Best Steam Mops to Buy in 2021
Do you like keeping your home as clean as possible? If so, consider getting one of the best steam mops.
Vacuums are perfect for picking up dirt and debris, and robot vacuums help pick up dirt and debris without any effort on your part. Mops clean stickiness, grime, and other elements that cannot be cleaned with a vacuum. And then there’s a steam mop.
A steam mop is half steamer, half mop. Steam mops allow for a faster and easier clean than traditional mops, but because steam can kill bacteria, your floors will be more sanitary.
See the top steam mops of 2021 and what you need to know about buying one.
Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop
The Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop is our top choice for steam mops for three main reasons: it’s easy to use, it does a great job at getting out tough stains, and it’s affordable. Features include:
- Adjustable steam levels
- Heats up quickly
- Removable water tank
Bissell Symphony All In One Steam Mop
The Bissell Symphony All In One is a vacuum and steam mop in one and has a carpet attachment available for purchase. It’s easy to use, has a 25-foot power ford, and includes four cleaning pads. Features include:
- 25-foot power cord
- Dual unit
- Steam is ready in just 30 minutes
Shark Steam Pocket Mop
The Shark Steam Pocket Mop is affordable, easy to use, and does a great job of removing stains, grime, and bacteria from surfaces. It features steam on demand, which allows you to control how much steam is used at once. Features include:
- 450 ml water capacity
- Adjustable steam levels
- Water turns to steam is less than 30 seconds
Ciclone Floorcare Mop
The Ciclone Floorcare mop is great for your hardwood, laminate, ceramic, and marble floors. It’s cordless, easy to use, and features dual spinning mops that scrub and buff. Features include:
- Buff options
- Cordless design
- On-demand spray
Shark Lift-Away Pro
The Shark Life-Away Pro is a sleek looking steam mop. It has a large water tank and is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to move throughout your home as you clean. Features include:
- 3 levels of steam
- 300 ml water tank
- Garment steamer brush, accessory hose, and flat scrubber tool attachments
Editors' Choice: Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop
The Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop is our top choice for steam mops for three main reasons: it’s easy to use, it gets out tough stains, and it’s affordable.
This steam mop may not be the smallest or the lightest weight at six pounds, but it’s still easy to maneuver. It has a removable water tank and heats up in less than 20 seconds. It also has a variable steam setting with three levels of steam.
The Bissell PowerFresh also comes with a soft microfiber pad, a scrubby microfiber pad, two spring breeze fragrance discs, and a carpet glider.
Bissell PowerFresh Pros
- Adjustable steam levels: Some stains require more power than others. This steam mop has three steam levels (high, medium, and low) so that you can conserve water until you need it.
- Affordable price: This was our favorite steam mop before we even looked at the price. When we saw how affordable it was, we loved this steam mop even more.
- Fast heating: The water turns to steam is less than 20 seconds.
- Included accessories: This steam mop comes with a variety of attachments so that you can clean more than your floors.
- Removable water tank: Having to lift your entire steam mop to the faucet to fill the water tank is a pain. Thus, we love the fact that this one is removable.
Bissell PowerFresh Cons
- Cord length: The cord measures 23 feet, which is shorter than the others we reviewed.
- Heavy mop: The Bissell weights six pounds, which is heavier than other mops.
Best Value: Shark Steam Pocket Mop
The good thing about steam mops is they’re cheaper than vacuums. The bad? They’re more expensive than traditional mops.
However, if you’re looking for a good quality steam mop, you can find some affordable options. Our favorite budget pick is the Shark Steam Pocket Mop.
This steam mop is affordable, but it’s also easy to use and removes stains, grime, and bacteria from surfaces. It features steam on demand, which allows you to control how much steam you use. The steam heats up in 30 seconds.
This Shark also has swivel steering, meaning you can easily access hard to reach corners and spaces.
One of our favorite features, however, is the extra large water tank. It can hold up to 450 ml of water, meaning you won’t need to stop and refill as often as you would with a smaller container.
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Pros
- Adjustable steam levels: Shark’s Steam on Demand lets you control how much steam you use.
- Budget-friendly price: This is one of the most affordable steam mops we’ve come across.
- Extra large water tank: With the capacity to 450 ml of water, you won’t have to stop to refill as often
- Fast heating: Water turns to steam is less than 30 seconds
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Cons
- Accessories included: This mop comes with two washable microfiber pads but no other accessories.
- Cord length: The cord measures 20 feet, which may be too short for larger rooms.
Best for Tile Floors: Shark Lift-Away Pro
If you have tile floors and are sick of constantly scrubbing them, you might want to invest in the Shark Lift-Away Pro steam mop.
This steam mop is not only excellent at scrubbing away dirt, mud, and other grime, but it’s pretty sleek looking as well. In our opinion, it’s the prettiest steam mop we’ve come across.
It has a decent-sized water tank (300 ml) and is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to move throughout your home as you clean. It has a long power cord (25-feet), three levels of steaming, and comes with a bunch of attachments, including a garment steamer brush, accessory hose, and a flat scrubber tool.
