Choosing The Best Steam Mop For Cleaning Your Floors

best steam mop

Cleaning floors is never fun, and if you have to resort to strong chemicals then it can also be bad for your health.

This is where steam mops come in – these ingenious devices means that you can clean your floors with nothing more than water (well, extremely hot water – steam!).

Steam mops are extremely effective at cleaning tiles, sealed hardwood, linoleum and some floating floorboards (check with your manufacturer/installer).

Anyway, you probably already know all this stuff and just want to know which is the best steam mop right?

Ok… onto the useful info!

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Our Top Pick – The Best Mop For Housekeeping

Best Choice

Bissell 1940 Steam Mop Review

Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop

Best Steam Mop

  • Kills 99.9% of germs
  • Variable steam controls let you choose the setting to suit your requirements
  • Safe on hardwood, tile, stone, marble, ceramic, linoleum and laminate flooring

Benefits of a Steam Mop

A steam mop offers plenty of benefits. It can change your mindset when it comes to keeping the floors cleaned. It takes less effort to clean with one. The floors will be cleaner with less time spent getting the job done. You can also clean without the use of harsh chemicals or a mop that holds on to germs. Not only will the floors look clean, but they will also be sanitized too.

Less Effort Required 

Using a mop can be hard, it can be messy. Trying to wring out the water and keeping the mop clean for each section of the floor requires planning.

You may have to push hard with the mop to get certain areas clean. This can be hard on the arms and the back. You have to be careful not to scratch or harm the floor in the process.

With the top steam mops, the heat can get dirt and grime to loosen up. When you clean over it, the debris comes up.

You don’t have to put too much effort into it at all and you can get the floor clean without going over and over it several times. The outcome from steam is much better than with standard cleaners, and it will save you time.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

With a mop, the use of various cleaners is common. The floor is mopped with them and then you have to do it again with water only. This takes twice as long as the process with a steam mop.

Those harsh chemicals aren’t good to breathe in. They can damage your flooring and they aren’t good for kids or pets. With a steam mop, you only use water heated in the system tank. There aren’t any chemicals involved and you only have to make one pass on the floors to clean them.

Eliminates Germs

The heat from a steam mop can eliminate germs. This includes dust mites and bacteria. Such a product can reduce the risk of E. coli and Salmonella.

It can reduce the risk of mold developing or viruses being able to survive in your home. With the risk of COVID-19, removing germs from a home is more important than ever before.

Fresh Pad for each Use

With a traditional mop, germs and dirt can linger on it. They will be there the next time you use it. With a steam mop, a fresh paid is used each time you clean with it. Some of them have disposable pads.

After you clean with it, you toss it out. Others have reusable ones you take off after each use. They can be machine washed and dried.

Top Steam Mops Reviews

Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940

Bissell 1940 Steam Mop Review

Key Specifications

  • 30-second heat up time
  • 23′ cord length
  • Built-in flip down scrubber
  • 2 year warranty

It is not a fluke that we have ended up with a number of Bissell products in this roundup.

Over a 130 years of experience in manufacturing cleaning tools means that Bissell really know how to design the best steam mops. And this is just one of the reasons that the Bissell PowerFresh 1940 is our top mop.

This mop heats up quickly (30 seconds) when compared to other steam mops, and it pushes out a good amount of steam that really cuts through even built up grime and dirt.

The built-in flip down scrubber is great for the really stubborn sticky/dried spots as well as for cleaning dirty grout.

The water chamber can be a bit difficult to remove and we could see this leading to possible accidental breakage by less patient individuals. But the capacity of the tank is great and does cover a surprisingly large area.

We also love how easy it was to assemble and how lightweight it feels while still somehow also feeling sturdy and heavy duty. It really feels like this mop will last for many years.

The included pads were easy to wash and came out looking brand new, even after mopping some pretty disgusting floors!

Shark Genius Hard Floor Mop

shark genius hard floor steam mop

Key Specifications

  • Dual sided mop pads (double the mopping from one pad)
  • Steam blaster for stuck on stains
  • Touch free technology (no need to touch dirty mop pads)
  • 22′ cord length
  • 5 year warranty

Shark Genius mops are well known when it comes to steam mops, and the S5003D doesn’t dissapoint. Powerful cleaning power, a modern look, a huge 5 year warranty and great features are why this mop has made our best of list.

