Keeping your laminate flooring clean can be difficult. Standard mops don’t work well enough, but you’re not sure whether a steam mop will damage your floors or not.
And you’re right. You shouldn’t use a steam mop on your wooden floors.
But there are several steam mops on the market that work by absorbing all the water as they go. Leaving your laminate floors supposedly dry.
So here we’ll tell you what you need to look out for when choosing the best steam mop for your laminate floors.
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Can You Use A Steam Mop On Laminate Floors?
As a general rule, no. You shouldn’t use dry or wet steam to clean your laminate floors. Even if they’re sealed. All wooden floors should be kept as dry as possible.
Flooring manufacturers and associations such as the NALFA and WFCA are clear on this. Any liquid, including steam, will damage your laminate floor “beyond repair”.
The water will soak through the flooring. And because laminate doesn’t breathe like real wood, the liquid will stay inside the floor. The excessive heat can also impair the floor’s finish.
But, there are steam cleaners available that have a function that leaves the floor dry as you mop by wiping up excess moisture.
However, a consumer report study says that you should be really careful even when using these steam mops (1). The tests prove that all tested steam mops left some residual moisture.
In addition, even sealed wood flooring might have tiny gaps where water can get through and cause damage.
So to be clear, our list of products here is based on the steam mop manufacturers saying that their appliance is safe for laminate floors. But they are not necessarily recommended by the floor manufacturers.
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How To Choose The Best Steam Mop For Laminate Floors
Let’s look at what essential features a steam mop for laminate floors should have.
Types of Steam Head
- Rectangular Shaped: These have a larger head. So you’ll be able to clean bigger spaces in a shorter amount of time.
- Triangular Shaped: These are ideal for corners and tight spaces. This type is smaller than the rectangular ones. So they’ll help you to clean in narrower areas. See this O Cedar Steam mop.
- Swivel: These offer you more flexibility of movement than the other two. So they’re perfect for cleaning around furniture and under couches.
Look at what the pad material is. When cleaning laminate floors, a soft pad is better than a harsher abrasive one.
These steam mop pads will help to protect your flooring. And they shouldn’t scratch it.
You’ll find that mop pads are made of different materials. Some might be sturdier than others.
And some might be better designed for specific types of spills and stains. Choose one that is suitable for your household and the type of messes you have.
The steam needs to reach a minimum of 175 to 212oF in order to kill bacteria (2). So it won’t be effective in killing germs and sanitizing your laminate floors if its highest temperature is lower than this.
Plus, a cooler temperature may leave too much moisture behind which can damage your floor.
Also, different models will reach the optimum heat at different times. You ideally want your steam mop to take less than a minute to heat up.
And some are even quicker than this. See for example this Shark steam mop which is hot in 30 seconds.
But some models can weigh as much as 15 pounds. If weight is a concern for you, you might want to avoid these heavier mops.
Especially if you have a large home on multiple stories. Carrying a heavy appliance up and down the stairs can be difficult.
You also need to consider that steam mops need to be constantly moved around when you’re cleaning. They shouldn’t sit in one place for too long.
So again, this continuous motion can be harder the heavier the steam mop is. Particularly if you’re mopping for longer periods of time.
Corded or Cordless
If you have a larger house, a longer cord will be better. See for example this Bissell Powerfresh Slim Steam Mop which has a 25-foot cord.
A shorter cord is more limiting. And it’ll take you more time to clean as you’ll need to frequently unplug and plug it in as you move around.
But if you have fewer laminate floors to clean, it might be ideal for you.
Or you can opt for a cordless steam mop model. The batteries on these steam mops should last you for about 1 hour.
Again, this might not be enough if you have a big home.
So check how long the battery takes to recharge. Some models can take around 2 hours or more to charge.
In this case, you might also want to consider having a spare battery. This way you can do all your cleaning in one go without having to wait for the battery to recharge.
And if you have big rooms to clean, you won’t have to refill a larger tank as often. So this will save you time.
