Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop review: sanitized clean without harsh chemicals

We test the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop to see if this handheld/stick steam mop can deliver a thorough clean using steam alone.

Image shows the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop.
(Image: © Joanne Lewsley.)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop offers almost faultless performance in handheld and stick steam cleaning, but it’s not cheap and a basic manual lets it down.

Pros

  • +

    Great results

  • +

    Rapid time to steam

  • +

    On-board tool kit

Cons

  • -

    Heavy to use for extended cleaning

  • -

    Expensive

  • -

    Instructions could be a lot better

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best steam mops for your home, including the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop, promise a sparkling and sanitized clean, from scrubbing hardwood and laminate floors to wiping down ovens and cleaning grout. 

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop: Key specs

Type: Handheld/stick with cord
Water capacity:
0.1 gallon
Power:
1500 watts
Cordless:
No (23ft cord)
Attachments:
4
Suitable for:
Hardwood, tiles, laminate floors
Dimensions:
13 x 10 x 43 in
Weight:
6.8 lbs
Storage:
Wall-mounted
Warranty:
2 years

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop is a multi-functional steam mop that can tackle all of these and more, promising to eliminate 99.9% of germs and bacteria. It can be used with an extension wand as a mop or without as a handheld device,and it comes with a small selection of accessories for spot cleaning and other household tasks.

Using only steam, heated to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit, it requires no harsh, toxic or abrasive chemicals, so it’s ideal for households with allergies and people looking to cut down on their household emissions. It can even be used to freshen and clean mattresses, curtains and upholstery, giving you peace of mind that items which can’t be laundered are still hygienic.

We put the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop through its paces in our at-home testing over a couple of days, checking out how it managed to cope with household dirt, including sticky floors, baked-on grease and tile grout. We also assessed the its ease of use, assembly and set up, packaging and design, to give you a 360-degree view of how this steam mop performs in an average home.

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop: Price & availability

  • $165 / £119

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop can be purchased on Amazon, HomeDepot and on the Bissell website itself, as well as other retailers. 

While it’s not as expensive as other steam mops with more advanced features, the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop does come in at the higher end of the market for this style of steam mop. However, great performance and a generous 2-year warranty make the price worth paying for many customers.

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop: First impressions

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop, like many steam mops, comes with two steam settings. However, it also has the ability to pause the steaming, while you change the brush head or mop cover. 

The following components and attachments are provided:

  • Handheld steam cleaning unit
  • Extension wand for floors and high areas
  • Mop base
  • 2 washable mop head covers 
  • Onboard tool kit featuring a round brush, a grout brush, a scraper and a nozzle
  • Wall-mounted stand with screws and wall plugs. 
  • A measuring jug to fill the tank. 

One of the great features of the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop is that all of the accessory heads fit neatly into a tray that clicks onto the base of the handheld unit, meaning you don’t have to waste time trying to find the right accessory for your task. 

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop comes in a plastic-wrapped cardboard box. Inside the various component parts are wrapped in either recyclable plastic or cardboard. Some purchasers may not be able to recycle all the materials depending on where they live. The box itself is heavy duty and everything is well-protected. 

We found assembling the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop was super easy for one person, which is great because the instructions are pretty basic. There are only graphics provided in the instruction manual and there’s no information on where you can use the mop, how to maintain it, or troubleshooting tips that you would expect from a well-known brand. This really lets the product down, as not everyone is going to be familiar with a steam mop or how you can use one practically around the house. 

Image shows the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

To assemble, simply click the extension wand into the mop head, and click the extension wand onto the handheld unit. It’s very similar to a cordless vacuum cleaner. A 23-foot cord gives you plenty of leeway for moving around large rooms or from room to room. It also features a handy cord tidy for gathering up and securing the cord.

The water tank is fairly small at 0.1 gallons, so you may find yourself needing to refill it a few times if you’re on a steaming frenzy like we were.

Once you’re done with the steam mop, simply pull the microfiber cloth away from the mop base and pop it in the laundry (don’t use fabric softener as it affects absorbency). You can also remove the mop base by pushing down with your foot on the pedal at the back if you want to store everything away in a cupboard. Otherwise, you can mount the whole appliance on the sturdy wall mount that comes with it.

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop: Design

It’s not the most stylish steam mop on the market, but the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop seems well-designed. Ours came in a blue and gray colorway, with blue accenting the attachment clips, handle and water tank lid. 

At the rear of the handheld unit, a simple three-button interface allows you to choose from two steam modes and pause steaming as necessary. These also have blue accent lights above them. 

The water tank is small but easy to fill with the accompanying jug. An extension wand clicks nicely into the handheld unit, and into the mop base itself. This is fairly large, measuring around 14 x 7 inches. A patterned plastic window in the steam mop head makes it look less chunky and flat than it would otherwise.

We found the handheld unit to be fairly heavy to use. You also need to hold the trigger down continuously for the steam function, which can cause hand strain if you use it for long periods. However, the various attachments were easy to connect and pretty sturdy. 

Image shows the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop: Performance

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop is easy to switch on and start using almost straight away. Fill the water tank, plug in the unit and wait 30 seconds for it to be ready to start steaming. There are two settings, one for regular cleaning and one for deeper cleaning, as well as a pause button. 

A flickering blue light stays on once the steam mop is ready for use. You’ll need to select which steaming strength you want and then push the trigger button located at the handle. 

