Steam Mop Icon Read our 2021 reviews and ratings of the Best Steam Mops, and you’ll never have to scrub on hands and knees again!

updated: January 30, 2021

Are you looking for the best steam mop for cleaning floors, carpets, and other household surfaces? If so, read our 2021 reviews to help you decide before you buy.

With a steam mop, your days of lugging around a big ol’ bucket full of filthy water and a mop you have to wring out every two seconds will be over forever!

Woman with a steam mop.

This also means no more getting down on your hands and knees to scrub away hideous floor stains. Steam mopping is a safe and effective way to clean and disinfect your hard floors including tile, sealed hardwood floors, ceramic, and porcelain. However, keep in mind that steam mops shouldn’t be used on laminate floors (you’ll find out why later in this article).

Woman shows that time of old-style mops is gone.

The only chemical steam mops require is distilled water.

And H2O (as you well know) is one of the most harmless chemicals on the planet!

This means you won’t be breathing in any harsh fumes from potentially toxic cleaning solutions. Because you don’t have to buy as many expensive cleaning products, you’ll save money.

Great For Killing Pathogens

If you have asthma, allergies, or multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), you’ll love the way steam cleaners annihilate the pathogens that trigger adverse physical reactions.

The mind-blowing thing about this is the steam only takes five minutes to do its job!

Steam mops also get rid of dust mites, bed bugs, fleas, and other creepy-crawlies. They’re fantastic at killing viruses, Salmonella, MRSA, and bacteria too–including the coronavirus!

Efficiently Trap Dirt

Art illustrating how microfiber catches dirt particles.

Steam mops are compact, lightweight, easy to set up, and ready to use in seconds. Many of them come with a swivel head, making them easy to maneuver underneath furniture and appliances.

Steam mops use incredibly absorbent microfiber pads to trap dirt. The mop pads are reusable–all you have to do is to throw them in your washing machine. You can wash most reusable pads 25 times or more.

Decide Which One Is Best For You

Our 2021 reviews feature products from major manufactures like Shark and O’Cedar. If you’re ready to experience the benefits of chemical-free cleaning, here are the reviews that’ll help you decide which steam mop is best for you:


Top 6 Steam Mops of 2021: Our Reviews And Ratings

1Most Innovative Features
Powerful steam-blasting technology renders old-fashioned mops and buckets obsolete.

The Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop updates the old-fashioned way of cleaning-with mops and buckets for a new century.

This amazingly versatile machine releases a powerful jet of superheated water vapor that’ll get your floors sparkling clean in no time. This steam is continuous, which saves you from having to pump every two seconds.

ProsThe Good

This model is one of the most lightweight steam mops you’ll find and is so easy to use.

If you’ve got something particularly nasty on your floor and moving the mophead back and forth isn’t doing the trick, use the built-in steam blaster.

The dirt-grip pads are an evolutionary leap forward from the old-style ones because they absorb stuck-on grime and crud ten times better than their predecessors.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The water tank on the Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop isn’t detachable, so it’s not as convenient to fill as steam mops that come with this feature.

Unlike some other models, this one isn’t free-standing. This means you either must lay it on the floor or stand it up against the wall. There’s no on/off switch, so you must plug it in to turn it “on” and unplug it to turn it “off.”

In this day and age, that seems downright barbaric.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers raved about the unique steam channeling system that distributes steam evenly through the pad, which results in more consistent cleaning. Others loved how the mophead is small enough to get into tiny spaces—like behind toilets, or underneath furniture.

Lots of buyers adore the patented touch-free technology because, with it, they never have to handle filthy pads again.

All they have to do is push a button, and the mophead instantaneously releases the pad into their hamper.

More Info

2Most Versatile
Amazing two-in-one machine is a godsend for pet owners.

This machine is a dream come true for every pet owner on the planet. That’s because this amazingly versatile machine is not only a sensational steam cleaner, but it also doubles as a vacuum cleaner.

With most cleaners, you must first vacuum before you steam. The Symphony allows you to do both in one simple step!

It’s a multi-tasker like no other, and a great unit to have even if you don’t have a pet.

ProsThe Good

Like every other steam cleaner, the Symphony is 100% safe to use around kids and pets because it uses pure, unadulterated water to clean and sanitize. This means you never have to use toxic chemicals to disinfect your home.

