Do you have trouble maintaining clean floors in your house? Do you worry about the germs that lurk on your tile?
Don’t worry. With steam mops, you can sanitize your floors while removing dust and dirt, instead of just pushing it around.
We know that getting the perfect clean on hard floors can be tricky. But with this list of the seven best steam mops, you’ll have shiny floors in no time.
Our Top PicksThe HouseWire earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.
How Do Steam Mops Work?
As the name suggests, steam mops work with steam. Inside the mop, the sealed boiler heats water until it reaches about 248 degrees Fahrenheit, producing steam.
And this usually only takes about 1 to 6 minutes per liter of water. Once the boiler has heated the water, the hot steam goes through a steam gun that’s built into the mop.
The gun pushes the steam out under pressure. If the pressure is very high, the steam will dissolve dirt more efficiently. The highest pressure mops usually reach 4 bar.
Is a Steam Mop Worth It?
Yes, it is. There are lots of great reasons to own a good steam mop.
No Use of Harsh Chemicals
Because the steam is so hot, the mop can remove dirt and grime — and even grease — without chemical agents.
With no dangerous substances like ammonia or bleach, your cleaning job is safe for kids and pets. Some cleaning products also contain sodium hypochlorite, which can burn or damage your skin. So, you won’t injure yourself or your family members, and you won’t leave traces of toxic substances on your floor.
Plus, using a steam mop also protects the environment. When you use cleaning solutions, you wash chemicals into our water sources, and you can harm plants and animals.
Deodorizes and Sanitizes the Floors
Steam also kills mold, mildew, and dust mites. Plus, it can help get rid of allergens in the air. This makes steam mops very effective tools if you have allergies and kids or pets.
More Effective Than a Traditional Mop
Also, a regular mop (or a bucket and rag) will leave your floors wet after you wash them, so you have an extra step to dry the surface. With a steam mop, however, the heat makes the small amount of water on your floor evaporate almost immediately, so your floors dry themselves.
A handheld steam cleaner efficiently cleans anywhere you have tile and grout, such as kitchen counters or bathroom floors. You can also use it to remove sticky messes from inside your oven or to shine a glass shower door.
You can even use steam power in professional settings for cleaning food processing machinery, winery equipment, or health care equipment. It’s also great for car detailing and removing graffiti, adhesive, or gum.
What to Look for in a Steam Mop
Here are some features to keep an eye out for while choosing a steam mop.
Types of Steam Head
- Rectangular: Rectangular mop heads are generally large, which makes cleaning big spaces really quick. This Black+Decker is a good example.
- Triangular: Triangular mop heads are really good for getting into corners and other tight spaces.
- Swivel: Swivel head mops give you the flexibility to maneuver around tables, chairs, and other obstacles.
Make sure you check the temperature of the model you’re looking to buy, to ensure that it’s high enough.
You should also check the time it takes for the mop to heat the water. While some models take several minutes to heat up, others can create steam in seconds. It’s best to look for one that will take a minute or less. For example, this Shark mop can turn water into steam in about 30 seconds.
When you’re looking at steam mops, try to find one with sturdy pads that are well-made and durable.
In addition, certain mop pads are better for specific stains or types of flooring than others. For example, abrasive pads are better for tile floors because they are good at loosening dirt and removing dried on stains.
Most steam mops have pads that are washable and reusable, but some models do have disposable pads. For example, this Swiffer Starter Kit comes with disposable pads.
Corded or Cordless
- If you choose a corded one, you never have to worry about losing power or a dead battery while you’re working. But, you need to consider how long you want the power cord to be. They generally range from 15 to 30 feet. For example, this Bissell has a 25-foot cord.
- Or you can opt for a cordless model. These use rechargeable batteries instead of a power cord. For the best steam mop without a cord, look for one with a battery life of at least an hour.
- Empty reservoir indicator: Some steam mops have a light that comes on when the water tank is dry. That way it’s easy to know when to refill the appliance.
- Steam output: Some models have multiple steam settings. This means you can use them for different surfaces.
- Maneuverability features: Many steam mop models have extra features such as an ergonomic handle, a pivoting mop head, or an extra floor nozzle.
- Conversion: Some models convert into a detachable handheld steamer. This is very handy if you want to clean other surfaces in your house, such as the bathroom or kitchen counters.
