You probably spend a good chunk of time cleaning your home to ensure it’s tidy, presentable, and a healthy environment for yourself and your family. But floor cleaning is literally a chore, often involving chemicals, buckets, and even getting on your hands and knees to get to those hard-to-reach spots. Fortunately, there are steam mops that can help with that. If you’re considering investing in a steam mop, keep reading for our recommendations.
Buying Guide for Steam Mops
Why buy a steam mop?
Steam mops are an easy and effective way to keep your home clean without using toxic chemicals. Steam mops use heat and water to loosen grime so you can wipe it away with a microfiber pad. Hot steam is a natural disinfectant, so it’s nontoxic and friendly to people and pets alike. Steam mops leave no residue, so you don’t have to worry about sticky floors or excess toxins from harsh chemicals. Finally, many designs feature an angled or swivel head and handheld capabilities to make it easier to get into cracks and crevices.
What should you look for in a steam mop?
- Steam Control: Steam mops with a simple design emit steam at a fixed temperature and volume, while more complex versions enable you to customize the steam output. A single steam setting may be sufficient if you plan to use your steam mop on one type of flooring. However, controlling the steam output is preferable if you want to use your steam mop on various floor types.
- Capacity: Water tank capacity varies greatly depending on the type of steam mop. A higher capacity is preferable for covering a larger surface area, so you will only have to stop and refill it occasionally.
- Attachments and Features: If you want to use the mop to clean other surfaces besides floors, you should consider the attachments that come with the steam mop system. Some brands contain attachments that allow you to clean curtains, carpets, and windows. Most versions also include reusable microfiber or terry cloth pads for cleaning your floors. They must be washed regularly, so choose a steam mop system with several spare pads.
- Weight: Steam mops significantly minimize the work necessary to scrub your floors, but larger types may be harder to maneuver. A full water tank may increase the weight of a steam mop, so be sure to take note of the weight specs in the product description.
What types of flooring can you use a steam mop on?
Steam mopping is an excellent way to clean your floors, but steam may damage certain surfaces if not used properly. You should only use steam mops on sealed floors. Steam is generally safe for vinyl, linoleum, ceramic, or porcelain tile, certain kinds of sealed hardwood, and some laminate floors. To test your sealed wood floors, drip a few droplets of water onto the floor to test the seal. If the water hasn’t soaked into the floor after five minutes, it should be safe to use a steam mop.
Our Picks for the Best Steam Mops
PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1
This versatile steam mop adjusts to clean various hard surfaces and fabrics so you can easily clean your entire home.
Pros: If you want a steam mop that has it all, the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 is for you. This lightweight steam mop cleans and kills germs on any hard flooring, including hardwood floors and tiles made of vinyl, marble, ceramic, and porcelain. Three customizable settings allow you to tailor the mop’s steam level to your requirements, which is especially crucial when attempting to protect the finish of your hardwood floor. The detachable handheld steamer also cleans upholstery, such as couches and curtains, and removes the wrinkles from clothes. Multiple accessories include straight and bent nozzles, a window squeegee, nylon brushes, and extra microfiber pads.
Cons: At the maximum steam setting, the mop’s 12.8-ounce water reservoir provides steam for just 12 minutes. So if you’re doing some heavy-duty cleaning in a large area, you’ll have to refill pretty often. Fortunately, the lowest steam setting lasts a more reasonable 25 minutes.
Bottom Line: If you want to harness all the benefits of home steam cleaning, this mop can help you to achieve that goal. This 10-in-one device can replace your window cleaner, garment steamer, and upholstery cleaner while providing the perks of having a steam mop for your hard floors.
Hoover Complete Pet Steam Mop with Removable Handheld Steamer
Pet messes are no match for the deodorizing power of this steam mop.
Pros: The Hoover Complete Pet Steam Mop with Removable Handheld Steamer is designed to clean and deodorize pet messes for an odor-free household. With 10 multi-purpose tools, it cleans and sanitizes all over the house. The removable portable steamer cleans surfaces such as appliances, upholstery, and glass. It comes with two washable cleaning pads and is safe for use on sealed hardwood, tile, grout, and other sealed hard flooring.
