Steam shower generators are great upgrades for your bathroom. Not only are they great for personal and home use, but you can (and probably should) invest in them if you’re running a business, such as a public sauna, steam room, gym, spa salon or whatnot. In this guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of having a steam generator in your bathroom, the main aspects you should be looking for when purchasing one, and a comprehensive list of the best selling models out there.
To start off, you might need to know what a steam shower generator is in the first place. A steam shower generator is a steam producing unit that runs on electricity and can be placed in any bathroom, regardless of its size. These units resemble a PC processor in size and shape, so you can mount them pretty easily, unlike, say, a whole new steam shower cabin. These units are great for those who want to experience the benefits of steam procedures without the big bucks they’d have to spend on going to a public sauna or spa salon. Also, for those who have small bathrooms, or are on a tight budget, a steam generator will be much more forgiving than a steam shower or a brand new bathtub with some kind of steam function to it. It will be a great advantage for those who struggle with muscle pain or soreness, respiratory system issues, spend a lot of time in dry air environments, have various skin conditions, and the list can go on. Showering under hot water or taking a relaxing soak surely has its perks, but nothing can compare with the soothing effect of hot steam. Besides, steam generators will consume way less water than those five extra minutes you spend in the shower, so they can even help you save on the water bills. Let’s point out the main advantages of steam shower generators:
- They do wonders for both your physical and mental health. Regarding physical health, it will help soothe muscle soreness or pain (that’s why there usually are steam rooms in gyms), improve the quality of the skin by widening the pores and helping skincare products reach deeper into your skin, help with respiratory problems (but not infections!), such as asthma, and many more. It can also help with a lot of problems that come with dry skin – such as premature wrinkles, dandruff, flaking, fragile nails, etc… Moreover, it will also help you unwind and leave behind the stress you’ve accumulated throughout the day.
- They are small and compact. Small steam generators are great for personal use, as they are fairly easy to mount and install, even by oneself. Compared to getting a steam room or a steam shower cabin, these units will be way more space-savvy, and you will still be able to enjoy the same procedures. Even if you’re running a business, they will be more economical that having several steam rooms, and will probably allow more people to enjoy the benefits of steam in a bigger room.
- They are savvy. Not only do they save space in your bathroom, but they’ll go easy on your electricity and water bill as well. While a steam shower can be a real add-up to the electricity consumption in your household, these units will only consume the necessary amount of energy for bringing the limited amount of water to the necessary temperature. Many steam generators will have a water container, which is filled before turning it on; thus, the unit will only heat up and disperse the amount of water in the container, without being constantly refilled. However, you can also find units that do not do that, being refilled automatically if you’re running it for a longer time. Be careful with these, and if you want so save some water, you might want to look for a generator with limited consumption.
Steam shower generators seem like a great thing to own in your bathroom – they’re small, savvy, and provide a luxurious experience you won’t be able to get enough of! However, there are also some small drawbacks about them – the price and the maintenance. These units can be really expensive, sometimes even coming close to a steam room or shower cabin in terms of price. Expect to pay somewhere between $1000 and $2500 for a generator, plus the installation fees if you don’t feel confident enough to do it yourself. Besides that, the constantly increased humidity in your bathroom will surely come along with mold, mildew, and specific smells in the long run. Compared to steam rooms or steam showers, these generators do not work in an enclosed and ventilated space, spreading the steam around the whole bathroom. You’ll have to make sure you have a pretty trusty air circulation system in the room and clean your bathroom with special mold-fighting chemicals at least once a week.
Nonetheless, if you did decide that you want a steam shower generator for your bathroom, you’ll have to search for the perfect one to fit your needs. There are several aspects and questions you should look at before investing in a steam generator. Let’s take a look at them:
- We did state that these are fairly small, but you still want to make sure you make at least some planning before ordering your generator. Look for a place in your bathroom where you could potentially mount the unit, and take some measurements. Remember that these units have to be placed 25 feet or further from the main bathing area, so make sure to include that in your planning. Generally, steam generators measure around 15 x 6 x 15 inches, but there are also bigger units, which are better suited for businesses and collective use.
- As the inside of the generator – the water chamber and the controller will always be in contact with water, steam, or condensation, you might want to pay attention to the material the generator is made of. The most high-quality units will be made entirely of stainless steel, a material which resists very well to humidity, corrosion and mineral build-ups. However, these can be pretty heavy, so if you plan to have yours mounted in a place where weight is an issue, aluminum parts are a good alternative.
