Best Steam Cleaner for Couch Cleaning and Disinfection

Best Steam Cleaner for Couch Cleaning and Disinfection

Updated on

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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According to this UNICEF study, a sofa or couch is one of the dirtiest items in your house, even harboring more germs than the toilet seat. This is because we spend more time on the sofa, where we transfer dirt and germs we collect from other places. If you need to clean your sofa and effectively kill these germs, I advise investing in the best steam cleaner for couch disinfection. Read on as I tell you the best products to buy and show you how to use the steam cleaner.

What is A Steam Cleaner for a Couch?

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A steam cleaner is also called an upholstery steam cleaner. It comes with a water tank fitted with a heating mechanism, so the water boils in a few minutes. When the water is hot, you can use its steam to clean sofa fabrics to eliminate germs and bacteria, and your couch won't be left overly damp.

According to this study, steam cleaning your best couch is as effective as using the two-step cleaning process with water and detergent. So, steam cleaning becomes the easier and eco-friendly cleaning option, especially if you are prone to various smell allergies. After all, all you need to clean your couch is a steam cleaner and clean water.

That said, steam cleaners come in different designs and with different features, so you will still need to do some research to settle on one. For instance, you can get a handheld, upright, or canister steam cleaner. In addition, you can choose one depending on the many types of surfaces it can clean in the kitchen and bathrooms.

If choosing one feels like a big task, I compiled this list of steam cleaners I have used and loved in the past. Read on as I tell you how versatile, easy to use, and effective they are for all your cleaning needs. I will also tell you how to steam clean your fabric couch.

1. PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner

PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient...
  • Cleans Literally Everything! Nobody likes cleaning! But with the...
  • Child & Pet Safe - Best steam cleaner for tile & hardwood,...
  • Light And Maneuverable. 3 Adjustable modes help you cater the...
  • Multifunctional Household Tool - Safe to use on any surface you...

When buying the best upholstery steam cleaners, I recommend going for one with many accessories because it is versatile to use on different surfaces. That is the first reason I got this PurSteam steam mop cleaner. I can use it to clean my couch while I can easily replace the accessories to clean floors and surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.

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This steam cleaner is very lightweight and comes in a flexible design. When cleaning a couch, you can use it as a handheld steam cleaner and then convert it into an upright steam cleaner for floor cleaning. One of the things you will love the most about the product is how easy to use it is, and you only need tap water to disinfect your couches.

The upholstery cleaner comes with a 12.8-ounce water reservoir that is enough to disinfect all your couches as it can last 12 minutes at the highest steam setting. In addition, the water in the tank heats up perfectly in as little as 30 seconds, so you will start cleaning in no time.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use for cleaning couches
  • Versatile steam cleaner
  • Adjustable steam settings
  • Enough run time to deep clean a couch


  • You would need to refill the tank to deep clean several couches

2. BISSELL SteamShot Deluxe Steam Cleaner

BISSELL SteamShot Deluxe Hard Surface Steam Cleaner...
  • Every BISSELL purchase helps save pets. BISSELL proudly supports...
  • Powerful High-Pressure Steam Cleaner With Easy-To-Press Trigger
  • Completely Chemical-Free With No Harmful Fumes Or Residue
  • 1000-Watt Power Rating, Power Cord Length Is 20 Feet
  • Includes Accessory Nozzle, Extension Hose, Flat Scraping Tool,...

Steam cleaning is safe and eco-friendly, especially for a couch that retains smells in the fabrics. If you need the best upholstery cleaners on the market, I recommend Bissell as one of the best brands. This Bissell SteamShot Deluxe steam cleaner is designed for deep cleaning the dirtiest surfaces in your home, including the kitchen, ovens, and bathroom. I included it in this list because it will also deep clean your couch to restore the best look.

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I found the steam cleaner ideal for eliminating dirt, orders, and stains. It comes with all accessories you need to clean your couch, including a grout brush and steamer pad. In addition, the machine comes with a 6.6-Ounce water tank that is enough to clean one couch at a time. The water heats up in about 30 seconds, enough time to prep your sofa for cleaning.

