Clean with the power of steam mops. No harsh chemicals necessary
If you’re here, you’re probably looking for the best rated steam mops because you’re tired of lugging around a sloshing bucket full of murky water, not to mention all the wringing and rinsing. You may be concerned about your kids or pets coming into contact with chemical residue from floor cleaners. All of these are great reasons to shop for the best rated steam mops on the market.
Steam mops, sometimes called steamer mops, come in a wide variety of styles for every budget. Our 2019 reviews feature products from well-known brands like Shark and O’Cedar. But before you shop, here are some things to consider when looking for the best steam mop for your home.
- Make sure your floor can handle a steam mop. You should almost never use a steam mop on a wood floor. It leaves behind moisture that can seriously warp and damage the wood. The high steam temps can also damage the finish. Steam mops work best on fully sealed floors like tile and some vinyl. Check with your flooring manufacturer to see if a steam mop is safe to use on your floor type. Your warranty is in danger of being voided if you use steam mops on certain manufacturers’ floors.
- How big are the rooms you need to mop? If you have large spaces to clean, you’ll want a steam mop with a reservoir that doesn’t have to be refilled every 10 minutes. You’ll also need a mop with a long power cord.
- Are extra features worth the money? Some steam mops come with on-off buttons while many turn on by plugging in. Some allow you to control the amount of steam. Some come with accessories for cleaning carpet, windows, blinds, and more. Pick those with features you’ll actually use.
Top 5 Steam Mops of 2019
Most Smart Tech Features
Good for Tile and Grout
Easiest to Use
– Touch-free operation;
– Steam-blaster for tough stains;
– Double-sided washable pads;
– 3 steam settings;
– Water fill flask;
– 23-foot power cord;
– 1 microfiber & 1 scrubby pad;
– Spring breeze fragrance disks;
– Carpet glider;
– 3 steam settings;
– Only 4 pounds;
– Plug-and-play operation;
– Washable pad;
– Multi-functional cleaning;
– 6 attachments;
– Straightforward owner’s manual;
– 30-second heating;
– Triangular head for corners & tight spots;
– 20-second heating;
– Carpet glider;
– Adjustable steam dial;
– Stands up on its own;
– Only 5 pounds;
There’s a reason Shark is a hugely popular brand for floors. They have innovative products that are designed to work great while lessening the physical demand floor cleaning requires. Their products are generally lightweight, affordable, and come with features to make your cleaning time quicker and easier.
The Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop is no exception. If there’s such a thing as a “smart mop” this is almost it. While we were impressed with it, we found a few things that could be improved.
Dimensions: 47.1” L x 11.8” W x 11.8” D. Weight: 5.78 pounds. Warranty: 1-year limited.
Touch-free tech means minimal handling of the cleaning pads (comes with 2). There’s a quick release so you can drop the dirty pad straight into the washing machine or hamper without the risk of burning your hands.
A 22-foot power cord means you’ve got a lot of mopping room without having to search for a closer outlet. It’s a little under 6 pounds (not counting water) so your back and shoulders won’t ache from lugging it around. A 3-setting steam control helps clean a variety of flooring and grime levels.
There’s no on/off switch. You plug it in to turn it on. That’s a little primeval considering the other smart features. It also doesn’t have a stand alone feature, meaning you’ll have to prop it up somewhere if moving furniture.
One of the biggest downsides we found is the non-detachable water tank (350 ml). They do provide a flask to refill it, but the user manual says to drain all water from the tank before storing. That means turning the whole mop upside down over a sink or tub.
The most popular features seem to be the steam blaster spray for removing tough spots, extra cleaning pad, and the adjustable heat controls.
Several customers said it left no streaks, while some noticed a lot of streaks. This may be due to their type of flooring or hard water (try distilled for best results). Steam mops are NOT good to use on some flooring materials like hardwood. The swivel feature was a toss-up: some customers loved it for getting around bed posts and corners but others thought it swiveled too much so was hard to control.
- Price: High
The Lift-Away Pro is similar to the Genius, except it has a larger water tank (500 ml) and removable handheld steamer (which is also the water compartment) for above floor cleaning. It also comes with a 3-foot long accessory hose and triangular scrubber head with pad. Like the Genius, it has 3 steam settings, hands-free mop head, 2 double-sided pads, and steam blaster technology.