But bigger water reservoirs will also mean that the steam mop is heavier. Therefore, if you have a smaller house and want a lighter steam mop, a smaller tank might be best for you.
Another thing to consider is that each time you refill the water tank, you’ll have to wait for it to reheat again before carrying on with your steam cleaning. Again, factor this extra time in when looking at what size the tank is alongside how much laminate floor you have to mop.
- Empty Reservoir Indicator: Some have a light that comes on when the water tank is empty. So you know when it needs refilling.
- Steam Control and Output: A good steam mop will have a moisture output that’s kept to the bare minimum. This helps to protect your laminate flooring from getting water-damaged. You’ll find some steam mops have the lowest steam setting ideal for wood floors. Or some have adjustable control options.
- Maneuverability: Steam mopping can be hard work so look out for features that help you to move the steam mop around. Especially if you have small and awkward spaces to clean. These can be floor nozzles, ergonomic handles, and mop heads that pivot or swivel.
- Accessories: See what additional cleaning equipment comes with your steam mop that might help you with your cleaning tasks. For example, some steam mops come with hand-held hoses that let you clean mirrors, windows, and furniture as well as your laminate floors. See this Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Steam Mop which comes with 13 tools to cover a range of chores
The Best Steam Mops for Laminate Floors of 2024
We’ve spent lots of time researching the best mops for laminate floors. We’ve brought together product specs, customer reviews, and manufacturer descriptions to examine weight, steam functionality, steam heads, and cleaning pads.
You can compare the appliances for yourself and decide on the best models to suit you and your household.
1. Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop
This steam mop doesn’t need any harsh chemicals to sanitize and clean your flooring. It’ll eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and germs with hot steam from just plain tap water.
The steam mop head is rectangular in shape and low-profile so you can clean under furniture. And there’s a microfiber soft pad for day-to-day cleaning.
Plus a microfiber scrubby pad that’ll help you to get rid of more stubborn stains.
The SmartSet Steam control gives you adjustable heat settings depending on what type of mess you’re cleaning up. And you’ll get some fragrance discs that you can use while mopping to leave a fresh scent in your home.
The steam mop comes with scent discs, but you can buy Eucalyptus Mint or Citrus if you prefer those instead.
- Easy to maneuver due to being lightweight and having swivel steering to get into nooks and crannies.
- Good steam power and control and customers liked that there’s no need to hold down a lever or trigger.
- Removable water tank is a good size to cover lots of laminate flooring and is easy to refill.
- Cord length big enough for most users.
- Some reviewers said that it sometimes left small puddles of water on their floors.
- A few users said it seemed to take a long time to heat back up again – even if they’d just had it on in one room and unplugged and moved to another.
2. PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner
“Cleans literally everything”! This is PurSteam’s promise on their 10-in-1 steam mop which you can use to clean your laminate floors.
Plus sealed stone, vinyl and tile floors, glass, carpets, furniture, and even your clothes!
There’s a handheld steam cleaner built into the mop. This handy attachment and the accessories makes this steam mop incredibly versatile.
You’ll get a window squeegee for sparkling clean glass. And a straight nozzle that allows you to steam clean garments in your wardrobe.
The water tank on this steam mop is a good size and should last you around 20 to 25 minutes of cleaning time. Plus, there are 3 heat settings and the water heats up really fast.
- Very affordable and good value for money at a cost of under $100.
- Customers liked how quickly the water heated up – they had hot steam in just 30 seconds.
- Offers great versatility with the accessories and handheld steamer.
- Feedback from customers said that it was very easy to assemble.
- The cord length wasn’t long enough for some customers.
- Microfiber pad on the steam mop head was a little small and replacements not that easy to find (although they are available on Amazon).
3. Shark S5003D Genius Pocket Steam Mop System
This steam mop has Direct Steam Channeling which distributes steam throughout the cleaning pad. So an ultra-wide cleaning zone is created.
Several customers preferred the Shark steam mop to the Bissell PowerFresh steam mop. They felt that it gave a deeper clean with the steam blaster function which targets hot steam on any areas of tough dirt.
