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Which steam cleaner brand?

Karcher steam cleaners rated

By Sarah Ingrams

Article 1 of 3

Should you buy a Karcher steam cleaner? Get the Which? expert verdict, based on our independent lab tests.

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Karcher is perhaps best known for its garden power washers rather than its steam mops and cleaners, but it's also starting to make a bit of a name for itself in the world of steam cleaners. 

The German brand produces mainly multi-function 'cylinder' steam cleaners that come with various attachments, which make them suitable for a range of cleaning tasks. We’ve tested several of its steam cleaners and uncovered big differences in their cleaning power. You can find out which are the best models in our full Karcher steam cleaner reviews.

As well as testing steam cleaners in our lab, we survey hundreds of steam cleaner owners each year to find out how reliable each brand is, as well as the views of people who own them. We've used all our research and testing experience to create an at-a-glance guide to Karcher steam cleaners.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive results in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, sign up for a £1 Which? trial to get instant access.

Karcher steam cleaners rated
Number tested 4
Average test score (cylinder)
Average test score (mop)
Score range (cylinder)
Score range (mop)
Brand reliability rating (cylinder)
Value for money rating (cylinder)
Customer score (cylinder)
Should I buy one?


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How much do Karcher steam cleaners cost?

Cylinder steam cleaners (which look much like cylinder vacuum cleaners with a body, hose, plastic tube and floor head) tend to be pricier than other types of steam cleaners – and Karcher’s highest-spec models can be among the most expensive.  

Steam cleaners from its SC range will set you back anything between £60 for the most basic model to around £300 for its newest model.

Choosing the best Karcher steam cleaner

Karcher's cylinder steam cleaners tend to be larger models with big tanks that can take a lot of water and steam for a long time. However, this also means that they take longer to heat up and can be heavier to move around.

Some of the Karcher cylinder steam cleaners are twin-tank models. While you normally have to wait for a steam cleaner to cool down before you can refill it, twin tanks mean you can add water to the first tank while water is heating in the second, allowing for continuous steam cleaning.

The German manufacturer has a handheld steam cleaner that converts into a steam mop: the SC1 Premium. This is unusual, as two-in-one steam cleaners tend to comprise of a mop with a detachable handheld steam cleaner. Karcher also produced the first window vac on the market, the WV50.

None of Karcher’s steam cleaners are designed to be used with detergent. Karcher states that its products use a combination of pressure, speed and temperature to get surfaces clean.