The 5 Best Steam Mops to Buy in 2019

Editors' Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#1 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.

  • Removable water tank: Removable water tanks make refills a breeze
  • Heats up quickly: Water turns to steam is less than 20 seconds
  • Adjustable steam levels: Three steam levels (high, medium, and low) mean you can conserve water (and steam) until you really need it.
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Editors' Choice
Our Rating4.5/5 Rating

#2 Bissell Symphony All In One Steam Mop

The Bissell Symphony All In One is actually a vacuum and steam mop in one and has a carpet attachment available for purchase. It’s our favorite steam mop for cleaning carpets. It’s easy to use, has a 25-foot power ford, and includes four cleaning pads. 

  • Dual unit: This appliance is both a vacuum and a steam mop
  • Cord length: Appliance has a 25-foot power cord, perfect for most large rooms.
  • Heat time: Steam is ready in just 30 minutes
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Editors' Choice
Our Rating4.5/5 Rating

#3 Shark Steam Pocket Mop

The Shark Steam Pocket Mop is affordable, easy to use and does a great job or removing stains, grime, and bacteria from surfaces. It features steam on demand, which allows you to control how much steam is used at once, and steam heats up in 30 seconds or less. 

  • Extra large water tank: With 450 ml of water capacity, you won’t have to stop to refill as often
  • Heats up quickly: Water turns to steam is less than 30 seconds
  • Adjustable steam levels: Shark’s Steam on Demand lets you control how much steam you use.
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Editors' Choice
Our Rating4/5 Rating

#4 Ciclone Floorcare Mop

The Ciclone Floorcare mop is great for not only your hardwood floors, but laminate, ceramic, and marble as well. It’s cordless, easy to use, and features dual spinning mops that scrub and buff. An on-demand spray that allows you to dispense a solution only when you need.

  • Cordless: You won’t need to worry about cord length getting in your way of cleaning
  • Buffs: This steam mop doesn’t just clean your floors, it buffs them as well
  • On-demand spray: Dispense solution only when you need it.
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Editors' Choice
Our Rating4/5 Rating

#5 Shark Lift-Away Pro

The Shark Life-Away Pro is a sleek looking steam mop. It has a large waeter tank (300 ml) and is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to move throughout your home as you clean. It has three different levels of steaming and comes with a bunch of great attachments as well.

  • Steam variability: Three levels of steam
  • Large Water tank: 300 ml
  • Attachments: Comes with a garment steamer brush, accessory hose, and a flat scrubber tool
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If you’re a clean freak (and we mean that in the best possible way), you probably have a plethora of ways to clean your floors, carpets, and pretty much every surface of your house. Vacuums are great for picking up dirt and debris. Robot vacuums are great for picking up dirt and debris without any effort on your part. Mops are great for mopping away stickiness, grime, and other elements that cannot be cleaned with a vacuum… And then there’s a steam mop. Never heard of it? We’re here to educate you.

What Is A Steam Mop

Steam mop

Dmitri Ma/Shutterstock

A steam mop is exactly what it sounds like: half steamer, half mop. Its as if the two devices had a love child and that child got the best of both parents: the ability to clean and disinfect without the use of chemicals.

Steam mops not only allow for a faster and easier clean than traditional mops but because steam is great for killing bacteria, they leave your floors more sanitary as well.

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). Once ready, the steam is then pushed down to the head of the mop. As you mop, this steam helps to loosen dirt and grime as well as kill bacteria.

Editors' Choice: Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop

Bissel PowerFresh Steam Mop

Amazon

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.

This steam mop may not be the smallest or the lightest weight (it weights 6 lbs) but it’s still easy to maneuver. It has a removable water tank (a hallmark of all great steam mops) and heats up in less than 20 seconds (another win). It also has a variable steam setting with three different levels of steam to select from. The Bissell PowerFresh also comes with a microfiber soft pad, a microfiber scrubby pad, two spring breeze fragrance discs, and a carpet glider so you can use it to clean your carpets as well as your floors.

Bissell PowerFresh Pros

  • Cost: This was our favorite steam mop before we even looked at the price. And when we did? We saw how affordable it was and we loved this steam mop even more.
  • Removable water tank: Having to lift your entire steam mop up to the faucet in order to fill the water tank is a pain. Thus, we love the fact that this one is removable.
  • Heats up quickly: Water turns to steam is less than 20 seconds
  • Adjustable steam levels: Some stains require more power than others. This steam mop has three steam levels (high, medium, and low) so you can conserve water (and steam) until you really need it.
  • Accessories: This steam mop comes with a variety of attachments so you can clean more than just your floors.

