No matter how much you clean, dirt somehow still manages to find a way into your home. If you’re using a standard mop, you may find that it doesn’t do that good of a job, especially when it comes to cleaning your hardwood floors or dealing with deep ground dirt. That’s where the best steam mop comes in. This type of mop will clean your floors without the use of harsh chemicals, so you can get the job done in a fraction of the time, using hot steam, to reach deep down dirt. But finding a high-quality steam mop can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have time to do your own research.
I’ve created this in-depth guide that will discuss the different features you need to look for to ensure you end up with a steam mop that’s packing serious power, and a model that’s designed to last. I’ve also tested out several of the best-selling models on the market, narrowing it down to six must-have mops that are built tough and able to handle daily use.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists each of the models that landed on my list, their top features, and how they rated it.
Steam Mop Comparison Chart
LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Multifunctional Steam Mop
Many low-quality steam mops can take several minutes to heat up, but not this latest model by Light “N” Easy. This mop has an impressively fast heat up time of just thirty seconds. Lightweight and powerful, it can easily eliminate sticky and greasy messes, while the steam allows the surface to dry at lightning fast speeds, without leaving behind streaks or residue. To use, you only need to fill the tank up with water. The Smart Switch feature allows you to drop the mop to an upright position during short breaks, to prevent a constant flow of steam, which can potentially damage delicate hardwood floors. This model is also detachable. With the push of a button you can detach a portion of the steamer and use it as a handheld unit to tackle a wide range of surfaces. The steamer comes with several different types of attachments including a bonnet pad, jet nozzle, grout cleaning brushes, and microfiber mop pads. You will also have a choice between three steam settings including low, medium, and high. You’ll choose the setting based on the type of floor and mess you’re dealing with. This model can be used on ceramic, hardwood, tile, marble, vinyl, grout, and more.
- Comes with several attachments
- Detaches from base for handheld steamer use
- Covered by a one-year warranty
- Short cord
- Small water tank
This feature-packed model has got it all. It comes with a touch sensor that allows you to place your finger on it in order to activate steam. The handheld steamer feature is a huge selling point since it adds to this steamer’s versatility, allowing you to take on a variety of surface and material types including counters, furniture, stairs, carpet, and more. Overall, this model is a great buy for anyone in need of a steamer that can do it all and handle a variety of cleaning surfaces in the home. Powerful, well-built, and very versatile, this model scored well for ease of use, versatility, and an innovative design.
Shark Genius Steam Mop
This model has a water tank that measures in at 220 millimeters, offering a decent water capacity that results in fewer refills. It also comes with three steam setting options, so you can choose the appropriate setting based on the type of mess you’re cleaning up. This model is so powerful, you won’t have to use any added chemicals, just plain water, which is a huge incentive to buy in homes with small children and pets. Using steam blaster technology, this model is able to remove deep ground dirt, leaving your floor clean and looking new.
This mop can handle it all, including stuck on stains, and pet messes. The direct steam channeling design distributes steam through the pocket, creating an extra-large cleaning path that will allow you to clean up even huge spills in a single pass. The steamer works by using large blasts of steam in order to attack dried-on messes that will help to loosen debris trapped in corners, crevices, and grout.
- Double-sided cleaning pads
- Extra-large cleaning path
- Three steam settings
- Large water tank
Powerful enough to remove old, stuck-on stains, this is a steam cleaner that’s crushing the market. Utilizing touch-free technology, users can use the included dual-sided grip pads, which are super absorbent and designed with thick strips that will grip debris on the floor, making cleanup fast, easy, and more efficient.
Bissell Steam Mop
Using the latest model by Bissell to sanitize your floors, you can eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria and germs, without the use of harsh chemicals. This model comes with a spot boost brush that’s designed to remove dried on stains and sticky or greasy messes. The included fragrance disc will leave behind a fresh scent, so your floors will look great and your home will smell fresh and clean. This steamer comes with a twenty-five-foot-long cord and offers twelve-amps of power. This model features a high and low steam setting, so you can choose the appropriate steam setting based on the type of mess you’re dealing with. The cleaning path measures in at twelve-inches wide, so you can handle larger messes with a single pass. Additionally, this powerful model can heat up the water tank in as little as thirty seconds.
