Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

Why clean with steam?

Steam is extremely powerful when used to clean. Heating up to 120°C, the ‘dry steam’ produced by steam cleaners cuts through grease and grime, whilst also killing dust mites and bacteria.

Allergens can lurk in the hardest to reach areas in your home, and the build-up of dust mites, pollen, pet dander and other irritants can often leave you feeling unwell. Whilst regular vacuuming can help to reduce allergen levels, a deeper clean can be more easily achieved with a steam cleaner.

Steam is an excellent alternative to using chemicals and cleaning products, making it both a hygienic, allergy-friendly and eco-friendly way of cleansing your home. What’s more, your steam cleaner can be used to clean a multitude of surfaces, from carpets and upholstery, to tiles, windows, hard surface floors and more.

Steam cleaning can also reduce your cleaning schedule drastically. The amount of effort required or “scrubbing power” is lessened with the powerful steam, and as steam is ‘dry’ there’s no drying time required for floors and surfaces.

Key points to look out for?

Steam cleaners come in a range of shapes and sizes, depending on the main purpose of your steamer there are four main points to consider:

• Heat up Time – This is the length of time needed to convert the water in the water tank into steam, and can range from 20 seconds to over a minute.

Steam Time – This is the amount of steaming time you will have from one full tank of water. Steam time can last from 10 minutes to up to an hour, depending on the capacity of the water tank.

Water Tank Capacity – Larger water tanks will take longer to heat up, but will offer a longer steam time for extensive cleaning. If you’d rather use your machine little and often a smaller tank with a quicker heat up time might be better.

Power – Most steam cleaners range from a 900-1500 watt range. The higher the wattage, the greater the cleaning power. For smaller jobs, a 900 watt machine may suffice, but to remove tougher grease stains, or caked on dirt, a more heavy duty power will be needed.

What are the different types of steam cleaners?

Much like vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners are available in cylinder, upright or handheld styles. Some steam cleaners also offer a vacuuming function, our Polti Vaporetto Lecoaspira range use a water-based filter capturing the smallest of allergens.

Upright steam cleaners – Often referred to as steam mops, these upright steamers have a small water tank attached to the handle, heat up quickly and are lightweight to use. The smaller water tank means that they are ideal for quick and regular cleaning of smaller areas.

Cylinder steam cleaners – These tend to have a larger water tank, and whilst this means a longer heat up time, you will get the benefit of more steam time allowing for longer, more extensive cleaning of larger areas.

Handheld steam cleaners – With very small water tanks, handheld steam cleaners are perfect for quick use. They are very easy to use, compact to store, and ideal for use on a small scale.

Which surfaces can a steam cleaner be used on?

Steam cleaners can be used on:

Hard floors Ovens/Hobs Mattresses
Carpets BBQs Mirrors
Work Surfaces Upholstery Plants
Windows Taps/Sanitary ware Cars
Tiles/grouting Garments Garden Furniture

What accessories do I need?

Most steam cleaners will come with all you need for general cleaning jobs. But if you have specific needs more attachments are available separately such as:

• Cleaning Cotton Cloths and Socks – designed to collect dirt dislodged by steam.

• Squeegee – for cleaning windows or other glass surfaces.

• Shaped brushes – to access the most inaccessible areas of your home, corners etc.

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia’s impact on sleep

Sleep and fibromyalgia don’t go well together.

Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so when they wake up they feel exhausted or unrested. These sleep disturbances can cause the feeling of constant fatigue and prevent the body from rejuvenation, which in turn leads to increased pain1.

The severe pain of this condition also means it is difficult to sleep. Research shows that the body has a lower tolerance to pain and discomfort with lack of sleep. Fibromyalgia patients must make every effort to minimise sleep disturbance.

Tips for creating a regular sleep routine:

  • Set fixed times for going to bed and waking up
  • Maintain a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Only retire to bed when you feel tired
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
  • Avoid eating heavy meals late at night

 

How to create the best sleeping environment:

  • Use thick blinds/blackout blinds or wear an eye mask to keep out early morning light or street lamps
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom
  • Use earplugs if there is any noise disturbance
  • Avoid using laptops, watching television, eating, making phone calls or working while you’re in bed
  • Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding suitable for the time of year

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia's impact on sleep Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so when they wake...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

We have learnt about the condition, but now we will explore what causes Fibromyalgia. When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...
Treating Fibromyalgia

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don’t worry, you’ve got this!

There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It’s important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there’s currently no cure.

First Steps

Your GP can help you decide what’s best for you, depending on what you prefer and the available treatments. In some cases, several different healthcare professionals may also be involved, such as a:

  • Rheumatologist – a specialist in conditions that affect muscles and joints
  • Neurologist – a specialist in conditions of the central nervous system
  • Psychologist – a specialist in mental health and psychological treatments

Fibromyalgia has many symptoms, meaning that no single treatment will work for all of them. Treatments that work for some people won’t always work for others. You may need to try a variety of treatments to find a combination that suits you and your condition. This normally will be a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.

