Don’t tell me you still use a dirty old mop, or actually get to your hands and knees to scrub your floor?! Why take so much of hassle of lifting buckets and wringing mops or cloths to wipe the floor when the same work can now be done using half the effort and time using a steamer? This device cleans all types of floors, and most even sanitize the floors, to give you clean floors and more free time!
Okay. So you now agree and decide that you need a floor steamer. You however have a problem here as there are so many brands and models that it’s difficult making a choice!
So to help you out, here is a sort of mini-guide to choosing the best steam mop, and a few reviews of popular brands in the market!
Best Steam Mop 2018
As it was mentioned earlier, there are so many brands and models that it’s difficult choosing the right floor steam cleaner for yourself. While the above mentioned guide does help you make your choice, here are the features, pros and cons of some of the present market’s top-rated cleaners.
|Name||Item Weight||Variable steam control||Our Rating|
|Bissell 1940||6 pounds||Yes: High, Medium and Low||4.9|
|Shark Pocket (S3501)||4.9 pounds||Manual||4.8|
|4.8 pounds||3 levels of Intelligent control||4.7|
|Bissell 1132A Symphony||10.1 pounds||Yes: High and Low||4.7|
|6 pounds||Yes: Dust, Mop & Scrub||4.6|
|7.5 pounds||Yes: High and Low||4.6|
|10.6 pounds||Yes: High, Low and vacuum modes||4.5|
|5.8 pounds||Electronic 3 Level||4.4|
|SKG 1500W Carpet and Floor Clean Machine||6.6 pounds||Yes: High, Medium and Low||4.4|
|Bissell 1806 Power Fresh Deluxe||6.2 pounds||Yes: High and Low||4.4|
1. Bissell 1940 Powerfresh – Best Steam Mop in 2018
This device is the answer to all your cleaning woes, especially for the obsessed! The Bissell Powerfresh works much faster than most mops as it has a built-in scrubber.
It is safe to use on bare floors and effectively cleans and sanitizes your hardwood, stone, marble, tile, ceramic, linoleum and laminate flooring. It’s Febreze spring breeze fragrance discs gives added freshness while mopping.
|The Bissell Powerfresh steams and provides 99.9% sanitization of floors without chemicals||Some find moving the machine difficult as its pad tends to fold under the mop|
|Customized washing with its low, medium and high vapor control||The handle sometimes comes out randomly while carrying or pushing around|
|Disposable Febreze spring breeze fragrance discs provide for added freshness|
|Water changing and refilling is easy as water tank is located at the top of the mops|
|Its 23 ft. power cord, ergonomically designed handle and soft grips adds comfort while mopping for long periods|
|Microfiber pads with Microban antimicrobial protection|
2. Shark Pocket S3501 – Super-fast Heating is Ready in 30 Seconds
The imported Shark S3501 uses tap water to vapor and eliminate 99.9% of the germs and bacteria on sealed hard floors including wood, vinyl, tile and linoleum. It takes just 30 seconds to steam and its on-demand steam lets you customize your vapor output.
This device offers XL water capacity for longer and superior cleaning without breaks and faster drying times. Its technology offers faster double-side scrubbing to clean double the area.
|The right amount of steam in Shark is ready at the perfect temperature in 30 seconds||Some complain of the handle breaking after constant use|
|Provides for 99.9% sanitization of hard floor without any harsh chemicals||No automatic shutoff to prevent the building up of pressure|
|XL water tank provides for continual washing|
|Its patented two-sided microfiber pads cleans double the area for faster cleaning|
|A push-forward motion automatically releases steam|
Fed up of the harsh chemical smell while mopping? Well it’s time you tried the Shark Professional S3601D as it ensures 99.9% sanitization of your wood and hard floors without chemicals.