Plus, customers have complimented the quietness of this steam mop, which is worth noting.
Our favorite feature, however, is the removable handheld steamer. This is great as you can use it in hard to reach areas such as the top of your cabinets or ceiling trim.
Shark Lift-Away Pro Pros
- Cord length: This appliance has a 25-foot power cord, perfect for most large rooms.
- Dual unit: This appliance is both a vacuum and a steam mop.
- Heat time: The steam is ready in 30 minutes.
- Visually pleasing design: This is the nicest looking steam mop we’ve come across.
Shark Lift-Away Cons
- Higher price: Unfortunately, this is one of the more expensive steam mops we reviewed.
Best for Hardwood Floors: Ciclone Floorcare Mop
Hardwood floors can be a pain. Not only do you have to keep them swept and mopped, but they also need to be buffed to live up to their full potential.
If you have a home with hardwoods and are looking to invest in a steam mop, our top choice is the Ciclone Floorcare mop. It cleans, sanitizes, and buffs your floors to keep them brand new and shiny.
The Ciclone Floorcare mop is helpful for hardwood, laminate, ceramic, and marble floors.
With this steam mop, you don’t have to worry about cord length because it’s cordless. It operates with a removable lithium-ion battery that charges quickly and easily.
This mop features LED lighting that can capture stains and grime and an on-demand spray that allows you to dispense a solution only when you need.
It can clean floors for up to 40 minutes and comes with six soft touch pads for cleaning and two buffing pads for your hardwood floors.
Ciclone Floorcare Mop Pros
- Cleaning time: This mop allows you to clean for 40 minutes.
- Cordless design: The steam mop operates via a battery pack so that you don’t have to worry about a short cord hindering your cleaning
- Hardwood floor care: This is the only steam mop we found that buffs the floors and cleans them.
- On-demand steam: This mop dispenses solution when you need it.
Ciclone Floorcare Mop Cons
- Higher price: This is one of the pricier steam mops we’ve come across.
- No accessories: It doesn’t come with accessories. You have to buy them separately.
Best for Carpets: Bissell Symphony All In One
If you’re looking for a new and improved way to clean your carpets, you can invest in a steam carpet cleaner, but the downside is it can only be used on carpets. It is useless on hardwood floors, marble, tile, and most other surfaces.
As such, we recommend a steam mop with a carpet cleaning attachment. Our favorite is the Bissell Symphony All In One.
The Bissell Symphony All In One is a vacuum and steam mop in one. You’ll have to purchase a carpet glider for the vacuum, but it’s worth it. It’s easy to use, has a 25-foot power ford, and includes four cleaning pads.
The unit heats up in less than 30 seconds, but it is heavier than most steam mops, weighing just shy of 10 lbs.
It comes with a two-year warranty.
Bissell Symphony Pros
- Cord length: Appliance has a 25-foot power cord, perfect for most large rooms.
- Dual unit: This appliance is both a vacuum and a steam mop
- Heat time: Steam is ready in just 30 minutes
Bissell Symphony Cons
- Heavy unit: This tool weights approximately 10 lbs, which can be hard for some people to manage.
- High cost: This is one of the more expensive steam mops.
- Separate attachments: You’d need to purchase a carpet glider separately if you want that function.
Steam Mop vs. Regular Mop
By now, it should be obvious what the difference is between a steam mop vs. regular mop.
One is old fashioned, uses soaps or chemicals to clean and sanitize surfaces, and also requires a bucket filled with water (which can get messy).
The other is newer, does not require chemicals to clean, and requires some fresh H20 and an electrical outlet.
You know the key differentiators between a steam mop and a regular mop. Now let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
- Can be lighter-weight than a traditional wet mop
- Can be used on multiple surfaces
- Does not require a bucket of water and soap
- Does not need chemicals to clean and sanitize surfaces
- Easier to clean than traditional mops
- Easy to use
- Easily removes bacteria
- Floors dry faster with steam mops than traditional mops
- Carpets take a long time to dry
- More expensive than traditional mops
- More risk of injury due to hot steam
- Can be used with your favorite cleaning product to leave your home smelling fresh
- Easy to use
- Cannot be used on carpets
- Floors take longer to clean than if washed with a steam mop
- Lugging a bucket of soapy water from room to room can be difficult and messy
- Require chemicals or soaps to sanitize
Steam Mop Buyer’s Guide
Steam mops contain a water-filled reservoir that heats water to a temperature around 250 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Fahrenheit is the necessary temperature to kill bacteria). As you mop, this steam helps to loosen dirt and grime as well as kill bacteria.
Steam mops are more expensive than ordinary mops, but they’re more affordable than vacuums. Price is a factor with any new appliance (or purchase in general), but when looking at steam mops, there are a few other factors to consider as well.
Here are the steam mop features to get familiar with to help with your decision.
Accessories and Attachments
Steam mops aren’t dissimilar to vacuums. They help clean and sanitize multiple surfaces and areas of all shapes and sizes.