Bissell PowerFresh Cons

  • Heavy: The Bissell weights six pounds, which is a bit heavier than others that we looked at.
  • Cord length: The cord measures 23 feet, which is shorter than others we reviewed.
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Best Value: Shark Steam Pocket Mop

Shark steam mop

Amazon

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? The Shark Steam Pocket Mop.

This steam mop is obviously affordable, but it’s also easy to use and does a great job or removing stains, grime, and bacteria from surfaces. It features steam on demand, which allows you to control how much steam is used at once. Steam heats up in just 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 tank.

Shark Steam Pocket Mop Pros

  • Cost: This is one of the most affordable steam mops we’ve come across.
  • Extra large water tank: Hate having to stop mid clean to refill your water tank? With the capacity to 450 ml of water, you won’t have to stop to refill as often
  • Heats up quickly: Water turns to steam is less than 30 seconds
  • Adjustable steam levels: Shark’s Steam on Demand lets you control how much steam you use.

Shark Steam Pocket Mop Cons

  • Accessories: 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
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Best for Tile Floors: Shark Lift-Away Pro

Shark Lift-Away Pro

Amazon

As you may have noticed, we included two Shark steam mops on our list. As you can tell, we absolutely love Shark products. If you have tile floors and are sick of constantly scrubbing them, you might want to invest in a steam mop. Particularly, the Shark Lift-Away Pro steam mop.

This steam mop is not only great at scrubbing away dirt, mud, and other grime, but it’s pretty sleek looking as well. In our opinions, it’s the prettiest steam mop we’ve come across (if you can call a steam mop “pretty”). 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 different levels of steaming, and comes with a bunch of great attachments including a garment steamer brush, accessory hose, and a flat scrubber tool. And did we note it only takes 30 seconds or less to heat up? 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, ceiling trim, and more.

Shark Lift-Away Pro Pros

  • Visually pleasing: This is the nicest looking steam mop we’ve come across.
  • Dual unit: This appliance is both a vacuum and a steam mop
  • Cord length: Appliance has a 25-foot power cord, perfect for most large rooms.
  • Heat time: Steam is ready in just 30 minutes

Shark Lift-Away Cons

  • Cost: Unfortunately, this is one of the more expensive steam mops we reviewed.
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Best for Hardwood Floors: Ciclone Floorcare Mop

Ciclone steam mop

Ciclone

Hardwood floors can be a pain. Not only do you have to keep them swept and mopped, but they need to be buffed as well in order 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. Why? Because it not only cleans and sanitizes but it buffs your floors as well to keep them brand new and shiny looking.

The Ciclone Floorcare mop is great for not only your hardwood floors, but laminate, ceramic, and marble as well. It’s light and easy to use features dual spinning mops that scrub and buff. With this steam mop, you don’t have to worry about cord length. Why? Because it’s actually cordless! It operates with a removable lithium-ion battery that charges quickly and easily. It 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

  • Hardwood Floor Care: This is the only steam mop we found that buffs the floors as well as cleans them
  • Cordless: Steam mop operates via a battery pack so you don’t have to worry about a short cord hindering your cleaning
  • Cleaning time: Allows you to clean for 40 minutes
  • On-demand steam: Dispenses solution when you need it for hard to clean areas

Ciclone Floorcare Mop Cons

  • Price: This is one of the pricier steam mops we’ve come across
  • Accessories: Does not come with accessories; they must be purchased
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Best for Carpets: Bissell Symphony All In One

Bissell All In One Steam Mop

Amazon

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 carpet attachment. Our favorite? The Bissell Symphony All In One.

The Bissell Symphony All In One is actually 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. As noted, you’ll have ot purchase a carpet glider, but it’s worth it. The unit heats up in less than 30 seconds, but it is worth noting that this is heavier than most steam mops, weighing just shy of 10 lbs (which makes sense, as it’s a dual unit). It comes with a two-year warranty.

