Too busy to spend large chunks of time trying to clean your floors? Don’t know which new tool to wield? Meet, steam mop, the modern age cleaner.
Gone are the days when people would be on all fours trying sweep their houses clean while wringing out the water occasionally. And God forbid, if someone walked in with their shoes before the floors dried up, all the effort would go in vain.
Thankfully, we now have steam mops which help in leaving the floors clean and dry quickly, without much effort. These mops eliminate the need to wait around in your washroom until a bucket is filled with hot water, and which you then, lug around your house.
Sure, steam mops may not offer you the satisfaction or the fragrance of freshly mopped floors, but they definitely wipe out stubborn stains which you may otherwise need to scrub. Moreover, they also aid in killing unseen bacteria, which a traditional mop usually cannot. So unless you’re all for a good workout and have plenty of time on your hand, steam mops are your best bet.
Do They Really Work?
In case you are wondering whether steam mops are capable of attacking the toughest-to-clean stains, you have no reason to fret. As the name suggests, steam mops use steam to rake up the dirt from surfaces. Steam is actually a great natural cleaning agent, thanks to its composition of heat and water. Therefore, it does not require you to use any harsh chemicals or detergents in order to leave your house looking spotlessly clean. And any cleanliness freak would know that cleaning products don’t come for cheap.
What’s more? Steam mops are environmental friendly and are much safer to use, especially if you have kids and/or pets around the house.
What Can You Clean with a Steam Mop?
Steam mops come with various attachments that can help clean your countertops, kitchen appliances, windows, tiles, and various other sealed floors. These mops can also convert into handheld steam cleaners for those hard-to-reach corners. You may also be happy to know that a few steam mops also double up as vacuum cleaners, saving up some space in your house.
A Word of Caution:
All the good stuff aside, steam mops do tend to damage hard wood/engineered wood flooring, resulting in warping. In fact, the steam from these mops can even permeate into tiles, forming mold underneath. Heads up: always use them on sealed floors only.
How to Choose a Good Steam Mop – A Buying Guide
As we stated earlier, you’ll find a wide range of steam mops available in the market. This makes it pretty hard to decide which one is best suited to your needs. That’s why, we’ve put together a few pointers that you must keep in mind when looking to buy a steam mop:
While regular steam mops are sufficient for occasional cleaning, its best to go for those that come with a bunch of different extensions. These include flat scrubbers, plastic brushes, carpet groomers, upholstery cleaning tools, hand tools, and numerous types of nozzles.
These additional accessories allow you to clean different areas such as wooden floors, tiles, carpets, cars, kitchen countertops, ovens, blinds, and windows. Opting for a steam mop with adequate attachments ensures an easier access to reach not so easy to access places in your home while also taking up lesser space in your cleaning cabinet.
The only fly in the ointment is that more the number of attachments, bigger the price tag; but it is all worth it! If your required attachment is not available with the model, which you are considering, then you can always buy them at additional cost from the official website/outlet of the manufacturer.
Surfaces to Clean –
Another important factor to consider is your purpose of buying a steam mop. You need to decide which areas you want to tackle. Whether you want your steam mop to only clean hard surface floors, or also clean bathroom tiles, or challenge the dirt on your carpet and curtains.
If you want a steam mop that cleans your floors efficiently, a regular one will do the job. If you want a versatile one that also performs other tasks, with an ability to turn into a handheld cleaner, go for a 2-in-1 steam mop.
Also, if you’re more likely to clean larger surfaces regularly, you may have to choose a mop with a bigger tank, and this could make it seem a bit bulky. But this also means that you’ll avoid spending too much time refilling the tank every now and then.
Steam Adjustment –
If you want to get some serious cleaning done, then a single steam setting with low heat just won’t cut it. You will need to look for a steam mop with enough steam power to get around objects, into deep tile crevices, and under your furniture. Mops with high steam outputs are capable of carting off sticky liquids and rigid dirt stains, without the need to scrub them off too hard.
Its best to go for steam mops with multiple steam adjustment settings that will allow you to change the steam output as per the dirt and the type of flooring. We’d recommend you to consult your flooring manufacturer and understand which cleaner works the best.
Ease of Use & Design –
You’ll notice that all the steam mops sport a similar basic design. However, if you look closely, you’ll see that they do have some minor, yet significant differences. Some of the most popular steam mops are those which are user friendly in terms of their operation, weight, flexibility, cord length, and stand-up support.