Cons: This unit requires you to hold down a hand-operated trigger to release the steam. Some may find this a bit cumbersome, while those with chronic hand or joint pain may experience discomfort.
Bottom Line: Hoover is a trusted name that has been coming to the floor cleaning rescue for many decades. Consider this one if you’re looking for a versatile steam mop that gives extra attention to the messes your beloved furry friend may leave behind.
Bissell PowerFresh All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop
This all-in-one unit helps you save time and space by combining your vacuum and steam mop into one appliance.
Pros: The Bissell PowerFresh All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop is a two-in-one vacuum and steam mop that lets you switch between cleaning modes without stopping what you’re doing. Moisture stays out of the tank during cleaning, so dry the debris that gets contained inside stays dry. The vacuum/mop has easy-to-use digital controls, and the removable mop pad tray makes changing the mop pads quick and straightforward. The set includes one soft microfiber pad, one microfiber scrubby pad, and a detachable mop pad tray.
Cons: At 9.74 pounds, this two-in-one is slightly heavier than most regular steam mops. And like our previous item, a trigger has to be held down continuously for steam to be emitted.
Bottom Line: This vacuum/steam mop combo is ideal for those looking to simplify their floor cleaning routine. And if you enjoy fragrances, this unit is compatible with Bissell’s scent waters, which are available separately, so you can leave a fresh scent behind as you steam clean.
Bissell Power Steamer Heavy-Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop and Handheld Steamer
Use this steamer indoors to mop hard floors, then take it out to steam clean outdoor furniture, decks, vehicles, and more.
Pros: Here’s another multi-purpose steam cleaner from Bissell, and this time, we have an indoor/outdoor option. It blasts dirt, grime, oil, stains, and mold from various surfaces with high-temperature steam. Use it in garages and workshops as well as the inside and exterior of cars, boats, ATVs, RVs, and outside window areas—you name it. The steam cleaner includes 29 attachments and can be converted from an upright position into a handheld with extended-reach capabilities. With several steam settings and an on-demand trigger, you can customize the strength and volume of steam to tackle any job quickly.
Cons: We see some of the same issues in this multifunctional steamer as in the previous item: heaviness and a continuous-hold trigger for activating the steam. This unit is a bit lighter, however, at 6.13 pounds.
Bottom Line: This steamer is an excellent option for anyone who wants to use the power of steam outdoors to annihilate grime from tires, garage floors, and porches and also inside to clean and sanitize hard, sealed floors. The indoor/outdoor transition can be seamless with onboard storage for the attachments.
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner
This easy-to-use steam mop is safe for hardwood floors and delivers steam on demand with your natural mopping motion.
Pros: The Shark Steam Pocket Mop is a simple, user-friendly steam mop that can be used on various surfaces. This efficient steam mop has three separate settings: dust, mop, and scrub. It features a 180-degree swivel head for easy maneuvering and is also safe to use on most floors, even hardwood, and laminate. Double-sided mop pads allow you to get twice the cleaning time out of each pad, and steam release is controlled by pushing down on the handle as you mop instead of using a trigger.
Cons: This steam mop has a simpler design than some of the other options, and one feature it’s missing is variable steam output. As mentioned, the steam emits as the user mops, so there’s no way to control the amount and temperature of the released steam.
Bottom Line: If you’re interested in a no-nonsense steam mop that you can feel comfortable using on your hardwood floors, this may be your choice. As a plus, this option is from a well-known brand and is also listed at a reasonable price.
A steam mop is useful to have on hand for everyone who has a sealed hard surface floor in their home. As we’ve considered, there are many factors to note when choosing a steam mop, and everyone has different needs. You may want something that can remove the headaches and chemicals from your floor cleaning routine, or perhaps you’re looking for a more premium option that can clean tires and windows just as easily as floors. Either way, one of our recommendations for the best steam mop can be a terrific addition to your home.