Dimensions: 51.2”L x 12”W x 12”D. Weight: 4.8 pounds (without water). Warranty: 1-year limited.
- Price: Low
The Steam Pocket Mop is the most affordable and simply designed Shark steam mop. It comes with a shorter cord (20 feet) and a bigger water tank (450 ml) and only 1 washable mop pad rather than 2. Instead of automatic steam generation, you have to pump the handle a few times to get the steam going. There’s only 1 steam mode instead of 3.
Dimensions: 52.1”L x 12”W x 5.9”D. Weight: 4.87 pounds. Warranty: 1-year limited.
The Bissell PowerFresh is an impressive steam mop that both performs well and doesn’t break the bank. There are a lot of great features to love about this mop, which is why it’s our Heavy Hitter.
For convenience, versatility, and cleaning power, the PowerFresh is a serious contender for floors that have a serious amount of grime. It does, however, have a few drawbacks, particularly with quality control.
Dimensions: 43” L x 13” W x 9.5” D. Weight: 6 pounds. Warranty: 2-year limited.
For the price, the PowerFresh has a lot to offer. The removable water tank is a plus for convenient refilling. It stands up on its own, has 3 levels of steam control, and comes with 2 microfiber pads, a carpet glider, and spring breeze scent discs.
Another useful feature is the flip-down scrubber brush so cleaning stuck on grime and grout is a lot easier. A 23 ft. power cord and 13 inch-wide mop head are perfect for large floors with heavy traffic.
There is no dedicated on/off switch. You plug the mop in to turn it on, but you CAN turn off the steam while the mop is powered on by pressing the steam control button a few times. As far as the steam settings, the higher settings can leave floors quite wet and slippery.
There may be some quality control issues involving the water tank cap either breaking and/or getting stuck which can result in leaks. If water leaks from the steam vent, it can cause burns on bare feet.
The removable water tank was a huge convenience factor for a lot of customers. They also loved the scrubber brush for getting into grout and removing dried-on sticky messes.
By far, the biggest complaint was the water cap that sometimes got stuck in the water tank and/or broke, which led to leaks. The high heat left some burn marks on a customer’s laminate floor, so ALWAYS check with the floor manufacturer before using a steam mop.
- Price: High
This is a 2-in-1 vacuum and steam mop, which makes it twice the price of the PowerFresh. It’s still only intended for hard floors and not carpet. It is NOT designed to vacuum up liquid spills. But, you can choose between vacuum only, steam mop only, or combo vacuum and steam mop. Two containers separate the dry debris from the steam mop water. It has a 25-foot power cord and 5-way adjustable handle.
Dimensions: 46.5” H x 11” W x 9” D. Weight: 9.7 pounds. Warranty: 2-year limited.
This brand may not be a familiar one, but it’s super affordable and super light. A very simple design makes this mop as easy as its name would suggest. It’s not as powerful or versatile as some of the others on our list, but if you’re looking for a really light and cheap alternative between heavy-duty cleanings, this is a good option.
Dimensions: 48”H x 11”W x 5.3”D. Weight: 4 pounds (without water). Warranty: 1-year limited.
Operation is very straightforward. Plug it in. Wait 20 seconds. Give the handle a few pumps, then mop. It’ll weigh a little more than 4 pounds with water in it, but it’s still so lightweight, you won’t be worn out from pushing it around.
This steam vac stands on its own and has a 20-foot cord. It comes with 1 washable cleaning pad and a water fill flask. More accessories such as a carpet glider and extra mop pads are available for purchase separately.
There’s only one steam setting. The water tank isn’t removable, so you’ll have to bend to add water. The pad must be manually removed, so you’ll need to wait for the unit to cool to avoid burns.
The rotation in the mop head leaves something to be desired, so don’t expect it to swivel around furniture and corners smoothly. It’s also so light, that when turning, it may lift up on one side as there’s not much weight to hold it down.
Customers loved the plug and play operation of this mop. Most customers thought it did great on everyday dust and dirt and were surprised with how much dirt they found on the pad. Those with small homes and apartments seemed to like this mop better than those with large houses.
Some users said the water was difficult to drain from the unit. Others thought the cord was too short. Several customers wished the swivel worked better for easier maneuverability.