We’d suggest that you look for a mop with a long cord so that you don’t have to keep unplugging and re-plugging into different sockets each time you move onto a different area. Also, opt for models that are flexible or fold and become flat in order to remove the grime from under tough-to-reach places.
Go for steam mops which aren’t very complicated to operate as far as its buttons are concerned. Those that are capable of standing upright are preferable as you can leave the mop in the middle of your cleaning session if you need to. Last point to keep in mind is to look for a steam mop with a detachable reservoir. This will eliminate the need to take the entire mop to your sink.
Price Range –
Although steam mops range from $40 to $120, we would advise you to buy a mid-range one that not only performs the tasks well but also doesn’t hurt your bank account. The cheapest ones fail to clean well and while the most expensive ones cut down trips to the sink.
Our Top 7 Steam Mop Picks (Reviewed):
Now that you have a fair idea of steam mops do, along with their countless advantages, and what to look for before purchasing one, let’s take a look at our list of the best steam mops.
Note that we have not only taken into consideration the product reviews online (on sites like Amazon & various public forums), but also personally tested the following steam mops by tainting and then cleaning different types of flooring, before rounding up the ones we thought cleaned the best and were easiest to use.
Here’s a list of our most favorite filth fighters –
1. Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940:
The Bissell PowerFresh seems to occupy the number one spot on majority of the lists across the www, and for good reason. It is a mid-segment steam mop that costs about $90 and is easily available on Amazon.com. Despite its reasonable pricing, this cleaning assistant lives up to its claim of being able to remove even old, solidified grime. It is quite versatile in that it works on sealed hard wood floors, tiles, marble, linoleum, granite, laminate, and stone, by means of antimicrobial microfiber mop pads. The PowerFresh comes with three different digital steam settings namely – low, medium, and high while features a 23-foot long power cord and swivel steering.
What’s more? The Bissell PowerFresh takes just about 30 seconds to turn water into steam. Plus, the entire mop weighs only 6 pounds so its extremely light to maneuver. It’s mop pads are quite easy to wash and the reservoir is easy to fill. The only downsides are that (i) The water-tank lid is not of the best quality, making it prone to leakage. (ii) It has a tendency to leave water streaks on the flooring but that dries up soon after. (iii) There is no light to indicate that the tank needs to be refilled. As far as inclusions are concerned, the PowerFresh comes with a microfiber soft pad, a scrubby pad, spring fragrance discs, and a carpet glider.
2. Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop:
The Symphony Pet Mop, from the house of Bissel, is yet another hit amongst the customers. This model is slightly more expensive than the previous one as it doubles up as a vacuum cleaner. It saves you the money and space required to get a separate vacuum cleaner. Though you can steam and vacuum simultaneously, we’d suggest that you perform those two tasks separately in order to get better results.
This steam mop sports a drop-it tank emptying system that eliminates the need to get your hands dirty. The Symphony Pet comes with disposable mop pads, washable microfiber cleaning pads, and scrubbers. Carpet gliders are sold separately. This model can be used on ceramic tiles, sealed hardwood, marble, linoleum, and granite. You also get a two-level steam adjustment control along with a 25-foot long power cord.
Though the Bissell Symphony Pet has a ton of advantages, it does have a few drawbacks (i) It weighs 10 pounds, which makes it a bit heavier than other mops. However, that is still better than dealing with two separate cleaning devices. (ii) The steam as well as the vacuum functions don’t supersede the performance of their non-combo counterparts. That said, it is still a great cleaning beast to own, especially if you have pets or kids who constantly create a mess in the house.
In case you’re wondering why the word “pet” is included in its name, its because Bissell donates up to $10 to the Bissell Pet Foundation with every purchase.
3. SharkNinja Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam Pocket Mop (S3973D):
One of the top-rated steam mops, this steam mop, features a touch-free technology, preventing you from touching dirty cleaning pads. It is priced at $145 and comes with steam blaster technology, offering up to 3 steam levels which attack stuck-on debris form the deepest crevices. Furthermore, its water-tank can hold up to 500 ml of water and the length of its power cord is a decent 22-feet. You get a dirt grip pad, dual-sided steam pocket pad, an intelli-mop head, a 3ft hose with pocket cleaning tool, and a garment steamer.
This steam mop is a delight to use as attaching the tank as well as the mop head is as simple as ABC. Even removing the cleaning pads are easy. All you need to do is press the pad release button and toss the dirty pad for wash.
