Upholstery Cleaner Machine vs Steamer

Upholstery Cleaner Machine vs Steamer: What Are the Differences?

As you probably know by now, you need to clean the upholstery at least once every six months properly. Without carrying out the cleaning process in that time frame, the amount of dust, stains, and germs on the surface will be considerably high, which would negatively affect your lungs and health.

Nevertheless, one of the highly debatable topics is the best upholstery cleaner machine vs steamer when it comes to cleaning the upholstery. And if you want to make the right decision, then you should have a good idea regarding them. Well, that is what you are going to gain after reading this article!

Upholstery Cleaning Machine

Generally, upholstery cleaning machines are a modified form of vacuum cleaners already available in the market. In fact, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the upholsteries as well. No matter what you use, with the right attachments, the results will be the same.

Nevertheless, if you want to have a proper idea regarding the machines, you should continue reading.

a) Power

In the case of power, it will highly depend on the motor. The higher the power of the motor, the better the suction. And most of these devices will come with a high-power motor to provide the right amount of suction. However, the highly efficient ones will let you clean the upholstery faster.

b) Operational Procedure

As you probably know, these utilize a motor. And the motor is responsible for creating suction. It is going to drag all of the dust out of the surface by using that suction power. Also, some of the machines will offer you control over the overall suction power.

On those, you can switch the intensity of suction depending on the task that you are doing. The suction power will depend on the tool that you are using as well.

c) Type

There are generally two types of upholstery cleaning machines. One will require you to plug them inside a power outlet, while the other will highly depend on the battery power. The battery-powered ones will be the ideal pick if you want to face no obstruction during the cleaning process.

However, usually, the ones with power cords have a higher level of power, which will result in efficient suction capability.

d) Attachments

With upholstery cleaning machines or vacuum cleaners, you will receive plenty of attachments. However, the ones that you would require for cleaning the upholstery would be the crevice tool, the dust brush, and finally, the upholstery tool. These are the essentials, but the package might include other accessories too.

e) Efficiency

If the efficiency of cleaning the upholsteries is taken into consideration, these machines are pretty much on the top. They can effectively take the debris and dust out of the surface. Some of the high-powered ones can even take the embedded dust and debris out of the upholstery.

However, if you want bacteria clearing capability, these will not perform that well. These are well known for taking the dust out, not killing the bacteria. The main thing that makes these lag behind is the inability to use heat and water. For that, the other cleaning devices are required (spoiler alert! Steam cleaners!)


Another excellent cleaning tool that the market has to offer for cleaning upholstery is the steam cleaners. Even though these might seem like a regular cleaning device, many things make these different and unique. Want to know about them all? You need to continue reading then!

a) Power

Unlike the cleaner machine, this one does not generally depend on the suction power. Instead, most of the devices will only depend on the heating element. The power of those will depend on that element only. The higher the heat it can produce, the higher in power it will be.

However, some of the steamers might combine both the suction power and the heating element’s power at the same time. Those will have two individual main components. One is the motor that will create the suction power, and the other is the heating element that will disperse the heat.

b) Operational Mechanism

As we have mentioned above, some of the machines will only depend on the heating element. Those will heat the container’s water and let the steam go through the bottom. However, there are steamers that will have vacuuming ability. Those will offer suction power and steam at the same time.

c) Type

Like the upholstery cleaning machines, there are two different types of steamers available. One will only depend on the battery, while the other will need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Usually, the battery-powered ones will be highly portable. They are going to be significantly lightweight as well.

On the contrary, most of the devices that combine the suction power and the steam in the same device will need to be plugged in. Those are going to be a bit big and bulky as well. Nevertheless, the cleaning power that these holds will be higher than the battery-powered ones.

d) Attachments

Usually, steamers do not come with any sort of attachments. However, some might include an extra water tank. Only the machines that combine the vacuum power will come with accessories. You will find the standard vacuum accessories bundled with those devices.

e) Efficiency

In terms of efficiency, the steams will work wonders for clearing bacteria, germs, and other living organisms on the upholstery. That means you can basically make your upholstery more hygienic and germ-free with these. However, the standalone devices are not that capable of getting the dust away.

On the other hand, the devices that combine steam and vacuum simultaneously will not be able to clear out the germs from the upholstery but will be able to get the dust away from the surface. Those are the highly effective ones when it comes to cleaning upholsteries.

Which One Is Better?

If your rooms are not that enclosed and dust tends to settle pretty easily on top of surfaces, the cleaner machine would be the ideal pick. However, you would need to follow other cleaning processes as well to keep the furniture germ-free because the cleaner machines can only get the dust and debris from the surface.

On the flip side, if your rooms are enclosed and remain somewhat dust-free, you should be good with the standalone steamer machines. Those will keep the germs and bacteria away from the surfaces. But these do not hold the ability to get the dust from the surfaces.

How Often Should I Get the Upholsteries Cleaned?

The answer will vary for different scenarios. If the furniture sees little use, you should clean them at least twice a year. On the other hand, if the furniture sees regular use, you should clean them at least once every four months.

Final Words

To conclude, in the case of upholstery cleaner machine vs. steamer, the cleaner machine is effective for getting the dust out while the steamer can keep the surface germ-free. However, if you want the best of both worlds, get the steam vacuum cleaners.

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