We tried this steam mop all around our house. First up was a luxury vinyl tile floor in the hallway and kitchen. The steam mop was easy to swivel and maneuver into tight corners and angles. It chugged along, puffing out plenty of steam, leaving behind a shiny clean-looking finish. There was plenty of dirt on the mop head after use too. 

Next up was the oven. We tested how well the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop was at tackling stubborn cooked-on stains and residues, as well as how easy it was to use at tight angles. 

Image shows the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

We were pretty impressed with the results. Our neglected oven door looked almost brand new after a scrub with the scraper attachment, while baked-on stains were scrubbed from the base of cooking pans with little effort. The only problem we encountered was in trying to clean our microwave oven. The handheld unit is simply too big to maneuver well in a small oven so it loses some points there for us. However, you can use the nozzle attachment to get plenty of steam in there and then get scrubbing with a cloth. 

In the bathroom, the extension wand meant that we could reach up and clean tiles that we’d never been able to reach without a ladder. The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop also worked a treat on the shower door and bath surround, as well as the laminate flooring. 

During our testing we found all surfaces dried quickly when using the mop head itself. We noticed a little more dripping and leftover water when we used the smaller accessories, such as the scraper and the nozzle.

Image shows the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

Afterwards, we tried the grouting brush on the gunked-up grout between our tiles in the bathroom. Although it was pretty good at removing fairly light stains, it didn’t seem to be able to shift the heavier black mold so well. It’s likely that you’ll need to pre-treat these types of stains before using the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop on grouting.

It was particularly handy to have all the accessories stored in a tray that clicks on to the bottom of the handheld unit, meaning you don’t have to play hunt the nozzle every time you want to change the attachment head. However, we did find that the bristles on both the small brush and grout brush were bent out of shape after just one use.

The mop clocks in at around 60 decibels during use, which is around the same as normal conversation. Although there is no sensor letting you know when the water tank needs to be refilled, it was clear from the unit’s steam output when that was needed.

One fill of the water tank tends to give you around 8-10 minutes of continuous steaming on the highest setting. This, given the heft of the handheld unit, feels like just enough time before you need to take a break and rest those aching hands and arms.

Image shows the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop: Maintenance

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop can be mounted on a wall to save on floor space. It’s also possible to simply disconnect the extension wand and mop head base from the handheld unit for storing in a cupboard if you need to. You can throw the elasticated mop head covers straight into the laundry.

Although there are no care or maintenance tips included with the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop, there are videos available on the Bissell site that explain how to use the mop. There are also a few troubleshooting videos, for example, if your steam mop is leaking water. You can buy accessories and extra mop pads on the site too.

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop comes with a fairly generous 2-year warranty, which is more than some of its rivals, giving you peace of mind for longer.

We spoke to Karen Barrigan, a cleaning expert for Housetastic and a cleaning business owner, for her tips on maintaining a steam mop. One of her top tips is to remember to empty the water tank after every use. “If you leave the water to sit in the tank, this could damage the machine, lead to corrosion and shorten the lifespan of your steam mop. Leaving the water in the tank could also lead to mold and may cause some bad smells after a while.” 

Image shows the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop: User reviews

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop is well-received on Amazon, with an average of 4.4 stars out of 5. Almost 7 in 10 shoppers give it the full 5 stars. Users rate how easy it is to assemble and use, how quick it is to heat up and how well it cleans, with one user remarking, “This steam mop worked like magic.”

Negative reviews complain about the bristles on the accessories being of poor quality, having to hold the trigger down during use and how heavy the unit is. One user complained that “after 5 mins with the top steamer cleaning vertically or overhead, the weight gets to me”. 

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop: Expert opinion

We asked Barrigan for her take on which households might suit the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop best.

It has a few attachments that come in handy, such as the crevice and round brushes, as well as a scraper tool and detail nozzle. Since the frame is quite light, this mop works well for overhead cleaning.

Karen Barrigan, expert cleaner

“This steam mop is very sturdy and quite light. It has the benefit of being used as a mop and as a handheld steamer,” says Barrigan. “Unfortunately, the mop doesn’t stand up on its own, so this mop isn’t recommended for thorough cleaning or large houses. It’s best suited to those with smaller homes who want to perform quick cleans with the steam mop.”

Should you buy the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop?

Although it may be more expensive than your average steam mop, the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop leaves a clean and sparkling finish that’s worth investing in. It's best suited to smaller households as it's on a 23ft. cord, or for smaller cleaning jobs, but it thoroughly impressed us in all our performance tests. 

How does the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop compare to competitors?

Compared to the similarly priced Shark Steam & Scrub Automatic Steam Mop, the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop gives much better results and has more functions. The Shark Steam & Scrub Automatic Steam Mop can only be used as a floor mop, and it didn’t perform as well as the Bissell in our at-home testing. It also can’t get into corners.

If you thought the PowerFresh was quick to heat up, the Costway 1500W is ready to go in just 20 seconds. With a triangular-shaped mop head, it’s also great for getting into tricky corners, and it’s more affordably priced too.

If you want more accessories than the Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop, the Shark Floor and Handheld Steam Cleaner includes an accessory hose and an above-floor pocket tool and pad, as well as a nozzle, grout brush, scrubber and scraper/crevice tool. 

Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 

You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website: https://www.joannelewsley.co.uk/

With contributions from