Bed bug bites may not be too painful, but they can be very annoying nonetheless. Since some bed bugs can even cause allergic reactions or transfer infections, you may want to consider equipping your home with any of the best vacuums & steamers for bed bugs.
They’re not too expensive and you would be surprised at how versatile these devices are when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing homes.
9 Best Bed Bug Steamers & Vacuums
Check out my top picks among the best bed bug vacuums & steamers to know which one suits your needs the most.
- 9 Best Bed Bug Steamers & Vacuums
- 1. McCulloch MC1275
- 2. Housmile Upgraded 810 UV Vacuum Cleaner
- 3. Vapamore MR-75 Amico Handheld Steam Cleaner
- 4. Vapamore MR-100 Primo
- 5. Atrix VACBP1 HEPA Backpack Vacuum Cleaner
- 6. Wagner Spraytech 0282014 915
- 7. PurSteam PS-581X Handheld Steamer
- 8. Pure Enrichment PureClean XL Steam Cleaner
- 9. Dibea UV808 Bed Vacuum Cleaner
- Bed Bug Disposal – Vacuums vs Steamers
- Usually Featured Accessories
- Tank Capacity Considerations
- Are HEPA Filters Mandatory?
The McCulloch MC1275 is one of the most efficient steamers for residential use. It can provide a chemical-free cleaning and sanitizing of many surfaces. The large capacity tank can hold up to 48oz water, which provides more than enough steam to clean a number of rooms.
I like the fact that the steam pressure can reach up to 43 psi. This is great pressure level as it allows the MC1275 to be used on tile, grime buildups around stoves, and pretty much anything else. The water heats up to the optimal temperature in under eight minutes which is not bad at all at this price range.
Along with the MC1275, 18 different accessories are also included to give the device more versatility in handling various tasks. Among the accessories you’ll find several different brushes, scrub pads, two extension wands, a jet nozzle for really tough grime removal, and even a mop head.
The reach is very impressive too, with the MC1275 featuring a sturdy 15.7ft long power cord and a 9ft long steam hose. This provides plenty of maneuverability and most importantly sufficient reach to tackle pretty much all bed bug nests.
Another cool feature is that the steamer comes with a lockable steam trigger. It allows you to steam selectively and plow through a large area, depending on your needs. One last thing you may appreciate is the smooth rotation of the wheels that don’t have any issue with any surface material whether it’s wood, granite, carpeting, or tile.
Whoever said that vacuum cleaners aren’t the best at disposing of bed bugs obviously didn’t know much about all the modern features vacuum cleaners have nowadays. The Housmile 810 is a UV vacuum cleaner you can use to sanitize bedding, carpeting, curtains, sofas, and pretty much any other type of fabric from bed bugs, dust mites, and bacteria.
The reason it’s so effective and the main reason why I recommend it is the powerful UV light it emits. It heats up the surface area underneath it up to 131 degrees Fahrenheit which is around 10 degrees more than you need to instantly cook up and kill bed bugs and dust mites.
The powerful suction action is enough to bring in even the smallest of particles, which means that bed bugs shouldn’t be an issue. The 99.7% bacteria kill rate is also quite impressive at this price range.
You should know that the dust box has a capacity of just 200ml. That’s not a lot when compared to standard vacuum cleaners, but then again, this one wasn’t designed to clean entire homes. Its main purpose is to sanitize walk-on surface areas, bedding, and carpeting.
The advanced HEPA filtration is one of the most important features of the Housmile 810 vacuum cleaner, along with the high rotating frequency of the brush (6,000 cycles per minute).
This is one of the most powerful handheld steam cleaners designed for American households. It’s efficient at removing grease stains, grime buildups, as well as sanitizing carpeting and bedding with very hot steam.
You can use this to apply heat treatment to areas infested with bed bugs and dust mites, if you can’t afford a large bed bug oven-type heat treatment. The portability rating of this steam cleaner is off the charts with the MR-75 Amico being lightweight and offering plenty of range of motion.
The MR-75 Amico also comes with its fair share of accessories such as scrappers, brushes, fabric steamers, squeegee, jet nozzle, and even a detail scrapper for finesse conditioning work. With this range of accessories you can easily kill germs, remove grime, kill bed bugs, and even get rid of mildew and mold from hard-to-reach places.
The device doesn’t weigh more than 3.5lbs, which is even more impressive if you consider that it also delivers 1,000W of heating power. I also think that the 6.7oz water tank capacity should be more than enough to clean and sanitize an average home in one go, if you don’t have too many grease stains to deal with.
It is worth noting that the steam temperature may sometimes get too hot for some softer fabrics. So, it’s important to read the instructions manual and use the appropriate extensions and accessories at all times.
