The 6 Best Steam Mops of 2021

Clean and sanitize your floors in a jiffy

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Best Steam Mops Bissell Hoover

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Our Top Picks
This top-rated mop has three levels of steam—and it even comes with fragrance discs to make your home smell extra fresh.
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This versatile tool includes a “Lift-Off Pod” that you can take off the handle, transforming it into a handheld steamer.
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This steam mop has unique double-sided pads, plus a touch-free release that saves you from handling dirty cleaning pads.
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With its dual washing and drying capabilities, this all-in-one cleaner will eliminate the need for mops, buckets, and brooms.
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It's a versatile choice for cleaning hard surfaces, and the triangular shape allows you to get into every nook and cranny.
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Best for Laminate Floors:
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Cleaner at Amazon
Its two-sided microfiber pads lift dirt off the floor, while the steam feature heats up in just 30 seconds.
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Anyone with pets or kids will want to have a steam mop in their cleaning arsenal. Why? A steam mop is like your regular mop on steroids. It doesn’t simply push the water and dirt around your floor, and it doesn’t need to be wrung out. Instead, it uses the power of steam to loosen dirt, grime, and even stuck-on stains to leave your floor spotless and—depending on the style of your mop—bacteria- and germ-free.

There are a lot of variations among the different models, including water tank capacity, steam output, and size. Some work with simple tap water while others use cleaning solutions, and many come with extra accessories to really help you amp up your cleaning routine.

Not sure where to start? Read on for our top picks.

Best Overall: Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop

Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop Hard Floor Steam Cleaner, Blue

Power Source: Corded Electric | Surface Type: Hard Wood Floor, Tile | Steam Control: Continuous | Tank Capacity: 16 ounces | Weight: 7 pounds

What We Like
  • Works on a variety of floors

  • Multiple steam settings

  • Includes scrubber brush

  • Generously sized water tank

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include additional accessories

This top-selling steam mop works on most types of hard flooring, including sealed hardwood, marble, granite, ceramic, and linoleum. Unlike many other models that produce continuous steam, this one produces three levels of steam on demand to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and germs. That, combined with the flip-down easy scrubber brush, earns this mop top marks for getting out tough, dried-on messes (think days old cat puke or spilled wine).

It doesn't come with any extra accessories though, save for BISSELL fragrance discs to leave your smells smelling fresh, so it's not the most heavy-duty option on the market. It does, however, have a nice 16-ounce water tank that will get you through all your messes. If you're looking for something that's affordable, reliable, and easy to use, this BISSELL mop is a great option.

What Testers Say

"Arguably the best feature of the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop is its water tank—a removable 16-ounce bottle that clicks into the unit. It was very easy to refill, much easier, in fact, than some of the more expensive models we’ve reviewed." — Brie Dyas, Product Tester

Best Multipurpose: Bissell 1544A PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop

Bissell 1544A PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop

Power Source: Corded Electric | Surface Type: Hard Wood Floor, Tile | Steam Control: Continuous | Tank Capacity: 13.5 ounces | Weight: 10 pounds

What We Like
  • Works on a variety of floors

  • Comes with useful attachments

  • Can function as a handheld steamer

  • Kills 99.9 percent of bacteria

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

Steam isn’t just helpful for cleaning floors! It can be used to clean numerous other areas of your home, which is why the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steamer is a worthwhile investment. This steam mop comes with a variety of additional attachments that allow you to use it on everything from curtains to grout.

This versatile tool includes a “Lift-Off Pod” that you can take off the handle, essentially transforming it into a handheld steamer. There are 13 attachments included with the machine, including a window squeegee, fabric steamer, grout tool, flat scraper, extension hose, and more. Take note that it's a bit bulkier than other options and has a slightly smaller-than-average 13.5-ounce capacity. No matter what surface you use it on, the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off will kill 99.9 percent of germs without the use of harsh chemicals.