- Power output. This is a factor you should look at if you’re concerned about the generator’s impact on your electricity bill. Most steam generators we included in today’s top are low-powered – consuming between 1K and 9K. This should be perfect for small and medium bathrooms. However, if you’re still confused about how far can the steam reach, most of them will have the maximum cubicle foot range mentioned as well. You can look it up in the product listing and description on Amazon. We’ve also mentioned the range of all the products in the top below.
- Look for steam generators that have a lower power output and work by the water chamber principle – this will help you save energy and water. However, if you are running a business, where you need the steam to be produced constantly and fill a bigger room, you might want to go for greater power output and a constant water filling system – this way, you won’t have to turn it on and off all over again.
- Starting time. Anything that deals with heating things – be it water or steam – will take a while until it reaches the desirable temperature. Even the water in the shower needs a couple of seconds (or minutes) to reach the necessary temperature. Same applies to the steam generators – some of them will start producing steam faster, while older models make need to be turned on 10 minutes before you plan to go into the shower. Again, this is mostly a budget issue – newer models will naturally cost more, and they’ll usually heat up everything way faster. However, if you cannot afford to get the latest thing on the market, you can probably deal with those 10 minutes of heating up of an older one. Nevertheless, if you’re running a business, it’s highly recommended that you invest in a fast-heating steam generator, as not only does it have to be ready in minutes for the first customer, but it also has to fill up a bigger room, which will take a bit of time by itself.
- If you’re thinking about upgrading your bathroom with a steam generator, you’ll probably need a classic on/off configuration. These are the most simplistic units, but if you’re feeling fancy, or you really want to recreate a balanced and just-right temperature and flow of the steam, you might want to look for a more complex one. Advanced features include temperature control and timer, so you can set it up to run for a particular time and it shall turn off automatically. For businesses, it’s really up to you – if you’re going for a high-end place, you might want to get a more performant steam generator, and if you’re running a gym whose steam room is just meant for de-tensing one’s muscles after working out, a simple configuration should be enough.
- Many users complain about these units being noisy – they can range from humming and hissing to a loud drumming, which can be a bummer for some people. Newer models tend to come with a more silent system, so if loud noise is an issue for you, look for a newer model that has some silent technology incorporated.
- These units can be a pain to clean by hand, so most of the come with some kind of self-cleaning option. This makes sure that all the water from the generator is drained from the chamber when the unit is not in use. This severs a variety of purposes – keeping the unit free from mineral build-ups that can cause blockages, keep the humidity away, help prevent corrosion and keep bacteria away, making the unit safe to use for a long time. You might want to look for a steam generator that has a self-cleaning feature included – it will drastically improve the lifespan and quality of your steam generator.
- Safety features. Look for a steam generator that your unit of choice comes with a safety valve and a mechanism that shuts off when the chamber runs out of water. You should also make sure that all the electricity equipment is very well isolated from the contact with water. This also applies to the installation process – you might want to call a professional for this one if you’re not experienced enough, as having any of those exposed to the steam or water by accident could lead to fatal accidents.
- Price and warranty. There’s not much to explain about the need for a warranty – this will ensure you get a free replacement in case your product arrives faulty, free parts in case it breaks during a certain period, and sometimes even free labor. Look for a steam generator that has a manufacturer’s warranty which covers at least the main functional parts – the steam chamber and the controller. There are also products which come with warranty only upon the buyer’s request, and those can cost an additional fee as well. Look for the best deal price-wise and time-wise – a lifetime warranty on the essential parts is usually the best choice. As for price, you can expect to pay over $1000 if you want to get a good quality, reputable brand product.
This would be everything you need to know when looking for the perfect steam shower generator. If you’ve already made the necessary measurements, you are now ready to hit Amazon and search for one. To help you out even more, we’ve put together a little top-6 of the best-rated steam shower generators out there. They are sorted by price, from low to high, so you can find something in here regardless of your budget. Without further ado, let’s get going:
- Amerec AK7 AK 7 Steam Generator
One of the best deals on the market nowadays, especially regarding the price/quality balance, is the Amerec AK7 AK 7 Steam Generator. The unit is entirely made of stainless steel, ensuring a durable construction and a long lifetime for the product. This material will prevent mineral buildup and corrosion damage, all while ensuring timely heating. The power output of this steam generator is 7K, and it has a range of 160 to 220 cubic feet. Thus, if your bathroom is small to medium in size, this unit is a safe bet regarding power and range.
The generator itself measures 16.5 x 13 x 6.2 inches, which makes it one of the biggest from our top. However, this size is still pretty close to the standard, and you can easily mount it everywhere you wish. Just be careful to consider the 25 feet distance between the generator and the showering or bathing area.