- Accessories: If you want to clean other parts of your house, like glass or upholstery, look for a steam mop that comes with accessories. For example, this Reliable Brio mop comes with 17 accessories.
The Best Steam Mops of 2021
Now take a look at our list of the seven best steam mops of 2021. We’ve spent hours reading manufacturers’ information, expert advice, and reviews to find you efficient appliances that give you great value and quality.
1. PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner
This PurSteam is a very versatile cleaning tool. It works not only on hard floors like tile, but also on carpet, glass, furniture, and garments. You can attach one of the extra nozzles or brushes to clean a variety of surfaces.
With one tank of water, you can use the mop for about 20 to 25 minutes on the low setting, and about 10 to 12 on the high setting. But you don’t have to wait long for the water to heat up when you run out — you have steam in 30 seconds.
The reusable microfiber pads are easy to wash. Just keep in mind that you can only buy replacements on Amazon.
- Extremely lightweight at under 3 pounds
- Great value, especially because of accessories and versatility
- Water heats quickly
- Mop pad may not attach securely
- Relatively short cord
|Power Source||Corded, 15 feet|
|Tank Capacity||340ml / 11.5oz|
|Surface Type||Hardwood, vinyl, tile, marble, sealed stone, stainless steel, glass, carpet, upholstery, garments|
2. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
This O Cedar steam mop uses washable microfiber pads that are super absorbent. This means your floors will dry as you work. In addition, the pads are woven in a unique pattern that allows steam to quickly penetrate the fabric.
The triangle shape of this mop lets you efficiently clean corners and other hard-to-reach areas. Also, the mop only weighs about 5 pounds, so you can easily carry it around your house or up and down stairs.
As a bonus, this model comes with a snap-on carpet glider, so you can steam your rugs and carpeting.
- Water heats quickly
- Silent operation
- Swivel head for great maneuverability
- Tap water causes scale. Favor distilled water
- You have to push the mop head down to clean, so your hand might get tired
|Power Source||Corded, 19 feet|
|Surface Type||All sealed hard surfaces, such as wood, tile, laminate, and vinyl; carpet|
3. LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Multi-Functional steam mop
This Light n Easy steam mop has 3 steam settings so you can clean different surface types, including tile, ceramic, and stone floors.
It also converts into a handheld steamer to use around the house. Depending on which attachment you use, you can clean the bathroom, the kitchen, and upholstered furniture.
When you use this mop on the floor, it doesn’t have continuous steam. If you want to clean, you slant the mop and glide it across the floor. And if you want to stop the steaming, you simply put the handle upright. This way, you’re not wasting water or damaging your floor with excess steam.
This steam mop heats the water up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so it effectively loosens dirt, saving you elbow grease.
- Easy to use with either hand
- Mop pad attaches securely
- Comes with refill cup
- Comes with only one mop head
|Power Source||Corded, 20 feet|
|Surface Type||Sealed wood, laminate, tile, marble, stone, vinyl, ceramic, grout|
4. Shark Genius Pocket Steam Mop System
This Shark steam mop has 3 steam settings, so you can choose the lowest one for your wood. And if you have a very stubborn stain to remove, you can use the Steam Blaster option. This releases a burst of steam so you can loosen stuck-on dirt.
With the Touch-Free Technology on this steam pocket mop, you don’t need to touch the mop cloths at all. You simply use a button on the handle to attach and detach the mop pad.
- Mop pad is large and thick
- Great for pet messes
- Heats up quickly
- Feels a little heavy
- High setting may spit out too much water
|Power Source||Corded, 22 feet|
|Surface Type||Hard floors|
5. Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop Lift-Off Pet
Plus, it’s a 2-in-1 model, so you can use it on your floors or convert it into a handheld steamer. It also includes 13 tools that you can attach to the steamer to clean a variety of surfaces. The tools even come with a tool bag.
In addition to the attachments, you also get a grout tool and two different mop pads. One is a soft pad, and one is a scrubby pad, so you can use them on different surfaces.
In addition, it only takes 30 seconds to heat up the water, so you can get to work quickly. And, with every purchase, Bissell donates money to help homeless pets get adopted.
