The 5 Best Steam Mops to Buy For Your Home in 2018
UPDATED JANUARY 2018 | BY KATE APPLESON
Mops aren’t high on our list of favorite household appliances, with their sloshing water and ragged fibers, but they’re a necessary evil for cleaning your tile and hardwood floors. Thankfully the 21st century has brought us the steam mop: a convenient electric mop with a carpet cleaner-like water canister that produces a steady flow of reliable steam to clean your floors.
Steam mops feature microfiber pads – picture a thicker washable Swiffer pad – that gently scrub your floors while the released steam cleans and sanitizes them. No chemicals are needed to get an effective clean, which we love. Potential buyers should make sure their hardwood floors are sealed, as too much steam can damage unsealed wood flooring.
While all our picks will do a great job of cleaning basic tile and sealed hardwood floors, choosing the right one for you depends on your budget, home size, and whether or not you want to steam upholstery as well. Read on to find the best model for your specific needs.
The Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop is by far the most popular steam mop on the market, and for good reason – it’s the ultimate package at a very reasonable price.
The versatile PowerFresh works on many different floor types, including tile, stone, linoleum, marble, laminate and hardwood – but only the sealed variety. It has thick antimicrobial cleaning pads, and generates three different levels of steam. There’s a built-in scrubber for hard to remove stains. Steam takes 30 seconds to generate, and the tank lasts for up to 20 minutes.
The Powerfresh stands out because everything works simply and efficiently – from the easy to fill removable water tank to the sturdy washable pads, to the convenient swivel that allows you to reach into grimy corners and the extra-long 23-foot power cord that enables coverage of a large home.
Owners love this mop, and Bissell is sure you will too, which is why they back it with a 2-year warranty that’s unusual for an appliance in this price range. We think it’s the best buy available. Check Amazon Rating >>
The Shark Genius Steam Pocket is our runner-up choice to the Bissell Powerfresh, and an excellent go-to for cleaning large homes.
The Genius has the widest cleaning surface area on our list thanks to its distributed steam channeling technology. You can swap out mop pads with the push of a button, without getting your hands dirty. The washable pads are double-sided with embedded dirt catching strips, meaning you can use them for longer and trap dirt easily. And at a lightweight 6 pounds, it’s easy to maneuver for those with lengthy cleaning jobs.
Owners rave about the Steam Pocket’s ability to remove pet grime and more. One of its few downsides that a few buyers have noted is that it doesn’t have a removable water tank like the Powerfresh, which can be inconvenient depending on your sink type.
We love the Genius for very large homes but would still choose the Powerfresh in most cases because of the removable water tank, the thousands of additional buyers that have vetted it, and the better-value price. Check Amazon Rating >>
For buyers looking for a good steam clean value who don’t need any additional bells and whistles, the O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop is a solid buy.
The O-Cedar Microfiber is an effective cleaner which heats up as quickly as the Bissell Powerfresh, has three strength modes too, and is great on various types of sealed floor surfaces. Its microfiber pads are washable, though less sturdy than the Powerfresh. At just 5 pounds, its triangular swivel design is very easy to maneuver.
The O-Cedar Microfiber doesn’t have the scrubbing attachment or top-line steam power and durability of the Powerfresh, but it is definitely easier on the wallet. A few power users report durability issues with leaks and cracks over time. Nonetheless, it’s a simple, affordable choice for smaller apartments and less heavy users. Check Amazon Rating >>
The Bissell Steam Mop Select is the cheapest steam mop on our list, and Bissell’s entry-level option for basic cleans.
The Steam Mop Select is an effective cleaner which heats up as quickly as the Bissell Powerfresh and is great on various types of sealed floor surfaces. Its microfiber pads are washable, though less sturdy than the Powerfresh. Its triangular swivel design is very easy to maneuver, and it releases steam using a trigger-based function to conserve water.
The Steam Mop Select doesn’t have the scrubbing attachment or top-line steam power and durability of the Powerfresh, but it is definitely easier on the wallet. Nonetheless, it’s a simple, affordable choice for smaller apartments and less heavy users. A few users have mentioned difficulties finding replacement cleaning pads once theirs wore out, but at time of writing the pads are readily available. Check Amazon Rating >>
Many buyers happily cough up a few more bucks for the Shark Lift-Away because it is the only steam mop on our list that can do what its name claims: lift away to instantly create a hand-held steamer for cleaning upholstery.
The Shark Lift-Away’s quick release button allows you to easily detach the cleaning canister and attach a cleaning hose for cleaning curtains, couches, countertops and more. It also comes with a garment brush for scrubbing.
As a traditional steam mop, the Shark Lift-Away features both rectangular and triangle heads to allow you to get into every nook. It weighs five pounds like our top value choice from O-Cedar, though a few owners do complain that it doesn’t carry enough water as a result.
If you have a frequent need to steam cleaning surfaces above the floor, the Shark Lift-Away is a great choice. Check Amazon Rating >>
The Hoover Floormate deluxe isn’t a traditional steam mop, but a hybrid hard floor cleaner that does the heavier-duty scrubbing that most steam mops can’t. It uses water and rotating SpinScrub brushes rather than steam to more deeply clean hard floors, but sucks up the water immediately to leave the same level of moisture behind as a steam mop.
Unlike Steam Mops, which rely on heat for cleaning, the Hoover Floormate uses detergent with its scrubbing to get the embedded dirt out of your floors. It is safe to use on sealed wood, vinyl, tile and grout. It has two water tanks, like many carpet cleaners, to keep clean and dirty water separate.
The FloorMate also features a special dry mode which turns on extra suction after you’re done cleaning, to improve floor drying speed.
The Hoover FloorMate is much bulkier than a traditional steam mop at 14 pounds, and has more moving parts so some users have reported reliability issues after two years. If your floors are filthy or easily trap dirt, however, this is the right machine for you. Check Amazon Rating >>
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