On to its practical features, this unit has a safety valve and a full port drain valve included. However, if you wish to have an automatic draining system, you’ll have to purchase that separately, as it is not included in the base model. The model comes with a snap-in control, which can be used to control the steam’s temperature and duration. This is a great advantage of this model, as the user is able to customize their experience to the fullest – from setting the most comfortable temperature to limiting the water and energy consumption. Nonetheless, the Amerec AK7 does have a drawback – it does not come with a pre-heating option, so you’ll either have to turn it on several minutes before going into the shower, or invest in a newer model that has the warm-start feature.
A limited manufacturer’s warranty is included with this product, so you can shop with peace of mind. As far as installation goes, the Amerec AK7 does come with an instructions manual, but if you are not very confident in your skills, it’s best to reach out to a local plumber.
Shop the latest price for this product here:
- Steam Planet 9Kw Self-Draining Steam Bath Generator
This is another great deal for the price – the Steam Planet Self-Draining Steam Bath Generator will cost just under $100 while offering all the necessary features, plus some nifty extras for customizing your experience.
This steam generator measures 19.8 x 20 x 10.4 inches, and is made entirely out of stainless steel, which ensures stability and a long life for the product. This unit also comes with an electronic control panel, where you can set the temperature of the steam and a timer, which can help you save water and energy. Besides those, the Steam Planet generator has an aromatherapy chamber included, so you can always fill it with essential oils, and it will mix a pleasant aroma into your soothing steam bath. The steam will come off through a Chrome head, which not only looks clean and sharp in your bathroom, but also ensures that no corrosion will affect it after a long exposure to humidity.
An advantage of this model is that it comes with a lot of spare connecting wire. The manufacturer clearly thought about the fact that you have to mount it at a reasonable distance from the bathing or showering area, so they included 16 feet of connecting fire in the package. The control panel can even be mounted outside the bathroom, so you can just pass by, turn it on, and then step into a warm and steamy room straight away. Another spectacular feature of this model is its range – this unit can fill up a 320 to 460 cubic feet room with steam, making it the perfect choice for large bathrooms, or even business use, such as spa salons or gyms.
The generator comes with a self-draining feature, which is really convenient as you won’t have to clean it too often. As far as warranty goes, you’ll have to request it from the seller before making the purchase.
Check the latest price for this product here:
- Steam Spa D-900
Steam Spa D-900’s name kind of suggests what you’re in for- this unit will offer you the closest to a spa treatment you can achieve from the comfort of your home. This unit is also great regarding the price, as you can get it for around $1000 as well.
The unit measures 16 x 6.5 x 14.5 inches and is made of stainless steel. Size and material-wise, it’s one of the best combinations you’ll find on the market. However, the spectacular aspect of this model is its diversity of features. The manufacturers have designed this product with the customer’s comfort in mind, as it includes a quick start option, a whisper quiet technology that minimizes the noise, a continuous steam flow and an auto drain system for easy cleaning. The Steam Spa D900 uses a dual tank technology to provide a soft stream of steam, which will offer you all the benefits we mentioned above. Besides, if loud noise is an issue for you, this unit is a great option for considering, as its extra quiet motor will reduce the hissing and vibrating to a minimum. The auto drain is a pretty standard feature, and it will ensure that you will not see any mineral buildup inside the generator anytime soon.
This unit is also great in terms of versatility, as it comes in different power outputs, from 4.5K to 12K. Our recommendation for a standard sized bathroom is the 9K, but you can always go for a lower or higher output, depending on the size of your room. Don’t forget to check the range – as the recommended 9K unit will cover a 255 cubic feet room with no problems.
A negative aspect of this model would be the fact that it does not include several important parts, such as the control panel, wires, transfer valve, etc… You will have to purchase those separately, so save some extra $200 besides the main unit.
Don’t forget to request a manufacturer’s warranty from the seller before purchasing this product. Check the latest price for it here:
- Steamist SM-7 7 kW Steam Generator
Steamist is a great choice for those who value ultimate quality and attention to detail. They’ve been on the market for over 40 years, and, in this top, we’ve included two Steamist products from the same line; the only difference between them is the power output. This one has 7K one, which should be enough to cover a 220 cubic feet room. This is the standard range you’ll get with personal bathroom steam generators, and it should be enough for a standard-sized bathroom.
The generator measures 15 x 6 x 15.5, and has a standard Steamist stainless steel construction and a solid state circuitry, which will make it last for years with little to no maintenance. This product is also certified as being both water and energy-savvy, which can help you save some money on those bills.