As such, steam mops have a variety of accessories and attachments. The most common are extensions, brushes, squeegees, and carpet glides:
- Brushes: Some steam mops come with a variety of brushes that are help get out tough stains.
- Carpet glides: Carpet glides elevate the steam mop a bit, which allows them to clean carpets.
- Extensions: Many steam mops come with extensions that allow you to steam carpets or expand the hose.
- Squeegees: Steam squeegees allow you to steam clean your windows and other glass surfaces.
These attachments can help you adjust from laminate flooring to hardwood or carpets.
Cleaning and Maintenance
No matter what type of appliance you’re buying, you’re going to want it to last. For that to happen, you’ll need to take care of it.
Thankfully, steam mops are relatively simple to clean and maintain.
Make sure you clean the pads, the reservoir, the exterior of the steam mop, and any attachments.
Exterior of Steam Mop
Cleaning the exterior of the steam mop is the easiest part. Wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth, removing any moisture as you do.
Steam Mop Pads
Most steam mops come with removable pads. After using your steam mop, wait until the device has cooled and then remove the pads. Most can be thrown in the washing machine and washed on gentle. If you’re not certain, hand wash them.
Check to see if the pads can be thrown in the dryer. If in doubt, air dry them.
Make sure that the pads are dry before placing them back on the steam mop so that mildew does not grow and damage the pad.
In addition to the pads, you’ll want to clean the reservoir. After using the steam mop and waiting for it to cool, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe it down until it is dry.
Steam mops clean and sanitize your home without the need for chemicals. As such, you should not use harsh chemicals when cleaning it.
Never fill the water reservoir with bleach or any other sort of detergent. If you do, you risk ruining it and voiding your warranty.
See more steam mop mistakes to help avoid making errors that will damage your mop.
Have you ever been vacuuming and realize that your cord can’t go any farther?
You have to turn off the vacuum, unplug it, search for a new outlet, and start over. Steam mops are no different.
Check the length of the cord on your steam mop and compare it to the rooms you’ll clean.
If you’re not sure what you’ll need, check the cord length of your vacuum (if applicable). If you’re happy with your vacuum’s cord length, you should be satisfied with a similar length for your steam mop.
Unlike an ordinary mop, you’ll need to plug in your steam mop and let it heat up.
The amount of time it takes for the water to turn to steam varies based on the model steam map you have.
Some of the best steam mops we looked at offered heating times of 20 seconds. Others took around 30, and some took even 45 seconds.
We recommend finding a steam mop that heats up in 45 seconds or less.
Most steam mops have indicator lights of some sort. These indicator lights inform you when the water has turned to steam and the mop is ready to use.
Steam mops can also have empty light indicators which let you know when the water tank is empty and in need of a refill.
As with any appliance, size is important (especially if you have a small home or are short on storage space).
Before investing in a steam mop, consider where you’ll keep it. If you have unlimited space, size won’t be a factor. If you have a small closet with numerous other cleaning appliances, you’ll likely want a smaller steam mop.
In addition to potential storage constraints, think about your personal preferences. Are you okay pushing around a bulky, heavy steam mop? Or would you prefer something portable and lightweight?
Check the dimensions and weight of all steam mops you are considering and make sure you feel comfortable using it. If not, you may not use it enough to get your money’s worth.
Some steam mops give you more steam settings. They can enable you to set the temperature of the team as well as the amount of steam the mop releases.
Why does this matter?
Different surfaces and stains require different approaches. With variable steam control, you can clean light messes with a touch of steam and tackle the tough messes with more steam and cleaning power.
The less steam you use, the less water you use. Variable steam control helps prevent you from wasting water by adjusting to the level of steam you need. It can also help you clean longer as you won’t need to stop and refill the water tank as many times.
Most steam mops we looked at came with one-year warranties, which can be void if you add chemicals to the water reservoir or otherwise inflict user damage upon the mop.
When looking at a steam mop’s water tank, there are two key things you’ll want to take into consideration: the size of the water tank and whether or not it’s removable.
Water Tank Size
As you can imagine, the larger the water tank, the more steam it creates and the longer you can use your steam mop.
In general, steam mops with large water tanks can run for approximately 45 minutes. Smaller water tanks may only allow you to clean for 10 minutes.
If you have a large home, you’ll likely want a steam mop with a large water tank so that you can clean everything in one session rather than continually have to stop and wait for more steam.
Removable Water Tank
The second most important characteristic of a steam mop water tank you should take into consideration is whether or not it’s removable.
Mops with removable tanks are efficient. You can remove the tank, take it over to the sink, and fill it. If it’s not, you’ll need to lug the entire mop to the sink to fill the tank, which is cumbersome and possibly messy.
As you can imagine, we recommend steam mops with removable water tanks.
There are a lot of reasons to invest in a steam mop: they’re easy to use, they sanitize without the use of harsh chemicals, they don’t require a bucket of water, and they can be used to clean multiple surfaces.
In our minds, the pros outweigh the cons, particularly if you have young children or pets and want to eliminate as many chemicals as possible.
Use our buying guide and top picks to help you decide which one you want in your home.Read More