With the Bissell Symphony, you can vacuum and steam at the same time and switch between functions without stopping. This steam vacuum cleaner works best on hardwood, tile or linoleum floors. Although you can take off the head to vacuum low-pile carpet and rugs, it won't replace your full-size vacuum.

The five-way adjustable handle helps prevent back pain during in-depth cleaning. At a manageable 10.5 pounds, it is one of the best steam vacuums if you don't want to heft a bulky vacuum. The flexible handle also makes it easy to store.

The power cord is 25 feet long, so it's long enough to steam vacuum a room without unplugging to switch outlets. With its low profile, you can fit it under the lip of bathroom cabinets, the stove and dining chairs, and it has a decent cleaning path at 11 inches wide. However, it doesn't have a swivel head, so it's not easy to rotate.

The water tank can hold about a cup of water, so it can only handle quick jobs before you need to stop to refill it. The tank is built into the unit, so it's not as convenient as filling a detachable tank straight from the sink. Most manufacturers discourage adding scented soap or detergent because it can clog the system; however, you can buy scented demineralized water for steaming with the Symphony.

Steam is ready in 30 seconds, but you have to hold the trigger while it heats up. There are three steam mop settings: high steam, low steam and vacuum. With this model, you can vacuum and steam at the same time. The controls are right on the handle so it's easy to switch the setting as you're steam vacuuming.

It comes with two washable microfiber pads, one is soft for wood and the other is textured for scrubbing and tougher jobs. You can also rinse out the foam motor filter to keep it running smoothly, but you have to replace the pleated vacuum filter every six months. The Symphony doesn't come with a water filter, but you can purchase one separately.

Bissell offers a two-year limited warranty and extensive resources on its website. There are assembly, operation and maintenance videos, FAQs and a stain-removal guide. It also has downloadable user guides and the phone number and email address to contact customer support.

The Symphony is unusual in that it can steam mop and vacuum hard surfaces simultaneously. It won't take over your vacuum's job, but it can cut down on the time you spend cleaning your hardwood floors.

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