It works on an XL water tank and with its 2-sided steam pocket pads, all it takes is a quick flip of the steam head to clean twice the area. Its Intelligent Vapor Control features offers 3 settings to choose from for different floors and cleaning needs.
|99% sanitization against germs and bacteria without chemicals||Some complain it’s not safe on wood floors as the floor shows more grain as it is softened by the steam|
|Double scrubbing speed with its 2-sided cleaning pads. Takes just 30 seconds to start steaming|
|Intelligent Steam Control feature offers 3 steam settings to choose as per your floor and washing needs|
|Choose between Dust, Mop or Scrub; or more steam for tough cleaning tasks, less for everyday clean and light for light dusting|
|2 quick release mop heads-a rectangular one for general scrubbing purposes and a triangular one for cleaning corners and hard to reach areas|
|Washable microfiber pockets gives a thorough clean with quick drying results and each pad lasts 20 washes|
4. BISSELL 1132A Symphony – Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum
This particular cleaning product combines both the vacuum and mop into one. The best part however is that the mop also has a steam generator thus making it easier to thoroughly clean the floors, dissolving even the greasy and dried out stains. This product takes everyday cleaning to next level. It is more than convenient, especially to those people who find little time for the daily household chores. A thorough suction cleaning followed by a steam mop can help you maintain your floors in a sparklingly clean condition.
- It can be a huge time saver, given that you can vacuum clean and mop the floors all at one go
- The mop uses steam, which is a great sanitizer for homes. It kills almost 99.9% bacteria without the use of any chemical products
- The vacuum cleaner-mop duo comes with Easy Touch Digital Controls, a quick release mop pad tray, 5 way adjustable handle
- 4 mop pads are included with the package
- Results may vary depending on the given conditions
- The set is tested under controlled lab conditions before packaging
- Uses the Dry Tank Technology that can let you steam clean without creating any watery mess
- Comes with a manual featuring detailed instructions
|Lightweight and very easy to use||Is only suitable for well maintained homes|
|Can be used with disposable pads for hassle free cleaning|
|The settings can be adjusted as per the preference|
5. Shark lift Away – Professional Steam Pocket Mop
This device could be handier given that it has a very advanced steamer that comes with three intelligent modes, dust, mop and scrub. The steamer can be attached to the handle and used directly for mopping the floors or it could also be detached and used for steam cleaning the high reaches. This is not what you would get with every steamer. Hence investing in one ensures that you can take care of your entire cleaning business without much hassle.
- The 2 in 1 steam pocket can be detached and used separately
- The steamer can be adjusted as per the cleaning requirements
- Allows for thorough household sanitization. The steam alone kills 99.9% bacteria without leaving behind any toxic chemical residues
- The steam pockets can be used on each side while mopping
- The mop is very lightweight and smooth, thus allowing for an eased gliding and swiveling
- The quick release mop ensures that you can efficiently clean your household without having to hand hold any of the dirty items
- The large mop heads ensure that large areas are covered more quickly. It allows for more detailed cleaning
- The steam takes just 30 seconds to heat up
- The steam sanitizes the entire floor without using chemicals
- No watery mess, hence faster drying time
|Can be used on linoleum and carpeted floors||The pump may not give a very good lasting|
|Produces no sound|
|Creates no mess|
|Easy to glide around|
This steam mop is very efficient when it comes to thoroughly cleaning your floors. The mop heats up very quickly thus making the cleaning process very quick and hassle free. Also, you do not get a watery mess as happens with most other cleaners. You can tackle all the greasy and dried out stains just in a jiffy as you go along.
- The mop pad heat6s up very quickly. After getting plugged in, it hardly takes 20 seconds to produce steam.
- The adjustable steam setting allows you to effectively clean any floor surface.
- The triangle shaped mop increases the reach ability of the mop into nooks and corners, thus allowing a more effective cleaning
- The mop is very lightweight. This makes it easier to glide it around as you clean.
- The mop uses a micro fiber pad that can absorb all the dust, dirt and bacteria.