And it’s also good for cleaning grout lines.
The dirt grip pads are double-sided. They’re really absorbent and the gripping material will lift and then lock in dirt and debris.
Plus, with the Touch-Free Technology, you don’t need to touch the mop pads. Simply press a button and put it straight into your hamper for washing.
- Many customers commented on the cord being a good length at 22 feet.
- Ergonomic handle which is comfy to hold and allows easy maneuverability.
- Swivel head and large mop head means you can cover a lot of laminate floor and awkward spaces in less time.
- Users were satisfied that it came with 2 cleaning heads, and that these were machine washable and reusable.
- Manufacturer recommends that distilled water is used – so need to factor in extra time/money to make/buy this.
- Water tank is not removable so difficult to refill/empty.
4. Light ‘N’ Easy Steam Mop
This affordable steam mop heats up in just 20 seconds – and your flooring will be dry in just 30 seconds!
This is a great extra feature if you owe pets as it’ll help to eliminate odors.
The mop head is rectangular and can cover large areas quickly. The microfiber cleaning pads have 3 layers of fabric.
These provide optimum absorption and friction so that even stuck-on dirt is lifted and wiped away.
- Users were impressed with how quickly it heated up.
- Easy to store due to its weight and smaller size.
- Affordable price.
- Saves water as steam stops instantly when you take your hand off the handle.
- Lacking the technology of other steam mops – you have to manually pump a handle for the steam.
- Water tank capacity is relatively small so needs more refilling.
5. Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro All in One
Tick 2 cleaning tasks off in one go with this Bissell steam mop and vacuum cleaner all-in-one model. The vacuum will pick up dust, dirt, and pet hair.
And then you can steam mop your laminate floors at the same time with a special Febreeze formula designed for pets.
You’ll get 2 tangle-free pet brush rolls. These will pick up debris and hair without it getting wrapped around the brush.
The Two-Tank Technology keeps clean and dirty water separate. So you can be sure that you’re cleaning your laminate floors with clean water only!
You can use this vacuum and steam mop combo on area rugs, sealed wood floors, linoleum as well as on your laminate flooring. Plus, Bissell has their own pet foundation and will donate $10 to it every time they sell one of their appliances.
- Ideal choice if you have pets – removes hair and mops up messes in one go.
- Cord really long so no need for continuous unplugging and changing power outlet.
- Brush roll works more effectively at stubborn stains than a lot of soft cleaning pads.
- Lots of customers were happy with the swivel head which let them clean all around and under furniture.
- Some users found this vacuum and steam mop all-in-one a little heavy to move around easily.
- Requires more maintenance than other steam mops to clean the brushes and tanks regularly.
Steam Mops for Laminate Floors Comparison Chart
|Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop
|PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner
|Shark Genius Pocket Steam Mop System
|Light ‘N’ Easy Steam Mop
|Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro All in One
How Do You Use A Steam Mop Safely On Laminate Floors?
Always check with the flooring manufacturer before using a steam mop on your laminate floors. You need to ensure that using a steam cleaner won’t void the warranty.
Then, you should check that your laminate floors are sealed. If they’re not sealed, don’t use a steam mop.
You can check whether your flooring is sealed yourself by performing the water bead test:
- Drop a few drops of water onto your laminate floor.
- Wait 5 minutes.
- If after this time the water hasn’t absorbed into the surface and/or there’s no color change on the floor, you’re probably ok to use a steam mop safely.
Alternatively, you can use a coin or blade edge to check for sealed floors.
Carefully scrape a small area. Your laminate floors are most likely sealed if there’s a bit of clear material on the coin or blade.
There are also other indications of a sealed floor.
Look out for your floor lifting at the seams or edges. This should be particularly visible in areas where there’s more water, such as in the bathroom or kitchen.
Plus, laminate can start to peel from the base over time if it’s not protected and then gets wet. Or, you can use your steam mop to clean an inconspicuous spot before mopping the whole room.
But, it is best to check with the manufacturer of the laminate floors first. And not the manufacturer of the steam mop.