If you’re considering buying a steam cleaner to help keep your home spick and span, the new Karcher EasyFix range is likely to have caught your eye. But which model is best for you and how do they compare with other steam cleaners on the market? Read on to find out.
Steam cleaners have become extremely popular over the past few years. Particularly Karcher’s SC range, which all feature the brand’s distinctive yellow colouring.
Karcher claims that steam cleaners can quickly blast away dirt and bacteria without the need for harsh chemicals – and British shoppers have bought them in their thousands.
The replacement Karcher EasyFix range, which launched this year and is widely available on the high street, looks certain to be another big hit. We put these cleaners through their paces in our test lab to find out if you should really buy one.
Read on to see how these steam cleaners compare or head straight to our Best Buy steam cleaners to discover the top-rated cleaners that you can buy.
Karcher SC 1 EasyFix – £100
The Karcher SC 1 EasyFix is the cheapest model in the new EasyFix range and the only non-cylinder cleaner in the line-up.
This is a versatile two-in-one model – it can be used as a handheld unit or converted into a floor cleaner by attaching the long extension tubes.
Karcher claims the SC 1 EasyFix is ‘the ideal solution for cleaning small areas’. The device heats up quickly and its compact design ensures it’s easy to store.
However, the small water tank means it only offers a short steaming time before it needs refilling. If you need to clean larger areas, you’d be better off considering one of the larger SC EasyFix models in the range.
Read our in-depth Karcher SC 1 EasyFix review to discover how well this steam cleaner tackles tough stains.
Karcher SC 2 EasyFix – £120
The Karcher SC 2 EasyFix is a wheeled cylinder steam cleaner (as are the remaining models in the range – the SC 3 EasyFix, SC 4 EasyFix Premium and SC 5 EasyFix Premium).
The cheapest of the four cylinder models, the SC 2 offers the long steaming time you get from cylinder cleaners. But at a fairly modest price.
It does take longer to heat up than the SC 1 EasyFix. Plus the water tank design means that you’ll have to wait for it to cool down before you can refill it.
If you need more than 20 minutes cleaning time, you may be better off with the SC 3 EasyFix or the SC 4 EasyFix Premium as their water tanks can be refilled as soon as they run out.
Read our in-depth Karcher SC 2 EasyFix review to find out more about this cylinder steam cleaner.
Karcher SC 3 EasyFix – £150
The Karcher SC 3 EasyFix is similar to the SC 2 EasyFix model, though costs about £30 more.
It has the same cylinder design, which means it can be easily towed behind you as you clean while holding enough water to steam for a decent period of time.
Where it differs from the cheaper SC 2 is that it generates higher steam pressure, has a shorter heating-up period and comes with an instantly refillable water tank plus a descaling cartridge for use in hard water areas.
Read our in-depth Karcher SC 3 EasyFix review to discover what else our tough tests revealed about this steam cleaner.
Karcher SC 4 EasyFix Premium – £300
The SC 4 EasyFix Premium is bigger and considerably more expensive than the SC 2 and SC 3 Easyfix models. It’s aimed at people that need to steam clean large areas.
The highest-powered of the four Karcher models that we tested, it produced the highest steam rate for blasting away ingrained dirt.
It has a removable water tank that’s easy to refill and can be topped up as and when you need – you don’t have to wait for it to cool down first.
The SC 4 EasyFix Premium also comes with a good range of accessories, including a carpet glider (not provided with the SC 2 or 3 EasyFix models) for refreshing tired-looking rugs and carpets. Though, surprisingly, it isn’t supplied with a descaling cartridge.
Read our in-depth Karcher SC 4 EasyFix Premium review to find out whether it offers the cleaning performance necessary to justify its high price tag.
Would you pay £500 for a steam cleaner?
Karcher has also released the Karcher SC 5 EasyFix Premium. But it’s extremely high price – £500 – is likely to make it unappealing to most people.
Hence we’ve decided not to test it.
But if you are willing to shell out for a steam cleaner, your £500 gets you a super-sized water tank to ensure it can cope with the largest of homes.
The SC 5 Premium also offers the most powerful steam output of the new models (this can be turned down for delicate cleaning) plus a ‘VapoHydro’ mode that combines steam with a blast of hot water for tackling the very toughest stains.
The best steam cleaners for your budget
We’ve tested and rated dozens of steam cleaners over the past six years and have uncovered big differences in quality and cleaning power between different brands and models.
The great news is that you can pick up a Best Buy steam mop for around £50 or a Best Buy two-in-one for not much more. Cylinders are often far more expensive, though we’ve found one Best Buy for under £150.
Check our steam cleaner reviews to find the right model at the right price.