or temperature, on the other hand, could damage the material you’re working on especially if it’s upholstery or furniture you’re cleaning. Many products can provide to as high as 325 degrees F.

At high temperatures, you can sanitize areas using just a steam cleaner. You can also avoid cross-contamination using steam cleaners than sponge or water when cleaning surfaces. Thus, when getting such products, first check if the steam pressure and temperature are consistent and if it’s high enough to sanitize areas.

Water Capacity


Water capacity is also another factor to consider when getting a steam cleaner. The larger water capacity a steam cleaner can hold, the longer it can provide steam. It’s not always the case, though. Some models have a short steam run-time despite having a large water reservoir. However, the water tank surely tells how often you will have to refill the cleaner with water. Therefore, if you’re going to work on a lot of furniture, upholstery or fabric, a bigger water reservoir may be a better choice. This way, you can continuously work on your chores without having to refill the tank now and then. Small water tanks can delay your work, as some models require a cooling time before you can refill again the tank with water. A few steam cleaners need as long as 20 minutes of cool-time before you can refill it again, which is a lengthy waiting period for most people.


The durability of the product you’re getting is an important factor to consider not only for steam cleaners but also for most goods you buy. For steam cleaners, however, most durability issues arise among the attachment tools the unit comes with. The units are typically durable, and what you should look out for are the added accessories that you will find in the box.

Because typically these attachment tools are made with plastic, some consumers experience having damaged accessories in just a short period after their purchase. To know if you’re getting a durable model, always check the feedback from customers.

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Ability to Deep-Clean

Believe it or not, not all steam cleaners can do deep-cleaning. Now, if you’re specifically looking for a tool that can clean your upholstery, the ability to deep-clean is a critical factor to look out for. Mattresses, sofas, and upholstery can be tough to clean. Dirt can seep through the surface, which most of the time will be impossible to get rid of using simple cleaning products.

A steam cleaner is a great tool to help you clean even the deepest areas of such furniture. With high-temperature steam and pressure, cleaning can be extended down from the surface. This feature is a must if you want to get rid of bugs or bacteria that could be living underneath your upholstery.

You will know if the steam cleaner can do deep-cleaning by checking out the steam temperature and pressure it can provide. Always check this by reading the product description or exploring feedback from customers.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of the steam cleaner are important as well. Especially if you’re living in a small or tight space, you would want a model that is compact and will not take up so much space. The weight of the steam cleaner is also important, so you can easily bring the tool anywhere in the house without too much strain.

Although many models have rollers that make the units easily portable, for people with above-floors, the weight is an important point to check when getting a steam cleaner.

Maintenance Tips for Steam Cleaners


To keep your steam cleaner in good condition for a long time, first, know if you can use tap water for it. Some models don’t allow using hard water as it can cause a build-up of minerals inside the tank or hose which can damage the product. Also, make sure not to give your steam cleaner an extra boost like adding perfume, detergents, or other additives inside the tank.

Water is enough to get the cleaning going. Some models also require discarding of the water left in the task after use. It’s best to take out the water and let the unit dry before putting it back to storage.


We hope we have provided valuable insights regarding how to buy a steam cleaner for upholstery and fabric. Now that you know a few things about this product and how you will get the best tool for your needs, you’re probably now ready to get your own. Always keep these points in mind when your purchase, so you can avoid wasting money and energy buying the wrong product.

If you think this post is a great help when buying a steam cleaner for upholstery or fabric, let us know in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!

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