- Long cord
- Large cleaning path
- Fast heat up time
- Difficult to change out pads
This kit includes one washable scrub mop pad, washable soft mop pad, and two scent discs. This heavy-duty model can handle cleaning marble floors, granite, tile, linoleum, ceramic, and hardwood floors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with any cleaning attachments, which would make this model more versatile, allowing you to handle more cleaning jobs around the home. While the steamer is pretty basic as far as the type of cleaning jobs it can handle, it’s built tough, designed to tackle a wide range of spills and messes around the home, and it can keep your home looking and smelling fresh.
iwoly M11 Steam Mop Cleaner
This mop features a couple of steam intelligent settings so you can choose a low or high steam setting based on how much power you need to tackle the mess. This model can be used on both carpet and hard floors, making it one of the most versatile models in my lineup. It’s safe to use on hardwood, tile, laminate, and carpet. The wider cleaning path will allow you to remove even the toughest stains with just a single pass. This model includes a measuring cup, one mop pad, and carpet glider pad. When the main body of the steamer is placed vertically to the ground this model will immediately shift to standby mode, preventing water damage to delicate hardwood floors.
- Can be used on carpet
- Wide cleaning path
- Only includes two steam settings
This lightweight steamer is easy to use, maneuver, and handle. This model can take on a variety of flooring types, including carpet, so you’ll get more bang for your buck while you get rid of deep-down dirt, pet messes, grease, and more. The big drawback is the lack of steam power settings, which you’ll only have two to choose from. However, the steamer itself can handle a variety of stain types for both carpeted and hard surfaces, so you can stay on top of messes in the home and keep your floors looking great and smelling fresh.
Reliable 300CU Steam Floor Mop
The heavy-duty scrubber brush can handle large messes and dirty grout. The head of the mop features a 180-degree swivel design, making it highly maneuverable and easier to access tight spaces. Use the foot release button to switch between the steamer and scrubber, instantly. This model can be used on both hard surfaces and carpeting. The included microfiber pads are made out of high-density fibers that tightly adhere to the built-in steam base, so you won’t have to worry about the pads coming off or rolling up at the corners during use. You can scrub and steam your floor at the same time, so there’s no need to soften up hardened spills using harsh chemical cleaners. Using 245-degree steam, the spill will be quickly dissolved so you can wipe it away with a single pass.
- Cleans using 245-degree steam
- Scrubber brush
- High-density fiber pads
- Low price
This high-powered steamer is easy to use and highly maneuverable. It comes with a scrub brush design, so you can both steam and scrub your floors at the same time, for easier and faster cleanup. The high steam temperature will quickly break down dirt, while the unique swivel design makes access to those tight spaces and hard to reach corners a breeze.
PurSteam Steam Mop
The triangular shape of the head allows you to access those hard to reach spaces in the home. The mop itself is very lightweight, making it even easier to maneuver. The included water tank will hold up to 8.5 ounces, for fewer refills during use. The mop can handle tile, hardwood, vinyl, porcelain, ceramic, and marble floors. It can eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria and germs, leaving your floors looking new.
- Unique triangular head design
- Can kill up to 99.9% of germs
- Two-year warranty
- Fast heat up time
- Low price
- Short cord
This model is covered by a two-year warranty, so you can feel confident in this purchase, knowing that the manufacturer stands behind their products. Since this cleaner is chemical-free, it’s safe to use around small children and pets. This set includes four attachments, so you can use it to clean the kitchen stove, furniture, drapes, grout, and more.
Steam Mop Buyer’s Guide
Using a steam mop, you’ll have the ability to clean all types of flooring ranging from tile and vinyl, to hardwood, linoleum, and composite flooring, and all without the use of toxic chemicals that can be harmful to children and pets. If you’re tired of hauling around a bucket of dirty water while you work, these self-contained mops are an excellent choice. They’re also a safer, more effective, and easier cleaning alternative. Now, let’s learn more about the many benefits these mops have to offer and why you’ll want to make the switch from your traditional mop to a model that’s packing power.
Steam Mop Benefits
These mops give you a huge advantage over traditional mops, which I’ll go over below, in order to explain how this type of cleaning tool can be a total gamechanger.