Bissell Symphony Pros

  • Dual unit: This appliance is both a vacuum and a steam mop
  • Cord length: Appliance has a 25-foot power cord, perfect for most large rooms.
  • Heat time: Steam is ready in just 30 minutes

Bissell Symphony Cons

  • Appliances: Carpet glider must be purchased separately
  • Cost: This is one of the more expensive steam mops
  • Weight: Unit weights approximately 10 lbs, which can be hard for some people to manage.
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Steam Mop Buyer’s Guide

Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop

Amazon

Steam mops are a bit more expensive than ordinary mops, but thankfully much 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. You’ll want to look at how much time it takes the water to heat up, whether or not the water tank is removable, how big the device is, how long the cord is, whether or not you can control the steam, what indicators lights are featured, whether or not the steam mop comes with any accessories or attachments, cleaning and maintenance, and warranty. Let’s dive into each of these a bit more.

Heating Time

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.

Water Tank

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 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. If you have a removable water tank, you can simply remove the tank, take it over to the sink and fill if. If it’s not, you’ll need to lug the entire mop to the sink in order to fill the tank, which is not only cumbersome but can be messy as well. As you can imagine, we recommend steam mops with removable water tanks.

Size

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, but 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 preference: are you okay pushing around a bulky, heavy steam mop? Or would you prefer something portable and lightweight? Make sure you check the dimensions and weight of all steam mops you are considering and make sure you feel comfortable using it. If not, you may end up throwing it in a closet and never using it.

Cord Length

Have you ever been in the midst of vacuuming when suddenly you feel the cord fight back as you want to move forward, and you realize you’re at the end of the rope? You have to turn off the vacuum, unplug it, search for a new outlet, and start over. Steam mops are no different.

Make sure you check the length of the cord on your steam mop and compare it to the rooms you’ll want to use it in. Does it suffice? If you’re not sure, check the cord length of your vacuum (if applicable). If you’re happy with your vacuum’s cord length, you should be happy a similar length for your steam mop.

Steam Control

Bissell steam mop

Amazon

Some steam mops allow you to control the steam better than others. 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 different stains require different approaches. With variable steam control, you can clean light messes with just a touch of steam and tackle the harder ones with more steam and cleaning power.

The less steam you use the less water you use, so variable steam control not only helps prevent you from wasting water, but it can also help you clean longer as you won’t need to stop and refill the water tank as many times.

Indicator Lights

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.

Accessories and Attachments

Steam mops aren’t dissimilar to vacuums; they were created to clean and sanitize multiple surfaces and areas of all shapes and sizes, and as such have a variety of accessories and attachments. The most common are extensions, brushes, squeegees, and carpet glides.

  • Extensions: Many steam mops come with extensions that allow you to steam carpets or expand the hose to hard to reach areas
  • Brushes: Some steam mops come with a variety of brushes that are great for getting out tough stains
  • Squeegees: Steam squeegees allow you to steam clean your windows and other glass surfaces
  • Carpet Glides: Carpet glides elevate the steam mop just a bit, which allows them to clean carpets

Cleaning and Maintenance

No matter what type of appliance you’re buying, you’re going to want it to last and in order for that to happy, 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.

  • 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, simply 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 fully dry before placing them back on the steam mop so mildew does not grow and damage the pad.
  • Water reservoir: In addition to the pads, you’ll want to clean the reservoir from time to time. After using the steam mop and waiting for it to cool, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe it down until it is fully dry.
  • Exterior of steam mop: Cleaning the exterior of the steam mop is the easiest part. Just wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth, removing any moisture as you do.

Keep in mind that steam mops were created to 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 or you risk ruining it and also voiding your warranty.

Warranty

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.

Steam Mop vs Regular Mop

Mop

VG Stock Studio/Shutterstock

By now it should be obvious what the difference is between a steam mop vs regular mop: one is old fashioned, uses soaps and/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 just requires some fresh H20 and an electrical outlet.

You know the key differentiators between a steam mop and a regular mop, but now let’s look at the pros and cons of each:

Steam Mop

  • Pros
    • Easy to use
    • Does not require a bucket of water and soap
    • Can be lighter-weight than a traditional wet mop
    • Does not require chemicals to clean and sanitize surfaces
    • Easily removes bacteria
    • Floors dry faster with steam mops than traditional mops
    • Can be used on multiple surfaces
    • Easier to clean than traditional mops
  • Cons
    • More expensive than traditional mops
    • More risk of injury due to hot steam
    • Carpets take a long time to dry

Regular Mop

  • Pros
    • Cheap
    • Easy to use
    • Can be used with your favorite cleaning product in order to leave your home smelling fresh
  • Cons
    • Cannot be used on carpets
    • Require chemicals or soaps to sanitize
    • 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, as well as messy!

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.

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