What Testers Say

"What’s great about this product is it’s more versatile than your average steam mop. The body detaches from the handle, which allowed us to use it as a handheld device with several different attachments, including a steam brush, scraper, and squeegee. We found these brushes handy for cleaning grout and kitchen appliances." — Brie Dyas, Product Tester

Best for Tile: Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop

Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop System (S5003D)

Power Source: Corded Electric | Surface Type: Hard Wood Floor, Tile, Upholstery, Window | Steam Control: Electronic, 3 Levels | Tank Capacity: 11.8 ounces | Weight: 5 pounds

What We Like
  • Generously sized water tank

  • Double-sided pads with touch-free release

  • Multiple steam settings

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly pricer than competition

Tile floors can get fairly dirty, especially if they’re in the bathroom or a high-traffic area. However, you can keep your tile and grout looking fresh with a tool like the Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System. This steam mop features an 11-ounce water tank, unique double-sided pads that allow you to clean further, and a touch-free release that saves you from handling damp, dirty cleaning pads.

There are several features that make the Shark Genius worth every penny. It has three steam settings, including a “Steam Blaster” option that you can use to target tough messes and dirty grout, and its dual-sided pads are incredibly absorbent. And of course, you never have to touch dirty cleaning pads thanks to the unique release system—simply drop them off the mop into the laundry to wash.

What Testers Say

"The blackened mop pad is proof that the Shark steam mop really does clean floors. Our one complaint is that we wish that it took less effort to scrub; we really had to push hard to remove anything stuck to the floor." — Brie Dyas, Product Tester

Best Splurge: Hoover Professional Series FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner

hoover-deluxe

Power Source: Corded Electric | Surface Type: Hard Wood, Vinyl, Ceramic Tile, Laminate, and Marble Floor | Steam Control: Fingertip | Tank Capacity: 48 ounces | Weight: 13.8 pounds

What We Like
  • All-in-one cleaner

  • Works on a variety of floors

  • Dual tanks separate clean and dirty water

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

There’s nothing worse than having a kid in muddy sneakers or a four-legged friend walk across your freshly mopped floor. With its dual washing and drying capabilities, Hoover's Professional Series FloorMate Hard Floor Cleaner is a great solution. This all-in-one cleaner eliminates the need for handheld mops, buckets, and dust brooms.

One of its standout features is its SpinScrub brushes, which rotate to wash and scrub floors from all different angles. They're also pretty gentle, so you can use them on more delicate surfaces like sealed wood, vinyl, tile, and grout. If you're attacking high-traffic areas (or a particularly stubborn mess), you can activate the Clean Boost Control, which applies extra detergent to difficult spots. The dual tank system separates your clean and used water, so you won't end up spreading dirty water right back on your floors—an issue that often arises with your standard rope mop.

Best for Hardwood: O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop

O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop

Power Source: Corded Electric | Surface Type: Hard Wood, Vinyl, Ceramic Tile, Laminate, and Marble Floor | Steam Control: Adjustable | Tank Capacity: 13.5 ounces | Weight: 5 pounds

What We Like
  • Kills 99.9 percent of bacteria

  • Heats up quickly

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Small tank capacity

The O-Cedar Steam Mop is a cult favorite both for its ease of use and stellar cleaning abilities, especially when it comes to hardwood floors. Using only water, it kills 99.9 percent of bacteria (even E. coli), leaving floors sanitized and sparkling clean.

The secret? Its microfiber mop heads, which are made of millions of tiny synthetic fibers. When put into action, they loosen and turn into veritable dirt and bacteria magnets. The mop heats up in only 20 seconds after you plug it in, and features an adjustable steam level for ultimate control. Its triangular shape allows you to get into every nook and cranny in your house—and once you're done, just toss the mop heads in your washer and dryer for next time.

