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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 27 Models Considered
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  • 152 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Facial Steamers

    While cleansing and moisturizing are the essentials of facial skin care, there are many other treatments that can help beautify your complexion. One such treatment is steaming.

    Until fairly recently, there were two ways to receive the benefits of facial steam therapy: you could lean over a pot of boiling water, or you could pay for an expensive visit to the spa or aesthetician.

    Today, you can purchase a facial steamer for use at home. It’s an inexpensive beauty treatment that’s easy, safe, and effective.

    With so many facial steamers available, you may be wondering how to choose the best one for your needs.

    At BestReviews, we researched the facial steamer market so you don’t have to!

    Facial steaming helps improve your skin’s hydration, tone, and cleanliness.

    We spent time talking with our skin care expert, Renee, and we gathered information from product owners to find out what’s best. We’re proud of our research and the fact that we never take free samples from companies in exchange for a good review.

    You can count on us to give you the unbiased, accurate product information you want and need.

    If you’re ready to buy a facial steamer and start beautifying, check out the five products in the matrix above.

    If you’d first like to learn a little more about facial steamers, including how to choose and use one, read on. Up ahead: glowing, healthy skin.


    Renee is a Master Esthetician with 2 decades of hands-on experience producing ingredient-specific facials. During that time, Renee also owned and operated her own skin care spa, focusing on the importance of positive results. Renee helped launch the Anastasia Brow Bar at Nordstrom, along with opening her second business, Treatwell Spa. She holds licenses in Master Esthetics Instructing and Cosmetology (Virginia, Texas); Renee hopes to share her knowledge of the field as an educator and a specialist while still providing services to the greater Washington DC area.

    Renee  |  Master Esthetician

    The Benefits of Facial Steaming

    You might wonder why you’d want to subject your face to hot steam. While steaming isn’t magic, it definitely can improve your skin’s health.

    Here are just a few benefits of using a facial steamer on a regular basis:

    • The warmth of the steam stimulates a light sweat, which helps flush impurities out of your pores.

    • Steam provides a temporary boost of moisture to your skin, helping plump up fine lines.

    • Increased blood flow from the heat gives you a healthy glow.

    • The heat and humidity help soften the layer of dead skin cells topping your complexion, making it easier to exfoliate or wash them away.


    Steaming the skin can be the most important part of a professional facial.

    Renee  | Master Esthetician
    • After steaming, your skin is more receptive to serums, moisturizers, and other facial treatments.

    • By loosening the oil and grime that clogs your pores, steaming can help improve mild acne.

    • Steaming softens blackheads, making them easier to remove.

    Although it’s not necessarily a “beauty” benefit, using a facial steamer is also very relaxing. It’s nice to take a few minutes to do something just for yourself.

    Spending time with a bit of warm, relaxing steam may be just the thing you need at the end of a long day!


    You can use a facial steamer to help relieve nasal and sinus congestion. Mild acne sufferers can also see some skin improvements from steaming, as long as it’s not done too often.

    Choosing a Facial Steamer

    Spas and skin care professionals typically have large facial steamers – often referred to as facial saunas – on wheeled stands.

    But most people looking to buy a facial steamer for personal use are perfectly happy with a small tabletop steamer designed for the home. Indeed, that is the type of facial steamer we focus on in this article.

    While there are many different models of personal facial steamers, they all function in essentially the same way. You fill the reservoir with water – distilled is best – and turn on the device. When the water begins to steam, hold your face near the spout to bathe your complexion in the warm mist. You can follow your steaming treatment with other skin care routines as desired.

    Here are some questions to ask when choosing a facial steamer.


    Steaming the skin is a helpful way to clean your pores from the inside out. Unclogging your pores helps your skin nourish itself fully.

    Renee  | Master Esthetician

    How fast does it heat up?

    Some facial steamers start producing mist in seconds, while others take a few minutes. If you’re in a hurry, look for a device that promises a quick performance.


    What’s the capacity?

    Generally, a good steam session lasts up to 10 minutes. The typical home facial steamer needs a water reservoir capacity of at least 90 or 100 ml in order to work for that long. You’ll find many facial steamers with even larger reservoirs.


