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Anyone with pets or young 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 rung out. Instead, it uses the power of steam to loosen dirt and grime, even stuck on stains to leave your floor spotless and—depending on the style of your mop—bacteria- and germ-free. Some work with simple tap water while others use cleaning solutions. It’s up to you and your cleaning style which you prefer.
Read on for our top picks.
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 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).
In addition to the steamer, you’ll get a number of tools to amp up your cleaning power, including bristle and grout tools, ones for tight angles, a bristle scrub brush, and a clothing steamer tool. It also comes with BISSELL fragrance disks to leave behind a fresh, not perfume-y scent.
"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
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. 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. Many users love the versatility of this product, saying it makes cleaning quick, easy, and almost fun.
"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
This mop combines the cleaning prowess of a Swiffer pad with the power of steam for an effective way to clean sticky, goop off your floor, all at a budget price. It works with disposable thick textured steam cloths that pick up the dirt and grime that other mops might leave behind. You can use it on all types of floors (including sealed wood, laminate, vinyl, tile and linoleum) and its 20-foot cord gives you enough reach to clean most rooms in a single sweep. And at 4.3 pounds, it’s one of the lighter mops available—making it ideal for cleaning multi-level houses.
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 will eliminate 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.
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.
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 it’s also safe to use on most floorings, including laminate.
Ready to go in less than a minute after plugging it in, this mop cleans and sanitizes with regular tap water (so you won't have to invest in any additional supplies). The reusable mop pads are double-sided, so you get more cleaning mileage out of each use—whether it's a quick everyday wipe or a deep clean.
This lightweight, cordless steam mop doesn’t just clean and kill germs on almost every type of hard flooring, it also works on fabric. That means you can use the detachable handheld steamer to steam clean your upholstery, including sofas and drapes, and de-wrinkle clothing, too. Other uses: cleaning leather, degunking shower doors, and degreasing kitchen stove tops—yes, really!
Three different steam settings mean that you can find the just right temp (though you should always start with the lowest one), and it works with plain old tap water, no special cleaning solutions required.
The best overall steam mop is the Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop (view at Amazon), which is lightweight and fairly affordable. Depending on your needs, you can choose from three different steam settings for us on all sealed floors. If you’re looking for a more versatile option, the World Multi-Functional Steam Mop (view at Amazon) has a 10-in-1 design that allows you to clean hard floors, glass, grout, and more.
Reservoir capacity Consider what areas you’ll be cleaning regularly. A larger reservoir means a more cumbersome appliance, 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.
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. Models with special nozzles for windows, blinds, countertops, and car upholstery are more expensive but more versatile.