- The steam sanitizes the floors without the use of any extra chemicals
- It is extremely safe to be used on hard floors as well
- The microfiber pads can be re used after washing and last for up to 25 washes
- The kit includes two microfiber pads which can be alternated during use
|It can also be used with a snap on carpet glider, which is designed exclusively for the carpeted floors. This technology cleans as well as refreshes the carpets||If you are using it for larger areas, you may have to continually unplug and refill the steam tank|
|The machine is very silent and does not create any disturbance at all|
|The assemblage is very easy|
7. BISSELL Symphony 1543A – Best for Pets
The symphony 1543A allows you to efficiently vacuum clean your floors, couches, pet hair and so on while the steam mop can be used to wipe the floors. This integration of both the items into one single product takes the cleaning process to another level. The suction for vacuum is highly increased while the mop can be set in between high steam, low steam and vacuum options.
- The BISSELL Symphony Pet is one of the few products that allow you to vacuum clean and mop your floors without much of a hassle.
- It comes with an easy touch digital controls that can be alternated in between low steam, high steam and vacuum modes
- Unlike other cleaners, this product uses Easy Touch Digital Controls, which allows you to empty the tank and pet hair without any hassle.
- The vacuum is integrated with stronger features for a better suction
- The mop can be used with disposable pads. This allows you to clean up your worst messes while also leaving a fresh scent behind.
|If you are not very fond of washing the mops after use, you can use the disposable ones for everyday cleaning||The vacuum may not be able to draw in bigger chunks of debris|
|The steam mop ensures that even the greasy and otherwise stubborn stains are wiped away with ease|
Everyone would love to keep their interiors clean and well maintained. However, the chores can leave you exhausted in the end and if you are a work person, you may even find it impossible to do so, on a regular basis. The Shark Genius could be the ultimate solution. There is one thing about mopping and the other about steam mopping. This device also has many attractive features all combined into one.
- Unlike other steam mops, this one distributes the steam throughout the pocket thus distributing it throughout the pad. This makes sure that every area gets covered during the cleaning process.
- You can also direct powerful jets of steam onto dried and stuck on dirt, greasy spots, groves and crevices. This loosens the dirt, thus making the cleaning process more hassle free.
- You don’t have to use your hands for any of the cleaning, even the mop pads are designed so as to be attached and re attached with the press of a button.
- You can dispose the used mop pads straight on to the hamper and have them rewashed
- The mop pads are designed so as to last several washes
- The dirt grip pads provide a very strong grip on the floor thus making cleaning more effective
|The hot steam can break through any dried out grime||You will be required to vacuum clean and mop separately, which could take up some time|
|The water reservoirs are graded for the convenience of the user|
|The steam settings come with three options, that is low, medium and high|
The SKG 1500W naturally cleans, sanitizes and kills 99% of germs, ticks, parasites, fleas and harmful bacteria without using any chemicals. It refreshes carpets too where you can choose between light and tough cleaning.
The set contains 6 useful accessories to clean every area of your home like windows, bathroom, carpet, floors and ovens. Can be used to mop sealed hard floor surfaces including wood, laminate, vinyl and tile.
- Provides for environmentally safe steaming of your floors within 15-30 seconds without using chemicals.
- Its 180 degree swivel triangle head provides for easy maneuvering for cleaning hard to reach areas.
- Min to Low settings for light cleaning and High to Max for tough scrubbing jobs.
|The mop comes with 3 washable microfiber pads||Can only use distilled water and not hot water|
|Sound alert system reminds you if the steamer is accidentally left on. It gives regular beep when in use and grows louder if water has to be refilled|
|6 accessories to choose and use while cleaning laminate, hardwood floor, marble, glass, carpet and tires|
The Bissell 1806 Power Fresh Deluxe Mop drastically reduces your cleaning time and gives you sparkling, germ-free floors. This mop sanitizes your floors and eliminates 99.9% of germs and bacteria without any harsh chemicals.
Its on-board Spot Boost brush helps scrub away tough and sticky messes and its spring breeze scent discs leave your room smelling refreshingly clean. Its water tank is easy to fill and comes with a measuring cup.
- Uses steam’s natural power to clean and sanitize floors by eliminating 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
- Has an on-board SpotBoost brush which helps remove tough stains.