This is one of the best steam cleaners you can buy for household cleaning. It comes with a long cord, is lightweight, and has an easy-to-use steam trigger. Finally, it comes at an affordable price.


  • Affordable
  • Powerful steam cleaner for couch and other surfaces
  • Easy to refill the tank
  • Fast heating times
  • Comes with all cleaning accessories
  • It has a long cord


  • Small water tank

3. Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner

Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Powerful Multipurpose...
  • POWERFUL STEAM CLEANER: up to 275°F/135°C. Best multi purpose...
  • HEAVY-DUTY & LARGE CAPACITY: Up to 50 minutes of cleaning time...
  • PERFECT FOR FLOOR CLEANING: use any regular towel or cloth, no...
  • 2-year Limited Warranty / Lifetime Warranty on steam cleaner...

This Dupray product is the best upholstery steam cleaner you can buy for multipurpose cleaning in the house and car. Though a bit expensive compared to others on my list, I found it to be the most effective for killing germs and restoring couches to their former glory.

The best upholstery steam cleaners are designed to use powerful steam to eliminate all dirt, including grease, pet hair, pet stains, and unwanted odors. Since a couch likely has all these elements, I found that this Dupray Neat steam cleaner could remove everything. It even restored my couch to its original color, which I hadn't noticed had changed over time.

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It is a 17-accessory tool in a portable, sleek, compact cube design with a retractable handle for easy storage and transport. It also comes with a 54-ounce tank that, once filled, heats up in as little as 7 seconds. You can clean upholstery for a continuous 50 minutes before you need to refill the tank.

The upholstered furniture cleaner comes with a long cord, and all cleaning pads are machine-washable. The only dealbreakers are that it's bulky and only has one steam setting.


  • The best steam cleaner for couch with a long run time
  • Fast heating time
  • It comes with 17 cleaning accessories
  • It is a versatile home and car cleaning machine
  • Large water tank
  • It comes with machine-washable steaming pads
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty


  • A bit expensive
  • Bulky design
  • Only one steam setting

4. McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner

McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner with 23...
  • CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING — Naturally deep clean without the use...
  • 23 VERSATILE ACCESSORIES — Equipped for steam cleaning jobs in...
  • LARGE CAPACITY TANK — The 64-ounce water tank heats up in under...
  • GREATER REACH — Extra-long 18-foot power cord and 10-foot steam...
  • SUPERIOR SUPPORT — When you choose a McCulloch product,...

Are you looking to steam clean many surfaces in your house, not just the couch? I recommend this McCulloch steam cleaner because it comes with 23 accessories, so you will not struggle cleaning other areas after your couch is clean. Also, like others on this list, it is an eco-friendly cleaner that only needs tap water to clean your house.

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When buying a steam cleaner, I always go for one with the largest water tank because that translates to a longer run time. This steam cleaner comes with a 64-ounce tank, so it runs for about two hours, enough time to clean all your home surfaces.

While it comes with an 18-foot power cord and a 10-foot steam hose, I wouldn't say I liked its slow heating time. It will take about 12 minutes to heat the water so you can get steam. Luckily, you get to work with different settings, such as a variable steam control and steam lock to continuous steam, and you can also choose the best steam pressure to deep clean your couch.


  • Ideal for professional cleaners
  • It has a long power cord and steam hose
  • Large tank capacity
  • Long run time
  • Many accessories for thorough steam cleaning


  • Very slow heating time
  • It comes in a bulky design

5. MOSCHE Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

MOSCHE Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner with 11-Piece...
  • 【Powerful Steamer for Cleaning】The high-pressure steam with...
  • 【Hot Steamer for Cleaning】Our 1050 watts steamer for cleaning...
  • 【Multiple Surface Use Steam Shot Cleaner】Our handheld steam...
  • 【11 Pieces Accessory Set Steam Cleaner】Our powerful handheld...
  • 【Chemical Free & Child Pet Safe Steam Cleaner】The safe and...