The Vapamore MR-100 Primo is one of those steamers that have been designed for heavy-duty work. It can provide up to 60 minutes of continuous operation on a full water tank and can shoot very powerful jets to remove grime from just about any surface.
With a maximum steam temperature of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, the MR-100 Primo is somewhat overkill as a bed bug treatment. But since you can use it for so much more, it’s quite an impressive piece of machinery for residential use.
I like the large floor head design. This helps deal with larger patches of flooring faster and it’s not bad when used on a mattress either. The range of tools and accessories provided is also nice and includes a variety of small brushes and extensions which should help you reach every crack and crevice in your home.
The water tank has a massive capacity of 54oz and it’s easily filled with the help of the included funnel. Another really nice feature is the power rating which puts the MR-100 Primo in the 1,500W heating power category.
Although built to last, the MR-100 Primo does have parts that may succumb to wear and tear. That’s why it’s refreshing to see a replacement O-ring set also included with the rest of the accessories.
Equipped with a HEPA bag and high-end filtration attachments, the Atrix VACBP1 is one of the easiest vacuum cleaners to use inside your home. The backpack design is ergonomic and minimizes the risk of getting a bad back from performing your daily cleaning chores.
It can also be configured for left and right-handed use, and the belt loop comes with enough storage capacity for all the accessories you need to clean every surface and every type of stain. The crevice tool is perhaps my favorite accessory. It will most likely be yours too, since it makes targeting deep bed bug nests a lot easier.
While the suction power may not be enough to kill all bed bugs, it’s enough to trap them in. The HEPA filter has an 8-quart capacity and is fine enough to prevent any bed bugs that are still alive from escaping. This should allow you to dispose of them in a reliable manner.
The vacuum is rated at 1,400W which puts it right up there with the most powerful models for residential use. What’s even cooler in my opinion is that you can also convert the VACBP1 into a blower and make use of three different blower attachments.
This certainly helps offset the higher price tag as it adds a lot of versatility to the vacuum. You may also appreciate the long extension wand which gives you even more freedom when performing difficult cleaning tasks.
The Wagner Spraytech 0282014 915 Steam Cleaner is affordable, powerful, and has a decent tank capacity that provides excellent autonomy. The water tank can hold up to 48oz of water which should be enough to run the device for up to 45 minutes.
The maximum temperature the water can reach is 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is almost twice the amount necessary to kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact. Using this as a heat treatment method is very simple and, in fact, highly efficient.
One of the unique features of this vacuum is that it comes with a wallpaper removal attachment which really opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. You can essentially use it for the whole house remodeling job and not just sanitizing your furniture, carpeting, and bedding.
The list of accessories is not overly impressive, but it is to be expected given the affordable price tag. Wagner only includes a measuring cup, funnel, a few utility brushes, a floor cleaning head and pad set, and two extension tubes, alongside the wallpaper steam plate.
I’m not a big fan of the back-only wheel setups which may cause the steamer to leave some drag marks across carpeting. But, the wheels rotate smoothly enough that you shouldn’t feel any snagging across any surface.
It may take up to 10 minutes for the water to get hot enough. It’s not bad, but it could be faster.
The PurSteam PS-581X weighs slightly over 2lbs with an empty tank, and has a long 9.8ft cord. This provides plenty of range, whether you want to clean your mattress, your outdoor grill, or your luggage when you’ve come back home from a trip with questionable accommodations.
I like that it only takes four minutes for the water to reach the desired temperature to produce steam and to kill bed bugs on contact. The PS-581X is a fast handheld steamer that makes short work of very difficult tasks.
The nine-piece accessory set is very useful too, as it provides plenty of switchable tips in order to tackle both wide and hard-to-reach areas with maximum efficiency. There’s also an extension hose included. This makes things even easier and safer since you won’t have to keep your face too close to the steam.
In terms of steam temperature, the minimum will likely always be around 212 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s more than enough to kill bed bugs, dust mites, eggs, and larvae on contact. And it certainly beats having to wait for a tent or luggage-like heater to heat up sheets, bedding, and furniture, if they fit at all.
This 1,500W steam cleaner comes with a staggering amount of accessories, 18 in total, and a very large water tank. Due to its size, the PureClean XL can run continuously for up to 45 minutes, regardless of which accessory you attach to it.
The five-year warranty seems very appealing, especially if you anticipate heavy-duty usage of the device. I like the incorporation of a 16ft power cord which lets you cover a lot of ground really fast. The cord wrap solves any storage issues you might experience due to the cord’s length.
When it comes to its killing potential, the PureClean XL puts out more than enough heat to kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact. Furthermore, the jet accessory will allow you to target bed bug nests inside cracks and crevices.