- Its spring breeze scent discs leave your room smelling refreshingly clean.
|High and low steam settings||Not safe to use on Pergo floors|
|Its 5-foot power cord makes cleaning easy|
|Has a 2-year limited warranty|
|Its water tank can be refilled anytime, even when the unit is hot and in use|
|Easy to put together and comes with washable and easily removable mop pads|
Factors to Consider the Best Steam Cleaner
- Size and weight
Generally the size and weight are not much of a bother. It’s only when you have to change the mop head, which has to be done regularly which you may find to be heavy when filled with water. So think about the size and weight of the mop head when it’s full of water and has to be changed. Will you be able to manage it?
While a basic mop can help with basic household cleaning, there are mop with various utility heads you can interchange to clean other surfaces besides dirty floors. Clean windows, bathrooms, worktops and counters is a cinch with these attachments!
- Warming up time
Find out how long the water takes to heat and produce steam as the longer it takes, the more time you waste waiting for the steam! The faster machines generally need only 15 seconds while slower ones may take a minute to produce steam.
- Steaming time
Generally, floor steam cleaners have shorter steaming time than cleaners as they have smaller tanks. Steam mop produce about 10 minutes to about 30 minutes of steam time. Make your choice based on how you intend to use the machine.
If you want to use it to quickly whizz across the kitchen floor, then you don’t need machine which steams for 30 minutes. However if you want to use it to clean many rooms, then look for a machine which gives more steam time as it’s irritating to repeatedly refill and wait for the mop to heat up.
If you opt for mop with smaller tanks as they are light to carry, you need to remember that they also produce less steam time. So whenever the tank runs out of water, you have to head to the kitchen to refill the tank and wait once more for the steam.
There are mops with a trigger mechanism wherein they produce steam only when you are ready to clean. This is a plus point and feature in the machine as it makes best use of the water in the tank.
Steam floor cleaners with a higher temperature give more effective cleaning power to disinfect surfaces better. Machines which produces steam at just the boiling point, may kill germs but need more steam exposure for a thorough cleaning.
- Steam output
The machine’s steam output affects its cleaning power as the more steam it produces, the better it cleans your floors. However some floors need less as excessive steam may damage its finish.
As stains are not created equal, look for device where you can adjust the steam output based on the type of floor you want to clean, and how much of soil has to be removed. Check the manufacturer’s website to find out more about cleaning your flooring. They usually provide recommendations for cleaning particular surfaces.
- Use of detergents
The steam of these mops is usually enough to clean all surfaces. However there are also some situations where you may need some help from a detergent. This is why there are some models which let you use a detergent in the cleaning process. These mop usually have a separate tank for the detergent with an option to turn it on and off as required.
Steam floor cleaners are really rather light and easy to use. However if you are particular about buying a machine which is easy to handle, then look for features like a swiveling head, its shape and how far the handle can recline.
- Operational costs
Steam mops don’t consume much electricity; what you need to worry about is its cloth pads. Find out how many pads come with the mop as you need a couple of pads while washing large areas. All the dirt accumulated on the floor does not end up in a bucket like traditional mop.
Some people even like using a dry cloth to wipe the floor after washing it to make it really dry. As most devices come with just one or two floor cleaning pads, consider the costs of buying additional pads to decide if you can afford them. Some machines which come with washable mop pads, which saves money but have the additional hassle of washing the pads after use!
There are also some machines which specifically have to be used with de-ionized or de-mineralized water. This can be expensive and inconvenient too! While some machines do come with a filter to prevent scaling to let you use tap water, you will eventually have to pay for, and change the filter.
If you are buying a mop which uses a detergent, you have the additional cost of buying detergent powder. Most of these brands recommend the use of specific detergents, which are usually more expensive than high street brands.
All mops cost anywhere between $40 to $300 and more. You have to make your choice based on your budget, and if you want to buy a simple model or one with accessories and special features. It’s not necessary that the most expensive tools is the best as there are many decent options available at a rate which fits most people’s pockets.
- Tank capacity
The capacity of the tank affects your choice in two manners. While large tanks let you clean a larger area at a time, it increases the machine’s weight. While small tanks may increase the machine’s maneuverability, you have to periodically refill the tank and wait for it to reheat. Generally, floor steamers have water tanks which hold between 0.28 and 0.5 liters of water.