One of the best things about the Symphony is its hands-free emptying system. This eliminates the need to dirty your hands with the filth you pick up.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

As far as tanks go, the Symphony doesn’t have a very big one. The reservoir holds about 13 ounces of water, giving you only 15 minutes of continuous steam. This isn’t much, which means you’re going to have to fill the reservoir multiple times to complete one room.

The suction of the vacuum isn’t as robust as it could be. Most single-function vacuum cleaners are more powerful.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Lots of customers are ecstatic with the lightweight design of the Symphony. Weighing in just under ten pounds, even petite people can easily lug it from one room to another.

Other consumers appreciate that there are disposable pads for pet waste and washable microfiber pads for less messy cleanups.

Having both options makes the machine SO much more versatile if you’re a pet owner.

More Info

3Best accessories
Do more than floors with the detachable handheld steamer.

At 2.2 pounds, this amazingly affordable, multipurpose steam machine is exceedingly lightweight. The superheated steam the unit generates is ready in 30 seconds to power away crud from crevices, build-up from baseboards, and grime from grout.

A detachable handheld steamer you can use for a dizzying array of purposes adds to the jaw-dropping versatility.

ProsThe Good

The PurSteam uses tap water alone to eradicate grease and grime—this saves you wheelbarrows full of money because you don’t have to buy expensive detergent.

The manufacturer didn’t skimp on accessories. You get a window squeegee, a straight nozzle for corners and baseboards, a bent nozzle to tackle hard-to-reach areas, and a bunch of nylon brushes.

With all these attachments, you’ll have a tool for every job!

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Some customers report that the components aren’t as durable as they could be. This includes plastic parts that break, brushes that wear out quickly, and heating elements that burn out prematurely.

The machine also has an annoying habit of lifting up off the floor when you pull it back. This means it’s only cleaning when you’re pushing it forward.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Lots of customers commented on how much they liked the microfiber pads that pick-up dust and dirt without scratching their beautiful hardwood floors.

Other buyers were impressed at how the three steam settings let you apply just the right amount of power. They can use less steam on delicate surfaces like wood and laminate, and more steam where it’s needed.

More Info

4Most Exceptional Maneuverability
A powerful weapon in the war against germs and bacteria.

Every day, virulent new strains of bacteria rear their ugly heads. That’s why you owe it to yourself and your family to make sure your home is as germ-free as possible. The Bissell PowerFresh 1940 can do that for you.

This unit eradicates 99.9% of disease-causing pathogens, helping restore your home to a state of purity.

This incredibly lightweight machine makes steam cleaning an exceedingly easy experience. No more heavy machines to lug around!

ProsThe Good

The PowerFresh has oodles of grime-busting power.

However, when the superheated vapor from the machine needs a little extra “oomph,” there’s a flip-down easy scrubber brush you can engage with your foot to power away particularly stubborn stains.

It comes with fragrance discs if you want your house to be as sweet-smelling as honeysuckle on a warm May afternoon. It has a 16-ounce removable water tank that’s easy to refill—unlike other more expensive models I know (I won’t name names).

ConsThe Not-So-Good

There’s no handle on the water tank. This makes it particularly challenging to remove if you have arthritis or other physical limitations. It won’t be able to clean your carpet—only deodorize it.

The water cap on the tank tends to break easily, causing the tank to spring a leak. There is only one accessory—a carpet glider to make the unit slide smoothly when you’re deodorizing your rugs.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Buyers are also pleasantly surprised at how incredibly slim and lightweight the unit is. They love being able to carry it wherever they need to clean without the usual backbreaking effort—whether that’s the next room or upstairs.

They’re also ecstatic that they can harness the natural cleaning power of steam instead of using the toxic, foul-smelling chemicals that put themselves and their loved ones at risk.

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5Best at removing pet odors
9 incredibly useful attachments for every imaginable household application.

They weren’t kidding when they named this steam mop “LIGHT ‘N’ EASY.” That’s because it’s lightweight, easy to use, and fast. It’ll get your tile, ceramic, and sealed hardwood surfaces looking better than new.

It comes with 9 attachments, including a wand for deep cleaning upholstery, two grout cleaning brushes, and a bristle scrub brush to scour away sticky messes from the kitchen and bathroom.

ProsThe Good

The intuitive smart switch instantly stops generating steam when the unit is left upright. This prevents damage to your delicate surfaces. The LIGHT ‘N’ EASY requires only 100% pure water to do its job. This means no harmful chemicals polluting your home’s healthy ecosphere.