Durability of the PureClean XL steamer is also impressive. This device is built to be a true workhorse and can tackle a wide range of projects, besides providing heat treatments to deal with bed bugs and dust mites.
If you’re looking for high-efficiency UV cleaning, the Dibea UV808 is one of the best bed bug vacuums on the market. It offers up to 15Kpa suction power and comes with a large dust bin.
The UV quartz sterilization tube puts out a good amount of heat, more than enough to kill bed bugs, mites, and a wide range of common household bacteria for a complete residential DIY sanitizing job. I also like that the vacuum comes with a built-in safety feature that helps prevent direct exposure of your skin to UV rays.
The HEPA filter is very fine and can help you maintain an allergen-free home by trapping most microorganisms, insects, dust, and other unwanted particles inside.
What’s even better is that for a UV vacuum cleaner, the UV 808 comes with a very long 14.7ft cord. This provides plenty of reach and freedom of motion that’s usually only associated with battery operated models.
Bed Bug Disposal – Vacuums vs Steamers
Vacuums and steamers operate on two very different principles. They’re both efficient at killing bed bugs, but only when the right combination of features is available.
In the case of vacuums, regular vacuum cleaners are mostly used to remove dead bed bugs rather than kill them or their eggs. That’s because not all bed bugs die from being sucked into a bin. However, UV vacuum cleaners, like those used to sanitize carpeting and bedding from bacteria, are very good at killing bed bugs and eggs.
UV light can warm up the target surface area for up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or over 50 degrees Celsius, which is enough to kill bed bugs on contact.
Steam cleaners or steamers are much more reliable. They can put out twice the amount of heat required to kill bed bugs. And, they can also be used to clean a lot of other stuff such as grime and grease stains. Some models can even take down wallpapers.
That said, steamers may kill bed bugs but they don’t do anything to clean the mess left behind. You’ll still need at least a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove the dead eggs and adult bed bugs.
Usually Featured Accessories
Any type of narrow tip extension wand, jet extension, or very small brush can really improve the efficiency of a steam cleaner. While a regular floor head may be enough to clean a mattress, it may not be enough to reach all the tight places where bed bugs may have made their nests.
Often times, you’ll have to push steam into small cracks and crevices inside walls or furniture. You just can’t do that if you don’t have an accessory that can deliver a narrower, more concentrated stream jet.
With the right accessories you can also make sure that you’re getting the best performance from your bed bug steamer, whether you’re using it on carpets, luggage, mattresses, tile, wood flooring, or other places and pieces of furniture.
Having a long power cord is also very important, regardless if you have a handheld cleaner or one on wheels. The more area you can cover without having to unplug your steamer or vacuum the better. And you’ll find that this is even more important for cleaners if you want to avoid losing heat while you switch between rooms.
Tank Capacity Considerations
It’s tempting to believe that a large tank capacity equals more continuous operation, when it comes to steamers. That’s only partly true. Yes, the more water it can hold the more steam it can produce and the more time you’ll get to clean whatever it is you want in one go.
But not all steamers use the same technology. Various manufacturers calibrate their steamers in different ways. So this leads some steamers to have a much more efficient steam conversion and dispersal system.
You may also want to keep in mind that a larger tank usually implies a longer water warm up time. If you want to do some quick cleaning, you may be better off with a small handheld steamer than a large one on wheels.
Are HEPA Filters Mandatory?
You’ve seen that some of the vacuums and steamers in this article are equipped with HEPA filters. A HEPA filter is essentially a filter with a very fine mesh. Depending on its rating or level of efficiency, it can trap more or less bacteria.
But, while HEPA filters are great at catching very small particles, they’re not really necessary if all you want to do is suck in bed bugs, dust mites, and their eggs. Regular fine mesh filters should also do the trick and help prevent them from escaping once caught.
Here’s one situation in which HEPA filters may become a necessity. If you aren’t using a UV vacuum cleaner and your vacuum has a bin instead of a bag, it’s possible for a few bed bugs to actually get settled inside your vacuum. A HEPA filter would help trap the bed bugs without having to deal with the mess of a vacuum bag.
Don’t Let Those Bed Bugs Bite
If you’re not operating on a comfortable budget, it’s best to equip your home with as many multipurpose devices as possible. When it comes to dispatching nests of bed bugs and their stragglers, there are two types of cleaners that can do just that and a lot more.
In my opinion, choosing between a specialized vacuum, a UV vacuum cleaner, and a steamer should come down to your personal preference or the type of gadgets you already own. If your vacuum doesn’t need replacing yet, you may prefer a cleaner. Vice-versa also applies.