What Testers Say

"After one pass with the mop, visible dirt on the floor was gone. Even on sections of the floor that looked clean to the eye, I was surprised to see dirt on the cleaning pad." — Sage McHugh, Product Tester

Best for Laminate Floors: Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner

Shark Handheld Cleaners Steam Mop

Power Source: Corded Electric | Surface Type: Hard Wood, Vinyl, Ceramic Tile, Laminate, and Marble Floor | Steam Control: Manual Pumping, 3 Levels | Tank Capacity: 15 ounces | Weight: 5 pounds

What We Like
  • Works on a variety of floors

  • Heats up quickly

  • Double-sided pads

What We Don't Like
  • Small tank capacity

This powerful steam mop offers three different settings—dust, mop, and scrub—so not only is there a level for every type of job, but this machine is also safe to use on most floorings, including laminate. Ready to go in less than a minute after plugging it in, this mop does have a small tank capacity, so it's not the best option for larger areas. The reusable mop pads are double-sided, though, so you get more cleaning mileage out of each use—whether it's a quick everyday wipe down or a deep clean.

Final Verdict

The best overall steam mop is the Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop, which is lightweight, easy to fill, and fairly priced. Depending on your needs, you can choose from three different steam settings for use on all sealed floors. If you’re looking for a more versatile option, the Bissell PowerFresh Pet Lift-Off Steam Mop has a 10-in-1 design that allows you to clean hard floors, glass, grout, and more.

Bissell PowerFresh Pet Lift-Off
The Spruce / Brie Dyas

What to Look for in a Steam Mop

Reservoir Capacity

Consider what areas you’ll be cleaning regularly. If you have a larger home, choose a steam mop with a capacity of around 16 ounces. A larger reservoir might mean a more cumbersome appliance (although this isn't always the case), but if you have a big area to clean, you’ll spend less time refilling the tank.

Steam Output

Do you have kids or pets? If so, look for a model with an adjustable steam output so you can crank up the heat when you need to tackle tough stains. This will give you greater control for a more personalized clean. Steam controls vary among different models—some mops come with specific presets, while others have an adjustable knob for even greater flexibility.

Accessories

A basic steam mop will do for occasional cleaning jobs, but some options come with extra tools that make it easier to reach certain areas of your home. Popular extras include grout tools, scrub brushes, squeegee tools, and even fabric steamers. Models with special nozzles for windows, blinds, countertops, and car upholstery are typically, more expensive but way more versatile.

Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop
The Spruce / Joline Buscemi
FAQ
  • How do you use a steam mop?

    Steam mops come in all different shapes and sizes and most have an adjustable steam output. Before using your steam mop, vacuum your floor to ensure that it's free of larger debris and dust particles. Once you've vacuumed, prepare your steam mop by filling the water tank with distilled water and letting it heat up. Your steam mop will usually let you know in some way when it's ready to go.

    Choose your desired level of steam output, a stronger output may be better on tough stains. If your pad becomes dirty, have clean ones on hand to change out while using. This way you won't be smearing around any excess dirt or grime onto the floor.

  • Are steam mops good on all types of floors?

    Steam mops should only be used on sealed floors since excess moisture can cause damage to other kinds of surfaces. Generally, steam mops are safe to use on vinyl, linoleum, ceramic or porcelain tile, some types of sealed hardwood, and some laminate flooring. If you're unsure about whether you can use a steam mop on your particular floors, check with the flooring manufacturer.

    If you'd like to test sealed hardwood floors to see if it's safe to use a steam mop, you can do so by dripping a few drops of water onto the floor. If after five minutes the water hasn't been absorbed into the floor, it's probably safe to use a steam mop.

  • Can you put floor cleaner in a steam mop?

    Although there are some dual-function steam mops on the market that use both water and cleaning solution, for most models, you should not put floor cleaner in a steam mop. Most steam mops are designed to be used with water and nothing else. The hot, high-powered steam does a great job of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces on its own.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Anne Fritz, a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience covering home topics. Previously an editor, her work has appeared in several leading publications. To make this list, she considered the reservoir capacity and steam output, as well as any accessories. In addition, product testers used several picks and shared insight.

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Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Common Questions About Cleaning Hardwood Floors. Hardwood Distributor's' Association.

  2. Best and Worst Steam Mops from Tests. Consumer Reports.