Unlike regular mopping, you don’t have to wait for the floor to dry. The steam dries quickly for a beautiful streak-free finish.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Although the unit has sufficient power for most household applications, it doesn’t seem to do a good job cleaning caked-on dirt on grout and ovens.

The pads (which are poorly attached with Velcro) tend to slip off if you go too fast. The tank could have been made bigger, as it only has enough water to do a single 8 X 8 room before it’s time to refill.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers were impressed by how well it eliminates dog smells from carpet. This makes it a “must-have” for any pet owner.

Some buyers loved the longer-than-normal handle that’s more ergonomic than most models. For tall people or those with back problems, this machine is a godsend!

Some customers appreciated that the steam is continuously generated. This means you don’t have to tediously press a button every two seconds to get more steam—unlike some other models.

More Info

6Easiest to refill
An outstanding steam mop for the price.

Steam cleaners do a fantastic job of cleaning hard floors. But they’re also great at getting rid of germs and bacteria that threaten our health.

One of these is the E. Coli bacterium. The O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop annihilates 99.9% of dangerous pathogens, including E. Coli, which can cause all kinds of health complications.

If you have a toddler crawling around on your floors, you’re probably going to want to buy this steam mop!

ProsThe Good

Some steam cleaners have teeny openings that make replenishing them comparable to filling up a test tube from 20,000 feet. This isn’t the case with the O-Cedar. There’s a large aperture in the 400ml water tank that’s easy to refill.

Another thing that makes it great is it only weighs five pounds. This makes it ideal if you live in a big home and have LOTS of rooms to clean.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

There seems to be a bit of a design flaw in the O-Cedar. That’s because the mophead edges don’t get as much steam as the center does. Because of this, you’re going to need to do a few more passes to get good results than you’d have to do with comparable models.

Another problem is the water tank is opaque, so there’s no way of telling how much water you have left unless you actually open the tank.

Why couldn’t they have made it transparent?

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Some customers complain that the O-Cedar doesn’t stand up on its own—that you have to lean it up against something if you want it to remain upright.

Other people are unhappy that the mop’s cleaning pads are attached with Velcro. This means you’re going to have to dirty your hands when you remove the pad.

Lots of people love that the microfiber pads are reusable, and that you can machine wash them up to 25 times.

More Info

More About Steam Mops


I hope the information in this article helped make up your mind about which steam mop to buy.

By having a steam mop in your house, you’ll never have to get down on your hands and knees to scrub your floors. Plus, you become a dust-busting multitasker by cleaning dirt AND sterilizing surfaces—all in one fell swoop.

You’ll never want to go back to the antiquated mop and bucket way of doing things after experiencing the joys of a steam mop.

All the Benefits of a Steam Mop

With a lean green dirt fighting machine like a steam mop, greasy stains are quickly eliminated, disgustingly dirty grout is magically returned to its original sheen, and tile floors sparkle like never before.

Once a steam mop gets up to temperature, it ALWAYS stays hot. A conventional mop bucket full of water is forever losing its heat to its surroundings.

Steam mop at work
Steam mop is always stays hot to do its duties.

That’s just one extra little way steam mops make your life easier.

Most models come with accessories for other types of household applications besides floors. With these attachments, you can clean your windows, refresh your carpets, get the dirt out of upholstery, defrost your freezer, and so much more!

Here’s some more information about how to use your brand-new steam mop:

Not for Unsealed Hardwood Floors

Steam mop may damage unsealed floors.

Sealed floors have a protective topcoat, such as polyurethane or varnish applied to them.

The hot vapor coming out of the steam mop won’t damage sealed hardwood floors because there’s no way it can get to the wood. However, if you use a steam mop on hard floors that aren’t sealed, water can be forced by the steam’s pressure into teeny cracks.

This can cause cracks to get bigger.

The Water Test

Do a little water test if you’re not sure your flooring is sealed.

Select an area and sprinkle a few drops of water on it. If the flooring doesn’t absorb the water after five minutes has elapsed, your floor material is sealed, and you can use a steam mop to clean it.

Laminate and Adhesive Flooring

Tile or stone floors are the best match for a steam mop

Steam mops shouldn’t be used on laminate flooring because it’s made of tongue and groove planks linked together. There are tiny spaces between each plank where steam can penetrate, causing the material to bubble, swell, or peel.

Using a steam mop on any floor bonded by an adhesive isn’t a good idea, because it’ll loosen the glue. So, don’t use steam mops on peel-and-stick vinyl flooring.