Once again, you will not be disappointed by the cleaning power of this mop.

It uses what Shark call “grip pads” to pick up the dirt and grime and they really work. And the best thing about these pads? They are double sides, so when one side is dirty you simply flip it over and continue mopping on the opposite side.

It also has a “steam blast” feature; this is designed to spray stubborn sticky spots with an extra blast of steam to loosen it up. You can then mop over it as normal and the spot will lift much easier.

One thing we did notice with this mop is that it does seem to run out of water quicker than other models, so if you have a large area to clean it may get frustrating.

5 year warranty….what else is there to say really?

Light ‘N’ Easy Steam Mop S7338

light n easy steam mop

Key Specifications

  • Intelligent steam control – automatically adjusts steam
  • Square shape to easily get into corners and along edges
  • Rotatable base
  • 20′ cord
  • 1 year warranty

At first glance, the Light ‘N’ Easy steam mop is an odd-looking device, and you might be forgiven for thinking that it must be a clumsy machine to use…. but you would be mistaken. This steam mop’s design is actually quite ingenious and one of it’s best features. It deserves its spot in our article.

One of the biggest pains of mopping floors is the ability to get into the corners, along edges, and under pieces of furniture. The Light ‘N’ Easy S7338 makes all these tasks much easier with its clever design. Its square shape with rotating base allows you to mop along edges and into corners with ease, and way the handle is mounted onto this base makes it easy to get under items of furniture without needing to move them.

This model of mop has a feature called an “intelligent automatic steam control” which adjusts the amount of steam released according to how quickly you are moving the mop. This is an interesting feature that certainly makes your water go further, but it can also be a source of confusion for new owners; mainly when they turn the mop on and no steam comes out! This is because the mop will not allow steam to be released until it starts moving.

Our two main complaint with this mop are:

  1. the handle feels a little flimsy, and while it did not actually break, it did feel like it might break for users who are not careful
  2. the power cord sort of just drags along behind with nothing to hold it up out of the way – which was more of an annoyance than a serious problem

Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop And Vacuum Cleaner

bissell symphony steam mop

Key Specifications

  • Built-in vacuum and steam mop functionality
  • Hands-free tank emptying
  • 30-second warm-up time
  • 25′ cord length

Have you ever been vacuuming the floor before mopping it and thought “there has to be a quicker way”? Well there is, you just probably havent heard of it. Let’s change that….I’d like to introduce you to the Bissell Symphony Steam Mop and Vacuum Cleaner. That’s right – this little beauty both vacuums and mops.

Your first question might be “if it has a vacuum in it too, how heavy is it?” Well yes, it is heavier than your standard steam mop, but not my as much as you might expect. The Bissell Symphony pet vacuum/mop weighs in at 10.6 lbs, which is 3-5 lbs heavier than other popular models. So keep this in mind before purchasing one of these.

And the fact that you do not have to run around with the vacuum cleaner to pick up the loose dust, pet hair and other loose muck on the ground is a huge plus. It’s a huge time saver and a great feature. But (yes there is always a but), this unit will not replace your proper vacuum cleaner. You will still need to do a proper vacuum every few times to pick up muck stuck in the grout/gaps in the floorboards.

Something small I noticed that really made a difference was the fact that the vac stands upright by itself – without needing to lean it up against anything like most other mops.

The steam function is not automatic and is activated by a trigger which the user activates, although I actually liked this feature so I wouldnt nessesarily call it a negative.

Of course you will pay a bit more for this device, since it does the job of two machines and is one of the best available – but I feel it’s worth the money.

One thing to consider though is that because the Bissell Symphony Pet Mop/Vacuum does contain more moving parts – there is theoretically a higher chance of this mop failing before others might. But I must stress this is just a theory, we had no problems at all.

Steam and Go Housekeeper Pro

steam and go housekeeper pro

Key Specifications

  • Lightweight
  • Suits hardwood, laminate, tile, glass, fabric, metal and carpet
  • 30 minutes of continuous steam per tank

The Steam and Go Housekeeper Pro series mop is a great mop that has many versatile uses.