Steamist product also have a quiet operation, making them great for families with kids, or apartments, where loud noise after 10 PM could bother the neighbors. As far as steam goes, the unit will offer you a pretty standard, constant-flow type steam, which will help you relieve both physical and mental stress.
The unit comes with all the necessary parts except a control panel, which might count as a drawback for this product. A new control panel will cost you some additional $400, and it might be a little over the budget if you’ve already spent around $1500 on the generator itself. However, remember that you’re paying for a reputable brand that specializes in bathroom equipment and prefers to leave the electronic parts to other specialized manufacturers out there. In the end, if you get both from well-known and good-quality brands, you will definitely have a lifetime investment.
Besides those, the Steamist comes with a 5-year warranty on limited parts, which will cover replacements for specific details that might break over time. Check the product listing for more details and the latest price here:
- Steamist SM-11 11 KW Steam Generator
This next product is great for large to very large bathrooms, as its 11K power output can cover a range of over 500 cubic feet with steam. As the seller specifies on their page, this unit is great for houses or rooms which struggle with very fast heat loss, or whose heating system is not proportional to the room’s size. If you have, say, a very tall ceiling, or a very wide and spacious room, even 3 radiators might not be enough to keep it warm enough for comfortable use (especially since it’s a bathroom). It can also be the perfect choice for business use, as only one of these can be enough for a whole gym sauna.
The power and range of this product are pretty much everything that differentiates it from the previous model. The Steamist SM-11 is otherwise identical to the SM-7, being only slightly bigger in size. The unit measures 17.5 x 6.5 x 15.5 inches, and if you decide on this one, you should also consider placing it at the recommended 25-feet-distance from the bathing area. You will get the same Steamist quality in terms of materials and construction, as this generator is also made of stainless steel with solid state circuitry. However, much like the previous one, this unit does not come with any additional accessories except the main body. You’ll have to purchase an automatic drain (you can even request that from the manufacturer for an additional fee) and a control panel and connecting wires.
It also heats up very fast, grace to the stainless steel construction, making it a great product if you’re always on the go, and need your steam shower ready right away. However, be warned that this particular generator will not be too forgiving on your electricity bill, so if you don’t have an unusually large bathroom or are running a business, we would recommend going for the SM-7.
The same 5-year warranty on limited parts is available with this product as well. Check the latest price and any additional details here:
- Kohler K-1708-NA
Kohler is another reputable brand, maybe even the best-rated one on the bathroom equipment market. Their products offer ultimate quality, yet they are also some of the most expensive ones you’ll find, both online and offline. The Kohler K-1708-NA will offer you the best German quality, but you’ll have to pay over $2000 for this product. Whether it’s worth it or not, you’ll have to decide for yourself. The generator itself is not too spectacular in terms of extra features, but it does what it claims to do – fills your bathroom with soft, clean steam, is as silent as it gets, and will certainly last you a lifetime.
The generator measures 12.5 x 19.1x 6.5 inches, and its power outlet and range are one of the smallest from this top – the steam from it only reaches out 122 cubic feet around, and it uses only 5K. Again, this could be the exact right size for your bathroom, especially if it runs on the small side. Instead of getting a 220 cubic feet range one, you can opt for the Kohler K-1708-NA and cut the electricity bill in half! On the long run, this product will make a great investment, as the initial price will make up for cheaper bills further on.
Compared to the Steamist products, this one also comes with an automatic drain included in the package, so you won’t have to purchase any essential parts separately. It also comes with a really nifty auto clean feature, which will save you time and money over time, by minimizing the risk of mineral buildups. Another great feature about this product is its Fast-Response technology, which heats up the steam and is ready to go in under one minute.
This generator comes with a 3-year limited warranty included. If you decided that the Kohler K-1708-NA is the right choice for you, shop the latest price for this product here:
As you can probably tell by not, a steam shower generator is definitely no cheap product. Whether you want to go for a very complex product, which offers extras such as aromatherapy and temperature controls, or you want a robust product, which will make up for the easy heat loss in your bathroom, there’s a steam generator out there for it. Our main recommendation is to go for a product that suits your particular needs and budget – no need to go for an expensive reputable brand that only offers the essential options if you want to play around with temperature and aromatherapy. On the other hand, no need to save up if you wish to have a long lasting, great quality product that only heats up and humidifies the air in your bathroom. We hope this guide helped you out in picking the best steam shower generator for yourself, so good luck with your shopping!