- Comes with an angle tool to sanitize and clean pet toys
- Powerful grout cleaning with attachment
- Long power cord
- Awkward placement of on/off switch when you use the handheld steamer
|Power Source||Corded, 25 feet|
|Surface Type||Hard floors, upholstery, windows, sink, stove, counters, grout|
6. Shark Steam and Scrub Mop
This Shark steam mop is specifically designed for removing stuck-on dirt. It has 3 modes for powerful steam, and the pads rotate. The head scrubs 150 times per minute, so you don’t have to put in much elbow grease.
The durable pads are soft on your floors, but they scrub and hold dirt. Plus, the mop comes with 4 pads, so you’ll have a few spares while you’re working.
Finally, this mop has a few features to make cleaning easier. There’s swivel steering so that you can maneuver the appliance around furniture, an upright lock so it won’t fall over.
- Stands up on its own without falling over
- Comes with refill cup
- Quick to assemble
- Pads are relatively small and single-sided
- Goes through water quickly on the highest setting
|Power Source||Corded, 22 feet|
|Surface Type||All sealed hard floors, including hardwood, tile, stone, and marble|
7. Bissell PowerFresh Vacuum & Steam Mop
The vacuum cleaner feature uses powerful cyclonic technology to pick up dirt and debris. Then, when you want to switch to steaming, you simply use the Easy Touch Digital Controls.
And you don’t have to worry about creating a muddy mess in the dirt canister because the Dry Tank Technology keeps the steam water out of the dirt cup.
- Pick up fur as well as stains
- Lighter than many other vacuums
- Easier to store than having two separate appliances
- Relatively loud
- Must use distilled water
|Power Source||Corded, 25 feet|
|Surface Type||All sealed hard floors, including hardwood, ceramic tile, marble, and linoleum|
Steam Mops Comparison Chart
|Product||Power Source||Weight||Tank Capacity||Voltage|
|PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner||Corded, 15 feet||2.2 pounds||340ml / 11.5oz||110 V|
|O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop||Corded, 19 feet||5 pounds||N/A||110 V|
|LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Steam Mop||Corded, 20 feet||6.3 pounds||11.5oz||110 V|
|Shark Genius Pocket Steam Mop System||Corded, 22 feet||5.77 pounds||220ml||110 V|
|Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop||Corded, 25 feet||106 pounds||13oz||110 V|
|Shark Steam and Scrub Mop||Corded, 25 feet||106 pounds||13oz||110 V|
|Bissell PowerFresh Vacuum/ Steam Mop||Corded, 25 feet||106 pounds||13oz||110 V|
If you still have questions about steam mops, keep reading.
What Type of Cleaning Solution Do Steam Mops Use?
If you put other chemicals or scents in the water or anything besides water, you run the risk of hurting the heater and possibly burning it out. Plus, you’ll void the warranty.
If you do want to clean with a fragrance, look for a mop that uses fragrance disks or specialized scented water. And if you really want to use a cleaning solution, you can lightly spray it directly onto the surface you’re cleaning and then run the mop over it.
Are Steam Mops Good on All Types of Floors?
If you have ceramic tiles, steam mops are generally safe.
For hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate floors, the answer is a little more complicated. Often, steam mop manufacturers claim that their products are safe to use on sealed floors. But the National Wood Floor Association (NWFA) says that steam or water can hurt your floor over time. So, we recommend against using steam mops on very delicate floors.
If you do choose to use a steam mop on these surfaces, you’ll need to be careful. Make sure you check with your flooring manufacturer first. And never use a steam mop on an unsealed or unfinished surface.
- How to Use a Steam Mop?
- How to Clean Your Steam Mop Effectively
- How To Steam Clean The Mattress (The Ultimate Guide)
Keep These Factors in Mind Before Investing in a Steam Mop
Steam mops can be great cleaning tools, but they also have some drawbacks.
Often, steam mops work well on surface dirt, but they won’t deep-clean stains. Over the weeks following a cleaning, grime can rise to the surface. This will make your house look dirty again, and you’ll need to mop once more.
If your floor is really dirty or if you have a lot of spilled liquid, it’s a good idea to use a traditional mop and bucket. Steam mops aren’t designed for those levels of soil, and you can damage the appliance.
Finally, a steam mop works on some surfaces, but it can damage others. For example, it’s a great tool for tile, but it can easily hurt wood. Therefore, you’ll want to limit how often you use a steam mop on hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, or engineered floors.