- Price: Average
If you want to clean more than just floors with your steam mop and don’t mind paying twice as much, this all-in-one model may be a great option. It’s a bit heavier at 6.4 pounds. It has 3 steam settings rather than only 1 and includes a handheld steamer attachment for above-floor cleaning. Like the regular Light & Easy, it stands on its own, but has a more convenient, removable water tank.
Dimensions: 46.4”H x 11.8”W x 6.8”D. Weight: 6.4 pounds. Warranty: 1-year limited.
SKG is a lesser-known manufacturer, but their 1500W steam mop is an amazingly innovative cleaning tool. Unlike many other mops, this one has a triangular head with a 180-degree swivel. It also comes with several accessories for multi-functional cleaning. The main body is detachable to use as a handheld steam cleaner.
Dimensions: 48.4”H x 10.6”W x 10.6”D. Weight: 8.3 pounds. Warranty: 2-year limited.
Accessories! This mop is packed with useful add-ons like 3 washable microfiber pads, a squeegee, snap-on carpet glider, shoulder strap, extension hose, round brush, copper brush, angled nozzle and more. It also has a turn dial to adjust the level of steam from low to max.
The shape and size of the mop head is perfect for corner cleaning and reaching into tight areas such as behind toilets.
The smaller size and shape of the mop head isn’t ideal for quick mopping of large floors. It also doesn’t stand up on its own, so you’ll have to prop it on something if you need to pause to move furniture, etc.
Initial assembly to attach the mop head can be difficult because the screw holes don’t always line up. You may have to tap it in gently.
The owner’s manual was very clear and straightforward for most customers to follow. Many people were impressed with the cleaning performance. Several enjoyed using the attachments for various above-floor cleaning tasks.
The most common complaints were cheap plastic pieces that cracked or units that suddenly stopped producing steam. A few customers said it was difficult to push across the floor. Customer service seems hit or miss. The only point of contact seems to be through email.
O’Cedar is another leading name in the floor cleaning industry. This microfiber steam mop is a simple, budget-friendly offering that provides a lot of bang for the buck.
This one’s great for tight spaces with its small profile and triangular shape of the mop head. It even refreshes carpets. If you’ve never bought a steam mop before, this model is a good starter mop.
Dimensions: 53”H x 12”W x 8.8”D. Weight: 5 pounds. Warranty: 2-year limited.
This mop is super lightweight at 5 lbs (not counting water). The triangular shaped mop head does a great job of getting into corners and tight spaces. Two microfiber cleaning pads are included. They glide easily over hard floors.
The adjustable steam dial, on/off switch and ability to stand on its own are big pluses, especially for moms who are often interrupted while mopping. The snap-on carpet glider is a nice addition too.
The water tank isn’t clear, so you can’t easily tell how much water is inside. It takes two fills from the included cup to fill the tank. And the tank isn’t detachable.
Hard water and this mop don’t get along. Like all steam mops, you’ll need distilled / demineralized water for best results. The carpet glider, while a good refresher, doesn’t really clean the carpet, so you’ll still need a shampooer for that.
The most popular features for customers include the ability to stand on its own, a decently long cord (20 ft), fast heat up (20 seconds) and affordable price. Several of them felt the swivel action and shape was a godsend to clean hard to reach areas.
Alternately, customers didn’t like the non-detachable tank, which makes draining the mop a pain. Several people were aggravated that there is no water level indicator, so the mop may run out of water mid-job.
Why bother with a steam mop
First of all, there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned mop and bucket. They’re cheaper and if you buy the right regular mop, it can do a great job on any type of floor. We’ve listed several top rated ones on this site.
But a steam mop provides a few things a regular mop just can’t do. They require no chemical cleaners whatsoever. All you need is water and a power outlet. For families with babies and pets who are often in contact with the floor, a steam mop will eliminate the residue left behind from cleaning solutions. Some adults and children are also allergic to several components of cleaners so a steam mop reduces those allergens.
As far as sanitizing, most steam mops claim to kill 99% of all germs, which may or may not be accurate. The hot steam (up to 212 F or higher) produced by steam mops can definitely kill germs, providing you’re using clean water and a clean pad. The pads are machine washable, so you’re also saving money in the long run by not having to buy cleaners and disposable pads.
