The best steam mops will give you clean, shiny floors with less effort than a regular mop. Traditional mops can help with unexpected spills and messes, but they easily get unhygienic and foul-smelling over time and need to be replaced. Steam mops are much more sanitary and will get the job done with ease.
Using hot steam to clean your floors helps to kill germs and remove tough, dried residue while also giving it a perfect finish. Steam will also allow the mop to glide effortlessly over your floors, making deep cleaning much easier than a regular mop as you don't need to use up all of your energy on scrubbing.
Steam mops are more expensive than regular mops, and will sometimes need replacement pads, so this extra cost is important to take into account if you are thinking of purchasing one. You should also check that your floor is compatible with steam mops - while they are fine to use with the majority of tiles, they can cause some wooden floors to bubble or tarnish.
Some steam mops can also be used to clean curtains and furniture; if this is something you think you will need, we've included some more complex models below. Other important factors to consider are the size of the steam mop's water tank, the movement potential of the swivel head, and how much it will cost to run.
Steam mops can tackle your hard tile floors, but if you are trying to deep clean other parts of your home then consider investing in the best carpet cleaners, the best deep clean vacuums and the best vacuum cleaners.
Best steam mops
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We've rounded up the best steam mops that you can currently buy. While we endeavor to review every product that we highlight, some of the reviews for this guide are still in progress. However, any unreviewed products will sum up the key specs, features and user reviews to help you make the best decision for you and your household.
Best steam mops
Using tap water heated to 145 degrees Celsius, the Kärcher SC3 EasyFix promises to leave hardwood floors, tiles, glass, hobs and more clean and sparkling.
Quick to set up and start using almost straight away, the Karcher is virtually faultless in performance. After just a few minutes of steam cleaning, the vinyl tile floor was gleaming with a soft sheen, and further wiping with a handtowel showed no dirt or mud. This steam cleaner outperformed every other mop we’d tested on our floor, and the rectangular shape of the mop head means it’s perfect for getting into corners too.
As a handheld unit, this steam cleaner can be used on tiles, glass, induction hobs, oven doors and more, giving continuous cleaning for as long as 23 minutes. You can also fill up the water tank on the go without turning the unit off to refill. Although it features a limited range of attachments, the hand nozzle and scrubbing brush can tackle most household cleaning chores.
The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop promises to remove 99.9% of germs and bacteria simply by using steam alone.
We found this steam cleaner to be impressive in our at-home testing. It left laminate floors, hardwood floors and tiles clean and shining when used as a standard steam mop. When used as a handheld unit with one of the four attachment heads, it managed to remove baked-on grease from ovens and baking trays, sticky residue from sinks and baths, and even cleaned the shower door. As Karen Barrigan, a cleaning expert for Housetastic and a cleaning business owner, notes: “It’s best suited to those with smaller homes who want to perform quick cleans with the steam mop.”
While the accessories are in a handy toolkit that can be slotted onto the base of the unit, some of them could be of better quality. We found the brush bristles were bent out of shape after one use. The unit itself is heavy to handle too, so people with mobility issues or problems with upper body strength may struggle to use it for extended periods. You also need to keep the trigger depressed during operation, which isn’t the case with some of Bissell’s rivals.
The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop fares well on Amazon, with thousands of 5-star reviews. Customers like how easy it is to assemble and use, how quick it is to heat up and how well it cleans. Negative reviews mention how heavy the unit is and how the brush bristles quickly lose their shape.
Overall though, this is a well-built steam mop that heats up quickly, does the job well, and can be stored away easily when not in use.
- Read our full Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop review
The Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop is a powerful and lightweight model. Designed to clean away 99.9% of germs from your floors, this steam mop is suitable for both hard and bare floors.
Handy features include the SpotBoost brush which is ideal for getting rid of tough stains or dirt. We also like the scent discs which add a nice aroma while you clean. The discs however, will need replacing, which is an extra cost to consider. The mop pads can be easily removed so that you can wash them.