- Cord length
You will need a machine with a longer cord if you will be mopping large areas. Long cords provide far more reach which is why short cords are inconvenient for large cleaning jobs. You don’t want to take breaks in the middle of your cleaning just to find another outlet!
Mops are generally easy to store, as long as there’s space to wrap the cord. However if you buy one with attachments, ensure it has space to store the tools. It’s also nice if the mop has a cooling tray as the machine head gets hot after cleaning and the tray protects the floor while storing it.
- Adjustable handle
It’s better to choose a floor cleaner with an adjustable handle if you are on the taller side. Using a mop with a short handle only leads to potential discomfort and back pain!
- Stand-up mop
Its better buying a steam mops which stands upright on its own. You needn’t worry about it tipping over while you wait for it to heat up or cool down while cleaning.
- Online reviews
Online steam mop reviews can help you make your choice as you learn quite a lot about the machines like how durable they are, if they work as the manufacturer claims they do and if they may break in a few months’ time.
However if you find a machine with many steam cleaner reviews but a low rating, its better avoiding it. Look for a device which fits your budget, has the features you want and more positive reviews.
- Regular steam floor cleaners are best used for cleaning hard floors, for freshening up carpets and lifting stains. These are the cheapest of the lot and can be handheld for other tasks.
- Two-in-one mop do just as the name suggests; both mop your floors and tackle other smaller surfaces. It’s additional accessories make it useful for cleaning windows, tiles, worktops, bathrooms, clothes and tiles too. These mops are more expensive than the regular cleaners.
- Cylinder cleaners too can be used for floors and for smaller cleaning tasks like tiles, windows and upholstery. The benefit here is that they have larger water tanks which steam longer, making this a feasible choice if you have a lot of cleaning to do. However the bigger tank makes these mops heavy and bulky to store, need more time to heat up and are rather expensive.
Its better buying a traditional steam mop if you just need to clean floors. If you plan to use it to clean other surfaces too like your kitchen tops, curtains and bathroom tiles, then a 2-in-1 steam cleaner is a better choice.
While cylinder steam cleaners are large in size, they usually come with wheels, making it easier to drag around. They do most of the things a 2-in-1 steam mop does, is a wise choice if you have a lot of cleaning to do and if you find upright cleaner to be rather heavy.
Attachments prove helpful for tackling other cleaning jobs around your house like window cleaning, car and refreshing carpets. So based on what you need to steam clean, here are some accessories to look out for:
- Squeegee – for cleaning glass
- Scrubbing brushes – removes embedded grime from grout and tiles so much quicker.
- Carpet glider – helps in the carpet cleaning process.
- Cleaning pads – for wiping down surfaces
- Upholstery tool – usually constitute a brush or squeegee tool with a pad on its top for easy refreshing of fabrics and treating stains.
- Scrubbing pad – for removing grease from ovens. Some mops even come with its personal detergent and built-in dispenser.
Steam Mop vs Regular Mop – Which is Better?
If you’re looking for a better way to clean your hard floors (particularly ceramic and vinyl tiles) you may be thinking of ditching your traditional mop for a steam mop. After all, steam technology promises to completely revolutionize floor cleaning through task simplification and enhanced cleaning standards. While some agree with this, there are other people who consider the steam mop an unnecessary, pricy, electronic device. To this group, the regular mop is just as effective as the steam mop and people should just stick to the traditional way of cleaning floors. Is the traditional mop just as good? Or, is the steam mop the superior option?
In order to determine this we need to go over some of the stark differences that distinguish these two cleaning options.
- Ease of Use of The Machine/Tool
Steam cleaners are much easier to use than regular mops. In regular cleaning, a bucket with water, a trusty mop and some detergents are required. A device to wring out excess water from the mop is also required to ensure the floor dries quicker.
On the other hand, a steam mop works by using heat from steam to clean floors. The user simply maneuvers the machine and let it do all the work.
- Detergents and Chemicals
When using a regular mop, detergents or chemicals must be used in order to achieve a clean home.