Steam can also loosen up sticky things like jam that have dried on the floor so you can mop it up easier. Nobody likes to resort to scratching icky stuff off with their fingernails. With quick pad release options on some models like the Shark Genius, you may not have to touch the dirty stuff at all.
Who should not buy a steam mop
This really depends on your floors. Steam mops are only safe for completely sealed floors. For some hardwood floors, steam mops are a no-no. They can leave behind a lot of moisture, and the steam pressure can push it into the cracks between the wood. This can lead to the wood buckling and warping. Steam can also strip off polish and other coatings, leading to damage and dull floors.
Laminate and vinyl floors aren’t always impervious to steam either. Steam can loosen the adhesive on engineered and laminate wood flooring, causing the material to swell and buckle. Even vinyl could potentially be damaged by hot steam, causing discoloration and damage to the outer layers.
What floors are safest for steam mops
If you have glazed tile, sealed granite or other stone floors, these are usually the best match for a steam mop. On these floors, they can actually do a better job than a regular mop by penetrating the grout and natural surface irregularities.
Some wood, laminate and vinyl can hold up to a steam mop. But before you get one, check with your manufacturer to see if that’s the case. Using a steam mop can actually void the warranty on some floors. You should avoid that if at all possible.
What kind of steam mop should you buy
This can be a big challenge to decide because there are so many on the market. The limiting factors are budget, ease of use, accessories, and functions. If you’re willing to pay more, you’ll likely get a multi-functioning steam mop that can also steam clothes and clean above-the-floor surfaces like cabinets, appliances, toilets, blinds, etc. The more budget-friendly options can work just as well, but usually will only clean floors.
As far as features, here are some important ones we looked for when reviewing steam mops. Even the best rated ones sometimes lacked one or more of these features. Decide which of these are most important for you when shopping:
- Steam control – Basic steam mops have one steam setting. You plug it in, it heats up, and then it’s ready to go. But on some floors, you may want more or less steam depending on grime level. So mops with adjustable steam control are handy for that.
- On-off switch – Basic steam mops turn on by plugging in and turn off by unplugging. An on-off switch is handy if you need to turn it off quickly without having to go all the way to the outlet to unplug.
- Ability to stand on its own – As simple as this sounds, it’s a very handy feature. Steam mops are top heavy, so if you need to move furniture out of the way and have to prop the mop up on a wall, it can easily fall down. The stand-up feature eliminates that aggravation.
- Detachable water tank – This makes filling and emptying SO much easier than those that don’t detach. There’s no keeping up with a refilling cup and no having to turn the mop upside down to drain it when you can remove the water tank.
- Extra cleaning pads – Steam mops that come with extra cleaning pads save you time in that you can always have a clean pad handy while you’re dirtying up another one. Some steam mops come with only one pad, so you’ll have to buy extras separately.
- Power cord length – The bigger your mopping area, the longer your cord should be unless you don’t mind pausing to hunt down an outlet mid-mop.
- Water tank capacity and water level indicator – Again, the bigger your space, the more capacity you’ll want in the tank or you’ll have to refill a few times while mopping. Also, a clear water tank that allows you to see the water level is really handy, especially in models that don’t have a removable tank.
- Touchless tech – Steam mops with a hands-free cleaning pad release eliminate the risk of burning your hands when removing a dirty pad.
- Avoid tap water – Use distilled or demineralized water instead, especially if you have hard water. Tap water can leave streaks on the floor and the minerals in it can clog up your steam mop. If you must use tap water, descale your mop regularly with vinegar unless the owner’s manual says otherwise.
- Mind the heat – Steam mops can heat water to 200 degrees F or more. Once you turn off the mop, it can take a good 5 minutes for it to cool down enough to remove the pad (unless it has a touchless release). Also, don’t leave it sitting for any length of time on your floor, or your floor could get damaged.
- Always sweep first – We can’t say this enough. Remove all loose dirt, hair and debris as thoroughly as you can with a broom or vacuum before you mop, or you’ll just push it around and scratch the floor.
- Change pads regularly – Using an overly-dirty pad is just as bad as not sweeping first. Once the pad is saturated with dirt and water, it will stop absorbing and you’ll just push the grime around, including any germs that go along with it.