    It may sound counterintuitive, but people with oily skin should use a steamer for less time than people with dry skin. That’s because the process of steaming can stimulate the production of facial oil.


    Can you adjust the direction of the steam?

    Many personal facial steamers have a flared bowl that fits close to your face during the session. This configuration provides a very thorough treatment, but you cannot alter the direction of the mist. Other facial steamers have flower-like spouts that allow you to direct the mist right where you want it. Neither is necessarily better; it’s a matter of personal preference.


    Does it produce micro-steam?

    The best facial steamers combine an ultrasonic vaporizer with the heating element to produce extremely fine water vapor. This nano-steam penetrates your skin more easily for better results.


    It's important to empty your steamer’s water tank after every use to prevent mold and bacterial growth.

    Renee  | Master Esthetician

    Can you adjust the steam temperature?

    Most facial steamers have a set temperature, and none will allow you to heat the steam to a dangerously hot level. However, some facial steamers allow you to turn the heat up or down a little bit.


    Can you add essential oils or herbs to the reservoir?

    Most personal facial steamers caution against adding oils or herbs to the water reservoir. Doing so will void the warranty and may damage the unit. But there are some steamers with small baskets or dispensers for adding your favorite therapeutic oils, herbs, or flower petals to the water.

    Despite popular misconception, steaming does not actually “open” your pores; pores do not open and close. Steaming does help loosen oil, dead skin cells, and other skin debris that can block your pores, however, leaving your skin with a fresher appearance.


    Is the device multifunctional?

    Some facial steamers not only provide facial treatments, they can also be used as room humidifiers or towel warmers.


    Does the device turn off automatically if it runs out of water?

    This standard safety feature is a must-have.


    Does the steamer include any extra tools or parts?

    Some facial steamers come with a mirror or skincare tools that add extra value to your purchase.


    One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is steaming for too long. Keep your steam sessions short.

    Renee  | Master Esthetician

    How to Use a Facial Steamer

    Steaming your face isn’t difficult. The following steps outline the basic procedure:

    1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, making sure to remove all makeup. Pat your face dry.

    2. Fill the reservoir of your facial steamer with distilled water. This prevents the buildup of mineral salts inside your device.

    3. Turn your steamer on, and wait for it to begin producing mist.

    4. Hold your face a safe distance from the steamer. Your machine’s instructions will give specifics, but in general, your skin should be no closer than eight inches to the steam to avoid burns.

    5. Steam your face for several minutes. In the beginning, aim for just three to five minutes. As you get used to the steaming process, you may be able to extend your sessions to ten minutes or more, depending on your skin’s sensitivity.

    6. Check your face every few minutes during your steam session to be sure you aren’t excessively swollen or flushed.

    7. When you’re done steaming, pat your face dry. Gently exfoliate to remove dead skin, blackheads, and other impurities.

    8. Apply any desired serums or moisturizers.

    9. Empty the steamer’s reservoir. Allow the unit to dry completely before storing it.

    Your complexion is especially receptive to serums and moisturizers after a steaming session, so be sure to apply your favorite products when you’re done.


    Q. How much does a personal facial steamer cost?

    A. Large, professional steaming devices are quite expensive, typically costing up to $200 or even more. Small tabletop facial steamers sold for personal use won’t break your budget. Most popular models cost between $25 and $50.

    Q. Is steaming safe for all skin types?

    A. While steaming is safe for most people, it can encourage excess oil production, so if you already have very oily skin, it’s best to steam once a week or less. Very sensitive skin might react poorly to steaming, so keep your session short, and hold your face farther away from your device until you know how your complexion will react.

    Q. Can I use a facial steamer if I have rosacea?

    A. Because the heat and humidity can cause rosacea to flare up, it’s best not to use a steamer if you have this condition.

    Q. How often should I steam my face?

    A. Those with dry skin should steam no more than twice per week, while oily complexions do best with only one weekly session.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Heather
      Chief Content Officer
    • Jennifer
    • Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Michelle

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