Releasing enough steam to power through dried on spills and dirt, the Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe didn’t leave behind pools of water. The Swivel Steer functionality also makes cleaning in corners and underneath furniture a little easier.
The H2O Mop X5 offers a lot of cleaning power that starts with flooring. It is an absolute marvel for maneuverability, getting into corners with its swivel, triangular head that other steam mops could not access. It was very efficient in our testing, coming out as one of the top two steam mops for getting rid of dried on mess.
The H2O Mop X5 was the most versatile product we tested. You can add several different attachments so that it can steam windows, clothing, carpets and other surfaces. It's nice to have the option of cleaning without chemicals on more than just flooring. The H2O X5 is ready to use in seconds. It had the shortest heat-up time of all the steam mops we tested, adding to its convenience.
One problem with this mop is that it leaves surfaces a little too wet. Most of the mops we tested left behind less water. You will have to keep people off the floors for a while after using the H2O X5. It also has an almost-unmanageable cord that is thick and stiff. It does not wind easily around the cord keepers on the back of the unit. One other drawback is the H2O X5's relatively small water tank is not removable. You will have to use a pitcher or head to the sink to refill often due to the small tank.
- Read our H2O X5 review
The Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam Pocket Mop transforms from a floor steam mop into a handheld steam cleaner with a push of a button. It features a variety of attachments, including a blasting nozzle, a brush for grout and a general all-purpose tool for above-the-floor cleaning. It also features an accessory hose, crucial to relieving arm and hand strain when using the handheld unit.
Two steam modes allow users to opt for everyday or deeper cleaning, and you can take a break from steaming by using a standby function. In addition, the water tank is larger than many steam mops, allowing for extra cleaning time, while you can flip the double-sided floor mop mid-clean to save you from having to fit on a fresh one.
We found the floor mop a little disappointing in our at-home testing, but the handheld unit was a joy to use, delivering an excellent cleaning performance. Our only gripe with the accessories was a damaged grout brush after just one use. But the above-the-floor cleaning tool and copper scrubbing brush work brilliantly on everything from sinks to tiles to ovens.
As Karen Barrigan, a cleaning expert for Housetastic and a cleaning business owner, notes: “It's more expensive than other steam mops, but its versatility justifies the slightly higher price.”
With 4.5 stars on Amazon, users praise how easy and lightweight the unit is to use and how quick it is to change the mop pads. However, negative reviews mention that the unit isn’t freestanding or that the cord is too short compared to other steam cleaners.
- Read our full Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam Pocket Mop review
The ROLLIBOT M6 is cordless, which gives an easy cleaning experience without a cord getting in the way. Its runtime is about 50 minutes, which is long enough to clean even the largest hallways.
Users praise this steam mop for its effortless cleaning and its ability to clean a floor without leaving any streaks after drying. Many customers are also happy with its buffing ability, saying it leaves their floor nice and shiny. Some negative reviews state that it is not great for tiled floor, as it can not get between the grout.
The spray button on the ROLLIBOT M6 allows you to control how much water or cleaning solution you use when cleaning your floors - this feature is particularly useful as it can save you money on cleaning solution while also keeping your floors on the dryer side.
This mop features two pads that spin at 190 RPM, making for a powerful clean that will remove even the driest grime from your floors. The spinning pads eliminate the need for any unnecessary pressure, keeping your mop and floors in good condition for longer.
This steam mop also has some features to tackle streaks and pick up any dirt. The pads on the mop head rotate inwards so that any dust gets trapped inside and doesn't end up back on your floor.
This mop will also fully charge in only two hours, so you can use it at short notice if any unexpected plans come up. On top of its impressive cleaning features, this mop is also incredibly lightweight, making it super easy to move and store away. One important thing to note is that this mop is not suitable for use with oil-based cleaning solutions or essential oils, as they can cause blockages or damage to the sprayer.
The Costway 1500W has an impressive heat-up time, which is one of our favorite features of this steam mop. It heats up in only 20 seconds, meaning you can spend less time waiting and more time cleaning. This steam mop also has a well-designed triangular head which is perfect for cleaning corners in and around your house.