- A steam mop can clean more effectively and not only cleans the floor, but will disinfect it as well, eliminating harmful bacteria, allergens, dust, dirt, and microorganisms.
- Since you’re cleaning with steam and not harsh cleaning products, they’re safer to use around children pets.
- This type of chemical-free cleaning also means you won’t have to deal with any left behind residue, which can leave the surface of a floor feeling chalky and dull.
- You won’t have to carry around a pail of dirty water or worry about using too much water on delicate hardwood floors.
- If you’re tired of getting on your hands and knees to scrub your floor, then you’ll love cleaning with the power of steam, which has the ability to easily break down dirt on the floor, lifting the soil, so you won’t have to use any elbow grease to get the job done and your floors looking clean and well-maintained.
- These mops also provide an eco-friendly way to clean your floors, since you’ll no longer use any harsh chemicals when you clean.
- They’re also very versatile and can be used to clean all types of flooring surfaces.
- The lightweight design and the built-in water tank will allow you to clean faster than ever before.
- If you or someone in the home have asthma or you’re sensitive to the smell of chemical cleaners, then this natural way to clean will be a huge plus since you will no longer be using chemical cleaners, and the steam has the power to kill harmful allergens.
- A steam mop is gentle on your floors and won’t harm untreated wood, or ruin a floor’s finish like some chemical cleaners can. This means you can use the mop more often, without the fear of damaging your floors.
- You will also save money on chemical cleaners since these mops operate on tap water.
Other Important Features
Using a steam mop can save you money, can be a great buy if you’re searching for an eco-friendly way to clean the home, and you need a safe alternative to traditional mops and chemical cleaners. However, there are many factors that you’ll want to consider before you hit that buy now button. The features you should look for will depend on the type of floors you have, the size of your home, how often you need to use the mop, and your budget.
Many models will feature variable steam level settings. You can lower the setting for certain surfaces, such as hardwood floors, or raise the steam setting for more durable flooring, such as tile. You can also use a higher setting for deep cleaning grout, which is a huge plus for most potential buyers.
On average, you’ll come across models that offer a wattage rating of 1500 watts. In terms of steam strength, some models are able to heat water up to 250 degrees, offering powerful steam cleaning action.
Some models will come equipped with a variety of attachments that will allow you to perform a wide range of cleaning tasks, while others may only come with one or two extra attachments. Fortunately, you can purchase additional attachments directly from the manufacturer. Below, you’ll find a list of attachment types available:
- Scraping tools
- Grout cleaners
- Clothes steamer attachment
- Bristle brush
- Window squeegee
- Extension hose
Corded and Cordless
There are both corded and cordless models to choose from. When you’re shopping for a steam mop, look for the longest cord possible, so you won’t have to switch outlets frequently during use. Cordless models can be more convenient to use since you won’t have to worry about getting tangled in a cord or switching outlets. The big drawback here is that you’ll have to make sure you charge the mop prior to use or risk it dying when you’re in the middle of cleaning the floor. You’ll also have to keep the model’s runtime in mind. Some models will come with a power level indicator, which will allow you to keep a close eye on the battery level during use.
Battery-powered models will be heavier than corded, since they have the built-in battery pack. On average, you can anticipate a mop weight of two to six pounds.
Water Tank Capacity
The size of the water tank will also matter since you’ll have to stop and refill the tank during use, if the tank doesn’t have a high water capacity. You’ll also have to wait for the water to heat up to produce steam. Look for a mop with a two-liter water capacity, which can produce enough steam for forty to fifty minutes of continuous steam time.
A mop that comes with alternating water tanks will allow you to fill up one tank while the other tank is still in use. This means you won’t have to sit back and wait for the water to heat up, instead, you can enjoy continuous use. This will be a must-have feature if you have hardwood floors throughout the home.
Manufacturers are making these mops safer than ever, including important safety features that will prevent injuries. These features will be essential if you have small children in the home.
Automatic shut-off: This feature will shut the heating element off once the mop reaches a certain temperature.
Child locks: This feature will prevent children from switching on the mop.
Non-pressurized design: Models that allow you to fill up the tank when the device is on will come with a non-pressurized boiler that will prevent hot steam from coming out the nozzle during this time.