It comes with not only the hard floor tool, but also multiple different attachments (including brush tools) which allow it to clean almost any surface, and it kills 99% of bacteria when doing so.

While we are on the subject of attachments, I really like the triangle shape of the floor tool. I find it makes it so much easier to get into corners and next to furniture than the traditional rectangular head.

The generous tank size gives you 30 minutes of solid steam before needing to refill, so you wont find yourself running back to the faucet during your cleaning too often.

Heat up time is also super quick with the Housekeeper Pro, it takes about 30 seconds from switching on till it’s ready to use.

This mop is powerful, compact, and easy to use. It’s certainly worth checking out if you are shopping for steam mops!

How To Use a Steam Mop

woman with floor cleaning tools

How to Use a Steam Mop

Only use a steam mop as directed for the specific item you purchase. Otherwise, there is a risk to the equipment or personal injury.

Don’t be in a hurry to get the job done. Take your time to do it correctly and pay attention to safety factors. Due to the heat of the water don’t have children or pets in the area when you use it.

Sweep the floor before you get started to remove as much dust, dirt, and debris as possible. Start with a clean pad for the floors when you get out the steam mop. Fill the tank with water to the indicated level. Don’t overfill it or you can end up with a mess.

Plug it in and wait for the required time for the water to get hot enough. If you use it too soon, the heat isn’t going to be sufficient for the cleaning and sanitizing process. The owner’s manual will tell you how long it takes to heat the water.

To release water onto the pad for cleaning, press the trigger on the equipment. You may need more water in tough to clean or high traffic areas of the floor. Remove the pad after each cleaning. 

What do we look for Before We Buy The Best Mop?

Spending money on a steam mop can be a great investment and can save you hours in your housekeeping chores.

Make sure the product has wonderful reviews from other consumers. Take time to compare what it offers to ensure you aren’t disappointed with it.

Some of the elements to check into including the cleaning power, the size of the water tank, and the length of the cord. Find out if it has a warranty and any additional features it offers. 

Cleaning Power

Does the steam mop offer plenty of cleaning power? Some of them are exceptional and others don’t give you much to work with. This is a key factor to look at when you compare the products available. You need one that offers you the power to get the job done with ease.

Water Tank Size

The size of the water tank for the steam mop matters. If you have large floors you need a larger tank. Otherwise, you can spend too much time refilling it and waiting for it to heat again. The tank should be large enough to complete a floor start to finish before you have to refill it for the next room.

Cord Length

It is disappointing to get one and discover the cord is too short to get the job done from one outlet. Find out what the length of the cord is before you buy it. Otherwise, you may have to change outlets or get an extension cord to clean.

Other Features

A basic steam mop may be all you are after. Don’t pay for additional features if you don’t need them or plan to use them. On the other hand, such features can help you clean better. Such features you may be interested in include a grout brush and an upholstery brush. 

Warranty

Does the company stand behind their product? A steam mop with a generous warranty should get your attention. Find out how long the warranty is valid for and what it covers.

How Do Steam Mops Work?

Steam mops user super heated water to produce steam, this steam is then forced through a cleaning pad onto the surface to be cleaned. 

This steam has the effect of loosening dirt and grime and also the added benefit of killing bacteria.

Steam cleaning pads can be washed and re-used many times, thus being environmentally friendly.

Can a Steam Mop Damage My Floors?

The short answer is – yes. But only if you use it on floors that were never meant to be cleaned with a steam mop!

A rule of thumb to follow is that if your floor is sealed, then you can use a steam mop.

Linoleum, laminates and modern tiles are generally safe to steam clean. Some hardwood floors are safe to steam clean, but it is important you check with the manufacturer.

If you aren’t sure if your floors are sealed, then its safer to NOT use steam to clean them. 

What Are The Signs Of Damage From Steam Cleaning?

There are a number of signs you can look for which may be an indication that you are damaging your flooring by using a steam mop.

Wood floors may start to buckle, or the sealant may crack or even wipe away.

Water can seep in and under tile floors and mold may grow or you may notice a musty smell.

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