The Best Steam Mop in 2021

By Jeneva Aaron Updated November 22, 2021

Things get steamy when you use a steam mop.

The Best Steam Mop in 2021

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 Picks

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Best Steam Mops of 2021 
PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose UseBest Overall

PurSteam Steam Mop

PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use

  • Extremely lightweight.

  • Great value.

  • Water heats quickly.

O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop with 1 Extra RefillBest Budget

O-Cedar Microfiber

O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop with 1 Extra Refill

  • Silent operation.

  • Easy to maneuver.

LIGHT 'N' EASY Multi-Functional steam mop Steamer for Cleaning Hardwood Floor Cleaner for Tile Grout Laminate Ceramic, 7688ANW, WhiteMost Versatile

LIGHT ‘N’ EASY

LIGHT 'N' EASY Multi-Functional steam mop Steamer for Cleaning Hardwood Floor Cleaner for Tile Grout Laminate Ceramic, 7688ANW, White

  • Easy to use.

  • Refill cup included.

Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket Steam Mop, Burgundy/GrayBest for Hardwood Floors

Shark Genius Pocket

Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket Steam Mop, Burgundy/Gray

  • Great for pet messes.

  • Heats up quickly.

Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop, Steamer, Tile, Bathroom, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1544A, OrangeBest for Pets

Bissell PowerFresh

Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop, Steamer, Tile, Bathroom, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1544A, Orange

  • Great for cleaning grout.

  • Long power cord.

Shark S7001 Mop, Scrub & Sanitize at The Same Time, Designed for Hard Floors, with 4 Dirt Grip Soft Scrub Washable Pads, 3 Steam Modes & LED Headlights, Gold, 13.7 in L x 6.75 in W x 46.5 in HBest Scrubbing

Shark S7001 Mop

Shark S7001 Mop, Scrub & Sanitize at The Same Time, Designed for Hard Floors, with 4 Dirt Grip Soft Scrub Washable Pads, 3 Steam Modes & LED Headlights, Gold, 13.7 in L x 6.75 in W x 46.5 in H

  • Quick to assemble.

  • Comes with refill cup.

Bissell, 2747A PowerFresh Vac & Steam All-in-One Vacuum and Steam MopBest Steam/Vacuum Combo

Bissell PowerFresh Vacuum

Bissell, 2747A PowerFresh Vac & Steam All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop

  • Pick up fur as well as stains.

  • Easier to store.

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.

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No Use of Harsh Chemicals

With a traditional or spray mop, you’ll use cleaning solutions to remove tough stains and make your floors shiny. But with a steam mop, you don’t use any 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.

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Deodorizes and Sanitizes the Floors

While regular mops just push germs around the floor, steam mopping can kill up to 99.9% of the bacteria in your house.

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.

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More Effective Than a Traditional Mop

Steam mops are more effective than traditional mops because the hot steam helps loosen dirt and stuck on stains so that your mop can easily pick up messes. Because of this, you won’t have to scrub as hard.

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.

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Versatile Usage

Some steam mops are convertible into a handheld steam cleaner, so you can use them in a variety of ways.

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.

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Types of Steam Head

Steam mops come in a few different mop head styles. Each style has its own benefits.

  • 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.
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Water Temperature

To work properly, the water inside a steam mop needs to be at least 175 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will kill germs and bacteria, leaving floors sanitized. It will also let the steam evaporate off surfaces more easily, so water won’t pool and damage your flooring (1).

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.

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Cleaning Pads

All steam mops use cleaning pads that you attach to the bottom of the appliance. This is the part of the steam mop that touches your floor, so the mop pads need to be soft and absorbent.

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.

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Corded or Cordless

You can find both corded and cordless steam mop models.

  • 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.
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Additional Features

These are a few handy features to keep an eye out for:

  • 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

The best steam mop is one that’s versatile, heats the water quickly, picks up dirt efficiently, and is easy to maneuver.

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.

PROS:
  • Extremely lightweight at under 3 pounds
  • Great value, especially because of accessories and versatility
  • Water heats quickly
CONS:
  • Mop pad may not attach securely
  • Relatively short cord

Additional Specs

Power Source Corded, 15 feet
Weight 2.2 pounds
Tank Capacity 340ml / 11.5oz
Voltage 110 V
Surface Type Hardwood, vinyl, tile, marble, sealed stone, stainless steel, glass, carpet, upholstery, garments

2. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop

You don’t need to spend a fortune to keep your floors clean. A well-priced appliance, like this O Cedar microfiber steam mop, will help you efficiently trap dirt and remove stains from your flooring without costing too much.

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.

