Steam mops are a favorite among homeowners who are tired of using their old string or squeeze mops and messy buckets of cleaner. The convenient integrated water reservoirs on steam mops means less dripping and sloshing while cleaning, while the steam helps clean and sanitize floors in one easy step. While most steam mops are relatively simple, with washable microfiber pads that do the dirty work, some have bells and whistles like detachable steamers, extra cleaning attachments or swivel heads... that can more effectively clean corners or maneuver under cabinets.
One caveat: Be absolutely sure your floors are sealed before using a steam mop, which can leave behind moisture that can destroy a floor’s finish and ultimately damage what’s underfoot. Take particular caution with hardwood – many manufacturers will void their warranties if a steam mop has been used on these floors. With any floor, use as little steam as possible for cleaning, and be sure your floors are drying quickly and completely soon after using a steam mop. (If you're still a bit nervous about using the cleaning tool, learn more about how to use a steam mop properly.)
Here, the best steam mops you can buy now.
Thousands of owners say it’s hard to beat the Bissell PowerFresh as a convenient, reasonably priced way to deep-clean even grimy grout and other crevices. The PowerFresh uses antimicrobial microfiber cleaning pads to make quick work of sealed floors. Bissell recommends this steam mop for use on hard floors such as tile, marble, stone, linoleum, laminate and sealed hardwood.
Features on the PowerFresh include variable steam control with three settings, a built-in scrubber on the mop head,... fragrance discs and a swivel head. A long 23-foot power cord and lightweight 6-pound body add to maneuverability. Bissell recommends using distilled water. Heater warmup time is 30 seconds, and owners confirm that they have steam very quickly after turning on the mop. They also say it’s easy to wash the included microfiber pads and clean even very old, caked-on grime. Experts at The Sweethome also laud the easy-to-fill tank and flexible cleaning head. However, some say the plastic cap on the water tank is cheap and prone to leaks, and they also miss having a hook for hanging. The mop comes in blue and purple, and it’s backed with a two-year warranty.
If you want a steam mop that you can put to work on a lot more than sealed flooring, the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop is about as versatile as it gets. As its name suggests, it features a lift-off cleaner that can be used with more than a dozen attachments including a window squeegee, fabric steamer, grout cleaner and detail brushes to deep-clean just about anything.
Like the original Bissell PowerFresh, this one comes with an integrated scrubber for tougher spots and scent discs for... a fresh-smelling clean. The microfiber cleaning pads are washable. It has a longer 25-foot power cord and heats up in under 30 seconds, but it’s also a bit heavier than many comparable models at 10 pounds. Owners love being able to use their steam mop on more than floors, but they say it works well for those, too. Some reviewers say it’s tricky to add water to the water chamber, which has a small fill hole and isn’t removable. It’s backed by a two-year warranty.
Looking for a steam mop that will let you blast through larger swaths of sealed flooring as fast as possible? Consider the Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop, which makes it as easy as possible to change out a dirty cleaning pad for a fresh one – an important feature for larger jobs. Touch-free technology makes it possible to attach a new pad or release a dirty one with the press of a button.
The Shark Genius also features direct-steam channeling that helps create a wider cleaning zone on large... floors, while a steam blaster helps loosen the most stubborn stuck-on grime. There is three-level steam control, a 22-foot power cord and dual-sided cleaning pads with scrubbers. Triangular cleaning pads that are ideal for corners are available separately. It’s also relatively light at just 6 pounds. Owners love how easy it is to change cleaning pads, and many say the Shark Genius is more effective at scrubbing tough messes than other steam mops. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
Why keep two appliances around when one can do the job? The Bissell Symphony All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop actually vacuums and steams hard floors at the same time – no need to convert between functions, or sweep floors before breaking out the steam mop. It uses microfiber mop pads and is best for use on hard, sealed floors.
The Symphony has two-level steam control, easy-to-use digital controls and a 25-foot power cord. It includes four cleaning pads, two of which have scrubbing strips for a... deeper clean. A carpet glider is available separately. It heats up and produces steam in just 30 seconds, but the dual function means it’s a bit heavier than other steam mops at just under 10 pounds. Owners appreciate the ease of having a vacuum and steam mop in one, saying it’s especially ideal for families with kids that spill food or pets that are constantly shedding or tracking in mud. Some complain that neither the vacuum or steam mop functions work as well as they do on non-combo units, though. The Symphony comes with a two-year warranty.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
If you’re on a limited budget, don’t drag that old mop and bucket back out yet. Hundreds of happy owners recommend the inexpensive O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop, which functions much like the Bissel PowerFresh and Shark Lift-Away without a lot of the extra features. Like its competitors, it’s best reserved for hard, sealed floors including hardwood, laminate, linoleum, tile and ceramic.
At just 5 pounds, the O-Cedar is as light as the Shark Lift-Away. It also heats up and produces steam in just 20... seconds – great when time is short but the floors are grimy. Features include variable steam control and a snap-on glider that allows users to lightly steam their carpets, too. There is no attached scrubber or included scrubber pad, however. Owners say it does a great job of leaving their floors squeaky clean, but some say the mop feels a little flimsy and report durability complaints. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
Paying a little bit more for the Shark Lift-Away Professional Steam Pocket Mop will get you its signature feature: a removable hand-held steamer for counters, curtains, or other above-floor surfaces in need of a deep clean. Like the Bissell PowerFresh, this Shark uses washable microfiber cleaning pads and is recommended for use on sealed hard floors.
The Shark Lift-Away has three steam-control settings, a quick-release mop head, two mop pads, scrub pockets and a 25-foot power cord. A garment... steamer brush, flat scrubber tool and pad, and accessory hose are also included for handheld use. Like the Bissell, it requires only 30 seconds to heat up and produce steam, and it weighs only 5 pounds. Distilled water is recommended. Owners love how light this mop is, and most say it leaves their floors spotless without the hassle of traditional mopping. Some do complain that the water tank is relatively small, though. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
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