Steam Mop Icon The 8 Best Steam Mops On The Planet: The 2021 Reviews

updated: April 14, 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:

More

Top 8 Steam Mops of 2021: Our Reviews And Ratings


1Best Overall Steam Cleaner
Handy flip-down scrubber scours away grout and dried-on spots.

The Bissell BigGreen isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing steam mop. However, a machine that packs this much cleaning power doesn’t need to have a lot of visual appeal.

It not only eradicates sticky, dried-on spills and other disgusting messes, but it also decontaminates your floor of pathogens and other disease-causing microorganisms.

This is a terrific feature to have because these days, you need all the help you can get ridding your house of contaminants.

ProsThe Good

Here’s some fantastic news if you own dogs—the Bissell BigGreen is one of the best steam mops on the market for cleaning up caked-on mud.

So if your canine companion loves to frolic in the muck, you’ll want one of these exquisitely engineered machines around to scrub away the mess.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Unlike some other models, the Bissell BigGreen doesn’t have a reservoir level indicator to let you know when you need to refill it with water. This means if you’re not careful, the pump could burn out.

Some users report that the BigGreen leaves their floors a little too wet. Others feel that the plastic housing could be a little more durable.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Lots of customers love how sparkling clean their laminate floors are after BigGreen gets done with them. The best part is, the BigGreen does its job without using any harsh chemicals that could damage the floor’s finish or risk a user’s health.

Others love that the mop pad is machine washable, which cuts down on the cost of buying new pads. Other buyers are ecstatic that their days of getting down on their hands and knees to scrub their floors are over forever.

More Info

2Most 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 for a new century. No more hopelessly antiquated buckets and mops–instead, you get a powerful steam-cleaning machine that scrubs away dirt like few others on the market.

This amazingly versatile steam mop releases a potent 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 laboriously 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 such a primitive thing to do.

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.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • Shark Lift-Away Pro S3973D
    Shark Lift-Away Pro S3973D
    Price: High

    The Shark Lift-Away weighs 4.8 pounds, while the Shark Genius is a little heavier at 6 pounds. The Shark Lift-Away has a bigger water tank than the Shark Genius–500 ml vs. 350 ml.

    The Shark Lift-Away has a removable hand-held steamer for above floor cleaning. The Shark Genius doesn’t have this feature. However, the Shark Genius is more affordable than the Shark Lift-Away.

More Info

3Most 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

4Best for auto detailing
Chemical-free cleaning powerhouse works on nearly every surface.

Are you ready to have every surface of your home looking cleaner than they ever have been before? If so, take the McCulloch MC1375 steam mop out for a test spin. It uses water heated up to a sweltering 212 degrees to blast away dirt, grime, bacteria, and germs.

Use it to flawlessly clean your bathroom—no backbreaking work required! Unlike a mop, you don’t have to use any elbow grease.

ProsThe Good

Unlike some other units (which shall remain nameless), the MC1375 heats up quickly. It usually gets up to temperature in under 10 minutes, even when filled with ice-cold water.

Say you have gunky shower stalls that usually take colossal effort and a liberal dose of hazardous chemicals to eradicate. If so, try using this fantastic machine instead.

You’ll be delighted at how quickly it washes away every bit of the caked-on dirt that could be a major embarrassment if company unexpectedly came over.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

People complain that the scrub pads aren’t as durable as they could be. A common complaint is after being used a single time, they fall apart—even when someone isn’t applying that much pressure to them. It sounds like the manufacturer needs to go back to the drawing board and design a better pad.

A few customers said the hoses don’t hold up well under heavy use.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many buyers rave about the machine’s ability to power away stubborn stains without using harsh chemicals or artificial scents. This makes using the MC1375 a totally family-friendly experience. It’s safe for pets too!

Others love the 20 endlessly versatile attachments that’ll make short work of any kind of cleaning task you might have to do. They also like that you can use it on any type of floor, from tile to sealed hardwood and concrete.

More Info

5Best for kitchen use
Professional grade machine gives your home a chemical-free clean.

The Bissell Power Steamer 2685A uses a powerful, high-temperature blast of steam to clear away gunk, filth, and grime from a wide variety of household surfaces. It boasts precision controls, so you can select the exact amount of steam you want to be released.

That way, you’re never using too much or too little. Clean your kitchen grout without killing your knees, or blast away oily residue from your garage floor. Whatever cleaning you need to get done, you’ll be amazed at how well this eminently practical steam cleaner works.

ProsThe Good

For the average person, it takes an hour or more to clean a greasy stove hood. With the 2685A, that time is reduced to a mere three minutes with zero scrubbing and no sore muscles.

Never miss a spot with the angle concentrator tool, which directs steam into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. If you’re a dog owner, throw away your Swiffer wet jet and get yourself a real cleaning tool.