On the other hand, a steam cleaner cleans a home via steam only thus providing a safe, clean and friendly environment where kids can play. It also provides a much better environment for pets.
- Effect on Microscopic Pests and Insects
Regular cleaning with a mop does not kill germs and other microscopic insects unless a disinfectant is used together with the cleaning agents. Even so, the rate of effectiveness is much lower compared to steam mops.
On the other hand, steam mops channel out very hot steam that kills around 99% of microscopic disease causing pathogens. If you have a steam mop/vacuum combo the steam will kill the organisms and the vacuum will suck their remains creating an even cleaner home.
- Time Factor
Regular cleaning with a mop will consume a considerable chunk of your time. The task is also manually taxing. Even more time will be spent waiting for the floor to dry.
With steam cleaners the process is automated and hence quick. Steam is used which evaporates and blends in with the air almost immediately meaning no time will be lost waiting for the floor to dry.
The regular mop is built with mop heads that can become loose relatively. These mop heads are also not very durable. They warrant frequent replacements.
Steam mops on the other hand are built with detachable microfiber pads that can be washed, re-used and are inexpensive to acquire. This makes their maintenance much easier.
The benefits of using steam mops far supersede those of regular mops. With regular mops detergent /chemical agents must be used which may not be friendly to a home environment. Also, their ability to kill microscopic organisms is very low compared to steam mops and the floors require some time to dry which can be an inconvenience depending on the situation.
The steam mop is thus highly recommended. It is especially suitable for those who prefer to have quick results and for those people who don’t want to use chemicals in their homes.
How to Clean Steam Mop Pads
Steam mop pads differ greatly from regular cleaning mops. Unlike regular mops which constitute a mass of coarse strings with absorbent properties, steam mop pads use bundled microfibers which are strategically placed underneath the steam cleaner to pick up dirt and disinfect floors.
Unfortunately, due to their composition, steam mop pads tend to get dirty much quicker than regular mops. What’s worse is, if they don’t receive proper cleaning they can lose their effectiveness at a faster rate and have to be replaced on a frequent basis. This can be a costly endeavor that can be avoided by simply learning a few cleaning tips. With these tips you are guaranteed much cleaner pads that will serve you for longer periods.
- Use a washing machine
If you feel your steam mop pad is very dirty and needs a thorough cleaning then using a washing machine can get you the level of cleanliness that you desire. Simply toss the pad into the washing machine with other fabrics and laundry, and a bit of detergent. The dirt will be completely removed from the pad. Do not use softeners or bleach as these tend to weaken the mop’s fabric thus limiting its longevity.
- Use baking soda
Using baking soda is another great way to remove deeply etched dust and dirt in mop pads. Simply mix 1tbsp of baking soda in water together with some detergent and allow the pad to rest for 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse the pad in lukewarm water to ensure all the baking soda and detergent particles are removed. To remove the water completely you can expose the pad to sunlight or use a dryer.
Please note; over time, the pads will acquire a grayish/brownish discoloration due to excessive use. It’s important to learn how to differentiate the discoloration from dirt. It’s possible for the pad to be clean but still have some staining.
Other General Tips to Consider
When it comes to steam pads there are some pointers that should be followed when cleaning and those that should be avoided. We’ve covered the major dos, here are the major don’ts.
- Regardless of how dirty you may think your steam pad is do not apply bleach to it when cleaning. It might remove those stains but it will significantly weaken the fibers. The same goes for softeners as well.
- Never attach a wet mop pad to the steam cleaner after you’re done rinsing. Mildew – a whitish coating of fungi – will develop on the pad which might cause allergies and other respiratory problems. The best way to avoid this is by leaving the pad out in the sun until it dries completely before placing it back on the cleaner.
- Avoid using powdered laundry detergent when cleaning steam pads. Some powdered detergents, particularly those with fillers, tend to leave residue on the mop because they do not dissolve well. This is true for a lot of inexpensive detergents. This inevitably shortens the lifespan of the mop. To better preserve your steam mop it is better to always use liquid detergent.