Unlike the Bissell steam mops, the Shark Lift-Away Pro is relatively less noisy and does not leave any streaks on the floor. The only problem with it is that it does not stand upright on its own but this isn’t a deal breaker. This steam mop is ideal for those who want to clean larger areas of the floor in shorter time. If you’re looking for a cheaper version of the same mop, do check out the SharkNinja Shark Genius (S5003D).
4. Bissell PowerEdge Lift Off:
If you’re unwilling to spend much on a steam mop, the Bissell PowerEdge Lift Off is a great option. It releases steam on demand, albeit, without any level settings. This model features a 2-in-1 steam mop that converts into a handheld steam cleaner for when you wish to clean surfaces other than your floors such as bathroom sinks, oven, countertops, refrigerator, stovetops, and more. These surfaces above floors can be cleaned by means of additional extensions like the bristle scrub brush and the grout tool. The triangle foot design makes it super easy to get to tight spots in your house. The PowerEdge Lift Off works on marble, linoleum, ceramic tiles, sealed hardwood, and all the aforementioned above-floor surfaces.
The major downside of the PowerEdge Lift Off is that does not offer any steam level settings. Moreover, it can hold only up to 10 oz of water in the tank. A more premium version of this steam mop, the PowerFresh Lift-Off Steam Mop can hold up to 13.5 oz of water. The latter comes with variable steam settings and extra attachments such as a window squeegee, flat surface tool, a fabric steamer, a flat scraper, bristle tools, and an angle concentrator tools. Note that it will cost anywhere between $130-$150 but it is totally worth it if these points matter to you.
5. Bissell Spinwave Powered Cleaner:
The Bissell Spinwave floor mop and cleaner is ideal for scrubbing the dirt and grime off of hard floors including tiles, sealed wood floors, vinyl, laminate, and linoleum. It weighs about 11 lbs., featuring a 22-foot long power cord and a brilliant tank capacity of 28oz. The best part about this mop is that comes with swivel steering, making it extremely convenient to sweep along baseboards and around your furniture. Plus, a spray trigger button let’s you decide how much of the formula you want it to dispense while cleaning. What’s more? SpinWave does all the cleaning tasks without irritating your sense of hearing. This model includes soft touch pads, scrubby pads, and multi-surface formula for cleaner surfaces.
Note that the SpinWave does not have a carry handle. Also, it does not come with an in-built vacuum cleaner or pet cleaning system. If you wish to avail these features, you can consider the Bissell Crosswave/ Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro. But keep in mind that the aforementioned models do have some design flaws as per user reviews.
6. Oreck Steam-It Steam Mop:
Mentioned quite frequently on other blogs and listicles, the Oreck Steam-It is a highly versatile mop that not only cleans floors but also comes with attachments which aid in scrubbing the debris off toilets, windows, and countertops. You can use it to clean floor surfaces made of marble, stone, ceramic, vinyl, linoleum, and sealed hardwood.
This model is quiet, light to maneuver, and able to reach in the tightest of areas including ceiling fans, cabinets, and light fixtures. You get 4 reusable microfiber bonnets and features including a pressurized super-dry steam which heats up within a minute, can be turned upside down without spillage, and a 25-ft long power cord for added convenience. A downside of this steam mop is that it comes with very few attachments.
7. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop:
Yet another budget steam mop, the O-Cedar Microfiber mop works quite similar to the Shark Lift-Away or the Bissell PowerFresh, albeit, without frills. You can use on various types of flooring such as sealed hardwood, laminate, ceramic, linoleum, and tile. The best part? It heats up the water in less than 30 seconds while also offering steam control. Plus, it only weighs 5 pounds so you don’t have to worry about dragging around a heavy cleaning tool. There’s also a snap-on glider for lightly steaming carpets.
Some of its drawbacks are (i) Lack of attachments like scrubber pads. (ii) Poor build quality that may not last for very long compared to other steam mops. Get this only if you wish to get the floors cleaned without the mop and bucket system, without pinching your pocket.
These are our picks for the best mops available today. As we mentioned earlier, one must keep in mind all the factors stated under the ‘Buying Guide’ section in order to make the most suitable purchase. It is advisable that you read the user manual thoroughly before using your mop. Also, avoid mixing any cleaning agents as it will spoil your flooring. Before you start using your steam mop, we recommend you to read about common mistakes while using Steam Mop, so that you can avoid them.
Note that we have left out a few models mainly due to space restrictions. However, we’d like you to know that if you’re a new homeowner or a grad student who doesn’t wish to spend even $70 on a steam mop, yet wants the ease of cleaning, the Shark Steam Mop ($50) or the Light N Easy steam mop ($30) are good enough for occasional cleaning.