However, ceramic and porcelain tiles are okay.

Variable Speed

If you want a machine that can eradicate even the most stubborn stains, get one with variable steam settings. This way, you can turn the dial to the setting most appropriate for the job you’re doing.

For example, you can turn the dial all the way up when you encounter grime that’s stubbornly caked on and turn it down when you’re cleaning delicate surfaces.

Water Tank Size

Detachable water tank is the convenient feature.

If you live in a home where the rooms are so big you could get lost in them, get a steam mop with the largest tank you can find. It’ll take longer to heat up, but you’ll have a more abundant supply of blisteringly hot vapor. This will decrease trips to the sink to refill the reservoir.

Steam mop tanks can either be attached or detachable.

Detachable tanks are easier to fill.

Mineral Buildup

Tap water contains dissolved minerals that build up in the unit’s internal plumbing, eventually blocking the steam outlets. Mineral accumulation can also interfere with the performance of the heating element.

Some manufacturers say it’s okay to use tap water. However, to be on the safe side, you should only use distilled or demineralized water.

You should especially use distilled water if you live in an area where the only thing that comes out of your tap is hard water.

Unconventional Uses for A Steam Mop

Steam mop is used to clean the kitchen hood's filter.

Here are a few ways to use your steam mop that you probably never thought of:

  • Ceiling fans: If your steam mop has an extension wand, use it to clean years of dirt and grime buildup from your ceiling fan without dragging a stepladder out.
  • Doorknobs and light switches: Disinfect doorknobs and light switches to minimize your loved ones’ chances of getting sick. These days, you can never be too careful.
  • Birdcages: Make your avian friends delirious with joy by using your steam machine to clean their cages. I’m sure they’ll thank you with a hearty “tweet.”
  • Toys and stuffed animals: Cleanse your kids’ playthings of microbial infestations with a quick spray from your trusty old steam machine.
  • Remove wallpaper: Convert your steam mop into a home redecorating tool the next time a change of wall scenery is in order.
  • Car seats can be easily cleaned with a steam mop.
  • Appliances: Use your steam mop inside your fridge, washer, dryer, and dishwasher to annihilate germs and accumulated gunk. You won’t believe the difference!
  • Mattresses: To steam clean your mattress, vacuum it with the carpet glide attachment. Your bed might be slightly damp when you’re done, but it’ll dry quickly.
  • Car seats: You can deodorize and clean your car seats with your steam mop. You might have to run an extension cord outside to do it, but it’ll be worth it!
  • Garbage cans: We all know how nasty these metallic attractors of virulent microbes can get. Therefore, unleash all the power of scalding steam on them to zap the microscopic critters into oblivion.
  • Steam mop could be used to clean the grill too.
  • Grill: Bring your steam mop outside to scour grease and food particles from your grill before your next cookout. You’ll be amazing how lustrous and new it’ll look!
  • Patio furniture: Blast your patio furniture with superheated steam from your machine to wash away all the crud that they seem to accumulate outdoors.

Melba Espinal is a proud mother and self-professed “neat-freak.” She started a successful cleaning service to earn money while obtaining her degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington. After growing the business from a part-time job to a full operation with a fleet of vehicles and a team of employees, she now focuses on helping homeowners with her expert tips and advice!
image description Comments
November 25, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Can you use a steam mop on marble floors?

Darcy Carrell
January 29, 2020 at 5:21 am

My mother-in-law says we need to get a steam mop, but we have wood floors, and I’m not sure that’s wise. She says she uses hers all the time on her wood floors, but it makes me nervous.

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
January 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

You’re right to be nervous. Too much water on a hardwood floor can lead to serious damage. Even wood floors that look like they’re sealed can have cracks and crevices that water can seep into. This water can cause warping, mildew, and dulling of the surface. Some flooring manufacturers state that steam cleaning will void the warranty.

So it’s best to find your warranty info first. If nothing states that steam is a no-no, then you may proceed with caution. Choose a low or medium steam setting. Work in small areas. If there is any water residue, dry with a towel. Set up a floor fan to facilitate thorough drying.

If you’d rather play it on the safe side, we’d recommend getting a good quality spin mop like the O-Cedar EasyWring and then spin as much water as you can out of it so the mop head is barely damp. Use only water or in conjunction with hardwood floor cleaner only. No vinegar or other hard floor cleaners.

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