Dry vapor steamers are an essential tool in any complete bed bug treatment. By blasting cracks and crevices with steam at over 180 degrees, these machines can kill bed bugs of all life stages on contact. Steam can even penetrate into soft materials, like mattresses and upholstered furniture, to reach bed bugs hiding out of view. But up until recently, consumers had to pay top dollar for fully-featured commercial steamers or compromise on a much weaker but more affordable alternative. The new Polti Vaporetto Smart 100 aims to fill that gap in the middle.
When using a typical bed bug steamer, the workflow is roughly the same regardless of the exact model being used: the operator will fill the water tank, turn the machine on and wait for it to boil, and then start steaming until the tank is empty. Once the water tank runs dry, the operator must turn off the machine and wait for the internal pressure to drop before they can refill and reheat the tank.
In recent years, more and more commercial bed bug steamers have begun offering continuous fill as a feature. This design combines a pressurized internal boiler with an unpressurized water tank. With a continuous fill steamer, the user can add more water to the tank without stopping and waiting for the boiler to reheat.
While continuous fill is in high demand among professionals, bed bug steamers with the technology can be prohibitively expensive. The Polti Vaporetto Smart 100 is one of the first continuous fill steamers available for under \$500. Is this the new mid-range bed bug steamer of choice? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Body and Accessories
With most commercial-grade bed bug steamers, you get a box with very little branding or accessories. Steamers like the Armato 9000 tend to come in a simple package with simple purpose. In this case, the Vaporetto Smart 100’s box and contents are targeted more as a consumer cleaning solution. That means you get plenty of attachments for cleaning and sanitizing every inch of your home.
The steamer itself is a unique and attractive design. The body is surprisingly compact given its dual-tank capacity. You wouldn’t expect two tanks filled with 11 cups of water to fit into this unit, but that’s what it’s capable of. Other dual-tank steamers may carry more water, but they are much larger and heavier. That makes them harder to carry around during a treatment, and harder to store afterwards. Conversely, the Vaporetto strikes an ideal balance between portability and power.
One of the most unique features on the Vaporetto is one that is nearly absent among continuous-fill steamers: an onboard accessory storage compartment. This slotted bay on the rear of the steamer body helps you keep everything you need within reach during your bed bug treatment or home cleaning. Thanks to the body’s compact design, both the steamer and its attachments can stow away together in a closet or pantry when you’re done.
Under the Hood
There are two internal features that set the Vaporetto apart from the competition:
The first is its continuous fill technology. Inside of the steamer’s compactly designed body are two water tanks, one pressurized and one unpressurized. The polymer reservoir tank can hold over a half gallon of water, and can continuously feed into the pressurized boiler.
All of this capacity for continuous operation would quickly go to waste if the steamer was only capable of projecting steam at maximum output all of the time. Fortunately, the Vaporetto features adjustable steam output via a dial to the rear of the body. At max pressure, the Vaporetto offers class-leading penetration but at a tradeoff of a lower tip temperature, since the rush of steam flow reduces the ability for the heat to stay in place. By turning the dial down, you can better focus the heat near the tip of the nozzle, which is ideal for attachments such as the flat fabric tool.
Using the Vaporetto Smart 100
The designers at Polti have years of experience building steamers that get the job done, and the Vaporetto Smart 100 is no exception to that. The Vaporetto is considered a dry vapor steamer, which means its high pressure allows it to deliver dryer steam than other consumer-grade steam mops (although both still expel water). The easily adjustable pressure control lets you dial up (or down) the steam output with ease, making it simple to switch from broadcast steaming over flat surfaces to high-pressure penetration in cracks and crevices throughout the room.
Thanks to the continuous fill design, using the Vaporetto over sustained treatment times is a cinch. The unpressurized water tank is easily detachable, so you can bring it to the faucet or other water source while the steamer body is still plugged in and boiling. Even the boiler maintenance has been made as simple as possible. The lower shell of the body features a cap that allows for easy access to the boiler. This is key to prevent limescale and other buildups that may occur over time within the pressurized tank.
There’s no question that the Polti Vaporetto Smart 100 is one of the best values on the steamer market. But it’s more than just a bargain — the Vaporetto has the guts and features to stand on its own, regardless of price. Few steamers boast continuous fill design, steam adjustment, and onboard accessory storage all in one package. The Vaporetto Smart 100 packs all of that into a simple, attractive, and compact package.
So who should buy the Smart 100? If you’re a pest control operator or property manager, the Vaporetto checks off most of the specs you’ll be looking for in a commercial steamer. However, you’ll still want to consider more expensive steamers, like the Armato 9000 or Cimex Eradicator (also by Polti). The Armato offers class-leading durability and water capacity, while the Cimex Eradicator was purpose-built for bed bug treatments. But if you’re a homeowner who won’t be steaming every day, and just want a steamer that’s a cut above the usual consumer-grade options, the Polti Vaporetto Smart 100 is an exceptional choice.
Polti Vaporetto Smart 100 Steamer (58 PSI)
Kill bed bugs instantly with the Vaporetto’s lethal steam power! The Polti Vaporetto Smart 100 is a steam cleaner that combines the strength of steam and the ergonomics of Italian design. It’s compact, feature-packed, and comes with a complete set of accessories for bed bug treatment and home cleaning.