PROS:
  • Water heats quickly
  • Silent operation
  • Swivel head for great maneuverability
CONS:
  • Tap water causes scale. Favor distilled water
  • You have to push the mop head down to clean, so your hand might get tired

Additional Specs

Power Source Corded, 19 feet
Weight 5 pounds
Tank Capacity N/A
Voltage 110V
Surface Type All sealed hard surfaces, such as wood, tile, laminate, and vinyl; carpet

3. LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Multi-Functional steam mop

The top steam mop works for multiple surfaces, and even things other than floors. With different steam settings and configurations, you can wash your floors, windows, counters, furniture, and your clothing.

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.

PROS:
  • Easy to use with either hand
  • Mop pad attaches securely
  • Comes with refill cup
CONS:
  • Comes with only one mop head
  • Top-heavy

Additional Specs

Power Source Corded, 20 feet
Weight 6.3 pounds
Tank Capacity 11.5oz
Voltage 110V
Surface Type Sealed wood, laminate, tile, marble, stone, vinyl, ceramic, grout

4. Shark Genius Pocket Steam Mop System

When you’ve got beautiful hardwood floors, you want to keep them looking beautiful. Unfortunately, wood can be tricky to mop. Luckily, with a steam mop, you won’t put much water on your floors, so you won’t damage the finish.

Warning

Be careful though. It’s not recommended to use a steam mop on a wooden floor. Do check with your flooring manufacturer beforehand to make sure you can safely use a steam mop on your hardwood floors.

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.

PROS:
  • Mop pad is large and thick
  • Great for pet messes
  • Heats up quickly
CONS:
  • Feels a little heavy
  • High setting may spit out too much water

Additional Specs

Power Source Corded, 22 feet
Weight 5.77 pounds
Tank Capacity 220ml
Voltage 110V
Surface Type Hard floors

5. Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop Lift-Off Pet

Whether you need to clean pet hair, urine, or vomit, a pet steam mop will wash away and sanitize your mess. According to many reviews, this Bissell pet steam mop is perfect to pick up pet hair and litter.

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.

PROS:
  • Comes with an angle tool to sanitize and clean pet toys
  • Powerful grout cleaning with attachment
  • Long power cord
CONS:
  • Awkward placement of on/off switch when you use the handheld steamer

Additional Specs

Power Source Corded, 25 feet
Weight 10.6 pounds
Tank Capacity 13oz
Voltage 110V
Surface Type Hard floors, upholstery, windows, sink, stove, counters, grout

6. Shark Steam and Scrub Mop

Most steam mops work well on light messes, but sometimes you really need to scrub your bare floors. For that, the best steam mop will have powerful steam settings and a scrubber brush or pad.

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.

PROS:
  • Stands up on its own without falling over
  • Comes with refill cup
  • Quick to assemble
CONS:
  • Pads are relatively small and single-sided
  • Goes through water quickly on the highest setting

Additional Specs

Power Source Corded, 22 feet
Weight 7.8 pounds
Tank Capacity N/A
Voltage 110V
Surface Type All sealed hard floors, including hardwood, tile, stone, and marble

7. Bissell PowerFresh Vacuum & Steam Mop

When there’s lots of dirt on your floor, you can’t mop right away — you need to sweep or vacuum first. But it can be annoying to pull out one appliance for an initial cleaning and then use another appliance to mop.

That’s where this Bissell PowerFresh steam mop comes in. This appliance is a vacuum combo mop that works as both a vacuum cleaner and a steamer.

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.

PROS:
  • Pick up fur as well as stains
  • Lighter than many other vacuums
  • Easier to store than having two separate appliances
CONS:
  • Relatively loud
  • Must use distilled water

Additional Specs

Power Source Corded, 25 feet
Weight 17.46 pounds
Tank Capacity N/A
Voltage 110V
Surface Type All sealed hard floors, including hardwood, ceramic tile, marble, and linoleum

Steam Mops Comparison Chart

ProductPower SourceWeightTank CapacityVoltage
PurSteam Steam Mop CleanerCorded, 15 feet2.2 pounds340ml / 11.5oz110 V
O-Cedar Microfiber Steam MopCorded, 19 feet5 poundsN/A110 V
LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Steam MopCorded, 20 feet6.3 pounds11.5oz110 V
Shark Genius Pocket Steam Mop SystemCorded, 22 feet5.77 pounds220ml110 V
Bissell PowerFresh Steam MopCorded, 25 feet106 pounds13oz110 V
Shark Steam and Scrub MopCorded, 25 feet106 pounds13oz110 V
Bissell PowerFresh Vacuum/ Steam MopCorded, 25 feet106 pounds13oz110 V
Jump to the Full Steam Mops Reviews

FAQ

If you still have questions about steam mops, keep reading.

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What Type of Cleaning Solution Do Steam Mops Use?

None. Steam mops only use water. Or distilled water.

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.

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Are Steam Mops Good on All Types of Floors?

Unfortunately, no.

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.


Related Topics


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.

Jeneva Aaron

About the Author

Jeneva Aaron

Jeneva has over years of passion for home decorating and cleaning. She is the founder and CEO of thehousewire.com where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products.

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