Treatment Options:

  • Medication
    There are many different types of medication that are available to treat fibromyalgia. Your G.P. will know the best to prescribe to you. This may be pain killers, anti-depressants, muscle relaxants, anti-convulsant or anti-psychotic tablets.
  • Low Impact Exercise
    Swimming, sitting or exercising in a heated pool or warm water (known as hydrotherapy) or following an individually tailored gentle exercise programme could help ease symptoms.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) 
    A talking therapy that aims to change the way you think about things, so you can tackle problems more positively. This will also help with the effects of depression that may accompany your fibromyalgia.
  • Relaxation techniques
    Meditation and mindfulness can help relax you and provide great self-care for when dealing with flare ups.
  • Alternative Therapies
    Some people with fibromyalgia try complementary or alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, massage manipulation or aromatherapy 1.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Studies also show that people suffering from fibromyalgia are more likely to experience restless legs syndrome. This disorder causes the urge to move your legs along with uncomfortable sensations and further impact on sleep for firbo sufferers. However, there is an effective treatment for restless legs syndrome which is likely to improve the quality of life for sufferers. 2

There isn’t one set treatment plan for every fibromyalgia sufferer. Contact your G.P. and follow the treatment plan given by your consultant.

Do you need support going through your treatment?

Many people find support groups helpful, knowing you are not alone in going through this condition can really help. Just by talking to someone who knows what you’re going though can make you feel better. Find out more about Fibromyalgia UK and how they can help you through the condition here.

 

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia's impact on sleep Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so when they wake...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

We have learnt about the condition, but now we will explore what causes Fibromyalgia. When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...
Signs you have Fibromyalgia

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body.

There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting better. This can depend on factors such as:

  • Stress
  • Changes in the weather
  • Physical activity

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

  • Widespread Pain
    One of the main symptoms for fibromyalgia is likely to be a widespread pain. This may be felt throughout your body but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck. The pain can feel like an ache, a sharp stabbing pain or a burning sensation.
  • Extreme Sensitivity
    Fibromyalgia can make you extremely sensitive to pain, and you may find that even being touched is painful. If you hurt yourself, the pain may continue for much longer than it normally would. You may also be sensitive to things such as smoke, certain foods and bright lights.
  • Stiffness
    Fibromyalgia can make you feel stiff. The stiffness may be most severe when you’ve been in the same position for a long period of time, meaning symptoms can be often worse in the morning. It can also cause your muscles to spasm, which is when they contract (squeeze) tightly and painfully.
  • Fatigue
    Fibromyalgia can cause fatigue. This can range from a mild, tired feeling to severe exhaustion. Fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain you of all your energy. 
  • Poor Sleep
    You may wake up feeling tired, even when you’ve had a good night’s rest. This is because Fibromyalgia can sometimes stop you from sleeping deeply enough to refresh yourself properly. This is often described as “non-restorative sleep.”
  • Cognitive Problems (Fibro-Fog)
    Cognitive problems are issues related to thinking and learning. If you have fibromyalgia, you may have trouble remembering and learning new things, problems with attention and concentration.
  • Headaches
    Due to the stiffness in your back and neck, you may also have frequent headaches. These can vary from mild to severe migraines.

Other symptoms:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Dizziness and clumsiness
  • Feeling too hot or too cold – this is because you’re not able to regulate your body temperature properly
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet
  • In women, unusually painful periods
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

If you are suffering from these symptoms it is important that you contact your GP for proper diagnosis and medical advice1.

Find out more about fibromyalgia here.

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia's impact on sleep Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so when they wake...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

We have learnt about the condition, but now we will explore what causes Fibromyalgia. When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...
What Causes Fibromyalgia?

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

We have learnt about the condition, but now we will explore what causes Fibromyalgia.

When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these signals as pain. This is a warning sign that something’s wrong. As you heal, the pain gets better, and in time it goes away. But if you have fibromyalgia, you experience this pain even without injury, this pain does not go away and has a lasting impact on your life.

Some doctors believe this is caused by the way your brain and spinal cord handle and interpret pain signals. When you have fibromyalgia you may have more cells that carry pain signals than normal. And you may have fewer cells that slow pain signals down. This means your pain volume is always turned up, like music blasting on a radio. The result is that minor bumps and bruises hurt more than they should. And you may feel pain from things that shouldn’t hurt at all.

Doctors aren’t sure why some people get fibromyalgia. There are many contributing factors that could cause your pain signals to be affected. Different people report different things that seemed to trigger their condition and you can even have more than one cause.

 

Causes:

  • Genetic factors
    Fibromyalgia tends to run in families. Your parents may pass on genes that make you more sensitive to pain. Other genes can also make you more likely to feel anxious or depressed, which makes pain worse.
  • Other conditions
    A painful disease like arthritis or an infection raises your chances of getting fibromyalgia.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    Experiencing traumatic events is also linked to developing fibromyalgia.
  • Gender
    The condition is much more prominent in women than in men. Doctors think this could be related to differences in the way men and women feel and react to pain, as well as how society expects them to respond to pain.
  • Anxiety and depression
    These and other mental health disorders seem to be linked to fibromyalgia, though there’s no proof that they actually cause the condition.
  • Lack of physical activity
    The condition is much more common in people who aren’t physically active. Low impact exercise is one of the best treatments for fibromyalgia to help control the condition and improves symptoms for some patients.

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia's impact on sleep Sleep and fibromyalgia don't go well together. Sleep disturbances are very common for sufferers of the condition. While they may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is likely to be light and easily disturbed so when they wake...

Treating Fibromyalgia

Don't worry, you've got this! There are many options for treating fibromyalgia. It's important to remember that treatment for fibromyalgia will try to ease some of your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, but there's currently no cure. First Steps Your...

Signs you have Fibromyalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person. The main symptom is a widespread pain throughout the body. There may be periods when your symptoms will vary maybe getting worse and then getting...

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

We have learnt about the condition, but now we will explore what causes Fibromyalgia. When your body is in pain, your brain’s the first to know it. Nerve signals travel from the painful spot on your body through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets these...

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain, as well as other symptoms. What is fibromyalgia? You may have heard of it before, but just what is Fibromyalgia? It is the most...

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