Choosing the best bed bug steamer means taking into account a variety of factors, including the type of steamer, the capacity, heat output and possibly other issues of convenience and dependability. While all steamers may be able to kill at least some of the bed bugs, some will do so more effectively than others. Further, some steamers are safer and can provide a healthier environment, especially for those with allergies. While price may be a factor as well, other features may outweigh that consideration.
For many, one of the most important factors is whether the steamer is considered a dry vapor steamer. While no steamer will be completely dry, a dry vapor bed bug steamer will significantly reduce the potential for mold as a result of treatment. Steamers utilizing a dry vapor system will generally list that directly on the box or supporting documentation. If you are unsure whether a model is using dry vapor, you may want to ask.
Another important feature is finding a bed bug steamer that will kill the bugs quickly and easily by making sure the temperature is 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93.3 Celsius) at the tip. While bed bugs cannot survive temperatures as low as 120 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 49 Celsius), the higher temperature means more areas are likely to receive a lethal temperature dose. Further, the higher the temperature, the more quickly and easily the bugs will die.
The reservoir capacity of the bed bug steamer is also something that can help make the job quicker. Steamers tend to use a great deal of water, and if you are treating more than one area, then starting and stopping to fill it up could be a time-consuming, tedious, and heavy process. Finding one with a larger capacity will cut down on the need for refills. Some models can even hook to a water source, and continuously refill as water is being used.
Bed bugs tend to live in areas that are generally hard to reach, in between bedding and in the folds of mattresses and other materials. Therefore, the steamer should include a number of attachments that make getting into those tight places easier. Attachments may have a broad area for distribution over an entire mattress but should also include some tools with finer points. Those specialized tools make getting into smaller crevices easier.
Although this will not apply if renting a bed bug steamer, making sure the equipment has a good warranty is important if purchasing one. The warranty should be comprehensive, or at least cover the boiler mechanism, which is an expensive component of the machine. Warranty information should be listed on the box or the documentation coming with the machine. A sales associate should also be able to tell you what the warranty would be.