This fantastic appliance cleans up messes left by your pet as few other machines can.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

This machine can get a little hot, so you should wear gloves and closed-toed shoes when you use it. Some people report that their grout brush completely melted after using the 2685A for only a short time.

You need to keep the button constantly depressed for steam to come out—which is a little tiring for long-term use.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers who are self-described germaphobes love how the 2685A gets rid of health-destroying contaminants on household surfaces. Other people like that it’s three machines in one incredibly efficient unit: an upright steam cleaner, extended reach steam cleaner, and a handheld steam cleaner.

Other buyers are delighted at how endlessly versatile it is. They can use it in their kitchens, workshops, and garages. They can also use it on their boats and recreational vehicles and on their outdoor patio furniture and decks.

More Info

6Best 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.

More Info

7Best for parents with kids
This rugged workhorse quickly blasts away years of accumulated grime.

If you want a safe, non-toxic way to clean your household surfaces, look no further than the Pure Enrichment Pure Clean steam cleaner. At 1500 watts, it’s one of the most powerful cleaners on the market.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how it weaponizes superheated water to liquefy and dislodge ugly stains that grow between tile grout. It’s a tiny but mighty mechanical superhero that does triple duty in that it beautifies, sanitizes, and cleanses.

Enlist the Pure Clean in the war against dirt today!

ProsThe Good

Look—I know you have better things to do with your time than to be filling up the refill tank on your steam cleaner every two seconds. With the Pure Clean’s larger-than-normal capacity, you won’t have to fill the reservoir as much.

There’s a super convenient built-in cord wrap on the back of the machine. This way, the power cord stays neatly tucked away for clutter-free closet storage.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

If you have some heavy-duty cleaning to do, be prepared to have some replacement grout brushes at the ready. That’s because apparently, they’re not made as well as they could be and won’t last too long.

Fortunately, replacement bristles are cheap.

The handle will get a little hot during extended operation. It won’t be enough to burn your hands off, but it’s still a little uncomfortable. It’s best to wear some protective handwear.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Several customers with kids remarked on how well the unit cleaned their walls which were grimy from their children’s fingerprints. Some despaired of ever getting them completely clean without having to repaint them, but with the Pure Clean, they don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Other buyers love the angled nozzle. This makes it easy to aim, with laser-sharp precision, hot jets of steam where it’s needed most. This dramatically increases cleaning efficiency.

More Info

8Best for those with mobility issues
Small but mighty cleaner has an attachment for every job.

Say you want a naturally deep clean without the use of potentially unsafe chemicals. In that case, the Steamfast SF-370 is the steam cleaner for you. It uses superheated water to blast away grease, grime, and mold from household surfaces.

With the extendable reach attachments, there is no need to bend down or reach forward. This spares your back and knees, making this a godsend for people with mobility issues.

ProsThe Good

This steam cleaner weighs only 8 pounds and has a long extension cord, so there’s no need for frequent lifting. This means you don’t have to break your back to get your kitchen floor to shine.

The SF-370 generates 45 minutes of steam—much better than smaller handheld ones, which only generate eight minutes worth.

Some users report that the machine is even highly effective at killing bed bugs.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The machine can be extremely loud when using the high-pressure nozzle. It’s best to wear ear protection when operating the appliance in this mode.

Some customers say the scrubber accessories are flimsy, requiring almost immediate replacement.

Filling the water reservoir is messy, and a funnel isn’t included.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers rave that with the SF-370, the “before” and “after” photos of their kitchen tile are infomercial worthy.

Other buyers who have medical sensitivities to chemical cleaners and their odors love how they can get their homes spic and span without endangering their health.

Finally, lots of users are ecstatic that they’re able to clean grout that was impossible to clean before without a lot of feverish scrubbing.

More Info

More About Steam Mops

Cinderella.

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.

Author
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
Charles
March 15, 2021 at 7:49 pm

Can I use a steam mop for heavy messes and spills?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
March 17, 2021 at 4:47 am

Steam mops are great tools for disinfecting your floors and removing allergens from your home regularly, but it is advised to clean up large and complex messes manually first. Large messes, like spilled spaghetti sauces, may clog the steam mops openings. However, after you’ve picked up the mess, be sure to use the steam mop for an added level of cleanliness!

Adina
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.

image descriptionAdd comment

Mop Tips & Tricks

Hardwood floor and Spin mop
Do you really know how to mop hard wood floors? Take our quiz to find out.
Wood floors need a bit more TLC than other hard floors. The wrong cleaners can dull them, hard shoes can scratch them, and water can warp them. Here are our tips to clean, mop, and maintain any wood flooring.
How to Mop a Floor
How to Mop with Spin or Steam
Mopping isn't rocket science, but there are some tips and tricks to get the most out of that not-so-fun task. Here, we'll tell you some of the best ways to mop floors using spin and steam mops.