Built-in LED lights: To see stains, spills, and stuck on dirt, some mops will come with built-in lights that will illuminate the area, for more efficient cleanup.
Replacement Heads and Sponges
Despite the fact that it uses hot steam to kill bacteria on the floors in your home, the mop itself can build up harmful bacteria over time, once it’s switched off. Because of this, you’ll need to replace the mop sponge and cloths from time to time. You can purchase these replacement parts directly from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, not every mop has replacement sponges and heads available.
Steam mops aren’t safe to use on all types of floors. A manufacturer will indicate which types of hard surfaces the mop is safe to use on. In most cases, these mops can be used on:
Keep in mind, these mops will leave behind some residual moisture. If you have unsealed floors a steam mop may not be safe to use, since this type of floor can easily become stained if water remains on the surface. In this case, you may need to go back, and towel dry the flooring to prevent any moisture from sitting on the surface.
Models with a removable pad can only hold so much dirt and grime before they stop being effective. Before you remove the dirty pad, the mop must be placed on its side on a horizontal surface, such as the floor, in order to prevent the water in the tank from leaking out. Read the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before you remove the padding. In most cases, you can toss the pad in the washing machine, but it will need to air dry.
Swivel Head Design
With a swivel head, the mop is able to easily maneuver around obstacles, under furniture, and access tight, hard to reach spaces.
While rare, there are some models on the market that will allow you to detach the head from the base of the machine, so you can use it as a handheld steamer. These more versatile models often come with a higher price tag, but they will allow you to clean hard to reach areas, such as behind the toilet, faster and easier.
Most model will come with a minimum ninety-day warranty, although you can find some mops with a six-month to twelve-month warranty. If your mop is covered by a warranty, be sure to avoid adding chemicals or anything other than water to the mop’s water tank, otherwise you’ll run the risk of voiding the warranty, should the products you add damage the appliance.
Steams mops are available in a variety if price points, so even the family on a tight budget can afford the right model for their home. Expect to pay anywhere from thirty, up to one hundred dollars for a quality steam mop. Higher priced models will come with a larger water reservoir, extra mop pads, attachments, and a more powerful motor, so they’re definitely worth the steep price tag.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Add Vinegar to a Steam Mop?
These mops use steam to clear linoleum, tile, vinyl, and hardwood flooring. Typically, you won’t need to mix in soap or other chemicals. However, you can add vinegar to enhance the steamers cleaning power. Adding vinegar is a great way to treat pet stains and old stubborn stains.
Can I Put Disinfectant in My Steam Mop?
You don’t need to put disinfectant in your steam mop, since the temperature of the steam will kill ninety-nine percent of bacteria and germs, and this is all without the use of harsh chemicals.
Can I Put Fragrance in My Steam Mop?
Yes, you can put essential oils in your steam mop. These oils are available in a variety of scents to choose from. You can add a few drops to the water tank, so when you’re steam cleaning the floors it will leave behind a relaxing, light scent that can freshen up your home. While these oils are safe to use around humans, keep in mind that not all essential oils are safe for use around pets.
What Can I Put in My Steam Mop?
Only add products or chemicals that are approved by the manufacturer. If the user’s manual says that you cannot add anything to the water tank, other than water and you decide to add products anyway, then you may run the risk of damaging the system and voiding the warranty.
Is Steaming Floors Better Than Mopping?
Yes, the steam mop’s head absorbs the dirt and the heat from the steam works to kill dust mites and bacteria. It’s a much faster way to clean floors and has the ability to remove old stains and deep ground dirt. It’s also more sanitary since, unlike a traditional mop, bacteria don’t live on the steam mop’s head because the steam will kill the bacteria upon contact.
If you’re looking for a faster, easier, and more efficient way to clean your hardwood, tile, vinyl, or Pergo floors, a steam mop is the answer. The best steam mop will not only clean deep ground dirt, spills, and tracked in dirt, but it also disinfects your floors as it cleans. A perfect option for people with allergies, buyers in search of a more eco-friendly cleaning option, and homes with pets and small children, steam mops are versatile, built tough, and can deep clean your floors in a fraction of the time it used to take you lugging around your old sponge mop and bucket.