If you have another steam cleaner that you don't find effective for deep cleaning your couch, I chose to include this handheld option from Mosche for two reasons. First, it is small, thus compact for storage and simple to use.

I found the steamer quite straightforward to use; you only need to attach the steamer pad, fill the 11.8-ounce tank, and give the water five minutes to heat up before you can start cleaning your couch. The water will last about 8 to 10 minutes as you clean with its 3BAR pressurized steam.

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Besides the couch, this steam cleaner can also clean other fabrics and has 10 more accessories for working on other surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. It is an affordable product but comes with a 9.8-foot power cord that can limit how far you can clean without a nearby power source.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile upholstery cleaner
  • Lightweight, portable, and easy to store


  • Small water tank
  • Short power cord length

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Steam Cleaner for Couch

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As you look for the best vapor steam cleaners for your couch, here are some factors that, if you consider them, can help you narrow down your options to one steam cleaner that is best suited to your needs.

a) Versatility

Steam cleaners are very effective at killing germs and bacteria, so they are imperative to own in a home. But, while you may be looking for a good one for couch cleaning, it may also be ideal to look for a model you can use to clean other germ-prone surfaces in your house, like bathrooms, kitchens, and floors. So, look for a model with many steam accessories like brushes and steaming pads.

b) Tank Capacity

A steam cleaner needs a tank to store and boil water to produce steam. If you have more than one couch or need to clean other surfaces, it is best to look for a machine with a larger tank. The larger the tank, the longer your cleaner can run before you need to refill it.

c) Run Time

While run time mostly depends on the water tank size, it is also affected by how much pressure a steamer releases, as that would dictate how much faster the water is spent up. So, before you buy, understand how long a steamer can run while releasing pressurized steam.

d) Heating Time

This is another factor affected by the size of the water tank; the more water there is in a tank, the longer it will take to heat it to release cleaning steam. That said, some of the best steam cleaners, such as the Dupray steamer, are fitted with the best technologies to heat a large reservoir in the least amount of time.

e) Portability

The best portable steam cleaners make cleaning and disinfecting easy. So as you buy, look for a steamer that won't exhaust you if you clean more than one couch.

For portability, you can look for handheld steam cleaners or opt for upright steamers. If you choose an upright steamer, go for a lightweight model or one with caster wheels that roll on your floors without much effort from you.

How to Use the Best Steam Cleaners to Clean Your Couch

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While steam cleaning is the best method for removing germs and bacteria from your couches, the process can damage your furniture if not done properly. So, here are the safest steps to follow when steam cleaning your sofa.

Step 1: If you have a new sturdy sofa, check the labels to understand if you can steam clean the upholstery. You will find any of the following labels:

  • W to indicate you can only clean with water
  • S to indicate you can only use a solvent-based cleaning agent
  • WS to indicate you can clean with water or a solvent-based cleaning agent
  • X to indicate you can only vacuum the couch

If you can clean your couch with water, it is safe to use a steam cleaner.

Step 2: Remove debris from the surface. Since steam is pressurized water, you do not want to run it over bread crumbs or other debris, as that would leave the fabrics even messier. So, remove the cushions and use a vacuum cleaner to collect all the debris from the couch.

Step 3: Check for stains and pre-treat them. If your couch has an oil-based stain, you will need to attempt removing it before steam cleaning. You can apply a stain remover and let it sit for a few minutes to break down the stain. Then, follow the couch manufacturer's stain-removal recommendations.

Step 4: Spray some fabric softener before steaming. This step is vital for prolonging the life of your couch fabric. If you don't apply the fabric softener, your upholstery can harden after steam cleaning, leading to faster wear with continuous use. Spray the best fabric softener over the upholstery and let it sit for a while before steam cleaning.

Step 5: Prep your steamer for cleaning. Attach the right steamer pad, add water to the tank, and plug the machine into a power source so it can start heating the water.

Step 6: When the steamer is ready, start cleaning your couch. Work around every inch of the upholstery surface to remove all germs and bacteria.

Step 7:  When done, carefully turn off and store the steam cleaner, then leave your couch to dry for at least one hour.

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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