Users praise this steam mop for its surprisingly large steam delivery and high pressure. The small number of dissatisfied customers say the mop can be quite flimsy and it can be hard to get hold of replacement parts.
Some users have noted the awkward position of the cord, which can be a bit of an inconvenience when in use, but it does come with a soft grip handle which makes for a much more comfortable experience when using it at an awkward angle. This isn't the most powerful steam mop on the market, but it is an ideal choice for cleaning up liquid spills or for normal everyday floor maintenance.
Another feature that really stands out to us is the weight of this mop. It is remarkably lightweight, which makes it easy to use for long periods of time. It is also surprisingly compact and can be stored easily in a cupboard, or neatly in the corner of your garage. The water tank is also removable, which makes it much easier to fill up and even easier to store - if your steam mop won't fit in your cupboard with the water tank intact then you can simply remove it.
For the price we would definitely recommend this steam mop. It isn't the most feature-packed on our list, but it will get the job done without breaking the bank.
Buying advice for the best steam mops
When looking for the best steam mops, it is important to consider what you will use the mop for, and which surface you will use it on. Some mops are more suited to tiles over other surfaces, and some can even be used to clean curtains, couches and other soft furniture - it is worth noting that these can be more expensive than a regular steam mop. If you are just using it for standard tile floors then you may be able to save a few dollars by going with one of the more basic (but still effective) options.
You should also think about the size of the area that you wish to clean. If you have a very large floor space, or a large number of rooms then you may want to go for a corded model with a large water tank. Cordless models can still run for an impressive amount of time, but if you intend on being extra thorough then the battery life may not be enough to finish your entire floor.
As for the water tank, it is quite self-explanatory: a larger water tank will need to be refilled less and will clean more floor area in a single fill. A larger water tank will also cut down on the amount of time that you need to wait for the mop to heat up.
Another factor to take into account is your furniture, as cleaning around it can be quite awkward with some of the less maneuverable models.
You should have a think about the running costs of your mop. Some will cost more to run in terms of replacement parts and cleaning solutions. These can greatly vary in price, so make sure to do some research before committing to a purchase.
Power is another important thing to consider; if you will only be cleaning light dust then you can save some money by going for a less powerful model, but if your kids leave thick mud on the floor after soccer practice then you might want to invest in a more powerful option. Some models will offer a wattage number, or RPM if the head spins. A more powerful mop will generally take less time to heat up, and will emit steam more powerfully. Spinning mops will clean a floor without you having to add any pressure, making for an easier clean.
Can steam mops be used on wooden floors?
Worried about damaging your prized flooring? Hardwood flooring can be an investment so it’s no surprise that you want to protect it. If you’re wondering whether you can use a steam mop on a wooden floor, the short answer is no.
Be aware that heated water can result in wood cupping and lasting damage to wooden flooring. There’s also a risk that the steam will get rid of any polish or finish and make your flooring look dull. The type of cleaner you use can also wreak havoc on wooden floors. Vinegar breaks down the finish while soap can leave those dreaded streaks.
Yet if you have sealed hardwood floors, you’ll be pleased to know they’re generally compatible with steam mops as the seal offers additional protection. You’ll find some models in our guide that are suitable for use with sealed hardwood, including the PowerFresh Deluxe.
So how do you clean hardwood floors without causing damage? Stick to gentle cleaning methods such as using plain room-temperature water on a cloth or a standard mop. Avoid soaking your floor with excess water as it can damage it. Be sure to remove any standing water as soon as you can. We recommend protecting your floors from damage with strategically placed rugs and mats in entryways and other high-traffic areas.
Can you use steam mops on upholstery and curtains?
In addition to helping your surfaces gleam, the best steam mops give your upholstery and curtains a thorough clean. They’re a great way of eliminating germs and grime from these hard-to-clean areas.
You won’t have the faff of taking down your curtains as steam mops allow you to clean in situ. The long handle lets you reach the top of the curtains. For best results, turn the steam setting down and move the mop gently and swiftly over the area. This avoids the fabric becoming too soggy.